2014: A Year In Review

 Year In Review

A new year has begun. A new slate upon which to write our hopes and dreams, a new opportunity to do better, to be better, to rise above past disappointments, and to build upon past successes. As we look to the future, however, wisdom dictates we study the past to gain enlightenment and clarity. Though seemingly impossible, our memories telling us they occurred long ago, each and every one of these stories occurred in just the last year…

We kicked off the year in January with overheated rhetoric and under-heated weather, first forced to suffer through another of Obama’s interminable State of the Union addresses, where he tried to one-up Joe Biden by plagiarizing himself (which makes sense, considering Obama thinks he is smarter than the rest of us, so who else would he quote?). This speech was pretty much a copy-and-paste montage of past speeches; whining that the rich need to pay more, we need to “invest” more in “renewable” energy, and how six years of his economic policies don’t have us where we want to be yet, but are showing promising gains…blah, blah, blah. Add to that more promises of more bailouts for people who took on bad loans, to be paid for higher taxes on people who paid for the first bailout, plus a renewed demand for a “comprehensive” immigration reform bill, which seems pointless now that Obama has decided he is Emperor after all and will just make law by executive fiat, and refuse to enforce provisions he doesn’t like.

Georgians were then subjected days later to more suffering, as a massive snow and ice storm swept across the state, shutting down Atlanta and much of the state for the better part of a week. Your intrepid writer slipped and slid for more than seven hours to get home, a trip that normally takes 45-minutes. Thousands of Atlantans were forced to sleep in their cars overnight, while others were blessed to find shelter in grocery stores and with good Samaritans who came to their rescue. The disastrous response by the city and state prompted a few resignations and a complete overhaul of severe weather protocols. In addition, I formed the Committee for Studying Ways to Increase Global Warming Because I Didn’t Stay In the South to Have to Deal With Snow, a non-profit dedicated to finding opportunities to rapidly increase our carbon footprint.

Also noteworthy in January is the fact that the Un-Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. “ObamaCare”) officially went into effect after several years of delays, stalls, executive rewrites, IRS interpretations made up of pixie dust and faerie flatulence. As you already know, the roll-out was disastrous, justifying the fears of the majority of Americans who have never approved of the law rammed down our throats by Democrats.

February started off with Super Bowl XLVIII, in which the Seattle Seahawks crushed the Denver Broncos 43-8. Both teams came from states which had just recently legalized marijuana. Coincidence? February would be notable for sports in another way as well, with Vladimir Putin hosting the Winter Olympics in Russia. Unfortunately, critics were unkind in their reviews of Russian facilities and hospitality, and Putin responded by conducting military drills on Ukraine’s doorstep.

February was also the month that Missouri defensive end Michael Sams became the first openly homosexual man to declare for the NFL draft where, after lackluster pre-draft workouts, he would be selected second to last by the St. Louis Rams. This inspired NBA benchwarmer Jason Collins to also “come out of the closet”, prompting the Obamas, Oprah Winfrey, and all of Hollywood to extol such “bravery”, and the rest of America to say “…Jason WHO?”

March started off with the the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, in route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, carrying 239 passengers and crewmembers. The story touched the hearts of millions, who felt compassion and empathy for those who lost loved ones. Though the plane was never found, the story gave CNN its only topic of discussion for months.

April showers were not enough to wash away the stench of yet another Obama administration scandal, this time the revelation of secret waiting lists at numerous Veterans Administration hospitals, which led to the deaths of at least 40 veterans at the Phoenix VA Hospital alone, and likely hundreds, if not thousands, of our nation’s beloved veterans dead from the same apathy and incompetence at other VA hospitals nationwide. The exact number is difficult to pinpoint because high-ranking VA administration employees circled the wagons to protect themselves, but we do know that millions were paid out in wrongful death settlements as a result, and millions more in bonuses for VA managers.

April also saw the Islamist radicals of Boko Haram kidnap 276 young Nigerian girls to be sold into the global sex trade. Obama showed his outrage with expressions of disapproval and assurances that Boko Haram does not represent “real” Islam. His wife, Michelle, was even bolder in her response, waging a blistering Twitter campaign against Boko Haram, under the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls. Shockingly, this scorched-earth Twitter war was not enough to frighten the terrorists into returning the girls.

In May, showing his utter lack of negotiating prowess, Obama announced that he had violated the law in making a trade with a terrorist group, getting U.S. Army deserter and terrorist-sympathizer Corporal Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for five high ranking Taliban terrorists. Bergdahl’s father, standing next to a grinning Obama, would speak from the White House, saying “bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim,” translated from Arabic as “in the name of Allah, the merciful, the compassionate.” Mullah Omar, leader of the Taliban, was reportedly very pleased by Bergdahl’s comments.

Though it went unreported in the world’s major media outlets (and even all the local papers missed it), May also marked the return of my oldest son, Elijah, from a two year church service mission, where he left us as a boyish 19-year old to serve the poor people of southern Mexico and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. It was a reminder to me that, though it is easy to get caught up in all of the depressing and frustrating stories of awful things happening throughout the world, that the world is predominately filled with good and decent people who, with little fanfare or accolades, go about quietly working hard, raising families, and serving those around them.

In June, following Obama’s 2012 campaign rhetoric claiming to have left behind a “stable, sovereign, and self-reliant Iraq” when he pulled out all U.S. troops, combined with his mind-boggling incompetence in helping unseat long-time (though often unsavory) U.S. allies in the Middle East, the world saw the rise of ISIS (now known as the Islamic State), which swept across much of Iraq, killing thousands, beheading innocents, capturing abandoned U.S. military equipment, millions in cash, and eventually taking control of the city of Mosul, previously controlled by U.S. and Iraqi forces at the cost of much blood. Obama backpedalled, claiming it was not his idea to remove the troops.

July brought more bloodshed in Israel and Palestine. Following thousands of rocket attacks against Israeli civilians over the previous years, and the kidnapping and murder of three young Israeli boys, Israel launched Operation Protective Edge, driving Hamas forces back during a ground offensive aided by air strikes, in which more than 2000 Palestinians eventually died before a cease fire was called.

July also brought us the World Cup, with Germany defeating Argentina to win the title. This World Cup set a new record for the number of Americans not caring about soccer, and just wanting the NFL season to start (or college football, if you are an SEC fan). To add insult to injury, Argentina not only lost the World Cup in July, but also defaulted on its debt for the third time in a quarter century. Rumors that Obama gave Argentina a copy of his economic plans have not been confirmed.

August brought us one of the biggest news stories of the year with the shooting death of “unarmed” black thug Michael Brown. Despite claims of being a “gentle giant” gunned down by a racist white cop, we soon discovered, through eyewitness testimony, video evidence, and three autopsies, that Brown had just robbed a store, threatened the clerk, and then attacked Officer Darren Wilson in his patrol car, struggling to get his gun. Brown would start to flee, but inexplicably turn back and charge Wilson, who shot and killed him. A grand jury would be convened to determine if charges were warranted against Wilson.

Sadly, August also brought us the death of Major General Harold Greene, shot and killed by an Afghan soldier as he visited a military training academy near Kabul. Greene was the highest ranking officer killed in a combat zone since the Vietnam War. Miraculously, this month also saw the discovery of the “missing” emails from the IRS targeting scandal.

In September, the defeat of an independence referendum by the Scots was a little too close for comfort for the United Kingdom. Also, the first of several breeches of White House security occurred when Omar Jose Gonzalez jumped the WH fence and ran across the North Lawn with a knife, making it deep into the interior before being apprehended and subdued. Like the IRS scandal, the VA scandal, and the Benghazi attacks, Obama first learned about it, along with the rest of us, on the news. In fact, Obama didn’t even realize he was president until he saw it on CNN in July of last year.

In October, the Canadian Parliament was attacked by a gun-wielding loon. It also saw, following another breech of White House security, the resignation of Julia Pearson, the first female Secret Service Director. The threat of an Ebola outbreak, and Obama’s refusal to shut down travel into the U.S. from Ebola-plagued countries, also dominated the news.

November brought a bloodbath, at least for Democrats. Republicans were the beneficiary of outrage and contempt for the horrible roll-out of ObamaCare, rising premiums, lost coverage, a long series of administration scandals, and an economy still sluggish after six years of Obamanomics. Republicans, needing six seats to gain control of the Senate, won nine seats and lost none, and narrowly missed winning in Virginia, which no one thought was even in play. Republicans also netted 13 seats in the House, giving them their largest majority in almost a century. They expanded their number of governorships, losing only in Pennsylvania while picking up wins in very liberal states like Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, and even Obama’s home state of Illinois. Even more devastating to Democrats’ long-term electoral hopes is the fact that Republicans added to their already dominant majorities in state legislatures, and now control 67 of the 98 partisan legislative houses.

Riots also broke out in November following the refusal (correctly) of grand juries in Ferguson, Missouri and New York, to bring charges against police following the deaths of thug and thief Michael Brown, and “unlicensed cigarette salesman” Eric Garner, respectively.

In December, two New York City police officers were gunned down in cold blood following weeks of anti-police rhetoric from the likes of Obama, AG Eric Holder, racial arsonist Al Sharpton, and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio. Sony also got hacked, forcing it to shut down the release of its Kim Jong Un-mocking movie “The Interview”, and Obama made a trade with Cuba, offering up three convicted spies involved in the murder of U.S. citizens, in exchange for Alan Gross, a Jewish guy imprisoned by Castro for bringing computers to a Jewish settlement…no, seriously…Three murderous spies for a humanitarian with a laptop. Obama’s negotiating skills are clearly as sharp as his economic prowess.

There was a lot more that happened in 2014, but I’m not going to write about it. You’ll have to go searching for it yourself. If that is too much trouble, don’t worry; I hear that a lot of stuff will happen in 2015 as well, and you’ll get to hear about it in real time. Lucky us! Happy New Year!

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