Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Ten For '09

And now, ten things I wish would happen in 2009, but won't.
  1. CNN's Ruben Navarette will stop rationalizing the GOP's institutionalized racism.
  2. Dick Cheney will write a tell all book about how stupid Dubya really is.
  3. Mike Huckabee will leave politics for good and start a band.
  4. Obama will lose his temper. Once. Just once. That's all it will take.
  5. Five words: Super Bowl Champion Carolina Panthers.
  6. NBC will bring back John Laroquette in his own show. Again.
  7. The Ghostbusters video game will not only be on time, but it'll kick serious ass.
  8. Same goes for Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3.
  9. Quiznos brings back the Triple Q sub.
  10. Obama fixes the universe.
Would be nice, huh.

The Million Dollar Question

The question isn't "What the hell is Blagojevich thinking?" but, as John Cole brilliantly points out:
Not to be too much of a smart-ass, but since when has anyone ever paid a political price for going against Harry Reid? Has it ever happened? On the other hand, Jane may be right. In my limited time as a Democrat it sure does seem like the only time Democrats take a stand is when they are attacking… another Democrat. And, if you ask Joe Lieberman, they don’t even do it very well then.

As to Blagojevich, it really isn’t that ballsy of a move at all. The only thing he has going for him right now is the legitimate power he commands as governor. Democrats hate him. Republicans hate him. His approval ratings are lower than Bush. Patrick Fitzgerald has him by the short hairs on tape. All he can do is keep insisting he is innocent and act as if nothing has happened. He really has no other options.

And there you go. Everything you need to know about Rod Blagojevich is summed up by the fact Harry Reid is a spineless twit. The one thing the GOP does better than the Democrats is enforce party order. Once again, the Dems look like morons because the party leadership gets called on their bluff and then does exactly nothing about it. The GOP has been doing this to the Dems for years, and apparently Blagojevich was actually paying attention.

Go figure. Just seat Roland Burris already and be done with it.

Alberto Gonzales: Professional Victim

Steve Benen nails it.

GONZALES FEELS SORRY FOR HIMSELF.... Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales left office in disgrace 16 months ago, and has kept a low profile since. His reputation has not improved in the interim -- Gonzales has struggled to find a law firm willing to hire him -- but at least he hasn't said or done anything ridiculous since his departure from public life.

Gonzales, however, is apparently interested in some kind of comeback. The former A.G. is writing a book about his tenure in the Bush administration and chatted with the Wall Street Journal about how mean everyone has been to him.

"What is it that I did that is so fundamentally wrong, that deserves this kind of response to my service?" he said during an interview Tuesday, offering his most extensive comments since leaving government.

During a lunch meeting two blocks from the White House, where he served under his longtime friend, President George W. Bush, Mr. Gonzales said that "for some reason, I am portrayed as the one who is evil in formulating policies that people disagree with. I consider myself a casualty, one of the many casualties of the war on terror."

Is Gonzales really that confused about what he did that was "so fundamentally wrong"? I suppose he proved during multiple congressional hearings that his memory is similar to that of someone who's suffered serious head trauma, but Gonzales' list of scandals is hard to forget.

Just off the top of my head, there was the U.S. Attorney purge scandal, Gonzales signing torture memos, his conduct in John Ashcroft's hospital room, his oversight of a Justice Department that was engaged in widespread employment discrimination, and his gutting of the DoJ's Civil Rights Division. Gonzales was even investigated by the department's Inspector General on allegations of perjury and obstruction.

On warrantless-searches, the Military Commissions Act, policy on detainees at Guantanamo Bay, and the Geneva Conventions, Gonzales was a disaster. On managing the Justice Department, he filled his staff with Pat Robertson acolytes, feigned ignorance while structural disasters unfolded, and showed shocking tolerance for corruption and politicization of a department that, for the benefit of the nation and the rule of law, needed to maintain independence.

And I'll add a hearty "screw you" to Gonzo and ask him to stand in the same room with the family of any of our troops or any of the 9/11 families, any Iraqi, Afghan, Pakistani family that got bombed, or the family of any of the millions killed since 9/11 and say to their face that he believes he is a casualty.

The Ought Nine Outlook

As promised, my predictions for 2009:
  1. Obama's stimulus package is passed, but it makes Bush's tax cuts permanent. It fails to do much of anything and real unemployment rises dramatically as entire malls close across the country and millions in retail lose their jobs.
  2. The S&P 500 indeed drops to 500. The Dow hovers around the 5k mark. A number of banks go under and are bought out and merged. The financial sector sits on the TARP money and housing prices continue to tumble. Another bank bailout is passed, and it fuels a major wave of bank consolidation across the country. Job losses in the sector for the year approach 250,000.
  3. Benjamin Netanyahu is elected Israeli PM, and Israel bombs Iranian "nuclear sites", forcing a very ugly global confrontation. The US backs Israel, and Iraq and Afghanistan spiral out of control as a result. Reprisal attacks against American interests if not the US itself rage on.
  4. GM closes its doors, putting hundreds of thousands out of work. Chrysler is spared barely, merging with Ford, and the remaining automakers band together to share suppliers. Still, layoffs in the rust belt states are brutal, with real unenployment in Michigan hitting 25%.
  5. Universal health care fails to pass at all thanks to Blue Dog Democrats and prime-time commercials showing huge lines outside ER rooms and doctor's offices. As a result, Tom Daschle resigns his cabinet position. The bill that does pass is a gift package to Big Pharma that greatly curtails generic drugs.
  6. California, New York, and Michigan declare bankruptcy. Essential government services in those states will be shut down for a time while Washington drags its ass. Other states will begin to ask for billions in bailout money.
  7. The resulting riots in a major American city forces Obama to call in the Army. At least one GOP lawmaker will publicly say Obama should be impeached for doing so. Bonus points if that lawmaker turns out to be somebody other than Ron Paul.
  8. The Blagojevich appointment of former Illinois AG Burris to Obama's old seat and the Senate's refusal to seat him causes nothing but problems for the Dems as Burris v. United States reaches the Supreme Court. The Senate loses the case. Burris is greatly pressured by the Dems to resign once the state law in Illinois is changed to accomodate a special election and/or Blagojevich is impeached and removed...that is if the impeachment doesn't go to the Supreme court too.
  9. Vladimir Putin once again becomes President of Russia and makes his move demanding the Eurozone pay up for oil and gas. Oil goes to $80 a barrel.
  10. At least one major assassination attempt on Obama's life is made/broken up as he is blamed for the miserable economy, the riots, and the job losses. The country rallies for a while around him, but the GOP sets the table for taking back Congress in 2010.
Here's hoping I'm wrong.


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