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The Big Story Of 2018 Will Be…

Submitted and authored by: Nick Harlow

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Normally at this time you’ll find all sorts of columns recapping the highlights of the past year. It might be more fun to look into the crystal ball and try to predict what will be dominating the headlines (and fake news) in 2018.

Now you’re probably assuming that stories like the FBI, tax cuts and the mid-term elections will be the top stories. Sure, they’ll continue to be covered a great deal, while the left-wing media will never let the Russia narrative die. But there are some major stories you might not have thought of that I predict will provide some serious coverage, along with a ton of water cooler gossip.

Now… the big story of 2018… and the winner is…

The List.

Huh? What’s The List?

Oh, trust me, this story will demand capital letters. I’m referring to the list of Congressional members who engineered those settlement payouts (previously known as “hush money”) which cost the taxpayers millions. This story will make Watergate look like an unpaid parking ticket.

Think about it… a secret slush fund to make problems go away. Sounds like something out of Hollywood. Now imagine we suddenly find out three important facts: who is on the list, who knew about the fund, and who actually created it? You think we’ve seen some Congressional resignations this year? Wait till next year when Congress will put out a resignation form letter. Sign here and get the hell out.

This will be as much fun as that JFK document dump. Admit it… you can’t wait to see who’s on the list. Will it feature some hypocritical Democrat who champions women’s rights? Some holier-than-thou Bible-thumping Republican?

The big question: will there be any women who had to make a payout? Surely the odds are good that one of Hillary’s staffers got some cash after dodging a flying lamp.

And wouldn’t it be fun to start some sort of office knockout pool picking members of Congress you think hit the slush fund? C’mon, Maxine Waters.

Meanwhile, the crystal ball has some other ideas about three other big stories of 2018:

-NFL season ticket renewals: Sure, the NFL says attendance is fine, but that’s based on ticket sales, most of which are of the season ticket variety. Apparently the league counts fans disguised as empty seats. How many fans won’t renew next year? Considering there were NFL tickets as low as two bucks this year available via internet resellers, get ready for NFL owners to get hit in the wallet and realize they need to put a stop to protests. Meanwhile, how many fans who got a Sunday Ticket refund (like me) won’t buy that package again? (Like me.)

-Snowflake college enrollment: After that fiasco at the University of Missouri, enrollment tanked. How many parents want to spend 50 grand a year so their kid can hang out in a safe space and get a useless degree in “gender studies” or ancient philosophy? Get ready for a mass exodus from schools that had radical left-wing policies. And what alumnus wants to send a donation to such schools?

-Citizens of high tax states revolt: Now that state & local tax deductions for 2018 will be limited to ten grand, those stuck paying ridiculous property and state income taxes will demand their state officials start tightening the belt. As to whether places like New York or Connecticut actually know the meaning of “cutting spending”, well, that’s another story. So get ready for a speedier exodus from these states as residents seek states that don’t gouge their citizens.

Anyway, those are my predictions. Of course if you want something to bet the mortgage on, you can rest assured that fake news will reach a level so high it will qualify for a Hugo Award.

That’s something given for science fiction or fantasy.

Nick Harlow is a former television reporter and network producer. He is the author of several political thrillers and the recent “Deplorables’ Guide to Fake News.”

(December 28, 2017)

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