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Checks and balances? What checks and balances?

America's government is a carefully crafted system of checks and balances, as laid out by the Constitution -- well, in theory at least.  However, in recent decades, the executive branch has tended to do what it wants while the grumbling legislation is placated by piles of tax loopholes for their campaign donors and special interest handouts for key local constituents.

I. Cybersecurity Bill - Down, But Not Out

Take the "Cybersecurity Act", bill, S.2105 [PDF], for example.  A redraft of earlier House bill H.R. 3523, the Act gained the support of the President by modifying its proposed implementation to include funneling more of Americans' private data through the increasingly Big Brother-esque U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

While the President was delighted by the promise of the DHS gaining more access in the name of fighting a shadowy, vague Chinese threat, privacy advocates and fiscal conservatives were horrified by the bill.  Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) called the bill "Big Brother writ large."

The bill also stalled in the Senate thanks to growing concern from the corporate community, who urged their affiliated Republican Senators to move to block the bill.  Business leaders supported some of the provisions that would tear down legal barriers between government and private sector information sharing.  But they balked at the proposal of mandatory security guidelines -- another key part of the bill.

Well, bill or no bill the Obama administration is confident they can put the policies in place.  The key to subverting the stubborn legislature, argues administration officials is to substitute executive orders in the place of Senate votes.

Homeland Security
President Obama hopes to use executive orders to expand the DHS's cybersecurity role.
[Image Source: CyTalk]

White House press secretary Jay Carney says that executive orders have not been ruled out, assuming the Senate continues its freeze on the bill.  He comments, "In the wake of Congressional inaction and Republican stall tactics, unfortunately, we will continue to be hamstrung by outdated and inadequate statutory authorities that the legislation would have fixed."

Obama's slogan on this and other issues is "we can't wait."

II. Continuing the FDR Legacy

Indeed the White House will likely move aggressively to put in place executive orders with agencies such as the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to put in place systems forcing businesses to meet security screening.

Even the prohibition on sharing consumer information with the DHS may be able to be torn down by executive order.  By making the program "voluntary" with incentives, the White House could circumvent laws prohibiting the executive branch from forcing unwanted, unlegislated regulation on businesses.

If President Obama does choose to bypass Congress, the approach may draw criticism.  Senator Susan Collins (R- Maine) -- one of the co-sponsors of the bill -- said she would not be comfortable with that approach, despite her support for the provisions.  She comments, "I'm not for doing by executive order what should be done by legislation."

One of the Democratic co-sponsors -- Senator Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) -- seemed okay with the idea, though.  Asked if she would approve of executive orders as a substitute, she said, "I suppose if we can't [pass the bill], the answer would be yes."

Here's a quick rundown on recent President's use of the executive order [source]:

Executive orders per year
[Image Source: Jason Mick/DailyTech]

Of course these recent numbers pale in comparison to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who put in place 3,467 orders during his twelve years in office.  He may have propelled the nation out of a depression, but he set a costly precedent with those orders, one that his successors have followed -- to a lesser extent -- to this day.

Source: The Hill

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RE: I fear for the future...
By TSS on 8/8/2012 9:20:07 AM , Rating: 0
What's wrong with letting the people starve who do their best to starve?

Why must you jump towards telling people how to live their life, or (semi)voluntairing for sterilization? Because you give them worthless pieces of paper we've decided are worth something?

It's also terribly nice of you to have people suffer, but not starve so they can continue to suffer.

Tell me. What is wrong with not giving somebody money after say, the 3rd kid. Have 4 kids, then you're paying for the 4th on your own. If you refuse to and let them die of neglect, you'll go to jail and that'll solve the problem of you making any more kids. Even though jails are pretty full i'm sure we can find spots for people who let their children die out of pure neglect or carelessness for the child. Maybe they'd be a little less full if there wasn't such a zero tolerance behaviour towards drugs in the land hippies originated.

But noooooo. Let's say that people who are on medicare for whatever reason, cannot smoke, drink or be obese. And let's completly forget that the people who cost the most in medical expenses are the healthy ones who live to be 90+ .

My grandma made it to 96 before she died. she'd been bed ridden for 3 years, constantly needing care from 5+ people not even counting my dad, who had to wash out her clothes completly covered in pee and shit for 3 years, because it was so disgusting the personell in the retiring home wouldn't do it. She had OCD of course so she made sure to make everybody's life a living hell. You should've seen her medicin basket (yes, it had turned into a complete basket of pills she needed every day to continue living). She's never smoked or drank and lived a healthy life.

I never knew my grandpa. Died somewhere in his 60's. Colon cancer, he was a heavy smoker. Died because he was afraid of the doctor and didn't go to the hospital before it was too late.

Which one of these has cost my nation more money?

The USA is moving towards a totalitarian state because it's people have lost all ability to think. Instead their guided by just as extremist notions as the taliban. If he can't stop having kids, cut off his dick. An eye for an eye, just as god would've wanted it.

"Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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