Thursday, November 06, 2008


So I've been inundated with info about Barack, particularly the guessing game about cabinet nominees. Emanuel's already accepted CoS. Richardson's on the short list for SoS, and Volcker for the Treasury; personally, I sincerely feel that this country desperately needs David Cay Johnston advising economically. And Johnston's a Republican! Hillary was conspicuous by absence.

I would think Schumer's gotta be in there somewhere. But Tom Friedman needs to be tapped. He doesn't have micro down, but he has macro. Muhammad Yunis should be tapped for micro-lending. In an astounding turn-around, Mike Milken (!) is now working with Yunis on micro-lending; they already have a program up and going in Queens. Think about what this does for everyday folks who are hurting, or just have dreams of entrepreneurship, but no capital, no connections, no collateral. If America is to realize more fully its sloganeering rhetoric of "anything's possible" then that must include opportunity. This is a proven, sober and very economically sound path. It's humane, it has a heart. It's battle tested.

Here are a few more ideas:

1. SUSTAINABILITY CZARS - This needs to be a committee because it's so important. I agree with Tom Friedman that a "Green America" is energy forward, environmentally conscious, entrepreneurial, geo-political, and economically conservative AND stimulating. It'd take another essay to explain all of those, but, back on point, this committee should contain sub-committees on:

A. ENTREPRENEURSHIP - Entrepreneurs are the base, they are the ones taking the risks and developing the Google's of Green - HELP THEM. They are good for America, good for the economy. They are key in helping wean America off of our addiction to oil. OPEC's got us by the balls - this is the way out. That in turn gets us out of South Asia and our insane war mentality that has oil as its motive. The madness ends here, with a coherent strategy for sustainable energy.

These green companies who go on to develop and flower are good for the economy; they create jobs that people can feel good about as opposed to being just another cog in the wheel of corporate America.

B. HEALTH CARE - The number one reason for foreclosures, combined with this insane system of adjustable rate mortgages and derivatives, hedge funds, over-leveraging, etc., is health care issues. Bankruptcy's as well. This is a major economic, health and welfare issue. With tens of millions of boomers heading into retirement, our broken health care system is headed for crisis - it already is in crisis.

But Barack's plank on this issue will do nothing to solve the central problem, that is, the oligarchy that has a stranglehold on health care. This is because the oligarchy - comprised of insurance, HMOs and drug companies, are way to economically powerful. Any one of those three has lobbyists with deep pockets and banks of lawyers. Citizens can't possibly fight on that level.

Until Barack and congress decide to address this central problem, health care in America will loom as a major social and economic problem. There's no other way. Solution? Single payer. This is a major reason why I voted for Cynthia McKinney.

2. WARS - We need out of Iraq. The SoD must have a mandate on a clear plan for dis-engagement including infrastructure for Iraq. Most Americans aren't even aware of the reality that Iraqis don't have running water and electricity, let alone jobs and a viable economy that sustains living sanely. All of Iraq, save for ONE region: the oil producing south. What does that tell you about the lie the dumbya administration said: "It's not about oil." Bullshit. The plan must also include giving aid health care-wise to Iraqis as well as our service people. The Walter Reed scandal is shameful and more evidence of this administration's utter disregard of our young people who have suffered. When a person has been injured, it effects their whole family - COMPENSATE THEM, TAKE CARE OF THEM, IT'S THE LEAST WE CAN DO. This madness must end now.

In each case, there's massive amounts of work. The keys are:

1. To assemble good teams
2. Formulate clear plans - Budgets, schedules, reporting, accountability
3. Get them up and running
4. Communicate - The time has come for an administration to consistently communicate with us. Taking a page from Howard Dean, Barack's team mobilized on the Internet in the modern age. He and his advisers should not forget that. How easy is it to set up a Barack blog where the public could read updates, give commentary, etc.? Rahm Emanuel or whoever ends up being press sec could oversee this and staff it with people who monitor it. Companies - forward thinking companies - now do this, the most obvious example being Google.

These are my first ideas in the immediate blush of this post-election.

Good luck brothaman - you'll need it for this mess you've inherited.

More later.