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Obama: A Young Man in a Hurry

There are some people who already are growing impatient with President Barack Obama, asking why is he permitting the red ink in the federal budget to continue to flow, why hasn’t he been able to make the financial markets work again? Others complain he’s taking on too much by including health care reform in his overall economic agenda. I think he’s getting it just right. I cheered yesterday when he signed an Executive Order , before an audience of grateful scientists, lawmakers and patients, that reversed President Bush’s order which had restricted stem cell research. How refreshing it is to hear the President say, in the accompanying executive memorandum, that we should “develop a strategy for restoring scientific integrity to government and decision making.” Yes! As soon as I hear those words I realize how bad it had been and how eager so much of us have been to have objectivity, not ideology, be the hall mark of government policy. I exhaled in a similar way when the gag rule, which had denied family planning funds to groups that even breathed the word “abortion”, was lifted. Yes, it’s been one thing after another—a forum on health care in the White House with the President in full attendance with all the stake holders, a hint of outreach to Iran, the signing of the Lilly Ledbetter fair pay act, the stimulus package which includes billions for education and renewable energy sources. I ask myself, how does he do it, going from one complex and controversial problem to another? How does he do it when Agencies do not yet have their complement of assistant and deputy secretaries? Yes, he is a young man in a hurry. That’s why we elected him. He has to act now on these and other issues while his popularity remains high, while has has strong bi-partisan support amongst the voters, if not in the Congress. And yes, we have not yet solved our economic problems. He’s been in office less than seven weeks. I can recall no earlier time when a new President faced such financial problems at home and security problems abroad. It’s a huge, imponderable situation for most mortals. He’s accomplished one major challenge since his inauguration—he has changed the course of our country. Let’s hope that must Americans will continue to stay the course with him long enough to turn it around.

Tourist Eyes

For two weeks my husband and I traveled to London, Paris, Zurich and Bern—familiar haunts where one can drink water from the tap. Read More..

Gays in the Military

We’ve come a long way in the sixteen years since the policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” was adopted to deal with the question of gay and lesbian members of the military.

This time, advocacy for repeal did not come from any outside group; it came from the apex of the military establishment itself. Read More..

The Supreme Court and Corporate Electioneering

The Supreme Court decision which will allow unfettered campaign contributions from corporations and unions poses a threat to the very workings of our democracy.

Read More..

In the Wake of Massachusetts

A political earthquake hit Massachusetts last night. The tectonic plates of the Democratic Party shifted with the election of Republican Scott Brown to the United States Senate and left untold amounts of debris in its wake. Read More..

Greeting the New Year

This time of year we automatically say "Happy New Year" to friends, acquaintances, and even strangers, days after the champagne corks have popped and the fireworks are but a memory. It has become a standard greeting for the first days of January, partly to cheer ourselves up so we can face the rest of the winter. Read More..