Friday, November 7, 2008

Already better with Obama

Its remarkable how things can already improve just from Obama being elected, months before he is sworn in. The New York Times writes that negotiations in Iraq have already shown signs of improvement since the election. Money quote:
“Before, the Iraqis were thinking that if they sign the pact, there will be no respect for the schedule of troop withdrawal by Dec. 31, 2011,” said Hadi al-Ameri, a powerful member of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, a major Shiite party. “If Republicans were still there, there would be no respect for this timetable. This is a positive step to have the same theory about the timetable as Mr. Obama.”
But now, the Iraqis appear to be feeling less pressure from Iran, perhaps because the Iranians are less worried that an Obama government will try to force a regime change in their country.
Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports on a huge upturn in the devastated morale at federal agencies. Agencies doing important work such as the EPA, the SEC, and the small business administration had lost many of their most talented people in the past eight years. Not only was their less oversight than was needed but there was less competent oversight. The result: tainted toys, polluted environment, and an economic meltdown. Now some of the best people may return to the federal government. Of course, this leaves open the question of why the Post waited until after the election to report on the meltdown of the federal government under Republican rule.
In numerous agencies, federal civil servants complain that they have been thwarted for months or even years from doing the government jobs they were hired to do.
"Even though we can show bodies on the floor from this danger, nothing gets out the door," said the OSHA veteran, who ticked off a list of Ph.D.-carrying colleagues who retired to be more productive elsewhere.
Also, some agencies have gone through much of this year with no leaders in the big window offices. In May, eight months before Bush was to leave the White House, half the administration's top 250 political positions were vacant or filled by temporary appointees.

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