Sunday, August 21, 2005

7 down - 41 to go

Obviously Camp Casey could only merit its media coverage because Bush's second term agenda is mired in a quagmire. Cannot recall the last mention of Social Security reform or tax reform or the Clear Skies initiative. Two term presidents don't happen that often (having three out of four presidents serve 2 full terms hasn't happened since Madison, Monroe & Jackson!), so hard for me to compare Bush to his predecessors.

In Clinton's 2nd term the foolish impeachment & effemeral stock market bubble dominated. For Reagan Iran-Contra was the dominant topic for the last half of his 2nd term, but Reagan did have 2 notable achievements in the tax reform act of 1986 (who's benefits have largely though unsurprisingly evaporated since its passage) and the INF treaty. Too young to have memories of Eisenhower, but cannot recall reading of any major accomplishments during either of his terms, and Sherman Adams's mini-scandal was the key topic covered in my Poly Sci class on presidential history for Ike's second term.

Updating my criteria to judge Bush's second term:

"We have a problem here... there is one group who wants a 21st century constitution and there is another group who wants a seventh century constitution," ...."Unfortunately, America is looking at both the groups with the same eye. They just want the draft to be ready on time."

and that the issues still unresolved are: the constitutional role of Islam; women's rights; the distribution of future oil revenues; and the creation of an enormous Shia "superregion" in southern Iraq. (Best 2 commentaries I've read are from the Whiskey bar via TodayinIraq).

Still enjoying the Rusty Nail winnings from my last wager, but will have to nurs my single malt until 2008-2009 when my next wagers come due. Really not sure what would make anyone wager that Osama Bin Laden would be caught, or that the draft will be started anew. Now wagering on troop levels in Iraq being down to 30,000 by 2009 makes more sense, given the lack of popular support for the war. I can easily see Bush declaring victory & cutting our troops to some minimal level, even if I can't tell if the comments about major troop reductions next years are serious or a smokescreen. Have read little to give me confidence that an Iraqi army can maintain security any better than the US army has so far. Only updates on Hillary are Jeanine Pirro's challenge which I expect to be as self-defeating as Rudy's or Vic's.

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