Whether you’re heading out on the town or staying in, Happy New Year from the editorial team at Hot Air. For the record, as we have for more than a decade now, I’ll be ringing in 2018 the same way as usual. I’m old, so I’ll be in bed before you even read this, trusting that the normal flow of the space-time continuum will usher in the new year reliably without my supervision.

While I don’t want to start this end of the year send-off on a down note, reality always must intrude. If you are going out, particularly if you live in one of the major population centers, do be careful. We live in uncertain times with unstable, violent individuals too often bringing hatred, havoc and violence into what should otherwise be moments of mass celebration. Just this morning we saw the arrest of a man in Houston who police found in a room on the top floor of the Hyatt Regency with a cache of weapons and ammunition. Granted, it’s probably going to turn out that this was just a guy who had made several purchases at a gun show and then got drunk in the hotel bar, but it’s a reminder to be wary. Others of evil intention can and have done the same thing.

Also just this morning, in a city outside of Denver, Colorado, multiple officers were reported as being “down” after confronting a gunman. We know these people are out there and they like to go after targets where many people gather in close proximity. I’m not saying you should stay home and cower in fear, but do try to be aware of your surroundings at all times and have a route of escape plotted out in your mind in the event of a disaster.

With that out of the way, just a couple of brief thoughts about 2017, which will presently be in our rear-view mirror. Despite all of the predictions made in the media and their constant narrative, the world did not end in 2017. Nor did America crumble into dust. All in all, things are looking up for most of you in this country. Unemployment is way down, and while wages have been slow to respond, there are signs that paychecks are going up. (On top of that, most of you will get a bit of a bump out of the new tax law next year anyway.) Crime is still down across most of the country (and remarkably so in New York City) though a few medium size cities are throwing off the curve with historic murder rates. And for all the talk of what a “danger” the President is to the nation, the government has actually accomplished a few positive things while not turning America into the prison camp that many of you feared.

In short, if you just shut off cable news for a few days and simply walked around your communities and talked to your neighbors, things really aren’t going badly at all. So what say we try to enjoy some of the good things in life, be thankful for what we have and try to offer a leg up to others who may be less fortunate next year? (And that includes our four legged friends for those of you with room in your hearts and homes.)

Before I go, it wouldn’t be an end of the year roundup without a few predictions, right? So I’ll post a few of them here now and we can check back and see how I do in 365 days.

First, and most obviously, the New York Jets will come roaring back in 2018 from a mediocre season and win the Superbowl. (I’ve been making this prediction every year for at least four decades. It’s got to happen sooner or later.)

On a more serious note, the economy will continue to improve, albeit not at the same pace, and we’ll continue to see growth in both the markets and hiring over the next year. Keep your resume up to date because there may be some opportunities out there you’ll want to explore.

We will somehow avoid going to war with either Iran or North Korea. I don’t expect any sort of satisfactory resolution with either nation or significant improvements… just the maintaining of the miserable status quo. If Iran changes, it will be because of its own people rising up, not some cruise missiles from one of our carrier groups.

After months of competing predictions from both sides, the midterm elections will change almost nothing. There’s more than a fair chance that the GOP will lose some seats in the House, but not enough to lose the majority. In the Senate, there will be some turbulence, but with the Democrats defending so many seats, particularly in states that Trump carried, the GOP will probably retain a slim majority. In a worst case scenario for the GOP we’ll see a Republican House majority and a very slim Dem majority in the Senate, but nowhere near the 60 vote threshold. We should expect to see a significant increase in the number of women holding office, though, and be glad for it.

At the end of 2018, Donald Trump will still be President of the United States to the great chagrin of at least 40% of you and the joy of another 35% or so. The vast majority of the media will continue their efforts to change this situation on a daily basis.

The weather is going to be off the hook. By that, I mean that sometimes it will be pleasant, sometimes unpleasant or even destructive, and the National Weather Service will still be unable to reliably tell you on Monday if you need to bring an umbrella when you go shopping on Friday.

The European Union will be in further turmoil through 2018. They may not lose any more members, but EU countries will be fighting internally, largely over migration issues.

Vladimir Putin will remain in charge of Russia. His main opponents will be curiously silent, assuming they can actually be located to comment.

The Sweet Meteor of Death will once again fail to arrive, much to the disappointment of most of Twitter. The world will not end, and if I’m wrong on this one I will personally give a $ 100 refund to any readers who contact me in person to complain.

Oh, and people on social media will continue to be awful on a 24/7 basis, so try to really appreciate the good ones that you find. Block the rest as needed.

I think I’ve stuck my neck out on enough items here, so it’s off to sleep. And all jokes aside, I do sincerely hope that 2018 brings you success, love, happiness, good health and prosperity. Enjoy the show, folks.

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