Only one full day into the new Obama administration and already it seems like such good things--things we wanted and even expected--are coming to fruition.
Besides speaking to several of the leaders in the Middle East by phone (Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan's King Abdullah), the new President Obama then had a meeting with his economic advisers about our fiscal situation and that mess we're in.
He talked of accelerating the country's departure from Iraq with his top military staff.
"As part of Wednesday's burst of activity, Obama's aides circulated an unsigned draft executive order that would require the closing within a year of the Guantanamo prison..."
And this is all extremely refreshing, intelligent and wonderful stuff, all in one day, sure.
Check out all that was done:
--President "Obama announced he was freezing the pay for senior White House staff and tightening up rules for former lobbyists who work in government -- an effort to make good on campaign promises for ethics reform."
--He froze the pay of all administration officials who make more than $100,000.00 per year or more;
--He signed rules making it easier for Americans to get government documents;
--"As part of the transition, Obama last night ordered federal agencies to hold off on pending regulations made in the last days of the Bush administration. The order blocks proposals including those to ease emission requirements for factories and require some foods to be labeled by country of origin";
--"The administration also sought a 120-day pause in military war-crimes tribunals of suspected terrorists detained at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba. Obama has vowed to close the facility and revamp the system for holding and trying enemy combatants";
--"Obama also decreed that only he would have the power to assert executive privilege, so as to 'limit its potential for abuse.' That may be a reference to former Vice President Dick Cheney’s assertion of executive privilege in keeping documents from Congress.";
Of all the good things done and changed today, however, this one impressed me most and gave me the most hope:
---"'A lobbyist who joins the Obama administration...is forbidden from working on issues they previously were involved with,' he said. Any person who leaves the administration will be barred from lobbying the government for two years. Government hiring, he said, will henceforth be based on qualifications, competence and experience, 'not political connections.'";
(Link to complete articles here--and they're good:
It truly is a new day.
A great, new day.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch:
It was just reported that the now former Vice President Dick "The Dick" Cheney was welcomed back to Wyoming with a standing ovation.
and Rush Limbaugh?
He's concerned that our new President's rules for honesty and openness in government is just a ruse, created so we can go after George Bush.
Not a bad idea.
It WAS our government, wasn't it, Rush?