Thursday, January 9, 2014
Here are four predictions for 2014:
1) Governor Nikki Haley and senators Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham will be easily re-elected. Graham’s primary race will generate the most noise, as he is being challenged from the right within the Republican party. However, his incumbency, name recognition, and neutralization of intra-party rivals (case in point: endorsement ads by the likes of Mike Huckabee) coupled with the fundraising difficulties his challengers face insures his victory. In the governor’s race, South Carolinians will again emphasize their “no” to Democrat Vince Sheheen and keep the state’s first female governor in office.
2) Coyotes will not be eradicated from Sullivan’s Island, or from anywhere else locally for that matter. Despite the species’ comical depiction in cartoons, coyotes are way too adaptable and smart to be eradicated anytime soon. When I lived in the North Carolina mountains, I had a long, enlightening conversation with the wildlife control officer who had been sent out west to become the area’s foremost authority on coyote eradication, especially when it came to livestock protection. The take away from that conversation was that the only tried-and-true way to run off coyotes is to introduce donkeys. Not the kind with diapers on them like you see pulling carriages of tourists downtown, but unfettered, kicking donkeys. The officer told me that coyotes had been devastating herds of sheep in the North Carolina foothills until farmers started putting donkeys in the pastures along with the sheep. He also said that when you start hunting them, the hunting pressure causes them to bear more pups per litter. Sullivan’s Island public officials may want to try to outsmart the wily coyotes with donkeys. Now wouldn’t that be a sight on the island…
3) If there is still such a thing as a mainstream media, they will continue in 2014 to ignore the year’s first truly ironic story of the global warming research ship getting iced in down in Antarctica (during the southern hemisphere’s summer, no less), needing rescue from a Chinese icebreaker, which itself then got iced in and needed rescuing. I can’t make this stuff up. Really.
4) Mount Pleasant elected officials will not give up texting while governing. This has been discussed, reported on, and studied. And yet, the same people who outlawed texting while driving will continue their own distracted lawmaking. Why? Because the people who have their ear and their attention are the ones sending them those texts during public meetings in order to protect their interests. I hope I’m wrong on this one, but I don’t see local politicians shutting off their main supporters’ access anytime soon.
Will Haynie has published more than 400 oped columns as a feature columnist for the Asheville Citizen-Times and the Hendersonville (N.C.) Times-News when it was owned by the New York Times. His niche is as a humorous conservative. Find him on Twitter at @willhaynie or email him at Haynie.email@example.com.