- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 14, 2006

Holding with established tradition, we hereby offer “predictions” for the New Year. As always, these are things that could happen, or in some cases should happen. They are listed in no particular order.

Here Come de Judge. President Bush is summoned to answer charges before the World Court for causing numerous destructive hurricanes in 2005 by failing to sign and implement the Kyoto Treaty on global warming. Potential charges against Mr. Bush were first suggested when Hurricane Katrina flooded large sections of New Orleans.

Copping a Plea. Saddam Hussein beats the rap in his highly publicized trial when the trial judge rules American soldiers failed to advise Saddam of his rights when they pulled him from his underground hiding place and arrested him in December 2003. All charges are dismissed.

Copping a Plea (II). Saddam’s new career as the “male Oprah” is cut short when New York police arrest him for the “environmental crimes” of torching Kuwaiti oil wells in 1991. A New York court sentences him to 20 consecutive life-terms — one for each well set afire.

One Last Gasp. Dan Rather publishes documents showing he disclosed CIA Agent Valerie Plame’s identity in early 2002 — well before any alleged involvement by Scooter Libby, Bob Woodward, or others investigated by Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. Within days of Mr. Rather’s sensational claim, investigative bloggers debunk the documents as forgeries.

Mad as Heck. Some New York Times editorial staff members are arrested when they storm the White House grounds after Mr. Bush rejects the World Court summons. They carry signs saying “Hurricane George,” “Sign, you swine,” and “Bush vacationed while people died.” On condition of anonymity, one of the Times directors reveals the editors are “completely round the bend” on George Bush, whom they consider a neo-Hitler.

Remember the Alamo. After Mr. Bush signs new border security legislation, Mexican Presidente Vicente Fox organizes and personally leads 10,000 Mexican would-be border crossers in a frontal assault on a border-checkpoint near Juarez, Mexico. U.S. border guards repulse the mob with rubber bullets. Mr. Fox suffers bruises. He calls the incident “The Second Alamo.”

Oh, Pancho. Sens. Robert Byrd, Harry Reid, and Charles Schumer begin acting careers in a TV political drama series called “The New York Amigos.” Big Apple police arrest Mr. Schumer when they mistake him for an escaped mobster called Lavender Louie who affected foppish garb and bizarre wigs.

Broken Dreams. Sen. Hillary Clinton sues Touchstone TV for not casting her as Mackenzie Allen in the series “Commander in Chief.” (Actress Geena Davis was chosen for the role as a female vice president who is elevated when the president dies.) State and federal courts refuse to hear the case.

Cleansing the Temple. Brandishing a whip of spaghetti noodles and shouting imprecations about “girly men,” enraged Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger drives California legislators from their chambers and into the avenue around the state capitol in Sacramento. Delegates and senators are filmed fleeing the governator’s noodle-whipping.

Surrounded. Following his pasta rampage, Mr. Schwarzenegger barricades himself in his mansion. He repeatedly shouts, “come and get me, copper,” plus lines from his films, from an upstairs window. Police finally abandon the standoff after 83 days when the governor refuses to sign legislation authorizing police overtime pay.

Get the hook. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg resigns to join a New Jersey burlesque tour, which promised her $1 million a year to play “top banana.” She later sues to unresign after learning the burlesque’s managers planned a somewhat different role for her. When the Supreme Court declines to hear her case, President Bush nominates actor Bill Cosby to the court. He is confirmed, 97-0, after delivering one-liners at his Senate confirmation hearings.

Come Home, America. DNC Chairman Howard Dean tells American soldiers serving in Iraq to desert and call DNC headquarters for carfare to get home. Consequently, 25 U.S. representatives, five senators, and three state governors — all military veterans — change their affiliation to Republican, giving the GOP a filibuster-proof Senate majority.

Missing Breakfast. Investigative reporters curious about the long public absence of Teresa Heinz Kerry — not seen since December 2004 — find she is held incommunicado upstairs at Democratic offices in Kansas City. Reached for comment, Mr. Kerry says, “That Teresa — always off on a new adventure. I wondered why she hadn’t been down to breakfast lately.”

The Rich are Different. In his new book, “Turncoat,” a former aide reveals Sen. Ted Kennedy’s personal wealth is $25 million. The aide says Mr. Kennedy’s class-warfare, soak-the-rich posture was a complete sham, as he voted for nearly all the Reagan and Bush tax cuts. “Those cuts probably saved him at least $2 million over the years,” said the former aide. “His rich-bashing was just fodder for Bay State Bubbas who thought the senator was ‘one of them.’ ” Despite being ignored by New York Times literary critics, the book becomes a best-seller.

WOODY ZIMMERMAN

His weekly column, “At Large,” runs in the Atlantic Highlands Herald, an Internet newspaper.

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