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The Year Ahead: Predictions for 2003 [from National Review] ^ | December 27, 2002 | An NRO Symposium [Frum, Golberg, Hanson, Hewitt, Steyn, et al]

Posted on 01/01/2003 1:17:27 PM PST by RonDog

December 27, 2002 12:00 p.m.
The Year Ahead
Predictions for 2003.
An NRO Symposium

RO asked some familiar daring faces to make predictions about the new year. Read their brave predictions, and don't forget to check back later in the year to see who was most right…and wrong!

David Frum
I won't impress any NRO readers by predicting that the U.S. will take military action in Iraq in 2003 or that such action will be swiftly successful. So let me try some more audacious ones. We will see none of the threatened consequences of the war — the price of oil won't spike, the Arab street won't rise, and anti-American sentiment in the Middle East won't be inflamed. Instead, Americans and liberated Iraqis working together will stun the world by bringing the nation's sabotaged oilfields rapidly back into production. By year-end, the price of a barrel of oil will fall below $20 — good news for the stock market, bad news for the House of Saud. Expect that House to reorient itself in a pro-Western direction with dazzling speed. "Gee it turns out we do have all kinds of interesting intelligence information — here please help yourselves. Did we call you sons of pigs and apes? We meant generous, forgiving sons of pigs and apes." By summer, though, that "At War" logo is going to have to come off NRO — because Iranian revolution or no Iranian revolution, from then on, all you are going to hear from the Bush administration will be domestic, domestic, domestic policy.

— David Frum writes a daily weblog on NRO. His book, The Right Man, on President Bush and the war on terror, will be published in January.

Jonah Goldberg
The U.S. leads a mighty coalition and Saddam is toppled, but not before he attempts to use chemical weapons on his own soil. European and American antiwar activists will ignore overwhelming proof of Saddam's reign of terror. When the action finally becomes an unambiguous success, Senate Democrats will claim they supported it wholeheartedly all along. When the French take over the occupation, The Nation will suddenly realize it was all worthwhile.

Bolstered by America's victory in Iraq, Iranian reformers will succeed in toppling their own government. The New York Times will declare that the Iranian example proves war was unnecessary in Iraq as well.

People will look back on 2002 as Bill O'Reilly's last good year.

There will be major Howard Dean boomlet next summer. It will die out the moment people think it's remotely possible the Vermont governor might actually become president.

"What is: Nachman and Donahue?" Will be the winning response for the $500 Jeopardy category "Reasons MSNBC is a Nature Channel Now."

California will make national newsmagazines as the disaster that could have been averted. Gray Davis will become a laughingstock of such monumental proportions, his unpopularity will do more to make the state competitive for Republicans than George Bush's 712 visits.

Delaware stays out of the headlines again.

The Corner becomes a full-time vertical banner ad.

Martin Scorsese will win the Best Director Oscar® because Gangs of New York will be considered just good enough to warrant giving him the classic long-over-looked-director Oscar®.

The Sipowicz-as-Job theme of NYPD Blue will break new ground when Dennis Franz's lower body is actually consumed by rabid dogs. His recovery will not only be uplifting but Emmy®-winning as well, because he will befriend his gay African-American physical therapist, eventually forming a new crime-fighting team a la the new series Monk.

There will be a major reevaluation of the Giuliani legacy as New York City goes into a fiscal death spiral.

Osama bin Laden's death will be confirmed.

Michael Jackson will permanently leave the United States to avoid criminal prosecution, earning him the nickname "Skinny Arbuckle."

I will write a book.

— Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online.

Victor Davis Hanson
Revelations in a post-Hussein Iraq of Saddam's frightening weapons, torture, and mass murder will shock even realists.

After some frightening events, we will liberate Iraq as unlikely would-be allies join in on the war against terror.

Parts of bin Laden's corpse will turn up.

The anthrax attacks will be positively linked to Iraq and al Qaeda.

— Victor Davis Hanson is a contributing editor of NRO and author of An Autumn of War.

Hugh Hewitt
There will be two retirements from the U.S. Supreme Court in 2003: Chief Justice Rehnquist and Justice O'Connor. The president will nominate Justice Scalia to replace the retiring chief, and will nominate California Supreme Court Justice Janice Brown and recently confirmed judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Miguel Estrada to the two vacancies. Both will be confirmed by comfortable margins.

Orange County California Sheriff Mike Carona will declare his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat held by Barbara Boxer.

Fox News Channel will continue to rise in the ratings, and the first half-hour of Special Report will be carried in prime time on the Fox Network as an evening newscast that will quickly pass the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather in total audience, forcing Rather into early retirement. MSNBC will discover that Jesse Ventura was a much better governor than he is a talk-show host. Nachman will move into primetime, and Buchanan and Press into the late night.

The Bush administration will unveil a health-insurance initiative aimed at low and middle-income Americans not presently eligible for group insurance at their place of employment. The model will be the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program ("FEHB"), and insurance companies that wish to be eligible to participate in the FEHB will be obliged to offer coverage to the uninsured targeted by the initiative.

— Hugh Hewitt is a radio talk show host. The Hugh Hewitt Show can be heard daily at

Michael Ledeen
There will be an internal crisis in China, as the government fails to deal effectively with its enormous problems: AIDS, 150 million nomads, growing demands for more political and religious freedom, a flat-to-shrinking economy, and increasing activity from Islamic and other separatists in the west and north.

Blair will call for a referendum on the Euro, and the English will reject it.

Trent Lott will resign from the Senate and become the head coach of the Washington Redskins.

— Michael Ledeen is a contributing editor of NRO and author of The War Against the Terror Masters.

John J. Miller
There will be no major terrorist incidents in the United States, but not because the terrorists aren't trying.

Osama bin Laden will remain at large; if Democrats choose to make an issue of this, it will become a political problem for the Bush administration.

We will hear more about mistakes made at Tora Bora.

Saddam Hussein will lose control of his country — he will either be killed or removed from power.

The Red Wings will win another Stanley Cup.

— John J. Miller is national political reporter for National Review.

Joshua Muravchik
The ouster of Saddam Hussein will set off tremors that will help to topple other tyrannies including the mullahs of Iran and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, and perhaps also Burma's junta.

Upon the surrender of Saddam's regime, France will offer to contribute military forces to the coalition against him in form of a team of French generals to oversee the U.S. occupation.

Two new drama series will top Egypt's equivalent of the Nielson ratings: one called Schicklgruber, the other Torquemada. In the face of some raised eyebrows in the West, Egyptian government spokesman will say that the latter program in particular demonstrates Egypt's commitment to interfaith understanding: "Torquemada is a Christian we can identify with."

In furtherance of Secretary Powell's campaign to "rebrand America" to make it more appealing to Muslims, Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy Charlotte Beers will begin wearing a head scarf to the office. Powell will encourage other female employees at State to do likewise. "This will show how much we respect Islam, and, inshallah, they will start to like us and stop bombing us," the secretary will declare. Powell will also recruit Jimmy Carter, a Nobel Laureate and the country's most fervently self-avowed Christian among former presidents, to make a high-profile speech in Mecca or Medina apologizing for the Crusades. This will be complemented by a snappy ad campaign that will include such things as signs in Indonesian textile plants, saying "Make jeans, not jihad."

Stephen Spielberg will visit Pyongyang and announce that his eight-hour private dinner with Kim Jong Il — complete with many dancing girls, and several cases of rare French vintages — was the most spiritually meaningful experience of his life. On hearing this, Barbra Streisand will at once book a flight to the North Korean capital but will discover that the guest services are woefully inadequate, demonstrating the need — so she will explain in a subsequent letter to her PAC list — for a sharp increase in U.S. aid to the impoverished nation.

Some individuals from Georgia, denying any connection to the former president, will begin to bruit the idea that Jimmy Carter be awarded the 2003 Lenin Peace Prize in overdue recognition of his negotiation of the 1994 accords to end North Korea's nuclear program. When he is told that the state that sponsored that award no longer exists, Carter will declaim that this has changed his opinion of the Russians more drastically than anything since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

The Dallas Mavs will beat the Indiana Pacers in seven games to claim the NBA championship. Seven three-pointers by Reggie in the final will not be enough to overcome the world's most-meaningful multicultural enterprise.

Yasser Arafat will renounce terrorism, as he has done every year since 1985.

— Joshua Muravchik is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. His most recent book is Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism.

Kate O'Beirne
Okay, so I was a little off last year. I mistakenly predicted that Bill and Hillary would separate, but I got my crime families mixed up. Tony and Carmela have called it quits. The rest of my crystal-ball gazing held up well enough to tempt me to be a little more creative this time.

On the political front: It is already pretty clear that Gov. Howard Dean will be the media's pet in the Democratic field next year. His support for both guns and gays allows for some creative coalition-building. His battle cry, Armed Gays! should carry him through the early primaries. Less predictable is retired General Wesley Clark's "all New Hampshire" nomination bid. Another Rhodes scholar from Arkansas will try to spin a Granite State loss into a win, this time because he finished in sight of Senator John Kerry.

In the states: Haley Barbour will be elected governor of Mississippi and can appoint a successor to Trent Lott who has grown weary of serving on the back benches. Colorado Governor Bill Owens will win attention in his top spot at the RGA that creates CW that he's a talented politician with a national future. (Maybe I should save this last one for a Valentine's Day roundup?)

Elsewhere: Once Saddam Hussein is toppled, there will be regime change in Saudi Arabia. Iran too. And, Arafat will be ousted.

Rich Lowry's book on Bill Clinton hits the bestseller lists. Really. John Kerry's doesn't.

Finally, a special six-week version of The Bachelor will feature Strom Thurmond choosing among young lovelies angling for him to pop the question. After a series of biracial double dates with the Lotts, at the dramatic conclusion, Thurmond finally asks. . . "Where am I?"

— Kate O'Beirne is National Review's Washington editor.

Russ Smith
The New York Times will be shut out in the fraudulent Pulitzer Prizes next spring. This will be Howell Raines's punishment for Newt Gingrich-like hubris.

Sen. John Edwards will drop out of the presidential race by October of '03, deciding instead to run for reelection in North Carolina (no gimme) and hold his powder for 2008.

The still-exploding number of non-institutional website blogs will slow down considerably by next summer. There are too many already and just a few will survive, those who hook up with other media, like Mickey Kaus's arrangement with Slate.

The inevitable dark-horse candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination will be Sen. Russell Feingold and the media will slobber over him almost as fervently as John McCain.

— Russ Smith is editor-in-chief of New York Press.

Mark Steyn
Osama bin Laden will continue to be dead, no matter what U.S. government "experts" insist.

The "brutal Afghan winter," already 15 months late, will skip another year. The "searing 11-month Iraqi summer," though apparently far more meteorologically formidable, will by year's end have proved just as illusory.

A Democrat will figure out a politically viable way of hammering the president on the war, but John Kerry's campaign will be as dead as Osama by year's end. (He may hang around for Iowa and New Hampshire, but they'll be mere formal confirmation.)

Yasser Arafat will lose political power and be either retained only as a figurehead or living in exile.

There will be a need for mass smallpox vaccinations somewhere in the world in the next 12 months.

Liza and David will stay married.

— Mark Steyn is a columnist for Britain's Daily Telegraph and Canada's National Post. His website is A collection of some of his post-9/11 columns, The Face of the Tiger has just been released and can be ordered here.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2003; hughhewitt; nationalreview; predictions

1 posted on 01/01/2003 1:17:27 PM PST by RonDog
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To: RonDog
Osama will appear on videotape describing how, when, and where he died.
2 posted on 01/01/2003 1:36:21 PM PST by Consort
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To: Jimer
At some point this year on the SNL "News" segment, one of the readers will say:

"This just in. Ossama Bin Lauden is still dead."

It will be the first funny think on SNL in 5 years.

3 posted on 01/01/2003 1:40:20 PM PST by DManA
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To: EveningStar; doug from upland; ALOHA RONNIE; DLfromthedesert; PatiPie; flamefront; onyx; ...
Hugh Hewitt
There will be two retirements from the U.S. Supreme Court in 2003: Chief Justice Rehnquist and Justice O'Connor. The president will nominate Justice Scalia to replace the retiring chief, and will nominate California Supreme Court Justice Janice Brown and recently confirmed judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Miguel Estrada to the two vacancies. Both will be confirmed by comfortable margins.

Orange County California Sheriff Mike Carona will declare his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat held by Barbara Boxer..."
That would be THIS guy, from
NEWS | FEATURE Vol. 7 No. 48 August 2 - 8, 2002

Iron Mike
Is Sheriff Carona ready for the White House?

by Nick Schou


Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona announced on July 19 that his deputies had arrested Alejandro Avila, the alleged killer of 5-year-old Samantha Runnion, whose terrifying abduction and murder two weeks ago seized the attention of the nation. During the 24 hours between the discovery of Runnion’s body in Riverside County and Avila’s arrest in Lake Elsinore, Carona appeared in an unprecedented stream of live television press conferences in which he warned parents to watch their children closely because a serial killer may be on the loose.

If there was any doubt that Carona would understand the seriousness of the mission at hand, it vaporized on CNN July 18 when he warned the killer, "Don’t eat, don’t sleep because we’re coming after you..."
CLICK HERE for more
And, from:

Bush praises Carona
The Orange County Register ^ | July 27, 2002 | Dena Bunis
Posted on 07/28/2002 2:18 PM PDT by EveningStar

(Mike Shelton cartoon added by poster)

"I want to acknowledge Mike Carona of Orange County, California, who's with us to share -- where are you, Mike?" Bush said as he scanned the room, where scores of law-enforcement and political officials were gathered to bolster the commander in chief's call for a new Homeland Security Department. "I appreciate you coming," Bush said as he spotted the sheriff.

"He's the fellow who recently apprehended the killer of Samantha Runnion there in California. I want to congratulate you for your good work, helping make your community as safe as possible."

CLICK HERE for more

4 posted on 01/01/2003 1:51:50 PM PST by RonDog
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To: Jimer; Timesink; ChicagoRepublican
See also:
Reviewing the 2002 Predictions: Come to Crow or Hang Your Head in Shame
      Posted by Timesink
On 12/31/2002 1:30 PM PST with 18 comments

December 31, 2002 | All of us
The Official Free Republic 2003 Predictions Thread
      Posted by Timesink
On 12/31/2002 1:19 PM PST with 128 comments

Me, Myself and I | December 31, 2002
2002 Predictions
      Posted by ChicagoRepublican
On 12/30/2002 9:31 AM PST with 9 comments

Me...? | 12-30-2002 | Me

5 posted on 01/01/2003 1:59:34 PM PST by RonDog
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To: RonDog
First of all, thank you for posting this: I really needed the laugh.

Secondly, it's hard to choose, but Mark Steyne comes out on top for accuracy...and Joshua Muravchik, who said basically the same thing, is way over the top for humor AND accuracy!...

"Upon the surrender of Saddam's regime, France will offer to contribute military forces to the coalition against him in form of a team of French generals to oversee the U.S. occupation"


Cheese eating surrender monkey BUMP!!

6 posted on 01/01/2003 2:00:42 PM PST by cake_crumb
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To: RonDog
Orange County California Sheriff Mike Carona will declare his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat held by Barbara Boxer..."

Sounds good to me!!

7 posted on 01/01/2003 2:01:17 PM PST by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: cake_crumb; Pokey78

See also:

Office Pool, 2003
The New York Times ^ | 12/30/2002 | William Safire
Posted on 12/29/2002 9:25 PM PST by Pokey78

At year's end, nothing is as predictable as predictions. The annual office pool, inaugurated in this space three decades ago, has now become a kind of Powerlessball lottery in which the odds of winning are nil. It's multilateral choice, with "All" or "None" permitted.

1. Among world leaders, in 2003
(a) Ramallah's Arafat returns to exile;
(b) Israel's re-elected Sharon attracts a fractious unity government;
(c) Britain's Blair comes a-cropper over a euro referendum;
(d) Germany's Schröder finds himself isolated and in grosse Schwierigkeiten.

2. Nonfiction surprise will be
(a) Ted Sorensen's memoirs;
(b) Henry Kissinger's "Ending the Vietnam War";
(c) James Watson's "DNA: The Secret of Life";
(d) Stuart Eizenstat's "Imperfect Justice," with its perfect cover unchanged;
(e) Michael Korda's "Horse People"; (f) Dorothy Rabinowitz's "No Crueler Tyrannies."

3. Best-selling novel from an unexpected source will be
(a) Alan Cowell's "A Walking Guide";
(b) Brian Haig's "The Kingmaker";
(c) Suzan-Lori Parks's "Getting Mother's Body."

4. Winner of the Oscar for Best Picture will be
(a) Steven Spielberg's "Catch Me if You Can";
(b) Rob Marshall's "Chicago";
(c) Spike Jonze's "Adaptation";
(d) Todd Haynes's "Far from Heaven";
(e) Paul Thomas Anderson's "Punch-Drunk Love."

5. To cope with North Korea, the U.S. will
(a) organize a U.N. blockade and if necessary finish with preventive strike;
(b) convince Beijing that its tolerance of proliferation would tempt Taiwan to build its own nuclear "equalizer";
(c) adopt a policy of "tailored appeasement."

6. War on Saddam starts
(a) on schedule, between Lincoln's Birthday and Valentine's Day;
(b) next fall, with the belated revelation of a smoking virus by a scientific defector;
(c) never, as Saddam's nonsuicidal coterie forces him to take up a Saudi offer of asylum.

7. Saddam's army will
(a) collapse quickly, as in Gulf War I;
(b) coordinate a counterattack with Al Qaeda to spread germs through U.S. mailboxes;
(c) fight fiercely until they see the Turkish Army coming;
(d) negotiate to disarm and allow Saddam to continue as head of a "changed regime."

8. Fallout from an overthrow of Saddam will be
(a) the emergence of a democratic alternative to Arafat in the West Bank;
(b) uprising in Syria and Assad's withdrawal from Lebanon;
(c) wave of reform shaking the theocracy in Iran;
(d) decline in Wahhabi-induced terror as nervous Saudi royals turn westward for protection.

9. Osama bin Laden will
(a) be sold out by a trusted supporter for the huge reward;
(b) remain at large and take credit on Al Jazeera for any terror attacks anywhere;
(c) be captured and, under interrogation, burn his sleeper network.

10. When Chief Justice Rehnquist resigns this summer, Bush will
(a) promote Scalia to chief and nominate a not-too-conservative Latino;
(b) promote O'Connor and add a very conservative Latino;
(c) promote nobody and nominate as chief a normally conservative Latino.

11. The economy will
(a) take off as victory, optimism and investor tax cuts are in the air;
(b) double dip as global flinching and fear of deficits hold sway;
(c) follow the stock market up slowly rather than the other way around.

12. The front-runner for the Democratic nomination as snows begin to fall in New Hampshire, though not with the biggest war chest entering the primaries, will be
(a) John Edwards;
(b) Dick Gephardt;
(c) John Kerry;
(d) Joe Lieberman;
(e) Bob Graham;
(f) Howard Dean;
(g) Tom Daschle.

13. Democrats' bumper stickers will demand
(a) Bring Back Bubba's Bubble!;
(b) All That Snooping but No Osama;
(c) Where's My Tax Cut?;
(d) Free Drugs for Fogies.

14. Republican bumpers will feature the tried-and-true slogan
(a) War and Prosperity;
(b) Re-elect the Commander in Chief;
(c) Affirmative Compassion;
(d) Fifty-four Forty or Fight.

15. If the overthrow of Saddam turns out to be all phony war and the economy unexpectedly tanks, Dick Cheney will offer to step aside and bolster Bush's 2004 ticket with
(a) Colin Powell;
(b) Majority Doctor Frist;
(c) Don Rumsfeld;
(d) Condi Rice.

My [William Safire's] picks: 1 (all), 2 (c), 3 (a), 4 (b), 5 (b), 6 (a), 7 (c), 8 (all), 9 (a), 10 (a), 11 (c), 12 (none), 13 (all), 14 (b), 15 (c). 

8 posted on 01/01/2003 2:14:38 PM PST by RonDog
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To: RonDog
It's not a new year without predictions. Thanks to all who provided frivolous reading.
9 posted on 01/01/2003 2:27:22 PM PST by happygrl
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To: RonDog
It's nice to see Mark Steyn's name dipping into the NRO waters.
The bigger platform he gets, the better.
10 posted on 01/01/2003 3:00:19 PM PST by gcruse
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To: RonDog
I'm hoping that 2003 will be the year that we see a real vision for victory and exit strategy in the "War on Terrorism." I realize that the war won't be won this year, but I want to see indications that it will move forward to a positive conclusion and that many of the laws and policies of these times will be repealed. I'm also hoping that we will reduce legal immigration and nearly eliminate illegal immigration.

I Resolve for a Free New Year

11 posted on 01/01/2003 3:21:06 PM PST by WFTR
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To: RonDog
Ashcroft arrests Willie Nelson, alleging the singer's pot smoking funds terrorism.
12 posted on 01/01/2003 5:34:32 PM PST by Lexington Green
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To: Lexington Green; All
Here's my prediction (not my desire...)

1) Mn. Gov Jesse Ventura has a bombshell of a new TV Talk Show and takes over O'Reilly in ratings.

2) Jesse Ventura then leads a new "Take America Back" grass roots party that is super-tough on terrorism.

3) The charasmic led Ventura party swells with members that are fed up with the slow moving war on terrorism and then encourage Ventura to run for President.

4) The brash talking Ventura "Shocks the World" and wins the 2004 Presidential Election with fellow Navy SEAL Dick Marcinko as Vice President.

5) All terrorism ends in complete fear of the tough, new, U.S.A.

Comments anyone.....?

13 posted on 01/01/2003 5:39:50 PM PST by LiveFreeOrDie2001
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