Tag Archives: executive orders

POTUS uses executive authority … but wait!

I normally wouldn’t complain about Donald Trump’s use of executive authority, given that he’s doing what the Constitution allows him to do.

But you see, the president has been a royal pain in the posterior over his gripes about the executive orders signed by the man he succeeded, Barack H. Obama.

Now he has set a sort of dubious record. Trump has just signed his 49th executive order, the most orders signed at this stage of the presidency since President Lyndon Baines Johnson. The LBJ standard stood for the past 50 years.

CNN reports: Why does it matter? Because Trump was a vociferous critic of then-President Barack Obama’s use of executive orders — casting them as a purposeful end-run of the legislative branch.

I happen to believe strongly in presidential prerogative. Trump is using the authority granted to him by the U.S. Constitution.

But the president doesn’t respect that the same authority also has been bestowed on others who came before him. President Obama’s use of that authority often came amid strong criticism by those who were hell bent on opposing everything he sought to do.

Trump was among those critics.

Trump signs ’em quickly

Given that the president has been unable to push any significant legislation through Congress in the nine months he’s been in office, it stands to reason he would rely on the executive authority he has been handed.

Except that he launched a ridiculous tirade against Barack Obama for doing the very thing that he, too, had the power to do.

Oh, by the way, President Obama signed 26 executive orders at the same point in his presidency … a little more than half of what Trump has signed. I won’t say that Trump is abusing his authority.

But still …

Trump’s big mouth threatens to swallow him

That dreaded 100-day “deadline” looms for Donald John Trump. We’re about one week away from it.

Will it produce a winning report card for the president? Will those of us in the peanut gallery be able to call the new president’s start a rousing success, which Trump himself has done already?

I do not believe so.

Does the 100-day mark matter? Perhaps it shouldn’t count as much as it does. President Franklin D. Roosevelt set up this artificial barrier when he took office in 1933 and it’s been held as sort of the benchmark for early presidential success ever since.

But it’s early in any new president’s term. Donald Trump is no different.

Except for one little thing.

All along the way en route to his winning the election, the Republican candidate for president kept telling us about all the things he would accomplish in those first 100 days.

* Affordable Care Act? Repealed and replaced.

* Tax reform? Enacted.

* Draining the swamp of corruption? He’d institute a new government ethic.

What’s happened? The ACA remains. Tax reform hasn’t even been introduced. The swamp is still full.

The president can count precious few legislative triumphs. In fact, I can’t think of any. Can you? He’s signed a lot of executive orders. I particularly like the one that banned government officials from becoming lobbyists immediately after leaving public service.

Sure, he launched that missile strike against Syria after that horrendous chemical weapons attack. I give the president kudos for that action. But he’s got North Korea sounding more threatening than ever; Trump said he dispatched the “great armada” led by the USS Carl Vinson, but the carrier-led strike group to date is nowhere near the Korean Peninsula.

Donald Trump’s very own big mouth has victimized him.

Just maybe once the president gets past this 100-day hurdle, he will decide to tone down his constant boastfulness and learn finally — finally! — that governance requires much more than shooting off one’s big mouth.

Hoping for a beautiful sunrise tomorrow

A lot of aspects of American life likely could change sometime this afternoon.

At 11 a.m. (CST), Donald John Trump will become the 45th president of the United States. Barack Hussein Obama will exit the world stage and jet off to Palm Springs, Calif., for some well-deserved R&R with his family.

The new president will attend a parade, shake some hands, then venture into the Oval Office.

Then — he says — he will sign some executive orders, which he is entitled to do.

Will these orders undo some of the many positive aspects of Barack Obama’s presidency? Trump, after all, has called the current president a “disaster.” He’s said his policies are “stupid.”

Trump, who calls himself a “smart person” with a “good mind,” and someone who will surround himself with the “best minds” and a team that has highest collective IQ of any in the history in the history of the republic, will get to work to make his mark on the presidency.

What that entails, at this moment — on Inauguration Morning — remains virtually anyone’s guess.

I am going to hold out hope for one thing to occur. It will be that the sun will set tonight and we’ll all be able to awake Saturday to yet another beautiful sunrise.

I am going to pray that the new president is successful in whatever plans he has laid out for the next four years. The consequences of failure are too grim to ponder.

‘Get over it’? Sure, when y’all get over your own selves


The “Get over it!” mantra is beginning to grate on my nerves.

It’s coming from those who are glad to see Donald J. Trump elected president of the United States. The mantra is aimed at the rest of the country — more than half of those who cast ballots, actually — who voted for someone else.

They can’t “get over it.”

I don’t quite consider myself in that category of disgruntled voter. Maybe others see me as one of the sore losers. I don’t like being perceived that way. I am doing my best to level my criticism of the president-elect in a way that focuses more on the issues as I see them.

I will admit to occasionally challenging the man’s temperamental fitness for the job, but then again, that’s an issue, too.

The annoyance over the calls to get over it stems from the eight-year bitch session that’s been under way since Barack Hussein Obama was elected president.

A lot of folks haven’t gotten over that seminal event. The election in 2008 of the first African-American as head of state and head of government of the greatest nation on Earth just hasn’t gone over with a certain segment of this nation.

Sure, they’ll respond with, “I am not a racist, but …” And, no, I am not hanging the “racist” label on all of the president’s critics.

I understand that the man’s policies themselves have angered a lot of Americans. We had that big economic stimulus package that rescued several segments of our then-failing economy; we got the Affordable Care Act, over the strenuous objections of Republicans; he granted a temporary reprieve for about 5 million illegal immigrants through the use of an executive order.

I happen to support all those aforementioned actions. That’s just me. I’m one of those Americans who voted twice for the president.

We are a sharply divided nation. The election of Donald J. Trump enhances and emphasizes that division in ways we haven’t seen in some time.

I am still struggling with the idea that Trump will become the next president. I’ll “get over it” … eventually. I promise.

Just don’t keep reminding me to “get over it.” The more you say it the more I am likely to resist.

Executive orders go with the job


Presidents serve as the nation’s “chief executive” and, therefore, have the constitutional authority that goes with the title.

An interesting graph came across my radar this afternoon. It comes with a year-old story, but it’s still rather fascinating.

Republicans have been pummeling President Obama by alleging that he’s too quick to issue executive orders, that he circumvents Congress too willingly.

The graph tells a fascinating tale of just how the 44th president has under-utilized the executive authority granted to him by the U.S. Constitution.

Take a look at the graph. You’ll see a number of interesting things.

One is an obvious point. President Franklin Roosevelt is the all-time champ at issuing presidential executive orders. No surprise there: He served three full terms and was elected to a fourth term before dying in office in April 1945.

It’s interesting, though, to look at who’s No. 2 in the executive authority rating. It’s FDR’s immediate predecessor, President Hoover, who served just one term.

A Democrat is No. 1, a Republican is No. 2, while Democratic President Woodrow Wilson is a close third.

That power-hungry and allegedly “lawless” 44th president, Barack H. Obama? He’s issued the fewest executive orders since President Grover Cleveland. (I’ll add here that the numbers of presidential executive orders are as of Oct. 20, 2014.)

So, I guess my question is this: What’s the beef with the current president’s use of the executive authority?

Rand Paul: unfit for presidency

Sen. Rand Paul has demonstrated the kooky trait that seems to endear him to some Republicans but demonstrates why he is unfit to sit in the Oval Office of the White House.

The Kentucky Republican said this week that if he’s elected president — fat chance — that the first executive order he’d issue would be to undo all previous executive orders.


Oh, but wait. His spokesman said he’s more or less kidding. His statement, which he made to Breitbart News, was meant to illustrate that President Obama’s overuse of unconstitutional executive authority is the real target.

OK, then. When he made that statement, did he wink at the reporter? Did he qualify what he said by alluding to what President Obama has done?

Umm. No. He said “all” and I presume he meant “all.”

Such action would repeal a lot of U.S. standing policy, such as the one that prohibits the United States from assassinating foreign leaders. That one was signed by President Gerald R. Ford — in 1975!

Sen. Paul is likely to run for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016. Good. I hope he does. The political debate needs a laugh or two. Lord knows too much seriousness can get a nation down.

Litigious speaker going to court

Politicians and everyday Americans have griped for decades about the lawsuit-happy society we live in these days.

Well, this one just might take the cake.

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner says he is going to sue President Obama because of the president’s penchant for issuing executive orders. He calls the president’s actions unconstitutional, unlawful and, by golly, he plans to take the commander in chief to court.


But …

Is the 44th president the most executive-order-happy person ever to occupy the White House? Not by a long shot.

To date, Obama has issued 168 such orders. President George W. Bush issued 291 during his two terms; President Clinton logged 364; President Eisenhower signed 484; President Truman put his name on 907.

The all-time champ? None other than President Franklin Roosevelt, who signed 3,572 executive orders. Let’s give FDR a pass, though, given that he served three full terms and a fraction of a fourth before he died in office in April 1945.

Barack Obama has signed fewer such executive orders than any president in the past century.

Boehner, though, says he’s had enough of this executive authority business from the constitutional law professor-turned-president of the United States.

At the start of the year, Obama did declare his intention to bypass Congress to get some things done. The Constitution does give him the authority to do these things, after all. It’s just that he’s stepped on Republican goes on issues such as benefits for same-sex couples employed by the federal government and raising the minimum wage for federal contract employees.

This grandstanding by Boehner is meant to relieve pressure he’s getting from the right wing of his party.

So please, Mr. Speaker, don’t gripe in public about frivolous lawsuits. You’ve just announced your intention to file one yourself.