Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Awards

Story Of The Year:  The GOP takes the Senate.  In Barack Obama's first two years as President he had both houses of Congress, so now we're ending his years in office with a mirror image. It'll be interesting to see how it works out.  This also sets the stage for 2016--if the Republicans can take the White House it could reverse the Obama years (or not).

Non-Story Of The Year:  Two African-Americans die in altercations with the police and no one is indicted. It's hard to draw too many conclusions about America from these stories, but they fit a narrative (or were force-fit into one) and this led to much protest--which is a real story. 

Dud Story Of The Year:  The Democrats hoped putting out documents on CIA torture would create a firestorm of controversy. Instead, the public shrugged it off (and, if anything, supported the tactics).

To Be Continued Story:  Round two for Obamacare in the Supreme Court.  Though even if they declare the subsidy rules must change, will it make a difference?  Second place: Elizabeth Warren, who keeps saying she is not running for President, but never says she won't run.  Third place:  With the GOP taking over Congress, maybe we'll get another--and much deeper--investigation of the IRS.

Winner Of The Year:  Mitch McConnell. When the year started, he was worried about holding his seat.  Now he's the second most powerful person in the world.

Loser Of The Year:  Jonathan Gruber.  The guy made (makes?) a good living behind the scenes advising on health care, and then one old tape after another comes out where he says Obamacare was sold on lies and the public is too stupid to get it.  Next thing you know, he has to go to Congress, hat in hand, to deny he did what he did and said what he said.

Top New Personality:  Joni Ernst.

Whatever Happened To Award: Remember when Wendy Davis was an up-and-comer?  Neither do I, but just in case you forgot, the Dems' standard bearer in Texas lost in her run for Governor by more than 20 points.

Already Forgotten Story Of The Year:  The Malaysia Airlines mystery, which was all anyone could talk about for a few weeks.

Surprise Of The Year:  After the election, President Obama ends the embargo on Cuba.  There was plenty of planning involved, but I didn't read one word about it before it happened.

Most Overhyped Story:  Ebola in the U.S.  No joke in Africa, but not too much to worry about here.

Biggest Story That Sputtered Out:  Rolling Stone's UVA rape story.  Every time someone looked at it, there was less and less that was true.  But it shouldn't have been printed to begin with.

No Longer A Controversy Award:  Same-sex marriage.  No matter what the Supreme Court declares next year, the battle is over.

Celebrity Meltdown Of The Year:  Short and sweet--John Travolta introducing Idina Menzel at the Oscars.

Biggest Hollywood Scandal:  The Sony hacking, of course.

He Just Won't Go Away Award:  At rallies, on TV, and hanging with the Mayor of New York and the President of the United States, Al Sharpton was everywhere.

Saddest Election:  The Louisiana runoff.  It looked like it might determine the Senate, but instead, in an afterthought to the GOP rout of the Dems, three-termer Democrat Mary Landrieu gets kicked out.  Even her party had abandoned her at that point.

Luckiest Person Of The Year:  In a bad year for Democrats, incumbent Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire was one of the few of her party who held on in a close race.  Second place: Mark Warner of Virginia for the same reason.

Future Fireworks Award:  Both parties have wings that are unhappy with the establishment. Progressives are sick and tired of Hillary while the Tea Party feels the GOP establishment stands for nothing (while the GOP establishment is congratulating itself for taking back control).

Biggest Unforced Error Award:  President Obama, in The New Yorker, calling ISIS the "JV team."

Worst Trend:  Campuses, already opposed to free speech, are also giving up on due process (though to be fair, the Department of Justice is insisting on it).  Second place:  Movie admissions way down (though some would say the trend here is bad product).  With so many other ways to see movies, and so many other choices for entertainment, is moviegoing finally on the way out?

Photo Of The Year:

How Am I Doing? Award:  Bill de Blasio takes office January 1, and before the year is out is embroiled in a gigantic controversy that may haunt him his entire term.

Behind-The-Times Man Of The Year:  Cartoonist Gary Trudeau. He's been behind the times since the early 80s, but the recent Doonesbury strip that accepts the debunked UVA rape story is bizarre. I know he writes his stuff weeks ahead, but he couldn't put in a replacement?  Or does he still believe it's true?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This feels like Letterman's old bit "Limited Perspective"

4:17 AM, December 31, 2014  
Blogger ColumbusGuy said...

Anonymous! Welcome to our new bit, "Projection."

And Happy New Year!

6:23 AM, December 31, 2014  

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