Vitter, Issa Investigate EPA’s Transparency Problem, More Suspicious E-mail Accounts

For Immediate Release
Contact: Luke Bolar / Vitter (202) 224-4623  Becca Watkins / Issa (202) 225-0037

January 29, 2013

Vitter, Issa Investigate EPA’s Transparency Problem, More Suspicious E-mail Accounts

EPA Region 8 Administrator violates e-mail rule, uses private e-mail accounts to conduct official business

(Washington, D.C.) – In a joint letter sent today, Senator David Vitter (R-La.), the top Republican of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, questioned James Martin, Region 8 Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), regarding his use of a non-official e-mail account to conduct official business, potentially violating federal transparency laws.

In documents obtained by Senate EPW and House OGR committees, Administrator Martin used a non-official, me.com, e-mail account, which may have been an attempt to circumvent the Federal Records Act, the Freedom of Information Act, and Congressional oversight. 

“We’ve seen EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson’s ‘Richard Windsor’ e-mails, and now we have a regional administrator who appears to be dodging the agency’s mandatory recordkeeping policy,” said Vitter. “The American people have to be wondering where this will stop. The EPA owes us all some answers about their absolute disregard for transparency.”

“This administration took office promising to be the ‘most transparent’ in history, but repeated actions have undermined this ambitious goal,” said Issa. “Investigations have revealed widespread disregard for transparency and record-keeping laws in multiple agencies and even in the White House.  We need to get this administration beyond just cleaning up the mess after they’re caught red-handed in flagrant violations of transparency laws and to address the root causes of failures to conduct public business transparently.”

EPA instructs its employees to “not use any outside e-mail account to conduct official Agency business.” However, the documents obtained by the Committees suggest that Administrator Martin regularly used a non-official e-mail account to conduct official business, and it does not appear to be an isolated incident.

The Committees are investigating whether Administrator Martin’s use of multiple e-mail accounts is symptomatic of a broader problem at the EPA.

The text of Vitter and Issa’s letter to EPA Region 8 Administrator Martin is below:

==========================================================

January 29, 2013
Mr. James B. Martin
Administrator, Region 8
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1595 Wynkoop Street
Denver, CO  80202

Dear Administrator Martin:

We write to inquire about your use of Apple’s me.com, a non-official e-mail account to conduct official business as the Region 8 Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency.  In particular, documents released pursuant to litigation recently obtained by the Committees confirm that you have used this non-official e-mail account to conduct official business.[1]   We are concerned that your use of the me.com e-mail account may be an attempt to circumvent the Federal Records Act, the Freedom of Information Act, and Congressional oversight. Accordingly, we are writing to request your cooperation as the Committees investigate whether this is an isolated incident or symptomatic of a broader problem at EPA.

In the limited production obtained by our respective Committees, it appears that on at least one occasion you used an Apple me.com address, a non-official e-mail account, to schedule an official business meeting.  Specifically, an email from Vickie Patton, the General Counsel for the Environmental Defense Fund to this private e-mail said, “Hi Jim, Next Monday or Tuesday December 12/13 at 9am depending on which is best for you.”[2]  In response, you replied from this private e-mail account with, “January 13 at 9:00 am works for me if that works for you. (Lost your original note – is that the date and time you proposed?).”[3]  It is our understanding that this meeting did in fact take place at the EPA regional office.   Moreover, it is unclear whether you attempted to preserve the correspondence as an EPA record, as is required by law.

The use of personal, non-official e-mail accounts raises concerns that you could be attempting to insulate this and other e-mail correspondence from a Freedom of Information Act[4] request.  Moreover, your actions may also constitute violation of the Federal Records Act.[5]  In accordance with the Federal Records Act and guidance from the D.C. Circuit, federal agencies must preserve e-mail messages if they are:

made or received by an agency of the United States Government under Federal law or in connection with the transaction of public business and preserved or appropriate for preservation by that agency or its legitimate successor as evidence of the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other activities of the Government or because of the informational value of data in them.[6] (emphasis added).

To be clear, it does not appear that this transaction was an isolated incident.  Rather, the body of emails suggests that you regularly used this personal email account to stay informed on matters relating to your official duties.   For example, not only did Ms. Patton regularly send updates to the me.com account, according to one document, you used this non-official account to request contact information for another government employee, which was provided as a private e-mail address.[7]

As the Region 8 Administrator, I expect you would have knowledge of EPA’s policy that explicitly prohibits use of non-EPA e-mails for business purposes.  In 2008, EPA wrote to the Government Accountability Office that “EPA has a clear and consistent policy framework against the use of nongovernmental e-mail systems for official EPA business.”[8]  During EPA’s briefing on Records Management to incoming political appointees in 2009, EPA instructed, “[d]o not use any outside e-mail account to conduct official Agency business.”[9]  More recently, in October 2012, EPA sent an agency-wide e-mail reminding employees of this policy. Specifically, the email stated:  “[t]his is a reminder to all EPA Employees that EPA prohibits the use of non-EPA E-Mail Systems when conducting agency business.  This guidance is stated in Agency Records Training, New Employee Orientations and Briefings for Senior Agency Officials.”[10] (emphasis added).

In both the agency-wide e-mail and the Frequently Asked Questions about E-Mail and Records webpage, EPA states that employees are prohibited from using “any outside e-mail system to conduct official Agency business.  If, during an emergency, you use a non-EPA e-mail system, you are responsible for ensuring that any e-mail records and attachments are saved in your office’s recordkeeping system.”[11] (emphasis added)  It does not appear that there were any emergency circumstances surrounding the use of your personal email, but even if there were, it appears that you still failed to preserve the e-mails in the proper recordkeeping system.  Thus, under all plausible circumstances, your private e-mails demonstrate a clear violation of EPA policy and federal law.

In an effort to better understand whether or not the emails provided to our Committees are an unfortunate, but isolated incident, or if they are part of a larger scheme to defeat federal transparency laws, we request that you provide all emails sent or received from any private email account from April 1, 2010, through present day that refer or relate to your responsibilities as an EPA official.  This request includes all emails sent or received by you, whether or not they are currently in your “inbox.”  Moreover, I request that you make yourself available for a transcribed interview with both Committee staffs the week of February 11, 2013.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.  If you have any questions, please contact Kristina Moore with the Committee on Environment and Public Works at (202) 224-6176 or Tyler Grimm with the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform at (202) 225-5074.

Sincerely,

David Vitter                                                                Darrell E. Issa

Ranking Member                                                        Chairman

Environment and Public Works                                  Oversight and Government Reform

Cc:       Chairman Barbara Boxer, Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works

Ranking Member, House Oversight and Government Reform



[1] See Michael Bastasch, Top EPA official used private email account to correspond with environmental groups, Daily Caller News Foundation (Jan. 10, 2013), available at http://dailycaller.com/2013/01/10/top-epa-official-uses-private-email-account-to-correspond-with-environmental-groups/.

[2] See http://www.scribd.com/doc/119719232/CEI-v-EPA-Region-8-Martin-Reply-Declaration (last accessed Jan. 16, 2013).

[3] Id.

[4] See 5 U.S.C. § 552

[5] See 44 U.S.C. § 31

[6] Armstrong v. Executive Office of the President, 1 F.3d 1274, 1278 (D.C. Cir. 1993).

[7] Note 2 supra.

[8] GOV’T ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE, FEDERAL RECORDS: NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND SELECTED AGENCIES NEED TO STRENGTHEN E-MAIL MANAGEMENT, 61, GAO008-742 (June 2008).

[9] Records and ECMS Briefing, EPA Incoming Political Appointees 2009 [On file with Committee].

[10] NRMP Alert: Do Not Use Outside Email Systems to Conduct Agency Business [On file with Committee].

[11] ENVTL. PROT. AGENCY, Frequent Questions about E-Mail and Records http://www.epa.gov/records/faqs/email.htm (last accessed Jan. 16, 2013).

==============================================================

The actual letter is attached also, you can view it here:
Region 8 joint letter final VitterIssa 01292013 (1) (PDF)

It should also be noted that this has come to light thanks to the work of Chris Horner and ATI, who forced production of these documents by EPA in their FOI litigation.

41 thoughts on “Vitter, Issa Investigate EPA’s Transparency Problem, More Suspicious E-mail Accounts

  1. Kind of looks like an initial interview to decide what type of follow up investigation, if there is one, would be needed and to what levelI wonder who falls on the sword for this one?

  2. No surprise, the culture of an organisation is set by those at the top , and the person at the top used a off the record e-mail account.

    And remember that after climate gate lots of climate ‘scientists’ became aware that their official accounts can be subject to FOI , so it would no big surprise to find the things they don’t what none-team members to see, has they may negatively affect ‘the cause ‘ , will now not be done via unofficial e-mail accounts in the hope of keeping them ‘safe ‘

  3. I’m glad that there are people looking into such things, but this is merely a pro forma exercise. When Congressman Issa dug up the stuff about the Fast and Furious gun-running scandal, the administration merely exonerated itself. People died because of that operation. Why should the warmunists in the EPA have any worries? There will be a minor dust-up, then it will be back to business as usual; they will just be more careful about covering their tracks.

  4. In other news, this most transparent administration’s NLRB told the DC Circuit to take a hike on their recess appointment ruling of last week.

    “The Board respectfully disagrees with today’s decision and believes that the President’s position in the matter will ultimately be upheld” Chairman Mark Pearce said in a statement. “It should be noted that this order applies to only one specific case, Noel Canning, and that similar questions have been raised in more than a dozen cases pending in other courts of appeal”.

    “In the meantime, the board has important work to do…..”

    Wall Street Journal Opinion section 29Jan13 opines:

    “So, let’s see. First, President Obama bypasses the Senate’s advice and consent power by making recess appointments while the Senate was in pro forma session specifically to prevent recess appointments. Then when a federal court rules the recess appointments illegal, the NLRB declares that it will keep doing business as if nothing happened.”

    Interestingly, the Senate was gaveled in last January 3rd and Obama made the “recess” appointments on January 4th………..

  5. Its the same old song,”but we are above the law, ’cause we are the law.”

    I would be fascinated to see the same search at the US DOE, as these are the funding agents for the CRU, a search following up on pt 2 of Climategate would be very interesting.

    @ Mark and two cats, exonerated itself, isn’t quite the word for what the administration did over fast&furious. Looked more like lie, deny and forbid investigation via presidential fiat.

  6. problem is, the MSM isn’t interested in investigating this administration. and if one does step out of line for a while (Sharyl Attkisson) they receive threats from the admin. i have also heard that more reporters are being sued by this admin than by another other previous, and if you think that doesn’t have a chilling effect….

  7. William McClenney says:
    January 29, 2013 at 11:21 am

    It seems to me that if the NLRB recess appointments were illegal, then any “decisions” they make will be, in effect, unenforceable and outside the law. So let ‘em meet to their heart’s content…just wait until they try to impose their “rulings”…

    Sort of like the U.N. and the IPCC…

  8. Ho Hum !!!!
    “EPA Region 8 Administrator violates e-mail rule, uses private e-mail accounts to conduct official business”

    Nothing to see here !!
    Liberal breaking rules !!!
    Water is wet !!!

    They won’t be held accountable.

  9. Apart from the transparency issue, government agencies require official e-mail accounts to be used for official business because of security and privacy concerns.

    Now, it may be that government accounts are easily hacked, or that the business being conducted does not involve security or privacy issues. But the point is, that is not a judgement that an individual employee is empowered to make.

    It is phenomenally stupid for any government employee to do this. They are exposing themselves and their agency to all sorts of unnecessary risks.

  10. Chuck Nolan says:

    January 29, 2013 at 11:52 am

    Maybe we’re not a nation of laws after all.
    cn
    ——————————————–
    Chuck – it’s not that we aren’t a nation of law any more, it’s just that we aren’t a nation that bothers to enforce anything but tax laws, or laws that will suppress freedom “for the masses.” I think there are probably a half million or more laws on the books, but they are pretty choosey as to the ones they bother to follow. If they aren’t inconveniencing “John Q Public,” they can be ignored.

  11. Where is the accountability? I don’t care who is in office, what party they belong to, etc., but this has to stop. The only way that’s going to happen is somebody gets prosecuted.

  12. Are they going to look at all of the departments, agencies and commissions? And don’t forget the West Wing. I’ve heard that they even have a separate server just to handle the Gmail account for the White House staffers.

  13. Tom O says:
    January 29, 2013 at 1:37 pm
    Chuck Nolan says:

    January 29, 2013 at 11:52 am

    Maybe we’re not a nation of laws after all.
    cn
    ——————————————–
    Chuck – it’s not that we aren’t a nation of law any more, it’s just that we aren’t a nation that bothers to enforce anything but tax laws, or laws that will suppress freedom “for the masses.” I think there are probably a half million or more laws on the books, but they are pretty choosey as to the ones they bother to follow. If they aren’t inconveniencing “John Q Public,” they can be ignored.

    We now have so many laws and regulations that it’s just arbitrary who gets fined or prosecuted and who gets to skate. A bureaucrat, prosecutor or other federal agent gets to pick and choose what to enforce, how to enforce and upon whom.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703749504576172714184601654.html

    This is the exact opposite of the original meaning of nation of laws or the rule of law. Instead we have the rule of judges and bureaucrats. Selective enforcement, selective prosecution and the politically connected getting special treatment.

  14. Growing up I read about corruption in other countries and about some in the US, but I never thought too much about the US. Now that I am old and much more aware of things and have many sources of information like WUWT , I now believe that our government may be the most corrupt it has ever been and may be close to # 1 in the world. I am ashamed and sad.

  15. I have a new links article ready to roll at another site and will post it here when published. It
    touches on how the the EPA ‘may’ circumvent the admin (per Sen. Boxer) to bring about a carbon tax. The admin has denied it has no plans to do it (also included in the article), however, Sen. Boxer et.al. argues that a carbon tax is within the jurisdiction of the EPA. The circus continues….

    john from DB

  16. I have just sent emails to both of my senators and my congressman which includes the following text:
    Dear Sir:

    I am totally disgusted with the regularity that individuals in the government appear to violate our laws with impunity and lie to the public.

    I would like to offer two remedies to counteract this:

    1 No payments shall be made to any individual who has willfully violated the FOIA requirements to archive all communication relating to official business for a period of five years. Further, no payments shall be made to any individual or organization which employes or contracts (including indirectly) with such individual during that five years.

    2. Similar sanctions will be placed on any any federal employee who references, for any official use, any study or paper which is not available without charge or which does not have all original data also available without charge. References must have been provided.

    I have not mentioned the severe criminal penalties that should apply to any individual willfully avoiding the FOIA regulations since that would merely add expense to our court and penal system. A list of proscribed individuals could be freely available so that compliance should be relatively simple.

    The second item should be fairly easy to accommodate since the study or paper along with all supporting data could be archived by an independent entity such as the library of congress and made available on request at a very nominal cost.

    Sincerely,

    Donald Mitchell

    I realize that this would not end the existence of Trans Dental Prevarication (TDP), but it could go a long ways towards ending the economic impact of it.

    Donald Mitchell

  17. Bloke down the pub says | January 29, 2013 at 10:27 am:

    Public servants love to make a rod for their own back. Anyone would think they liked it.

    It’s not the rod for their backs that they like ;)

  18. jack morrow,
    The US is still not the most corrupt, I haven’t had to bribe the local constabulary to get them to leave the precinct house, or to keep them from torching my business or home and spraying the survivors with bullets. There are places like that to our south that still have the title of most corrupt, but we are sliding ever closer to that precipice in a grass woven handled basket.

  19. Chuck Nolan says:
    January 29, 2013 at 11:52 am

    Maybe we’re not a nation of laws after all.
    cn
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    We haven’t been since 1913.

    Top Senate Democrat: bankers “own” the U.S. Congress
    Sen. Dick Durbin, on a local Chicago radio station this week, blurted out an obvious truth about Congress that, despite being blindingly obvious, is rarely spoken: “And the banks — hard to believe in a time when we’re facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created — are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they frankly own the place.” The blunt acknowledgment that the same banks that caused the financial crisis “own” the U.S. Congress — according to one of that institution’s most powerful members — demonstrates just how extreme this institutional corruption is….

    Congressman McFadden Quotations from several speeches made on the Floor of the House of Representatives, 1934

    Commenting on Former Congressman Louis T. McFaddens’s “heart-failure sudden-death” on Oct. 3, 1936, after a “dose” of “intestinal flu,” “Pelley’s Weekly” of Oct. 14 said:

    Now that this sterling American patriot has made the Passing, it can be revealed that not long after his public utterance against the encroaching powers of Judah, it became known among his intimates that he had suffered two attacks against his life. The first attack came in the form of two revolver shots fired at him from ambush as he was alighting from a cab in front of one of the Capital hotels. Fortunately both shots missed him, the bullets burying themselves in the structure of the cab.

    “He became violently ill after partaking of food at a political banquet at Washington. His life was only saved from what was subsequently announced as a poisoning by the presence of a physician friend at the banquet, who at once procured a stomach pump and subjected the Congressman to emergency treatment.”

    ….To everyone’s surprise, Morgan admitted that the bank routinely created money “out of thin air” for its loans, and that this was standard banking practice. “It sounds like fraud to me,” intoned Presiding Justice Martin Mahoney amid nods from the jurors. In his court memorandum, Justice Mahoney stated:

    Plaintiff admitted that it, in combination with the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, . . . did create the entire $14,000.00 in money and credit upon its own books by bookkeeping entry. That this was the consideration used to support the Note dated May 8, 1964 and the Mortgage of the same date. The money and credit first came into existence when they created it. Mr. Morgan admitted that no United States Law or Statute existed which gave him the right to do this. A lawful consideration must exist and be tendered to support the Note.

    The court rejected the bank’s claim for foreclosure, …
    Justice Mahoney, who was not dependent on campaign financing or hamstrung by precedent, went so far as to threaten to prosecute and expose the bank. He died less than six months after the trial, in a mysterious accident that appeared to involve poisoning.

    http://www.webofdebt.com/articles/dollar-deception.php

    We are serfs to the bankers, we just don’t realize it. In 2012:Q3: 1,645.3 Billion Dollars in US debt was held by the Federal Reserve. That does not include the debt held by private banks. All but three percent of the US money supply (the physical currency) is in the form of loans from banks. Those loans, made out of thin air, are paid back with interest with your labor.

  20. The EPA is a rogue agency, and if it wasn’t for the rogue administration there’s a small chance they could be cleaned up.

    For now, that’s not going to happen. They’ll play “musical bureaucrats” until the next scandal draws the harsh glare of public interest away. They’ll make one if they have to.

  21. “Sen. Dick Durbin, on a local Chicago radio station this week, blurted out an obvious truth about Congress that, despite being blindingly obvious, is rarely spoken: “And the banks — hard to believe in a time when we’re facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created — are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they frankly own the place.” ”

    Hey, it’s not only socialism that uses other people’s money. All the money in banks are “other peoples money”. They don’t own your money, some banks over the years think they own my money. I’ve seen it time and time again.

  22. Reporters, Lawsuits and OBUMMER

    Reporter Chris Hedges sued President Obama in a federal class action, claiming the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act aka the “Homeland Battlefield Bill” threatens him and other journalists with life imprisonment without charge or trial for doing their job.

    President Obama signed the bill on New Year’s Eve. It authorizes the military to indefinitely detain anyone it accuses of planning or supporting terrorists or “associated forces,” anywhere in the world, without charge or trial.
    Co-sponsor Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., said during congressional hearings that Obama asked him to preserve language in the bill making Americans subject to indefinite detention.

    http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/01/17/43099.htm

    Well there went the Constitution straight down the toilet.

    Sixth Amendment – U.S. Constitution
    Sixth Amendment – Rights of Accused in Criminal Prosecutions
    In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

    http://constitution.findlaw.com/amendment6/amendment.html

    Seventh Amendment – U.S. Constitution
    Seventh Amendment – Civil Trials
    In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

    http://constitution.findlaw.com/amendment7/amendment.html

    Even the ACLU is up in arms about OBUMMER

    ACLU to Obama: You Can’t Just Vaporize Americans Without Judicial Process
    The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the Obama administration over the deaths of three American citizens who were killed by US drone strikes in Yemen last year….

    …. it’s about targeted killings more broadly, including those carried out by drone strikes and those performed by elite American military units. The lawsuit contends that the United States government violated the constitutional rights of the three men by killing them without court review outside of an active war zone.

    The Obama administration has contended that it has the authority to target suspected members of Al Qaeda outside the conflict in Afghanistan and Pakistan, particularly if a given individual poses what it calls an “imminent threat.” Although the US government had tagged Anwar al-Awlaki as a terrorist through controlled disclosures to the public and the media, Khan was merely suspected of being a propagandist, and the government has never alleged that Awlaki’s teenage son was involved in terrorism. Moreover, the ACLU argues, the US government has “defined the term ‘imminent’ so broadly as to negate its meaning.”

    … the ACLU’s lawyers believe their chances for getting a hearing are better this time, both because their clients, in losing their loved ones, suffered a concrete injury that can’t be denied, and because of the more frank public acknowledgements by administration officials of the targeted killing program’s existence. The latter, the ACLU argues, will make it more difficult for the government to contend the matter is a state secret.

    “What they would be saying is, that they have the authority not just to kill American citizens who are deemed to be enemies of the state, and not just that they have the authority to kill citizens without explaining why they’ve done it, but even that they have the authority to kill citizens without even acknowledging their role in it,” Jaffer said. “If the previous administration had proposed a policy of that kind, it’s inconceivable that we would have accepted it.” ….

    I never though I would side with the ACLU but I am really cheering them on this time. Seems like some of the US citizens in The Innocents’ Club are starting to wake up.

  23. “The EPA owes us all some answers about their absolute disregard for transparency.”

    Nuts!

    These criminals need to be thrown in jail. EOFS

  24. evanmjones says:
    January 29, 2013 at 10:46 am
    When they try to subpoena this, they’ll get rejected — for prying into private email accounts!

    Once they used the private account to conduct official business, the account ceased to be a private account.

    I use a yahoo account to conduct US Government business since I do not have access to my .mil account on a 24/7 basis. I suspect full well that that DIA and NCIS know what kind of email I get.

  25. If you would bother to read the EPA email FAQ on reference 11 you would see that many routine emails do not have to be saved. If the message does not “explain, justify or document an action or decision” is does not have to saved. Picking the date of a meeting hardly meets that requirement.

  26. undermined this ambitious goal my hiney. This administration never had the slightest intention of letting its hands show above the table. It was born in cover-up and survives by cover-up. The Big Lie Machine in full spate.

  27. So we have this high level investigation over a meeting scheduled over me.com. Hmm how long ago was me.com shut down?

    Any one like to guess how much this investigation is costin the US taxpayer? Is any result of significance to government likely to result from this investigation? In short are you getting your money’s worth.

    It looks to me that this investigation is suspiciously like political manovering with some very dubious insinuations being concocted.

  28. LazyTeenager says:
    January 30, 2013 at 4:26 am
    So we have this high level investigation over a meeting scheduled over me.com. Hmm how long ago was me.com shut down?

    Any one like to guess how much this investigation is costin the US taxpayer? Is any result of significance to government likely to result from this investigation? In short are you getting your money’s worth.

    It looks to me that this investigation is suspiciously like political manovering with some very dubious insinuations being concocted.

    What level of corruption has to take place before you consider it no longer acceptable? Which laws should we (American citizens) allow our government overlords to violate and which should we insist be enforced?

  29. The root cause of our once-great nation’s demise is an overabundance of lazy teenagers (of all ages) who wink at corruption. If we cast aside notions of honor and persist in defining corruption as “whatever our political opponents do”, we will eventually find ourselves ruled by gangsters. Oh, wait…

  30. @Lazyteenager: Perhaps you should take this dialogue between Sir Thomas More and Will Roper into account when you think nothing of the law – an I see you here in the part of Roper::

    Roper: So now you’d give the Devil benefit of law!
    More: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
    Roper: I’d cut down every law in England to do that!
    More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country’s planted thick with laws from coast to coast– man’s laws, not God’s– and if you cut them down—and you’re just the man to do it—do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake.

  31. CLIMATEGATE!!

    Someone needs to hack that bitch.

  32. LazyT: This has nothing to do with partisan shit. If this had been done by Bush you’d never hear the end of it in the media.

    The current admin is, moreover, one of THE most ABSOLUTELY hypocritical, lying POSes in US history, and, after Clinton, that’s really saying something.

    “The Most Transparent and Ethical Administration in US History”**
    ** The One himself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXWTdTnhebs

    Ahhhh, yeah. Ah-huh. Want to buy some LAND?

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