Monday, January 26, 2009

Obama’s First Week as President

After the frantic pace of the election, the thankful peace of the win, the build up to the inauguration and that final day of coming together President Obama and his team have gotten to work. While I am sure there is a fair amount going on behind closed doors, the transparency we were promised seems to be evident.

And yes, it hasn’t been quite a full week, but I am going to try to do this on Sunday evenings so here’s a bit of what we know:

The economy sucks. Obama is taking daily briefings on what is happening, amending his plan for what to do about it, and bringing together Congress to get quick approval. No matter what he does, Obama will be criticized by the likes of John Boehner (R- Ohio) and vanquished candidate John McCain.

The largest banks were discussed as being nationalized and Wall Street faces, hopefully, some real oversight.

Governmental transparency and limits on lobbyists
were given greater credence in two executive orders and three presidential memorandums.

Obama froze pay for any of his staff making over $100k per year.

Guantanamo Bay (and other secret prisons) will be closed within a year. In a show of partisan politics the GOP crowd decries this as an order without a plan of what to do with the detainees there. Did they not hear that those in charge of such things have a year to figure that out, or do they not like to move so quickly when doing something they don’t like? A sizable group of retired admirals and generals, probably real Republicans among them, supported these actions.

Mr. Obama spoke by telephone to President Mubarak of Egypt, Prime Minister Olmert of Israel, King Abdullah of Jordan, and President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority. A Middle East Envoy was appointed, former Senate majority leader George Mitchell, who is as well prepared as anyone for this position.

The move from Iraq to Afghanistan, worthy in the real fight against terrorism, is being prepared.

Obama affirmed his support for Roe v. Wade and repealed rules that restricted federal money for international organizations that promote or provide abortions overseas.

In what may prove to be an error, China was criticized for manipulating the value of it’s currency. Of course they do, but we are in no position to complain about it.

Auto emission standards are addressed, with states likely to get the right to say how polluting cars can be in their environs.

Stem cell research will move forward in America, giving us the opportunity to catch up with the rest of the world.

Bipartisanship is impossible but must be sought after. Even with appointees like Case Sunstein as a regulatory czar, a man who values life by how many years are left and regulations by how much they will cost business, a man disliked by the left, isn’t liked by the GOP.

But for the most part, Obama moved well, with a plan in place and the ability to work that plan.

I only caught a bit of new White House press secretary Robert Gibbs’ first meeting with the press, but I like him. That might be because he says things clearly, says things I like, and has a relaxed nature as compared to other press secretaries of late. Let’s hope he has stamina for the more trying times ahead.

I know I missed a bunch of other happenings that were reported but I applaud the new administration for letting us know what they are up to. Refreshing, isn't it, to know what your government is doing!


Blogger Jessican said...

He really hit the ground running, didn't he?

And to answer your question, it is indeed so very, very refreshing.

1/26/2009 5:16 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home