Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Obama Watch 2009, So Far, So Good
I will admit up front that I did not vote for Barack Obama. I voted for Sarah Palin, because I wanted the type of change she embodied. (I'm a female, Christian, mother, and a compassionate conservative, just so you know.) However, I listened to the President's speech yesterday and was impressed. He is very eloquent. If he can live up to some of the things he spoke of, that will be a good thing. In hindsight, other presidents' inaugural addresses also sounded very good (*cough* Clinton *cough*), but the actual record is less than impressive. So I plan to watch what President Obama does in the next four years, and let my opinions be heard. I'm not a political activist (yet), but I'm learning.
Today, I read the news that President Obama has frozen the salaries of around 100 White House employees who make over $100,000 a year. (Hey, Mr. President, I know a few people who might be willing to work at the White House for less than $100,000 a year, if you're really wanting to tighten things up.)
Not raising salaries in this economic climate seems to be a sensible thing.
President Obama has also imposed some strict limits on lobbying. In a nutshell,if aides leave his staff, they are banned from lobbying the administration. New hires will be banned from working on matters they once lobbied on or with agencies they once worked for. Lobbyists are banned from giving gifts of any size to any member of Obama's administration. And if someone leaves his administration, they are not allowed to try to influence a former colleague for two years.
Has no one restricted lobbying before? That's just common sense.
And President Obama is also loosening up public access to information. He has instructed government agencies to not look for ways to prevent access, but to find reasons to give access. He stated, "For a long time now, there's been too much secrecy in this city."
You tell 'em, Mr. President.
I'm sure many people could make good arguments against some of these policies. To me, President Obama is making the first steps toward running the country like a good business. But this is only Obama's second (official) day in office. Let's wait and see what the fallout is, and what he does next. Remember Matthew 7:16-20. "By their fruits ye shall know them."
If you want to comment on what the President does, or tell him what you think needs to be done, follow these links.
The Office of Public Liaison & Intergovernmental Affairs (OPL-IGA)