Each December 31st my alter ego, Charnak the Magnificent, bursts forth with predictions for the upcoming year. He has proven remarkably accurate in previous predictions, no doubt due to a hefty dose of common sense and a gullet load of fine Cabernet Sauvignon. Why an alter ego? He can get away with things I'd never be able to say in polite company. And, by the way, our friends at the Daily Pilot were kind enough to publish 15 of the 19 predictions offered up by Charnak, however many of the punch lines were snipped off like so much unwanted bris. And, by the way also, number 5. below has already more or less come true. This, therefore, will by my first real posting for the New Year, and will offer up the totality of Charnak's predictions for your reading pleasure. Enjoy!
1. Having started every speech, email, Op-Ed piece and Facebook and Twitter posting with the phrase, "My Friends," John McCain, upon discovering that he has no friends, will make the solemn New Years' resolution to never use that salutation again.
2. I predict the new health care reform legislation finally passes both houses of congress in late February. Thank God! But wait a minute! The taxes and fees and fines will kick in or January 1st, but no one will get any new health insurance until 2014, or maybe 2015. Can you say Ponzi scheme? Didn't Bernie Madoff go to jail for something like this?
3. In his feverish quest to create jobs, not knowing that the only jobs government creates are government jobs, the President will force the passage of legislation requiring all restaurants to hire unionized government Calorie Marshals. These folks will compare the Body Mass Index of every restaurant patron with the calories of the meal to be ordered before allowing the transaction to proceed. predictably, over 500,000 restaurants will close within the first month.
4. Republicans, having been frozen out of all debate, discussions and influence by both house of the Democrat-controlled Congress, will decide to go home and get a real job for a change.
5. I foresee that Sarah Palin will be given her own cooking show by the Food Network. It will be entitled, "Moose: It's What's for Dinner."
6. Fox News will hire a female anchor who is neither gorgeous nor an attorney. I predict their viewership will drop by 20%. Those same 20% will give MSNBC a try, and all will immediately fall ill with what will be called "a stomach virus."
7. The crime rate in Chicago, which, as a direct result of having banned handguns, has been worsening annually for the last 40 years, will improve markedly during the New Year. That's because most of the really big Chicago crooks have relocated to Washington, D.C. to work in the new administration.
8. Cindy Sheehan will continue picketing outside G.W. Bush's Crawford, Texas ranch. No one will notice and no one will care.
9. Stung by criticism from the millions of critics of mandated health insurance and the ever-growing federal debt, who gathered to protest throughout the summer and fall of 2009, I predict the Obama Administration, over the objections of Tetley and Lipton, will outlaw tea. No tea, the thinking will go, no parties. Makes sense to me.
10. The latest seasonal blizzard on record will hit Colorado in July. I'm seeing drifts of 10 feet deep with all major highways and airports closed for several days. Al Gore will fly in on his thirsty Gulfstream 2 and offer this climatic event up as absolute proof that global warming exists and that we're all going to die a fiery death if we don't start riding our bikes to work. Environmentalists will burn a Chevy Tahoe in celebration, which will significantly pollute the atmosphere.
11. I predict that the partnership of Orange County and Costa Mesa will submit a competitive bid to buy the O.C. Fairgrounds. Unfortunately, before the bid can be opened Sacramento will have closed.
12. I predict a Force 5 hurricane will strike the Southeastern Seaboard in August. Congress will convene a committee to assess blame. They will determine it was George W. Bush's fault.
13. Owing to the 12,000,000 miles flown since Mr. Obama took office, and as a result of the alarm sounded by the enviro-centric eco-weenies, worried that he will single-handedly kill the Earth, I predict the U.S. Congress will pass legislation proclaiming that Air Force One emits no greenhouse gases at all, thus ending the controversy.
14. The ACLU will sue the Federal Government, contending that those who use the term "illegal alien" are guilty of hate speech. The President will agree and will issue an executive order banning this term. The new and approved description for this segment of our society, according to the President, will be "Undocumented Democrats."
15. Joe Biden will give a speech late in the New Year during which, for the very first time ever, he makes no gaffes or mistakes, and utters no malapropisms or non-sequiturs. The reporters who are present, having fallen asleep, will fail to notice.
16. Congress will stop messing around and finally increase taxes on the evil "rich" to 100% of their income. The rich will pack up their goodies and move to Panama, Costa Rica and the Cayman Islands. All remaining Americans will have then finally achieved total equality. They will all be equally poor.
17. Upset that the American people and choosing not to buy hybrid and electric cars manufactured by government- and union-owned GM and Chrysler, preferring rather to continue buying pickups and SUVs from Ford, the only company that didn't belly up to the bailout bar, Congress will simply outlaw pickups and SUVs, thus solving the problem forever.
18. Harry Ried, Majority Leader of the Senate, will lose his campaign for reelection. The final vote will be 2,874,328 to 1 (his wife will vote against him!). I predict he will be offered a job as a greeter at the new Wal-Mart in Searchlight, NV. There will be so many complaints about his dour, gruff and condescending demeanor he'll be unceremoniously fired within a week.
19. The last person will leave Detroit this year, and he actually will turn off all the lights.
Let's keep score and see how many actually come true! And remember, Charnak gets all the credit.