Thursday, November 23, 2006
22 down - 26 to go
Given that the GOP is now the minority and given that the GOP isn't even interested in completing spending bills any longer, Bush will really lack any substantial support from Congress for the next two years. A complete lack of will on the GOP's part now.
- Trade - pretty weak effort on the Vietnam trade bill. A clear indication of how little support Bush has, how little enthusiasm this lame duck Congress has to accomplish anything, and how free trade is going to have difficulty fighting the protectionist groundswell of this period.
- Deficit - latest i've read has the deficit declining to $247B & 2.0% of GDP. Close to cutting in half the highest deficit. Of course, the expectation is that the deficit starts going up next Fiscal Year because of our aging population (Medicare drugs & Social Security).
- Iraq - what can the Baker group propose? One last college try with additional troops? Regardless of whether we stay, Iraq's future is bleak. The majority of Iraqis want us out so it's time to go. Put up a referendum to save face, or put together some schedule for withdrawal. Leave a line of credit to the government and see if you can convince the Kurds to allow a small listening post to remain. But leave - our presence is causing more harm than good now, so go.
- Hillary vs. Warner wager looks like a loser. Really don't know who can stop Hillary from the nomination now. Of course Muskie was the front runner in '72 so it doesn't always work out, but who has the $$$ and name recognition to defeat her for the Dem nomination?
- Troop level is the only other wager that looks a little iffy. Bush will not want to concede defeat, but will instead want to pass on the problems with Iraq to his successor, so still expect to win my wager that we'll have 50,000 troops there, but with this most recent election, that wager is in more doubt than i would have thought a few months ago.
At this point, not sure what Bush can accomplish for the remainder of his term. Immigration reform is the best bet since the Dems are largely in agreement with Bush concerning amnesty & guest worker program. Beyond that, what other common ground do the Dems have with Bush?
This post is a few days late, but hopefully finds all in good spirits none-the-less - a happy t-day to all.