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Interior Dept. Changes Rule to Remove Congress Veto: "power play" in Bush's waning days

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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 12:55 PM
Original message
Interior Dept. Changes Rule to Remove Congress Veto: "power play" in Bush's waning days
Source: New York Times

In another regulatory action in the waning days of the Bush administration, the Interior Department on Thursday unveiled a new rule that challenges Congresss authority to prevent mining planned on public lands.

Congress has emergency power to stop mineral development, and has used it six times in the last 32 years. The most recent was in June, when it put a three-year moratorium on uranium mining on one million acres near the Grand Canyon. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne has ignored that Congressional directive, saying it was procedurally flawed.

The new rule issued by the Interior Departments Bureau of Land Management comes as environmental groups are suing the bureau in federal court for failing to obey Congresss directive, which under a 1976 law can be invoked when an emergency situation exists and extraordinary measures must be taken to preserve values that would otherwise be lost.

The revision of the rule eliminates all references to Congressional authority. The revision moved through the often-cumbersome rule-making process with lightning speed; it was proposed in October, and the public was given just 15 days to comment.

The rule seems intended to speed a judicial confrontation on the constitutionality of the 1976 law, and to underscore the Interior Departments determination to leave public land near Grand Canyon National Park in northern Arizona open for mineral development....

Bill Hedden, the executive director of the Grand Canyon Trust, described the new rule as a power play, saying, They certainly are wanting to remove anything that might crimp their power to determine what can be done on public lands....

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/05/us/05withdraw.html
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groovedaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 01:00 PM
Response to Original message
1. This is what I really hate about ABC's fluff piece interviewing Bush & Laura
Edited on Fri Dec-05-08 01:00 PM by groovedaddy
Why wasn't he asked about this shit they're pulling RIGHT NOW! How difficult is it to un-do this stuff once Obama is sworn in?
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Tandalayo_Scheisskopf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 01:03 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. It can be done.
But it is a fiddly process and will be a time sink in an era where the administration will have a lot of other more pressing things to keep its attention.

This is the executive branch version of "barratry", which is using the law, over and over again, to harass.
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Hugin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. It doesn't seem to be taking Bush any time at all...
I'm sure there's a way.

Perhaps instead of repealing them they can amend them into uselessness somehow. :shrug:
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Tandalayo_Scheisskopf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. A big problem is just ferreting them out.
Then, legal opinions and executive orders have to be written. All in all, a time-consuming process of busy work.
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sofa king Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 02:23 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. My own myopic view:
Having spent a lot of time working with Interior and specifically with tribes, I know that the tribes, at least, are very much on top of every little change that affects them, and are hardly shy about offering suggestions, regulatory language, corrective legislation, and procedural advice. That's the sort of thing lobbyists do when they're not being dicks, and for that matter, it's most of what they do when they are being dicks.

The reason why lobbyists are not to be trusted is that every helpful suggestion is couched deep inside the self-interest of that particular lobby. No matter how helpful or voluminous the suggestions, they must be carefully evaluated before going through with them.

It's going to be even tougher this time around because the fixes that need to be made are due to deliberate maliciousness on the part of the Bush Administration. They've never stopped short of evil in anything they've done in the past and you can be certain they've saved the worst for last. Part of their plan, no doubt, is to mismanage pet areas so badly that those projects are further hamstrung by Congressional oversight, independent investigation, the need to piece together what happened without accurate documentation, and the placement of partisan saboteurs throughout the executive branch.

That's one reason why I and others like me want to see these bastards sent up the river for what they've done. People are far less willing to screw things up on purpose if they think they'll be held accountable for it.
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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 01:05 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. I've seen several articles, and generally it seems the time it takes to reverse --
this stuff varies from case to case. And some of it is uncertain as to timing and how much effort is needed to reverse.
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acmavm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 01:19 PM
Response to Original message
6. These corrupt bastards need to be stopped NOW. Forget
everything else.

I am sick and tire of Obama's silence on these matters. I canvassed and phone banked and campaigned for the guy, so did thousands upon thousands of others. Now it's his time to speak up for us, not the time for him to conveniently let it slip out that he's gonna be breaking a few promises.

The best part of this for me is that I got banned for posting on DU because I said Obama is not what people think he is. Sometimes having the last laugh is just plain hurtful.
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AlbertCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. I said Obama is not what people think he is.
Well he's not what you apparently think he is....president....for a little while yet. Bush is president. Obama is president-elect.
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acmavm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. I didn't say he could DO anything. I damn well said he needs to MAKE
a statement that the investigations will start and the heads will roll five minutes after he takes office.

It seems he's doing fine going around making all kinds of comments on other crap that's not so fucking harmful to our country.

He needs to start speaking up now because this shit is being done as a last ditch effort to fuck us over before the criminal cabal leave office.

And yes, the man is EXACTLY what I said he was when I got my posting privleges 'suspended'. It's the idealist in this crowd who are in for a rude awakening.
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The Stranger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 02:29 PM
Response to Original message
10. I'm sure glad the Pelosi traitor didn't want to impeach (or even threaten it).
She held down the nation while the Junta raped it.
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tavalon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 07:30 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. Yes she did!
I know the dichotomy is supposed to be Republican=Bad adn Democrat=Good, but Pelosi, Reid, Lieberman and quite a few others turned that on its head.
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 08:24 AM
Response to Original message
12. Oh well
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-06-08 10:42 PM
Response to Original message
13. Interior's power derives entirely from congressional mandate.
Congress created the Interior department. Hello?
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