My 2008 Christmas wishlist

With President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration on Jan. 20 seeming years away, I've been trying to figure out how to speed up the change that he promised. For a while I became excited by the prospects of the sort of switcheroo The New York Times has been championing, but then I remembered that The Times operates in a fictional world where everyone is to the left of Dennis Kucinich.

It wasn't until I experienced the euphoria of my family's Thanksgiving meal that I realized that the answer to my unrest could be found in the magic of the holiday season. Therefore, I turned to the only man with a proven track record of delivering on his promise of hope and joy: Santa Claus. So here it is; my Christmas list…

• Wish One: I want a foreign policy that possesses a vision for the future, as opposed to one that feels like it was the product of a fishing trip that ended early because the beer ran out and one of the guys fell in the water. Basically, I hope the center-right foreign policy team Obama has assembled will be able to moderate his high-minded goals to produce a game plan that is both realistic and worthy of the campaign he ran. In Afghanistan, that means coming up with something beyond just throwing more troops into a situation that requires a delicate touch and diplomacy. With regards to Iraq, I'm craving a strategy that acknowledges the sovereignty of the Iraqi government and gives it a chance to take the training wheels off, while at the same time recognizes that an American presence is necessary to guide the process along in case the ride gets shaky.

• Wish Two: I hope that all the Federal Court vacancies are filled, and without the animosity and strife that has characterized recent appointments. Obama has promised to move past the politics of yesteryear, so with a little Christmas magic he may be able to overcome a process that is traditionally a political landmine.

• Wish Three: I want college education to become tax deductible (starting four years ago). Our real economy was never stronger than in the aftermath of World War II when college became much more accessible. Now, with the rest of the world nipping at our heels, is the time to reinvest in our human resources to reassert America's claim as the leading innovator in the world and home to the best workforce on the planet.

• Wish Four: This one is a big one, so Santa may have to recruit the Hanukkah fairy, but I want healthcare for all the good boys and girls. I figure that would be in keeping with Santa's naughty and nice policy, while also cheaper than universal coverage.

• Wish Five: I want loads of infrastructure spending. Instead of outsourcing our jobs to Santa's workshop, how about we put Americans back to work and have them build bridges, revitalize outdated schools and construct the green energy technologies for the 21st century?

• Wish Six: I want Joe Leiberman to be stripped of his committee chairmanship. Since Obama didn't have the stones to stand up to this Droopy Dog wannabe, then maybe Santa Clause will put him in his place and give him the coal he so rightfully deserves.

Dave Lombardo is a senior political science major who knows that there can be miracles when you believe.

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