There’s no crystal ball, no tarot cards, no palm reading. Having said that, here are some predictions for 2017:
1. A congressional investigation shows that there was substantial interference by Russia in the 2016 elections ordered by the highest Russian authorities. Intelligence agencies unanimously agree that at least part of the motivation was to help Donald Trump win. President Trump resists all efforts to continue sanctions against the perpetrators.
2. President Trump’s tax returns are leaked and show extensive preexisting financial ties to Russia, no charitable contributions and that he’s nowhere near as wealthy as he says he is.
3. Speculation starts to focus on whether Trump’s election was fair…or constitutional.
4. EPA administrator-designate and climate change denier Scott Pruitt is defeated in the Senate (or withdrawn beforehand).
5. President Trump proposes a massive $3 billion-plus infrastructure program that will have backing of Congressional Democrats but not all Republicans.
6. Trump’s immigration “wall” turns into a “fence” and no, Mexico doesn’t pay for it.
7. Connecticut US Sen. Chris Murphy continues to build a presidential-caliber resume and position himself to run for the presidency.
8. Massachusetts US Sen. Elizabeth Warren maintains a high profile as a Trump critic, a liberal standard bearer and potential presidential candidate.
9. Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy announces he is not running for a third term. Speculation turns to Democrats state Comptroller Kevin Lembo, Middletown Mayor Dan Drew and Republicans Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst and state Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano.
10. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) will take some serious heat for attending Trump’s inauguration. Baker refused to support his party’s nominee during the campaign and refused to vote for him. Yet he goes to Washington, DC for the inauguration.
11. President Trump brings the country closer to Israel, dumping the two-state solution approach to peace in that part of the Middle East. Israel will be the first country he travels to visit.
In nonpolitical predictions:
12. The New England Patriots win the Super Bowl over the New York Giants.
13. The Boston Red Sox will best the Chicago Cubs in the World Series in six games.
14. “Manchester by the Sea” wins the Best Picture Oscar. Casey Affleck wins Best Actor and Lucas Hedges wins Best Supporting Actor.
15. Pope Francis continues to refocus the Catholic Church and opens the door to consideration of women priests.
16. The Grim Reaper finally catches up with Keith Richards (yes, it’s morbid but I hafta call ‘em like I see ‘em in the future. Besides, the odds are in my favor).
17. I don’t care who wins the NBA championship so, I’ll say Golden State.
18. CT Capitol Report will finally link to The Hanging Shad after years of connecting to lesser blogs and ignoring the in-depth, probing and witty material on THS.