The Republican National Committee's new chair may well be Ken Blackwell. As Ohio's Republican secretary of state during the 2004 election, he dragged his state through the mud. You'd think by now the Republican Party would be taking a long, cleansing bath. No, they like dirt.
Paul Krugman is using the D-word: "This looks an awful lot like the beginning of a second Great Depression." Obama wants a serious and timely response to a continuing and steep slide in the economy thanks to absence of credit and a significant dip in manufacturing world-wide. Congress may drag its feet. Krugman writes: "Here’s my nightmare scenario: It takes Congress months to pass a
stimulus plan, and the legislation that actually emerges is too
cautious. As a result, the economy plunges for most of 2009, and when
the plan finally starts to kick in, it’s only enough to slow the
descent, not stop it. Meanwhile, deflation is setting in, while
businesses and consumers start to base their spending plans on the
expectation of a permanently depressed economy — well, you can see
where this is going."
Obama is fighting for a significant stimulus package against Republican diehards in Congress. That package will include tax cuts. "The legislation Mr. Obama is developing with Congressional Democrats
will devote about 40 percent of the cost to tax cuts, including his
centerpiece campaign promise to provide credits up to $500 for most
workers, costing roughly $150 billion. ... Mr. Obama’s advisers said Sunday that they were searching for a way to
get that credit into Americans’ pockets quickly to help stimulate
spending, but would not duplicate the rebate checks sent last year as
part of an economic package signed by President Bush. Instead, they
said, they were discussing making the credit retroactive to the 2008
tax year and adjusting withholding formulas so paychecks would start
reflecting that right away."
The Supreme Court may be feeling a crack of the Obama whip very soon. The new president will take steps to overturn a 2007 sex-discrimination decision, urging quick passage of legislation he backed as senator which would open the door to fairer laws governing civil rights suits.
If George W. Bush manages to escape prosecution for war crimes, we'll have to wait a while before we can arrange an extraordinary rendition of the ex-president to a black site in international territory. But time is on our side this time: Bush will be the first president to lose his Secret Service protection at the end of ten years.