Wow. I was unemotional and pretty pragmatic about Obama’s inauguration, but I have to say I’ve been impressed by the first 3 or 4 days.
- Halted implementation of the last of Bush’s restrictive and destructive orders
- Shut down the CIA secret prison system
- “Outlawed” torture
- Ordered the closure of the Guantanamo detention camp
- Appointed envoys to the Middle East and Afghanistan/Pakistan, restarting diplomatic efforts there after a solely military policy
- Strictly limited the role of lobbyists in government
- Froze the pay of senior staff in the White House
- Called for more transparency in government and undid the Bush administration policy on withholding government information (including a new White House website that doesn’t have restrictions on searching/cataloging content)
- Removed the so-called “gag rule” which prevents any discussion of abortion by groups receiving US funds
Wow. And it’s only been 4 days.
These were, of course, the easy ones. Hope this trend continues, and it will be interesting to see he manages the issues that can’t be addressed by executive order.
I have to say that I am very impressed by the new White House website — until now, the site has always been pretty much useless, but the new blog makes it timely and imparts a feeling of connectedness. One can read clear positions and agendas, and it almost feels like one knows what the president is doing each day. Let’s hope they can keep it up for years. Eight?