Monday, December 29, 2008

'Twas A Very [Weird] Year

Most columnists, bloggists [word?] spend the last few days of the year looking back on said year and reminiscing about it. So, I can reminisce with the best of them. The top issue of 2008 is a toss-up between the economy and the election of Barack Obama. Since without the economy I'm not sure there'd be a President-elect Obama, I'm going to go with 'economy' as being the single biggest news event of the year.

First, a disclaimer: like everyone else, I've no idea what happened. I do know that part of the problem was an inflated real estate market, an incestuous relationship between the worlds of banking and investments, and something having to do with derivatives. I'm a pretty well-read guy, and I've tried hard, but I still can't get my arms around this derivatives thing and what it is. The best I can come up with is it's like a farmer who agrees to sell chicken shit next spring, at a price set today. If the price of chicken shit goes up, the farmer is screwed because he's stuck selling it at the price he set before the rise. If the price of chicken shit goes down, however, the farmer is rolling in it because he's selling at the price he set before the decline. Essentially, then, "it's the chicken shit economy, stupid."

Now that we've got the biggest story out of the way, here's a look back on 2008....sort of:

1 President Bush rings in the new year by announcing he will not run for another term of office. The White House shortly thereafter issues a release that the "President was joking and, of course, knows he is limited by the 22nd Amendment to two consecutive terms." This leads Vice President Cheney, however, to ask a reporter "the 22nd Amendment of what?" When told "the Constitution," Cheney tells the reporter go fuck himself.
23 Senator Barack Obama [D, Ill.] refuses to comment on polls showing him with a lead over fellow candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton [D, NY] in the primaries, although he admits on Oprah that it falls into the category of "things that make you go hmmmm."
3 Republican presidential candidate Gov. Mike Huckabee [AR] tells Late Night with David Letterman, "this country will never elect a black president. Remember, you heard it here first." Huckabee goes on to say, "the Phillies will never win the World Series, O.J. Simpson will never go to jail, and Mumbai is the safest vacation spot in India." Shortly thereafter, he withdraws from the campaign.
29 In an effort to avoid confusing their newborns, 345,030 pregnant mothers refuse to deliver their children. "Just when in the hell do I celebrate the kid's first birthday?!" demanded Mrs. Emmajean Smythe, of Keokuk, Iowa.
12 New York Governor Elliot Spitzer [D] falls in bed with a prostitute named Bubbles and tries to claim to his wife, "Look, she fell through the ceiling above and right into my bed." Noting that Dennis Rodman tried the same line once with Carmen Elektra, the New York media are skeptical of the claim, although Mrs. Spitzer says she loves her husband, although she does look like she's been hit by a two-by-four. Spitzer resigns later that day, claiming he needs to time "to fix the ceiling."
1 Another baseball season begins, with Yankees' general partner Hank Steinbrenner predicting a championship for his team in October. "Remember, you heard it here first," he boasts. When asked if the Yankees might not make the playoffs, Steinbrenner retorts, "You've got a better chance of seeing Alex Rodriguez leave his wife for Madonna and then converting to kabala."
20 Sen. Edward M. Kennedy [D, Mass] is diagnosed with brain cancer. As millions of well-wishers send up prayers and thoughts and wonder how hard it will be for the country when Kennedy goes, the family of Mary Jo Kopeckne offers to help the country learn how to cope when a loved one is gone.
16 California legalizes gay marriage.
17 The California Bar asks for help from other western states in handling the suddenly large volume of gay divorces.
4 Senators Obama and John McCain [R, AZ] - the presumptive Democratic and Republican presidential nominees - celebrate the nation's birthday by signing a document that says, in part, they agree, "to name only the most responsible, well-qualified, trustworthy and capable" person to serve as their vice president.
5 McCain confides to Letterman, "I had my fingers crossed when I signed it."
23 Obama names Delaware Sen. Joe Biden [D] to serve as his vice president. "I think Delaware deserves a break from him," Obama jokes.
29 Not to be outdone, McCain matches Obama's selection of a senior U.S. senator with over 30 years experience in major foreign and domestic policy issues by nominating Alaska Governor Sarah Palin [R]. "I believe in the [George] Costanza theory," McCain tells Letterman that night. "My first instinct was to choose someone capable, so I did the exact opposite and hope it works out for the best. Can't hurt: it's not like I'm going to win!"
9 In the first of three debates, Obama and McCain spend 45 minutes arguing over whether moderatator Jim Lehrer should be addressed as "Jim", "Mr. Lehrer" or "Jimbo".
23 In preparing for debates next month, Sarah Palin sprains her brain trying to pronounce Biden's name. "She spent so much time working out 'Mahmouhd Ahmenajad' that she just fainted," said a McCain source.
9 In their first and only debate, Biden and Palin both agree that, "[Biden] is more qualified than any of them [McCain, Palin or Obama] to be president." Biden later tells The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, "Jesus Christ, I was fucking kidding - what the hell's wrong with you people?" The Obama campaign later issues a statement that Biden, "didn't know anyone still watched The Tonight Show," and apologized for his language.
27 Sen. Ted Stevens [R, AK] is finally convicted of something. While the federal government tried him on charges of bribery, extortion and other crimes, his conviction this time is for continuing to wear those ridiculous ties. While sentencing is delayed until after the election, prosecutors are calling for the death penalty.
4 Barack Obama is elected the 44th President of the United States. "Better him than me," McCain tells Letterman that night, eschewing an address to his supporters for the more informal give-and-take with the talk show host. Later, CBS announces that McCain will replace Paul Shafer and lead the Letterman band beginning January 5th.
5 Murderer O.J. Simpson is sent to jail. While trying to state that Simpson's murder of his ex-wife and another man in 1994 played no role in the conviction, prosecutors break out laughing. "Sorry, let me try that again," said one. O.J. promises - if the judge will release him - "I will find the real guys who did this." The judge adds another 20 years for the outburst.
9 Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich [D], tired of all of the publicity President-elect Obama has been receiving, succeeds in his attempt to steal the limelight - and a few other things - as he is indicted on numerous charges. Citing the conviction in the Ted Stevens case, however, prosecutors throw in a charge of "hideous hair", "just in case we can't get [Blagojevich] on the real stuff," jokes a prosecutor.
So, with a few days left, hopefully there will be no other major stories this year to ruin this wonderful timeline. Happy New Year.

copyright 2008 by EBBP Redux. If you are reading this on a blog or website other than EBBP Redux or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

No comments:

Post a Comment