Category: abortion

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.]

Why I’m voting for Kerry

I’m voting for John Kerry. Why? I’ll try to keep it simple.

I have several issues that usually decide elections for me: the environment and women’s rights (pro-choice, not pro-abortion). For me those issues have never been negotiable.

I almost voted for Bush the first time. He seemed moderate enough, although not particularly qualified to be president, and Gore was very hard to like. But Gore had the experience and the record I wanted to see in my president, so I voted for him, reluctantly.

This from a previously lifetime registered, increasingly moderate Republican. In recent years though, I’d really waffled as Republicans seemed to be moving farther and farther away from defending women’s rights and the environment. Additionally, as my own life circumstances evolved, I slowly stopped thinking of myself as one of the Republican “haves” and more of a “have not.”

Then came 9/11. And the day I watched a church service at the National Cathedral and heard righteously angry voices swell to the strains of “Onward, Christian Soldiers.” I distinctly remember thinking, “My God, he’s going to make this a holy war!” And so he has.

I don’t believe in imposing ones’s religious beliefs on others. I don’t believe in making war in the name of religion. I believe in freedom of and from religion. I believe in science and the intellect and peace. To me spiritualism, or the lack of it, is a very private, personal thing and should remain so.