Monday, January 23, 2006
If Bush really only has 2½ years in his second term (read that ascribed to Bush/Rove), then 40% of his effective second term has already passed, and time won't slow up for him.
The biggest news of course is the Alito hearings, which will have a subtler effect than folks are now imagining. Obviously Kelo v. New London will not be overturned, nor will Raich v. Ashcroft. Happily, Gonzales v. Oregon will not have to be overturned. Part of the problem in making predictions is the inconsistency in the court members - once again quoting David Bernstein
It seems we do to some extent live under a system where the personal preferences of the Justices, having nothing to do with the history, text, or logic of the Constitution, dictate when the Supreme Court will or will not intervene to overturn particular regulations.
In both the medical marijuana & assisted suicide cases, Scalia voted against states' rights. Only O'Connor voted for states' rights in both cases. Have read some comments (can't remember which posting) that Thomas only voted for Gonzales because he was angry about the contradiction with Raich. Sounds petulant to vote against your true beliefs, but I can believe it. Have noticed that in the three cases above, Thomas wrote his own dissent - seems that both Scalia & Thomas are obsessed with caustic dissents. Roberts in his first important case voted against states' rights and for the executive branch. Not a promising initial vote.
Back to my usual metrics:
- Iraq - over 60 US military fatalities in the month since the election, and this month continues the same trend.
- Deficit - well the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 $40B over 5 years in just noise.
- Doha Round - haven't heard anymore about some bill making its way to the president, so will be curious if a trade bill actually shows up before Bush's fast track authority runs out.
What has surprised me about Bush is his priorities. After Social Security hit the rocks, his priority seemed to be immigration plan, which his own party opposes. Actually I'm not sure of what Bush's priority is. Pass Patriot Act? Toss a bone to the anti-abortionists? Doesn't seem to be a top priority to his legislative agenda or even his presidency today.
Wagers? Nothing really to update. OBL is still putting out tapes; no draft on the horizon; our troop levels in Iraq are still above 100,000 with no inkling that they will decrease until some political wangling by the new government is completed; Hillary's latest snafu stirred up the usual dust.