Politics: Unhappy with 2010? Blame the Damn Volcano!

What a year – I mean, half year.  Can you believe it?  2010 is already half gone:  Earthquakes in Haiti and Chile.  Health care reform becomes law.  Tiger Woods goes from hero to heel.  The Saints win their first Super Bowl.  Crist becomes an independent.  Massive oil spill in the Gulf.  An unpronounceable volcano in Iceland shuts down air traffic.

Shall we spit-shine my crystal ball and have a go at a little prognosticating what the rest of 2010 may look like?


The July 22 issue of the Miami New Times features (once AGAIN, for you can NEVER tire of his face, or find another that will SO boost distribution) El Commandante in the Green Fatigues.  This time, Fidel’s in green fatigue-colored Speedos, lounging on an inflatable tire, in a pool, and sipping lemonade from a sippy cup.

Teaming up with local parking departments, beleaguered Jackson Memorial Hospital announces new austerity measures designed to stanch the red-ink bleeding which the public health system suffers.  From now on, all JMH patients will have to feed coins, round-the-clock, into deposit meters hooked up to their IV drips.  For those who run out of quarters – hey, that’s life.  Or –  grimly – death.


A Palm Beach Post article reveals that half of Alex Sink’s time on the campaign trail is spent just trying to get people who have no clue who she is to recognize her (“I’m Alex Sink….you’ve heard of me, right?  ALEX SINK?”), or to recognize what office she currently holds, or to recognize that she’s even running for governor, or to recognize what party she’s running for governor for, or to recognize that there’s even a state Democratic Party anymore.

BP’s CEO Tony Hayward is FINALLY fired after declaring in an interview:  “The way we’d like to make it up to the residents of the Gulf Coast is if you’ve got the buckets and pails to haul it out with you, you can have all the free petrol you want.”

Provided, of course, you’ve got your own backyard refinery to process it.


Saturday Night Live‘s season premiere features Mickey Rooney as the guest host. The show’s producers have pretty much decided to let the viewers pick the guest hosts, so in the spirit of the Facebook campaign that launched Betty White’s turn, campaigns have sprouted all over the net, pushing, among others, oldies Cloris Leachman, Abe Vigoda, Ernest Borgnine, and Don Rickles.  A bid to promote one comedian draws 20,000 fans – until someone has the temerity to pipe up and remind folks that Rodney Dangerfield isn’t up to hosting SNL.

On account he died in 2004.

Larry King’s 25th anniversary season on CNN threatens to come to an abrupt end when hot studio lights temporarily K-O the King and he keels over on-set.  His suspenders, however, remain in their upright position.

Larry later blames noxious fumes from that Icelandic volcano, Eyja-whatchamacallit.

The White House has announced that the President and Mrs. Obama will split up

Hearts skip a beat in the nation’s capital and beyond, Wall Street stocks plummet, and TV networks prepare to interrupt regular programming when the above wire service report goes out, initially minus its entire text.  Reuters quickly realizes its mistake, then re-sends the story:

The White House has announced that the President and Mrs. Obama will split up during their upcoming visit to New Zealand, and while he holds meetings with leaders, she will visit a school.

Amid a nation still reeling from the Al and Tipper Gore shocker, White House correspondents suddenly learn the need to be more careful when submitting stories with the term split up in them.

Reuters blames their faulty transmission on electromagnetic interference from that Icelandic volcano, Eyja-yackity-schmackity.


Laura Bush (whose memoirs are already finished and published) gets called into her husband’s study for the umpteenth time in as many weeks to admonish Dubya (who’s still working on the manuscript of his) not to use white-out on the computer screen whenever he makes a mistake.

Bill McCollum, who still hasn’t retreated one inch on his adamant opposition to permitting Florida gay couples to adopt, does concede during a gubernatorial debate that he would gladly reconsider the matter if “the clouds were to open up and some heavenly apparition, symbol, or sign were to issue forth and pronounce this in no uncertain terms to be the will of the Lord.”

Two days later, during a campaign stop in Palatka, the clouds open up and a lightning bolt strikes Bill McCollum on his noggin.  Thus, Alex Sink becomes Florida’s next guv by default.  (It’s both funny and sad, but – as political pundits later point out – a lightning strike was about the only way she had any chance of winning.)

The incredibly, ever-shrinking Miami Herald opts to save money by closing its Tallahassee bureau and syndicating the reports of a ten-year-old writer for the Weekly Reader.

But he’s no average ten-year-old, the Herald offers up.  He’s a savant!


Charlie Crist is elected to the Senate.  Lots of grumpy, angry, discombobulated Tea Party wingnuts opt to stay home by the droves and not turn out to vote for their favorite son, Marco “Why, isn’t he cute?” Rubio – after Rubio commits the tactical faux pas of refusing to pledge to kick the Haitians out, confiscate the Miccosukee tribal lands, tear down all abortion clinics, re-segregate the public schools, reinstate child labor and the 14-hour workday, banish labor unions, impose mandatory school prayer; drop out of the U.N., the World Bank, the World Cup, and every other international organization with a global-sounding name; make everyone swear a loyalty oath, oh, and fly the flag from their front porch and wear a flag lapel pin.

Rubio pisses the Partiers off when he suggests the flag idea is going a wee bit too far.

Reality show star-sisters Kourtney and Khloé Kardashian unveil a less-glamorous, less-social-butterfly sibling that no one even knew they had:  Konnie.  On her debut episode, Konnie makes the cardinal sin of suggesting the trio head to the Miami International Book Fair one night for a lecture and book-signing by guest author Edna Buchanan.

Konnie never appears on the show again.

O. J. Simpson, rotting away in a Nevada prison cell, decides to hawk a new book idea:  If I Broke Out of Prison (Not That I Would, But Here’s How I Would Do It).

Sarah Ferguson, in yet another half-cocked scheme to make cold, quick cash, is caught (again) on videotape trying to drum up interest from a tabloid reporter in the royals.  This time it’s a “Royals Gone Wild” series of videos.  One of the highlights Fergie promises:  The queen in her skivvies.

Retired White House reporter Helen Thomas, in a teary-eyed TV confessional to fellow octogenarian journalist Barbara Walters, blames her “the Jews should all go home” comment on breathing in too much dust from that Icelandic volcano, Eyja-yickity-yak-don’t-talk-back.

President Obama sends two aides scurrying to the floor – and scares another one enough to cause him to wet his pants – when, in a rare burst of emotion, his calm, cool, and collected demeanor cracks and he FINALLY displays some temper:  “I wanna know who neglected to inform me that Paula Abdul left American Idol?”


The Nobel Peace Prize, on Dec. 10, is awarded to Heidi Montag.

Nah.  I just felt like throwing that one in there.  Bet it’s the only time you’ll ever see Nobel and Heidi Montag mentioned in the same sentence.

Dec. 16?s issue of the Miami New Times sports El Tirano Cubano in a Santa Claus suit.

Lady Gaga announces that she’s dropping the Lady and will now be known as simply Gaga.

In a bit of one upsmanship, the Icelandic volcano announces that instead of Eyjafjallajökull, it now prefers to be called ‘Kull.

The year-end issue of the Miami New Times boasts their perennial favorite cover model blowing a New Year’s party favor horn under the banner, WILL THIS BE THE YEAR I FINALLY CROAK?

Of course, privately, the editors hope not – they figure they can squeeze more covers out of him in 2011 with the ones they’ve got on the drawing board.

About Charles Branham-Bailey

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