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Eye Opener: Jan. 21, 2009

By Ed O'Keefe

Eye Opener

Welcome to the first Eye Opener of the Obama administration.

Things got started quickly on Tuesday afternoon as President Obama issued a memo to department and agency heads halting new or pending regulations.

Department and agency heads have also been asked to "consider extending for 60 days the effective date of regulations that have been published in the Federal Register but not yet taken effect" unless they impact health, safety, environmental, financial, or national security matters -- obviously now subject to the interpretation of Obama's appointees.

"Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton did the same thing," notes The Post's Amy Goldstein.

In case you missed it yesterday, The Post's Al Kamen has compiled the West Wing seating chart. Even if some staffers have to set up shop next door in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, the offices there "are high-ceilinged and spacious, with fine views to the south. On the other hand, a chunk of it, we're told, is under renovation."

Big changes also online for the federal government. "The blue background of the Labor Department's site changed in tone, while the State Department's Web site removed the photograph of Condoleezza Rice and posted secretary-designate Hillary Rodham Clinton's picture from her Senate confirmation hearing," Kamen reports today.

In other news...

The Federal Government's Moment: Gov Exec editor/reporter Tom Shoop notes that portions of Obama's inaugural focused on the work of the federal government: "The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works -- whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account -- to spend wisely, reform bad habits and do our business in the light of day -- because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government."

Seven Cabinet-Level Nominees Confirmed: Secretaries of Agriculture, Education, Energy, Homeland Security, Interior and Veterans Affairs plus Peter R. Orszag as director of the Office of Management and Budget all got unanimous nods from the Senate Tuesday afternoon.

Management Priorities: Federal Times recaps the management challenges faced by the new president.

The Oath: "Akhil Reed Amar, a Yale University professor of constitutional law, said, 'Out of a super-abundance of caution, perhaps he should do it again,'" reports The Post's Josh White. "He should probably go ahead and take the oath again," George Washington University professor Jonathan Turley told White. "If he doesn't, there are going to be people who for the next four years are going to argue that he didn't meet the constitutional standard. I don't think it's necessary, and it's not a constitutional crisis. This is the chief justice's version of a wardrobe malfunction."

What CEOs Would Ask Geithner: The Post's Frank Ahrens gathered up questions that business leaders would ask the likely next secretary of the treasury at his Senate confirmation hearing today.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 21, 2009; 8:30 AM ET
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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Next: Memos Announcing Departure of FEMA Chiefs


You're right: The Constitution does require the exact oath be recited.

However, it does not specify that it must be administered in public, by the Chief Justice or, indeed, any person at all, that a Bible or other document be present, etc.

So maybe the President, sometime soon and at his convenience, can just recite it correctly in the presence of a couple reliable witnesses and get it done with ... for the record.

Posted by: Judgito | January 21, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

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