Well, the holidays are over and the new year has begun, so let’s get down to business. Here are some 2009 predictions:The economy has not yet reached rock bottom. More dislocations will occur in 2009; more bubbles will burst; credit cards and more home mortgage problems are expected; and more scandalous behavior will be revealed — from Wall Street to Washington, D.C. The world economy will follow and plummet to the worst degree since the 1930s.We may not begin the long climb back upward for several years to come.Politically the economy is everything in 2009 and will be the main focus of the Obama administration and the Democratic-controlled Congress; all other legislative activity will be put on the back burner until there is an uptick in the national economy.President Obama will prove to be boringly staid when it comes to bold economic initiatives such as suspending the capital gains tax for three to five years; instead he will opt for traditional Democratic spending measures, i.e., “infrastructure” repair and new roads and bridges. These measures will do nothing to juice an ailing economy or to hire people especially in the short term.Obama will also expand the federal government’s payroll — as if that is a cure for what ails the American economy. His team will boast of new “jobs” but that will be a false statistic because the real stat is new private sector jobs, and we are hemorrhaging those jobs monthly right now.Obama will not be blamed for the continuing, or worsening, economy for his first year in office. But by the end of 2009 the economy becomes his for better or worse.He will have a substantial honeymoon. There will be a worldwide collective sigh of relief once G.W. Bush is out of office. In fact, once Bush leaves D.C., we will not see or hear from him for several months. He will not be able to sell his memoirs, either. His lecture appearances will be few and far between. Jeb Bush will be the Bush most in the news in 2009 as he contemplates a U.S. Senate run in 2010. Jeb’s presence — yet another Bush! — will bedevil the GOP for years to come.If Jeb then tries to run for president in 2012 or 2016, it will divide the GOP; true conservatives will never again accept another Bush. The conservatives will fight it out to settle on one candidate to stop the Bushes from again seizing control of the GOP.There will be more of the usual political scandals in D.C. and in Cook County, but none will even touch Barack Obama. Instead, what will take Obama down a notch will be a combination of his heretofore unreported personal hubris and his total inexperience in national and international affairs. His own team of rivals is a sign of his personal acknowledgment that he really is unprepared to be president.
He hired everyone else who ran for the job, figuring that all he has to do is to manage these people and somehow they will find the right answers.Hillary will be a loyal soldier — for a while. Before the first year is over she will be revealed to be out for herself.Rod Blagojevich will not go down easily. He will be governor for at least another five months. If and when he is forced to leave, he will try to take some big names down with him as negotiating leverage.Harry Reid will be exposed as a do-nothing leader.Caroline Kennedy, despite myriad reasons not to be appointed to Hillary’s Senate seat, including the fact that she cannot string three words together without inserting a “You know,” will in fact be named by Gov. David Paterson as soon as Hillary resigns her seat. This will undermine Paterson’s heretofore "independent" image.Bernard Madoff's insanity/mental illness defense won’t work. More than the reported $50 billion will be the final total in this Madoff Ponzi scheme. More big names will yet surface as victims. They are desperately trying to hide as it is embarrassing to reveal how stupid these supposedly smart investors were.We have not heard the end of Wall Street's malfeasance and incompetence; more revelations are to come about disgusting financial remunerations even after the massive taxpayer funded bailouts.The New York Giants will win the Super Bowl again.
2009 will be some year!
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