Saturday Morning Reads: The Dakini Office Pool

Good Morning!

It’s that time of year again!   It’s time for my annual salute to the late William Safire’s annual “Office Pool”.  I’ve been doing it since December 2008 which is basically about 6 months after I started this blog. Safire’s last column of the year in the NYT always had a list of predictions that challenged you to beat the pundit.  Some of my favorite questions have to do with the results of elections as well as topical things like the number of troops left in places like Afghanistan.

Let’s make our predictions!

1.  The winner of the Republican nod for Presidential candidate in 2012 will go to  _______________ and the next president will be_______________.

2.  The state with the most surprising election outcome will be ___________ where ___________________.

3.   The next dictator to go–one way or another–will be:

4.   The biggest court case this year will be about:

5.   The winner of this year’s super bowl will be:

6.  The next big Congressional stand off will be about ______________ and ___________ will be the one to cave to the opposition’s demands.

7.  The big political surprise of the year will be:

8.  The largest movement of US troops will be to:

9.  Joe Biden’s first gaffe of the campaign will be:

10.  The next major ecological/natural disaster will concern:

Okay, sharpen your pencils and let’s get started!

Here’s some other predictions to give you some inspiration!  Of course the biggest 2012 predictions have to do with the end of the Mayan Calendar.  Here’s some thing  on that.

There are many theories floating around the Internet about how the world will end next year. The most popular being the Mayan prediction from 1,300 years ago. According to the Mayan Long Count Calendar, December 21, 2012 will mark the end of a b’ak’tun, a 144,000-day cycle. The b’ak’tun that will end on December 21 is the 13th cycle, a number that started all the apocalypse predictions. The truth is that the Mayan never predicted any cataclysms. The end of the Long Count calendar was just a measure of time for the ancient Mayan. It was Franciscan missionaries who actually attached the end of the world myth to the end of the 13th b’ak’tun.

There’s also some predictions out there for a Super Vocano eruption.

Another doomsday scenario for 2012 is that a supervolcano will erupt to kill off all life on the planet. Supervolcanoes are capable of spewing out thousands of times more magma and ash than regular volcanoes. A supervolcano eruption could wipe out millions of people and blot out the sun with ash. The largest supervolcano explosion happened 74,000 years ago in Sumatra. The explosion of Mount Toba released 700 cubic miles of magma and a thick layer of ash that covered all of South Asia. There are a dozen supervolcanoes today, most of them lying at the bottom of the sea but researchers agree that chances of a super-eruption happening next year are miniscule. Geologists think there is a super-eruption every 700,000 years or so and there is no sign that a super-eruption is going to happen anytime soon.

Here’s some Wall Street predictions for the US economy. This is from BlackRock’s Bob Doll who is its chief equity strategist.

2012 is likely to feature a slow-growth world that includes a recession in Europe. The United States faces headwinds, but manages to achieve growth of between 2% and 2.5%. China and India slow somewhat, but, along with the United States, make up two-thirds of global GDP growth. The big risk remains that of a financial breakdown in Europe, which would tip the developed world, if not the emerging world, into recession. Inflation should also continue to move lower. Should the muddle-through environment come to pass, we believe earnings and some improvement in confidence would allow equity markets to move higher, with US stocks leading the way.

The Daily Beast has some political pundits with their predictions.  Here’s John Avlon’s best guesses.

Anyone who tells you they know who’s going to win the presidential race isn’t telling the truth. This is going to be close—especially if Mitt Romney is the nominee and scores someone like Marco Rubio or Chris Christie as his VP.  President Obama’s basic job approval and economic numbers make him a historically vulnerable incumbent, with his primary asset being his personal likability. Likable people get fired if they can’t do their job. The one thing I’ll say for certain is that if President Obama is reelected, it will be by a much smaller electoral margin than in 2008—and possibly razor-thin.

So,  what do you think 2012 will bring?

Will Fidel Castro die?  Will Israel bomb Iran?  Will Hillary Clinton announce her retirement from the State Department?  C’mon! Dust off those crystal balls and share!!!

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13 Comments on “Saturday Morning Reads: The Dakini Office Pool”

  1. The Rock says:

    My predictions……

    1. Romney; Hillary

    2. Mass., Barney Frank’s seat will go to the GOP…

    3. Assad

    4. Some celebrity case….

    5. New England

    6. Taxes; Obama

    7. Hillary winning

    8. Africa

    9. The first time he speaks…..

    10. Whatever destroys the infrastructure the most (earthquake, flood, hurricane, tornado)

    Hillary 2012

  2. Pat Johnson says:

    My predictions:

    1. Romney with Obama pulling out a “squeaker” win.

    2. MA with Elizabeth Warren. The GOP machine will go into full drive but she will win.

    3. Castro

    4. Whitey Bulger

    5. N.E. Patriots

    6. The Bush tax cuts. Dems of course!

    7. Boehner out/Cantor in.

    8. The Mexican border.

    9. Forgetting which state he is in.

    10. Clean water

  3. ralphb says:

    1. Romney, Obama in a squeaker

    2. MA, Warren wins big

    3. Bashir Assad

    4. Obamacare in the Supreme Court

    5. Patriots

    6. taxes, GOP this time

    7. tea party style candidates lose big

    8. Africa

    9. Just showing up

    10. earthquake, tsunami, hurricane whatever

    Confidence level = zero (0)

  4. janicen says:

    1. Romney; Obama

    2. Virginia; George Allen recovers from his racist gaffes and defeats Tim Kaine for Senator.

    3. Hugo Chavez

    4. Penn State

    5. Green Bay Packers unless the collective prayers of all of the fanatical Christians convince Jesus that Tim Tebow must win the Super Bowl and become MVP this year. The resulting miracle will cause the Catholics to defy church dogma and make Tebow a saint and declare Super Bowl sunday, Saint Tebow’s Day.

    6. The budget; Dems

    7. Clinton/Biden switch places

    8. The United States

    9. F-bomb into an open mic

    10. Another major earthquake in the eastern U.S. caused by fracking.

  5. dakinikat says:

    1. The winner of the Republican nod for Presidential candidate in 2012 will go to Romney and the next president will be Obama

    2. The state with the most surprising election outcome will be in Nebraska where Boby Kerry will return to the US Senate.

    3. The next dictator to go–one way or another–will be: Assad

    4. The biggest court case this year will be about fetal pain nonsense.

    5. The winner of this year’s super bowl will be: Da Saints

    6. The next big Congressional stand off will be about the debt ceiling and Boehner will be the one to cave to the opposition’s demands.

    7. The big political surprise of the year will be Hillary’s agreeing to stay on at state another year.

    8. The largest movement of US troops will be to Kuwait.

    9. In his first campaign appearance where he says something really nice about Hillary Clinton in an attempt to appeal to centrist dems that appears to look like he supports her for either VP or POTUS.

    10. The next major ecological/natural disaster will concern will be another oil spill.

  6. dakinikat says:

    Here’s a wild article and prediction via BB:

    The spectre of 1932: How a loss of faith in politicians and democracy could make 2012 the most frightening year in living memory

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2080534/Loss-faith-democracy-make-2012-frightening-year-ever.html

    Sadly, there seems little point in looking across the Atlantic for inspiration. In 1932, President Herbert Hoover, beleaguered by rising unemployment and tumbling ratings, flailed and floundered towards election defeat.

    Today, Barack Obama cuts a similarly impotent, indecisive and isolationist figure. The difference is that in 1932, one of the greatest statesmen of the century, the Democratic politician Franklin D. Roosevelt, was waiting in the wings.

    Today, American voters looking for alternatives are confronted only with a bizarre gaggle of has-beens, inadequates and weirdos, otherwise known as the Republican presidential field. And to anybody who cares about the future of the Western world, the prospect of President Ron Paul or President Newt Gingrich is frankly spine-chilling.

  7. Minkoff Minx says:

    Oh those are some great predictions…Here goes mine!

    1. Romney/Obama

    This year I think the choice of VP will matter more than in years before…specifically for the GOP. I’m putting money on Christie being Romney’s choice for VP. (If I had money…)

    2. Florida, where the issue won’t be “shards” but some other kind of voter scam/f*ckup that involves computerized votes. I think Romney is going to take Florida, especially if Rubio is VP…

    3. Putin

    4. Some poor woman who is being charge with murder of a zygote…

    5. Tebow, he will get his own reality show on some “Jesus Freak” cable channel…

    6. Bush Tax Cuts…Obama of course!

    7. Pelosi retires.

    8. South Korea, and not just for reasons of concern from North Korea…but from China.

    9. After the ball drops.

    10. A big earthquake around the Pacific West coast.

    • dakinikat says:

      are you feeling any better?

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        Yeah, it is gone. I think the lights from Walmart triggered this one, the aura hit while I was in line checking out. Mentioning these headaches in my post help me keep track of them, in a twisted sort of way. Hopefully I will be able to get back to the doctor when the Medicare insurance kicks in.

  8. foxyladi14 says:

    that is a lot of good predictions.I.m just watching foe now 🙂

  9. bostonboomer says:

    1. Mitt Romney will win the nomination; Obama will win the general because Bloomberg will run and split the Republicans.

    2. Senator Orrin Hatch will lose in Utah

    3. Bashar al-Assad

    4. SCOTUS decision on health care

    5. New Orleans Saints (but I hope it’s the Patriots)

    6. Debt ceiling vote; Republicans might fold if Obama stays out of it.

    7. Obama will fight for some liberal cause in order to win the election.

    8. Straights of Hormuz.

    9. When he blurts out that he’s not running for VP.

    10. A blizzard on the East Coast.

  10. Woman Voter says:

    1. The winner of the Republican nod for Presidential candidate in 2012 will go to Millionaire who lives in a mansion California but says he sleeps in a basement! and the next president will be Obushma III.

    2. The state with the most surprising election outcome will be MA where Elizabeth Warren wins by nearly 20%!.

    3. The next dictator to go–one way or another–will be: Assad

    4. The biggest court case this year will be about: #1) NDAA Court Challenge #2) Prosecution of Abortion Providers #3) @OccupyBoston ‘Secret Case’

    5. The winner of this year’s super bowl will be: ?

    6. The next big Congressional stand off will be about Budget/Austerity and President Obama will be the one to cave to the opposition’s demands (as always).

    7. The big political surprise of the year will be: A Third Party Candidate

    8. The largest movement of US troops will be to: Iraq in response to crisis with Iran (3rd WAR?)

    9. Joe Biden’s first gaffe of the campaign will be: In first debate regarding Iran

    10. The next major ecological/natural disaster will concern: Earthquake and fracking

  11. northwestrain says:

    1. GOP – Mittens 1.a. far right 3rd party – Santorum — Dino – 0bama 1.b. Green party and another liberal/progressive party will field a candidate – which splits and weakens the DINO party. Mittens wins by smallest margin ever – after several revotes in Eletorial college. (The GOP is threatening to have a brokered convention — so there’s still the possibility of Jeb Bush. Yuck yuck)

    2. How about California’s legislature taken over by right wing evangelicals.

    3. Next dictator – North Korea – the appointed heir falls.

    4. Biggest court case – first 0bamacare is gutted by the Supremes – next the supremes busy themselves by overturning more settled law. Personhood to the zygote –this comes about because 0bama appoints a radical conservative to the court – he fulfills promise to a major donor.

    5. Don’t care – not interested in sports. Seahawks will Not be at Superbowl.

    6. The standoff could be anything – money, budget, cutting military slush funds, food stamps, I’m going to guess giving relief to the student loan debts – and 0bowma will back down. Students will end up in debtors prisons – and all their wages will be garnished until the day they die.(This is the typical 0bama — he plays to the progressives but ends up punishing his supporters.)

    7. After the massive losses in November the GOP will reinvent itself and works to pass ERA. Eventually the GOP will go as far right as possible and will have to end up on the left. The Dems will continue to return to their roots — which aren’t liberal.

    8. Troop movement – to Africa – someplace – perhaps Kenya.

    9. Biden opens his mouth and starts to speak in tongues. Basically all he has to do is open his mouth and instant gaffe.

    10. Volcano – Yellowstone, Mt. Rainier, Baker – but not likely. More likely major earthquakes due to fracking. Or another major oil spill – same players – pipeline – Alaska.

    I tried to be as far out and as ridicules as possible with my guesses – because as ridicules as I try to be – reality is often worse.