Don't screw this up watch | Bleader

Monday, November 10, 2008

Don't screw this up watch

Posted By on 11.10.08 at 12:31 PM

The nascent Obama administration is already taking shape. Here are some previews:

* Plans are already being made to empty Guantanamo. Some prisoners would be released, some would be tried in U.S. criminal courts, but it seems there will be a third category for high-value detainees, a "a new court designed especially to handle sensitive national security cases." It's obviously better than permanent detention, but a lot will turn on the specifics of the court, and given the past few years there will be resistance to anything that isn't done in the criminal courts or a military tribunal.

* Related: the case of Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, a Peoria-area grad student, is going before the Supreme Court.

* The most buzzworthy bit of obscure administrative law that may soon become very, very important: the Congressional Review Act of 1996, a Republican Revolution-era act that allows a new president to overturn last-minute regulations created by the outgoing president. It's only been used once, to overturn Clinton administration ergonomics regulations, but a Democratic congress could allow Obama to flip whatever Bush decides to do on the way out.

* Why's it so important? The Bush administration is planning on running the bilge pumps full steam on environmental regulations.

* I don't know how seriously to take this rumor, but the only appropriate cabinet position for RFK Jr. is Secretary of Paranoid Abuse of Science. At the link, Orac does deep into the weeds in his involvement in the dangerous vaccination-autism fake controversy, but it's also worth remembering his deplorable Rolling Stone article about how the Republicans "stole" the vote in Ohio to win the 2004 election. Farhad Manjoo of Salon was one of the many writers to tear it apart. Again, the suggestion that RFK Jr. would end up at the EPA or Interior is just a rumor, but might as well add my voice to the chorus.

* One fuck-you from the Bush administration that I don't think Obama can undo: Bush just appointed hirsute country crooner Lee "God Bless the U.S.A." Greenwood, last seen at McCain/Palin rallies and whom 99.9% of America knows for one song written over two decades ago, to the National Council for the Arts for a six-year term.

Update: A graphical representation of the first 100 days throughout recent history (via Coudal).

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