2017 Prediction Wrap Up

Well this year was not one of my better performances.  After 2016, I guess I got a bit cocky, so I’ll have to lower my expectations, but I did win a few and lose a few, but 2017 was not my year in predictive punditry. Still, let’s look at the results:

The Winners

At least 3 terrorist attacks in Western Europe resulting in double digit casualties. This should have been a no brainer but actually it’s a win on a technicality.  There were multiple terrorist attacks all year but it took until the Manchester Attack on May 22nd before we had a double digit casualty attack, 22 killed and 59 injured.  This was followed by the Barcelona Truck attack on August 17th, with 13 killed and more than 100 injured.  The technicality comes in on the fact that I didn’t specify causalities as fatalities. So although in Western Europe there were only two attacks with fatalities in the double digits, there were several other attacks; the March bridge attack in London with 5 deaths and 29 injuries, the April truck attack in Stockholm with 5 deaths and 14 injuries, the other London bridge attack in June with 8 deaths and 48 injuries, and a September train attack in London with no deaths but 29 injuries. So Western Europe did have a full year of terrorism, but many of the attacks didn’t quite push up the fatalities in a way that the Islamic State might have hoped.

The FED will raise interest rates by at least three-quarters of a point. Janice Yellen lived…up?  Or is it down; to my expectations and more and raised interest rates.

Articles of Impeachment against Donald Trump will be introduced in the House. I’m definitely claiming this one as a win.  Congressman Steve Cohen introduced articles of impeachment last month.  My only surprise was what took so long.

The Losers

Angela Merkel wins the Nobel Peace Prize. A funny idea, but no, she didn’t get it.

Most of the Obama Care (ACA) legislation will be repealed. I was really surprised by this.  I figured that in spite of the ongoing Republican Civil War if there was one thing I thought the Republican Party was united on was the idea of getting rid of Obamacare, however it turns out that delivering defeats to President Trump was a more important goal of the Republican leadership.

There will be at least one assassination attempt against Donald Trump this year. Thankfully wrong on this one.  That’s not to say there have not been assassination threats against Trump; I see them almost every week online, but an actual public attempt to take him out hasn’t happened this year.  The last one that I know of happened in Nevada in 2016.

Marine Le Pen will be elected President of France. This definitely falls within the “close but no cigar” category. Emmanuel Macron beat Le Pen, in an election that turned out be just as weird as the 2016 US election was.

So getting 3 out of 7 isn’t great.  I failed this year’s challenge. That’s OK though, I can learn from my mistakes, and still beat never trump neo conservative Bill Kristol’s wretched predictive record!

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A Dictatorship of the Punditariat

I honestly thought the #NeverTrump guys had already hit rock bottom.  I didn’t see how much further down they had to go in making themselves look foolish and idiotic. I figured this post was the last I would ever write on the die hard #NeverTrumps.

I was wrong.David French

The editor of The Weekly Standard, Bill Kristol, whose record of inaccuracy on political predictions over the past year is probably unmatched in modern punditry, revealed this week that his long search for a Great Write Hope is fellow pundit David French, a writer at National Review.  If there is a better example of how insular the pundit class has become I couldn’t imagine what it would be.  The pundits, gazing around at the political field, decide to dispense with the actual voters and select one of their own.

The genesis of an Acela Corridor campaign is the utter failure of the chattering classes to understand the rise of Donald Trump or…well anything that’s happened in the past year. And yet they continue to insist that they’re the best and brightest and know what they’re doing.  Of course their Acela Putsch is doomed to failure.  The world will never be ready for Punditocracy.  The few hundred votes that they represent are insignificant, but the fact that they can command TV news time brings attention to them way out of their importance.

Meanwhile, they’ve had years, generations even, of being taken seriously.  But who is going to take them seriously now; ever?

George Will Endorses Hillary?

In one of the most bizarre opinion column’s I’ve seen from a noted conservative in a long time, conservative columnist and commentator George Will comes out of the closet to give a de facto endorsement of Hillary Clinton.  Speaking of Donald Trump,

“Were he to be nominated, conservatives would have two tasks. One would be to help him lose 50 states — condign punishment for his comprehensive disdain for conservative essentials, including the manners and grace that should lubricate the nation’s civic life. Second, conservatives can try to save from the anti-Trump undertow as many senators, representatives, governors and state legislators as possible.”

I cannot in my lifetime recall any prominent opinion columnist disavowing their party’s presumptive nominee that way.  This is certainly not the George Will I thought I knew, and I’ve read his columns for a long time; decades, and watched him on television nearly as long.  He was my favorite part of the roundtable of the ABC Sunday morning show This Week, back when it was called This Week with David Brinkley.  He always had some clever previously prepared quip to dominate the discussions when called on.  It was always appreciated to see an erudite and intellectual defender of the right on TV back in the days when it was fairly rare to see that on television.

And then he lost his damn mind.

Will has claimed that this election will be the first without a conservative running as the Republican nominee.  I’m not sure if most conservatives will agree with that.  I don’t recall most conservatives claiming Mitt Romney as one of their own in 2012.  If anything, he was considered a RINO that conservatives grudgingly supported because he seemed competent and was better than the alternative.  I find that hard to accept on its face.  Does Will really think Romney was a conservative?  But this time, Will thinks the alternative is actually better.

Position by position, Trump has been pretty similar to your average RINO. There isn’t a lot of difference between his platform and what Romney ran on. He’s not that interested in social issues, God, and not that interested in trying (or actually just saying and doing the opposite) to cut the government to the bone. Trump is everything that the GOP establishment has said it wanted for years, but then when they actually get it, they run for the hills.  Why is that?

I think both Will’s and the GOP establishment’s problem with Trump isn’t about actual political positions, it’s about style.  Trump is a loudmouth, a bit vulgar, and has a rapper’s taste in gold trim.  In short, Trump is a Prole with a billionaire’s wallet.  And if there is one thing working class Prole Republicans have learned this past year is how much they are held in contempt by the Republican Party.  This is less about political positions and more about who you would want at your cocktail party.  But it just shows not only how shallow Will and his fellow GOPe are, but how dumb.  The smartest guys in the room are not so smart.  Between Glenn Beck threatening suicide and Bill Kristol threatening to start his own Neo Con third party, you guys are not wowing me with sparkling intelligence.

As Will concludes,

“If Clinton gives her party its first 12 consecutive White House years since 1945, Republicans can help Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, or someone else who has honorably recoiled from Trump, confine her to a single term.”

No George, as I’ve written extensively, there is no wiping away after each election and everyone starts from zero to make their case to the electorate.  We’re tribal now you’ve just helped sabotage your own tribe.  My advice is to stay with the Democrats now that you’ve crossed over.  A sad end to a brilliant career, but hey, you’ve earned it.