Elena's Inbox
June 23, 2010 6:50 PM   Subscribe

The Sunshine Foundation, a non-profit group dedicated to government transparency & accountability, has obtained Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan's emails from her time in the Clinton White House & made them available in a handy web application. Browse, read, search & mark those you find interesting for others to read.
posted by scalefree (26 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
I love this

Did you once tell me that you were having a brunch on Sunday for the staff? Is
that stil on? If so, when and where? Am I using e-mail correctly?

posted by jourman2 at 7:09 PM on June 23, 2010 [4 favorites]


Now, if only they could get some of the millions of missing emails from the Bush/Cheney/Rove White House!
posted by sudogeek at 7:14 PM on June 23, 2010 [11 favorites]


There's a difference between transparency and breach of privacy. Law-making should be transparent, but politicking never should. What value do these archives have besides the thrill we get from reading them?

This is part of a longer argument. I work in the public service and should really log every single conversation I have while on work time, every piece of paper I scribble notes on, and every second I spend away from my desk, because that information is technically the property of the public. Ignoring the transaction costs of such a regime, the principle that everything should be out in the open is counter-productive. Often, better policies come from closed policy development with collective responsibility.

Decisions made by the President of the United States are just that, regardless of what goes on behind the scenes. Without this principle, the whole system falls down.
posted by doublehappy at 7:15 PM on June 23, 2010


There's a lot of boring sausage making here, but the starred by all lists some hilarious stuff.
posted by shii at 7:16 PM on June 23, 2010


And now that my axe is worn down a bit, I really want to know what the Two G-rated Jewish jokes are.
posted by doublehappy at 7:17 PM on June 23, 2010


I really want to know what the Two G-rated Jewish jokes are.

Don't exist. They're all raunchy.
posted by piratebowling at 7:20 PM on June 23, 2010


Quoth the Kagan: this is excellent. too bad it's going to get fucked up in all later stories.

I rather like the prospect of a SCOTUS nominee who freely swears, because it gives me hope that in conference, at least someone is voicing my disgust at activist judges in conservative sheeple's clothing.
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:23 PM on June 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


There's a difference between transparency and breach of privacy. Law-making should be transparent, but politicking never should. What value do these archives have besides the thrill we get from reading them?

If you draw the line between the two, then you will always find cases of people scooting the law-making stuff behind the curtain. You have to look at the thing to know whether it should be known.

In any case, arguments certainly can be made that "politicking" should be public, such as in uncovering the pervasive influence of lobbyists in our government.
posted by JHarris at 7:29 PM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


The line between transparency and privacy is in the eye of the beholder.
posted by finite at 7:39 PM on June 23, 2010


There's a difference between transparency and breach of privacy. Law-making should be transparent, but politicking never should.
Huh? Why? Because you say so?
I work in the public service and should
Oh, because it personally impacts you. OK. Very strong argument. \
I rather like the prospect of a SCOTUS nominee who freely swears,
You don't think Scalia swears? Or Dick Cheney and bush?
posted by delmoi at 7:40 PM on June 23, 2010


Law-making should be transparent, but politicking never should.

Huh‽

better policies come from closed policy development with collective responsibility.

Could you elaborate on why you think this is?
posted by finite at 7:46 PM on June 23, 2010


Aw... the site is down now, saying "Error - 400 You submitted a bad request." (they should really be serving a 5xx status, since it is a server error not a client error)

The emails are still available in bulk from their source, the Clinton Library.
posted by finite at 7:55 PM on June 23, 2010


What's in Store for Elena Kagan? An Imagined Confirmation Hearing</a.
posted by homunculus at 7:58 PM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


What homunculus said. It should be noted that these aren't new, all of the emails were released by the White House last week (and it isn't every Kagan email while she was in he Clinton administration). All Sunshine Foundation has done is package them in a more usable and attractive form, which is a good thing, and a good post too, imho.
posted by Some1 at 9:21 PM on June 23, 2010


Is there somewhere I can get a mousepad?
posted by arnicae at 10:21 PM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


finite: the client isn't you (anymore) - they stuck a varnish reverse proxy cache in front of the site / purely technical comment / yay for foia / boo to bush's coverup
posted by tmcw at 10:46 PM on June 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


This 'sunshine foundation', I wonder if it can help me open a brothel?
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:02 PM on June 23, 2010


This is a great idea as long as it happens for all future SCOTUS nominees (at the very least).
posted by DU at 4:38 AM on June 24, 2010


You don't think Scalia swears? Or Dick Cheney and bush?

Yes. But they swear for the Dark Side.
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:12 AM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I will lay money that one of the two G-rated Jewish jokes is the "funny you should mention it" joke. Perhaps the other one is this?
posted by clavicle at 8:30 AM on June 24, 2010


There's a difference between transparency and breach of privacy. Law-making should be transparent, but politicking never should. What value do these archives have besides the thrill we get from reading them?

If I'm paying for it, I should have access to it. That includes Supreme Court discussions, local arrest records, and everything in between. There is always value in transparency, and "privacy" is what happens when you're not being paid by taxpayers to communicate over a system paid for by taxpayers.
posted by coolguymichael at 12:12 PM on June 24, 2010


I really enjoyed the NYT's discussion of Kagan's "earthy" language*:

Her writing could be earthy, with at least three messages using variations on the two most common swear words.

In one, she responded to a message with a single word, weaving one of them into “unbelievable.” In another, she said her staff should not take on empty tasks. “You should go,” she said, “but don’t volunteer us for the” scutwork — though she substituted an epithet for the first part of that last word.


I've found two fuck messages (one and two) and one shit message, but I can't seem to find the "scutwork" message.

*More on NYT's refusal to use such language
posted by Xalf at 2:14 PM on June 24, 2010


Looks like she is guilty of making quite a few leaks, along with old Treason Joe Libermann.
posted by Sukiari at 3:26 PM on June 24, 2010


Torture memo author attacks Kagan for admiring Israeli judge ‘advancing democracy’
posted by homunculus at 12:08 PM on June 25, 2010


Why Elena Kagan's Looks Matter: When hearings for her Court nomination start tomorrow, senators won’t be asking about her looks but everyone else already has. Professor Deborah Rhode on the continuing bigotry of beauty in American society.
posted by homunculus at 10:26 AM on June 27, 2010


What are the GOPers on Judiciary Committee Thinking?

This is Boykin: US is 'battling Satan' says general
posted by homunculus at 10:33 AM on June 27, 2010


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