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Every politician is cynical about some things, but I think Al Gore was a True Believer about the environment. He wanted people to make the beauty of nature a high priority, higher sometimes than getting cheaper gasoline or having to pay more for consumer and industrial products. In this age, a politician with that message is preaching to the choir.
With Gore out of the way, the Democrats can make some hay on the environment, and make it an issue that can convert some voters. The Republicans have a pretty poor record on environmental issues, defensible only because most people favored the other things they made a higher priority. Imagine some Democratic leader redefining the debate, explaining how global-warming and ozone-layer issues are endangering future lives. “We could lose more lives in the future from ignoring these issues than we could from ignoring the presence of rogue nations having nuclear weapons.”
I have a number of other ideas for 2003, but, unlike these previous three, I’m not the only person on the planet who believes them. Just the same, I’ll hedge my bets by predicting some safe things:
4. AOL Time Warner will do a bunch of wheeling and dealing.
Scarcely a year goes by when that doesn’t happen.
5. A woman will be invited to join Augusta National.
Martha Burk and her group will succeed because many of Augusta National’s members are leaders of companies that pride themselves on providing equal opportunities for all. It pains me that a private club should have to knuckle under, especially when its members aren’t hurting women and probably would have invited a woman to join in the near future without this. Worst of all, amid the celebration, Martha and her followers will forget that there are many more pressing, but less newsworthy, problems women face. If I was Martha Burk, I’d have passed on getting Augusta National to admit a token woman and put the same pressure on the same people who don’t offer child care to workers, or maternity leave, or equal pay or advancement. If you believe in any of those issues, you have to think they are more important than getting an Augusta National membership for Carly Fiorina or Nancy Lopez.
6 . Nothing good will happen for McDonald’s.
The company is replacing its CEO, Jack Greenberg, who worked at McDonald’s for 21 years, with Jim Cantalupo, who worked at McDonald’s for 28 years. The pace of change at that place can only be described as “glacial.”
7. It will be a mighty long time before Nigeria hosts a beauty pageant again.
Thanks to Ken Lay, Jeff Skilling, David Duncan, Phil Mickelson, Michael Eisner, Martha Stewart, Jane Sherburne, Martha Burk, Jane Welch, Harvey Pitt, Edgar Bronfman, Jr., Sam Waksal, George W. Bush, Paul O’Neill, Saddam Hussein, Steve Case, Ted Turner, Eliot Spitzer, Rudy Giuliani, Doug Daft, and others too numerous to mention. I hope you don’t mind if I pick on somebody else next year … in addition to picking on you some more.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?