Obama Follows Cheney’s Lead on Transparency

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

Remember those secret meetings Dick Cheney had with oil and gas executives to discuss federal energy policy? The L.A. Times points out that Barack Obama the candidate sure did. From Obama’s campaign literature:

The Problem
Lobbyists Write National Policies: For example, Vice President Dick Cheney’s Energy Task Force of oil and gas lobbyists met secretly to develop national energy policy.

And…

Make White House Communications Public: Obama will amend executive orders to ensure that communications about regulatory policymaking between persons outside government and all White House staff are disclosed to the public.

Conduct Regulatory Agency Business in Public: Obama will require his appointees who lead the executive branch departments and rulemaking agencies to conduct the significant business of the agency in public, so that any citizen can see in person or watch on the Internet these debates.

Obama, the President? Not so much.

Obama administration officials have rejected a watchdog group’s request for a list of healthcare industry executives who’ve been meeting secretly in the White House with Obama staffers to discuss pending healthcare changes being drafted there and in Congress.

According to the Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington, which is suspicious of the influence of health industry lobbyists and company officers, it received a letter from the Secret Service citing an Obama Justice Dept. directive and denying access to visitor logs under the “presidential communications privilege.”

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35 Responses to “Obama Follows Cheney’s Lead on Transparency”

  1. #1 |  wunder | 

    Yes, but healthcare is much more important to the American people than energy. Energy execs are evil, money-grubbing bastards, so the VP shouldn’t meet with them secretly.
    Healthcare execs CARE! It’s in the industry’s name, after all. I bet at least one of those that Obama’s met with even has the title Chief Caring Officer.
    That makes it beyond reproach, even if it’s kept secret.

  2. #2 |  Ben | 

    And this surprises absolutly no one.

  3. #3 |  Nathan A | 

    I am shocked, just shocked, I tell you!

  4. #4 |  Chris in AL | 

    Yeah, but this is so blatant, certainly the MSM is going to call him out on it, right? Right in a press conference or something someone will read to him from his campaign literature and ask how he reconciles that against his actions, right?

    They have enough integrity not to just give him a pass on all of these inconsistencies, right?

    /Just kidding! But sometimes I like to pretend.

  5. #5 |  Eric | 

    maybe those energy folks should change the name of their industry to energycare…

  6. #6 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Well, I’m fairly certain that health care policy will be made like all other policies in Washington in that the people the legislation is purportedly supposed to help will be the only ones excluded from the process.

    For example, after the two world wars, when the allies carved up the spoils amongst themselves, they didn’t invite the losers to the negotiations. Get it? Every time new legislation is passed, we’re kind of playing the role of the losers.

  7. #7 |  Chance | 

    “Yeah, but this is so blatant, certainly the MSM is going to call him out on it, right? Right in a press conference or something someone will read to him from his campaign literature and ask how he reconciles that against his actions, right?”

    I’ve heard at least 1 recent news story on Obama’s lack of transparancy from NPR, but I guess it depends on if you consider them MSM or not.

  8. #8 |  Michael Chaney | 

    Oh, I’m sure it surprises the rubes…

  9. #9 |  Hamburglar007 | 

    It is easy enough with the cable company to cancel your service if you don’t like the policy (I don’t, and I would if I was unfortunate enough to live in Florida). What isn’t so easy is doing that with your electric service if they jump on the band wagon.

  10. #10 |  Dave Krueger | 

    I don’t know if you could consider NPR MSM or not either. They’re so out of touch they actually felt compelled to keep the majority if their news programs dedicated to delivering ordinary world news even when Michael Jackson’s died. I mean, what kind of other news could possibly matter in the midst of such a stunning catastrophe?

  11. #11 |  Hamburglar007 | 

    Sorry, last post wrong thread.

  12. #12 |  Brandon Bowers | 

    “Oh, I’m sure it surprises the rubes…”

    So much so that they will have to think for a few seconds before coming back to the “well Bush did it too” defense.

  13. #13 |  Cynical in CA | 

    Maybe more people now will be so disgusted with the system that they will stop voting, as they realize how meaningless the ritual is.

    And someday in the future, when the only votes cast are by the candidates, their families and their sycophants, the sham of democracy will be exposed for the dictatorship that it is, and has always been.

    And then an honest appraisal of the situation can begin and people everywhere can finally decide if they want to stand up for themselves or tolerate the boot stamping on their faces forever.

  14. #14 |  Tokin42 | 

    I didn’t think it was a big deal when Cheney held meetings with energy producers and I don’t think it’s a big deal now that obama/biden is following suit with health care. The only thing that I find bothersome is the blatant hypocrisy.

    I would much rather argue about the actual bill than spend time trying to figure out where he’s getting his ideas. That’s what bothered me 8 years ago, instead of dealing with the actual bill lets waste time holding hearings on who the Pres/VP talked to.

  15. #15 |  But it’s OK when Obama does it « Public Secrets | 

    […] LINKS: Sister Toldjah, Just One Minute, QandO, In the Agora, The Agitator. […]

  16. #16 |  JS | 

    change we can believe in. I guess the more things change the more they stay the same.

  17. #17 |  scott in phx az | 

    His statements are now down to having only a few days expiration limit, why does anyone expect him to keep any promise?

  18. #18 |  dad29 | 

    Not the first time.

    Carol Browner is doing the same thing with Big Green. See: http://dad29.blogspot.com/2009/06/is-carol-browner-crook-transparent.html

  19. #19 |  MattH | 

    To be fair to the media, Radley’s source for this is the LA Times — not exactly a bastion of conservatism, right?

  20. #20 |  Chuchundra | 

    It was mentioned this morning on TPM and a couple other places around the lefty blogosphere.

    The difference between the left and the right is that we on the left aren’t complete hacks and hypocrites…only mostly so.

  21. #21 |  Steve Verdon | 

    President Barack Obama implements President George Bush’s third term policies.

    Hope, change and all that f*cking bullshit.

  22. #22 |  paul | 

    Cynical @ 13: ” And then an honest appraisal of the situation can begin and people everywhere can finally decide if they want to stand up for themselves or tolerate the boot stamping on their faces forever.”

    Then what? Feudal serfdom? The return of the city state? Peace and mung beans? Over the ages people live a little longer in a little more comfort and life gets incrementally a little less nasty, brutish and short. And the boot stomps a little less fiercely, who knows, eventually maybe the boot won’t stomp at all – not in our lifetimes but what the hell, at least it’s unlikely we’ll be press ganged into joining the kings navy or whatever. But don’t kid yourself that tuning out will expose the man.

  23. #23 |  Ginger Dan | 

    As with all things Obama, I suggest everyone check the comment thread on this story at HuffPo, the pant-wetting, drooling Obamaphiles are out in force trying to defend this. I read one that said Obama is “playing chess when everyone else is playing checkers”

    LMFAO

  24. #24 |  Steve Verdon | 

    Then what? Feudal serfdom? The return of the city state? Peace and mung beans? Over the ages people live a little longer in a little more comfort and life gets incrementally a little less nasty, brutish and short.

    Totalitarianism then, full speed ahead.

    Did you stop to think that perhaps things get better despite the slide towards totalitarianism, not because of it?

    And the boot stomps a little less fiercely, who knows, eventually maybe the boot won’t stomp at all – not in our lifetimes but what the hell, at least it’s unlikely we’ll be press ganged into joining the kings navy or whatever. But don’t kid yourself that tuning out will expose the man.

    Right, so don’t question our Dear Leader, eventually the Promised Land will take shape and we’ll have live that life of peace and mung beans you are pining for.

  25. #25 |  Cynical in CA | 

    Thanks Steve, I get so tired of repeating myself.

    “And they’re only gonna change this place by killing everybody in the human race.” — The Police

    For some people, illusory peace and security is a reasonable compromise.

  26. #26 |  Dan Z | 

    I said it before Ill say it again.

    Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. To believe any politician will change anything is naive and to believe there is a difference in parties is laughable.

    The whole system is broken and does not work, theres no easy fix, just one people dont want to believe.

  27. #27 |  DJB | 

    “The difference between the left and the right is that we on the left aren’t complete hacks and hypocrites…only mostly so.”

    The Left and the Right are equally hypocritical, they are obligated to be so by an inconsistent ideology.

  28. #28 |  Dave Krueger | 

    #27 DJB

    The Left and the Right are equally hypocritical, they are obligated to be so by an inconsistent ideology.

    Accurate and concise. Well said.

  29. #29 |  Cynical in CA | 

    Paul, there’s so much to pick apart, but I’ll go with this:

    “… at least it’s unlikely we’ll be press ganged into joining the kings navy or whatever.”

    I suppose unlikely is a relative term, but the draft has existed in America, as recently as the 1970s. And there is presently an economic draft whereby the best economic opportunity some people have is to join the military, an “all-volunteer” military. Uh huh.

    Keep ignoring the violence inherent in the system.

  30. #30 |  Steve Verdon | 

    I suppose unlikely is a relative term, but the draft has existed in America, as recently as the 1970s. And there is presently an economic draft whereby the best economic opportunity some people have is to join the military, an “all-volunteer” military. Uh huh.

    Not to mention the creepy attempts at indentured servitude in exchange for a college education.

  31. #31 |  LarryinLA | 

    A retraction is in order, as the names have been released

  32. #32 |  Cynical in CA | 

    No retraction necessary, Obama was forced to release the names whereas he “promised” transparency.

  33. #33 |  Cynical in CA | 

    Down arrowing truth?

    Really?

    Infant.

  34. #34 |  paul | 

    Cynical, I’m not ignorant of the violence inherent in the system. I’m just saying that theres less violence than there once was. No ones going to shove a penny in your mouth when you stagger out of a bar, then press gang you into servitude in the navy. I’m not undermining the important work that Radley and people like him do in drawing attention to the violence that does exist, and I’m not naive enough to believe that left to their own devices things will naturally get better and better – the freedoms that we do have have been fought for and we must fight to retain them.
    But that fight requires political engagement. I guess we differ, you say voting is a meaningless ritual, I say it’s vital and necessary that we engage and not allow apathy to let an ever smaller clique exert a greater and greater influence.
    You know, there are places where there is no functioning government, places like Somalia and Afghanistan. I don’t see those places as utopia. Anarchy might work for you, if you are big and strong and blessed with resources, but you have to assume the original position – it’s pure good fortune that you are who you are, you could just as easily been born weak, impoverished, powerless.
    Life today is better for more people than life 100 years ago, 1000 years ago, 10,000 years ago. And it’s better because people have got together, and made it better, through industry, innovation and, yes, governance.

  35. #35 |  Psychopolitik 2.0 » America the Narrowly Defined | 

    […] America”, and as such see anything that conflicts with it as foreign.  To them, despite mountains of evidence that all is generally as it was, Obama represents the impending death of […]

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