David Mayer
David Mayer
By David Mayer
HCP columnist

What an exciting year. There was never a dull moment in 2017.

Luckily, the Sonoma County (Calif.) wildfires in October stayed about five miles away from me. “Advisory evacuations” are not to be taken lightly. Governor Jerry Brown is correct in stating this is the new normal. Thanks to all who checked in on my status.

The year began with my new role as a columnist for The Highland County Press. It has been fun and work at the same time.

It seems like whenever I have concept for a column, my fellow columnists have beat me to it. We think alike on most issues. It forces me to think further outside the box and offer up a different perspective.

I even published an email address, but only one response. "Anonymous" is the key word here as I learned. Oh, well. At least it is out there and no hackers invaded my cyber world. Hillary Clinton should be so lucky. (LOL.)

And while I only penned four columns this year, I still enjoy writing my opinion in my sometimes daily blogs. I even made a few new Facebook friends who agree with my rants and raves.

The HCP editors also serve as a firewall by not printing everything everyone says, and that’s fine, too. I’m just an amateur, sharing my version of cheap "snake-oil" journalism – but never fake news or alternative facts. And I don’t tweet.

So, it’s prediction time from my point of view. Some very likely, to some just plain off the wall. In no particular order, here’s my take.

• The CHIP money spent on a former public "servant's" East Main Street residence will not be recovered due to a lack of follow through by those who could, but will not, act accordingly in the best interests of you, the taxpayers. (Come on and surprise me.)

• Hillsboro’s redevelopment district plans will be declared officially dead, but not before another round of accusations by the mayor that the citizens of Hillsboro are "hicks" who don’t know what is best for them.

• The Festival of the Bells will be a huge success in its new location at Southern State Community College. However, traffic will still be backed up at the town square for what I guess would be a surprise announcement from the safety and service director.

• New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will announce a run for POTUS in 2020, with Elizabeth Warren as his running mate. Yeah, it could happen.

• Council for National Policy (CNP) executive director Bob McEwen, a former Ohio congressman, who was included in an e-mail chain involving alleged sexual harassment by disgraced Ohio politician Wesley Goodman will remain silent even though he promised the stepfather of the alleged victim on Oct. 22, 2015, “strong action is about to take place.” Likewise for Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. Those calling for McEwen’s resignation from the highly secretive CNP will be disappointed. The best hope is "60 Minutes" looks under the carpet at this ultra-conservative scandal.

• The unsolved Pike County murders will remain unsolved as Ohio governor wannabe Mike DeWine will dodge the tough questions on “who did it?” with an “overdose” of focus on the opiate problems. Mary Taylor could pull off a surprise upset in the primary race or run as a TEA Party independent. No way a Democrat takes this seat in 2018. Just wish Jerry Springer would have run to make it a comedy of the year in Ohio.

• The next senator from Florida will be a Democrat. An easy call from my last column, “Puerto Rico: The GOP’s Katrina.” Plus, the GOP withheld $81 billion in disaster funds in the last continuing resolution spending bill. Add in the fact some seniors in Florida will see a tax hike and this is as easy a call as saying the Reds and Bengals both will miss the playoffs again. (The Buckeyes will only lose one game and make the playoffs.)

• Little Rocket Man from NOKO will continue launching missiles in defiance of the United Nations and the U.S. China and Russia will continue ignoring the U.N.-imposed sanctions. In response, conservatives will demand the U.S. leave the U.N. Trump will be alone sitting in the corner without support from U.S. allies.

• Roy Moore will never concede his Senate race loss and Hillary will continue to blame her 2016 loss on, get this, aliens. (Note: My grandmother was a Moore, and so far no family tree connections. It keeps me holding back on that mail-in DNA test.)

• Democrats will gain 18 seats in the House, but not a majority in the midterm elections. The Senate is a coin toss or no line here. Gridlock – as noted in my first column – will continue.

• Puerto Rico will try to file for bankruptcy. Trump will not approve of any bailout for the bond holders as the bonds are widely held by individuals and a few speculative hedge funds who own less than 25 percent rolled the dice and came up snake eyes. Hedge funds betting on a congressional bailout was just that, a bet.

• The Dow will cross 25,600, then retreat later in the year to 21,000. Gold will cross $1,550 an ounce. But don’t follow me on this. I missed the Trump “Bump” of 2017. Being very conservative after the 2008 drubbing in the stock market is still my investment goal. Bitcoin may be no different than the Tulip crisis centuries ago in Holland.

• Major gun legislation is off the federal level. There is a need for a national concealed carry weapon law. Blue states will pass more restrictive gun laws and more restrictions on hunting and fishing will be pushed by the likes of PETA and the usual tree huggers.

• Chicago will sadly break a record in gun-related shootings despite some of the most restrictive gun laws in the country. ISIS is not a homeland problem. Gangs are a threat the U.S. needs to pursue more aggressively. Recent pardons by Gov. Brown of California now exceeds 1,000 in his third term. Most are for drug-related offenses.

• Meanwhile, California will have legal recreational pot starting on Jan. 1, 2018. Since they are not ready, except for temporary regulations, it will be a law enforcement nightmare. Potluck dinner will take on a whole new meaning. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will do nothing about recreational pot, and that assumes he will be out as AG at the end of 2018. My guess is four other Trump Cabinet members are out as well.

• Tax lawyers and CPAs will work overtime to digest the new pass-through rules and a new cottage industry of tax shelter tricks will emerge. Of course for the wage earners, there will be no tricks to exploit. I’m content I will see a modest tax cut despite my many blogs about the deficit. While it lasts, I’ll convert traditional retirement money to Roth money and save 13 percent.

• I sent the POTUS a Christmas card with a $5 gift card. Just enough to buy a filet of fish sandwich and a diet Coke at McDonald's. I do not expect a response. Just wanted that off my bucket list.

• John Kasich will again call for an Ohio recession. Just go away, please.

• My liberal friends, like almost everyone in California I know, will still vehemently denounce Trump and the GOP. I did not raise the question at a Christmas eve dinner “Who wants to talk politics?” But I did politely respond, and stated I do not like everything Trump has done, especially the nonstop tweeting. And I’m sorry your taxes may go up. That ended with yes, I’ll send you the revised recipe for six mushroom vegan bread stuffing when you said I was an excellent cook.

• The SCOTUS will rule in favor of right-to-work laws and the big powerful unions will be at a loss. I’ll gladly save $600 a year in union dues for a third trip to Ohio for the Fall Festival of Leaves.

• Trump's first State of the Union speech in three weeks will ensure a lucrative year for comedy writers and late night television hosts.

• Alec Baldwin gets audited by the IRS.

• State Auditor Dave Yost may finally catch some big fish in Ohio. Locally, in Highland County, another scandal will make the paper. My bet is something about Mowrystown financial records will surface. The track record in Highland County is pretty consistent and cyclical.

Happy New Year!

David Mayer is a columnist for The Highland County Press. He is a Hillsboro native and graduate of Hillsboro High School and The Ohio State University. He currently resides and works in Sonoma County, Calif. He can be reached at mayercomments@gmail.com.