In a Machiavellian coup, Joe Biden will oust Willard Scott as the person who wishes “Happy Birthday” to centenarians on the Today Show.
Frustration with Obamacare reaches a tipping point when people claim that when they tried to sign up online, a hand came out of their computers and slapped them.
Martin Bashir and Alec Baldwin will go off the grid for a while to join a touring company of Blue Man Group.
Woody Allen will make a movie set in Europe.
During an Oscars red-carpet interview, Joan Rivers will viciously mock Nelson Mandela and tell everyone against racism to “grow up and get over it.”
In the speech declaring himself a 2016 presidential candidate, Donald Trump will boast that his hairpiece was MADE IN THE U.S.A.
After being fired from ESPN, Keith Olbermann will get a job stocking shelves in a bodega.
When Joe Biden jokingly raps the glass on Lenin’s coffin during a visit to Moscow, the glass will shatter, but President Obama will steal the headlines by shaking the hand of the mummified revolutionary leader.
Kim Jong Un will persuade Dennis Rodman to move to North Korea to become a member of his cabinet and six months later will have him quietly executed.
Iran will safely put a monkey on the moon and return him safely to an Iranian lab before the end of this decade.
Miley Cyrus will shatter cultural expectations and “get everyone talking” by behaving in a dignified fashion during a major TV awards show performance.
— Eric Metaxas is the author, most recently, of Seven Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness. Follow him on Twitter at @EricMetaxas.
Well, I’ve just re-read my predictions for 2013, and — we have a planet in peril — I find that quite a few can be recycled.
As usual, let’s start with the euro. I forecast that the single currency would survive 2013, but more surefootedly than before, thanks to the intervention of the European Central Bank. That holds good for 2014. I also argued that the biggest threat to the single currency’s survival in 2013 was major social disorder in one of the PIIGS. That will continue to be the case in 2014, with Greece, Italy, and (honorary PIIG) France being the most likely candidates.
Elections for the European parliament are due in May. Outsider, more or less euroskeptic parties, including Britain’s UKIP and France’s (very different from UKIP) National Front should do well, but control in the parliament will remain with the Tweedledee center-left or Tweedledum center-right, quite possibly in some sort of coalition.
Scotland will reject independence in the referendum scheduled for September, but keep an eye on Catalonia. The quest for independence there is not going away, and nor will the Spanish government’s efforts to distract attention from scandal, economic blight, and, indeed, Catalonia, by making life tough for Gibraltar.
Other predictions for 2012 and 2013 included the possibility of an Argentine economic crisis (complete with saber-rattling over the Falklands). Well, rinse and repeat for 2014. The economy there is lurching from bad to worse, and social tensions are building (recent police strikes and a wave of looting are not good signs). I also threw in a fresh economic crisis for variety, and suggested France. It’s happening, but in slow motion, and it will get worse in 2014.
On the U.S. economy, the headline unemployment numbers have improved. That’s as anticipated, and there may be some more to come. But something I touched on last year, the strikingly low level of labor-force participation, is unlikely to change significantly — a fact that will continue (as I noted this year and last) to be of little apparent concern to those (such as advocates of mass immigration) who continue to talk up the benefits of a rising population.
I thought that inequality would be a big deal politically in 2013, and it was, but it will be even more of one in 2014. The misdeeds of the 1 percent will be blamed as usual, but the real causes of the increasingly sharp income gap between a relatively small group of winners (in his Average Is Over, Tyler Cowen suggests that this will eventually turn out to be around 15–20 percent of the population) and everyone else are globalization and, much more so, automation, with mass immigration doing its bit to make things even worse. In time this will pose a very severe political threat, but even in 2014 it’s not going to help the GOP.
That said, in the midterms the Republicans will retain the House, adding a few seats as they do so. They will make gains in the Senate, but not enough to form a majority. As is becoming traditional, a poorly chosen candidate or three will mean that the GOP does not do quite as well as it could have done.
To conclude with some bad guys: Putin will still be in place at the end of 2014, but it will be less of a banner year for him than 2013, Bashar al-Assad will continue to hang on in Syria, and Kim Jong Caligula will go from strength to strength, becoming increasingly alarming (if such a thing is possible) as he does so. Newcomer Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela will be someone to watch.
And on that cheerful note, Happy New Year!
— Andrew Stuttaford is a contributing editor of National Review Online.
Republicans will win six seats and take control of the Senate.
Iran will live up to the interim agreement but also refuse to dismantle its nuclear-weapons infrastructure. The U.S. will not launch military strikes.
The Obama administration finally gets the Obamacare website to work, which only turns attention to the real problem — Obamacare cannot defy the laws of economics. Medical-care quality continues to fall while health-insurance costs continue to rise. Obama finally forces Sibelius to quit.
In NLRB v. Noel Canning, the Supreme Court will strike down the Obama administration’s recess appointments.
In McCutcheon v. FEC, the Supreme Court will strike down limits on overall federal campaign donations but will leave the limits on individual donations to specific candidates intact.
Ignoring the demands of good taste and the pleas of millions, McDonald’s refuses to add the McRib to its permanent menu.
Americans remain bored by the Winter Olympics, despite Vladimir Putin’s bare-chested participation in the opening ceremonies.
— John Yoo is Emanuel S. Heller Professor of Law at the University of California at Berkeley.