Phil Harriman (left) and Ethan Strimling (right). Credit: Gabor Degre / BDN

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Ethan: Did you make it to midnight on New Year’s Eve?

Phil: Absolutely. I had to verify 2020 was buried before I could sleep.

Ethan: I stayed up until 2 a.m. writing my predictions for 2021!

Phil: You are a strange duck, but I do enjoy kicking your butt every year with these prognostications.

Ethan: You mean like your prediction that Donald Trump would win reelection?

Phil: He did. In fact, prediction number one for 2021 is: Proof will emerge that Dominion Software manipulated presidential votes.

Ethan: By “proof” do you mean “Tucker Carlson said so?” For prediction two: Joe Biden will pass another $750 billion-plus stimulus bill.

Phil: You are shooting too low. With Democrats likely owning all three branches of government, he’s gonna hit a trillion. Speaking of Biden, I predict: Biden acknowledges meeting with Hunter’s partner Tony Bobulinski and a special prosecutor is appointed.

Ethan: Man, you need to get to bed before midnight. My next prediction is: Nancy Pelosi announces she is not running for reelection. I don’t want this to happen, but conservative Democrats are pushing her out, and there is a high likelihood Dems lose control of the House in 2022.

Phil: From your lips to God’s ears. Prediction number five: A foreign cyberattack will disable state services.

Ethan: Ugh. I hope that one does not come true. Prediction six, sadly: U.S. surpasses half a million dead from COVID.

Phil: I thought Biden had the plan to save us from COVID? Prediction seven: Gov. Janet Mills will target tax relief to small business owners with fewer than 15 employees, but Democrats block it.

Ethan: On the flip side, for prediction eight, I say: Mills balances the budget on the backs of cutting services, instead of raising much needed revenue from our wealthiest.

Phil: Another of your predictions I hope comes true. Unfortunately, I foresee the Legislature trying to add a tax onto the record seafood and forestry exports we will see in 2021.

Ethan: For the tenth prediction: “Rep. Craig Hickman will win the District 14 Senate seat,” securing for Democrats the largest Senate majority in almost four decades.

Phil: That one will be a squeaker. For my last legislative prediction, and our eleventh, I predict some good news: The Legislature will save money by decreasing subsidies for wind and solar power, because an invention emerges that pulls carbon out of the atmosphere.

Ethan: Seems backwards to encourage more carbon emissions just to spend gazillions to get rid of it. As long as we are talking about the environment, I predict repeal of the CMP corridor makes it to the ballot and the people vote in favor. And then, when the Legislature refuses to accept the will of the people, another referendum emerges to replace CMP with a consumer owned utility

Phil: You get ahead of yourself. Let’s shift local. For predictions 13, 14, and 15, I say: Wyman Station in Yarmouth announces it will shut down, the teachers’ union stages a walkout/work stoppage in response to a school board’s attempt to normalize the school schedule, and the urban centers of Portland, Bangor, and Lewiston reduce mill rates to deal with business vacancy.

Ethan: It’s bad enough that our service centers may not raise the taxes on behemoths like Amazon, WEX and Hollywood Slots, but reduce? My three local predictions are: Portland Council fails to repeal rent control, the Superior Court upholds hazard pay and a majority of those elected to the Portland Charter Commission favor eliminating the city manager.

Phil: If any Portland businesses are looking to move, Yarmouth has a great downtown. For my last prediction, I see a silver lining to COVID: Maine will see a 10 percent increase in babies born in 2021. Suddenly, we will no longer be the oldest state in the nation!

Ethan: You pushing for more grandchildren?

Phil: All set!

Ethan: And my final prediction is that either Janet Mills, Chellie Pingree or Jared Golden announces they are not running for re-election.”

Phil: That would stir the political pot. And what will be our 21st prediction?

Ethan: Tom Brady will again win more games than Bill Belichick and the Giants will again miss the playoffs.

Phil: Of all 21, that one seems the most likely.