By LLEWELLYN KING
Here are 20 vital questions for New Year 2013. In every case, the answer is "probably not."
1. Will the telephone companies, the credit-card issuers and every other organization stop torturing their customers with automated phone systems that deny the right to speak to a human being?
2. Will President Obama tell us where he thinks the nation is going, and what it will look like in four years?
3. Will the Tea Party folks finally get over tea and try something a little stronger, like head-clearing bourbon?
4. Will Oprah Winfrey stage a comeback as the nation's feel-better-about-things grande dame?
5. Will Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., stop raising money for the Democrats and make us laugh again?
6. Will the slanderous, stress-producing system of credit scoring be banned?
7. Will Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell stop looking as though his last meal disagreed with him?
8. Will Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid remove the whine from his voice and the stoop from his shoulders?
9. Will New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie go on a diet and break the hearts of fat people everywhere?
10. Will right-wing diva Laura Ingraham (pretty and poisonous) apologize to Hillary Clinton for alleging the secretary of state is faking her concussion?
11. Will Donald Trump look in the mirror, shudder uncontrollably and depart public life for monastic confines?
12. Will Mitt Romney volunteer in a homeless shelter or a food bank to get a fix on those shiftless people who President Obama bought off?
13. Will truth-in-labeling come back to coffee and much else so that a can that looks like a pound is a pound, not 12.3-ounces or less?
14. Will broadcaster Sean Hannity show us a cancer patient being treated in an emergency room, which he says provides universal health care?
15. Will it be the end of the scolds on cable television, who could frighten children, like Eliot Spitzer, Monica Crowley and Ann Coulter?
16. Will Wayne LaPierre, honcho of the National Rifle Association, literally shoot himself in the foot so he can say, "guns don't cause bodily harm, feet do"?
17. Will tax-phobic Grover Norquist explain why little Denmark, with the highest taxes in the world, is also one of the most prosperous countries on Earth?
18. Will we have to know every detail about the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry's baby's first blanket, first poo, first word, first tooth, first step, first teddy bear all and every day on television in this republic?
19. Will public broadcasting continue its homage to British television comedies, some of which are so old it is hard to believe that we are being served?
20. Will Lindsay Lohan come to Washington and party with me?