PREDICTIONS FOR OCTOBER 2012
Since the 2012 election season has already begun, we can anticipate nothing being accomplished with respect to any new major federal legislation. Instead, the status quo will continue as Congress is completely gridlocked and paralyzed. The only excitement will be how long the federal government stays closed, and after a few months of general inactivity, will anyone really notice or care.
TMV writers and readers need to stick out our necks and make bold predictions for the nation, world, and our localities. To make things easier, I am providing an initial list of 25 and encouraging TMV writers, readers and commentators to add special or follow-up predictions. After the 2012 elections, we can compare scores and our clairvoyant talents. If anyone actually comes close to reality in their predictions, I’ll take the winner out to lunch if he or she can make it to Phoenix, Arizona.
1. The 2012 Republican candidate for U.S. President will be _________________. The Vice-Presidential spot is pretty irrelevant as Joe Biden might even be replaced and no one would notice. (I predict Jeb Bush after the current GOP candidates all self-immolate for various reasons during the primaries.)
2. Yes/No: There will be a major third party candidate in 2012. If true, please give names of candidates and biggest financial backers, plus predict the general political/economic philosophy of that third party. (Yes, I predict two – far left and far right – who collectively get no more than 10% nationwide of all the votes cast but they help defeat Obama in 5 key states.)
3. True/False: Obama will be re-elected. Regardless of your overall prediction, please predict the actual national popular vote percentages of the two major parties and the Electoral College results. (I am predicting that Jeb Bush beats Obama in 2012 – 46% to 44% with 10% going to other candidates. This will be a variation on 1992 with various role reversals. The electoral college results will not be as close as they were in 2000.)
4. Who will hold the House, the Senate and the White House in January 2013? Choices are Republicans, Democrats, Neither, the Oligarchy, the Plutocrats, extra-terrestrial aliens. (I predict a complete Republican sweep but the real power behind the federal government will rest with our 1% Oligarchy assisted by the next 9%. The rest of us would be no better or worse off by not even voting.)
5. T/F: The Japanese will still be struggling to contain the Nuclear Reactor disaster. Regardless of reality, the media and most governments will simply ignore the problem and say it is now just part of nature. Many Japanese manufacturing facilities will be shipped to China and other countries – but not to the U.S. – dream on those who foolishly hope otherwise.
6. T/F: China’s real estate bubble pops at the same time world food prices skyrocket due to speculation and some real shortages due to freakish weather. This will cause serious political/economic upheaval in China that will be promptly quelled by ruthless central government crackdowns in most cities. Dissidents will be quickly whisked off via high speed rail to retraining camps in the middle of nowhere but specifically where industrial pollution is completely uncontrolled.
7. The official and unofficial unemployment rates will stand at _____% and _____% respectively, directly helping or hurting Obama’s re-election chances. (I’m going for 9.3% and 17.3% which will still undercount reality.)
8. Fill-In: The top 1% of the nation’s households will increase or decrease their percentages of annual income and total wealth with respect to the other 99% of the population. Please provide percentages of annual income and accumulated wealth held. (I suggest 29% and 69% respectively, but that’s being modest for their increases. Contrarily the percentage of annual income and total wealth of the bottom half of America will drop to 5% in both categories.) On a brighter side, corporate marginal tax rates will be halved in a bi-partisan pre-election bid to curry favor with large corporate campaign contributors.
9. Between now and October 2012, the Federal Government will have been shut down how many times or will it just not be operating at all? (I predict at least 3 times with each lasting from a minimum of 4 weeks to a maximum of 14 weeks but Washington will be in operation in order to conduct the 2012 elections.) However, 2012 may be the penultimate U.S. Presidential elections and we won’t bother with them in 2020 or thereafter.
10. Yes/No: Will the U.S. Supreme Court strike down the individual mandate to purchase health insurance that was part of the 2010 Healthcare reforms? (I predict yes, but the Supremes will add confusing dicta noting the states can separately impose the mandate on their residents a la Massachusetts but the Federal government cannot as healthcare is ruled not part of interstate commerce.)
11. T/F: Total U.S. healthcare spending by all public programs, private insurers, and individuals will exceed 20% of GDP. It will become cheaper to start another war than to fund Medicare. Serious consideration will be given to reinstating the draft but only for those over the age of 65.
12. T/F: The U.S. Supreme Court will uphold in part the Arizona public finance law which provides matching public funds to poorer candidates to offset those funds raised privately by wealthy and well-connected candidates running for public office. The public funding will be permitted up to a certain amount but there will be no limit on private contributions for candidates or spending by corporations on behalf of any candidate, rendering the whole Arizona law rather pointless.
13. T/F: By October 2012, if not sooner, Elizabeth Warren will be back at Harvard University Law School while Angelo Mozilo (former CEO of Countrywide Mortgage until 7/1/08) will be appointed as the new head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Bonus points: please provide the actual funding approved for the new bureau rounded to the nearest penny. (I predict $123.45)
14. T/F: By October 2012, the U.S. will still be in Afghanistan and Iraq with at least 50,000 combat troops in each country. (Yet no one in either party can coherently explain what the U.S. mission is in either operation.)
15. T/F: Muammar Muhammad al-Gaddafi (aka Khadaffi) will have finally retired to an undisclosed European address keeping half the money he stole from his country over the prior 30 years in exchange for allowing regime change. He will also get a multi-million dollar reality TV contract (Bunga, Bunga) that will co-star Snookie from Jersey Shore. He’ll play himself as the world’s most colorfully crazy former dictator. His friendship with Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi should be an asset. Please predict the network, day and time slot.
16. Fill In: Gold will be selling for $_________ per ounce. You may denominate the price in whatever new global currency you think might replace the dollar.
17. Fill In: The price of a barrel of crude oil on most global markets will average $ _________ or whatever alternative there may be to the dollar, though it may keep its global status a few more years.
18. Fill In: The average price of a gallon of gasoline in the U.S. will be $ ___________ (with the price in California being about $1 higher).
19. Fill In: The average price of a gallon of whole milk in the U.S. will be $_________ (with the price in California being about $1 higher).
20. T/F: A majority of state legislatures and governors of former confederate states, including Arizona, will have already threatened a declaration of independence if Obama is re-elected. Their new currency will be the “nugget” as in chicken. Fortunately another Bush in the White House will calm them down.
21. Yes/No: There will be a professional football season played for 2011-2012. Who will be the first to cave in the negotiations – the owners or players? Will it be a shortened season that involves playoff teams being chosen by Las Vegas bookies?
22. T/F: Charlie Sheen will have traded in his 2 current goddesses for 3 new female deities of the blond persuasion. Shortly thereafter Tiger Woods will be in caught in bed with 4 blond bimbos (actually “bimbe” – the correct Italian plural for 4 female gold-diggers) just to keep up his image.
23. Fill In: The Federal Deficit for FY Oct.’11 thru Sept.’12 will be $_______trillion. (I predict between $1.1 and $1.5 trillion annually for the foreseeable future including any slight savings from government shutdowns. Washington DC operates in a fantasy parallel universe from the rest of the nation and planet.)
24. The winner of the 2011 NCAA College Basketball Tournament will be _______________. (The Final Four includes Kentucky, Connecticut, Butler & VCU – the last 2 being complete surprises. Come on Kathy Kattenburg, we all know you hate March Madness but you’ve got a one in four chance of winning this one. Do you want to predict the 2011 NBA Champions? Hint – it won’t be the Clippers, Cavaliers, or Suns – but you might want to wait till the playoff match-ups are announced. Sports betting can be the poor man’s alternative to what Wall Street has turned a good part of the economy into – high speed gambling with other people’s money insured at the public’s expense held at a corrupt casino they have completely fixed.)
25. T/F: The world as we know it really does come to an end December 21, 2012, rendering everything we do from now on completely useless. (Perhaps we all better read up on what the Torah, New Testament, and Koran say about the end of time. I am particularly interested in alternative choices as those three don’t look particularly positive from my agnostic perspective.)
Everyone’s input is certainly welcomed. I’ll be keeping score along with the rest of the TMV junkies and aficionados.
Submitted 3/28/11 by Marc Pascal from Phoenix, AZ. Readers are free to contact me directly at [email protected] to provide their predictions.