Pundits and prognosticators have but one goal: making fortune cookies and astrology seem respectable. In that light, here are my annual predictions.
Weather will continue to plague Southern California, emboldening global warming advocates. Angelenos are willing to put up with earthquakes, crime, gangs, high taxes and mudslides, just for a chance to see one of the Baldwin brothers at the grocery store.
The Left will continue its “climate change” mantra. “Global warming” confined advocates to one side of the argument. The Founding Fathers dropped the ball on this one, making no provisions in the Constitution for the weather (apparently, they did not have weather back then). So, executive action by an imperial president, who willfully ignores both prudent economics and the consumer, will continue.
By early 2015, President Obama’s staff will have briefed him on his party’s midterm election losses, though he will not care. Obama will remain intractable, blaming Republicans and hoping they try to impeach him. Then he can claim the highest status in a Democrat’s lexicon: victim.
Obama will continue to never miss an opportunity to take credit. He actually said after gas prices fell, “We have brought down gas prices.” This from a president who fought the real reasons oil prices have dropped, fracking and drilling in the U.S. The only action under his control when gas prices spiked to $4 a gallon (from $1.80 when he took office) would have been to increase drilling on federal lands—yet that activity was reduced by 16 percent. Against all evidence, Obama takes credit in his attempt to burnish a faux legacy.
Good thing I drive a hybrid. It is a combination Hummer and Denali and runs on crushed-up Chevy Volts that “Government Motors” couldn’t sell.
With oil production booming and real estate and stock markets recently at all-time highs, Obama’s ineptness at socialism is the toast of Wall Street. Those members of the middle class who are still working have seen their incomes fall. When Obama said he was going to “help the little man,” he meant that little Monopoly character with the top hat and monocle.
Beside lower fuel prices, increased American energy production also benefits our national security. Inflated oil prices help our enemies Russia, Iran, ISIS and Venezuela. Lower oil prices slow the global ambitions of Russia, Iran and ISIS, since they can’t fund nefarious activities without petrodollars. Half of Putin’s exports, aka power, comes from oil sales. When oil goes from $110 a barrel to $50, he’s less dangerous. The best way to retard Putin’s Soviet-style geopolitical ambitions is to limit Russian exports to mail-order brides and babies with fetal alcohol syndrome.
I predict unrest in Russia. A macho Putin will lash out in frustration, and there will be internal strife among already-oppressed Russians. He will try to punish the U.S. by forcing Burger Kings in Russia to post their calorie counts and make KFC stores report their death tolls, like Mayor de Blasio does in New York City. The only remaining financial threat we can hold over Russia would be to force Lindsey Lohan to quit drinking vodka.
If ISIS leaders are smart, they will see American energy independence as their demise and start beheading U.S. oil fracking execs and Nissan Leafs. $50-a-barrel oil is cheap; the barrel itself probably costs $25.
I see issues in China, as well. As its economy slows, worker unrest will ensue. This is a natural economic consequence as the country’s factory workers enter their teens.
Cyber-attacks will continue. When the U.S. government and Sony Pictures cowered and initially did not release “The Interview,” a message was sent that the U.S. is weak-willed, thus emboldening our enemies. If you have a screenplay, it will now have to be green-lighted by Kim Jong-un. I see starring roles for Dennis Rodman in our future.
The Obama administration is prepared to launch a cybercounterattack, which might disable North Korea’s 500 computers. The State Department plans to approve the shipment of Microsoft Windows to the hermit nation. And Obama will ratchet up the bravado against North Korea if it harms his beloved Hollywood supporters. He is the only leader who sends enemies a “save the date” card for military action.
Cyber shenanigans wouldn’t happen under George W. Bush; by now he would already have rounded up every Nigerian prince who won the lottery or is having trouble freeing up his inheritance.
When the big cyber-war starts, expect France to surrender online immediately.
Ron Hart, a libertarian syndicated op-ed humorist, award-winning author and TV/radio commentator can be reached at Ron@RonaldHart.com or visit www.RonaldHart.com.