Are you scared of President Obama's latest Executive Order (on National Defense Resources Preparedness; slipped under the radar on Friday)? And if not, shouldn't you be?
Here's a sample:
The authority of the President conferred by section 101 of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2071, to require acceptance and priority performance of contracts or orders (other than contracts of employment) to promote the national defense over performance of any other contracts or orders, and to allocate materials, services, and facilities as deemed necessary or appropriate to promote the national defense, is delegated to the following agency heads:
(1) the Secretary of Agriculture with respect to food resources, food resource facilities, livestock resources, veterinary resources, plant health resources, and the domestic distribution of farm equipment and commercial fertilizer;
(2) the Secretary of Energy with respect to all forms of energy;
(3) the Secretary of Health and Human Services with respect to health resources;
(4) the Secretary of Transportation with respect to all forms of civil transportation;
(5) the Secretary of Defense with respect to water resources; and
(6) the Secretary of Commerce with respect to all other materials, services, and facilities, including construction materials.
Blogger Ozboy at Liberty Gibbet explains why this is worrying:
Under this decree, which revokes similar but weaker executive orders issued by Reagan (1988) and Clinton (1994), and is a tremendous expansion of the powers granted under the 1950 Defense Production Act—written at a time when the United States was under imminent threat of communist infiltration from within, and nuclear attack from without, and considered excessive even then—Obama can simply bypass Congress, at his whim, to commandeer, as you can see above, pretty much everything in the country; grant power of subpoena to Cabinet Secretaries to afford compulsion of these directives; require contractors to work for the government, without compensation, and then legally bar them from suing for compensation afterwards.
Worse, these provisions can be enacted by the president without a formal congressional Declaration of War; in other words, at any time the president deems, at his sole discretion, the situation to be an emergency. In other words, at whim.
Joseph Corica at Digital Journal is also concerned:
To those of you who may not agree that this is a power grab, I challenge you to find anything in this order that says it is not in effect except in case of emergency. Everything in it alludes to "even in peacetime" or "in emergency and non-emergency". This is not a 'Democrat' or 'Republican' issue. Americans from all over the political spectrum should be concerned about this unprecedented grasp for power, as well as the lack of coverage from major news networks. Why are Continuity of Government plans, dreamt up to combat the worst-case nuclear holocaust scenario, being seized upon to grab power in peacetime?
Yes, quite. What does Obama know that we don't? Or is it even worse than that: a response to no imminent crisis in particular; just another cynical move by a ruthless leftist ideologue to raise the powers of the executive to levels which would have surely won a twenty minute standing ovation from assembled party delegates in Kim Il Sung's North Korea, Mao's China or Stalin's Soviet Union.