Jesurgislac’s Journal

November 16, 2008

My Obama Wish List: 11

What’s next?

11 Establish a single-payer health service

The US health system is the most expensive and the least effective in the world. Taking health care provision away from health insurance companies is the first step towards remedying that.

Okay, break’s over!

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November 15, 2008

My Obama Wish List: 10

Filed under: My Obama Wish List,Pets — jesurgislac @ 8:31 am
Tags: , , ,

What’s next?

10 Getting the First Puppy

Take more time to choose and vet the puppy for the First Daughters than McCain did when he chose Sarah Palin.

Okay, break’s over!

November 14, 2008

My Obama Wish List: 9

What’s next?

9 Repeal the global gag rule.

The Global Gag Rule was re-instated by George W. Bush on his first day office. It was a promise of symbolic support to the misogynistic Christians who are the backbone of the forced pregnancy movement, and it was a warning to people round the world who regard women as human beings and care about human life.

The global gag rule is a rule that no recipient of US aid may advise women on where they can get an abortion. They may not even talk about the need for safe legal abortion, or the damage that lack of safe legal abortion does to women.

In a world where lack of access to safe legal abortion kills over 60 000 women each year, the global gag rule is a monstrosity, justified by hypocrites who claim “each life is precious” – and who don’t care how many people die because of it.

Okay, break’s over!

November 13, 2008

My Obama Wish List: 8

What’s next?

8 Give Joseph Darby the Medal of Honor.

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty, when serving in Abu Ghraib.

Not only because Joseph Darby deserves to be honoured for what he did: but also to send the clear message to Americans who support torture that Darby is a hero.

He deserves more from the US military than a personal letter from Donald Rumsfeld telling him to stop talking about how Rumsfeld outed him on the news while he was still serving in Iraq.

Okay, break’s over!

November 12, 2008

My Obama Wish List: 7

What’s next?

7. Investigate the Department of Defense for all those implicated in the torture of prisoners held by the US military.

Everyone who worked there during the Bush administration who could have known about the torture of prisoners before they read about it in the papers, must be investigated to discover if they did.

If they knew about the torture of prisoners and did not speak out, the minimum penalty exacted should be to be fired from their post and banned for life from any government employment: prosecution may follow. And yes, that includes the officers whose crime was “merely” to ignore the reports of lower-ranking soldiers that US soldiers were torturing prisoners. The more senior the position held, the more strongly an investigation should push for prosecution. Neither Donald Rumsfeld nor Robert M. Gates should be exempt.

Okay, break’s over!

November 11, 2008

My Obama Wish List: 6

What’s next?

6 Withdraw all US troops from Iraq.

Well, okay, even McCain would have had to do that. Bush was supposed to set a timetable for withdrawal a year ago. The US military is overstretched, exhausted, and so near breaking point it’s not even funny.

Better Dunkirque than Thermopylae.

Okay, break’s over!

November 10, 2008

My Obama Wish List: 5

Filed under: Bad Stuff Happens,My Obama Wish List — jesurgislac @ 8:39 am
Tags: ,

What’s next?

5 Repeal the USA-PATRIOT Act.

Does anything more really need to be said?

Okay, break’s over!

November 9, 2008

My Obama Wish List: 4

What’s next?

4. Investigate the 84 Bush-appointed U.S. Attorneys who were not sacked

At least nine U.S. Attorneys were sacked because they did not comply with the Bush administration’s orders to be partisan and to make use of their powers to support their party and the Bush administration.

The U.S. Attorneys who were appointed by George W. Bush and who were not sacked must be investigated to clear them of the presumption that they escaped sacking because they were willing to use their powers as partisan tools of the Bush administration.

Especially given the Bush administration’s willingness to use the U.S. Attorneys to electioneer by falsely incriminating Democratic candidates and shielding Republican candidates for office.

Okay, break’s over!

November 8, 2008

My Obama Wish List: 3

What’s next?

3. Repeal DOMA.

The Defense of Marriage Act (PDF) is a piece of bigoted nonsense that Bill Clinton should have vetoed. (Though to be fair, if he had vetoed it, you can bet the Republicans would have brought it back after 20th January 2001.)

Once DOMA is repealed, same-sex couples who are legally married must receive all federal recognition and benefits. The states which have passed legislation or constitutional amendments declaring that they don’t have to give full faith and credit to marriages or civil unions they don’t like, will have to deal direct with Article 4 of the US Constitution, which says rather definitely (and is backed by case law) that they do.

Okay, break’s over!

November 7, 2008

My Obama Wish List: 2

What’s next?

2. Electoral reform.

I said this list wasn’t in order of importance, and it’s not, really: but just as closing Guantanamo Bay and the other gulags would be a fantastic first action of the Obama administration, this is the one thing out of the whole list of 70 (even though I don’t yet know what all the list of 70 are going to be…) that is absolutely essential.

Obama won by a narrow margin because he had a huge margin of victory. That margin was whittled away by the various Republican election-rigging methods – the simplest of which come down to: don’t count the vote, and make sure the electronic voting machines leave no paper trail.

The US needs an electoral system in which:

1. Everyone eligible to vote – all citizens over the age of 17 – is registered to vote;
2. Everyone who is registered to vote, can cast a vote in any election taking place in the area in which they are registered
3. Every vote cast is counted if the intent of the voter is clear.

That’s just the basic minimum for a democracy. That none of those things on that very short list is true of the US, is disgraceful.

Barack Obama is in a uniquely beneficial position to call for electoral reform, and to benefit from it at the next election. It’s something that has to be done, that is the right thing to do, and that will ensure, if Obama is as capable as he’s proved himself to be all his life, that he should win a second term – rather than be edged out of office by another Republican candidate with the election rigged in his favour, as happened in 2000 and 2004.

Okay, break’s over!

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