With that in mind, lets take a look at some things that MIGHT happen in 2011 but probably won't:
Mayor Annise Parker vs. Houston City Council: 2011 will be the year of jockeying for position. With C.O. Bradford, Jolanda Jones and Mike Sullivan all trying to out-anti-Parker the other in hopes of unseating Parker in 2012. It's going to get ugly. The HCA official prediction is that some local blog will be leaked our local leaders' pet names for one another: "Crime Lab", "Ms. the Tenth", "Mr. Irrelevant" and "GLBT agenda".
Eversole Resigns: It's (thankfully) going to happen. Harris County Precinct 4 Commissioner Jerry Eversole will resign as a result of his federal indictment. The Commissioner's Court (Read: Steve Radack) will then pick his successor. This successor will be former Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector Paul Bettencourt, who will come out of retirement "for the good of the County". There will be serious discussions of having the replacement decided by a slap-fight between HCRP's Jered Woodfill and HDCP's Gary Birnberg. HCA's official position is to ratify the latter option.
Metro pulls defeat out of the jaws of victory: The "New" Metro will revert to "Old" Metro tactics and declare the opening of .7 miles of new toy train track as a "significant development" in Houston's transit future. In order to make way for this new line 57 bus routes will be eliminated. ChronBlog will stop pretending and just run Metro press releases verbatim as original stories. At some point in 2011 Anti-Metro activist Tom Bazan's head will finally explode.
It's the end of political blogging as we know it: At their beginning, political blogs were a rowdy sort. They were the place that political outsiders went to vent, and gripe about things their chosen parties were doing wrong. Of late, many political blogs are official (if not publicly acknowledged) PR outlets for their party of choice. They coordinate talking points, disparage the other team, and add virtually nothing new to the political discourse. The next logical extension is for the InterLeft to devolve into nothing more than vulgarities repeated ad nauseum while the Bloggers O' the Right limit their topics to Obama's citizenship, immigration and Dan Patrick's latest
Speaking of Dan Patrick: In 2011 the ambitious (yet results poor) TX State Senator for District 7 will formally announce his intentions to make a run for Kay Bailey Hutchison's Senate seat. His political platforms will include adding "In God we Trust" to every sign in America, anywhere, creating FIVE new legislative groups with the intention of catering to the Tea Party and getting his name in the press. His Democratic opponent will be Chris Bell.
The "green" economy will finally be exposed as a sham: This one will actually happen, as increasingly difficult regulations force Big Oil to move more and more resources overseas there just won't be surplus jobs in green energy to fill the void. Still, this result will be applauded by the ecomental movement whose biggest problem in 2011 is going to have to find creative ways to not admit that wealth and humans are what they're really fighting against. A poorer world is a greener world after all.
Presidential Politics: Any one who's entertaining the thought that Obama won't run for a second term put that away right now. The thing is, this time, he'll be vulnerable as the economy will really start to shudder under the weight of unsustainable government spending. Obama's going to have to start discussing large tax increases to fund his agenda, although he won't have much success passing them with a Republican Congress in place who has no desire to commit political suicide. The key will be who the Republicans run against Obama. Do they pick the next person in line? (Romney, McConnell et al.) A parody candidate? (Palin, Barbour etc.) Or do they think outside the box and bring in a serious candidate that can win? (Mitch Daniels, Marco Rubio are the two that come immediately to mind)
ChronBlog admits the obvious: Sometime in 2011 (perhaps after the Lege session) ChronBlog is going to announce all of it's State and National politics will be covered by a Hearst Pool. The D.C. & Austin bureaus will be all shared content and they will add more lifestyle reporters with the extra money. As mentioned earlier, they'll also abandon the Metro beat in favor of just running the organizations press releases. The Apple Dumpling Gang will continue to churn out content, will continue to get almost everything wrong, and the downward slide of America's worst big city daily will continue.
Change coming for HCA: I'm currently involved in some side projects that I expect to blossom during 2011. If all works out as I expect, HCA will be more focused on "Noise Machine" posts and some in-depth, investigative stories on a local level. I also plan to move to a dedicated web-site for HCA sometime in 2011, ditching the current format and moving to something that's more multi-media friendly.