December 31, 2012

My 2013 predictions in news, culture, etc.

Note any international readers: These are largely US-based, but still may have a bit of international play.

1. The so-called "fiscal cliff" will finally get a deal on ... wait for it ... Jan. 7. Stock market will continue to sag, but not totally tank until that date, therefore undercutting the Pete Petersons of the world. Both Republicans and Democrats will do some can-kicking, postponing many details for discussion — until after the 2014 elections. GOP will "bite" on what was originally the offer by President Barack Obama, aka Dear Leader, for "chained CPI" on Social Security, and pressure Senate Democrats to "lump it."

And, yes, I know, there's claims that a "deal" is just around the corner, as of 7 p.m. Eastern time Dec. 31. Read a story like this, though, and you get a Swiss cheese of caveat holes.

2. Speaking of that, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will make only minor changes to filibuster rules.

3. President Obama will offer only relatively minor changes in whatever gun control legislation he sends to Congress, and will make the announcement of such legislation itself relatively mild. (As in sending it to Congress after 5 p.m. on a Friday.)

4. Angela Merkel's coalition, the unwieldy one, will fall apart in Germany sometime this year over a mix of resentment toward the eurozone's south, the Free Democrats' stance on nuclear power, and a general weariness.

5. John Kerry will become US Secretary of State. Rep. Edward Markey will win the special election to replace him in the Senate.

6. Chuck Hagel will ultimately withdraw his name from Secretary of Defense consideration after lack of support from Obama. At this point, I won't even venture a guess over who's next on Obama's list.

7.  India's rape-murder tragedy will be the last straw for its current government ad will force parliamentary elections some time in 2013. The Congress party will suffer disastrous losses. The new BJP government will get more aggressive against both native Maoists and Pakistan. The BJP will not improve the lives of Indian women, though.

8. Climate change legislation will not even get considered by the US.  But, the European Union will hold firm on its airline carbon taxes.

9. The Texas Legislature's new budget will not only be more hardcore antiabortion, it will tighten the belt on health care for the poor and have no major new money for schools. The fact that Texas Parks and Wildlife is still soliciting for we the taxpayer to make direct donations underscores this prediction. (And, no, I won't make a donation myself; it's called "enabling the wingnuts" — as in a spouse/lover enabling an alcoholic/addict.)

10. The state of Texas will lose the school finance lawsuit while the Lege is in session, but even with an expedited appeals route, appeals will not be done in time.

11. The state of Texas will lose all its appeals and, shades of the past, have to have multiple special sessions of the legislature before passing an acceptable school finance bill.

12. The US will sell drones to South Korea, which will escalate tensions with China, both directly and vis-a-vis Japan.

13. Britain's Liberal Democrats, for reasons unknown, will remain in coalition with Conservatives.

14. Bradley Manning will eventually accept a crappy plea-bargain deal, while the British government and Julian Assange will remain at deadlock all year.

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Culture

1. "Lincoln" will win Oscars for best actor, director, producer, cinemetography and possibly screenplay.

2. Some rock star past the age of the 60 will become a father.

3. The Minnesota Orchestra (management) will refuse to settle its strike/lockout with its musicians and the season will be washed out. 

4. Fox will announce plans for a new late-night talk show.

5. PBS will revamp "News Hour."

7. Whether to Europe or Native Americans, a number of US museums will make major repatriations of art and artifacts.

8. John Adams will start work on a new opera.

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