It’s first day of 2014. What better time to issue a whole new set of predictions than while everyone is looking around and trying to figure out what they should be doing today?
So here goes. Considering the monumental changes are occurring in the USA today, let’s hit them:
1. Obamacare: As of today, this law (with delayed exceptions for both employers as well as for people whose plans were terminated because they are now considered sub-standard) is now fully implemented. This means that the for-profit health insurance companies can no longer deny coverage due to pre-existing conditions or because you happened to get sick. For many Americans, it will be a vast improvement. But it is far from ideal. Republicans still think that they can squeeze control of the senate out of it during the 2014 midterm elections. Prediction: Assuming that the democrats get their strategy right, they will advertise all the health improvements and all of the lives saved because of Obamacare. They will use the refusal of the GOP to address the minimum wage, unemployment compensation, jobs programs, and immigration reform. They will also concentrate on the $24 billion 2013 government shutdown caused by the lunatic ultra-right-wing tea party wing nuts. And when the GOP talks about Obamacare problems, the democrats (if they are smart) will point out that none of those problems would have happened if there had been a public option or “medicare for all”. That will severely incense the Tea Party, which will become even more extreme than they are now. Despite how unpopular the polls say they are, they’ll entrench even further to the right. Most Americans will simply not vote that far right. The dems will maintain the senate and will even pick up seats in the House.
2. Colorado, Washington, Portland, ME. & Pot: As the eyes of the nation watch, these states and particularly Colorado start allowing marijuana to be legally sold, grown, smoked and possessed within these states. It is regulated and taxed. It cannot be used in public nor can it be legally taken out of state (uh huh………. Prediction: The economies of these state will soar far higher than their pot-smoking residents. People all over America will be flocking into these states by air, sea, highway and rail to experience for themselves what it’s like to legally buy pot in a store. The hotels, motels and restaurants in these states will swell with people and do a huge business. All that tax money that was being spent tracking down, arresting and jailing pot users will now actually be spent arresting and jailing murderers, rapists, bank robbers and terrorists. Additionally, massive amounts of money will pour in via taxes on pot, which people will gladly pay in exchange for the ability to buy it in the open, free from fear of having to look over their shoulder or the fear of getting ripped off. Other states will be watching and licking their chops at the revenue stream being created, much as when native American tribes began to open casinos years ago. But of course, there will be those who will oppose any change to the status quo. The drug cartels, the ultra-right, and the private prison contractors will hate it. They will join together and mount huge, well funded campaigns against it in their states. Everyone else will love, though.
3. Climate change/global warming: Data taken from Arctic and Antarctic ice cores demonstrate the climate record going back thousands of years. Every reputable scientist in the world agrees that climate change is real and that human activity is, at a minimum, accelerating it. Unfortunately, warnings issued over the past couple of decades have been largely ignored by large for-profit corporations. Prediction: In July 2014, for the first time in recorded history, the “northwest passage”, i.e. a navigable sea route from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean via the northeast and west across northernmost Canada, the northern Alaskan coast and then south through the Bering Strait separating Alaska and Russia, will open up as the last of the blocking Arctic ice sheet in the area melts away, revealing open ocean. Numerous small islands along the way will become disputed between Russia, Canada and Alaska, due to the discovery of oi and fertile fishing areas. Fishing fleets as well as numerous wealthy thrill-seeking ocean-going yacht owners will all be vying for the limited space in the passage before the onset of colder temperatures in the fall causes the now-seasonal refreezing of the blocking ice sheet over the winter. Ultimately, relations between Canada, USA and Russia become hostile because of the multi-island dispute. By year’s end there is talk of possible military occupations of the islands in question….after they thaw out in the spring of 2015.
In a new years eve radio broadcast on December 31, 2014, Rush Limbaugh again calls global warming the biggest hoax ever.