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December 30, 2008

A Look Ahead: 15 Predictions for 2009

It was quite a year in 2008 America elected a black man president, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers ceased to exist, the New England Patriots lost the Super Bowl and Amy Winehouse stayed alive. Who saw any of that coming?

Here, I offer some predictions as to what we'll see in the next 12 months. Take these with a grain of salt, of course. Last year, I predicted that, among other things, Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney would win their respective presidential nominations, that OLED televisions would catch on in a big way and that Donovan McNabb would be traded to the Minnesota Vikings.

Here are 15 predictions for the year to come:

1) In his first year as president, Barack Obama will disappoint the left much more than the right. The wacko conspiracy theories about him from the right, however, will not dissipate.

2) Obama's economic stimulus package, at least most of it, will pass early in the year, although the new president will fail to pass universal health care.

3) Signs of economic recovery begin to show by the late fall, albeit only faintly.

4) Iraq remains an enigma and as 2009 ends, U.S. troops remain there.

5) By January 25, no one will even remember that Rick Warren appeared at Obama's inauguration.

6) In February, the Minnesota Senate recount is finally resolved in Norm Coleman's favor. The resolution of the Illinois Senate seat takes even longer than that.

7) The next senator from New York is someone other than Caroline Kennedy.

8) While Benjamin Netanyahu will be upset in his bid to regain Israeli's prime ministership by the Kadima Party's Tzipi Livni, no appreciable progress will be made in regard to Israeli-Palestinian peace.

9) The Curious Case of Benjamin Button wins the Best Picture Oscar, beating out Doubt, Milk and Slumdog Millionaire.

10) In a Manning vs. Manning Super Bowl that tests the patience of every NFL fan, the Indianapolis Colts will defeat the New York Giants in Tampa on Feb. 1.

11) A prominent professional athlete will be outed as gay, leading to the biggest athletic controversy of the year.

12) Florida will defeat Oklahoma to win the college football national championship and despite interventions by the new president, the sport will move no closer to a playoff system.

13) The "Netbook" mini-laptop is the hot tech product for 2009. Flat-panel TVs continue to get larger, thinner and cheaper.

14) By year's end, it becomes clear that the Blu-ray Disc format has not caught on and has fallen behind direct downloads as the movie-delivery method of the future.

15) And against all odds, Fox News's Hannity program will face little-to-no ratings backlash due to the departure of Alan Colmes.

Hopefully, I get at least half of these right. Happy New Year.


2008 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


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