Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Folks mill about the entrance to Seattle, Washington's historic Pike Place Market after closing time on a clear January evening. This popular marketplace - believed to be the oldest of its kind in the United States - has operated continuously for 101 years and offers an extensive assortment of local seafood, fruit, vegetables, flowers, crafts, and wares daily.
To the delight of many around the globe, Republican and former President George W. Bush departed Washington on Marine Two yesterday afternoon, but left behind a festering and unparalleled domestic and international crisis for his successor Democrat Barack Obama to address. Presidential scholars and U.S. citizens remain uncertain about how to measure Bush's eight-year tenure, which was sullied by an unpopular war in Iraq, questionable expansion of executive powers, feeble response to natural disasters, botched foreign diplomacy, illegal torture acts, reckless fiscal policy, lack of oversight for corporations, tax breaks for the wealthy, a monumental housing crisis, and soaring unemployment.
With the inaugural pomp and circumstance over, today marked Obama's first official day of business in the White House. The young 44th president and leader of the free world must resolve scores of pressing issues during his first term in office. Indeed, he has his work cut out for him.
Photo above: A sign marks the western terminus of Bush Street in San Francisco, California.