Dr. Chartock’s predictions for 2012

Every year I offer my fearless predictions for the coming year. The rules remain the same: some of these I don’t want to happen so I predict them to prevent them from taking place. Some I do want to happen so I predict them to make them happen. Some I really think will happen and, with alarming frequency, many of then do. Here goes:

Sensing a firestorm over the hydrofracking issue and recognizing the mounting scientific evidence against it, Governor Andrew Cuomo will reverse his position as he did with the millionaire’s tax. When he comes out swinging against this dangerous policy, he will be roundly credited for having done the right thing. His environmental commissioner will breathe a sigh of relief that he won’t have to carry his boss’ water on this loser.

Speaker Sheldon Silver will have a major work of art dedicated to him outside his conference room. The little smile on his face will remind people of the Egyptian Sphinx.

There will be a split between Cuomo and Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch’s troubles will continue to grow and Andrew will distance himself. Murdoch will feel betrayed and tell Andrew, “I am very disappointed in you, Andrew. I thought we had a deal.”

One of Murdoch’s most trusted reporters will quit and be appointed to a prestigious spot on the Governor’s executive chamber staff.

The New York Times will adopt the Associated Press’ policy prohibiting their reporters from offering their personal opinions on social networks like Twitter after one of their people is caught in Joe McCarthy mode.

Two more State Senators will be indicted, convicted and go straight to jail. Meanwhile, former Republican Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno will not see a day in the pokey for selling a worthless horse to someone seeking influence.

The staff of one state senator will testify against the solon.

A lobbyist will turn state’s evidence against a sitting Senator at his trial. For his help to the prosecution, the lobbyist will get a very light sentence and will teach political science in prison to his fellow inmates. His musings will continue to be quoted on a popular political blog.

The new ethics commission will undergo serious scrutiny. David Grandeau, the only person to have ever taken the ethics position seriously (and who was unceremoniously dumped because he was doing his job) will triumphantly return to the top ethics position. Andrew Cuomo will be heard to say, “I told you I meant business.”

Three assemblymen from the boroughs will be indicted.

Despite their inability to govern in the past, the Democrats will be returned to the majority in the state Senate. Andrew Cuomo will give some surreptitious help to the Republicans to prevent that from happening and will be secretly disappointed. The conservative Democratic governor will not want a repeat of the tomfoolery that plagued the Democratic majority the last time around. When the results are announced and the Democrats win the majority by two votes, four dissident Democratic senators say that they won’t join their majority unless they are given the top spots in running their conference. Chaos will follow and, as Yogi would have said, it will be “…déjà vu all over again.” The New York Post will print a cartoon of a circular firing squad composed of Democratic senators.

A carved sign will appear in the Governor’s Press Office with a single number on it, “2016.”

There will be a wedding in the executive mansion. Soon thereafter, the chef will quit. Cans of soups and other processed foods will start to appear in the pantry.

An ombudsman for a major public broadcasting organization will be fired for ethical breaches.

The Albany Times Union will receive top honors for their political coverage.

Finally, you, dear readers, will experience a happy and healthy New Year.

Originally published in the Legislative Gazette, 12/19/11

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