Once a year, I ask the staff of Talk Radio News Service, or TRNS, to weigh in with their New Year’s predictions. They all have their areas of expertise, and this is what they predict for 2014.
On Iran, from former Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, who taught English in Iran and knows the Iran well:
“The Congress, especially the Senate, is currently trying to pass legislation that will kill the Iran deal. The politicians behind this are putting a huge push on to stop President Obama from completing a deal with Iran. However, President Obama is going to stop the Congress from killing this deal, and after that the negotiations will continue and he will be successful at containing Iran nuclear capacity. The president will open relations again between the two countries unlike the deal being killed by Congress.”
From Geoff Holtzman, deputy bureau chief of TRNS and White House and congressional correspondent:
“Healthcare.gov becomes fully functional before the spring, and roughly 4 million people sign up for insurance by the end of March. As promised, Republicans run against the health-care law and hold onto their majority in the House, but fall short of taking back the Senate by three seats. Hillary Clinton and Chris Christie emerge as the candidates to beat in 2016.”
From Victoria Jones, White House correspondent and editor of News Notes from TRNS:
“It becomes clear that the 2016 presidential match-up will be an inter-generational fight. The 2014 midterm elections are NOT only about President Obama’s health-care plan.”
From Luke Vargas, United Nations correspondent, TRNS:
“After an ambush at a U.N. base in South Sudan in mid-December left two peacekeepers dead, the U.N. will embark on a broad push to roll out Unarmed Aerial Vehicles (drones) to assist with its peacekeeping missions around the world. This follows the deployment of a single UAV at the U.N. mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2013.
“Such a move may ruffle feathers in regions where neighboring states have high-tech military installations and surveillance operations (the UNDOF mission along the contested Israeli/Syrian border springs to mind), but having eyes in the sky will soon become an operational precondition for troop-donating countries, and it’s about time U.N. soldiers enjoyed similar protection as their counterparts in national armies.”
Zach Baddorf, who is a TRNS military correspondent and has served in the U.S. military as well:
“The bilateral security agreement between the U.S. and Afghanistan will be signed with between 8,000-15,000 troops remaining in Afghanistan indefinitely. President Karzai will become the Putin of Afghanistan, pulling strings in the shadows while living in his new home within the presidential palace security perimeter. The election itself will be filled with corruption (denying Abdullah Abdullah victory again) and violence as the Pakistanis and their Talibs await for America to disengage and lose interest as we did from 1989-2000 and 2003-2008.”
William McDonnell, who covers the Pentagon for TRNS as well as Congress and the White House:
“Obama will push hard against Congress, and immigration will be fully implemented through piecemeal way but will be completed by end the end of next year.
“Karzai will sign the Bilateral Security Agreement as a snub toward Obama/Hagel, but it will be done before the State of the Union on Jan. 28 with full requests from the administration granted in the agreement.
“We will see full legal support for gay marriage in close to 30 states. Legalization/decriminalization of marijuana will become a hot topic and be legal/decriminalized in four or five more states, including Montana.”
Technology takes a giant leap with robots that think, and as recently reported, computers that correct their own mistakes, thereby creating a thought crisis of what it means to be human. Also, 3-D printers make a full challenge to gun laws and a new frontier for medicine.
If Hillary Clinton decides to run and her health is good, there is still a challenger in the Democratic Party.
Sen. Kerry reaches a breakthrough of the same stature of the Camp David Accords in the Middle East. Obama gets the kudos for it.
Sign-up for Obamacare is successful, but getting the insurance companies to pay the claims is the next challenge.