Tuesday, January 03, 2006

2006 Predictions and Hopes

At this time of year it is customary for pundits to issue predictions. William Safire has been doing it for 32 years. In his piece called The Office Pool, 2006 (NY Times, 12/29/05) Safire offered 14 multiple choice questions and his own choices.

I agreed with 8 of them including this one: As Bush approval rises, historians will begin to equate his era with that of: (a) Truman; (b) Eisenhower; (c) L.B.J.; (d) Reagan; (e) Clinton. Safire and I both chose Truman.

We disagreed on this one: Best-picture Oscar to: (a) "Match Point"; (b) "Brokeback Mountain"; (c) "Walk the Line"; (d) "North Country." Safire chose “Brokeback Mountain” (yuck) while I liked “Walk the Line.” Reese Witherspoon is terrific.

Anyway, here is my very first list of 2006 Predictions (not multiple choice) and each will be matched with a Hope in the brackets, for example: {I will become a thin guy.}

1. A stable democracy will be established in Iraq and US troop strength will be reduced to less than 100,000. {Iraq will be the first Arab country to recognize Israel.}

2. America will form an alliance of the willing with Britain, Australia, Japan and India. {Canada joins the team.}

3. Sam Alito is confirmed to the Supreme Court. {Ruth Ginzberg retires.}

4. US productivity growth exceeds 3% driving GDP growth to 4%. {Americans begin to understand that productivity is our economic ace in the hole.}

5. Inflation remains below 4%, unemployment below 5% and long term interest below 6%. {Americans finally realize how well off they are.}

6. Tax rates on income and dividends remain at current levels (or lower) while tax revenues rise. {Americans begin to understand the Laffer curve.}


7. The flow of illegals across the Mexican border is substantially reduced by a combination of border police, the National Guard, fences and technology. {Mexico helps.}

8. Nationally, Republicans remain in control of the House and the Senate. {Arnold is re-elected Governor.}

9. The anti-union backlash gains momentum with the poor demanding school vouchers and the middle class objecting to government employee benefits and pensions. {Teacher’s unions decide to put the kids first.}

10. The President’s job approval exceeds 50% and stays there. {Condi Rice becomes the odds on favorite to win the Republican nomination for president.}

What do you think?

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds good!!

Millie

9:29 PM  
Anonymous Pamela said...

# 7 seems doubtful to me. I'd consider it a hope and a prayer.
# 10, your hope that Rice will be the nominee for Prez is not shared by me. If she gets it; I most likely will decide to stay home on election day. But, although certainly not a hope, will consider it a prayer.
My hope would be Jeb Bush.

7:15 AM  
Blogger Ralph said...

I don't necessarilly disagree with your predictions but I question your confidence that the public will suddenly understand economics, especially with MSM misreporting and distortions continuing.

7:16 AM  
Blogger fetching jen said...

interesting... I like your enthusiasm and hope it is contageous

7:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN SMOKING?

CONDI HAS 2 CHANCES OF BEING NOMINATED, SLIM AND NONE. THE KINDERGARTEN COP WILL NEVER BE RE-ELECTED [ I KNOW YOU ARE A BIG FAN OF HIS ] WISHFULL THINKING ON YOUR PART.

BUSH GETTING 50% APPROVAL? GET A NEW SHRINK.

IRAQ WILL NEVER BE A SOLIDIFIED COUNTRY AS LONG AS THE COUNTRY REMAINS DIVIDED WITH TWO DIFFERENT PHILOSOPHIES. IF THEY RECOGNIZED ISREAL THEY WOULD GET CLOBBERED BY THE OTHER ARAB NATIONS.

JUST FOR THE HELL OF IT LETS SAY CONDI GETS NOMINATED---SHE WILL NEVER BEAT HILLARY.

WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO GET OFF THE POLITICAL "KICK" AND WRITE ABOUT THE REAL WORLD? I.E. JUMP ON THE GRUMPY OLD MEN OF PVP WATCH AND THEIR INCESSANT "SLAMMING" OF OUR CITY COUNCIL. YOU KNOW, INTERESTING THINGS.

I THINK THE BLOG IS MORE "HOPE" THAN "PREDICTIONS". GOOD LUCK, YOU REALLY NEED IT.

"LIBERAL" VIC

1:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Bill -

FYI, Israel has full diplomatic relations with the Arab states of Egypt, Jordan, and Mauritania, and other-than-full relations with Morocco, Tunisia, Oman, Qatar, and Bahrain. A Shiite-dominated Iraqi government is not likely to recognize Israel.

Happy New Year to you and family,

Mark

4:18 PM  
Blogger Bill Lama said...

Hey Vic,
I remember you were quite certain back in 2004 that Kerry was going to beat Bush. Then I remember your making a donation to Los Serenos in my name. Just a coincidence?

So how about it? Lets go $20 on each of my predictions that you disagree with. From below we have:

1. IRAQ WILL NEVER BE A SOLIDIFIED COUNTRY AS LONG AS THE COUNTRY REMAINS DIVIDED WITH TWO DIFFERENT PHILOSOPHIES.

10. BUSH GETTING 50% APPROVAL? GET A NEW SHRINK.

The Condi Rice nomination was a Hope, not a Prediction, as was Arnold getting re-elected. If you want to bet on Hopes you will have to give me odds.

So what do you think of my other predictions #2 - #9? Are we going to make a wager for the benefit of Los Serenos?

Bill

6:50 PM  
Blogger Bill Lama said...

Pam,

You are right about the illegal immigration prediction #7. It is a really risky predicion, surely more of a hope. But, hey, easy predictions are no fun.

On #10, I don't believe the Republican Party would nominate another Bush this soon. I do like Jeb and think he will be viable in 2012. But what's wrong with Condi?

6:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

January 13, 2006 latimes.com : Iraq Print E-mail story Most e-mailed Change text size

THE NATION
Bishops Urge U.S. to Transition Out of Iraq
In a statement sent to Bush and Congress, Catholic prelates avoid the word "withdrawal," but say American troops should leave "sooner than later."

By Larry B. Stammer, Times Staff Writer


Declaring that the United States was at a crossroads in Iraq, the nation's Roman Catholic bishops said Thursday the time had come to withdraw U.S. troops as fast as responsibly possible and to hand control of the country to Iraqis.

"Our nation's military forces should remain in Iraq only as long as it takes for a responsible transition, leaving sooner than later," said Bishop Thomas G. Wenski of Orlando, Fla., speaking for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Wenski, chairman of the bishops Committee on International Policy, said recent statements by the Bush administration that troop levels would be reduced were not enough. He said the U.S. must send an unmistakable signal that the goal was not to occupy Iraq "for an indeterminate period," but to help Iraqis assume full control of their government.

The eight-page statement, in the works for months and delivered to the White House and members of Congress on Thursday, was candid in its assessment of the war, which U.S. bishops and the late pope, John Paul II, had opposed from the start.

It underscored failures but also highlighted successes in the nearly three years since the U.S.-led invasion. Weapons of mass destruction were not found; more than 2,200 American troops and tens of thousands of Iraqis have been killed; U.S.-held prisoners were tortured and mistreated; and violence was continuing in the streets.

The bishops said they remained "highly skeptical" of Bush's doctrine of "preventive war." But they also saw signs of hope, including the Iraqi elections.

"Our nation cannot afford a shrill and shallow debate that distorts reality and reduces the options to 'cut and run' versus 'stay the course,' " Wenski wrote, speaking for the bishops conference.

In an interview Thursday, Wenski said the bishops purposely decided to avoid the word "withdrawal" in favor of "transition" to avoid the impression that bishops were advocating that the U.S. "cut and run."

"No matter what the debate might have been about going into Iraq, now that we are there, our presence gives us a whole set of new moral obligations that we have to try to fulfill in a responsible way," Wenski said.

"Our nation is at a crossroads in Iraq," the statement said. "We must resist a pessimism that might move our nation to abandon the moral responsibilities it accepted in using force, and might tempt us to withdraw prematurely from Iraq without regard for moral and human consequences.

"We must [also] reject an optimism that fails to acknowledge clearly past mistakes, failed intelligence, and inadequate planning related to Iraq, and minimizes the serious challenges and human costs that lie ahead," it said.

John Carr, a senior staffer on the Catholic bishops committee, said the statement was intended to set the stage for what bishops hoped would be a vigorous but civil discussion on what the U.S. must do next.

"Candidly, there seems to be more talk on Sunday morning TV talk shows than there is in the Congress or within the Bush administration, at least in the public sense," Carr said. "The great temptation is to try to justify past policies instead of acknowledging where we are and what we need to do."

On Thursday, Catholic bishops forcefully restated their abhorrence to torture and said the U.S. must live up to constitutional protections against cruel and unusual punishment, and abide by international accords outlawing torture.

Bishops were careful not to criticize U.S. troops. By raising "grave moral questions" about the decision to invade Iraq, bishops said they were not questioning "the moral integrity of those serving in the military."

Bishops also called for religious freedoms in Iraq, including tolerance for non-Muslims, and the protection of Iraqi refugees and asylum seekers.

They said that as the U.S. pursued the war on terrorism and the rebuilding of Iraq, it should not forget pressing concerns at home and abroad, particularly caring for the poor.

9:44 AM  

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