Friday, December 30, 2005

Playing along with Bill Safire

Safire may be gone from the NYT's op-ed page (well, he'd have disappeared in the blackhole of TimesSelect anyway, right?), but his year-end multiple-choice predictions column lives on. Always fun. And it turned out I agree with him a few times.

1. U.S. troops in Iraq at 2006 year's end will number: (b) closer to 100,000.

2. Speaker of the House succeeding Dennis Hastert will be: (d) Roy Blunt. (He's not my choice, by the way; I'm just being realistic.)

3. Best-picture Oscar to: (c) James Mangold's "Walk the Line"

4. The Robertscalito court will: (c) decide that federal funds can be denied to law schools that prohibit military recruitment on campus.

5. Nonfiction sleeper best seller will be: (c) "In Search of Memory," by Nobelist Eric Kandel.

6. Fiction surprise will be: (a) "Eye Contact" by Cammie McGovern.

7. Israel-Palestine affected by: (c) dieter Arik Sharon's centrist Kadima party winning big in March and forming coalition with Labor.

8. Government report most likely to resist investigative reporting will be: (a) special prosecutor David Barrett's 400-page expose of political influence within the Internal Revenue Service and Clinton Justice Department.

9. Stock market will: (b) tread water while a barrel of oil gurgles down to $50 and media "convergence" zigs while corporate "disaggregation" zags.

10. In Iraqi politics: (c) naitonalist Iraqis and bridging Kurds will achieve a loose confederation and create a Muslim brand of democracy.

11. Vote-changing domestic issue of this year's U.S. election will be: (a) wiretapping and computer intrusions on privacy; and (b) extending reductions of dividend, capital-gains and estate taxes and reducing alternative minimum tax.

12. Thinking outside the ballot box -- the dark-horse line for the 2008 race will pit: (a) Virginia Demcorat Mark Warner against Massachusetts Republican Mitt Romney in the battle of centrist capitalists.

13. Conventionally, inside the box: (b) Hillary vs. John McCain.

14. As Bush approval rises, historians will begin to equate his era with that of: (e) Clinton.

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