Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Five Good Things

Today I started with the best of intentions. I wanted to praise five things the Bush Administration has done. I've been disgusted with so many things they've done, but I figured I should try to recognize the good among the bad, perhaps to gain a bit of perspective. I didn't have any in mind, but I thought that surely there must be some things, out of the hundreds they've done in the past 4.5 years, that I can appreciate. But when I considered the body of his work, I got stymied very quickly. Iraq, the Patriot Act, Education, irresponsible tax cuts, deficit spending, health care, the environment, social security, twisting science in a partisan fashion, Medicare "reform," energy policy, No Child Left Behind, lowering the wall separating church and state, minimal corporate cleanup after Enron (and with Bush's nominee to head the SEC, even that will likely be gutted) -- I don't think there's anything among the Administration's activities on any of these issues that's worth praising. While some of the appointments the Administration has made (e.g., Colin Powell) were positive, the fact that their opinions were virtually ignored, leaving them with little actual authority, negates whatever positive their appointments offered in the first place. Thus, I had trouble coming up with five, and had to settle for two:

1) One of the first pieces of legislation in Bush's second term, The Class Action Fairness Act of 2005. This law did a number of things that affect class action suits, including reduce the possibility of forum shopping (i.e., picking a court based on the likelihood of getting a favorable result), and make sure that awards actually benefit those affected (anyone ever gotten one of those stupid coupons for a future purchase?) rather than the attorneys.

2) Immigration Law. Bush's approach to immigration reform strikes me as a reasonable balance. No amnesty is offered, but it does let those here illegally stay. It doesn't close our borders, as some anti-immigration people argue should be done. Admittedly, it seems that part of the impetus behind the policy is to benefit companies that use illegal workers, but still, it's ok to have people with different interests share a common goal.




Am I overlooking anything? I'm taking nominations.


Todd said...

This past week, The Bush Administration and Tony Blair made an announcement from the White House that their countries would "give" ~ $647M to Third World countries. Though this isn't anywhere near the 0.7% GNP (someone can correct me if any/all my figures are incorrect) that was proposed in the '60s, it is a good start...

... provided that there are little strings attached. Many of this announcements include:

- Money already given over a period of time (though they like to report it as "new money")
- Hinges on the hiring of American wholesalers, suppliers, shipping companies, distributors, training companies, etc. The purchase of American product, etc. Etc, etc, etc.

I believe that it was Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson whom proposed each "have" nation share with those in need: "it is only right for those who have to share with those who have not."

Though I applaud the Blair/Bush announcement - its apparent that lump sums of capital like this won?t do anything unless these countries in need begin ?getting on the annual payroll??

As a by-product, it would be nice to not have to witness those commercials with Super-Rockers Bono, Justin Timberlake, Bob Geldolf ? informing us that an impoverished child in Africa dies every 3 seconds.

aaron said...

Todd, I don't think this one counts. Bush was guilted into giving money by Blair, and as you note, it's a pretty small figure that's less than was requested, attaches strings and double-counts already-existing commitments.

Still searching for good thing #3...