Paul Greenberg

I'd gladly join the Predictions for 2010 crowd if not for the sad fate of so many Predictions for 2009. Foreign Policy magazine, which is no slouch at pretentious prose itself, was unkind enough to dig up some of last year's duds. Among my favorites:

--"I do know this. At the end of this first year of Congress, there will be an energy bill on the president's desk." --Rahm Emanuel, April 19, 2009. That confident assertion may be only one of the many things Rahm Emanuel doesn't know. He's got a million of 'em.

--"Declaring that his work is done, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will announce he'll leave the Fed upon the expiration of his four-year term as chairman on Jan. 31, 2010. While mostly not his fault, the recession has hurt his standing with the Obama Administration. ... He'll be succeeded by Lawrence Summers, former treasury secretary under the Clinton Administration." --BusinessWeek, January 2, 2009.

Praising the chairman's "calm and wisdom," Barack Obama announced in August that he was re-appointing Mr. Bernanke as head of the Fed. Maybe the president doesn't read BusinessWeek.

--"The economy went into freefall and is still falling and we don't know where the bottom will be until we get there and there's no sign that we are anywhere near a bottom." --George Soros, February 20, 2009.

Only a month later, Soros the Great declared that the "the collapse of the financial system" had been averted and the economy was recovering. This is what happens when a classic economic panic is mistaken for a return of the Great Depression, a common enough error last year.

With such examples to follow, I think I'll just stick to observing, in the most stirring tones, like Thomas E. Dewey in 1948, that the future lies before us! You can quote me on that.

Paul Greenberg

Pulitzer Prize-winning Paul Greenberg, one of the most respected and honored commentators in America, is the editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.