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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-21-2008, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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Bush's last minute Changes

Interesting...
Quote:
With just 60 days left in his tenure, you might think that W.'s lame duck administration was sitting around relieved that another guy was taking over, counting the minutes until the flight leaves for Crawford.
Not quite.

Based on the flurry of quiet directives coming from the White House as the end of the term nears, it looks like the Bush Goose (or is it turducken?) isn't quite cooked yet.

In what has become a kind of presidential right-of-passage, the president (or really, the federal agencies that answer to him) has been pushing through a series of last-minute regulations that have the force of law. Everything from pollution controls to family-leave standards can be set by these rules.

And you thought your high school government teacher said that Congress made all the laws.

These de-facto laws are called "midnight rules" or "midnight regulations" because they happen at the end -- or midnight period -- of an administration. If the rules are published in the Federal Register by Friday, Nov. 21, they'll be very hard for President-elect Obama to reverse when he gets into office.

And that's the point. Sure, the administration had eight years to get a lot of this stuff accomplished. But according senior research fellow at George Mason University Veronique de Rugy, most midnight regulations "cater to special interests," and "that is why they are hurried into effect without the usual checks and balances."

George Bush isn't the first president to push through rules before the next guy can get in. Jimmy Carter gets that award. In fact, the New Yorker's Elizabeth Kolbert says Cater's whirlwind of last-minute activity before Ronald Reagan took office is when the practice got named. "They became known as 'midnight regulations,' after the 'midnight judges' appointed by John Adams in the final hours of his Presidency."

George Bush doesn't get the award for the most rules shoved through after the two-minute warning, either. That goes to Bill Clinton who, according to de Rugy, set the record for number of pages published in the Federal Register at "more than 26,000."

So, what rules are the White House and all its federal agencies trying to get through this season?

The Wall Street Journal reports that the new rules, "open the way for commercial development of oil shale on federal land, allow truckers to drive for longer periods, and add certain restrictions on employee time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act."

Those run the gamut, but the ones getting the most ink are environmentally focused. The Los Angeles Times says environmentalists are angry by a host of loosened safeguards:
In recent days, the Bush administration announced new rules to speed oil shale development across 2 million rocky acres in the West. It scheduled an auction for drilling rights alongside three national parks. It has also set in motion processes to finalize major changes in endangered species protection, allow more mining waste to flow into rivers and streams, and exempt factory farms from air pollution reporting.

The Chicago Tribune did a special report saying the administration undercut a clean-air rule aimed at curbing childhood lead poisoning:
...the EPA had planned to require lead monitors next to any factory emitting at least a half-ton of lead a year. But after the White House intervened, the agency raised the threshold to a ton of lead or more, according to e-mails and other documents exchanged between the EPA and the Office of Management and Budget.

In an Oct. 31 press briefing, Deputy Press Secretary Tony Fratto was asked about environmental groups saying the White House was easing limits on pollution. First Fratto responded that the White House is "constrained" about discussing regulations under review, but then said, "I would be highly doubtful that there's any specific increase in environmental-related regulations."
Navigating the rule-making process can be laborious for the non-wonk type, but the non-profit, investigative journalism group ProPublica has tried to make it easy for people who want to investigate for themselves. ProPublica has a master list of Bush's midnight regulations here and they have posted a guide on "How to Ferret Out Midnight Regs Yourself." If you've got the time and inclination, a lot of this process is public record and online.

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-21-2008, 03:08 PM
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Fuck yea, get the shit done you KNOW Obama won't do.

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-21-2008, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5point0pony
Interesting...
And which leftist site was this gem pulled?

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-21-2008, 07:16 PM
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Good! Wonder how many pardons will come at the end of Clinton part two?

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-21-2008, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevo
And which leftist site was this gem pulled?

Stevo
How was this the least bit leftist?

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-21-2008, 07:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5point0pony
How was this the least bit leftist?
The reading of the first two sentences shows it's left leaning, anti-Bush theme.

EDIT: I also notice you haven't said where it originates.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-21-2008, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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I saw it when i was checking my e-mail
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ynews/200811...Ea.weRuGas0NUE

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-21-2008, 07:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5point0pony
I saw it when i was checking my e-mail
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ynews/200811...Ea.weRuGas0NUE
And there it is.

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-21-2008, 07:57 PM
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...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevo
And there it is.

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There what is?
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-21-2008, 08:31 PM
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Stevo, it doesn't really matter where it comes from when it is true.

GW's pushing through executive orders at the end of his administration no differently than any other President. In the next couple of months I bet you see a huge number of pardons. Many of them will be for CIA or Military types that have potential legal exposure for their work on the war on terror.

Nothing new here. Not really a big deal at all because Obama can undo every single executive order from GW with the stroke of a pen.

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-21-2008, 09:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by line-em-up
There what is?
Which leftist website/publisher that the article was pulled. Can you not read?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sgt Beavis

Nothing new here. Not really a big deal at all because Obama can undo every single executive order from GW with the stroke of a pen.
I know it is nothing new to push through a bunch of last minute things when a president is preparing his exodus, but from the wording and attitude of the first part of the article it is obvious the author is a Bush basher.

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-22-2008, 03:11 PM
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Rumor has it, Bush is thinking about screwing with FMLA. I've never had to use it myself, but I've seen first hand how this has helped alot of guys and gals that I work with. On the railroad we don't get days off and the only way to get a day off is to call in sick. Of course you do that to many times and they want to fire you. With FMLA people are allowed to take off for family medical reasons and are not penalized.

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-22-2008, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FreightTrain
Rumor has it, Bush is thinking about screwing with FMLA. I've never had to use it myself, but I've seen first hand how this has helped alot of guys and gals that I work with. On the railroad we don't get days off and the only way to get a day off is to call in sick. Of course you do that to many times and they want to fire you. With FMLA people are allowed to take off for family medical reasons and are not penalized.
We had a guy get so sick with strep throat that the Doctor wouldn't let him work for 4 days. He got fired because his leave wasn't approved. FMLA says that strep throat isn't a "serious" illness.

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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-22-2008, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FreightTrain
Rumor has it, Bush is thinking about screwing with FMLA. I've never had to use it myself, but I've seen first hand how this has helped alot of guys and gals that I work with. On the railroad we don't get days off and the only way to get a day off is to call in sick. Of course you do that to many times and they want to fire you. With FMLA people are allowed to take off for family medical reasons and are not penalized.
Yea my friend used it twice because he was late to work. WTF is up with that?

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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-22-2008, 03:28 PM
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Yea my friend used it twice because he was late to work. WTF is up with that?

Your friend is a dumbass. FMLA is to be used anytime anyone in your family has a serious medical issue like cancer or a pregnancy. Ask any woman or man for that matter that has just recently had a baby and see what they say about FMLA.

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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-22-2008, 03:51 PM
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Like I said before, any changes that GW makes can be swept away with the stroke of Obama's pen on Jan 20th. To my knowledge, the only exceptions are Presidential Pardons.

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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-22-2008, 09:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sgt Beavis
Like I said before, any changes that GW makes can be swept away with the stroke of Obama's pen on Jan 20th. To my knowledge, the only exceptions are Presidential Pardons.
I sure would like to know what the truth is, I heard on Fox that anything Bush pushes through would take a long time to undo (1-3 years depending upon the exact topic). The President at the end of his term has some power that is supposed to be difficult to undo by the incoming President, according to the talking heads I listened to about this.

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