Bil Browning

Open Thread: Your vision for America

Filed By Bil Browning | November 10, 2008 12:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Site News
Tags: Barack Obama

From the inbox comes a Projector suggested open thread to start out the week. Kim writes:

Why not ask all of your readers what their Vision for America is and what Barack Obama's priorities should be. I have included my starter list.

Vision: Full equality and equal access for all United States citizens.

Kim's priorities after the jump. What's yours? Do you agree with Kim? Think big! I'll add my own in the comments section with everyone else.


  1. Create a National AIDS policy

  2. End Don't Ask Don't Tell

  3. Enact ENDA to include all GLBT people

  4. End immigration and emigration policies that prohibit or limit in any way people with HIV/AIDS from traveling to or from the United States

  5. Enact a National Hate Crimes Bill named in honor of Matthew Shepard

  6. Pass a new Ryan White Act to ensure medical treatment, healthcare, and social services for all United States citizens who have contracted the HIV virus

  7. Pass Civil Rights legislation that ensures GLBT individuals equal rights under all Federal, State and Local laws

  8. End the War in Iraq immediately

  9. Take care of the armed forced veterans

  10. Clean out the Department of Justice

  11. Appoint Judges and Justices the opposite in Judicial Philosophy from those appointed by Bush

  12. Enact a National Health Care Plan

  13. End lobbyist influence in the governmental processes

  14. Keep America safe and secure without further jeopardizing the individual rights of her citizens

  15. End tax exempt status for all religious and not-for-profit organizations who engage in partisan politics including issue-based policies and procedures subject to referendum.

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1 through 10......restore the Constitution and Bill of Rights.....period.

Perhaps Congress could pass a Bush do-over bill that erases everything done legislatively in the past seven plus years.

I second that. Clean slate. Start from whatever existed before Jan 20, 2000.

Cathryn and Monica,

I liked both of your comments.

One little picky thing though: Bush didn't become President until January 20, 2001 (I know it seems longer!).

A return to the separation of church and state.

I agree about the national AIDS policy.

We seriously need to STOP-STOP-STOP compartmentalizing our legal rights! These 4-letter words are attacking us from all sides (DOMA, DADT), and it ALL gets down to one simple demand:


Period. What the **** is so confusing about that?

(self-censored; I am a gentleman)

In an ideal world.....

1. Out of Iraq, now, immediately, period. Immediate airlift to Afghanistan. Overrun both Afghanistan and northern Pakistan, capture bin Laden and his lackeys alive. Allow the families of the victims of 911 to form a firing squad on the National Mall, and dispatch them accordingly, Then either try or release our prisoners, and close Guantanamo.
2. Repeal the Patriot Acts, Real ID Act, Helping America Vote Act, Bankruptcty Reform Act, and all other pertinent acts passed between 2001-2006.
3. Revoke the Bush tax cuts, then restructure the tax code so that a true progressive tax is reimposed, with the tax floor being 40 hours/week @minimum wage. Top rate on 250K-1mil to be 45%, top rate on over 1mil - 50%.
4. Universal single-payer health care. Now.
5. Inclusion of gender identity and sexual orientation in the protections outlined in the Civil Rights, Voting Rights, and Fair Housing Acts, as well as Title 7. Repeal of the Helms Exemption from the ADA.
6. Require the SEC to approve any new financial instruments to be sold by investment firms or banks, and outlaw derivatives. Outlaw adjustable-rate mortgages, and roll back all existing ARMS to original rate at date of issuance.
7. Military reform. Stop sending National Guardsmen on tours of duty abroad past a 3-4 month tour; their use is on US soil for emergency policing and relief. Rebuild the military, reequip it with an eye towards the needs of a military likely to be involved in counterinsurrection, criminal syndicates, and terrorism. Eliminate DADT and include gender identity and sexual orientation as protected classes. Properly fund the VA and keep the promis of medical care of all long-term medical needs of veterans with service-related conditions.
8. Fund stem cell research. Now. Fully.
9. Pass Federal ban on religious organizations or houses of worship from putting Dollar One into any political campaign, or from encouraging their membership from doing same. Punishment would be IRS administrative loss of 501c3 tax status, which would mean that they'd have to pay state property tax on all those lovely cathedrals.
10. Outlaw talking on cellular phones while driving. Death penalty for text messaging while driving. Surfing internet while driving = hunting license. Ban sale of new vehicles weighing over 4000 pounds to private individuals by Model Year 2012.
11. Invite Antonin Scalia, John Roberts, Samuel Alito, and Clarence Thomas, along with every other Bush-appointed Federal judge, to a state dinner, and feed them cyanide a la King. Then replace them with moderates and liberals.

I could go on and on and on........

Ensure transgender veterans receive all the necessary treatments, procedures and drugs associated to their transition, including SRS.

1) We need a constitutional amendment mandating the nationalization, without compensation of financial institutions and industries who receive bailout funds.

2) We need permanent, immediate and total withdrawal of all US military, espionage and mercenary forces in the Middle East and East Asia back to US home bases. Cut the U.S. purse stings that pay for the apartheid system used against Palestinians.

3) We need socialized medicine. Build all the hospitals, skilled nursing facilities and hospices necessary.

4) End tax breaks, tax cuts and funding of ‘faith based’ charities for superstitious cults, i.e., churches. Make it a crime to promote homophobia, violence and misinformation about HIV.

5) We need a tough inclusive ENDA and housing law making it easy to win big judgments from discriminatory employers for ourselves and others.

6) We need a tough federal law imposing harsh federal sentences on organizations, cults and individuals convicted of hate crimes, which defines hate crimes to include harassment, violence and hate speech directed against the GLBT communities.

7) We need a constitutional guarantee of a minimum wage for workers and retired workers of $25.00 an hour with full benefits, both adjusted semi-annually to fully account for inflation.

8) We need a federal law to cut the normal work week to 32 hours without loss of pay or benefits with time and a half after 32 hours, and double time after eight hours in any day or 40 hours in any week.

9) Repeal all the Free Trade Agreements. FTA’s are anti-union, impoverish working people, make the rich richer and cause environmental disasters.

10) We need a law guaranteeing working people twenty days of paid vacation annually, plus paid federal holidays and paid sick leave if prescribed by a doctor, including a year of paid maternity leave from day one for parents.

11) We need tough federal laws to protect workers who lose, or have lost their jobs because of outsourcing or efforts to control pollution including guaranteed reeducation, relocation and compensation at the rate of $25.00 an hour until they take a new job.

12) We need laws that protect immigrant/imported workers at the same level as native workers.

13) All treaties made with Native Americans should be fully implemented or due reparations paid if they cannot. If Native American peoples want national independence it should be granted immediately.

14) The descendents of slaves are entitled to generous compensation for the crimes of the past and national independence if they want it.

15) Mexican, Hawaiian, Japanese, Pacific Islander, Puerto Rican and others who lost rights or assets when their nations were invaded and occupied by US forces are entitled to compensation and national independence.


Your "Priorities" are to say the least thought provoking, but what is your "Vision"?

Things are breaking for the left because the chickens are coming home to roost, big time. Obama says he’ll pursue unwinnable wars against Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Throw in Iran and you’ve got a perfect storm of defeats just waiting to happen. It won’t be pretty, but then neither was the US military “leadership’s” headlong dash out of Ho Chi Minh City in 1975.

Obama idiotic program of handouts to the retarded rich will not only not stop the recession from becoming a depression; it pretty much guarantees that it will. In terms of bigotry, homophobia and racism he has a rancid record. It’s possible but not particularly likely, given his betrayal on the same sex marriage propositions that we’ll get federal same sex marriage rights, inclusive ENDAs and a tough hate crimes bill. And if the Democrat Party repeals DADT it’ll only signal their need for fresh cannon fodder and nothing else.


You and I must live in two different worlds. I am in a world of hope and promise and you seem to be in the depths of depression and despair. Your picture is not pretty or in any way credible. I believe you must could admit that there will be a new administration in Washington with a new Executive, Legislative and, sooner rather than later, Judicial Branches of government. Surely you are hopeful that the changes will have a prospect of positive government and positive changes for most Americans.

You really need to believe in some way that Barack Obama and a Democratic Congress will be beneficial to the American Society as a whole. If you honestly think some of the things you have stated; then what does your own future offer?

Kim, you believe in Santa and the Bunny, I don't.

Depression and despair is for when you find out that you're dead wrong.

And a certain amount of it is justified for the peoples of the Middle East and the GIs fighting there. And for all those who get salary cuts, lose their homes or cars and for the roughly three quarters of a million working people (if the trends continue) who'll lose their jobs by the end of the year.

Wrap some xmas presents for them, or make a whole bunch of Easter baskets. That would be nice. I guess.


I am trying my best to understand what you are saying (no, I'm not idealistic or nuts or any of those things, but I remain hopeful). You said in your earlier comments that "Obama says he’ll pursue unwinnable wars against Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Throw in Iran and you’ve got a perfect storm of defeats just waiting to happen. It won’t be pretty, but then neither was the US military “leadership’s” headlong dash out of Ho Chi Minh City in 1975."

I do not believe Obama said he will pursue unwinnable wars. Obama is a realist and a pragmatist. He will not set a goal to pursue unwinnable wars. Your other comment: "Obama idiotic program of handouts to the retarded rich will not only not stop the recession from becoming a depression; it pretty much guarantees that it will." I have to ask, what are you talking about?

I'm sincere in trying to understand your point of view, but you have made it difficult.

First, end torture. Then, in no particular order:

1. enact an equitable universal health care program
2. end the war in iraq
3. find a way out of afghanistan
4. close down gitmo
5. repeal bush's tax cuts, raise the top bracket to nixon-era levels, lower taxes for everyone else as needed
6. overturn the intact D & E ban
7. Appoint good judges to replace those who've been waiting for a democratic administration to retire
9. develop a national hiv/aids program
10. stop funding abstinence only education, fund comprehensive sex-ed
11. devote money to develop alternative energy sources
12. update wall street regulation
13. cap co2 emissions
14. fund education policy
15. develop roads

There are more things, but i think anything over 15 stops being about priorities.

oh, and a vision:

make alex stop thinking that he's surrounded by stupid and mean people.

I think that encompasses everything.

Intellect, Reason and Understanding.

Reformed Ascetic | November 11, 2008 3:31 AM

Before President Obama closes Guantanamo

Can we send the following people there for a while:

Paulson for $140 billion dollar graft through quietly and illegally exceeding his authority to end section 382 of the tax code.

Brownie for New Orleans.

Everyone from the top down involved in torture.

Everyone who has been complicit in illegal spying on American citizens.

Everyone who has used executive privilege to avoid obeying legal requirements.

The leadership of Halliburton, among others, for war profiteering.

The heads of the oil companies for accepting corporate welfare but buying their way out of windfall taxes. And whatever pols they bought.

Etc. (the list is pretty long)

But most importantly Bush and Cheney for all the above.

If they are found innocent and released after their turn in line for a military trial comes up, I will be able to accept that as due process.

I'm not sure this counts as a "vision" but it would be quite satisfying.

My vision is described in four documents

The Declaration of Independence
The Constitution Of the United States
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The Yogyakarta Principles

My Priority is singular:

Live by them.