Looking into the Cloudy Ball

Thursday, April 15, AD 2010

Tax day is a day when all Americans are reminded about the importance of politics and think about the importance of the political future so they can adjust their budgets accordingly. Most of the time in politics we have a reasonably good idea of what’s going on: what the issues are going to be, who the favorites in the next election are, who are the main blocs, etc. Of course, there are always surprises and upsets.

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13 Responses to Looking into the Cloudy Ball

  • I think the GOP can count on solid tea party support in the Fall. In many states the dead line to get on the ballot is approaching or passed, and, in any case, there has been little movement by tea party members to run third party candidates. The big problem for the GOP will be if they win a huge victory in November with crucial tea party assistance, which I expect, and then proceed with business as usual. In that case I do anticipate a tea party third party in 2012.

    The post by Morning’s Minion, which you linked to, thanking God that John McCain is not president was a hoot! A weak defense indeed of the South Side Messiah!

  • Don:

    I hadn’t talked about the Tea Party as a potential third party, but I think you’re right. The Tea Party is largely built on the emotional resistance to Obama and I think the Tea Party will do its best to defeat Obama and Democrats. I would imagine they’ll stick with the GOP until at least Obama’s defeat and then perhaps start a separate party if they’re unsatisfied with the results.

    However, which candidate the Tea party will back in the Presidential primaries is anyone’s guess. Palin? Someone like Scott Brown? Will they go ideology or the best chance at winning?

  • “However, which candidate the Tea party will back in the Presidential primaries is anyone’s guess. Palin? Someone like Scott Brown? Will they go ideology or the best chance at winning?”

    At this point I am beginning to think that Palin is looking at 2016. Brown I think isn’t looking at the Presidency at all, but is completely concentrated on Massachusetts where the political revolution he initiated is gathering momentum. I think that 2012 may well be the year of someone who is little known now, at least by the general public. From the GOP standpoint it is essential that the standard bearer be someone who can cause great enthusiasm among the tea partiers.

  • From the GOP standpoint it is essential that the standard bearer be someone who can cause great enthusiasm among the tea partiers.

    Seems unlikely with Romney and Huckabee as the frontrunners. But a lot can change in two or three years.

  • The articel seems to presume that, absent the ominous “Tea Party threat,” the Republican Party would naturally sweep to victory in November, then immediately set about setting things right. Wrong! If the recent history of the American body politic says anything, it says that the parties are both more intersted in having and expanding power, rather than necessarily using power for good.

    Without the Tea Party threat, the repubs are nothing but a shade or so removed from the Dems on the critical life issues; the country club repubs most definitely want pro-lifers to go away.
    In my adult days, only once has the repub party used a majority to try to limit government expenditures and reduce the interfering influence of government in the daily lives of citizens; and ultimately, they abandoned the effort.
    Neither party can lay claim to a corner on “social justice” issues. At least not if one takes the position that forced taxpayer largesse in the social programs MUST be able to boast of resounding success in return for the now truly collossal expenditure of funds involved.

  • although not a memember of the so called tea party..people are rightly concerned that if the spending contiunes the chances of having a debt that requires a one trillion dollar interest per year will occur. the problem as i view is that we need a congress that will pass a bill demanding a balance budget each year and get rid of those bills that do not create jobs or add to an already explosive deficit and to develop a foreign policy with teeth and not just words and one that quits trying to tell people how to live. we fought one king for that right and it appears we have another trying to tell us the sme thing.

  • Kevin:

    The articel seems to presume that, absent the ominous “Tea Party threat,” the Republican Party would naturally sweep to victory in November, then immediately set about setting things right.

    Wrong on both counts though I don’t think that’s obvious from this post. I think the Republicans did a fine job of messing things up long before “Tea Party” was thought up and so would have complications going into November (i.e. the residual effects of the Bush presidency). Nor do I think the republicans would set things right, though i hope especially on issues of SCOTUS nominations and abortion funding they would be able to provide some corrections.

    My point in discussing the Tea Party was that, especially in considering 2012, they provide a variable. We don’t know what kind of effect they will have and so it is hard to predict how elections will turn out.

    afl:

    develop a foreign policy with teeth and not just words and one that quits trying to tell people how to live.

    Beware that the foreign policies with teeth (such as Bush’s) are often the ones that are based on the premise that the United States has a moral responsibility to spread democracy & its principles i.e. tell people how to live.

  • MD,
    Okay, if you say that was your point, I must believe you. But if the democrats remain in control of the house in December of this year, the political game is up. No amount of right thinking in 2012 will serve any good purpose if the leak in the dike is not stopped now.
    Those of you who think that politics, carried out with the Constitution in the fundamentally fractured state it is in now, can answer the mail are probably fooling yourselves.
    What was it Gandolf said? “The board is set, the pieces are moving, the final battle for Middle Earth has begun.”
    God help us all!

  • I don’t think any of the presumed GOP candidates (Huck, Palin, Romney) will win the nomination. I think it will be someone who catches fire–like a Paul Ryan or a conservative governor.

  • The fact that they’re more educated and wealthier may just be a reflection of the fact that they tend to be white, male, and old.

    The NY Times pool reveals some other interesting facts. Most Tea Partiers favor at least civil unions for gay couples, most favor legal abortions, and most don’t go to church regularly. Most like Palin but don’t think she would make a good president!

    My money was on Romney before this whole Tea Party thing. Huckabee and Romney have fiscally liberal records which voters may not forgive. Palin is talking up Romney though so Tea Partiers may forgive his past. The liberal elite find Romney to be the least objectionable.

    Gingrich’s negatives are too high. He’d be unelectable in the general election.

    Ron Paul is polling well but he can’t win the GOP nomination.

    A lot of excitement around Marco Rubio but he’s not even Senator yet and he’s only 38. Maybe 2016.

  • Romney is a political chameleon and I doubt if he will get the nomination in 2012. Paul is going no place slowly. Gingrich is only formidable as a talk show guest. The Huckster should stick with his show on Fox. I think Palin, as I stated earlier, is waiting for 2016. Rubio is a man to watch closely, but his year is not 2012. The New York Times poll of tea partiers is as worthless as most of what appears in that poor excuse for a fish wrapper.

  • Intrade has Romney in first followed closely by Palin. In third is John Thune. Others fall way behind. Oh how far Jindal has fallen…

    Intrade also gives the Democrats slightly better odds of retaining control of the House.

    Bad news in New York. Neither Guiliani nor Pataki will challenge Gillibrand.

  • As a twenty-something male I find the whole situation depressing. When you have Romney and Palin ahead in the poles for the Republicans and I guess, um…, Obama for the Dems, you really have to fool yourself to see anything bright in the future. The way I look at it we just have to hope that our pilot was the one who was sitting at the bar before departure who only had three whiskeys instead of five. I really am sorry for it but this nation has become the fruit of a more and more Godless society. Even though we have statistics that comfort us in being a Christian nation, the label “Christianity” is about as broad as Conservatism or Liberalism. Fact of the matter is that unless there is some major miraculous turn around in the faith of the people of this nation and their education in that faith, we will be sentenced to suffer the consequences of such a society. However, conversation such as in this com box and in the greater political arena is still necessary. I may not have much faith in the future of this country but I do realize that you have to go down swinging.

Predictions for 2010

Tuesday, December 29, AD 2009

Here are my predictions for 2010.  I hope I have a better track record than I did for my predictions for 2009.

1.   The Republicans will take back the House in November, either outright on election day, or through party switches between election day and the swearing in of the new Congress in 2011.

2.   The Republicans will take back the Senate in November, either outright on election day, or through party switches between election day and the swearing in of the new Congress in 2011.  I am assuming that Joe Lieberman will caucus with the Republicans if the Republicans have 50 seats.

3.   The economy will continue in the doldrums next year with the unemployment rate not getting lower than 9%.

4.    Regime change will occur in Iran with the Mullahs being toppled by a popular insurrection.

5.    Pope Benedict’s Anglican Initiative will prove amazingly successful  with ever increasing numbers of Anglicans and Episcopalians swimming the Tiber to participate.

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22 Responses to Predictions for 2010

  • Good predictions there Don. I agree with 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8 (and I bet Illinois is one of them), and, of course, 12 🙂

    I am not so sure about 2, 4, 9, or 10. Or 11. I also would add a #13: there WILL be another successful or at least attempted major terrorist attack on U.S. soil, similar to the Detroit bombing incident or the Fort Hood massacre. They keep trying and sooner or later, unfortunately, they’re going to succeed.

    I will also add a #14: at least one prominent pro-abortion “Catholic” politician will be publically banned from recieving Communion by his or her bishop before year’s end.

  • I agree with you Elaine that doubtless Illinois will be in the forefront of state bankruptcy.

    Another successful attack on the Continental US is probably a safe bet.

    I agree with you on 14, and I would also not be surprised if a Catholic pro-abort political figure decides to recant his or her pro-abort stance. The politics on this issue are beginning to shift, and I can imagine some Catholic pro-abort Democrat from a Red or Purple State deciding to seize the initiative.

  • I’ve got to admit to being highly skeptical on 2. The Democrats are getting trounced right now, but I don’t know if the right set of seats are open for a flip.

    On 7, do you mean Iraq rather than Iran, or are you making a much bigger prediction? 🙂

  • Cold fusion technology! You can already check off a wrong prediction. 🙂

  • I realize Phillip that many people put cold fusion technology in the same category as perpetual motion machines, but I think the technology is attainable. The US Navy has been doing some interesting work in this area, and I think we are getting close.

  • Numbers 1 and 2 are somewhat dependent on number 3. If you’re right about number 3, then I think #1 is a lock and #2 is a possibility, though I still don’t see a 10-seat swing this coming year in the Senate.

  • Okay. I’ll save the smiley face for next year.

  • I have no objection as to smiley faces regarding any of my predictions that do not come to pass! 🙂

  • I hope that 1 and 2 are right. My bet, the GOP and the Blue Dogs will constitute a majority in the House, but the institution will still be run by Speaker Pelosi. The Republicans will take 6 seats in the Senate and pick up one or two converts. We’ll see two years of paralysis in Congress, and Obama will run against the Washington establishment in 2012.

  • ColdFusion technology has indeed improved. Version 9.0 even features an IDE and it’s own ORM.

    (Sorry; it’s my bread and butter, so I couldn’t resist.)

  • I could see the Republicans picking up four or five Senate seats net (including Reid’s seat in Nevada). I don’t see any way to pick up ten.

  • 1 and 2 are clearly wishful thinking bordering on fantasy. I could see a populist third party making some headway against the Dems and the GOP if things continued in a bad vein.

    3 is a no-brainer considering that practical un/underemployment is probably double that right now.

    As for #7, it would be even better, if not more wishful in thinking, to suppose some stability could return to either nation. The ultimate goal is to get out of these quagmires and eliminate political and social corruption. The one thing I’ll say is that at least we don’t have the blind (the GOP) leading the blind on that score.

    Nothing would make me happier than seeing #9 come through. In spades.

    #10 only shows why you ended up in law, not physics.

  • Todd,

    I agree that “cold fusion” is not likely to ever amount to anything — though as I recall there was some mild hope of something along the lines of a “warm” fusion (compared to normal fusion reactions, that is); however I’m a little concerned that you keep using these “shows up why you ended up in law rather than physics” or “shows why you remain a lawyer rather than a judge” formulations on Donald.

    I’m not sure if you mean it that way, but many would take it as a very rude way of expressing your opinion. For isntance, if people frequently told you, “This of course shows why you’re only a parish music director rather than doing X”, you might well take that both as an insult to your current occuption and also to your general abilities.

  • 1.-2. I think the GOP has a reasonable chance of flipping control of the House. Short of (God forbid) some kind of national calamity, I don’t see the Dems losing control of the Senate.

    3. I’m beginning to think 9% is optimistic.

    4. Your mouth to God’s ear. That would make life much easier for everyone.

    5. I hope so, but I don’t know. There have been a lot of positive noises, but it’s going to take a bishop or two to leap to make it a torrent. The Anglo Catholics seem to be in a holding pattern right now.

    6. This will be a certainty in 2011.

    7. Your mouth to God’s ear. Different people, different terrain. But still possible with resolute leadership, I’ll grant.

    8. A reasonable possibility, which could be borderline catastrophic if it’s California.

    9. I thought there already was one…. :). More seriously, I hope not. I like her, but she’s not ready.

    10. Any links/articles on the Navy stuff?

    11. If it’s not reported, does it make a sound?

    12. No! 😉

  • “I would also not be surprised if a Catholic pro-abort political figure decides to recant his or her pro-abort stance.”

    If that does happen, I would expect it to occur among one of the “Blue Dog” Dems to which you refer — possibly in conjunction with him or her switching party affiliation to GOP or Independent like the Congressman in Alabama recently did (don’t recall his name off the top of my head).

    It might also occur to one or more of what I call the “soft” pro-aborts in both parties who are willing to vote in favor of some restrictions like a partial birth ban, no taxpayer funding, parental notification, etc. However, it WON’T be because his/her bishop barred that person from Communion.

    I expect a public communion ban or perhaps even a formal excommunication to be made against a “hard” pro-abort who vehemently opposes ANY restrictions on abortion. But, I don’t expect they will change their ways because of it. If anything, they will probably become even more entrenched in their views, because they can’t afford to look like they are “knuckling under” to the Church.

    Should any of the hard core pro-abort “Catholics” ever repent it probably won’t happen until after they retire from public life or get voted out of office.

  • I would also not be surprised if a Catholic pro-abort political figure decides to recant his or her pro-abort stance

    Has this ever happened? There are, I know, lots of examples of Catholic politicians going the other way, but I don’t know of any significant cases of Catholic pols becoming pro-life. There’s no margin in it if you’re a Democrat, and if you’re a pro-choice Catholic Republican you’re probably pretty firm in your view (Rudy is the only possible I could think of, and if he wasn’t willing to switch when running for President I don’t see why he would do it now).

  • BA, you’re correct in that the only “converts” from pro-choice to pro-life that I can think of offhand — Mitt Romney, George H.W. Bush, and possibly also Ronald Reagan (who did sign a law legalizing abortion while governor of California) — were not Catholics.

    I do seem to recall, years ago, reading a Catholic News Service interview with former Gov. Hugh Carey of New York in which he admitted having been admonished about his pro-abortion stand by his bishop, and that it did eventually cause him to reconsider his views; but his “reconsideration” didn’t occur until some time after he had left office.

  • Dale, in regard to Cold Fusion and the Navy see the link below.

    http://www.scienceblog.com/cms/us-navy-scientists-claim-cold-fusion-breakthrough-19762.html

    Darwin, Todd’s comments do not bug me. I am used to dealing with people daily on a professional basis who could give him a seminar on rudeness. At any rate I find it refreshingly more honest than his “Peace” salutation that he used to use in each comment years ago on other venues on Saint Blog’s.

    As to the House flipping Todd once again shows his lack of familiarity with how the races are beginning to stack up.

    http://www.cookpolitical.com/node/5638

    I expect a bad situation to get progressively worse for the Democrats as unemployment continues to stay high.

    I have made my Senate picks in a recent thread but I do not have time to look for them now. The Law calls.

  • Toomey in Pennsylvania BA. Granted he is a Republican, but he started out as a pro-abort Congressman and switched to being pro-life. He is a Catholic.

  • I can imagine a scenario where the GOP takes the house and not the Senate.

    Any kind of new discovery that can be exploited by the private sector would be most welcome, cold fusion or otherwise.

    Unemployment will worsen and fear over the dollar will increase and become very real.

    Pope Benedict will continue to be a figure of controversey only for those whom Catholicism is a controversey.

    Agree that a few states will default. Maybe nations? Things will stay bad for Gordon Brown in the UK.

    Could the Global Warming/Climate Change nonsense continue to be exposed?

  • I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict that one of the Obama cabinet members to resign in 2010 will be Janet “The System Worked” Napolitano. The Detroit bombing will do for her what Katrina did for FEMA head Michael “Heckuva job, Brownie” Brown!

  • Good call Elaine. Obama seems to be in a “who will be the fall guy for this one?” mode.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB126212276274109385.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_LEFTTopStories

    When we can’t keep a terrorist off a plane after we receive a credible warning from the fellow’s father, something is deeply wrong.