Tuesday, January 01, 2013

2013 predictions

look at that, it's a new year! as has been the tradition here at rubber hose, i will now post my list of predictions for 2013. this is a valuable service provided by this blog, making it easy for my readers to point and laugh at me at the end of the year when they have specific examples of what i got wrong.

as usual, these are presented in no particular order and represent what i currently think will happen, not necessarily what i want to happen.

1. chuck hagel will not be confirmed as secretary of defense.

2. bashar al-assad will no longer be in control of any part of syria by the end of 2013 and he will either be dead or living in some country other than syria.

3. bibi netanyahu will survive the upcoming national elections and he will still be prime minister of israel at the end of 2013.

4. nothing major will happen on the israeli/palestinian conflict. by that i mean: (a) there won't be a final israeli-palestinian peace deal, (b) hamas will remain in control of gaza, and (c) hamas and fatah will not have a real reconciliation in which they end up sharing power. [yeah, i have done this one before. by why not stick with a winner?]

5. neither israel nor the u.s. will attack iran's nuclear facilities in 2013 (by that i mean a military strike, i'm not ruling out something like mysterious explosion that may or may not have been caused by the mossad or CIA) [yes, i know, i always include some variation of this one]

6. there will be another ridiculous debt ceiling showdown in congress and the president will not bypass the showdown through either the constitutional argument or that platinum coin trick, no matter how much people like me yell at him to do it.

7. scott brown will try to run for kerry's vacated senate seat but will lose.

8. no gun control measure will pass the u.s. congress in 2013.

9. there will be at least one major (= more than 10 dead or injured) gun massacre incident during 2013. (despite that, i am still sticking with #8)

10. the u.s. supreme court will rule for the gays in both the DOMA and proposition 8 cases.

11. no more states will become "right to work" states in 2013.

12. none of the central asian former soviet republics (i.e. kazakhstan, kyrgyzstan, uzbekistan, tajikistan, or turkmenistan) will have a different head of state at the end of they year than they had at the beginning of the year. [another repeat, sorry]

13. northern mali will still be outside the control of the government in bamako at the end of 2013. i.e. either the multinational military operation currently being planned to take it back won't happen, or it won't be completely successful by the end of the year, meaning that at least some part of "azawad" will still be in rebel hands).

14. the EU debt crisis will not be resolved in 2013, southern EU members (particularly greece, spain and portugal) will continue to be impoverished by the ECB's austerity demands.

15. greece will default on at least some of its debt.

16. both "pussy riot" prisoners (i.e. nadezhda tolokonnikova and maria alyokhina) will be out of prison by the end of 2013.

17. julian assange will no longer be living in the ecuadoran embassy in london.

18. there will be multiple attempts in the courts and at the state and federal level to weaken and undermine the PPACA. while the law might suffer some funding cuts and possibly some of its provisions or regulations will be watered down, it will survive 2013 and will hobble into effect on january 1, 2014.

19. unemployment will be under 7% at the end of 2013, which will be trumpeted as some great victory even though the rate will still be at a rate that would have been considered too high prior to the great recession.

20. mitt romney will all but disappear. that is, he will not appear regularly on talk shows, or comment publicly about politics, or run for any other office.

21. angela merkel will no longer be chancellor of germany at the end of 2013.

22. hugo chavez will no longer be in charge of venezuela at the end of 2013.

23. presidential and parliamentary elections for the palestinian authority that are currently scheduled to take place some time in 2013 will not occur.

24. libya will continue to be a fractured violent country with local militias in control more than the central government. despite that, the country will hold parliamentary elections in 2013 because the international community still does not want its intervention in libya to be viewed as a failure.

25. this blog will enter its second decade with some changes.

that last one is a cheat, because i'm the one who can make it come true. i guess i'm just betting that I won't change my mind.

tune in at the end of 2013 to see how foolish i look.