I'm a Pundit Too

Thursday, December 27, 2007

2007, A Year Like No Other. Or Was It?

As 2007 comes to a close, we look back over the preceding 12 months to see some heartbreaking stories, some that lifted our spirits, and then there were some that showed that in politics, one year is pretty much the same as any other year. January started with plenty of promises from politicians about the impending change in Congress. It is now ending with very little changed about how things are done in Washington. Let’s look back over the year at just a few of the events that made history.

Undoubtedly, one of the biggest stories of the year took place on April 16 in the college town of Blacksburg, Va. Cho Seug-Hui became infamous throughout history for his killing spree on the campus of Virginia Tech that claimed the lives of 33 students and staff. As with any tragedy, there were scores of “experts” that appeared to assign blame to everyone from the gun that Cho used, to President Bush. After all, Bush is to blame for everything. Noticeably missing from their blame game was Cho himself.

Iraq again claimed many of the headlines and the debates on Capitol Hill. In January, Bush pledged to send an additional 20,000 troops to Iraq. Immediately the Democrats and some Republicans started to calling for an all out surrender and defeat of our troops. They popular refrain was that we had already lost and the troop surge would be a disaster. The Democrats promised to block the troop surge, but when it when it came time to follow through on their promise, we found that their promises were just more empty rhetoric. The President stood firm on the troop surge and as the year comes to a close, even the staunchest opponents have started to admit the surge has had a very positive effect on the violence in Iraq.

Former Vice President Al Gore continued his crusade against the United States. I apologize, I meant to say global warming. He organized and delivered worldwide concerts to raise awareness about the global warming issue. The concerts proved to be a ratings disaster for television, and released untold amounts of carbon. The ultimate goal was to increase awareness about global warming to decrease the amount of carbon that we produce. The organizers purchased carbon credits to “offset” the carbon that was produced to put on the concert. Carbon credits are the rich environmentalists way of appeasing their consciences for living how they want, but still preaching that the rest of us should go “green”. Gore was rewarded for his efforts with the Nobel peace prize.

Rush hour traffic in Minneapolis became a nightmare for the commuters on the I35 bridge in early August when the bridge collapsed and fell into the Mississippi River below. 13 people died in the collapse that brought attention to the thousands of bridges across our country. The I35 bridge had been recently inspected and had been deemed safe but deficient. The ongoing investigation is hoping to reveal the cause of the bridge failure. We could probably save a great deal of time and money and just blame Bush for the collapse. After all, there were many who believed he was responsible at the time.

In regard to sports, it was a year of black eyes for baseball and for Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick. Vick was charged with dog fighting and gambling related offenses. He agreed to a plea bargain in which he will serve 23 months in prison. Former senator George Mitchell release his much anticipated steroids report on baseball. Several high profile names appeared on the list including Roger Clemens, Andy Petite, and of course Barry Bonds. Some of the players that were named, admitted to using steroids, but only before Major League Baseball had instituted a no steroids policy. Baseball to its credit is trying to clean up it’s act now, but for many it is too little, too late. They were forced into the policy only after Jose Canseco released his “tell-all” book brought the steroid issue to the forefront. The NFL dealt with their steroid problems years ago. I guess if Commissioner Bud Selig needs an easy scapegoat, he could always blame Bush. It seems to be very popular right now.

These are only a few of the events that made news this past year. This year has had many notable events, but the reaction to the events always seems to be the same from year to year. It doesn’t matter what the event is, there will always be those who look to place the blame on someone or something who has nothing to do with the event. There will always be politicians who promise to change the world, only to succumb to the lust for power and assign their earmarks to every piece of legislation. 2008 promises to be a very exciting and interesting year, especially with the election next November. The events are yet unknown, but the reactions are not. The question is will we accept the same old tired political figures and answers? Or will we opt for a fresh start next November?

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