Renewing my tradition from last year, I boldly offer the following predictions for the next year. I make no claim to psychic powers, clairvoyance, astral projection, divine or demonic information, or access to time machines. These are SWAGs and nothing but. As you can see from this morning’s evaluation, my completion percentage is just over 50% so that’s about what they’re worth.
- Jon Huntsman will resign as ambassador to China and begin to lay the groundwork for a Presidential bid in 2012.
- Foolishly, Democrats will campaign in 2010 against George W. Bush. This will fail and result in gains by Republicans, but more in the House than the Senate. Congressional Republicans will realize a net gain of only two or three seats in the Senate, leaving the Democrats still firmly in control of that body and reviving talks of abolishing the filibuster. But, net gains in the House of Representatives will be such that the Democrats’ majority in the lower chamber will be roughly ten seats and Republicans will optimistically talk of re-taking the House in 2012.
- A reconciled health care “reform” bill will not be passed out of Congress until March or maybe even early April. Its effect will be to very moderately increase taxes on middle-class Americans, only negligibly affect their actual health care options, and substantially inflate both the governmental deficit and the profits of enterprise-level health care providers.
- The net inflation rate of the United States for CY 2010 will be in excess of 4%.
- President Obama will again increase the number of American troops deployed to Afghanistan.
- Canada’s government will collapse, for real this time, and new elections will result in a badly-fragmented Federal Parliament with the BQ playing the role of powerbroker. However, the BQ will not be able to leverage this into actual autonomy.
- An El Niño condition will manifest in the Pacific Ocean, relieving California’s drought.
- Despite the economic help of favorable (that is, “wet”) weather, California will increase sales taxes to 10.5% or higher, resulting in the highest sales tax in the nation. Despite this, functionally all incumbents in the Legislature eligible for re-election will be re-elected in November and the Democrat nominee (who right now looks like Jerry Brown) will win the Governorship.
- A national newspaper of significant stature, I’m thinking the Boston Globe, will be liquidated.
- 2010 will be a good year for the stock market. The S&P 500 will realize a net gain of over 20% in CY 2010. As of today, the S&P 500 is 1,124.57, so that means that to win this prediction, the S&P will need to be at least 1,349.48 on December 31, 2010.
- Iron Man 2 will be the biggest box office hit of the summer. But another much-anticipated sequel in the same general genre, Tron 2, will disappoint and lose money. Wall Street 2 and Sex And The City 2 will both prove to be so unwatchably bad that we all would have been better off had they not been made at all. Remakes of Clash of the Titans and Red Dawn will both prove to be convincingly entertaining.
- In First Amendment news, the Supreme Court will decide for the government, 5-4, in the case of Salazar v. Buono, ruling that a large cross, originally built privately as a war memorial, later transferred to Federal land, then the subject of an Establishment Clause lawsuit, and then the subject of a law transferring the cross to the VFW. The Court’s decision will consider the longevity of the monument as a significant factor mitigating against the finding of an Establishment. (I consider this a pessimistic prediction, for the record). Justice Sonia Sotomayor will prove to be the decisive vote in favor of the government.
- In Second Amendment news, the Supreme Court will decide, by at least 7 votes, that the individual right to own weapons articulated in District of Columbia v. Heller will be “incorporated” into the Fourteenth Amendment and thus apply to the several states as well as to the national government. However, the Court will unanimously decline the opportunity to expand the “privileges and immunities” clause embodied in the arguments. Watch for the decision in McDonald v. City of Chicago to be one of the last decisions announced in June.
- Brett Favre will play his final year for the Minnesota Vikings, and then retire. For real this time because he’ll be 41 years old and in at least moderate pain almost all of the time.
- Iran will successfully detonate a nuclear device. This will cause much wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth and many Americans and a significant number of Europeans will consider this to be an existential threat. While all of this is going on, the Russians will hem and haw and whistle tunelessly while staring at the ceiling while trying to blend into the background and go unnoticed. However, the Iranians will not use their newly-developed nuclear weapon against anyone, including Israel.
- On December 31, 2010, the U.S. national unemployment rate will be somewhere between 7.5% and 8.5%.
I feel I have to renew my prediction that Britney Spears will find Jesus and become even more intensely annoying than she already is. But I won’t make that a numbered prediction anymore because I’ve been predicting this for four years straight and I’m beginning to wonder just when she will hit a personal bottom such that the Baby Jeebus will get called in. She does have a very great height from which to fall and a substantial network of
leeches personal supporters who will do what is in their power to keep her generating profit personally and professionally functional. So that’s not one I’m offering for credit, just consideration.
Also to be answered in the upcoming year: will TL break down and actually buy his own domain and migrate the blog to WordPress? The magic eight-ball says…