A Progressive/Liberal Agenda

Folks here seem to be clamoring for a list. Somewhere to spell out and prioritize the many issues facing us and our new President. This is critically important for many reasons, among them being the outside shot we still have at a filibuster proof majority in the Senate, AND a Mandate for Change. Thus we have the chance to actually pass Progressive legislation. What will that legislation be, and with what priorities? What do we fight tooth and nail for and what do we compromise on?

A clear agenda is important as well with the opening of a new era of internet citizen participation in our government, represented by (theoretically!)the launch of Change.gov, President Obama’s website for citizen input into our government.

From the opening page:

Open Government

It’s Your America: Share Your Ideas

The story of the campaign and this historic moment has been your story. Share your story and your ideas, and be part of bringing positive lasting change to this country.

In the sidebar, there is a box labeled The Agenda:

Revitalizing the Economy

Ending the War in Iraq

Providing Health Care for All

Protecting America

Renewing American Global Leadership

That was all I could find in a cursory view of the site. Certainly our list is a bit longer!

The idea here being that we make up our list, TRY to get some consensus on prioritization and submit it to the site. As well as posting it other places on the internet for input and reaction. My list (though I have yet to get to domestic policy, coming soon!) is pretty much contained in the The Vision Thing series.

So….what are YOUR priorities? What is your list? Consider this a preliminary sounding board, throw some stuff out there (or really go for it, if you so choose!) and we will refine it from here. Let’s start there and see where we get to! I am going to put a rec button on this so we can keep it up as long as possible to allow as many folks to participate as possible. Suggestions as to how to prioritize, categorization, format, etc. are all welcome as well. This is YOUR project, your agenda, so go to it!



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    • pfiore8 on November 7, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    an absolute must-have from my perspective. these people can not be allowed to get away with fucking up an entire region, responsible for over 1 million dead, the global financial system meltdown… depleting our treasury… i can’t remember it’s so long a list…

    if they walk, then we’ve really come no where.

    President Obama, put in place a Justice Department that will enforce subpoenas.

    and oh. if you wouldn’t mind, Mr. President, please ask Nancy to refrain from comments like “we have to govern from the middle.” please. i beg you.  

  2. Well. With respect to energy I want subsidies and tax breaks ( big ones) for people who decide to install alternative energy entities in their homes. Right now tax breaks and subsidies are at the state level and they vary widely. I would for example put solar panels on ye old homestead but the start up cost is too much for me.

    A national energy plan a la man goes to the moon.

    Universal health care. Either force the insurance companies to offer affordable health care through legislation (which would cause a blood bath, I know )or allow a two tiered system to come up.

    Guaranteed access to post secondary education through a community service program or infrastructure re-building program. If you help build roads and bridges or teach literacy in your community for a fixed amount of time you can trade that for college.

    Massive funding for small/organic farmers pretty much none for the agri-drones.

    Federally funded free wi-fi zones.

    Subsidies and housing help for people who work in key services areas (teaching/medicine/social work/cops) but can’t afford to live in the cities that need them.

    The establishment of a national mass transit system not run by the individual states.

    A bunch of other stuff that will take long after I am dead to complete.

    This was off the top of my head.

  3. National day care and after school programs. National standards won’t leave that to the states either.

    I don’t mind forcing private companies with a large work force to pay for on site day care. If they can pay their exec millions of dollars when they don’t make money they can afford to look after little Johnny while Mommy and Daddy toil as office slaves.

  4. Also federal mandates for phys ed, science programs and art in schools.

    Little Americans lag way fucking behind other kids internationally in science and they are becoming obese. I don’t mean a no child left behind thing either. But national standardized testing isn’t necessarily evil just conceived in a shitty way.

    I was no genius and I had to do it and we had to take a fitness test every year unless one had a medical exemption. And I went to a crappy public school.

    • robodd on November 7, 2008 at 8:21 pm
  5. and go out searching for scallops. I really wanted seared scallops in a wine sauce tonight for dinner.

    Oh. And. ek needs to do a seafood edition of his What’s For Dinner gig at Great Evil Salmon.

  6. Buhdhy- there is a pull-down tab along the top bar of the site labeled “agenda” that leads to a bigger list of topics, ech of which then links to a new page with an overview of the item and the Obama/Biden position for action.

    At the same time, perhaps one way the netroots can be pro-active going forward is to create a list or statement from folks at this (and other) blogs, input from virtual communities that can be sent to the website. Since they are reaching out in this domain let’s give them the input they are asking for!

    /.2 cents

  7. …and say the same damn thing again lol.  Though it will happen when hell freezes…

    A floor for society.  A minimum income level and health care.  Replace every entitlement program which isn’t directly tied to stimulus — including social security — with a social floor.

    An abolition of the standing army.

    Massive reinvestment in basic and postsecondary education.

    That’s all I want!!!

    • Edger on November 7, 2008 at 8:44 pm

    I imagine that from a purely “pragmatic” (jesus, I hate that word) standpoint Obama is going to be receiving hundreds of thousands if not millions of emails sent through that form on his new site.

    There is no way they are all going to be read. It’s just not feasible.

    Probably what will happen I think is that his programmers have already developed search algorithms to winnow out the ones that contain agenda preferences that represent large numbers (millions) of people. He’s going to need a “constituency” lobbying him.

    Anyone interested in taking on the task of contacting operators of all progressive and many centrist blog operators and co-ordinating development of a commonly agreed upon “wish list”?

    Christ. For an extreme far left moonbat I sound like a politician.

  8. . . . an excellent list of priority items and recommendations for the first day, the first 100 days, and the first year of the Obama administration, here.

    Items include stopping torture and abuse; closing Guantanamo and restoring the rule of law for detainees; ending and prohibiting the practice of extraordinary rendition; and then–after the first day, but still in the first hundred–rescinding Bush Junior’s assaults on the Constitution (specifically itemized); and gradually broadening out to everything from legalizing medical marijuana to network neutrality to accessible and affordable birth control and guaranteeing the civil rights of sexual minorities.

  9. concerns re the bailout!  On Friday, November 14, 2008, Kucinich will have a Hearing: Is The Treasury Using Bailout Funds as Congress Intended?

    From Dennis Kucinich:

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 6, 2008) – On Friday, November 14, 2008, at 10:00 a.m. in Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2154, the Subcommittee will hold a hearing entitled, “Is Treasury Using Bailout Funds to Increase Foreclosure Prevention, as Congress Intended?” This will be the Subcommittee’s sixth hearing in the 110th Congress examining the foreclosure crisis and its solutions.

    The purpose of this hearing is to assess Treasury’s use of and clarify their intentions for a $700 billion fund, known as the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP). Congress established the TARP on October 3, 2008, and provided it with two sequential tranches of $350 billion. One of TARP’s core functions is to prevent future foreclosures through the acquisition of mortgage-related assets, such as whole loans, mortgage-backed securities and other financial products, and the implementation of a plan to stem foreclosures on those loans. In creating TARP, Congress was aware of the efforts of the private mortgage servicing industry to prevent foreclosures, and committed an extraordinary sum of taxpayer funds to expand those efforts. In light of public statements by Treasury, and the department’s commitment of more than two-thirds of the first tranche to purposes other than foreclosure prevention, important oversight questions remain.

    Hearing witnesses will be announced shortly.

    Wall Street Fat Cats Are Trying to Pocket Billions in Bailout Cash

    They got us into this mess, and now they want to cash out — will President Obama stop them?

    The election results pretty much confirmed the extent to which Main Street is rightly livid about the Wall Street mentality that led to our financial crisis. During his historic victory speech, President-elect Barack Obama told supporters, and the rest of the world, “If this financial crisis taught us anything, it’s that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers.”

    But, it seems that Wall Street didn’t get that memo. It turns out that the nine banks about to be getting a total equity capital injection of $125 billion, courtesy of Phase I of The Bailout Plan, had reserved $108 billion during the first nine months of 2008 in order to pay for compensation and bonuses (PDF).

    Paying Wall Street bonuses was not supposed to be part of the plan. At least that’s how Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson explained it to Congress and the American people. So, on Oct. 1, when the Senate, including Obama, approved the $700 billion bailout package, the illusion was that this would magically loosen the credit markets, and with taxpayer-funded relief, banks would first start lending to each other again, and then, to citizens and small businesses. And all would be well.

    That didn’t happen. Which is why it’s particularly offensive that the no-strings-attached money is going to line the pockets of Wall Street execs. The country’s top investment bank (which since Sept. 21 calls itself a bank holding company), Goldman Sachs, set aside $11.4 billion during the first nine months of this year — slightly more than the firm’s $10 billion U.S. government gift — to cover bonus payments for its 443 senior partners, who are set to make about $5 million each, and other employees. . . .

    But that’s not quite the sharing that Wall Street wanted from the bailout package. Yet, if “change has come to America,” as per Obama’s promise, then it’s high time for Wall Street to shoulder its part — starting with this bonus season. A decisive move by Obama on this topic would go a long way toward solidifying the central promise of his campaign.

    I think the bailout issue is of immediate concern — like right now.  Obama and we need to fight any future payments to be made.  NO MORE of our monies for fat cats’ “healthiness.”

    The UCLA pretty much covered many issues, including one I was going to mention on the subject of the laws Bush has put in place and the signing statements he used to avert laws.  Obama should appoint a committee, made up of Constitutional experts to go through each and every law and signing statement and make its recommendations for repeal of those that are not in accord with our Constitution.  

    Once in office, Obama should immediately focus on reducing global warming and creating jobs via building wind mills, solar panels, states growing their own non-edible crops to be used for ethanol, without the requirement of shipping other than intrastate.

    And, of course, notwithstanding the foregoing, accountability should be urged upon Obama, whether it’s right now, or once he’s in office.  It must somehow be done!  This would give us back a “core” from which to work and move forward!

    • ctrenta on November 8, 2008 at 2:29 am

    1. The economy

    2. Health Care

    3. Bring the troops home

    4. New energy policy

    5. Global warming/environment

    Honorable mention list: lowering education costs, close Guantanamo, and reversing Patriot Acts I and II, civil unions & gay marriage.

    Too many damn issues to cover.  

    • Edger on November 8, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    In a WSJ article this morning Obama’s incoming WH Chief of Staff makes it clear what to expect initially from Obama, any by omission what not to expect as he makes it clear that he will do his utmost too keep Obama reined in as a center right Democrat.

    Basically a play it safe non progressive administration.

    In Rahm Emanuel’s telling, the Democratic victories on Tuesday were a continuum of what began in the 2006 midterm elections, when his party won majorities in the House and the Senate for the first time in 12 years.

    Recently, I spoke with Mr. Emanuel during a short layover at the Detroit airport. Officially, he hadn’t yet been offered the new post, and when queried about the prospect of serving in the Obama White House he demurred. But Mr. Emanuel, who turns 49 later this month, was eager to discuss Congress’s agenda going forward. He explained how Democrats can avoid the mistakes that felled the Republican majority, and he reflected on the lessons learned as a high-ranking member of President Clinton’s brain trust in the 1990s.

    Asked what Barack Obama was elected to do, and what legislation he’s likely to find on his Oval Office desk soonest, Mr. Emanuel didn’t hesitate. “Bucket one would have children’s health care, Schip,” he said. “It has bipartisan agreement in the House and Senate. It’s something President-elect Obama expects to see. Second would be [ending current restrictions on federally funded] stem-cell research. And third would be an economic recovery package focused on the two principles of job creation and tax relief for middle-class families.”

    The last time a Democratic president’s party also ran Congress was 1992. Just two years later, however, voters changed their mind about that arrangement and gave the GOP control of the House and Senate. Mr. Emanuel said he’s not at all concerned that the party will overplay its hand this time. He insisted that his caucus is mindful of what happened to Democrats in 1994 and the Republican Congress in 2006.

    “the lesson is to do what you got elected to do,” said Mr. Emanuel. “Do what you talked about on the campaign. If you got elected, that’s what people expect. Don’t go off on tangents where part of your party is demanding an ideological litmus test. Neither of those things was part of the campaign.”

    So I asked Mr. Emanuel if the election of an unabashed liberal like Mr. Obama has made the New Democrat strategy obsolete. Perhaps what we witnessed on Tuesday means that liberalism is ascendant and the U.S. is no longer a center-right nation. “I think the country is incredibly pragmatic,” he responded. “Pragmatic and progressive. But you still have to mix and match different approaches to reach your objectives. You have to be flexible.”

    He said the similarities between Barack Obama and the last Democratic president matter more than the differences. “Both Barack and Bill Clinton have an incredible connection to the public,” he said. “Both ran on a message of hope. Both ran against failed policies that let the country down prior to them being elected. I don’t think the country is yearning for an ideological answer. If anything it’s the opposite. They want real solutions to real problems. And if we do an ideological test, we will fail. Our challenge is to work to solve the actual problems that the country is facing, not work to satisfy any constituency or ideological wing of the party.”

    • Temmoku on November 9, 2008 at 2:33 pm


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