If I were President

BTD put up a post with that heading.  I started to comment on it, but went so long I figured another diary would be a better idea.  So, here it is:

If I were President:

Inside of the first week,

  1.  the JCS would have a plan on my desk for withdrawing from Iraq all troops save a normal-sized Embassy Marine detatchment.  That plan would be implemented and completed within 6 months, preferably three;

  2.  The JCS and DoJ would move those captives in Gitmo to a federal lockup in the continental US, where they would meet their lawyers, get proper treatment, and be either charged or released;

  3.  The CIA and any other agencies of the government holding anyone captive would bring them into the open and, if they were to be charged with anything, they would be charged.  If not, they would be released;

  4.  DNI McConnell, former NSA Director Hayden, the current NSA Director and others responsible would go down to Capitol Hill and explain, in full detail, publicly, exactly what they had been doing, when, how and to whom;

  5.  Dick Cheney's man-sized safes would be opened to inspection by all;

  6.  The records of Blackwater and any other private military contractor would be seized, as would those of the Federalist Society;

  7.  Pending Congressional inquiries and subpoenas would be answered, fully, completely and responsively, within the week;

  8.  TL would be appointed to be the Pardon Attorney, and be given a substantial staff and a mandate to, carefully, clean non-violent small-time drug offenders and other minor criminals out of the federal system;

  9.  Pat Fitzgerald would be appointed acting AG, and have grand juries working every day on cleaning out the last six-plus years worth of government criminality;

  10.  Paul Clement, John Yoo, David Addington, Ted Olson, and the Faith-based initiatives people would be out of a job, and that would be just the start of it;

  11.  There would be a substantial growth industry in white-collar defense for former Repuglican office-holders;

  12.  A lot of Repuglicans would be very, very scared, if not already in custody.

Friday night, I'd have a beer.

In the second week, among other things:

  1.  a bill revamping the whole of the student college financial aid system to make it grant-centric rather than loan-centric would be introduced;

  2.  a bill giving a real GI Bill (pretty much a free ride through any college and, maybe, even grad school) - like after WWII - to the veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan would be introduced;

  3.  I'd get an initial report from a special committee I'd appointed in the first week, comprised of (say, about 20 or so) leading scholars in religion and the humanities, none of whom would have worked for or in the prior administration, setting forth the objectives and messages to be used in trying to (a) repair US standing in the Islamic world and (b) to negate the messaging and legend-building of AQ.  Their more formal, final report would be due in a month;

  4.  I'd turn a couple real pricks loose on the VA, to make sure they get the actual best care for veterans.   I've got a couple guys I knew back in my Army days in mind, but I'm sure there are a lot more.  They'd each get a nice handwritten "please give him every assistance and answer all his questions" letter signed by me, on WH stationery, to show to any balky bureaucrat;

  5.  A bill would be introduced to undo the Bushco tax cuts, particularly as to the Estate tax;

  6.  A bill would be introduced to use the money generated from the bill in #5, to create a single-payer national health-care insurance system, though all the details might make it necessary to put this off a couple weeks;

  7.  During the week, I'd make a point of calling a lot of other heads of state to talk and work on just building better relationships;  no particular agenda on the table yet, there;

  8.  The JCS, CIA, and DOJ would present a unified plan for dealing with bin Laden, starting with capturing him, then bringing him to the US and trying him.  They would begin implementing the plan immediately;

  9.  A panel of constitutional law scholars I would have appointed during the first week would present me with preliminary recommendations for undoing the damage to the Constitution and civil society done by the last several Rethug administrations.  Their final suggestions would be due in a month.  I'd suspect it would look a lot like the Presidential Accountability Act of 2007, which I wrote a while back.  To the extent I could do it by Executive Order, I would, but I'd try to structure this reform program so as to get binding judicial precedent cutting the guts out of the imperial presidency;

  10.  A panel of financial law scholars I would have appointed during the first week would present me with preliminary recommendations for reforming the financial industry, not the least of which would be repealing the Bankruptcy Act and reinstating the Glass-Steagall Act.  Modern American finance resembles nothing as much as a casino rigged in favor of the whales, not a source of capital to facilitate and grow technological and industrial development and jobs for Americans;

  11.  By the end of the second week, I'd hope to have the Antitrust Division on its way to being revivified, so as to start taking apart Fox and News Corp.

  12.  I'd start vetting - and maybe making - judicial appointments.  I'd make my selection criteria include having actually defended criminal cases and represented injured plaintiffs, and try to limit the appointment of corporate lawyers and prosecutors to the bench in favor of the criminal defense and plaintiff's PI bar.  Off the top of my head, I can easily think of a dozen or so lawyers who did a lot of good work in the Detainee and Torture cases who deserve a judgeship far more than another former US Attorney;

  13.  Valerie Plame's book will be well on its way to the printers, after I made CIA release its gag order on her on my first day at work;

  14.  A new head for the Department of Labor will be on the job with specific instructions to make joining unions and enforcing collective bargaining rights of employees much easier.  A bill will be introduced to revise the labor laws to facilitate this, and to repeal the Taft-Hartley Act;

  15.  The Cheney acolytes sprinkled throughout the government and quasi-public boards and corporations would be out of work, particularly the ones at PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

  16.  A bill would be introduced to make net neutrality the law of the land, and to allow municipalities to provide low-cost or free wireless broadband internet;

  17.  A well-regarded FBI agent would be showily indicted for violating civil rights by using NSLs, pour encourager les autres;

  18.  A bill would be introduced to repeal the so-called Patriot Act, the Detainee Treatment Act, the Military Commissions Act, and the wiretapping act.  I wouldn't push that bill just yet, because I'd want to have the ability to use the threat of treating Republicans like they treated alleged terrists to encourage them to cooperate.  Nasty and ruthless, I know, but these reforms all have to get done and I'm not happy about the prospect of dealing with filibustering or delay from unreconstructed Rethugs.  Those statutes will be repealed, though, by the time I'm done.

And, on Friday night, I'd have a beer.
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  • Display: Sort:
    Have you looked up the (1.00 / 1) (#3)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Sep 12, 2007 at 05:46:09 PM EST
    definition of fascist lately?

    We've been living under them (none / 0) (#5)
    by CA JAY on Wed Sep 12, 2007 at 05:54:17 PM EST
    (Bush/Cheney/Yoo) since Jan 2001.

    Ah yes, Mussolini and Scribe (none / 0) (#7)
    by Dadler on Wed Sep 12, 2007 at 09:10:22 PM EST
    Two peas in the same pod, eh?  Sarc, you seem to have missed the satire and, gasp, sarcasm class.  Have you not read what Scribe has posted here the last several years?  Does that not enable you to consider this diary entry with a bit more insight than your reactionary facist line suggests?  Nothing in this diary can be labeled mildly facist, except those portions which are obviously satirical in nature but misread as literal.  Come on, bro, you gotta be a bit more savvy than that in your reading of people whose opinions you should know well by now.  

    would respond as you just did.

    My expectation was that he would ask me if I "had read the definition of satire lately."

    Have you not read what Scribe has posted here the last several years?  Does that not enable you to consider this diary entry with a bit more insight than your reactionary facist line suggests?
    You, me and scribe are not the only people to read this blog. Not everyone who reads this site has done so for several years.

    It would be nice - although I think you've probably already set the record straight, if he does not wish to - if he explained that it was satire, or a venting exercise of his inner self, imo.


    These comments are perhaps the (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by scribe on Thu Sep 13, 2007 at 10:06:42 AM EST
    most inane I've ever read.

    Nothing in this list of about 30 things to do even remotely approaches "fascism".  Every last one of them is well within the bounds of presidential authority that existed before Bushie and his minions came to DC.

    Please.  A president:

    - ordering his military subordinates to prepare a plan to achieve certain objectives (like, end a war) in fulfillment of a campaign promise and then implement it?
    • proposing and then having bills introduced?
    • directing executive departments to, um, follow the law?
    • nominating and appointing people he thinks qualified to various positions in the Executive Branch?
    • seeking advice from qualified experts, to help devise policy?
    • firing officeholders from a prior administration?

    Get a clue.  My "things to do" list is about as restrained and classically within the bounds of Presidential authority as could be imagined under any circumstances, let alone the circumstances we've lived under for the last six-plus years.

    "Fascist" might look like:

    "the plane carrying former Preznit Bushie back to Crawford would divert to Gitmo and return empty"
    "the Rethug people who started off or repeated the meme of 'he's not my president' would find that, under Bush administration administrative rules, they had renounced their citizenship and were now being deported for being illegally in the United States, and were incarcerated pending resolution of their cases"

    and so on.

    There's none of that in my list.

    Don't devalue words by misusing them....


    Sorry, Dadler, (none / 0) (#11)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Sep 14, 2007 at 10:48:27 PM EST
    it appears Scribe was not being satirical at all.

    How embarrassing. For him.


    Please do (none / 0) (#10)
    by jondee on Thu Sep 13, 2007 at 11:03:49 AM EST
    look it up, commit it to memory and maybe post it here, s.u.

    Please email this (none / 0) (#1)
    by CA JAY on Wed Sep 12, 2007 at 05:28:00 PM EST
    to the Clinton/Obama/Edwards campaigns!

    Excellent, although I fear for the federal (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Wed Sep 12, 2007 at 05:29:24 PM EST
    judiciary if it is solely comprised of criminal defense lawyers and plaintiffs' PI lawyers!

    Also, what jurisdiction does the Executive Branch have over the Federalist Society, a private organization?

    I'd suspect they got some federal money (none / 0) (#4)
    by scribe on Wed Sep 12, 2007 at 05:51:23 PM EST
    in there somewhere, or were recipients of money from foreign entities and then went about trying to influence law or policy.

    And that's just for starters.

    The former means they have to be accountable for the federal money.

    The latter could make them an agent of a foreign power and therefore subject to specific statutes about their conduct.

    Or they might have given material aid to an organization deemed terrist by my putative administration.

    Plus, all that Unitary Executive crap they've pushed all these years sounds a lot like sedition to me.

    How do you Rethugs like all those statutes and edicts we liberals have been complaining about, when they're pointed in other directions?


    The Federalist Society does (none / 0) (#6)
    by oculus on Wed Sep 12, 2007 at 06:36:20 PM EST
    not push legislation or recommend nominees, per the society's website (not that I believe that).  And, who knew, one of their principles is that the state is to preserve freedom and there must be separation of powers.

    The Federalist Society


    job one (none / 0) (#12)
    by eleanora on Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 05:03:59 AM EST
    "The JCS and DoJ would move those captives in Gitmo to a federal lockup in the continental US, where they would meet their lawyers, get proper treatment, and be either charged or released"

    I hope our next President makes this happen and closes Gitmo down, burns it to the ground. And then makes a speech about how America is so much better than this.

    some great ideas..some not so great.. (none / 0) (#13)
    by Fisherman Bob on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 04:34:05 PM EST
    many of the ideas expressed here are great..many are wild flights of fancy:
    1. Can't compel Federalist Society to give up docs, violates Constitutional right to freely associate
    2. Never going to get answers to subpoenas of executive office advisors.violates separation of powers
    3. Never going to get public disclosure of what the NSA is doing..violates national security
    4. Government grinds to a halt for the six year lynching party to prosecute all those people pursuing policy you disagree with(it was a good thing Nixon was pardoned..we moved on to our future fasted, rather than dwelling on the past).
    5.sicing the antitrust division on fox news-sounds like nixon sicing the IRS on his opponents
    6.remake the constitution or supreme court to conform to the vision of the executive? Hmm didn't FDR try that with court-packing?

    Ran out of steam... the really good points of your plan (love the gi bill and health care) get lost in the wacko crap.

    If I were President (none / 0) (#14)
    by george27 on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 10:12:40 AM EST
    I would pardon my brother and after his release would resign.