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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Reviewing my predictions

Now that the year is ending, we are treated to the annual parade of end-of-year lists. I thought it might be nice to review some of my past predictions.

On Jun. 3, 2008, I predicted the VP running mates would be Tim Pawlenty and Amy Klobuchar. I at least got it right that it would be a white man and a white woman, and the white woman would be a relative newcomer, but I definitely got the parties switched around.

On Nov. 7, 2008, I predicted Obama would not make much progress on the following issues:

Single payer health care
Nuclear power phase out
Sign the Kyoto Protocol
Repeal the Military Commissions Act
Reverse the FISA laws allowing domestic spying
Test troops for depleted uranium
Repeal Taft-Hartley
Indict Bush and Cheney
Independent investigation of 9/11
Investigate $2 trillion missing Pentagon money
Living wage of at least the federally-defined poverty level

So far these predictions have all come true, but that was easy, since Obama never promised any of it.

On Nov. 8, 2008, I predicted people would be squeezed economically. This year, unemployment hit 10%, and it’s still unclear whether we have turned the corner. Home foreclosures have continued, and were up in the third quarter. Yes, Bush left a huge mess, but BHO’s first 100 days were nothing like FDR’s.

Also on Nov. 8, 2008, I predicted there would be some sort of early media distraction. The inaugural invocation by Rick Warren may have fit the bill, while Obama failed to issue an executive order suspending implementation of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” among many missed opportunities on Day 1. Media distractions like the passing of Michael Jackson and the infidelity of Tiger Woods may have been unavoidable as the administration pushed for some sort of health care reform later in the year. However, I would argue that, in a way, health care reform was itself a distraction. I know that there’s something to be said for “staying on message,” but with all the attention on health care, other reforms, like the Employee Free Choice Act, have had to wait. Apparently they can’t “walk and chew gum at the same time” as it is so often described. Republicans know how to ram their agenda through, but Democrats seem to throw it back on the people, rather than expediting the people’s business on their own.

On Nov. 13, 2008, I suggested that Obama would allow enough reforms to keep the economy afloat, but that the corporate bankers would still be allowed to reap huge profits from interest on loans. I think that was pretty accurate.

On Nov. 18, 2008, I expressed concerns about President Obama’s security. The party crashers at the recent White House state dinner with India certainly surprised us. Recently, liberal radio talkers have wondered if the mafia isn’t pulling Obama’s strings from behind the scenes.

Also on Nov. 18, 2008, I predicted that the credit crisis would include an event which significantly affects the average person. I’m not sure that has specifically come true, although credit card rates are expected to rise, despite the new law.

On Nov. 22, 2008, I included some tongue-in-cheek predictions: “Joe Lieberman anguishes over whether to confirm a Supreme Court appointment. Ted Kennedy is brought in by stretcher to cast a dramatic tie-breaking vote.”

While Sonia Sotomayor was confirmed by a comfortable 68-31 margin, Joe Lieberman has been utterly loathed lately for threatening to filibuster the health care bill. And while Ted Kennedy passed away this year, Robert Byrd was brought in by wheelchair this week in blizzard conditions to achieve the 60 votes needed to break the Republican filibuster threat.

Also on Nov. 22, 2008, I expressed serious concerns about Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. He is now widely seen as a tool for Wall Street.

On Nov. 25, 2008, I predicted that Obama would do a balancing act between working people and rich people. This one may have been wrong, since Obama seems to be coming down on the side of the rich people.

On Dec. 1, 2008, I predicted that Obama would not consider PRT or mitigate sonar. To the best of my knowledge, these were accurate.

John Munter and Dave Bicking were correct in predicting Obama would bomb Pakistan.

As things stand today…

Guantanamo and Bagram AFB are still open.
U.S. troops are still in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Troops are not being tested for depleted uranium.
…and much more.


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