Fortune Tellers Sweepstakes – 2018

Jim Toedtman


St. Augustine

This is your once-a-year opportunity to predict future developments around the globe. Do it yourself or share it with your friends. Then keep your selections in a secure place and check them next December to see how you did.

1. Donald Trump vs. Washington. Which of the following will occur in 2018? 1) Trump will stop tweeting; 2) Trump children will leave their Wing offices; 3) Trump will release his 2017 tax returns; 4) Congress will approve the Mexican wall; 5) Congress will fix the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Act (DACA); 6) Trump will watch the 4th of July fireworks from the White House. 7) None of the above.

2. How many of the following will leave their jobs in 2018? 1) Attorney General Jeff Sessions; 2) special prosecutor Robert Mueller; 3) Secretary of State Rex Tillerson; 4) HUD Secretary Ben Carson; 5) Chief of Staff John Kelly; 6) Defense Secretary Jim Mattis; 7) Jared Kushner; 8) House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi; 9) Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell

3. ‘Tis a Pyongyang Puzzlement. Which of the following efforts to block North Korea’s nuclear weapon development will occur? 1) China, Japan and Russia will reduce their trade with North Korea; 2) The U.S. Navy will block a ship bound for North Korea; 3) North Korean and U.S. diplomats will actually sit down to negotiate; 4) North Korea will develop a nuclear device small enough to fit on a missile; 5) None of the above.

4. Who will win the NBA championship? 1) Golden State; 2) Cleveland; 3) Boston; 4) Oklahoma City; 5) Houston.

5. Senate Democrats are defending 25 of next year’s 33 contested seats. Who will be elected Florida’s next U.S. senator? 1) The Democrat, Bill Nelson; 2) the Republican, Rick Scott?

6. Fore!!! How many of the following things will occur in 2018? 1) The U.S. will retain the Ryder Cup; 2) Tiger Woods will win a tournament; 3) the Winter Olympics in South Korea will be disrupted by a North Korea missile test; 4) The Cleveland Browns will win a football game; 5) University of Central Florida’s football team will be ranked among the top four teams in the nation.

7. Democrats, who must win 24 seats to take control of the House of Representatives, will 1) win fewer than 10; 2) win 10 or more; 3) win 20 or more; 4) win 30 or more; 5) lose seats.

8. What does the future hold for Rep. Ron DeSantis? He will 1) Be elected governor; 2) See Congress adopt his proposal to make congressional harassment payments public; 3) Retire from politics.

1) Run for governor; 2) Seek reelection to Congress; 3) See Congress adopt his proposal to make congressional harassment payments public; 4) Retire from politics.

9. As China’s premier Xi Jinping consolidates his power and authority, China will 1) persuade North Korea to halt its nuclear weapons program; 2) do nothing about North Korea’s nuclear weapons program; 3) negotiate its own trade agreement with other Pacific nations; 4) station a naval ship in its newly built island in the South China Sea’s Spratley Islands; 5) none of the above.

10. Muddled Mideast. In 2018, the United States will 1) Officially relocate the ambassador and embassy staff from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem; 2) Officially terminate the nuclear agreement with Iran; 3) Abandon Jared Kushner’s Israel-Palestine peace efforts; 4) See Israel and Palestinian negotiators actually meet. 5) None of the above.

11. Which of the following prices and indexes will rise in 2018? 1) Gold, (which rose in 2017 by 6% to $1,247 per oz.); 2) the Dow Jones Industrial Average, (which rose 24 percent in 2017 to 25,000), 3) the U.S. unemployment rate (which dropped from 4.6 to 4.1 percent) and 4) the average price of a gallon of regular, unleaded gasoline (which rose 12 percent to $2.47).

12. Which of these events will occur as scheduled? 1) Elon Musk’s SpaceX spaceship will carry two passengers around the moon by December; 2) a Space X rocket will carry U.S. astronauts to the international space station in May; 3) NASA’s Project Insight is to land on Mars in November.

A January Bonus. Get in a 2018 mood by correctly matching these New Year Newsmakers with the jobs that could put them in headlines in 2018: 1) Ksenia Sobchak; 2) Hassan Rouhani; 3) Miguel Diaz-Canel; 4) Mohammad bin Salman; and 5) Hamza.

a) Saudi crown prince who is cracking down on profligate spending, but just spent $500 million on a daVinci portrait.

b) Son of al-Quaeda founder Osama bin Laden who could become leader of a coalition of global terrorist groups.

c) Iran president who could succeed supreme rule Ayatollah Khamenei, who is in failing health.

d) Challenger to Russian president Putin in March election.

e) Likely the next Cuban premier, ending 57 years of Castro control as Raul Castro retires)

ANSWERS: 1-d, 2-c, 3-e, 4-a, 5-b.

Toedtman is director of the Flagler College Forum on Politics and Public Policy and teaches a course in “Civic Literacy.”