Obama to Congress: Screw You, "Fast and Furious" is My Special Secret

From CNN:

An extraordinary House committee hearing began considering a contempt measure against Attorney General Eric Holder on Wednesday even though President Barack Obama asserted executive privilege over documents sought by the panel investigating the botched Fast and Furious gun-running sting....

The White House move means the Department of Justice can withhold the documents from the House Oversight Committee, which was scheduled to consider a contempt measure Wednesday against Holder.

In a letter to Obama seeking the assertion of executive privilege, Holder said the documents involved related to the Justice Department's "response to congressional oversight and related media inquiries," and that release of internal executive branch documents would have "significant, damaging consequences."

Holder also said releasing the documents would "inhibit the candor of executive branch deliberations in the future and significantly impair the ability of the executive branch to respond independently and effectively to congressional oversight."

A separate Justice Department letter to Issa made public minutes before the committee meeting was scheduled to begin Wednesday said Obama "has asserted executive privilege over the relevant post-February 4, 2011, documents."

As the New York Times notes, this is the first time Obama has chosen to assert the vague bullshit claim of "executive privilege" to save his lackeys' necks.

Radley Balko advised Obama here at Reason back in 2008 to swear off executive privilege entirely. Unfortunately, and it's always unfortunate if you don't heed Balko, Obama has given in to temptation.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Is there any doubt that F-n-F was a presidential initiative at this point?

  • John||

    It has to go all the way to Obama. They would have thrown Holder off the raft by now if it didn't. Remember Nixon and Reagan were smart. Obama is stupid. So I am guessing boy genius forgot about that whole plausible deniability thing.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I agree. If he had clean hands, they'd have tossed Holder to the wolves.

  • Brett L||

    Even if he didn't. Congress would have settled for an AG going down and this wouldn't be prosecuted in the news-cycle dead zone between the primaries and the conventions.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I can't come up with a good reason not to have at least gotten Holder to resign, even if it were for "family reasons." Except that Holder could turn and implicate someone important up the chain. Maybe the president, but there's no way to know for sure.

  • BarryD||

    To "spend more time with my family." LOL

    Or, more like, "I'd rather spend more time swimming and fishing, than swimming with the fishes, which was the choice they offered me." But they never say that...

  • juris imprudent||

    Any President in history would've solemnly and regretfully accepted his AG's resignation by this point. Obama is proving he has no concept of what a President is about. The tone deafness and arrogance make Nixon look like Clinton.

  • kinnath||

    Dumber than Carter; Dirtier than Nixon!

  • ant1sthenes||

    I wouldn't say that Carter was stupid, just inept.

  • kinnath||

    Stupid is as stupid does.

  • robc||

    He transferred out of my alma mater because he couldnt hack it. Of course, its not like he went to Valdosta St or something, he transferred to the Naval Academy.

    So, depends where you draw the line of stupid.

  • tarran||

    Many people point to Carter being a Navy nuke as being a sign of his lack of stupidity.

    You don't need smarts to get through nuke school. You need to have a good memory.

  • Drake||

    Engineering is a completely different skill set than Management / Leadership.

  • kinnath||

    Everyone is stupid at something.

  • Drake||

    Ask Herbert Hoover.

  • wingnutx||

    Speaking from a Navy nuke background, you sure as hell don't need any leadership skills to advance in the nuclear field.

  • BarryD||

    If he were not stupid, he would have recognized that he was inept.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Remember when Alberto Gonzales got canned for misleading Congress over whether Karl Rove etc. knew about a US Attorney being fired? Remember the daily drumbeat in the media over that arcane crap?

  • Brutus||

    Did Occupy requisition all the drums?

  • LTC John||

    Yes, and trust me, you don't want them back after they have been in those hands...

  • ant1sthenes||

    Remember that Kevin O'Reilly of the president's NSC was actually shipped out of the country just to have an excuse to keep him away from Congress. And another member of the NSC, Denis (which sounds like a poor handwriting accident waiting to happen) McDonough was allegedly knowledgeable about FF as well.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    The entire GOP case against Holder is that he MAY have lied when he said he didn't remember if he read the email from ATF when they first notified him about the program.

    Yeah, real exciting.

  • John||

    Nothing to see here. That is why they are going to the mattresses on this. As I said, please tell your retarded masters at balloon juice we want a more intelligent troll.

  • CockGobbla||

    Did someone say Balloon-Juice?!!!

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/2.....rivileges/

  • John||

    And there are skrike's daily talking points. I would like a more intelligent troll. But Shrike is probably the best they can do.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Now link me to the appropriate page on wingnut.com for balance.

  • oncogenesis||

    Your screen name reveals your strong desire to be nestled inside Sarah Palin's rectum. And your website link suggest that George Soros is somehow involved.

  • Bee Tagger||

    This comment is a great one (seriously)
    http://www.balloon-juice.com/2.....nt-3363375

  • CockGobbla||

    So, what has been the standard response to Caz's comment?

  • ||

    "Argle bargle blaaaargle!"

  • ||

    Also that Issa should be in jail instead of Holder/Obama.

  • John||

    Issa is a "car thief" because he got rich selling car alarms. My God those people are fucking stupid.

  • ||

    Don't respond to the retard, John. Just don't.

  • o3||

    the right's OCD here is all about obamahate

  • ||

    Right, cause you and assplug wouldn't be jumping all over McCain if he had won and pulled this shit.

    (Here's a fucking hint: WE AREN'T FUCKING REPUBLICANS AND WE WOULD BE UPSET IF MCCAIN HAD WON AND DONE THE SAME THING IDIOT!)

  • o3||

    except that i dont hate me sum mccain would've voted for him until he picked palin for VP. this entire thread, often this entire site, is repleat w obamahate.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    If there's one thing that is obvious from reading Reason, it's that libertarians are all "repleat" with obamahate.

  • o3||

    sorry for the misspelting. but the ODS is noticable

  • VG Zaytsev||

    this entire thread, often this entire site, is repleat w obamahate

    Yeah,

    It's almost like he's president or something.

  • John Thacker||

    Oh, I agree that it seems very unlikely that Obama or even Holder really was involved in the this stupid program. But that only makes the claims of executive privilege dumber. The Oversight Committee is supposed to oversee and second guess. It is how our system works, by channeling political and partisan rivalry.

  • Abdul||

    Allowing weapons to be sold to mexican drug gangs with no strategy to track and/or recover them?

    What's your picture of more exciting?

    Same thing, only with Megan Fox in a bikini?

  • Brutus||

    Kate Upton

  • ||

  • Agammamon||

    Well, if he didn't lie then what is Holder concealing.

    He's got nothing to worry about if he's done nothing wrong.

  • wareagle||

    this administration does nothing wrong. Don't you know that? The media has been telling us that since '08.

  • db||

    Yes, even when they do nothing they get it wrong.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Were you this sanguine when Gonzales was getting canned over the US Attorney "firing scandal".

  • Drake||

    Now the case is that Holder lied when he told Congress that his Executive didn't know anything about the operation - the operation now covered by Executive Privilege.

    If Holder, Obama, and the rest were telling the truth, wouldn't they release the documents?

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Needz moar Haldemanz.

  • ||

    Wow, 3rd comment and you're already going full retard to pretend this is a non-issue. That's pretty fucking impressive for a Demfag.

  • Brutus||

    When my federal government starts selling guns to people, I'm always hoping that they will be aimed at people that A - need some killin' and B - aren't us or our friends.

    So why was Holder running guns to Mexican drug gangs?

  • LTC John||

    I was kind of hoping Uncle Sam would sell me an M-4...or M1911.

  • ||

    Still pissed at Clinton for slagging hundreds of thousands of vintage GI 1911s.

  • Brutus||

    I'd still like to get my hands on a Garand, just for old time's sake.

  • Drake||

    The CMP still has some.

  • fish||

    If you were LTC Juan......no problemo!

  • ||

    got some ARVN rifles, never been fired, only dropped once...

  • Trespassers W||

    Yeah, real exciting.

    Exactly what Barry Goldwater would have said!

    P.S. Also Hayek.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Scooter Libby is doing prison time for the leaking of Valerie Plame's Secret Agent status... by Richard Armitage, who is NOT doing prison time.

    But you're okay with that, eh, shrike?

  • R C Dean||

    By claiming the privilege, the geniuses in the administration just admitted that this wasn't a few lackeys low down on the DOJ totem pole.

    Congress now has a green light to hold high-profile hearings, calling White House functionaries as witnesses, into who knew what, when, about FnF.

    The administration is now in a real bind on this: they can't say there wasn't White House involvement without giving up their claim to executive privilege, and they can't withhold DOJ documents without claiming there was White House involvement.

    The only question is whether a pair of testicles can be located in Congress to pursue this.

  • Brett L||

    The only question is whether a pair of testicles can be located in Congress to pursue this.

    Its not like they're gonna pass a budget instead. And Issa appears to be completely pissed at this point. Never underestimate the power of the wounded Congresscritter ego to spend as much time and (government) money as necessary to torment the wounder of said ego.

  • John||

    It would be nice to see a Congressional ego do some good for once.

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    The ego-for-ego thing is Congress working as designed. The founders knew about (and participated in) this kind of thing all too well. They were COUNTING on it as an important part of the checks-and-balances scheme.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Election year. They may not need testicles, just a throw-away Senator. Like Ron Wolf used to be for the Orlando Magic. He once got 6 fouls in 1 minute and 4 seconds.

  • Tulpa the White||

    I nominate Olympia Snowe.

  • Brutus||

    Wouldn't firing Nerf balls at the outside walls of the DOJ be more effective?

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's time for a healthy constitutional crisis. Mano a mano, Congress versus the president.

  • Agammamon||

    All of them vs the "One" like the Burly Brawl in "The Matrix".

  • Pro Libertate||

    Except in this case that all the real power is with the many, if they would just exercise it.

  • robc||

    Is is wrong or awesome to impeach and convict a president between him losing an election in November and leaving office in January?

    Im okay with 2 weeks of President Biden.

  • Tulpa the White||

    What happens if he wins the election and you impeach and convict him before his second term begins?

  • robc||

    Depends if it occurs before or after the electoral college vote. After the vote: President Biden. Before the vote: Hail Eris!

  • robc||

    Also, I would assume it would be after, because the GOP wont have a majority Senate until January.

    Hence, even if something comes up that is straight-up impeachable, the House wont act on it before November.

  • robc||

    Actually, now that I think about it. If he is removed from office but still wins the EC vote, Biden takes over until Jan 20 and then he is reinstated under the new election. Then immediately is removed again.

  • robc||

    Then immediately is removed again.

    Assuming the GOP had the political will to go thru the process again.

    Which if he won the election they wouldnt do even the first time.

  • wareagle||

    everything goes awry when the sentenced includes GOP and political will.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I find it unlikely that he'd be allowed to take office in that situation. However, he might be able to run again later. There have been people who have been impeached and convicted who later held political office (Hastings comes to mind).

  • Tulpa the White||

    Doesn't the constitution forbid the convicted person from ever holding office again?

  • Pro Libertate||

    I thought so, but Hastings is in Congress. I believe that Congress has the power to ban the impeached official from federal office for life. In Hastings' case, they declined to do that.

    "Judgment in Cases of Impeachments shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust, or Profit under the United States, but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment, and Punishmnet, according to Law."

    --Article I, Section 3.

    That language is permissive, so Congress can apply a ban but doesn't have to.

  • Tulpa the White||

    The right way to do it would be to impeach Biden, stonewall BO's VP nominee in the Senate, then impeach BO. Then Boehner becomes president.

  • ||

    I'm not sure a President Cry-me-a-tan-river is a much better situation.

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    Obama and probably Biden too, like Bush before them, need to be impeached. But when the people have the opportunity to toss them out in a normal election, without the mess and inconvenience of an impeachment, I think we should do so. That's the sensible, frugal thing to do. Assassinating US citizens in foreign countries, and going to war overseas, on Presidential say-so alone seem to be textbook cases of high crimes and misdemeanors. That is, if the Constitution really IS the highest law in the land and the President is violating said law. So the President is impeachable. But the election presents the possibility of a benign, "bloodless coup," and we should take it.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I think removal from office should be commonplace, not a rare event. It's not even remotely like these assholes aren't committing high crimes and misdemeanors on a daily basis.

  • ant1sthenes||

    As a counterpoint, an election doesn't really send much of a message to the next asshole in line about the abuse of power; it's easily interpreted as a partisan rebuke.

    Putting a president in jail or on the chopping block for doing what all presidents do might rein that shit in a little, if we somehow managed to avoid a civil war in the process.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Tar, feathers, humiliations galore.

  • ant1sthenes||

    I sort of want him to win now, just to see him frogmarched out of the White House.

  • Tulpa the White||

    BO claims there's precedent for executive privilege in matters the president has nothing to do with. Some Interior Dept kerfuffle in 1981 under Reagan.

  • Drake||

    Did:
    1. Holder tell a bald-faced lie to Congress when he swore under oath that Obama had no knowledge of FF?

    or,

    2. Is Obama claiming Executive Privilege over documents he has never seen?

    Somebody has broken the law.

  • John||

    The Big BO told his supporters he was working on gun control "under the radar".

  • Drake||

    And outside the law apparently.

  • juris imprudent||

    Progressive: the law should never stand in the way of our good intentions.

  • o3||

    u mean like invading iraq?

  • Drake||

    Remind me how many Democrat Senators voted for it before they were against it.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Neocons are just right-wing progressives.

  • #||

    and as dumb as Iraq was, what law was broken there?

  • ||

    YOUR TEAM! err, MINE? GO TEAMS!

  • ||

    Congress needs to stop being passive about this. They are supposed to be the ones with teeth, not the President. They need to cut him down to size. Infighting between the branches is the entire point of having multiple branches.

  • Pro Libertate||

    If I ever do any time-traveling, I'm visiting Madison and explaining that a few more checks might help.

  • SugarFree||

    I'm rewriting the Constitution so that idiots can understand it. And I'll reproduce as a McDonald's picture menu so even Ezra Klein might be able to figure it out.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Instead of "Constitution," you should call it "USA Today."

  • Brett L||

    If my experience with putting together Ikea furniture for friends is any experience, some people are too stupid for pictographs. But many have redeeming qualities like large breasts or a certain freedom of spirit that makes them want to break in the futon with the guy who helped them put it together. I doubt Ezra Klein does, but I don't like to paint with too broad a brush.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    You put together Jonah Hill's futon?

  • Brett L||

    It was college, and um, I didn't like it that much, so not realllly gay, right?

  • SugarFree||

    "I mean, who can even understand drawing from 200 years ago? They didn't even have Instagram back then! Pens? Ink? What-evaaaaar."

    -Ezra Klein's Last Brave Stand For Intentional Idiocy

  • LTC John||

    - Ezra Klein's Last Brave Stand For Intentional Idiocy

    Is that available for iBooks?

  • SugarFree||

    It's only being put out in 100 character blocks tattooed on the necks of fixie bike owners.

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    We did undo some of the checks and balances, along the way, of course. The 17th Amendment changed the constituency of the Senate from state legislatures to the people at large. The 50 separate arrangements that the various States took to get around the electoral college mechanism and institute a reasonable (but still problematic) approximation to direct election changed the President's constituency (theoretically) from the elite and politically well-connected among the people to the people at large. I don't think very many people have given much thought to the fact that, when you change an office's clientele, you change its focus and priorities.

  • Hugh Akston||

    I thought it was so you'd have more people to invite to your cocktail party. That's what Sally Quinn told me, anyways.

  • ||

    Speaking of which, Hugh, I sent you an invite to my rainbow party and you didn't RSVP. Could you please do that so I can update my guest list?

  • Hugh Akston||

    If you sent it on facebook, that's your problem. I only accept invitations written on your body and sent via sext message.

  • ||

    I sent him an invite to my lemonparty and he was there with bells on!

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I sent him an invite to my lemonparty and he was there with bells on!

    I lol'ed. Big ups to the callipygous one.

  • BakedPenguin||

    release of internal executive branch documents would have "significant, damaging consequences."

    No shit.

  • John||

    I bet they will. I bet they will.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Government operatives might, um, be harmed, as their real identities might be revealed. Harming, um, them.

  • ||

    The thing is, they could still make liberal use of REDACTED, at least for the first release. To do a complete withhold...they must be really fucked.

  • T||

    DOJ redacted the documents they already sent over. The wife's old company got an FOIA request by some transparency group about a government contract. She redacted every word but indefinite articles. The DOJ redactions are about that bad in spots.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Are you saying Obama is Superman?

    Maybe Green Lantern.

  • Pro Libertate||

    More like Aqua Man without aqua powers.

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    Even Aqua Man (using his most underrated Aqua Power) could stand up to the intense pressure of the ocean depths. If they're not careful, this administration will be crushed like an empty soft drink can on Arnold Schwarzenegger's forehead.

  • wareagle||

    he's whichever one talked a lot but never actually did anything. He's like a political Tony Romo...if Romo played for, say, Cleveland, no one would care. Same with Obama who was easy to ignore as a back-bench Senator.

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    Obama: "Superman or Green Lantern ain't got ... nothing on me..."

  • Drake||

    Damaging - Presidency destroying I would guess. No other explanation for something this stupid 5 months before an election.

  • Brett L||

    But there's nothing possibly Presidency destroying unless they were actively plotting to use Mexican gang hit-squads to overthrow the elected Mexican government. If murderous levels of ineptitude were impeachable, no president after Eisenhower (and probably him, too) would have survived their first term.

  • Drake||

    Conspiracy to commit felonies is rather damaging.

  • BakedPenguin||

    It's like the transparency joke. They're saying a great deal more than they realize.

  • Brett L||

    What's the rule on Contempt of Congress? Does Congress need a reason besides "Fuck you, that's why" to hold a vote?

  • juris imprudent||

    It really isn't much more than sound and fury. But it plays in the press as high Constitutional drama.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Congress has considerable power at its disposal. If it wants to play hardball, which it never does.

  • Brett L||

    I'd like to see a running gun-battle between DOJ and the office of the Sergeant-at-Arms. Although I doubt career DOJ guys are going to take up arms in defense of the AG.

  • ant1sthenes||

    This whole thing pretty much started because some ATF agents were disgusted with their own leadership. It's not like Congress would have had any idea otherwise.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Capitol Police vs. the Secret Service: This time, it's personal.

  • Brett L||

    "Round me up 5 hookers - no, escorts. We've got a raid on a Secret Service target and I want to minimize casualties."

  • Brett L||

    Also, completely OT: I am eating an awesome Korean rice bowl with beef, a fried egg and kim chee from a local food truck. Granted, the kim chee is "tolerable to Americans" and not authenic, but that just makes it better.

  • SugarFree||

    Tulpa thinks you are committing a crime.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Tulpa thinks you are committing a crime.

    Are you sure? Brett's eating a rice bowl, not a Hebrew National hot dog.

  • SugarFree||

    Tulpa thinks food carts should be illegal. Brett L is supporting a criminal enterprise. And he is being unmutual for not going to a proper immobile restaurant.

  • Brett L||

    Funny how the guys who have to work extra hard to be successful have better product than the ones with pre-existing advantages.

  • SugarFree||

    Niche markets are bad. If it doesn't have mass appeal and huge start-up costs, there must be something wrong with it.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Niche markets are bad. If it doesn't have mass appeal and huge start-up costs, there must be something wrong with it.

    You mean like artisanal mayonnaise?

    *ducks*

  • SugarFree||

    Unlike sloopy, I have no problem with artisanal mayo. I never prevent them from selling it or anyone from grossly overpaying for it.

  • Bobarian||

    Its existence also makes it easier to identify who the douche-nozzles are.

  • ||

    You mean, "like artisanal The Devil's Own Condiment?"

    Call mayo by its rightful name, dammit.

  • ||

    Tulpa thinks food carts should be illegal.

    Always fun to misrepresent.

    Tulpa (and I) think that the state has a legitimate regulatory role over food trucks, or more specifically the public property which food trucks utilize, including banning them if the local political body sees fit to do so.

    But this is not a position advocate that they should be illegal.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Thanks for having my back.

    You can have my front too if you want.

  • Tulpa the White||

    And that's not mere misrepresentation, it's flat out lying. The bread and butter of the AoG.

  • robc||

    public property

    Privately owned parking lots are public property now?

  • robc||

    And why should a food truck not be able to use a public parking space just like any other vehicle?

  • Tulpa the White||

    And why should a food truck not be able to use a public parking space just like any other vehicle?

    Make that argument to the entity entrusted with management of the parking space.

  • robc||

    Make that argument to the entity entrusted with management of the parking space.

    Thats the point...the city shouldnt be specifically restricting use of the space. If they want to time limit it with a meter or whatever, okay, maybe (although those are primarily for making money, not for limiting parking), but if the truck feeds the meter, why cant they fucking sell out of it?

  • SugarFree||

    Yup, robc. The city owns fucking everything and you operate only by their sufferance. That's what freedom is, after all.

  • Tulpa the White||

    I've always said they should be able to park on private property (with permission of the owner of course) if they want. That's also never been at issue; the sob stories Reason covers ALL involve setting up shop in a street parking space.

  • robc||

    the sob stories Reason covers ALL involve setting up shop in a street parking space

    Louisville food trucks are fighting restrictions on private spaces too. So fuck you, now you cant say ALL anymore, reason has covered it.

  • robc||

    That's also never been at issue

    The NEW food truck regulations pasted last October in Louisville that are supposed to be food truck friendly:

    -No locations within 200 ft of residential zoning

    -No locations within 150 ft of a BM serving similar menu items

    Fuck yes its an issue.

    They did improve some things, trucks now only need one license, not one per location like before, which was insane.

    So a burger food truck cant set up within 150 ft of a McDonalds but a Burger King can open next door. WTF?

  • R C Dean||

    That's also never been at issue; the sob stories Reason covers ALL involve setting up shop in a street parking space.

    I know that's wrong, because the food truck regs routinely ban operating within a certain distance of restaurants, or redline entire neighborhoods.

  • SugarFree||

    And I think that food trucks could be regulated without resorting to banning them or de facto banning. And that public spaces are far to numerous to be onerously regulated. And that rarely are decisions to ban food trucks are made by The Public, but rather the little shitbirds on the city council who are beholden to brick-and-mortar corruption.

    Let the market take care of it. If people don't want food trucks, they will go out of business.

  • Tulpa the White||

    And that public spaces are far to numerous to be onerously regulated.

    LOL. Maybe in Louisville.

    Pittsburgh is decaying like crazy and you still can't find a space during the day.

  • SugarFree||

    It's not the food truck's fault that Pittsburgh is a shithole.

  • robc||

    SF is in Lexington.

    Dont confuse them.

    Where the trucks in Louisville want to congregate isnt a problem with spaces. And many of those are private spaces with owners permission. And the city still wont let them do it regularly.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Louisville, Evansville, Lexington, Covington, whatever.

  • robc||

    Three of those are nice. One has a fucked up road system with lights on a loop road.

  • SugarFree||

    Lexington is having the same fight, robc. They allowed them, after years of fighting for it, onto private property. Now they are trying to reverse that decision.

    And I don't mean the problem is public parking spaces, I'm talking about all the space in the city that is held as public space. If they want to take up that much real estate and hold in my trust, why are two or three business owners making the decisions on its use?

  • Tulpa the White||

    And I think that food trucks could be regulated without resorting to banning them or de facto banning.

    Me too. I think the wisest policy is to charge them licensing fees to function similarly to the rent the brick/mortar guys have to pay. Then everybody's happy and the city gets some money in the coffers.

    But, that's the city's decision.

  • robc||

    But, that's the city's decision.

    No, no it isnt. Rights are not left up to the discretion of the state.

  • ||

    Rights are not left up to the discretion of the state.

    They are when they're public spaces.

    I have no idea what the justification is for regulating food trucks on private land. I'm certainly not going to defend such regulations...beyond stating that it's understandable that they be generally in line with existing usage regulations (i.e. private land or no, food trucks would likely need to operate in retail/commercial zoned space).

    And yes, I hate zoning. Just pointing out that regulatory consistency is good from a "respect of the law" standpoint.

  • robc||

    I have no idea what the justification is for regulating food trucks on private land.

    Fuck you! Thats why.

    Other regulations Louisville added:

    - No food trucks within 25 ft of another (preventing the food truckus ruckus that was going on once a month - actually still is, I think the city agreed not to enforce that clause).

    - must serve from truck. This shut down one vendor whose pizza oven filled the entire truck. They set up on private property and had a canopy that extended off the truck with a table underneath that they served from.

  • robc||

    Another:

    Mobile Food Units (Food Trucks) may not remain at one location longer than 14 consecutive days. After 14 days the unit must move and cannot return to the same location for 30 days.

    Even on private property!

  • robc||

    think the wisest policy is to charge them licensing fees to function similarly to the rent the brick/mortar guys have to pay.

    What the fuck? $5+k per month for a license? Charge them the same license fee as the b/m guys, sure. But charging a license fee similar to the rent? That is fucking insane.

    Let the BMs; find a cheaper location, like the truck guys did.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Well it wouldn't be equal to the rent. But it would have to be big.

    find a cheaper location, like the truck guys did.

    Yeah, a tax-subsidized location. That location wouldn't be available if it weren't for the taxpayers paying for the road.

  • SugarFree||

    The maximum amount a money that the city of Lexington can make from a continuously occupied parking space is $12. If the food truck license was $13, the city would make more money.

    So it's not about the money. It's about the control and special interest corruption.

  • robc||

    PRIVATE LAND IS NOT TAX SUBSIDIZED!

  • robc||

    That location wouldn't be available if it weren't for the taxpayers paying for the road.

    And we would all need off road vehicles to get to the brick and mortar restaurant without the roads too.

  • R C Dean||

    That location wouldn't be available if it weren't for the taxpayers paying for the road.

    Uhh, the location of brick and mortar restaurants wouldn't be available if it weren't for the roads around them, either.

  • ||

    You mean the food truck owners and operators aren't paying taxes?

    Cause if they aren't then you have a point. If they are, then you're bald ass wrong.

  • Brett L||

    Speaking of regulation, I saw a Health Inspector (in a sit-down restaurant) this morning going all over the cook's prep area touching food both prepared and in the cooler with no gloves. Soo, yeah. That made me feel better when all the cooks and prep guys are wearing gloves and changing them regularly, and this guy is just picking shit up with his bare hands. I also saw him stick a temperature probe in a thing of grits, wipe it with a paper towel, then stick it in something else. I'm doubting he cleans that thing even between inspections. Ugh.

  • jester||

    The funny thing is that food trucks or roulottes are de jure in a place called French Polynesia which is lorded over by ze French. They actually make French Polynesia visitable for the less than super wealthy and the food is awesome.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Is there someone else named Tulpa?

    I just got some satay chicken from a Thai truck.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    If you were slandered Tulps, I apologize. I did indeed have satay, somtom, grilled Thai chicken and sticky rice in mind when I wrote my last comment.

  • Tulpa the White||

    The palo pork is good. Though it reminds me of a Chicago suburb I'd rather not remember.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    For moo palo, you go khai yeow maa (Horse Piss [Pickled] Eggs)or not at all.

    Jus' sayin'

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Tulpa thinks food carts should be illegal.

    Anyone who has traveled through Asia and has sampled the delectable culinary delights available from Asian street food vendors knows how evil Tulpa's argument is.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Tulpa thinks food carts should be illegal.


    But only those parked perpendicular to traffic.

  • Tulpa the White||

    That thread's incident didn't involve a parking space, it occurred in the middle of an expressway. Where, you know, parking is not a good thing.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    If there's one thing that is obvious from reading Reason, it's that libertarians are all about parking perpendicular to traffic.

  • ||

    Don't bait the troll, Shuggityshug.

  • ||

    DC is lousy with Korean food trucks. Seems like every single day there is a different bibimbap truck out there by my office. And kabobs and Cuban sammiches.

    I'm still waiting on the hipster frozen custard guy to show up. Seems he spends more of his time babying his vintage truck than selling frozen custard.

  • Brett L||

    I'm still waiting for a sloopy-esque rant on hipster frozen custard.

  • ||

    Yeah, I'm waiting, too, but the fucker doesn't ever seem to actually sell any damn custard. His Twitter feed is chock full o' nothing, while the other food trucks tweet their locations daily.

    How the fuck does he make money if he doesn't actually sell anything?

  • ||

    Probably family money subsidizing that operation. Sigh. It would have been nice to have been born wealthy.

  • LTC John||

    I can only hope it is as classic as the mayo one!

  • 2Soon||

    Time to frog-march Eric Holder off to pound-me-in-the-ass federal prison and introduce him to his new cellmate/husband Bubba.

    Or is contempt of congress just a symbolic thing?

  • Lord Humungus||

    Somewhere I hear MNG constructing a giant straw man.

  • SIV||

    In retard Hell maybe. MNG is dead to us.

  • Lord Humungus||

    okay, the ghost of...

  • juris imprudent||

    In retard Hell maybe.

    For a DU type that would be Free Republic - and vice versa.

  • Matrix||

    You should read the CNN comments on this. Most of them support the president and are calling for the heads of Republican congressmen for daring to question this administration. Had this been Bush, the same people would be calling for his execution.

  • Lord Humungus||

    They have their Titanic and are going down with the ship! Or something like that. Of course CNN isn't exactly a hotbed of bipartisanship.

  • BakedPenguin||

    At least most Republicans had the grace to be ashamed of Nixon.

    Are the partisan naturally stupid, or does being partisan make you stupid?

  • Chupacabra||

    Yes.

  • juris imprudent||

    Are the partisan naturally stupid, or does being partisan make you stupid?

    It's a natural enhancement.

  • Romulus Augustus||

    Yeah, where's the Democratic equivalent of Goldwater marching into Nixon's office and telling him his time is up?

  • o3||

    evidently dems arent very good at breaking and entering.

  • Sevo||

    o3|6.20.12 @ 2:12PM|#
    "evidently dems arent very good at breaking and entering."

    They're as good as you are at spinning.

  • kinnath||

    I really wish the guy that did all of Paul's campaign ads would turn his attention to Barak.

  • ant1sthenes||

    It's worth pointing out that just because the executive claims privilege doesn't mean that the courts give a shit. Clinton and Nixon both tried that shit to cover their asses, and while the courts upheld the general principle of executive privilege, they didn't find that it outweighed the public interest in investigating executive wrongdoing.

  • kinnath||

    Nixon eventually coughed up the tapes.

  • ant1sthenes||

    If he thought EP would have protected them, I doubt he would have done so.

  • kinnath||

    He claimed executive priviledge and lost.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Ok... that's what I was saying in the first place. The courts didn't reject the whole concept of executive privilege, but they preventing him from invoking it in that case. In other words, this isn't over, it's only beginning -- the courts might well reject the president's claim of executive privilege.

  • kinnath||

    My comment was specific; yours was generic. I wasn't contradicting you.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Understood.

  • R C Dean||

    Hug it out, fellas.

  • kinnath||

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.....s_v._Nixon

    United States v. Nixon, 418 U.S. 683 (1974), was a landmark United States Supreme Court decision. It was a unanimous 8-0 ruling falling against President Richard Nixon and was important to the late stages of the Watergate scandal. It is considered a crucial precedent limiting the power of any U.S. president.

    Chief Justice Warren E. Burger wrote the opinion for a unanimous court, joined by Justices William O. Douglas, William J. Brennan, Potter Stewart, Byron White, Thurgood Marshall, Harry Blackmun and Lewis F. Powell.

    Associate Justice William Rehnquist, a Nixon appointee, recused himself as he had a prior association with the Nixon administration.

  • Sevo||

    kinnath|6.20.12 @ 1:26PM|#
    "Nixon eventually coughed up the tapes."

    And resigned.

  • Tulpa the White||

    3.5 years from Hope And Change to "the old boss did it too!"

  • Bobarian||

    It took a lot less than 3.5 yrs for that to happen.

  • Raston Bot||

    AFT sold guns to runners on the border. Some guns were linked to Mexican civilian deaths and the death of an American border patrol guard. The ATF bureaucrats in charge were either promoted or received lateral moves. No one was fired. Holder withheld requested documents about the program. And now the President has declared those documents off limits by exec priv.

    Have I missed any big points?

  • Hugh Akston||

    You forgot about the good intentions of fighting the scourge of drugs. Why does everyone always forget about the good intentions and only focus on the piles of corpses?

  • Whiterun Guard||

    The president saying that he didn't know anything about it.

  • ||

    Somebody probably should have told Barry that if he wanted to be the head of the executive branch, some people might just get the idea that the buck stops there when it comes to executive branch malfeasance that occurs under his watch.

  • Drake||

    Holder swore under oath that the President never knew about it. Despite knowing nothing about it, Obama knows they can't be released.

  • LTC John||

    This will end up being a comical farce before it all ends ... "What didn't the President know, and when didn't he know it?"

  • R C Dean||

    Its delicious. Which is it, Holder lied under oath, or they have no grounds for claiming executive privilege?

  • wareagle||

    no, to the contrary, you have encapsulated what makes govt good and great: fuck up - move up, fail - get promoted, etc. And some wonder why the public has lost faith with its institutions.

  • LTC John||

    So you did observe Wesley Clark's military career!

  • Chupacabra||

    Yes, you forgot to mention that "Bush did it too!"

    Who knew that Team Blue really approved of everything that Bush did?

  • ant1sthenes||

    There was also a DHS agent named Jaime Zapata who was deliberately targeted by the Zetas in Mexico. He was ambushed and killed with a weapon bought in the U.S. by a straw purchaser known to the ATF (though it was never confirmed whether the gun was sold as part of FF or not). In a strange coincidence, he had earlier investigated and intercepted a weapon shipment containing 50 FF guns.

    The allegation that he may have been killed with an FF weapon is old, but the fact that he had been interfering with FF trafficking is a fairly new revelation.

  • ant1sthenes||

    There's also this story, which also leads another federal agent almost being killed (along with his family). Though the agent in question was involved with the Hell's Angels, there are some very disturbing ties to FF (explored in the article).

  • Sevo||

    If only he had Nixon's IQ....

  • juris imprudent||

    Or Nixon's ethics.

  • ||

    Or Nixon's jowls.

  • Hugh Akston||

    or Nixon's charisma.

  • Drake||

    Luckily, he does have Nixon's coattails.

  • Bobarian||

    If only he had Nixon's propensity to sweat when the pressure was on.

  • LTC John||

    Would he not give up Checkers, er, I mean Bo?

  • ||

    From looking around, the "manufactured issue! talking points!! meme!!!" line of argumentation/dismissal on this is out in full force, I'm not surprised at all to say.

  • Trespassers W||

    It's worth pointing out once in a while that calling something a "talking point" or a "meme" doesn't mean it's false. You know, because most people--and I'm talking like 80-90% minimum--are idiots.

  • ||

    Oh, I frequently do so, but with the kind of people who resort to that as their first and primary argument it's usually administering medicine to the dead.

  • NoTalentAssclown||

    Let's go full-fledged conspiracy and say Obama is claiming executive privilege because there are documents showing that this FnF came directly from the White House knowing that the operation would fail and would demonstrate the need for tighter gun laws...

  • o3||

    ...because sum militaman said so?

  • ant1sthenes||

    Because they actually did use FF trafficking to argue for tighter gun laws? Or is CBS a wingnut source now?

  • Drake||

    Yes and Yes.

  • Xiver||

  • Xiver||

    Life is full of coincidences. This is probably not one of them.

    http://articles.cnn.com/2009-0.....M:POLITICS

  • Sevo||

    o3|6.20.12 @ 2:15PM|#
    "...because sum militaman said so?"

    How do you keep from getting dizzy?

  • Xiver||

    +1

  • ||

    Holy shit. I turned on msnbc and they are going full retard with 'racist' arguments. Yep, its all about race.

  • o3||

    ODS aint necessarily racist as seen by BDS.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Laying the groundwork. Barry was too good for this sinful country; We never fully appreciated him; Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy Reborn; Racism; Big Corporate Money.

    Plug in any answer you like.

  • flye||

    ...The Country is Ungovernable; Koch!; Religious Zealots.

    Basically the take will be, "This is why we can't have nice things."

  • John||

    And the gun lobby. It was the gun lobby that forced DOJ to do this.

  • LTC John||

    It was the NRA, the Freemasons and the VRWC!!!!11!!

  • John||

    The Washington Post liberals seem to think this is just the Republicans being a bunch of big meanies cause they are still mad about the Dems going after Alberto Gonzalez.

  • Sevo||

    The repubs tried that along about 1972. It worked for a while.

  • Adam.||

    "significant, damaging consequences" [to our political careers].

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    Time for the Kos Kiddies and the MSNBC crowd to do a furious backpedal on executive privilege. A few years back it was Original Sin; now it's Holy Writ.

    I hope they warm up first. They could pull a muscle with a sudden jerky backpedal.

  • R C Dean||

    For funzies, check out the Nixon-Obama morph picture with this article:

    http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2012.....lege-move/

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    An awesome Team Red commercial:

    1) show Obama talking about bitter rednecks clinging to their guns bibles.

    fade to:

    2) show obama talking about he was seeking to work around the 2nd amendment "under the radar"

    fade to:

    3) nice picture of dead guy with text on screen to explain who he is and how he died

    fade to:

    4) picture of crying wife, more text explaining about the stone walling

    abrupt clangy change to:

    5) Had Enough?

  • Tulpa the White||

    show Obama talking about bitter rednecks clinging to their guns bibles.

    Unfortunately there isn't any video of that. It was transcribed by multiple people at an SF fundraiser.

  • Rubber Nipple Salesman||

    Lets get it right...it was "bitter clingers" and it's our badge of honor!

  • Brutus||

    Easy enough, put it on the screen in text.

  • ||

    See where Sheriff Joe should really be. As the President and Russell Pierce as his VP. Check out what Joe would look like seated at the Oval desk. Stand up for Brian Terry who was killed on the border by Obama’s Fast and Furious guns. The Koch brothers paid me a million to do this song. They put me in the 1 percent, God Bless them.

    Search for song “Arizona we’re proud of you” on youtube

    A few Verses.

    Even though Fast and Furious Holder hasn’t read it
    If you’re an American , not jihadi or hamas he’ll discredit it

    The Chief Organizer may not think a hard worker like Robert Krentz a winner
    A month after he died he had a good laugh at the correspondence dinner
    He wants illegals to be able to vote some day
    If they kill American heros like Brian Terry
    I guess that’s OK

    Semper Fi Brian it’s a shame you had to fight with bean bags
    Against Obama’s Fast and Furiuos bullets

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement