A number of federal programs will expire without extension during the recess of the Congress this month. Essentially this is the last legislative week until after Labor Day and we will soon find out exactly what the adverse impacts are on legislation of the long debate over raising the debt ceiling. The spin meisters are at work on all sides but in Europe they MSM and analysts have already concluded that the Administration is the biggest loser.
And as soon as the Congress departs the Administration has a number of items it can act on administratively to make it appear it is working hard and accomplishing something. Even the President though has 10 days scheduled on Martha’s Vineyard this month.
I turn 69 on thursday and became a Grandfather for the first time yesterday at 5:21PM–a new Granddaughter named Evelyn. Great feeling to have another Cumming in the world.
So where are we now? First, it appears that an Omnibus Reconciliation Bill will be the vehicle for the bulk of the Appropriations for the year beginning October 1st and therefore the Election year will start off in January with much substantive impact of the disarray in Washington even assuming no catastrophes.
FEMA and DHS will see quite drastic declines in their non-disaster budget authority and with the Hurricane season entering its peek month of September FEMA leadership could easily be distracted by a large scale event.
I am rereading Douglas Brinkley’s 2007 book “The Great Deluge” in honor of the sixth anniversary of Katrina. It has many helpful insights but in general as might be expected even by a distinguished historian technical deficiencies. Also its rush to publication means that much is now learned about Katrina and its aftermath even as federal outlays continue. One thing we do know is that Baton Rouge is now the real crucial endpoint on the Mississippi River and NOLA is largely left to tourism, gambling, and the energy and transportation sectors. And the USACOE has failed to even be able to protect NOLA from a category one storm event with flooding threats from five different geographic and related hydrologic problems. So any given year may well end the NOLA saga for good. The smart money has long since left town permanently. The nine parishes with land fronting on the GOM continue to drag FEMA into awkward policies and procedures for many of its programs.
But the big one approaching is the decade anniversary since 9/11/01 and more and more articles and books are appearing as well as unusual and forthright analysis from former members of the BUSH and OBAMA administrations documenting successes and failures. In the end by Thanksgiving a much more accurate picture of the post 9/11 activities of the federal government will be available for assessment. Pehaps no surprise that the policy balance sheet will be largely negative.
So here is to Congress getting out of town. And hoping they come back refreshed and ready to leave office soon one way or another.
The fundamentals of the US look doubtful the rest of this decade without major changes in officeholders taking place. Both the major parties are held captive by the TEA Party and their minions.
I am now predicting a Jeb Bush/ VP? ticket for 2012 and wondering if Biden will leave after the first of the year. Janet Napolitano appears to be into everything but homeland security. A Biden potential replacement?
Neither party can win a majority of eligible voters so now up to the Independents as to how they vote in November 2012! Personally I am predicting a LOW turnout so anything might happen.