Predictions for 2009

Okay, so I’m not all that great with predictions. But hey, they’re fun, so here we go again! In 2009, here’s what I think we’ll see:

1. The governor’s race: Richard Blumenthal decides not to run, and just about every other Democrat who is considering running will jump in. An all-out fracas will begin to determine who the front-runner will be. Susan Bysiewicz will end the year ahead of others in the one Q-poll that’s done on the race.

Of course, now that I’ve said that, watch Blumenthal announce his intention to run for governor tomorrow.

2. Jodi Rell formally decides to run for re-election–in June.

3. Rob Simmons runs for the senate against Chris Dodd. The initial polling shows a surprisingly tight race. Dodd’s popularity never really recovers, and he finds himself in trouble–with a decision to make.

4. The Obama administration makes the usual number of early missteps, but recovers. Obama ends the year with approval ratings above 60%.

5. At least one Connecticut newspaper will close permanently.

6. At least one other Connecticut paper will consider going entirely online.

7. The economy, jobs and the huge budget deficit are the focus of the new General Assembly. Unemployment in Connecticut reaches levels not seen since the early 1990s. By the end of the year, however, the national economy will be showing signs of revival.

8. Joe Lieberman, to avoid becoming even more of an afterthought, makes news by actually reaching out to both Republicans and Democrats in support of the plans of his new pal, President Obama.

So that’s my feeling. What do you think will happen next year?

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19 responses to “Predictions for 2009

  1. Joe Lieberman, …………. makes news by actually reaching out to both Republicans and Democrats in support of the plans of his new pal, President Obama.

    He is one of the few people that could actually do that with any credibility.

  2. Prediction is that the state will not have a budget in place by the end of the Fiscal Year. Even though Dems have supermajorities in the legislature, they will blame Rell (and the handful of Republicans) for everything. But their unwillingness to force concessions from the state employees union will shut down the state for a period of time.

    Chris Dodd will be cleared of all wrongdoing by the Senate Ethics Committee…but he will not publically turn over his financial dealings with Countrywide and the Courant will not press him on the issue.

    Speaking of the Courant, readership will continue dwindle and more layoffs will occur.

    Joe Lieberman’s poll numbers will rebound.

    Jodi Rell will not announce whether she is running again…that announcement will not be made until early 2010. But Dood will announce that he is done, Blumenthal will announce he is running for US Senate, Bysiewicz for AG and that will leave Malloy as the last standing nominee for Gov. in 2010.

    We still won’t know what Bill Curry does for a living, nor will we ever find out what happened to the book he was supposedly writing about the Clinton Administration.

    Barack Obama will do a good job in 09….whether it is true or not.

  3. The state will “balance” the budget by making a bunch of real gimmicks. No one will much care except for a few lonely voices.

    Rell will end the year with popularity in the mid 60s.

    Dodd’s popularity will remain below 50%, but the Republicans won’t ever look like a sure thing to pick up that Senate seat.

    Many Connecticut municipalities will have ugly fights regarding their own budgets. At least 10 towns will go through at least 2 rounds of referenda without approving a budget.

    On the national level, there’ll be a lot of talk about infrastructure spending. However, nothing much will happen in Connecticut besides what’s already been planned.

    It’ll become quite apparent that GM, Ford and Chrysler will need an almost constant infusion of money to stay afloat. There’s nothing temporary about the automobile bailout. No one has a credible plan for making them profitable without massive restructuring and layoffs.

    Card Check won’t come up for a vote in the Senate in 2009.

    There’ll be no singular event in the first six months of Obama’s presidency that lives up to the “test” that Joe Biden spoke about. There’ll be small issues, but no one will look back and say definitely that a certain event was the big test.

    Inflation will be the big issue by the end of the year.

    The Lions will win some games, but they’ll still be one of the worst teams in the NFL.

  4. GMR, I wish to respond to three of your comments,

    1. “The state will “balance” the budget by making a bunch of real gimmicks. No one will much care except for a few lonely voices.”

    I agree simply because this is how they “balance” it already. Our “balanced” budgets over time have created our huge pension mess. The new losses to last years bonding gimmick of Napier and Amann are just compounding the problem. Somebody really needs to be held accountable here.

    2. “It’ll become quite apparent that GM, Ford and Chrysler will need an almost constant infusion of money to stay afloat. There’s nothing temporary about the automobile bailout. No one has a credible plan for making them profitable without massive restructuring and layoffs.”

    Again I agree. I fully admit to my dislike for the auto unions, but while they are certainly a big part of the problem, they are not the part that will yield the real solution. We have three very sick auto companies who are still trying to take market share from each other to survive. I think the only way all three can survive is if all three redirect their business into market segments that don’t force them as much into competition with each other. Is this a role for the Car Czar? Maybe. The market share domestically and worldwide that GM, Ford, and Chrysler currently own, IMO simply is not enough to allow all three to survive.

    3. “Inflation will be the big issue by the end of the year.”

    Without question this is staring us right in the face, big time. I guess I just wonder which is worse, inflation, or pumping trillions into an economy so broken that the result is no inflation?

    These are all very serious issues and I certainly hope our politicians understand this is no time for finger pointing. It’s time to put the thinking hat on, and roll up their sleeves, not for the photo opp. but to honestly get to work.

  5. It’ll become quite apparent that GM, Ford and Chrysler will need an almost constant infusion of money to stay afloat.

    Thus far, Ford has declined bailout money.

  6. The market share domestically and worldwide that GM, Ford, and Chrysler currently own, IMO simply is not enough to allow all three to survive.

    We’re better of if they do.

    Maybe it’s time to slap a hefty tarrif on cars coming in from countries that block our products and produce.

  7. Gerardw, Ford so far maybe in a position to decline bailout money, but if by some miracle GM and Chrysler’s fortunes improve this year, IMO as currently structured a lot of that improvement will come at Ford’s expense.

    ACR, adding tariffs to countries who block our imports?? Well, On the surface that sounds logical, but since virtually everything we buy these days is imported, Americans across the country would need to get used to much higher prices.

    The whole sale mismanagement of America’s economy by shipping overseas so very many of our manufacturing jobs has been going on for so long now we have let this inconvenient truth slip by. Most of what we use and take for granted everyday just ain’t made here any more.

  8. ACR, adding tariffs to countries who block our imports??

    Actually – slapping around those that block our exports or otherwise trade to the U.S. as opposed to with us wouldn’t be the worst idea would it?

  9. “not *that* Mike Brown” predicts that there will be a new reality tv show in 2009 featuring the Palin/Johnston crew from Alaska.

    Suggested advertisement:
    Kid: “Dad, what’s on tv tonight?”
    Dad: “Your mother usually knows, I don’t keep up with these things.”
    Kid: “OK, I’ll Go-Ask-Her”

    BangBang.

  10. “Actually – slapping around those that block our exports or otherwise trade to the U.S. as opposed to with us wouldn’t be the worst idea would it? ”

    Actually??? Of course not, I am sure Congress can come up with many more that are much worse. But frankly the tariff idea to me more smacks of feel good stuff, than very effective stuff.

    Would make for some fun TV however, as all our Congressional leaders scramble for TV time telling us how hard they are working for us on this problem……..Hey if it get Blumenthal off TV each night, I say go for it!!!

    I certainly don’t expect anyone from Connecticut’s current Congressional delegation with the possible exceptions of maybe Courtney, and possibly Himes (simply because he is new, and I hope not Washingtonised yet) to grasp that building or repairing roads etc, while needed, does not create wealth.

    We need to build products that we can trade with and sell internationally. To that end we need to invest in ways that create jobs that make that possible. In other words we need to create manufacturing jobs, so we can export more products and stop exporting our manufacturing jobs that do create real wealth………I seem to recall Chris Dodd saying that 4 years ago………Too bad he seems incapable of anything more than just empty words.

  11. Al said:
    We need to build products that we can trade with and sell internationally. To that end we need to invest in ways that create jobs that make that possible.

    We certainly grow stuff.

    Yet Japan blocks our long grain rice, our beef, they even limit us to exporting only 2 million pairs of shoes to them; as if they suddenly have a leather industry to protect in a country where you would probably have to visit a zoo to even see a cow.

    Meanwhile, they dump one batch of Japanese government subsidized goods on us after another without even blinking an eye; driving our own manufacturers out of business.

    For us to put up with this, makes no sense to me at all.

    Meanwhile; the UK is loaded with American made (I checked the VIN’s on a few) right hand drive Chrysler products including some we’d probably like to buy ourselves that are not available here.
    Go figure.

  12. “For us to put up with this, makes no sense to me at all. ”

    Obviously this is one reason neither of us would ever make it in Washington. Clearly, we just don’t get it.

  13. Obviously this is one reason neither of us would ever make it in Washington. Clearly, we just don’t get it.

    That’s the problem…I suspect they do “get it”.

    Too many seem to get plane rides to exotic places, big TV’s, marvelous mortgage deals, big jobs for their wives and kids….and other valuable prizes to be announced at a later date ……..winner does not need to be present to win.

  14. Yet Japan blocks our long grain rice, our beef, they even limit us to exporting only 2 million pairs of shoes to them; as if they suddenly have a leather industry to protect in a country where you would probably have to visit a zoo to even see a cow.

    According to the US Department of Agriculture, Japan has 1.69 million dairy cows. Another source says Japan has 2.7 million beef cattle (http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/32509/story.htm).

    For comparison purposes, the US has about 97 million cows (dairy and beef).

    By blocking our exports, they do hurt us, but they really hurt themselves as well. Consumer products and foodstuffs are significantly more expensive in Japan than in the United States. The standard of living that we enjoy in the US is significantly higher than what the typical Japanese citizen experiences. Getting in a trade war really doesn’t create any winners in the end. There are a few cases where trade barriers can work to your advantage, but note that they make things more expensive. In the 1930s, congress pushed through the Hawley Smoot tariff, which had disastrous consequences. (Today, Hawley Smoot is probably best known for having been featured in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off).

  15. Yet Japan blocks our long grain rice, our beef, they even limit us to exporting only 2 million pairs of shoes to them; as if they suddenly have a leather industry to protect in a country where you would probably have to visit a zoo to even see a cow.

    Meanwhile, they dump one batch of Japanese government subsidized goods on us after another without even blinking an eye; driving our own manufacturers out of business.

    OK, I’m game — so what’s the solution? Protectionist trade policies on our end? Stronger international institutions that can compel better behavior from member states?

    Democrats seem pretty much split between A and B — if Republicans saw this as a problem worth addressing, you cats could probably tip the scales whichever way you wanted. But I don’t know of any Republicans in Congress that would go on the record for either of those two. Is there another option, apart from suiting up for another war?

  16. OK, I’m game — so what’s the solution? Protectionist trade policies on our end?

    I’d bet my life that they’d clean up their act in under a week if we had the Navy turn a couple of boatloads of their cars around on the high seas and send them home.

    Tariffing their government subsidized goods seems fair.

    Seriously – block our rice, we’ll double the price of your imported cars. That way they can either build more of them here, or “go fish”.

    High tariff by Japan on Harley’s?
    Okay – same thing back.

    BTW – Cadillac sells every car they can get into Japan, but that’s not that many due to their restraint of trade.

    Seems fair to me; why should they play by different rules here than they impose on our businesses there?

  17. 1. Blumenthal won’t run because he does not have the guts for an office that has to make decisions. If Dodd doesn’t run, he will run for Senate. He can handle that job.

    I think you are wrong about Susan Bysiewicz. She is very unpopular (for good reasons). Her race last time went no where. She had no money. She must have felt humiliated. She gave up and ran again for Sec of State again. If she runs, and I don’t think she will, she will lose the nomination. I think she has fulfilled her potential. Her own party dislikes her. Republicans might actually have a chance even if Rell does not run if no one but her wants the nomination.

    It will be interesting if to see if Democrats dump her. Her term has not gone to well with dead people voting and all.

    2. I think you are right about Rell running again so long as she remains popular. If the waters get choppy though, she will bail. She is not a fighter.

    3. I hope you are right about Rob Simmons running for the U.S. Senate. he is a fighter. He would be a nice fit for Connecticut. Simmons is not that conservative. I think he grown out of the House. He would seem to have good timing since the out party in the White House always does well in off year elections.

    4. The Obama administration’s luster is likly to fade fast. He has shown himself to be indecisive even about what stuff he leaks to the press. He makes a great candidate but he have never had an executive job. Senators make poor presidents. All of them have been bad, even JFK. I loved the speeches JFK made but he was a bad administrator. I am very concerned about his military decisions. If he gets a bunch of our boys killed with the alarmingly fast withdraw of Iraq he promiced in the campaign, he will be toast.

    5. At least one Connecticut newspaper will close permanently? GOOD! Do I get to pick which one?

    6. At least one other Connecticut paper will consider going entirely online? Who cares. I would think that such a move would be the first step. The next step will be liquidation and auctioning off of assets. I would love to see the Courant go under.

    7. How the economy goes depends how much Obama raises taxes. He has sent signals in both directions. First he is going to keep the Bush tax cuts then he turns around and says he is going to increase taxes on the rich job providers. Obama should not raise taxes. If he does in the middle of this economy, he is a fool. Obama is no fool.

    But Congress – another story.

    8. Joe Lieberman — you may be right about that one too. I hope so.

    My prediction is I think Jodi will have a primary. She has proposed tax increases and is openly hostile to the concerns of conservatives. I have been hearing a lot of grumblings. They are getting louder.

    So far there is no horse. Simmons is an unlikly possibility. Most likly it will be some nobody who will just get enough support for a protest primary.

  18. 1. Blumenthal won’t run because he does not have the guts for an office that has to make decisions.

    Really? The AG doesn’t have to decide things, you say?

    I think you are wrong about Susan Bysiewicz. She is very unpopular (for good reasons). Her race last time went no where. She had no money.

    She actually outraised Blumenthal by more than 2:1 in 2006.

    If he gets a bunch of our boys killed with the alarmingly fast withdraw of Iraq he promiced in the campaign, he will be toast.

    You mean the timeline that Bush just agreed to himself? One could argue that a speedy withdrawal unnecessarily risks *Iraqi* lives, but if our mighty military lacks the ability to safely transport 275 troops per day, then we should just give up now.

    My prediction is I think Jodi will have a primary. She has proposed tax increases and is openly hostile to the concerns of conservatives. I have been hearing a lot of grumblings. They are getting louder.

    Not even the Republicans are stupid enough to kill the last egg-laying hen in the stable.

  19. Matt; you’re young.

    Blumenthal is a nice guy; everyone that deals with him says so; I’ve met him a couple of times and it’s true.

    However, you should have seen the kind of AG we used to have in Lieberman.
    He was fantastic and wasn’t forever in front of TV cameras.

    Joe doesn’t enjoy bipartisan support solely due to his performance in the Senate; some of us have been impressed with him since the `80’s.

    the Republicans are stupid enough

    You’re right – show me a primary “winner” who has gone on to win the general election in Connecticut in the past 20 years.

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