Four on 7th and 8th

Since my last post, four actions have been signed by POTUS 45.

On December 7th, the standard remembrance of Pearl Harbor proclamation was issued.

The following day, two proclamations and an executive order on various issues were signed. Nothing of great import, as far as I can tell.

Official Titles and Links:

Proclamations and Executive Order signed December 7 and 8, 2017


Resumption of Refugee Admissions

I must admit I’m losing some edge in analyzing these executive orders. This one I have not completely grasped because of some vague language, but it appears to be sort of a “all’s good now that we have our ‘extreme vetting’ process in place” statement.

I wonder if it is another response to losing in the courts on this issue.

Official Title and Link: Notice Regarding the Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Sudan

Executive Order dated October 24, 2017

New War Imminent?

Yesterday I read the latest executive order, but decided to wait a day to comment because I wanted a little more time to try to understand the implications.

After researching the sections of the statutes it refers to (sections 688 and 690 of title 10, United States Code), I am pretty sure I understand this correctly. This brief order authorizes the Secretaries of the various military services (e.g. Army, Navy, etc.) to recall retired military personnel. As best I can tell, it means any retired military, not just those most recently retired.

The order is an amendment to the original order by G.W. Bush done September 14, 2011 that ultimately allowed for the military build-up that preceded the 2nd Iraq war. Following is the language of the new amendment:

Amendment to Executive Order 13223. Section 1 of Executive Order 13223 is amended by adding at the end: “The authorities available for use during a national emergency under sections 688 and 690 of title 10, United States Code, are also invoked and made available, according to their terms, to the Secretary concerned, subject in the case of the Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, to the direction of the Secretary of Defense.”

There is some evidence that action is already being taken as a result of this order. An Air Force Times article yesterday refers to a “shortage, retention crisis”. USA Today also posted a story on this yesterday.

The only explanation that makes sense to me is POTUS 45 is about to take us into war again. I hope I am wrong – on both, a. interpretation of the amendment language, and b. that a new war is imminent.

Official Title and Link:

Presidential Executive Order Amending Executive Order 13223

Executive Order signed October 20, 3017

Healthcare Changes

Hearing about this then pending executive order yesterday in the media, it sounded like a major change that would gut the Affordable Care Act. My reading of it is far less ominous, at least at this stage.

For example, this interesting phrase used three times in this order: “Within 60 (or 120) days of this order…shall consider proposing regulations or revising guidance…”.

This appears to me to be a very weak order. Just consider making changes? Far more bluster than action here.

The only clear result of this order will be a report to the president in 180 days and every two years thereafter.

Like so many other of this POTUS’ orders, this is for the optics. The pattern I have noticed is whenever the administration hypes up a soon-t0-be-signed executive order, it turns out to be an order to produce a report rather than any real action.

We shall have to wait and see just what changes are proposed by the various cabinet secretaries after the 60 or 120 days has past, before we can judge any serious impact on the healthcare insurance markets. That will be the middle of December and February.

Official Title and Link: Presidential Executive Order Promoting Healthcare Choice and Competition Across the United States

Executive order dated October 12, 2017

Five Actions September 29

A flurry of actions – signing of two memoranda, two executive orders, and one proclamation – on Friday closes out the month of September.

The first memorandum, to the Secretary of State, determines the total number of refugees allowed in Fiscal Year 2018. This is routine, although the number of “up to 45,000 refugees” seemed low, so I compared it with last year (signed by President Obama) and that was for “up to 110,000 refugees”. So, this year’s determination is significantly lower. I guess that is one way to limit Muslims from entering the country. [Ed. Note: I thought the timing of this decision was a bit strange until I remembered the Federal fiscal years are October 1 through September 30.]

The other memorandum is for the Secretary of State, Secretary of Treasury and Director of National Intelligence and is a routine delegation of responsibility.

One executive order is routine continuance of certain Federal advisory committees, and the other is a revocation of a 2009 executive order that created Labor-Management advisory committees claiming they have failed to do what they were intended to do – increase collaboration in the Federal workforce.

The proclamation posted here is self-explanatory.

Official Titles and Links:

Memoranda, executive orders and proclamation dated September 29, 2017

Invoking Defense Protection Act

The administration has determined the named corporate transaction to be detrimental to national security and therefore issued this executive order to block the sale of Lattice Semiconductor Corporation.

Without digging more into this deal, it sounds reasonable to me to block this transaction.

Official Title and Link: Order Regarding the Proposed Acquisition of Lattice Semiconductor Corporation by China Venture Capital Fund Corporation Limited

Executive Order dated September 13, 2017