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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inaugural Thoughts

Possibly the worst part of seeing what is widely considered a notable event is that everyone has a reaction. After some gestation and discussion, I think that now-President Obama needs to do something to define himself.
President Obama's campaign was run on the concept of "Yes We Can!" an uplifting and empowering motto.  However, just spewing this motto forth like the queen of a hundred worker bees accomplishes little.  Obama needs to define himself in a few ways in order to be an effective commander-in-cheif.
  1. Organizer - The President has far too many responsibilities to do everything himself.  He must choose wisely and delegate carefully, something that he has not yet done properly.  Hillary Clinton is on the surface an experienced choice for Secretary of State, but has had very little real experience in both sculpting policy and overseeing negotiations in her positions as First Lady and Senator.
  2. Pound-wise and Penny-foolish - The maxim states that one must not be "penny-wise and pound-foolish," and Obama must be the opposite of that maxim.  He must be willing to not only cut wasteful projects, but also start new projects that create jobs and replace aging, crumbling infrastructure.  The 2007 bridge collapse in Minnesota and the 2003 blackout on the East Coast show that this country's infrastructure, most of which was built between 1930 and 1960, is in dire need of repair.  As with FDR's "New Deal" during the Great Depression, funding must be directed toward replacing this infrastructure to keep citizens safe and bring America into the 21st Century properly.  As an added bonus, such government spending can help stimulate the economy by providing jobs for the working classes, rather than simple handouts.
  3. Wise on Technology - Although Obama seemed to understand technology better than any other candidate, and in fact used technology far more and to far greater effect than any other candidate, his opinion concerning important points like Net Neutrality and Telecom Immunity are either lacking or pro-business.  Connectivity, in its many forms, is no longer a luxury but should be an expected utility in the 21st Century, much like water and electricity.  The United States has some of the highest broadband rates in the world, limited availability, and limited speed.  Beyond this, many Internet Providers choose to limit what customers may do on general-access accounts, limiting features such as the ability to host servers to higher-end, and more expensive, business accounts.  The Internet is a great democraticizing force since it is a two-way medium; limiting this bidirectional connectivity to those who pay is no better than existing radio, print, and television connectivity.
These are just three things that have been bugging me.  Now let's see Obama get to work fixing these things.

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