Baratunde Thurston: On economic recovery, the jury is still out

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Overall, I think our new president has been doing a fine job, and polls show that about two thirds of Americans agree with me. In some areas, he has really knocked the ball out of the park: restoration of science's rightful place in policy, re-engagement with the international community and especially re-thinking our insane Cuba stance. There's been the passage of a significant economic stimulus bill, and an ambitious, generally well-considered budget proposal.

In the area of economic recovery, I think the jury's still out, and honestly no one seems to know what exactly is going on or how exactly we should proceed. Things are so chaotic that though I've never owned any property I wouldn't be surprised if I had a shady mortgage I didn't know about. The supposedly "smart" people are the ones that got us into this mess in large part, yet the most liberal critics don't necessarily have the answers either.

I'd like to think he's doing the right thing on this torture issue by having his attorney-general determine who gets prosecuted for what offences, but again, we'll have to wait and see a bit longer than 100 days. What is discernible by now is that President Obama offers a refreshing change of pace from George W. Bush. I've been stunned by just how low a bar our previous president set. President Obama can easily exceed expectations simply by shaking hands with foreign leaders, talking to the press more than once every few years, and keeping Dick Cheney away from any important buttons.

Baratunde Thurston is the co-founder of Jack & Jill Politics, and Web Editor of 'The Onion'; www.theonion.com

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