Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Government Communications The Courts United States News Politics

White House Refused To Open Unwelcome EPA E-Mail 497

Posted by timothy
from the that's-one-way-not-to-have-seen-the-rules dept.
epfreed writes "The White House lost a case in the Supreme Court about the need for the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases. So the EPA made new rule. And now the NYTimes reports that the White House did not want to get these new rules from the EPA about greenhouse gases. So they did not open the email."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

White House Refused To Open Unwelcome EPA E-Mail

Comments Filter:
  • by Gat0r30y (957941) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @03:41PM (#23939569) Homepage Journal
    Frankly I'm pretty sure my boss would give me the sack for that sort of BS.
    • by Inglix the Mad (576601) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @03:43PM (#23939589)
      And legally, wouldn't fall under something similar to "willful blindness"?

      i.e. deliberate failure to make a reasonable inquiry of wrongdoing (as drug dealing in one's house) despite suspicion or an awareness of the high probability of its existence Willful blindness involves conscious avoidance of the truth and gives rise to an inference of knowledge of the crime in question.

      /not sure
      • by cavis (1283146) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @03:46PM (#23939637)
        I think it is like an ostrich with his head in the sand. Except the ostrich is "Dubya", and the sand that he has his head in is really his ass. Judging by these and other events, he likes the view in there.
        • He's not the only one with their head in their ass, errr...sand:


          The Transportation Department made its own fuel-economy proposals public almost two months ago; they were based on the assumption that gasoline would range from $2.26 per gallon in 2016 to $2.51 per gallon in 2030, and set a maximum average standard of 35 miles per gallon in 2020.

          ...did someone misplace a decimal?

          • by Carthag (643047) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @04:39PM (#23940613) Homepage

            Those are adjusted dollars from after your current dollar tanks in 2011.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by guruevi (827432)

            That would actually be true if gas prices were somewhere near the reality.

            The biggest problem is people speculating on oil prices, buying oil that they're never going to use and might not even have been produced thus somebody is stockpiling something somewhere only to keep the prices up at the pump (which is largely consisting of taxes and national profit markups). What would be great if is the companies that are stockpiling and raking in billions more are hit hard by this (I'm looking at you Exxon)

            As we se

            • by sumdumass (711423) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @05:25PM (#23941175) Journal

              Wow.. Finally someone else gets this.

              You know, Back during the 70's oil crisis, American went off the international oil market and the trade was highly regulated. Over the years, this has been reversed and on the late 90's, the last regulations concerning the furures markets and trading oil was lifted. This is where it led us too. I'm not against deregulation but I think there is a problem when someone holds onto large reservers just to drive the price up in order to profit.

              As we see, the production and demand ratios will eventually regulate it, Saudi-Arabia notices that their biggest clients are taking less and less oil in and the value of the dollar was already low so all of a sudden they can produce a few hundreds of thousand barrels more and drill some more oil fields so they can maintain their income? And the US all of a sudden sees that huge amounts of oil are still untouched within their own borders?
              Actually, Saudi-Arabia is noticing that it can no longer manipulate the price of oil. Their goals are to sort of flood the market making the latests hoarding pointless and hopefully force a change in action from the people that are hoarding the oil. This could backfire too, it could reach a point where there is little demand and the people hoarding the oil to drive the price up are forced to sell at a severe loss. I'm guessing that the people doing so are using other people's money so that would likely mean massive losses in retirement accounts and unpaid debts creating another problem for the country.

              This hoarding is only possible because world wide production is close to it's maximum limits. Otherwise, they would just product more oil when demand increases. Drilling at home would negate this problem too. More wells doesn't mean huge flows of oil, they production can be manipulated to find a fair price. It is hard to reason why people would be hoarding oil knowing of this possibility and I'm thinking it has to do with more then perceived profits. I think it is being done to either manipulate social policy, international policy, or some contrived combination of both. Purposely loosing billions of inverter dollars that belong to retirement accounts or health insurance investments could create a necessity for socialized medicine. It could also be a purposeful act to restrict Co2 emissions by some group because people won't drive when they can't afford to. It could also be because someone wants us to get out of the middle east and drop support for Israel or even invade other countries and so on. It is hard to tell and I can only speculate. But buying oil at $100 a barrel and holding to sell it at $100 a barrel doesn't make as much profit as some people think. So I'm doubting that it is all about the money.

              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                A lot of the speculative trading is being done through the London spot markets - in fact your very own Congress has recently been making noises about regulation (see here [timesonline.co.uk] for the UK reaction to that one).

                I don't think there's a wider social or political agenda - it's just short-sighted, short-term greed, like most of the market trading that goes on in the UK (and possibly elsewhere - but I'm a Brit and will confine myself to slagging off my own speculators).

            • by eclectic4 (665330) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @07:07PM (#23942497)
              Just to clarify, opening up to new drilling as proposed recently would yield oil producing structures in approx. 10 years, and would add to approx. 1% of the world's oil market.

              McCain will use it of course as a "too many people do not know this, and am going to 'play that card'", but it should be seen as nothing more than a boon for the oil companies, and a whole bunch of 1%, in 10 years (up to 15, depending on the difficulty of permit granting and construction location).

              Why in the hell is it so hard to have the above explained (to me by a neutral -stated- Havard Prof via NPR) in the 10 seconds it would take to dispel any further discussion about it, which IMO would be the right thing to do, on any network "news"?
        • by Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @04:19PM (#23940215) Journal

          Personally, I think Congress should vote directly on such a massive regulation that could impact hundreds of billions to trillions of dollars of economic development.

          That's far, far too much power to be wielded by officials not directly elected by the people. And, worse, have their non-election touted as a benefit by supporters...of the regulations. They don't have to "worry about politics."

          Not a very Founding Fathers-ish attitude. Break part of the separation and limitations of powers simply because, you know, you can get your laws, i.e. regulations, jammed down the throats of people that way.

          There was a reason Congress was expressly forbidden from delegating its lawmaking authority. This was so it couldn't avoid passing laws the people might not want, and would cause them to lose the next election. Shielded by this layer, with unpopular regulations they could just throw up their hands and lie, "Gee, I wouldn't have voted for that!" Uhh, you can vote to reverse it, though. "Yeah, we'll get around to that as soon as possible."

          It isn't an issue of the value of the regulation, i.e. law. It's an issue of Constitutional propriety. If a law is so necessary, it should be passed by vote with little or no problem.

          • by DrEldarion (114072) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @04:54PM (#23940791)

            Some things need to be out of the hands of the people because, quite honestly, the people are dumb and shortsighted.

            They're fine with denying people rights because of race/gender/sexual preference.
            They're fine with their own rights being stripped away because of some vague promise that it'll help fight "terrism".
            They're fine with destroying the earth as long as they can save $0.20 a gallon on gas for the next year.

            There are certain things that should not be up for vote by the people, and the environment is probably at the top of that list.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Intron (870560)

              "They're fine with denying people rights because of race/gender/sexual preference."

              The people chose Barack, Hillary, and Barney Frank.

              They're fine with their own rights being stripped away because of some vague promise that it'll help fight "terrism".

              If people were "fine" with it, why would the admin. be trying to keep their violations of NSLs secret? And be trying to grant retroactive immunity to the Telecoms?

              "They're fine with destroying the earth as long as they can save $0.20 a gallon on gas for the ne

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by homer_ca (144738)

                If people were "fine" with it, why would the admin. be trying to keep their violations of NSLs secret? And be trying to grant retroactive immunity to the Telecoms?

                There's "fine with it" and then there's "fine with it". Opinion polls about warrantless wiretapping run about 50-something percent against/40-something percent for [blogspot.com]. That's a solid majority, but far from the overwhelming majority it takes for Washington to pay attention. That's not even a big enough majority to break a Senate filibuster. The secrec

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            I'm sure you couldn't be bothered to actually read the article, but the EPA report found "that tough regulation of motor vehicle emissions could produce $500 billion to $2 trillion in economic benefits over the next 32 years". That's benefits, not costs.

            The article also mentions that the EPA report was produced because the Supreme Court ruled that, under the Clean Air Act, the EPA was required to determine whether greenhouse gasses should be regulated.

            In other words, Congress did pass a law. It is kno
        • Americans now know how it's like to be ruled by a ten-year old. "Nuh uh, I'm not going to open the e-mail." "Sir? Mr. President, that's the EPA's conclusions. It's important." "I disagree." "Respectfully, Mr. President, you should read it first." "Not gonna do it."

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Myopic (18616)

            Well, yeah, now we all know -- but 49% of us already knew in 2004.

            His election was disappointing, but his re-election makes me weep.

      • by Kenrod (188428) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @04:23PM (#23940301)

        Are you suggesting the govt would voluntarily hold themselves to the same legal standards as the rest of us?

      • by sorak (246725) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @04:51PM (#23940761)

        And legally, wouldn't fall under something similar to "willful blindness"?

        i.e. deliberate failure to make a reasonable inquiry of wrongdoing (as drug dealing in one's house) despite suspicion or an awareness of the high probability of its existence Willful blindness involves conscious avoidance of the truth and gives rise to an inference of knowledge of the crime in question. /not sure

        IANAL, but wouldn't it fall under contempt of court? The willful blindness analogy would hold up if it were a case of someone else committing a crime in the White House and the people being prosecuted had looked the other way, but this is a case of the defendants losing the case and simply ignoring the verdict by ignoring the EPA.

        It's like if I refused to pay my house payment, and then the mortgage company sued me, won the case, with the judge saying "you bill him and he had better pay that bill", and I tried to weasel out by immediately throwing away any mail that came from my mortgage company. How would that NOT be contempt of court?

        • by Red Flayer (890720) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @05:28PM (#23941221) Journal

          IANAL, but wouldn't it fall under contempt of court? The willful blindness analogy would hold up if it were a case of someone else committing a crime in the White House and the people being prosecuted had looked the other way, but this is a case of the defendants losing the case and simply ignoring the verdict by ignoring the EPA.
          It's far worse than contempt of court, since the court in question is the Supreme Court and the violator in question is the Chief Executive.

          This is willful, blatant disregard for one of the most important principles in the US Constitution, that of checks and balances.

          The legislative branch passed a law requiring action by the exective branch. The executive branch said it was; the judicial branch found differently and told the executive to do better. The exectuive branch plugged its fingers in its ears and ignored the order.

          This is a prime example of direct non-compliance with the US Constitution.

          Now, I don't think we should waste the resources on impeachment proceedings at this point. However, I think there needs to be a full investigation by the Senate so that all the details are entered into the historical record before they disappear. As GWB has often alluded to, history will judge him. I hope he is haunted to the end of his days by what he has done and by what historians write about him.
          • EPA != Congress (Score:3, Informative)

            by superyooser (100462)

            This is willful, blatant disregard for one of the most important principles in the US Constitution, that of checks and balances.

            The legislative branch passed a law requiring action by the executive branch.

            Agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency operate as rogue legislative bodies. They create regulations, which generally are not laws passed by Congress.

            There are no checks and balances between the EPA and the Executive Branch, because the EPA itself is unconstitutional.

    • by Paranatural (661514) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @03:50PM (#23939711)

      It's like a never-ending spiral downward to see how absolutely slimy these people can be without actually getting forcibly ejected from the WH. Seriously, how badly do these bastards have to behave before they can be impeached? Bill got a hummer and has impeachment hearings brought against him, the Bush admins just flat out break law after law and absolutely nothing happens. What the hell?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Gat0r30y (957941)
        A thought occurs:
        Bill Clinton: I thought everybody liked hummers.
        George W. Bush: I thought everybody wanted a Hummer.
        Kucinich (D-OH) has introduced articles of impeachment - and plans to keep introducing new articles (I heard 60 was the goal for the next round) until the Judiciary committee that tabled the articles puts them on the floor.
      • by Kenrod (188428) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @04:25PM (#23940335)

        Bill was impeached for lying under oath. The only place you can get impeached for getting a hummer is Alabama.

    • by StefanJ (88986)

      Give the man some credit. Bush is faithfully serving the people who got him into office.

      They suckered the dupes into thinking they were getting a straight-shooting native-born Texan who was the kind of feller who'd drink a beer with them, keep the military out of nation-building boondoggles, hated taxes, and loved little unborn babies.

      Now they've managed to convince us, and Congress, that we're better off not making him and his cronies accountable.

      Bush and Cheney will spend their lives after the White House

    • by RexDevious (321791) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @04:57PM (#23940847) Homepage Journal

      John McCain says he's completely computer illiterate, and has to rely on other people to do anything on the computer for him. Now, given that George W. Bush has said that "doesn't read newspapers" - what're the odds *he's* computer literate? Or that either of them would hire (or keep) people who felt that skill was far more important than they did?

      Whether you think this is genuine incompetence or just plausible deniability - the fact remains that we collectively "hired" someone who said he lacked a vital skill for the job, and a fair portion of Americans are seriously considering hiring another one.

      If you were willfully ignorant, and had to rely exclusively on the caliber of people a willfully ignorant person would hire as advisers - you too would end up having to:

      -Say things like "$4.00 a gallon gas? I hadn't heard about that".
      -Wait until your staff put together a DVD for you to illustrate what a "heckuva" job that ex-Head of an Equestrian club manager you hired to run FEMA was doing responding to a Category 5 hurricane that hit a below sea level city.
      -Claim that "Everyone thought he had Weapons of Mass Destruction".
      -Respond that "No one could have predicted" terrorists would fly highjacked jumbo jets into the building they previously tried to blow up with a truck bomb.
      -Assume that promising to "Protect and Uphold the Constitution" consisted primarily of keeping your hands of the interns, and doing a lot of bicycling.

      So let's not complain about this too much folks. We hired an incurious idiot to run the company. Just be thankful the company didn't go completely bankrupt before we started paying more attention to applicant's resumes.

      I'm actually far more surprised than thankful. If we make it to 2009 without China foreclosing on us, it's going to feel the way it does to wake up safe in bed when you have no memory of how you got home from the previous night's party: thankful you got home alive but still worried about kind of damage you've done to your car, credit line, or reputation in the process.

  • time paradox (Score:5, Insightful)

    by QuantumHobbit (976542) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @03:41PM (#23939573)
    How did they know about the rules if they never opened the e-mail?

    Also after 7 years, is anyone surprised?
    • by joocemann (1273720) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @03:46PM (#23939635)

      SUBJECT: NEW RULES
      FROM: Dude@epa.gov

      [x] Delete

      (like that)

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Danse (1026)

        SUBJECT: NEW RULES
        FROM: Dude@epa.gov

        [x] Delete

        (like that)

        Looks like spam to me... I'd delete it too :)
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by dreamchaser (49529)

      They surely knew already what the email would contain. People talk to each other, the email was probably just the 'formal' notice of the change.

      This also illustrates, for those who blame everything on any Administration, the Executive doesn't have absolute control over agencies that are ostensibly part of the Executive Branch. That goes for people who demonized Clinton and blamed him for each and every thing the bueraucracy did, and for those who blame every single such action on The Evil Bush.

      Truth be to

      • the Executive doesn't have absolute control over agencies that are ostensibly part of the Executive Branch
        The Executive doesn't have absolute control over the staff of the White House?

        I doubt that very much.

    • Re:time paradox (Score:5, Insightful)

      by iluvcapra (782887) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @03:59PM (#23939851)

      They don't have to open any emails anymore, they just call the NSA to give them the gist of it...

  • by notgm (1069012) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @03:41PM (#23939577)

    i didn't want to rtfa. so i didn't click on the link.

    • Worked against my mom too! She used to say things like "clean your ..." at which point I stuck my fingers in my ears and hummed "ohhhhhmmmmm".
  • by seanonymous (964897) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @03:41PM (#23939579)
    Looks like I won't be opening many work emails from now on. Those emails from my bank might go unread, too. It's about time they showed some leadership!
  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @03:44PM (#23939593)
    The only thing sadder and more despicable at this point than the Bush administration are the Democrats in Congress who have been on their knees for the last two years after promising to hold this imperial administration accountable.
    • Hey, if you want them to hold the president accountable then maybe you should elect more of them to office. They need a 2/3rds majority to do much of anything. Otherwise we still have this thing called checks and balances.

      • by whoever57 (658626)

        Hey, if you want them to hold the president accountable then maybe you should elect more of them to office. They need a 2/3rds majority to do much of anything
        They don't need a 2/3 majority to kill the telecom immunity provisions (which, IMHO are really Presidential immunity as well).
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jollyreaper (513215)

      The only thing sadder and more despicable at this point than the Bush administration are the Democrats in Congress who have been on their knees for the last two years after promising to hold this imperial administration accountable.

      Obama was asked how he'd be different from the current Democrats in Congress. "I don't do cowering," he said.

      *crosses fingers* please oh fucking cthulhu please don't let him be lying on this one. The only explanation I can think of for the current Dems is that they have a lot to lose if Bush goes down, evidence implicating them in the same kind of crimes. I so hope he isn't a fake.

  • by morgan_greywolf (835522) * on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @03:45PM (#23939603) Homepage Journal

    A Bush official, with fingers in his ears, was quoted as saying: "Nyah! Nyah! Nyah! Nyah! I can't hear you! Nyah! Nyah! Nyah! ...."

  • by spazdor (902907) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @03:46PM (#23939629)

    Awesome! So it's cool if I just leave all that important-looking IRS mail in an unopened pile by the door, right?

  • by snarfies (115214) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @03:46PM (#23939639) Homepage

    Given the government's poor record with computer security, I wouldn't open ANY documents emailed me. I would imagine there are policies in place that would forbid the acceptance of such messages. This story could well be somebody at the EPA insisting on total asshattery.

    And if its something official and important, why is it being emailed anyway? Shouldn't it be, like, printed out and physically handed to somebody? Maybe signed, stamped, notarized, and whatever else?

  • Wait a sec (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DnemoniX (31461) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @03:49PM (#23939691)

    IANAL but doesn't this amount to the whole ignorance of a law isn't a defense kind of thing? If an individual or a company violates EPA standards and they get caught they get spanked with fines and such. So by their rational if the rest of us don't know about the new rules we get off the hook too right? Works for me!

    • by Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @03:53PM (#23939759)

      So by their rational if the rest of us don't know about the new rules we get off the hook too right?

      Well, kinda. If the government doesn't publish or provide any way to read the rules, you'd be off the hook. Otherwise, you just violated Catch-22... oh, I don't have to show it to you.

    • Re:Wait a sec (Score:4, Informative)

      by Gat0r30y (957941) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @04:05PM (#23939975) Homepage Journal
      It wasn't actually even about rules, it was an assessment. It stated that the country would save between 500 Billion and 2.5 Trillion dollars over the next 50 or so years by implementing some environmental protections through the clean air act. The White House didn't like the sound of that - so they refused to open/read the assessment until the EPA backed down.
  • by Kentamanos (320208) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @03:50PM (#23939695)
    Maybe the EPA shouldn't have mentioned V1agra in the subject...
  • by lazyDog86 (1191443)

    ...one of the senior E.P.A. officials said, "That's not what the administration wants to show. They want to show that the Clean Air Act can't work."

    That's just it, isn't it? The Bush administration is convinced that the Federal government cannot work and they do everything in in their power to prove it at every turn.

    Heck of a job Brownie!

  • Why use email? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by adrianbaugh (696007) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @03:50PM (#23939699) Homepage Journal

    This is a nuts use of email. For something this important you'd expect the documents to be sent by courier or registered post, signature on delivery etc. That way, you can prove they've received it and if they've chosen not to read it it's their bad. Anyway, why should the White House need to see this? The court has decided the EPA has the authority to introduce the rule and it's then up to the judiciary to enforce it. The legislature is surely out of the loop by this point.

    • Re:Why use email? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by sm62704 (957197) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @04:12PM (#23940093) Journal

      Um, no, that's not how it works. The legislature (that's the House and Senate) writes laws. The President either vetos or enforces those laws. After enforcement, the judiciary judges whether or not said law has been broken.

      The primary law that all other laws must conform to is the Constitution. If the Constitutions doesn't say Congress has the power to pass a certain law, than said law doesn't have to be obeyed (in theory, of course).

  • If I don't open my bills do they still exist? Sounds like a conundrum worthy of SchrÃdinger.
  • by Gewalt (1200451) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @03:53PM (#23939743)
    Really show's the maturity of our leaders there.
  • Read this to get Free Paige Sex: Half of the Republicans in the office would have read it in a flash...
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      "Read this to get Free GAY Paige Sex"

      will get the other half.

      high five!

  • I'm surprised it wasn't claimed as one of the "Lost" email messages. Oh, they can't claim it was lost, as the lost email was actually "read" messages.
  • We can't endanger the Executive after all by making him do something that might cause himself to pass out, leaving us without effective leadership.
  • by StefanJ (88986) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @03:56PM (#23939809) Homepage Journal

    Based on the experience of the last seven years, non-reality-based decision making is a powerful tool for gathering and holding power. We should celebrate the Bush administration's success in contesting or ignoring every bit of evidence that contests their highly profitable worldview. After all, didn't a lot of people vote for Bush because they wanted a president who says what he means and means what he says?

    Anyway, listening to scientists just encourages to make up stuff that upsets people. Evolution, the germ theory of disease, the greenhouse effect . . . we'd all be happier and more content if we all behaved like Ben Stein would like us to: God-fearing authority-worshipping dumbfucks.

  • This is like the behavior of a child who thinks that covering their eyes means no one around can see them. Does Pres. Bush have dementia? First his speech, and now his age behavior? A fellow at my church has Dementia and he's starting to behave a bit like a child in this way. It's not fun for anyone to go through, but the White House? Next we'll see folks walking around in diapers saying they forget how to use their computers.
  • by Duncan Blackthorne (1095849) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @04:00PM (#23939871)
    If you think "If I ignore it, it'll go away", then you're probably ignorant. If you're the President of the United States and you think to yourself, "If I ignore this official message sent here by the EPA, maybe it'll go away", then you're criminally ignorant.
  • Subject line? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cavis (1283146) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @04:01PM (#23939885)
    I bet George would have opened it if the subject line said "Exxon reports $14B loss in first quarter"

    Other possible subject lines: "Get Viagra / Cialis without a prescription"
    "VP Cheney shot another friend in the face"
    "Bum Fights Vol 3 now available on DVD"
    "American Idol canceled"
    "Mobilize the Navy! North Dakota invades South Dakota"
    "Senator Byrd called you a pussy!"

  • Carbon Dioxide (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Thelasko (1196535) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @04:02PM (#23939913) Journal
    From TFA

    The White House in December refused to accept the Environmental Protection Agencyâ(TM)s conclusion that greenhouse gases are pollutants that must be controlled...
    That doesn't sound controversial at all. That's because it's a piss poor summary. The greenhouse gass in question is Carbon Dioxide. [csmonitor.com] Which is far more controversial, considering it is emitted by everything in the animal kingdom, aside from those living near thermal vents. The term greenhouse gas also includes CFC's, but that's not the same, is it?
  • by Illbay (700081) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @04:02PM (#23939929) Journal
    Thomas Jefferson said: "The Constitution . . . meant that its coordinate branches should be checks on each other. But the opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional and what not, not only for themselves in their own sphere of action but for the Legislature and Executive also in their spheres, would make the Judiciary a despotic branch." [Letter of TJ to Abigail Adams, 1804, commenting on Marbury v. Madison]


    For the past sixty years or more, judicial despotism has increased until now, you have governors and legislators of states waiting to see what some court will rule on an issue before they can proceed. This is NOT what the Framers intended, and unless we get things back to the balance of powers between the branches of government things are going to become more despotic.

    • by stinerman (812158) <nathan.stineNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @04:14PM (#23940135) Homepage

      Dude, I'd really, really rather it be this way than the alternative [wikipedia.org].

      Without a "despotic" court, Bush et al. would have looked at Hamdan v. Rumsfeld [wikipedia.org] and just said "well, we don't agree, so fuck you!"

      If judges are really overstepping their bounds, Congress always has the remedy of impeachment. If they're too afraid to pull the trigger, that's their problem in not asserting themselves.

    • by Tom (822) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @05:54PM (#23941565) Homepage Journal

      Given that the legislative branch regularily passes laws that clearly (and, a few years later, also by Supreme Court decision) are unconstitutional, and the executive branch has already declared itself above the law, ignores laws and constitution wherever it suits them, and passes retroactive immunity laws where it can't - putting all that shit together, doesn't it strike you as a good thing that the judicial branch is taking a strong stand?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @04:07PM (#23940013)

    There's too many problems with it. If you're sending something official, there's no reliable record that it was even delivered.

    What's next? The EPA sending an IM about new regulations?

    Using email in this matter is completely inappropriate, and the ./ community shouldn't get so slackjawed because of it.

  • by jd.schmidt (919212) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @04:09PM (#23940047)

    Does anyone know? Does there have to be some kind of catch all pardon from the President or something at the end of his term? (I hearby pardon all members of the Whitehouse staff of all crimes) That thing about firing Federal Attorney's who wouldn't procecute opponents of the White House during elections seems like something that shouldn't be just dropped.

  • Once again (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MoodyLoner (76734) <moodyloner...ca@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @04:17PM (#23940187) Homepage Journal

    we se the "LA LA LA!! I CAN"T HEAR YOU!! LA LA LA LA!!!" theory of government in action.

    I'd ask why the hell people would seriously consider anyone connected with this Administration for any sort of public service ever again, but I fear you'd tell me and I'm just not up for it anymore.

  • by tompaulco (629533) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @04:44PM (#23940695) Homepage Journal
    Most courts would hold that an e-mail is not an official communication. I can not inform my tenants via e-mail that they are being evicted. I can not create a binding sale contract via e-mail. etc. etc. Sure , most of our interoffice communication is via e-mail, and we choose to uphold it as legitimate within our work environments, but the law still sees e-mail as unofficial.
    Also, did someone admit that they received this e-mail but did not open it? I don't read that in the article. For all we know, the e-mail was never received, or is sitting in some spam folder because somewhere in the e-mail it said that the environment is f*cked.
    Of course, we here on /. are willing to overlook the fact that e-mail is not a means of official communication and is also not a 100% reliable means of communication in order to bash Bush.
  • The President is the Chief Executive Officer of the Executive Branch.
    All power of the Executive Branch comes as proxy for the Chief Executive.
    The Executive Branch does not have the authority to create obligations which the Chief Executive officer does not want.
    The EPA is part of the Executive Branch.

    The SCOTUS ruling endorsed the authority of the EPA to create such regulations, it did not empower the EPA to create them exclusive of the Executive Officer. The SCOTUS did not somehow turn the EPA into a fourth branch of the Federal Government.

    There's no "there" there.

    It really is that simple.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cowscows (103644)

      Whether or not there's any sort of illegal aspect to the administration's position aside, it's a pretty darn childish and embarrassing stance to take. These clowns have long since abandoned any sense of shame for their deeds. I guess that shame instead gets to fall on everyday Americans.

    • by Sponge Bath (413667) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @06:04PM (#23941691)

      Congress created the Clean Air Act.
      The executive branch must abide by and enforce the law.
      The EPA is the executive agency empowered to enforce that particular law.
      The President can't just choose to ignore the law.

      I'd say that "there" is definitely there.

  • Waaaaaahh!!! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rnturn (11092) on Wednesday June 25, 2008 @06:42PM (#23942189)

    I'm not gonna read it and you can't make me! And if I don't read it, I don't have to do anything about it!

    Thank $DIETY that there's only seven more months of this sort of crap. The hell of it is that these bozos could screw things more royally than anyone could ever imagine in those seven months.

  • by mmeister (862972) on Thursday June 26, 2008 @01:01AM (#23945383)

    This is the sort of stunt you'd expect from a 6 year-old, sticking his fingers in his ear so as to not hear you.

    Wow, can this President act more immature?

Make sure your code does nothing gracefully.

Working...