2018, odder than 2017?

Posted January 1, 2018 1:07 p.m. EST

AUSTIN, Texas -- It's time for my predictions for 2018, which, though technically even, could be odder than 2017, which was odd even for an odd year.

Remember when some people said they were happy 2016 was gone? Remember when some people said they thought George W. Bush was the worst president ever?

Funny how perceptions can change. Well, maybe funny's not the right word.

Prior to my 2018 predictions, let's see how I did with my 2017 predictions.

As 2017 dawned, I predicted Texas Democrats would again find a reason to believe they're on the cusp of a comeback and again would be proven wrong. Not much positive happened for the state Dems in 2017, a nonelection year in which the legislative Dems again got run over by the reality of the results of the most recent elections.

So, I'm rating me as correct on that one, though, to their credit, it must be pointed out that they did find some folks to seek their 2018 gubernatorial nomination.

I also successfully, if not courageously, predicted an Austin City Council meeting would drag on for hours and hours and that 2017 would be one day shorter than 2016 and the missing day would be "late-February, early Marchish." Not bragging here, but I was correct. The missing day was Feb. 29.

And I'm rating myself substantially correct on my prediction that generally unflappable GOP Texas House Speaker Joe Straus would become flapped enough to blurt out something like, "I swear by the Gods, some of my Republican colleagues are nut jobs."

Though he often thought that, he didn't say exactly that. He did, however, pretty much say "I can't deal with this anymore" in announcing he won't seek another term in the Texas House.

I also had several predictions about "upper management at the local daily newspaper." In one, I forecast that someone at that level would say, "What if we rejigger the website and try it this way?" I'm also rating that as correct, though what the newspaper's owners actually said was, "What if we just sell the whole kit and caboodle and let somebody else try to figure it out?"

Enough for 2017. Let's see what's going to happen in 2018.

Former Austin City Council Member Don Zimmerman will find his way into the news.

The MoPac toll lane will prove so successful that Buc-ee's will open a store on it.

Texas Democrats again will get all worked up about the possibility of winning a statewide race for the first time since 1994. Breath-holding is not encouraged.

Coach Tom Herman's head will explode at a Monday press conference after a Saturday loss to one of those academic colleges that shouldn't beat the Texas By-God Longhorns in football. He will subsequently be given a pay raise if anybody knows any numbers larger than the ones already on his paycheck.

President Donald J. Trump will bad-mouth Jewish Americans who continue to complain about his decision to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He will dismiss them as "fake Jews."

Roy Moore will continue to refuse to concede in the Alabama U.S. Senate race and will declare himself the Senator for All Alabamians Who Go to The Polls On Horseback.

Austin ISD officials, finally realizing it's the only way to do it, will decide that all new school buildings will be on wheels so they can be moved to wherever they're needed when local needs change.

A man in charge of something will get in trouble for behaving badly.

Someone will try to get permission to knock down a building somewhere in Austin. Someone else will call the building "iconic." Iconic will win.

Somebody will suggest that we should do away with the minimum wage law but replace it with a maximum wage law.

On a semi-related New Year's note, here's my priority resolution: I'm going to try to make a dent in the 108,059 unread emails my phone says I have. I will not respond to all of them.

Happy 2018. I'd be OK if it's a tad less newsworthy than 2017.

Ken Herman is a columnist for the Austin American-Statesman. Email: kherman(at)statesman.com.

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