Determined Obama hits the ground running

Pres. Obama signs order closing prison at Guantanamo

The UK’s Guardian today published an interesting, detailed list of Barack Obama’s activities during his first 100 hours in office. It’s a good read; I have to admire the man who actually lived through it, doing everything on the list.

Among the items I most enjoyed:

4 Then the words: “We reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.” George Bush, sitting to his left, looks decidedly uncomfortable [as he should].

21 Issued an order instructing government agencies to halt all pending regulations signed by Bush — a way of combating efforts by the outgoing administration to force [sneak] through last-minute changes without congressional approval. [Nice try, Georgie, but … Fail!]

51 Issued executive order limiting the powers of former presidents and vice-presidents to block the release of sensitive records of their time in the White House. It would allow the administration to approve release of former vice-president Dick Cheney’s records, among others, against his objections. [Down goes Cheney! Down goes Cheney!]

54 Announced a pay freeze for his staff earning $100,000 (£73,000) or more. “Families are tightening their belts, and so should Washington,” he said. [Fair’s fair.]

56 Told his top team that “transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.” [Imagine that! A president following the rule of law!]

73 Released statement on the 36th anniversary of the landmark Roe v Wade supreme court judgment, reaffirming his commitment to protecting abortion rights. [Woot! Woot! Woot!]

74 To applause, signed executive order requiring the closure of the military prison at Guantánamo within one year. [It’s about damn time.]

75 Obama said: “The message we are sending around the world is that the United States intends to prosecute the ongoing struggle against violence and terrorism … and we are going to do so in a manner that is consistent with our values and our ideals.” Was Bush watching on TV at home in Dallas cringing? [I certainly hope so.]

76 Signed second executive order requiring the closure of the CIA’s network of secret overseas prisons, and making a commitment to not using torture in interrogations. [Again, it’s about damn time.]

92 Approves first American missile strikes under his presidency on tribal areas of Pakistan. [Ready or not, we’re coming for you!]

Yes, there were 100 items on the list, and you can read them all for yourself at the Guardian website.  Had this been the first 100 hours of the Bush administration, Item 100 probably would have been:

100 Leaves White House for two-week vacation in Crawford, Texas.

But it was President Obama’s first 100 hours, and the Guardian‘s list ends with:

100 Obama retreats to his office on the first floor, puts his feet up on the desk, leans back and goes to light one of the cigarettes he has been struggling to give up. But alas smoking is banned in the White House. [Well, nobody’s perfect.]

3 thoughts on “Determined Obama hits the ground running

  1. Yep. I deleted that guy’s comment and requested that he not return to my blog. If he returns, I’ll just enable comment approval until he goes away. What an idiot!

  2. RE: #21. Does that include the regulation on allowing firearms in National Parks that you blogged about a while back? I was actually having another discussion about that and I remembered your opinion. I was going to find that post again but then read this one.

    You may have guessed that my original comment on that issue was worded from the mind of a hunter near the end of the hunting season. As fall turned to winter went on I moved onto different activities and the hunting mentality started to recede.

    Now, as I think more on the subject, I don’t consider it an issue of hunting rights or gun control. I think it is more about states rights. To begin the story, a sizable amount of States (Colorado included) voted on their own set of laws to govern firearms in the state. In why I consider a very compromising deal (between total gun control and no gun control), they voted to issue a Conceal and Carry Permit to select individuals who were educated and could demonstrate a respect for their rights and the safety of others. When passed, persons with this permit are allowed to carry a concealed firearm anywhere in the state. (Hundreds of people with this permit include law enforcement and security guards–through this law do they gain an attribute that helps advance their careers.)

    However, the National Park service (which as we knows, follows its chain of command through the Department of Interior and then to the Executive Branch of the Federal Government) decided they could override the laws of these States by not recognizing C/C permits on Federal land.

    I’m not ignorant to separate issues where Bush has expanded the power of the Executive Branch of the Federal Government beyond constitutional limits, believe me. But in this rare situation I think he has stood up for the rights of States.

    Public Land is a wonderful gift to the people of America and a great achievement by the power of democracy. But the balance of power and rights of states is something that is embedded in the Constitution and Bill of Rights, a balance that Jefferson and Madison devoted their entire life to keeping equal.

    Again, the issue in question isn’t about liberals vs. conservatives. It is about Washington and the Fifty other cities that they are supposed to work with on equal terms.

    [Yes, it includes the gun law I’ve mentioned before. The Bush/NRA proposal would have loosened National Park Service regulations to align them with whatever state and local gun laws are in effect around each park.

    Because this proposal never made it into the National Register, it will not become law. The existing NPS regulations will continue in effect. When entering a national park, anyone with a gun must unload it and store it in an inaccessible place such as the trunk of a car.

    Please note again that this regulation applies to guns in national parks only. Hunting has never been allowed in national parks because their function is to protect and conserve the wildlife and other natural resources within their boundaries. The much more extensive BLM, Forest Service, and state-owned lands have different purposes and different regulations.

    The NPS is, as the name says, national. Its lands are federally owned. Its rules and regulations supersede state and local laws.]

  3. It’s a show of good faith to put his staff on a pay freeze too. Good for Obama!

    [Yep, he’s been a class act so far. And I’m lovin’ it.]

... and that's my two cents