Barack Obama

United States of Emergency

What powers the president gains from having 30 national emergencies in effect.


State of Emergency infographic
reason infographic

NEXT: NYPD Punishes City by Not Citing, Arresting Citizens as Much. Oh, No!

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. So we are still in an official state of emergency about the Iranian hostage crisis, while Obama is cozying up to Iran, and talking about reopening an embassy in “the country of Tehran”?

    The saying should be: “Government is simply the name we give to the insane things we choose to do together.”

    1. Except for the ‘we’ part and the ‘choice’ part.

    2. It’s even better than that. Obama said that if Iran plays their cards right, they might become a ‘regional power.’…..22522.html

      What could possibly go wrong with empowering the Iranians?

      1. The mullahs nuke Israel?

        ^that’s the response you were looking for, right?

      2. Isn’t Iran already a regional power? Is there some magic in Obama’s words that can either make or break them?

        I have a totally different read on this. Obama is irrelevant but desperately wants to appear relevant.

        1. I would say that anything he says that they actually believe and act upon might do the breaking part.

        2. I was going to say the same thing. Maybe Obama will offer to make Russia a regional power too?

          Somebody needs to ask Obama who died and made him Pope.

      3. Obama seems to have the weird proggy belief that the reason there isn’t peace in the world is that big, evil, colonialist powers are too strong. Once things are “fairer,” peace can happen. Of course this is precisely backwards, historically. Periods of peace tend to be when there is a dominant power (or two).

        1. That’s also the problem I have with the people saying ‘Hooray! The world is so much more peaceful than it used to be!’

          If you look at the trend in warfare, warfare has declined the fewer world powers there are. The period between 1914-1945 was very violent obviously, and happened to include tons of powerful nations – Britain, Germany, France, Russia, Japan, the United States, even the Ottomans and Austria-Hungary prior to their dissolution.

          The Cold War was overall less violent and you only had the two superpowers.

          Since the end of the Cold War, we’ve been in a historic period of peace. However, it’s a mistake to assume this is because of anything that is guaranteed to continue, when it’s much more likely the result of a relatively benign hegemony that no one wants to fight with.

          1. Nukes. Nukes make peace. The hippies were/are completely wrong.

            Peace through ridiculous firepower.

            1. Even when nukes are in the hands of religious fanatics who believe that bringing on the Apocalypse is a good thing?

            2. Can our species survive another 10,000 years with multiple nations having nukes? Can we even make it through another 1,000? Historically, more and more nations get nukes, and there does not seem to be any reversal of this in sight. There ***MUST*** be a better way, or we as a species will not survive! Nukes are still the #1 threat? Globabble Warmerering can kiss my ass! ? We have GOT to get to REAL peace, and I sure wish I knew some magic on how to get there? I see no short-cuts other than, more people acting more peacefully every day? And taking any sensible means at hand, to restrain those who act un-peaceably?

              1. PS, praying for peace will also help as well? Arguing about whether or not God (or Allah or what have you) exists, or not, is utterly pointless in this context! If one prays for peace, sincerely, it makes us far-far less capable of aggressing against our neighbors in the very next moment? And in this context, WHO do we pray-for-peace, to? Our own navel will work, God will work, a vacuum will work, it “machs nix”!!! ? So, Happy New Year, all ye Reasonoids, and? Pray for Peace! But just, please, do not piss me off? PLEASE do NOT pray to “Government Almighty”! Government Almighty is WAY too almighty already; this is the ONLY thing not to pray to!

          2. Well, the competition for land and natural resources between nations has declined markedly, at least among the wealthiest nations. So there’s also that. The competition is more between non-state actors, is usually over something other than land, and doesn’t take the form of war so often, which of course is good.

            But I would argue that the Great Power system is basically inevitable. The big difference is that now the Great Powers are spread out geographically, now being the US, China, Russia, perhaps increasingly India (?). Having five great powers on the same small continent like it used to be is a recipe both for war between powers, and also for exploitative wars against non-powers in other regions. So as technology and information have diffused and spread, so has geopolitical power, and so is no longer concentrated in the hands of a few European dynasties. This diffusion may be conducive to tranquility between nations at least.

            Whether it’ll last, I guess depends on how well one can expect relations between global powers to endure local powder kegs. Schleswig-Holstein, Serbia, and Alsace-Lorraine all brought the world to war. Can Israel-Palestine, Kashmir, and Donetsk do the same?

            All I know is I’m not letting myself be carted off to fight over some sandpit. Anyone who wants to go off and fight for ‘Bibi’ is free to volunteer to do so, but I’ll move to Switzerland before anyone makes me do it.

      4. We invade 12 years later and again 12 years after that.

  2. The president can suspend laws while in a state of emergency?

    It’s a wonder they’re not all still in effect.

  3. The law was meant to limit the president’s authority. It was definitely a scaling back of presidential authority that had existed during FDR’s reign.

  4. I had a suspicion it was bad, but not that bad.

  5. Oh look, Obama is actually an improvement on his predecessors in some way.

    1. He ain’t done yet.

    2. Except that for each subsequent president, you stack those orange bars on top of one another.

  6. Emergency apparently has a different legal meaning than the catholic term.

  7. OT. The Atlantic has this interesting factoid tucked into a story about scrapping that fancy F-35 and instead buying more reliable infantry rifles.…../383508/2/

    Buried in the M16’s, and now the M4’s, operating system is a flaw that no amount of militarizing and tinkering has ever erased. Stoner’s gun cycles cartridges from the magazine into the chamber using gas pressure vented off as the bullet passes through the barrel. Gases traveling down a very narrow aluminum tube produce an intense “puff” that throws the bolt assembly to the rear, making the bolt assembly a freely moving object in the body of the rifle. Any dust or dirt or residue from the cartridge might cause the bolt assembly, and thus the rifle, to jam.

    In contrast, the Soviet AK?47 cycles rounds using a solid operating rod attached to the bolt assembly. The gas action of the AK?47 throws the rod and the bolt assembly back as one unit, and the solid attachment means that mud or dust will not prevent the gun from functioning.

    There’s also some Civil War history in the piece.

    1. M4s have to maintained well and regularly. Sandstorm conditioned make them at best unreliable. The military has known about these flaws for a long time, but nobody wants to take the risk of replacing the primary weapons system of the infantry.

      1. Need HK 416.

        From Wiki:
        The Heckler & Koch HK416 is an assault rifle/carbine designed and manufactured by Heckler & Koch. It is based on the AR-15 platform, and was originally conceived as an improvement to the Colt M4 carbine family issued to the U.S. military, with the notable inclusion of an HK-proprietary short-stroke gas piston system derived from the Heckler & Koch G36. Military and law enforcement customers can purchase a new upper receiver, buffer, and drive spring to refurbish existing AR-15s, or buy new complete HK416s.

        1. The 416 is overpriced ridiculously heavy (for an assault rifle) garbage. The Germans stopped building truly good small arms 70 years ago. The last decent design they made was the MG-42 (which became the MG-3)

          The real problem with the M4 is the carbine length gas system, not direct impingement.

          The answer is probably going to come out of the LSAT project and it looks really promising.

    2. Of course there’s Civil War hx in there, because that’s when Kalashnikovs were 1st used in fighting.

    3. That shit is getting old. The M16/M4 requires more maintenance but that doesn’t mean it’s flawed or unreliable. His implication that the AK is more reliable than the M16/M4 doesn’t take into consideration the ridiculously loose tolerances to which they are built. Yeah, it’ll shoot with a receiver full of mud, just don’t expect to hit much more than the broad side of a barn.

      Having said all that, you don’t even need to buy all new rifles. Just buy new uppers for a fraction of the cost.

      You would think that a retired Major General would be a little bit smarter. This is quite possibly the stupidest thing I’ve read in a long time.

      “The Army and the Marine Corps can keep the current stocks of M4s and M16s in reserve for use by non-infantry personnel in the unlikely event that they find themselves in combat.”

      I’m sure all of the artillery and engineer guys that were running patrols in Iraq and Afghanistan would have been thrilled to know they were unlikely to find themselves in combat.

      1. The M4 extracts while the cartridge are under pressure. One of the cases will eventually get torn apart and the rifle jammed (no combat-ready way to fix it).

        The Army got caught white-washing firefight reports in which the M4 failed because the troops were firing a lot of ammo (apparently something the designers never envisioned, that you shoot a lot at the enemy).

        No new rifles I’m aware of use the DI method. They all use short piston or long piston. That’s not a coincidence.

        DI is not totally useless, it’s light and allows a little more accuracy from a barrel, ceteris paribus. I just bought a Remington R-25 for a sniper rifle type build. That being said, I’ve got 2 shorter barreled piston AR type rifles. I have no complaints about reliability or accuracy from either.

        My M16A4 usually worked. When it didn’t, I cussed Stoner and all the people involved in throwing that crap on the military.

      2. Yeah, it’ll shoot with a receiver full of mud, just don’t expect to hit much more than the broad side of a barn.

        That simply isn’t true.

        I own a pre-’86 Egyptian Maadi, which a real-deal, honest-to-gawd AKM and I can hit a 18″ square steel plate at 300 yards consistently with “whatever’s cheapest” steel cased. My semi-auto only Polytech AKS-762 can do the same. On paper they both print 3-4 MOA 10-shot groups with M43 equivalent. The several 5.56mm AKs I have (Arsenals) can do even better than that, and with surplus M855 and M193. The results I get are pretty typical for the AK.

        The AK is more than accurate enough for a battle rifle.

        Its downside is that it’s heavier than an M16, has more recoil (even in 5.56mm), the sights simply suck, and the ergonomics aren’t great.

    4. there actually are conversion kits out there that fix this issue for a few hundred a pop. They have an NSN and everything. That said M-16s are more susceptible to malfuntions due to the fact that they are more refined, meaning that the amount of energy needed to cycle the bolt is has a lower tolerance for error than the Ak-47. This translates into M-16’s being considerably more accurate.

      Also the amount of malfunctions actually attributable to this is overstated, more malfunctions are caused by shitty magazines than unclean weapons. In the vietnam era the 20 round mags actually could only hold 18 rounds without causing a failure to feed, and the more recent 30 round magazines were originally made with bad followers which caused similar problems. Plus soldiers banging the magazines on their helmets to “seat” the rounds damages the magazine causing it to not seat in the weapon properly but they do it anyway cuz they see it looks cool in movies.

      Also after a warex I got the task of expending all the uxo blanks so my co wouldnt have to deal with the paperwork of turning it back in, about 1600 rounds through the same rifle with no problems. Did learn some neat stuff though, you can take off the BFA and launch pretty much anything you can fit in the barrel.

  8. So Obama inherited 22 that he has adopted and extended, created/declared 9 new ones, and let one (1) expire. That’s a net increase in national emergencies from 22 to 30, right? A percentage increase of 36%.

    That seems . . . nearly unprecedented? But the chart doesn’t give me the data to really tell.

    1. It’s possibly Clinton had more states of emergency but let many from the Carter/Reagan/Bush years to expire (as they were likely related to the USSR).

      No idea why Clinton declared 16, though…

      1. 15 of them were to divert attention from reports of the interns he was banging.

  9. Are these real emergency emergencies or are we talking about childhood obesity* emergencies?

    *nothing a little fat shaming, bullying, and fat camp can’t fix

  10. Emergency, emergency, everyone to get from the street.

    1. Bah, the

  11. It’s somewhat shocking the National Emergencies Act hasn’t been challenged to the Supreme Court, yet.

    I would guess some of the powers under the Act haven’t been used precisely because of the Act’s dubious constitutionality. The President likely has the power to deploy and extend tours of duty regardless of the Act as the Commander-in-Chief and that’s the only one I can think of that’s regularly used.

  12. What’s the effect of the Iranian hostage emergency?

    1. Economic sanctions.…../18915699/

  13. before I looked at the check of $5261 , I didnt believe that…my… neighbour could truley taking home money in their spare time at there computar. . there aunts neighbour has done this 4 only and just cleared the dept on their mini mansion and bourt Honda . site link….

  14. Btw, anyone else familiar with the writings of Carl Scmitt? I’m beginning to think Obama may be quite familiar with Schmitt, and he seems to approve. Oops. Godwin’s law I guess.

  15. I didn’t believe …that…my friends brother woz like realie bringing in money part time from there new laptop. . there uncles cousin haz done this less than twenty months and by now paid the mortgage on their house and got a great new Lancia Straton .
    see this site :::::—–

  16. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for 74 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail

  17. my neighbor’s ex-wife makes $68 /hour on the internet . She has been fired from work for eight months but last month her paycheck was $16325 just working on the internet for a few hours. check out this site…

  18. WHAT ARE these 30 States of Emergency?

  19. I Got Hooked On Having An Online Business Almost A Decade Ago When I Created An Online Course And Made My First.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.