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‘You don’t have a right to know’ What’s Happening in Government

‘You don’t have a right to know’ What’s Happening in Government

So why does government feel it has the right to know everything we’re doing?

When I first read this report by Sean Higgins of the Washington Examiner, I couldn’t help but notice that Eleanor Holmes Norton represents the District of Columbia:

Eleanor Holmes Norton says ‘you don’t have a right to know’ what’s going on in government

Eleanor Holmes Norton, the non-voting congressional delegate for the District of Columbia, angrily sputtered during a congressional hearing Friday that the White House should not be held up to scrutiny, saying that there was no right to know what it was doing behind closed doors.

“You don’t have a right to know everything in a separation-of-powers government, my friend. That is the difference between a parliamentary government and a separation-of-powers government,” Norton said during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing.

It was, to put mildly, a significant departure from the more traditional liberal stance that openness and transparency are must to prevent abuses of power by government officials. Instead the leading advocate for statehood for the District of Columbia literally argued that even the congressional committee charged with oversight shouldn’t be asking questions in the first place.

Here’s the video. Hat tip to Soopermexican of The Right Scoop.

What a telling moment. Under Bush, liberals claimed dissent was the highest form of patriotism.

In the age of Obama their message is loud and clear: Stop asking questions.


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This lady has no clue what separation of powers is all about. And naturally, she doesn’t understand parliamentary government either.
And yet, there she is holding office.

    pfg in reply to Exiliado. | July 27, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    A true reflection of her “constituents.”

    Do you think even for a nanosecond that any of her “constituents” has ever given a thought to the idea that a constitution was written to limit the government?

    walls in reply to Exiliado. | July 29, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    She’s probably as dumb as some of her friends in the CBC … the guy who talked about Guam tipping over, Lee talking about the manned landing on Mars, etc. Birds of a feather, you know.

TrooperJohnSmith | July 27, 2014 at 11:00 am

She’s typical of the Left. They’re like reflecting ponds: a hundred yards long, three inches deep and stagnant.

I think someone needs to donate a couple of wigs to that poor lady. Maybe Maxine Waters or Sheila Jackson Lee could share.

inspectorudy | July 27, 2014 at 11:13 am

I hate to say it but it is color my friend. That’s all it is. If obama was white she would not have mentioned this issue. When 98% of ANY group vote en masse for a candidate it is much more than ideology. Blacks have circled the wagons for this president and I truly believe they would allow him to become a total dictator if given the option. I am sorry that I feel this way but after many many hours of reading and watching the responses of black politicians and activists I have come to this conclusion. It is very similar to the OJ trial where jury nullification took place and we all knew that justice had been sacrificed for racial payback. The prosecution could have had a video of OJ killing those two people and it would not have mattered.

    Radegunda in reply to inspectorudy. | July 27, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    To a great extent this is true, but the same overwhelming, lockstep, unquestioning support doesn’t apply to black conservatives in politics. It’s weird how race is such a controlling factor in some cases but inconsequential in others. If you criticize a black Democrat, it can only be a result of racism and it must be stopped; if you criticize a black conservative, he or she is not authentically black anyway, so go ahead and pile on.

    Most CBC members have been elected from majority/minority gerrymandered districts. This is nothing less than affirmative action applied to elections.

    walls in reply to inspectorudy. | July 29, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    It certainly calls for re-examining the theories of the late Professor Shockley of Stanford, one of the three inventors of the transistor at Bell Labs.

That isn’t what she said, and what she did say is at least partially correct.

It has always been true that some functions of each of the branches of government were held to be unique to those branches, and could not be invaded by the other branches except on the most extreme showing of a “need to know”.

The Supremes do no permit Congress or the Executive to drill them for information on their deliberations.

Congress would rightly refuse a demand by the President to know how their inquiry into an ethics violation is being conducted, and an individual Congressman would refuse many kinds of inquiry into his/her position on issues.

There are areas of the Executive’s activity that are generally off-limits to the other branches, and rightly so.

    Radegunda in reply to Ragspierre. | July 27, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    This seems factually correct as far as it goes. But the point of the piece is that Democrats’ understanding of transparency obligations change quite a bit from a Republican to a Democrat presidency. In the extract above, the point is asserted rather than demonstrated, but it’s quite plausible from what I recall of how Democrats treated Bush.

      Radegunda in reply to Radegunda. | July 27, 2014 at 12:13 pm

      I suspect that Norton is much more concerned about protecting a black Democrat president than she is about upholding the constitutional separation of powers. If she cared about the latter, she’d be outraged at Obama’s usurping of legislative power. As it stands, I haven’t seen any Democrat express concern about that, unless you count Jonathan Turley.

        Ragspierre in reply to Radegunda. | July 27, 2014 at 12:41 pm

        Dude! You are asking for CONSISTENCY from a Collectivist…?!?!?!

        They don’t DO that. But the point here is that…

        1. she did not say what was quoted, and

        2. she did not MEAN what was stated in EITHER piece we have.

        Whatever ELSE is true about this Collectivist, she was making a facially TRUE comment, and she would have made it in defense of ANY color of Deemocrat President.

        We NEVER need to stoop to misquoting people or intentionally misconstruing what they say.


      Ragspierre in reply to Radegunda. | July 27, 2014 at 12:28 pm

      “Democrats’ understanding of transparency obligations change quite a bit from a Republican to a Democrat presidency.”

      With which I would agree, with the caveat that SOME of us exhibit the same propensity.

      But THAT was NOT what Aleister said. First, he misquoted Norton. Second, he misstated what she actually DID say. So did Higgins in the root piece.

      As to SOME of us playing the race card here, that is just intellectually lazy. Norton would raise the same points in defense of Clinton (either) or Gore. Her ideology is FAR superior to her racial allegiance, as anyone knows who has ever seen her attack a conservative person of color.

I thought government was something we did voluntarily. At least that’s what some wag from the administration said is the case.

Well, I don’t choose to voluntarily be part of a government that does things in secret and then keeps that information from me. It’s not what I signed up for.

    Ragspierre in reply to JohnG. | July 27, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    Please! Don’t be silly.

    Of course you chose…as do we all…to support a government that “does things in secret and then keeps that information” from us!

    If it doesn’t keep it secret from you, it doesn’t keep it secret from our enemies.

    Furthermore, we want our governmentSSSSS to NOT tell us every damn thing, since that kind of information would often be detrimental to individuals and to the public at large. That isn’t even “keeping a secret”. It is just being careful with information.

    Now, where we do agree…without the hyperventilating going on here…is that THIS regime has been historically secretive OFTEN IN VIOLATION OF LAWS to the contrary. See accounts, email.

      mochajava76 in reply to Ragspierre. | July 27, 2014 at 12:35 pm

      Ragspierre; I just want to say I appreciate your ongoing comments on this blog. You sometimes point out inaccuracies or omissions in either the articles or comments that we need to be aware of. You did this in McCain’s response to the freeing of some of the terrorists, and that gave a much fuller picture. So thanks for adding a voice to the conversation.

Since this woman is a government employee, we have the right to know everything she does, who she gets bribes and kickbacks from, where she travels to, etc. Nothing in her life should be private. She works for the taxpayers.

    Ragspierre in reply to berni. | July 27, 2014 at 4:15 pm


    1. elected members of Congress are not “government employees”

    2. have you ever HAD an employee?

    3. for how long after you told them “nothing in your life is private”?

    4. would you work under the conditions you name?

    5. she was not referring to herself

    6. she was not referring to a general “right to know stuff” the public has.

Well, at least she’s consistent. In a left-wing regime, the people serve the ruling minority (e.g. government).

Ignorance and Arrogance are a really bad combination of traits in an individual.

This woman is as ignorant as she looks. Worse, she’s running our government.

Sooner or later, we’ll become enslaved to the likes of this poster-girl for Michelle Obama beauty tips.