This morning on Fox & Friends, The
Irritating Amazing Kreskin announced that, seeing how he and 60 million other people successfully predicted the outcome of the American election, he could now say with confidence that Government and Big Business Gone Wild (soon to be out on late-night DVD, no doubt) would be the big stories this coming year and that Osama bin Laden would remain on the lam to mock and whinny every so often. Why Kreskin didn't bother to warn several hundred thousand people to stay the hell away from South Asian shorelines, he couldn't say. Presumably, the strange and wonderful light beams that energize Kreskin's synapses don't give two tosses for natural disasters. Political disasters, for instance the Kerry campaign, are enough to handle.
And speaking of receding shorelines and forces of nature, The Scotsman yesterday reported that former British International Development Secretary and blowhard Clare Short accused President Bush of trying to steal the UN's press by banding together with Australia, Japan and India to coordinate relief efforts in the tsunami-wracked region. Well you know, one can understand Ms Short's peevishness. After all, the stingy meme had grown stale in the last day or two, and what is a bloated civil servant to do but look for another opportunity to bash the Cowboy and the red state paramecium that voted for him.
With dollars pouring in from greedy drug companies and over a hundred thousand regular people (so far) pitching in at Amazon, Americans were demonstrating that when you have a job to do, the last thing you care about is some irritating fruit fly buzzing around the kitchen. But smashing the thing takes too much time and energy, so better to let it go through its twenty-four hour life cycle and be done with it.
Ms Short, you'll remember, is the MP who has made a career of resigning for one reason or another. Her last goodbye came in protest of the wicked war in Iraq. The only problem was that Short, unlike her fellow-traveler Robin Cook, for some rationalization known only to her decided that the best time to quit was after major military actions were over. You have to admire the horse-meets-barn door timing, if not the principle.
No matter. Ol' Shorty wants it known that only the UN has the moral standing and efficient distribution channels to siphon off just enough aid money so as to be undetectable at least until the oil-for-food scandal is kicked aside. What is most important is not that food and clean water and medicine get to those in need. What's paramount is that the rest of the world get to see yet one more piece of evidence that Dubya doesn't know how to play well with others. She came just short (sorry) of suggesting that the entire country be made to stand in the corner.
Meanwhile, heart broken Europeans congregated on the few remaining beaches to ask the gods of earth and sea not to be quite so angry anymore and to fetch them a nice cocktail. And Kofi Annan, fresh from vacation and looking relaxed and ready to pounce on the situation with his customary bravado, stated emphatically that he need not be present for every little tsunami that shows up unannounced and that, contra Ms Short, he was "satisfied" with how things were firming up. Hey, $500 million may not mean much when Mid East oil is involved, but it still will do for now.
In Australia they tried once again to blow up the Sydney Harbor Bridge to celebrate the New Year, but the thing was left standing if a little singed around the edges. George Stephanopolous is not amused. He complained that this was a missed opportunity for the Aussies to show compassion by really pasting the thing and reverting to the pre-colonial squalor they deserved. Pundits agreed that that was the only way of keeping the recently reelected Howard government from capitalizing on any unwarranted, ill-gotten good will. Well, maybe he didn't actually say that but he did suggest to Secretary Powell the other night that he was terribly disappointed that Mr. Powell wasn't promising billions of American tax dollars without checking first with the boss.
So, per Kreskin, as we come to the end of this once again weird year, we can at least look forward to big business making more big money, the Congress cramming wads of cash into its pockets while it can and Goatboy Osama periodically doing his Jon Stewart imitation. The possibility of another tsunami hitting South Asia will now be looked on as being remote so the poor people that are left can look forward to more boorish behavior from tourists demanding better views. The economy is likely to continue its upward slog and the Iraqi elections are likely to make history one way or another. And now that Yappy Arafat is worm's meat there may even be some movement on the Israeli-Palestinian front. Tony Blair will likely win one more round of elections, hacking off just about everybody around him. And in American politics, two women, one named Rice and the other Clinton could very well start maneuvering for a possible future battle.
That may be the year that will be. Or maybe not. Either way most of us will still be here this time next, and that is something to look forward too.
Happy New Year.