Predictions for 2009 Posted by: McQ
on Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Well apparently I failed in my yearly duty to put up a post last year soliciting predictions from QandO commenters, so I have no results from readers to post and ridicule. Heh ...
So, getting back to the QandO tradition, how about some predictions from the faithful, not so faithful and drive-by readers of the blog?
What do you think will happen in 2009?
Give your predictions on any or all of them. I'll post results next New Year's eve.
Also, for the present, come up with what you think are the most significant events of the year, both positive and negative (1 each - more if you have them). I'll work that into a post we can discuss in a couple of days.
The retail real estate market will collapse and we will have massive depressionary inflation. The US Military will be deployed to quell massive civil unrest and foot riots. They will use beam weapons to try and control crowds in major cities all across America. They will fail.
Israel will bomb Iran, resulting in massive suicide bomb and Mumbai-like attacks across America.
The most significant event was of course Barack Obama being elected President, particularly how the electoral demographics played out on the Pennsylvania battleground where we see a microcosm of the major issues facing Americans in hard-hit places like West Philadelphia where I was born and raised, on the playground is where I spent most of my days, chillin’ out maxin’ relaxin’ all cool and all shootin’ some b-ball outside the school when a couple of guys who were up to no good, started making trouble in my neighborhood. Got in one little fight and my mom got scared, said you’re moving with your Auntie and Uncle in Belair.
Economy: everything everyone feared would happen if GM goes under will happen as half the children’s product industry is forced into bankruptcy on Feb. 10, 2009 with the CPSIA coming into effect. Everyone in Congress (except Rep. Ron Paul and Sens. Coburn, Kyl, and DeMint) blames children’s product manufacturers for their own supposed hubris at being eeeeevil villains in top hats and monocles rolling around on the piles of money they made by replacing organic cotton in children’s clothing with pure lead. Meanwhile the "mommy columnist" for the New York Times will write a column complaining how everything is getting standardized and there’s nothing individual for children to wear or play with anymore, but aren’t we glad they’re all perfectly safe now from eeeeevil lead so that we can move on to complaining about the next toxin du jour.
Maybe we all should have asked for a bailout, then maybe Congress would have paid some attention to us small manufacturers of children’s goods. We could have told them our stuff was safe for kids without them having to pass a reactionary law "For The ChildrenTM" requiring an unduly expensive lead testing regime.
Foreign Policy: Iran’s 9,000 centrifuges will have generated enough nuclear fuel for constructing ten nuclear warheads, marking the first time ever that any form of fascism became a nuclear power; nothing will be done in 2009 to stop Iran.
Domestic Policy: The massive increase in new government debt will begin a run on the dollar; nothing will be done to strengthen the dollar, since a weak dollar appeals to the auto unions.
Afghanistan War: President Obama will order the US military to stop naming wars for ’freedom,’ while the Taliban’s Islamic Republic of Waziristan will be declared a ’free’ republic. Like Clinton, President Obama will have to stop visiting American troops, because of the derisive whistles from the ranks.
Environment: All science will be ignored and ideology will rule in the name of "true" science, making ’environmentalism’ the newest civil religion complete with prophets, priests, and holy canon. Essentially, the civil religion of Environmentalism will become back-door socialism in 2009.
Libertarianism: radical Right Libertarians will continue to try to reduce the philosophy into an ideology, further alienating the American electorate. Left Libertarians will begin to promote "compassionate socialism" as the correct ideology to redefine libertarianism. The American voters are smarter than both, so the philosophy will endure, despite the worst efforts of the ideologues.
I posted these on Wizbang. Dont feel like retyping so forgive the cut and paste.
1) If given the opportunity, who will be President Obama’s first nominee to the Supreme Court? Hillary Clinton 2nd choice Jesse Jackson Jr (Ginsberg and Souter will retire by the end of the year, in addition, Congress will at least attempt to add 2 more seats to the Supreme court.)
2) Will Republicans actually fillibuster legislation in 2009?
They will try to and suceed on some issues. However, I predict that Arlen Spectre and Olympia Snowe will side with the Dems moreso than republicans. All attempts at filibusters will be accused of being racially tinted and hampering the progress of the US out of the recession.
3) What will be the Dow Jones Industrial Average on 12/31/2009? ( Use this link for help).
4) What will be the price of crude oil on 12/31/2009? (Use this link for help).
$110 per barrel. Opec production cuts will raise it up some. Environmental actions by the dems will take it up even more.
5) Who will win the MN Senate seat, Coleman or Franken?
Franken. Coleman will exhaust judicial means.
6) Will Rahm Emanuel be President Obama’s Chief of Staff on 12/31/2009?
Yes. Although I would be willing to bet at least 2 underlings of his will be thrown under the bus that will get more crowded as the year goes on.
7) Will IL Governor Rod Blagojevich go to prison?
No. Obama will pardon if he is found guilty of anything. We will be lucky to even have a trail in 2009.
8) Which team will win the 2008 NCAA college football championship, Florida or Oklahoma?
Troop levels in Iraq will be down to about 75k by the end of 2009. Troop levels in Afghanistan will go down as well as the dems have ample opportunity to give up any chance of victory.
Israel will destroy Iranian nuclear facilities, however, they will take a lot of damage in a ground war before the UN steps in to prvent Israel from having to use nukes to defend it’s territory. Obama will say that the US cant help that much due to Iraq and Afghanistan. Bush will be blamed for the wearing down of the US Military. Rocket attacks will continue on into 2010.
A major terrorist incident in the US will occur most likely in California or New York and will cost at least 10,000 lives. Bush will be blamed as having instigated it through his aggressive policies and not adding union workers at the docks to inspect more cargo. Thousands of Union workers will be added at docks but the percentage of containers inspected will only go up by 1 or 2 percent.
Card check will pass.
Abortion "rights" will be expanded dramatically.
Millions of illegal immigrants will be given some type of amnesty. ICE will be neutered if not shut down entirely.
Marijuana will be decriminilized federally and the states will left to decide if it should be legal or not.
The fairness doctrine will pass in some form. Conservative commentators will be still be on the air at the end of the year although I doubt they will last through 2010.
Democrats will continue to blame Bush policies on every woe that the country encouters and we will officially be in a depression by the end of the year. Unemployment will be at least 10 per cent.
UAW will get its bailout money of at least $25 billion but will go back by the end of the year to ask for more money.
The press will continue its glorifying praises of Obama, any criticism of him will be called racist mnotivated.
BTW I predict that the democratic congress will add at least 2 seats to SCOTUS in the name of diversity. Obama will fill those seats with most likely an openly gay judge and an african american female.
Obama administration. - Republicans will put up some resistance, but the RINOs will prevent any real opposition to Obama’s plans. Obama’s real fight will be with Pelosi. She has her own liberal agenda and won’t let some upstart media star deter her. Government control WILL expand in virtually every area of the economy.
Environment. - The evidence that man-made global warming is a farce will continue to build, but will be ignored by governments everywhere. "Enviromental" rules will be enacted that will cripple coal, oil, and other energy industries. After a few months of low gas prices, they will head straight up if dems get their way.
Domestic policy. - More government control everywhere. All in the name of fighting off the crisis of the day. If there isn’t a crisis, they’ll make one up.
Foreign policy. - USA continues to weaken in the eyes of the world as we try to please everyone who hates us, ignoring those that like us. China’s influence expands rapidly.
Afghan war. - I honestly don’t have a clue. If the dems get control and try to micromanage the war it will turn into a disaster.
Economy. - I think we still have a long way to go before we hit bottom. The more government tries to "help", the deeper the hole will get. We are in a downward, self-fulfilling cycle.
most significant events of the year: positive - 1. Science tries to show true facts about climate change 2. Success of Iraq War negative - Election of Obama and increase in dems majority in both houses
Obama will be tested, and his response, which will appear to be the wrong move to HIS supporters, will be swift, decisive, and apparently vicious. It will take a while for HIS supporters to understand that this is precisely the response needed in Obama’s first test. There will be a trillion dollar budget deficit.
Forgotten by all but a few. Any legislative nods to the environment will be secondary to a primary objective of job creation and energey transformation.
The big news will be universal coverage of a sort, but the surprise will be that it won’t feel like much has changed. The main change that some will feel is that people who can’t get coverage at all, or reasonably today because their only option is individual policies, will be able to purchase health insurance at group rates, dramatically reducing the uninsured who don’t want to be uninsured.
After Obama passes his first test, he will be able to settle into a more diplomatic focus for foreigh policy. No major global changes, Muslims will still hate Israel, and the US, and Hamas and Hezbollah will still try occasional spike up the violence, Israel will respond, then tensions will quiet, rinse, repeat... until the end of time.
With focus on Afghanistan, conditions will improve significantly. OBL will be killed (not captured in 2009).
What economy? Unemployment will spike past 10% and the negative growth will continue throughout 2009, beginning to stabilize in mid 2010. Real estate prices will fall another 20% in 2009, stabilizing in 2010 when the median income is enough to pay for a median house with a median mortgage. Rental pricing will increase, homelessness will increase, crime will increase, especially in urban areas. The stock market will continue to fall but not dramatically, until Q3 2009, when it will begin a slow steady rise. At least one of the Big 3, probably Chrysler, will cease to exist. Did I mention the trillion dollar budget deficit?
1) Whatever goes well is because Lightbringer is the bestest President ever! 2) Whatever goes wrong is because BushyMcHilterHalliburtonCheneybotRovetron3000 was the worstest President ever!
But much more will go wrong than goes right.
Israel will smartly see that Obama would sell them out at the drop of a hat and does what they have to do. Iran still gets nukes (been predicting that one for a few years, would be happy to be wrong again)
The Dems will f**k it up even more and unnaturally prolong the length of the recession.
As much as I hate making predictions (knowing that many of them will be wrong), I think it’s important that people give it a try, and be as specific as they can, so that they can look back and see what they were thinking, and see how it might have been flawed. I encourage everyone to give their best guesses, preferably with some degree of confidence attached.
The Obama administration will enjoy hefty support in its first year. They have an active, committed base of people willing to stay active in pushing his favored legislation. Based on what we’ve already seen, Obama’s support from the Far Left will slip when he engages in symbolic outreach to the center and Right, but it won’t tank.
The outreach will remain purely symbolic, since the legislative agenda will be dominated by Progressive bills. The press will continue to give Obama good coverage, but it won’t be as fawning as it was during the campaign.
The environment isn’t going to implode. The effects of the coal-ash spill in TN are going to stay in the back of the public’s mind for a while, and may lead to legislation so we can say we’re "doing something" to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Global temperatures will not rise nearly enough to offset the drop since Jan. 2007, but my guess is that they will rise a bit. Sea ice levels will be higher in 2009 than in 2008.
Climate change believers will thus lose some of their momentum on public opinion, but they won’t be too discouraged. They also will continue to resist Bjorn Lomborg’s suggestion of responding to climate change with far cheaper means than carbon emissions reduction. I say this as someone who places some confidence in the idea that there will be some long-term warming as a result of CO2 emissions.
Domestic policy belongs to the Democrats. Despite what I see as a sterling opportunity for Republicans to fight the Democrats’ legislative agenda with positive proposals of their own, I don’t think the GOP has it in them to get their act together this year. Though the Republican Party apparatus will start to figure things out, a significant number of Republican legislators will be "me-too-but-less" voters on economic legislation, despite what I see as poor electoral returns for this behavior.
This is going to seriously p!ss off conservative voters, who will start emulating the Progressive movement’s actions while they were out of power. However, nothing approximating the sudden influence of MoveOn will emerge in the next year.
Democrats will still be unable to raise taxes directly, liberalize abortion or move against guns at the federal level, but spending will absolutely explode. No version of the Fairness Doctrine will make it to serious consideration. Marijuana will not, unfortunately, be decriminalized, although I expect the number of Democrats approving of the idea will rise.
Foreign policy is looking to go from moderately bad to worse. Numbers of American troops in Iraq will continue to fall at roughly the rate already determined by existing military plans. Obama will not have the will to back out of Iraq any more quickly than Bush would have, as he is informed that the situation there is fragile and reversible, but he will also not have the will (or the support) to do anything else in 2009 unless there is a major foreign-planned terrorist attack on American soil. No humanitarian interventions (including Darfur), nothing that could lead to fighting in a new country—the Democrats would rather step into a bear trap than offend the new Progressives and spend money on something other than butter.
My confidence that such an attack on American soil will happen in 2009 is below 50%, but it is much higher than it was in 2008. Not that I expect homeland security to get that much worse, but because an attack under a new administration, an administration supported by a political coalition hostile to war, will have an effect that a second attack under Bush would not have.
The Democrats will cut military spending to maximize their domestic budget potential.
Free trade is on hold indefinitely, and may even be peeled back. Any free trade deals in the pipeline, such as with South Korea, are dead. The American position at Doha will be far more hostile to trade — expect our position to tilt decisively toward labor, environmental standards, and other excuses to limit trade.
Israel will not succeed in pacifying Gaza. Obama will sincerely try to restart the peace process, and this will not yield any long-term gains for Israel.
Iran will continue to develop nuclear capacity, and the Obama administration will try to address the problem with diplomacy; the administration will fail to get the rest of the Security Council on board for anything tough enough to work, and it will ultimately fail to curtail Iranian progress on this front. Republican legislators won’t effectively criticize Obama on this, being shy on new foreign intervention themselves. If Israel believes Iran will imminently produce a weapon, they will launch an operation against Iran that will not have the support of the United States and will ultimately not delay the acquisition of a weapon by very much. I have no idea what happens next.
Nuclear proliferation will not be curtailed in 2009.
Our situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan will not improve. The Obama administration will make moves toward an accommodation with the Taliban, but will not complete such moves until after 2009. Those who collaborated (or are suspected of having collaborated) with Americans will face a sorry fate when the Taliban does come back to power. If, somehow, Al Qaeda launches another major attack on American soil, and Obama’s hand is forced, Pakistan will have an outright revolt on its hands, and the government will be forced through serious changes.
The economy will continue to suffer through the first three quarters of 2009, although some government stimulus could start having a positive effect on measured GDP for the final quarter. Inflation of consumer goods prices and unemployment will both rise. Housing prices will continue to fall — although California and other places that started falling early won’t fall quite as hard in 2009. The debt will explode, but with other countries around the globe still reeling, America will mostly get away with it, without the consequences that would usually apply.
As a result of continued depressed global demand and OPEC’s inability to prevent cheating, the price of oil will remain low, albeit with an uptick in the summer. The temptation to raise the gasoline tax will be strong, but I doubt the Democrats have the will to propose that in a sharp recession. Even if the economy starts to recover late next year, Democrats won’t raise a carbon-related tax for the winter months.
The auto companies and the UAW will get their bailout. So will a lot of other special interests. Almost no one will be turned away, but there will be federal strings attached to everything. The fallout of this will be something conservatives won’t even begin to be able to address when they’re finally dragged back into power.
Infrastructure projects with boondoggle-levels of waste will get their funding, despite objections from environmentalists. Environmentalists, in turn, will get their way in the form of "green job" creation legislation, green strings attached to bailout money, and R&D funding.
State and local taxes will increase almost everywhere.
Regulations on finance and accounting will noticeably increase in volume and complexity, which will further undermine new business and capital formation.
Two bonus predictions: China will face serious stresses in the next year. Between the belief that they poison half the products they send to us and the stresses on American manufacturers, the annual April "Let’s all hate on China" drive will be particularly bad in 2009. China will already be having trouble coping with sharply depressed demand for their goods as a result of the slowing global economy, despite dropping prices for commodities like oil. Add it up, and China may not be able to deliver its people the massive economic growth on which the CCP’s legitimacy has rested for decades. China may get desperate enough to start dipping heavily into its foreign reserves, at which point we should really start worrying.
Russia will be increasingly belligerent as it tests out the new administration. Expect no cooperation in the Security Council, and in fact, we should expect more overt opposition, at least at first. At the same time, Russia will also be stressed by the recession as energy prices continue to stay low and even drop. As they start to feel the effects of that, their confident belligerence may drop off a bit. -=-=-=-=-=-=-=- Most significant events of 2008, positive and negative? The electoral smashing of the GOP had its positive and negative aspects: very negative in its short-term implications, but it gave permission to the conservative movement to start necessary reforms. The financial crisis was the big negative. The winding-down of the war in Iraq to a much more manageable, stable situation may have been the biggest positive.
As Mark Twain said, "Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it..."
The "optimistic" view is that Obama might hold off on some liberal bull**** economy-wise as it might hurt his "precious" popularity (i.e., people may have expectations, possibly economic); Mark-Twain-wise, he would be the "smarter" person "putting us on".
On the other hand, he *is* an imbecile, although a very eloquent one at that. Hence, most (serious) decisions will be based on either popularity (i.e., a sign pointing to his lack of experience that will disguised by the media as "listening to the people") or on the whims of his screwball cabinet of advisors he put together (that + the Dems).
In any case, Obama may well screw us over, passing "progressive" legislation as described in the other comments. Watching the GOP scramble to defeat Obama in 2010 will be fun indeed — it will fail, and all the more miserably if someone like Ron Paul pops up taking all the left/idealistic/disgruntled libertarian votes away from considerably more probable/compromise/"right-wing-libertarian" candidates (i.e., not forcing libertarians to compromise on a more..."realistic"..."compromise"...candidate, someone who could actually get voted into office these days).
Although it is NOT likely, I would look forward to a split within the GOP between the "pro-war libertarians" (i.e., "right-wing libertarians" as they are called?) and...everyone else. That group may well become (with the right moments/actions/"stuff", as with anything else) on its way to the presidency.
Yes, an annoying group of bull****ters and anti-capitalists, but I don’t see them as a major component of the Democrat party. That doesn’t mean they can’t do damage in other ways, just that they are not that necessarily politically "popular" nor "greatly established" among the Dems. Hence, not necessarily a big priority for Obama.
They may force Obama to sign some bull**** bills, measures, etc. (e.g., the Kyoto Protocol), however the media—with which environmentals actually ARE (or seem to be) well-established—-will seek to damage caused by such measures. Despite their efforts, though, people will continue to see that the environmentalists are, pretty much, a bunch of bull****ters. However, believing that Obama’s presidency will present them a significantly better opportunity to gain more popularity (as it might), the imbeciles within the environmentalist movement will probably expand their efforts and become EVEN MORE ANNOYING, and damaging as well.
However bad **** becomes on FOREIGN soil will be twisted by the media should it become unfavorable for the Obama administration. However good **** becomes there will be accredited to Obama...
>Russia: I don’t expect any changes, or all that much, really. As long as Russia doesn’t do anything TOO PATENTLY AGGRESSIVE (to the extent that our media cannot twist it), it will remain ignored.
>Israel: For the most part, Israel can, or so I hope, see its way through the bull**** of Obama and his administration; i.e., if we lay off support, then it will have to step up its own efforts against the terrorists. For the most part, it may appears as though it is prepared to do that. As I do not live in Israel, I am not so much aware of its public’s mentality towards the "War on Terror" or its anti-terrorist efforts, even more so whether the trends/shifts/means behind the American public’s views on the Israel and the "War on Terror" are comparable to those of the Israeli public.
>Here: A terrorist attack on American soil may be —politically speaking— a somewhat unpredictable scenario. If such may happen, we will see then...
Economy: A quietly brewing storm that the news seems to ignore...
Hometown, USA - Homeowner Associations across the country are breaking down. Homeowners are unable to pay for their annual maintenance dues, and banks that have foreclosed on homes are refusing to pay maintenance fees until they sell thereby causing a major deficit in the Association’s finances. The bills for landscaping, common area maintenance, utilities and property insurance can no longer be paid.
While most feel they can live without an HOA it is becoming clear that their financial problems (and lack of maintenance) are causing a drop in property values and making it difficult for perspective home buyers to obtain loans from reluctant lenders. Former vendors have filed liens against all homes in the HOA in hopes of compelling some form of payment on past due bills. Utilities have been shut off for street lights, security gates, water pumps, irrigation, pools, and emergency phones. Condominiums have lost power in elevators and breezeways creating dangerous situations, especially for elderly citizens living on their own. Owner Associations have been left vulnerable to lawsuits but have no insurance coverage for protection. Broken down amenities are left to ruin due to the lack of funds for repair.
Landscaping companies, pool maintenance companies and vendors alike are losing business and shutting down or cutting employees. Management companies are cutting benefits or laying off employees as well leaving thousands unemployed.
Is there a bailout plan in the works? Stay tuned...