New Obama executive order not a 'power grab' to nationalize everything
A new Executive Order by President Obama released on Friday has some people blowing a gasket, describing it variously as a "power grab" to take over the American economy or a measure to give the president the authority to declare martial law for little or no reason.
I'm sure you'll be relieved to hear that's a load of crap.
The hub bub was fed by a financial writer for the Examiner who didn't read the EO carefully, and subsequently fed the hysteria by positing the notion that Obama was out to take over everything.
Ed Morrissey calms everyone down:
Again, this is almost identical to EO 12919 from 18 years earlier. Note what this EO specifically orders: identify, assess, be prepared, improve, foster cooperation. None of these items claim authority to seize private property and place them at the personal disposal of Obama. What follows after Section 103 are the directives for implementing these rather analytical tasks, mostly in the form of explicit delegations of presidential authority to Cabinet members and others in the executive branch.
Why the update? If one takes a look at EO 12919, the big change is in the Cabinet itself. In 1994, we didn't have a Department of Homeland Security, for instance, and some of these functions would naturally fall to DHS. In EO 12919, the FEMA director had those responsibilities, and the biggest change between the two is the removal of several references to FEMA (ten in all). Otherwise, there aren't a lot of changes between the two EOs, which looks mainly like boilerplate.
In fact, that's almost entirely what it is. The original EO dealing with national defense resources preparedness was issued in 1939 (EO 8248) according to the National Archives. It has been superseded a number of times, starting in 1951 by nearly every President through Bill Clinton, and amended twice by George W. Bush.
Barack Obama may be arrogant, and the timing of this release might have looked a little strange, but this is really nothing to worry about at all.
I don't know why these conspiracy theories get started. It can't be there are thousands of mentally disturbed paranoids out there. Perhaps it is a sign of the times that so many people believe it possible that Obama would attempt such a coup or he is capable of worse.
Still, it does not speak well of many who jump to irrational conclusions at the drop of a hat.