The First big decisions on personnel issues
After his first week which was full of legislative issues Trump announced a big decision on Tuesday (31st of January). It was his nomination for the vacant seat of the Supreme Court. Trump’s nominee is Neil Gorsuch who “is, like Scalia [His Predecessor (BC)], a textualist and an originalist: someone who interprets legal provisions as their words were originally understood” (as taken from the National Review). Overall I think it’s a good choice because he ruled in favor of religious freedoms, an upcoming topic with Trump’s legislation, before. He is described as conservative which will lead to no other results in cases of abortion or other similar topics than before. The senate has to approve him now. This has to be with a simple majority which can be filibustered by the Democrats to a super Majority of 60 votes. This can be revoked by the “nuclear option” which Trump advises Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell in one of this week’s remarks. On Thursday, criticism rose against Gorsuch because of the founding of a right winged group called “Fascism Forever Club” which was against left winged staff members. Controvercies.
Pictures of the Week
The announcement of Neil Gorsuch as the president’s nominee for the vacant Supreme Court seat.
Public Domain as Downloaded from Wikipedia.
Protests in London against the “Muslim Ban“. Such Protests were held all over the globe. Note the connotation of Theresa May as Appeaser like Neville Chamberlain. His Policies did not prevent Hitler from starting WW2. May was the first foreign leader (or head of government) to meet the new President in Office.
Copyright by Neil Cummings as downloaded from Flickr under creative common license (CC BY-SA 2.0).
Executive Orders and other Legislation
Three very important Orders were signed this week.
The first one became prominent under the title “Muslim Ban” (see link above). The Act wants to reduce the investigative burden of the agencies for the next 90 days. That’s why all Visas from 7 countries are suspended promptly, as seen in the screenshot below.
Screenshot by the Author.
It’s striking to see that only countries with no business ties to Trump’s organization were banned. And there were 0 (zero!) US casualties by extremists from these countries after 9/11 which was over 15 years ago. That’s why the impact is questionable at all.
The second intriguing act is the on concerning Ethics. Through it all employees of U.S. agencies have to sign a pledge posted verbatim below:
“As a condition, and in consideration, of my employment in the United States Government in an appointee position invested with the public trust, I commit myself to the following obligations, which I understand are binding on me and are enforceable under law:
“1. I will not, within 5 years after the termination of my employment as an appointee in any executive agency in which I am appointed to serve, engage in lobbying activities with respect to that agency.
“2. If, upon my departure from the Government, I am covered by the post-employment restrictions on communicating with employees of my former executive agency set forth in section 207(c) of title 18, United States Code, I agree that I will abide by those restrictions.
“3. In addition to abiding by the limitations of paragraphs 1 and 2, I also agree, upon leaving Government service, not to engage in lobbying activities with respect to any covered executive branch official or non-career Senior Executive Service appointee for the remainder of the Administration.
“4. I will not, at any time after the termination of my employment in the United States Government, engage in any activity on behalf of any foreign government or foreign political party which, were it undertaken on January 20, 2017, would require me to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, as amended.
“5. I will not accept gifts from registered lobbyists or lobbying organizations for the duration of my service as an appointee.
“6. I will not for a period of 2 years from the date of my appointment participate in any particular matter involving specific parties that is directly and substantially related to my former employer or former clients, including regulations and contracts.
“7. If I was a registered lobbyist within the 2 years before the date of my appointment, in addition to abiding by the limitations of paragraph 6, I will not for a period of 2 years after the date of my appointment participate in any particular matter on which I lobbied within the 2 years before the date of my appointment or participate in the specific issue area in which that particular matter falls.
“8. I agree that any hiring or other employment decisions I make will be based on the candidate’s qualifications, competence, and experience.
“9. I acknowledge that the Executive Order entitled ‘Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Appointees,’ issued by the President on January 28, 2017, which I have read before signing this document, defines certain terms applicable to the foregoing obligations and sets forth the methods for enforcing them. I expressly accept the provisions of that Executive Order as a part of this agreement and as binding on me. I understand that the obligations of this pledge are in addition to any statutory or other legal restrictions applicable to me by virtue of Government service.”.
Taken from the Executive Order.
You can see that Trump tries to tackle the problems of Lobbyism and Corruption, widely criticized from the left and right wing. But with all the good remarks he makes there are some problems with it: The concept of waivers adds huge arbitrariness to the Order and the Attorney General becomes, even more, powerful because he is to enforce this pledge.
The third Order announced this week tries to reduce bureaucracy in the US. Every new regulation should replace two older ones and in the same procedure, there should be a fewer amount of money taken to implement these regulations. This creates the need for a strict plan of the budget for the upcoming years. This seems to be the job of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget who is to identify the costs each agency can produce and help them to achieve this goal. This is as well as the ethics Order an order I mostly agree with. The idea of implementing new regulations through the repeal of old ones is a good try but there may be critical regulations repealed for ones only in the interest of the new Government.
Trump vs. The Media will be a case that won’t close until his presidency ends. At the Listening Session for African American History Month, he showed two things. That he will leave African Americans behind not only but especially in the education system (read more here) and that his fight with the media is just on the rise. Again, he subtly claimed that mainstream media publishes fake news which is not true to the extent he tries to imply. Many Journalists try to report as best as they can, but when certain information isn’t published they are without any power.
Also, Trump seems to forget over “America First” that the partners of America are being upset by him constantly. Australias PM Turnbull has to see a shift towards China already in his population because his country is economically more dependent on them and since Trump can’t behave they maybe seek for stronger ties with China.
As in the first week, Trump created big controversy on his Orders, but the interest of the whole world declined, as I hoped in the last article. His battle on corruption has made a big step forward but still lacks consistency. The Muslim Ban is a slap in the face for everyone hoping that he won’t be so bad, as it only bans some countries showing another lack of consistency.
Since the Senate has to approve his nominations for various jobs in the federal government and the Supreme Court of the United States, as described above, the Congress hasn’t made any law that was signed or vetoed by the president.
Question of the Week
The Result will be published next week. If you want to justify your answer please do it in the comments.
All the information is gathered by me from Official Governmental Websites (such as http://www.whitehouse.gov) and reliable news sites from any kind of political side. Photos are from different kinds of Websites but stated in all cases from where.
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