Cheers and jeers

Cheers — to U.S. Airways pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, who reacted to the loss of both engines on Flight 1549 by calmly and professionally setting the plane down in the Hudson River. All 155 people aboard were promptly rescued. We suspect those who have traveled by air since last Thursday have paid a little closer attention when flight attendants described what to do "in the unlikely event of a water landing." The best news: None of the passengers on Flight 1549 had to use their seat cushion as a flotation device.

Cheers — to President Barack Obama for making public records law one of his first orders of business. On his first day in office, Obama issued two memoranda to all federal agencies, reminding them that freedom of information is a cornerstone of democracy, and directing them to conduct public business in an atmosphere of openness and transparency.

Obama wrote that the Freedom of Information Act "should be administered with a clear presumption: In the face of doubt, openness prevails." That is a sharp contrast with the previous administration, during which officials were effectively told, "when it doubt, keep it secret."

Jeers — to the conspiracy theorists who still search desperately for some way to convince themselves that Obama is not really the President of the United States. After Chief Justice John Roberts muffed the oath of office, causing Obama to speak the words out of order, Roberts repeated the swearing-in Wednesday evening in the White House out of "an abundance of caution," in the words of a spokesman. That wasn't enough for the blogosphere's wingnuts, who immediately squawked that Obama did not place his hand on a Bible for the second oath — never mind that the Constitution does not require a Bible or any other book for that matter.

Don't even get us started on those who still insist against all evidence that Obama wasn't born in the U.S.

Cheers — to now former President Bush, who demonstrated grace and good humor during every phase of the transition, warmly welcoming the Obamas to the White House and publicly recognizing the historic nature of this inauguration.

Jeers — to those in the inaugural crowd who saw fit to boo Bush and taunt him with schoolyard chants of "hey, hey, hey, goodbye" as he made his way to the Capitol to witness the swearing-in of his successor. No matter what you think of the 43rd president and the job he did in office — and we are not among his biggest fans — he did not deserve to be treated with that kind of childish disrespect.

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