ANDY THOMAS: That Time Again -- Fearless Predictions
It's that time again -- New Year's predictions.
Just for the record, my 2006 forecasts were 52 percent correct, despite a dismal record in the sports and entertainment category. My 2005 predictions were 49 percent correct, compared to 58 percent right in 2004 and 34 percent in 2003.
Predictions for 2007
The World: The war in Iraq WILL subside as the Iraqi government assumes more political and military responsibility. U.S. troops WILL remain in Iraq and Afghanistan, but their numbers WILL decrease.
Korea WILL continue to be a political pest, threatening to further test their nuclear power. There WILL NOT be any major change in the Israeli-Palestine conflict. Syria and Iran WILL continue to stay at arm's length despite a recommendation from the Iraq Study Commission to talk to them.
Global warming WILL continue to be a "hot" issue. There WILL be at least one major terrorist strike, but not within the U.S. New U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon WILL revamp the United Nations and WILL restore its credibility from Kofi Annan's "Food for Oil" debacle.
The Nation: A Democratic-controlled Congress WILL raise the federal minimum wage. Hurricanes WILL devastate parts of our country. Bush's popularity WILL diminish further.
The State: Mike Nifong WILL resign as a result of his mishandling of the Duke rape case. Joe Boylan WILL begin his political career without fanfare or notoriety. The General Assembly speaker WILL be a Democrat.
The Sandhills: The Pinecrest Patriots football team WILL win at least one game this year under their new coach. There WILL be a new occupant for the Kmart building. Work on Midland Green WILL commence. The proposed roundabout at Carolina Vista and N.C. 2 WILL go back to the drawing board to better comply with historic requirements.
The new refuse equipment and procedures for Pinehurst WILL cause some irritation. The Pinehurst Village Council WILL be revamped as a result of new members, some of whom WILL unseat incumbents. Moore County commissioners WILL struggle to hire permanent staff.
Business & Industry: China WILL revalue the juan. The market for electric automobiles WILL at least double this year. The merger between US Airways and Delta Air Lines WILL NOT take place.
Health: There WILL be at least one major breakthrough in medicine in terms of cures for disease. Diabetes WILL continue on the rise.
Sports & Entertainment: The Boston Red Sox WILL win the World Series. The San Diego Chargers WILL win the Super Bowl. The Buffalo Sabres WILL win the Stanley Cup. The San Antonio Spurs WILL win the NBA Crown. Ohio State WILL beat Florida for the NCAA football championship. Phil Mickelson WILL win the 2007 US Open. Lorena Ochoa WILL win the 2007 U.S. Women's Open. "The Queen" will win an Oscar.
Politics: Barack Obama WILL outpoll Hillary, Edwards, et al., for the Democratic nominee in the 2008 election. Mitt Romney WILL lead the Republican polls.
Religion: More breaks from the Episcopal Church WILL occur as the result of its stand on homosexuality.
How I Did Last Year
The Globe: The war in Iraq DID continue to receive attention, but U.S. troop deployment DID NOT decrease there. Anti-war pressures DID increase. There WAS NOT any major tsunami or earthquake activity in 2006. North Korea DID NOT establish diplomatic relations with the U.S. There WAS NOT any major change in the Israeli-Palestine conflict.
The Nation: George Bush DID continue to be more candid with U.S. citizens, but his popularity rating DID NOT rise over 55 percent. New Orleans DID continue to struggle to return to normalcy. There WERE NOT any disastrous Katrina-like hurricanes befalling the US.
The State: The N.C. Lottery DID NOT exceed expectations in terms of sales and WAS NOT very popular. The 2.8-cent gas tax increase WAS NOT repealed. Sections of I-95 in North Carolina DO NOT (yet) include a future toll. Richard Morgan WAS upset and defeated in the GOP primary.
The Village: Controversy and disputes with the Village Council and mayor Steve Smith DID continue. The NewCore proposed parking garage DID go away.
Business & Industry: India and China DID continue to increase their global presence in terms of manufacturing and trade. The price of oil DID NOT hit $80 a barrel. There WAS at least one major business merger, ATT and BellSouth. The Dow-Jones industrial average DID NOT stay below 11,000.
Health: Avian flu pandemic DID NOT occur, and its coverage by the media DID subside. The new Medicare Plan D for drugs DID get off to a slow start.
Sports & Entertainment: The New York Yankees DID NOT win the World Series. The Seattle Seahawks DID NOT win the Super Bowl. The Ottawa Senators DID NOT win the Stanley Cup. The Detroit Pistons DID NOT win the NBA Championship.
Texas DID beat USC for the NCAA football championship. Phil Mickelson DID NOT win the 2006 US Open. The U.S. DID NOT dominate the Winter Olympics in Torino. Madonna DID NOT retire. "Narnia" DID win an Academy Award.
Politics: Donald Rumsfield DID get fired.
Religion: Pope Benedict DID NOT visit the U.S.
Wishing all my readers "Happy New Year" and a prosperous one.
Andy Thomas lives in Pinehurst. Contact him at email@example.com
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