DECEMBER 31, 2011 7:54PM

12 Predictions for 2012

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12 Predictions for 2012 

Some for better, some for worse, and some just for fun,

Here are my thoughts and picks for 2012, roughly in chronological order.

Let’s see how these look a year from now…

(I'll put correct pix in bold as year progresses)

1)       LSU tops Alabama again, wins BCS Championship Tigers deserving, clearly the best team this year – and a 6th straight SEC National Championship.

2)      Green Bay Packers repeat as Super Bowl Champs Narrow win over New England, first to repeat since Patriots in 2004-2005.

3)       Romney faces Obama in 2012 Presidential Election. The status quo feels especially uncomfortable for 2012, but I see Romney vs. Obama. From the start, Romney has been the Tortoise in a field of Republican Hares: Palin, Trump, Bachmann, Cain, Gingrich, Paul, and now Santorum?  Mitt’s starting to get endorsements now, very significant, and will begin pulling away with committed delegates shortly.  Should have the nomination wrapped up by March 7.  As sitting President, Obama will run barring something truly seismic.

              The winner in November? See Bonus Predictions below.

4)     Hillary-for-Biden Trade?  No Way. Enjoy Robert Reich, but his crystal ball has a crack in it. Obama knows better than to place Hillary a heartbeat away from the Presidency when it’s HIS heartbeat. But Hillary could still run and win in 2012. With signs the economy is improving, this is a wild long-shot scenario, but here's what needs to happen, read up here:

5)      The Biden Big Bang: Something big will happen w/ Joe Biden this year. Something more than breaking a tie vote in the senate or attending a head-of-state funeral or visiting troops in Afghanistan or face time at the VP debate. Something more on the order brokering the patrician of Iraq under the Biden Plan. Or a major gaffe. Or his resignation & replacement (but not with Hillary). Watch for something big.

6)       Assad loses grip in Syria. Thousands of protesters, rebels and civilian innocents will die in brutal crackdowns in 2012, but Bashar al-Assad will be ousted by year's end.

7)      No War or Regime Change for Iran in 2012: Despite sabre-rattling and increased tensions from within and from without, Ali Khamenei and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will cling to power throughout the year.  Iran’s nuclear capabilities will continue to be set back by mysterious and suspicious explosions and “accidents” at strategic sites.

8)       Fidel Castro dies peacefully, brother Raul peacefully assumes full command in Cuba. Nonetheless, no talks for normalized relations with US will be scheduled during 2012.

9)       Euro drifts lower, matches US Dollar value. Currency markets see through central bank bailout – a weak and temporary fix. Tensions and protests quicken Euro's decline.

10)   English Police Crack Down on Occupy Olympics. The Rose Parade Octopus Float will be a hoot, but police at the London Olympics in August will not be amused. Bobbies will bash heads when Occupants get a little too “familiar.” Many arrests and injuries. Not pretty.

11)    More Sedate than '68!  Occupy Protests at Republican And Democratic Conventions At Tampa FL Aug 27, 2012 & Charlotte NC, Sept 3, 2012: Much passion, but peaceful protests with little violence and few arrents.

12)   Phillies win 2012 World Series Pitching stymies Rangers, who lose World Series for a record-tying 3rd consecutive year.

***Bonus Predictions : Baker's Dozen + 1

13)    A plurality popular vote winner in the 2012 Presidential Race. The margin in Electoral Votes might be significant, but the winner will claim no mandate with less than 50% of the popular vote. If it’s the predicted Obama vs. Romney, the lack of passion on both sides will leave Libertarians, Greens and other write- ins to fill the vacuum. A surprise matchup would catch the electorate uncomfortable or off guard. Unlikely, but this could happen, say, if Ron Paul wins the Republican nomination. I don’t see Gingrich or any other Republican as a possibility. Who wins if it’s a Paul vs. Obama race? See next.

14)    Who Wins the 2012 Presidential Race?   This year the first Friday in November comes before the first Tuesday.   So mark this date: November 2, 2012.  That’s when unemployment numbers are released** & they will reveal who wins the election.  F’ sure: 9% and Michelle starts packing, 7.9% and Barack is Back.  But likely, we’ll be in between, so here’s the tipping point: 8.45%  If our rate is 8.4% or better, Obama wins.  If unemployment is 8.5% or higher, we’ll have a new President.

Despite the spins, twists and distractions, the 2012 election is, and has always been, about Jobs.

**footnote March 2, 2011.  Some concern that the delay in release of the February Jobs Report to March 9 would be duplicated in November. This would move the release of October employment numbers until after the election. 
Just got off the line w/the Dept of Labor Statistics who assure me that won't be the case, the report will indeed be released as scheduled Friday November 2, 2012.

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