What to do when you lose the Congress?

Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by MegansPrius, Jan 30, 2007.

  1. MegansPrius

    MegansPrius GoogleMeister, AKA bongokitty

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2006
    2,437
    26
    0
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Vehicle:
    2007 Prius
    Model:
    II
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/30/washingt...amp;oref=slogin

    >>President Bush has signed a directive that gives the White House much greater control over the rules and policy statements that the government develops to protect public health, safety, the environment, civil rights and privacy.

    Representative Henry A. Waxman, Democrat of California and chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said: “The executive order allows the political staff at the White House to dictate decisions on health and safety issues, even if the government’s own impartial experts disagree. This is a terrible way to govern, but great news for special interests.â€<<


    Well, I guess I wouldn't want scientists at the EPA or OSHA determining what is safe. Sure. I'd rather have a Bush flunky do so. :blink:
     
  2. chogan

    chogan New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    590
    0
    0
    Location:
    Vienna, VA
    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(MegansPrius @ Jan 30 2007, 09:18 AM) [snapback]382753[/snapback]</div>
    Oh, golly, I had a conversation last week with a guy I used to work with, who now works in the US Department of Health and Human Services, in one of Assistant Secretary offices. They were getting a new Assistant Secretary, and had put in place a whole set of expert panels and so on, with the smartest people in the country on selected health care topics, to get the guy up to speed on the policy choices available to him and the likely consequences of those choices.

    Wishful thinking. The new Assistant Secretary is a former lobbyist, knows nothing to speak of about health care. Came, spent a week closeted with his two trusted advisors, and cancelled the entire effort because "those decisions have already been made".

    So, basically, the policy direction of HHS is being set by three guys sitting in a room shooting the breeze and figuring out what plays best politically.
     
  3. SSimon

    SSimon Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    1,410
    19
    0
    Location:
    N/W of Chicago
    Vehicle:
    2006 Prius
    A newly issued directive, maybe, but this is lock in step with his philosophy from the get go....
     
  4. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    9,810
    437
    0
    Location:
    MD
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    government science: "who cares what the data says?"
     
  5. TonyPSchaefer

    TonyPSchaefer Your Friendly Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
    14,814
    2,479
    66
    Location:
    Far-North Chicagoland
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    Should I assume these new powers have an expiration date of, oh let's say, January 19, 2009?
     
  6. dragonfly

    dragonfly New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2006
    2,217
    7
    0
    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(TonyPSchaefer @ Jan, 10:45 AM) [snapback]382880[/snapback]</div>
    Only if the Dems take the White House.
     
  7. huskers

    huskers Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2005
    2,502
    2,432
    0
    Location:
    Nebraska
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    You foolish people. Don't you know Bush is the decider. We don't need the EPA or those other agencies. That is why we elected him. :p
     
  8. Tempus

    Tempus Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2004
    1,690
    6
    0
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    This is exactly what Al Gore wanted to do when he had the big plan to cut government red tape that was smothering ordinary Americans. Seems like Bush has not only come around on the Environment but on This issue of Al's too eh?

    This should be a good thing then right?
     
  9. chogan

    chogan New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    590
    0
    0
    Location:
    Vienna, VA
    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Tempus @ Jan 30 2007, 04:30 PM) [snapback]382999[/snapback]</div>
    Surely you're not referring to Gore's initiative for "Reinventing Government"? If so, you have it exactly backwards, and should read the book by that name if you want to understand what that was about. (I am slowly learning that people on this board who post comments like this seldom have any interest in learning anything, but I figure it doesn't hurt to try.) The book is a good quick read. Hit the first and last chapters, skim the middle. The gist of the reinventing government initiative was public-private competition to serve as a check on the power of the bureaucracy. It was about openness and above all about meritocracy. Just the opposite of letting political hacks determine policy behind closed doors.
     
  10. Tempus

    Tempus Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2004
    1,690
    6
    0
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(chogan @ Jan 30 2007, 07:12 PM) [snapback]383056[/snapback]</div>
    I've read it, and much much more of his and others opinions.

    I clearly disagree with your interpretation of his plans and intentions.

    I also clearly disagree with the 'spin' put on what Bush has proposed.

    I do love the way that you assume people who disagree with you are uninformed or unintelligent.

    For my part, I find people on this board with an agenda and already formed opinions tend to suit the facts and history to those ends regardless, and start throwing insults at any difference of opinion.

    You certainly do lend credence to my observations, as depressing as they may be. Kudos on the double twisting insult/condescension. Not really done with much finesse but a two-fer nonetheless.
     
  11. Godiva

    Godiva AmeriKan Citizen

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2005
    10,339
    14
    0
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Vehicle:
    2005 Prius
    Gee. He just declared himself king.

    Sieg Heil!
     
  12. chogan

    chogan New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    590
    0
    0
    Location:
    Vienna, VA
    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Tempus @ Jan 30 2007, 08:19 PM) [snapback]383071[/snapback]</div>
    I apologize for the insult. I must have misread your post. Let me take it one step at a time, and you can set me straight where I've gotten this wrong.

    Both the OP's post and my post of my recent experience in this area both dealt with having political appointees setting policy without reference to expert opinion or facts.

    You then commented that this is exactly what Al Gore wanted to do.

    Putting those two things together, I (reasonably, I think) assumed that you meant to say that the book "Reinventing Government" and Gore's proposals based on "Reinventing Government" were advocating the setting of goverment policy without reference to expert opinion or facts.

    In which case, I strongly disagreed. That's the antithesis of what Gore's proposals were about. That's whaty my last post was about.

    But now, with your next comment, I see that it wasn't that you thought "reinventing government" was about making policy solely on the basis of political considerations. Instead, you were trying to disagree with the original poster. In other words, you are saying that this most recent move by the Bush administration has been misinterpreted, and that it is in fact a move toward the principles of expressed by "Reinventing Government".

    Do I have your position correctly stated now?

    If so, I don't want to go around ignorant. I would truly be interest to hear your interpretation of this latest change in the Bush administration policies and how it more closely aligns them with the older Gore "reinventing government" proposal. Or, if you don't have the time, a URL with a brief explanation of that would be helpful.

    All I can say is that the OPs original post was completely consistent with my recent experience with a highly placed US DHHS employee. If I'm wrong, I'll change my mind. So, please tell me what the proposed Bush administration changes actually are and how they will improve the process of policy making within the Federal government, or send me a URL for someone (preferably independent analyst, not the Bush administration itself) who has an explanation of that.

    Thank you for your time.
     
  13. chogan

    chogan New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    590
    0
    0
    Location:
    Vienna, VA
    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(chogan @ Jan 30 2007, 10:37 PM) [snapback]383129[/snapback]</div>
    Upon reflection, I'll also say that the OP's original post and my original reply are consistent with what many people inside the Bush administration have said -- essentially, that the Bush adminstration makes policy based solely on political considerations, and with disregard to facts and analysis. In other words, this latest post is consistent with the normal mode of operation for the Bush administration.

    Who has said that? I mean, who of any consequence has said that the Bush administration ignores the facts and science?

    Well, let's start with O'Neil, Bush's first Secretary of the Treasury. You can Google him up, and read his descriptions of policy making at the highest levels of the Bush administration. With regard to the major policy issues of his day, including the decision to invade Iraq and the second and subsequent rounds of tax cuts, , his description is pretty much one of an administration where nobody sought advice from experts, and decisions were made based solely on how they would play politically. Read O'Neils bio and you'll see the guy is no slouch and no liar. So that's one credible source, at the cabinet level, who describes the earliest part of the Bush administration in a way that is completely consistent with yesterday's post.

    Then there's Richard Clark, who was formerly the top anti-terrorism advisor to Bush, a holdover from the Clinton administration, who publicly stated that Bush ignored the information and advice of experts after 9/11 and instead commanded his staff to find some link betwen 9/11 and Iraq. Again, experts and facts were ignored and suppressed.

    Do I even need to mention Shalikashvili? Who was at the time the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and who said that we needed vastly more troops if we wanted to take and hold Iraq, and who was not just ignored, but effectively fired for ... well, for being right, and basing his policy recommendation on facts and analysis. Formally, yes, he resigned, but the fact is that he was fired for bringing up inconvenient facts. So instead of paying attention to the guys who actually know how to wage a war, and have actually been in battle, and would hold the responsibility for carrying out this war, Bush opted to ignore them.

    In my own area of health care, there was an episode about two years ago where the then-secretary of HHS effectively gagged all of the staffs of the various DHHS agencies, including the CDC and NIH, and forced all public communications about all issues to go through the Office of the Secretary (ie., his office). That changed decades of standing policy that allowed the scientists at NIH and CDC to talk freely about the science and policy in their domain.

    Well, golly, right now on this board there's another thread on how the Bush administration let oil lobbyists censor government information on global warming. Again, politics trump facts.

    What I'm trying to say with this is that the Bush adminstration has a long track record of doing exactly what the OPs post suggested they are doing. And no one (please correct me if I'm wrong) has said the opposite -- that the Bush administration has attempted to encourage fact-based debate on the issues and promotes the free flow of information and discussion regarding policy. As far as I can tell, everyone of consequence who has touched on this issue has supported the opposite conclusion.

    So I didn't make my comment in a vacuum. There's a long history here to suggest that the OPs original take on this was the correct one. That doesn't prove it, but it puts it in context. To me, that means the burden of proof is squarely in your court. To me, having no special knowlege of what's actually being done in the adminisration, I have to judge this latest action within the context of the intellectual history of the Bush administration. To me, it appears competely consistent with past behavior.

    But you seem to be saying that, no, it has been misinterpreted, and that this latest move is quite different from how the Bush administration has operated in the past. (Or, perhaps, even that the Bush administration never operated in the fashion that I have described, but given the body of evidence to the contrary, I would not give much credence to that if that is what you are trying to say.)

    At any rate, given this history, and given that the OPs post is completely consistent with this history of policy-making in the Bush administration, I tended to believe the OPs "spin". But I can be convinced otherwise. So, I'm asking you please to explain what this latest adminstration policy is about, and how the OP and others have misinterpreted it.

    EDIT:

    Actually, we can simplify this. If you can show me where Gore said "I will require a new process whereby every regulation issued by the government must pass muster not only with OMB, as is now the case, and not only with the relevant Secretary or designate who signs the regulation, but also with another of my political appointees", or words to that effect, then I'll take back what I've said. This appears to be the a core principle of this more recent Bush edict, and that's what I find to be consistent with the intellectual history of the Bush administration.
     
  14. Tempus

    Tempus Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2004
    1,690
    6
    0
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(chogan @ Jan 30 2007, 10:37 PM) [snapback]383129[/snapback]</div>
    My position is that Al Gore and GW Bush are insdistinguishable.

    They are both silver spoon scions of ruthless political dynasties who will say whatever they think will get them the power, and the use the power for their own ends.

    As long as we're offering up books, I would suggest:

    http://www.powells.com/cgi-bin/biblio?show...385493886:10.98

    http://www.amazon.com/Praise-Nepotism-Hist...e/dp/0385493894

    I know the Gores from experience, and no matter how high sounding the rhetoric there is not much savory underneath. So, when Gore says he wants to take control of policy making for the good of all, I don't believe him any more than I believe Bush.

    Getting into a "My priviledged millionaire dynastic politician is better than Your priviledged millionaire dynastic politician" fight is not only counterproductive, but is exactly what they want, because if the only alternative is priviledged millionaires, they get to swap power occasionally, but in the end it all stays "In The Family".
     
  15. chogan

    chogan New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    590
    0
    0
    Location:
    Vienna, VA
    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Tempus @ Jan 31 2007, 01:21 PM) [snapback]383362[/snapback]</div>
    Sorry, I misunderstood you again. I thought the thread was about a recently-issued change in policy by the Bush administration. And about facts at issue -- that this appears to be an unprecedented assertion of political micro-management of the development and issuance of regulations. Until you said that Gore had already attempted to do what Mr. Bush actually did, this was in no way a discussion of the relative merits of Bush and Gore. As far as I'm concerned it still isn't.

    So, to clarify. What I didn't (and couldn't, really) realize is that the gist of your comment was that you were comparing the actual Bush power grab under discussion, to what you believe Gore would do and/or tried to do if he got the chance and/or when he had the chance, based on your personal acquaintance with and loathing for Gore and his family. But not based on any actual policies implemented by Gore, or any documents quoting Gore as wanting to implement the same political micro-management strategy that Bush just put into place.

    But you were not asserting -- and this was my misunderstanding -- you were not asserting that Gore had in fact mandated, suggested, or was even quoted as having suggested that there be total control of the development and issuance of regulations by designated political officers within each federal agency, as Bush just did. That's what threw me. Instead, as I understand it, you were just asserting your belief that Gore wanted to/and or wants to do exactly what Bush just did, not that he actually implemented or can be quoted as having suggested implementing the same strategy of total political micro-management of the regulatory process that Mr. Bush as just put in place.

    My confusion and my apology. I thought I was disputing the facts. Obviously, I have no place disputing your beliefs, or confusing Bush's actual actions with your beliefs regarding what Gore would have liked to have done/would like to do, based on your inside knowledge of the Gore family.
     
  16. Tempus

    Tempus Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2004
    1,690
    6
    0
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Vehicle:
    2004 Prius
    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(chogan @ Jan 31 2007, 02:38 PM) [snapback]383424[/snapback]</div>
    Actually, I do believe based on Gore's statements not only in the book you cited, but all his statments about government operation before, during and after his presidential bid, that he has proposed and desires to do exactly what Bush has done. He may have couched it in different rhetoric, or proposed a different set of Cronies as administrators, but I don't see a lick of difference between the philosophy of the two.

    He wasn't able to because of one simple problem - He didn't become president.

    But, in defense of the Executive, it is the purpose of the Executive Branch to implement, oversee and control the execution and enforcement of the laws as passed by the Legislative, so, in all actuality both Gore and Bush are well withing their purview in doing this. The President is the Executive and how he choses to do that job is his call. If he wants to write the regulations himself that's his choice.

    That's the downside of representative government. Someone else actually makes the decisions.

    What makes me laugh is on this board where people froth at the mouth about whether the current Democrats are any better than the current Republicans and vice versa.

    So now that we've exchanged DeLay and Ney for Reid and Jefferson, what exactly has changed. Just as much as would change if Gore were in the White House in place of Bush.

    The 'other side' gets demonized, the faithful get mobilized, and we go off pushing the pendulum in the other direction.

    It's worked for 200 years so we may as well keep it going. Pick your Plutocrat and have at it. Go Team.
     
Loading...