We hang now on the edge of a new year. Here are my predictions for what is to come.
1. The GOP will retain control of both the House and Senate at the midterm election, with approximately the same balance between parties.
2. Tom DeLay will be found not guilty, but not soon enough to recover his position as House Majority Leader. He will be reelected by the people of the 22nd District. I will be reelected precinct chair by the people of Precinct 333.
3. Gov. Rick Perry will face a runoff election against Kinky Friedman. Perry will win.
4. Fidel Castro passes on to his infernal reward.
5. Iranian nuclear sites will be bombed by Israel.
6. Judge Alito will be confirmed to the Supreme Court. Republicans will not need to use the nuclear option to accomplish this. At least one vacancy will appear on the court, due to death rather than retirement. Expect a Hispanic replacement.
7. Every state voting on the matter will ban gay marriage. A District Court judge in the Ninth Circuit will rule that limiting marriage to one man and one women violates the Equal Protection Clause. The US Supreme Court will take the matter on an expedited appeal.
8. New Orleans will not have recovered by this time next year -- and those displaced by Katrina will have long since worn out their welcome as they keep demanding special government benefits more than a year after the hurricane.
9. America draws down troops in Iraq as the situation continues to improve -- and Democrats continue to label the invasion and reconstruction a failure.
10. Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban marry. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes marry. Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Anniston marry. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt marry. Nick and Jessica do not reconcile. Brittany and Kevin divorce. Garth Brooks and Tricia Yearwood have a baby.
Let's look at how I did last year.
1. At least one more state will legalize gay marriages, while at least five will ban them. I don't think California will be the one, rather I suspect that the Minnesota courts will do the deed. And Texas will most assuredly be one of those which formally outlaws such marriages through a constitutional amendment. My longshot prediction in this regard is that a federal court, probably somewhere in the Ninth Circuit, will declare that gay marriage bans contradict the Equal Protection Clause, leading to new momentum for a Federal Marriage Amendment.
Well, sort of. Rulings seeming to favor such marriages took place in New York and California, but have been stayed. The California Legislature tried to circumvent the state constitution to legalize such marriage, but the Gevernator vetoed teh measure on constitutional grounds.
2) Chief Justice Rehnquist will submit his resignation, likely on January 21, to be effective upon the confirmation of his replacement. While much speculation will center upon the elevation of Justice Thomas to the center seat, it will not happen. He will instead seek to move Scalia to the Chief Justice position, and will nominate a sitting state supreme court justice to the high court. My longshot prediction is that the appointee will be California Justice Janice Rogers Brown, whose appointment to the DC Circuit has been blocked by the use of parliamentary tactics by the Democrats.
Well, the Chief Justice left the bench by death rather than resignation. Thomas was not elevated, but neither was anyone else on the high court. Janice Rogers brown was confirmed to the appellate bench and not elevated to the SCOTUS.
3) Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle will prove the old adage that a prosecutor can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich if he wants it to. The ham sandwich in this case will be Tom DeLay, and it will come close to the end of the year, shortly before DeLay has to file for the 2006 primary. Facing the potential for a strong primary challenge and a trial during the fall election campaign, DeLay will announce his decision not to run for reelection. My longshot prediction has the Texas Legislature stripping the Travis County DA of its authority to investigate breaches of ethics laws, and invest that power in the office of the Texas Attorney General , where it rightly and logically belongs.
I guess that September/October constitute the end of the year. DeLay has put up a great fight, more than I would have expected at the beginning of the year. Perhaps there will be a stripping of jurisdiction by the legislature this year, during the special session to revamp school funding.
4) Hillary Clinton will announce her candidacy for reelection to the Senate, promising not to seek the Democrat presidential nomination and to serve out her term. Few observers of American politics will believe her. My longshot prediction is that early polls will show her locked neck-and-neck with George Pataki, but defeating Rudy Giuliani.
Pretty good, though my polling predictions are off.
5) This year will see the death of Pope John Paul II. His successor will be a conservative cardinal, who will continue to follow the course set by the current pontiff. He will not be a European. My longshot prediction is that he will not take the name John Paul III. My even longer shot prediction is that he will select either Leo or Benedict.
Mostly right. For all the talk of a non-European, Joseph Ratzinger became a consensus choice prior to the conclave. He is certainly a conservative. And I nailed it with the prediction of Benedict as the name selected.
All-in all, not bad.
We'll review the new predictions in December!
OTHER PREDICTIONS FROM OTHER VOICES:
Fanatical Apathy (Quite funny!)
Three Rounds Brisk
Gahrie's Grumbles and Groans
A Certain Slant of Light
The Gilittering Eye
All Things Beautiful
Sigmund, Carl, and Alfred
The Sundries Shack
Blogs for Bush
National Review Online