So, this Barack Obama guy we just elected President gets up and makes a pre-presidential address, something nobody’s ever done before as President-elect. While he’s been mostly holding his peace about what goes on until he’s sworn in, apparently the looming Second Great Depression seemed important enough for him to break precedent and call on Congress and the nation to support his rescue plan for the nation’s economy. Everybody knows that Goal #1 is fixing the economy so we listened to what the man had to say. He looks like he’ll be a decent president because he’s already pissing people off.

Of course we have no way of knowing if he’s really any good until he’s been in the Oval Office for a while, but Obama’s off to a good start by telling the assembled audience and viewers at home that as bad as things are now, they’re going to get worse before they get better. Apparently there were some in the Congress and Senate that didn’t want to hear that, which is part of the problem. More comfortable with a see-no-evil, hear-no-evil approach, the two houses of Congress need a swift kick in the ass. The water’s rising in America, and we’re going to need more than Browny doing a hell of job to dam the flood of red ink. Pretending otherwise is what got us into this fine mess.

Obama also pissed off people by picking a non-spy to head the CIA, the pissed-offees blathering that in these perilous times that an intelligence professional is required to meet new and dangerous challenges. Why go there? This is the same CIA that twenty years ago had to read in the newspapers the same as everybody else about the fall of the Soviet Union! Wasn’t that sort of their job to know about stuff like that? Do we want that? The same CIA who gave us the Iran/Contra deal that armed a lot of our current enemies? The same CIA that wondered who this Osama bin Laden guy was? The same CIA that out-sourced torture of terror suspects and created a whole bunch of new recruits for the other side in the process? The same CIA who still wonders what’s the deal with bin Laden the video star? That CIA? Seems like the last guy you want in charge of these bozos is another one of their own.

It’s hard to say what America does worse, spying or diplomacy, although the CIA has no doubt made our diplomats’ jobs a lot harder over the years with some pretty insane covert operations. The list of their blunders is a long one, and they have this image of being a mini-government unto themselves. That’s got to go. Obama was smart to pick a guy loyal to the regular American government, you know, the one that has to answer for their shenanigans when they go wrong, which happens far too often for what is supposed to be our elite intelligence organization. 

Why isn’t the operative word “intelligence?” It’s right there in the friggin’ title, for crying out loud, Central Intelligence Agency! Maybe the new guy should just fire a whole bunch of people right off the bat just for the hell of it, let them know who’s boss. It’s not like the CIA has any kind of sterling reputation at stake here. It’s no wonder other nations’ intelligence organizations are reluctant to share information with them. If it wasn’t for their huge budget nobody would talk to them at all. Maybe this Leon Panetta guy can knock some heads together and make sure the CIA is on the same page as their own government.

What Obama seemed to be saying is that the whole government needs to be on the same page; Democrats, Republicans, Independents, liberals, conservatives and middle-of-the-roaders. Bush The Younger has fouled up this nation in ways that boggle the mind and and defy probability. It’s more than the economy that’s screwed, it’s the whole idea of America itself, which was always as much an idea and a set of ideals as a nation. No president prior to Bush The Younger has responded to an attack on our country by making our country less American, attempting to gut the Bill of Rights and institute a dictatorship of a governing elite partnered with wealthy corporate princes. The results speak for themselves and what we have now is a national emergency.

Which is not to say that the Congress should just lay down and go along with anything that pops into Obama’s head. They tried that with with Bush The Younger and that led to us invading the wrong country, of all things, so rubber-stamping is no answer. Congress has to actually do the job they were elected to do, to weigh the pros and cons of each piece of legislation put before them before voting on them. It’s sort of hard and complex, which is why we vote for smart people to fill these jobs, at least in theory. All that speech-making and baby-kissing during campaign season is the easy part. Now comes the part where these people actually have to do some serious work. The alternative to that is what got us here.

So it’s a good thing we elected a smart guy  as the boss this time around. That whole Hire-The Handicapped-For-The-Presidency thing didn’t work out at all. Everybody and his brother took advantage of the poor guy and the Vice President wound up calling the shots for President Rainman. The result is a looted treasury, two quagmire wars, the cynically named Patriot Act and an America struggling to regain it’s Americanism. This Obama guy and the Congress have their work cut out for them. Telling it like it is is a damned good start. Just be glad he didn’t tell us all to go shopping. That would have been a bad omen indeed.

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