It occurs to me that what I’d really like to do first is to fix or repeal any number of laws that were passed so long ago that nobody even really remembers why they came into being. Examples:
–The Cuban blockade was an obvious failure by , say, 1970. Kill that off & reopen full trade, tourism, etc.’
–The alternative minimum tax (AMT) is one of dozens (or possibly hundreds) of financial laws which was not indexed to anything. As a result, most of the middle class is now subject to a tax that was supposedly intended for the top 5%. Either fix these taxes and regulations or, better yet, kill them off.
–Price protections for regional food (e.g. corn, milk) producers. This might have been appropriate during the Great Depression, but, as with everything listed in this post, it’s long since stopped being anything but a boondoggle.
Somehow we managed to repeal the law requiring a person to walk in front of an automobile, waving a red flag to warn the horse-drawn carriages of its approach. Time to do the same for rather a lot of leftovers.
(actually, I’m writing a new post because I actually got a new follower! Who’d ‘a thought?)
It should (but sadly appears not to) be obvious to everyone, including Congress, that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” just plain doesn’t work at all and hasn’t worked since maybe WW One . Yes , One: we allied w/ the Soviet Union/Russia in WW2 and Eastern Europe paid for that. Since then: rebels in Afghanistan vs. the Soviets, Iran vs. Iraq NO WAIT Iraq vs. Iran no… ; and now the current daily flip in the Middle East as to which rebel group and/or established autocracy we support. I ain’t gonna do that. Period. If there are two enemies at war, the USA either stays out or joins a UN (or NATO) force. And we do the latter on the basis of a coalition formed without our standard overbearing influence.
As you may have noticed, the Congressional committee on Science & Technology (or whatever its official title is) is heavily loaded with Republicans who firmly believe science is out to destroy their religion and Way Of Life. Clearly one of the big challenges will be to fix this particular mess. A POTUS can select cabinet members with a proper (from my perspective) respect for science, but changing pretty much anything in Congress is tough (everyone who’s about to suggest a variation of The Pelican Brief, please don’t — I’d hate to have my constituents hauled off to CIA black houses before they can vote :-) ).
Therefore, I’d like to urge my millions ( hah) of supporters to establish a Science in Congress PAC in every possible district, with the intent of electing a few more Representatives who can separate their belief system from their responsibilities as politicians.
The laws are changing, but no reason to wait. On Inauguration Day, I’ll be issuing a blanket pardon for every person convicted solely of possession, use, or sale of marijuana. There are two reasons for this action. First, this is a group of people with no violent-crime conviction, so I rather doubt they pose a threat to society (except, of course for the threat of not voting Republican). The money saved in incarceration costs would be more than enough to open up treatment/rehab centers for the small percentage of these convicts who are addicts! Second, since marijuana poses a miniscule health risk in comparison with either tobacco or alcohol, it’s way past time to classify legal and illegal substances in accordance with a validated medical scale.
Oh, and I know I’ve said this before, but in addition to pardoning all the potheads, there will be an immediate end to private prisons of all types. I’ll add that there’ll be an immediate end to solitary confinement on the rather obvious grounds that it’s cruel and abusive treatment.
I’d been joking about this idea w/ friends for a while, but I’m beginning to think it warrants serious thought. I’ll appoint a team to investigate and analyze what would happen if we passed a Federal law banning any employer from providing health insurance and health care coverage to their employees. I wouldn’t be in the least surprised to discover that there’d be a fast change in insurance costs and in direct medical rates if the whole thing weren’t subsidized via corporate group insurance policies. Yes, I still intend to push for proper single-payer coverage, but this could well be a big step in the right direction.
A genuine left-wing President.
Gotta say this fella has an awful lot of good things going on. The only thing I might add here is a thought about his criminal past. Compare him with the recently departed Mandela, who was an avowed militant in his early days. People can and do change.
I make no claims that anyone could achieve as much change (or as quickly) in the USA as Mujica has done in Uruguay, but I’d certainly like to give it a go.
P.S. – click on the title for the link to the Guardian article.
I should have posted some of these promises sooner, but having watched Malala w/ John Stewart, the first statement in this post is:
There shall be no more illegal assassinations. Let me be perfectly clear (copyright RMN): every single death caused via a remotely piloted armed vehicle aka “drone” is an illegal act. If there should be a declared state of war, any means of killing combatants is allowed. But we have no declared war and we have no army as an enemy. For that matter, much as I’m glad OBL is dead, not only was that an illegal assassination, it was a blatantly illegal entry into a sovereign nation by members of our Armed Services. This is a sad thing to say, but were I President and the Government of Pakistan requested extradition, I’d send SealTeam 6 there to face charges of illegal entry, destruction of private property, and murder. I do not want the gov’t of the USA *ever* to break laws regardless of the situation.
The second statement concerns a problem within our borders: private prisons. My pledge: these will be shut down the day I take office. There is absolutely no excuse whatsoever for a government to abandon its responsibility not only to the public but also to convicts. The existing private prisons operate essentially free from oversight, and validated reports of abuse (not to mention kickback deals with local govt’s/courts to keep the prisons full and profitable) abound. There’s an old saying allegedly from the criminal world, “If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.” I’ll adapt that to the people’s side: If we can’t provide proper incarceration facilities and programs, we shouldn’t convict. I recommend reading Conover’s “Newjack” , by the way.