My Fearless Predictions for 2011 by Gregory Hilton

Mad Men's Elisabeth Moss, January Jones and Christina Hendricks. Moss will win the 2011 Golden Globe for Best Actress.

  • Among those not running for President will be former Governors Sarah Palin (R-AK) and Mike Huckabee (R-AR) as well as Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN).
  • Oil will be at $100/barrel by the end of the year. At that time, gas prices will be a major issue in the upcoming Iowa presidential precinct caucuses.
  • The unemployment rate will be 9.3%, GDP will be 3.4% and Obama’s approval rating will be 52%. George Bush’s approval rating will have rebounded by 20% since he left office.
  • Senators Ben Nelson (D-NE), Herb Kohl (D-WI), Tom Carper (D-DE), Daniel Akaka (D-HI) and Jim Webb (D-VA) will retire. Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) will run for re-election at age 80, and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) will run at age 79.
  • There will be one government shutdown over raising of the debt ceiling. The compromise will involve a freeze in Defense spending and 10% cuts at Labor, Housing, Transportation and Education.
  • Many of the recommendations of the Obama deficit commission regarding discretionary programs will be passed by the House but will die in the Senate. Efforts to reform Social Security and Medicare will not be successful. The big debate will be over raising the retirement age to 70.
  • Despite considerable speculation, former Gov. Howard Dean (D-VT) will not challenge Obama’s re-election. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) will lose his seat through redistricting and will challenge Obama from the left. He will do surprisingly well in Iowa.
  • Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Jim Webb (D-VA) will vote frequently with the GOP but it will not be enough for a conservative majority. There will be many times Senate Republicans will regret not having Mike Castle (R-DE).
  • Governors Rick Snyder (MI) and Bill Haslam (TN) will emerge as major GOP stars.
  • The Republican Party will fail to recruit former Gov. Jeb Bush (FL) for the Senate race, but they will recruit former Gov. Marc Racicot (MT) as the challenger to Sen. Jon Tester (D).
  • Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) will move to the right while Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) will move to the left.
  • Sarah Palin will move to Arizona, but she will keep her Alaska residence.
  • The requirement that everyone purchase health insurance or pay a tax will be repealed in the House and Senate, and the deciding vote will be Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR). It will be vetoed by President Obama.
  • The Supreme Court will then strike down the individual mandate requirement.
  • After a decade of foiled attempts there will be a successful terrorist attack on the United States.
  • Natalie Portman and Colin Firth will win the Academy Award for Best Actress and Actor. The best picture will be “The King’s Speech”, followed by “The Social Network” and “Inception.”
  • Twitter will hit 200 million users.
  • Mortgage rates will rise in 2011 and housing will not recover.
  • Gold will fall 20%.
  • The best international stock will be Wal-Mart.
  • Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Fidel Castro and Larry King will die.
  • One of the biggest stories of the year will be when the Arab League asks for the destruction of Iran’s nuclear facility.
  • Coldplay’s fifth album will be a big success.
  • The European Union will be greatly damaged when Germany begins to circulate marks along with the euro.
  • In his State of the Union address, the President will mention a new reform proposal for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It will not be enacted.
  • Rahm Emanual will be elected Mayor of Chicago.
  • Elisabeth Moss will win the Golden Globe for best actress for her work on “Mad Men.”
  • Britney Spears will marry Jason Trawick.
  • Angelina Jolie will receive rave reviews for Cleopatra.

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