Bush-Busting Policies for Obama to Add to His List

Barack Obama's Transition Chief John Podesta says stem cell research and drilling are among the top George W. Bush-issued executive orders he will reverse when taking over the White House.

Grits for Breakfast has one they'd like see Obama take action on: the new FBI snitch/snooping guidelines approved last month. You can read them here (pdf) or a summary here.

Seems like a good time to start a list. What executive orders or other Bush-authorized decisions would you add to that list?

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    My wish (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by lentinel on Sun Nov 09, 2008 at 05:19:05 PM EST
    is that the Iraq war be ended - and soon.

    I would like the troops to be brought home and not reassigned to Afghanistan.

    I know that the Congress was involved in enabling and continuing this horrible war, but it still feels like a Bush executive order that I would like to see reversed.

    remove the TSA (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by thereyougo on Sun Nov 09, 2008 at 05:19:13 PM EST
    I'm sick of getting frisked at the airport,and getting charged for it. It might be the most egregious slam on our liberties.

    funny how its only us the little peeps that get their water taken, their shampoo, creams more than an oz. etc. etc. Congresspeople don't. Of course they travel charter or on military flights.

    As a matter of factual accuracy. . . (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by LarryInNYC on Sun Nov 09, 2008 at 09:40:51 PM EST
    I believe that Congress people routinely fly commercial (that is, those that don't take Amtrak) and are subject to the same restrictions you or I are.  There was a notorious instance where Ted Kennedy had trouble getting on several planes.

    1 of about a 1000 things would (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by tigercourse on Sun Nov 09, 2008 at 06:07:00 PM EST
    be to return the consumer products safety commission to the larger staff it had before the Bush administration decided that a little poison in kids' toys couldn't hurt.

    I heard somewhere that Obama was (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by hairspray on Sun Nov 09, 2008 at 06:29:02 PM EST
    going to lift the ban on funding the overseas family planning clinics as one of his first acts. Bush/Regan put it in place, Clinton lifted it in '93 and then Bush II reinstated it again in 2001.  I would also like to see Obama put those solar panels back on the WH roof.  Would go a long way symbolically to the country about our direction.

    The Mexico City policy (none / 0) (#11)
    by andgarden on Sun Nov 09, 2008 at 06:35:10 PM EST
    goes out the window on day one. I guarantee it.

    The solar panels, OTOH, are never coming back. Carter comparisons we do not want.


    Too bad about that. (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by hairspray on Sun Nov 09, 2008 at 06:45:55 PM EST
    So many I know are giddy about Obama's win but have not planned to sacrifice anything as far as I can see.   In the last few days the freeway speeding and reckless driving hasn't changed one bit. The lead foot is still quite evident. I would like Obama to do something quickly  about our energy policy.  Everything that is planned will take years, except conservation. That can start NOW and with bold symbolism he can start leading.

    i have a little list, (none / 0) (#3)
    by cpinva on Sun Nov 09, 2008 at 05:21:00 PM EST
    i have a little list.......................

    at the rate the bush administration is going, in its waning days, the obama administration may spend the first year undoing the executive-order mess.

    A Few Weeks (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by squeaky on Sun Nov 09, 2008 at 05:40:44 PM EST
    Transition advisers to President-elect Barack Obama have compiled a list of about 200 Bush administration actions and executive orders that could be swiftly undone to reverse White House policies on climate change, stem cell research, reproductive rights and other issues, according to congressional Democrats, campaign aides and experts working with the transition team.

    A team of four dozen advisers, working for months in virtual solitude, set out to identify regulatory and policy changes Obama could implement soon after his inauguration. The team is now consulting with liberal advocacy groups, Capitol Hill staffers and potential agency chiefs to prioritize those they regard as the most onerous or ideologically offensive, said a top transition official who was not permitted to speak on the record about the inner workings of the transition.

    WaPo via war & piece


    Thank goodness (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by lilburro on Sun Nov 09, 2008 at 06:41:34 PM EST
    reproductive rights is included on that list.  Glad to know it is a priority to roll back the ridiculous new regulations the Bush admin put on access to contraception.

    I'd get rid of the (none / 0) (#6)
    by eric on Sun Nov 09, 2008 at 06:15:59 PM EST
    Department of Homeland Security.  Too Nazi-esque for me.

    I realize that it isn't likely to happen, but that is my wish.

    Department of Homeland Security (none / 0) (#26)
    by blogtopus on Mon Nov 10, 2008 at 10:26:39 AM EST
    I love to see this department's aim changed inward, towards domestic terrorists like abortion clinic bombers, militias, and mercs for hire like Blackwater.

    CO2, yada yada (none / 0) (#7)
    by Xclusionary Rule 4ever on Sun Nov 09, 2008 at 06:18:59 PM EST
    Carbon dioxide should be a pollutant again.  The IRS should start auditing rich people and corporations again.  Amnesty to undocumented aliens who agree to get an temporary worker visa and pay taxes.  End the war on drugs, eliminate the drug czar.  And no more signing statements.

    If CO2 is a pollutant (none / 0) (#15)
    by eric on Sun Nov 09, 2008 at 07:06:49 PM EST
    you are a major polluter.  Give me a break.  All animals produce CO2.  Calling it a pollutant is to call part of the ecosystem a pollutant.

    Don't get me wrong, I understand climate change and the chemistry of it all....but calling my breath a pollutant is too much.


    Simple. (none / 0) (#24)
    by Fabian on Mon Nov 10, 2008 at 05:01:10 AM EST
    Set a baseline limit for CO2.  Anything over that is polluting.

    We regulate large scale confined animal operations differently than a family that raises a few head of live stock and a flock of laying hens for themselves.  


    Heh (none / 0) (#27)
    by blogtopus on Mon Nov 10, 2008 at 10:29:51 AM EST
    You are funny! Of course your breath is a pollutant, one which the environment is very capable of handling by itself. Same with oxygen, which is EXTREMELY toxic and corrosive.

    I think the point was in the levels associated with industry, not your precious breath... so save yours and stick to the logic of the statement, not some ridiculous assertion you believe others made.


    I am talking about (none / 0) (#31)
    by eric on Mon Nov 10, 2008 at 12:11:17 PM EST
    the classification of CO2 as a pollutant.  The "classification" part of it.  CO2 is not a pollutant.  It is as natural as oxygen, as you point out.  Sure you can regulate the discharge of it, but calling it a pollutant is ridiculous.

    I was referring to (none / 0) (#33)
    by Xclusionary Rule 4ever on Mon Nov 10, 2008 at 07:26:20 PM EST
    news back in August 2003 like this
    I'm actually a big fan of photosynthesis and respiration.

    What about off-shore drilling? (none / 0) (#8)
    by WS on Sun Nov 09, 2008 at 06:28:50 PM EST
    The article mentioned oil and gas drilling in Utah but are they going to do anything about reinstating the off shore drilling ban?

    One of My Favorites (none / 0) (#10)
    by kaleidescope on Sun Nov 09, 2008 at 06:32:30 PM EST
    Requiring that interrogations of all criminal suspects be videotaped.

    along with the Global Gag Rule (none / 0) (#14)
    by kerwynkus on Sun Nov 09, 2008 at 07:02:59 PM EST
    The Global Gag Rule (i.e. the policy prohibiting funding for international NGOs that offer counseling regarding abortion) already seems to be on Obama's list. There is a similar Gag Rule regarding prostitution and trafficking:  thanks to Bush fiat, any international group that deals with the issue of prostitution and that hopes to receive US money must sign a pledge stating that they oppose prostitution. This means that many groups that utilize harm reduction approaches and that do not automatically equate prostitution with trafficking are unable to get funding. In concrete terms, this has meant that only groups that support "rescue"-oriented approaches get any funding, while groups distributing condoms have been cut. This is very bad policy - the Brazillian government, in fact, decided to reject US money outright because they wished to continue with a harm reduction approach - and I very much hope it is on Obama's list to change.

    I've been making a list (none / 0) (#16)
    by scribe on Sun Nov 09, 2008 at 07:14:56 PM EST
    1.  Torture
    2.  Executive detention
    3.  Rendition
    4.  Construction of prisons overseas (e.g., at Bagram)
    5.  "Special Administrative Measures"
    6.  Warrantless wiretapping
    7.  Other wiretapping not strictly in accordance with a judicially-authorized warrant for either an on-going criminal investigation or an on-going national security investigation
    8.  The ever-expanding "border", where Customs has taken to considering anything within 100 miles (or so) of the actual physical border as being within their jurisdiction
    9.  Customs' developing practice of holding citizens in custody on re-entry into the country until they sign "waivers" "authorizing" searches of the houses where those citizens haven't been (seeing as how they've been out of the country) for a while.
    10.  Customs' practice of searching packages and mail leaving the country and reading the correspondence in it to see if there's anything "criminal" about it, most recently ratified by the 9th Circuit a couple weeks ago.
    11.  "Inspections" which are really suspicionless and warrantless searches on public transportation.
    12.  Mass immigration raids.

    Of course, these are just off the top of my head.  If I wanted to take more time to write a list than the time it took for you to read my list, I could have come up with a lot more.

    This is atrocious (none / 0) (#28)
    by blogtopus on Mon Nov 10, 2008 at 10:32:18 AM EST
    I haven't been paying enough attention to the war on immigrants... thanks, great list!

    Slate list (none / 0) (#17)
    by txpublicdefender on Sun Nov 09, 2008 at 07:15:06 PM EST
    Emily Bazelon and Chris Wilson at Slate did their own list a month or so ago.  It's worth checking out.

    In addition (none / 0) (#18)
    by call me Ishmael on Sun Nov 09, 2008 at 07:25:46 PM EST
    to these it would be great if he reversed the Bush executive order sealing executive records and giving family members a veto over their release.  It would be great to see Cheney and Bush if they actually have to let people see their records.

    FWIW (none / 0) (#20)
    by txpublicdefender on Sun Nov 09, 2008 at 07:38:51 PM EST
    That was one of the ones on the "Slate" list.  I agree that it is one that should go.

    don't forget (none / 0) (#19)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Nov 09, 2008 at 07:26:17 PM EST
    ending federal raids on medical marijuana providers and patients in states that have legalized it.

       "I would not have the Justice Department prosecuting and raiding medical marijuana users. It's not a good use of our resources."
        Aug. 21, 2007 Barack Obama

    In a letter his campaign sent to people who asked about it:

    Dear Friend,

    Thank you for contacting Obama for America to inquire about the Senator's position on allowing severely ill patients to use marijuana for medical purposes.

    Many states have laws that condone medical marijuana, but the Bush Administration is using federal drug enforcement agents to raid these facilities and arrest seriously ill people.  Focusing scarce law enforcement resources on these patients who pose no threat while many violent and highly dangerous drug traffickers are at large makes no sense.  Senator Obama will not continue the Bush policy when he is president.

    Thank you again for contacting us.


    Obama for America

    How about directing the Justice Department to cease filing crack possession cases until Congress passes one of the pending bills eliminating the 5 year mandatory minimum for 5 grams or more?

    Would those be Executive Orders? (none / 0) (#21)
    by LarryInNYC on Sun Nov 09, 2008 at 09:37:21 PM EST
    Or simply a quiet change in policy?

    It Would Be Good (none / 0) (#23)
    by bob h on Mon Nov 10, 2008 at 04:33:50 AM EST
    to advise all CIA or military interrogators of Muslim captives to default to the Geneva Conventions immediately.

    And... (none / 0) (#25)
    by DancingOpossum on Mon Nov 10, 2008 at 08:55:46 AM EST
    ...the evidence that Obama will keep any of these pledges and promises when he didn't keep a single one of his campaign promises is...what, exactly?

    Also, hasn't he had this thing in the bag for months now? Shouldn't he already have made some firm decisions?

    I'm tired of hearing about what he "will" do and "might" do, but I understand that's all we have since he hasn't actually ever done anything, but can we hold the praise and adulation for an actual accomplishment?

    I am (none / 0) (#29)
    by Wile ECoyote on Mon Nov 10, 2008 at 10:35:34 AM EST
    looking forward to the "unitary executive" posts in the next year.

    Huh? (none / 0) (#30)
    by squeaky on Mon Nov 10, 2008 at 10:51:20 AM EST
    Did you miss the election? The party of the "Unitary Executive" did not win. "Cheney's Law" is no longer in play.



    I can't imagine that Obama, (none / 0) (#34)
    by Xclusionary Rule 4ever on Mon Nov 10, 2008 at 07:34:32 PM EST
    a top flight constitutional scholar, would buy into that UE crap. Per Jay Lynn Stal in Huffpo in August 08:
    Pay close attention to what Barack Obama told Pastor Rick Warren was his principal reason for opposing the nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court this past weekend. Obama expressed justifiable concern about the power that is now inherently vested in the executive branch, of which Chief Justice Roberts is an obdurate supporter.

    Make no mistake: there is a defining difference between the two presidential candidates that must not be overlooked. The Democratic presumptive nominee wants to rein in a hyperactive, unitary executive that works to insinuate itself into every nook and cranny by intelligence overreach.

    I realize it's only a blog, but the BO quote is accurate.  I think the reason there is nothing on the BO site about the theory is that most people have no idea what it is or what it means.  Not sexy campaign material.

    Did you? (none / 0) (#32)
    by DancingOpossum on Mon Nov 10, 2008 at 12:56:02 PM EST
    How do you know he won't be as happy to be a unitary executive as Bush was? His chief legal adviser, Cass Sunstein, the guy who's been floated for an Obama SCOTUS appointment, thinks the unitary executive is the bestest idea EVAH (he also thinks abortion is stinky, but that's a female problem so no worries, right?).