Tuesday, January 01, 2008

2008 predictions

as promised, here are my predictions for 2008. i'm not necessarily saying these things are what i want to happen, they're just the things i think are most likely to happen. i'd be happy to be wrong on quite a few of them. i just want to see how bad i am at predicting the future. there's also a big range in my degree of certainty for each prediction. some are not much more than blind guesses, and others i am mostly sure of. so here goes:

1. there will be no upset in the democratic presidential primaries. the nominee will be one of the three current front-runners: clinton, obama or edwards.

2. i have no idea which of the three democratic candidates will get the nomination, any of them could do it. but since i'm going out on a limb here, i'll guess edwards.

3. on the republican side, the race will remain up in the air for a long time, or at least longer than the democrats (what i mean is that the dem nominee will be decided before the repub nominee), but there will not be a floor fight.

4. the republican nominee will be romney or mccain.

5. bloomberg will not make an independent run for president.

6. neither will ron paul.

7. the democratic candidate will win the presidency.

8. the democrats will also gain seats in both the house and senate, but they won't get a filibuster-proof majority in the senate.

9. at the end of 2008, the u.s. will have more than 120k troops in iraq.

10. there will be no major legislative accomplishments in 2008--no immigration reform, no major tax code changes, no nothing.

11. each time a new war authorization bill comes up, the democratic leadership in congress will talk about how "this time" they will insist on a timetable for withdrawal. and each time they will ultimately cave in and give the president a bill without a timetable.

12. the supreme court will rule against the bush administration in boumediene v. bush and al odah v. united states (the two gitmo detainees cases).

13. musharraf will not be in charge of pakistan by december 31, 2008.

14. osama bin laden and ayman zawahiri will still be "at large" on december 31, 2008.

15. the total number of american deaths in afghanistan in 2008 will exceed the number of deaths in 2007, but the total number of american deaths in iraq in 2008 will be lower than the total number of american deaths in 2007.

16. the iraqi government will still be essentially paralyzed and unable to make any progress towards resolving the regional autonomy or oil revenue sharing issues.

17. the awakening councils will not be successfully incorporated into the iraq police and/or military. there will be at least once clash between an awakening council militia and the central iraqi government.

18. the u.s. will not attack iran in 2008.

19. fidel castro will no longer be the official leader of cuba by the end of 2008 (he will either officially retire, or die (or both) before the year's end).

20. the u.s. dollar will end 2008 even lower against the euro than it is now.

21. lebanon will be the only arab country that gets a new leader (by that i mean chief executive--king, president, prime minister, emir, whatever the title) in 2008.

22. there will be no breakthroughs on the israeli-palestinian situation. things will essentially remain as they currently are, with hamas in control of gaza (and gaza blockaded by the israelis in response) and fatah nominally in control of the non-israeli controlled areas of the west bank. no progress will be made towards resolving the overall I/P issue, though there will be a lot of talk about it.

23. vladmir putin will still be effectively in charge of russia at the end of 2008.

24. on a personal level, we'll still be waiting for this to happen by the end of 2008.