The final regulations concerning the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) were released Wednesday, despite outcry from congressional leaders and financial institutions. The regulations provide guidance for a controversial 2006 law that restricts transactions financial firms can facilitate involving Internet gambling sites.
While the assault on Internet freedoms is concerning in itself, the greater issue is the abuse of power typical of a lame-duck president. These regulations are provided by the Treasury and describe the specific details concerning how the law is to be enforced. In an effort to finalize these regulations before Obama takes office, they are being released immediately, foregoing the usual revision period.
The voice of the American people was loud and clear Nov. 4, so it seems odd that Bush is trying to accomplish things that Obama wouldn't allow. This isn't unusual behavior, though, and that's the disturbing thing. Presidents have made a bad habit of last-minute pardons and acts that some see as them "leaving their mark." It seems more like they are peeing on the tree trunk of America.
Bush isn't the only one guilty of this - Clinton gave a presidential pardon to his brother before leaving office. It's sad that the leaders of our country act differently when they know they won't be held accountable. Your character is best defined by your actions when no one is watching, as the clich goes. It's time this president - and future presidents - show some character and act as though they were up for re-election 'til the very end.