Moving Forward ... (draft)
I think Bush has a few key issues he needs to address, especially given the historic chance he has in that we are controlling 2 (all 3?) branches of the government (in approximate order of importance and with a quick punch-list of my opinions thereof) ):
0) National Security - continued increase in inspection of cargo shipping, tighter border controls, increased inter-agency communication, tighter Visa control, better 'bio-outbreak' prevention/monitoring/response.
0a) Iraq, N. Korea and Sudan - Yes, they all fit into the Natl Security category as well ...
0b) Afghanistan - We must continue supporting the elected government there, and work with them to resolve their issues (e.g. - Terrorists, Opium, etc.)
1) Iraq - everyone agrees (I hope!) that we need to 'win'; i.e. - that we need to be successful in getting Iraq's elected government in place and stable and that the insurgents need to be dealt with swiftly and harshly! Once the elections occur we need to work with them to ensure their survivability, and then (and only then) can we begin working on bringing our troops home!
2) Healthcare - It costs too much. Hopefully the President's plan is implemented and successful. Note that socialized medicine = Bad.
2a) Prescription Drugs - Ditto. Although, I am not too sure about the current plan. And, if Canada can guarantee the safety of their products (to atleast the levels we have now in the US) importing of these drugs should be legal ... but not until those quality/safety concerns are addressed should this be considered. Think Free Trade!
3) Federal Spending / Deficit - Being a Conservative, I am pro-small government and pro-fiscal responsibility, without negatively impacting National Security or other critical agencies/spending - Other government agencies should prepare, IMHO, to be reviewed/hammered (Agriculture, Education, Energy ... ). Oh yeah - Think Free Trade!
4) Oil / Alternative Energy - Take a stronger stance with/against OPEC in negotiations, more drilling stateside, build more processing facilities, encourage low-consumption (e.g. - tax cuts for efficient cars, more efficient power production, etc.), encourage alternative electricity generation methods (Nuclear, Wind, Solar, Hydro, Geo ... PS - Nuclear is good and WRT the Nuclear Waste issue think Yucca Mountain + GeoMelting) ... these alternative energy sources would also help with the environment :)
5) Iran - Honestly, I don't know the answer here! But we need to work diplomatically to prevent a Nuclear Iran from coming into existence.
6) N. Korea - the Tri Commission is the only way to go!
7) Sudan - I know this is a controversial statement, but genocide is bad. Let's see if the UN can make itself relevant in the world, or if it will fail yet again.
8) Taxes - lower = good; flat = good ... low & flat = GREAT. With the caveat of #3 above :). Also, the AMT is bad and should be repealed, as should so-called Corporate Welfare (as should most (all?) of the bail-out packages ... $B wasted!) ... note that "Corporate Welfare != Corporate Tax Cuts", the cuts are stimulus :)
9) Broadband / Telcom - Deregulation = good!
10) Social Security - Privatization good!
11) Conservative Activism - Maintain all of the grass-roots Conservative infrastructure that was built-out / expanded this election cycle! Be more forthcoming with information, details, opinions, etc - KEEP US INFORMED! Get on TV! ... see #12 for what will happen if you don't!
12) Hillary - Don't let Hillary Clinton get slip into the Presidency in 2008! I am convinced she will be running, and her Presidency scares me more than her husband's did or Kerry's would have! (BTW - Not because she is a woman, rather because she is a very liberal representative ... although I suspect she will attempt to 'transform' herself into a more moderate candidate in the next four years, don't fall for it!)
13) Build Bridges - Having said what I did about Hillary, it is still important to work together with the 'other' party to be successful.
14) Election reform / modernization - it is embarrassing that the US, bastion of Democracy, still uses some very outdated polling practices. Touch screens, with printed receipts of the vote cast, are not that hard to come up with!
Other Issues (in no particular order and with a quick punch-list of my opinions thereof) ):
* Abortion - BAD, especially partial-birth abortions!
* Welfare - should be nothing more that a short-term safety net, routinely monitored!
* Foreign Policy (in general) - be mostly hands-off, reduce foreign aid drastically, re-allocate/deploy our military to fight our enemies, not other nations' enemies. And, again - Think Free Trade!
* Science & Technology, in General - DARPA, NIST, etc. types of projects are great for us as a nation!
** Stem cell Research, specifically - In general, GREAT. However, Embryonic Stem Cell Research (ESCR) is bad unless you can dissociate this the abortion issue!
** Space Exploration, specifically - Good, furthers technological advancement and pushes our boundaries as a race!
* Firearms Ownership - responsible ownership of reasonable weapons = good. True 'Assault Rifles' (fully auto, etc.) are already banned (not the AWB that just expired, that was a total waste ... just enforce the ALREADY EXISTING LAWS)
With big thanks to RtB's forum and MB's forum. Bounced lots of ideas off/through there, saw others' ideas, etc.
Also thanks to :
* Tyler ... I liked most of his ideas and added portions of them into my list.
* Bill O'Reilly ... I also like most of his ideas.
* GOPbloggers ... Good Blog!
* RedState ... Good Blog!
* Club for Growth ... Good Site!