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(USA Today)   I'm in ur post office readin ur mailz   (usatoday.com) divider line 115
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1249 clicks; posted to Politics » on 05 Jan 2007 at 7:33 AM (7 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2007-01-05 08:54:30 AM  
apostrophe between it and s
 
2007-01-05 08:56:34 AM  
suck it libs?
 
2007-01-05 09:01:55 AM  
And just because I am feeling generous, skipjack, here's the text of the subsection Bush refers to in the portion of the signing statement this thread concerns.

Funny, though. If you were so worried about original sources, why didn't you link them?
 
2007-01-05 09:02:55 AM  
img156.imageshack.us
 
2007-01-05 09:02:58 AM  
In Russia, mail opens you!
 
2007-01-05 09:10:57 AM  
OK, I give up.

Any legislation wonks out there? The referenced subsections in Bush's statement don't seem to jibe with the version of the legislation in the link above.

Am I reading this wrong? I don't even see the title 39 referred to:

The executive branch shall construe subsection 404(c) of title 39, as enacted by subsection 1010(e) of the Act, which provides for opening of an item of a class of mail otherwise sealed against inspection, in a manner consistent, to the maximum extent permissible, with the need to conduct searches in exigent circumstances, such as to protect human life and safety against hazardous materials, and the need for physical searches specifically authorized by law for foreign intelligence collection.
 
2007-01-05 09:20:49 AM  
Ace Rimmer - That's one funny looking cat.
 
2007-01-05 09:21:29 AM  
Ace Rimmer
Ouch. Id laugh my arse off if it wasnt true
 
2007-01-05 09:23:59 AM  
Ooooooooh....

I get it now.

Get this--It's great.

Title 39, which Bush is amending in his signing statement, is existing US code. This piece of legislation is a modification to that existing code. This legislation, however, is not modifying the existing version of the paragraph Bush is 'clarifying' in this statement.

So he is appending a signing statement to legislation that he didn't even sign now.

Oh. My. God.
 
2007-01-05 09:30:18 AM  
home.new.rr.com

What are these rights the press speaks of? The press is nothing other than lying liberal traitors!

home.new.rr.com

Freedom is the answer to a question you don't have to ask.

home.new.rr.com

Even the bunnies are scared.
 
2007-01-05 09:31:02 AM  
skipjack: Has anyone actually read it yet? I would hate for some of you to actually go to the source....nah...this is fark.

President's Statement on H.R. 6407, the "Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act" (pops)

"The executive branch shall construe subsection 404(c) of title 39, as enacted by subsection 1010(e) of the Act, which provides for opening of an item of a class of mail otherwise sealed against inspection, in a manner consistent, to the maximum extent permissible, with the need to conduct searches in exigent circumstances, such as to protect human life and safety against hazardous materials, and the need for physical searches specifically authorized by law for foreign intelligence collection."

Information on HR 6407, including the full text of the legislation (pops)

The text of the legislation mentioned in the signing statement (subsection 1010e):

(e) AUTHORITY TO FIX RATES AND CLASSES GENERALLY; REQUIREMENT RELATING TO LETTERS SEALED AGAINST INSPECTION- Section 404 of title 39, United States Code (as amended by section 102) is further amended by redesignating subsections (b) and (c) as subsections (d) and (e), respectively, and by inserting after subsection (a) the following:

`(b) Except as otherwise provided, the Governors are authorized to establish reasonable and equitable classes of mail and reasonable and equitable rates of postage and fees for postal services in accordance with the provisions of chapter 36. Postal rates and fees shall be reasonable and equitable and sufficient to enable the Postal Service, under best practices of honest, efficient, and economical management, to maintain and continue the development of postal services of the kind and quality adapted to the needs of the United States.

`(c) The Postal Service shall maintain one or more classes of mail for the transmission of letters sealed against inspection. The rate for each such class shall be uniform throughout the United States, its territories, and possessions. One such class shall provide for the most expeditious handling and transportation afforded mail matter by the Postal Service. No letter of such a class of domestic origin shall be opened except under authority of a search warrant authorized by law, or by an officer or employee of the Postal Service for the sole purpose of determining an address at which the letter can be delivered, or pursuant to the authorization of the addressee.'
 
2007-01-05 09:32:40 AM  
President shortpants has signed for more of these signing statements than all the other presidents combined. This would be bad enough, but at the same time he is being acknowledged as one of the worst ever presidents in American history, if not the worst ever.

One of the lawyers who is preparing all these statements, these affronts to the rule of law and our personal freedom as American citizens, is Harriet Myers, the woman who president numbnuts nominated for the supreme court even though she had no judical experience. We dodged a bullet there.

Where are the American heros who are going to put a stop to all this lying madness? Isn't anyone going to step up and
put a stop to this crap? A bunch of conmen take over the government, pulls all kinds of horseshiat, hiding their illegal activity behind illegal paperwork, and all people do to stop them is to write nasty things about them?

Where the hell is the Supreme Court?
 
2007-01-05 09:34:08 AM  
Um, nothing really new here. most of my mail from overseas has been opened and resealed.
 
2007-01-05 09:41:16 AM  
Skleenar

Funny, though. If you were so worried about original sources, why didn't you link them?


Because i am to lazy.
 
2007-01-05 09:44:12 AM  
Skleenar So he is appending a signing statement to legislation that he didn't even sign now.

Yep... my suspicion is that he is did this as a cover for illegal activity that he has already authorized. And when the investigations come he will claim ignorance of the law because of bad legal advice.
 
2007-01-05 09:44:46 AM  
US Code Title 39, section 404: (pops)

Sec. 404. Specific powers

(a) Without limitation of the generality of its powers, the Postal Service shall have the following specific powers, among others:
(1) to provide for the collection, handling, transportation, delivery, forwarding, returning, and holding of mail, and for the disposition of undeliverable mail;
(2) to prescribe, in accordance with this title, the amount of postage and the manner in which it is to be paid;
(3) to determine the need for post offices, postal and training facilities and equipment, and to provide such offices, facilities, and equipment as it determines are needed;
(4) to provide and sell postage stamps and other stamped paper, cards, and envelopes and to provide such other evidences of payment of postage and fees as may be necessary or desirable;
(5) to provide philatelic services; (huh huh, "philatelic services")
(6) to provide, establish, change, or abolish special nonpostal or similar services;
(7) to investigate postal offenses and civil matters relating to the Postal Service;
(8) to offer and pay rewards for information and services in connection with violation of the postal laws, and, unless a different disposal is expressly prescribed, to pay one-half of all penalties and forfeitures imposed for violations of law affecting the Postal Service, its revenues, or property, to the person informing for the same, and to pay the other one-half into the Postal Service Fund; and
(9) to authorize the issuance of a substitute check for a lost, stolen, or destroyed check of the Postal Service.

I think President Bush's signing statement is a broad interpretation of Sec. 404(a)(1) and the amended 404(c)
 
2007-01-05 09:44:54 AM  
Parthenogenetic: President's Statement on H.R. 6407, the "Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act"

Read my post above. The text of the act you posted has nothing to do with the signing statement.

What Bush is doing here is worse than even I thougt before I read the original texts.

Skipjack: Thanks for the prod--I think I learned something very useful about how slimy this president really is.
 
2007-01-05 09:46:02 AM  
good lord my typing sucking today... I need more coffee
 
2007-01-05 09:48:21 AM  
Parthenogenetic: I think President Bush's signing statement is a broad interpretation of Sec. 404(a)(1) and the amended 404(c)

Funny, though, how that isn't in the text of the legislation he signed--but he felt free to modify it anyway.

What a complete lack of respect for the Constitution of the United States.
 
2007-01-05 09:50:49 AM  
Parthenogenetic (5) to provide philatelic services; (huh huh, "philatelic services")

Philatelic: Postage services paid for via stamps.
 
2007-01-05 09:58:20 AM  
I came in here for the promised pictures of cats...

/disappointed
 
2007-01-05 09:58:56 AM  
Skipjack:

Okay, come clean--did you know that this is what we would find if we just looked? Were you holding out on us?
 
2007-01-05 10:01:21 AM  
Well, this doesn't involve rich people paying more taxes, so I hereby declare- through the power vested in me by my own self-proclaimed Libertarian status- that there's nothing to see here.

Now, I'm off to do battle with the real threat to our freedom: Minimum wage and universal health care!

Wish me luck, friends. I might not make it back.
 
2007-01-05 10:02:49 AM  
I submitted this story with the exact same headline yesterday, but I didn't mizpelll evythang, so I guess that was the key to getting greenlit.

/bitter submitter
 
2007-01-05 10:09:23 AM  
Skleenar: Read my post above. The text of the act you posted has nothing to do with the signing statement.

I know. I'm trying to figure out how one gets from the actual legislation to the assertion that the gummint is going to read our mail without a warrant.

The signing statement never actually states that Dubya's going to authorize that sort of action, although that is what is implied.

HR 6407 states: "The Postal Service shall maintain one or more classes of mail for the transmission of letters sealed against inspection... One such class shall provide for the most expeditious handling and transportation afforded mail matter by the Postal Service. No letter of such a class of domestic origin shall be opened except under authority of a search warrant authorized by law, or by an officer or employee of the Postal Service for the sole purpose of determining an address at which the letter can be delivered, or pursuant to the authorization of the addressee."

So if I were a Lawful Evil D&D rules lawyer, I would declare that under this law there is one class of mail "for the transmission of letters sealed against inspection" which cannot be opened "except under authority of a search warrant authorized by law, or by an officer or employee of the Postal Service for the sole purpose of determining an address at which the letter can be delivered, or pursuant to the authorization of the addressee."

Usage of this one class of mail is restricted. (The specific restrictions don't particularly matter... the postage stamp might cost $1000, or this type of mail is restricted to a specific class of users, etc.)

Every other piece of mail does not belong to this one class, and therefore is not subject to the privacy restrictions delineated in the legislation.

Note that I'm not justifying or defending this policy. I'm just trying to understand the logic of the signing statement, since my first impression (like yours) is that the essence of the statement seems to have little or nothing to do with the text of the actual legislation to which it refers. And yes, I am aware of the enumerated powers aspect of this issue.

Another interesting tidbit, did you know that the US Postal Service is "an independent establishment of the executive branch of the Government of the United States"? (link pops, to USC Title 39)

/not an attorney
//maybe a D&D rules lawyer
 
2007-01-05 10:12:30 AM  
Code_Archeologist: Philatelic: Postage services paid for via stamps.

I know. I was making a bad pun. Should have spelled it "fellatelic".
 
2007-01-05 10:17:35 AM  
Scrotar: That's one funny looking cat.

I've been saying that for seven years now daddy-o
 
2007-01-05 10:21:46 AM  
img201.imageshack.us

It was going to happen eventually...
 
2007-01-05 10:31:45 AM  
Code_Archeologist: And when the investigations come he will claim ignorance of the law because of bad legal advice.

That may work politically, but the courts won't buy it. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse. Not for me, not for you, not for the president.

See, the president has the option to appoint a competent Attorney General to make sure the activities of the executive are legal. The fact that Bush hasn't taken advantage of this opportunity is his fault.
 
2007-01-05 10:32:11 AM  
Parthenogenetic
HR 6407 states: "The Postal Service shall maintain one or more classes of mail ...

That section certainly seems to describe first-class mail.

Additionally I would add that a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy regarding the contents of their mail-much like a person would have inside those old phone booths with the closing door. Any Joe Blow can see the To/From on the outside but you gotta open it to read it.

/not a lawyer
//6 more credits and one bar exam to go
 
2007-01-05 10:37:44 AM  
Parthenogenetic: It was going to happen eventually...

That is Godwin's law, after all.
 
2007-01-05 10:41:07 AM  
Parthenogenetic
It was going to happen eventually...

Meh. I have better.
68.97.54.115:8080
 
2007-01-05 10:41:35 AM  
Wif mad Westlaw skillz:

First-class mail such as letters and sealed packages subject to letter postage, as distinguished from newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, and other printed matter, is free from inspection by postal authorities, except in manner provided by U.S.C.A.Const. Amend. 4.

Supreme Court:U. S. v. Van Leeuwen, 90 S.Ct. 1029,
 
2007-01-05 10:44:17 AM  
HowlingFrog: Brian Walsh, a lawyer at the conservative Heritage Foundation, said the authority likely would only be used in extreme cases, such as if police learned a bomb or an envelope containing anthrax or another biohazard was in the mail.

That's BS. There is already an exception to the law that allows the government to open your mail in such exigent circumstances.
 
2007-01-05 10:48:50 AM  
Interesting article in the Washington Post today. One of their "unanimous sources" said that Harriet Miers (sp?) was dumped because the White House has realized it needs to seriously lawyer-up.
 
2007-01-05 10:52:26 AM  
I personally can't wait till Hillary gets to use these signing statements. Oh, the fun we'll have.


\Pulls pin..
\\runs.
 
2007-01-05 10:53:21 AM  
Mi-5-
I'm just imagining the scenario Walsh seems to be saying existed before the signing statement

A: I think someone set us up the bomb in this letter- we need to open it right away
B: But we can't! We have no authority and must deliver it no matter the cost!

I love how these guys seem to always be forgetting the exigent circumstances exceptions to #4 that one could drive a Mac truck through...
 
2007-01-05 10:56:52 AM  
johnc98

/not a lawyer
//6 more credits and one bar exam to go


fixed that for you. last i checked, law school is not required anywhere to become a lawyer. am i mistaken?
 
2007-01-05 11:01:31 AM  
pilto- kinda, sorta. In basically every state you need to pass the bar exam to practice law. Except WI if you graduated from law school there...
In all but one or two states you need to have graduated from an ABA-accredited law school to take the test.

/why didn't I stay in Madison for law school?
 
2007-01-05 11:13:42 AM  
Weaver95: So...lemme see if I got this right.

We can be searched without cause, have our phones tapped without warrants, our online activtites monintored without oversight, our mail read without cause and thrown in jail on a whim?

And we agreed to all this so we could beat 'teh terrists'?

Um...yeah. I think I'd rather accept a bit of risk in return for my rights being left intact.


Good job, my man. Good job.
 
2007-01-05 11:26:43 AM  

I'm fairly certain the signing statement is referencing this section of the Act:

`(c) The Postal Service shall maintain one or more classes of mail for the transmission of letters sealed against inspection. The rate for each such class shall be uniform throughout the United States, its territories, and possessions. One such class shall provide for the most expeditious handling and transportation afforded mail matter by the Postal Service. No letter of such a class of domestic origin shall be opened except under authority of a search warrant authorized by law, or by an officer or employee of the Postal Service for the sole purpose of determining an address at which the letter can be delivered, or pursuant to the authorization of the addressee.'.


That's being inserted into a new location in the US code; however it was already there as well, in a different location. Anyway, I don't understand what exactly it means. I've seen a number of places state that this refers to first class mail, but does that mean that all other classes of mail are free to be opened by the government at any time?

Did anyone look at the other parts of the signing statment? I'm particularly fond of:

The executive branch shall also construe as advisory the purported deadline in subsection 605(c) for the making of an appointment, as is consistent with the Appointments Clause.
 
2007-01-05 11:27:50 AM  
I'm late to the party as usual, but NEWSFLASH!!1!: they're already doing this.

I received this envelope from the UK a few months ago that had been rather crudely sliced open and resealed the way you see. As a bonus, they managed to put a big-ass knife gouge on the CD that was inside (thankfully, the label side and not the data side). Made a TF thread about it, got a buncha votes, but wasn't greenlit.

And no, I'm not teh terrerist or drug dealer - I have no idea why they'd be opening my mail.

img443.imageshack.usimg329.imageshack.us
 
2007-01-05 11:28:23 AM  
johnc98: why didn't I stay in Madison for law school?

Because you want the pain and suffering of studying for a bar exam. You know you want the sleepless nights, and the fight to resist the temptation of outside activities.

Good luck, Dude. Congrats on nearly finishing law school.

This "signing statement" is nothing more than a Presidential "Finger" at Congress, the Constitution, the American public, and the Supreme Court. He's basically telling them "you are irrelevant. Your silly little laws mean nothing to me. I can do whatever I want, however I want, and I triple-dog dare any one of ya to challenge me."

And guess what? He accomplished it. He punked them all, and he continues to get away with it.

/I know how it feels (law school, that is)
//studying for a bar exam right now
///It sucks, but hey, it's the rules
 
2007-01-05 11:30:50 AM  
And I'm not the only one.

Note the article was dated almost exactly a year ago.
 
2007-01-05 12:05:53 PM  
This is why he added it to this piece of legislation I believe:

Privacy experts were divided on whether the president was simply asserting his established authority, particularly because the bill authorized a new class of express mail that could not be inspected without a warrant.
 
2007-01-05 12:23:43 PM  
Deadmeat: This is why he added it to this piece of legislation I believe:

Privacy experts were divided on whether the president was simply asserting his established authority, particularly because the bill authorized a new class of express mail that could not be inspected without a warrant.


I don't think that's correct, because the relevant portion of the new bill is something that already exists in the US Code, word for word.

From H.R. 6407, the new Act:

`(c) The Postal Service shall maintain one or more classes of mail for the transmission of letters sealed against inspection. The rate for each such class shall be uniform throughout the United States, its territories, and possessions. One such class shall provide for the most expeditious handling and transportation afforded mail matter by the Postal Service. No letter of such a class of domestic origin shall be opened except under authority of a search warrant authorized by law, or by an officer or employee of the Postal Service for the sole purpose of determining an address at which the letter can be delivered, or pursuant to the authorization of the addressee.'.


From US Code Title 39,3623:

(d) The Postal Service shall maintain one or more classes of mail for the transmission of letters sealed against inspection. The rate for each such class shall be uniform throughout the United States, its territories, and possessions. One such class shall provide for the most expeditious handling and transportation afforded mail matter by the Postal Service. No letter of such a class of domestic origin shall be opened except under authority of a search warrant authorized by law, or by an officer or employee of the Postal Service for the sole purpose of determining an address at which the letter can be delivered, or pursuant to the authorization of the addressee.
 
2007-01-05 12:25:27 PM  
Ah! Yes, the quoted portion above is simply being moved. From another portion of H.R. 6407:

(b) REPEALED SECTIONS- Sections 3623, 3624, 3625, and 3628 of title 39, United States Code, are repealed.
 
2007-01-05 12:29:17 PM  
FTFA: Bush administration and Postal Service officials said citizens' mail remains constitutionally protected from unreasonable search and seizure.

How do you figure that one, slick? Does this administration know what a farking warrant is? Honestly.
 
2007-01-05 01:19:17 PM  
sound it out
 
2007-01-05 01:34:47 PM  
">www.kirstenp.claranet.de


Where's Richard Starkey when we need him?
 
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