I have a few observations for 2006, but I'll keep that part of the post short. Everyone does 'The Year in Review' and I'm sure someone can do a more comprehensive job of it than I can. I watched the state funeral for Gerald Ford last night and it struck me that Bush not being there was a good thing. Assumedly grounded in Texas by lousy weather, the president couldn't see off another president. Dick Cheney did what vice presidents do and stood in for him. It turns out I can even say something nice about Dick. So the year ends on a positive note.
He's a great public speaker. Bush would've screwed it up, mispronouncing words, stumbling, stuttering. Dick doesn't do that. It's the sort of thing you don't really notice, but Cheney's like a narrator -- I don't think I've ever heard him misspeak. Bush would've mixed up his news stories and said that America mourns the loss of Gerald Ford, the Godfather of Soul. You don't have to worry about that with VP Cheney. Where the United States now has a lousy vice president, it could've had one helluva funeral director. Dick's missed his calling.
Cheney made other news this year, being the first vice president in history to shoot someone in the face with a shotgun. Not much of an achievement, but there ya go. In a moment of in vino veritas, Mel Gibson proved he was freakin' nuts. Iraq continues to suck in new and surprising ways. The death of Saddam Hussein improved the world slightly, but only by throwing the average away from profound evil a little bit. Virginia Senator George Allen got fired for calling some poor kid a monkey and Montana Sen. Conrad Burns got his walking papers for sleeping on the job and being a world class prick. America lost a splendid bunch of fellas on election day. On the personal front, it's raining in Wisconsin and if the weather holds much longer, I'm going to have to mow the lawn. Don't tell me there's no such thing as global warming.
While everyone else is doing 2006 in review, I've decided to get a jump on next year. Here's 2007 in review.
The year gets off to a good start as Democrats officially take control of both chambers of congress. Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert makes the first big news story of the year when he refuses to give up his gavel. Not in a metaphorical sense; he literally refuses to give back the little wooden hammer. He's become attached to it -- in a metaphorical sense. The dispute remains unresolved.
At a ribbon cutting ceremony for a library in Pascagoula, Mississippi, new senate minority whip Trent Lott makes comments praising Jefferson Davis. This recalls earlier comments praising Strom Thurmond and Lott is replaced as whip by John McCain. Lott resigns. He later writes a book praising Mel Gibson and Michael Richards.
George W. Bush decides to send more troops to Iraq and, through a complex series of misunderstandings, installs Muqtada al-Sadr as President for Life. Al-Sadr promises 'one thousand years of peace,' then sends troops to attack the Turkey.
Wal-Mart creates controversy when a t-shirt is spotted on a rack in Gainesville, Florida that reads, "Let's Do Crystal Meth!" Outraged protesters demand that Wal-Mart return to it's 'traditional values.' Wal-Mart pulls the shirt and replaces it with one that reads, "Let's Hate Gays!" Trent Lott praises the move.
Michigan's Upper Peninsula declares itself an independent nation. The people -- called 'Yoopers' because their accents make it sound like they're from 'the yooper peninsula' -- name their tiny nation Yoopertopia. Jeff Daniels, of Dumb and Dumber fame, is elected their first president. Analysts say that Daniels' win is likely due to the fact that nobody could think of any other famous Yoopers. President Bush considers sending in troops, but the consensus in Washington seems to be 'Yoopertopia? Why the hell not?' It later becomes a model democracy.
At a briefing on the growing crisis in Turkmenistan, Dick Cheney shoots a CIA analyst in the face. No one can explain why he brought a gun.
Presidential hopeful Rudy Guiliani's presidential hopes are crushed when he's arrested for drunk driving and asks a state trooper if he's an eskimo. Giuliani tells the trooper that eskimos are responsible for 'all the wars in the world' in a drunken rant. The trooper is later quoted as being 'shocked' by the former New York mayor's comments. "Who knew anyone hated eskimos?" Trooper LeTran Washington asks. Trent Lott praises Giuliani.
Other presidential hopes are dashed when Barack Obama announces he won't run for president. "Look, I've only been a US Senator for two years," he says at a press conference, "People like me because I'm a blank slate. And chicks dig me."
N. Korean dictator Kim Jong Il dies unexpectedly and his son, the previously unknown Kim Il Elvis, takes the helm. Talks regarding the n. korean nuclear program resume and quickly end. Kim Il Elvis promises to end his country's nuclear program in exchange for a lifetime subscription to the pornographic magazine Big Bare Butts. A similar offer made to iranian president Ahmadinejad is rebuffed.
Mel Gibson releases his film, Elbow. Following a trend toward increasing violence and sadism in his films, Elbow is two hours of previously unknown actors being tied to a pole and elbowed in the face. Trent Lott praises the film.
Japan successfully tests a nuclear device in the Pacific Ocean. China issues a formal warning to Japan. The warning is rescinded when Japan also unveils it's fearsome new army of giant robots.
There ya go. Happy New Year... Now, I'm gonna go get hammered.