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By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Jim Harper
Despite promising his administration would be "the most open and transparent in history," President Obama has lagged in making government information accessible to the public, and been bested when it comes to public access to data by the House Republicans, according to grades to be released Monday by the libertarian Cato Institute.
If you are an unemployed American, Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas has a job waiting for you. We only need to find and deport the 7 million unauthorized immigrants who are now mowing lawns, scrubbing toilets, frying hamburgers, plucking chickens, slaughtering cattle and picking onions and lettuce across America.
A picture is worth a thousand words, sound bites, talking points.
With President Obama blaming his party's midterm losses, at least in part, on his failure to change the way Washington works, transparency advocates say now is the time for him to follow through on a slew of unfulfilled pledges he made during the 2008 campaign.
Fights over derivatives and bailouts are getting more attention, but Senate Republicans are planning a battle over two federal agencies created by Senate Democrats' financial-regulation bill, warning that the proposed agencies give the government new ways to tap into consumers' personal information.
Despite helping run the government's electronic database designed to weed out illegal-immigrant workers, Social Security failed to run E-Verify checks on its own employees nearly 20 percent of the time.
It seemed among the easiest of his transparency pledges and is entirely under his control, but President Obama is finagling his promise to post bills on the White House Web site for comment for five days before he signs them.
Mr. Harper, though, said the value will come if and when Mr. Obama enforces the rule.
"That's the only interpretation of this promise that delivers solid transparency," he said. "Posting a bill late in the process doesn't give the public a chance to review the final legislation - especially last-minute amendments, which are where a lot of congressional hijinks happen."