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I just gave you my scorecard for my predictions for 2012; if you missed it, you can find it here. Now, I present my predictions for 2013. As usual, I'll grade myself on these a year from now -- but feel free to print them out or save a PDF to keep me honest!

  1. Meaningful action on the "fiscal cliff" won't happen until February at least
  2. The credit rating of the United States Government will take another hit
  3. No federal assault weapons ban will pass
  4. Assad will lose the Syrian civil war, but only after much blood
  5. Scott Brown will win the special election to fill John Kerry's Senate seat
  6. Obamacare will dominate the second half of 2013 politics
  7. Inflation will remain below 10%
  8. The Oregon Ducks will win the Fiesta Bowl

My reasoning for each of these predictions is below.

  1. Meaningful action on the "fiscal cliff" won't happen until February at least

    Despite announcements and hand-wringing to the contrary, neither Barack Obama nor John Boehner is in any position to settle the "fiscal cliff" negotiations until after the next Congress convenes. The President can't possibly make an offer that will make Boehner's caucus, especially the Tea Party components, happy. Boehner, for his part, won't have the votes for a compromise until after the next session begins. Nor is he motivated to act quickly. Any deal is going to roll back the tax increases and budget cuts that start setting in after January 1st, which will keep his wealthy patrons happy. More to the point, as the fiscal cliff negotiations start to bleed into the debt ceiling negotiations, Boehner has a stronger hand. The implication is that the eventual deal is going to look dreadful to progressives.

  2. The credit rating of the United States Government will take another hit

    This would be a consequence of the failure to reach a budget deal, as outlined above. Fitch and Dagong have already signaled that a downgrade is likely if a deal isn't reached in a timely manner.

  3. No federal assault weapons ban will pass

    To hear the progressive voices in the media tell it, an assault weapons ban, such as proposed by Diane Feinstein, is all but certain next year. Political realities tell a different story. This ban is likely to pass the Senate on a nearly party-line vote, but it is unlikely to pass the Republican-controlled House. Since Sandy Hook, a total of two Congressional Republicans have signaled their willingness to even consider gun control measures. More telling, Lindsey Graham, Rand Paul and other conservative Republicans have come out in opposition. In fact, Boehner probably wont' even schedule the Feinstein bill for a vote.

    It's not that the measure is unpopular, although PPP and Gallup disagree on its popularity. (NB: I don't buy that the Gallup poll is flawed. The responsible thing to do is to add it to the data set.) It's not even that the Tea Party is opposed to a ban; they don't have the numbers to stop it. The constituency that will hold the GOP accountable is hard-line Second Amendment advocates.

    Since Sandy Hook, the rhetoric on both sides of the gun debate has been highly vitriolic, in parts mendacious, and often irrational. While many gun owners side with Feinstein, hundreds of thousands more have been told that they're the moral equivalent of serial killers. Their response, unsurprisingly, is, "fuck you." They are not in the mood to explain their actions to or negotiate with the anti-gun side. Their policy is zero tolerance. These are the same folks that contributed 88,000 signatures to a petition calling for Piers Morgan to be deported, Kleindienst v. Mandel style. The moment Feinstein's proposal hit the Internet, they got to work spreading the word and hitting the phones. It's virtually certain that any Republican that votes for this ban, or is seen as acting insufficiently to stop it, will face a primary challenge from both those gun owners and the Tea Party. I doubt any of them will risk it.

    It's easy to conflate these people with the NRA. The surest sign that they are not the NRA, and not acting on behest of, or in agreement with, the NRA, is that they're not exactly enthusiastic about Wayne LaPierre's lame arm-the-teachers proposal either. This is a grass roots response, which the NRA did not instigate. Indeed, the NRA needs to get ahead of it, or risk seeming irrelevant compared to more strident groups such as Gun Owners of America or the Second Amendment Foundation.

    Other new gun control measures are possible, provided they're quite modest. Closing the private transaction loophole - in other words, requiring all gun transactions to have a background check or to go through an FFL - is overwhelmingly popular at 92%, and strikes me as a good candidate for passage in 2013. Almost anything that places a prohibition on law-abiding citizens, including a ban on large magazines proposed by House Democrats, is going to run into a wall of opposition.

    The flip side is that this is a short term situation that might last a few years. Continued hard line opposition, without a serious proposal to keep firearms out of the hands of deranged maniacs, will eventually lead to something along the lines of the Feinstein bill and from there to a blanket ban and confiscation. Second Amendment hard liners - not the NRA, but the SAF, GOA, JPFO, and the grass roots they represent - need to think carefully about what measures they will accept in order to keep guns out of the hands of people who cannot handle them responsibly. Yes, this is asking a lot.

  4. Assad will lose the Syrian civil war, but only after much blood

    Assad is holding on to power because the rebels are disorganized, and because he has substantial diplomatic support from Russia and China. Both of these factors are likely to change soon. Once Assad loses Chinese and Russian support, his only remaining friend will be Iran. That will hardly be enough.

  5. Scott Brown will win the special election to fill John Kerry's Senate seat

    The entire Massachusetts Democratic establishment is uniting behind Ed Markey to replace John Kerry in the US Senate as Kerry takes over as Secretary of State. Unfortunately, a recent poll has Markey down 18 points against the likely GOP candidate, Scott Brown. The national resources of both parties will come to bear in this race, but Republicans are motivated - they went after Susan Rice to get this seat.

  6. Obamacare will dominate the second half of 2013 politics

    The bulk of new insurance rules take effect in 2014; but in October of 2013, the new insurance exchanges open to the public, and that becomes the first real test of this law. Presuming it goes well, there will still be glitches and pitfalls that make headlines whether you watch MSNBC or FOX. If it goes badly - because, for example, all that's made available is expensive junk insurance - look out. Personally, I'm cautiously optimistic, but we'll have to see.

  7. Inflation will remain below 10%

    For the third and final year in a row, I am putting right wing hand-wringing about hyperinflation to the test. The most conservative definition of hyperinflation is that it represents a doubling of prices in the space of three years or less. In order for that to happen, we need an inflation rate of a little less than 26% for three years in a row. In 2011, it was 3.4%. In 2012, it was under 3%. In 2013, I expect inflation to remain below 10%, and that's assuming the economy sees a very robust recovery. I think this scenario is unlikely given the austerity that will be forced on us by the "fiscal cliff." The one point in the hyperinflation camp's favor - the creation of trillions in fake money to cover the losses of the largest banks - is negated by the fact that more than 99 cents out of every dollar of this fake money will never enter general circulation. It also bears repeating that we should consider ourselves very fortunate indeed to not be in a deflationary spiral right now.

  8. The Oregon Ducks will win the Fiesta Bowl

    Kansas State has a solid offense and a solid quarterback. Oregon has a stunning, explosive offense, an amazing quarterback in Mariota, and a gimmicky play style that is not found outside the Pac 12. My guess is an Oregon blowout.

Poll

Which prediction will I get wrong in 2013?

19%8 votes
4%2 votes
2%1 votes
2%1 votes
54%23 votes
0%0 votes
2%1 votes
14%6 votes

| 42 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ninkasi23, Pluto

    ‎"Masculinity is not something given to you, but something you gain. And you gain it by winning small battles with honor." - Norman Mailer
    My Blog
    My wife's woodblock prints

    by maxomai on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 03:53:23 PM PST

  •  The exchanges have to meet specific guidelines (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maxomai, JBraden

    and requirements to qualify.

    Especially the ones in the Federal exchanges.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 04:05:26 PM PST

  •  Inflation stays <10%??? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maxomai, Zack from the SFV

    I guess you want to have one "gimme" in the list?

    "Some people pay for what others pay to avoid." -- Howard Devoto /// "Patience is a virtue, but I don't have the time." -- David Byrne

    by droopyd on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 04:09:47 PM PST

  •  GOP Victory on the Fiscal Cliff (0+ / 0-)

    The GOP will defeat Obama on the fiscal cliff negotiations. It won't be apparent for a couple of months, but Obama will compromise more than the GOP to get a temporary postponent of the fiscal cliff. Then when the fiscal cliff collides with the debt ceiling in February, Obama will cave in even more. GOP wins total victory when they get the final bills they want by threatening to shut down the government in March.

    •  I'm inclined to agree (0+ / 0-)

      But, to be honest, I'm not sure how to measure "total GOP victory." I can measure "no deal before Feb 1."

      Part of my goal here is to make predictions for which I can easily be held accountable. :)

      ‎"Masculinity is not something given to you, but something you gain. And you gain it by winning small battles with honor." - Norman Mailer
      My Blog
      My wife's woodblock prints

      by maxomai on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 04:51:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm nixing your Scott Brown prediction. (4+ / 0-)

    First - I think the MA Dem organization learned their lesson in the Croaker/Brown election. They won't take it for granted this time.

    Second - I think Scott Brown will commit some kind of Akin verbal blunder that will expose him as the doofus he is, making it easier for Markey to take the seat.

    Third - I think the polls are too early to make any assumptions. Scott Brown has the name rec, and no one statewide has heard from Ed Markey yet.

    This is Massachusetts. Dems don't lose here when they are paying attention. And they've learned to pay attention.

    I am progressive. I am liberal. I make no apologies. - Kos

    My political compass: - 8.38,-6.97

    by pucklady on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 04:35:59 PM PST

  •  so many poll takers doubt that Brown looses (0+ / 0-)

    in MA

    I'd like that poll to be given to MA residents on Kos

    I don' t think we'd choose that one as the most unlikely, that is for sure. That so far people did validates the many converstaions about this topic we have had.

    You folks aren't listening to MA citizens on Kos. Defeating Scott Brown will be an uphill battle. He is well known by everyone across the state. Markey is not

    Secret--I was not sure who Markey was myself. I am reasonably politically aware though less so for local politics. He vaguely rang a bell. I know almost nothing about him. Look...I'm on Kos daily and worked for Warren's campaign. I know MA voters largely LIKE Scott Brown even now. So many people have said to me variations on "it must be Karma for Brown for this seat to have opened up for him" Honestly...there is a mentality that it SHOULD be his. People in MA are loyal and it took a lot for Warren to beat him. Race was tied a month before IIRC. Warren was a star....it felt to me  given the energy after each debate that she won because of her debate performance...she was so very sincere and good. A Republican loosing by eight pts in MA isn't as much of a wipeout as so many think, even an incumbant. Reminder that Republican against Obama lost both times in MA by around 25 points

    I am telling you I hope looses but it is FOLLY to think as the poll takers up to now do...Brown's win being the least likely. I IS VERY LIKELY from the view on the ground.

    Markey would have to run a spotless campaign and charm the pants off of people. I hope I am pleasantly surprised but again he has not been so politically skille and charming so far after his many years in Congress that most people in MA even know him...we shall see

    Please believe us in MA. If you think as you do that Brown's defeat will be easy you won't support Markey like you supported Elizabeth Warren (thank you thank you). And your views can be spread around to other country wide active Dems. That is the consensus here...cakewalk Dem wins easily in MA...than he won't get people out of state working on  his campaign and he won't get as much money (yes I know he starts with some but Brown has endless immoral money from the superpacs and there WON"T be a ban agreement this time!) They spread filthy lies about EW during the last campaign...you should have seen what I got in my mailbox from Brown's pacs

  •  Brown may not even run (0+ / 0-)

    If he loses his career is over. he  may just want to take a break and run for the seat in 2014 or run for Governor. Markey has plenty of money and will tie the republican party around Browns neck.

  •  Allow me to add one: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maxomai

    No substantive action on any major environmental issue will be undertaken.

    "Forecast for tomorrow? A few sprinkles of genius with a chance of doom!" -Stewie Griffin

    by quillsinister on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 08:20:16 PM PST

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