The Second Face of Janus - 2008
As the Roman God looks into the future, here are some predictions for 2007. First, like last year, these are predictions from last year that Porcupine still believes will come to pass.
Justice John Paul Stevens will die this year, giving Bush his third choice for the Court.
Fidel Casto will die, and Congress will seize the opportunity to normalize relations with Cuba.
Here are the others in no particular order:
Gov. Deval Patrick will file his second budget as Governor with a heavy reliance on gambling revenues to justify expansions in local aid, making it clear that without a casino bill, local aid will be cut. Speaker Sal DiMasi will retaliate with a House budget that guts all of the Governor's pricey new initiatives like biotech and the housing funding, and will make it clear that the Legislature will not spend money that it does not and may never have. It will fall to Senate President Therese Murray to make peace, telling the Governor that you can't write a budget with pie-in-the-sky revenue forecasts, and telling DiMasi that money can be found in a reasonable way. Her brokering of the situation catapults her into power, setting her up to become the Billy Bulger of the 21st century.
The House will lose its leader as Speaker Sal DiMasi will not finish out the Session in his current position. The battle ro replace him will be between John Rogers and Gene O'flaherty at first, but it is Ron Mariano who will emerge as the next Speaker.
Governor Mitt Romney will win the Republican nomination for President, and Sen. Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic nomination. Gov. Romney will be elected the 44th President of the United States.
Casino gambling will not be legalized in Massachusetts by the Legislature, but the Wampanoags will push ahead with their Middleboro casino plan after the Federal Government places their land in trust; it will be profitable enough to begin with poker and roulette, as they will not have to pay the state and the tribe will begin to lobby for the legalization of slots in 2009, supported by Suffolk Downs and other racetracks, who also want slot machine gambling.
Yarmouth will become the first town to vote to leave the Cape Cod Commission, with at least one other town joining the quest for special legislation. The charm offensive of the new director, Paul Niedzwicki, will not be enough to convince the towns that the Commission is worth the trouble or taxes any longer.
Barnstable's Charter Commission will recomment that Barnstable become the first city on Cape Cod, with a Plan E 'strong manager-weak mayor' government. This charter will be narrowly defeated, due mainly to disapproval of seeking city status, and the Charter Commission will continue its work into 2009.
Long time County Commissioner Mary LeClair will be replaced with a Democrat, the first crack in the long time Republican domination of county government. Controversial District Attorney Michael O'Keefe will be re-elected handily.
The Cape Wind wind farm project will receive the go-ahead from the Minerals Management Services, and Sen. O'Leary's ocean zoning bill will not pass in this Session, and its obstructionism will become moot. The Cashman project in Buzards Bay in the marine sanctuary will not be approved, however.
Porcupine had an average score of 48% for 2007 predictions - not bad, considering two out of ten were zero. But he can do better!
See you New Year's Eve, 2008, to see how accurate these are!