So “that one,” Barry H. Christ, has been our lizard king for a whole week now. What has “change”d, let’s find out.
Holy crap, we don’t even have a full cabinet yet! Eric Holder’s lazy, lazy mustache has not yet bothered to become Attorney General. Or possibly this “delaying the vote” nonsense is just normally heroic moderate’s Arlen Specter’s way of groveling for some sweet, sweet RNC reelection fund moolah. (Update: ok, face saved, redundant yet still disappointing assurances about war-crimes prosecutions given.)
He’s shut down secret prisons (though we may still do some extraordinary rendition) and going to shut down Gitmo (after a lengthy and thorough review process ensures that weighs the proper legal and security options; may take a while; also, there’s still Bagram)! We’re going to stop torturing people (although we may continue to allow certain non Army Field Manual-approved interrogation techniques)! Oh, also, we still kill civilians in bombing raids along the Aghanistan-Pakistan border.
We’re going to be transparent and ethical, like a prudish icicle.
The Middle East: He’s trying to get everybody to go over there and solve that thing. Or, at least George Mitchell. Who, one might well note, brought piece to Northern Ireland, and also told the world about Roger Clemens and steroids.
You probably didn’t notice this unless you get emails from Planned Parenthood, but in a Friday news-dump President Obama reversed Bush’s first-days ban on funding “for international organizations that promote or provide abortions overseas.” The Planned Parenthood emails have been very enthusiastic about this development.
However, the U.S. Economic Region remans unstimulated. Hopey went to talk about boring policy stuff with House and Senate Republicans yesterday, so as to get the blood flowing back into their brains and away from their massive boners for tax cuts. This will not work, because of John Bo(eh)ner “for Tax Cuts.” Although (and the Planned Parenthood emails have thus far been rather mum on this subject), some family-planning funding, which totally does not save money at all, may get cut from the stimulus. (Though Dems are planning on making it rain down onto healthcare and services and education. Much more, incidentally, about the balance between short- and long-term funding here, here, here.) Basically this is a stare-down over the number of conservative votes the stimulus passes with; it remains to be seen how many G.O.P. congressmen will defect over to the new president’s dreamy eyes and manly political capital.