Friday | January 03, 2003
The Shape of Things to Come
Ok, Billmon here, subbing for the chronically overworked Kos. A couple of days ago Kos gave you his predictions for the coming year. But I'm going to go him one better and give you the real thing. So, without further ado, here is my "future history" of the year 2003:
Jan. 10 Battered but unbowed, Trent Lott resigns from the U.S. Senate to become ambassador to the impoverished African nation of Chad.
Jan. 15 U.S. forces invade the tiny European principality of Lichtenstein, which the Pentagon announces will be entirely paved over and used as a runway in the pending war with Iraq. At the White House, spokesman Ari Fleischer insists Lichtenstein will be “our last territorial demand in Europe.”
Jan. 24 The artist formerly known as the artist formerly known as Prince stuns the entertainment world when he announces that he is, in fact, former Clinton aide Sid Blumenthal. In a possibly related development, on-line blogger Atrios changes the name of his web site to “Purple Rain.”
Jan. 25 At a press conference broadcast live on Black Entertainment Television, Trent Lott jokes about his nomination as ambassador to Chad. “I only hope they don’t eat me,” Lott quips. “Maybe I should take some watermelons with me.”
Jan. 28 After a three-day silence, President Bush issues a terse, one-sentence statement: “I am somewhat disappointed by Ambassador Lott’s surprising choice of words.” On background, a senior White House official tells reporters the president hopes Lott “hangs in there.”
Jan. 29 A Washington Post editorial praises Bush for his “courageous civil rights leadership.”
Feb. 3 Maintenance work at a Baton Rouge refinery causes gas prices to soar as much as 2 cents a gallon in several Gulf Coast cities. The Republican Congress quickly passes the “SUV Relief Act of 2003,” which includes a 100% tax credit on all pickup trucks purchased since 1965.
Feb. 12 U.S. forces overrun Paris in a blitzkreig attack. The Pentagon announces the city will be completely evacuated and converted into an R&R facility for high-ranking military officers and top government officials during the pending war with Iraq.
Feb. 15 After the invasion of Paris sparks minor protest rallies in several U.S. cities, Attorney General John Ashcroft announces that anyone caught flying the French flag or singing the French national anthem will be shot on sight. Affecting a strange, vaguely German accent, Ashcroft hisses: “Ve haf vays of dealing vith zees so-called resistance leaders!”
Feb. 26 The long-awaited invasion of Iraq finally begins. Opposition is heavier than expected, with many U.S. units suffering 80% casualties in the first five minutes of fighting. At the White House, Ari Fleischer tells reporters President Bush is “pleased with how smoothly the operation is going.”
March 3 Former Bush aide John DiIulio is abducted while teaching a course in political ethics at the University of Pennsylvania. A passerby jots down the license plate number on the kidnappers’ car, which is traced back to the Secret Service motor pool. Spokesman Ari Fleischer dismisses allegations of White House involvement as “mere speculation.”
March 6 Vice President Richard Cheney suffers a massive stroke that leaves his face and upper body completely paralyzed. Nobody notices.
March 10 The U.S. economy continues its downward spiral, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average falls to 38.67 – a 106-year low. President Bush unveils his 12th economic stimulus package of the year, calling for a new “lactation excise tax” on low-income mothers. Revenues would be used to finance total repeal of the corporate income tax.
March 11 Democratic leaders endorse Bush’s lactation tax proposal, but suggest a partial exemption for mothers under the age of 16, to be funded by a 0.0000000001% increase in the top federal marginal rate.
March 12 A Wall Street Journal editorial accuses the Democrats of waging “Maoist-style class warfare.” Democratic leaders immediately abandon their tax plan.
March 18 In a desperate bid for attention, North Korea uses one of its two functioning nuclear devices to annihilate the South Korean capital of Seoul. Fifteen North Korean divisions pour across the DMZ in a full-scale armored assault.
March 19 At the White House, Ari Fleischer tells reporters President Bush will respond to the “so-called Korean crisis” as soon as he finishes his afternoon video game break.
March 20 A Washington Post editorial praises Bush for his “bold foreign policy leadership.”
March 23 In an unexpected policy shift, a clearly stunned Colin Powell announces the United States has accepted North Korea’s annexation of the former South Korea, in exchange for Pyongyang southpaw Kim Do Chin and a player to be named later.
March 24 Democratic Senator John Kerry criticizes President Bush’s decision to evacuate U.S. forces from Korea. “It appears the President may have abandoned our Korean allies for the sake of a baseball team he once owned,” Kerry tells reporters.
March 25 Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer attacks Kerry for “playing treasonous politics with U.S. national security.”
April 2 President Bush throws out the first ball on opening day at Texas Rangers stadium in Arlington, Texas. Rangers starter Kim Do Chin is pulled from the game in the first inning after the Detroit Tigers take a 21-0 lead.
April 4 Radio personality Rush Limbaugh accuses Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle of selling nuclear secrets to Iraq, poisoning wells, and sacrificing little Christian babies to the pagan God Wicca.
April 5 Daschle denies Limbaugh’s allegations. “These charges are completely untrue,” Daschle says in a brief, Saturday afternoon press statement.
April 7 Washington Post media columnist Howard Kurtz blasts the Senate Minority Leader for his “vicious and cowardly” attack on Rush Limbaugh. Daschle, he writes, is “a pathetic crybaby” who “ought to consider suicide.”
April 21 U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft announces that as a security measure, FBI agents will conduct full body cavity searches on female students at every private Islamic elementary school in the United States. The searches, he adds, will be performed by male agents between the ages of 20 and 40, in order to “inflict the maximum possible humiliation on these infidel vermin.”
April 28 In a light-hearted publicity stunt, Rush Limbaugh posts Tom Daschle’s home address on his web site, and offers a $10,000 reward to the first person to fire bomb it.
May 1 Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle enters the federal witness protection program. Media columnist Howard Kurtz complains that Daschle “can’t take a joke.”
May 13 Political prisoners at a secret North Korean torture center are awakened by a mysterious message tapped out on a prison water pipe. Decoded and translated, the message reads: “My name is John DiIulio and I’m really, really sorry.”
May 22 Author Ann Coulter announces Doubleday has agreed to pay her a $150 million advance on her next book, to be titled: Hitler Was a Liberal. Coulter immediately hires Holocaust denier David Irving to help with the footnotes.
May 29 Republican leaders in Congress say they will extend an extra 48 hours of unemployment benefits to jobless workers – but only in the 28 states where the unemployment rate has reached 18%. To qualify, they add, African American workers will be required to pass a literacy test administered by the Council of Conservative Citizens.
June 3 Newsweek columnist Howard Fineman praises the GOP’s “tough love” policy towards unemployed African Americans.
June 10 After nearly three weeks of exhaustive research, Ann Coulter publishes her new book, Hitler was a Liberal. In it, she makes the startling claim that Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbles actually survived the war to become a top editor at the New York Times.
June 18 The siege of Baghdad enters its 105th day, as encircled units of the U.S. 4th Armored Division are reduced to eating their ammunition belts.
June 19 At the White House, Ari Fleischer tells reporters President Bush will tape a farewell radio broadcast to the doomed troops of the 4th Division just as soon as he finishes hosting a nine-course state dinner in honor of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.
June 20 A Washington Post editorial praises Bush for his “heroic combat leadership.”
June 30 The bipartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates the 2003 federal budget deficit will exceed $398 trillion.
July 4 In an Independence Day address, President Bush announces that as an economy measure, federal employees whose last names begin with the letters D, G, L and P will be summarily executed.
July 5 A blindfolded Secretary of State Colin Powell is lined up in front of the Vietnam War memorial and shot. Appearing on CNN’s Crossfire, syndicated columnist Robert Novak calls the execution “long overdue.”
July 7 Democratic leaders question Bush’s federal employee execution program, warning that if they ever regain control of Congress they will “definitely consider” holding oversight hearings.
July 8 Washington Post columnist David Broder accuses the Democrats of “politicizing” the federal civil service.
July 20 Kim Jong-il resigns as leader of the North Korean Communist Party to accept Bush’s nomination as U.S Secretary of State. Senate Democrats question the former dictator’s qualifications for the job, but say they won’t try to block his confirmation.
Aug. 1 Iraq’s elite Republican Guard completes mopping up operations in the Baghdad area, as the last exhausted American troops surrender. At the White House, President Bush insists the war will go on. “We will never give up until Iraq’s regime has been changed for good,” he tells reporters.
Aug. 5 From his vacation home in the newly annexed Iraqi province of Kuwait, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein announces the resignation of third deputy minister for sports Faisal al’Naid for “reasons of health.”
Aug. 6 In a prime-time address to the nation, President Bush reveals that all U.S. forces have been withdrawn from the Middle East, including the newly annexed Iraqi province of Saudi Arabia. “With the resignation of Minister al’Naid,” Bush explains, “it’s clear the Iraqi regime has changed, and changed for the better.”
Aug. 7 A Washington Post editorial praises Bush’s “bold leadership for peace.”
Sep. 9 The Democratic Party announces that “for the good of the country,” it is disbanding.
Sep. 16 Administration officials reveal that the newly created Department of Homeland Security has been renamed the Ministry of Love, while the White House press office has been upgraded to cabinet rank and renamed the Ministry of Truth.
Sep. 17 Newly confirmed Minister of Truth Ari Fleischer tells reporters his new department is “double plus good.”
Sep. 18 All references to the war with Iraq mysteriously disappear from every computer in the United States.
Sep. 24 A New York Times editorial blames “Internet conspiracy mongers” for spreading “the ridiculous rumor that the United States fought, and lost, a war with Iraq earlier this year.”
Oct. 2 The artist formerly known as the artist formerly known as Prince leaves the entertainment world in chaos after he announces that he is, in fact, Sid Blumenthal, Atrios and blogger Mickey Kaus.
Oct. 12 Appearing on Oprah, the artist formerly known as the artist formerly known as Prince describes his ten-year struggle with multiple personality disorder. He blames Bill Clinton, saying the former president injected mind-altering drugs into his brain and allowed Monica Lewinsky to implant a secret radio in one of his molars.
Oct. 13 Fox News signs the artist formerly known as the artist formerly known as Prince to anchor a new prime-time news magazine. ABC, meanwhile, hires the artist’s Atrios personality to do color commentary on Monday Night Football.
Oct. 27 Chief Justice William Rehnquist announces his retirement from the Supreme Court. He immediately accepts a job offer from conservative philanthropist Richard Mellon Scaife, and becomes General Counsel to the newly formed Restrictive Covenant Defense Foundation.
Nov. 7 President Bush announces his nomination – and confirmation – of Antonin Scalia as Chief Justice. As an economy measure, Bush adds, the number of justices on the court will be reduced to one. Justices Souter, Kennedy, O’Connor, Ginsberg, Stevens and Breyer are fired. Justice Thomas accepts a new job as Scalia’s chauffeur.
Nov. 10 At the morning White House press briefing, several foreign reporters question the legality of President Bush’s “automatic” confirmation of Chief Justice Scalia. A visibly enraged Ari Fleischer orders them “sent to Room 101.”
Nov. 22 The body of former Bush aide John DiIulio is discovered buried beneath the 40-yard line in New Jersey’s Meadowlands stadium. Minister of Truth Ari Fleischer declines to comment, except to note that “Karl Rove has never even set foot in the Meadowlands.”
Dec. 1 Variety reports Ann Coulter will play Eva Braun in the film adaptation of her new book, Hitler Was a Liberal. Sources say a disappointed Coulter had hoped for the role of Nazi SS chief Heinrich Himmler.
Dec. 7-13 Throughout the week, the sound of heavy construction machinery can be heard underneath the Vice President’s mansion. A White House spokesman denies rumors that a state-of-the-art cryogenic freezing chamber is being built there.
Dec. 25 British newspapers reveal that for the past eight years Republican Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has been conducting secret medical experiments on young children in Sudan, in an effort to clone a new race of “white” Africans.
Dec. 26 A New York Times editorial praises Frist for his “contributions to science.”
Dec. 30 Blinking in Morse code, Vice President Cheney announces his resignation “for reasons of health.” Later in the day, strange, high-pitched humming noises are heard underneath the Vice President’s mansion, while an enormous spike in electricity consumption causes blackouts up and down the Eastern seaboard.
Dec. 31 On the last day of the year, President Bush selects former North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il to be his new Vice President and 2004 running mate. He also announces that by executive order, the U.S. Constitution, which requires the president and vice president to be native born, “has been amenderated.”
Posted January 03, 2003 10:16 AM | Comments (63)