Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Zandar's 2014 Predictions

Well, we're getting back into the swing of things here at ZVTS, and that means another batch of wacky predictions for the year ahead.  Here we go:

1)  The Dems will keep the Senate, the GOP will keep the House in November.  Call me an optimist, or call me crazy, but the GOP is going to find a way to overplay their Obamacare hand, and I think it's going to come a lot sooner than anyone thinks with the debt ceiling negotiations and threats to completely shut down the Senate. America will soon be reminded why the congressional GOP's approval rating is in the low 20's.

2)  Google Glass will be delayed until 2015, or later.    Google Glass is supposed to be out in 2014, but with all the noise about privacy concerns in our super-connected world, I think Google is going to find releasing a product as invasive as Glass to be a real problem right now.  As such, I think they'll go back to the drawing board.

3)  Alison Lundergan Grimes would beat Mitch McConnell to be the next Senator from KY.  And she may be the only bright spot for the Dems in 2014.  People are badly underestimating just how much people here hate Mitch McConnell.  If the Clintons come in to back Alison, she'll win.  Should Matt Bevin beat Mitch in the primary however, things are going to be really interesting.

4)  And speaking of the Clintons, Hillary won't announce any run for 2016...at least not in 2014. She's too cagey and knows part of the reason she lost to Obama in 2008 was because of her attitutde of inevitability and the fact that familiarity bred more than a little contempt.  She'll keep a low profile until 2015, minimum.  Besides, look how far Chris Christie has gotten by not announcing his 2016 plans yet.

5)  Marvel will continue their movie hot streak in 2014 with Amazing Spider-Man 2, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Guardians of the Galaxy.  I predict all three movies will make $200 million domestically.

6)  The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on same-sex marriage later in 2014, but the decision won't come until 2015.  And it's going to be a hell of a decision, with the court having to face the legality of same-sex marriage in all 50 states.  I fully expect a Loving v.Virginia-level event.

7)  No impeachment measures in 2014, but 2015 will be a different story.  At some point, the GOP will have to play the impeachment card against President Obama, especially if #1 up there becomes true.  It's all they will have left.

8)  Obamacare will be around through 2014 and beyond.  Sorry Republicans, it's not getting repealed in 2014 or, well, ever.  Deal with it.

9)  The Sochi Winter Olympics will be a disaster.  The whole world will get a close up view of Putin's Russia in February for two weeks, and it's not going to be pretty.  It will make Atlanta 1996 look like the most competent games ever put on.

10)  ZVTS will make it to 2015.  I'm back from vacation starting tomorrow, and back in the ball game.  We'll be around for another year.

We'll check back in a year to see how I did.  Here's hoping all my readers have a happy and prosperous 2014, and as always, thanks for being here.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Zandar's 2013 Prediction Scorecard

With 2013 almost over, it's time to revisit my predictions for 2013 and get my picks for 2014 in order, and well...my score wasn't too good.  Not good at all:
1) The upcoming debt ceiling fight will cost America another credit notch from one of the big three agencies. 
Nope, this didn't happen. Thankfully. It may still happen in 2014, but I was pleasantly surprised here.
2) Bashar al-Assad won't be Syria's President by Dec 31, 2013. This also seems like a pretty safe bet, as the end of 2012 sees him barely holding on as leader.
Not only is he sill in charge of Syria, but with Russia's tacit and in some cases overt support, Assad and the Syrian civil war will last for years.
3) President Obama will have to make a recess appointment for a Cabinet position. That's unprecedented as far as I know. But that's really the next step in Total Republican Opposition, isn't it?
Wrong again, but only because Harry Reid finally changed the rules on presidential appointments in the Senate.  And thank God he did that.
4) Chris Christie will be re-elected as Governor of New Jersey with Cory Booker holding out for Senate...but don't be surprised if Christie doesn't finish his term.
Nailed this one.

5) As more Obamacare benefits kick in, it will gain majority approval by Americans. I honestly believe this will get better as more benefits come due.

The jury's still out on this one. Some argue that the program will never have a majority approval, some argue it will, but it will take years, and some predict it will be repealed completely by scared Democrats in 2014 or 2016. But as far as 2013 went, no, the program doesn't have majority approval. Yet.

6) Republicans will muster enough votes to split the electoral vote by Congressional district in at least one state that went for Obama in 2012. Ohio would be the biggest prize.

I thought this would happen, then Republicans realized how hard this would be, and that it would bite them in the ass later on.

7) The Leap Motion controller turns into one of the big tech successes of 2013. I'm feeling pretty good about this one, enough to put my money on one.

Nope.  The Leap Motion faded into one of yet another also-rans of 2013, but it was overshadowed by much larger tech failures:  Blackberry's near-death disintegration, Target's massive credit care breach, the Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch phone, and yes, the first month of healthcare.gov.

8) Kim Kardashian's baby with Kanye West will be the story we're all sick of by the end of the year. I'm already sick of it.

Maybe.  Lord knows I'm still sick of hearing about North West, but it was Kanye's videos that really made me want to pull my hair out.

9) Lincoln takes home the most Oscars. Tall order, I know. But I just see this being the big Oscar flick in 2013's awards.

Nope.  Lincoln lost to Life of Pi and Argo for most Oscars.

10) ZVTS makes it to the end of another year. I still plan to be around, and Bon is concentrating on her writing these days, but you'll see more of us. Still plenty of Stupid to fight.

Yeah, still here, technically.

So, final score, 2 yes, 2 maybe, 6 wrong.  I'll have my 2014 predictions up tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Last Call For A While

After some serious introspection over the last several weeks, I've decided to take a break from ZVTS for a while.  It's a combination of the holidays, and partially because I've not really taken a break from this place in five and half years.

I'm overdue for something of a vacation for a while.

Don't worry, I'll be back, but I'm somewhat burnt out and have a lot going on in my life, and I need to put ZVTS on the back burner for a bit.

Thanks for understanding.  I'll still be fighting the good fight after the holidays.


Transfer Students

The screaming right wing headline from CNS News:

The actual CBO report:

In other words, the poorest Americans are getting Medicare and Social Security, and that bottom 40% accounts for 9.7% of the nation's income.  After taxes and help, that comes to 20.3%.

The wealthiest one percent, by the way, accounted for 51% of the nation's income.

And yes, it's been awful being in the top 1 percent.

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