By Karl Terry: CNJ columnist
With a new year bearing down on us it’s time for me to observe an annual rite of this column — predictions for the new year.
I’ve taken a look into my crystal ball and saw some rather strange potential occurrences gazing back at me. With tongue in cheek, here’s the way I see it:
• After getting health-care reform passed, President Barack Obama will realize its shortcomings. The enormous piece of legislation never addressed the problems that really plague health care, namely that ice-cold stethoscope and the lack of a cure for the common cold.
Without progress there have we really achieved reform?
• After being openly critical of the Obama administration on the war in Afghanistan, former Vice President Dick Cheney will actually immigrate to Afghanistan. Once there he’ll operate his own hunting guide service (Line of Fire Guide Services) along with a poppy farm on the side.
• Hillary Clinton, wracked by depression, will increase two pant suit sizes during the coming year and continue to seethe over her lost opportunity to relegate Bill to the role of First Lady. Finally, in late November, she’ll resign her secretary of state position and organize a commune of recently turned-out Democrat senators at a compound in the desert owned by Harry Reid.
• Red-headed Conan O’Brien will accept a reduction in rank at NBC where he’ll be washing dishes in the network studio’s cafeteria. Jay Leno will also disappear into the California sunset in a Ford plug-in car. Late-night TV will no longer be green or red.
• Tareq and Michaele Salahi (White House crashers), Bernie Madoff and Richard and Mayumi Heene (ballon boy parents) will participate in a new reality show filmed inside the nation’s prisons. The first episode will center around the attempt to build a balloon to fly over the prison wall. Of course the Heenes will have the starring roll while the Salahis will show up as surprise guests. Madoff will raise the money to produce the series.
• Another television prognostication includes a new series called “Survivor: Captains’ Challenge” starring Capt. Sully Sullenberger (Miracle on the Hudson) and Capt. Richard Phillips (Maersk Alabama). McGiver will host and issue each of the captains a challenge to accomplish with limited resources.
• Gov. Bill Richardson, while on another self-assigned diplomatic junket, will be captured by a tribe of African headhunters bent on shrinking the governor’s big head. Soon, they’ll realize the monumental task they face and send him on his way much like the Obama administration did. Once again New Mexicans will be stuck with him.
• Economic news will improve with bank executives paying back government loans ahead of schedule. No doubt endless reruns of “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “A Christmas Carol” have softened the hearts of all these Ebenezer Scrooges and made them like George Bailey — seeing the error of their ways. Naw, they just can’t stand to be without those big bonuses.
• General Motors and Chrysler will also improve their outlook in the new year with a pair of comeback legends on deck. Howie Long will be replaced by a real NFL legend, Brett Favre, as Chevy spokesman and Lee Iacocca will make his return at Chrysler. Of course Favre will have to be free from his GM job by football season when he announces his un-retirement one more time. Iacocca, himself, will be a bit disillusioned by his return once he realizes he’s dealing with Italians and not Ricardo Montalban. “Hey youse, we got really nice leather on these seats over here,” doesn’t play quite as well as “Rich, Corinthian leather.”
Laugh a little, cry a little but have a great new year!