Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Executive Balm

President-Elect Obama will apply his politically mandated salve on the open wounds from certain Bush administration policies using retaliatory executive orders:

Barack Obama will assume the U.S. presidency with "a real mandate for change," and likely will use his executive powers to make quick changes, perhaps reversing Bush administration policies on stem cell research and oil exploration.

John Podesta, who's handling Obama's preparations to take over in the White House on Jan. 20, said on Sunday that Obama was reviewing President George W. Bush's executive orders on those and other issues as he prepares to put his own stamp on policy after eight years of Republican rule.

Though sheer speculation at this point, one Bush administration executive order seemingly ripe for reversal is Executive Order 13435. Signed on June 20, 2007, EO 13435 supports alternative means of creating new lines of stem cells, but at the expense of readily available cell lines yielding the most promising medical research. As head of Obama's transition team, Podesta concedes as much in an interview with Fox News: "I think across the board, on stem cell research, on a number of areas, you see the Bush administration, even today, moving aggressively to do things that I think are probably not in the interest of the country."

President Bush issued a total of 262 executive orders during his two terms and still counting. Some of them were doozies.

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