By MARC McDONALD
Half Full: The GOP is reeling from scandals and the Democrats' mid-term 2006 prospects are looking good.
Half Empty: Between blatant gerrymandering that has been perfected to a corrupt art form and a 98-percent incumbency re-election rate these days, it's going to be extremely tough for the Dems to re-take Congress.
Half Full: In the aftermath of Bush's illegal wiretaps, more and more people are daring to utter the "I" word.
Half Empty: Big media is still gun-shy about talking impeachment and it appears that (for the thousandth time) they're going to let Bush set the agenda on this story (i.e. turning the focus from the crimes themselves to the leakers).
Half Full: The Left is on the rise in Latin America, with genuinely popular progressive leaders emerging everywhere, from Venezuela to Bolivia.
Half Empty: The U.S. ruling class isn't going to sit by idly while populist movements take control in South America. I'd bet money that CIA-backed coups and assassinations are already in the works. And the U.S. ruling class will get away with it, thanks to America's amnesia about these sorts of things.
Half Full: Bush is on the ropes as the year 2005 was a disaster for his presidency.
Half Empty: We still have three long years to go.
Half Full: Bush has committed crimes (from lying the nation into war to shredding our Constitution) far greater than anything Nixon did, so impeachment should be a shoo-in. I mean, if Clinton could be impeached for lying about oral sex...
Half Empty: Impeachment ain't gonna happen with a lapdog media that refuses to tell the truth about the Bush White House. "Reporters" like Bob Woodward and Judith Miller aren't part of the solution; they're part of the problem. Our media doesn't investigate this president; they cover for him.
Half Full: The Dems could pick up some seats in the 2006 elections--maybe even retake the Congress.
Half Empty: The Republicans have successfully stolen two consecutive presidential elections. By contrast, stealing mere congressional elections should be a piece of cake.
Half Full: The right-wing bastards have a hammerlock grip on the White House, Senate, House of Representatives, Supreme Court, and the mainstream media---but at least we progressives still have a foothold in cyberspace.
Half Empty: At least for now, we do. But if the past five years of Bush have taught us anything, it's that nothing is too outrageous for the GOP these days. If anyone ever sat down and read the entire mind-numbingly complex Patriot Act, it wouldn't surprise me if, buried deep in there somewhere, there was a clause authorizing the White House to shut down liberal Web sites in the name of "national security" or some such nonsense.
Half Full: Bush pledged generous aid to poor African nations. Even Bono had some kind words for him at one point.
Half Empty: Uh, Mr. Bono: I hate to break the news to you, but Bush lied. He loves to pledge generous aid packages before the world's TV cameras, but in reality, he has no intention of living up to these promises.
Half Full: Bush totally bungled the response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, but at least the worst is now over for hard-hit storm victims.
Half Empty: 2006 looks to be another busy year for hurricanes, forecasters say.