Books, Pop Culture and Political Humor from J.D. Rhoades, best-selling author, attorney, and award-winning newspaper columnist.
"Like [Lee] Child, Rhoades dishes out one airtight action scene after another, mixing in just enough character-building moments and holding our interest in a full cast of nicely developed supporting players."-Booklist
As another year draws to a close, many columnists and pundits are looking back at the year gone by. But as you well know, this column is always looking ahead. Therefore, we present for your delectation our annual Year in PREview:
JANUARY: President Obama finally caves in to pressure from the American right and uses the words “Islamic extremist” for the first time in a nationally televised speech. All the terrorists immediately lay down their arms and surrender to local authorities. “We have survived the infidel’s smart bombs and drone strikes,” states former jihadist Ali Wali ibn-Babali. “But no one can resist being called by that … that name!”
FEBRUARY: The nation is shocked when The New York Times reports a surprise win in the Iowa caucuses by former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore. Half a dozen other news outlets follow suit. Two days later, the Times admits that its story was wrong and that its only source was a prank phone call from a 16-year-old in Arizona. The paper promises an investigation to determine what went wrong.
MARCH: Faced with sagging poll numbers, Donald Trump takes the unusual step of announcing his proposed vice-presidential pick months before the GOP convention. In front of a crowd of cheering supporters, he announces that he’s choosing Russian President and right-wing darling Vladimir Putin. “Sure, he murders journalists and brutally invades weaker countries just because he can,” Trump bellows, “but at least he’s a leader!” Trump’s poll numbers immediately skyrocket among Republican voters.
APRIL: Donald Trump becomes the presumptive Republican nominee when all the other candidates either disappear or die under suspicious circumstances. Presumptive vice-presidential nominee Vladimir Putin releases a statement that reads: “Putin very sad. But presidential campaign not for weaklings. By the way, Putin was nowhere near any of them. Putin have witnesses.”
MAY: The New York Times claims to have obtained a memo from inside the Clinton campaign regarding potential campaign slogans. Choices reportedly include: “Hillary: Amnesty, Abortion, and Appeasement” and “Hillary: Forced Gay Marriage For Everyone.” Fox News begins a five night series on “Slogan-Ghazi.”
JUNE: The “Slogan-Ghazi” scandal collapses when the source for the bogus “memo” is revealed to be a satirical article published in a junior high school newspaper in Petaluma, Calif. The Times promises an investigation to find out what went wrong. Fox News continues to report the story as true, because, as Fox and Friends host Steve Doocy explains, “We just really hate Hillary Clinton.”
JULY: After the mysterious disappearance of front-runner Donald Trump, the Republican National Convention nominates Vladimir Putin as its nominee, who delivers his acceptance speech shirtless and on horseback. “This ticket is just so manly,” Fox News analyst Andrea Tantaros bubbles, before swooning and falling into the arms of vice-presidential nominee Chuck Norris. The confused and delusional Norris spin-kicks Tantaros off the stage.
AUGUST: Congress opens the first of what will prove to be 17 separate investigations of the “Slogan-Ghazi scandal.” Hillary Clinton, despite having garnered a winning number of delegates at the previous month’s Democratic convention, resigns her campaign, saying, “You know what? (Bad word) this (bad word). You want it, Bernie? You got it. And good (bad word) luck.”
SEPTEMBER: A hastily reconvened Democratic convention quickly nominates Bernie Sanders for president when all of the people who previously said, “I like Bernie better, but we all know Hillary’s going to win,” actually vote their real preference.
OCTOBER: Republican nominee Vladimir Putin’s poll numbers begin to slip when his campaign ads show clips of Latinos, African-Americans, Muslims, and LGBT people being rounded up and shoved into cattle cars. “OK, granted, Putin’s promising a mass internment and probable slaughter that would make the Holocaust look like a Sunday School picnic,” a visibly desperate Sean Hannity insists, “but at least he’s a real leader.” Fox co-host and Putin fangirl Kimberly Guilfoyle attempts to put a good face on the situation before she finally cracks: “At least Putin doesn’t wear mom jeans. … Oh, to heck with it, I’m terrified. How soon can I move to Canada?”
NOVEMBER: To the relief of millions, Bernie Sanders wins the U.S. Presidential election. The New York Times headline the next day, however, reads “Romney Elected in Landslide.” Within 12 hours, the Times retracts its story, admitting that its only source was a late-night drunken voicemail from Karl Rove.
DECEMBER: Fox News, insisting that The New York Times’ retraction of the Romney “victory” story is “nothing but political correctness run amuck” starts a series of investigative reports on “how Sanders stole the election from Romney.”
In short, the coming year will most likely be just like the one just gone by, only weirder. Have a good one!