Open Thread: 100 Days In Office

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | April 29, 2009 8:41 am

obama-inauguration.jpgFrom the Stimulus to the Omnibus, from the specter of climate change to the change of Specter, from the economy to confirmations, in terms of the new administration, are you satisfied?







Share your perspective in comments…

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Culture, Politics

Comments (9)

  1. Linda

    There is so much uncertainty about so much in our present, that to have such an intelligent, articulate, energy-filled leader to help guide us, finally, is really a ‘feel good’ and comforting hope.

  2. Obama often sounded almost like a scientist with a good handle on the details while delivering his address to the NAS.

    The overall note in the 100 days is certainly optimistic but there is so much in our world today that is beyond the abilities of any single man, no matter how capable or well-placed. Let us hope once again friends, that fate does not trump our abilities. The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

  3. Erasmussimo

    I am impressed with Mr. Obama’s first 100 days. He seemed to be overly ambitious at first but he has succeeded in most of his efforts. He has made no serious mistakes and in fact has been building political momentum. Unfortunately, the most important factor is beyond his control: the performance of the economy. But I believe that the economy will in fact begin its recovery this year and that this turnaround will give Mr. Obama huge political benefits. Thus, I see him going from triumph to triumph.

    EXCEPT for the fact that there’s always bad luck. Who knows what it will be: a terrorist attack, an assassination, a scandal, or Bo peeing in the Oval Office. There will surely be something like this happening this year and it could well upset everything.

  4. Daniel R. Whittaker

    Obama is providing this country with nothing less than I expected. His extreme leftward slant is as to be expected from someone whose major experience in leadership is based in community organizing.
    He is no patriot. He blames us for most of what is wrong in the world when we are the hardest working, most productive segment of the modern world. We produce the drugs that save humanity from wretched disease. We are major scientific innovators through industry in large part.
    He is a true fascist, believing in the superiority of the state over the liberty of the individual.
    It is sad to me that this country, the world’s last best hope, is being run into the ground. There simply is no place left to turn.

  5. UP – smart, articulate, engaged, science oriented, encourgaes internal debate.

    DOWN – still can’t protect civil liberties; too willing to have finance industry insiders working on economic issues;

    UP/DOWN outcome – better then the last one, not quite up to his own hype.


  6. Down- appointed Chuck Hurley as head of NHTSA

    Down- Still hasn’t passed sound drug laws

    Up- Sound negotiation with Iran, Venezuela and Russia on strategic weapons

  7. President Obama gives rise to hope…..

    At the crux of many discussions, two groups of people make their appearance.

    In one group, we recognize the “people of the economy” who have managed to institutionalize the ‘goodness’ of greed and arrogance associated with their idolatry of wealth consolidation and the power to continue accumulating filthy lucre. These people will uniformly say that their drive for economic growth and the power wealth purchases is not only good but also primary. They make it crystal clear that the protection of the Earth from industrialization and big business is secondary. In the other group, we have “people of Earth’s ecology” who see, as you do, that the preservation of the Earth needs to be primary and the growth of global economy secondary because there can be no such thing as a manmade economy without the resources and ecosystem services the Earth, and only the Earth, can provide.

    The Earth can get along quite nicely without the Masters of the Universe and their idolatrized global economy; but I do not think anyone can sensibly argue with the point that the economy cannot exist without a planet to provide for its viability. Even so, most of us recognize that there are many ideologues who do voceriferously argue that the human economy can exist independent of the Earth. I call it “money for nothing” thinking of do-nothing people. We also know that these ideologues are the very people who actually produce nothing, but end up with most of the world’s wealth. In our time timorous emasculated, absurdly high-paid “talking heads” in the mainstream media support this perverse situation. People who are actual producers lose their jobs, health care, pensions, etc while the Masters of the Universe, who produce nothing, walk away with millions of dollars in neatly packaged “golden parachutes” into carefree lives of effortless ease.

    As I see it, this is a problem. The institutionalized power of a few million selfish people who currently organize and manage the global political economy {for their own interests primarily} is much greater than the power that belongs to the billions of people who have very little wealth but hold a priceless vested interest in the preservation of the Earth as a fit place for human habitation by our children and coming generations.

    The struggle today between the “haves” and the “have-nots” — between the self-proclaimed Masters of the Universe and the people these masters call simpletons — can be likened to the Biblical confrontation between Goliath and David.

    Let’s make no mistake about it. The duplicitous, avaricious Masters of the Universe among us are a modern representation of Goliath and the people these masters have dubbed simpletons, the ones who are honest, transparent, productive and accountable for their actions, are living examples of the courageous David.

    Steven Earl Salmony
    AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population
    established 2001

  8. Jon

    He seemed to be overly ambitious at first but he has succeeded in most of his efforts.

    I think this was a Republican talking point. This is the way ya gotta do it. First hundred days. It goes back to FDR. I think a conservative Canadian writer recently called it a “blitzkreig.” That’s how Reagan did it. That’s how FDR did it. If you take too long, everyone organizes against you.

  9. MadScientist

    So far much better than Dubbyah – but 100 days is hardly enough time to get anything done.


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About Sheril Kirshenbaum

Sheril Kirshenbaum is a research scientist with the Webber Energy Group at the University of Texas at Austin's Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy where she works on projects to enhance public understanding of energy issues as they relate to food, oceans, and culture. She is involved in conservation initiatives across levels of government, working to improve communication between scientists, policymakers, and the public. Sheril is the author of The Science of Kissing, which explores one of humanity's fondest pastimes. She also co-authored Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future with Chris Mooney, chosen by Library Journal as one of the Best Sci-Tech Books of 2009 and named by President Obama's science advisor John Holdren as his top recommended read. Sheril contributes to popular publications including Newsweek, The Washington Post, Discover Magazine, and The Nation, frequently covering topics that bridge science and society from climate change to genetically modified foods. Her writing is featured in the anthology The Best American Science Writing 2010. In 2006 Sheril served as a legislative Knauss science fellow on Capitol Hill with Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) where she was involved in energy, climate, and ocean policy. She also has experience working on pop radio and her work has been published in Science, Fisheries Bulletin, Oecologia, and Issues in Science and Technology. In 2007, she helped to found Science Debate; an initiative encouraging candidates to debate science research and innovation issues on the campaign trail. Previously, Sheril was a research associate at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment and has served as a Fellow with the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History and as a Howard Hughes Research Fellow. She has contributed reports to The Nature Conservancy and provided assistance on international protected area projects. Sheril serves as a science advisor to NPR's Science Friday and its nonprofit partner, Science Friday Initiative. She also serves on the program committee for the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She speaks regularly around the country to audiences at universities, federal agencies, and museums and has been a guest on such programs as The Today Show and The Daily Rundown on MSNBC. Sheril is a graduate of Tufts University and holds two masters of science degrees in marine biology and marine policy from the University of Maine. She co-hosts The Intersection on Discover blogs with Chris Mooney and has contributed to DeSmogBlog, Talking Science, Wired Science and Seed. She was born in Suffern, New York and is also a musician. Sheril lives in Austin, Texas with her husband David Lowry. Interested in booking Sheril Kirshenbaum to speak at your next event? Contact Hachette Speakers Bureau 866.376.6591 For more information, visit her website or email Sheril at


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