2012 Precap

PUBLISHED: December 28, 2011

News organizations are scurrying to review events of the year gone by, lest we forget such enduring treats as Kim Kardashian's wedding and Herman Cain's candidacy. But rather than another boring recap, here is a fully-vetted Precap of news to come in 2012.

JAN. 1: At one minute past midnight, Newt Gingrich signs an Executive Order dissolving the EPA, FDA, FCC and FAA. Aides caution him that the election is still 11 months away.

JAN. 2: Angered by reports that the Obama Administration wants to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans, NBA players begin a strike that "threatens the remainder of the season."

JAN. 14: Newt Gingrich says the New Year's story is being "deliberately distorted by media," explaining that he was merely giving aides "historical guidance" about Executive Orders.

FEB. 2: Sec. of State Clinton signs a landmark agreement stipulating that for every dollar the U.S. borrows, it will now receive two miles in the Air China rewards program.

FEB. 24: On Capitol Hill, as the House debates emergency legislation to avoid a government shutdown, Speaker John Boehner discloses that due to a clerical error two years earlier, the government has been shutdown since March 2010.

MAR. 8: At a hastily called news conference, Donald Trump declares that if Greece cannot "get its financial act together, I will step in and run for Prime Minister."

MAR 17: A new Gallup poll shows the GOP presidential race tightening. Romney leads with 4 percent of all registered Republicans, followed by Gingrich at 3, with Perry and Paul tied at 2.

MAR 18: Rick Perry drops out of the presidential race, telling reporters: "I should have listened to the advice of, uh, Sally Palin, the, you know, former mayor of Alaska, when she suggested that I write the tough answers on my hand."

APR. 3: On the eve of the new baseball season, Major League owners approve expanded use of instant replay. Umpires will now use multiple TV angles to determine if any batted or thrown ball has been interfered with by players' spit.

APR. 6: People.com reports that Demi Moore and Charlie Sheen are engaged.

APR. 8: After attending Sunday services, Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee is joined by a costumed Holiday Bunny to welcome kids in Providence to the annual Holiday Egg hunt.

APR. 11: Fox News Channel cancels low-rated "Huckabee," and replaces it with "Raising Cain," starring former presidential candidate Herman Cain.

MAY 10: The Labor Department identifies Bill "Smitty" Smith of Omaha as the last unemployed person in America. It is noted that official unemployment figures do not include those who have "given up" looking for work.

MAY 12: CNN reports that four unidentified female salon owners, represented by Gloria Allred, have come forward to charge Mitt Romney with using various dyes and other hair coloring products over a 13-year period.

MAY 13: With "The Book of Mormon" continuing to set attendance records on Broadway, creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone begin rehearsals for "Sharia Law: The Musical."

JUNE 4: U.S. unemployment falls to a record 0%, as Smitty Smith tells the Omaha World-Herald that he has accepted a position with Citibank as a phone operator in its New Delhi office.

JULY 7: VH-1 presents a 48-hour "Debate Marathon" featuring the 25 funniest GOP debates from the past year, selected by viewers in an online poll.

JULY 19: In New York, Callista Gingrich undergoes emergency root canal, while outside the dentist's office husband Newt tells TMZ the couple is separating and that he has been dating Margo Beauville, a vice president at Tiffany's.

AUG. 27: As millions of kids head back to school, the Department of Education announces that Facebook has been reclassified as a "book," and time spent on the site will count toward all reading requirements.

SEPT. 10: The publishing industry is shaken by word that Newsweek magazine, sold in 2010 for $1, has again been sold -- at a loss of almost 50 cents on the dollar.

SEPT. 19: While attempting to verify the nursery rhyme about a cow jumping over the moon, TV show "Mythbusters" accidentally drops an 840-pound Holstein through the roof of a Motel 6 in Muncie, Ind. Producers say the cow was "shaken up" but otherwise unhurt.

OCT. 25: With less than two weeks until Election Day, the White House announces that it is delaying the 2012 election until after the 2016 election. According to a spokesman, "We think the American people need more time to study the matter before making a final decision."

NOV. 13: The Postal Service issues a reminder that to guarantee delivery by Christmas, all first-class greeting cards must be mailed by this Friday.

NOV. 23: At one minute past midnight, Wal-Mart stores begin what is believed to be the earliest sale ever on Easter merchandise.

DEC. 3: NBC weather guy Al Roker announces his retirement and is replaced on "Today" by Brian Williams, who will remain on "Nightly News" and "Rock Center," while serving as the new host of "Fear Factor."

DEC. 31: Congress abandons efforts to avoid a government shutdown in 2012, and races a midnight deadline to avoid a shutdown in 2013.

(c) Peter Funt. This column first appeared in The Boston Globe.

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