It's a whole new year! What will happen? I have no idea. But that won't stop me from making the following predictions for 2006:

(On the last day of the year, I compare notes.)

Matters of world import:
Number of successful terrorist attacks on the US: 0 (correct)
Number of unsuccessful terrorist attacks on the US: Impossible to determine (correct, but no credit)
US troop level reduction in Iraq for the year: 60 percent (not even close)
Percentage of this troop reduction which will be announced on or before 1 November: 90 (didn't happen)

Political trends:
110th Congress House composition: 219 Republicans, 215 Democrats, 1 Independent
(actually 202 Republicans, 233 Democrats)
110th Congress Senate composition: 53 Republicans, 46 Democrats, 1 Independent
(actually 49 Republicans, 49 Democrats, 2 Independents caucusing with the Democrats)
51st Oklahoma House composition: 53 Republicans, 48 Democrats
(actually 62 Republicans, 39 Democrats)
51st Oklahoma Senate composition: 26 Democrats, 22 Republicans
(actually 24 Democrats, 24 Republicans)
Oklahoma Congressional delegation: House 4 Republicans, 1 Democrat; Senate 2 Republicans
Oklahoma gubernatorial election: Brad Henry (D) 54 percent, Ernest Istook (R) 43 percent, others 3 percent (actually Henry 66.5 percent, Istook 33.5 percent)

State population trends:
Oklahoma City: 533,700 (531,324)
Tulsa: 386,400 (382,457)
Norman: 102,100 (101,719)
Broken Arrow: 89,600 (86,228)
Lawton: 88,900 (90,234)
(2005 estimates, issued mid-2006)

Pro sports records:
Oklahoma RedHawks: 81-63 (first in PCL American/Southern) (74-70, second)
New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets (2005-06): 34-48 (fourth in NBA Southwest) (38-44, fourth)
Oklahoma City Blazers (2005-06): 36-24-4 (third in CHL Northwest) (35-24-5, third)

Pro sports attendance:
Oklahoma RedHawks: 490,000 (average 6,800; 6th in PCL) (526,932; 7,421; 6th)
New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets (2005-06): 740,000 (average 18,000; includes Baton Rouge home games; 9th in NBA) (744,900; 18,168; 11th)
Oklahoma City Blazers (2005-06): 253,000 (average 7,900; 1st in CHL) (275,493; 8,609; 1st)

Financial matters:
Prime rate: 8.00 percent (8.25)
Unemployment rate: 4.9 percent (4.5)
Oklahoma unemployment rate: 4.1 percent (3.7)
Oil, West Texas Intermediate crude: $54.50/barrel ($59.37)
Gasoline, Oklahoma City average, 87-octane: $2.05 ($2.08)
(figures as of November 2006, except the last)

Chances are:
Six Flags will move its corporate offices out of Oklahoma City: 9-1 (they did)
Bill LaFortune will be reelected Mayor of Tulsa: 4-3 (he wasn't)
The Hornets will return to New Orleans for 2006-07: 1-8 (they didn't)
The Hornets will return to New Orleans for 2007-08 and thereafter: (they will)

Random projections:
General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner will resign rather than file Chapter 11. (neither happened)
Iran will escalate its anti-Israel rhetoric, but will take no action. (correct)
No serious immigration bills will be passed by Congress. (depends on your definition of "serious")
The Pulitzer Prize committee will contemplate a blog award, but will not issue one in 2006. (they didn't award one, anyway)
Playboy will take submissions for a "Women of the Blogosphere" pictorial, which will appear in early 2007. No one you ever heard of will be in it. (There was a "Women of MySpace," anyway, though no one I ever heard of was in it.)

The Vent

  1 January 2006
Updated 31 December 2006

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 Copyright © 2006 by Charles G. Hill