Resolutions are a popular game this time of year, but so is the most dangerous game of all: predictions. The [Insert Number Here] Predictions for 2018 is a common sight this time of year, but I think it's a lot more fun than blathering on about what a cleansing time of renewal the new year is, so I'm going to have some fun and offer Five Predictions for the Year Ahead. Let's see how wrong I'm going to be!
First, the Democratic Party will take back the House. (They might be able to snag the Senate as well, but I feel like even with the Alabama win, their path is a lot narrower in the Senate than it is in the House.) I also think that on the state level, Democrats will take back a chamber of the Legislature and that Iowa won't send Kim Reynolds back to the Governor's Mansion. I don't know if early indications of Branstad fatigue are real or just wishful thinking at this point, but the Democrats have a deep field with some serious candidates and if there was a year where they could get it done, ti seems like it could be this year. (The Medicare Mess, I'm convinced is going to be more of an issue come the fall than is it right now. UIHC is already struggling with not getting Medicare payments- imagine what rural hospitals are going through. Voters, especially rural ones- have the real potential to be pissed about this come November.)
Second, Tarantino's pitch for a Star Trek movie will go from internet buzz to actual reality. I feel like at this point in the Star Trek movie franchise, it's worth taking a swing at something like this just to see what it looks like. While I enjoyed Star Trek Beyond, Star Trek Into Darkness felt like a parboiled remake of one of the greatest Trek movies of all time and the news that the fourth movie was going to involve time travel somehow just makes it seem that nu-Trek is more interested in dressing up the old Trek movies than moving in a new direction. Tarantino would move Trek in a new direction. (Bonus Prediction: Uma Thurman will say her piece about Harvey Weinstein and it will be epic.)
Third, I really want to say that the Minnesota Vikings will win the Super Bowl, but Minnesota being Minnesota, I think they'll lose on a last second field goal instead. (Bonus Predictions: Arsenal will finish in the Top Four and manage to win everything except the Premier League which will give Arsene Wenger enough silverware to justify going out on top. They'll lose Alexis Sanchez to Manchester City, but keep Mesut Ozil- for now.)
Fourth, if there's a continent worth watching this year, it's probably Africa. I know the trendy prediction for the 'world news' category is the cheerful prospect of war with North Korea, but there's actually a lot going in Africa that we should, but probably won't be paying attention to. Zimbabwe is going to have an election that won't have Robert Mugabe on the ballot. The Democratic Republic of the Congo says it's going to have elections in December, but we'll see. (It's also in the midst of a refugee crisis that's being overlooked and/or ignored.) Sixteen nations in Africa have elections set for this year and South Africa is looking ahead to their election in 2019.
Fifth, I'm going to boldly predict that Iowa City's trend of housing developments with breathless, pretentious sounding names will continue. (There's a lot of names out there that make me roll my eyes like 'The Quarters' and 'The Crossings' and 'Rise'). I do feel like the steel and glass gargantuan construction book is probably going to start leveling off if the University's enrollment has reached a plateau, at least for now.
Predictions are the most dangerous game of all, so I'm fully expecting to be wrong on most, if not all of these predictions. (Here's hoping we avoid a war with North Korea!) That said I also feel good about all of my predictions as well. We'll see how right (or wrong) I end up being this December.