2009 will be another historic year and one that already holds surprises and disappointments. A new administration is preparing to take the helm of The United States Ship of State which promises change but in the preparation for taking over change is the last thing that has been shown.
So in light of the New Year and the promises or lack there of that it may hold for our future here is my effort at looking forward into the year and what it might bring. I make no claim to the ability to prognosticate nor pretend to be a Nostradamus. This is just a compilation of my opinion on what 2009 might hold. Without further ado I'll begin with sports.
The Super Bowl - This is one I have already blown ! As late as January 3, I was discussing the Super Bowl and predicted a match of the Manning brothers between the Indianapolis Colts and the New York Giants. The San Diego Chargers blew this one in only the second game of the play offs by eliminating the Colts. So I will stick with the Giants in the NFC and add the Tennessee Titans for the AFC. With my dismal record so far I'll not choose the winner.
The economy - As Obama takes office this will be the most important issue he faces. With the collapse of the mortgage bubble last year the economy is shaky at best. Many economist predict that the down turn will work its way through to improvement by summer. But this prediction is using current economic policy as it basis, a policy the Obama has promised to change.
With bailouts becoming the norm now for ,"solving," economic problems allowing massive government intervention and direct involvement in the form of stock options which make the government a partner in each bailed out business, the out look for a quick recovery looks bleak. I am an optimist but government involvement does not provide optimism only pessimism.
The free market Capitalism that has made America great and the strongest economy in history, if allowed to work would feasibly bring growth and prosperity back by the summer. But Congress is already planning a ONE TRILLION dollar , "stimulus," package whose components offer little that will actually stimulate the economy.
Also there is talk of further bailouts which even includes bailing out failing newspapers whose failure is not a result of a slow economy but years of decreased circulation due to the Internet and reporting that has caused a general lack of interest in daily papers. I know because I used to work for one!
With greater government involvement by an Obama administration I am afraid that a quick recovery may not happen. In fact using history as the example and the lefts own comparison to the Great Depression, ( which is NOT even close to this down turn in severity), government involvement stretched the effects of the depression from two or three years to nearly a dozen taking a war to finally end it. History shows that government involvement worsens economic problems as opposed to free market solutions.
So Obama's idea to get the government more involved than it already is promises the same conclusion. Making his prediction of things getting worse before they get better and the problem taking years to solve a probable reality.
Iraq - This is one issue that Obama, if he holds to current agreements, will not be able to change as he promised during the campaign. Throughout the campaign Obama called for a quick withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. As quickly as sixteen months. But the recent agreements with the Maliki government and the Bush administration tie Obama's hands in Iraq.
The agreements call for a continual hand over of security to Iraq and transfer of control in troubled regions combined with a military presence that will decline through 2012. The success of the surge and the hand over of former hot spots such as the , "Green Zone," which transferred at the end of last year, proves that Iraq is working and the best policy is to continue with current policy.
Of course Obama as Commander in Chief, can recall all troops whenever and however he wishes. But if he has any sense he will not. His selection of Robert Gates as his Secretary of Defense, to the dismay of the left, shows that he has taken a fresh look at Iraq and that his campaign rhetoric may not be his policy as President. I believe 2009 will see a continued policy for Iraq to reach the final conclusion agreed to by Bush.
Balgojevich - This guy is great. If the opposition ever wanted to hire a politician who could provide the greatest side show affecting an incoming administration who politically is from the other party, Governor Rod Blagojevich from Illinois would be the man!
To date there has proven to be no illegal involvement with Obama or any of his staff with Blagos, "Pay for Play, " accusations in selecting a successor to Obama in the United States Senate. The investigation is on going and will consume quite a number of headlines for at least the first six months of 2009, to the great dismay of Obama and the Democrats.
Blago's actions cast a shadow over an Obama administration because the allegations involve his Senate seat and most of his staff and appointees come from the same corrupt Chicago political machine that made Balgojevich. So while there looks to be no criminal involvement by Obama or his staff, Blago is NOT going away soon and will be an anvil around Obama's neck until this case runs its full course.
Biden's predicted , "crisis," - Joe Biden, well known for sticking his foot in his mouth, did not disappoint during the campaign. His many gaffs became regular news, especially one in which he predicted that during the first six months of an Obama administration there would be a, "generated international crises, " to test the new President. Of course Biden never intended for anyone to hear this but it made headlines and is, unfortunately, likely to happen in 2009.
Obama is new, untested, inexperienced and walking in uncharted waters as far as the Presidency is concerned. Uncharted because inexperience creates great questions concerning his ability to handle a crisis. His handling of the early stages of the Balgojevich scandal were less than stellar and this is a minor situation compared to those he will face in the Oval Office.
Even as this is being written foreign governments as well as our enemies especially those who use terror as their weapon are wondering what to expect from Obama and how he will act in a crisis. Our allies deal with this question by being concerned and offering advice and assistance. Our enemies are looking for a way to test the novice President through trial.
There is no way of predicting where and from whom the test will come but as Biden said it will come because Obama's inexperience provides a real or at least a perceived vulnerability for this country that an enemy will try to take advantage of. What form this will take no one knows. And just as tragic as the probability of it happening, no one knows how Obama will handle it when it comes. But come it will and it is a situation we will face in 2009.
Of course there are many other issues and situations that 2009 will bring for each of us individually and all of us as a Nation. How we handle it as an individual will determine whether 2009 will be a good year, fair year or terrible year for each of us. In our lifetime we all have both good years and bad and we deal with them as they come. The difference between us and a President is that when a President has a bad year in some manner it affects all of us. Let us hope and pray that 2009 will be a good year for Barack Obama. The prognosis does not look promising !
Ken Taylor http://theliberalslies.blogspot.com