I have no supernatural powers and absolutely no talent when it comes to making predictions. However, with 2006 coming up, I can’t resist. It will be fun to take a look back this time next year to see if I was at all right about anything.

OK, here goes.

1. President George W. Bush rebounds in a big way. He had a lot of setbacks and criticism in 2005. He’s a stubborn fellow, but I think 2006 will see him shaking some things up in order to save the mid-term elections. Look for Rumsfeld to make an exit as Defense Secretary. Look for Democrat Joe Lieberman to step in a cabinet position somewhere, perhaps as Rumsfeld’s replacement. Democrats gain some in mid-term elections, but not what they had hoped.

2. Troops will start coming home by spring. This really isn’t going out on much of a limb because it’s already been announced that troops scheduled to deploy will not. However, we’ll see a gradual pullback of troops, also in time for mid-term elections.

3. In Oklahoma, Gov. Brad Henry will win re-election by a pretty substantial margin. Republicans will keep the House and will gain in the Senate.

4. Oil prices will remain somewhat stable. Barring any more disasters in the Gulf Coast, prices in our area should remain an average of around $2.50 a gallon.

5. This could be kind of a contradiction of the previous prediction, but hurricane season in 2006 will be just as busy and destructive as 2005. However, more oil production will keep oil prices mostly steady, similar to what happened this past fall.

6. Northwest Oklahoma will experience very dry weather, which could put the wheat crop in peril. I foresee a dry pattern that will continue through most of the winter and into the spring.

7. OU football will rebound in the fall. Bomar will continue to grow as a quarterback, Peterson will stay healthy and OU goes 11-1 or 10-2. Peterson contends for the Heisman, although OU will not contend for a national championship in 2006. OSU will continue to struggle, but they will improve to pull out a winning season and a bowl appearance.

8. The economy in northwest Oklahoma will continue to improve. The wheat harvest could be iffy if the dry weather persists, but overall the economy will advance through more retail sales and through continued improved oil production. Oil jobs will be plentiful and well-paying.

9. More sports. Enid High School athletics will have a good year in 2006. Basketball teams will do well, spring sports, particularly baseball, will do well. The groundwork has been set for a good fall sports season, and the 2006 Enid football team will make it to the state tournament.

10. And, one other sports prediction. The Hornets may not return to New Orleans, but will remain in OKC. Despite their early comments that they will return to New Orleans, they’ll find plenty of support in Oklahoma and will decide this the place to be.

So, there they are, my 2006 predictions. I’ll try to keep a tab through the year and report the results this time next year.

Happy New Year everyone!

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