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Executive Orders and the Myth of Dictatorship. For Toni,

by Ziks511 / January 9, 2013 6:59 AM PST

because I know she depends on meto get the information correct.

Executive orders by George W. Bush ranging from 27 per year in 2006 to 54 in 2001, including 5 in his 3 weeks in 2009.

Nice annual listing, which won't copy so you'll have to go to the page

George Bush's Total, 291 in 8 years with a normally cooperative House and Senate, an historically record number.

Executive orders by Barack H. Obama

144 in 4 years with an extremely obstructive House and Senate. Which means that he might not break W's record.

The filibuster and the supermajority, March, 2009.

and November 2012

"For the past three years, as I noted in that last post, the Republicans have been firing off filibusters at an average rate of a hundred and twenty-nine per year. That comes to very nearly one filibuster for every single ******* day the Senate is in session." Michael Tomasky, The Daily Beast
But this is a significant underestimate of the number of filibusters.

"First of all: cloture petitions -- and that's what he's using for this count -- are simply terrible measures of filibusters. They may be the least-bad measure, to be sure, for some purposes. But in this case, cloture petitions massively underestimate the total number of filibusters. In a true 60 vote Senate, which is pretty much what we've had since 2009, every single measure is being filibustered. Every single bill. Every amendment to every bill. Every nomination. That's true whether or not there's any actual delay at all; simply insisting on 60 is enough to make it a filibuster. And since November 2008, Republicans have insisted on 60 for almost everything."
Johnathan Bernstein.

I have been looking for an actual number of filibusters, including nominees being blocked by simply sequestering the idea of holding confirmation hearings, which rarely makes the news. There's no place wonkish enough on the 'net to offer that info, and Rachel Maddow's staff, who do have that sort of information, won't return my calls. ;-P

Actually what I really wanted was a link to yearly graphs, of both Executive Orders and of filibusters (counted more broadly than cloture votes), so it could be more clearly seen. I have seen those graphs on television, but as noted, can't get TRMS to let me have them. But I can assure you that the use of Senate privilege by the Minority Party has been at an all-time high for the past 4 years, by a factor of about 3+, meaning Obama has seen three times the number of filibusters yearly as any president (per year of Administration) in history.

The issue particularly is the stealth nature of the filibuster, now that senators don't actually filibuster, meaning stand up and talk for hours on end, as in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. All they do is to table a motion, and it's over. And the news pays little attention.

If newspapers and the Nightly News on any television station led each day with the number of motions tabled, and by whom, it would all stop pretty quickly, because while many of those people could keep their seats, they wouldn't be able to stand the publicity and possible vilification their positions would draw.

But do keep listening to Fox, Toni, I know that its fact free reporting is comforting to you.


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very interesting statistics
by James Denison / January 9, 2013 1:03 PM PST

How many Bush executive orders were based on foreign actions vs domestic actions? How would that compare to Obama's executive orders?

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I would point out again, as you can find on the site,
by Ziks511 / January 11, 2013 10:17 AM PST

that George W. Bush used Executive Orders "promiscuously", as a way to circumvent Congress and far in excess of those used by his predecessors in similar situations. He was unwilling to trust the democratic process. He had a perfectly compliant Congress and Senate in 2001 and 2002 and after following 9/11, and could have gotten anything he wanted, just as he got the War in Afghanistan, and (improperly) Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Obama was faced by a completely obstructive Senate from day 1. 2012 was the year with the fewest bills passed in history, far surpassing the "Do Nothing" Congress of 1927. I'm not precise on the figures, but 2012 passed approximately 107 Bills, 1927 passed in excess of 400. We all sat through the grotesque spectacle of Obama proposing any number of things throughout his first term only to have them "tabled" by Republican members of the Senate. For Obama, the Executive Order was the ugly alternative to a completely impotent government.

If you care to, you can go through the Bush Executive Orders, but the odds are that we'd disagree about what was necessary, and what wasn't. Certainly, in my view, the Executive Orders creating and facilitating domestic spying are very debatable. But that isn't a fight I intend to participate in, it's pointless. I'd suggest that the unprecedented use of Executive Orders by Bush, and the unprecedented use of the filibuster by Republicans against Obama, are two equivalent evils which demonstrate the extreme Conservative agenda of hijacking the American government and effectively disenfranchising a majority of the American people.


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Andsomehow in all of your blathering
by TONI H / January 11, 2013 8:50 PM PST

you neglect to mention how obstructive Reid has been for the last four years and continues to be by pocket vetoing every bill the Republican controlled House sends to the Senate, even when those bills are passed with bi-partisan support. Gimme a break with your crap, Rob.

I actually DID look at every EO that Bush issued and compared them with BO's........over 80% of those issued by Bush dealt with foreign policy and national security over an 8-year period of time. In 4 years, BO's EO's deal mostly with stomping on individual liberties and giving wide expanse to agencies within the administration that fit his personal agenda (such as the EPA).

As for the gun control issue that Biden said "if only one life is saved (via EO), it's worth it". Did you know that nearly 30% of the schools in the USA are and have been already protected by armed guards? For the NRA to suggest that arming teachers or others to protect the kids is actually a pretty reasonable suggestion......after all, what the WH suggests instead is that the teacher pick up a cellphone and call 911 and wait for help to finally arrive AFTER the massacre has already happened.....but if someone at the school is already armed and shoots the killer and "ONLY ONE LIFE IS SAVED", isn't that worth it?

The list is long; however, at the very least the following Hollywood celebs, tv and radio celebs, the newspaper elite who published the names and addresses of gun owners, the Congress, the VP, the Pres, HIS family, HIS children, and HIS children's school are all protected by armed guards. Are HIS children any more important than OURS?

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Did you know......
by Josh K / January 12, 2013 12:01 AM PST

......that both Columbine and Virginia Tech had armed security at the time those schools were attacked? The guards at Columbine even exchanged fire with Kleibold and Harris. Armed security in schools is not going to be effective unless you lock the schools down like fortresses. Do we really want to be like that? Can't we do better?

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Bulletproof glass on all first level windows and doors
by TONI H / January 12, 2013 12:41 AM PST
In reply to: Did you know......

I can actually advocate spending federal funds from the education dept on that.

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(NT) An idea worth considering, though maybe all windows
by Roger NC / January 12, 2013 7:26 AM PST
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As someone who went to Public Schools between 1953 and 1965
by Ziks511 / January 12, 2013 8:50 AM PST

do you know how creepy all this sounds? Doesn't it make you wonder what went wrong?

As a kid I walked to school, walked home, played in the woods, sometimes didn't get home until 5:00 or later. It was all so free, and carefree. Now it seems more like going through enemy held territory. Maybe it's Baby Boomer paranoia, but my kid never walked to school or home until he hit High School, and that's in Toronto which is as close to 50's era Baltimore as you can get. Then again, I didn't attend Public School in Baltimore; I was out in the country, but Toronto's safe and easy compared to many contemporary American cities.

This whole thing distresses me more than I can say. It feels like kids, even my kid, have been robbed of something I cherished then and still do in memory: the concept of being carefree and free to be a kid, to have fun in the most spontaneous ways without a worry. That's what childhood is all about.

Heaven knows our entertainment was full of guns, since it was the era of the western, and I watched a program called Sagebrush Trail every afternoon at 4 PM which was comprised of old 30's western movies. But there wasn't a sense that the movies could invade your life, like Columbine or Sandy Hook.

Oh, well, I guess I'm old.


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one huge change, population
by Roger NC / January 12, 2013 9:18 AM PST

some past studies suggest the densier the population, the more violent it becomes, both human and animal.

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You're on to something
by Steven Haninger / January 12, 2013 5:51 PM PST

Why do ants and bees swarm when the next gets too full? There's not enough to go around, that's why. Why did the Vikings leave to raid the Celtic people? For their gold? No...the objective was food. They couldn't grow enough or find enough for their growing population. The needed a place to move to. When there's no more places to move to, someone gets displaced and we have conflict. We compete for space and living necessities and not all survive.

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(NT) So let's open that penal colony on Mars?
by Roger NC / January 12, 2013 10:14 PM PST
In reply to: You're on to something
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We could do one on the moon even now
by James Denison / January 13, 2013 1:28 AM PST

All in underground caverns with some diffused light domes at intervals. Plenty of power available from sunlight 14 days each month, no clouds to interfere. Very strong sunlight in fact, so solar panels there would be much more efficient, maybe twice as much.

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While you're building a penal colony on the moon
by JP Bill / January 13, 2013 5:42 AM PST
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I remember studying about rats
by Diana Forum moderator / January 13, 2013 7:57 AM PST

As the population got to a certain size, the rats got extremely violent with each other and it stayed that way even when the population got much lower. So it doesn't get any better when the density decreases. I always thought that was really scarey.


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It's like once you throw the switch in the brain
by Roger NC / January 13, 2013 8:38 AM PST

it's fixed.

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Very true. But the US is on the wrong end of that spectrum,
by Ziks511 / January 14, 2013 9:19 AM PST

or in the middle. The US is far less densely populated than any of the other industrialized countries save Canada and the Confederation of Independent States otherwise known as the former Soviet Union. The US is roughly as densely populated as the Faroe Islands which is the most northerly inhabited space on the planet (those crazy Danes) equivalent to the top of Greenland.

The United States is less densely populated than Afghanistan. Now odds are all the empty space in Alaska accounts for that, but it's still true. The Ukraine, the breadbasket of the former Soviet Union is twice as densely populated as the US.


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applying population across total acre in US is deceptive
by Roger NC / January 14, 2013 9:24 AM PST

I don't have numbers, but I wouldn't be surprised if 3/4 of the US population lived in a third of it's surface area.

Most other countries, other maybe the nonexistant USSR have the total land area of the US. First in skewing the numbers would be Alaska I suspect. And the huge farm and cattle ranges in the midwest with large desert areas in the southwest. Other countries have huge areas too, but I wonder where they rank on the scale you're using?

How do you think individual states in the US would stack up compared to other countries in terms of population density? particularly the coastal states of the east coast. I'll grant Main may not have that high a density, but then NY, NJ, Delaware, Virginia, Maryland?

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(NT) Same with Canada, only more so. Rob
by Ziks511 / January 22, 2013 1:28 AM PST
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That's how I feel too
by Josh K / January 13, 2013 10:03 PM PST

When we're talking about armed guards and bulletproof windows in grade schools, something is fundamentally wrong.

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guns with souls?
by James Denison / January 14, 2013 2:34 AM PST
In reply to: That's how I feel too

Or people without them?

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Yes, something is fundamentally wrong
by TONI H / January 14, 2013 3:12 AM PST
In reply to: That's how I feel too

when you can spend millions every year on armed guards to protect Hollywood, local and federal officials, former presidents and their families for life, current presidential children AT THEIR SCHOOLS, and not consider protecting OUR children the same fashion. 30% of our schools across the USA were./are already protected by armed guards before Sandy Hook and nobody has said about word against that. My town currently has about six schools......I would gladly approve a real estate tax hike to pay for bulletproof windows on the first levels of those schools vs having a tax increase to pay for some of the idiotic stuff local governments come up with.

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So you think it's wrong.....
by Josh K / January 14, 2013 3:24 AM PST

.....to spend money on the Secret Service.


The point, Toni, is that we shouldn't NEED to put armed security and bullet-proof windows in our schools.

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And we shouldn't NEED
by TONI H / January 14, 2013 4:47 AM PST

and dictorship First Lady telling us what we can and should be eating to the point that even the schools are mandated, even if it is detrimental to the health and well-being of children who actually NEED more than what's allocated. One size does NOT fit all. We also don't NEED Obamacare telling us what we want or require in healthcare that we have to purchase....there are actually three policies that will be available (bronze, silver, and gold plans) but all have the same 'one size fits all' coverage, just various premiums, and Obamacare gets to dictate to private insurers what they can and cannot cover.

There are lots of things in this world that we don't NEED, Josh......it's just not up to this administration to dictate to us what those needs are when it comes to our personal choices.

If a local community decides that it is lesser of the two evils of having armed guards at their school or bullet proof glass on first floor levels vs a crazy killing kids inside, it isn't up to this president to tell them otherwise. Israel years ago had a mass killing at one of their schools....armed guards were immediately implemented at every school after that and they have never had another incident. Why not go with what works rather than remove more personal liberties by leftist nuts in our 'leadership'?

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Try to stay on topic
by Josh K / January 14, 2013 5:33 AM PST
In reply to: And we shouldn't NEED

The degeneration of our society to the point where people feel they need to turn schools into windowless fortresses is not the First Lady's fault.

The "lesser of two evils" might be a band-aid where a cure would be a better solution.

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How many armed guards
by TONI H / January 14, 2013 10:19 PM PST
In reply to: Try to stay on topic

are there at BO's daughter's school? Are they not protecting hundreds of other people's kids at the same time? Why are they more precious than OUR kids? Couldn't they be just as safe if they were 'home schooled' during their father's tenure and never left the safe haven of the WH?

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That is SOP, Toni, for ALL presidents' children
by Josh K / January 14, 2013 10:29 PM PST
In reply to: Try to stay on topic

They are high profile targets for kidnappers, etc.

Please stop trying to twist this discussion into something about "BO."

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Take ANY celebrity then, Josh
by TONI H / January 14, 2013 10:41 PM PST
In reply to: Try to stay on topic

THEIR children get protection from armed guards.......why? Because they can afford to pay somebody with a gun to do so. Their children are no more special than OURS, and if our local governments can find the funds to protect OUR children the same way, we should be able to do that without Federal government interference. Our tax money pays for the protection of government officials' (at all levels) children......our tax money should also be available to pay for protection of our own.

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Also, Josh...this IS about BO
by TONI H / January 14, 2013 10:43 PM PST
In reply to: Try to stay on topic

and what his new 19 Executive Orders being announced today will entail......."never let a good crisis go to waste" all over again....gun control, of ANY kind, has always been a democrat agenda and here we are once again dealing with a zealot.

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And gun control is not a "Democrat agenda"
by Josh K / January 14, 2013 11:07 PM PST
In reply to: Try to stay on topic

Many Republicans favor responsible gun legislation also -- at least the ones who haven't been bought by the NRA.

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What federal law prohibits armed guards at school?
by Roger NC / January 15, 2013 7:07 AM PST
In reply to: Try to stay on topic

I thought all that at least right now is state law, and state funds.

School district in NC right now is being criticized for the number of calls for the sheriff to respond to at school after the state cut the budget and the county board cut the resource officer to meet budget rather than cut teachers.

So do we pay for it or not?

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I'm not aware of any federal law prohibiting it
by Josh K / January 15, 2013 11:14 PM PST
In reply to: Try to stay on topic

I'm also not aware of any federal law to provide funding for it. For those who might favor such funding, where were you when those same schools were asking for funding for textbooks and teachers?

My position is that armed security is a band-aid, not a cure. If we come to the conclusion that the only way to try to stop the violence is to ramp up security in our schools, then we're basically admitting social defeat. What's next, metal detectors at mall entrances? Do we really want to become that as a nation?

I'd also like to note that from what I've heard, the executive orders are all addressing enforcement of existing laws, which the "pro-gun" crowd is always calling for, so hopefully they will be pleased with what they hear today.

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