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Obama Positioned to Quickly Reverse Bush Actions

This is encouraging

Obama Positioned to Quickly Reverse Bush Actions |

Transition advisers to President-elect Barack Obama have compiled a list of about 200 Bush administration actions and executive orders that could be swiftly undone to reverse White House policies on climate change, stem cell research, reproductive rights and other issues, according to congressional Democrats, campaign aides and experts working with the transition team.

President Bush denied California the authority to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from automobiles. The president-elect says he will overturn that decision. (By Kevork Djansezian -- Associated Press)A team of four dozen advisers, working for months in virtual solitude, set out to identify regulatory and policy changes Obama could implement soon after his inauguration. The team is now consulting with liberal advocacy groups, Capitol Hill staffers and potential agency chiefs to prioritize those they regard as the most onerous or ideologically offensive, said a top transition official who was not permitted to speak on the record about the inner workings of the transition.

In some instances, Obama would be quickly delivering on promises he made during his two-year campaign, while in others he would be embracing Clinton-era policies upended by President Bush during his eight years in office.

"The kind of regulations they are looking at" are those imposed by Bush for "overtly political" reasons, in pursuit of what Democrats say was a partisan Republican agenda, said Dan Mendelson, a former associate administrator for health in the Clinton administration's Office of Management and Budget. The list of executive orders targeted by Obama's team could well get longer in the coming days, as Bush's appointees rush to enact a number of last-minute policies in an effort to extend his legacy. . .

Obama himself has signaled, for example, that he intends to reverse Bush's controversial limit on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, a decision that scientists say has restrained research into some of the most promising avenues for defeating a wide array of diseases, such as Parkinson's.



The best thing he could do is to reign in military spending by withdrawing from Iraq and Afghanistan, renouncing the Bush doctrine of preventive war and the Carter doctrine of military action to control Middle East oil, start dismantling the military bases the U.S. has in over a hundred countries, and reach an agreement with Russia and others on the dismantling of the nuclear arsenals, in keeping with the Nuclear Anti-Proliferation Treaty.

Imagine the kind of health care and education system you guys could have then!

I don't quite understand why health care is presented as if it should end up costing Americans more, i.e., involving a trade-off with other budget items. Whether we should reduce military expenditures seems to me to have nothing to do with health care inasmuch as Americans already spend more on health care than anywhere else on earth. Shouldn't we be able to devise a better system that doesn't cost us any more than we already spend - in fact, that costs us less?

Yeah really, we could go to a single payer system that involves a payroll tax smaller then current insurance payments and only those that formerly supplied no insurance to their employees would see any increase and those folks would see some savings from having more productive, healthier employees.

But hey, any excuse from the right to cut spending that doesn't got to contractors that donate to the republicans.

And what about stopping illegal spying on American citizens,repealing the USA PATRIOT ACT, and prosecuting those responsible for torture?

Regulating carbon dioxide emissions in California? Huh?

Those are great and I hope Congress gets to them soon, but this article discusses only executive orders – things Obama can do unilaterally – and it is indeed encouraging.

Good point, Tim. It would be great, however, to hear Obama at least refer to these issues, and help bring them before Congress. I am not holding my breath, though.

Regulating carbon dioxide emissions in California? Huh?

This may sound like small potatoes stuff, but it is anything but. If California were a country, it would be the 5th largest economy on the planet. They wanted to be able to set fairly significant CO2 emissions targets for their state, something that required EPA approval. The EPA staff recommended approval but EPA administrator Johnson overruled his staff.

In addition, 16 other states have similar proposals, all of which are on hold due to the EPA decision.

It has been widely reported that 17 states having such limits would force auto makers to produce more fuel efficient cars, since it would not make sense to sell different groups of cars in different states.

So...overturning this EPA decision by executive order would be a rapid method to make some significant headway - really for the first time - in US reductions in greenhouse gases.

It's huge; at least on par, in my opinion, with the personal liberty issues that you raised.

There are a lot of things that presidents do that do not fall under the heading of large legislative initiatives, because they're all about how the executive branch is run. So the question: "Will Congress cooperate?" misses a lot of policy.

What will it be like when the EPA and Interior are run by conservationists instead of logging, oil and gas, snowmobile and coal interests?

What will it be like when the labor department is headed by people who are pro-labor rather than anti-union fanatics like Linda Chavez? What will State be like when the White House no longer has an ideological hatred of the whole idea of a State Department? What will is be like when the Attorney General does something else besides providing legal cover for the president's illegal activities?

Stuff will get a lot better.

I want to know what is going to happen to Guantanamo. I haven't heard much about that. That to me will say a lot about what type of president he will be.

Good for the closure.

And so the controversy begins on the trials. sigh.

The Palin headline about blaming Bush - ah geez. When wil she go away form the public eye?

Hopefully never, she can get about 65% of republicans and 1% of independents and democrats. She is Obama's ticket to an easy reelection.

You're not the only person up here up this way who feels like that!

I do think alot of women would like her out of the public eye as a role model. wink, snark is not what I want other xx's (or xy's for that matter) to follow.

I wouldn't worry to much about positive female role models. If I know politics then both parties are going to see a copy and paste of the 2008 strategy into every federal election for the next 20 years. Every ticket will have either a woman or a person of color on it until a new model is formed.

But anyway, Palin will be debating a woman at some point before the 2012 primaries and young women will quickly see the difference between a role model and a buffoon.

Yes, of course. Until such time, certain Republicans will continue to push forth Sarah Palin as being the lead of the Republican party.

I am crossing my fingers that the Repubs will continue to be in love with Mrs Palin

Thanks for the link. One very big step in the right direction.

Where will the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Yoo/Addington/Gonzales/... trials be held?

Somewhat related to Gitmo:

Psychologists are banned from torturing.

I never really thought about it before because of psychiatrists not participating, but they are different from psychiatrists.

Now if we could just everyone on board with this...

(here's hoping that this can of worms didn't just fall wide open again in the comments)

Hopefully, Obama will deal with Bush’s racial prejudice against black people.

What kind of action are you looking for here?


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