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What kind of President will Obama make?

A bold agent of change as promised, who succeeds at putting America onto a new course towards long-term peace and prosperity for all rather than just a few?

Or a harassed and besieged executive, destined to go down in history as a bitter disappointment to an entire generation (and maybe the beginning of the end for America)?

How might Obama maximize his chances for success?

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Who is Barack Obama? The president-elect's character is hiding in plain sight. By Daniel Larison, November 4, 2008

Why Obama Looks Like a One Termer by James Pethokoukis, November 11, 2008

I'm afraid both articles above may be spot-on to the point of being prophetic. If so, an awful lot of Obama voters will be badly disappointed by 2012.

Hopefully President-elect Obama is determined to truly lead America out of its current malaise, and into a dazzling new future. And thereby help prove the worth of America's diversity to a nation which in recent decades has seemed at times to question its faith in the notion.

I heard that President-elect Obama was reading some of the writings of Abraham Lincoln after his election win. I hope he reads a lot of the writings of reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., too. And at times will contemplate what advice he believes King himself would give him, if he could.

Surely everyone would agree that Obama must seek some wiggle room in both financial matters and media coverage right from the start, in order to have his best shot at successfully transforming the country-- as well as save it from economic ruin.

Two things I believe Obama MUST do-- and as soon as possible-- are (one) get some robust and expanded version of the Fairness Doctrine back into place for mainstream media, and (two) begin a massive cut-back in military, intelligence, and security spending, just to deal with the debt built up by Bush BEFORE the financial crisis broke, and gain some much-needed maneuvering room on financial matters. Substantially increasing taxes on the rich and corporations like we did during the crisis of World War II might help solve various other problems, and pay for some modest changes and new programs elsewhere. But even with those two major moves, we may still need some good luck as well to see America completely out of recession and enjoying robust growth again by the end of Obama's first term.

I believe the success of Obama's first term will hinge upon his accomplishing these two things immediately-- the revival and expansion of the Fairness doctrine, and the military cuts-- first and second respectively, for maximum benefit. Otherwise every progressive thing he tries may be killed or crippled in the court of misguided public opinion, and America will simply run out of money in its attempt to recover from the mess brought about by the Republicans.

And by 'robust and expanded' Fairness Doctrine, I mean something with teeth which will legally prohibit lies being presented as news by the mainstream media, as well as ban lies in political advertising from any source being presented through mainstream media. Similar measures should apply to anything being categorized as educational or documentary in nature, and presented to the public through mainstream media or educational institutions.

And yes, such changes would essentially put out of business entirely any major political party which heavily depends upon lies to win elections. Think about it: wouldn't that be wonderful? For we the voters I mean. For many corrupt and unethical politicians (and their rich puppeteers) though, it'd be a nightmare.

Unfortunately, so far as I know Obama has stated little interest in bringing back some form of the Fairness doctrine, and actually indicated he may BOOST military spending rather than cut it(!) So I'm not very optimistic at the moment for his chances at being a successful President...

More links relevant to this topic...

Cold War Hawks Hovering Around Obama Why are Obama's closest advisers inveterate hawks who needlessly provoked tension with the Russians during the Cold War? By Robert Scheer, Truthdig. Posted November 12, 2008.

On What The Presidency Requires by Malooga; November 11, 2008

Obama thinking big, despite crisis; Agence France-Presse; November 16, 2008

Forget Red vs. Blue -- It's the Educated vs. People Easily Fooled by Propaganda Millions of Americans live in a non-reality-based belief system informed by childish clichés - they can barely differentiate between lies and truth. By Chris Hedges, Truthdig. Posted November 12, 2008.

"In terms of how the press has treated the last two new presidents, there's the Democratic model (i.e. overly hostile), and the Republican model (overly docile)."

-- Covering new presidents: the media's double standard by Eric Boehlert; Nov 19, 2008

Senator: New Media Makes it Difficult to Impose Fairness Doctrine Kurt Nimmo; November 12, 2008

MY RESPONSE: Why should it be any more difficult to create and enforce a robust fairness doctrine for mainstream media (say, media sources which reach a certain threshold number of viewers or consumers) than it is to create and enforce the incredibly complex US income tax system?

Force media to plainly differentiate between news and opinion and gossip/rumor. Make them legally liable for lying about what's fact and what's not. Force them to make public corrections when they err, and make those notices suitably high profile in nature-- in some manner proportional to the original error made. For instance, a mistake in a newspaper headline should be addressed in another headline-- not buried in fine print somewhere in the back of the paper. Also force all such errors to be added to an easily found running compilation on the web site of such entities possessing an online presence. Don't allow major media sources to label a show a "news" show unless it's factual. Likewise on labeling a network a "news" channel.

Didn't we already make one pass like this for truth in commercial advertising, decades ago? Didn't we learn a few new tricks from that experience? There's probably tons of media studies and analyses of that move which could be examined today to help in formulating a new fairness doctrine and more.

"The U.S. might really have to look at a default on the bankruptcy reorganization of the present financial system" and the bankruptcy of the government is not out of the realm of possibility, Hennecke said.

"In the United States there is already a funding crisis, and they will have to sell a lot more bonds next year to fund the bailout packages that have already been signed off," Hennecke told CNBC.

In order to solve or stem the economic slowdown, Hennecke suggested the US would have to radically reduce spending across all sectors and recall all its troops from around the world."

-- US May Lose Its 'AAA' Rating CNBC.com | 10 Nov 2008

737 U.S. Military Bases = Global Empire With more than 2,500,000 U.S. personnel serving across the planet and military bases spread across each continent, it's time to face up to the fact that our American democracy has spawned a global empire. By Chalmers Johnson, Metropolitan Books. Posted February 19, 2007.

"Pentagon insiders and defense budget specialists say the Pentagon has been on a largely unchecked spending spree since 2001 that will prove politically difficult to curtail but nevertheless must be reined in."

-- Pentagon board says cuts essential Tells Obama to slash large weapons programs

Yes We Can Cut the Defense Budget: Why it's Time to Stop the Military Spending Spree Our current military budget is almost equal to all of the rest of the world's defense budgets combined. This is unsustainable. By Katrina vanden Heuvel, The Nation. Posted November 19, 2008.

Johann Hari: Obama's chance to end the fantasy that is Star Wars The US has spent $160bn – only to increase the danger to itself and the rest of us; 13 November 2008

The Seven Deadly Deficits What the Bush years really cost us, and how President Obama can get the economy back on track. By Joseph E. Stiglitz; November/December 2008 Issue

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