Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Well, that's hitting the ground running

(CBS/AP) - The Obama administration announced salary freezes for White House employees making over $100,000 a year, placed new limits on lobbyists' White House access and had aides circulate a draft executive order that would close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay within a year.

The new lobbying rules will not only ban aides from trying to influence the administration when they leave his staff. Those already hired will be banned from working on matters they have previously lobbied on, or to approach agencies that they once targeted.

The rules also ban lobbyists from giving gifts of any size to any member of his administration. It wasn't immediately clear whether the ban would include the traditional "previous relationships" clause, allowing gifts from friends or associates with which an employee comes in with strong ties.

This I'll believe when I see it. Bribery and graft (excuse me - "contributions") have become de facto legal on Capitol Hill. He should also use his influence to push for its end in Congress.

Quoth the Bush: "I have political capital, and I intend to spend it." It would be nice to spend it on something that's actually GOOD.

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