Catching Up

Life sometimes intervenes to delay my review of recent POTUS actions, but sometimes just plain disgust with the whole regime, including the GOP Congress and party as a whole, settles in and motivation to read, review, and comment is so diminished I just procrastinate. Example of procrastination: Today I finally got around to publishing a post I drafted a week ago, then forgot.

To catch up, here are the actions posted by the White House since February 8. I’m going to just list them for the record (in order of their appearance on that site) without comment, because I have only given them a cursory reading and they all appear to be more or less routine.

[Ed. Note: With this post, I have decided to create and use tags that are being used on the White House website. A while back, the site was redesigned and the two things I noticed immediately were: 1) tags to categorize the presidential actions, and 2) inclusion of “Nominations and Appointments” to their listings. The former might prove to be useful, the latter just clutters up the site. I would have preferred they added “Signing Statements” to this list instead, but so far they must still be found in a different place.]


Official Titles and Links:

  • Presidential Memorandum for the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense
  •  Presidential Message to the Congress of the United States
  •  Notice Regarding the Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Libya
  •  Presidential Message to the Congress of the United States
  •  Presidential Sequestration Order for Fiscal Year 2019

Memoranda and Proclamation dated from February 9 through 15, 2018

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Delegation to Defense

This appears to be yet another routine delegation of authority. Following is the operative section of the memorandum:

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 delegate to the Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Director of National Intelligence, the functions and authorities vested in the President by section 1238 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 (Public Law 115-91).


Official Title and Link: Presidential Memorandum on the Delegation of Certain Functions and Authorities under Section 1238 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018

Memorandum dated February 5, 2018

Actions of January 9

Three actions were signed on January 9, 2018. Two appear to be routine memoranda, the other an important executive order.

The memorandum to the Secretary of State is simply delegation of authority, but the significant part is the topic:  handling religious freedom abroad.

The executive order is, in my opinion, an important and much needed initiative, given the perpetual nature of the wars we remain involved in worldwide. It provides for automatic enrollment in V.A. programs for veterans as they begin the transition from uniformed service to civilian life. I only hope this program will be well designed and fully funded. With this congress, the funding may be less than is necessary for successful implementation and operation. NPR ran a story on January 10 that is a good summary of the program, including some of the caveats.

I find the memorandum to the Director of National Intelligence so confusing that I don’t know if I really understand the point of it. As best I can decipher, it orders development of better procedures for sharing information by national intelligence agencies with local, state, etc. authorities.


Official Titles and Links:

Memoranda and Executive Order dated January 9, 2018

Rural Broadband

Over the next few years it will be interesting to watch the development of broadband access in rural areas. Today’s actions are intended to increase access and pave the way for more rapid broadband development. Unfortunately, my view is these actions are going to be thwarted, at least somewhat, by the FCC doing away with net neutrality rules earlier.

Maybe the growing support in Congress for legislation to restore net neutrality will mitigate the challenges ahead.


Official Titles and Links:

Executive Order and Memorandum dated January 8, 2018

Space Exploration

Yesterday a memorandum was signed that revises a June 2010 policy directive regarding space exploration. The operative part is quoted below:

The paragraph beginning “Set far-reaching exploration milestones” is deleted and replaced with the following:

“Lead an innovative and sustainable program of exploration with commercial and international partners to enable human expansion across the solar system and to bring back to Earth new knowledge and opportunities. Beginning with missions beyond low-Earth orbit, the United States will lead the return of humans to the Moon for long-term exploration and utilization, followed by human missions to Mars and other destinations;”.


Official Title and Link: Presidential Memorandum on Reinvigorating America’s Human Space Exploration Program

Memorandum dated December 11, 2017