Journalists love year-end recaps, but summarizing the odyssey that was 2017 might better be left to late-night comedians. So herewith a precap of news certain to occur in 2018:
Jan. 1: President Trump tweets: “Let’s resolve to move forward in the New Year and make the right decisions for our wonderful nation and its beautiful people by finally bringing Crooked Hillary to justice!”
Jan. 5: Amazon abandons the search for a city to host its second headquarters, opting instead to simply purchase Cleveland.
Jan. 7: President Trump tweets: “Did Doug Jones really win in Alabama? Let the Electoral College decide!”
Feb. 4: At the Super Bowl, NFL executives announce plans to prevent head trauma and dizziness among players. The league says team doctors will now issue earplugs when crowd noise exceeds 150 decibels.
Feb. 5: On Time magazine’s list of “Men Mostly Likely to Avoid Sexual Misconduct Charges,” first place is shared by “Big Bang Theory” star Jim Parsons and the comedian Carrot Top.
Feb. 22: Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul loses two teeth fighting a customer at Home Depot for “the last container of Ortho Weed B Gon.”
Mar. 2: President Trump tweets: “Just turned down an Academy Award. Schedule won’t allow me to attend March 4 ceremony in Hollywood.”
Apr. 7: A select committee co-chaired by Sens. Diane Feinstein, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren backs a mandatory retirement age for elected officials. The panel recommends 105.
Apr. 14: After “an exhaustive search,” Amazon casts Jim Parsons to replace Jeffrey Tambor in the series “Transparent.”
May 23: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders clarifies that President Trump’s new ban on importing trophy wives does not apply to persons already living in the U.S.
June 8: The Boy Scouts of America votes to open its ranks to youngsters whose parents are Democrats.
July 4: President Trump wishes the nation a “Merry Christmas,” explaining via Twitter that having rescued the phrase from extinction he will now use it on all holidays.
July 10: The New York Times expands its robust roster of email offerings with “NYT24,” the company’s first hourly newsletter. Times reporters and columnists will analyze tweets posted by colleagues in the previous 60 minutes.
Aug. 1: Carrot Top is named host of NBC’s “Today” show.
Aug. 27: United Airlines says its boarding groups will now have names instead of numbers. Group 1 will be “Elite”; Group 2 “Superior”; Group 3 “Mediocre”; Group 4 “Deplorable”; Group 5 “Untouchable.”
Sep. 10: A dozen employees at Google come forward with claims of sexual harassment by the Google Assistant.
Sep. 19: President Trump tweets: “Television Academy just notified me I’m a unanimous choice for an Emmy. Not interested!”
Oct. 6: In the season premiere of “Saturday Night Live,” Kellyanne Conway and Jeff Sessions, both portrayed by Kate McKinnon, plot with Julian Assange (McKinnon) to get dirt on Bernie Sanders, played previously by Larry David but handled this season by Kate McKinnon.
Nov. 7: Election results show Democrats regaining a majority in the House.
Nov. 8: President Trump tweets: “Massive voter fraud by Democrats! Let the Electoral College decide!”
Nov. 22: President Trump pardons two turkeys, one State Department official, and three cabinet members.
Nov. 23: Donald and Melania Trump tweet: “Warmest wishes to our African American friends and neighbors as they celebrate Black Friday.”
Dec. 5: Refuting @realDonaldTrump, the Nobel Prize committee announces that President Trump will not be receiving an award this year.
Dec. 31: President Trump tweets: “I invented the term Precap. In 2019 the wall will be built. Fox & Friends will win the Emmy it deserves. I will release data proving that Crooked Hillary did not win the popular vote in 2016!”
Congress is like the long-suffering roommate who has to clean up after a party animal trashes the place.
President Donald Trump campaigned against immigrants in a presidential campaign with a xenophobic theme and lots of rhetoric about walls, and he blasted President Barack Obama—whose own birthplace Trump also questioned—for what he seemed to characterize as bleeding-heart immigration policies. He loved the cheers, even if some of them seem motivated by racial prejudice and outright anger.
So Trump plans to end the DACA program, an enlightened policy that installs legal protection for the children of immigrants brought here illegally by their parents—through no choice of theirs—allowing them to stay in the country to work after they turn 18.
The problem is, while Trump cares most about fulfilling his bombastic bellowing on the campaign circuit, members of Congress in both parties recognize that DACA is a good and sensible thing.
Many of those protected by it are contributing to the American economy, and working toward improving their lives and prospects through education that will help them improve the countries from which they came or the United States, where they now live and where many would like to stay.
There is simply little harm in allowing some young people to remain in the U.S. while they pursue education or work, obey laws, and make positive contributions to this country and to their families.
Even some Republicans—many of whom feared Trump’s huffing and puffing as based mostly in emotion—acknowledge that DACA is a good program, and that delaying a “solution,” meaning a cleanup of what Trump is doing, is downright cruel to those who are working in the United States under DACA.
For these are people, once and for all, who did not make the choice themselves to cross the border to the United States illegally. If they have been working and following the law, why should they be forced out of a place that is all many of them have ever known since early childhood?
Because of the delay on finding a solution to Trump’s plan, hundreds of thousands of people will lose protections extended to them under DACA at year’s end. And it appears, sadly, that such will happen because Congress is not slated to take up the issue until its return from a holiday break.
Every day of delay, reported the McClatchy Newspapers Washington bureau, means 120 people lose permits to allow them to stay in the country. That’s going to create unbelievable headaches for immigration officials if Congress eventually figures something out and those who have lose permits have to get them restored.
Meanwhile, word is buzzing that the party animal now plans another health-care throw down. Imagine the mess that will leave behind.
—The News & Observer (Raleigh, North Carolina)
From online story comments and Facebook
On residents’ Christmas light displays: There are some people that can’t enjoy things like this. There are some people that have epilepsy or seizure disorders, and the flashing lights set off terrible, long seizure episodes. During this season, these people seldom leave their houses at night because everyone has flashing lights outside their houses. It’s not fair for them. Yet all anyone can comment on is how great the lights are.
—Pam Long Cochran
There is always the other perspective, which people need to start taking into consideration. Christmas lights, although an inconvenience to you, also bring great joy to many others with different conditions. They cheer those who suffer with depression and shut-ins who can’t do anything but peer outside.
Wow, can’t please everybody. Christmas happens “once a year.” Geez.
On record attendance for Rotary Gardens light show: We went early Tuesday evening. No crowd, which was great. Had the place to ourselves in the 1-degree weather. Other years, almost too crowded. So go on a bitter cold night!
—Eileen McElligott Ahlstrom
On Friday editorial, “Milton’s live-streaming solution helps nobody”: This doesn’t seem like just an absurd reaction to a complaint in Michigan that might one day be repeated here. It seems to be more an excuse to exclude as much of the public as the school board can while it reconfigures for its next attempt to pass a referendum. They obviously feel that closing off some access will help them control the referendum narrative better than they have the last two times when it failed.
You know, before we accuse the school board of deceit and automatically bash every decision the district and its leadership makes, perhaps we should consider some things. These are local folks, our friends and neighbors, who are devoting many hours to an unpaid and often thankless job. They deserve better than automatic suspicion of motives for their every move.
On new state law for EMT workers: This would have helped my sister when she last dislocated her hip and the EMTs couldn’t give her anything for pain during the trip to the hospital. The EMTs said they would use her as an example for why the law is needed.
On Dec. 21 robbery of Janesville payday lender: Well, that’s a change. They’re usually the ones doing the robbing!
This letter is in regard to The Gazette's "thumbs down" Monday to "animal rights vigilantes" regarding the man who scalded his dog. Calling animal rights people "vigilantes" should have been edited for good taste and libel per The Gazette letters policy.
You think animal lovers relish the idea of torturing a human being? I am sure their motivation is simply for the fair punishment for the dog's torturer.
If the man who scalded the dog had used the good sense to house train the dog, it wouldn't have urinated or defecated in the house at the age of 11 months. Also, after this happened, the man would be expected to clean the house, but it wouldn't be necessary to bathe the dog. The man also admitted he had set the water temperature to maximum before putting the dog in the tub. If he was actually washing the dog, he would have lost the skin on his own hands since the water was hot enough to remove the dog's hair and skin and muscle.
He mentioned that he left the dog in the tub to check on a child in another room. If the way he treated the dog is any indication of his temperament, I would hesitate to leave a child in his care.
As to your comparison of punishment for those guilty of animal cruelty and those guilty of crimes against human beings, those accused humans are afforded a trial to determine their guilt and need for punishment. There should be no comparison.