Seeing RED Over Executive Orders & Actions

Red AlertRed is the only color I am seeing these days.  Red is a nice color for sure, in the right context, like silky red lingerie, or a bountiful red tulip field, or a beautiful pair of strappy red shoes, or a brand new tube of red Yves St Laurent lipstick.  But red is most definitely not the color I want to see when referring to the President of the United States.

During the 2008 presidential campaign I campaigned at a grass roots level for Governor Romney.  I was also enrolled in classes at Florida International University working towards my bachelor’s degree and one of my courses was Political Parties.  In this class we did a historical view of political parties in America including which ideology they subscribe to as well as their influence and structure.  My professor at the time was a young man with a young family, who along with teaching was doing his dissertation on political parties. I found the professor to be unusually fair in the liberal world of political science.  I was impressed with his sensibility and concurred with political facts, which I had seen with my own eyes, and reveled in the new knowledge that he gave us.   One day in class he made a broad and clear statement to my classmates saying, “No democrat or republican will ever ruin this country…no Hillary Clinton or George Bush will ever ruin this country.” He also told us that Governor Romney would never be elected president because of his religion.  He cited examples of his own relatives who said they would “never vote for Governor Romney” because they did not consider him a Christian.

My knowledgeable and insightful professor proceeded to give us his lecture on the instilled checks and balance of power, written to prevent any single president from going against the people of our democratic government, and from watering down the implicit verbiage found in the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

My professor was emphatic that the deep political divide of ideology in Modern America is polarizing and ineffective, which was code for “Republicans need to become more centrist”.  (While he did a good job of presenting a non-partisan affect in our classroom, his liberal leanings poked through every once in a while.)  Still, he continued to assure us that our explicit guiding documents clearly state that we, as Americans, are free to nurture our most basic human needs, protect ourselves, believe in the individual faith of our calling, own property and keep the fruits of our hard labor, while being judged equally through the eyes of the law.

My have things changed drastically in four short years.  Sad to say, it looks like my professor was wrong.  He was seriously wrong.  Obama skirted Senate approval in January when he appointed nominees to the National Labor Relations Board and to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The appointments were unprecedented because he made his appointments when the Senate was technically not in recess, prompting legal challenges from conservative groups.

In June, the president halted deportations of illegal immigrants who entered the United States when they were children and met certain requirements, such as the lack of a criminal record. The change mirrored provisions of the DREAM Act — failed legislation that Obama supported and Senate Republicans blocked in 2010.

And from the National Archives Federal Registry, the following are some of the Executive orders the President signed in 2012:

Taking Additional Steps to Address the National Emergency With Respect to Somalia

  • Signed:   July 20, 2012

 White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans

  • Signed:   July 26, 2012

Authorizing Additional Sanctions With Respect to Iran

  • Signed:   July 30, 2012

Preventing and Responding to Violence Against Women and Girls Globally

  • Signed:   August 10, 2012

Accelerating Investment in Industrial Energy Efficiency

  • Signed:   August 30, 2012

Improving Access to Mental Health Services for Veterans, Service Members, and Military Families

  • Signed:   August 31, 2012

Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration

  • Signed:   September 10, 2012

Strengthening Protections Against Trafficking in Persons in Federal Contracts

  • Signed:   September 25, 2012

Authorizing the Implementation of Certain Sanctions Set Forth in the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 and Additional Sanctions With Respect to Iran

  • Signed:   October 9, 2012

Establishing the White House Homeland Security Partnership Council

  • Signed:   October 26, 2012

Establishment of an Interagency Task Force on Commercial Advocacy

  • Signed:   December 6, 2012

Reestablishment of Advisory Group

Signed:   December 7, 2012

From Forbes.com, here is the list of the 23 executive actions that the President signed last week:

1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.

2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.

3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.

4. Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.

5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.

6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.

7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.

8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).

9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.

10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.

11. Nominate an ATF director.

12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.

13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.

14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.

15. Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies.

16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.

17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.

18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.

19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.

20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.

21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.

22. Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.

23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.

So sadly, the red color of Socialism is the only color I see these days.

 

Lorelei Branam Bennett

Lorelei Branam Bennett is a Florida chick born and raised in Coral Gables. She has been an active grass roots member of the Grand Old Party since her teens and has met many political candidates through the years including Senator Bob Dole, Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Governor Jeb Bush, and Governor Mitt Romney. Lorelei received her bachelor's degree in 2010 from Florida International University's School of Political Science. One of her visiting professors was Senator Marco Rubio; she says she was able to gain genuine insight into Senator Rubio's character during their talks that summer. Lorelei says her golden years have allowed her to travel and to fulfill her dreams of becoming a writer. In addition to writing for PolitiChicks, she is also a published author. Her first book, A Little Bit of Ivey, deals with a large, loud, witty, Southern family whose wealthy matriarch likes to use a shower cap instead of an umbrella and bright colored laundry baskets instead of luggage. Lorelei also owns the website www.IveyMaeMcFarland.com and is currently working on her second book. Lorelei and her husband of almost 27 years have a son, daughter, and granddaughter.

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