American troops will not be leaving Iraq as fast as President Obama, the American people, or Iraqi citizens want. The roadblock will be career military officers who don't want to surrender staging bases for the invasion of Iran they are still jonesing for. They will do everything they can to hold their bases through the end of the Obama Administration.
Afghanistan will continue to not go well. America's Afghan allies are mostly ruthless warlords, little better than the Taliban they are fighting. While they are bribable, including with sufficient dosages of Viagra, their loyalty will not last longer than their erections. The people worthy of our help, the innocent Afghan civilians, just want to be left in peace. Unfortunately, that won't happen.
Barring an act of extreme stupidity by the mullahs, there will be no war with Iran. Israel, which failed in Lebanon in 2006 and is failing now invading Gaza, does not have the military might to take on Iran alone and I doubt that Obama is interested another war just to please pro-Israel neo-cons.
The stock market will probably rise, the DOW may even reach 11,000 - it will drop sharply again in 2010. The economy itself will continue to suck eggs. Unemployment will reach double digits by the spring. What I don't know is whether recovery efforts will be useful. If the Paulson approach of giving cash exclusively to millionaires in the hopes that some of it might, eventually, mostly by accident trickle down to average Americans is continued then, no, it won't be useful. If Obama's people come up with creative new ways to circumvent the idle rich and direct recovery money to help the productive members of our society, the middle class and working poor, then we have a chance of seeing improvement.
What I would like to see is the the Federal Government nationalize a few banks and using them to compete directly with the likes of Citigroup and Bank of America. Nothing will free up the credit markets faster than bankers actually facing competition.
It looks as if Republicans have decided to be obstructionists. I expect them to erect roadblocks to every Democratic initiative - I would not be surprised if they filibuster the resolution for National Plant-a-Tree Day. Everything they can't stop in Congress will be taken to the Supreme Court. I anticipate a 5-4 decision with Justice Scalia writing for the majority declaring National Plant-a-Tree Day to be an unconstitutional of violation of the Tenth Amendment.
I can be a hypochondriac, I've been know to endulge in recreational paranoia, and the occasional anxiety attacks. Aw, hell, I'm a renown worry-wart. It doesn't help that I have been rereading Jim Marrs book, Crossfire. I have a deepseated fear that there will be an attempt to assassinate President Obama.The list of potential conspirators is long.
- Neo-cons who see Obama as a threat to Israel.
- Out of work mercenaries who see Obama blocking the business opportunities of war.
- White supremacists and religious fundamentalists who believe God talks to them.
- A military coup by people who want war with Iran. Pretty much like the theory that Kennedy was assassinated by people who wanted to expand the war in Vietnam.
- Racists in the Secret Service itself. They may not pull the trigger, they might just stand aside and let it happen.
- The corporate criminal element who have profited from the kleptocracy of the past eight years and are willing to hire one or more of the above to do the deed.