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 V.15 No.52 | December 28 - January 3, 2007 

Ortiz y Pino

New Year's Predictions

If I win, I'll buy you a slurpee

I used to be amazed by Jeane Dixon and other famous prognosticators who annually predict events that will transpire months from now. Then I read that much of what they say actually misses its mark by a wide margin.

Still, enough of their wild shots land on target (or at least draw iron) that each year many people go back to them for a peek into the future. It seems a relatively harmless pastime, so I thought I’d give it a try myself. Herewith, a baker’s dozen of Ortiz y Pino’s amazing glimpses into a 2007 yet-to-come. (Plus or minus 5 percent.)

1. Inflation will become a major national concern in 2007.

OK, you don’t have to be a certified seer to come up with this, since both U.S. national debt and individual consumer debt are at stratospheric levels. Add in the cost of gasoline and the pressure of international demand for consumer goods and we will almost certainly see the consumer price index move up steadily this year on its way to perhaps double digits by 2008.

2. Bill Richardson will announce he is running for president before winter ends.

My neighbor the Republican still doubts this will happen but my friend the journalist is certain it will. I tend to follow the principle that journalists know more than Republicans, so I conclude our governor will jump into the race and will start spending more time in Iowa and New Hampshire than in Hobbs and Gallup … and well before the NCAA brackets are announced. He may have to eventually settle for second spot on the Democratic ticket in 2008 (or even for a cabinet post) but he really, really, really wants to be the first Latino in the White House. And that dream will not have died by the end of 2007.

3. Hell will not freeze over the day new Speaker Nancy Pelosi gavels the U.S. House of Representatives to order.

Despite the worst predictions of conservative male commentators, the fact that a woman will lead the new Congress will turn out not to throw the Earth off of its orbit after all. Life in the Capitol will in all likelihood go on much as before … despite the fondest hopes of progressive women commentators.

4. President Bush will send more troops to Iraq in a futile effort to suppress the sectarian violence raging there. When that fails, he’ll resort to aerial bombing … of either Syria or Cambodia.

Americans love aerial bombing. It hasn’t ever won a war (even the victory over Japan was earned a foot of sandy beach at a time by Marines, not by one cataclysmic blast from the Enola Gay), but it does epitomize everything we think about ourselves: It is high-tech, glamorous, very expensive, makes a hell of a noise and leaves an incredible hole in the ground. So we love it.

The targets of our bombing are almost inconsequential. (Remember when Clinton took out the Chinese baby food factory or something like that in Somalia?) What matters is not what we bomb, but that we bomb. It’s a cheap play for popularity with the voters and the only surprising thing is that George H.W.’s boy hasn’t gone that route already. I think he will in 2007—big time.

5. Notice, I am not predicting our withdrawal of all troops from Iraq in 2007.

This is because I am also not predicting Dubya’s

a) abdication of the throne

b) impeachment by the Congress

c) death by pretzel inhalation

And as far as I can see in my crystal ball, prying his cold fingers off the helm of State is the only way our troops are coming home.

6. But, since our troop levels will remain high or even go higher in Iraq in 2007, I also predict that the year will see a major attack on the fortified Green Zone with a very large number of casualties resulting.

The incredible thing so far is that this hasn’t already happened. Didn’t you see the movie Zulu? Or The Alamo? I mean, come on, guys. Hunkered down in a fort, surrounded by angry locals … it’s not if, but when. Our troops can only play the tethered-goat-in-front-of-the-hungry-lion routine for so long before something bad happens.

I get this feeling that in 2007 the Green Zone will be a very bad place to be. A tunnel; poison gas; mortars; sabotage … I don’t know how, but a major assault is coming.

Gad, that’s just six predictions; a baker’s dozen is 13, and I’m almost out of space, so the next seven are quickies: take ’em away for digesting later. (Use lots of salt.)

7. and 8. The Lobo basketball programs will both get into post-season tournaments: the men in the NIT and the women in the NCAA. (Counts for two predictions.)

9. Pete Domenici’s health will worsen and he will announce his retirement.

10. Marty Chavez will declare for Domenici’s vacated U.S. Senate seat.

11. The Lobo football team will win nine games in 2007 and go to a bowl game—out of state.

12. The Cleveland Indians will win the World Series. (I predict this every year and in 1948 I was correct!)

13. Gasoline and natural gas prices will be higher. (Hey, I need some winners.)

Clip this column and tape it to your refrigerator door. If at the end of 2007 I got all 13 correct, return it to the Alibi and I’ll buy you a slurpee!

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author. E-mail jerry@alibi.com.

 

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