Hendricks County Flyer
---- — It’s that time of year — a time when we are about the future, not the past; a time when we are done with reflection and want prediction; a time when your humble correspondent has gazed into the 2014 crystal ball long enough for things to come into focus.
So get ready. These forecasts are worth every bit as much as you paid for them.
In his State of the Union address, President Obama calls for a week-long celebration of five years of economic recovery and a reduction in the national unemployment rate to 6.9 percent, “thanks to the policies my administration has put in place.”
The president also calls on Congress to extend unemployment benefits to 250 weeks. “Millions of people are out of work,” he says, “and we can’t expect them to find jobs that aren’t there to find.”
Congress moves to follow Colorado’s lead and make the recreational use of marijuana legal nationwide — but only for women.
“We believe in a woman’s right to choose,” says Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. “I keep hearing that women should be allowed to control their own bodies. Doesn’t that mean deciding what substances to put into them?”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) files a bill to ban banks and credit card companies from doing credit checks on applicants.
“As the president has demonstrated in his courageous leadership of this country, true fiscal responsibility is not about paying your bills but getting a higher credit limit,” she says. “It would be un-American for predatory lenders to undermine that.”
Hillary Clinton schedules an interview with all the major broadcast and cable networks to announce that she has not yet decided whether to run for president, and that she will commence a speaking and fundraising tour of all 50 states to spread the word.
“The election is not until 2016,” she says, pounding the table for emphasis, “so what difference, at this point, does it make?”
Time magazine revokes its “Man of the Year” selection of Pope Francis, after the pontiff issues a statement calling for people to respect the sanctity of life, including life in the womb.
Asked about the unprecedented move, a Time spokesman says, “It was fine as long as he was attacking capitalism in general and America in particular. But now he’s just another religious extremist, trying to impose his values on everybody else. We don’t want to reward that.”
President Obama announces that, as the first step of his campaign to eliminate inequality in America, all public school students will henceforth be named to the honor roll.
“It’s not fair for the more fortunate to get these awards,” he says, “and besides, with more than 75 percent of students making the honor roll anyway, it won’t be that much of a change.”
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos announces a contract with the National Security Agency to distribute and install surveillance cameras throughout the country, with his new fleet of drones.
“It’s a win-win,” Bezos says. “The NSA will be better equipped to fight terrorism by spying on everyone, and we will prove we can deliver packages to every address in the nation. And don’t worry — unless you have something to hide, you have nothing to fear.”
The president plays his 300th round of golf — the most of any president since Dwight Eisenhower.
Asked about it at a press conference, Obama expresses shock. “Nobody informed me about this,” he says. “Let me be clear. I want the American people to know that nobody is madder about this than me. And I will not rest until I have brought the people responsible for this to justice.”
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden turns himself in and stands trial, where he argues that since the president ignores laws he doesn’t like — including his own health care law — he should be able to, as well. The judge rejects the argument, chiding Snowden for assuming that the law applies equally to everyone.
“Obedience to the law is only for the little people,” he says. “That is part of the transformation of America that the president promised before he was elected.”
President Obama announces that the second phase of his campaign to eliminate inequality in America will be for the federal government to provide every citizen of voting age with a handgun.
“It’s not fair that only some people can afford a firearm,” he says. “This is the great challenge of our generation — to make sure that everyone in American can become a ‘gun nut.’”
Health and Human Services Director Kathleen Sebelius announces that all labor unions will be permanently exempt from the Obamacare tax on so-called “Cadillac” health plans.
“It is too much of a burden on hard-working people,” she says, “and this will also let the American people know that when the president talks about everybody playing by the same rules, he’s just kidding.”
The president announces that the federal government will now fund college costs for all students except those who come from “millionaire” families — those making $250,000 or more.
The cost will be covered by “asking the wealthy to pay a bit more,” he says, adding, “this should not increase our deficit by a single dime.”
— Taylor Armerding is an independent columnist. Contact him at email@example.com.