Obama, Transparency, and Change

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by sysiphus, Mar 21, 2010.

  1. sysiphus macrumors 6502a

    sysiphus

    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    #1
    For all Obama's hot air about transparency and change in his administration, he's rejecting even more Freedom of Information Act requests than Bush did. LA Times

    Now that's change I can believe in... :mad:
     
  2. jb1280 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    #2
    I'm not going to defend the administration on this matter. They issued members stating what the burden of FOIA requests should be, and agencies are not following through - thus there is a lack of leadership.

    Do not demagogue this issue however. First, we are missing some important information in these articles. What is the ratio of exemptions to total requests?

    If the number of total FOIA requests have gone up by more than 50% than this is a different dynamic. I think it's doubtful that such an increase has taken place, but the rhetoric of openness could propel a rapid increase in the number of FOIA requests.

    There is a lot of red tape to be removed and bureaucratic culture to be undone to facilitate more successful requests to go through.

    This is the most fair quote from articles linked to the one posted:

    "One year is too early to render a final judgment on how far President Obama can move the government toward openness, but this audit finds that much more pressure and leadership will be necessary, both inside and outside the government," National Security Archives General Counsel Meredith Fuchs said in a statement.

    I know from personal experience that this is a very tedious task, even in dealing with papers that are decades old.
     
  3. sysiphus thread starter macrumors 6502a

    sysiphus

    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    #3
    You're basically right. But the Obama administration's willingness/desire to keep things like ACTA under wraps due to "national security" is disgusting. Practically the whole EU has called out the other potential signers for trying to cover this one up.
     
  4. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hartford, CT
    #4
    I'm not saying that this isn't a big deal, but he has indeed been more transparent in many aspects (see deficit accounting). I'm sorry if you want to pick and choose but it seems so far, at least on major issues, he has brought (or at least re-established) a new level of transparency to the government.
     
  5. sysiphus thread starter macrumors 6502a

    sysiphus

    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    #5
    I'd like to think that you're right. And you may be. Do you have some more concrete examples of improvements in transparency? ACTA is the single biggest counter-example that riles me up.
     
  6. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #6
    Deficit accounting, like when they rely on CBO numbers after knowingly tipping the scales on the information available?
     
  7. Desertrat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2003
    Location:
    Terlingua, Texas
    #7
    Transparency? Openness? Ya mean like this healtcare deal--which one?--that's gonna be voted on before it's read? Or with the grimy details openly discussed in public? A little honesty in calculating the consumer price index would be nice, along with pointing out the importance of the U6 unemployment rate.

    Change? As in same old monetary policy, same old war policy? Still doing the Bush spending except far more so. Still in the Balkans, for no good reason. Still in Iraq and expanded in Afghanistan.

    Oh, well. When I mentioned this in a thread last year, I was informed that I was naive to believe campaign-trail promises.

    When Reagan was president, Bob Hope was telling jokes and Johnny Cash was singing songs. Now, with the Big O, there's no hope and no cash...
     
  8. renewed macrumors 68040

    renewed

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2009
    Location:
    Bemalte Blumen duften nicht.
    #8
    This is amazing. :D Gold.
     
  9. Peace macrumors Core

    Peace

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2005
    Location:
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
  10. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    Location:
    the faraway towns
    #10
    First, let's be clear in acknowledging that FOIA request are rejected by various governmental departments and not directly by the president. Secondly, the story is more complicated than that and had the LA Times bothered to refer back the Associated Press' original reporting, rather than the lame story from Fox News, they would have noticed some interesting details, namely:

    This isn't a defense, but I find it amazing how few people will actually refer to the AP's own story about FOIA review, and more importantly, don't note the complexity of 17 government agencies, each of which has their own review process for FOIA requests, or that the administration has, under Holder, asked for agencies to be more open.

    Lastly, in 2001 the Department of Defense processed 80,357 FOIA requests and rejected partially or fully 17%. By 2008, this rate climbed to 24%.

    Wow, there's an original phrase.

    That's pretty good.
     
  11. Desertrat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2003
    Location:
    Terlingua, Texas
    #11
    I don't think that FOIA denials are relevant. Regardless of the political party in power, bureaucrats play the "knowledge is power" game, and if they can hold on to knowledge, they have that power over you.

    A true willingness to give an open response to an FOIA request? You might as well try to persuade a Baptist to take up dancing.
     
  12. 63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Location:
    norcal
    #12
    Very clever. ;)

    As for the serious stuff above, you have a point. I too expected Obama to veer further away from the Bush type of spending (Iraq, Afghanistan especially) and believe me there are many liberals who don't think the President is as liberal as he promised he would be. But you're an older guy like me, don't you remember how conservative Reagan said he would be, how he would spend less than Carter, and something called the Congress seemed to water down his policies? (BTW, Reagan the "conservative" spent more money than tax and spend Carter).
     
  13. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Location:
    Illinois
    #13
    Have you ever represented a governmental body and done FOIA request reviews? If not, the you have no idea what you're talking about.
     
  14. 63dot macrumors 603

    63dot

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Location:
    norcal
    #14
    What do you mean? I do all the time. When I want to bake a hot potato or reheat my day old pizza, I yell at the old woman to wrap up the grub in FOIA and toss em on the coals.
     
  15. Sydde macrumors 68020

    Sydde

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    #15
    To be entirely fair, we did have Hope and Cash when young Bush took office. Hope died about four months into the Iraq war, and Cash was gone about six weeks after that.
     
  16. Queso macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #16
    So you're saying Bush was so bad cash was entirely spent and hope died?
     
  17. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2004
    Location:
    having a drink at Milliways
    #17
    good, but you guys should really try to write your own jokes

    (circa 2004)
     

Share This Page