So much for Joe Biden to do on Day 1

climate change

joebidenI’ve been reading lots of people’s advice about what Joe Biden should do “on Day 1.” Most of it I tend to agree with philosophically. The trick is that his “first day” would have to be 2500 hours long.

Obviously, his initial focus will be the coronavirus pandemic, which is getting worse in the US every week. And the desire to get vaccines in people’s arms is of utmost importance. (My wife is getting her first injection in mid-February, me at the end of March.)

The related economic downturn also needs to be addressed. Bernie Sanders says $2,000 checks should be the “first order of business” for the new President and Congress.

Clearly, we cannot assume that the seditious violence we saw on January 6 has passed. Not only do federal authorities have to continue to find more folks to charge but to stem future attacks.

What on earth 

Beyond that, there will be a lot of Biden undoing what his predecessor did. He’s repeatedly promised on his first day in office to have the US rejoin the Paris climate accord. Fighting climate change has been a key priority on the campaign trail. The previous environmental policy has been a disaster.

djt “declined to tighten standards on industrial soot emissions, despite the evidence linking dirty air to respiratory illnesses.” For instance, the EPA reviewed standards. “The agency’s scientists warned of the links between the pollutants and deadly outcomes in respiratory illnesses (like COVID-19).

“It recommended tightening the current emissions rule set by the Obama admin in 2012. But EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said there wasn’t enough scientific evidence to merit a change. The policy decision came as the admin has worked to roll back over 100 environmental regulations.”

I’ve wondered if Biden had a shadow Cabinet this past autumn. Undo, undo, reinstate, undo, reinstate. He will have the country rejoin the World Health Organization, part of the effort to protect our nation’s health.

I believe he should commute all federal death sentences. His predecessor was cranking up the gallows in his latter months.

Of the people, et al.

I’m all for reforming the government, “including expanding on and codifying into law an ethics pledge.” The policy had been instituted in the Obama administration. It “addresses lobbying issues and also any improper or inappropriate influence from personal, financial, and other interests.” Wow. I thought we had that already but certain people were just ignoring it.

He favors expanding early voting, allowing more time to register and request ballots, and letting voters track their ballots. New York State was very slow to get to the first two and hasn’t achieved the third yet.

Biden listed a number of other priorities on the campaign trail that, while worthy, may be more difficult to achieve in even 100 days. Advancing racial equity by addressing systemic racism. Expanding protections for union employees

The ACLU has its Civil Liberties and Civil Rights To-Do List, fortunately not all on the first day or even first 100 days.

All of this is to say, I’m planning to cut Joe some slack, just a little. Frankly, the outgoing guy is sucking up a lot of oxygen in the room, as he always does.