Thursday, March 15, 2007

Math is fun!

Today the House passed a couple of bills that the White House didn't like and threatened to veto--all by huge margins, I note. One of which overturns a previous order of President Bush's:
The presidential papers bill nullifies a November 2001 order, criticized by historians, in which Bush allowed the White House or a former president to block release of a former president's papers and put the onus on researchers to show a "specific need" for many types of records.

Among beneficiaries of the Bush order was Bush's father, George H.W. Bush, a former vice president and president.

The order gave former vice presidents the right to stop the release of their papers through an executive privilege that previously only presidents could use. And it extended to deceased presidents' designees rights to keep their papers secret indefinitely.

The House bill would give current and former presidents 40 business days to object to requests to view their papers, allow a sitting president to override a former president's claim of executive privilege and strip former vice presidents and the designees of deceased presidents of the power to use executive privilege to block access to their historical documents.

All very nice, but I noticed this while reading the article:
Tom Blanton, director of the National Security Archives at George Washington University, said the average time to release presidential documents has grown to 78 months from 18 months since the Bush order, which he said directly contributed to one year of the lag.

Remember, the Bush order was in November, 2001. That's only 64 months ago. I'm not sure how Blanton calculated "direct[] contribut[ion]", but that's a lotta lag.

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