The Bush administration dug a deep hole for our new president. In the best tradition of self-help programs, here are 12 steps to get back to where we once belonged.
-- 1. Admit that we Americans are powerless over globalization.
Globalization comes with rules -- not a ruler. We must collectively better manage those rules, not just in their constant extension to new territories and domains, but in their persistent improvement and progressive de-conflicting.
Harry Truman is credited with saying it first and of putting it on his desk in the Oval Office. But it hasn't been heard around here for some time. In fact, "the buck stops here," has all but disappeared from presidential usage, replaced by "I can't think of any (mistakes) at the moment."
After assuming office with most of the country and even the world wishing him well, President Barack Obama is finding that governing in tough times is not much fun. For one reason, Americans no longer trust the country's big institutions.
President Barack Obama should learn from his tumultuous struggle to drag his reputed stimulus measure through Congress. Rather than let House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid craft major bills, Obama should offer specific proposals and have his allies push them toward adoption.
As if to make positively sure no one missed the point that congressional Democrats don't have the slightest idea what they're doing with the stimulus package, Nancy Pelosi told the press the other day that prompt action was necessary because the United States is losing 500 million jobs a month.
That's a lot because, if you figure it out, we could then have lost 6 billion jobs by the end of the year, and that's nothing to sneeze at in a country of 300 million people.
The Senate Intelligence Committee is taking up the last of President Barack Obama's nominee for a high-profile national security post, the surprising pick of Leon Panetta to head the CIA.
Going into Thursday's public hearing, the former Democratic congressman from California knows he will have to give up lucrative seats on boards of directors, end his consulting work and do without well-paid speeches while running the spy agency.
In the end, the Obama administration's caps on executive pay for foundering financial institutions that receive major public bailout money may be largely symbolic. But it is symbolism that taxpayers and Congress, outraged at lavish pay and huge bonuses for poor performance, are demanding.
The precipitating factor was the disclosure that Wall Street paid out more than $18 billion in year-end bonuses even as it was collapsing into the arms of the federal Treasury.
I've handed over today's column to my friends in the drunken sailor community, who have an important message for America.
A lot of water has passed under the keel since we in the drunken sailor community last asked our favorite matey to hand over the wheel of his column for a day.
As you may remember, that old sea dog Reg, the usual author of this log, came to our attention after he wrote about crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a saucy sloop.
His infant presidency already shaped by mounting national troubles, President Barack Obama now faces an added challenge: weathering the fallout of a spate of nomination glitches.
"I screwed up," Obama said repeatedly after two top nominees withdrew their names from consideration, saying they wanted to avoid becoming distractions for the president as he seeks to move ahead with an ambitious agenda. "I'm frustrated with myself, with our team."
Along with Tom Daschle, Tim Geithner and Nancy Killefer, plus Joe Biden, David Axelrod, Rahm Emanuel and all the president's vexing vetters, I also must share some the blame for the sudden puncture and deflation of Barack Obama's Glorious Expectations Balloon.Read More