Grading the oracle for 2009
Time once again to look back at the predictions of last January. Robert Heinlein’s character Lazarus Long said that Cassandra did not get nearly the kicking she deserved. Well, I hope I deserve better.
My predictions, 29 for 2009, are below, and the results are in italics.
1. Beer and alcohol prices will increase substantially due to taxes. Hit the buzzer on that one.
2. At least one major “carbon credit” firm will make headlines for being completely fraudulent. Okay, this was like shooting fish in a barrel. Since the whole concept is fraudulent, what’s a little graft among your envirofriends?
3. Rose Fernandez will be the next State Superintendent at DPI. Democrats will move to change the position to be appointed by the governor. Unfortunately, I was incorrect
4. Gas prices at the pump will creep back up to $2.50/gallon. And that’s on a good day.
5. The proposed RTA will have increased opposition, and will not be granted the power to impose a sales tax. Score! But hang on to your wallets because they’ll be making another pass at them soon.
6. The Wisconsin Institute for Leadership’s Brian Fraley will turn to the Cap Times’ John Nichols and say, “John, you ignorant slut.” Never got that far. But Scot Ross makes an excellent verbal punching bag.
7. The Wisconsin State Journal will cease to be a daily newspaper. I was premature.
8. The number of auto dealerships will shrink as at least one major car manufacturer moves to an internet business model. Almost. The number of dealerships did shrink. The internet business model can’t be too far behind. (Update: Nick Schweitzer in the comments reminds me I was right about the internet business model, too.)
9. There will be more US casualties in Afghanistan in 2009 than there were in 2008. 2010 will be worse still. I wonder how long Obama is going to allow Pakistan to be a safe haven, and will we see a Cambodia-style incursion before too long?
10. Waukesha Mayor Larry Nelson’s white jacket will come back into style. Never came back, but did it ever really go out of style?
11. Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich (Dem) will not be removed from office by the legislature. Missed on that one, but he was not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
12. President Obama will get very annoyed at former President Carter’s interference with US foreign policy. Carter is too worried about his grandson’s political career right now. The old gasbag is even apologizing to Israel. When will he apologize to the rest of us?
13. Wisconsin will not pass universal health care. Score! Even with majorities in both chambers.
14. Both Russ Feingold and Herb Kohl will remain bachelors. Score! I wonder when critics of Charlie Sykes will catch up to Mr. Cool Russ Feingold’s serial marriages.
15. Barack Obama’s approval rating will drop below 50% by the end of the year. Score! The change we were waiting for turned out to be re-hashed liberalism, and it sucks.
16. Shirley Abrahamson will not win re-election. Democrats will move to change the State Supreme Court selection process to appointment by a judiciary committee overseen by the governor. Wrong, but the state’s left-wing is still fighting the last judicial fight. Appointment is gaining favor, unfortunately.
17. Speculation about Congressman Sensenbrenner’s retirement will prompt him to declare his intentions to run again in 2010. Yup. Unfortunately the Congressman’s health became an issue. Here’s hoping for a full recovery in 2010.
18. Michael Steele will be the next RNC Chairman. Yes, but who is going to replace him?
19. The Milwaukee Brewers will finish 80-82. On the nose. Pitching, pitching, pitching.
20. There will be a Mumbai-style terrorist attack in the United States this year. Since there were not multiple terrorists involved, I don’t think Ft. Hood qualifies as “Mubai-style.” Large-scale explosive terrorism is out. Small-scale single person terrorism is in, for the moment.
21. Israel will attack an unspecified target in Iran. Not yet.
22. The Democrats will recruit a candidate to run against Jeff Wood in 2010. Not yet, which is probably a strong indicator of Democratic troubles in 2010 when they can’t recruit a candidate for this seat.
23. Somebody will ask me if I’m Owen Robinson. Yes, it happens. I tell them I’m much better looking.
24. At least one member of the state legislature will be involved in a drunk driving accident that results in a fatality. Thank God I was wrong, but it’s not like Jeff Wood didn’t make multiple attempts.
25. Roland Burris will be the next senator for Illinois. No way White Senate Democrats were going to keep a Black man down.
26. A “dump Nancy Pelosi” movement will emerge in the Democratic Congressional caucus. Check with me after 2010.
27. Global temperatures will be cooler in 2009 than they were in 2008, continuing the downward trend. Here’s a hint for meteorologists. Every time Al Gore speaks, he sucks the warm air from the atmosphere. It’s like the effect of dead people in The Sixth Sense. I see Gore people.
28. The DNR will announce that the deer herd in areas that allow hunting are lower than previously thought, while overall deer herd numbers are what they expected. Really, there are deer out there. You just have to know where to look. Or maybe not.
29. Pabst Farms will not find an anchor tenant. The only anchor in Oconomowoc is this project. Here’s a lesson about government planning.