Archive for the 'Predictions' Category

Shakespeare Anagram: Richard II

Saturday, July 4th, 2009

From Richard II:

Ay, no; no, ay; for I must nothing be;
Therefore no no, for I resign to thee.
Now mark me how I will undo myself:
I give this heavy weight from off my head,
And this unwieldy sceptre from my hand,
The pride of kingly sway from out my heart;
With mine own tears I wash away my balm,
With mine own hands I give away my crown,
With mine own tongue deny my sacred state,
With mine own breath release all duteous rites:
All pomp and majesty I do forswear;
My manors, rents, revenues, I forego;
My acts, decrees, and statutes I deny:
God pardon all oaths that are broke to me!
God keep all vows unbroke are made to thee!
Make me, that nothing have, with nothing griev’d,
And thou with all pleas’d, that hast all achiev’d!

Shift around the letters, and it becomes:

Sarah Palin idly leaving as Governor of newly-widowed green Alaska for no apparent reason makes little sense. If she runs for President, it won’t win votes, and this tough woman has more ambition than that.

What was the real reason? To save face over impending ethics idiocy? Did an enemy’s muddy-eyed blackmail jimmy her out? Do the kids want their mommy more? Or was she moved over the Letterman thing more than it seemed? Why would a “my way or the highway” leader modify to go for the highway?

My augury: maybe we will find her the host of a hip new talk show on that right-wing cable news network. Running a state must be a dull toy compared to the fame and fortune of television.

Obama!

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

As I write this, Ohio is being called for Barack Obama, which pretty much locks in his victory tonight.

And this is a historical moment for so many reasons. It’s not just that we are going to have an African-American president, which in itself is a monumental marker of progress. It’s also about voter turnout and enthusiasm. And even the most cynical among us are daring to hope for change in this country.

For me, what makes this election remarkable is that the undecided voter wasn’t much of a factor. In the past few campaigns, the two candidates were so close that both had to court undecided voters. This leads to pandering, wedge issues, and attack ad wars.

This election was different. Between Obama’s inspirational message, McCain’s coming unglued in the final weeks, the economy in crisis, and the overwhelming Bush fatigue felt by so many of us, it was a perfect storm for the Democratic candidate. As a result, Obama had such a commanding lead that he was able to take the high road and speak directly to the issues.

McCain also tried to campaign cleanly. I never had a problem with the Joe the Plumber strategy. It never bothered me that he wasn’t a licensed plumber, wasn’t about to buy a business, would not have seen a tax hike under Obama, and wasn’t named Joe. McCain was making a point about standing up for small businesses, and Joe the Plumber was convenient shorthand. That seems fair enough.

However, the constant attempts to paint Obama as not a real American were painful to watch. Sarah Palin campaigning across the country would suggest that Obama liked to pal around with terrorists. And then there were the attack ads that used code words to appeal to the worst qualities of the electorate. I don’t think this was in the spirit of what McCain was trying to accomplish with his candidacy. But in the end, the law requires the candidate to explicitly state “I approve this message.” Ironically, it’s John McCain whom we have to thank for that law.

All of that is behind us now. We may go to sleep tonight secure in the belief that we will wake up to morning in America. And President Obama will ride a massive wave of momentum into office, only to find a friendly Congress waiting for him. His first hundred days have the promise to be extraordinary. But we must not let our enthusiasm be replaced with complacency. Change is difficult under the best of circumstances, and there will be pressure to compromise. This is still our country. This is still our government. We must be as vigilant with President Obama as we were with President Bush.

But that comes later. Tonight, we celebrate.

I’m the Shakespeare Teacher, and I approve this message.

Shakespeare Anagram: Macbeth

Saturday, October 11th, 2008

From Macbeth:

If you can look into the seeds of time,
And say which grain will grow and which will not,
Speak then to me, who neither beg nor fear
Your favours nor your hate.

Shift around the letters, and it becomes:

Who will win the hard race for the high honor of President of our United States: Obama or McCain?

Anyway, I know I’ll forgo any wonky eleventh-hour guess.

Tie?

Question of the Week

Monday, October 6th, 2008

With just a month left until the election, polls indicate that Barack Obama has a healthy lead in both the popular vote and electoral college projections, and the Democrats in Congress are looking strong as well.

After 2004’s disappointment, I don’t want to put too much faith in the polls, but I am feeling cautiously optimistic.

But this week’s question isn’t about predicting the election. Let’s suppose hypothetically that Barack Obama does win next month. Let’s say that the election maintains a Democratic majority in the House, and Democrats wind up with 60 seats in the Senate (enough to block a filibuster).

This would basically put the Democrats in control of the agenda for at least two years, longer if the voters are pleased with the results.

So, the two questions I pose to my mostly liberal readership (but also my few conservative and moderate readers as well) is this:

If the Democrats were to take control, what would you like to see happen? What would you expect would actually happen?

Question of the Week

Monday, September 15th, 2008

Inspired by a video clip posted by Ro, I’m moved to examine the following question:

Right now, at this moment, what would you say is the percentage chance that Sarah Palin will become President of the United States in the next four years?

I’m going with 5%. That figure puts the election at about 50/50, and gives McCain a 90% chance of surviving his first term.

What do you think?

Question of the Week

Monday, November 5th, 2007

One year to go.

Who will be the next president of the United States?

This is meant to be a prediction, not an endorsement, but feel free to throw in your preferences as well.

More Gore

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

Al Gore has written a new book. Go buy it.

What do you mean, “What’s it about”? Go buy it.

Okay, if you insist. He describes it himself on his blog:

When George Bush launched his preemptive war in Iraq, more than 70% of Americans believed Saddam Hussein was linked to the terrorists who caused 9-11. After the 2004 election, when asked what stuck in their minds about the campaign, voters in Ohio named two ads playing to the fears of terrorism paid for by the Bush Campaign. One pattern that has held true since 2001 is that this White House is less interested in openness and truth than any previous administration.

We are facing so many long-term challenges, from the climate crisis and the war in Iraq to health care and social welfare. To solve these problems and move forward we need to reverse the damage done to our democracy. We have little time to waste.

My goal in The Assault on Reason is to explore why our public forum now welcomes the enemies of reason. More importantly, the book focuses on what we can do together, individually and collectively, to restore the rule of reason to our democracy.

Is that enough? Okay, now go buy it.

By the way, how cool is it that Al Gore has a blog? From all appearances, it’s really his blog, and not written by staff members.

While we’re here, I’m going to throw in a prediction: Al Gore will eventually throw his hat in the ring for President in the 2008 election. I still think he’d have a good chance of winning, and he’d almost certainly have the endorsement of ShakespeareTeacher.com. I think he’ll do it.

If he really wants to fight for the causes that are so important to him, how can he possibly walk away from a chance at the position where he’d have the most power to enact the changes he wants to see in the world?

iPhone

Tuesday, January 9th, 2007

What do you get when you cross an iPod and a cell phone, and then throw a web browser into the mix? The Apple iPhone, of course, available in June.

They are also introducing a video player, called Apple TV that can download digital content from the Internet and play it on a television.

Steve Jobs announced the new products at the MacWorld expo.

My prediction – the iPhone will be a huge hit. It’s exactly the easy-to-use, all-in-one device that the market has been hungry for. The Apple TV, not so much. I think between Tivo, DVR, Netflix, Video On Demand, and people just generally being busier than they used to be, the market for more video content is over-saturated. iTunes videos probably sell specifically because they can play on portable computers and iPods, not because people can’t find anything to watch on their televisions. Bottom line: Apple TV, no; iPhone, oh yes.

But however it turns out, Bravo to Apple for once again pushing the envelope and moving us to the next level.

2008 Fever – Don’t Catch It Just Yet!

Sunday, January 7th, 2007

Answer: Hillary Rodham Clinton, Rudy Guiliani, John McCain, and Barack Obama.

Question: Who are four people who are not going to be elected president in 2008?

Ignore the polls. At this early stage, the name recognition factor is always going to skew the results. As new faces emerge and old stalwarts define themselves anew, you’re going to be hearing a lot more names than just those four.

Note: The prediction above does not pertain to party nominations, vice-presidential selections, or future presidential elections. Nor does it predict who is going to be elected president. Right now, a Biden vs. Romney contest seems not entirely out of the question. Pataki had an unusually prominent spot in the 2004 Republican Convention, which is usually a tell. And Gore, if he decides to run, will likely be the automatic front runner among Democrats who are still sore from the 2000 election, and would be helped in the general election by swing voters with buyer’s remorse. Plus, he’s a movie star now, and we all know how helpful that can be.

But my whole point is that it’s way too early for this kind of speculation. All I can tell you right now is that none of the first four people I mentioned will be our next president. That’s my prediction, and I’m putting it in the blog.

I’ll also add a new category “Predictions” so if this blog lasts longer than next Wednesday, we can track my predictions and see how I’m doing.