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  Stephen's Column Archive

January 1, 2007

Twenty Predictions for 2007


The year just passed was a crazy one, and there is, I’m afraid, much more to come. A few daring, bizarre, and likely woefully inaccurate predictions for the 12 months to come:


-     The first year of the Democratic-controlled Congress will be marked mostly by rampant gridlock and partisanship, with next to no major pieces of legislation emerging.


-     There will be an assassination attempt made on a major American political figure, with a controversy to follow about whether YouTube can legally host the footage.


-     Hillary Clinton will shock everyone by announcing that she’s not running for president and Al Gore will step into the void. However, Barack Obama will remain the Democratic frontrunner into 2008, after Bill Clinton endorses him over his own former vice president.


-     The question of who emerges as the conservative Republican alternative to John McCain will remain unresolved as the year ends, with Mitt Romney, Sam Brownback and Newt Gingrich all enjoying brief honeymoons as the favorite of the right-wing blogger and activist crowds, before being deemed insufficiently anti-immigration and/or anti-gay. Early on, Rudy Giuliani will decide not to run, instead endorsing McCain.


-     Scooter Libby’s trial, as well as various hearings held in Congress, will result in numerous shocking revelations about Bush Administration wrongdoing over the past six years. However, Democrats will choose not to pursue impeachment and Libby will be acquitted.


-     Barry Bonds will be indicted on perjury and obstruction charges, leading to a suspension from baseball that prevents him from breaking Hank Aaron’s career home run record during 2007. New revelations about steroids in sports will continue to roll in, including the exposure of at least one major star who had never previously been mentioned in connection with performance-enhancing drugs.


-     While reconstruction in New Orleans remains sluggish, the city will get a temporary morale boost when the Saints defeat the San Diego Chargers to win Super Bowl XLI. In addition, New Orleans is awarded a future Super Bowl.


-     In America’s other tragic crater, 2007 will finally see the start of some development at Ground Zero.


-     A significant breakthrough will be made in the fight against AIDS.


-     Saddam Hussein’s death, while welcome, will do nothing whatsoever to pacify the situation in Iraq, which will remain a disaster, despite “changes in course” and late 2007 will see the start of a phased U.S. withdrawal.


-     In spite of the previous item, or perhaps because of it, President Bush’s approval rating will never again exceed 40 percent.


-     The U.S. will once again enjoy an entire year with no domestic terror attacks, although several cities around the world will not be so lucky. Osama Bin Laden will not be captured, but rumors of his death will spread multiple times.


-     Fidel Castro will die, but the transition to liberal democracy in Cuba will be less than instantaneous.


     -     The newspaper industry in the United States will continue

           to suffer, with even more venerable papers going on the block. The

           New York Times Co. will sell the Boston Globe to a group led by

           Jack Welch, while the Tribune Co. will be dissolved, with David

           Geffen and Ron Burkle teaming up to buy The Los Angeles Times,

           a private equity firm purchasing the Chicago Tribune, and a group

           led by Jerry Colangelo purchasing the Chicago Cubs and

           Wrigley Field for over $1 billion.

-     The Cubs, however, will still fail to win the World Series.

 -    Ehud Olmert’s Kadima government in Israel will fall by the end of the year, but neither Labor nor Likud will be able to form a stable government either.


-     Gordon Brown will replace Tony Blair as British prime minister after Blair’s resignation, but conventional wisdom will soon emerge that Brown will lose the next election to David Cameron and the Tories.


-    “Dreamgirls” wins the Academy Award for Best Picture, with Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson both taking acting prizes and “Listen” winning for Best Original Song. Martin Scorsese, however, finally takes the Best Director statue for “The Departed.”


-     David Letterman will announce definitive plans to retire in 2010, with Jon Stewart named as his successor.


-     And news organizations, finally, will stop running pictures and footage of Paris Hilton. Unlikely, yes, but more so than Hillary not running?


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