Imaginings: 2023
by Michael Brenner on 11 Feb 2023 0 Comment

Prediction is a dicey business. It’s high risk – unless certain singular conditions prevail. That is when there are clues as to outcomes visible to the discerning eye. One striking example is provided by the fabled ‘Washington Consensus.’ Its forecasts invariably get it wrong. Think of (A) elections: Hillary in 2008 and 2016; the certainty that the country’s changing demographic would give the Democrats a lock on national elections; (B) prospects of success for American military interventions: Vietnam, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Yemen; claim that we would build a model democracy in Iraq as an irresistible lure for the entire Middle East - à la post-war Japan.


(C) the effectiveness of coercive sanctions: Russia, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua; (D) the firm belief that India would willingly be a crucial piece in the anti-China Quartet of powers organized by Washington (in fact, Delhi has taken the opposite course re. China & Russia – hence, the Isosceles Quartet): (E) the conviction that the imposition of severe sanctions on Russia, together with the war, would drive down Putin’s domestic popularity (now at 79%); (F) confidence that Biden’s personal absolution in Riyadh of Mohammed bin-Salman for the Khashoggi murder would ensure Saudi fidelity on critical energy/security issues; (G) the assertion that China could not develop economically if it acted counter to the US-inspired, IMF /World Bank model, the claim that NAFTA would create millions of good jobs; (H) Alan Greenspan was the brilliant overseer of a self-correcting monetary system that ensured financial stability in perpetuity.


Somebody could have made a fortune simply by placing a standing bet against whatever the blinkered herd was predicting. The only other comparable sure thing is to play the financial markets while being part of the BLUE WHALE cabal that for years rigged LIBOR.


Still, even without those unique advantages, we all like to imagine what the future will bring us. This list of my expectations is not an exercise in predication. Rather, it’s a set of “why nots?” in a world where literally anything can happen.


1] Meghan & Harry will replace the retiring Oprah Winfrey on a show called: ‘Spare Us A Moment’. It will open with their theme song – Louie Armstrong’s rendition of the Ellington classic: DUKE’S PLACE


2] The Nobel Committee for Literature announces that it will disband, in recognition that there is no one out there deserving of the prize. They declare: “Continuing to award it to non-entities is to dishonour the greats who were past recipients” – citing inter alia Mann, Yeats, Pasternack, Solzhenitsyn. 


3] The Norwegian Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to NEO-CONS Inc. /Ltd. /SA for their conclusive demonstration that promiscuous, compulsive military action is futile and usually counter-productive


4] Merrick Garland reveals that he is opening an investigation into the ‘suicide’ death of Vince Foster – the former Vice-Counsel of the Clinton White House. This is in response to repeated allegations that he was killed by the Clintons to stifle possible disclosure of illegal doings. Reliable sources say that Garland’s motive was a desire to reinforce his credentials as a non-partisan Attorney-General. Accordingly, Garland intends to appoint a Special Counsel. The selection has been delayed because the recent heavy demand has left only a small pool of qualified candidates available from here to Eternity. Unconfirmed reports suggest that he may consider luring Robert Mueller out of retirement.


5] Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande together are publishing a book entitled DIPLOMACY FOR A DUPLICITOUS ERA. It has received pre-publication endorsement from Barack Obama, Boris Johnson, Ursula van der Leyen, Tony Blinken, John Kerry, Lis Truss, Vladimir Zelensky, Olaf Schulz, Emmanuel Macron, Justin Trudeau, Jen Stoltenberg, and Vladimir Putin who wrote: “This is a must read for statesmen everywhere. It unequivocally proves that all I have claimed about the West’s implacable hostility toward Russia is correct.”


6] The Swedish government has been silent as to the conclusion of its investigation into responsibility for the sabotage of the NORDSTROM II Baltic pipeline. It now has been revealed by an anonymous source within Stockholm’s deep state that the culpable party was Captain NEMO and his crew on the NAUTALIS. DOD spokesman John Kirby, responding to questions at this morning’s press conference, stated that “the United States does not find that judgment implausible…. Jules Verne long has been suspected of being an agent of influence directed by the Kremlin”


7] President Emmanuel Macron of France and Chancellor Olaf Schulz of Germany have sent an open letter to EU Commission President Ursula van der Leyen proposing that she constitute a Special Commission – composed of representatives from all 27 member states and chaired by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Martin (Garden / Jungle) Borrell – mandated to prepare a set of options for ending the bloody war in Ukraine. Its final report should be delivered within 90 days, or the time of Russia’s complete withdrawal from Ukraine territories – whichever comes first. The Special Commission’s recommendations then will be presented to the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament for debate, deliberation and (possible) decision. 


8] An expose in BILD reveals that Jen Stoltenberg and Annalena Baerbock have been hedging their bets by making large investments in prime Russian real estate. The two reportedly have purchased high-end condos in the luxurious resort Decembrist Mansions on Lake Baikal. The brainchild of Anna Chapman, this Davos East project features year-round ice fishing.


9] The State Department is introducing a fresh requirement for all senior diplomats assigned to European postings. It is participation in an intense course where they are instructed on methods for exploiting the Stockholm Syndrome when dealing with deferential native officials. Each session will feature an inspirational inaugural presentation by Victoria Nuland.


10] Tony Blinken has assured Zelensky that, whatever happens in Ukraine, Washington will take responsibility for the upkeep of his Florida mansion – and other properties – until he is ready to take occupy it.


11] Michael McFaul and Condoleezza Rice are meeting weekly at the Russian Renaissance bistro on Geary in San Francisco to plot the composition of the successor government in the Kremlin when Putin falls. The conspirators have given their clandestine project the name: Operation Anastasia.


12] The Columbia School of Journalism has added a course on Stenography to its core curriculum.


13] Each of the 5 Memphis policemen accused of 2nd degree murder has announced his intention to run for the Presidency as a Republican. Citing the Garland Principle, their legal team have made the appeal for the assignment of a Special Counsel – on the grounds that doing so is the appropriate and necessary way to ensure that the judicial process is not tainted by any suspicion of partisan bias.


14] A Federal judge has blocked the city of Newark from enforcing newly promulgated gun control laws. She ruled that they violated a citizen’s constitutionally guaranteed right to protect himself in public. (TRUE) An investigative reporter for the Newark Star-Ledger has unearthed evidence that the judge long has been under psychiatric treatment for a crippling addiction to Gunsmoke reruns. He also quoted a former college roommate as saying that she boasted of having been married to Wyatt Earp in a previous incarnation, and a poker partner of Doc Halliday.


15] Members of the 13 grand juries examining the criminal doings of Donald Trump are assembled at a retreat on the WYE Plantation on the East Shore of Maryland to discuss next steps in their various proceedings now that Ron DeSantis has won the 2024 presidential election and has announced his intention to appoint Sidney Powell as his Attorney-General. Outgoing A.G. Merrick Garland has sent a message via Tik-Tok thanking them for their service, extending his best wishes for their future endeavours. He accompanied it with a personal recording of AS TIME GOES BYE.


16] Ronaldo, touring the Saudi ‘Empty Quarter’ in his capacity as MSB’s super promoter of Desert football, has been kidnapped by jihadi bandits. They demand a ransom of $1 billion – denominated in Yuan and rubles - plus either Lionel Messi or Erling Haaland.


17. Allen Weisselberg, convicted on multiple counts of tax evasion and tax fraud in his position as a senior executive in the Trump organization, received a 5-month jail sentence. His lawyers have announced that they intend to appeal the sentencing on the grounds that so brief a time in the slammer unreasonably denies their client the opportunity to make hay on the talk-show circuit and to land a 7-figure contract for a tell-all memoir. 


18] Janet Yellen and Rishi Sunak are taking extraordinary measures to conceal the awkward fact that 53% percent of the recent spike in inflation is due to exaggerated price hikes by corporations; their past contributions during earlier high inflation periods being 10-15 percent. (TRUE) The two are acutely worried that this data could throw a monkey-wrench into their plans to use inflation as the justification for sticking it to salaried workers – thereby stalling their strategy to make the flagging Anglo-Saxon economies able to compete with their Asian rivals through drastic reduction of wage costs; and to ensure high profits and debt service income for their constituents in the financial world.


19]  FIFA is making known its plan to expand the 2020 World Cup to include 96 national teams – a dramatic increase over the 48 who will be invited to the United States in 2026 and far more than the traditional 36. FIFA President Gianni Infantino scoffed at slanderous criticism that the change is being made for purely financial gain. He went on to denounce the accusation as yet another example of Russian meddling to sow divisions among the peace-loving countries of the Federation: “Putin is paranoid about anything that might reinforce secessionist sentiment in Tana Tuva which is pencilled in to play Vanuatu in the opening match at Bandera Stadium in Lviv /Lvov /Lemberg.”


20] A Meta-study by a consortium of institutes and think-tanks shows that studies show whatever you want them to show.


21] The till now secret memoir being written by Melania reveals that Trump’s immediate reaction to the COVID-19 crisis was: “Why don’t they just handle it the way they did the first 18!”


22] Joe Biden and Kevin McCarthy have reached agreement on raising the debt ceiling. The President has expressed his willingness to accept cuts in Social Security and Medicare spending in exchange for the Speaker’s lifting his block on targeted appropriations for the General Services Administration for paying the White House electric and water bills. Biden issued a statement declaring that “This success shows how much can be accomplished by continuing to work across the aisle in good faith”.


At today’s press conference, spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre lauded the parties’ constructive spirit in finding ‘common ground.’ Asked by an irksome reporter whether the President’s bold action was inspired by the old proverb: “Better to light a candle than shout in the dark,” she responded: “The President is dedicated - above all else - with serving the American people. He judged that could best he can best perform that sworn duty if he had the benefit of electric light - so that he could see what he was doing.”


23] Joe Biden’s White House aides, eager that he run for re-election, have resorted to slipping into his INBOX vintage advertising for GERITOL – ‘Cure for Tired Blood.’


24] Pope Emeritus Benedict (Joseph Ratzinger), recently deceased, has been accused of covering up the scandalous conduct of paedophiles in the priesthood. Now, new evidence has surfaced that may require a modification of that harsh judgment. It is in the form of an authenticated copy of a missive that he transmitted secretly to the Church clergy. It enjoined them to abstain from partaking of altar-boys during Lent. Barack Obama, in a private letter to Benedict, commended him for a “bold and brave measure on which future papacies could build.”       


25] The Democratic National Committee has decreed that candidates for national office in the 2024 elections are required to enrol in an ‘assertiveness training’ program to be eligible for financial support from the DNA. The encouragingly numerous response has been bolstered by a strong preference for programs offered by qualifying correspondence schools.


26] Elon MUSK has banned himself from Twitter, saying: “On a Crusade (to purify social media), a true chieftain must lead from the front”.




Damian Williams, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, who is notorious for having shockingly guillotined the well-advanced, multi-pronged investigation of Donald Trump’s illicit real estate /financial manipulations without any explanation, made a stunning announcement this morning. He revealed that his office is opening a criminal investigation into the conduct of Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer and counsellor. Background briefings from aides speaking without attribution told a select group of senior correspondents that there was one particular area of interest: Cohen’s possible perjury in secret sworn testimony to the FBI that he knew of only 11 instances when President Trump broke the law when, in fact, he later provided evidence about 17 such instances. 


When pressed for specifics as to the sequence and pacing of official actions, the aide confided that they envisaged something like the following:

Completion of investigation – April 1

Indictment – May 1

Trial date - June 1

Sentencing – July 1

“Justice delayed is justice denied,” he affirmed.


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