Guantanamo Again

Yesterday the one action posted – an executive order – is a continuation of authorization of continuous detention of some individuals deemed a threat to national security. The order also voids the order of 2009 when then president Obama ordered the closing of the Guantanamo base in Cuba.


Official Title and Link: Presidential Executive Order on Protecting America Through Lawful Detention of Terrorists

Executive Order dated January 30, 2018

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Odd Proclamations

Two actions titled proclamations posted yesterday appear to be a bit out of the ordinary. They are in fact imposition of tariffs on some specialized products being imported – one for solar panels, the other for washing machines – aimed at China.

News reports of these actions have been numerous, so I will not go into any more detail here.


Official Titles and Links:

Proclamations dated January 23, 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

Election Commission Terminated

I find it interesting that the first official presidential action of the year is a kind of admission of failure – not exactly the most common sort of behavior from this POTUS.

Other than the standard rhetoric that goes with any executive order, the following quote is the whole order.

Executive Order 13799 of May 11, 2017 (Establishment of Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity), is hereby revoked, and the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity is accordingly terminated.

I say is good riddance!

Now we will need to be aware of the more clandestine ways this administration and the Republican party will continue to pursue voter suppression. As I noted in my post on the original order, that is the real reason behind the commission in the first place.


Official Title and Link: Executive Order on the Termination of Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity

Executive Order dated January 3, 2018

Proclamation for January

After a little searching online, it appears the designation of January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month began with congressional authorization in 2010, and first proclaimed by President Obama for January 2011.

While this is now and annual routine, it still remains important.


Official Title and Link: President Donald J. Trump Proclaims January 2018 as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month

Proclamation dated December 29, 2017

Signing Statement on Defense Act

Upon signing the “National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018”, POTUS 45 issued a signing statement (now his seventh) that identifies concerns with the Congress’ attempts to limit or usurp executive authority.

This is not a new concern with Defense authorization bills. A year ago, President Obama also issued a strongly worded signing statement identifying several items as unconstitutionally attempting to control the executive branch.

While I have not taken the time to fully read and analyze the bill (and, at this point, I have no inclination to do so), based on some media reports earlier about what some members of Congress were trying to do, I suspect as least some of the provisions POTUS 45 objects to are related to putting some restraints on preemptive war, and, in particular, preemptive use of nuclear weapons. If that is the case, I applaud Congress’ efforts.


Official Title and Link: Statement by President Donald J. Trump on H.R. 2810

Signing Statement dated December 12, 2017

Jerusalem

All over the news the last few days in anticipation, this now official act recognizes the capital of Israel as Jerusalem and declares the U.S. embassy will be moved there. Because it is getting so much coverage, I will make only brief comments this time.

Some have questioned the timing of the action. On the one hand, it may well be doing this now provides a needed distraction from other controversies, such as the Russian investigation and the tax bill, and that is why routine extension was not the chosen action. On the other hand, some kind of action was going to be needed under any circumstances, because every six months since the late 1990s presidents have delayed moving the embassy to Jerusalem for purposes of stability and peace negotiation in the middle-east.

I am in agreement with the majority of the world in believing this action is more likely to create conflict and bloodshed than aid in any peace agreement.

[Ed. Note: For a little more background, see what I wrote about this in June and also last December.]


Official Title and Link: Presidential Proclamation Recognizing Jerusalem as the Capital of the State of Israel and Relocating the United States Embassy to Israel to Jerusalem

Proclamation dated December 6, 2017