Thursday, July 20, 2006

18 down - 30 to go

Israel vs. Hamas & Hezbollah dominates the news now, but the violence in Iraq hasn't diminished - it's just been displaced. Given the torrent of words and resolutions and conjectures to date, I have nothing that I can add concerning Israel and its current low level war.

I guess that the same is true for the majority of my updates. Iraq would be better off without us, but we'll stay through the next 30 months. Only 17 more months before the next round of candidates have to start making public their stand (Stay the Course vs. cut-and-run). So far the two front runners, McCain & Hillary, are both Stay-the-Course types. Guess the rest will have to make a stand late 2007.

Trade - read an amusing article about the metaphors in use by the WTO.
Since then, the Geneva-based body has approached "the point of no return," reached "the edge of the cliff," "crossed the Rubicon" and faced its share of "do-or-die" deadlines. The WTO's current chief Pascal Lamy has alternately described himself as the organization's shepherd, nurse, midwife and conductor. He is also fond of referring to the round as a marathon or a jet plane, and the organization as a football team. Does that suggest that he is the pacesetter, pilot or coach?

Guess if they can't succeed in a deal, they can at least pontificate.

Deficit prediction for this fiscal year currently runs at $296B. Not sure what percentage of GDP that equates to, but it's roughly 2/3rds of the record $413B and the GDP hasn't grown that much in the past 1½ years, so I'm certain that it's still noticeably above 1.8% of GDP.

No update on wagers beyond my wager that Bush would not pardon Ken Lay is now null & void as is Mr. Lay himself.

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