Predictions for 2016

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Yes, it’s that time of year again when I poke fun at the so-called “psychics” and their predictions for the past year, review my own previous years record, and give you my predictions for the coming year… and I’m remarkably good at it, so take heed! Even on my worst days, “mainstream psychics” would envy my accuracy. Election years are always the most interesting & difficult to predict, and the insanity we’ve seen so far on the GOP-side was more than even *I* could have seen coming. Still, I did pretty good in my predictions for 2015.

As I write this on December 26th, wearing no shirt, no shoes, doors & windows open as I let the warm 80 degree breeze air out my home, I worry about the future as long as Conservative nihilists continue to deny the evidence of Climate Change. Predicting the political future is tricky enough when rational people are in charge, but when nearly half of the country belongs to a Death Cult known as The GOP, predicting the political future is a bit like chasing a salmon upstream.

My first attempt at predicting in 2006 (see results here) went poorly, scoring just two out of ten right. My low of just 20 percent my first time out of the gate would still earn me a place in the Psychics Hall of Fame if there were such a thing (mind you, I do NOT claim to be a “psychic”. There is no such thing, but I AM good at knowing which way the political winds are blowing). Learning from my mistakes, I did much better my second time out, setting the benchmark at 75% correct in 2008. The next few years saw a steady decline, down to just 7 of 18 for just 39% for 2014.

I think I’ll shake things up a bit this year and review MY OWN predictions for the past year first. So how did I do predicting 2015?

  • half-right“In a sweeping and feigned show of “bi-partisanship”, Republicans will quickly approve at least two of President Obama’s cabinet appointees (most notably the new Secretary of Defense) in an attempt to show just “how willing” they are “to work with the president”. They will then quickly return to their obstructionist ways though, passing bill after bill they know President Obama would never sign.” – with the GOP now in control of the Senate as well as the House, they did indeed “quickly” & “overwhelmingly” approved of Ash Carter as the new Secretary of Defense, but when it came to appointing Loretta Lynch as the first African-American woman Attorney General, the GOP dragged it’s feet for a record-setting 9 week delay as Senate Republicans held up her confirmation as extortion until “abortion-funding language” was removed from a “sex trafficking” bill that was also before Congress (no abortions for refugee sex-slaves raped by their Johns.) The appointment of a new SecDef was enough for them. They couldn’t even get in a second appointment before returning to their obstructionist ways. In the interim, they voted to gut Social Security benefits their first day in power, followed just two days later to pass the Keystone XL pipeline despite KNOWING President Obama would veto it because they wanted him to actually do it, expecting outrage from The Public that never came. Despite the delay on Lynch, I still grade this prediction as True.
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  • wrong“NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio will finally chastise NYPD Union Head Pat Lynch (no relation to Loretta) by name for sowing discord between him and the NYPD.” – You may remember at the end of 2014, New York City’s newly elected Democratic mayor was publicly & repeatedly attacked by the Right-Wing head of the police officers union (who endorsed DeBlasio’s opponent) because DeBlasio… who is married to a black woman and has a black son… publicly admitted that he told his son how to behave if confronted by police in a way that suggested his son should fear the police. There had already been a string of disturbing confrontations between police officers and unarmed black “suspects” in 2014, which continued into 2015 igniting the “Black Lives Matter” movement. The low-point of the entire confrontation came when NYPD officers shamefully turned their backs on the Mayor when he eulogized a slain police officer, earning them some well-deserved scorn. DeBlasio publicly admonished the NYPD officers whom did so, but never singled out Lynch himself for his role in creating bad-blood between the mayor and the NYPD. Close, but no cigar.
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  • right“Hillary will remain the Democratic front-runner all year as her few Democratic challengers fail to ever pose a serious threat to her candidacy. Bernie Sanders will get into the race (as a Democrat so he can take part in the debates) but Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren will not.” – I’m not sure what more I can say here. Hillary has indeed held onto her lead all year long (though Bernie did briefly top her at the height of the “BenghaziTM” hearings). Warren did indeed stay true to her word and rebuke pleas for her to run. – This one was a bullseye.
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  • right“Fans of Ron Paul in 2012 will find Rand Paul a poor substitute and fail to flock to his candidacy as passionately as they did his father.” – Rand Paul never generated the devoted following that his father did in 2012 and as 2015 draws to a close, Paul, currently polling at just 3%, needed help just to qualify for the last Primetime GOP Debate of 2015 and has said if he doesn’t qualify for the next one, he’s dropping out.
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  • right“Mitt Romney will not attempt to run again.” – In 2014, two GOP candidates already looked to be sucking all the oxygen out of the room: Jeb Bush & Chris Christie. After two failed bids, Romney’s ego wouldn’t dare risk being humiliated by subjecting himself to another close race only to lose for the third time. I was absolutely correct on this one, but Romney bowed out in January, months before Donald Trump started goosestepping his way into the hearts of the racist, bigot, xenophobes that have taken over the GOP.
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  • right“ISIS will continue to grow, but not at nearly the same rate.” – ISIS had just over 30,000 members by the end of 2014. By the end of 2015, ISIS still has an estimated 30,000 members. Their rate of growth has barely kept up with the rate of their destruction as allied forces have increased their attacks. Their recklessness, immaturity and growing scorn among fellow Muslim nations has slowed their growth considerably. Recent attacks on a Russian passenger plane and the Paris “Friday the 13th” attacks last November have been viewed as desperate attempts by ISIS to appear as though they are still relevant & growing in strength, and the only people buying that line of bull are the GOP candidates running for president and their terrified followers flocking to the insane rantings of anyone that promises to protect them from the “evil Muz’lums”.
     
    If you listen to Republicans, ISIS is becoming a huge threat that is only growing and President Obama is a failure as Commander-in-Chief as… according to Rep. Peter King on “Meet the Press” yesterday… “ISIS is bigger today than they were 16 months ago!” Note that odd figure: Why sixteen months? Because ISIS is the same size or smaller than it was TWELVE months ago. And thanks to an increased international focus on getting ISIS, they suffered huge losses in 2015 and are starting to get desperate:
     

    After losing another city, ISIS calls for attacks on Israel. Dec 27, 2015 (:50)
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  • right“We haven’t seen the last of Putin’s trouble-making.” – Putin, a former KGB agent, wants to see Russia return to its former glory as a world superpower, and that means taking provocative action against allies of the United States. 2014 saw Putin’s annexing of Ukraine, a former Soviet satellite that was threatening to join the European union. 2015 saw Putin aiding Syrian President Assad, bombing Syrian Rebel forces and causing a global refugee crisis.
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  • wrong“Evidence will grow that North Korea was not directly responsible for the computer hacking of Sony Pictures late this year.” – You might remember that in late 2014, an international scandal arose when the computer servers of Sony Pictures was hacked and millions of dollars worth of movies that had yet to be released had been stolen. It was suspected at the time that North Korea was behind the attack in retaliation for the pending release of a comedy about two actors tasked with assassinating the leader of North Korea. I suspected that North Korea… barely a second-world nation with few computers much less widespread access to the Internet… lacked the technical know-how to pull off something like that on their own. But our own NSA confirmed that the country was indeed capable of such an attack because they themselves had hacked North Korea’s computers in 2010.
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  • right“The GOP will NOT attempt to impeach President Obama in 2015.” – There was some debate late last year, now that the GOP had control of both Houses of Congress, if they might attempt to impeach President Obama as we prepare for the 2016 Presidential election. But I noted the public would have no appetite for such obvious partisan political games. Of course, the REAL target turned out to be Hillary Clinton, who went through the equivalent of her own “impeachment” with the GOP summoning her to no less than NINE hearings on “BenghaziTM“… the last of which turned out more devastating for the GOP than it was for Clinton when the leading nominee for “Speaker of the House” as much as admitted on national TV that the entire point of all these hearings was to bring down Clinton’s poll numbers.
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  • right“Gitmo will still be in operation by years end.” – Barack Obama has stated he wishes to close Gitmo ever since he was still running for president in 2007. But despite his best attempts, a terrified GOP fearmongered their Party & their voter base into rejecting plans for the detainees to stand trial stateside in U.S. courts and… if convicted… placed in a superMAX prison also on U.S. soil. Prior to this year, the GOP had to rely on obstruction, but upon taking control on Congress, there was ZERO chance such a bill was ever to see the light of day in 2016. This was an easy one.
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  • right“Expect interest in Cuba as a tourist destination to explode.” – The normalization of relations with Cuba marked a remarkable end to 2014 that I believe no one saw coming. And indeed, the possibility of opening up a new travel destination was just what the airlines and cruise lines ordered. In July, Carnival added Cuba to its list of cruise destinations, as did “Pearl Seas Cruise Lines”. Commercial air travel to Cuba was technically restored, but the GOP Congress has yet to lift the ban on public travel to the country. Shocker.
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  • right – “Expect a push to get marijuana legalization on the 2016 ballot in more states.” – No small surprise following the success stories in Colorado, Washington and Oregon, a significant number of states are all pushing to get some form of marijuana legalization on the 2016 ballot.
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  • right“Republicans will try to take credit for the record economy.” – Arguably, this could be scored either way. A mere 7 days into their retaking of Congress, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was already taking credit for the improving economy. With unemployment down to just 5.0 percent, gas prices below $2.00/gallon across the country, and amazing GDP that saw growth of 3.9% percent in the second quarter of this year, the GOP was more than happy to try and take credit for the successful economy. But now that the presidential election is underway, suddenly the economy is “terrible” and President Obama is a “failure”. Funny how that works.
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  • wrong“Expect the price of oil to settle in around $58/barrel.” – Last year at this time, oil was $55/barrel. As of this writing, oil is now $35/barrel. The week before President Bush’s invasion of Iraq, the price of oil had jumped to $37.83/barrel, so the price of oil is now lower than it was before a war that arguably was launched specifically to drive oil prices up… and indeed it did, peaking at $147/barrel in mid-2008 before $4/gal gasoline crashed the U.S. (and by extension The World) economy. I expected the price of oil to stabilize once again but the unexpected crash of the Chinese Stock Market last Summer resulted in a glut of oil in the market due to a dramatic decrease in demand that depressed oil prices even lower. Speaking of which…
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  • wrong“The DOW should flirt with the 20,000 mark by years end.” – As noted above, the crash of the Chinese stock market nearly took the global economy with it. Following China’s crash, the European Market suffered huge losses as well. The DOW also plunged over 1,600 points in just a few days, but the strength of the U.S. economy helped us… and Europe… quickly stabilize. Despite China’s market plunge, the strong DOW rebounded, closing at just over 17,500 on Christmas Eve… up from 15,666 two days after the China crash… a gain of nearly 2,000 points, meaning if nor for the China crash, our own market might very well have been “flirting with the 20,000 mark just as I predicted. Damn China for screwing up my record.

And there you have it. 11 out of 15 correct for a whopping 73% success rate, my second highest score (damn you China!)

Now let’s see how the competition did:

The site “Angles & Ghosts” posted the Predictions of three “psychics” for 2015:

  • Judy Heavenly (gee, I wonder if that’s a stage name?) predicted cars using self-driving and accident-avoidance technology. Arguably, she got this one right. But such technology is not new. Accident-avoidance systems were in development in 2013. Tesla did however make a “self-driving” car publicly available for the first time this year, so props on that prediction.
     
    But that is as far as Ms. “Heavenly” got. Apparently, no divine inspiration for: a new “Eurasian Union”, the death of “a famous religious leader and a former U.S. president”, Congress “banning the sale of guns to people with mental disorders” (THIS Congress???), 5G phones, the first “self-regulating” artificial heart, the end of Putin’s reign, the “end” of Kim Jung Un, the passing of Pope Frank, and “vision correcting” TV screens.
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  • Psychic “Craig of the UK” arguably correctly predicted that India’s economy would grow faster than China’s (at least the crash of China’s stock market helped ONE person get an economic prediction right [chuckle]), and an earthquake (somewhere) in “Mexico“. But all of his disastrous predictions were dead wrong. No massive volcanic explosions leveling cities and Jeb is not the GOP front-runner.
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  • Their third “psychic” is someone I razzed in 2014 as well: “Psychic to the stars Nikki”. Ms. Nikki seems to love predicting ridiculous catastrophes: city-leveling earthquakes, terrorists attacks… death & destruction is her game. And her “predictions” are SO bizarre, one wonders why anyone pays attention (and money, lots of money) to her? I can never say Nikki didn’t get anything right because you must pay to see all her predictions (well over 100), but among her Top 19 on the above site, Nikki went 0-for-19. Among her more fantastic predictions, DC was not struck by an earthquake, nor was Chicago, nor was Tokyo “destroyed” (not by an earthquake or even another Godzilla movie.) Not even San Francisco (typically a safe bet) suffered a massive quake. And New Zealand definitely was not struck by a meteor.
     
    In the “close-but-no-cigar” category, Nikki predicted a terrorist attack on London (not Paris), but she made the exact same prediction for 2014. Eventually she hopes to be right someday and credit her amazing psychic abilities. Nikki also predicted the discovery of “sunken treasure off the Florida coast”. Depending on how far you extend “off the Florida coast”, a 300 year old sunken treasure was found off the coast of Colombia, South America, IN the Gulf of Mexico but nowhere near Florida. People in Anchorage were not “attacked by eagles” but Donald Trump WAS (also nowhere near Alaska at the time though.)

I also poked fun at the so-called “Psychic Twins” last year, whom have their own radio & TV Show. One more “post hundreds of predictions till something sticks” scams, the “Twins” made some interesting predictions for 2015:

  • New treatments for “HIV / AIDS, Alzheimer’s, Arthritis, Autism, ADD, Diabetes”… if they name enough diseases, I’m sure they’ll get at least one right. “Two cyclones” DID hit Australia, so some props due there. And Niagara Falls DID freeze over that February, but predicting a deep freeze while you’re in the middle of a deep freeze doesn’t exactly make you a psychic. Wanna impress me? Predict people kayaking in Buffalo the following December.

Always good for a laugh, this was Fox “news” Sunday last year making their political predictions for 2015:
 

Fox Panel predictions for 2015 (4:52)

Their predictions:
 
Like me, they also predicted quick confirmations for Ash Carter & Loretta Lynch. It appears I wasn’t the only one to under-estimate GOP childishness & partisan game-playing. Frequent panelist and reliable Right-Wing tool Stephen Hayes was surprisingly right in predicting “early favorite Jeb would not be the front-runner and Hillary would look vulnerable a year from now” (because Democrats will have tired of her.) Poor Bob Woodward. I’ve been following his political predictions for a few years and I don’t believe he has yet to get a single one right. The economy was expected to do well, but just how well depended upon whom you asked.

You might be surprised to learn (or maybe not) that Fox “news” Sunday did NOT ask their Panel yesterday to make any prediction for 2016. Gee, I wonder why? Do you think maybe it’s because they know not a single GOP candidate has a prayer of winning next year but they don’t dare predict a “Democratic victory” because it’ll upset their viewers?
 

Well, whatever the reason, let’s get on with my Predictions for 2016:

Election-year political predictions are simultaneously the most fun AND the most dangerous. All it takes is one bad comment (eg: Biden calling Obama “clean” in 2007), one embarrassing photo-op (eg: Dukakis in the tank), or a family tragedy to reverse a candidate’s fortunes in the blink of an eye. Worst of all, I don’t wish to anger anyone by predicting that their candidate will lose.

Let’s start small:

  1. Will we see another “France-style” terrorist attack in 2016? I don’t think so. Now that it has happened, the world has been put on notice and everyone is more aware of their surroundings, making another such attack more difficult to pull off. Bombings and mass shootings in the warzone that is the Middle-East, yes. Another Bombing in Europe or the U.S.? Doubtful. Another “mass shooting” in the U.S. by ISIS or alQaeda sympathizers? As long as we continue to have easy access to guns and a GOP controlled Congress unwilling to do anything about it… that’s ALWAYS a possibility.
    (UPDATE 7/15/16: Suicide bombers kill 41 in a siege of the Istanbul International Airport in Turkey on June 29, and a lone disturbed ISIS Sympathizer in France kills 84 and mowes down hundreds more using a large truck during Bastille Day celebrations. Arguably, “Turkey” is not Europe, and a lone nut is not a “coordinated” attack.)
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  3. The world took notice when Germany welcomed over 500,000 Syrian Refugees earlier this year while Republicans in the U.S. fear-mongered to the point of denying entry to even a paltry 5,000 refugees into the United States. Shameful. However, following the Paris attacks, fear took over and a number of Germans started acting like… well… Germans. So what is to become of the Syrian Refugees? “Safe Zones” inside of Syria & Iraq are the most likely alternative. I think President Obama is too smart to order a “No Fly Zone” over any part of Syria (which Hillary is calling for but Bernie opposes), but WILL require ground forces to secure. Whether those ground forces will be mostly American is unlikely. At some point, I hope the “pro-No Fly Zone” candidates (ie: Hillary and EVERY GOP candidate) are asked “Just how do you prevent ISIS from hiding beneath that NFZ protected by American forces?” and “Do you shoot down a Russian MiG and start World War III if Russia enters the NFZ to attack the Syrian rebels?” War-mongers don’t think of things like that.
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  5. Just as I predicted last year, ISIS will still be about the same size as it is today… roughly 30,000 fighters. With an increased global focus on “destroying ISIS” thanks to their recent bombing of a Russian airliner killing all 224 people on board, and the attacks on Paris last November drawing increased military strikes by France, their numbers will not grow faster than they are killed, however not fast enough to wipe them out. There’s only one way to do that, and it doesn’t involve guns or bombs.
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  7. Russia WILL focus more on attacking ISIS and less on helping Assad destroy the Syrian rebels, BUT will not JOIN forces with the U.S. in alliance to destroy ISIS, opting to go after them on their own in a way that does not upset Assad. Mortal threats to Russia take precedence over mortal threats to Assad’s rule. Putin still wishes Russia to look like a Super Power on par with the U.S. once again, still looking to regain the glory of the former Soviet era. Notice how, despite recent tensions, Russia still assists the U.S. shuttling people & cargo back & forth to the International Space Station? As long as we depend upon them, they will be more than happy to assist the needy Americans. But that doesn’t mean serving along side them in war.
    (UPDATE 5/4/16: Russian foreign minister says Moscow only supports Syria’s president in the fight against terror.)
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  9. I may be going out on a limb here, but as Russia steps up its attacks on ISIS and away from helping Assad, Iran is likely to take up the slack, increasing their military aid to Assad. This puts Iran in a very precarious position because Russia is in no shape to bail out Iran should things go South. Dealing with Iran could once again become a major campaign issue as the year progresses.
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  11. And as you can plainly see, I fully expect the Syrian conflict to still be raging throughout the following year. When the Syrian conflict first broke out in late 2011, I expected it to be short-lived, predicting an end to the conflict by the end of 2012. I tried again the following year and was wrong again. By 2014, I learned my lesson and stopped trying to predict an end to the war in Syria (I even made that part of the title that year.) Now, I think only a “peace treaty” between Assad and the rebels that includes a promise of amnesty so long as they remain in cities far to the East of the capitol city of Damascus, can end the war there (and that will NOT take place in 2016.)
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  13. The Economy: Being an election year, with the GOP in control of Congress and needing to do everything they can to make President Obama’s economy look bad and in need of change, we will see a MILD economic decline as the year progresses. Slower GDP and Market growth, but growth none-the-less. We saw this in 2000 the last time a “Governor Bush” ran for president. With unemployment at a mere 3.9%, and a record-breaking stock market, Bush went around the country talking down the economy until it became a self-fulfilling prophecy. With unemployment now at 5.0 percent and falling, positive economic growth, and an electorate where the most xenophobic rank amateurs lead the pack and rational experienced moderates are as popular as a skunk at a garden-party, their only hope for a GOP victory in 2016 is to talk down the economy and suppress any policies that might make things better. That means a DOW still below 20,000 (or very close to it) and unemployment between 4.6% & 5.3%.
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  15. Gitmo. President Obama, being incredibly shrewd, I have long believed that moving to normalize relations with Cuba has been a part of his plan to close the Guantanamo Bay prison. The Cuban government has long wanted it gone, and keeping it open is a blight on America’s reputation and a stain on everything we stand for as a nation. While I expect Gitmo to still be in operation by the end of President Obama’s presidency, steps will finally be in place… as part of a deal with the Cuban government… to close it permanently before he leaves office.
    (UPDATE 2/22/16: Obama Sends Guantánamo Closing Plan to Congress)
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  17. Thanks to Gerrymandering, the GOP will retain control of the House following the election but lose the Senate as record turnout flocks to the polls in November. Democrats will NOT regain a Super Majority like they had briefly in 2008, but the message will be clear.
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  19. The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio will be relatively uneventful. No terrorist attacks amid tight security. There will be some reports of widespread criminal nuisances like the pick-pocketing of tourists, and polluted seas for the water events, but high-profile events with lots of eyes and high-security require too much planning and resources for a terrorist group like ISIS made up mostly of uneducated young men with limited finances. Personally, I think alQaeda is happy to be out of the white hot spotlight for the time being.
  20.  
    And here’s where it gets interesting:
     
    Attempting to predict who will be each Party’s presidential nominee before even a single vote has been cast requires a bit of work.
     
    As of this writing, only 13 of the original 17 candidates are still running (and a case can be made that Governors Gilmore of Virgina and Pataki of New York were never really running to begin with. – UPDATE 12/29/15: Pataki drops out) And despite so many of them polling in the single digits, they refuse to drop out because they look at the candidates leading the polls and they think… as we all do… “people aren’t REALLY going to vote for these inexperienced bomb-throwers when they walk into that voting booth! They are going to suddenly see-the-light and vote for someone more rational that has an actual chance of victory come November, right? Please?” So they continue to hang on, hoping against hope that wiser heads will prevail. HA! Have they SEEN what has been happening to their Party over the last twelve years?
     
    So let’s look at those remaining thirteen (Graham, who is shown, has also since dropped out):
     

    GOP field, Dec 2015

     
    Well, we can scratch anyone polling below 3%. That just ain’t gonna happen. Dream on guys. So that eliminates (right to left): Gilmore, Santorum, Pataki, Graham (whom has already bowed out), Rand Paul (who needs to drop out to save his Senate seat), Huckabee, Fiorina, and Christie. These people have no chance.
     
    That leaves: Trump, Cruz, Rubio, Carson, Jeb Bush, and Kasich.
     
    Carson and Bush don’t have a prayer either, so scratch them (amazing considering before Trump, Jeb was the odds-on favorite, and Carson was the first candidate to top Trump in the polls as recently as last November.) Carson has made “brain surgeon” a punchline, and Jeb’s feud with Trump has only helped Trump and made the idea of “yet another Bush” less palatable (and who knew George would turn out to be the “smart” one?)
     
    Kasich is competent & sane… two things the GOP absolutely detests in a candidate this cycle. Plus he’s a moderate that has criticized Donald Trump (and by extension Trump voters), so he’s out of there.
     
    That leaves just Trump, Cruz, and Rubio. In any other year, Rubio would look like an attractive candidate. Young, enough of a Conservative nut to court the Evangelicals while looking white bread enough to make them forget about his Cuban roots, yet with a remote chance of winning over some of the Hispanic voters alienated by Donald Trump. But Rubio and Cruz are both trying to walk back statements of compassion & empathy towards Mexican immigrants that the modern GOP so despises. If this were any other year, I might have picked Rubio to end up being the nominee, but he has committed the unpardonable sin of… well. uh… I’m not really sure other than that whole “defense of Mexicans” thing. He’s also criticized Donald Trump, so scratch Rubio.
     
    The mainstream GOP hates Ted Cruz. A pushy screw-up that stormed into Congress like he knew better than Senators who had been there for decades. Cruz’s grand-standing late last year (2014) kept Congress in session long enough to force them to vote on approving TWENTY-FOUR of President Obama’s judicial appointments that the GOP had been intentionally dragging their feet on. That little stunt probably made him more than a few enemies. A Tea Party favorite, Cruz is every bit as big a racist xenophobic bomb-thrower as Donald Trump, but without the record of success as a businessman. Like Rubio, Cruz is of Cuban decent and once spoke approvingly of helping Mexican immigrants… THE unpardonable GOP sin this election cycle. Born in Canada, both legally & technically Cruz is not even eligible to be president, but until recently it wasn’t much of an issue because he trailed so far behind in the polls. But after Trump made his “Register all Muslims, deny them entry (even U.S. citizens) [back] into the United States, and place all mosques under surveillance” speech, Cruz was the ONLY GOP candidate to not to publicly condemn Trump, catapulting him into second place. But outside the passionate GOP fringe, Cruz does not have enough support to be the GOP nominee (and as I noted, there’s still the whole “ineligibility” thing), Cruz will not be the nominee either.
     
    And that just leaves Donald Trump (but read to the end!)
     
    I didn’t think Trump would even run a year ago, and I still believe this is an ego trip for him, but he has held the lead virtually unbroken almost since the day he announced. And unlike in 2011 when every month seemed to produce a new front-runner that crashed & burned as Republicans kept looking for “anyone but Romney”, eventually forcing them to go with their “second choice”, Trump has held the lead but never peaked over his most recent high of 41%, meaning 59% of GOP voters would prefer someone else, but just can’t agree on whom that would be.
     
    MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell recently pointed out on his program: “If you take away the white supremacists, the Birthers and people who believe Obama is a Muslim, Trump would be polling in the single digits.” Yet…
     

  21. Trump will be the GOP nominee (a fact many Republican pundits refuse to accept… much like those candidates still polling in the single digits yet refuse to drop out because they expect the electorate to come to its senses) because GOP voters are enamored by wealth. Just as in 2012, “rank & file” Republicans hated Romney and keeps looking for an alternative, but low-information GOP voters equate “wealth” with “success” and as each new usurper came & went they always came back to Romney. And such will be the case again in 2016 as Trump embodies both. A fixture on TV screens for decades, Trump with his flamboyant wealth, TV appearances, numerous casinos, super-model wife, books, clothing and other merchandise, he is a living caricature of wealth. Add to that his uncensored racism & misogyny, Trump says out loud things GOP members used to say only in private. Trump has liberated them! He has made being a Troglodyte socially acceptable. Starting out as “The Birther King” eight years ago, allowing racists to hide behind “politics” as an excuse to be openly racist, then hold rallies where 20,000 people could cheer without shame the idea of deporting some 20 Million undocumented immigrants AND their American-born children “back to Mexico” (even if they aren’t from Mexico), make openly sexist remarks about women… get called out for it by a female Fox “news” anchor… only to make an openly sexist remark about HER… and emerge unscathed, and now wantonly & conspicuously tread in none other than Adolph Hitlers footsteps resulting in a BOUNCE in the polls… Donald Trump IS who the GOP is today, and therefore will win the GOP nomination.
    (UPDATE 5/26/16: Trump officially clinches the GOP nomination.)
  22.  
    BUT…
     
    I’ve been pointing out almost since the day he announced his candidacy that Trump doesn’t really WANT to be President. It’s a GAME to him. A game he wants to win to prove he could be president if he really wanted to… except that he doesn’t actually want to DO the job:
    (UPDATE 5/26/16: Trump says he’ll outsource the day-to-day tasks to his VP.)
     

    The Trump Chase

     
    Trump could start looking for an excuse to bow out if things start getting too real. If he decides he’s proved his point and can bow out gracefully… it’ll come early on after losing a few early primaries. But if he gets locked in a battle with the Democratic nominee, his ego will rope him in until the election in November.
     

  23. If that’s the case, expect Trump to name his running mate early… almost prematurely… as he picks someone to take his place should he choose to resign upon taking office. Trump’s most obvious choice for a running mate at this time is Ted Cruz, but should the primaries turn nasty as the two men compete for the same job, all bets are off.
    (UPDATE 1/15/16: The Trump/Cruz bromance is over.)
    (UPDATE 4/27/16: Struggling Ted Cruz names his VP pick early.)
  24.  
    And that leaves the Democratic nomination.
     
    I’m a Bernie Sanders voter. I think he is the best candidate, most consistent, always on the right side of social issues, was making the same economic arguments as Elizabeth Warren decades before she took office, and has a better chance of defeating any GOP nominee than Hillary does. But Bernie has some serious strikes against him going in.
     
    First, I think the average American voter is still freaked out by the “Socialist” label. And I shake my head in sad disbelief when I hear people reject Bernie because they think being a “Democratic Socialist” makes him a Communist or a Nazi only to then support Donald Trump… whose political speeches sound like they were lifted from “Mein Kampf”.
     
    Second, Bernie is terrible at defending himself and has a tin ear when it comes to how the “Socialist” label is perceived by voters. This was seen in the second Democratic debate when moderator John Dickerson quipped how the GOP campaign ad against him “writes itself”, and Bernie completely failing to make the case defending the Social Contract the U.S. government has made with its citizens, and how it is the job of government to ensure equal protection under the law. A major blunder he can ill afford to make should he become the nominee.
     
    Winston Churchill once said, “The best argument against Democracy is spending five minutes talking to the average voter.” Most voters don’t pay very close attention to their chosen candidate on the issues. It’s how so many otherwise rational people can support an inconsistent, misogynistic bomb-thrower like Donald Trump. How else do you explain Evangelical voters saying “Thank God” for a twice divorced serial adulterer who once said he’d protect a woman’s right to choose?
     

  25. And because of this, I predict Hillary to win the Democratic nomination. The typical Hillary voter knows only four things about her: She would be the first woman president, was married to Bill Clinton who was a successful president (with an assumption she’d govern just like him), she has a lot of political experience, and ran for President once before in 2008 so she must know what’s she’s doing. Never mind that she’s a hawk, a bit too cozy with Wall Street (“Goldman Sachs”), and has a history of throwing her fellow Democrats under the bus when it is politically advantageous for her to do so (eg: saying McCain would be a better president than Obama in 2008.)
    (UPDATE 6/7/16: While it was proclaimed slightly prematurely and under questionable circumstances, Hillary “clinched” the Democrat nomination on the day of the California primary.)
  26.  

  27. And lastly, be it Hillary or Bernie, the Democratic nominee will win the election in November.
  28.  

  29. UPDATE 12/31/15: One more last second prediction: As ISIS begins to feel the pressure of increased international focus on the Iraq/Syria region, they will focus more on attracting outside sympathizers to commit terrorists attacks in their own countries in ISIS’s name (similar to the Paris & San Bernardino attacks in late 2015. I expect at least three such attacks in the coming year… which will of course become big campaign issues and the GOP nominee will hype to excess.)
    (UPDATE: See #1 above regarding attacks in Istanbul, Turkey & Nice, France.)

So those are my predictions for 2016. And if I may make one more prediction, I don’t expect to do nearly as well next year as I did this year. However, on the brighter side, with so many of my predictions being on the disappointing side, I wouldn’t be too terribly upset is some of my most disappointing predictions don’t come true.
 


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December 28, 2015 · Admin Mugsy · One Comment - Add
Posted in: Election, Politics, Predictions

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