Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year

Well, welcome to 2009.

We welcomed in the New Year trying to get some sleep with a teething baby. He's currently snoozing away his evening of frivolity.

Since we and our hoped-for New Year's Eve companions are all overcoming colds of some sort, we decided to put off partying until this weekend.

Since I took a look back yesterday, I'll make a couple of predictions for the new year now.

  1. The price of oil will rise significantly this summer, but will not reach record levels again. OPEC will continue to fuss about how the loss of revenue is ruining their chances of building yet another golden castle in the desert, but selling a commodity that isn't in as much demand as you'd like it to be will do that to you time and again.
  2. The economy will continue in its tailspin for at least the first two quarters of the year, but things will start to look better before the end of the year. During the continued downturn, the Federal and State governments will continue to try to stem the flow of blood so that there isn't a general uprising of us, the unwashed masses. Unfortunately, their pouring of money into the open financial wound will start inflation ticking up quite sharply. I don't think we'll see the inflation of the 70's again, but it won't be good. Sometime in the 4th quarter, the Fed will start hinting about raising interest rates, which will cause the new, slow recovery to slow even more.
  3. The housing market will finally reach bottom. Consequently, those who have good jobs and good credit but don't make 6 figures will finally be able to find both a decent house in their price range and a loan that doesn't put the whole national economy in danger.
  4. At least one of the Big 3 automobile manufacturers will either be absorbed by another company, or go out of business altogether. President Obama will have to explain to his UAW constituency why he was unable to protect their employment-for-life rights.
  5. A major natural disaster will occur in the United States, and President Obama will be quick to point out how his ineffectual reaction to it was better than President Bush's ineffectual reaction to Hurricane Katrina. Citizens will again be reminded that if they wait for the government to help them in an emergency, they're going to be waiting a long time. Those who choose to be prepared for said emergency and have the means to take of their own will be castigated in the national news for not waiting for the government handout that will take too long to come. Remember, when seconds count, the police are only minutes away. And FEMA is a couple of days inland.
  6. Iran will get the bomb. They will demonstrate it with great fanfare, and will immediately start production of atomic weapons for export to the highest bidder in either money or ideology.
  7. US casualties in Iraq will continue to decline, but casualties in Afghanistan will continue to rise. The anti-war groups will have to decide if they want to attack the president they helped put in the White House. Kind of like trying to decide if you want to tell the "virgin" you met at the club she gave you the clap.
  8. President Obama will start off with very good approval ratings, but these will steadily decline until his is almost as unpopular as Congress. Yes, it will get that bad.
  9. The Republican party will go through much soul searching, and will decide that it's better to be electable than right. The race for the center will continue, and we will all lose.
  10. The Republican minority in Congress will have a hard time defending their right-of-center stands, and will not stand in the way of most of President Obama's agenda for his first 100 days. Remind me again why I vote Republican?
  11. In local news, UK will finally get its act together and beat UL in both football and basketball. The religious war in the Bluegrass over these two teams will continue as it has since time immemorial.

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