President Obama moved swiftly on Wednesday to impose new rules on government transparency and ethics, using his first full day in office to freeze the salaries of his senior aides, mandate new limits on lobbyists and demand that the government disclose more information. [via CNN]

Also, President Barack Obama issued four executive orders Thursday to demonstrate a clean break from the Bush administration on the war on terror, including one requiring that the U.S. military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay be closed within a year. A second executive order formally bans torture by requiring that the Army field manual be used as the guide for terror interrogations. [via CNN]

—-
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT 
IN WELCOMING SENIOR STAFF AND CABINET SECRETARIES 
TO THE WHITE HOUSE
 [via US News]

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. And that’s why, as of today, I’m directing members of my administration to find new ways of tapping the knowledge and experience of ordinary Americans — scientists and civic leaders, educators and entrepreneurs — because the way to solve the problem of our time is — the way to solve the problems of our time, as one nation, is by involving the American people in shaping the policies that affect their lives.

The executive orders and directives I’m issuing today will not by themselves make government as honest and transparent as it needs to be. And they do not go as far as we need to go towards restoring accountability and fiscal restraint in Washington. But these historic measures do mark the beginning of a new era of openness in our country. And I will, I hope, do something to make government trustworthy in the eyes of the American people in the days and weeks, months and years to come. That’s a pretty good place to start. 

President Obama 1.21.09

—-
It amuses me to no end that the White House has a blog. That new website is so slick and informative; there must be an army of people working on keeping it up-to-date. I <3 our new president.

Advertisements