Obama Wants to Reopen Lady Liberty’s Crown
Visitors to Liberty Island and the Statue of Liberty will once again be able to climb the 354 steps from the base of the Statue of Liberty to the iconic crown that overlooks New York Harbor -- but not quite yet. The Obama administration wants to reopen the crown, but certain safety measures have to be in place first. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar went to the top of the crown with fellow Democrats New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez, New Jersey Rep. Albio Siries and New York Rep. Anthony Weiner.
This demonstrates a commitment to Liberty as an ideal, and also an understanding of people's need to be uplifted and inspired -- particularly in dark times.
Obama Ends Funding Ban for Abortion Groups Abroad
Matt Spetalnick, Reuters: "President Barack Obama on Friday will lift restrictions on US government funding for groups that provide abortion services or counseling abroad, reversing a policy of his Republican predecessor George W. Bush, an administration official said."
Providing full-service family planning will help reduce the Earth's severe overpopulation problem and improve the lot of women. Removing the ban may also help repair America's tattered reputation and make this once again a country that gives more aid than hassles.
Obama First Calls Abbas
Patrick Martin, The Globe and Mail: "US President Barack Obama's first full day in office certainly made a big impression on some people. His first action - the suspension of the Guantanamo system for alleged Islamic terrorists - caught the attention of Muslims around the world. And his first overseas telephone call, to Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, stunned Palestinians and many Israelis as well. 'We were not expecting such a quick call from President Obama, but we knew how serious he is about the Palestinian problem,' said a very excited Yasser Abed Rabbo, a senior adviser to Mr. Abbas."
This is another excellent foreign policy move: reaching out to other world leaders, and promptly starting the (doubtless long and difficult) process of shutting down the many offensive installations and policies established by the former administration.
Obama Frees Bush Historical Records
Robert Parry, Consortium News: "When authoritarian forces seize control of a government, they typically move first against the public's access to information, under the theory that a confused populace can be more easily manipulated. They take aim at the radio stations, TV and newspapers. In the case of George W. Bush in 2001, he also took aim at historical records, giving himself and his family indefinite control over documents covering the 12 years of his father's terms as President and Vice President. It was, therefore, significant that one of Barack Obama's first acts as President was to revoke the Bush Family's power over that history and to replace it with an easier set of regulations for accessing the records."
Obama is in the White House and still concerned about providing benefits directly to the American people. This is just one of several things he's done to limit the power of the Presidency, restore checks and balances, and put more power back into the hands of the people.