2013 began with Congress passing a Hurricane Sandy Relief bill, which, of course, meant that Alaskan fisheries got $50 million. This, of course, makes perfect sense given how affected Alaska was by Hurricane Sandy.
The sequester cuts to the federal budget took effect in February. The Obama administration originally proposed it, then pretended it didn’t and then Obama took credit for reducing the annual deficit – reductions that were the result of the sequester cuts.
In May, we learned that the IRS had been targeting conservative Tea Party-type groups for extra scrutiny because they were, well, conservative. Lois Lerner, the Nurse Ratched of the whole affair – both in deed and appearance, was called to testify before Congress. She opened her remarks with glowing praise for…herself, then proceeded to plead the fifth when members of Congress actually asked her questions.
In other IRS news, we further learned that IRS employees can’t dance. Yet, that didn’t stop them from trying – at taxpayer expense.
The summer brought news that the NSA was collecting phone and internet data on Americans, contrary to what we had previously been told. Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor who leaked the information fled the country, eventually landing in Russia, a country that would never, ever think to spy on its citizens.
Detroit filed for bankruptcy. Detroit hasn’t had a Republican mayor since in over 50 years so, naturally, MSNBC’s Ed Shultz blamed the city’s bankruptcy on…Republicans.
The Syrian conflict introduced the world to the mysteriously disappearing red line. A line that Barack Obama said Syria better not cross (using chemical weapons), really wasn’t a line at all. Nor, apparently was it red. Nor was it drawn by Barack Obama. It was “the world” that drew the line. Look, “the world” may be capable of accomplishing many things, but it has never, ever been able to collectively draw a straight line.
The government was shut down in October over raising the debt limit. The Republicans got the blame and some in the press wondered if this marked the end of the Republican Party. The shutdown did have a negative impact on some businesses that were somewhat dependent on government. Not so for the companies that had the government contracts to supply barricades. They thrived.
Also in October, Obamacare rolled out to resounding success. Oh wait, I was reading from the President’s teleprompter. In reality, the Obamacare rollout could not have been worse, thereby demonstrating the folly and incompetence of big government. Some in the press wondered if this marked the end of the Democratic Party.
It was a bad year to be a FOK (Friend of Kim). First, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un had his former girlfriend executed. Then, he did the same to his uncle, Jang Song Thaek, and some of his close aides. Kim Jong-un was apparently very drunk when he ordered aides of the now-deceased uncle be killed. Apparently, the only thing worse than a despotic totalitarian dictator is a drunken despotic totalitarian dictator. If Kim Jong-un ever refers to Dennis Rodman as “Uncle Dennis,” he’d better make a run for the border.
North Korea also sent warning – via fax – to South Korea that it could attack that country at any time. This would have alarmed the South Korean government except it hasn’t had a fax machine since 2005.
We reached an agreement over Iran’s nuclear program. In a deal that even Neville Chamberlain would have questioned, we agreed to loosen economic sanctions while the Iranians get to continue to enrich uranium. But the ink wasn’t even dry on the interim agreement – heck, I’m not sure it was even typed up yet, before the Iranians were disputing what the White House claimed was in the deal. Naturally, Secretary of State John Kerry quickly responded by saying, “Huh? What?”
President Obama unilaterally changed his signature healthcare law repeatedly. I’m old enough to remember when changing a law required an act of Congress. By the end of the year the Obama administration had nearly given up all pretense of even pretending it knows what it was doing.
The holiday season, of course, brought attention to the guy with the long beard once again. Naturally, I’m talking about Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty.
And, surprisingly, Pope Francis was selected over Miley Cyrus as Time’s Person of the Year. Go figure. The Pope is the head of the Catholic Church. Miley Cyrus tends to lick stuff.
Finally, the Lie of the Year was awarded to Barack Obama’s repeated utterances, “If you like your health plan, you can keep it.” Coming in second for Lie of the Year was everything else Obama said.
Curtice Mang is the author of the two books, including the new book, The Smell of Politics: The Good, The Bad, and the Odorous. He can be contacted at www.mangwrites.com, where one can also purchase his books; or contact Curtice at mangwrites at cox.net.