What to expect in the New Year.
By Ellen Ratner
WASHINGTON (Talk Media News) – Once a year, I turn this column over to the staff of Talk Media News to run their predictions.
Here are ours for 2016:
Bob Ney – former member of Congress and political correspondent:
The United States will go into a recession before the election – not a huge recession, but a mild recession. It will be due in part to policies and reactions to terror, which will weaken investment and business dealings with the United States. Growing inflation and the deficit will also add to it.
Trump leads into the Republican National Convention, but the convention erupts in controversy as he is short the delegate count. The party tries to control it and pressures House Speaker Paul Ryan to be the nominee. He declines. Trump stays viable, and a deal is cut for a conservative running mate – such as Cruz. Trump becomes the nominee. The Democratic National Convention becomes shaky as new allegations about Hillary surface on emails. She makes several missteps, and she accepts Bernie Sanders as the vice presidential choice. Trump becomes president of the United States.
Jon Christopher Bua – White House correspondent and political commentator:
Hillary Clinton’s Democratic National Convention nomination on July 28 in Philadelphia will unleash “GOP Opposition Research Armageddon.”
Everything nasty and incriminating you thought was already out there and exposed regarding her will pale in comparison to what the GOP – and affiliated PACs have been sitting on and have been ready to release since 2008 – and beyond.
Soon after Hillary accepts her party’s nomination as presidential candidate, the Republican war machine will activate its destruction strategy and carpet-bomb all media platforms with denigrating accusations (true or false) and stories, films, ads, etc., supported by its surrogates and third-party endorsers. This will all come when it’s too late for “buyer’s remorse.” This could mean a new Republican president.
Russian President Vladimir Putin will take center stage as he negotiates the “departure” of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in exchange for major sanctions relief – leaving Ukraine once again out in the cold.
On the surface, this “exchange” with the U.S.-U.K.-E.U., will allow President Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President François Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to save face at least temporarily, and it will allow them to avoid placing real boots on the ground. But Putin will have cleverly managed to retain his influence over the New Syrian Regime and maintain his foothold in the Middle East.
Justin Duckham – deputy bureau chief:
Ted Cruz will win Iowa, and Marco Rubio will win in New Hampshire, greatly reducing any serious talk about a Trump presidency.
President-elect Clinton will place Elizabeth Warren in a prominent role. Paul Krugman and Robert Reich will also be tapped to serve on the economics team in an attempt to placate progressive Democrats still wary of Hillary.
Victoria Jones – chief White House correspondent:
Donald Trump’s presidential campaign will attempt to unearth a new scandal about former President Bill Clinton in the hopes of derailing Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. There may be wild, unproven allegations, likely of a sexual nature, against the former president. Trump’s campaign will also dredge up old, unfounded and disproven allegations – and possibly the women who made them.
Luke Vargas – United Nations correspondent:
A pair of forthcoming elections in Southeast Asia will help cement Chinese control over the region (and its contested islands). In Vietnam, the country’s communist party selects a new president in January.
The year 2015 saw the global press repeatedly splash satellite photos of Chinese land reclamation efforts on their front pages to no effect. Don’t expect the region, or the world, to raise more meaningful objections in 2016,
As the U.N. convenes Syrian peace talks in late January, global diplomatic focus will shift to ending the five-year civil war. Moscow smartly believes cooperation in Syria will buy it leeway in Ukraine, and the appearance of a Syrian settlement within reach will keep international focus on Damascus and away from Russia’s backyard.
The year 2015 ended with two hits to Russian prestige: the cancellation of Roscosmos’ ambitious moon missions due to budget cuts, and domestic unrest in Crimea after the peninsula lost electricity for a period of days.
The year also exposed cracks in the foundation of South America’s leftist cohort. This year will see a further deterioration of their standing and the formation of an alternate political vision for the continent.
Loree Lewis – Pentagon correspondent:
Lawmakers and administration officials will continue to say that the U.S. is “at war” with the Islamic State militant group, but will mean it in a “technical sense.” Congress and the Barack Obama administration will work together to pass a new Authorization for Use of Military Force, with the new speaker of the House rallying his party to agreement and the White House proving its resolve.
With all U.S. military combat roles now open to women, the court of the land will find that women must also register for Selective Service (aka: the draft).