Politics, sports and culture
Once again we’re on the cusp of a new year, another chance for change. And once again, we find ourselves feeling stirrings of hope – hope that the coming year really will be better. Why do we feel this way? Why, despite all our past disappointments, do we believe things really can improve? Because we are morons, apparently.
So let’s not get too excited about 2019. Our emotional state, going forward, should be hopelessness leavened with despair, as we can see when we look back at the grotesque boofa-palooza that was 2018, starting with...
… which sees world tensions rise when North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un states that he has a nuclear-missile launch button on his desk. This leaves U.S. Commander-in-Chief Donald Trump with no viable military option but to fire up his Random Capitalizer App and tweet “I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his,” thereby leaving no doubt as to which leader is more secure regarding the size of his button. In an apparent effort to reassure everyone on his mental state, the president also issues a Tweet in which he describes himself as “genius .... and a very stable genius at that!” Which is EXACTLY HOW VERY STABLE GENIUSES TALK, OK??
On the Stormy Daniels front, Michael Cohen acknowledges that he did, in fact, pay $130,000 to the porn actress, but he used his own money and the Trump campaign had nothing to do with it and it was all totally legit. So that settles THAT.
In sports, the 2018 Winter Olympic games get under way in PyeongChang, South Korea, with a historic opening ceremony highlighted by the release of 25 doves, which are immediately shot down and consumed by the North Korean men’s biathlon team.
In domestic sports, the Eagles defeat the Patriots to win their first Super Bowl.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson learns that President Trump has fired him when, during an official visit to Africa, he is ejected from his State Department plane at 35,000 feet. No, seriously, Tillerson learns of his firing via a presidential tweet, which says: “Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service!” So midair ejection would actually have been more dignified.
Responding to alleged Russian infiltration of Facebook and massive breaches of user data, the Senate Committee of Aging Senators Who Cannot Operate Their Own Cell Phones Without the Assistance of Minions holds a hearing intended to answer such probing questions as: What IS Facebook, anyway? Where does it go when you turn off the computer? Is there a print version? Is Facebook the one with the video of a cat riding on a dog? How the heck do you get a cat to do that, anyway?
Patiently attempting to answer these questions is Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who wears a suit and tie and does a solid job of imperson- ating a regular human, except for not blinking and at one point having a tentacle emerge briefly from his left ear.
The biggest story by far is the wedding of American ex-actress Meghan Markle to Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex. In other international developments, hopes for a summit meeting between Kim Jong-un and President Trump soar when North Korea releases three American prisoners, only to be dashed when North Korea refuses to accept, in exchange, Stormy Daniels.
In sports, the wettest Kentucky Derby in history is won by the favorite horse, Justify, after the rest of the field is eaten by sharks.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announces his decision to retire, creating an important opportunity for the nation’s political leaders to demonstrate that, although the public might have a low opinion of them as a group, it is nowhere near low enough.
Trump nominates Brett Kava- naugh to the Supreme Court. Accepting the nomination, Kavanaugh says: “If confirmed by the Senate, I pledge to give full and fair consideration to every case brought before me. Also every keg.” For their part, Senate Democrats release a statement promising to “consider Judge Kavanaugh’s qualifications in good faith and with open minds,” adding, “obviously we are lying.”
A Virginia jury finds former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort guilty of tax evasion, bank fraud and having a name that can be rearranged to spell “Fart Upon Lama.” Only minutes later, Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, pleads guilty in New York to various charges, including arranging hush-money payments in 2016 to Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal “at the direction of a candidate for federal office” who is not named but was obviously Bernie Sanders. No, seriously, the candidate was obviously Trump. Some of the hush money was reportedly paid by the company that owns the National Enquirer at the direction of its CEO, whose name – we swear we are not making this up -- is David Pecker (which can be rearranged to spell “David Pecker”).
Washington is a-tingle with a level of excitement that can only result from a clash of two highvoltage personalities: Chuck Grassley and Dianne Feinstein, the chairman and ranking member of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, both having served in the Senate since shortly before the Big Bang. The committee holds two hearings on the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, the second devoted to explosive allegations contained in a letter that was delivered back in July to Sen. Feinstein, who, what with one thing and another, failed to mention it until September. The nation watches, riveted, for more than seven hours as Kavanaugh and his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, deliver emotional testimony, at the end of which the nation has learned the following facts:
1. The senators have no idea what, if anything, actually happened.
2. Nor do they care.
3. The truth is utterly irrelevant to them.
4. They all decided long ago how they were going to vote, based entirely on political calculations.
5. Given exactly the same testimony but different political circumstances, every single senator would passionately espouse the position diametrically opposite the one he or she is passionately espousing now.
6. Brett Kavanaugh really likes beer.
The Senate approves the Kavanaugh nomination by a vote of 50-48, with Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski voting “present” and Chuck Schumer voting “extra cheese.”
In sports, the nation rejoices as, for the ninth consecutive year, some team other than the New York Yankees wins the World Series.
The nation braces for what political analysts agree will be the most important midterm elections since the dawn of time. Voters prepare for the the big day by binge-watching Netflix, because regular TV has turned into a gushing sewer of political attack ads apparently created by and for dimwitted 4-year-olds.
The election goes smoothly, except of course in Florida, which should seriously consider outsourcing all of its government functions to a competent organization, such as Montana.
Nationwide, however, it is clear the voters have given the Democrats control of the House, while leaving the Republicans in control of the Senate, thereby guaranteeing that for the next two years Congress will accomplish nothing, which may well be what the voters intended.
On the ever-changing personnel front, Trump announces that his nominee to replace Jeff Sessions as attorney general is “an excellent lawyer, I forget his name at the moment, but he’s terrific, believe me.” Fox News confirms this. To replace Nikki Haley as UN ambassador the president chooses Heather Nauert, but only after his advisors are able to convince him that Katniss Everdeen is a fictional character. Replacing John Kelly as White House Chief of Staff is Wayne Newton.
Congressional Democrats prepare to take control of the House of Representatives, where they plan to implement an ambitious agenda focused on the No. 1 concern of the American people, which of course is... The 2016 elections!
The month ends on a troubling note when one of North Korea’s newly constructed Chipotle restaurants launches a ballistic missile carrying what military analysts say is a three-ton tactical beef burrito, which travels 4,600 miles before splashing into the Pacific just off the coast of Oahu, producing a tidal wave containing potentially dangerous levels of tomatillo salsa. The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency attempts to broadcast a text warning, but because of what an agency spokesperson says is “human error,” the message actually sent to all of the state’s residents reads HAPPY NEW YEAR.
Here’s hoping that the wish expressed by this erroneous HEMA message comes true. We would truly love for 2019 to be a happy year. Or at least a better year than 2018 was. It has to be better, right? How could it possibly be worse?
Please, put down the Tide Pod.
Philadelphia Eagles fans celebrated the team’s Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots.
North Korean supporters attracted worldwide attention for their choreographed performances during the Olympic games.
President Donald Trump pardoned “Peas” during a ceremony in the Rose Garden of the White House.
Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wed in May.