I would not classify the following as predictions unless they come true, in which case I am a genius. Here are some things I'm looking at in the coming year (list to be updated throughout the day).
- There will be a government shutdown crisis over the House budget, which will include major spending cuts and defunding of Obamacare. Someone will blink. My guess is it will be the Republicans.
- The mainstream media will steadily chew through Republican candidates until they find someone they claim to like. Establishment Republicans will coalesce around the same person, because that person will be viewed as electable. I just can't figure out who that person is.
- The price of gasoline will rise, and "drill baby drill" will be back.
- The housing and the mortgage bubbles will continue to deflate, and the White House will renew its "blame Bush" messaging with even more vigor than before.
- Townhall meetings during the summer of 2011 will be hotter, politically, than the summer of 2009.
- There will be war in the Middle East as a result of the build up of Hezbollah in Lebanon and Iran's frustration with Israeli and western covert actions against Iran's nuclear program. It is impossible to predict the event which will be the spark, but it will be something unexpected.
- The European economic model will fail; yet it still will be the model pushed by the Democratic base.
- The person who emerges as the Republican frontrunner through the process described in #2 above will be torn down by the same mainstream media outlets which promoted the person. Establishment Republicans will blame the Tea Party movement. This may not happen until 2012, but I didn't want to wait until my 2012 "not predictions" to make the point.
- The media "story" of the political year will be Obama as the guy caught in the middle, the sympathetic only sane guy in the room.
- Unemployment will be about what it is now, but there will be no further extensions of unemployment insurance payments beyond the current extension. The debate will be whether to make the current extension permanent.
- The "tax deal" will not stimulate the economy.
- There will be no serious primary challenges emerging in 2011 to any Republican incumbents running for re-election in the Senate in 2012 unless those incumbents break with the Republicans in a big way in 2011. Any sins of 2010 will be forgotten, if not forgiven.
- None of the most mentioned likely V.P. nominees (Rubio, Jindal, Cantor, Christie, others?) will thrown his hat into the presidential ring, even if #14 happens.
- Boldest not prediction - at least two and possibly three of the four GOP "frontrunners" will not run, opening the door to Tim Pawlenty or Mitch Daniels. Jeb Bush will throw his hat in the ring if and only if this happens.
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