Each year at this time I go out on a limb and predict 10 big news stories I believe will happen in the year to come. Usually I get two or three right, come close on a couple of others, and am way off on all the rest. Click here to read last year’s predictions for 2014 and see how I did.
Now on to 2015.
10. Avengers: Age of Ultron will be the top-grossing movie of the year.
I think Star Wars: The Force Awakens will have the biggest opening cinema history when it hits theaters. But since that movie isn’t released until late December, it won’t be in theaters long enough to out-gross the next installment of the wildly popular Avengers, which owns the coveted early May slot.
9. GOP state legislatures raise the stakes on liberty.
Come January, there will be the fewest Democrats in state legislatures in almost a century. Combine that with the fact it’s already obvious Nancy Boehner and Ditch McConnell have no plans to keep their campaign promises to stop Obama, and I predict the big political trend of 2015 will be unprecedented efforts by state legislatures to insulate themselves from Washington.
8. Two NFL franchises re-locate.
California will gain and lose NFL franchises next year. Get ready for the return of the Los Angeles Rams, who will bolt St. Louis and re-locate to where they originally started. And get ready for the San Antonio Raiders, after “River City” provides the venerable NFL franchise the exclusive stadium deal it has long coveted.
7. An establishment bloodbath.
I don’t think Jeb Bush choosing to “actively explore” a 2016 run will deter the ambitions of his fellow GOP establishment hacks. For once we conservatives get to watch the establishment ruin all their relationships and splinter over a crowded field, which will be fun to watch for a change. Chris Christie is not just going to roll over and decide to be irrelevant the next four years. Paul Ryan is not going to aspire now to be the Dan Rostenkowski of the Republican Party. And Mitt Romney isn’t going to suddenly decide he wants to build more car elevators. This is going to be a corporatist bloodbath, and whenever corporatist blood gets spilled America wins.
6. Elizabeth Warren runs for president.
Everybody, Left and Right, wants new political blood. With its short bench, the Left doesn’t have too many viable options for new blood, which is one of the reasons why there is so much excitement surrounding Warren. She will become the MoveOn.org candidate of 2016, and announce next year she is seeking the presidency, causing headaches for the Killary crowd.
5. Marco Rubio won’t run for president—this time.
He’d like to run, but by next fall the likable and still young Rubio will decide there’s no more room at the 2016 Inn. Not with fellow Floridian Jeb Bush draining all the sunshine state infrastructure, not with Ted Cruz mirroring his conservative dream life story minus the albatross of amnesty, and a host of current and former GOP governors with long resumes all contemplating runs. Look for Rubio to be on nearly everybody’s short list for VP come 2016 instead.
4. John Roberts mortally wounds Obamacare.
Chief Justice Roberts giveth, and Chief Justice Roberts taketh away. After singlehandedly sentencing the American people to healthcare hell by salvaging Obamacare two years ago, Roberts will undo his mistake when he becomes the deciding vote in King v. Burwell. A case SCOTUS will hear next year challenging the constitutionality of Obamacare providing federal subsidies to states that refused to establish its exchanges. Roberts will be the fifth vote next year declaring such subsidies unconstitutional, and without those subsidies Obamacare essentially implodes.
3. A major political corruption scandal.
Keep a keen eye on this case next year. Because if you believe one lone, state senator conspired alone in to coordinate such payments between not one, but two different presidential campaigns, you probably believe in unicorns, too.
2. Vladimir Putin will be toppled.
Nine months ago, it looked like Putin was on his way to piecing back together some of the most strategically vital pieces of the former Soviet Union. Now, his economy is an utter free fall. A collapsing currency coupled with escalating interest rates is normally the kill-shot to an economy, and Russia is currently saddled with both. Throw in plummeting oil prices and his gangster-government loses what amounts to its one and only means of reviving itself. Historically, these doomsday scenarios usually turn out one of two ways for a government. Either they invade other nations to confiscate their resources, or they’re topped. Putin would obviously prefer it’s the former, but he may not even have the resources to sustain his sluggish efforts in Crimea, let alone elsewhere. So the latter it is then.
1. Conservatives coalesce.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Four or five conservatives run for the GOP presidential nomination, thus splitting up a majority of the primary vote. Meanwhile, one establishment candidate gets a clear shot at the other third of the electorate, made up of moderates and corporatists, and that’s enough for them to win the nomination (and then lose the general election). Wash. Rinse. Repeat. But not this time. By next Christmas, look for respected leaders within the conservative grassroots to take an unprecedented stab at coalescing behind one champion in time to impact the race for the 2016 nomination. 2015 will be each conservative candidate’s chance to make their case why they should be the guy.