February 9, 2016
Around the big top

With California out, expect federal proposal soon

Posted 8/19/09

When it comes to foreign policy, President Obama, thus far, has been successful in accomplishing his agenda – troop draw downs have begun in Iraq and a date for a complete withdrawal has been set, there was a successful rescue of hostages from Somali pirates, the release of U.S. journalists from a North Korea prison and an increased focus in Afghanistan (the President is still asking for more troops and support there).

That’s why I think the administration is going to wave some money in front of the state of Michigan for the use of Standish Max sooner than later. The Executive Order to close Gitmo has already been signed, but a replacement facility still needs to be selected and renovated, and with Gitmo slated to close on Jan. 22, 2010, there’s not a lot of time to make any additional changes that the military feels are needed, or to do new construction at the new site.

Plus, MDOC Public Information Officer John Cordell says that on Sept. 1, the Michigan DOC is going to start closure plans (deciding where inmates held there now are going) for Standish Max, in order to ensure the prison will be closed by Oct. 1.

Time is running out.

But for Obama, the time to make the offer is now. This is not a policy item, such as healthcare, that has to involve the legislative branch. We’ve seen the fiasco that issue has become (different column for a different day for me), mainly because Obama’s own party can’t unite. Guantanamo Bay, on the other hand, is an executive decision, and with the continued softening of the proposed healthcare bill, not only the hard-line right wing conspiracy theorists calling Obama the Anti-Christ (again, different column for a different day) are getting upset, but lefties are also getting irked with Obama when it comes to domestic items.

To sum it up, nothing is getting done. And with the August recess dwindling down, I bet Obama wants to get something done when the legislature won’t get in his way. That’s why I believe the Department of Defense or other federal group will make an offer for the Standish prison very, very soon.

And by soon, I mean before the end of the month. We know Sept. 1 is when the MDOC, while staying flexible on the prison, will start preparing for its closure. We also know that Congress’ recess ends soon, and the battle for (or against) healthcare reform will heat up once again on the floor of Capitol Hill.

Obama has held town halls and he took the family for a vacation. What more could he do in August?

Oh yeah, try to get something accomplished. And that’s why no one in Standish or Arenac County should be surprised to hear a proposal soon.

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