Monday, February 20, 2006

13 down - 35 to go

The static 2nd term continues. Basically Bush has been playing defence for a month on wiretaps and Gitmo and Medicare drugs and Katrina and hunting accidents and well you can fill in the blanks. I can't recall the last mention of any substantial legislation even incubating. Shouldn't tax reform start to gain some attention? Guest worker plan? Truly an auto-pilot administration these days, which still surprises me a bit. What happened to the ambitious 2nd term agenda? Social Security failed, so why not move on to Plan B or even C? A rhetorical question.

Still events make me wish for a fast forward button to 2 years from now, when the next set of candidates are the focus, and Bush approaches the end of his time in government.

Back to the metrics:

Iraq: the US death toll was 51 for the past month, and the other metrics such as oil & electricity are still below pre-war levels. Overall the news is slow from Iraq, and I've heard little debate about how things are going or what to do in the future, so Iraq has reached a steady-state point.

Trade: Of the 3 metrics, Bush has scored the best here. Admittedly Doha round is lessened its expectations, and Hong Kong left the hard work for 2006. "Let's just be blunt about it." but it's on trade that Bush has some modest achievements this term.

Deficit reduction: Even McCain is getting in on the act and dogs are getting Kevlar vests so I have few illusions that this Congress is going to cut more than 0.5% of the budget.


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