New Year’s Predictions — What to Look for in 2019
2019 will be here in just a couple of weeks, and before I start throwing out my annual predictions, I must say that 2018 has left me with several nagging questions that I can't wait to have answered in the New Year.
No, I'm not talking about anything related to the Mueller investigation, or possible impeachment, or whether or not President Trump really will run for a second term. I'm referring to that last Avengers film.
Did the superheroes who disappeared at the end of the movie die or end up in some parallel universe?
Doesn’t Star-Lord and his temper bear blame for half the universe suffering this mysterious fate?
And where the heck was Hawkeye? Heck of a time to go dark, Clint!
Anywho... Let's get to the good stuff. My predictions for 2019:
And They're Off!
Starting in May, a barrage of hopefuls for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination will officially announce their candidacies. The field will consist of several currently talked about individuals including Joe Biden, Michael Bloomberg, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Eric Holder, along with wildcard entrants Oscar De La Hoya and Cynthia Nixon.
Notable in their absence will be Hillary Clinton (citing personal issues), Elizabeth Warren (citing a drawn-out legal battle with Ancestry.com), and Beto O'Rourke (citing health issues following a freak skateboarding accident).
But the primary race will be turned upside-down in late July, when eccentric actor Randy Quaid appears outside the north fence at the White House (wearing only thick-framed glasses and an enormous beard) to announce his candidacy for the Democratic nomination.
The declaration will be laughed off by many as a bizarre publicity stunt, but having received a presidential pardon from all past crimes three weeks earlier for saying nice things about Donald Trump on Twitter, Quaid will file the appropriate papers and officially enter the race.
Using the campaign slogan, "Make the Universe Great Again," and running on a platform of building an enormous wall around the planet (paid for by Mars) to protect Earth from an imminent attack by extraterrestrial invaders, Quaid will respond to debate-stage questions only by whistling old show-tunes and making fart noises with his armpits.
Despite deep concerns among the Democratic establishment, Quaid's candidacy will draw unexpected support from far-left environmental groups who will believe that the proposed wall may actually help reduce the effects of man-made climate change. Further assisted by a massive, English-challenged Internet campaign funded by an unknown source, Quaid will narrowly lose the Iowa Caucus (after no-showing a debate in protest of Megyn Kelly), but win subsequent state primaries with a plurality of Democratic votes.
Much to the dismay of most Democrats, Quaid will remain the party front-runner heading into 2020.
Cable News Enters a New Era
After trailing Fox News in the ratings for 17 straight years, CNN will shock the world by finally regaining the #1 cable news spot. The stunning victory will be credited almost entirely to the 25 million viewers tuning in each and every Sunday night to watch an innovative new show called "Acosted."
Acosted, hosted by CNN reporter Jim Acosta, will adopt a reality-TV challenge format in which Acosta will diligently work to make himself the primary focus of three major stories in the current national news cycle.
Initially met with skepticism from viewers and advertisers alike, Acosta will quickly demonstrate that he's up for the task, launching his first episode in mid March at the Michael Flynn sentencing in Washington. Mere seconds after Flynn's fate is declared by Judge Emmet Sullivan, Acosta will leap over a courtroom banister, sprint toward the defense table, and personally snap a pair of handcuffs onto Flynn's wrists.
"You've just been Acosted!" Acosta will shout as he's forcibly removed by bailiffs.
The show will become an instant hit, with Acosta successfully making some of the nation's top stories all about him. Emmy nominated episodes will include:
Acosta showing up at a White House press conference on the topic of Russian election interference, dressed as 1980s professional wrestler Nikolai Volkoff.
Acosta, during a post-victory lap, clinging to the hood of the winning car at the Winston 500.
Acosta sneaking on-stage during the last stop of Elton John's Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, and turning the iconic singer's performance of Candle in the Wind into an unsolicited and unwelcome duet.
"You've just been Acosted!" gear will become hottest merchandise brand of 2019.
Actor Wars Are Good and Easy to Win
In mid July, at a Comic-Con panel discussion in San Diego, British film actor Simon Pegg will make a derogatory joke about President Trump. The incident will be featured that night in a two-block segment on Fox News's Hannity, with Sean Hannity, Sebastian Gorka, and Dan Bongino all concluding that Pegg is an enemy combatant of the United States who was probably paid off by Hillary Clinton to deliver the joke. The three commentators will agree that Pegg must either serve hard time at Gitmo or be deported back to the U.K.
At approximately five o'clock the next morning, President Trump will take to Twitter to further blast the actor. Referring to him as "Simple Simon" and declaring Shaun of the Dead to be a "highly overrated zombie movie," Trump will complain of America's "actor deficit" with the U.K., calling it a "one-sided deal."
"British movies hardly ever use American actors," Trump will complain in a followup tweet. "Half of Hollywood's leading actors are Brits! UK is eating our lunch! Sad! Must change!"
While pundits and entertainers alike struggle to figure out what Trump is talking about, the president will announce a new tariff on the U.K., tying it to American film production companies' hiring of British actors. He will do the same thing with Australia and New Zealand, citing the countries' similar flags and accents.
After months of struggling with the added costs of employing British and British-sounding actors, and losing notable box-office draws like Hugh Jackman, Cate Blanchett, and Chris Hemsworth, Hollywood will report financial losses in the billions. Those losses will soon after be recouped, however, with an emergency tax-payer bailout directed their way by President Trump. The administration will hail the Hollywood subsidy as a "historic victory of epic proportions."
The Social Network Apology
Still reeling from the outrage over Facebook having given tech companies secret access to users' private messages and personal data, CEO Mark Zuckerberg will announce a "We're Sorry" public relations campaign in an attempt to make good with their users.
As part of the campaign, Zuckerberg will vow to permanently close the accounts of any Facebook user who asks that their Facebook friends reply to their posts with a word describing their first meeting. He'll also promise to apply the same punishment to those who ask friends to copy and paste their cause-related posts into their own statuses as a show of solidarity.
The vast majority of Facebook users will be so delighted with the new policies, that they'll quickly forgive and forget the whole security-violation issue.
Twitter's Jack Dorsey will later garnish similar positive PR by requiring that Twitter users actually click on linked columns before replying to them.
In all seriousness, I wish you all a happy and healthy new year. Whatever disagreements we may have in 2019 (and like last year, I predict there will be many), I’m hoping we can approach them with relative civility and — at times — a good laugh.
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