Fast Facts: All you need to know about executive orders

7 March 2017
Sam Chott, Checker and balancer

Executive orders can be hard to understand; we liked them under Obama, but now we don’t like them? Here’s what you need to know about this mysterious presidential power.

Don’t have time to skim the first paragraph of a Wikipedia article? Thanks to the tireless efforts of State-Run researchers, you can now grab some Fast Facts™ and get on with your day!
1. The first president to use an executive order was James Buchanan, who executively ordered everyone to not do a civil war. It did not work.
2. Each president gets exactly three executive orders. While the orders’ powers are broad, they cannot be used to get more executive orders, change the rules of executive orders, or travel to a universe the same as this one but with higher executive order limits.

3. Executive orders are traditionally written in the blood of the president, to symbolize sacrifice to the nation. Barack Obama sparked controversy when he switched to red ink for sanitary and archival purposes. During his campaign, Donald Trump promised to use his own blood, but after his election refused to allow the press to DNA-test his orders.
4. The Constitution permits the use of executive orders in Article II, Section 3, Clause 5, but you can only see it if you squint really hard until the phrase “[the president] shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” looks like “the president can just say things and they turn into laws.”

5. If you find yourself targeted by one of Donald Trump’s executive orders, try to get as far away as possible while he charges up. If you get hit, mash the A button to regain control before he follows up with a combo attack.

6. The only way to undo an executive order is to burn the skeleton of a former president by the light of the full moon. Grover Cleveland, having been two presidents, can be used to undo two executive orders, but his body can only be found by following a series of clues, and no one wants to deal with that.

7. If you have a problem with an executive order, send a letter to the White House! If you send a physical letter, it’s harder for them to ignore it. Letters are never read, and just get put in a pile in the Red Room, but every time Mike Pence sees them as he goes into work he feels a tinge of regret.

8. Anyone who can get into the Oval Office and get to the president’s desk can sign an executive order. This allowed Al Gore to put “Executive Order 13034: Providing Funds For A Documentary About Global Warming” into action in 1998, and Dick Cheney’s unsuccessful “Executive Order 13395: Change Slang Referring To Male Genitalia.” More recently, Mike Pence has taken advantage of his proximity to Trump to sign “Executive Order 13771: Gay People, Just Knock It Off Please, Nobody Appreciates That Stuff.”

9. Executive orders are subject to many checks and balances, such as… uh…

Now you know everything you need to know about executive orders! Check out the next article in our Fast Facts series, “All you still need to know about Hillary’s emails.”