S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Picking up on Predictions

Several species of plants and animals, that could be protected for very little money, face being wiped off the face of the earth. The BBC highlights a conservation coalition's list of 800 species that are highly endangered. Though far from our consciousness these living things live with us on a shrinking planet, and we are more and more interconnected. These species can, in a way, be seen as our "canaries in the coal mine," warnings about dangers that will come more close to home if we continue to ignore the fragility of our global environment.

When there is warning that something bad might happen, it is sometimes possible to act to prevent a predicted event from coming true. The beginning of a New Year is the time when we often look forward with either dread or anticipation to happenings that may affect our future lives. Here is my shot at picking up on a few realities that may have a bearing on issues in which I have an interest.

Robert Tanner for AP lists a number of new state laws starting today that may indicate what people will be most concerned about in 2006. Among the issues highlighted by these new laws are:
  • Identity theft and misuse of personal information (Illinois, New Jersey, Virginia, Minnesota)
  • Restrictions on sex offenders (Michigan)
  • Limits on paparazzi (California)
  • Health care (Missouri, Nevada, Wisconsin)
  • "Clean" elections (Oregon, Connecticut)
  • Human trafficking (Illinois)
  • Pressure on illegal immigrants (Virginia)
  • Highway safety (Oregon Florida, Tennessee)
  • Tax cuts (Oklahoma, New York, Florida, Nevada, West Virginia)
  • Ethics of politicians, limits on lobbyists (Florida)

Tom DeLay's troubles will not be over soon. It looks like lobbyist Jack Abramoff will soon plead guilty and begin to talk about his clients. And Mr. DeLay will not be returning to the House Leadership

An organization with close ties to Rep. Tom DeLay was funded largely by corporations associated with former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, the Washington Post reported on Saturday, citing tax records and quoting former associates of the group.
Tax records, other documents and interviews bring into question the purpose of the U.S. Family Network, which functioned mostly by collecting funds from domestic and foreign businesses whose interests coincided with DeLay's activities while he was serving as House majority whip from 1995 to 2002, and as majority leader from 2002 until the end of September, the paper wrote.

It looks like our current president will be focusing on the U.S. economy and Iraq elections as so-called "good news" early in 2006. In his most recent radio address, according to Reuters,

President George W. Bush wound down a difficult year plagued by instability in Iraq and political scandal in Washington by citing progress toward democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan and a strong U.S. economy. In his weekly radio address on Saturday, New Year's Eve, Bush said "2005 has been a year of strong progress toward a freer, more peaceful world and a more prosperous America."
But it was a year in which Bush faced sharp criticism for his handling of the Iraq war, methods for fighting terrorism, and the administration's slow response to Hurricane Katrina.
Bush, who advocates spreading democracy in the Middle East, praised the elections in Iraq and Afghanistan, and pledged that the United States would not abandon the two countries.

I predict that our current President will be confronted by an increasingly energized Congressional coalition (very loose) of conservative Republicans and exorcised Democrats as he exercises his "robust" executive style of rule. In recent months he has been forced to back down on issues which he intially declared as nonnegotiable. This pattern will continue, particularly in the area of national security and conduct of the so-called war on terrorism. But I believe he will have a victory with the successful appointment of Judge Sam Alito to the United States Supreme Court.

In a subsequent post I will tackle predictions about the midterm elections.



Fayrouz said...

Happy New Year. May year 2006 makes your dreams come true.

Carol Gee said...

Fay, and the very same to you! I am glad for your writings and the richness of what you bring to the blogosphere. Thanks for your wishes for my dreams, also. I'll e-mail you with the rest of what I want to say . . . for now, cheers