Posted tagged ‘Obama’

President Obama Suspends Gitmo Arrests

January 21, 2009

As one of his first acts as President, Barack Obama has suspended all arrests for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for 120 days. The President has said that this time will be used to review the practices at Guanatanamo Bay with the ultimate goal of ending torture tactics.  Obama and Gates made a direction to the military courts to suspend 21 trials until a full comprehensive review of the tactics used at Guantanamo Bay.


This news comes hours before President Obama signed his ethics reform conference, where he set high standards for his staff including a ban on gifts from lobbyists, a ban of lobbyists from working for the government in their field, and a pay freeze for the White House Staff.


So…this is what change looks like.


President Obama & The Fierce Urgency of Now

January 20, 2009

It is truly remarkable how far we have come as a nation in the past two years. When I reflect upon my part in the historic events that led to the election and inauguration of the first black president in our nation’s history it fills me with joy to know that I was there when it all began (for me) one late October night in 2006. Myself, and three others went into Seattle (on a school night!) to attempt to scalp tickets to see Barack Obama, a mostly unknown junior senator from Illinois give a talk about his book and perhaps have a chance for him to sign a book of ours. We were incredibly lucky to even get four tickets out of the line, and to get them at face value (five dollars). We made friends with people that were close to the front of the line and waited to get in with them. Already the spirit of togetherness was overtaking common citizens! We sat in the first row allowed for those with our sort of ticket. Then one of us asked if we could move all the way to the front, which we were allowed to do. Watching him enter from my left side was crazy and even then it blew my mind. His talk touched upon the fundamentals that he would eventually utilise to run for President. I was terribly impressed by how (mostly) non-partisan he was. It was truly refreshing. Afterward we all waited patiently for our group to be called to have our books signed. One of us had bought an extra book for our AP Government professor which was my ticket into the line. Eventually it was my turn to walk up and get the book signed. I handed him my book and he signed it and then I asked him, “I don’t know if this is kosher but could you sign my ticket stub?” He smiled and said yes and I shook his hand. We left Benaroya Hall walking on air at the experience. Looking back upon it now it seems like it was in a different time.

I always thought from then on that he was the right man for the job. I was just waiting on everyone else to realise what I already had. Then the movement began slowly and showed itself in Iowa, in South Carolina, and so on and so forth. We stand here today perched on the precipice of the kind of history that our generation has never been witness to. Yes, we did watch in horror as the towers fell in smoke and ash under the pressure of terrorism and hate. Yes, we did watch our nation go to war. Yes, we did watch our economy sink to depths none of us could have imagined. Yes, we were told our opinions did not matter. This however, is the kind of moment that will forever live in all our memories as one that is a happy memory, one that reminds us that even though we have witnessed and grown up during some of the toughest times this country has ever faced, we can and did rise up and send a message to the world that we are a generation of change. That we are a generation that refuses to allow others to tell us what we cannot achieve. With that sort of resolve, inspired by a man with a funny name and big ears, we can achieve anything.

And now, we turn ourselves to bear witness to the day Martin Luther King dreamed of when he made his address on the Lincoln Memorial over 40 years ago. “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” That day, is January 20, 2009. Let us enjoy it.

Ben and Jerry’s Offers New Ice Cream Flavor

January 5, 2009

Yes thats right, in the spirit of President Obama’s inauguration, Ben and Jerry’s has decided to launch a new flavor of ice cream with a cause behind it: Yes Pecan! The flavor, according to Ben and Jerry’s is:

An Inspirational Blend!  Amber Waves of Buttery Ice Cream With Roasted Non-Partisan Pecans.

Ben and Jerry’s has decided to donate all the proceeds from the sales of this new flavor during the month of January to the organization Common Cause, in honor of Barack Obama’s message of open and honest government, and community service.  Further, for every person who joins or donates to the cause, Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream will donate $1.

Common Cause is a non-partisian organization dedicated to keeping the public informed and active in public affairs. Their Mission Statement reads:

To strengthen public participation and faith in our institutions of self-government; to ensure that government political processes serve the general interest, rather than the special interests; to curb the excessive influence of money on government decisions and elections…

And best of all….it’s available at a vendor near you!

For more information on Common Cause please visit

America Loves Obama

December 24, 2008
8 in 10 Americans say that they approve of they Obama is handling is transition; higher than any President in the last 30 years

8 in 10 Americans say that they approve of the way Obama is handling is transition; higher than any President in the last 30 years

According to a recent national poll conducted by CNN 80% of Americans approve of the way that Barack Obama is handling the birth of his administration. This is higher than any President in the last several decades. As the article notes, Barack Obama is posting higher numbers than Ronald Reagan, George Bush I, Bill Clinton, and George Bush II.  Only 15% of Americans cited that they “dissaprove” of the way Mr. Obama is handling his transition. CNN’s Keating Holland states:

“History shows that presidents usually start to lose support once they assume office and start making the tough decisions. But with eight in 10 currently approving of Obama, he can give away 20 or 30 points and still have a majority of the country on his side. That’s a reservoir of good will that may help him get things done in his first few months on the job,”

What does this mean for President Elect Obama? Are his expectations too high? Do these numbers show that the President now has a mandate from the people to fix the mess we’re in? Or is this just the symptoms of Obamania?

Barack Obama to be Sworn in on Lincoln’s Bible

December 23, 2008

With less than 30 days left until his auguration, CNN has reported that President – Elect Barack Obama will be sworn in on the same bible that Abraham Lincoln used to be sworn in back in March of 1861.  The bible is currently being displayed at the Library of Congress, and will be returned after Mr. Obama becomes President Obama. In a statement released on Tuesday:

The President-elect is committed to holding an Inauguration that celebrates America’s unity, and the use of this historic Bible will provide a powerful connection to our common past and common heritage

Lincolns bible, on display here at the Library of Congress, is the bible chosen by Barack Obama to be sworn in on.

Lincoln's bible, on display here at the Library of Congress, is the bible chosen by Barack Obama to be sworn in on.

Aside from this story showing us that Barack still loves his dramatic moments,  at least everyone can now be silenced as to what Barack Obama will swear on when he takes the oath of office.

I Trust My President

December 18, 2008

Lately, there have been countless news stories talking about people complaining about the President – Elect’s choices for numerous things.

Pres. Elect Barack Obama names Tim Geithner to head the Department of Treasury.

Pres. Elect Barack Obama names Tim Geithner to head the Department of Treasury.

Ken Salazar, who has been selected to head the Department of the Interior, has been criticized for not being Environmentally friendly enough, Rick Warren, who has been chosen to give the invocation at Obama’s inauguration, has been criticized for being too anti-gay and too-anti choice. Steven Chu, who has been chosen as Secretary of Energy, has been criticized for not being “political enough”. Robert Gates, chosen to remain at the Department of Defense, has been criticized for not embodying change enough.

Granted, any incomng adminstration is going to be attacked for every hole in their system; no matter how small. But looking at several of these critiques, many of them (if  not a majority) are coming from the left wing of the part. As a person who leans left-of-center myself, this is starting to get to me.

Barack Obama was chosen in primary because his stances were more liberal and more of a change than Hillary Clinton. He was going to end the

Then Senator Obama listens to a point by Secretary of State Designate Hillary Clinton

Then Senator Obama listens to a point by Secretary of State Designate Hillary Clinton

warimmediately, he was going to fix the economy with an FDR style public works system, he was going to fight to lower the costs of health care, increase funding and awareness for preventative care, and make sure that no one in America went without health care. Then, suddenly, on November 5th, 2008, nothing changed. Barack Obama was still the same man he was when he promised and pushed for all of these changes. The only difference was that now he actually was the President.  We elected Barack Obama because we trusted his judgement to lead. His judgement showed superior when he spoke out against the war in 2003, when he spoke about the economy in 2008, and it is showing again in his cabinet positions.

President Obama seems to be building a pragmatic and practical government. While Obama is including people in his cabinet that many would consider right of center, or even centrist, that is no indication to criticize the adminstration, which is still being led by a man who is left-of-center. It is important to realize who the man making the decisions is. Obama would not pick these people if he did not believe they could offer real insight to the adminstration.

What will the rest of Obama’s Cabinet look like? Do you trust the picks he’s made?