obama's day 1: recession, war, ethics & more
from ap: In a first-day whirlwind, President Barack Obama showcased efforts to revive the economy on Wednesday, summoned top military officials to the White House to chart a new course in Iraq and eased into the daunting thicket of Middle East diplomacy. "What an opportunity we have to change this country," said the 47-year-old chief executive, who also issued new ethics rules for his administration and hosted a reception at the presidential mansion for 200 inauguration volunteers and guests selected by an Internet lottery.
day 1 for the global savior barack obama
from kurt nimmo: Now that Obama is installed in the Oval Office, the job of “saving the world” can begin. Of course, that’s what the corporate media tells us — this one-term senator, basically a man out of nowhere — will save us. In fact, Barack Obama cannot save us and that will not be his job, even though millions apparently believe it. Barack Obama is a front man for the New World Order. He is a used car salesman tasked with selling us on global fascism, that is to say transnational corporatism. As Obama wrote for the globalist Council on Foreign Relations periodical Foreign Affairs, “the security and well-being of each and every American depend on the security and well-being of those who live beyond our borders.” For the globalists, “security and well-being” translates into invading small and enfeebled countries like Iraq and Afghanistan. In order for the global elite to be secure — that is to say, for them to retain power and push their world domination agenda forward — small nations resisting globalization must be invaded and carpet bombed with depleted uranium.
no bible used in obama's 2nd oath
from washington post: In golf, they call it a mulligan. A do-over. There's no formal name for what President Obama and Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. did last night. After flubbing his one role on Inauguration Day - administering the oath of office to Obama - Roberts traveled to the White House to re-administer the oath. Just to make sure. "We decided it was so much fun . . .," Obama joked while sitting on a couch in the Map Room. Obama stood and walked over to make small talk with pool reporters as Roberts donned his black robe. "Are you ready to take the oath?" Roberts asked. "I am, and we're going to do it very slowly," Obama replied. After a flawless recitation that included no Bible and took 25 seconds, Roberts smiled and said, "Congratulations, again." Obama said, "Thank you, sir," and then added: "All right. The bad news for the [reporters] is there's 12 more balls." A president is required by the Constitution to say, "I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of president of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." At the inauguration, Roberts instead said: "that I will execute the office of president to the United States faithfully."
security team could use presidential doubles
from telegraph: Security experts said doubles could be used for public photo opportunities where he is not required to speak but may be exposed to a potential threat. President Obama is understood to be against the idea of using doubles himself because the tactic is generally associated with rulers including Saddam Hussein, Kim Jong-il of North Korea, Stalin and Adolf Hitler. But following hundreds of threats to his life already some of those charged with protecting him believe it may become an option. However, the best known Obama lookalike so far, said he didn't want the job. Ilham Anas, 34, an Indonesian photographer who bears a striking resemblance to the president, said: "I don't want to get shot."
US senate confirms clinton as secretary of state
from wikinews: The United States Senate has, in a 94–2 vote yesterday, approved Hillary Clinton as the next United States Secretary of State. She is now the 67th person to hold that position and succeeds Condoleezza Rice. During the Senate debate, the issue of the foundation of Hillary's husband, former President Bill Clinton, was again raised, as it was during the hearing held by the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Some politicians have expressed concern that foreign donations to the foundation may create conflicts of interest for Hillary, as the Secretary of State is the country's top diplomat. The foundation employs Bill Clinton as its head.
senate committee approves geithner as treasury chief
from iht: The Senate Finance Committee on Thursday backed President Barack Obama's nominee to head the U.S. Treasury, Timothy Geithner, overlooking his underpayment of some $34,000 in taxes and clearing the way for a full Senate confirmation vote. As part of the confirmation process, Geithner, in written responses to questions from Senate Finance Committee members, said that the new U.S. administration believes China is manipulating its currency. "President Obama - backed by the conclusions of a broad range of economists - believes that China is manipulating its currency," Geithner said. "The new economic team will forge an integrated strategy on how best to achieve currency realignment in the current economic environment."
obama’s nightmare 'green agenda' officially unveiled
from paul joseph watson: President Barack Obama’s plan to implement a cap-and-trade program that would cut carbon dioxide emissions by 80 per cent and also sink an already battered U.S. economy into a new great depression has officially been announced on the White House.gov website. However, the secondary phase of the agenda that would counter-balance such a move, the creation of millions of “green” stasi government jobs, has also been announced. According to the outline for the Obama-Biden comprehensive New Energy for America plan, the new administration will “Implement an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050.” The proposal has its roots in the defeated 2007 Lieberman/Warner bill, “America’s Climate Security Act,” which proposed a cap and trade system to reduce carbon emissions 70 per cent by 2050. If such a program was to be fully implemented, the consequences for the American economy would be devastating. The 2007 bill was rejected for a very good reason - its passage would have created economic conditions comparable to a new Great Depression and sunk America to near third world status.
obama sides with bush in spy case
from threat level: The Obama administration fell in line with the Bush administration Thursday when it urged a federal judge to set aside a ruling in a closely watched spy case weighing whether a U.S. president may bypass Congress and establish a program of eavesdropping on Americans without warrants. [76kb PDF]
but it's not all completely terrible...
obama orders guantanamo's closure within a year
from washington post: President Obama today signed a series of executive orders to close the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, within a year and end harsh interrogation techniques previously used on terrorist suspects, saying America will wage war on terrorism "in a manner consistent with our values and ideals." In a ceremony at the White House after a meeting with retired military flag officers, Obama said the Guantanamo facility would be closed "no later than one year from now" and that prisoners held there would be dealt with appropriately in keeping with the interests of justice and U.S. national security. The order to close the controversial detention camp, where terrorism suspects have been detained for years without trial, fulfills a promise Obama made during his presidential election campaign. "I can say without exception or equivocation that the United States will not torture," Obama said later at the State Department in announcing the appointment of two special envoys. Former Senate majority leader George J. Mitchell (D-Maine) was named Middle East envoy to seek Arab-Israeli peace, and former U.N. ambassador Richard Holbrooke was appointed envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan to deal with the resurgence there of al-Qaeda and the radical Taliban movement.
obama frees bush historical records
from robert parry: When authoritarian forces seize control of a government, they typically move first against the public’s access to information, under the theory that a confused populace can be more easily manipulated. They take aim at the radio stations, TV and newspapers. In the case of George W. Bush in 2001, he also took aim at historical records, giving himself and his family indefinite control over documents covering the 12 years of his father’s terms as President and Vice President. It was, therefore, significant that one of Barack Obama’s first acts as President was to revoke the Bush Family’s power over that history and to replace it with an easier set of regulations for accessing the records. Just as George W. Bush upon taking office in January 2001 immediately delayed the scheduled release of documents from the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, Obama wasted no time in reversing that policy by signing a new executive order on his first working day in office. Eight years earlier, George W. Bush initially postponed the document release and then – after the 9/11 attacks – sought to extend the cloak of secrecy over those documents virtually forever. Bush signed Executive Order 13233 on Nov. 1, 2001, granting the sitting President as well as former Presidents or ex-Vice Presidents – or their heirs – veto power over release of many documents. In other words, Bush was giving himself and his family effective control over key chapters of 20 years of American history (his father’s eight years as Vice President and four years as President, and his own eight years as President). Presumably at some point, that power would have passed to George W. Bush’s daughters, Jenna and Barbara, and to their progeny, giving the family a kind of dynastic control over how Americans would understand key events of an important national era. Self-serving myths could become a substitute for accurate history – all the better to protect the Bush Family’s interests.
and now, a few more updates from days 2 & 3...
obama orders closure of cia's secret prisons
from cryptogon: When I read Obama’s executive order to close the Guantánamo Bay prison camp, I just laughed the thing off as window dressing on a network of an unknown number of secret CIA prisons and torture facilities. In short, I felt that it was so ridiculous that I didn’t even bother mentioning it. Now, however, we have another executive order, ENSURING LAWFUL INTERROGATIONS... Don’t get me wrong, don’t put words in my mouth, don’t get too happy, BUT, this is a very big deal. This is a substantive, positive development. Now, the tendency of people in desperate situations is to think that any positive development means that the crisis is over, nothing more to see here, let’s go buy a new iPod, etc. This is what the Obama Cult is doing now. Obviously, that’s dumb. I must, however, acknowledge substantive positive developments when they occur. Since I expected no substantially positive developments out of the Obama regime at all, this is a welcome development, and after just a couple of days. Of course, Obama’s spy choice won’t call waterboarding torture, but… look, at a minimum the latest executive order is something I definitely wasn’t expecting. Like trading, however, one countertrend crank doesn’t mean a reversal of the larger trend. Maybe the Obama regime will require much more sophisticated analysis and discernment than the familiar one-way, race-to-the-bottom paradigm of the Bush era (which covers the years from 1981 to the first couple of weeks of 2009, in my opinion). This will make my work much more interesting, which I welcome. The fact that even I see this as a noteworthy positive development should be an indication of just how far off the rails the U.S. has gone. WooHoo! The U.S. is closing its secret torture facilities! WooHoo! Yes, it’s good news. But the much more disturbing issue remains the fact that it was allowed to happen in the first place, when it was obviously the work of Machiavellian people who were mostly despised. If no resistance was offered under those circumstances, what would the new regime be able to accomplish for the dark side with Obama’s cult of personality status and the sycophantic Hollywood myth makers practically experiencing glossolalia over the prospect of serving it??? Holy shit. I don’t want to think about it.
many bush officials held over at homeland stupidity
from washington post: Obama Administration Makes the Unusual Move to Ensure Continuity... Wary of being caught short-handed in case of a domestic crisis, the Obama administration has asked nearly two dozen Bush administration officials in the Department of Homeland Security to stay in their jobs until successors can be named. The attempt at continuity is unusual in presidential transitions between parties, which typically lead to wholesale purging of politically appointed personnel. At the Justice Department, for example, almost no Bush holdovers remain beyond Deputy Attorney General Mark R. Filip, who is acting as attorney general pending confirmation of Obama nominee Eric H. Holder Jr., and Filip's two top aides. By contrast, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has retained the department's second-ranking official, Deputy Secretary Paul A. Schneider, and its top border security official, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner W. Ralph Basham, as well as its operations director and the assistant secretaries responsible for policy and private sector coordination. The heads of the Coast Guard and Secret Service, who are not political appointees, and DHS Undersecretary for Management Elaine C. Duke, whose tenure is set by law, also remain. Napolitano acted "to assure a smooth and effective transition in a department whose responsibility for the security of the American people is paramount," spokesman Sean Smith said. "People were exercising prudent caution."
obama's orders leave torture & indefinite detention intact
from global research: On Thursday, President Barack Obama issued executive orders mandating the closure of the Guantánamo Bay prison camp in a year’s time, requiring that Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and military personnel follow the Army Field Manual’s prohibitions on torture, and closing secret CIA prisons overseas. While the media is portraying these orders as a repudiation of the detention and interrogation policies of the Bush administration, they actually change little. They essentially represent a public relations effort to refurbish the image of the United States abroad after years of torture and extralegal detentions and shield high-ranking American officials from potential criminal prosecution... This followed Tuesday’s request for a stay from the Federal District Court in Washington in similar appeals that could affect the cases of more than 200 Guantánamo prisoners. Thus, the immediate effect of the new administration’s moves is to halt civilian trials that could prove immensely damaging to the government by revealing systematic torture of the detainees and could potentially entangle high government officials.