Thursday, April 21, 2005

Judicial Nominees May Force Filibuster Fight (

The big show down is coming. There is horse trading and a game of chicken being played in the US Senate. I continue to believe that Bush is being under-estimated. Major change is coming. The country is on the right path but we have much more progress to make.

It is possible that the timing will be such that if the Dems shut down the Senate, it will be with the energy bill sitting on the table. High fuel prices this summer could put the Dems in a bad spot. The public might get wary of a shut down of the government while energy legislation and other important work is shut down.

If there is a shut-down, predicting the short-term swing or swings in the market is dicey. I suspect the market will go up. By the end of the year, I expect we will be in a full blown Bull Market if we are not already. First, we have to see if the Republicans have the guts to change the rules. Judges have not been filibustered in the past but Jesse Helms and many others have used Senate rules to frustrate the judiciary process.

Supreme Court nominations are the second prize. I also suspect that if Bush can trade a few votes for an energy plan and for Social Security reform, he may be willing to back off on the filibuster. Social Security reform has the potential to do this country and all its citizens a tremendous amount of good. Passage could put Bush in the category of greatest presidents of all time. It is important to note that the Supreme Court remained relatively liberal after Nixon, Reagan and Bush I. Moving the court too far to the left or right can be dangerous for the party in power. The public wants checks and balances to remain in our system of government. A packed conservative court could hurt the re-election chances of house and senate members and give the Dems a better chance in the presidential election.

The bottom line is that a republican president with a republican house and senate is going to move the country. The Senate can slow the move but it will eventually get dragged down the road. Social Security is the big prize. Young Americans need to build their own retirement and to take ownership of it. The best lock-box is putting the funds in the names of the owners.