Monday, April 28, 2008
39 down - 9 to go
- The US deaths have remained static in the ~35/month range. There's no reason to believe that there will be much variation for the remainder of Bush's term as the troop levels will remain roughly where they are 140,000 for the rest of his term.
- Deficit - any fiscal conservative out there has to be disappointed with Bush's approach to the deficit. Shell out $160,000,000,000 to hopefully Keynesian goose the economy out of its doldrums. Does this mean that every recession from now on, we help ourselves to the government trough to buy our way out? The estimates i've read for this fiscal year's deficit are roughly $400B or roughly the highest deficit in nominal terms of Bush's presidency. Obviously my metric was poorly written - not specifying %GDP or what time frame - but it's hard to view Bush as a success fiscally as the deficits will be quite high for years to come.
- Trade - CAFTA was the best Bush could produce and now the country clearly has a protectionist bent, albeit mostly against Mexico and not Saudi Arabia or China (believe our worst deficits are with those 2 nations, but too tired & unsuccessful to find the correct link tonight).
Obama & Wright - given how calculating politicians are, I'm a bit surprised that Obama stayed with Wright so long. Seems like it would have dawned on him that being with a bombastic and outlandish "spiritual mentor" would hurt his political chances. Hit & Run wrote a defence - who doesn't have a friend with loony beliefs ("U.S. government had created AIDS") - and that's true. I work with one fellow who 'has doubts' about whether we landed on the moon, but I'm not running for president and usually someone running for president creates a facade that will hold up well enough while running for office. At this point, Obama doesn't have any good options - you can't really dis your 'spiritual mentor' but he's back dominating another few news cycles meaning that anything else you have to offer is being drowned out.
Would still give the Dems 55% probability of winning - McCain is basically below the radar now, but once the general campaign starts, his negatives (basically no domestic policy beyond "veto ear marks") will increase as he gets more scrutiny.