Wednesday, December 26, 2018

A Year of Mud and Squealing

I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals. –Winston Churchill

Once again it’s time to grade my predictions for 2018 and look ahead to 2019. On the Chinese calendar, 2018 was the year of the Dog. 2019 is the year of the Pig. I was born in a Rabbit year and that means I should get along quite well with Dogs and Pigs. 2018 was a good year for this Rabbit, so I’m optimistic about 2019. I mean if you can’t trust the Chinese, who can you trust?

The 2018 Prediction Results and the Grades

1.I went with Alabama again to win the Natty.

Grade: A. It was close, but ‘Bama did it.

2. I predicted that GDP growth tails off in the second half of the year. A shortage of workers and the mid-term election cycle put a damper on the economy.

Grade: A-. I got the call right and the labor shortage as well as the mid-term elections contributed. But, the Trump tariffs, the on-going chaos in his administration and the Fed’s rate increases are probably doing more to slow down the economy than anything else.

3. I thought The Post would win Best Picture

Grade: F. The Shape of Water won it. I could write an entire blog about what I actually think of this movie.

4. I thought oil prices would just bump along at current levels, maybe down a bit.

Grade: C. For most of the year I was right, but oil prices are down more than just a bit.

5. Said that China would handle N. Korea.

Grade: B-. The jury is still out on N. Korea, but my sense is that China has played a role in toning things down there. We’ll see.

6. Figured that the Democrats would win big in the mid-terms.

Grade: B+. I think the Dems won big. But I really expected it to be even more lop-sided. So relative to my expectations, I can’t give myself an A on this one.

7. Thought we would finally pass an infrastructure spending bill.

Grade: F. Well, I should have known we can’t get anything done in Washington. Ridiculous.

8. Predicted that The Mueller Investigation goes nowhere, but keeps on going.

Grade: C+. This one is tough to judge. But, more has happened here than I expected. Clearly, several of The Donald’s inner circle were up to some shenanigans. How far this will reach remains to be seen.

9. Guessed there would be big news on the UFO question.

Grade: F. There’s always news about UFOs, but not the biggie I predicted.

10. Said that The Dodgers would meet the Astros again in the World Series. Dodgers win. (And, of course, picked New England to win the Super Bowl.)

Grade: C-. The Patriots got to the Super Bowl and the Dodgers got to the Series. So I’m not taking an F on this one.


Now for the 2019 Predictions:

_1. Alabama wins another National Title.

_2. The economy continues to slowdown, but we don’t go into a recession until 2020. The tariff wars cool off which helps stabilize the economy for now.

_3. Oil prices remain relatively low.

_4. The Democrats will spend most of their time investigating Trump and Trump’s associates, but they won’t pursue impeachment. They will talk about it a lot, but it’s not a battle they can win. (Unless of course Trump does something really crazy…which is always a possibility.)

_5. Trump gets to fill another Supreme Court seat. Get your popcorn ready.

_6. LA Rams beat the LA Chargers in the Super Bowl. Super Bowl television ratings are in the toilet.

_7. Red Sox and Dodgers meet again in the World Series. This time the Dodgers win.

_8. I think we will get an infrastructure bill and immigration reform passed this year. Both parties realize that they have to get something done with the 2020 election coming up. I know it’s hard to imagine anything getting done in Washington, but it might just happen this year. Whatever gets passed it won’t be great, but maybe a step or two in the right direction.

_9. Russia will continue to push the boundaries in the effort to expand its influence in the Middle East. They will take advantage of the lack of leadership in the West.

_10. The Best Movie award will go to another movie I have not watched, nor will I ever. (Unless it goes to Crazy Rich Asians…really good movie, two thumbs up)

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