Okay, the year's not over yet, but unless there are some big surprises in the next week and a half, I think we can look at our predictions for 2007.
Might as well look at mine
first.Predictions For 2007Iraq: The new Democrat Congress will affect but not derail Bush's plans. Violence will continue but democratic institutions will be built up.
The first sentence is right--the Dems wanted to do something to appeal to their anti-war base, but Bush still pretty much got what he wanted. However, what I didn't predict was violence would drop significantly by the end of the year (whether or not democratic institution are built up).World Politics: The Palestinians will continue to attack Israel and each other. Castro will die but Cuba will remain a prison.
Essentially right on the Palestinians, I'd say. Castro didn't die, though he was ill. Cuba is still a prison.American Politics: The Democrats will reverse a lot of rules at first, but eventually fissures will develop that slow down the passing of laws. Bush will get very few of his proposals through, and will change from signing statements to vetoes. Bush will not be impeached. Protectionist legislation will be passed. The 700-mile border wall will not be built. Hillary will remain the Dems front-runner for 2008, even with significant disenchantment among the base. No single clear leader will emerge from the Republican side.
Dems reversed some rules, but were much more interested in launching countless investigations. The fissures did prevent them from passing too many laws. Bush did start vetoing laws, and wasn't impeached. I don't think any important protectionism passed. The Wall wasn't built, at least not much. Hillary, I'd say, remains the front runner, but barely, and plenty of disenchantment. As far as no clear Repub leader, that's true in spades.Popular Culture: Helen Mirren will win the Best Actress Oscar.
The Departed and
Dreamgirls will get the most undeserved Oscar nominations. The final
Sopranos will be seen as disappointing.
American Idol will not go down in popularity. At least three of the top five grossing films of the year will be sequels.
Mirren won. Departed
got too many, not as sure about Dreamgirls
finale was controversial, and disappointing to many. Idol
still was as popular as ever (or at worst dropped only slightly). Looks like four of the top five will be sequels--Pirates
.Economics: The U.S. economy will continue to grow at the rate it's been growing for over a year. The dollar will stabilize.
Essentially wrong. There was growth, but storm clouds these past several months. Dollar didn't stabilize.Law: Alito will often vote differently from how O'Connor did. This will mean, among other thing (assuming Kennedy and Roberts go along) that affirmative action as presently practiced will be greatly affected, which will create a larger reaction than usual for a judicial opinion.
Alito was different, and affirmative action took a hit, though whether others will follow the law reamins to be seen. It got a reaction, but not that huge.Sports: Pistons go all the way. The Tigers won't do anywhere near as well as last season. Michigan will finally beat Ohio State.
Pistons fall just short of the finals. Tigers did reasonably well, but not as well as last time. Like the previous season, they fell apart near the end. I figured Michigan had to win one of these days, but I guess not this time.Internet: The blogs will break another scandal bringing down yet another big name.
The Scott Beauchamp scandal blew up in The New Republic
's face. The fallout may not be over.
Let's look at what AnnArborGuy had to say. (The other Guys wimped out.)World: Pat Robertson is wrong! The world will likely still be here next year. (If you are reading this in January of 2008, then this prediction holds.) [Note from LAguy: And if you're wrong, no one will be around to read it--pretty safe.]
Okay.Politics: Democrats get a lot of what they want accomplished. Repubs are accommodating on most fronts and only fight one or two issues. Bush threatens but still does not use his veto.
I'd say wrong on all counts.Economics: Good year for business. Soft landing as they say. Stock market looking beyond 2007 to the election year takes a breather through the summer.
Once again, I'd say wrong. (But I like bold predictions.)Sports: Pistons don't even make the playoffs. Tigers have a commendable but not pennant winning year. Wolverine fans again awake with a hangover for the New Year.
Pistons win their division, and beat Orlando and Chicago before falling to Cleveland in the semifinals. I guess the Tigers were commendable if you look into their last decade. AAGuy calls it for the Wolverines (though the real hangover was from the first game, not the last).Religion: The religion of peace keeps making new humans at a pace faster than anyone else and their influence spreads. Flash points continue everytime anyone says anything true about them.
Don't really have the stats for the first sentenece. The second sentence is more an editorial.Medicine: Major breakthrough in genetic therapy (for a specific disease) is announced. World awaits breathlessly to see if it will have practical value. Health care politics do not result in any reform.
If AAGuy knows of this breakthrough, please inform us. He's right on health care.
Some of our readers also sent in predictions. Here's something from an anonymous reader (feel free to identify yourself):
1. Iran will push Iraq to page 2
I think you called this one.
2. Bush will abandon the "base" and reach across the aisle for several "bipartisan moderate" issues with some but limited success
I'd say no. (He tried bipartisanship in his first term and look what it got him.)
3. "Workforce shortage" will become a big issue as boomers retire
Not yet, but perhaps this isn't a prediction for 2007.
4. Baltimore over New Orleans 13-6 in one of the most boring least watched super bowls ever
Colts 29, Bears 17, in what was a pretty good game.
5. The seasonal aberrations of over 50 degree days in December/January in the NorthEast will push green building/global warming legislation in both Congress and several states but despite the hype it will be largely symbolic without much practicial effect (though it will further marginalize the industry scientists' positions)
I don't recall the temperature a year ago, but right now it's freezing in the Northeast. Bush has got behind green legislation in a general way, but I don't see any yet.
6. As the positions clarify, Immigration will continue to become a wedge issue like abortion, taxes and war.
Immigration was a huge issue, but it was more the elite versus the common folk as top Repubs tried but failed to force comprehensive reform on an unwilling public. Driver's licenses also got politicians in trouble. Whether it will be a wedge issue in the upcoming election is tough to say, since the only major Repub who is "tough" on immigration is Fred Thompson. (Are they throwing away a good issue?)
7. Blockbuster will be out of business (or well on the way)
Throw in major record stores as well.
Finally, here are some predictions from reader Larry King:
1. Nancy Pelosi will not move the Congressional Democrats to the middle. Two reasons: (a) this is always difficult, as seen in 1993 and 2001; (b) deep inside, she would rather be the most powerful Democrat in the USA than the adjunct to a Democratic president.
I'm not sure how to call this one. While she's hardly Bush's friend, she's often been the one putting the breaks on the Dem base's nuttier ideas (like impeachment) and far from pulling us precipitously out of Iraq, the Congress keeps authorizing more money for the war.
2. Pope Benedict XVI will issue a wide permission for priests to celebrate the old rite of the Mass (the "Tridentine" or "Latin" Mass) no later than March of this year.
Larry has said this happened but not until later in the year. Is this correct? (Sounds like you had inside info.)
3. By late 2007, every Democrat who hopes to be elected president in 2008 will be very vague in their statements about Iraq, because they will have realized that the Iraq War will not even be close to over in January 2009 and they would rather not commit themselves to any strategy this far in advance.
They have gotten vaguer, or less loud about the war, as they see it's not as winning an issue as it once was (though it still plays well with the base). I don't know if they are changing their tune because they're afraid they won't be able to keep promises if elected--I could see this strategy once they clearly have their party's nomiation, but earlier?
4. The media, the Democrats, and many Republicans will continue to misinterpret November 2006 as a sign of the religious right's decline.
Considering the rise of Huckabee, you may have called this one.
And I agree with Reader's prediction # 7. Within a couple years, Netflix and Amazon will dominate the rental and buying markets in a way that no physical store chain ever has.
Things seem to be going in this direction, though it's been moving this way for a while.
I [...] predict that by Fall 2007 it will be clear that McCain is the frontrunner. In fact, he will be seen as difficult to beat.Even if leaders of the Conservative Movement attack McCain for not being conservative enough, they will get very little traction. The fact that these "leaders" were silent while Bush increased spending drastically has compromised their authority. Meanwhile, McCain is positioning himself closer to Bush -- supporting his troop increase request and sounding more like a social conservative. As proven in 1968 and 1988, Republicans give the benefit of the doubt to frontrunners who claim conservative credentials, even when these are dubious, and McCain is much more conservative than Nixon ever was.
I've already taken Larry to task for this statement, and it's certainly wrong--McCain is fighting for his life. But it's also true that McCain's clear support for the troop increase has been a great asset, and may yet save him.