645 WestraDamus 2009 Retrodictions
This is the 21st anniversary of the WestrDamus predictions, presented each January for the year gone by and generally wrong. 'Damus started as a parody of the Astrological predictions in the supermarket tabloids, almost always wrong and never acknowledged as such. But the non-prophet has grown into an American institution, like the Smithsonian, the National Institutes of Health, NOAA Weather and Hope and Change.
Your non-prophet sees that 2009 is going to be a dull year. President McCain and Vice President Palin will see to that. The new President's first priority will be health insurance. With the his encouragement, the legislation will pass handily and put this vital industry on notice: You are now in charge of medical care, oil prices and the regulation of food safety. This will happen after ExxonMobil acquires all the regional Blue Cross and Blue Shield groups and changes its name to BluxxonMobilShield, NYSE trading symbol BS.
The banking industry will undergo major changes, and the name "Bank of America" will turn from a wishful thought to reality. Top executives will get the pay raises they so rightly deserve. And Oh, those bonuses!
An obscure fake financier, Bernard Madoff, will have earned so much money for his investors -- charities and individuals -- that no one in America will need a job -- the unemployment rate will jump to 100% and no one will care. Even Bill Gates and Warren Buffett will quit their day jobs. With Bernie in the mix, who needs employment?
Joe Lieberman will convert to Catholicism.
Osama Bin Ladin will try to convert to Judaism but fail the final test, then try the Unitarians.
Michael Jackson will have his first hit album in a decade, helped along by publicist-stoked rumors of his death.
Jay Leno will get his very own TV channel, but collapse after 168 hours without reruns, then have an affair with David Letterman.
Tiger Woods will win the Master's, the US Open and the World Series.
The face of the auto industry will change radically when GM announces the "TRIcar" which will work on land, at sea and in the air, sell for 10-thousand dollars and run Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Fiat, Rolls Royce, Volkswagen, Hyundai, Kia, and Nissan out of business and gaining an 87% share of the US auto market.
A major airline will successfully test a full-size jetliner capable of landing on a small strip of water, perhaps the East River.
In the Middle East, peace will at last be achieved in the only way it ever can be: Israel will cut itself out of the desert and fly itself whole cloth to its new destination, a vacant spot in the South Pacific.
New York Politics: The City Council will deny Mike Bloomberg a shot at a third term. He will return to his company and try to make sense of what his minions have done to it. Governor Paterson will decide that he'd best run for Senate. The benefits are better and he'll have found a way to end his Charlie Rangel envy.
California Politics: Governor Schwarzenegger will announce he's becoming a Democrat and will announce that despite term limits, he will run for office again. This will increase his box office appeal, the sale of his old movies and reduce the number of brush fires and mudslides to a mere 12,862.
New Jersey Politics: Corzine will get a real job.
Pennsylvania Politics: Nothing will happen. Nothing ever does. Unless you count the 365 day budget impasse.
South Carolina Politics: Gov. Sanford will have managed to "fall in love with his wife again," and she will lovingly Stand By Her Man. Until the moment he actually DOES take a hike in the Appalachians, and gets lost forever.
Medical retrodictions: first another big merger, sanctioned by the McCain administration. Merck and Pfizer will combine and be called Mizer, or maybe Pferck. It will announce a cure for swine flu, arthritis, hangnails and painful, embarrassing bunions.
News retrodictions: The newspaper industry will flourish after Rupert Murdoch buys every surviving broadsheet and tabloid in the entire country. There will be minor rumblings among the few remaining anti-trust regulators, who will see the light of day and agree that it's not "really" a monopoly. CNN, MSNBC, and the news divisions of NBC, CBS and ABC will combine what they call "back office operations" in efforts to stave off certain death at the hands of Fox/MurdochCorp. But there ARE no back office operations.
Techno '09: iPhone sales will top 12 trillion dollars, giving everyone a shot at instant portable internet and no one a shot at instant portable phone calls. Toshiba will release a computer with 978 bit security, so powerfully secure that nothing can get through to it. Your 1996 Palm Pilot will double in value as a collectible and halve in value as a personal digital assistant. Green energy will take off when BluxxonMobilShield figures out how to make a profit from it.
In Colorado, a little boy will be scooped up by space aliens in a mylar flying saucer and will not be found. His grieving parents will get a contract with Fox for a new reality show, "Scooped Up By Space Aliens."
Screamer-Pitchman Billy Mays will join the McCain administration and start trying to sell the Afghan war to the American People. He will scream so loud we'll accept what he says despite the irrationality of his argument just as we have about his commercials for Oxy Clean.
Ted Kennedy will approach Oral Roberts for a faith healing cure. Both men will vanish.
Confusion will reign when we try to figure out why 2001 was the first year of the 21st Century, but 2010 is the start of its second decade.
In an effort to save money, the ailing department store chain Macy's will combine its traditional Thanksgiving Day Parade with it's traditional Fourth of July fireworks display, producing a balloon resembling George Metesky which will float down Broadway and explode at 34th Street, scattering tons of confetti on Al Roker and Matt Lauer.
Financial columnist Chet Currier who wrote millions of words as a reporter for the Associated Press and Bloomberg News will receive a posthumous Pulitzer Prize for just four of those words, "You can't eat gold."
Notable deaths in 2009: Dick Cheney, Jeff Zucker, William T. Overgard, Charles Chaplin, Silvana Mangano, Elizabeth Taylor, William Henry Harrison and Wild Joe Crater.
A Tree will grow in Brooklyn.
Bobby Goren will be assigned to a uniform beat on Staten Island.
All TV stations will stop re-running M*A*S*H.
The Hurok Archives will confirm rumors that Artur Rubinstein used a player piano.
This blog will be available all year long at Westradamus.com on the internet. But why would you want to read it again? In fact, why did you read it this time?
I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you're welcome to them.®