Check out the new White House website. It even has a blog.
This is an open thread, all topics welcome.
Make a new
From civil rights:
End Deceptive Voting Practices: President Obama will sign into law his legislation that establishes harsh penalties for those who have engaged in voter fraud and provides voters who have been misinformed with accurate and full information so they can vote.
End Racial Profiling: President Obama and Vice President Biden will ban racial profiling by federal law enforcement agencies and provide federal incentives to state and local police departments to prohibit the practice.
Reduce Crime Recidivism by Providing Ex-Offender Support: President Obama and Vice President Biden will provide job training, substance abuse and mental health counseling to ex-offenders, so that they are successfully re-integrated into society. Obama and Biden will also create a prison-to-work incentive program to improve ex-offender employment and job retention rates.
Eliminate Sentencing Disparities: President Obama and Vice President Biden believe the disparity between sentencing crack and powder-based cocaine is wrong and should be completely eliminated.
Expand Use of Drug Courts: President Obama and Vice President Biden will give first-time, non-violent offenders a chance to serve their sentence, where appropriate, in the type of drug rehabilitation programs that have proven to work better than a prison term in changing bad behavior.
Support for the LGBT community:
Support Full Civil Unions and Federal Rights for LGBT Couples: President Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples. Obama also believes we need to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions. These rights and benefits include the right to assist a loved one in times of emergency, the right to equal health insurance and other employment benefits, and property rights.
Oppose a Constitutional Ban on Same-Sex Marriage: President Obama voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2006 which would have defined marriage as between a man and a woman and prevented judicial extension of marriage-like rights to same-sex or other unmarried couples.
Repeal Don't Ask-Don't Tell: President Obama agrees with former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff John Shalikashvili and other military experts that we need to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. The key test for military service should be patriotism, a sense of duty, and a willingness to serve. Discrimination should be prohibited. The U.S. government has spent millions of dollars replacing troops kicked out of the military because of their sexual orientation. Additionally, more than 300 language experts have been fired under this policy, including more than 50 who are fluent in Arabic. The President will work with military leaders to repeal the current policy and ensure it helps accomplish our national defense goals.
Expand Adoption Rights: President Obama believes that we must ensure adoption rights for all couples and individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation. He thinks that a child will benefit from a healthy and loving home, whether the parents are gay or not.
Obama also believes we need to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions.
It's not a promise, but it's a clearly stated goal to repeal DOMA. Good for Obama, and good for people (like Glenn Greenwald) whose lives have been affected by this piece of legislated bigotry.
But if you open your mind to a true life of liberty, it makes perfect sense.
Oh well, 4-8 more years of bigotry. Someday our time will come.
Full marriage rights throughout 100% of the country is the goal. This plan is probably the fastest way there.
... but yeah, like you say - he's just like Bush on gay rights. /snark
Collins & Snowe for example. The Maine state legislature is currently considering two bills; one for full marriage rights and one for civil unions that have all of the legal rights of marriage. The ladies from Maine will tend to go where there state leads them.
enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions
What other legally-recognized unions (other than civil) could he mean besides marriage?
Where does he state on his website that he would veto a bill that recognizes gay marriage???
Obama opposes gay marriage, and as for federally recognized relationships his website advocates for civil unions.
I know he prefers civil unions, but he has never advocated banning marriage. And a veto would effectively do that.
Try using a broader search phrase."
A preview of what's to come?
Cornyn appears to be the lone ranger on this. If Senate Democrats can't or WON'T easily plow him under on this we're in for a tough road.
My first favorite was with John Lewis on CNN. He is always so moving.
Centralize Ethics and Lobbying Information for Voters: President Obama and Vice President Biden will create a centralized Internet database of lobbying reports, ethics records, and campaign finance filings in a searchable, sortable and downloadable format.
Require Independent Monitoring of Lobbying Laws and Ethics Rules: Obama and Biden will use the power of the presidency to fight for an independent watchdog agency to oversee the investigation of congressional ethics violations so that the public can be assured that ethics complaints will be investigated.
End the Practice of Writing Legislation Behind Closed Doors: President Obama will restore the American people's trust in their government by making government more open and transparent. Obama will work to reform congressional rules to require all legislative sessions, including committee mark-ups and conference committees, to be conducted in public. By making these practices public, the American people will be able to hold their leaders accountable for wasteful spending and lawmakers won't be able to slip favors for lobbyists into bills at the last minute.
Don't get me wrong; I'm all for openness in the creation of legislation. But shouldn't the president be focussing more on keeping his own (i.e. the executive branch's) house in order, and not claiming authority over the legislative branch which the constitution doesn't anticipate?
Are you against transparency? I really cannot fathom your reasons for having a problem with this, unless it is ODS. That would make sense.
The main check of the executive branch over the legislative branch is the veto power. Playing a role in rewriting internal congressional rules is not a constitutional check that I can immediately locate in the document, thhough. Perhaps instead of trying to insult me or shut me down by name-calling, you could point to the part of the constitution that covers this.
Unconstitutional? That is a load of rubbish. Name calling? Hardly.
Your ill informed comment seems so out there that I was reaching for straws wondering where you are coming from.
Like it or not, the branches of government are, to a large degree, independent and self-regulating. If you're not happy with the internal rules of congress, perhaps you should focus your energies on getting congress to improve upon their rules. My initial opinion, unless someone (not you apparently because instead of engaging my request chose simply to insult me again) can point me to the responsiblity of the executive to work to rewrite congressional rules in the constitution, is that the executive should focus on its own ethics.
There is no suggestion that Obama intends to use any device other than ordinary political persuasion to encourage Congress to become more transparent. He is not claiming any power to rewrite their rules unilaterally. There is nothing wrong with one branch of government urging another branch to do something; in fact it happens every day.
In any event, I didn't intend this to become the biggest deal in the world, but I still do have the opinion that the wording of the whole thing does trouble me.
Of course, that can go both ways as Nancy and Harry helped get Obama where he is. They know where the bodies are buried. Obama owes them.
The truth is I'm probably the fool...the poor fool. I only look smart once every ten years or so when the market collapses.
But it feels right, or at least right for me.
I try to avoid it at all cost.
I've got the sound on because I keep changing rooms and don't want to miss anything, but the babble is ridiculous.
provide federal incentives to state and local police departments to prohibit the practice.
you might find yourself on the wrong ends of criminal & civil suits, if your police dept. continues to practice "profiling"? make someone a fiscal impediment to a locality, and i guarantee you, they will either be gone, or quickly change their ways. follow the money!
In other words, separate but equal for gay people.
i'm not quite sure where you get that from. if you're referring to the 1,100+ fed. laws & regs. affecting married couples, that's pretty much as good as it's going to get. simply put, the federal gov't doesn't define marriage, the state gov'ts do. frankly, they shouldn't be doing it either, since marriage is a religious title and institution.
the only thing that concerns the state are the legal entanglements created by two people signing that contract, what they call it is irrelevant.
if gays (or anyone else, for that matter) wish to refer to it as "marriage", by all means, feel free. you'll get no argument from me. or most other people either, i suspect.
What an obnoxious thing to do. I have lost all respect for her. She better learn how to live at the top very fast, IMO.
Best thing by far about today!
For some reason, just reading this made me cry a little.
Tweety obviously p*ssed and unable to do much about it.
Such is the power of the image you present.
You should stop that.
Really? Cry? Just throw any hint of objective journalism out the window why don't you.
He was taken out on a stretcher.
Hold on Ted, we still need you!
5 % Obama will set high goals and reach them successfully.
21 % Obama will do a good job and have good results.
52 % Obama will get the work begun, but his successor will have to complete it.
20 % No chance: Obama will fail.
It's a small sample size, but an interesting distribution.
For the first time, Obama will have to do something other than make speeched. I am, as they say, cautiously pessimistic.
For some on this site I'm sure they would prefer Reid/Pelosi do just that.
I was waving too. G O O D B Y E.
As for the rest ... the speech and all - the plus I felt about it was that there were an absolute minimum of applause lines. I can't stand them. I was pleased that the speech moved right along. But I must say I don't have any idea what Obama talks about. Every sentence seems to say something - but doesn't quite say something at the same time. I'm sure I'm in the minority with this perception. But - this is the place for subjective musings.
The one line that curled my hair a bit was the "We will defeat you" line. Obligatory tough. Totally unnecessary.
But all in all, a calm feeling - and welcome.
Bush's departure reminded me of the fall of the Berlin Wall. A terrible era ended. The powers that be were quick to tell everyone not to be euphoric - and they were quick to find new hostilities to keep us on pins and needles to the present day.
But perhaps things will be different this time around.
I have my fingers crossed.