Chuck Grassley, "Executive Actions" Truther

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Jan. 30 2013 11:56 AM

Chuck Grassley, "Executive Actions" Truther

Committee ranking member Senator Chuck Grassley, R-IA, and chairman Senator Patrick Leahy, D-VT, talk to shooting victim former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband retired Astronaut Mark Kelly, before a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill January 30, 2013 in Washington, DC.


The circusy gun control hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee is going much as expected, with everybody repeating his or her deeply felt beliefs, with the drama that comes with close-ups and wood paneling. I was just struck by the repetition of an easily debunked myth. Sen. Chuck Grassley, now a ranking member of the committee, insisted that the Obama administration was overreaching because it had introduced "23 executive actions" and "these actions are not even listed on the White House's website."

Haven't we been here before? The president didn't sign "23 executive actions" or "orders" this month. The White House released a list of 23 steps it was going to take. Several of them were literally just things Obama was going to do with Congress, like nominate and confirm an ATF director. Only three were "memoranda" that gave new marching orders to federal agencies — and Obama signed those at the announcement. I got the text of those memoranda by asking the White House. Grassley could do that, too!


This sounds like a harmless flub, but it means something. Claiming that Obama signed 23 secret executive actions builds your case that he's acting above the law. Acknowledging what the actions really did — that doesn't make your point.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics



Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

Where Ebola Lives Between Outbreaks

Gunman Killed Inside Canadian Parliament; Soldier Shot at National Monument Dies

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Paul Farmer: Up to 90 Percent of Ebola Patients Should Survive

Is he right?


“I’m Not a Scientist” Is No Excuse

Politicians brag about their ignorance while making ignorant decisions.


The Right to Run

If you can vote, you should be able to run for public office—any office.

In Praise of 13th Grade: Why a Fifth Year of High School Is a Great Idea 

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 22 2014 2:05 PM Paul Farmer Says Up to Ninety Percent of Those Infected Should Survive Ebola. Is He Right?
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
Gentleman Scholar
Oct. 22 2014 5:54 PM May I Offer to Sharpen My Friends’ Knives? Or would that be rude?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
Brow Beat
Oct. 22 2014 4:10 PM Skinny Mark Wahlberg Goes for an Oscar: The First Trailer for The Gambler
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.