It's customary for people who write columns or commentary to kick off each new year with pieces in which they venture predictions about the news we're likely to be reading in the coming year. I, myself, have written dozens of such news forecasts, and though I haven't gone back to check, I'm pretty sure that I have an almost supernatural knack for seeing into the future.
So, as we sit on the precipice of this very uncertain new period of time we're about to enter, readers would be wise to consider my fearless prognostications for the months and days that lie ahead. I'm almost certain that we'll all be reading the following stories in the year to come, though I won't claim that 100% of the things below will happen in quite the way I predict. Uncertainty is always a factor in a world like ours, especially when it is going so badly off the rails.
1. Celebrities from the entertainment industry will die, roughly on the average of one or two a week. The media will cry crocodile tears over most all of them, referring to each of them as "iconic" and/or "legendary." Many of the dead celebs will mean nothing to the young news readers who report on those deaths, though they will all talk about how much those singers, actors, and movie directors "will be missed." Meanwhile, on Facebook and on Twitter, the people on social media will routinely lose their shit, tweeting and posting about how sad each loss is, and generally behaving as though old people dying is a recent phenomenon.
The new President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, will say or tweet between three and ten certifiable lies each week. He will also reveal profound ignorance at least once each week. Far too few people will give a damn.
2. The new President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, will say or tweet between three and ten certifiable lies each week. He will also reveal profound ignorance at least once each week. Far too few people will give a damn.
3. Trump's tax returns will never be released, not even once that phony "audit" excuse can no longer be used to shield him from transparency. After all, one of his promises was that he'd release his returns if he won the election. To date, that hasn't happened.
4. Neither Henry Winkler nor Tom Selleck will seek a reverse mortgage in the coming twelve months. Or ever.
5. Vladimir Putin will be appointed to Trump's cabinet in the newly-created position of Secretary of American Patriotism. To avoid political squabbles and controversy, however, his nomination will be submitted using the pseudonym Thomas Jefferson Putin, to throw off those who may have been reluctant to have a former Russian KGB agent serving as one of an American president's more powerful cabinet appointees. American media will either not figure out the deception, or if they do, they won't give it much coverage.
6. Kanye West will remain an jackass, no matter how much "recovery" he achieves from whatever the hell it is that is wrong with him, aside from how much he is overpaid and overpraised for the crap he sells.
7. After we saw gasoline prices decline significantly under Obama, we're going to see them rise precipitously under Trump. Take this to the bank; as you can be sure Exxon will be doing with billions in profits in the months to come.
8. The American war against solar energy will ramp up significantly. Tax incentives will disappear damn near everywhere, from state government through the federal government. The fossil fuel lobbyists have already written the bills. Of that you can be sure.
9. Ted Nugent will be named Ambassador to the Philippines.
10. In a secret ceremony conducted annually on K Street in our nation's capital, Paul Ryan will be named The Most Pliable and Reliable Friend the Kochs, the corporations, and the Wall Street Social Security Privatizers ever had.