22
Jan
09

The “One” is a Serious Individual!

No President in my generation has shaken the establishment in Washington on his first day as our New President – Lets Support this kind of “Take Charge” attitude!

Here are several examples from AP Online Newswire Service, with the first being directed within the White House and its staff.

Jan 21, 1:54 PM EST

Obama freezes salaries of some White House aides

By JENNIFER LOVEN
AP White House Correspondent

The pay freeze, first reported by The Associated Press, would hold salaries at their current levels for the roughly 100 White House employees who make over $100,000 a year. “Families are tightening their belts, and so should Washington,” said the new president, taking office amid startlingly bad economic times that many fear will grow worse.

Those affected by the freeze include the high-profile jobs of White House chief of staff, national security adviser and press secretary. Other aides who work in relative anonymity also would fit into that cap if Obama follows a structure similar to the one George W. Bush set up.

In an attempt to deliver on pledges of a transparent government, Obama said he would change the way the federal government interprets the Freedom of Information Act. He said he was directing agencies that vet requests for information to err on the side of making information public – not to look for reasons to legally withhold it – an alteration to the traditional standard of evaluation.

Just because a government agency has the legal power to keep information private does not mean that it should, Obama said. Reporters and public-interest groups often make use of the law to explore how and why government decisions were made; they are often stymied as agencies claim legal exemptions to the law.

“For a long time now, there’s been too much secrecy in this city,” Obama said.

And this regarding President Obama’s concern over the Middle East conflict, also from AP Online Newswire Service.

Jan 21, 1:08 PM EST

Obama calls Middle East leaders

By BEN FELLER
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama called four Middle East leaders on Wednesday, weighing in for the first time about the Gaza crisis by pledging to support a fragile cease-fire.

Obama called Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Jordan’s King Abdullah and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

“He used this opportunity on his first day in office to communicate his commitment to active engagement in pursuit of Arab-Israeli peace from the beginning of his term, and to express his hope for their continued cooperation and leadership,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said.

In his phone calls, Gibbs said, Obama pledged that his government would do its share to make those efforts successful and work with international partners “as they fulfill their responsibilities as well.” The White House described the calls as warm in nature.

In the weeks before getting sworn in as president, Obama engaged deeply in the economic crisis at home. But he deferred to then-President George W. Bush on the Gaza conflict and declined frequent opportunities to comment, saying the country should speak with only one voice on foreign policy.

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