There were a variety of things that President Obama wanted to put to bed immediately on Day Two for some reason.
Let me say it as simply as I can: Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.
Our commitment to openness means more than simply informing the American people about how decisions are made. It means recognizing that government does not have all the answers, and that public officials need to draw on what citizens know.
The Huffington Post has all the details on the day's bloodshed.
The executive order on ethics I will sign shortly represents a clean break from business as usual. As of today, lobbyists will be subject to stricter limits than under any other administration in history. If you are a lobbyist entering my administration, you will not be able to work on matters you lobbied on, or in the agencies you lobbied during the previous two years. When you leave government, you will not be able to lobby my administration for as long as I am President. And there will be a ban on gifts by lobbyists to anyone serving in the administration, as well.
*-UPDATE: I wonder if Obama would be okay with Superbowl tickets being sold to his officials through privileged channels at "face value", instead of the price you and I would have to pay.
The Post-Agenda session of council regarding the fund in the nature of an irrevocable trust, the draft defeasement agreement, and the nature of oversight in the City of Pittsburgh has been rescheduled for Monday, Feb. 2 at 10:00 AM. No word yet on whether ICA Executive Director Henry Sciortino is going to elect to, or be required to, attend. In the wake of this adverse ruling, there may be a feeling that this could turn into another one of these circuses.
However, it's easy to interpret that possibly all that occurred precisely because Mr. Sciortino didn't seem to be present at that session personally. This post-agenda could be a good opportunity to set records straight, get a menagerie of festering small issues out into the open, and put Pittsburgh back in a position where it can again invest with confidence.
A must-read from the P-G's Brian O'Neill:
People are beginning to get that we can't have it all. A week ago, I asked Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato whether his transportation priority would be a light-rail link between Downtown and Oakland or completion of the Mon-Fayette to Pittsburgh and Monroeville, and he answered, "I think we need 'em both."
That won't do with a president who says we need to make hard choices. Yesterday, he said if he had to pick, he'd opt for the light-rail extension in Pittsburgh.
Thanks for pressing him!
*-UPDATE: Transit agency leaders say those unforeseen costs added $117.8 million to the North Shore Connector's $435 million price tag and threaten to shut down the project without a bailout from a proposed federal economic stimulus package. (Trib, Jim Ritchie)
C'mon. Really? Or do you just see money on the table and are coughing loudly? Because if this diverts money away from the Oakland spine line or, say, the green restoration of Schenley High School, that would be extremely unfortunate.