MSNBC: CIA Torture Report Will Be Damaging Overseas

“Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd joins Morning Joe to discuss John Brennan’s news conference on the Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA and his upcoming interview with former VP Dick Cheney.

Morning Joe video.

Is This President ‘Not Allowed’ To Make Executive Orders?

The idea that the president is not allowed to create executive orders seems absurd.

According to HowStuffWorks, “Executive orders have been used by every American president since George Washington to lead the nation through times of war, to respond to natural disasters and economic crises, to encourage or discourage regulation by federal agencies, to promote civil rights, or in the case of the Japanese internment camps, to revoke civil rights. Executive orders can also be used by governors to direct state agencies, often in response to emergencies, but also to promote the governor’s own regulatory and social policies.”

So apparently, executive orders have been used by every president since George Washington.

Well, has the President made “too many” executive orders?

According to the chart above, the President has issued fewer executive orders per year than any since prior to FDR.

According to Talking Points Memo, his overall number of  executive orders come out to “less than 0.1 for every day he’s been in office. FDR, by comparison, was cranking out close to one per day as he faced the Great Depression and World War II. The first half of the 20th century was the prime time for execution action, at least when measured by executive orders per day in office.”

TPM does state that the simple totals “cannot account for the scope and tangible impact of individual executive orders or incorporate other elements of executive power,” which is understandable.

Don’t Republicans need to prove that the President’s executive orders have been too broad in scope?  Shouldn’t they try to make that case?  What are they waiting for?

It is clear that every president since Washington has the authority to issue executive orders, and President Obama has issued far fewer than most other presidents in recent times.

One more question:  is the President allowed to issue executive orders on the subject of immigration?

As noted in a previous post, according to the New Republic, both Presidents Reagan and Bush took executive action on immigration (as Obama wants to). The Atlantic’s David Frum wrote about Reagan’s executive actions on immigration. “Reagan and Bush acted in conjunction with Congress and in furtherance of a congressional purpose,” Frum writes. “Nobody wanted to deport the still-illegal husband of a newly legalized wife.

“Reagan’s (relatively small) and Bush’s (rather larger) executive actions tidied up these anomalies.”

In other words, it would be unfair if Reagan and Bush deported children and spouses of newly-legalized immigrants. In fact, Bush’s executive action was called the “family fairness” program.

According to USA Today, the younger George W. Bush “…issued a number of small-bore executive orders — to expedite citizenship for immigrants in the military, or to defer deportation for students affected by Hurricane Katrina…”

So it seems pretty clear that every president is allowed to make executive actions and that Obama has made fewer than most presidents since World War II.  It is also clear that Reagan and both Bushes created executive actions on immigration policy.  So that must also be legal.

The question is:  what are the grounds for a lawsuit, impeachment, or the claims of lawlessness?

Republicans have not made their case for how executive orders on immigration – or other policies – are illegal.  This is especially true since Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush all made executive orders on immigration.

Obviously, the only thing left is that the President’s executive orders have possibly been too broad in scope.

However, according to the New York Times, “(m)ost of the major elements of the president’s plan are based on longstanding legal precedents that give the executive branch the right to exercise ‘prosecutorial discretion’ in how it enforces the laws. That was the basis of a 2012 decision to protect from deportation the so-called Dreamers, who came to the United States as young children. The new announcement will be based on a similar legal theory, officials said.” [The New York Times,11/13/14]

If so, then Republicans need to prove that his executive orders have been too large in scope.  Enough of the broad language about how he’s a “king” and an “emperor.”  Get to it and prove this point.

New Recording: Reagan Apologizes To Thatcher

New recordings of Ronald Reagan have been released.

Here, Reagan seems very apologetic to Margaret Thatcher for invading Grenada, which is a British Commonwealth country.

Recording from the New York Post.  (Press button at top left.)

More info:

Secular Talk / Louie Gohmert Compilation

This is a compilation of some Louie Gohmert moments.

Video by Kyle Kulinski / Secular Talk.

Fox & Friends On Trickle Down Economics

Does “trickle down economics” work?

Mainstream media is trying to manufacture a scandal out of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s recent argument against trickle-down economics by stripping her comments of context.  The video also mentions the Keystone XL pipeline.

Kyle Kulinski video.

Ronald Reagan Legalized Abortion In California

Early in 1967, the national debate on abortion was beginning and Democratic California state senator Anthony Beilenson introduced the “Therapeutic Abortion Act” bill to the California state senate.  

The Beilenson bill gained more traction when the Colorado legislature voted to liberalize their own abortion law.

Writes Lou Cannon: “Beilenson’s bill amended California law to allow abortions in cases of rape or incest, when a doctor deemed that the birth was likely to impair the physical or mental health of the mother, or when there was ‘substantial risk’ that the child would be born deformed.”  

Governor Reagan called for a compromise and they removed the instance of the child being born “deformed.”  

Beilenson, eager to get his abortion vote, removed that provision and the Senate passed it. 

The bill was an effort to reduce the number of “back-room abortions” performed in California.The State Legislature sent the bill to Reagan’s desk where, after several days of indecision, he signed it. 

In 1969 there was a decision in the California Supreme Court called People v. Belous that ruled that women have a fundamental right to decide whether to have a child and to protect their health.