Obama is giving some sort of speech tonight. Word has it that he will announce plans to use executive authority to raise the minimum wage for federal contractors
. I'm glad that Obama is finally doing something he should have done in 2009. It's no small thing -- especially if you are (say) someone who cleans carpets or does gardening for a federal property. (One should note, though, that the local government of Washington DC is already taking steps to raise the minimum wage to $11.50 an hour.)
says he plans to fight:
"We’re just not going to sit here and let the President trample all over us," said Boehner.
"This idea that he's just going to go it alone, I have to remind him we do have a constitution. And the Congress writes the laws, and the President’s job is to execute the laws faithfully. And if he tries to ignore this he's going to run into a brick wall."
What kind of brick wall can he erect against an executive order? And why didn't the Republicans try to brick up the executive orders issued by (say) George W. Bush?
Number of executive orders issued by Barack Obama: 167 (so far).
Number of executive orders issued by George W. Bush over eight years: 291.
While we're on the topic of executive orders:
I was interested to learn, by way of Snopes, about this piece of fakelore
that has been buzzing its way through various email lists since 2012.
The President signed 923 Executive Orders in 40 Months. It is all over the net. These sites include commentary on what the executive order is for and what it does. If this is the truth, I'm scared to think about it. Most of the past presidents have allegedly signed around 30 of them. At the end of the day an executive order circumvents the congress and senate. Fill in the blanks. Someone credible needs to research and report on this.
-EXECUTIVE ORDER 10990 allows the government to take over all modes of transportation and control of highways and seaports.
-EXECUTIVE ORDER 10995 allows the government to seize and control the communication media.
-EXECUTIVE ORDER 10997 allows the government to take over all electrical power, gas, petroleum, fuels and minerals.
-EXECUTIVE ORDER 10998 allows the government to take over all food resources and farms.
-EXECUTIVE ORDER 11000 allows the government to mobilize civilians into work brigades under government supervision.
The message goes on and on like that.
-EXECUTIVE ORDER 11921 allows the Federal Emergency Preparedness Agency to develop plans to establish control over the mechanisms of production and distribution, of energy sources, wages, salaries, credit and the flow of money in U.S. financial institution in any undefined national emergency. It also provides that when a state of emergency is declared by the President, Congress cannot review the action for six months.
Toward the end, the author claims that Bush issued only 62 EOs while Clinton issued a mere 15. (Clinton used to be on the receiving end of this kind of email attack. I guess he has been forgiven.)
This entire message is, of course, a hoax. Every sentence contains a lie. It's the sort of psywar broadside designed to appeal to the ninnies who consider Glenn Beck a really good historian.
My question: Who writes this stuff?
We saw many similar examples of emailed fakelore during the Clinton administration. One could argue that Snopes made its reputation through the patient exposure of these things. But Snopes never addresses the authorship problem.
Everyone presumes that such texts make themselves. Wrong.
Look at the way this particular "executive order" email blast is worded: Everything is well-ordered and designed for maximum psychological impact. The grammar is not sloppy (although I question a few word choices). This email is, in short, a fine piece of ad copy. Professional work.
Let's stop kidding ourselves. Let's confess an obvious truth: These texts are written by people who are paid to do a job. This kind of propaganda must be effective, or the tactic would have been abandoned years ago.
The lack of a signature is a tell. These agit-prop narratives are usually written in the first person, in order to convey a folksy appeal. But nobody ever claims authorship. In real life, when average people write anything
-- even a long-ish recipe -- they always put down a name, or at least a nick.