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Monday, January 3, 2011

Say Goodbye to 2010

"Most economic fallacies derive from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can only gain at the expense of another." — Milton Friedman

It’s that time of year when we look back on the passing year and ahead to the New Year. It’s a time for reflection on what has been and of course prognostications and resolutions for the coming year. With this in mind I will offer my candidates for some the worst and the best of 2010.

The year began with the passing of the health care bill, the mandate or tax or benefit or entitlement or whatever it claims to be. It was not developed by anyone or any group we could identify. It did not have extensive research or studies in support. It made no tests, conducted no experiments, and took no measured steps in development. It appeared fully born like Adam and was left on our stoop like an unwanted changeling. As Nancy Pelosi said, “you have to pass the bill to know what’s in it.” Well its 12 months latter and we still do not know what this massive bill will mean to our economy or our health.

The feel-good story of the year featured a group of over thirty miners in Chile trapped underground for weeks. Through a miracle of international cooperation, the right people and the right machines were brought to bear on the problem, with happy result. This was what a world of individual initiative looks like.

Harry Reid won an election in the state of Nevada despite presiding over the squandering of trillions of dollars, thousands of thousands of millions, on his personal hunches without solid evidence. With the massive backing of the SEIU he beat a flawed opponent who could not effectively get her Tea Party message out to the voters.

The Wikis leaked all over us but President Obama told us it was rain falling on our heads. Barry says we're on the right track in Afghanistan but, as Jimmy McMillen told us, “the rent is too damned high.” Hamid Karzai just wants us to pay it in perpetuity. Joe Biden had bad news for Karzai, though, saying we'll be out of there in 2014 come hell or high water, which must be Joe's long-range forecast for the 2012 election.

The Rump Congress finally went home after slinging its last insults at our economy and our culture. And according to Gallup, 13 percent of Americans still think Congress is doing a very good job. Who are these people? They must be the ones the UN thought of when it proposed to appoint its first official ambassador to extraterrestrial beings. If the House Republicans want to cut something out of the budget next year, how about starting with the $6 billion or so we pay the East 44th Street crime family every year?

It's not just that Barry, Nancy and Harry managed to stampede more nation-mangling legislation into law. It's not just that our national debt is such a large number — $13,868,461,000,000 — that it defies imagination and repayment.

Barry got shellacked in November, but before the varnish could dry the Senate RINOs handed Obama almost everything he wanted, including a tax deal that had so many liberal toys attached, you'd need a new car to pull it. One more powerful than the Chevy Volt, which gets at least 40 miles per billion dollars of taxpayer-funded subsidies.

The passage, by Congress, of the Safe Food Act that will add 10,000 government employees and raise the cost of the food by 10-15%. It will also put the small food suppliers, the farmer’s markets and makers of local jams and jellies out of business.

The Chinese, helping us draw the economic noose ever more tightly around our necks, are also trying to stir-fry some of their neighbors into satellite states. China's military buildup now includes plans for an aircraft carrier or two. In that regard they match the Brits whose long-deck carriers may someday set sail. But the penurious Brits (rendered so by years of liberal government) can't afford to build planes to operate from their carriers. So they're thinking about a partnership with the French to take turns sailing and paying for carrier ops.

The ship will have to be christened HMS Fromage, and the alternating crews will choose between stilton and camembert. The Fromage had better have a reinforced bow because mother earth is cooling so quickly, we appear to be entering a new Ice Age.

2011 will not only be colder, but darker: the last U.S. factory making incandescent light bulbs, in Springfield VA, closed in 2010. From now on, in between the moment you throw the switch and when the stupid spiral actually emits its dull light take time to thank a liberal. When a bulb breaks, call the hazmat squad: the spirals contain mercury, which is nearly as hazardous to your health as Obamacare.

Frozen Britain reported that the first week in December 2010 wasn't the coldest ever opening week of that month. That occurred in 1639 when the British East India Company was founding the city of Madras (thereby establishing a reliable supply of tasteful plaid shirts) and the birth of Sir Isaac Newton was three years off. It's a pity that Sir Isaac isn't around to dissect mathematically California's latest act of economic suicide.

The Great Snowmageddon Snit Fit of 2010 when New York City’s union sanitation workers took a “go slow” posture in the removal of snow resulting in the deaths of several people.

Bernie Madoff went to jail for taking a few billion dollars from people for safekeeping in his Ponzi scheme and squandering it on lavish life style.

Economic terminator Schwarzenegger hailed the enactment of California's version of the failed European cap-and-trade scam just in time for Governor Moonbeam’s re-inauguration next month. Jerry Brown's new turn in Sacramento will be historic: he will be the first governor to oversee the outright bankruptcy of a U.S. state. A more fitting idea would be for California to join the economic leper colony called the "Euro Zone."

Sarah Palin has a hit show about Alaska on the Learning Network (TLC), but is still despised by the left.

Marines don't need to be told to man up, because they perfected the concept in 1775. Two Marine Commandants —  Gen. Jim Conway and his successor Gen. James Amos -- both stood fast against the repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law prohibiting homosexuals from serving openly in the military. But the uber-liberals and RINOs of Congress believed themselves better judges of the effect of DADT repeal.

The repeal may be a super-secret strategery to help win the Afghanistan war. Thanks to WikiLeaks, we know the sexual proclivities of many Pashtun men, who apparently embrace a liberal interpretation of Islam as well as each other.

Long will historians ponder why — upon the repeal — the first communication from the Senate Majority Leader was to a creature of unknown biology known as Lady Gaga. The only discernible connection is that Army Pfc. Bradley Manning — accused of passing hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks — reportedly copied them onto rewritable Lady Gaga music disks. Manning is enthusiastically gay, but we will refrain from speculation of any connection between or among him, Senator Reid and Lady Gaga.

The Kabuki troupe performing security-theater at airports have yet to stop a would-be terrorist, but they have determined how Superman's x-ray vision benefits him when he isn't out fighting crime. Some of the TSA goons selected former "Baywatch" babe Donna D'Errico for personal naked x-ray screening and, according to the lady in question, she observed them chuckling furtively at what they saw.

I'm pretty sure that the TSA fondlers will not be able to touch a woman's padded bra and tell if it's padded with cotton or PETN, the explosive du jour among the bad guys. We have enough money to put TV's up in all the Wall Marts to show Big Sis warning us to say something if we see something, but not enough to train screeners to do it as the Israelis do. I'll say something: stop performing security rituals that don't make us safer, fire Janet Incompetano and train profiling screeners to keep the underwear bombers off my next flight.

The Yankees were eliminated in the playoffs and George Steinbrenner went to Heaven avoiding estate taxes. Michael Vick's career, once gone to the dogs, began to soar on the wings of Eagles, but PETA vetoes his getting a dog. LeBron James forsook the city of Cleveland, prompting its citizens to compare him to his late brother Jesse. Brett Farve ends a Hall of Fame career on a sour note by sexting his private parts to a sideline babe.

Sandra Bullock. Defying the Hollywood odds, she won an Oscar for her heartfelt portrayal of Leigh Ann Touhy, whose Memphis family adopted a black teen named Michael Oher and loved him into college and then a starting job with the NFL's Baltimore Ravens. Critics hated the film, but America loved it. One reviewer found it "contrived, storybook-sweet, credulity-straining and — um, true."

Studio heads were shocked again by surprise hits like the remake of "The Karate Kid," which grossed more than $175 million. None of the top 15 movies received an "R" rating. Six of the top 15 movies were animated, and at No. 1 in box-office receipts (with more than $415 million) was G-rated "Toy Story 3." A St. Petersburg Times critic suggested it wasn't just the best film of the summer; it could be Best Picture of 2010. Quality doesn't have to equal perversity. Children are good at nagging and dragging their parents to the Cineplex. Someone in Tinseltown should just wake up and smell the popcorn.

Thanks to the greatness of the American people, voiced through the election by the Tea Party Movement, there is hope. As Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell spoke of his Democrat colleagues at the end of the 111th Congress, "If they think it's bad now, wait till next year." — I can hardly wait.

Now that's a promise that must be kept. Happy New Year.

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