Saturday, January 10, 2009

Please Vote for My Friend and Mentor, Kathleen Maher

Note from Utah Savage--I was unable to link the weblog logo so linked the line I want you to vote for. Please support this fine writer. Without support from you and this generous, talented writer I'd still be writing in a vacuum, alone with my thoughts and thousands of words. Thank you for your support, Peggy

Diary of a Heretic is a finalist for Best Literature Blog. Voting is just a two-click process--no registration required. First click here, then click on the voting button for Diary of a Heretic. The polls are open through January 12. Please vote every day! And while you're at it, click here to vote for The View From Here as Best UK Blog. To read more about the contest and other notable entrants, click here.

Posted by Kathleen Maher on Jan 05, 2009 |

Presidential Records; Bush Wants Them Sealed Indefinitely

The Bush administration has been trying to seal presidential records since he first got into office. This must be stopped. It shows the nation the path to this economic disaster and the mistakes of three Republican administrations--St Ronnie, Pappa Bush, and Junior. This must be blocked and congress needs to act swiftly and decisively to keep Presidential Papers Public, for historians, for a guide for all to study as a way to prevent future economic disasters and horrible military blunders. We need to know what we've done and what the consequences were in order to set the record straight for historical reasons as well to put to bed the lie that unfettered corporate rule is the best way to grow and prosper. Perhaps it is if you're in the top 1% of the economy. For the rest of us, it's just corporate welfare at the expense of the taxpayer.

There are, of course, other reasons to have public access to these records and that's to know and understand how our civil rights have been stripped from us in the guise of keeping us safe.

Editorial posted below

Who Owns White House History?

It’s time to remind President Bush as he leaves office that his White House records are not his personal property. They belong to the nation. The Presidential Records Act made that the law of the land after the Watergate scandal. Showing disturbing forethought, Mr. Bush signed an executive order in his first year, effectively decreeing that a sitting or former president can withhold his papers indefinitely

Congress is moving to strike down the Bush order. The House has overwhelmingly approved a corrective measure that has a good chance in the Senate. If there’s any delay, we urge President-elect Barack Obama to issue his own executive order restoring the Presidential Records Act as soon as he enters the White House.

When Mr. Bush signed his order, the speculation was that he was hoping to spare the disclosure of some inner-sanctum embarrassments committed by his father’s administration or perhaps Ronald Reagan’s. Now, with so much of the latest Bush history needing to be plumbed from Baghdad to Wall Street, a robust public records law is ever more crucial for robust democracy.

The law already provides former presidents reasonable protection, letting them withhold sensitive records, including advice from aides, for up to 12 years. While the the Bush White House claimed that the order merely put an organized process in place, the result was to gut the presumption of public access.

Under the current rules, requests for records require the concurrence of a concerned former president or his descendants plus the current president. They have unlimited time to judge the issue. Beyond that, historians must resort to litigation. This is a pathetic way to cheat history. As the poet Robert Lowell wrote, “All’s misalliance. Yet why not say what happened?”