CAPITAL MERRY-GO-ROUND: Turning real film titles into Washington ups and downs:
• Swamp Thing — D.C. bureaucrats come and go. Swamp gets deeper and stinkier.
• The World, the Flesh and the Devil — Democrats stage noisy demonstration protesting Donald Trump takeover.
• The Devil to Pay — They send the breakage bill to Trump.
• Libeled Lady — Hillary Clinton has blues, sues over fake news.
• Arsenic and Old Lace — The Trumps invite the Clintons to tea. Someone steals the Lincoln doilies.
• The Crying Game — Who lost the Rust Belt?
• Dr. Kildare Returns — Ex-candidate Ben Carson reluctantly takes Housing and Urban Development post. Will perform brain surgery in the West Wing. Obamacare patients excluded.
• The Lady Vanishes — Hillary and Bill move to Hawai‘i, run luau concession. Launch Hawai‘i independence movement.
• Babes in Toyland — Trump administration runs rampant, wrecking Obama leave-behinds.
• The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari — Dem burglars break into Trump bankruptcy files. Find Putin has already been there.
• The Man Who Could Work Miracles — Victory snatched from the jaws of certain defeat. (Hold for recount.)
• And Then There Were None — Michelle and Barack and all Democrats move out of the White House; Trump counts the spoons.
• Sense and Sensibility — Jane Austen clone attempts romantic profile of new administration but runs into writer’s block after first paragraph.
• Gone with the Wind — Hillary’s proposed memoir: My First Year as President. Publisher suggests new title.
• Kiss of the Tarantula — Senate GOP and Dem leaders embrace after the inauguration. Screening to be followed by the traditional bury-the-hatchet ceremony, with real hatchets.
• King of Kings — President Trump assumes unconstitutional powers. Supreme Court ties 4-4 on the issue.
• Creature from the Black Lagoon — Trump nominates new Supreme Court justice.
• They Were Expendable — Trump fires Civil Rights Commission members. They flee in a WWII torpedo boat.
• One Million Years B.C. — Raquel Welch models scanty “new morals” sunsuit. President grabs her in Senate cloakroom.
• Thirteen Women — Hillary’s hoped-for Supreme Court.
• From Here to Eternity — Trump abolishes all future elections, “since this one was rigged.”
• Petticoat Fever — Proclaiming an open marriage, President Trump begins dating.
• The Best Years of Our Lives — Trump dons general’s uniform, flies over Iraq, and declares war over. Putin pins a medal on him.
• Drag Me to Hell — Trump evicts elderly woman from her HUD-funded home and finds himself hit by a supernatural curse.
• WhiteNights — Mikhail Baryshnikov dances with alt-right nationalist Trump aide Stephen Bannon to “Song of the Putin Boatmen.” KKK “White Knights” orchestra plays ’til midnight, and then strips off sheets and leaves.
• The Night of the Generals — Trump’s Cabinet parties at the Pentagon. Paw through blueprints for Trump wall at Mexican border. Guy with the most medals gets to appoint his wife ambassador to Paris. Guy with the fewest takes wife on a Bakersfield shopping spree in an Uber.
• Invasion of the Body Snatchers — New Congress takes over. Kicks out Californians. California secedes, annexes Baja.
• Jurassic Park — Retired generals come back to life, take over Pentagon. Claim victory in Vietnam.
• Goldfinger — Sean Connery appointed treasury chief. Loans Trump a few billion. Shirley Bassey sings at swearing-in.
• Diva — Trump’s daughter Ivanka races through Paris in sleek black Citroën to outwit socialist gang and sings at opera. Smart young courier in scooter records it and makes millions. They flee to Riviera.
• Oklahoma Crude — Faye Dunaway unmasks Scott (Okie) Pruitt, Trump appointee to head EPA, as climate-change denier and longtime EPA hater who wants to change agency’s name to OPA (Oilmen’s Protection Agency). Pruitt, Oklahoma attorney general, is suing EPA on climate-change issue.
• The Martian — Matt Damon propagates millions of Martians to invade Earth, who demand to vote on grounds that they’ve sheltered earthlings for centuries and turnabout is fair play.
• Dr. No — Trump Supreme Court appointee shocks all by declaring 2016 presidential election fraudulent. Ursula Undress confronts megalomaniacal villain in his Florida mansion.
What a country!
WE’RE EXCEPTIONAL: Even in a Banana Republic, Hillary Clinton would be president-elect now, announcing her appointees. But even with 2.7 million more votes (and still counting) than Trump, she’s just stuck with writing her memoir. New title: The Electoral College and I.
SMOKE IT, DON’T WATER IT: Folks I talk to around the U.S. are stunned: “No lawn watering allowed in the City of Santa Barbara? Things are that bad?” Yep, as of Happy New Year. Except for trees and golf course greens and tees. Will City College students attempt to grow marijuana trees?