Monday, January 19, 2009

Barack Obama's First 100 Days....


Forty eight hours from now, we'll be beyond the glitz and glamor, the charisma and a horribly expensive inaugural celebration. The figure I heard was $150,000,000 for the day of celebration, speeches and parties.

Personally, during a recession, I find that figure repugnant. There are people in this country who haven't had enough food today. There are people in this country who have lost their homes, their credit, their small businesses and their income. In light of that, I would have preferred to see something more low-key.

But setting that aside for the moment, I've been giving some thought to Barack Obama's first 100 days as president and the change so many of us hope to see.

Here are a few things that matter to me.

1) Bring jobs back from foreign countries and give them back to Americans who desperately need them,

2) Sign an executive order to close Gitmo,

3) Come up with a comprehensive plan to withdraw from Iraq without leaving the citizens of Iraq to fend for themselves after having destroyed the entire infrastructure of the country,

4) Order Leon Panetta, the new director of the CIA, to stop all covert activities throughout the world that are intended only to disrupt sovereign governments. It is time to rein in the Directorate of Operations and bring them back to their original purpose which is intelligence gathering,

5) Get a task force together to come up with a workable national health care program.

*and*

6) Show a commitment, not by talk but by action, to bringing this country in alignment with much of the rest of the world in terms of social justice and economic equality.

I think it's important that he realize people are going to be expecting results. Charisma will only get him just so far... and then it's going to be a matter of seeing substantial change. We're not at Martin Luther King's mountain top yet!

So... you. What change do you hope to see right away?

(Just as an aside, you can write a message to Barack Obama at change.gov .. The messages will be compiled and delivered to him.)


~*

19 comments:

ewe are here said...

It does seem to be an obscene amount of money, but I do suspect a lot of it is for security in the entire D.C. area. It's the first change in administration since Sept 11, 2001, and while a very popular president-elect, there are a hard-core band of (racist) haters, not to mention the gathering of everyone who is supposed to be running our country for the next 4 years, save one member for security purposes. So I really do suspect a lot of the monies are down to security.

But you do think they could have toned down the countless number of balls and days of frivolities considering so much of the country, and hey,the world, is in an economic crisis.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

It does seem a lot like the Coronation of an Emperor, but I think a lot of the enthusiasm has to do with the historic nature of this election as well as widespread relief at the Bush years finally ending.

I am more interested in what President Obama is able to accomplish in the real world. He is going into office with the highest approval rating of any American president ever, but also with massive expectations that he will walk on water or at least wave a magic wand and cure all of society's ills, which may be a tad unrealistic even for someone of his caliber.

I saw a bumper sticker yesterday that said, "Our Health Care System - Don't get sick."

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I'm especially with you on 2, 5 and 6. I'm not sure that jobs can be "brought back", but my first agenda item would be creating jobs, probably a la FDR. I'd love to see smaller farmers supported via this option and stewardship/greening jobs.

I have to think about this more.

You have a wonderful list, there, though.

ThomasLB said...

I want him to speak in complete sentences without shimmying his shoulders and grinning like a mental patient.

That's all.

At this point, I just want the leader of our nation to not make us all look stupid.

citizen of the world said...

It's too much money to be spending, and yet.. I think there is somehting important about this celebration.

wheelsonthebus said...

there is the little issue of our planet turning toxic...

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

I agree with most of your points. (I don't see how to accomplish #1 without turning this into a command economy, and that isn't going to happen.) However, I think it's going to take longer than 100 days for most of the change we want.

flutter said...

I will sit quietly and watch. I trust not one politician

Cecilieaux said...

As someone who actually lives in Washington, D.C., (and has been cajoled into going to the swearing in), I find that the "obscene" amount of money is giving a lot of people work that the poorer non-touristy part of the city really needs.

Molly said...

What price hope?

Leann said...

To focus on the economy and give some relief to families.

LittlePea said...

Healthcare healthcare healthcare. A stop to outsourcing would be nice but it's never going to happen. I would also like to see some war criminals in the Bush regime prosecuted and thrown in jail.

The money and balls and parties don't damper my mood at all. This is a huge historic celebration and it should be done right. I think to cut down would be just as inappropriate, there are people who died to make this day happen and they deserve a celebration as befits this day. A lot of money will be flowing into the DC economy as a result of all the hoopla and I imagine tourism will be higher for the next few years as well. My husband and I are planning a trip there for this summer and neither of us have ever been or deisred to go before. But there's sonething about it all that makes is want to visit our nation's capital and I'm sure we're not the only ones who've been inspired to do so.

Amy Y said...

He's got a lot of work to do... I think that he's up for it!!

I'd have liked to see things a little more low key with the current economy in mind...

Ian Lidster said...

I do not envy the man because expectations are so high and he simply cannot do everything. Nobody could. However, the one thing that must be addressed is the lack of health coverage for so many Americans. That is the one thing in which the US is out of synch with so much of the world.

Carol said...

There is so much that is broken. I wonder how he sleeps at night. I just have a little two-day-a-week job and some nights I hash over my work as I try to sleep. If I had Obama's job, I think that I wouldn't sleep for the next four years.

You have a good list. I'd add environmental issues, along with developing and using more alternative energy.

Los Angelista said...

Hugs to you! I am so happy today and so hopeful! I think we all have a wish list of things we'd like to see happen and sure am praying that some of them come true. I think Obama's heart is in the right place, or at least I'll assume so till he proves me wrong.

As far as the whole cost of the Inauguration, that story got started on Fox News. And while the millions spent are a whole lot, the figures reported are completely unsubstantiated. There's a good article about it at Media Matters. http://tinyurl.com/6uvzd6

Janet said...

Really? It cost that much? It does seem over the top given current economic conditions.

Still, he gives me hope and I don't even live there. I will be paying attention to what happens. I suspect much of the world has their eyes on your country right now.

painted maypole said...

yes, I too would have liked to see a little less craziness. frankly, though, I have a feeling he did not have much to do with that planning, and would have had a hard time changing much.

plus an old friend of mine got to sing with josh groban. how cool is that?

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