One of the ways pundits often get their kicks this time of year is by writing up lists of predictions for what will occur during the coming year. Seeing no reason why our contributors here shouldn’t have the chance to get in on the fun as well, I’ve invited everyone to add their own section of predictions in this post. Others should feel free to discuss or make their own predictions in the comments.
1. The recession will continue through much of 2009, with unemployment reaching a high in the 2nd or 3rd quarter — possibly around 10%. Most of that number will be made up of workers in the construction and manufacturing sectors, and also workers with less than five years full time work experience.
2. Attempts by Republicans to label this the Obama Recession will be frustrated by President Obama mainly using traditionally Republican remedies from the last ten years including: tax cuts, stimulus payouts, tax credits, and free trade. (Those liberal pundits not disgusted with this will explain they’ve always been in favor of these when they’re done responsibly.)
3. Governor Blagojevich will resign or be removed from office.
4. The federal budget deficit will be larger than in 2008.
5. Israel’s offensive against Hamas will peter out and be declared a qualified success — but no one will be really pleased with the result.
6. Gas will not hit $2.50/gal (currently $1.40/gal in central Texas) during 2009.
7. FOCA will not pass, but the Obama administration will do as much as possible without hitting that level of visibility to return favors to the pro-abortion movement.
8. Pope Benedict XVI, turning 82 in April, will continue to seem in better health than when he became pope four years before.
9. The much discussed social encyclical will finally be issued — and all sides of the Catholic political spectrum will within several days claim that it supports the positions they already held.
10. Russia will continue to put political pressure on the former Soviet republics, but will not launch an attack on the scale of the Georgia invasion in 2009.
11. GM and Chrysler will receive enough “emergency” assistance from the Federal Goverment to keep going, but they will not succeed in turning themselves around and will lose market share to foreign car makers in 2009.
12. Principled progressives will be disappointed to find that in regards to foreign policy, the real divide in American politics is between the party in power and the party out of power, not the Republicans and Democrats.
Donald R. McClarey
1. Bailout mania will continue, with the federal government adding 1.5-2 trillion dollars to the national debt in 2009.
2. Two cabinet members in the new administration will resign in 2009. (Make that one cabinet member. I was counting Bill Richardson in my total and he withdrew as Commerce Secretary today because of an ongoing corruption investigation against him.)
3. After he is forced out through impeachment and conviction, Blagojevich will spill his guts to Fitzgerald in a desperate attempt to forestall a criminal indictment of his wife and to gain sentencing leniency for himself.
4. As a result of Blagojevich singing, Fitzgerald will open a series of new investigations on numerous Illinois politicians.
5. Inflation will begin to take off by the end of 2009.
6. Israel will attack the nuclear installations of Iran in 2009, causing a spike in oil prices and a wave of terrorist attacks around the globe.
7. Card check, the number one political goal of Union bosses, will not receive a vote in Congress in 2009.
8. Obama’s popularity rating will be around 40% by the end of 2009.
9. A moratorium on residential mortgage foreclosures will be implemented by the Federal government in 2009 for 90-180 days, with the main result being an increasing reluctance of most financial institutions to write new residential mortgage loans except for borrowers with good incomes and pristine credit histories.
10. The Clintons will become a rallying point for Democrats disenchanted with the new administration in 2009.
11. There will be a major terrorist strike in the continental US.
12. McClarey will be wrong on some of his predictions.
1) Pope Benedict will appoint a strong orthodox cleric to Westminster such as Abbot Hugh Gilbert of Scotland or Englishman Fr. Tim Finigan. My personal favorite, besides the two aforementioned, is George Cardinal Pell of Australia who will be appointed as a change agent. With nearly 2/3rd’s of bishops and priests reaching retirement age the opportunity to transform the Church of England and Wales from a regressing congregation infested by unfaithful liberals to a vibrant church invigorated with practicing Catholics.
2) Extremist Hindu groups will continue unabated attacking Christians, raping nuns, and burning down Churches, monasteries, seminaries, schools, and hospitals in eastern India and the mainstream media will deliberately ignore the violence against Christians because it doesn’t fit their perception of Christians being the aggressors.
3) Fr. John Zuhlsdorf of What Does The Prayer Really Say? Will dominate the Catholic blog awards again by sweeping 90% or more of the categories.
4) The State of California will go bankrupt unless President Obama bails them out with a $500 billion loan. Meanwhile businesses will continue to flee the Golden State as the legislature levy’s more ‘green’ regulations and other forms of taxes to fund social engineering projects and more bureaucracy.
5) Secularists in America and Europe will have egg on their face when their ‘model Muslim democracy’, Turkey, continues to repress the Greek Orthodox Christians, refuse to acknowledge their role in the Armenian Genocide, and continue marginalizing the Kurds. The European Union will be hard pressed to reexamine their initial overtures towards inviting Turkey into their group as Turkey begins to resemble more and more a Middle-Eastern failed state.
6) Three major conversion stories will occur when Bill Maher, Penn Jillette, and Tom Cruise will shock Americans with their jump in the Tiber.
7) Christians in the United States will face greater pressures to succumb to worldly devices and probably even the beginnings of persecutions to the one true Church. In the wake of the increased hostility to Christian ideals and values, many conversions, reversions, and the deepening of the faith will explode the further we retreat from our nations Christian heritage and patrimony.
8) The Boston Celtics will win their second consecutive N.B.A. title with a six game romp of the L.A. Lakers (again).
9) The Philadelphia Eagles will deliver a Super Bowl victory to the city of brotherly love in 2009.
1. Many readers will stop reading the predictions before this point, and skip to the comments.
2. Obama will have the opportunity to appoint at least one, and possibly more, Supreme Court justices. Pro-lifers will not be pleased with the appointments. Doug Kmiec will praise them effusively.
3. The economy will not begin to rebound until after 2009. Unemployment will reach 10%.
4. Obama’s popularity will remain high; the New York Times and the Washington Post will continue conducting hard-hitting investigations of Obama and his appointments (consisting entirely of polite phone calls to designated spokesmen). Many Americans will not be able to correctly identify the name of the Vice President.
5. There will be countless Op-Eds (on the front page and in the opinion section) about Obama’s valiant struggles to rescue America from ‘the Bush recession’.
6. Card check will not pass.
7. FOCA will not pass.
8. Congress and President Obama will decide to force Americans to pay for the production of cars they choose not to buy. These payments will not improve the long-term prospects of the U.S. automobile industry.
9. Long-suffering Washington Redskins fans will continue to suffer. Long-suffering Wizards fans….well, this is getting depressing, let’s get back to the economy.
10. Oil prices will rebound, but not approach the highs of the summer of 2008.
11. Pope Benedict XVI will finally release the new encyclical. What Brendan said.
12. The Catholic Church will continue proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God will continue to bless His Church. Grace will be freely available in the Sacraments.
Archaeology: A new artifact will be found in Jerusalem which will ‘challenge the whole Christian world and undermine current paradigms’. This artifact, actually found in the hands of a man who bought it from a second-hand antique store, which in turn had carefully kept the artifact on the shelf for the past 86 years, will not show that Jesus had brothers, or that there was a previous conception of a Messiah who will die and rise again, but will make the startling revelation that Jesus was a Jew.
Biology: Using adult stem cells, scientists will discover startling new cures for cancer in lab rats. However, this research is undermined by the discovery that embryonic stem cells can cause cancer in lab rats, which in turn is undermined by a more efficient method of abortion.
Chemistry: A seminal paper will be published detailing a cost-effective means of converting coal into gasoline, diesel, and kerosene. Shortly after, the publication is pulled from the journal and Secret Service agents appear at the home of the author.
Economics: Despite the naysaying of pundits who have their own plans to salvage the economy, the economy shows a distinct recovery by October. Unemployment remains at 6.5%, though, and 3% of every paycheck goes into paying unemployment benefits. CEOs contemplate firing themselves to collect unemployment.
Journalism: MSNBC restaffs with an even more liberal crew. FOX responds with an even more conservative crew. Ann Coulter writes another book that everyone denounces as “goes too far”. The New York Times retracts three articles by March due to faulty journalism.
Law: A new legal precedent is discovered permitting the wiretapping of American citizens, if there is reasonable suspicion of hate speech involved. Laws are passed in 12 states making it illegal to carry any material which refers to homosexuality as an abomination. A new version of the Bible, called the Revised Newsom’s Version, is distributed.
Liberal Arts: Majors have an even more difficult time finding employment.
Mathematics: A new prime number, exactly 22 times larger than the previously known largest prime, is discovered. The Riemann Hypothesis remains unsolved, but an addition 32 people learn what the Riemann Hypothesis is.
Philosophy: Philosophers realize that, absent any unproved foundational point of reasoning, nothing whatsoever can be known. However, out of pride, they keep silent on this revelation, and the public is left in the dark for another 2000 years.
Physics: Particle acceleration at the Large Hadron Collider at the CERN facility produces black holes that, sadly, devour the oft-searched for Higgs Boson before it can be observed. The rest of the earth is unaffected.
Religion: A new prophecy predicts the end of the world late in 2009. This is later revised to 2090, citing dyslexia, and further to 2900 due to poor math. A new sect of Christianity, called the Neopaulist Reductionists, becomes the fastest growing Church on the planet at 1200%. The Catholic Church makes a measly showing at 1.72%.
Sociology: New studies show that extramarital affairs strengthen marriages. Divorce rates jump to 65%.
Theology: The Catholic Church reiterates all its doctrinal teachings of the past 2000 years. The world reacts as though it is the first time it has heard any of this. Terrorists threaten the Pope. The Catholic Church in the United States is accused, alternately, of being the bearer of hate-speech and the promulgator of weeny liberalism.
Zoology: 15 species of insects, found only Texas, Colorado, and Wyoming, go extinct. At first global warming is blamed, but eventually the true story comes out that this was a secret job conducted by Dick Cheney, with the express permission of George W. Bush. 23 new species of insects are discovered in Brazil.