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Obama's First 100 Hours
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I'm not sure who the original author of this is, but it's definitely worth reposting!


First 100 Hours

•Obama ordered a 120-day halt for Gitmo prosecutions and stopped all the war crimes trials until the military tribunal system can be reevaluated.

•He halted all pending federal agency regulations until they can be reviewed by the administration.

•A draft executive order is being circulated that will close Gitmo within a year and the CIA detention centers in other countries. It will be signed tomorrow.

•He has frozen salaries of all White House aides making more than $100,000 a year.

•He met in the Situation Room with Biden and senior officials to talk about Iraq and Afghanistan and with the economic team about the stimulus package.

•He banned gifts from lobbyists to anyone working in the administration. If a former lobbyist is hired, they can't work on the issue they lobbied on or for any agency they lobbied. If aides leave the administration, they cannot lobby their former colleagues for two years.

•He stopped a last-minute Bush directive to remove gray wolves from the endangered species list. Link.

•Before the day is out, he is expected to reverse the Bush Administration policy of prohibiting U.S. money from funding international family planning groups that provide information about abortion.

•He signed an executive order requiring himself and all past presidents** to consult the attorney general before they can claim executive privilege. "Information will not be withheld just because I say so," he said. "It will be withheld because a separate authority believes my request is well grounded in the Constitution." That means before Bush can claim executive privilege over the documents dealing with interrogation, he'll have to get approval from the current A.G. Good luck.

•In a move that has journalists squeeing, he reversed the Bush Administration's policy on FOIA, which was to deny everything that could be denied and wait as long as possible to do so. He restored the Clinton-era policy, which was to release everything unless foreseeable harm would result. And he did it as an executive order, which has a much stronger weight in law than an attorney general's memo and harder to overturn.

All that, and his secretary of state got confirmed.

100 days? How about 100 hours? I'm honestly boggled. I keep trying to post this and another story pops up with yet another action. Watch for edits.


EDIT: Oh, he took the Oath of Office again. Just to be sure. This time Roberts used a cheat sheet. Someone called the Chief Justice the "Oaf of Office," and Fox News raised the spectre of a lawsuit. Of course they did.


On the other hand, Colbert cracked me right the hell up by declaring that since Fox News doesn't think Obama can really be the president with a mangled oath, then who is president? Why, whoever was on camera at the stroke of noon, which was... President Yo-Yo Ma! *snerk*

SON OF EDIT: For those who care, the inaugural prayer service included the first-ever woman to preach at the service (of Disciples of Christ), as well as leaders from Islam, Hindu, Conservative and Reform Judaism, Greek Orthodox and all manner of Christians, from Baptists to Sojourners. (Oh, and the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, one of my heroes.) Prayers were based on the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer but retouched from Washington and Lincoln.


Since this entry is so popular, I'm just going to keep editing it for the first 100 hours. Holy crap, I don't know if I can keep up this pace, Mr. President.

•Signed the order to close Guantanamo Bay, the CIA detention centers around the world and review the war crimes trials.

•Signed an executive order to BAN TORTURE. All U.S. personnel will be required to follow the U.S. Army Field Manual in regards to interrogation.

"(The administration will not) continue with a false choice between our safety and our ideals," he said. "It is precisely our ideals which give us the strength and moral high ground to deal with the unthinking violence that we see emanating from terrorism organizations around the world." Ah, complete sentences.

•Sent the economic recovery plan to Congress, which will give a $500 tax credit to singles making less than $75,000 and couples making less than $150,000, and help those who have been laid off keep health insurance. It is, of course, being resisted by Republicans. Democrats are bitching because it only has $30 billion for highway repair and construction.

Other details: a temporary $2,500 tax credit for college tuition; boosting the earned income tax credit; $29 billion in tax cuts for businesses investing in new plants, as well as renewable energy tax cuts; temporary spending increases for weatherizing poor people's homes, community health centers, construction projects at national parks and adding buses to mass transit.

Republicans said they want the increased Pell Grants out and replaced with a cut in payroll taxes, and don't want $90 billion sent to the states for Medicaid essentially because the governors can't be trusted to spend it right. Remind me which party believes in smaller federal government and states' rights again? Pelosi and Durbin want to allow mortgages to be modified in bankruptcy rather then families automatically losing their homes; Republicans are vehemently opposed because it could make mortgage rates rise.

•I am highly amused, by the way, at Republicans suddenly screaming about the cost of the program to help us transition from analog to digital broadcast television. They didn't mutter word one when Bush approved the program OR when he auctioned off the analog airwaves to corporations, the money from which went to no particular program. At the same time, Congressional Democrats are acting like children, doing a little turnabout-fairplay on the former majority. Obama will have his hands full.

•George Mitchell was affirmed as peace envoy to the Middle East (he's the guy who helped Clinton bring peace to Northern Ireland, so good luck). Also, Clinton kicked off her job at State.

•All this in the midst of discovering that the White House is hopelessly antiquated in technology. No outside email log-ins, no access to major web sites, no instant messaging, etc., which explains why their relentless contact with the outside world suddenly ground to a halt. The web site is lagging, and the crew apparently used to working on top-notch Macintoshes suddenly has clunkers with six-year-old Windows software.

•The House passed the expansion of SCHIP, the states' children's health program that Bush vetoed months ago. SCHIP programs fill the gap between Medicaid and being able to afford private insurance. It covers 6 million more kids and is paid for by a cigarette tax.

•In case anyone cares, Condoleezza Rice has signed with the William Morris agency.


•He signed the order reversing the global gag rule, which refused funding to international health programs if they informed women about abortion. He waited two days to do it so that it wasn't on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, which was actually lauded by pro-life activists. They knew he was going to do it, and thanked him for not doing it on a day they spend in public mourning. He indicated his intention to seek re-engagement of the U.S. in the United Nations' efforts to improve women's health nationwide.

•Fighting continued over the stimulus plan. Obama declared he will get a daily economic briefing along with his security briefing. See above for details. Much of the fighting is over transportation, though I am amused by reports that Republicans told Obama that he's pushing his own ideas too hard. "I won," Obama said. Hee.

•Obama pledged to use much of the remaining bank bailout money to help homeowners avoid foreclosure, but it's going to cost, they say. Most of the money has been spent already, and of course it's not working, the banks are still relying on toxic assets, so he's got to decide a) how to fix it and b) whether to add to it. One proposal: create a "bad bank" that would own the toxic assets. Um. There's a reason I don't understand high finance.

•He dealt with Israel, Gaza and all that fun. No, he didn't bring peace to the Middle East yet.

•Obama doesn't necessarily get credit for this, but I imagine the timing is not a coincidence: The Food and Drug Administration approved the first human embryonic stem cell research. The Post story states that this particular project was not resisted by the Bush Administration, but Obama is widely expected to lift current restrictions on stem cell research at the federal level.

•The administration slogged through the endless appointment process. Interestingly, they have 3000 jobs to fill, and 1,141 of them require Senate approval. Approved so far: 21.

An aside: a smart column in the Washington Post about Obama as a role model for boys growing up without dads. My heart twists over this, as my boy is not entirely without a dad, but his father is far from a regular force in his life.

The 100 hours ends at 5 p.m. EST Saturday, by the way.


Whew. 100 Hours are over, and I didn't expect much today, being Saturday and government is ostensibly closed.

•Obama recorded his first weekly radio/internet address, which focuses on the economy. He details some more aspects of the stimulus package, which includes making federal buildings energy-efficient (savings: $2 billion) and helping to weatherize 2.5 million homes.

Could they start with my apartment building? The stimulus package will be tracked on a new site, www. recovery. gov, which will show taxpayers where the money is going.

Republicans countered by saying we need more tax cuts. Sigh. Though there's a fight coming: Obama is not pushing to repeal the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy before they expire in two years or launching investigations into the Bush Administration, and Pelosi wants to do both (though her interest in investigations is focused solely on the firing of federal prosecutors two years ago). For the record, "wealthy" in this case means over $250,000. I have my own thoughts on this, but I'll save them for later.

•After recording the address, Obama met with the economic team and talked about the federal budget.

•It has been pointed out that Obama called the leaders of Israel, Palestine, Jordan and Egypt first, and has focused on the Middle East by appointing George Mitchell as envoy, which I typoed earlier. The only part that still seems to be off the table is talking to Hamas, from what I've read. I also overlooked naming Richard Holbrooke as envoy to Afghanistan.

•The White House released a report titled "American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan," which proposes more money in Pell Grants for 4 million low-income students.

•The tiniest change ever: Bush had a formal regulation that there were to be no photos of him in the Oval Office without his jacket on. Obama ditched that right away. Apparently the new president likes to work in his shirtsleeves. Meanwhile, TIME Magazine stuns me with "Obama Debut: Not Quite Ready On Day One." What wasn't ready? Um, the email didn't work until Wednesday morning. So the fuck what, TIME? And isn't it silly to blame the transition team for technical glitches? Didn't the White House have its own tech geeks to fix the email? Let Sasha and Malia at it.

Reportedly, Obama was startled when people stood up as he entered the room. "I'm still getting used to that," he said.


•The first Gallup poll shows Obama's approval rating at 68 percent, with only 12 percent disapproving. Obama's opening numbers are higher than the initial approval numbers for both his predecessors, who also had disapproval ratings in the low 20s. However, JFK had the record honeymoon - 72 percent.

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