12=31 What will 2013 bring?
SANTA FE – Since most of my 2012 predictions turned out to be correct, it is time to make this game a little tougher. I'll begin, as Ed Sullivan was fond of saying, with a really, really big one.
The billion-dollar ghost town that has almost been foisted on several Southern New Mexico counties, will finally find a home – at the defunct Spaceport America.
Jon Barela, head of the New Mexico Economic Development Department, has been pitching the research city for almost two years now. But, so far counties have cast a wary eye on the lone pitchman who says he can bring in major companies to test their products out in the middle of nowhere.
With the fate of New Mexico's spaceport headed for an imminent crash landing, it essentially is only steps from being a ghost town already. Administrative and legislative support of the once heralded project has been tepid, at best.
That ennui now is expanding to New Mexico's best -- and only -- tenant, Virgin Galactic. Owner Sir Richard Branson has many other places he can go. Spaceport America doesn't. It is time to grab whatever is available. It's not a good deal but maybe a few dollars could be salvaged.
The Manhattan Project National Park seems like a bill that should pass. It should attract many votes since it is historical, preservationist and patriotic but it doesn't seem to have the support of enough of the big boys or the tea party.
So don't expect to see a Manhattan Park in 2013.
On January 3, U.S. Senate Democrats will try to change Senate rules to make to place limits on filibusters. The House doesn't allow filibuster. But in the Senate, any member can threaten to filibuster on any issue, and thereby, require 60 of the 100 members to defeat it. Only then, can the Senate proceed with its debate.
Four years ago, the new Democratic U.S. senators, led by New Mexico's Tom Udall attempted to limit filibusters but were unsuccessful. The effort this year also will lose because Democrats realize they will be in the same fix Republicans are in now once Republicans regain control.
Recent tragedies have made gun control a prime subject of conversation in Congress. Many bills will be introduced but none will pass. The gun lobby has the power to stop any legislation it does not like.
In fact the gun industry already is selling guns and ammunition faster than it can make them to people who believe guns will be banned.
End of the world prophecies will decrease for a while now that the recent much-publicized prediction has passed. But they will begin again, especially among those not happy with the present world.
For you young folks, one of the greatest scientific minds of the ages, Sir Isaac Newton, after intensive biblical calculations, predicted the world will end in 2060.
The world didn't end but the fiscal cliff is here. If agreement is not reached by tonight, all heck breaks loose. Congressional leaders, last year, thought they had devised consequences so dire that agreement would have to be reached.
Reasonable men would have found a way to agreement but we have a Congress that is so disagreeable that it has taken us to the cliff. My guess is that we will go over the cliff tonight and that on January 3, 2013 a new Congress will fairly quickly put something together. It won't be much. It will mainly just kick the can a little farther down the road and hope for a miracle later in the year.
As the representative from New Mexico's 1st Congressional District, Democrat Martin Heinrich bragged that he slept in his office. He even listed it in a campaign ad as a reason that he hadn't gone Washington on us.
Will Heinrich continue his sleeping arrangement as a U.S. senator? Senators have six-year terms and usually take their families to Washington.