Thursday, January 22, 2009

Obama: Off to a Good Start

Apparently Obama has been using his first hours in office to do things of which I actually approve. Sweet! Radley Balko has a list of actions Obama took yesterday limiting his own executive power, including:

  • Obama rescinded Bush’s 2001 executive order allowing former presidents, vice presidents, and their heirs to claim executive privilege in determining which of their records get released to the public. Even better, he’s requiring the signature of both his White House counsel and the attorney general before he can classify a document under executive privilege.
  • Issued a memorandum to all executive agencies asking them to come up with a new plan for open government and complying with FOIA requests. He is also instructing three top officials, including the U.S. attorney general, to come up with a new policy on open government. The new policy would replace the existing policy, infamously set by a 2001 memo from John Ashcroft that instructed federal agencies to essentially to take every measure they can to refuse FOIA requests.
  • Put a freeze on the salaries of top White House aides.
  • And this morning he signed an executive order to close Gitmo no later than a year from now. Well done!

    It appears that Obama may actually have been the lesser of the two evils up for election.


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