Of course the best thing was that we removed the right-wing fringe element from Congress. It is so good to be able to say right-wing "fringe" element with a sense of popular acceptance of that term. The American people are now realizing that some of the people in Congress that are no longer there were parts of something that needed to be removed. This group is best represented in the media by Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Mike Reagan, and of course my favorite snake-oil salesman, Bill O'Reilly. The entire Fox News Network tried its level best to convince Americans that to be against this Presidents crusade for military bases and oil was just unpatriotic. It worked for a while. Americans are patriotic; I guess it's in our blood. I've also seen instances when Americans have realized that some of the things they were hearing just didn't add up. I've seen what the public is capable of when they believed that they were lied to.
Some of the people that have attempted to pull a fast one on the American people are Joe McCarthy, General Douglas MacArthur, Richard M. Nixon, Bill Clinton (sorry Bill), and the worst liar of them all; George W. Bush. If the men mentioned before him were liars, than he is a mega-liar. This man can lie, get caught and laugh about it, and lie again all in a period of weeks! I still can't get over Clinton's impeachment for one lie (I know it was under oath), and Bush's lies (many, many, many) and Clinton got impeached, and Bush is the darling of the religious right! Go figure. The good thing about all of this is that people are now wishing Bill Clinton were still in the White House, and I think they are a little more forgiving of his lie about matters that were no one's business anyway. Just think, a sitting President investigated on a sexual harassment charge getting impeached over lying to defend himself, and the President we have now that lies about invading another country and killing 600,000 of its citizens, and our good citizens let it slide. Maybe we should call Bush 43; "The Teflon President".
The worst part of the year were disaster's at the Sago mine in West Virginia, where 12 miners died, and on May 20, when five miners died in a Kentucky mine explosion. The deaths in Iraq from Bush's war of course were just about every day. The economic news wasn't so bad, but I can't for the life of me understand where they get their numbers from. From what I see, we may have a low unemployment figure, but people I know are barely making ends meet and live paycheck to paycheck. Some people are working two jobs. Maybe the people that do the statistics are doing well. Maybe Congress could have passed the minimum wage increase without the Republicans attaching a dissolution of the inheritence tax rider to it.
Perhaps the worst thing that's still happening on this planet is still taking place in Darfur, where over a million men, women and children have died from famine and the brutal civil war in that country. If Bush was really serious about helping people, he would have started there. If they had oil, you can bet that he would have been there years ago. Instead George Clooney went there. You go George (Clooney, not Bush).
North Korea went nuclear(NUKCULER), Castro got sick, and the Israeli's and Hezbollah slugged it out in the Golan Heights and Southern Lebanon. Some people claim that if Israel would have knocked out Hezbollah early on, that they would have gone on to Iran with U.S. logistical support. I can believe that. I would still like some proof. I will say that we should no longer give Israel a blank check to do whatever it wants and still have our support. The situation in Gaza is reprehensible, and when Carter brings it up in his new book, the neo-con slugs try to discredit him. I just want to ask one question about our relationship with Israel. Why do we support them in everything that they do? We didn't cause the holocaust and I for one think that Israel should make its own way in this world without the U.S. getting involved. We have helped since 1946. They have done some bad things over there. The Arabs don't hate us for our "freedom" as Bush claims. They hate us because we support Israel, right or wrong. That is not a moral thing to do, in my opinion.If Israel is wrong, they should be on their own. God forbid a politician doesn't play ball, they might have their campaign donations from Israel dropped, or have Jewish groups angry with them (they do vote).
Latin America has gone to the left. This has Bush and the other right wing wacko's screaming. Maybe they are tired of despots financed by the United States, and really want what Hugo Chavez has, independence and ownership of their own natural resources. What I see is a rejection of the policies of the United States. Maybe if we stopped interfering in other countries business, we would have more respect and influence than we do. There comes a time when Americans have to wake up and say enough is enough. We should make sure that we get more Congressional oversight of the clandestine things that we do.
The Danish cartoons caught the world radar screen. The Danes should have known that a representation of Mohammad is not acceptable to Moslems. Still, after the newspapers apologized, it should have been forgotten. I didn't like some of the rhetoric from my fellow citizens. We should respect other people's beliefs and they should respect ours, but that is in a perfect world. We all know it isn't Earth. So with that, I would like to wish you and yours a happy and healthy, prosperous New Year, and may all your greatest wishes come true.