Wednesday, August 21st, 2019

Predictions of the past, predictions of the future


“Then came the shade of Teiresias from Thebes, holding a golden staff. He knew who I was and started speaking:

‘Resourceful Odysseus,
Laertes’ son and Zeus’ child, what now,
you unlucky man? Why leave the sunlight,
come to this joyless place, and see the dead?
Move from the pit and pull away your sword,
so I may drink the blood and speak the truth.’

The year 2016 A.D. is gone and 2017 begins. We look forward and we look back. Over at RightWisconsin, we looked to the future and made predictions of what will be, sometimes tongue-in-cheek. Here are my predictions for 2017, cross-posted here:

I think making predictions about 2017 after what happened in 2016 is a bit of a fool’s errand. However, I’ve polished (off) the magic martini shaker and, after examining it closely, found the following events are likely to occur next year:

1. There will be a minor increase in the state gas tax, but only after the minimum markup on gasoline sales is repealed. The transportation funding fight will make the state budget late again.

2. Republicans who hoped Donald Trump’s more liberal tendencies will be controlled by a conservative Congress will be shocked at the size of the “infrastructure” bill that will be proposed and eventually passed.

3. Wisconsin Democrats’ disarray will be evident when year-long speculation over the Democrats’ lack of a serious gubernatorial candidate will cause conflict between the Bernie die-hards and the party regulars.

4. Charlie Sykes will still require people talking to him on Thursdays to begin conversations with, “Charlie, what I don’t get…”

5. The stock market will continue to climb and Donald Trump will be given the credit. Then he’ll criticize the market on Twitter, causing a crash.

6. We’ll miss Barack Obama playing golf.

7. Governor Scott Walker will ask the federal government for assistance to deal with the refugees fleeing Illinois. Citing the violence in Chicago, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos will call for tougher screening before the Fleeing Illinois Bears fans settle in Racine.

By some stroke of good fortune and the miracle of switching web formats, the RightWisconsin predictions for 2016 have vanished into the ether. However, I found mine, and the annual tradition is that we see how well they held up:

  1. The Republican candidate for president will be Senator Ted Cruz. He will lose to Hillary Clinton. Cruz will then run for Prime Minister of Canada.

Bzzzt. Cruz was the last viable non-Trump candidate, made a great speech, and then was taken by the pods. As for Hillary, she won the popular vote. Too bad that isn’t the goal.

2. Senator Ron Johnson will be dragged down by the top of the ticket and he will lose to Russ Feingold who will announce he is opening a district office in Palo Alto.

Yeah, that prediction will not land me in the pundit hall of fame. Of course, I was hardly alone.

3. Republicans will retain both houses of congress. Paul Ryan will still be Speaker of the House because nobody else wants the job.

Would you want the job?

4. Republicans will hold onto the state Assembly and the state Senate. They will lose one state senator but pick up two seats in the Assembly.

Republicans didn’t lose a seat in the senate. And who else predicted the Assembly Republicans would actually pick up seats?

5. Repeal of the minimum markup law will finally pass in Wisconsin. However, the minimum markup on lobbyist expenses will be increased.

Close. Minimum markup was not repealed, but per diems for legislators went up.

6. Wisconsin’s incumbent congressmen will all win re-election. Sensenbrenner will announce he’s running again in 2018. Republicans in his district find other jobs.

Reid Ribble didn’t run for re-election but Republicans easily held his seat.

7. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett will easily win re-election. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel will forget to report the election.

That’s about right.

8. Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele will easily defeat Chris Larson after he is caught stealing yard signs. Abele will be helped in both the suburbs and in the African American communities.

Um, yep. And they didn’t get the joke.

9. Justice Rebecca Bradley will defeat JoAnne Kloppenburg. Liberals will blame redistricting.

Yep again.

10. When Donald Trump loses the nomination, Ann Coulter will switch parties and endorse Hillary Clinton “because she’s an actual American” over “the foreigner” Cruz.

Yeah, well, Coulter came close. By the way, she owes Charlie Sykes money.

11. After he delivers the keynote address at the Republican convention, a national poll of Republicans will reveal they wished they nominated Marco Rubio.

No, but he lives to fight another day.

12. State Supreme Court Justice Shirley Abrahamson will join the Solidarity singers.

I’m sure there’s video somewhere.

13. The Capital Times will run an editorial that is just a full page of “IHATESCOTTWALKERIHATESCOTTWALKERIHATESCOTTWALKER…”

Can you tell the difference?

14. Dan Bice will finally get that dream job with Gawker.

Oops. Hope Dan wasn’t counting on this prediction coming true.

15. Wisconsin Eye will again whine that some political campaign is using without permission their video recording of the legislature in session.

Somehow we got through the political season without this happening, but it’s ridiculous that the legislature continues to allow Wisconsin Eye to control all video of the legislature in session.

16. Donald Trump will not appear at the Republican National Convention after his demand for an appearance fee is rejected. His supporters will blame Reince Priebus.

Turns out that it was Trump’s party after all, but who will forget this classic moment?


After saying this,
the shade of lord Teiresias returned
to Hades’ home, having made his prophecy.

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