Time again for fearless predictions

By Kevin Wilson: FNM Columnist

I start this year, like I do every other, with an edition of “Kevin Wilson’s Fearless Predictions.”

I make these predictions with the utmost confidence, because I know people way smarter than me have screwed up predictions far worse than I have. It was Bill Gates who once said a computer with “640K (memory) ought to be good enough for everybody.” For comparison purposes, that’s 1 percent the storage capacity of my friend’s new Blackberry phone.

So if a really, really, really rich guy can be wrong, what do I have to be afraid of? Here we go:

Locally
• It won’t be fun to be in business or in real estate for a while, because the population dip from Cannon Air Force Base will continue. Of course, that will make things seem even better near the end of 2008, when more come in to fulfill the mission of Air Force Special Operations Command.

• Leading up to the mayoral election in Clovis, complaints will be pretty uniform — there aren’t enough choices to replace David Lansford, the government will do what it wants no matter who I pick, I have no voice in what goes on. Unfortunately, many of these complainers won’t make their voices matter, as voter turnout will be in the 20 percent range.

Sports
• Two NFL predictions here, because I’m torn. First, the New England Patriots won’t resemble the 16-0 wrecking ball they did throughout 2007. The Jacksonville Jaguars, Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts are all capable of the upset. As for my second prediction, I will say the New England Patriots will kick things into an extra gear for the playoffs, winning every game by 30 or more if only to show how little some columnist named Wilson knows. In either case, they’ll use the ridiculous “nobody respects us” mantra as a motivator.

• Kevin Garnett will win his second career NBA Most Valuable Player award for leading the Celtics to a 63-19 record, leaving them far above any other in the Eastern Conference. This won’t matter much in the end, as San Antonio, Dallas or Detroit exploit Boston’s thin bench.

Politics
• Rudy Giuliani will come under attack for inadequate radio upgrades for firefighters in the eight years between the 1993 and 2001 World Trade Center attacks — and Republicans who happily piled on dubious Swift Boat claims against John Kerry in 2004 will call such questions dirty politics. Meanwhile, Barack Obama will come under attack for admitting drug use in his early years — and Democrats who happily piled on news of George W. Bush’s prior cocaine use and DWI bust will call such questions dirty politics.

• The Democratic nominee (it won’t be Bill Richardson) will beat the Republican nominee (it won’t be Fred Thompson), and we won’t have to wait until the next day to know it.

• Democratic gains in Congress are likely due to voters wanting a change from eight years of a Republican administration, disapproval of the war in Iraq and troubled energy and housing markets. The gains won’t be as big as 2006, likely because voters weren’t impressed with current Democrats’ inability to stand up to a president with a 30 percent approval rating.

• Factors I’ve already mentioned will surely be given as reasons the Democratic candidate took the White House, and pundits will credit savvy campaign chairs that take advantage of the Internet. However, nobody will credit the biggest reason the Democrats stand to win in 2008 — the groundwork and fundraising small-dollar donors did in 2007 to make those campaigns at all possible.

Kevin Wilson is a columnist for Freedom New Mexico. He can be contacted at 763-3431, ext. 313, or by e-mail:
kevin_wilson@link.freedom.com