It is another year, and that means time for another set of predictions. So, without further adieu, here are my predictions for the coming year:
- President Obama’s popularity will remain mired below 50% throughout most of the year.
- The Democrats will lose more the 40 seats, putting the GOP in control of the House.
- In the Senate, Democrats will not fare much better. Majority Leader Reid will lose his seat, following in the footsteps of Tom Daschle. Chris Dodd also loses his seat to a GOP upstart. Same with Blanche Lincoln.
- The health care bill will be signed into law, and will be a major albatross around the necks of Democrats.
- The Democrats, rather than moving towards the center, will lurch left as the “netroots” convinces many in the party that the reason for the 2010 defeat was because the party was insufficiently “progressive.” The Democrats will end up in the same position the Republicans were in a year ago.
- But Republicans should be wary as well. They will have won not on their own laurels, but because of disgust with the current Congress.
- Cap and trade will be DOA as Congress gets increasingly worried about the political backlash.
- The protests in Iran continue in fits and starts, weakening the foundations of the regime. The Iranian government continues to brutalize its own people, while the West does little of consequence to stop them.
- President Obama launches further military action in Yemen to try to remove al-Qaeda.
- A major economic collapse in the EU shakes the foundation of the Euro.
- Gordon Brown faces a vote of no-confidence in Parliament, causing the him to call new elections in the UK.
- The situation in Afghanistan remains unsettled, but the addition of U.S. troops helps calm some of the tensions.
- Iran will come closer to testing a nuclear weapon, and will likely have the capability of doing so by the end of 2010.
- Unemployment will remain high throughout the year as discouraged workers reenter the workforce. This will be a huge political problem for the Democrats in the 2010 cycle.
- The price of gold and other hard assets will continue to skyrocket on inflation fears, leading to a mini-bubble in asset prices.
- The government will continue with bailouts of major companies, despite President Obama’s focus on debt reduction.
- The national deficit will continue to skyrocket as Congress is unable to restrain spending.
- Apple will announce their tablet in early 2010, with a 10-inch touch screen and optional 3G wireless through Verizon rather than AT&T. The tablet (probably not called the iSlate) will have a major effect on the e-reader market, although Amazon will counter by making Kindle content available on the new device. Critics will complain that the price point is too high, but the device will sell like hotcakes anyway.
- E-Books will begin to outsell physical book copies.
- The reality TV show craze will finally, mercifully die off as people get sick of the them.
- Web series will continue to take off from being largely low-budget affairs to being more like regular TV shows. Shows akin to Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog will receive much critical acclaim and will begin to supplant conventional TV.
- “Steampunk” will go from a small subculture to the next major popular phenomenon. Things like home canning, writing letters on fine stationery, and Victorian styles will become increasingly popular.
- The death of the newspaper industry will not stop, even though many papers start reconciling themselves with the digital world.