Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 Predictions: How did we do?

We made predictions this time last year for 2015, and here is a recap, with scores for how we did.  In everyone else's defense, I did stake out all the easy predictions, leaving nothing but wild speculation to the rest of the editorial staff.

Finn and Hugh's numbers look bad, but their only problem is they are ahead of their time.  Their predictions will come to pass sometime.

Gotta give Viburnum credit, he was much closer about the Chicago Cubs than anyone could have imagined...

The Winners, in a Tie:  Silverfiddle and Ducky, both with 46%

Rob O'Daniel was a close third with 44% and some very smart predictions.  Jersey and Beakerin put in a respectable performance and had some great predictions of their own.

Results below.  Failed predictions have strikethroughs.  Successful prediction gets one point, 1/2 point for partials.  My assessment, if needed, is below each prediction in italics.

Silverfiddle's Predictions - (5.5 /12), 46%

* Denver Broncos are defeated in the playoffs, Peyton Manning retires.
- 1/2 point.  Broncos defeated in Playoffs, but Manning stayed on

* Jeb Bush announces he is running for president, the GOP establishment gets behind him, and some rightwing loonies spin off a shaky, farcical third party with someone like a Bachmann or Palin at the helm.
- I am tempted to give myself half a point, but we all knew Bush would run, and there is some funny, farcical antics going on, but not what I predicted.

* Jim Webb launches his run for the Democratic party presidential nomination.
- 1 point

* Hillary Clinton bows out.

* A Supreme Court vacancy will occur, and due to political intransigence on both sides, will remain vacant. 

* Race relations continue to deteriorate, with more violence and more provocative incidents than 2014.
- Tough to quantify, but I'm giving myself a point for this one

* Immigration wave on our southern border larger than last year. Obama asks for more money.

* GOP will reestablish a normalized budget process, President Obama will sign their spending bill, and conservatives will be furious because it increases spending even though Ryan, Boehner, et al claim it contains deficit reduction measures.
- 1 point.  I nailed this so hard I should get bonus points

* ISIS state collapses back into marauding terrorist bands as Kurds and a marginally-improved Iraqi army regain lost territory. Iraqi sectarian in-fighting continues, US reestablishes a small, semi-permanent presence.
- We have reestablished a small US presence in Iraq, but the bulk of my prediction did not come to pass

* Obama negotiates with the Taliban, even as they gobble up the Pashtun belt and Kabul totters. Police and Army defections increase along with rumors of an imminent government collapse.

* Bashar Assad strengthens his grip on Syria, rebels in retreat.
- 1 point, thanks to a Putin assist.

* China causes some kind of provocation/crisis ala Russia/Ukraine. US and world dithers.

Finntann's Predictions - (1 /7), 14%

* Gasoline drops below $1.50

* Ruble continues its downward spiral and despite continued popularity there is a coup or assassination attempt on Putin. Putin survives, blames the West, and amid soaring popularity makes a move somewhere in the Baltics , most likely in the Ida-Viru region of Estonia (70% Russian) or the Daugavpils region of Latvia (53.6% Russian).

* The government of Syria falls after Bashar al-Assad flees to Belarus for medical care after a nearly successful suicide bombing, he never returns. The West diddles as ISIS consolidates territorial gains in western Iraq and Syria.
- 1/2 point, thanks to Western diddling

* Raul Castro dies suddenly, Miguel Diaz-Canel takes over and makes moves a la China to implement limited capitalism. Sheldon Adelson announces a planned Sands Casino Resort on the Malecón.
- We're getting closer to this.  Maybe 2016?  "Opening up Cuba" will be a big regret for the Cubans. After Obama's Vampire Crony Crapitalists move in and gobble everything up, Cubans will be waxing nostalgic about the Castro regime...

* Street protests dubbed the Latin American Spring in major Venezuelan cities leads to a crackdown by the Maduro government. A military coup in late summer or early fall will install Diosdado Cabello as head of government.
- 1/2 point.  

* After a series of police shootings public backlash will dampen down protests.

* Personal Computers running on Intel's new Skylake chip architecture will be available in time for Christmas.

Hugh Farnham's Predictions - 0.0%

There will be an increase of 10th Amendment-based state nullification efforts of federal laws

The Obama Administration will take actions to continue the nationalization of local, county and state police.

The FBI will quietly admit they were wrong about North Korea being the source of the Sony hack

There will be cyberattacks against the US, and our government will blame them on Russia

Viburnum's Predictions - 0.0%

The American people finally comprehend the significance of being 18 trillion dollars in debt and take to the streets to demand a fiscally responsible government enforced by a balanced budget amendment. Frustrated by the indifference of the Beltway crowd they hang a politician, bureaucrat, or lobbyist from every available lamppost in the District of Columbia. The survivors are grateful for the dearth of suitable trees.

Warren Buffet, after a severe attack of conscience over paying less in taxes than his secretary, donates his entire fortune of 73 billions to pay down the national debt. It covers 0.4%.

Medea Benjamin converts to Islam, moves to Baghdad, and organizes a group: "Not In Allah's Name", to protest the depraved atrocities committed in the name of the religion of peace. The organization is short lived. So is she.

One person, one vote returns to Cook County Illinois, disenfranchising innumerable cadavers. Democrats/Progressives protest the injustice.

The Democratic Party finally decides to come out of the closet and renames itself the Democrat/Socialist Party. As is usually the case, this is news to no one.

The Philadelphia 76ers go undefeated for the rest of the season and win the NBA Championship ( Don't bet the farm on that one. )

The Chicago Cubs win the World Series. (ROFLMAO)

Reader Predictions

Rob O'Daniel's Predictions - (3.5 /8) 44%

* Romo will continue to be benched for injury after injury, yet somehow keep on earning millions.
- 1 point

* Obamacare will limp along for another year, kneecapping established healthcare in its wake, until we finally get within spitting distance of the next election.
- 1 point

* Rampant gang violence will continue to escalate in Mexico and spill over even more into Texas and the southwestern states causing clueless officials to be shocked and double up on their pointless handwringing. No one will wake up and see that Sheriff Arpaiao is actually a hero.
- Hard to quantify.  It hasn't gotten scarily worse, so I can't award a point

* Hillary ramps up her presidential bid to the squealing delight of low information voters across the land.
- 1 point

* Not a single worthwhile Republican candidate will surface, probably not even a Bush.

* Several more states will legalize pot, making enough for a true tipping point and a (needless) hot button topic in the next election.
- 1/2 point "Tipping point" may come in 2016.  Hold on to that prediction

* Star Wars 7 will arrive - and sorely disappoint, but in a dazzling, lens-flary kinda way, leaving most Gen Yers to say, "That didn't suck nearly as bad as I thought it might. Plus it had cool CGI and Princess Leia's daughter had nice tits!"

* A torrential tablet backlash will begin with users finally realizing that if you're gonna do any real work - not just consume media - ya hafta have a boring PC with unexciting keyboard & mouse. Users will yawn their way back to productivity.

Beakerkin's Predictions - (3.5 /10) 35%

1) Yet another year will pass and Jersey will not make an original comment
- 1 point

2) More states will legalize pot.
- 1 point

3) More casinos will close in Jersey and elsewhere.

4) The market tanks. More companies move abroad to dodge taxes.
- 1/2 point - It slumped, but didn't tank, and some companies did move abroad

5) Hillary gets knocked out of the race by fauxahontas Warren. Col. Bernie Sanders runs for President and divides the left.

6) Ducky comes out of the closet as a LiberterIan so he can support a Zombified version of Ron Paul.

7) Ron Paul drafts Rupaul as his VP. Paul gets sent to a mental health facility after he hits a reporter for Asking if his wife is still making fish sticks.

8) Bill DeBlassio gets caught doing drugs. He claims it is an NYPD conspiracy.

9) Riots break out in Caracas.
- 1 point

10) ISIS beats back Syria and Iraq

Jersey McJones 
- (3 /10) 30%

1. The Russian continues to collapse, the Russian people begin to wake up and realize its not the fault of everyone else in the world, by the end of the year Putin is planning his exit from stage failure.

2. Cuba and America actually start talking. By the end of the year, things between us are far better.
- 1 point

3. The 2016 Grand Old Party Clown Car Race sets it's positions with Jeb Bush at the pole. Clowns are unhappy. The investment class has a win.

4. Americans get a queasy deja vu as the race now seems to come down to Clinton and Bush. The investment class has a win-win.
- 1/2.  Half right, and Bush could still pull it off

5. Dow hits 20,000. The vast majority of Americans are unaffected.
- Close, but no cigar

6. SCOTUS strikes a seeming blow to the War on Drugs, ruling on standing, in interstate pot case. Pot arrests go up nationally.

7. More riots, more police shootings, more police shot, as things gets tenser and tenser between police and inner city youth. Louder calls for reining in the police state go unheeded by Washington and state governments, politically mobilizing the young for 2016. Clinton and Bush try to co-opt sentiment taking surprising but still cautious positions on the issue. Police unions get nervous and push a fear campaign to keep them relevant.
- 1/2.  The situation is worsening.  Hold on to the rest of your prediction for 2016!

8. North Korea actually executes someone for watching a Seth Rogen film, though to be fair, after watching the movie the poor soul was already dead inside.

9. US and EU sign big trade deal. Most Americans have no idea it ever happened.
- I do give you props for an informed prediction.  TTIP is getting closer

10. Woody Johnson, perfect example of the conservative investment class, has finally realized he has to spend money to build a football team, this year he starts spending the money to do it. The Jets go 9-7.
- 1 point.  They exceeded your prediction

Ducky's Here - (6/13) 46%

1. Teabags will continue to fail to realize that policy governing the world's reserve currency is necessarily different than policy governing the household budget.
- 1 point.  Yes, those sane people on your right continue to criticize the sick currency manipulation game run by the US government, Federal Reserve and international banksters.  You win 1 point for crudely stating the obvious and insulting over halt the country all in one breath.

2. Oil stabilizes at around $50 but there will be serious unrest in Venezuela and Nigeria.
- 1 point

3. The cops will use the recent shooting as a propaganda piece to expand budgets and militarization.
- 1/2 point.  I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt since this is hard to quantify and aggregate municipal police budgets nationwide.  Also, much of the spending increase is due to the left's demands for body cameras.

4. The Sox will beat the snot out of the ball and realize you still need a bullpen.
- 1 point.  Boston had some of the hottest bats in the AL, and their pitching did kinds stink, so I gotta give you this one...

5. The New York Spankees will sign Max Scherzer.

6. Scherzer will need elbow surgery.

7. The new Star Wars film will be a disappointment.

8. There will be absolutely nothing interesting to people over 18 in American music.
- Sturgill Simpson?  You could be right, but adults continue to flock to live venues, mostly for indy acts, it appears...  Hard to quantify because of what streaming is doing to CD sales.  

9. We will be stuck with Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton. Wall Street laughs in our collective face.
- 1/2 point

10. Interest rates will be up 25 basis points by the end of the year.
- 1 point.  Nailed that one.  Should we start calling you Carnac?

11. Gold will stage a minor rally and the suckers will pile in.

12. There will be several major school shootings and the NRA will suggest we don't have enough guns.
- 1/2 point.  This was an easy prediction

13. The Sony hack will still not be revealed as the greatest marketing campaign since New Coke.
- 1/2 point, because it may not have been a marketing campaign.

Jack Shinola:  Kim Kardashian's butt did not explode and Norad did not shoot down Santa's sleigh, but the Castros did refuse to renounce communism, and Obama pandered to them anyway

Bocopro:  The GOP did continue to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory (see Gowdy, Trey R-Buffoonville), and college children continue to turn campuses into lunatic asylums.

Stay tuned for the rules for our 2016 prediction contest!

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