Government Docs

Why New Laws Are Needed to Stop the Bullying of the National Archives

Maarja Krusten Says Even a President who believes that he governed honorably may struggle with his past. Governance is complex and politics messy. Laws demand disclosure of what really happened. Judges, such as the one who recently ruled on President Bush's order, assume that the National Archives can carry out this mission. But because some disclosures can be painful for presidents, they resort to bullying to halt them.

The National Archives Joins Geospatial One Stop’s (GOS) web portal

The Resource Shelf Notes The National Archives has joined Geospatial One Stop’s (GOS) web portal. Select National Archives holdings are now searchable from the GOS Historical Collections Channel, which the National Archives and the Library of Congress jointly manage.

He Said, She Said: Open Your Records

An AP Piece takes a look at all the US Presidential candidates and their various positions on past records they may or may not have. They focus mainly on Barack Obama, who's been scolding Hillary Rodham Clinton for not hastening the release of records from her time as first lady. Obama says he hasn't got any. John Edwards says he will release the records from his single term representing North Carolina in the U.S. Senate. Clinton's papers, held at the National Archives and Records Administration, are being held.

Republicans across the country are encouraging voters to sign up for a "Clinton library card," a publicity stunt to highlight the dispute over Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's White House records.

The Wise Guide

I want to point out this pretty cool resource that is offered by the Library of Congress, the Wise Guide. According to their "about" page, the site "links to the best of the Library's online materials." The Wise Guide is definitely meant as a jumping-off point, but is an excellent way to learn about some of the Library of Congress' resources. This month's topics include WWII, Native American Indian health, and notable occurrences that have happened during the month of November.

The Battle Over The Clinton Papers

The Battle Over The Clinton Papers: On Friday, The Politico reported that the Clinton library was preparing 10,000 pages of Hillary Clinton's "daily schedules" to be released in late January, though that release could be slowed down by the review process. Clinton has chalked up delays in releasing the documents to the difficulty of processing them as opposed to any efforts on the Clintons' part to suppress them.

Star Trek, Real Life and Government Documents

My friend and colleague Carlos Diaz of Evergreen College in Olympia WA has a great first post as Free Government Information's November blogger of the month.

He writes about how a few devices that were featured in Star Trek and Star Trek:TNG are now commonplace items. He also reflects on the limits of electronic government information.

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

Urgent action need to support the NIH bill

Open Access News: "The provision to mandate OA at the NIH is in trouble. Late Friday, just before the filing deadline, a Senator acting on behalf of the publishing lobby filed two harmful amendments, one to delete the provision and one to weaken it significantly. We thought we'd done everything and only had to wait for the Senate vote. But now we have to mobilize once more, and fast, to squash these amendments."

Court reverses Bush on archive secrecy

Here's Some Suprising News: A federal judge on Monday tossed out part of a 2001 order by President George W. Bush that lets former presidents keep some of their presidential papers secret indefinitely.

U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ruled that the U.S. Archivist's reliance on the executive order to delay release of the papers of former presidents is "arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion and not in accordance with law."

EPA halts library closures

After releasing a plan in August 2006 that would restructure its library system and eliminate several locations, the Environmental Protection Agency has halted further closures of the libraries in response to heavy criticism from lawmakers and advocacy groups.
Despite the concerns raised, the EPA maintains that greater access will be allowed through the online services, and that materials from closed libraries are still available.

Violations of Presidential Records Act Reviewed

kmccook writes "The Oversight and Government Reform Committee has been investigating whether White House officials violated the Presidential Records Act by using e-mail accounts maintained by the Republican National Committee and the Bush Cheney '04 campaign for official White House communications. This interim staff report provides a summary of the evidence the Committee has received to date, along with recommendations for next steps in the investigation.
Here is the Interim Report on Possible Violations of the Presidential Records Act.

  • The RNC has preserved 140,216 e-mails sent or received by Karl Rove. Over half of these e-mails (75,374) were sent to or received from individuals using official “.gov†e-mail accounts.



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