Thursday, November 06, 2008

Change Dot Gov

Obama-elect already has an official government web portal, where one can learn all kinds of fun facts about the new guy. This is from his page:
THE EARLY YEARS Barack's father eventually returned to Kenya, and Barack grew up with his mother in Hawaii, and for a few years in Indonesia. Later, he moved to New York, where he graduated from Columbia University in 1983.
Guess his step-father wasn't very memorable, relegating him to "a few years in Indonesia". Oh well, let's look forward to the college years:
..but Barack had come to realize that in order to truly improve the lives of people in that community and other communities, it would take not just a change at the local level, but a change in our laws and in our politics.
Now we're getting to the crux of change--politics leading to a change in "laws". The mystery is unfolding but let's back up a minute. At the top of the page there is a short synopsis, which says:
He took out loans to put himself through school. After college, he worked for Christian churches in Chicago,
In other words, Harvard Law wasn't one of the colleges he took out loans to attend? The narrative might not be complete, but it appears that after leaving Columbia in 1983 and working as a community organizer for peanuts in the mid 80s he moved on to Harvard without loans. OK then, moving on to his Senate career:
His first law was passed with Republican Tom Coburn, a measure to rebuild trust in government by allowing every American to go online and see how and where every dime of their tax dollars is spent.
Yet only John McCain allowed people to go online and see who was giving money to his campaign--Obama didn't even realize illegal alien family members were contributing to his. Next, corruption:
He has also been the lead voice in championing ethics reform that would root out Jack Abramoff-style corruption in Congress.
Or maybe Tony Rezko-style corruption? William Jefferson--watch out! Now, on to some issues. Here's one:
Inadequate Security and Political Progress in Iraq: Since the surge began, more than 1,000 American troops have died, and despite the improved security situation, the Iraqi government has not stepped forward to lead the Iraqi people and to reach the genuine political accommodation that was the stated purpose of the surge.
In other words, he still will not admit the tide has turned. No wonder most Iraqis wanted McCain. As to Afghanistan:
The decision to invade Iraq diverted resources from the war in Afghanistan, making it harder for us to kill or capture Osama Bin Laden and others involved in the 9/11 attacks.
When the buildup to Iraq began, in mid 2002, the Afghanistan war was essentially over. The Taliban had been routed into the mountains; bin Laden, Zawahiri, and Omar were in hiding somewhere; most AQ foot soldiers were either dead or in GTMO. All indications were that the AQ hierarchy were in Pakistan. Yet somehow taking out Saddam in the cradle of terrorism diverted resources from what, attacking Pakistan? Puzzling.

Here's something called the "Katrina" section (what, no section for "Greensburg Tornado"?):
He and Joe Biden will take steps to ensure that the federal government will never again allow such catastrophic failures in emergency planning and response to occur.
Considering the catastrophic failures were partly because the emergency response plan was never adequately carried out, even though a Cat III hurricane was a well-predicted eventuality for a city under sea level, Mayor Ray Nagin better watch out.

There are some miscellaneous tidbits:
Obama will reverse President Bush's policy of secrecy. He will institute a National Declassification Center to make declassification secure but routine, efficient, and cost-effective.
Declassifying all the Bush documents and leaving the Iraq documents sealed, perhaps? Maybe Sandy Berger can apply for this job, there is a application page.

But one area is not quite fleshed out yet:



From all appearances this site is a continuation of his campaign site but appears to be a taxpayer funded site. Should a dot gov site be bashing the current acting president and his policies? Paid for by us?

MORE 11/06/08

Maybe this is the "content needed"?

MORE 11/08/08

Change.gov is so far living up to its name quite nicely. Via Gateway Pundit comes a good observation from the site Reboot Congress:
Kudos to the Obama team for making this slight policy adjustment! I'd recommend that you guys port the change.gov site to a wiki. That will allow everyone to see the sausage being made—the historical edits to each page. Open government is a very good thing and it will prevent the new administration from being painted as Orwellian.
Whether the airbrush was simply an oversight by the webmaster as they transfer content from Obama.com to Obama.gov isn't known but it certainly in no way represents an auspicious beginning to the most honest and open government in history.

Here at Fore Left we've got a policy of never changing content once posted, although some grammatical errors are so humorously or embarrassingly egregious they demand immediate edits. It's a vanity thing. Obama's site is changing content without announcing the edit, which is a creepy government thing and certainly not sunshiny. Perhaps we could announce a new slogan here--"Fore Left--more ethical than the government". Hmm. Maybe not.

4 comments:

Mustang said...

The topic is interesting, thank you.

If we look at the history of compulsory service, we’ll note that Democrats have been behind such ideas since the advent of World War I. One cannot help but agree that in times of a national crisis, especially involving conflict, it is necessary to impose a military draft in order to satisfy the manpower needed to prosecute war. Who could argue against a military draft after Japan attacked the United States in 1941 (noting we no longer observe Pearl Harbor Day — all forgiven with the passage of time). John Kennedy supported voluntary service in such organizations as The Peace Corps. Lyndon Johnson relied on the draft during the Vietnam War. But it was under Richard Nixon that the United States embarked upon “the all-volunteer [military] force.” Several months ago, Democrat Charlie Rangel stated that Congress should re-impose the military draft, and not too many of our erstwhile citizens thought much of it.

I served on active duty during the Vietnam War, and I can tell you that the military draftee was generally not the guy you turned to in times of crisis. Getting people to perform well when they had no desire to serve at all was a chore; disciplinary problems were high, military prisons filled up, and many people received bad conduct discharges. There was a sharp increase in assaults aboard military installations, including the racially motivated variety, rape, theft, and drug use. And of course, there was the question raised by feminists, “Why aren’t women drafted, too?”

Notwithstanding these verifiable facts, we might ask this question: “Doesn’t service to America enfranchise every citizen?” During a time when schools emphasized civics, I think male citizens accepted the fact that they would have to serve two-years of their life in the military. But schools no longer present civics education, and most people feel as though they are entitled to the benefits of citizenship by virtue of their birth — as opposed to having actually earned that entitlement.

I think military and community service should be voluntary; that people should want to stand up for their country in some form or fashion. But this is not likely to happen in the “me first” environment, when parents rail against military recruiters visiting high schools, or when citizens conclude that it is okay for someone else to die for their country, so long as it isn’t them or their sons and daughters. But let us again note that socialists are big on forcing people to do something, and the issue of involuntary community service is but the tip of the iceberg.

Semper Fi

A.C. McCloud said...

Mustang, thanks for taking the time to write that comment. I continue to feel privileged that such a wise and honorable patriot would even visit this site, much less leave a comment.

I agree with the premise that service should be voluntary. Churches used to lead the way on this but you can add them to the list of quaint notions of the past for many people. While I see the rationale behind Obama's plan, forcing mandatory action brings with it massive new bureaucracies we can't afford right now. This should be incentivized, not forced.

mccrapley said...

"But let us again note that socialists are big on forcing people to do something, and the issue of involuntary community service is but the tip of the iceberg."

You know, even McCain repudiated his own campaign's charge of socialism (probably because the charge was so baseless that it served as evidence of his ignorance on economic theory to a lot of folks). I'm continually amazed that people argue that redistributing money via a tax system is inherently socialist. Do you have something against public schools and interstates? Obama never campaigned on the premise of nationalizing institutions, which is really the core of socialist theory, so unless you think Joe the Plumber is an economist, you should probably ditch that sinking ship.

By the way, another country that we happen to like a lot (Israel) has mandatory service requirements (not that Obama has yet proposed any). Would it kill any of us to get off our asses and get connected to our communities? At least he's not talking about a draft. Really, it could be a lot worse.

Anyway, election season is over. It's time to put away the snarkery for another four years and support our new president, and the best way to do that is to disagree when necessary without becoming disagreeable. If I see a little more of that on this page in the future, I might be tempted to rejoin the conversation. But the mudraking posts about personal issues like Obama's aunt frankly lacks taste, so for now, peace out.

A.C. McCloud said...

I'm continually amazed that people argue that redistributing money via a tax system is inherently socialist. Do you have something against public schools and interstates?

Well, came back to do some mild gloating, eh McCarp? That's OK, your guy won. But please get it straight--people argue against cutting checks for those who don't pay taxes, not having EVERYONE contribute to building the bridge. Please stop distorting reality.


Obama never campaigned on the premise of nationalizing institutions, which is really the core of socialist theory, so unless you think Joe the Plumber is an economist, you should probably ditch that sinking ship.


Neither did Bush. And none of his emergency fixes were designed as long term 'change' as opposed to the O's. Does it bother you that Joe the Plumber has a better grasp of America than you? It should.

Anyway, election season is over. It's time to put away the snarkery for another four years and support our new president, and the best way to do that is to disagree when necessary without becoming disagreeable. If I see a little more of that on this page in the future, I might be tempted to rejoin the conversation. But the mudraking posts about personal issues like Obama's aunt frankly lacks taste, so for now, peace out.

Frankly I think his Aunt is an analog for his entire campaign. She was an illegal; he claimed not to know; he took illegal money from her; he claimed not to know; the issue of illegal immigration was not touched; he said she should be processed under applicable laws even though our laws already called for her return to Kenya to which she will not return; nothing will happen; and the right will be called insensitive and racist for mentioning it and dimming the historic light of hopeychange.

Anyway, Cheerio.