April 17, 2017

OUTSIDE THE MAINSTREAM | 5 New Executive Orders, Graded by Me

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In the first weeks of his term, Trump issued a great many executive orders that have caused a lot of outcry and hurt a lot of people. He tried to ban Muslims from coming to the United States, raised border security and cut down financial regulations. Of course, the media grew disinterested, but the parade of executive orders continued.  For your convenience, I have selected five executive orders you probably never heard about and graded them according to my own imaginary criteria.

Executive Order 1: Providing an Order of Succession within the Department of Justice

Date issued: January 24th
Description: This executive order focuses on so-called “Transnational Criminal Organizations,” which are basically cartels or violent groups similar to them. It redirects certain government agencies to work harder on combating these groups and demands more reports to be issued on how to stop their influence. Not so bad at first, until you actually dive into the language.

Report Card

Destroying Immigrant Rights: A
This executive order really warms up to immigrants. It singles out the “prosecution of ancillary criminal offenses, such as immigration fraud and visa fraud,” perfectly targeting immigrants in our society. Huge surprise from the always tolerant Trump administration, right?

Repeating Racist Rhetoric: A
Part of the order, supposedly to combat large criminal organizations, focuses on the “swift removal from the United States of foreign nationals who are members of such organizations.” For the Trump, the real goal remains to kick out immigrants, which will somehow magically eliminate crime.  He says, “These groups are drivers of crime, corruption, violence, and misery,” a fact that is totally supported by the truth. In a way, this order captures his campaign message very well—that “rapist” and criminal Mexicans have destroyed America and that, subsequently, we need to spend a bazillion dollars on a wall.

Actually Solving Issue of Cartels: D
Cartels have led to the deaths of thousands of people across the Americas, most notably in Mexico. This executive order offers lots of vague stuff about immigrants killing Americans. Problem solved.

Here’s a two for one!

Executive Order 2: Presidential Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs

Date Issued: Jan. 30


Executive Order 3: Presidential Executive Order on a Comprehensive Plan for Reorganizing the Executive Branch

Date Issued: March 13
Description: These executive orders serve similar functions. The first order states that for every regulation a department in the federal government seeks to pass, it must also identify two regulations to repeal. In addition, when putting regulations into place, a department must ensure that the net increase in cost of all regulations must equal zero by the end of the year. The second order, meanwhile, wishes to eliminate as many federal agencies as possible and combine leftover functions into the remaining agencies.  It also “investigates” whether private enterprise would be better to complete certain functions normally shouldered by the federal government.

Report Card

Dismantling the Federal Government: A-
Using an absurd ratio of eliminating two regulations for every one put in place, the first executive could do a great job of randomly dismantling our government. In addition, combining agencies together, even if they really need to be separate, could cut down on government expenditures in a big way as well. No more need of those pesky regulations or agencies that get in the way of completely destroying the environment or causing global financial meltdowns.

Centralizing Power/Resources: B
On the other hand, this executive order could also collapse a bunch of agencies together. Who needs power spread out, when it can be all run in the White House? Plus, by cutting all those annoying regulations, we can spend more money on the army, which can do Trump’s/the Republicans’/corporations’/Russia’s bidding around the globe.

Privatize Everything: A
The second executive orders really puts forward a great initiative to try and dump the government into the private market. After all, it’s not as if the history of capitalism has never led to problems with corporations valuing profits over people. Can you imagine how destructive this order could be if that was true?

Trump Being a “Big Government” Republican: D
For all those people who said Trump did not represent the Republican party, or that he would bring a “big government” attitude to the GOP—that’s not going to happen. Trump merely dumped Republican ideology into an anti-establishment brand. Have fun with that!

Executive Order 4: Presidential Executive Order on Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the “Waters of the United States” Rule

Date Issued: February 28
Description: Basically, the order directs the EPA to review the water rule issued by the Obama administration at the end of his presidency. This rule defines “protected waters” to include those rivers upstream, wetlands, waters controlled by the tides and other bodies that flow into drinking water so that gas, oil and other companies cannot contaminate them. While the rule does not include groundwater, it includes many more significant areas of water that could be polluted.

Report Card

Contaminating Our Drinking Water:  A
Who needs nice drinking water? Whether it’s pipes of lead or runoff from fracking, our government has ensured that millions of people will be exposed to unsafe water conditions, especially minority populations. Just buy Trump water!

Making the Planet Great Again: A+
President Trump does not need a planet. Global warming does not exist, air pollution does not kill people, and the EPA can go to hell.  Might as well drain the planet, if we are going to drain the swamp.

Executive Order 5: Presidential Executive Order Regarding the Omnibus Report on Significant Trade Deficits

Date Issued: March 31
Description: Basically, in preparation for re-negotiating trade deals such as NAFTA, it orders a review of our trade deficit and asks for information to be gathered.

Report Card

Blaming the Responsible Parties: B+
Of course, the language of the order simply restates Trump’s campaign rhetoric that “unfair and discriminatory practices … put the commerce of the United States at a disadvantage compared to that of foreign countries.” In other words, let’s just blame China or Mexico or Japan or the EU for our trade problems! No need to blame the corporations who have hurt workers across the globe by shipping millions of jobs overseas into regions with exploitative labor practices.

Solving America’s Employment Issues: F
So…. what exactly are these trade negotiations going to do? Are we gonna be able to actually tell companies to just move jobs back? Does Trump really think he can just impose a bunch of tariffs and U.S. companies won’t fight him to the death? Well he certainly is a great negotiator!

Labor Rights Hypocrisy: A
The executive order lists a bunch of things that could be detrimental to our country. One of them is the “denial of worker rights and labor standards” by other countries. That sounds great, especially because Trump has really set the bar high when it comes to labor standards in the United States. when he does not really want a minimum wage, tried to appoint this guy to be labor secretary, and thinks America workers are overpaid.