Friday, December 31, 2021

Zandar's 2022 Predictions

Well, it's time. Here are my ten predictions for 2022. As usual I hope I'm wrong on some of them, but I fear I won't be. Either way, here's hoping that you have a good year ahead.

1) Democrats keep the Senate in 2022.  I can't in good faith call the House at this point. But I do know that as Mitch McConnell has proven, keeping the Senate when you have the White House means there's a lot you can do, and Biden has gotten a record number of federal judiciary appointments.  The next Supreme Court justice could happen at any time, as we've seen. Without the House, things would be terrible. But without the Senate, it'll be catastrophic.

2) Nancy Pelosi steps down as House Democratic Leader. I hate to say it, even after the long years she has proven that she has been the most effective House leader the Democrats have seen in my lifetime, but I think she steps down in 2022 and will not run as Speaker or House Minority Leader in 2023. 

3) Donald Trump is indicted in the state of New York. Don't ask me about the federal charges, but I honestly believe NY AG Tish James is going to try to prosecute Donald Trump, and it's going to be one of the most fateful chapters in our modern political history.

4) COVID-19 deaths will surpass 1.2 million total in the US.  The good news here is that 2022 will thankfully have fewer deaths than 2020 or 2021, but not by much. We'll still have to contend with a very bad winter, but if we can get past that, I think there's finally some hope.

5) The Supreme Court will gut/overturn Roe v. Wade. At this point the writing is on the courtroom wall. Roe is dead, and individual states will move to either regulate safe abortion out of existence, criminalize it with heavy penalties for women, doctors, and health care professionals, make crossing state lines to get a abortion elsewhere illegal, ban it altogether, or all of the above. It won't end abortion, just safe ones. It will change America for a generation.

6) The Supreme Court will also gut executive agencies.  This will be a massive win for corporations, but the bottom line is agencies like OSHA, FDA, CDC, SEC, EPA, you name it, it will be essentially turned off. I don't know what all will be stricken down, but it's going to be a huge mess when it happens. This too will change America for a generation.

7) The Dow will finish the year above 36,000.  I mean that's where it ended the year, so what I basically mean is I'm not predicting a recession, yay! I hope I'm right. If I'm correct on some of these previous predictions, well, things can go badly quickly.

8) Marvel films will make another billion in 2022.  Since it seems movie-watching in theaters is now officially back as of December, May's Doctor Strange sequel, July's Thor: Love and Thunder, and November's Black Panther 2 should easily gross a billion combined, if not more.

Which brings me to my one "out there" prediction at number nine...

Just kidding.

9)  GOP Rep. Kevin McCarthy is booted from the House GOP leadership. I don't know who will lead the House GOP in 2023, but I can guarantee you it won't be McCarthy. And I think things will be so bad he'll make his plans known, like Pelosi, that he's "stepping down". The difference is with McCarthy, it won't be a choice.

and finally...

10) ZVTS will roll on for another year. It's because of you guys, you know this, and we'll sail into year 14 and then some. I want to honestly thank you, the readers. When I started this back in 2008, I had no idea where the country would go. I made the journey along with you, and I'm glad you're here, new or old.

Take care of yourselves, folks. You never know.


HoliDaze: Breaking: Bad News Comes In Threes

Harry Reid and John Madden both passed this week, and I am very, very sad to report it, but Betty White passed today at age 99.

Betty White, TV's perennial Golden Girl, has died. She was 99.

"Even though Betty was about to be 100, I thought she would live forever," her agent and close friend Jeff Witjas tells PEOPLE in a statement on Friday. "I will miss her terribly and so will the animal world that she loved so much. I don't think Betty ever feared passing because she always wanted to be with her most beloved husband Allen Ludden. She believed she would be with him again."

White was gearing up to celebrate her 100th birthday on Jan. 17. Ahead of her centennial year, in January, White opened up to PEOPLE about how she was feeling about turning 100 years old.

"I'm so lucky to be in such good health and feel so good at this age," said the veteran actress. "It's amazing."

According to White, being "born a cockeyed optimist" was the key to her upbeat nature. "I got it from my mom, and that never changed," she said. "I always find the positive."

Of course, the iconic actress also cracked a joke about the secret to her long life, telling PEOPLE: "I try to avoid anything green. I think it's working."

A warm and popular presence on the small screen, White's career dated back to the early days of the medium and spanned decades. Long before her hilarious turns on The Mary Tyler Moore Show in the '70s and The Golden Girls in the '80s, in 1952 she appeared in the I Love Lucy-like Life with Elizabeth, a show she also produced.

In 2010, at age 87, she enjoyed an award-laden resurgence, when, after starring on a Snickers commercial during the Super Bowl, polls and petitions overwhelmingly named her the public's choice to host Saturday Night Live, emcee various awards shows and even be a sergeant's date at a Marine Corps ball.

After that, she went on to star and steal scenes on the TV Land sitcom Hot in Cleveland, even scoring an Emmy nomination — her 17th, including seven wins. In May 2012 she also debuted on the NBC comedy reality show Betty White's Off Their Rockers, a kind of geriatric Punk'd. As always, she proved a favorite.
People called Milton Berle "Mr. Television" but the medium's true avatar was Betty White. For more than 70 years she dominated the American landscape. She was a presence on stage, screen, and everything in between. Nobody, but nobody did it like Betty, and nobody ever will.

Here's to you, Betty.

Zandar's 2021 Prediction Scorecard

It's that time of year again where I look back at what I thought 2021 was going to be like, and I was, for better or worse, more accurate than a coin flip. Yay! Let's run down the list:

1) Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States on January 20th
Correct and Thank God, but we know now just how close we came to this not happening, and if we don't punish the monsters responsible for nearly pulling off a coup, it will be much worse next time. 
2) Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock will win the Georgia runoffs and Mitch McConnell will be relegated to Senate Minority Leader.
Correct. Thanks, Donald Trump!

3) Even if Dems get the Senate back, the filibuster and the current size of SCOTUS will remain.
Correct. This was near certain with a 50-50 Senate including Manchin and Sinema.

4) The total US death toll from COVID-19 will surpass 1 million Americans by the end of the year.
Half-point: And only because it was 825K and not quite a million, but my reasoning that the anti-vax idiots would martyr themselves was correct.

5) The Roberts Court will allow states to regulate abortion out of existence.
Correct.  It's happening in Texas right now.

6) Donald Trump will not be indicted
Correct. He was not. 

7) Hunter Biden will be indicted. 
My first real miss of the year, Incorrect.

8)  No movie will break $100 million at the box office in 2021.  
Incorrect, as Spider-Man No Way Home made over a billion, but I was mostly right up until December. I wish I was wrong, because it means movie theaters are back to normal in the era of highly transmissible Omicron.
9) The Dow Jones will be under 25,000 by the end of the year. 
Incorrect, but we do have a serious inflation problem. However, the DJIA was up a whopping 18%+ for the year under Biden.

10) ZVTS will make it through 2021.

Correct, if I'm writing this and you're reading this, I'm right.

Total score: 6.5 out of ten.

Not my best year, but not my worst, either.  2022 predictions will be up later tonight.
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