Friday, April 10, 2009

President Obama's Grade So Far

Thus far in to Obama's Presidency, I have been both pleasantly surprised and deeply depressed . . . depending on the day, and on the headlines. Even if it doesn't pass, I'm glad to see that the President is pushing the Employee Free Choice Act. I think that the stimulus package was too small, but a necessary start to jump start the Economy. It is wonderful to see a President that isn't reviled world-wide, and I'm glad that he's more-or-less kept his promise to get the ball rolling on getting us the hell out of Iraq. More and more Americans are saying this country is on the right track - and that's a very good thing. Guantanamo is in the process of closing, and according to the new CIA chief John Podesta, we are no longer "rendering" prisoners in black sites world-wide. All of this is extraordinarily good news, in my opinion.

On the other hand, although I'm not surprised by it, I think the President is following exactly the wrong path in Afghanistan. We should be looking at trying to extricate ourselves from that disaster in the same way we're looking at trying to extricate ourselves from the tragitastrobacle in Iraq. There are no military solutions there, any more, if there ever were. It's time for the diplomatic corps to take over. I've also been pretty pissed off about the plan for dealing with our nations "leading" financial "institutions." I don't buy all this hogwash that if BofA and Citi, and Goldman Sachs were to fail, it would be the end of the world. I think that in a capitalist system, businesses that make colossal blunders ought to be allowed to fail. It appears that Geithner, Summers et al, are neo-liberal Wall Street shills who care more about their billionaire friends than the American people. I find the idea of creating some sort of government-run hedge fund to deal with the so-called "toxic assets," one which would be insured by the US taxpayers, to be extremely problematic. These banks ought to be nationalized, broken up, and sold off. Finally, I've been beyond distressed by some of the stuff coming from the DOJ lately. It appears that, for whatever reason, the Obama Administration is upholding the Executive's right to wiretap, eavesdrop, and collect people's personal electronic communications without warrants, and that in fact they may be attempting to expand those powers.

Overall grade - C+.

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