One of the best annual traditions we had at Current Publishing (which was bought by The Forecaster in 2015), was consulting the Magic 8-Ball around Jan. 1 to seek clues as to how current events would trend in the new year.

John Balentine, a former managing editor for the Lakes Region Weekly, lives in Windham.

Reporters and editors at Current Publishing’s family of weekly community newspapers would come up with questions about news-related topics, and we’d run the answers provided by the prognosticating Magic 8-Ball as an “edu-taining” editorial.

The Magic 8-Ball never disappointed. In retrospect, it didn’t always give the correct answer, but the tradition was fun and got everyone thinking about the possibilities of the new year.

Here’s Something returned to this annual tradition last year and continues this week. OK, Magic 8-Ball, inquiring minds want to know:

Q: Will the U.S. Senate remove President Donald Trump from office?
A: Don’t count on it.

Q: If Trump is indeed unimpeachable, will he win re-election in November?
A: My reply is no.

Q: Will Democrats nominate Joe Biden?
A: Signs point to yes.

Q: Will Democrats retain the U.S. House of Representatives in 2020?
A: My sources say no.

Q: Will the Republicans retain control of the U.S. Senate?
A: My sources say no.

Q: Will foreign or domestic forces, such as the FBI, once again interfere with the election process?
A: Concentrate and ask again.
(Later)
A: Outlook not so good.

Q: Here in Maine, will Sen. Susan Collins win a fifth term to the U.S. Senate?
A: Don’t count on it.

Q: Will Rep. Jared Golden win his second term to Congress in Maine’s 2nd District?
A: Outlook good.

Q: Will anyone be surprised when liberal shoo-in Rep. Chellie Pingree wins Maine’s liberal-dominated 1st District?
A: Very doubtful.

Q: Will Kate Snyder have a successful first year as Portland’s mayor?
A: It is decidedly so.

Q: Will the New England Patriots repeat as Super Bowl champions?
A: It is decidedly so.

Q: Will the Boston Bruins return to the Stanley Cup final and actually pull off a victory this year?
A: My reply is no.

Q: Will Central Maine Power Co. finally figure out its faulty billing system and stop overcharging customers?
A: As I see it, yes.

Q: Will CMP move up from last place on J.D. Power’s customer satisfaction survey of the nation’s 87 electric utilities?
A: My sources say no.

Q: Will the $6.5 million purchase of Saddleback Ski Resort in Rangeley by a Boston investment group go through in 2020, finally reopening the once-popular ski area after four years of closure?
A: Outlook good.

Q: Will Portland’s expanding homeless population be given additional shelters in Portland or neighboring towns?
A: Outlook good.

Q: Will the national and Maine unemployment rate keep dropping from 3.5% and 2.8%, respectively, in 2020?
A: Most likely.

Q: Will stock markets keep reaching new highs in 2020?
A: As I see it, yes.

Q: Will Democrats ever give President Trump credit for sparking the recent gains in employment and stock markets?
A: Cannot predict now.
(Later)
A: Outlook not so good.

Q: Will marijuana vaping usage rates continue to spike among teenagers? (One in five high schoolers vaped marijuana in the past year, according to a recent survey of 400,000 teens by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.)
A: My sources say no.

Q: Will anyone or any group try to reverse the legalization of marijuana in Maine?
A: Reply hazy, try again.
(Later)
A: Very doubtful.

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