Each year, we ask our staff for New Year’s predictions. Last year, we didn’t do well. But other years, we were right on target. Here is our list for this year:
Bob Ney, national news correspondent, Talk Media News (and former congressman):
Kim Jong Un will not lead North Korea by midyear.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will become the king of Saudi Arabia, and controversy involving his ascendency to the throne will ensue. He will begin the process of starting a war with Iran.
The private fund of the House and Senate for claims of discrimination, sexual harassment, etc. will be made transparent, and more resignations will follow.
The House will remain controlled by the Republicans, although they will lose 12 seats. The Senate ends up 50-50. (Pence becomes the kingmaker.)
A Supreme Court nomination opens up.
Luke Vargas, chief foreign correspondent for Talk Media News:
The prospect of Trump’s temper leading the U.S. into war with North Korea or Iran is likely to be held in check. But possible cabinet shake-ups – including CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s move to the State Department and Sen. Tom Cotton’s promotion to lead the CIA – could see hawkish anti-Iran voices elevated within Trump’s inner circle.
In Mexico, the looming presidential campaign ahead of a July vote heightens the risk that Trump’s renegotiation of NAFTA will be undone as the Mexican government loses domestic support. NAFTA talks are likely to be delayed until mid-2018, when Mexican politics might derail the process altogether.
Bryan Renbaum, congressional reporter, Talk Media News:
Congress will conclude its investigation into allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials. Independent Counsel Robert Mueller III will continue his probe, and more indictments will follow. Reports of more questionable meetings between Trump associates and Russians will surface.
The Dow will reach 25,000 in early January. The bull market will continue as index earnings soar amid corporate enthusiasm over the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Many American companies with overseas headquarters will repatriate to the U.S.
More members of Congress will retire or resign as sexual harassment scandals continue to plague Capitol Hill. Congress will consider legislation compelling members to reimburse taxpayers for settlements.
Tom Squitieri, Pentagon reporter at Talk Media News:
Republicans will retain control of the House and Senate, and President Trump remains in office.
The overall policy thrust will deepen patterns set this year, dividing the country more vividly. This results in large part via increased finger-pointing and debasement toward the media.
The new leader or leaders of the democratic world will emerge, but that nation or those nations will not truly become the “next America.” China will be the dominant nation while a headstrong Russia continues to cause trouble. The U.S. will be helpless to act, hobbled by diplomatic alienation, uncertainty in the military about President Trump, and the dysfunctional Congress, White House and U.S. population.
Michael Olesker, national columnist for Talk Media News:
Pressure on Donald Trump will mount on simultaneous tracks: the Mueller Russia investigation, which will stay on course despite growing Republican faux-outrage, and allegations of sexual impropriety, which will grow louder as more congressional members become targets of sexual allegations themselves, leading more people to ask: If we believe their accusers, why don’t we believe Trump’s?
Mike Flynn’s deal with the Mueller people will take direct aim at Jared Kushner and Donald Trump Jr.
Paul Manafort will decide he’d rather not spend the rest of his life behind bars, and he’ll sing as loudly as Flynn.
Justin Duckham, senior Washington correspondent for Talk Media News:
Republicans lose seats that should have been easy wins after Stephen Bannon-approved nominees tank viable candidates in the primaries.
Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., begins to play a larger role in the party, ultimately being a go-to name whenever a cabinet position opens.
The South Korean film industry recruits Louis CK, Kevin Spacey, Brett Ratner and other American stars accused of sexual misconduct. The films do well overseas, but flop in the United States.
Doug Christian, Washington correspondent for Talk Media News:
A terrorist group will employ a chemical weapon with a drone in a major Western city.
The environment is going to scream at us, with more intense storms, earthquakes near fracking areas, a devastating explosive volcanic caldera and rising sea levels.
President Donald Trump will fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Democrats will call this obstruction of justice, but will fall short in efforts to impeach the president.
Media wishing to interview Ellen Ratner, please contact [email protected].