Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Obamas first 100 days or so

There has been a lot of conjecture about what Obama will try to get accomplished in his first 100 days.

How does one actually start to clean up the mess left from the worst president in the history of anything that ever had president?

Henry Champ who has supposedly retired, is apparently still writing a column and as the former Washington Bureau Chief for the CBC he probably has as good an idea as anyone on what we can expect.

Here's Henry's Take on what Obama has planned so far.

Immediate moves on economy
  • tax cut for the middle-class, to help stimulate the economy
  • tax increase to those making $250,000 or more
  • short term extension of unemployment benefits
  • health-care funding to states to cover increasing number of unemployed who have lost coverage
  • rescue plan for Detroit’s automakers, if Bush continues to balk
  • redirection of the 700-billion program to include struggling homeowners fighting foreclosure
New plans for Iraq and Afghanistan
  • new plan for Iraq that brings majority of troops home within 16 months
  • remaining forces for training and protecting assets
  • move 20,000 troops to Afghanistan
  • increase effort to to tackle al-Qaeda and to capture Osama bin Laden
  • battle map to include the tribal regions of western Pakistan
  • greater effort from Pakistan military expected and/or to be demanded
  • full assumption of command in Afghanistan
  • review of commitment to Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
  • work with assembly of Afghan tribal elders to select a replacement if necessary
  • reach out to moderate Taliban leaders in Afghanistan as an exit strategy
  • explore talks with Iran to see if shared objectives can be found
Some immediate action on some of Bush’s nightmares
  • close Guantanamo, reject the use of torture and recommit to the Geneva convention
  • remove restrictions on abortion counseling that blocked foreign aid
  • remove restrictions on funding stem-cell research
The bigger question for Henry and a lot of other pundits is what will Obama do about the major components of his change platform: healthcare, energy, education and the environment, considering that he is in the middle of the worst financial meltdown since the thirties.

Should he charge ahead with his agenda despite the financial situation like Reagan and FDR did in their first year or should he delay the major changes like Clinton was forced to do, to a second term and then fail to get the full agenda passed.

Either way Obama is not going to increase his popularity with the still divided US and as Krugman is advising if you already have a trillion dollar deficit what does it really matter how much more you spend.

In any case he certainly has lot more already planned than his counterpart in Canada. Of course he has probably devoted more than a three hour listening, meeting to the problem.

By the way, I was always enjoyed listening Henry Champ. He never played gotcha journalism like Duffy at CTV and he never appeared to laude it over you that he had some inside info, he just reported it. Of course that doesn't excuse me for ripping off his article here , but I actually think I organized it in a more readable format.

Reference CBC here and 100 day chart from Good Magazine here .

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