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No, It’s Not Martial Law, It’s Preparedness

Late on Friday, the Obama Administration released an Executive Order on “National Defense Resources Preparedness.” Given the fact that it came out on a Friday afternoon and many people were likely paying attention to college basketball games and St. Patrick’s Day-related activities, it’s received very little attention in the news media but that hasn’t stopped the (mostly conservative) blogosphere from going into panic mode over it, although this was inspired no doubt in no small part due to the manner in which Kenneth Schortgen Jr. describes it in an Examiner piece:

On March 16th, President Obama signed a new Executive Order which expands upon a prior order issued in 1950 for Disaster Preparedness, and gives the office of the President complete control over all the resources in the United States in times of war or emergency.

The National Defense Resources Preparedness order gives the Executive Branch the power to control and allocate energy, production, transportation, food, and even water resources by decree under the auspices of national defense and national security.  The order is not limited to wartime implementation, as one of the order’s functions includes the command and control of resources in peacetime determinations.

(…)

The purpose of President Obama signing this new Executive Order is yet unclear, however, it may coincide with information coming out of Israel yesterday that plans for a tactical or strategic strike on Iran are accelerating.  Oil prices in Europe rose over $3 a barrel for Brent crude after the Israeli actions, and US oil prices rose $2 for WTI.

The Obama administration appears to be preparing for a long drawn out war in the Middle East, or at the very least, an expected crisis that will require the need to override Constitutional authority and claim dominion over all resources in the United States under the guise of national defense.  With the rise in Disaster Preparedness growing for both individuals and states leading up to yesterday’s Executive Order, the mood of the nation points strongly towards some event or disaster that will require massive preparations on a national as well as local scale.

It all sounds pretty scary, and it wasn’t long before the usual suspects were citing this as evidence of some kind of plan for martial law, just as there were people on the left and far-right asserting that George Bush was going to declare martial law and cancel the elections in 2004 and 2008. Considering who it was who was spreading the meme that this was some kind of power grab by the Obama Administration, I wasn’t inclined to believe it to begin with. However, once you actually look at the facts (yes, I know, how dare I muddle up a good conspiracy theory with actual facts) it becomes pretty clear that not only is the reaction to this wildly over the top in some corners, but the Executive Order itself is nothing more than a restatement of policy that has been in place in decades and grants no authority to the President or the Cabinet that they don’t already have under existing law.

In fact, the EO recognizes that last fact in it’s opening statement:

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended (50 U.S.C. App. 2061 et seq.), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, and as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States, it is hereby ordered as follows:

The Defense Production Act has been in effect since the Truman Administration, and authorizes the President to direct private business to allocate resources to national defense as needed in a time of national emergency. Since the end of the Cold War, if not before, the Act has been used primarily to use DOD contracting practices to direct investment in new technologies that would be used for defense purposes, however it still requires the Executive Branch to at least plan for the possibility of allocating resources for national defense in the event of a national emergency in much the same way that rationing was implemented during World War II. Now, fortunately, we have not faced a national emergency of that type in the 50-odd years that the DPA has been in effect but that doesn’t mean that such an eventuality, brought about by either international crisis or natural disaster, should not be planned for. Despite that it was released as part of the “Friday Document Dumps” that have become all too common in official Washington, that appears to be all that this Executive Order is about.

As for the Executive Order itself, Ed Morrissey notes that all it really appears to do is update very similar EO’s that were issued by President’s Reagan and Bush 41, and their Executive Orders appear to do nothing more than mimic Orders issued by Presidents going all the way back to Franklin Roosevelt:

[T]his is almost identical to EO 12919 from 18 years earlier.  Note what this EO specifically orders: identify, assess, be prepared, improve, foster cooperation.  None of these items claim authority to seize private property and place them at the personal disposal of Obama.  What follows after Section 103 are the directives for implementing these rather analytical tasks, mostly in the form of explicit delegations of presidential authority to Cabinet members and others in the executive branch.

Why the update?  If one takes a look at EO 12919, the big change is in the Cabinet itself.  In 1994, we didn’t have a Department of Homeland Security, for instance, and some of these functions would naturally fall to DHS.  In EO 12919, the FEMA director had those responsibilities, and the biggest change between the two is the removal of several references to FEMA (ten in all).   Otherwise, there aren’t a lot of changes between the two EOs, which looks mainly like boilerplate.

In fact, that’s almost entirely what it is.  The original EO dealing with national defense resources preparedness was issued in 1939 (EO 8248) according to the National Archives.  It has been superseded a number of times, starting in 1951 by nearly every President through Bill Clinton, and amended twice by George W. Bush.

Morrissey,  Gabriel Malor and William Jacobson, have all done a very good job of looking at some of the supposedly controversial provisions of the EO and pointing out just how relatively innocuous they really are, so I commend their posts to your attention. Or, you can read the Executive Order for yourself. I did, and quite honestly don’t see how anyone could have seen it for anything sinister. Unless, of course, you approach these things assuming that everything is sinister.

There are, perhaps, some issues worth discussing that this EO raises. The fact that the President of the United States is still exercising authority granted during the Korean War and the height of the Cold War is yet another reflection of how power, once assumed by the Imperial Presidency, is never surrendered. The fact that an Executive Order like this was released on a Friday afternoon and has been largely ignored by the traditional media is an indication of just how easy it is for politicians to manipulate the news cycle. And the idea that the government has authority like that described in this document, even only in theory, and that most Americans aren’t even aware of it, is a reflection of just how little we know about the things that are done in our name. Those are all legitimate issues, but they go far deeper than this one relatively innocuous Executive Order.

Related Posts:

About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. I think the problem is that over the last decade we’ve repeatedly seen cases of laws originally passed for legitimate national security reasons invoked in situations far beyond their original scope in order to restrict civil rights. So while the powers granted in this executive order make sense in a World War II situation, it very clearly does not limit them only to such a situation. Rather, it clearly goes out of its way to specify everything is valid in non-emergency and peacetime situations as well.

    So the problem here isn’t that it’s too different from what’s gone before, but rather that it’s too much like what’s gone before. After the Bush and Obama administrations it should be clear that granting the President nebulous powers and trusting them to not abuse them is a bad idea.

    It really should be rewritten to allow the president authority to prepare for national emergencies, but there needs to be some sort of congressional “checkpoint” that the executive branch has to go through before it begins executing any of those plans.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 36 Thumb down 1

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    But but but but Doug, black helicopters!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 8

  3. To be specific in answering Doug’s remark, “I did, and quite honestly don’t see how anyone could have seen it for anything sinister”, it’s passages like this:

    Sec. 201. Priorities and Allocations Authorities. (a) The authority of the President conferred by section 101 of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2071, to require acceptance and priority performance of contracts or orders (other than contracts of employment) to promote the national defense over performance of any other contracts or orders, and to allocate materials, services, and facilities as deemed necessary or appropriate to promote the national defense, is delegated to the following agency heads

    Much like the Patriot Act powers are now primarily used for investigating crimes that have nothing to do with combatting terrorism, it’s easy to see how this could be abused in situations that really have nothing to do with national defense but are justified with some similar ly contrived connection to defense.

    Now of course, this section is identical to the existing section, which is kinda my point: I don’t think Obama has any specific plan to abuse this order, but given recent history, I don’t really want to rely merely on the judgement of this or subsequent Presidents as to what qualifies as abuse.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  4. Brummagem Joe says:

    Doug this is not very different from the powers that heads of government around the world have in the event of an emergency. I’ve recommended to you many times to read The Executive Unbound by Richard Posner’s son Eric who is a professor of law at Chicago and another guy from Harvard LS (I think) who if you want a dose of reality. And it’s all irreversible.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  5. @Stormy Dragon:

    The language of Section 201 is almost a word-for-word match of language in previous preparedness EOs and the language in the Defense Preparedness Act of 1950. I get your point, I believe I made a similar one in the final paragraph of the post, but that is a far more complicated issue than this one EO.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  6. @Doug Mataconis:

    The language of Section 201 is almost a word-for-word match of language in previous preparedness EOs and the language in the Defense Preparedness Act of 1950.

    Hence my comment “Now of course, this section is identical to the existing section”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. @Brummagem Joe: Same Richard Posner that same that violating a ban on torture was nothing more than civil disobedience?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  8. Gromitt Gunn says:

    I hopped through to Mr. Morrissey, et al. It is good to see some self-policing on the blogosphere.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. Dunbar says:

    Maybe the government is preparing for a major catastrophic event. Look at this:
    Venus-Jupiter alignment
    Earth nears Milky Way alignment
    Sun waking up – poses threat to Earth
    Polar shift eminent?
    Meteorologists puzzled by wacky winter
    Sun enters unknown phase
    Earth nears black hole in December 2012
    Magnetic field shifting
    Obviously, the major media has ignored most of these events or given them short time and has not gone into detail about the possible effects on our planet . These events are being discussed on websites of CAL Tech, MIT, University of Chicago Physics Dept. Harvard, NASA, NWS; not just some domesday, UFO sites.
    How long will it be before the government speaks to the people about this? Or will they?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 10

  10. @Dunbar:

    You missed the true disaster facing our nation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  11. Eric Florack says:

    At every turn…. every single opportunity, this administration has taken steps against freedom and for bigger governmental control. Every single time.

    At what point do worries about a dictatorship become valid, do you suppose?

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 36

  12. @Eric Florack:

    Please point me to the times when you said the exact same thing when the exact same Executive Order was issued by President’s Reagan, Bush 41, and Bush 43

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 1

  13. anjin-san says:

    Hmm. Every single time (and there were many) the Bush administration expanded the power of the government, bithead defended it – his favorite line was “the Constitution is not a suicide pact.”

    And of course there were all his comments about how people who questioned any of it were terrorist sympathisers.

    All this from a guy who can barely keep his own blog live.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

  14. just as there were people on the left and far-right in asserting that George Bush was going to declare martial law and cancel the elections in 2004 and 2008

    They are saying exactly that about President Obama on comment threads. It’s hilarious.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  15. sam says:

    @Eric Florack:

    At every turn…. every single opportunity, this administration has taken steps against freedom and for bigger governmental control. Every single time.

    At every turn…every single opportunity, BitEric shows himself to be a moron.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

  16. sam says:

    @Dunbar:

    You left out the Mayan Calendar thing.

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Now I’m really scared.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  17. Eric Florack says:

    Gee… then the majority of the country apparently is moronic, given the 402% apporval rating Obama has just now.

    As has been stated elsewhere, numerous anecdotes do not make data. But how many raindrops does it take to convince you that it might be raining?

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 20

  18. Eric Florack says:

    Please point me to the times when you said the exact same thing when the exact same Executive Order was issued by President’s Reagan, Bush 41, and Bush 43

    The problems are of trust and of their respective records.
    Reagan and bush had the support and the trust of the country, though bush admittedly less so. Obama has none at all.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 25

  19. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Timothy Watson:

    Same Richard Posner that same that violating a ban on torture was nothing more than civil disobedience?

    Could be, although he’s only the father of the author of the book I mentioned which is superb btw. That said I’m something of a fan of Posner pere although that doesn’t mean I agree with every word he’s ever uttered. He should be on the supreme court, by comparison with him Thomas is a mental pygmy. He’s also had something of a conversion on the road to Damascus on a number of issues mainly economic but whether this extends to torture I don’t know.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  20. Doug, thanks for the common sense. I had the same response when I read the E.O. In fact, my first thought was that this might be a way to go around GOP intransigence about spending money on infrastructure.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  21. Actually, I’ve just looked at the E.O. again, and I think it may be more about health care than infrastructure, although it could work for both.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  22. sam says:

    @Eric Florack:

    Reagan and bush had the support and the trust of the country, though bush admittedly less so. Obama has none at all.

    You even flunk elementary logic. The question is, does this order represent a power grab by the president? Your argument is, Yes it does because the people don’t trust the president.

    Idiot.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1

  23. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Eric Florack:

    Gee… then the majority of the country apparently is moronic, given the 402% apporval rating Obama has just now.

    Get out of dreamland Eric…according to Republican leaning pollster Rasmussen Obama’s approval is currently at 49%

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/obama_approval_index_history

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

  24. anjin-san says:

    Seems like just yesterday that conservatives were telling us that a real leader cared nothing for polls and did not put his finger to the wind to make decisions or set policy. Shoe, meet other foot.

    It’s worth noting that Reagan’s approval dipped into the 30s and Bush’s the 20s.

    Reagan and bush had the support and the trust of the country

    Obama has none at all

    This is remarkably stupid even by your olympian standards…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  25. michael reynolds says:

    @Eric Florack:

    The problems are of trust and of their respective records.
    Reagan and bush had the support and the trust of the country, though bush admittedly less so. Obama has none at all.

    Yet another demonstration — like any was needed — that you are immune to truth.

    Why don’t you try just for once in your pathetic life to tell the truth rather than engaging in weak-ass code-speak. Reagan and Bush were WHITE. Obama is BLACK. That’s what you mean. Now man up and be honest for once.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 10

  26. Hey Norm says:

    Finally…I’ve been waiting for over 3 years fo the Dictatorship to take over. Viva la Socialism!!! I was beginning to think it wasn’t going to happen in spite of all I had heard. But no…it turns out that free market health care reform and letting the opportunity to nationalize the auto and banking industries slip by were just head fakes. Obama was simply waiting for the renewal of a 60 year old order. Well played sir…well played.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  27. Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    @Eric Florack:

    The problems are of trust and of their respective records. Reagan and bush had the support and the trust of the country…

    Even for you, that’s amazingly hack-tacular.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  28. @Doug Mataconis:

    Ohmygod, Doug. I just read that entire article. I’ve heard the name “Snooki” and I’ve heard of that tv show “Jersey Shore” but knew nothing about either of them, and I never heard of her boyfriend. The two of them sound so unbelievably, incredibly, profoundly brain-dead stupid, that it takes my breath away.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  29. Kathy,

    Now you have an understanding of the true danger facing our nation given their spawning.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  30. @Brummagem Joe:

    Posner is an interesting character. A true intellectual on the bench, I think. The most interesting of his books that I’ve read (and I’ve read most of them) is Sex & Reason.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  31. michael reynolds says:

    I think we can all, Republicans and Democrats, agree that Mr. Obama should use his emergency powers to do something about Jersey Shore. I hate to even mention Predator strikes but hey, someone’s gotta say it.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  32. Tsar Nicholas II says:

    There was a “controversy” about this EO on right-wing blogs?? That alone makes me glad that I don’t read right-wing blogs. Not that I’m surprised, mind you. Those blogs merely are the online equivalents of wingnut conservative talk radio programs. Some of the most shrill and uninformed rhetoric anywhere is par for the course in those two places.

    In any event, I don’t see anything wrong with this EO. Hell, I don’t see anything in the ballpark of being wrong with this EO. For all of the reasons set forth in the blog post.

    In point of fact, I would take this analysis a step further. I’ve always been of the opinion that the executive branch should have plenary powers during wars and other crises approaching the ability to rule entirely by fiat. Yes, I am being serious. The way in which I read the Constitution is that Congress is supposed to legislate on such items as funding standard government operations, fiscal and economic policies, relations with Indian tribes, patents and trademarks, bankruptcies, and like matters. The president, on the other hand, during wartime, as CIC of the Armed Forces, stands far above the Congress. At least to my way of thinking.

    During the height of the Korean War President Truman ordered the private steel mines and mills to continue production in connection with nationalizing by way of fiat the entire steel industry. The Supreme Court went against Truman. Were I on the SCOTUS I would have voted in Truman’s favor.

    During the height of the Civil War President Lincoln suspended all federal writs of habeas corpus. The Supreme Court went against Lincoln. I would have supported him.

    The Constitution is not a suicide pact and in times of war and other grave emergencies it can be necessary to put a lid on democracy in order to maintain democracy. Lincoln and Truman are two of the very greatest presidents in our history. What they did respectively in connection with habeas writs and the steel industry in my view only adds to their legacies.

    Lastly, getting back to Obama’s innocuous EO, to me it’s simply a case of trying to stay ahead of the curve. Plan for the worst, hope for the best. That’s the essence of a president’s primary job function: to protect the nation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

  33. G.A. says:

    .

    Reagan and Bush were WHITE. Obama is BLACK. That’s what you mean. Now man up and be honest for once.

    Once again communist is not a race.Race: there are two, Human and Angel. Are you with me Harry? For color we have different shades of brown.

    And if we go by your rules/disproved assumptions. Obama would be like red, green and half white devil.

    I think we can all, Republicans and Democrats, agree that Mr. Obama should use his emergency powers to do something about Jersey Shore. I hate to even mention Predator strikes but hey, someone’s gotta say it.

    lol, do they shoot film anywhere near the Glee set? :)……

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 20

  34. anjin-san says:

    GA

    Get to a meeting.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  35. anjin-san says:

    The two of them sound so unbelievably, incredibly, profoundly brain-dead stupid, that it takes my breath away.

    Sadly, this seems to have great appeal. When did we put stupidity on a pedestal?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  36. anjin,

    I could have totally blown your mind by linking to the idiocy that Pamela Gellar wrote in connection with this story

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  37. Ron Beasley says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Why isn’t she in an asylum somewhere? There’s freedom of speech and there is bat sh*t crazy. Ms Gellar certainly falls into the second.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  38. G.A. says:

    Get to a meeting.

    I have not had a drop of kool aid for more then 20 years now….. how you doing bro?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 8

  39. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Posner is an interesting character. A true intellectual on the bench, I think. The most interesting of his books that I’ve read (and I’ve read most of them) is Sex & Reason.

    Well then you should read his son’s and Professor Vermeule’s book. It’s in your field. And it’s a description of reality.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  40. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I could have totally blown your mind by linking to the idiocy that Pamela Gellar wrote in connection with this story

    Does she bend spoons?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  41. An Interested Party says:

    At what point do worries about a dictatorship become valid, do you suppose?

    When the rest of us become as bat$hit insane as you…

    Gee… then the majority of the country apparently is moronic, given the 402% apporval rating Obama has just now.

    Reagan and bush had the support and the trust of the country, though bush admittedly less so. Obama has none at all.

    My goodness, we’re gonna need a much larger field the way these goalposts are being moved around…

    Once again communist is not a race.

    No, but stupidity is an affliction that you seem to be suffering from…perhaps Anjin’s suggestion was referring to a meeting to discuss a lobotomy…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  42. anjin-san says:

    GA. 22 years. No tequila, no cocaine, no kool aid.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  43. @G.A.:

    And if we go by your rules/disproved assumptions. Obama would be like red, green and half white devil.

    Well, someone seems to have had a very fun St. Patrick’s Day.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  44. Hey Norm says:

    Talk smack about Pam Geller if you want but she had a hand in the whole community center that became a Mosque located at the WTC site even though it was not near the WTC. This is what passes for thought in the Republican Party today. She is an opinion shaper. If you are a Republican she is not a kook…she is telling you what to think.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  45. WR says:

    @Tsar Nicholas II: “Some of the most shrill and uninformed rhetoric anywhere is par for the course in those two places. ”

    And then mulitply it by ten and you have one of Tsar N’s comments.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  46. WR says:

    @G.A.: “lol, do they shoot film anywhere near the Glee set? :)…… ”

    You had it right the first time! They don’t “film” Jersey Shore, they shoot it on tape or digital media. Please be proud of getting it right. I’m sorry you second-guessed yourself.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  47. jd says:

    It’s far easier to influence the decisions of one person than those of a House or a Senate or even a panel of judges, therefore pile as much power into the hands of one official as possible and you’ll only have to spend money on that one official.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  48. G.A. says:

    Well, someone seems to have had a very fun St. Patrick’s Day.

    :) I found two porterhouses that cost almost less then two gallons of gas and grilled out on a beautiful day…

    You had it right the first time! They don’t “film” Jersey Shore, they shoot it on tape or digital media.

    some one needs to do something about that word/violent term…is capturing ok ? heehee….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  49. troglodyt says:

    For all who freaked out about the timing (OMG, he issued the EO on Friday!): Clintons 94 EO and Reagans 88 EO concerning this matter were issued on Fridays.

    Another possible reason for the why now: There has been increasing concern about the availability of rare-earth elements, due to Chinese export restrictions. Maybe this is about securing domestic supply.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  50. BleevK says:

    @G.A.: Bible=kool aid.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  51. G.A. says:

    Bible=kool aid.

    I used to think the same thing when I was indoctrinated like you, as I have said before I was taught to hate the Bible and Christians by secular society, mostly from T.V. and the parents of friends and then with my own stupidity and intellectual arrogance from reading tons of non sense, fantasy and science fiction.I was a proud atheist, I laughed at divine beings and mocked them out of pure ignorance. Ignorance the kind and like of that I see here. The know it all but don’t really want to know nothing more then the jumbled up preferred selection of what you want to be and think to be right, an excuse and justification worldview.

    There are other words I could use but I know how much you all hate Christianese….

    So I will spare you and do psychobabble….not to mention babblepsycho….lol…..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  52. Rob in CT says:

    The converts are always the worst.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  53. @G.A.:

    I was a proud atheist, I laughed at divine beings and mocked them out of pure ignorance.

    You still do. You don’t believe in Allah or Krishna or Ra or Zoroaster or Zeus or any of the other bazillion gods who inhabit human mythology. The only distinction between you and us is that there’s one more god we are incredulous about.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  54. @troglodyt:

    There has been increasing concern about the availability of rare-earth elements, due to Chinese export restrictions. Maybe this is about securing domestic supply.

    Except one of the things the new EO did actually change was to limit the ability of the FTC to review the foreign purchase or US companies, so this seems unlikely.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  55. “power, once assumed by the Imperial Presidency, is never surrendered.”

    That really should be the lead of your post, Doug.

    Don’t for get that Harry Truman ordered the government to take over the railways and the coal mines in 1946 just because he wanted to, not even pretending it was related to national security, and that was long before this Korean-War era law.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  56. mannning says:

    After reading the entire EO, I am wondering what the big deal is. The phrases that refer to non-war situations could possibly refer to the buildup phase prior to a declaration of war, or, in the case of a “conflict” that has no legal declaration of war. In addition, I have often thought of the large use of foreign parts in our military electronics, to our specs, of course, but what if the source was unavailable? The EO is an aid to fixing this problem, I believe, in the event that Taiwan, for instance was no longer able to supply us.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  57. Will says:

    @Warren Jason Street:
    And that Nixon was going to cancel the elections and repeal the Bill of Rights in 1972. There was a “leaked White House memo”… but somehow it didn’t happen.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  58. anjin-san says:

    “power, once assumed by the Imperial Presidency, is never surrendered.”

    Doug has this nailed, and in my mind, it is the core issue here. Democrats called for caution when Bush was expanding the power of the Presidency by leaps and bounds – they were called traitors for their trouble. Under Obama, the beat goes on. At least I trust Obama, more or less…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  59. Eric Florack says:

    Hmm. Every single time (and there were many) the Bush administration expanded the power of the government, bithead defended it – his favorite line was “the Constitution is not a suicide pact.”

    And of course there were all his comments about how people who questioned any of it were terrorist sympathisers.

    All this from a guy who can barely keep his own blog live.

    You usually seem to offer up such a target rich environment, Anin

    When such powers are weilded, it seems to me an advantage to have them weilded by someone who publicly avers that government is the problem, not the solution. Consider; which…. Obama, or Reagan…. or for that atter, Bush, if you like… would be more likely to use such powers to force social change?

    Amazingly, it’s the Bamster you trust? Oh, that’s right. Socialist change is the goal. And we’re supposed to take you seriously?

    As for the site, A lot of the problem involved my job, and the ack of time on the road to do site support issues. That’s been dealt with, and it’s been moved. Im sure you’ll find it annoying to know it’s back online.

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  60. anjin-san says:

    it seems to me an advantage to have them weilded by someone who publicly avers that government is the problem, not the solution

    Well, Bush vastly expanded the size and power of the government, so we can just chalk that up as one more nonsense argument coming from you. As for Reagan, I voted for him twice. Reagan and Obama are similar creatures in a political sense. Both pragmatists who were/are interested in getting things done. Reagan was more skilled, but then he had vastly more experience than Obama when he took office.

    Question – do you not realize that the genial Mr. Reagan would almost certainly despise the vitriolic, hate filled politics you expouse?

    government is the problem, not the solution

    Thank you for the daily dose of party dogma. The dead hand behind the modern conservative movement is not President Reagan, it is Andrei Gromyko. Ideological purity isn’t everything – it’s the only thing.

    And we’re supposed to take you seriously?

    Well, compare the like/dislike ration on my comments here on OTB to your own. People do take me seriously. You, not so much. Or are you referring to yourself in the third person?

    BTW, I thought you used to be an IT guy. If so, you know that no one is interested in lame excuses when a site is down…

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  61. G.A. says:

    You still do. You don’t believe in Allah or Krishna or Ra or Zoroaster or Zeus or any of the other bazillion gods who inhabit human mythology. The only distinction between you and us is that there’s one more god we are incredulous about.

    :)

    I have made it very clear that I believe in angels, also the fallen ones which I think make up much of what you give as examples. Perhaps I was not clear on divine beings. I was conferring that they can be created also. I don’t believe they are gods. Demonic spirits and fabrications of the mind, I am not completely sure which are which but there is strong evidence for many to be the real thing.

    As I see it, as I have learned how to tell.

    This also explains much about ghosts and aliens to me now.

    I am studying some heavy stuff about Antichrist, revelations,aliens, Islam, the founders and many men who I thought to be good solid biblical preachers(even that I am still forming and learning things about my worldview in eschatology) I learn many new things daily, many are reveling and convince me I was wrong or misled about certain subjects.Staying in the Word is hard for me,I am naturally hyper and obnoxious,(and get this as a child I was this underneath shy and introverted) yet, I can’t blame anything but myself but I do have certain disability and addictions, still no excuse.

    I understand your disbelief(from experience if you will allow) and can only hope that you will keep an open mind about such things…

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  62. An Interested Party says:

    I used to think the same thing when I was indoctrinated like you…

    As if religion doesn’t involve indoctrination…

    When such powers are weilded, it seems to me an advantage to have them weilded by someone who publicly avers that government is the problem, not the solution. Consider; which…. Obama, or Reagan…. or for that atter, Bush, if you like… would be more likely to use such powers to force social change?

    Amazingly, it’s the Bamster you trust? Oh, that’s right. Socialist change is the goal. And we’re supposed to take you seriously?

    Oh please, what a load of horse$hit…for people who were supposedly opposed to government, it certainly grew under the presidencies of Reagan and Bush…and only those afflicted with the severest form of ODS actually think that the President is a socialist…someone has inhaled too many fumes while being on the road…

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  63. Derin says:

    And here I thought I’d arrived at a place where political rhetoric and outright bashing wouldn’t be the norm. It seems like even the smart people (for you certainly seem of above average intelligence compared to the typical political threads) can’t possibly be open-minded—in either direction. Are you all so insecure that instead of simply stating your argument, you have to resort to ridiculing and demeaning people? Respecting others doesn’t mean you’re wrong.

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  64. troglodyt says:

    @Stormy Dragon: I’m not sure where you found that in the document and what the relevance is. Maybe you could clarify.

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  65. Winslow Wilson says:

    Regardless I am still concerned about the Terrorist bill against U.S. Citizens that was passed 2 months ago, tucked away in the Defense Spending bill.

    Some Senators say it doesn’t apply to us and other Senators say it does.

    For those of you who missed this in the news, Thanks to our Conservative owned media who now do Black Outs on important information of what’s really going on.

    This Bill allows you to be arrested in the middle of the night, with no phone call to a lawyer,
    transported to a secret prison somewhere in the world and held indefinitely as a Terrorist, if you are suspected. Suspected? yep that’s it.

    Here’s the thing Folks. Even if this bill were to apply only to a foreign person, I ask you this…

    What Nation of Darkness would even write such a Law? To be held in a secret prison and never be allowed to confront your accusers.

    Years ago we used to say that this kind of thing only happened in Russia. How did Russia get better and we got worse?

    Keep in mind this was a Republican sponsored Bill. Does that tell you anything about that particular party?

    If you generally vote Republican, you may want to reconsider putting anyone who runs with that party into office.

    You will not be spared the effects of things they foolishly place into law.

    I am particularly glad that I don’t own any real wealth to speak of. I have a house but that’s it.

    The people who should be worried are those who own a lot of real estate and other possessions. Because once arrested under this law, your property can be confiscated if you are a suspect. Most likely your spouse and family would be suspect of aiding and abetting you and they too arrested.

    I’m not saying this for a fact, but it would make it easier to confiscate all the properties and assets owned if there is no close family claim.

    Of course you realize that most likely you would try to escape a Secret Prison while being held and paper work documenting your attempted escape could easily be produced to give as evidence when they explain why you were shot to death in that attempted escape.

    Oh am I being hysterical here? Am I being negative? Well let me see. I didn’t write this bill, that’s a plus. I only reported it to those who haven’t read about it yet …That’s a plus. So..No I’m not being paranoid, or acting under some conspiracy theory mode. I am simply stating that Only a Nation of Darkness can write a Bill like this.

    Wave your American Flag all you want. You can’t make this one go away. Remember each time you wave it back and forth, you are in essence waving good bye to what it used to stand for.

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  66. Eric Florack says:

    Why don’t you try just for once in your pathetic life to tell the truth rather than engaging in weak-ass code-speak. Reagan and Bush were WHITE. Obama is BLACK. That’s what you mean. Now man up and be honest for once.

    Oh, please. Was Jimmy Carter black?

    Same policy, same result.
    Why is it anytime someone questions Obama POLICY, his moronic defenders such as yourself, play the race card? can it be they know they have no defense based on his policy and the result of it, alone?

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  67. Matthew says:

    @Kathy Kattenburg: @Kathy Kattenburg:

    The EO needs to be in place for the reason it was done the first time back in the 30′s, it is a prep for war national mobilization facilitator. The only problem with it now, is not that is still on the books, but they way intent and usage have not been on the same sheet of music after 9/11. Where I am going at with this, is yes, Obama could declare a national emergency for healthcare or the national transportation infrastructure, and that would be within the scope of what the EO allows. However, that is not at all the intent of the EO. The POTUS has power indeed, but has to be used with care. Could you imagine if Obama tried to declare any state of emergency even if we were attacked here in the states, it would not a positive experience. This is the state of our nation.

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