Saturday, November 08, 2008
Office of the President-Elect

Sounds good. "Change" looks good next to ".gov".


Suggestion form

President-Elect Obama and Vice President-Elect Biden have developed innovative approaches to challenge the status quo in Washington and to bring about the kind of change America needs.

The Obama Administration has a comprehensive and detailed agenda to carry out its policies. The principal priorities of the Obama Administration include: a plan to revive the economy, to fix our health care, education, and social security systems, to define a clear path to energy independence, to end the war in Iraq responsibly and finish our mission in Afghanistan, and to work with our allies to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, among many other domestic and foreign policy objectives.
OK, that's fine, but I'm disappointed to see "Science" seemingly tacked on as an afterthought. One of the big changes I want to see out of this Obama administration is a decent attitude towards science. It's probably reading too much into this to react badly to seeing "Science" alongside "Arts" and "Sportsmen" in the final, "Additional Issues" section, but it does not look good.

I didn't expect to see some of the particulars I'd have included, such as "Critical Thinking" in the "Education" section. Seeing Plug-In Hybrids referred to as "cars that can get up to 150 miles per gallon" in the "Energy and Environment" section is annoying. But, hey, it's a start.

I don't like the idea, in the "Energy & Environment" section, of using the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to cut prices, and I don't like the complete omission of nuclear energy. There's no way the country will even come close to reducing CO2 emissions by 80 percent by 2050 without including this atmospherically benign energy to the portfolio. Not while maintaining something approaching reasonable living standards, anyway.

Seeing two different drug-related issues in the "Civil Rights" section is somewhat encouraging. Eliminating sentencing disparities and expanding the use of drug courts are OK, as far as they go, but they are entirely insufficient. Among the items I did not expect to see was some mention of the fact that the ONDCP's mandate includes acting to prevent changes in the law (something that ought to be considered unconstitutional). Such a mandate hinders development of a more rational approach to the drugs problem than wasting untold billions of dollars per year to accomplish little except to serve the interests of the prison-cop complex, threaten liberty and corrupt us. I heard Candidate Obama state categorically that he'll end government programs that don't work. The War on Some Drugs clearly fits that category. We'll see.

Good luck, Mr. Obama, in your new job. So far I'm happy to have supported you. Keep it that way.


jj mollo said...

The Drug War is a product of decades of entrenched stupidity, supported by a self-sustaining system of interlocking political myths. I can't see it changing too much. Obama is going to face the same pressures that Bush had, plus a dreadful economy.

Steve said...

You're probably right, JJ. ONDCP's sunset clause is coming up, though, and Obama could just let it go. The tens of billions wasted that year while the economy is shot might sway things.

I really don't expect it, but he might do something in the right direction beyond the two items mentioned before.

Where did you move your writing?

jj mollo said...

I've written a little, but I haven't published anything for a while. It's been a combination of something like writer's block and events in my life. The house is being torn up and my health has been variable. I fell off my bike in April and broke a bunch of bones. I'm back to riding again, but not quite up to snuff yet. I'm going to try again this week.

jj mollo said...

I write a bunch of stuff on Free Frank Warner as well. It's mostly open-minded libertarians with conservative leanings. Frank considers himself a true liberal.

It's certainly not an echo chamber and it's a fairly small arena, so I can get a hearing for my POV.

Steve said...

Wow, that's quite a bike accident! I'm glad to hear you're healing and riding again. Maybe I'll take inspiration from that. I have not been riding but it's been on account of laziness.

Free Frank Warner... I'll pay a visit.