I don't usually make year-end predictions just as I don't make new year's resolutions.
But with just a few hours to go before the start of 2012, I figure it's OK to discard long-standing habits and throw caution to the wind.
So, here are my predictions for 2012:
--The Philadelphia Eagles will retain Andy Reid as coach and they will chalk up yet another season where they don't make it to the Super Bowl. Sorry fans.
--The economy will advance at barely a snail's pace through 2012 and by election day unemployment will still be eight percent or more. This will create a difficult situation for Obama & Co.
--China will face it's own version of "Arab spring" and the Chinese economy will have its share of problems as an economic slowdown, uncertainty and possible uprisings make some begin to wonder whether or not China will become a great world power after all.
--The Philadelphia Phillies will make it to the World Series but in the end they will lose to the New York Yankees.
--In a surprise upset the silent, black and white film The Artist will win the Oscar as best picture edging out George Clooney's The Descendants. Looney Clooney will be foiled again.
--Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter will be offered a major position in the Obama Administration. Occasionally bored and distracted in his current position, Nutter will be tempted to head to Washington.
--The old Meredith Willson musical The Unsinkable Molly Brown will be redeveloped as a "new" musical with rediscovered material from the Willson archives. The story will be adapted to fit current modern tastes and trends and the "new" music will join hit tunes that were in the original show to create a Broadway.bound hybrid. This will be part of a trend that includes the already-opened "new" version of On A Clear Day You Can See Forever and the soon-to-open "new" Gershwin musical Nice Work If You Can Get It. These shows will fall somewhere between revivals and original works and create a dilemma for the Tony nominating committee. But they will prove to be good star-vehicles and winners on Broadway.
--Newly-minted football-star-turned-NJ Congressman Jon Runyan will easily win re-election in his now largely Republican district thanks to redistricting and the hard-work of this quick-learning freshman and rapidly rising GOP star.
--The re-release of the megamovie Titanic in 3-D and I-MAX will give a badly-needed jolt to Haollywood's sagging bottom line. The film will become a hit all over again.
--Ron Paul will not run as a third-party candidate because he will fear that it might jeopardize his son Rand Paul's chances to rise in the Republican Party.
--Likewise, Donald Trump will not run for president because he fears that it would jeopardize his chances to make more and more and more money.
--Mitt Romney will win the Republican presidential nomination and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will be on Romney's short list of possible VP choices. But, in the end Romney will pick Florida Senator Marco Rubio as his running mate and this ticket will easily carry the key state of Florida in the general election, along with a significant number of other states that Obama carried in 2008.
--Republicans will prepare to face an Obama/Clinton ticket in 2012 but Hillary Clinton will demure when she concludes that Obama's chances to win re-election are not good. She will say that she's tired of public service and wants to turn a new page in her life. There will be an element of truth in that as Hillary would like to get on with her life, make scads of dough and have time to smell the roses.
With the help of Big Labor, Big Media and other vested interests (and with a billion dollar war chest) Obama will wage a ruthless, Chicago-style campaign. He'll take a page out of Harry Truman's 1948 playbook and try to run against a "do nothing" Congress. The election may turn out to be very close. Who will win? That, my friends depends on YOU.
It's almost 2012 and that means it's all in YOUR hands now.
Happy New Year!