Staff Columnist

Predictions 2020. For the outraged and humorless

The Capitol Building in Des Moines on Wednesday, March 12, 2014. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette-KCRG TV9)
The Capitol Building in Des Moines on Wednesday, March 12, 2014. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette-KCRG TV9)

Lots of scribes are making predictions for 2020. Most will be wrong. So why not be really, really wrong, I say.

All I know for sure is people will be outraged and largely humorless. So I give you my outrageous and largely humorless predictions for the New Year.

President Donald Trump will be removed from his office. Don’t get excited. It’s just another golf outing.

The Senate will not vote to convict the president of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Instead, the Senate will vote to award him the first-ever Senate Medal for Executive Courage and Brilliance, in recognition of his epic efforts to ward off impeachment. Several Republican senators suffer minor injuries amid a stampede to the White House to award Trump his medal.

Iowa’s first-first-in-the-nation caucuses will draw criticism from those who think the state is too white, too flat, too cold, too fat, too old, too windy, too rural and not trendy. Iowans don’t pick a winner, and what’s with the bacon, breakfast, lunch and dinner? Also, where the hell is the almond milk?

Democratic presidential hopeful John Delaney, in a last-ditch effort to gain attention for his floundering campaign, jumps a motorcycle over a shark and introduces his cousin Oliver as an adorable sidekick.

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar is caught on a hot mic asking an aide, “Doncha you know why Iowans smile when it’s lightning? Because they think they’re having their pictures taken! Buncha rubes, I tell ya.” Her campaign is thrown immediately into crisis mode.

In Riverside, Ia., Democrat Pete Buttigieg will deliver a stump speech in fluent, flawless Klingon.

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Joe Biden will cause a late stir when he inadvertently admits he voted for Trump and “probably would again.”

Just days before the caucuses, a genetically modified candidate named Petabeth “Bernie” Bidenbookerbochar, will enter the caucus race. The 70-foot-tall Democrat shoots carbon neutralizing beams from its eyes, has very, very large hands for grabbing new taxes and features a “Medicare-or-else” health care plan. Pundits held captive in its mountain lair will enthusiastically predict a Petabeth surge.

Eastern Iowans will witness a particularly nasty campaign in the 1st Congressional District. It will reach a new low when Republican challenger Ashley Hinson refuses to use U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer’s actual name, referring to her only as Socialism Pelosi.

At a rally in Dubuque, Trump will introduce Hinson as “Allison Harper.”

Republican state lawmakers will vote to raise the sales tax to fill the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust fund, but only after slashing funding intended for outdoor recreation.

Passage will come after the Iowa Farm Bureau promises to open Confined Amusement and Fun Operations, or CAFOs, across the state, along with an “Iowa Impaired Waters Park” featuring the thrilling “Fertilizer Flume,” “Algae Adventure” and “Hazy River.”

Lawmakers will cut taxes. Gov. Kim Reynolds’ bill-signing ceremony will feature a stirring flyover by corporate jets in windfall formation.

In other legislative action, Republicans will vote for a bill that locks Attorney General Tom Miller inside his office and cuts off his online access, a measure that turns judicial selection over to the Republican State Central Committee and legislation that makes solar power a Schedule I controlled substance.

Reluctant lawmakers will slightly tweak Iowa’s medical cannabis law, but nothing crazy.

Iowans will vacation in Illinois in record numbers, for some reason.

Locally, Cedar Rapids will celebrate being picked to host the Iowa Impaired Waters Park at First and First West.

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Joy will be short-lived as the region endures a 100-year flood. Sure, I hope it doesn’t happen. But thanks to the effects of a changing climate, it’s now four times more likely. Don’t worry, I’ll have a talk with the river.

Cedar Rapids Mayor Brad Hart will be unhappy with something he sees in The Gazette. Maybe it’s a story, a headline or an editorial. Maybe it will be this paragraph.

Newbo will continue to evolve, but in a good way.

Meanwhile, local investors will announce plans for a tiny, kiosk casino with a single slot machine, a drive-up blackjack window and a hot dog warmer. But state market studies will show the kiosk would cannibalize 40 percent of Riverside’s revenue. No dice.

After hard seltzer, hard cider and hard soda, beverage makers will set their sights on hard milk. In response, a local company will develop Bourbon Berries cereal. “It’s Bourbon Berries, then Back to Bed!” Sales soar in early primary states. But where is the almond hard milk, Iowa?

Well, I’m off to Illinois. Happy New Year!

(319) 398-8262; todd.dorman@thegazette.com

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