Full Attack on Environmental Regulation

Media reports are numerous and some go into some depth, so rather than attempt to summarize or provide much detail about what the latest executive order entails, I’ll simply state it guts environmental regulation.

At some point in the future, this administration is going to be rightfully chastised for its role in debasing the global environment. For now, we have to live with the ignorance, greed, and corruption associated with it.

Official Title: Presidential Executive Order on Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth

Executive Order posted March 28, 2017.

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New Office of Innovation

I find the executive order creating a new Office of American Innovation to be a smoke screen allowing for access to the president by his cronies through a new official channel. Ironically, the promise to reduce the size of government is ignored by adding yet another office to the already bloated bureaucracy with this action.

The first thing to understand is this new office is cover for giving his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, full access to the power of the presidency. The title “Senior Advisor to the President” skirts the laws requiring cabinet officers and other key positions to be reviewed by the Senate via the “advise and consent” provision. Nepotism is now fully operational with no apparent will by the Republican party to even raise an eyebrow.

I do not expect anything of significance to be available for the public to see, review, or comment on as a result of the work of this office. If anything, it will only produce closely held ideas on how to dismantle the government or seriously damage its effectiveness, that we will only see or become aware of after the fact. Talk about a shadow government – this creates a shadow presidency.

This looks a lot to me like POTUS 45 does not like or want the actual job of the president and is seeking ways to delegate all the “hard stuff” so he only has to do the schmoozing and golfing.

Official Title: Presidential Memorandum on The White House Office of American Innovation

Executive Order posted March 27, 2017.

Undoing Employment Regulations

As was promised late last week, POTUS 45 signed another executive order, this time to revoke two orders and a section a third order issued by President Obama. All were related to employment rules.

Conservatives are celebrating this action believing it removes “job killing” regulations. Those who believe safeguards are important are not celebrating. In my opinion, revoking the previous orders will do nothing to save jobs, but will give Federally funded employers more latitude to make life difficult for employees.

For anyone interested in the details, here are the three Obama orders.

Official Title: Presidential Executive Order on the Revocation of Federal Contracting Executive Orders

Executive Order posted March 27,2017.

South Sudan Still A National Emergency

Not surprisingly given the news about South Sudan and the continued atrocities going on there, the presidential declaration by President Obama of April 3, 2014 has been extended again. Two memoranda have been issued – one a notice to be published in the Federal Register and the other a message to Congress – to announce the extension “to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States constituted by the situation in and in relation to South Sudan”.

By law, national emergencies expire one year after being declared unless officially renewed by the president. Thus, the need for this action now. The anniversary of the last extension is coming up April 3, 2017.

It is a sad commentary that the South Sudan remains such an unstable situation, but most of the world powers are simply not willing to be involved in “another war” and therefore intervention beyond aid for victims has not become a high priority.

Regarding the issuing of these two memoranda, I find it at least a little comforting to know that someone in the vast federal bureaucracy is paying enough attention that this important national emergency extension did not get lost in the shuffle. I doubt very much if the White House staff are the ones thinking about South Sudan.

Official Memorandum Titles:

  • Notice Regarding the Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to South Sudan
  • Message to the Congress Regarding the Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to South Sudan

Both Memoranda posted March 23, 2017.

Delegation Memorandum Follow-up

So far, I have not seen or heard anything in the news about the delegation memorandum. After giving a little more thought to it myself and wondering if the timing of its issuance – immediately after the return of the Secretary of State from Korea & China – might be more than a coincidence, I decided to do more digging.

First I tried to find equivalent delegations by President Obama and found some similar ones on other issues, but none with regard to nuclear proliferation.

Then I decided to look again at the section of the law referred to in the memorandum. This time I found on a different government website, the full text of the law and apparently I did not find the correct part yesterday. I think what I saw and quoted was just the title for that section. Today I found the full text of that section. While it does refer to nuclear proliferation, the full text is just a requirement for the president to produce a report on the updated plan by 90 days after the law was enacted.

I think now it is just a routine delegation to the Secretary of State what is required of the president – to produce that update report. I still find it interesting that it delegates to State what I might have thought would be Defense, but other than that, I can find no other sinister goings on here.

Delegation of Presidential Authority

This evening on a whim I decided to check to see if any new presidential actions were taken today and I was a little surprised to find a new memorandum. It is so brief, I am going to quote it in its entirety here.

MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF STATE

SUBJECT:         Delegation of Authority Under the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 301 of title 3, United States Code, I hereby order as follows:

I hereby delegate to the Secretary of State the functions and authorities vested in the President by section 3132 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 (Public Law 114-328) (the “Act”).

Any reference in this memorandum to the Act shall be deemed to be a reference to any future Act that is the same or substantially the same as such provision.

You are authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.

DONALD J. TRUMP

After looking up section 3132 of the National Defense Authorization Act, I found it refers to nuclear proliferation, quoted below.

Sec. 3132. Updated plan for verification and monitoring of proliferation of nuclear weapons and fissile material.

I don’t know what to make of this action. It appears to be a routine delegation of the monitoring process to the Secretary of State. If so, why not the Secretary of Defense?

I am hoping tomorrow there will be media coverage of this memorandum and maybe some sort of explanation of it to see if my reading is accurate.

Official Memorandum Title: Presidential Memorandum on the Delegation of Authority Under the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017

Posted March 20,2017.