The Ham Hock of Liberty

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Progonostimicatin' is Hard Work

Not too long ago, I took a look at the status of my 2006 predictions. It was fun. All 3 of us who read this blog had a grand time.

Somehow, however, I stumbled upon The Corner's 2006 predictions tonight. It seems that most of those bold pundits chose to duck actual predictions by making jokes (e.g., "Environmental artist Christo announces plans to wrap colorful nylon panels around Cindy Sheehan"), but some actual guesses at reality made it through. If you'd like to see exactly -why- we should not be taking these people seriously now, look at what they thought would happen to the world, just 9 months ago:

Wrong:

Warren Bell:
* Hollywood studios will continue to reach out to religious America in their efforts to market movies about gay cowboys, the suffering of terrorists, and greedy corporations. Then when these movies fail at the box office, the studios will respond by blaming competition from videogames and DVDs.

Denis Boyles:
* In Africa, yet another million of the world's poorest, weakest people (mostly kids) will die from malaria because the use of DDT offends the faux Western sheep-cowboy consciousness of middle-class Greenpeace types in the U.S. and Europe.

Kellyanna Conway:
* Chelsea Clinton gets engaged.
* Cindy Sheehan fades.
* Osama bin Laden resurfaces — and then is captured.**
* Valerie Plame poses in Playboy. Husband continues to complain others outed her.
* Four more states protect traditional marriage.
* Ed Cox reenters the race for U.S. Senate in New York.
* One of the Simpson sisters, Olsen twins, or Hilton sisters has a baby.
* Real-estate prices remain steady.**

The Derb:
* Iran will test a nuclear weapon.
* The space-shuttle program will be shut down for good.
* The main talking point in Iraq policy will become: Given that there is an Iraqi army up and running, do we really want them to have un-chaperoned access to anything more dangerous than small arms?**
* Some industrialized nation bigger than Andorra will, either by explicit legislation or implicit executive action, enact a ban on further immigration by Muslims from anywhere at all.
* China will lay the keel of that nation's first aircraft carrier. While denying any intention of engaging in a "space race" with China, India will announce preparations for placing a man in orbit by 2008.

Doughy Pantload:
* For the first time in memory — by which I mean my memory — three National Review authors will be on the New York Times bestseller's list in the same year. **
* Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame will enter talks to launch their own talk/reality show. Even after a sweeps week episode in which Wilson eats 6 pounds of yellow cake from in-between Plame's cleavage with his hands tied behind his back, he will take great offense at anyone who suggests he's a publicity hound.
* By Christmas 2006, George W. Bush's approval ratings will be 57 percent.**
* Abu Zarqawi will be caught alive. But he will hang himself in his cell when Reuters reports that Iraqi authorities found the director's cut of Brokeback Mountain in his portable DVD player.
* There will be another terrorist attack on the American homeland.**
* Howard Dean will not finish 2006 as chairman of the DNC. **

Victor Davis Hanson:
* There will be a major immigration bill passed that drastically halts the influx of illegal aliens.
* Howard Dean will leave the DNC chairmanship.**
* Serious social unrest in Iran by midyear.**

K-Lo:
* President Bush takes a fresh harsh tone with Saudi Arabia.**
* Israel strikes Iran. Freedom-hungry Iranians subsequently take their freedom into their own hands.**
* The Santorum-Casey race is full of surprises. Comes in much tighter than it looks right now.
* Rudy Guiliani announces that he will not run for president.*
* ABC's According to Jim wins an Emmy. ATJ Showrunner and too-cool-for-caps NRO writer Warren Bell does not wear a National Review cap on stage but does namedrop a lot in The Corner the next morning.**

Carrie Lukas:
* At least four states will enact new school-choice programs; several prominent Democrats will break with teachers' unions to support school choice.
* Latin America will emerge as a serious national-security concern that will soon rival the Middle East.**
* Air America will finally go under, ironically undermined by "competition" from the taxpayer-supported NPR that they vigorously support. Distraught listeners in search of liberal viewpoints will be forced to turn to CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, The New York Times, etc..**
* Republicans will pick up seats in the House.**
* General Motors will declare bankruptcy due to the crushing costs of their union-coerced healthcare and retirement programs — a prelude to the looming crises in Medicare and Social Security.

Clifford May:
* Roger Ailes will not lose sleep over competitive pressures. More specifically, network news programs, CNN and MSNBC, and major newspapers will not stem declines in audience/circulation. The media moguls will not figure out that at least half of those who follow the news are conservatives who prefer not to be insulted and condescended to by "progressive" reporters, editors, and producers. **
* French policies aimed at heading off further racial/religious unrest will not prove successful.
* Howard Dean will not remain chairman of the DNC.

Peter Schweizer:
* Both Syria and Iran will face considerable social unrest as freedom continues to strengthen in the Middle East.**
* Intelligent design, far from being dead, will become an increasingly important factor in the culture wars.**
* Hillary Clinton will find it increasingly difficult to hold her coalition together by posing as both a centrist and a woman of the left. But she will stay the course and with growing success in Iraq, she'll be lauded as a "statesman" in the media for not caving in to the appeasement crowd. Iraq will be her "Sister Souljah" moment.**
* Some well-connected Republicans, concerned whether they have a dynamic and effective conservative ready for a presidential run, will turn up the pressure on Jeb Bush to enter the race.

Mark Steyn:
* There will be more riots in Europe, and an increase in the rate of ethnic Dutch emigration from the Netherlands. The German government will fall. There will be another terrorist attack in Britain.**
* John McCain will have increasing difficulty maintaining his approval ratings with the press. There will be more lay-offs at major U.S. media outlets.
* Baby Assad will not last the year as Syria's President. Iraq will recede deeper and deeper into the newspaper due to an ongoing lack of bad news.**
* Osama bin Laden will continue to be dead, and will be confirmed as such.**


OK, so now that we've seen how remarkably wrong these people can be, let's give credit where credit is due, and see what they managed to get right:

* In Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum will go down to defeat at the hands of Bob Casey Jr., causing Pat Toomey to smile a tight little smile. (Boyles)
* Two Democrats not named Hillary actively campaign for POTUS 2008. (Kellyanne Conway)
* Google and Apple laugh all the way to the bank. (Conway)
* The "ground zero" site in Manhattan will look very much the same at the end of 2006 as at the beginning. New Orleans will look slightly worse. (The Derb)
* John McCain will be widely considered the GOP frontrunner for the nomination. (Pantload)
* President Bush will not win the Nobel Peace Prize. (K-Lo)
* The Court does not overturn Roe v. Wade. (K-Lo)
* The Yanks come back. (K-Lo)
* Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes will name their baby something odd. (Carrie Lukas)
* Osama bin Laden will not be captured or killed in Pakistan; but Zarqawi will be captured or killed in Iraq. (Clifford May)
* Moveon.org will not argue that those on the Left calling for Bush's impeachment are over the top and damaging the Democratic party. (May)
* John McCain will recognize another major problem, speak out about it honestly and devise a solution that will not solve the problem but rather will make it worse. (May)
* Maureen Dowd will not get married. (May)


So, on balance, how did the Korner Kidz do?
Grade: They're idiots. Duh.



** Special bonus prize for Excellence in Stupid.

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