02 January 2010

Obama's New Year's resolutions (in my dreams)

This is the time of year when everyone is making their New Year's resolutions. As far as I can tell, the White House has not released President Obama's list of resolutions for 2010. So I offer the following resolutions for him to consider, unlikely as they are to be adopted:

• Amend our policy in Afghanistan to cut our losses and bring our troops home by the end of 2010. This is where a flip-flop would be easily forgiven. Our tax dollars have been wasted on propping up the corrupt Karzai government for long enough.

• Follow up on the Copenhagen climate change conference using all your strength and diplomatic skills, and lead the way to establish a more effective international policy to address the threat of climate change.

• Transfer all Gitmo detainees to U.S. federal prisons and try them all in the federal court system, as we did so effectively with so many pre-9/11 terror suspects. No more indefinite detention without due process. Remember the Constitution, on which you, as a Constitutional attorney, are supposed to be an expert. We are supposed to be a nation of laws. So prosecute them under those laws, for heaven's sake. Otherwise, are we any better than the aforementioned Karzai government?

• Work with Congress to do what it takes to get DOMA and DADT repealed during 2010. Remember that so many of our gay and lesbian citizens worked very hard to get you elected in 2008. Please don't make them want to stay home in 2012.

• Sign the International Mine Ban Treaty, which in November you refused to do. There is no good reason not to sign that ban, as landmines are notorious for killing and injuring innocent civilians, including children.

• Stop throwing our tax dollars at Wall Street and other big corporate interests. They haven't paid their share, but yet they reap the rewards at the expense of Main Street. Keep in mind that it was Main Street -- not Wall Street -- that elected you to the presidency. And it's our tax dollars at play. Meanwhile, they get their multi-million-dollar bonuses while we see more layoffs and foreclosures.

• Give up on the bipartisan dream. It is an unachievable myth, as you should have learned by now, given the current cast of characters in Congress. Work with your Chief of Staff to make the 60-vote Senate Democratic Caucus recognize the -- um -- benefits of party unity. And then give us a public health care option. Otherwise we risk the possibility that this will be a happy new year only for the special interests.

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