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Saturday, Dec 22 2012 10:00 PM

ROBERT PRICE: Register your predictions for 2013 here

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    Robert Price

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It's been a bad year for predictions, as any ancient Mayan priest can tell you. Despite  this fact, I've developed, in consultation with world leaders and the spinner-thing on my Twister board, some very real possibilities for 2013. You're invited to join me in this psychic foray.

1. The Supreme Court issues a long-awaited ruling on same-sex marriage, declaring (a) same-sex marriage passes constitutional muster, setting off a wave of hand-wringing that will be forgotten three months later; (b) gay marriage is outside the bounds of constitutional protection, further ingratiating Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia to social conservatives everywhere; (c) a ruling so wishy-washy and limited in scope that neither side is happy, even if they both claim to be.

2. The Super Bowl turns out to be a contest between (a) the Houston Texans and the Atlanta Falcons; (b) the New England Patriots and the San Francisco 49ers; (c) warring attorneys, after no single team is able to field a full complement of players due to the restrictions of the NFL's mandatory concussion protocol.

3. The first dictator to take his leave, dead or alive, in 2013 is (a) Bashar Assad of Syria; (b) Fidel Castro of Cuba; (c) Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform.

4. Gun control legislation finally comes before Congress, resulting in (a) a return to the ban on most semi-automatic weapons; (b) a ban on semi-automatic weapons and an end to the "gun show loophole"; (c) more than $10 million in unsolicited donations to the NRA.

5. Extreme weather continues to roil the globe, resulting in (a) the complete submersion of New Orleans; (b) the sudden availability of oceanfront property in Tehachapi; (c) $60 trillion in new property insurance claims.

6. The U.S. government barely averts a tumble over the "fiscal cliff" and the imposition of automatic, across-the-board tax increases after (a) Barack Obama and John Boehner, in the spirit of bipartisan compromise, each give in a little more; (b) Kevin McCarthy cajoles the angry tea party caucus into belatedly accepting the terms of Boehner's Plan B; (c) Boehner sees the latest Rasmussen poll, which reveals that he has unseated Nancy Pelosi as the least-liked congressional leader. His eyes well up with tears and Obama, touched by the display of emotion, tearfully concedes every remaining point of contention.

7. The first member of Congress, senator or governor, current or former, to visit a New Hampshire diner and order pie is (a) Marco Rubio of Florida; (b) Chris Christie of New Jersey; (c) Sarah Palin of Alaska.

8. The price of gasoline in California eventually rises from its current $3.50 per gallon to (a) above $3.75; (b) above $4; (c) roughly the equivalent of a semester's tuition at any University of California campus.

9. The recent trend in successful major motion pictures based on actual political events continues with a best actor Academy Award for (a) Bryan Cranston in "Argo"; (b) Reda Kateb in "Zero Dark Thirty"; (c) Osama bin Laden in "CIA Drone Surveillance Video."

10. John Kerry's confirmation as secretary of state opens up his U.S. Senate seat, which, in a special Massachusetts election, is filled by (a) Republican Scott Brown, who recently lost his Senate seat to Elizabeth Warren; (2) Democrat Ted Kennedy Jr., who has generally stayed out of the spotlight; (3) Mitt Romney, whose wife insists he get a hobby before he drives her crazy.

Place your completed poll questionnaire under a mattress. Pull it out in 12 months and score yourself. Less than half right: Congrats, you're normal. Five-9 right: You cheated somehow. Perfect score: Rev. Camping, is that you? Until then, invest in an inflatable raft. It's on my Christmas list.

Email Editorial Page Editor Robert Price at rprice@bakersfield.com.

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