Last December, I gave you my predicions for 2013. Unlike most prognosticators, I try to hold myself accountable each year. This year, I can score myself relatively early, because enough stuff has happened that I can definitely mark my successes and failures. I did pretty well this year, with five right out of eight, although I had a couple of softballs to help me out. Let's go through which ones I hit and missed, below.
Meaningful action on the "fiscal cliff" won't happen until February at least
FAILURE. As it turned out, the "fiscal cliff" was fixed on January 2nd after marathon negotiations through the last days of 2012. I assumed that Congress didn't have it in them, but they did, albeit in a manner that created more fiscal pain several times over 2013. 0/1
The credit rating of the United States Government will take another hit.
As it turned out, this happened, quietly, in October, when China's Dagong rating agency dropped the US credit rating to A-. You probably didn't hear about it because it wasn't a US rating agency. Nonetheless, I'm scoring this as a SUCCESS.
No federal assault weapons ban will pass
SUCCESS. The AWB got a vote in the Senate in the form of an amendment to a Senate gun control measure. That amendment failed 40-60. It did not come up for a vote in the House at all. Various bans have been tried on a state-by-state basis, mostly with failure. The most controversial is Colorado's ban, which led to the recall of two state Senators and the resignation of a third. Colorado Republicans are going to make that ban a centerpiece of their bid to take control of the state legislature. IMO, if the Colorado Democrats had stuck to universal background checks, none of the recalls would have happened. People can understand the need to keep guns out of the hands of bad people; but in red and purple states, telling good people what kind of guns they're allowed to own is a bad idea.
Assad will lose the Syrian civil war, but only after much blood
FAILURE. He isn't losing the civil war, which continues to this day. In fact, even after he deployed chemical weapons, the world response was to send in inspectors and technicians to confiscate and destroy his chemical weapons arsenal, without firing a shot. Assad can thank Russia for keeping him in power. There's definitely been a lot of blood, though.
Scott Brown will win the special election to fill John Kerry's Senate seat
FAILURE, and perhaps nobody is more surprised than me. If Brown ran, he would have been a shoo-in; but Brown decided not to run, and in fact has moved to New Hampshire. The GOP, with their weak bench, had a second tier candidate to run against Ed Markey, who won handily.
Obamacare will dominate the second half of 2013 politics
And oh boy, did it. Between the Republicans shutting down the government and threatening default in an effort to defund Obamacare on the one hand, and the complete clusterfuck that was the roll-out of Healthcare.gov, no single issue has been bigger in Washington DC this year. Meanwhile, President Obama's statement that, "If you like your health care plan, you can keep it," is Politifact's Lie of the Year for 2013. Count on the Republicans hammering Democrats with Obamacare in purple districts. SUCCESS.
Inflation will remain below 10%
SUCCESS. For the third year in a row, I'm right about this, and the hyperinflation fear mongers have been wrong. I would appreciate it if the hyperinflation fear mongers that have been trolling the American people since 2007 would kindly shut the fuck up. You don't know what you're talking about, and your batshit insane theories are hurting the economy. Yes. Really.
The Oregon Ducks will win the Fiesta Bowl
SUCCESS. Win they did, 35-17. It's also worth mentioning that Alabama, supposedly the #2 team in the country according to the polls and the computer models, went on to fold, spindle and mutilate supposedly #1 Notre Dame in the BCS championship game, 42-14. So much for the polls and computer models! In doing so, Alabama implicitly made the case that Oregon, not Notre Dame, was the actual #2 team in the nation, and should have been Alabama's opponent that year.