The Campaign Spot

Obama’s Transparency Guidelines Reach Their Expiration Date

Without follow-up, presidential decrees mean nothing.

President Obama issued new guidelines on government transparency on his first full day of office, ordering agencies to “adopt a presumption in favor” of FOIA requests and laying the groundwork for the eventual release of reams of previously undisclosed government information on the Internet.
But less than a third of the 90 federal agencies that process requests for information have significantly changed their practices since that initial order, the report said.

Score one for the bureaucracy. During the last administration, when some federal agency screwed up, some argued that the messes proved that Republicans can’t govern because they don’t believe in a large, powerful, ever-growing federal government. Nope. Federal agencies screw up because they’re federal agencies, and many corners of that bureaucracy haven’t encountered anything resembling accountability in decades.

Most Popular


The Brexit Crisis

After what seem like years of a phony war, British and European Union negotiators finally agreed on the terms of Britain’s departure from the EU earlier this week, and Theresa May announced it in the House of Commons. The deal covers more than 500 pages of legal and bureaucratic prose, and few but the ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Basta La Vista, Baby

Dear Reader (And especially Martha McSally’s dog), As I often note, I increasingly tend to see the political scene as a scripted reality show in which the writers don’t flesh out the dialogue so much as move characters into weird, wacky, confrontational, or embarrassing positions. It’s a lot like The ... Read More

Friends of Elmer

Do you know what scares an American outdoorsman more than a grizzly bear? Twitter. In the late summer and early autumn, the hunting world had its eyes on the courts: The Trump administration had issued new guidance that would permit the hunting of brown bears (popularly known as grizzly bears), including in ... Read More