Even then, I'd offer you're still selecting down beat blogs. Any given year, a person so inclined is going to find information that validates their view.
It's one of the shortcomings of the internet: people tend to tune into what validates their views and then everything else goes away.
The broader financial sentiment going into 2006 is positive. The stock market is up. Real wages are finally pulling out of their nose dive.
I'd stuggle to believe that a Democratic Congress isn't going to make the best attempt possible to impose some fiscal discipline. Any sign that the US government's burnthrough rate on money is ending will strengthen the dollar.
Couple that to strong employment figures, and it is hard to believe that 2006 is going to be awful year economically for anyone in the US.
The truth is, this economy has weathered the most awful form of incompetence possible. With some light now at the end of the tunnel, this economy has a good chance.
I'm sorry, but is there a reason Dems have to be rooting for the economy to fail?
There are structural reasons why the US economy persists despite doomsaying. For example, 4.5% unemployment makes it nearly impossible for the economy to just roll over and play dead. While the US dollar is weak, and Bush's weak dollar policy was an awful idea, the US economy is still the end point of the world economy not the starting point. With the world economy thriving, and cheaper energy on the horizon, combined with business having faith in fiscal hawk Dems...
You get the point.
Stop doomsaying the economy just because you want Bush to fail. It makes Democrats look like the defeatists that Republicans claim we are.
Worse, if the economy improves, it reduces our credibility in claiming it was our fault.
Have you ever read Saddam's full biography? The longer you leave this man alive, the more likely you leave open the chance for him to escape.
A significant part of the Iraqi myth of Saddam centered on the facts of his many escapes from tough scrapes. There had to be a level of discomfort involved for everyone who grew up with that myth, wondering if today was going to be the day he pulled it off and somehow got away from custody.
Even if he never did escape, the tension of such a possibility was unfair to the Iraqi people.
Look, I'm one of the people who figures hanging Saddam while we're screwing up Iraq is still better than not hanging him as long as we're gonna be there.
Was the war a stupid idea? Sure.
Is hanging Saddam while you have the chance a stupid idea? Hardly.
Even as a death penalty opponent, I feel you have to reserve the death penalty for the most obvious and outlandish crimes.
For the most part, I'd offer treason as the only acceptable death penalty crime. But, I have a pretty open-ended view of treason that would consider crimes against the people to constitute treason. Therefore, hanging Saddam is just dandy in my view.
I mean, in truth, all we did was expedite the process of sending the man to hell. Disappointingly, we sent Iraq to hell with him.
I'd also offer that Saddam is a particularly unique case in the category of "kill your enemies while you have the chance". This is a man who frequently has escaped capture, and it is absurd to suggest anything less than executing him while we have the chance.
I think it will have a positive effect in Iraq.
It finalizes the end of a regime for the Sunnis -- many of whom, admittedly, were gaming to take Saddam's job for years. The true Saddam loyalists are going to have to find somewhere else to hang their hats. Short of a Louis Napoleon sort of scenario, the odds of Iraq returning to a Stalinist-type regime are pretty slim.
For the Shi'ites, it may be cathartic. One hopes that perhaps putting the bastard to rest once and for all will give the Shi'ites a sense that the system is finally working for them.
The Kurds I doubt care. They have a plan, independence, and they're sticking with it no matter how much they enjoy watching Saddam perish.
In the long, this will likely make a small dent, not a big dent. But, that said, at this stage Iraq can use a small dent in the problem as well as anything.
Because, as we all know, Wall Street brokers are earning absolutely every penny of those bonuses.
Honestly? At some point this is a conversation America needs to have.
Why is "needs based" so evil? It's half the reason that things like New Orleans happen -- because we don't think "needs based" means shit until bodies are floating out into the Gulf of Mexico. And even then, "needs based" has more to do with the government's need to keep pictures of dead black people off the TV, than it does with helping anyone.
Does anyone seriously believe that in a country with 4.4% unemployment (and dropping) that it would trigger an economic backlash to go with needs based systems?
There is a point where the Republicans need to be made to confess their motivations for what they do have nothing to do with anything except being assholes and appealing to assholes.
While I understand the argument for avoiding it (and I'm sure Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi wouldn't even ponder a needs based system), I do wonder how much of the soul of the Democratic Party should be traded for having a big happy hugfest with a bunch of pricks who fully intend to destroy Social Security whether it is needs based or not.
To be square, the cap on SocSec should be a hell of a lot higher. Any privatization should be resisted and considered beside the issue when it comes to the idea of raising the cap.
Why not use that combination to push for a bit of good old commie redistribution of wealth? Raise the SocSec cap, and then cut the amount lower wage earners pay in.
I'm sure it wouldn't be the end of the WalMart world if things worked out that way. Somewhere in all these record earnings report there has to be a couple dollars for the people who make the earnings possible.
I'm in that group who would strongly prefer a governor. Unless someone like Rendell, Spitzer or maybe even Schweitzer pulls something unexpected, Vilsack and Richardson are the only serious governors in this thing.
I never particularly like Hillary, and I refuse to support an on-going dual-monarchy of the Clintons and the Bushes.
Obama needs to impress me more, and so far he's been a joke. A great voice doesn't make you a great leader, especially with what the President will face in January 2009.
Edwards... ditto, with maybe a little less cynicism as credit for at least developing a strong narrative of what he wants for America.
Just as folks have spent years foreshadowing McCain's transition to some politics of national unity, I think people are missing the mark on Lieberman.
These guys are egomaniacs for sure, but they have a strange partisan bent where they think they have to save their political party from ... well ... something.
In McCain's case, something has crystallized into ram-rodding the GOP into sending more troops into Iraq. He's won the argument on some level, but I suspect 20-40,000 more troops greatly disappoints McCain, who has always had a fucked up goal of introducing impressment under the guise of "national service".
McCain is convinced everyone on the planet except him is a babbling pussy in need of a spine transplant.
Lieberman I think is a bit more complex. One, I think Lieberman believes his civil rights legacy gives him a claim to a broad chunk of the donkey brand. Two, Lieberman's complex goes deeper into the party itself.
While McCain is convinced we should start hitting babies in the face to toughen them up, Lieberman is into a deep psychoanalytic view of the Dems at a crossroads.
To put it more simply: McCain is completely fucking nuts; Lieberman is just an egomaniac.
While the Wise Men of Washington who frequently bludgeon us poor Democrats with slop like Joe Lieberman, we should remember these abusive "centrist" jerks have a similar pull to annoy the Republicans.
If the Wise Men get their say, the GOP will try to suck on it and push through with Guiliani.
The problem ultimately for the GOP is gluing their coalition together in a stable fashion.
If it weren't for the Dixiecrats, I'd think the GOP might stand a chance.
While NE business elites are skipping to the Dems, in large thanks to the efforts of Schumer and Rangel, those elites would gladly skip back to the GOP given fair conditions.
The Rockefeller Republicans have to know the song is done playing. If they didn't before Chaffee fell, they know now. Those Republicans will be lost to the party for at least half a century at the soonest.
The Reagan Democrats are flocking back to the Dems fast, thanks mostly to Bush ruining the GOP on the national security issue.
And fiscal hawks have to be looking for the hemlock when they consider the Dems their best hope.
The only core of the GOP that's going to stay in place are the conservative wing of the Wise Men. This means the "Great Nation" Teddy Roosevelt-wannabe Republicans who slobber all over McCain. The problem is that Teddy's policy was perpetual international war without end. Not exactly a winning strategy in 2008.
In truth, the Dems only fear is there is a dark horse we are missing, kind of the way the Republicans never saw Clinton coming in 1992.
Given the GOP's penchant to telegraph their winners years in advance, I don't see that happening.
In the end, I think they'll nominate St. McCain for lack of anyone better. And they'll pay the price as McCain will make Bush's views on Iraq look downright pacifist.