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The End of the Year Review, Part One

December 24, 2009

2009 is on the way out. It’s been a year of firsts, and hopefully, some lasts, and no one seems to be sad to see it go.

We have had almost a year with our first African American president (born in HAWAII!), Barack Obama, who has disappointed in some ways, and has offered the change he campaigned on in others. He has persevered with a couple of his promises: Health care reform is almost done, and he has been pushing educational reform. Some of the stepbacks are due to the recession he was handed. [Hello! That mess started at least a year before Obama was sworn in and was made a bigger mess by all of Bush’s bailouts for Wall Street before he left office. Look at a calendar!]

Obama seems to be serious about closing Guantanamo. He has turned out to be not-so-much-change in the overseas military situation, however. He recently signed off on another “troop surge”, although to his credit he fought it as long as he could. Obama is still seeking an exit strategy, and a cut off date for when the troops will come home at last. When it happens is another thing.

My biggest disappointment is Obama’s declining funding for NASA, which will leave us behind and probably unable to catch up with the Chinese, the ESA and the other space faring nations. Private enterprise, this is the time to break out of your supposed NASA “yoke” and go for it. Are you listening??

The hopefully-to-be-lasts: Extreme lack of cooperation on the political front! Congress can only get worse if we have a shooting on the floor of the House or the Senate. And please don’t tell me who you would want shot, I’ve got a list of my own. The flagrant misrepresentation of fact has got to go, too. The FCC should start fining the most egregious lies, if they’re broadcast. In print, not so much, as “middle America” seems to get all the news they want or “need” from TV/cable.

Three years to go, and we’ll just have to see far along we get.

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