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Chopper

"a Clean Break From Business As Usual"

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President Obama made some anouncements today on changes at the top.

A pay freeze for all White House employees making $100K or more. I want to know if this includes the Prez and VP as well.

Executive draft order to close Gitmo within one year.

Major new lobbeying rules:

Obama's new lobbying rules will ban aides from trying to influence the administration when they leave his staff. Those already hired will be banned from working on matters they have previously lobbied on, or to approach agencies that they once targeted.

The rules also ban lobbyists from giving gifts of any size to any member of his administration. It wasn't immediately clear whether the ban would include the traditional "previous relationships" clause, allowing gifts from friends or associates with which an employee comes in with strong ties.

The new rules also stipulate that anyone who leaves his administration cannot try to influence former friends and colleagues for at least two years. Obama is requiring all staff to attend to an ethics briefing like one he said he attended last week.

New interpretation of the Freedom of Information Act:

[Obama] said he was directing agencies that vet requests for information to err on the side of making information public ? not to look for reasons to legally withhold it ? an alteration to the traditional standard of evaluation.

Just because a government agency has the legal power to keep information private does not mean that it should, Obama said. Reporters and public-interest groups often make use of the law to explore how and why government decisions were made; they are often stymied as agencies claim legal exemptions to the law.

In light of the understandable fear and distrust surrounding our executive branch of government brought up in another thread, I thought this information would be appreciated. Perhaps, especially this particular quote:

"[Obama] said the orders he was issuing Wednesday will not "make government as honest and transparent as it needs to be" nor go as far as he would like. But these historic measures do mark the beginning of a new era of openness in our country," Obama said. "And I will, I hope, do something to make government trustworthy in the eyes of the American people, in the days and weeks, months and years to come."

Here is the entire article, talking about this and other things as well; calls to Mid East leaders, economic plan, halt ordered to all pending Bush regulations:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28767687/

Yes, for debate. Good start? Not enough? What else would you like to see?

Edited by Chopper

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He is getting off to a great start ! He is also getting ready to overturn tha Global Gag Rule which precludes federal aid money to go to international organizations that perform or even inform patients of abortion. Yah, I am really happy that Obama is making these Bush, Reagan christian right policies go by the wayside !

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Perhaps you two can enlighten me as to why the re-take of the oath was kept quiet then?

That doesn't hold to the 'transparency' theory. It would have seemed more 'open' to have made it public knowledge immediately, don't you think?

Just wondering.

And for the record, that's rather racist commentary about people with values that may differ from yours catch. Not very nice a'tall.

Oh, and Chopper? I want to say, I think the pay freeze is excellent!

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Perhaps you two can enlighten me as to why the re-take of the oath was kept quiet then?

That doesn't hold to the 'transparency' theory. It would have seemed more 'open' to have made it public knowledge immediately, don't you think?

It was in our newspaper this morning and I've seen coverage of it on all the news stations I've been watching.

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Perhaps you two can enlighten me as to why the re-take of the oath was kept quiet then?

That doesn't hold to the 'transparency' theory. It would have seemed more 'open' to have made it public knowledge immediately, don't you think?

<snip>

There are photos of him retaking it, so the fact you haven't seen them seem to be more a question of the press not finding it important enough to take up room from other news from the white house.

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Yes, I know half halt.

I am wondering why it wasn't announced that they would be doing it before hand, and why the re-take wasn't taped for later televising.

If it was, however, that's good, but thus far I haven't seen anything pointing to that.

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Really hastflicka,

I have seen the photos. You don't seem to understand my question.

As to the press and what items of importance are.............this seems that it would rank highly.

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PR, I don't see a mention to anything racist nor even offensive in what catch said. Her statements were fact based and then she said she was really happy about the change.

Don't tell me "christian right" is an offensive stement :confused0024:

Would you please stop looking for imaginary things to be offended by? There's enough real stuff in this world.

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Let me get this straight Chopper,

It's ok for catch or you to slam dunk politicians and certain 'groups'.

But if anyone questions something or someone that sits on your side of the fence, it is not ok.

Correct?

So, you can state your opinions, but others shouldn't state theirs.

Am I getting this right?

Not that it should matter, but last I heard, President Obama is a Christian.

And I say the title President Obama respectfully, because he holds the position and therefore deserves the respect that goes with it.

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Has nothing to do with politics, only your reply to catch, offended by her post? She said the most benign of things. I swear if she had said it's a beautiful day and I like cats you'd be screaming about being offended. It's silly.

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Really hastflicka,

I have seen the photos. You don't seem to understand my question.

As to the press and what items of importance are.............this seems that it would rank highly.

You're right, I don't understand your question [Question] I don't see any 'hush' about it at all. There is a video of it on the internet which must have been released by the white house. How the press chooses to put relevance on what's coming out of the white house depends largely on what papers you read or tv channels you watch, even if they seem to be unusually in agreement that this particular video is unimportant.

Edited by h?stflicka

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Moving on .... it is a good start. We'll see how things shake out. I don't really trust the guy, but since I'm stuck with him for the time being, I do hope he will pleasantly surprise me. I'm willing to keep an open mind, but I am not willing to be sucked into his propaganda.

Obama's speech was good, of course, if nothing else he's a good speaker. However, like most speeches, it often said much while saying nothing. I felt at times he was preparing us for his socialist financial government changes ... which I am dead set against ... and at other times he seemed to have praise for a free market economy. We shall see.

I was glad to hear his strong words against certain middle East aggressors ... a reversal from his speeches on the subject during the Democrat convention. I hope that means he's been privy to some important information since becoming the democrat candidate and that he has learned from what he's found out and that he is willing to see facts.

However, speaking of those things and the freedom of information act, I do hope he intends to keep national security items secure.

In general I feel that our government ... senators, congressmen, and presidents ... for the last 60 or 70 years have grown more and more corrupt (with one Presidential exception, but not a recent one.) I have doubts that this regime will be any better. I suspect it will be worse .... but I hope I'm wrong. So far, the changes and speeches are better than I had hoped for. But one day does not policy make and I'm still waiting .......

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Sorry, Chopper, but I'm not as optimistic as you are. Give it a day or two and it will be back to business as usual. First and foremost, Obama is a lawyer turned career politician. Having dealt with both extensively, especially lately, you can't believe anything that they spit out, regardless of party affiliation, religous denomination, campaign promises, etc. Yeah, I think I'm a bit jaded when it comes to politicians.

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PR-The christian right is a political group that promotes an agenda of over turning Roe V Wade as well as other "moral" policies based on their interpretation of the bible. They ARE a group that has a certain degree of political power in this country-did you watch the Republican convention, they were at the convention in September and identify themselves as such. I have no idea what "slam dunk" means but this policy came from Reagan's presidency and was promoted by the christian right.

The retaking of the oath was widely reported. Are you saying Obama needed another ceremony ? I'm not sure where all of this anger is coming from. Hope your day gets better.

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Just an opinion here. The retaking of the oath because a few words got muddled up was totally stoopid and unnecessary. I understand why it was done, because some nitpickers had to make a big deal out of those few words. Good grief. There are more important things to worry about.

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Perhaps you two can enlighten me as to why the re-take of the oath was kept quiet then?

That doesn't hold to the 'transparency' theory. It would have seemed more 'open' to have made it public knowledge immediately, don't you think?

PR .... the inaugeration was Tuesday. Wednesday, it was reported on TV that the oath was officially (if not publicly) re~administered/taken because of speech errors. I heard it was the administrator's errors ... NOT the president's, but what do I know?

How do you figure that's not immediate or open enough?

Recently, David Letterman allowed that it may, in fact, be the JOB that removes the ability to speak. He figures that maybe we've been slapping our heads and groaning over W's oratory disabilities wrongly because shortly after the oath? Silver Tongued Barack Obama has apparently been reduced to errors in speech.

I sure hope he's wrong. I enjoy listening to an orator ... I stand by my theory that OUR new orator honed his speaking style by listening to black preachers. I think black preachers are AMAZING speakers.

'Start soft ... make your case ... BRING FIRE ... sit down.'

Stirring. Moving. LOTS of impact.

Yeah, Chopper. Sounds like FREE AMERICA may be on track to return to living rooms everywhere!

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Chopper,

As to your question about pay for the president and vice president, I'm pretty certain I read somewhere that, according to the constitution, the president's and vice president's pay cannot change while they are in office. The last pay raise for the president was enacted by Bill Clinton to $400k per year but it did not become effective until George Bush took office. Based on what I read, the question is moot because the pay is frozen the day they each take office until they are asked to go home.

By the way, and I am in no way a "current" Obama fan (doesn't mean I may not at some point in the future when he actually does something meaningful), the retaking of the oath is a non-issue. If it is an issue, it's an issue regarding John Roberts. As I understand it, he's the one that made the mistake. The fact that the oath had to be taken over again is merely a formality. Again, I believe I read somewhere that at 12:00 noon on January 20, the newly elected president is the president, oath or not.

Edited by CBQH

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PR .... the inaugeration was Tuesday. Wednesday, it was reported on TV that the oath was officially (if not publicly) re~administered/taken because of speech errors. I heard it was the administrator's errors ... NOT the president's, but what do I know?

....

Recently, David Letterman allowed that it may, in fact, be the JOB that removes the ability to speak. He figures that maybe we've been slapping our heads and groaning over W's oratory disabilities wrongly because shortly after the oath? Silver Tongued Barack Obama has apparently been reduced to errors in speech.

Chief Justice Roberts said the oath in the wrong order. Obama paused when he got to the part that Roberts had said wrong, Roberts started to correct about the same time Obama decided to go with the flow and repeate the statement as Roberts had said it.

They re-did the oath sometime last night... I heard about it on the radio this morning before 8am Eastern. Doesn't seem all that hidden to me.

New Report

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Why do I feel it is still a 'you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours' type of deal?

Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who has advised President Obama and who personally donated $25,000 to the president's inauguration celebration (out of a total of $150,000 by six Google executives) must be rather pleased.

Want to read the whole article?

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13739_3-10150534-46.html

Still business as usual, just new players & players that have been out of the game a while.

Edited by luther

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I saw on the news today that the new White House staff is really struggling with the old technology and some of the security related issues related to technology.

Seems as if they are having problems getting availability to post to the new "blog". Sounds like the White House needs some updating.

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