Thursday, June 4, 2009

How's Obama Doing?

I'm keeping the Obama picture on the sidebar.

I'm disappointed in his reluctance to investigate Bush era crime and corruption, though I understand his desire not to set a precedent for prosecuting preceding administrations.

I'm expecting to be disappointed on healthcare, though I'm very heartened by his strong endorsement of public health insurance.  Even if we don't get everything I want (or he wants), at least we might come out facing in the right direction.  The powerful insurance and pharmacy lobbies will fight any real reform with everything they've got (money, and lots of it).

I'm heartened by the Cairo speech, and the prospects for ditching the usual Israel-can-do-no-wrong Mid-East policy.  That Bin Laden and Zawahiri attacked Obama in separate tapes only helps him politically.  His peace offer to Iran has thrown that regime into a nasty intramural fight between hard-liners threatened by any thawing of relations with America and the West, and pragmatists who want to end that country's isolation.

I've heard the complaints from gay activists about our issues being ignored, but he has a lot of other things more vital to the welfare and security of the USA as a whole to deal with right now.  I think he has concluded that the wiser course is to let gay marriage work its way through state legislatures and courts, and to save getting rid of "don't ask don't tell" for another day.

The 2 things I worry about most are Wall Street and Pakistan.  I worry that those could get out of hand and blow up in all of our faces.  I'm more unhappy about the financial industry bailouts than I am about the auto industry bailouts.  At least the auto industry actually makes something.  The financial industry makes nothing, despite their "products."  Their job is supposed to be financing the industries that do make things.  They make all their money off moving money from one point to another.  I'm concerned that the instinctual American knee-jerk genuflect in the presence of large sums of money and the people who handle them will blind us to the need for regulatory reform and stronger regulation of this industry.
As for Pakistan, that is always a disaster waiting to happen, and all we can do is try to keep from stumbling and pushing it into catastrophe.

I very much want this President to succeed, for all of our sakes.
He is breaking up a lot of serious log jams that have paralyzed our politics for decades.  The speech in Cairo was a great example that I hope will be followed up with some dramatic changes in policy.  His election (which is his accomplishment as much as the voters) was a major and welcome break with so much conventional "wisdom."  I hope with success in  healthcare reform, and regulatory reform for the financial industry, he can break through the biggest log jam of all, that massive system of legalized corruption that privileges corporate profits over citizens' welfare and national security. 


Göran Koch-Swahne said...

I too trust President Obama - he will come through in the end!

And the Cairo speech is great! A new epoch.

Just imagine... A President who is wise and balanced and rational ;=)

Change we can believe in.

"Their job is supposed to be financing the industries that do make things. They make all their money off moving money from one point to another."

So true, but forgotten about 20 years back, when the new greedy ideas of the Chicago school, symbolized by Milton Friedman, had their break through.

If we don't reverse this madness soon...

David G. said...

I thought you might be interested in this site I frequent, it's about architecture.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Ooo, that should be 30 years back...

David G. said...

how many drinks, Goren?

...{will TRY not to be psychic with people}

Counterlight said...

Thanks David G.
That site is very interesting. I lived in St. Louis for about 10 years, first down around the Soullard/ Lafayette Square area, and then near Tower Grove park. I remember it as a city full of splendid, and crumbling, architecture everywhere.

David G. said...

That's how I think of Detroit, although much like St.Louis it's been raped of it's heritage though time and depression.

David G. said...

And Scrappers, (related to Meth)

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

I'm sur la paille for the moment, David - so no drinks within foreseeable future ;=)

June Butler said...

Counterlight, I want Obama to succeed, too. He surely broke the mold in Cairo.

I'm not really OK with "don't ask - don't tell". It's such a stupid policy. And there's Lt. Col. Fehrenbach who is being shoved out after serving 18 years in the Air Force, not because he told, but because someone snitched on him that - Horror of horrors! - he had sex with another man.

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Agree with regard to DADT. It should be removed at once!

Counterlight said...

I'm not OK with it either, but I understand the position Obama is in right now.

JCF said...

I just don't understand why he wouldn't issue a "Stop Loss" order *, re the to-be-discharged queers. That would keep Fehrenbach and Choi (etc etc) in the ranks, while leaving off any heavy-lifting re changing the law till later.

[* And if ReThugs bitch about it, you hit 'em back with "Don't you know there's (2) Wars on?!?!" >;-/]