Friday, November 07, 2003
No Further Questions, Thanks
I'm in the habit now of buying a newspaper in the morning and reading it while I read to work, and during lunch. It's good because had I not the tangible print in front of me, I don't think I could believe this story:
The director of the White House Office of Administration, Timothy A. Campen, sent an e-mail titled "congressional questions" to majority and minority staff on the House and Senate Appropriations panels. Expressing "the need to add a bit of structure to the Q&A process," he wrote: "Given the increase in the number and types of requests we are beginning to receive from the House and Senate, and in deference to the various committee chairmen and our desire to better coordinate these requests, I am asking that all requests for information and materials be coordinated through the committee chairmen and be put in writing from the committee."

He said this would limit "duplicate requests" and help answer questions "in a timely fashion."

It would also do another thing: prevent Democrats from getting questions answered without the blessing of the GOP committee chairmen.
There has been a lot of bellyachin' from the Democrats lately: mumblings about Valerie Plame, the constant whine over Halliburton, whispering about the absence of WMDs, the babble over Bush's handling of the environment, the spatterings about the military's ban of photographs of flag-draped coffins, the chatter over the Bush's handling of the press... High time we pulled our elected representatives out of that chorus!

UPDATE: Okay, so that was a bit snarky of me—but even the American Enterprise Institute knows this whole gig stinks:
Norman Ornstein, a congressional specialist at the American Enterprise Institute, agreed. "I have not heard of anything like that happening before," he said. "This is obviously an excuse to avoid providing information about some of the things the Democrats are asking for."
Or, at least he recognizes it... I guess it's possible that Ornstein might applaud this turnabout...

And thank the Lord for Dana Milbank, eh? No one does White House press like that guy.

If I'm going to spit my coffee I'd rather it hit the print than my computer screen.