With Castro's resignation, his brother has taken the helm. This could bode badly for the US. Although some believe that the US will try to squeak out another democratic extension of the US, as we did so many moons ago with Cuba, I fear that if the US does, the new leader will react in a manner that makes Castro's most fierce reactions look tame. This is a new development worth keeping an eye on.
There has been a major brouhaha over the status of illegal immigrants nationwide. Some want amnesty, others are vehemently opposed to such compassion. Still others just want a wall built to protect the borders, and other want reform so more immigrants can come in legally. No matter how you slice and dice it, illegal immigrants are inextricably tied to US economy, and the decision, in the end, won't make anyone happy. Look forward to a post on immigration in the near future. Either way, it's a huge campaign topic at the moment. Speaking of campaigns...
8) Electoral shenanigans
This year, the presidential election is hot, hot, hot. Hot under the collar, anyway. With smear campaigns, fear campaigns tight races, and super-delegates we need to watch our collective rears this year, and make sure that this election isn't stolen too. Never mind the debate about whether or not super-delegates are even a valid way to decide primaries, or if the electoral college should even exist anymore. I'll be posting much more about that topic, in coming posts.
Another electoral hot button issue, the environment with all of the divisional debates going on about it still isn't fairing all that well. Regardless of your opinions about global warming, and the cause thereof, we are still leaving a hefty footprint on this planet, and are certainly having an effect. Let's keep our eye on policies and issues such as lowering emissions being rejected by government run agencies in charge of protecting the environment (and not the corporate conglomerates, contrary to popular actions).
Our economy is tanking, no doubt about it. Thats bad, but it's also something I personally saw coming about four years ago. Everyone thought I was crazy then, but not anymore. The government sending out piddly checks to entice citizens to buy more crap we don't need isn't going to solve the problem. What we need to do is something our government now run by corporate America will refuse to do. Quite simply, it's big business as usual, and we don't' want to disturb the multi-millionaires about our pesky national debt problem, mass foreclosures, bankruptcies, and all around tanking economy. As long as they don't have to sell their yachts, then it's not a real recession...
5) Health Care
For a first world country, we sure do have a lot of people without the ability to pay for or receive quality medical care. So far, none of the presidential hopefuls have offered any real solution to the problem. The US is so darned afraid of the big bad Socialism that we now refuse over forty million people the ability to seek proper treatment for what ails them. We are grossly overweight, over medicated, unhealthy, sick and under treated. With a tanking economy, this is sure to get worse.
4) Exxon and Chavez
The dynamic duo's relationship went all pear shaped, and left a lawsuit in it's wake. Exxon Mobile, with lawsuits pending and Chavez with $12 billion in assets frozen over the nationalization of an oil project has come to blows with threats of oil embargoes to the US. Although Chavez did soften his opinion a few days ago, I can't help but smell economic coercion in the works. With the current lack of global support, I think the US will be in for a rough ride if we keep poking countries that own things we need to survive. Such as huge amounts of oil.
3) The imbalance of power in the Whitehouse
As Bush Jr. leaves the gaping hole of power in he hands of the next president, one can only wonder, who will win that brass ring, and how will it be used? Bush has undermined the principles of a checks and balances government more than any other president by usurping power for the "Decider" and taking away as much congressional oversight as he possibly could. Of course, people are still wondering if Martial Law won't be enacted before a new president is elected, leaving the election itself in a democratic limbo long enough for the Bush boys to have their last hoorah in office. Lets keep a keen eye out folks.
2) Martial law, interment camps, and the fascism of the State
As noted above the Decider has taken it upon himself to maintain as much power as possible, to undermine the constitution, to revoke rights, and has even begun to build the long talked about internment camps in the US. As discussed over at Len's blog "In the meantime, the Department of Homeland Security moved forward toward the planned construction of "emergency detention facilities" --concentration camps in locations throughout the US, letting no-bid contracts totalling some 385 million dollars to Dick Cheney's Halliburton and KBR. As to be expected, the camps will be "activated" in the event of a terrorist attack or a declared "national emergency", perhaps the kind of attack recently predicted by Bush."
He has also overturned the Posse Comitatus act, enabling the use of our own troops to force us into these "detention facilities". Are you worried yet? I am.
Last but certainly not least number 1) US - Russian relations
As strange as it may seem to have this, and not number two in the number one spot for concerns in 2008, the fact of the matter is this, the use of nuclear weapons, and the call for nuclear war is being thrown around like an old rag doll. We are supporting the independence of countries like Kosovo, which in and of itself might not be a bad thing except that it's one more thorn in the side of a giant bear named Russia. We are plopping missiles and defense systems in Poland, or around that area and are provoking Russia into conflict with the US. We are planning to go into Iran, which Russia has monies tied in, and again, are poking Russia. All we need is one war, one threat of war, one perceived act of hostility and number two becomes a dreadful reality for all of us, the economy will tank, the environment will be blown to smithereens, immigrants will be the first to get the worst of it, the elections will be out the window, and we will be in the midst of a World War with a whole lot of countries that don't like us. This time around, we won't be the good guys....you can kiss the other concerns good-bye, if we even survive it.
And those are my concerns for the blessed year of 2008. There is a lot to be worried about, folks. So hold on to your hats, your kids and your testicles it's going to be a bumpy ride.