Sunday, October 22, 2006
21 down - 27 to go
The upcoming mid-term elections and increased US death toll in Iraq have dominated the news recently. It's still hard to believe that the Dems will actually control the house come next January, but with each passing day & lack of some GOP good news, it's becoming harder not to be less cautiously optimistic.
- Deficit - looking back, i had stated cutting the deficit in half $220B. In hindsight, I should have used % of GDP, which would have meant cutting the deficit from 3.6% of GDP to 1.8% of GDP. I should also have stated whether the deficit had to be cut for any fiscal year, or for the final fiscal year of Bush's administration. It does appear that FY 2006, the deficit will be very close to 1.8% of GDP, but then will increase for FY 2007-2009. Still of the metrics given, it looks like Bush will come very close to accomplishing this goal.
- Trade - Doha's dead, so not much more to say. Will skip this metric for future monthly postings unless some noteworthy item comes to light.
- Iraq - there's little that I can add to Riverbend's latest posting "We literally do not know a single Iraqi family that has not seen the violent death of a first or second-degree relative these last three years. Abductions, militias, sectarian violence, revenge killings, assassinations, car-bombs, suicide bombers, American military strikes, Iraqi military raids, death squads, extremists, armed robberies, executions, detentions, secret prisons, torture, mysterious weapons – with so many different ways to die, is the number so far fetched?" I can hope that the Dems will push for a referendum in Iraq for the US to set a timeline for withdrawal. The vast majority of Iraqis want our occupation to end, so it's time to choose the best of the bad options available and go - set a timeline for withdrawal once the referendum passes. Give the government a $100B line of credit. If the Kurds are o.k. with a small US base as listening post, leave one.
This portion of my post was just blown away by blogspot as i tried to save it to make sure that blogspot would not blow it away. Dang.
- Have obviously lost any chance of winning my Mark Warner wager since he dropped out on the 12th. Can only hope that some anti-Hillary keeps me from losing my first wager to jj.
- US troop levels in Iraq, despite Baker's Iraq Study Group, I just can't see Bush withdrawing US troops below 50,000 by the end of his term.
- No draft,
- no Osama,
- no Israel attack on Iran by 2013,
- no Kurdistan recognized by UN by 2011 - all appear to be safe wagers.