Day 1

President Barack Obama's inaugural address keeps getting better every time I listen to it.

In fact, I have to say, I wasn't all that impressed sitting and watching it live on television – but then, I, like millions of others, was very much wrapped up in the moment, and the words were just the words of a politician.

But I'll admit, there were definitely some winning moments. One thing Obama had to do was to declare America safe – something he had barely done during the campaign. In fact, I'm of the opinion that he's learned something since the election, sitting in on daily security briefings. Suddenly, safety is an issue, not something abstract. He knows, as very few others know, what intelligence is being gathered about potential threats against the U.S.

Flashy speech or no, Obama's first 100 days start now.

A hundred days is a benchmark. At that point, he's had some time to settle into the job, to learn what it takes to get things done, and most importantly, to accomplish some things.

Mitch tells me the first 100 days need to include a stimulus package, the closing of Guantanamo Bay, and the ending of the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy.

I'll agree with all of those, and I think the Guantanamo closing will come as soon as we figure out what to do with some of the prisoners we're interested in holding but not extradicting (because they'll be tortured in their home countries) or prosecuting (because military or intelligence secrets would be aired in open court).

The other thing I expect soon – Thursday, perhaps, since it's the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade ruling – is an end to the Global Gag Rule. The rule says no federal funding can be used for foreign family planning programs that either directly fund or even discuss abortions as a possibility.

Ronald Reagan instituted it in 1984, Bill Clinton repealed it in 1993, and George W. Bush re-instituted it in 2001 – on the Roe anniversary.

But there's another thing I'm very concerned about, as are many other people: openness.

A new White House blog is one thing, but Jay Rosen puts it frankly:

We can now hold you guys to

- better communication
- more transparency
- greater participation.


At the Democratic National Convention in 2004, when I first came to appreciate Obama, the then-Senate candidate said that blogging was an important way to convey information. Some people even had him slated for President – in 2016 (presumably after Hillary Clinton had her shot).

But after 100 years of press inclusion, the Bush administration shut the door on the press, and in doing so, on the American people, who access government through the press.

As Rosen says, it's not just the one-way communication of a blog that goes out from the White House to the people that's important, it's government transparency, and a give-and-take between the citizenry and the government.

Rosen gives an historic overview and a bit of advice on his blog, as well.

So, we've had another peaceful transfer of power, and we have been peaceful during that transition. We have turned a page. We have elected a president on a platform of hope, change and positivity, someone with a simple motto: yes we can.

So let's, please, move forward.

But let's also not get complacent. We've given Barack Obama the privilege to lead us. Let's hold him accountable for doing so.

Eye Candy: Take a few minutes to install Silverlight so you can check out the inauguration photosynth. Holy fun, Batman.


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