Change to Foreign Visitor Processing

Anytime this POTUS signs an order to change a previous president’s executive order, my curiosity is piqued, because so much of the public rhetoric of this administration makes clear the intention is to undo as much as possible what President Obama did.

Even though this executive order is very brief, it becomes quite significant for anyone applying for a visa to simply visit the United States. This has nothing to do with immigration, only foreign visitors.

All the order does is change one subsection of Section 2 of the original executive order and authorizes the executive branch officers to make changes to policies and procedures as a result.

Following is the full text of the sub-section of the January, 2012 executive order being deleted:

(ii) ensure that 80 percent of nonimmigrant visa applicants are interviewed within 3 weeks of receipt of application, recognizing that resource and security considerations and the need to ensure provision of consular services to U.S. citizens may dictate specific exceptions;

I am speculating now, but it appears to me to recognize the fact that the State Department is so understaffed that is would not be possible to deliver on the original directive. If that is the case, what concerns me most is the high probability that the dismantling of the government (long a goal of presidential advisor, Steve Bannon) is continuing apace.

Official Title:

Presidential Executive Order Amending Executive Order 13597

Executive Order signed June 21, 2017.

Internships

Like so many other of POTUS 45’s orders, this one is more bluster than substance. It essentially establishes a task force to produce a report on how to increase internships as part of work force development. Thirty days after the report is finished, the task force is disbanded.

Presidential Executive Order Expanding Apprenticeships in America

Executive Order signed June 15, 2017

Two Executive Orders May 11

Two radically different topics, but only one having any real potential for improving anything.

The order on cyber security is, in my view, the most important, but much of it is just a call for yet more reports withing 90 or 120 days. Some of the verbiage in the order implies there is little coordination and a significant amount of obsolete equipment/operating systems/software in the executive branch currently. If that is accurate, portions of this order are long overdue. I believe cyber security is the most significant problem the government faces right now and any focus on making improvements in that regard should be supported by everyone. Some provisions in the order, however, appear to be thinly veiled means of padding the pockets of some businesses/industries.

The order establishing a commission on election integrity is a far more troubling one. It is completely unnecessary and smacks of being another in a long line of “actions” to throw some red meat to the base. Along with the unveiling of this order, announcement of those appointed to head it up make it clear to me any results forthcoming from this entity will not have anything to do with real integrity in elections and much more to do with how to enhance vote suppression.

Official Titles:

Executive orders signed May 11, 2017

Mostly Bluster

The two most recently posted actions: one a routine proclamation and the other the executive order promised for days in advance as giving freedom to churches to endorse candidates from the pulpit.

The early announcements and discussions of the executive order were taken as an alarm by many in the media and watchdog groups, and if it actually did what was “promised” it would have been truly alarming. Now that we can see and read it for ourselves, it is clear once again that the public display previous to the signing was mostly bluster.

I have come to fully understand now, if not as well before, the real purpose of most of what POTUS 45 does is to draw attention to himself – sometimes as a distraction from what is more important – because he simply cannot live without adulation.

When will the media – at least the “mainstream” – realize this and cover his planned actions with a “ho-hum” attitude instead of believing literally what they say is coming? It would be much healthier for all of us if we just wait until the actual orders or memoranda are published. Rarely do they do what he and his PR staff say they will do. In fact, his staff and he even act as if the important part of the “action” is the media frenzy before. I am now convinced they are right. The truth does not matter. The impression they are doing something radical is all they are after because so many of the American public believe their first pronouncements and can’t be bothered with the details of the action itself.

This actual order regarding “free speech and religious liberty” is nothing but platitudes. Beyond supporting the Constitution and current laws, it has very little to do with either free speech or religious liberty. It is so innocuous the ACLU has declared there is nothing there requiring action on their part.

Official titles:

Executive Order and Proclamation signed May 4, 2017

Executive Orders at 100 Days

Some of us may find it difficult to imagine POTUS 45 actually reading the numerous proclamations and executive orders put in front of him to sign the past few days. It is a bit of a stretch to think many citizens are reading them either, or even paying much attention to their existence. No matter. In the rush to “get more done” four more executive orders were signed.

All four have something to do with enhancing benefits to some sector of the business community. Nothing surprising, but nevertheless, disconcerting at best.

Above executive order signed April 28, 2017

Above executive orders signed April 29, 2017

Above executive order signed May 1, 2017

Whistleblower Protection at Veterans Affairs

I can certainly support what this order purports to be – improved accountability and increased protection for whistlblowers. In fact, this ought to be important for all of government.

This executive order creates a new office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection in the Department of Veterans Affairs. Whether or not it makes any difference, remains to be seen. It is unlikely we will know for years if this was useful.

My current skepticism leads me to believe it will not have much impact.

Actually, the timing of this signing leads me to believe it is just part of the flurry of activity trying to create an impression that much is being accomplished in the “first hundred days”.

Sad to say, issuing executive orders and memoranda are not results in the usual sense of the word.

Anyone else catch the irony in this order? Does this administration really want to empower whistleblowers when they are so intent on finding and prosecuting the “leakers”?

Official Title: Presidential Executive Order on Improving Accountability and Whistleblower Protection at the Department of Veterans Affairs

Executive Order dated April 27, 2017

Education Review

More review of policies. This time the Department of Education.

Under the guise of support for “local control” this order requires a review of all policies, guidelines, etc. related to any education laws. With Betsy DeVos in charge of this review, we can expect significant harm to come as a result.

Official Title: Presidential Executive Order on Enforcing Statutory Prohibitions on Federal Control of Education

Executive Order dated April 26, 2017