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Republic. I like the sound of the word. It means people can live free, talk free, go or come, buy or sell, be drunk or sober, however they choose. Some words can give you a feeling that makes your heart warm. Republic is one of those words. - John Wayne

Monday, December 29, 2008
 
Dave Barry's Year in Review
by Cordeiro

This is the week for 2008 retrospectives. Most MSM outlets will produce at least one and quite possibly several "Year in Review" specials on any number of topics. The most popular subject will be the campaign (primary and general) and miraculous election of Barack Obama to the nation's highest office.

There are as yet unsubstantiated rumors that NBC's Chris Matthews has produced a Hardball segment filmed overlooking the reflecting pool on the National Mall. Evidently Matthews predicted that Obama would walk atop the reflecting pool's waters as he ascends to give his inaugural address and would part the waters so his cabinet designees could follow him on dry ground.

But I digress. Where was I? Oh, yes. 2008 retrospectives.

I came across Dave Barry's "The Year in Review". He's kept a pretty good diary of 2008. Here are some highlights:
• O.J. actually got convicted of something.
• Gasoline hit $4 a gallon -- and those were the good times.
• On several occasions, "Saturday Night Live" was funny.
 
Some primary election events you might have forgotten about:

On the Democratic side, the surprise winner is Barack Obama, who is running for president on a long and impressive record of running for president. A mesmerizing speaker, Obama electrifies voters with his exciting new ideas for change, although people have trouble remembering exactly what these ideas are because they are so darned mesmerized. Some people become so excited that they actually pass out. These are members of the press corps.

The battle between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton heats up as the two engage in a series of increasingly hostile debates, including one in which Secret Service agents have to tackle a large, angry, red-faced man who bursts from the audience shouting incoherently. This turns out to be Bill Clinton, who is swiftly dispatched by his wife's campaign to work his magic on voters in the crucial Guam caucuses.

In politics, Barack Obama addresses the issue of why, in his 20 years of membership in Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, he failed to notice that the pastor, Jeremiah Wright, is a racist lunatic. In a major televised address widely hailed for its brilliance, Obama explains that . . . Okay, nobody really remembers what the actual explanation was. But everybody agrees it was mesmerizing.

Tensions run high in the Pennsylvania Democratic primary, which all the experts agree is extremely crucial. Barack Obama gets into trouble with rural voters for saying that rural Americans are "bitter" and "cling to guns or religion." Responding to charges that this statement is elitist, Obama responds: "You are getting sleepy. Very sleepy."

In other campaign-related news, Chicago developer Tony Rezko, a former Obama associate and fundraiser, is convicted on corruption charges, but media representatives realize that this is not an issue after Obama explains that it is not an issue.

On the Republican side, John McCain wraps up the nomination and embarks on a series of strategic naps.
 
And on to the general election:
 
Barack Obama, having secured North and South America, flies to Germany without using an airplane and gives a major speech -- speaking English and German simultaneously -- to 200,000 mesmerized Germans, who immediately elect him chancellor, prompting France to surrender.

Barack Obama, continuing to shake up the establishment, selects as his running mate Joe Biden, a tireless fighter for change since he was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1849. The Democratic Party gathers in Denver to formally nominate Obama, who descends from his Fortress of Solitude to mesmerize the adoring crowd with an acceptance speech objectively described by the New York Times as "comparable to the Gettysburg Address, only way better."

The Republican convention gets off to a tentative start in St. Paul, Minn., when President Bush and Vice President Cheney are unable to attend, partly because of Hurricane Gustav, and partly because the organizers told them that the convention was in Atlanta. The mood improves when Sarah Palin dazzles the delegates with her winning smile, detailed knowledge of what is on the teleprompter and spot-on imitation of Tina Fey. The next night, John McCain, formally accepting the nomination, pledges to run "a totally incoherent campaign." None of this is reported in the media because the entire press corps is in Wasilla, Alaska, investigating rumors that Palin once dated a yeti.

To the election aftermath:

President-elect Obama, continuing to bring change in the form of fresh-faced Washington outsiders, announces that his secretary of state will be Hillary Clinton. The position of secretary of defense, currently held by Bush appointee Robert Gates, will be filled by Bush appointee Robert Gates. Responding to rumors that he also plans to retain Dick Cheney, Obama insists that he has tried to ask the vice president to leave, "but nobody knows where he is."
 
In other political news, federal authorities arrest Democratic Illinois Gov. Rod "Rod" Blagojevich after wiretaps reveal that he was . . . okay, that he was being the governor of Illinois. Everybody is very, very shocked. Meanwhile, the recount in the extremely tight Minnesota Senate race between Norm Coleman and Al Franken is thrown into disarray with the discovery that more than 13,000 of the ballots were cast by residents of Palm Beach County, Fla.
 

On the economic side:

In what some economists see as a troubling sign, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac invest $12.7 billion in Powerball tickets.

the price of gasoline tops $4 a gallon, meaning the cost of filling up an average car is now $50, or, for Hummer owners, $17,500. Congress, responding to the financial pain of the American people, goes into partisan gridlock faster than ever before, with Republicans demanding that the oil companies immediately start drilling everywhere, including cemeteries, and Democrats calling for a massive effort to develop alternative energy sources such as wind, the sun, tides, comets, Al Gore and dragon breath, using technology expected to be perfected sometime this millennium. It soon becomes clear that Congress will not actually do anything, so Americans start buying less gasoline.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac invest $17 billion in an Herbalife franchise.

In sports, the undefeated New England Patriots lose the Super Bowl to the New York Giants in a stunning upset that confounds the experts, not to mention Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which had $38 billion on the Pats to win.

New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer becomes embroiled in an embarrassing scandal when a criminal investigation reveals that he looks like a large suit-wearing rodent. Also he has been seeing a high-class prostitute known as "Kristen" in a Washington hotel. Spitzer resigns in disgrace; "Kristen," hounded by the media and no longer able to pursue her profession, receives a $23 billion bailout from the federal government.

And finally, just so you don't think I'm a complete captitalistic, anti environmentalist...

In environmental news, Earth Hour is observed on March 29, when cities around the world display their commitment to conserving energy by turning out their lights for one hour. When the lights come back on, Detroit is missing.
I have no doubt Dave Barry may have taken some journalistic license with his recollections on 2008. You can try and figure out where he may have embellished a tad.
Here endeth the lesson.

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