by Frank Schnittger
Thu Jan 22nd, 2009 at 09:25:15 AM EST
Note - Obama has overturned the Bush rule that a jacket must always be worn in the Oval Office!
The Golden Rule for starting a new job has always been to "Start as you intend to continue." Impressed as I am by Obama's oratorical and organisational skills, the acid test for me has always been what Obama actually does while in office. No dissembling. No excuses. Just give me the actions and decisions please. What I find particularly fascinating is the priorities he has set for his first day, and the tone he has been setting by his first decisions. Note that his actions speak directly to the values he enunciated in his campaign and inauguration speech.
So what has Obama actually been doing to date? The early signs have been quite encouraging. I've got a little list! Please feel free to add to it as his decisions and actions mount up.
Actions/decisions to date:
Obama Seeks Halt to Legal Proceedings at Guantanamo - washingtonpost.com
GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba, Jan. 20 -- In one of its first actions, the Obama administration instructed military prosecutors late Tuesday to seek a 120-day suspension of legal proceedings involving detainees at the naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba -- a clear break with the approach of the outgoing Bush administration.
The President is expected to issue an Executive Order providing for the Closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention centre within 12 Months shortly.
AFP: Obama plunges into Mideast with snap call to Palestinian leader
JERUSALEM (AFP) -- President Barack Obama plunged straight into the Middle East conflict on his first day in office calling the Palestinian president on Wednesday after the last Israeli soldier withdrew from Gaza.
Obama assured Mahmud Abbas that he intended "to work with him as partners to establish a durable peace in the region," the Palestinian leader's spokesman told AFP.
The new US leader told Abbas that the Palestinian president was the first foreign leader he called since taking office, said spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina.
"This is my first phone call to a foreign leader and I'm making it only hours after I took office," he quoted Obama as telling Abbas.
On Day One, Obama Sets a New Tone - NYTimes.com
WASHINGTON -- President Obama moved swiftly on Wednesday to impose new rules on government transparency and ethics, using his first full day in office to freeze the salaries of his senior aides, mandate new limits on lobbyists and demand that the government disclose more information.
Mr. Obama called the moves, which overturned two policies of his predecessor, "a clean break from business as usual." Coupled with Tuesday's Inaugural Address, which repudiated the Bush administration's decisions on everything from science policy to fighting terrorism, the actions were another sign of the new president's effort to emphasize an across-the-board shift in priorities, values and tone.
"For a long time now there's been too much secrecy in this city," Mr. Obama said at a swearing-in ceremony for senior officials at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, adjacent to the White House. He added, "Transparency and rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."
Conservatives have been quick to spot the implications of this new transparency for the Bush regime.
Booman Tribune ~ A Progressive Community
LIMBAUGH: What I'm afraid of is that what Obama did with this executive order is actually make it easier for the media to go get Bush documents. Because you know Pelosi and some of the guys over in congress are talking about war crimes trials and charges and so forth. [...]
What I'm afraid of is what Obama's done here is made the gathering of the information for this kind of stuff- This is not American. This is not America. This is not what America does. We don't- This is Banana Republic kind of stuff.
Barack Obama retakes oath--and then proceeds to govern -- chicagotribune.com
The president spent part of the afternoon in a meeting with top military commanders running the war in Iraq. In a statement released afterward, Obama said he asked them to "engage in additional planning necessary to execute a responsible military drawdown from Iraq."
Guantanamo, Palestine, Transparency, Iraq withdrawal. Not a bad start when it comes to overturning the worst aspects of the Bush regime!