It sure took long enough, but 2014 is finally winding down to a close. And there are a lot of reasons to feel fortunate about that — from crashed planes, Russian military incursions, heightened restrictions on abortion, and incidents of harrowing police violence, this last year has been a little taxing, to say the least.
But with a new year right around the corner comes the hope and possibility for happier times, against all odds. So, what might we be looking back on this time last year? Here are a few ideas — 35 predictions about the news in 2015.
1 Obama Brings Back the Tan Suit
It was pretty widely reviled by the Beltway press on its debut, but I actually kinda liked it.
2 Speaker John Boehner is Overthrown
Sure, the group of 16 to 18 GOP Reps. plotting a takedown of John Boehner’s speakership probably won’t go anywhere. But we can dream, right?
3 Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 is Finally Found
Pretty unlikely, there’s no doubt about that. But with the families of the victims still protesting and grieving, it’d be merciful to finally receive some measure of closure.
4 Rand Paul Gets Caught For Plagiarizing Again
Only this time let it be something funnier than movie plots cribbed from Wikipedia. Maybe ripping off some Batman quotes to make a point about undue taxation?
5 Jerry Brown Jumps in the 2016 Race
It could happen, right? Probably not. But, it could!
8 Rick Perry Jumps in the 2016 Race
This may be our best chance for another epic primary debate flame-out, after all! Oops redux?
9 The New Star Wars Movie Doesn't Suck
It’s been such a long time since anyone’s been able to say that, after all.
Image: Star Wars/YouTube
10 Obama Grows a Beard
I still can’t quite piece together in my head how this would look, but I know I’m desperate to see it.
11 GamerGate Goes Away
Am I optimistic enough to think GamerGate will wither up soon? Not exactly — but with the deservedly negative attention it’s received lately, one can always hope.
12 President Obama Affirms That #BlackLivesMatter
Would it be controversial? Given the current, dismal climate for discussions of race, sure. But is it important? I think so.
13 No More Children Stowaway in Airplane Wheel Wells
Because that. Is. Terrifying.
14 We Get to See "The Interview," One Way or the Other
Sure, Sony’s decision to pull the Seth Rogen/James Franco comedy (which I had no plans to see beforehand) may force us to cede to North Korean demands in the near term, but let’s be real — how long is it going to take before the movie leaks?
15 Obama Shows Off the Pipes Again
Has it really been three years since this happened?
17 A Lot More States Legalize Marijuana
It never hurts to dream, right? In reality, there are two new states slated to start legal sales next year — Oregon and Alaska — and if the GOP-led Congress gets out of the way, the District of Columbia, too.
People Remember That Slenderman Isn't Real
This would be a real boon to, well, people everywhere — no more murders over internet horror memes in 2015, please.
19 We'll Have an Openly Gay, Active NFL Player
Whether that’s because Michael Sam finally finds a job on an active roster, or because another brave plyer comes out of the closet, it’s long overdue for this bubble to be burst.
20 Hillary Clinton Jumps in the 2016 Race
21 Hillary Clinton is the Target of Implicitly Sexist Criticism
22 John Crawford's Family Wins Their Civil Suit
While criminal charges are a foregone conclusion, as an Ohio grand jury failed to indict Officer Sean Williams for fatally shooting John Crawford at a Beavercreek Walmart, his family’s federal civil suit was filed this week, both against Williams and the retail giant itself.
Images: R Joseph/Twitter
23 California's Drought Conditions Will Improve
This is a tall order if ever there was one, and maybe I’m just forecasting my hopes. But California could desperately use a wetter-than-average 2015, being in the grips of a severe drought even after December’s torrential rains.
24 Twitter Will Update Their Terms of Service on Abuse
We can only hope, at the very least, considering how many women were targeted by rape threats in 2014 only to be told no action would be taken.
McDonald's Japan's French Fry Shortage Ends
27 Hackers Try to Get Another Movie Cancelled
The precedent’s been set, after all.
28 Jeb Bush Challenges the GOP on Immigration
Having already courted intra-party controversy by calling illegal immigration an “act of love,” the newest Bush to enter the presidential fray has a chance to challenge his own party’s orthodoxy. If he could actually be successful doing so, it could trigger a GOP sea change on immigration.
29 Somebody Will Get Caught Being Really Racist About Obama
Not exactly climbing out on a ledge on this one, huh? In 2014, we had executives at Sony outed for racist cracks at Obama’s expense, thanks to the hacking incident that got The Interview cancelled, to say nothing. Who’s gonna say something really awful in 2015?
30 Ted Cruz Will Join the 2016 Presidential Race
Divisive, controversial, a man who fosters ill-will in his own party almost as well as he does his opponents’ — if Texas Senator Ted Cruz can pass up a chance for the presidential campaign spotlight, I’ll be shocked.
31 Republicans Set Up Cuba as 2016 Campaign Issue
It’s no secret that the part of the country where President Obama’s effort to normalize relations with Cuba could prove most controversial as also a state that a presidential election could hinge on — Florida, where anti-Castro sentiment runs strong and deep among an older ex-patriate community. Don’t expect the GOP to pass up such a juicy opportunity.
32 Abortion Access Stays Under Attack
It’s no secret what Republican-led states have been doing in recent years — with so-called TRAP laws (targeted regulation of abortion providers) shutting down clinics across swaths of the south, and 20-week abortion bans, the effort to circumvent the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling at the state level is in action, and sadly, it figures to continue in 2015.
33 You Haven't Heard the Last of Benghazi
Despite being kicked around for over two years now, and the exonerating findings of a recent Republican-led report into the fatal consulate attacks, Benghazi remains too compelling a topic among the GOP to disappear in 2015 — especially with a long summer of a likely Hillary Clinton presidential campaign in waiting.
34 Chris Christie Won't Suffer From Bridgegate
With virtually everyone anticipating a presidential run for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in 2016, don’t expect the Bridgegate scandal to factor much into things. Why? Because voters tend to have shorter memories than people assume, and an imperfect contender looks better than a sterling also-ran any day.
35 Obama Won't Make This Face Again
Which is a crying shame, honestly.