Friday, December 31, 2010

2011 predictions

though i graded my 2009 predictions last year, i never got around to making any new ones for 2010. so i got nothing to grade this year. but i want to revive my prediction tradition. if nothing else, these posts are a time capsule preserving where i thought things were going at particular moments in time. seeing how wrong-headed i was can be fun!

so here, in no particular order, is some stuff that i will think will happen in 2011. as i've said before, none of the below predictions are necessarily what i want to happen, they are just what i think is likely to happen.

1. president obama's approval ratings will be roughly the same (within the margin of error) on december 31, 2011 as they were on deceber 31, 2010 (for the purposes of measuring success in this prediction, i will use the gallup daily presidential job approval poll and for the december 31st number i will use the 3 day average for december 28-30).

2. iran will not develop a nuclear weapon in 2011.

3. neither israel nor the u.s. will launch a military strike against iran in 2011.

4. the republican party will still have no clear front-runner candidate to run against obama by the end of 2011.

5. by the end of 2011, there will be no serious primary challenger to obama (and by serious, i mean getting more than 10% support nationally in polls of likely democratic primary voters).

6. the affordable care act will not be repealed in 2011.

7. the supreme court will agree to review the constitutionality of the individual mandate in the ACA.

8. there will be no palestinian-israeli peace deal in 2011.

9. hamas will still control the gaza strip at the end of 2011.

10. israel will continue to expand settlements on the west bank in 2011 and will not agree to any more moratoriums during that year.

11. osama bin laden and ayman zawahiri will still be "at large" on december 31, 2011. [aside: i make this prediction every year. why stop when i got a winner?]

12. the u.s. will comply with the timetable to withdraw its forces from iraq. that is, there will be no u.s. soldiers in iraq by the end of 2011 (except for the usual marine contingent that guards the embassy).

13. more u.s. soldiers will die in afghanistan in 2011 than did in 2010.

14. the u.s. and russia will negotiate a treaty concerning tactical nuclear weapons in 2011, but it will not be ratified by the u.s. senate by the end of the year.

15. at least one more u.s. state will legalize gay marriage in 2011 (i'm not guessing which one).

16. obama will have a budget show-down with the GOP in congress and the government will shut down.

17. by the end of december 2011, sarah palin will still be in national news on a regular basis despite having no reasonable chance of ever holding any elected office again.

18. wikileaks will release all 251,287 of the diplomatic cables it has by the end of 2011.

19. either wikileaks will still exist at the end of 2011, or some successor organization that does essentially the same thing will exist (the successor could be openleaks, or it could be something else like it).

20. the unemployment rate will be better by the end of 2011 than it is at the end of 2010, but unemployment will still be over 8%.

21. southern sudan (or whatever they decide to call it) will either not be independent or will be claiming independence and at war with the khartoum-based government.

22. the only trip i will take outside of the u.s. in 2011 will be to canada.