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At this time of year some folks make New Yearâ€™s resolutions. Others try to predict the events of the coming year. Writers of opinion pieces in blogs and newspapers such as me fall into the latter group so here are my prognostications for 2012.
The Super Bowl champions in February will be either the New Orleans Saints or Green Bay Packers or Atlanta Falcons with the probability being in that order. I donâ€™t know who will represent the AFC but it will not be the Patriots who will lose their first round game again this year.
Every team in the playoffs can put points on the board but itâ€™s the defense that controls the game and creates turnovers that allow the offense to score more than the other side. Future Hall-of-Famer Tom Brady is having an outstanding season in these waning years of his NFL career. That wonâ€™t overcome questionable pre-season moves made by coach Bill Belichick that tore apart a better-than-average defensive backfield and brought in a troublemaker on the front four which will be the deciding factor in the Pats demise.
And, oh yes, Wes Welker will be playing somewhere else next season because the tight-fisted Belichick and management wonâ€™t pay the leading pass receiver what he is worth. In the next game notice that on the bench it is Welker who sits on one side of the offensive coordinator with Brady on the other. Belichick will pin his hopes on tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez and non-productive wideout Chad Ochocinco. Brady will not be happy.
On the political front Barak Obama will be elected to a second term as President by a plurality over Republican Mitt Romney and a third party candidate either libertarian Ron Paul or real estate mogul and celebrity Donald Trump. Obama will accomplish this by a billion dollar campaign based on class warfare abetted by the mainstream media.
Again, it wonâ€™t make any difference that Obama was a lackluster state legislator who didnâ€™t complete his first term as a United States Senator and that the last four years have been economically mediocre and seen our status as the sole world superpower decline.
In 2008 Obama told us there was neither a red America nor a blue America but rather a United States of America. He was going to seek bipartisan solutions to the problems we were facing when he took office. Democrats held both houses of Congress as well as the White House during the first two years of the Obama administration.
Immediately thereafter House Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid told Republicans to butt out of deliberations on their sweeping plans to take over the health care industry in the country that two-thirds of Americans didnâ€™t want.
There was bipartisan support for regulatory reform of the financial markets and banking business. Senator Chris Dodd, who some argue was one of the principal architects of the disaster in the fall of 2008, chaired the committee drafting the legislation in the upper chamber. He paired a senator from both parties to work on each major section of the bill.
According to Nina Easton of Fortune magazine who followed this legislation closely, Obama and his advisors, principally David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel, were afraid some of the compromises would anger his left-wing base in the Democrat Party and ordered Reid and Pelosi ram unchanged Dodd-Frank through Congress after a couple of RINO votes in the senate were secured. If memory serves they were Maineâ€™s duo of Susan Collins and Olympia Snow.
Obama appeased his green base by touting the wonders of solar energy and electric-battery powered automobiles. The former gave us the Solyndra scandal which cost taxpayers $525 million stimulus fund dollars to provide the President with a photo op.
The latter produced GMâ€™s $40,000-plus Chevy Volt which American consumers did not want even though the purchase of one would give them a $7,500 tax break. The only buyers were General Electric Corporation whose CEO is a big Obama fan and states using stimulus money to buy Volts at prices ranging from $25,000 to $45,000 apiece.
Obama will appoint a couple of activist liberal judges to the Supreme Court thus tipping it toward the far left. Republicans who hold a slight majority in the Senate will roll over and confirm them citing presidential prerogative in judicial appointments. One of them will be Massachusetts governor and long-time Obama friend Deval Patrick.
Iraq, which lurched toward Shiite-Sunni civil war as soon as US troops departed under Obamaâ€™s self-imposed December 31st deadline, will be dominated by nuclear-armed Iran which will step in to protect the Shiite majority. Israel, our only ally in the Middle East, will become increasingly isolated. Obama will declare victory in Afghanistan and bring our troops home with nothing to show for our efforts there except a couple of thousand white grave markers in cemeteries around the country and perhaps 20,000 veterans with physical injuries and emotional scars to heal.
Term-limited and therefore emboldened, Obama will launch an all-out assault on our rights especially those guaranteed under the first and second amendments to the Constitution.
By executive order Obama will direct the Federal Communications Commission to reinstate the equal time doctrine thereby silencing conservative talk radio and TV particularly the Fox Network and yakkers such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin.
Americans have paid little attention to the â€śFast and Furiousâ€ť scandal involving AG Eric Holderâ€™s Justice Department shipping assault rifles to Mexican drug cartels. President Obama, citing reasons of public safety and urban youth crime and supported by east coast big city mayors like Providenceâ€™s Angel Tavares, will reinstitute a so-called assault weapons ban and prohibit the ownership or possession of handguns by civilians.
Firearms registration will be next with confiscation left to the next progressive president to hold office. In these efforts Obama will be upheld by the liberal majority of the Supreme Court.
Finally, to reward labor unions such as the socialist SEIU and left-leaning NEA Obama will have his labor secretary institute card check. This means that unions can claim to represent workers after a majority of them sign a card indicating they might be interested in joining a union. Never mind that it was the labor movement that insisted that a private, confidential vote by employees was necessary to avoid management knowing who was in favor of unionization.
Happy New Year everyone.
Richard August is a North Kingstown resident and a regular contributor to the Standard Times. His opinions are his own. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.