If I had a nickel… for every time I have heard some variation of questioning Obama’s ability to deal with the mess the Bush debacle left for us… I would be rich.
It has been all of 8 weeks and 1 day since Obama was sworn in. It is unrealistic at best to think he can fix everything in such a short period of time. He has done more in this eight weeks than the last yahoo ten fold. He is keeping his campaign promises. He is restoring our country to pre-Rovian/Bush days to the best of his ability.
Let’s look at what Obama has done so far:
18 Executive Orders
January 21, 2009 Executive Order 13489 – Presidential Records
January 22, 2009 Executive Order 13491 – Ensuring Lawful Interrogations
January 22, 2009 Executive Order 13493 – Review of Detention Policy Options
January 30, 2009 Executive Order 13494 – Economy in Government Contracting
February 20, 2009 Executive Order 13504 – Amending Executive Order 13390
17 PRESIDENTIAL MEMORANDUMS
2/5/2009 Appliance Efficiency Standards
1/21/2009 Freedom of Information Act
1/21/2009 Pay Freeze
1/21/2009 Transparency and Open Government
3/13/2009 National Poison Prevention Week, 2009
3/3/2009 Women’s History Month, 2009
3/2/2009 Irish-American Heritiage Month, 2009
2/27/2009 National Consumer Protection Week, 2009
2/27/2009 Read Across America Day, 2009
2/27/2009 American Red Cross Month, 2009
2/27/2009 Save Your Vision Week, 2009
2/2/2009 American Heart Month, 2009
2/2/2009 National African American History Month, 2009
1/20/2009 National Day of Renewal and Reconciliation, 2009
In these Executive Orders and Memorandums a plethora of change has been initiated:
- He froze salaries for the top staff in the White House almost immediately.
- Gave us a definitive date to close Gitmo.
- He signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 making it easier for people to get the pay they deserve — regardless of their gender, race, or age
- He sped up the process for new fuel standards application.
- He also is working towards allowing California to set its own auto emissions standards as long as they are stricter than those in place currently by the Federal Government.
- Signed a detailed executive order to ban torture and inhumane treatment of prisoners.
- He signed the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009, better known as the State Children’s Health Insurance Program or SCHIP. Once signed into law, this legislation will continue coverage for six to seven million children and increase that coverage to four million more.
- He signed an executive order restoring the 30-day timeframe for former presidents to review records before they are released. It also eliminated the right for the vice president or family members of former presidents to do the reviews.
- He implemented the Employment Qualification Commitment, a fail-safe measure in the governmental hiring process ensuring no one is hired or not hired for their political beliefs or ideological stance — age, sex, race etc. He did this by making those hiring sign a declaration that they will not choose upon arbitrary, unfair criteria. This is a small step but it will be beneficial for accountability later on.
- He banned lobbyists from gifting politicians and restricted government employees from accepting a position with a lobbyist for a period of 2 years after leaving office to help reduce government corruption.
- He lifted the ban on giving money to international groups that provide abortion services.
- He signed the DTV Delay Act to allow ample time for millions of Americans to be prepared for the digital transition.
- He signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act which will jump start our economy in ways we really need such as creating alternative energy jobs and production, modernization of homes and federal buildings to improve energy efficiency, bringing our schools and hospitals up to date with
technology, investing in science, research and technology — this is vital! We must be able to compete in these areas.
- He restored public access to the Presidential records in Executive Order 13489 — revoking the order Bush put into place severely limiting access to Presidential actions by the public.
- He signed the Freedom of Information Act — in which he set the guidelines for the government to adopt a “presumption in favor of disclosure” and take “affirmative steps” to make information
- He took the necessary steps to restore a transparent, participatory and collaborative Government in the United States.
- He restored our commitment to treating prisoners according to Geneva Convention Standards.
- He ordered a stop to all torture and most rendition.
- He created a task force on detainee disposition to develop realistic, humane policies for the lawful detention, transfer, trial and eventual release of detainees from the war on terror. This task force must report to him within 180 days with its findings.
These are some of the fundamental steps Obama has taken towards restoring our national pride, our political legitimacy and bringing us into the 21st century while getting us out of this economic depression.
In the first 56 days of his Presidency, Obama has done more positive things for this country than George W. Bush did the entire eight years in office. Obama has been working diligently to undo, revoke, overturn, reverse the crooked policy of the last eight years. I say he is doing an excellent job.