August 29, 2012

Executive Order 13489 seals off Obama's school and birth records? Nope.

There is a false rumor going around that Executive Order 13489 "seals off all of Obama's records". Supposedly, this is how Obama can seal off his school and birth records.

Here's the problem. That Executive Order only affects presidential records and by the definition in the executive order, records made prior to being elected president are NOT "presidential records". People who think that either haven't read the executive order or haven't read the statute it was amending or haven't done the proper statutory analysis. Here's what I offer as proof.

The executive order in question states that the archivist must give the incumbent president notice before disclosing presidential records and must consult with the administration before releasing the presidential records of former presidents. The executive order defines "presidential records" as those defined as such in the "Presidential Records Act". From that act:

(2) The term "Presidential records" means documentary materials, or any reasonably segregable portion thereof, created or received by the President, his immediate staff, or a unit or individual of the Executive Office of the President whose function is to advise and assist the President, in the course of conducting activities which relate to or have an effect upon the carrying out of the constitutional, statutory, or other official or ceremonial duties of the President. Such term--

(A) includes any documentary materials relating to the political activities of the President or members of his staff, but only if such activities relate to or have a direct effect upon the carrying out of constitutional, statutory, or other official or ceremonial duties of the President; but

(B) does not include any documentary materials that are (i) official records of an agency (as defined in section 552(e) of title 5, United States Code; (ii) personal records; (iii) stocks of publications and stationery; or (iv) extra copies of documents produced only for convenience of reference, when such copies are clearly so identified.

Presidential records must have been:

1) Created during the course of being president
2) Created by the president or his staff or advisers and
3) Created pursuant to official duties as president

So unless school records, birth certificates or other documents that people seem so interested in were created while Obama was president and created by him or his staff or advisers and pursuant to his official duties as president, then they aren't covered by this executive order.

Further even campaign records are not covered by this executive order. The Presidential Records Act defines campaign records under "personal records". See:

(3) The term "personal records" means all documentary materials, or any reasonably segregable portion thereof, of a purely private or nonpublic character which do not relate to or have an effect upon the carrying out of the constitutional, statutory, or other official or ceremonial duties of the President. Such term includes--

(A) diaries, journals, or other personal notes serving as the functional equivalent of a diary or journal which are not prepared or utilized for, or circulated or communicated in the course of, transacting Government business;

(B) materials relating to private political associations, and having no relation to or direct effect upon the carrying out of constitutional, statutory, or other official or ceremonial duties of the President; and

(C) materials relating exclusively to the President’s own election to the office of the Presidency; and materials directly relating to the election of a particular individual or individuals to Federal, State, or local office, which have no relation to or direct effect upon the carrying out of constitutional, statutory, or other official or ceremonial duties of the President.

So no. Obama did not "seal off his records via executive order". Even if we assume the worst, and that Obama wanted to hide his records in order to be "electable", that would at best fall under "personal records" and not "presidential records".

Finally, this executive order only applies to information under the control of the archivist. It doesn't apply to school records because they are not under the national archivist's control.

August 18, 2012

92 Actual FACTS about Paul Ryan

No rhetoric. Let's talk facts about Paul Ryan, shall we?

1. Ryan budget: 62% of its cuts are on programs that help the poor in order to pay for more tax breaks for the rich; PLUS it raises the deficit.
2. Paul Ryan wants to gut financial aid for college students, food stamps for hungry families, Medicaid, Medicare & Social Security.
3. Paul Ryan voted to preserve $40B in special subsidies for big oil, an industry in which he and his wife hold ownership stakes.
4. Paul Ryan secured millions in earmarks for his home state of WI, including, among other things, $3.3M for public projects.
5. Paul Ryan is heir to a private fortune made through public works projects paid for by taxpayer $$. They had help "building that."
6. Ryan sold shares in Wachovia, Citigroup, and JP Morgan and then, bought shares in Goldman Sachs on 9/18/08 - hrs after meeting with Paulson regarding financial bailout.
7. Paul Ryan opposed funding for public drinking water arsenic removal.
8.  Paul Ryan voted against holding oil companies responsible for their oil spills.
9.  Paul Ryan lobbied Federal officials to speed up approval of a donor's casino.
10. Ryan's campaign received illegal contributions from a Wisconsin trucking company & then supported legislation that directly benefited that company.
11. Ryan received a $6,000 Fed Fine for not disclosing donations in the 1998 election, including large sums from 12 special interest groups.
12.  Paul Ryan voted against $20M to help prevent suicide by combat veterans.
13.  Paul Ryan voted against protecting Veterans’ benefits from the Cut, Cap, and Balance cuts.
14. Paul Ryan voted to imposed a $250 fee for enrollment in VA health care and double the drug co-payment for Veterans.
15. Ryan voted against allowing Veterans w/ service-related disabilities & 20 yrs’ honorable service to receive full disability benefits & retirement pay.
16. In 2007, Paul Ryan voted against a $6.6B increase in funding for veterans' programs.
17. Bowhunter Paul Ryan voted for a $34B corporate tax bill to help US manufacturers of bowhunting equipment.
18. Paul Ryan voted to increase the deficit by $228B by extending the $1000 per Child Tax Credit to the wealthy.
19. Ryan voted for $143B in tax breaks for businesses that added $34B to the national debt and opposed the Dem version that prevented any debt increase.
20. Paul Ryan voted against tax breaks for 1st time home buyers.
21. Paul Ryan has voted time & time again to raid Social Security & Medicare surpluses for tax cuts. Now, he claims the programs are running out of money.
22. In 2003, Paul Ryan voted to add another $2.4 trillion to deficits and the national debt between 2003 and 2013.
23. Paul Ryan voted to “spend every penny of the Social Security Trust Fund” on risky tax cuts.
24. Paul Ryan voted against protecting Social Security & Medicare surpluses while delivering tax reductions to energy companies.
25. Paul Ryan voted to provide a budget busting tax cut for the wealthy by raiding Social Security.
26. Paul Ryan admits he has NO idea if Romney's supposed budget will reduce the deficit because they "haven't run the numbers." Um. Isn't that what a budget is? Numbers that have been run?
27. Paul Ryan voted against the repeal of DADT.
28. In 2007, Paul Ryan voted against providing $95.5B for troops in Iraq/Afghanistan.
29. Paul Ryan voted against imposing sanctions on foreign companies that sell arms to China.
30. Paul Ryan voted against ending the war in Afghanistan, but also voted against $31 billion needed for Afghanistan operations.
31. Paul Ryan voted to exempt blogs, e-mail, videos and other online speech from campaign finance rules.
32. Paul Ryan voted to keep the Fish and Wildlife Service from listing any new endangered species or habitats on the Endangered Species List.
33. Paul Ryan voted against designating more than 2 million acres as Protected Wilderness Areas.
34.  In 2011, Ryan voted against a Combat-Pay increase for U.S. Troops.
35. Paul Ryan voted to approve drilling for oil in the ANWR but, then voted AGAINST keeping that oil in the U.S.
36. Paul Ryan voted against holding oil companies responsible for their oil spills.
37. Ryan voted for a sham refinery plan that did nothing to lower energy costs & hurt taxpayers, but DID improve the bottom line for oil companies.
38. Ryan voted to repeal a Depression-era law preventing consolidation of public utilities that protects consumers from utility monopolies.
39. Paul Ryan voted against the Federal Price Gouging Prevention Act, protecting citizens from price gouging businesses during an emergency.
40.  Paul Ryan voted in favor of shipping nuclear fuel to India without India signing the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
41. Paul Ryan voted against Mining Safety Reform, and he is part owner of an Oklahoma mining business, Ava O Limited Co.
42. Paul Ryan supported waiving environmental regulation on commercial logging in America's National Forests.
43. Paul Ryan owns stock in Wells Fargo and Exxon Mobil.
44. Paul Ryan voted to give Federal land to a private company to allow development of a copper mine, & much of his wealth comes from mining.
45.  Paul Ryan voted to weaken Air Pollution Permit Regulations in the Clean Air Act.
46. Paul Ryan voted to cut Title 1 funding for teachers by $693.5 mil & against enhancing school budgets to avoid teacher layoffs.
47. Paul Ryan voted to cut funds for the GEAR UP program, denying over 130,000 disadvantaged youth the help they need to get into college.
48. Ryan supported extreme cuts to education, including 100,000 new teachers, after-school programs & teacher quality/recruitment programs.
49. Paul Ryan voted to give India access to US nuclear technology.
50. Ryan's plan would increase prescription drug costs for seniors by reopening the Doughnut Hole in drug coverage that Obamacare closed.
51. Ryan's plan reduces Federal spending on each Medicare beneficiary by 35-42%, forcing them to cover the remaining costs out-of-pocket.
52. Ryan's plan raises the Medicare Retirement Age from 65 To 67, but repeals Obamacare, leaving 65 & 66 yr olds w/out any guarantee of care.
53. Ryan's plan would do away with Medicare’s direct payment for health care for seniors, replacing it with coupons for private insurers.
54.  Paul Ryan voted against increasing lending and lowering taxes for small businesses.
55. Paul Ryan supported cutting student loan funding, social programs and agriculture funding but, prevented HMO cuts.
56. Paul Ryan voted against a $2,500 tax credit for college students.
57. Paul Ryan opposed increases for special education & teacher quality programs.
58. Paul Ryan defended Bush’s handling of the economy, saying Bush inherited a recession-bound economy and fought for job growth.
59. Paul Ryan voted against mandatory Rest and Recuperation for American troops in Iraq.
60. Paul Ryan voted against requiring gun show purchasers to undergo background checks then, voted to weaken background check standards.
61. Paul Ryan voted against restrictions on fed funded faith-based groups protecting against employment discrimination based on religion.
62. Paul Ryan voted against banning the slaughter of horses for meat.
63. Paul Ryan voted for a $175,000 study on whether to improve dental benefits for House members.
64. Paul Ryan voted against regulating Wall Street after the financial crisis.
65. During the Bush admin, Ryan voted for the $700mil bailout, yet in 2009(during Obama's term), he voted to prevent the release of the 2nd half of that same bailout.
66. Paul Ryan voted in favor of $19.1 billion in interior spending, including more than $600 million in fossil fuel subsidies.
67. Paul Ryan voted against raising fuel economy standards.
68. Paul Ryan supported legal protection for restaurants that knowingly sold beef of “downed” cows - the ones that most likely have Mad Cow Disease.
69. Ryan opposed the Food Safety Modernization Act which increases the number of required inspections on & verifies the safety of imported food.
70. Paul Ryan lied and said he never requested stimulus funds...until the letters he wrote specifically requesting them surfaced.
71. Paul Ryan voted against giving $3.7 billion in agriculture disaster relief.
72. Paul Ryan opposed a ban on human cloning.
73. Paul Ryan did not oppose ANY spending measures during the yrs Republicans held full sway in Congress or the White House.
74. According to the Economic Policy Institute, Paul Ryan's budget cuts would result in 4.1 million jobs lost through just 2014.
75. Paul Ryan's plan would double the interest rate on student loans ensuring all Americans do not have an equal opportunity to succeed.
76. Paul Ryan's budget cuts SNAP (food stamp) benefits by $133 billion over 10 yrs and eviscerates Pell grants.
77. Paul Ryan's budget would cut funding for health care programs for low and middle-income individuals by more than 75% by 2050.
78. Paul Ryan would outlaw abortion, even for rape and incest or even to protect the life of the mother.
79. Paul Ryan voted for the Bush tax cuts, the Iraq war, and the Medicare prescription-drug benefit, none of which were paid for.
80. Paul Ryan as never held statewide office and has no foreign-policy experience.
81. Paul Ryan supports allowing states to jail women who get, and doctors who perform, abortions.
82. Paul Ryan's budget would add $3.1 trillion to the deficit, more than would be added under current law.
83. Paul Ryan's budget cuts Medicaid by 45%, leaving 19mil people without health care.
84. Paul Ryan possesses only a Bachelors degree, which is fine but, that means his "expertise" in economics comes from a few undergrad courses and Ayn Rand fiction.
85. While destroying medicare, Ryan's budget plan offers huge subsidies and tax breaks for the oil and mining industries.
86. Ryan voted to cut funds for GEAR UP, denying 130,000+ disadvantaged youth the help they need to get into college.
87. Paul Ryan supported trillions of dollars of deficit spending under Bush and now rails against any government spending.
88. Paul Ryan's plan for America was inspired by and derived from the deranged mind of the serial-killer groupie Ayn Rand.
89. Defense Department: “Ryan Inc" has had 22+ defense contracts w/ the fed gov since '96, including 1 worth $5.6M in taxpayer $$.
90. Paul Ryan says, "Rape is just another form of conception" and believes in forcing women to carry and give birth to their rapist's children.
91. Ryan says he'll reduce the deficit, but his tax cuts for big corporations & the rich are so large, there aren't enough tax code loopholes to offset them.
92. Each Medicare beneficiary would be spending $6,359 more out-of-pocket under Ryan's plan.

Enough said.