Ruminations on a potentially interesting year ahead
‘Tis the season for annual retrospection, fresh starts and resolutions. Although guessing the future is at best a hazardous proposition, why not give it a try? So with some prudence, but without apology, rancor or guarantees, here are some predictions for 2005 to be consumed with at least a modicum of discretion.
JANUARY – Oklahoma beats Southern California for the BCS championship. President Bush and Vice President Cheney are inaugurated for a second term, the ceremony complete with a lavish parade that includes 5,000 Texas National Guard troops, 600 rope-twirling cowgirls from Casper, Wyoming and 1,200 elephants. The Defense Department calls for 20,000 more troops to enhance security for Iraq’s elections. The Sunnis boycott the elections. Colin Powell relinquishes State to Condi Rice.
FEBRUARY – In his state of the union address, Bush reports that we’re making tremendous progress in Iraq but that we still have far to go. “It’s hard work!” he asserts. The TRPA pressures the BlueGo lines to have its buses painted rust in order to better blend with the local terrain and urges their slogan be changed to “Go Rust!” Bush appoints Cheney to chair a commission to examine environmental policies.
MARCH – Ron Artest sues David Stern and the NBA for violating his civil rights. Cheney calls a press conference to introduce his commission members: the CEO’s of Exxon-Mobil, Chevron and Phelps Dodge. Powell holds a book signing ceremony for his new work “Ruminations of a Secretary of State: How I was fooled into backing the Iraq War.”
APRIL – Cheney discloses that new intelligence confirms North Korea has 2,800 weapons of mass destruction. Baseball commissioner Bud Selig, acknowledging that Roger Maris holds the single asterisk record, orders two asterisks accompany the Barry Bonds lifetime home run record. After the Yankees lose their first 12 games, owner George Steinbrenner fires Manager Joe Torre and replaces him with pitching Coach Mel Stottlemyre.
MAY – Torre is hired as the new Red Sox manager. The TRPA orders the Nifty-Fifty Trolley cars painted all rust by mid-June or face a lawsuit. Chief Justice Rehnquist resigns. Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch announces that he is drafting a Constitutional amendment to permit foreign-born citizens to run for president, exclaiming “we need to pump up our Constitution!” Appearing on “Meet The Press,” John McCain tells Tim Russert that he will not rule out his presidential candidacy for 2008.
JUNE – Stating that “I will continue spending the capital that I earned in the election,” Bush appoints Sandra Day O’Connor to be new U. S. Supreme Court chief justice and nominates former Alabama Supreme Court justice Roy Moore to fill the high court vacancy. With the Yankees in last place in the AL East, Steinbrenner replaces manager Stottlemyre with Billy Crystal. Gov. Schwarzenegger reaffirms his opposition to bulk purchases of prescription drugs from Canada.
JULY – Ralph Nader joins the Democratic party. Schwarzenegger calls a special election to eliminate “an irrelevant state legislature.” Italy withdraws from Iraq. The president asks for 50,000 more troops for Iraq, saying that slowly but surely we’re routing the terrorists. Bush rejects Joint Chiefs Chairman General Myers’ recommendation to reinstate the draft, stating that he made a promise to the American people not to bring it back.
AUGUST – With the Yankees still floundering in last place, Steinbrenner trades Alex Rodriquez and Bernie Williams to the new Washington Nationals in return for 12 minor leaguers and three mortgages on their new stadium. Bush proposes “Patriot Act III,” a program mandating all young citizens participate in a human resource pool from which participants will be randomly selected for military training to defend the nation. “It’s not a draft!” declares the president. “It’s a national shaft!” suggests filmmaker Michael Moore.
SEPTEMBER – Schwarzenegger affirms that yes, he would be interested in running for president in 2008. Michael Jordan comes out of retirement and rejoins the Chicago Bulls. The president appoints Zell Miller to head the Department of Homeland Security, saying “This proves that I can reach across party lines in a spirit of bipartisanship.”
OCTOBER – The San Francisco Giants and the Chicago White Sox win their leagues’ respective pennants. The Yankees have their worst year since 1916 and finish with a .449 record. Steinbrenner replaces Crystal with Kevin Costner. Bush proposes the elimination of all taxes on dividends and capital gains.
NOVEMBER – Citing new evidence that increased fuel emissions will counter global warming by enhancing the ozone layer, Bush proposes tax incentives for automobile companies that produce high energy consuming cars; the recommended legislation is entitled “The Super Clean Air Act.”
DECEMBER – Asserting “America’s a caring nation,” Bush urges a change in the 1st Amendment in order to establish a Department of Religion with Cabinet status. “I told you I intend to spend my political capital,” he tells a press conference.
– Michael Zucker is a resident of South Lake Tahoe and a stockbroker with Brookstreet Securities Corp.