Tuesday, March 21, 2006

14 down - 34 to go

Bush's 2nd term is proving to be amazing listless. Little more than a rehash of the arguments that have been going on for the past few years, with Bush playing defence and problems being kicked downstream. Can't believe that I'm the only American who wants to hit the fast forward button until 2 years have past because nothing substantive is going to happen before the next president takes office.

What has surprised me is how Bush has lost his deft political touch of his first term. Even admitting that tax cuts, drug entitlements & war are easy sells to our populace, Bush showed legislative acumen gaining approval for the Medicare drug entitlement and tax cuts - an acumen that seems to have completely deserted him in his second term. The UAE ports deal showed an incredible tin ear - how could your staff have not let you know that here's an issue that might kick up a shitstorm. Perhaps Bush was spoiled by the success of his first term & believed that he could continue to have his way with Congress and popular opinion, and now doesn't know how to adopt beyond staunching the bleeding.

By contrast Reagan's 2nd term had tax reform, Iran-Contra, and the INF treaty. Clinton's had his impeachment and Kosovo. Something positive and something entertaining for both presidents if not historic.

Iraq: not sure why the 3 year anniversary has prompted so many retrospective postings compared to the previous anniversaries, but the words have bleed out for days now. US soldier death tolls are down, but Iraq itself is in a low level civil war, and we'll be along for the ride for at least the next 3 years. After that I'll have to predict some peace with honor approach from Bush's successor (see wager below) while leaving some token force for appearances.

Wagers: The NYTimes magazine section had a cover article on my boy Mark Warner. Overall mixed article - basically saying that Hillary's money & Q-factor only allowed 1 serious Dem challenger. Very unappealing photo on the front cover of the magazine as well that oddly "rendered colors incorrectly for the jacket, shirt and tie worn by Mark Warner, the former Virginia governor who is a possible candidate for the presidency. The jacket was charcoal, not maroon; the shirt was light blue, not pink; the tie was dark blue with stripes, not maroon."

Bush's recent comment gives me confidence that I'll win the wager on troop size (minimum of 50,000) by the end of his term.

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