Happy 2011! As trite as I find end of year lists (check out this top ten from last year if you don’t believe me), I am going to introduce one more to the already overcrowded field. Please accept my apologies up front, but I felt the need to reflect once more on the pain and agony 2010 brought so many of us (unless you’re that Mark Zuckerbucks nerd). Seriously, if facebook is the story of 2010, we’ve sunk to a new low in banality. So here’s to Twenty O’leven (much easier to say than two thousand and eleven) and the TEN BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENTS OF 2010:
10. US Soccer in the World Cup – The experts told us we should have high hopes for this team, yet we barely advanced to the second round (it took a breakaway goal in overtime) and then lost to Ghana in our first playoff game. Ghana! Most Americans can’t even find Ghana on a map (which could qualify as the 11th biggest disappointment of the year). Oh well, there’s always next year… er... in four years.
9. Hollywood’s Lousy Movie Releases – In a few weeks, ten films will be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture. Unfortunately, there probably weren’t ten films worth seeing in 2010. Martin Scorsese released his worst effort in years (Shutter Island) and it turns out the critical early favorite is a film about Zuckerbucks and the facebook phenomena. At least it’s not in 3D. Who knows? Maybe next year we’ll get a sequel about ebay or the kindle. There’s also an acclaimed English movie no one will see and a boxing flick starring Marky Mark (who I like, but let’s be honest this couldn’t crack the top ten in any other year).
8. Tea Party Candidates for U.S. Senate – They had solid ideas, but poorly run campaigns by less than stellar candidates combined with the smear tactics of the mainstream press doomed Joe Miller in Alaska and Christine O’Donnell in Delaware. Perhaps the biggest disappointment of all was watching Sharon Angle fall to Harry Reid in Nevada. On the bright side, we got Rand Paul and Marco Rubio. Still, if the conservative resurgence is going to save America from becoming the next Spain, we are going to have to do better in 2012.
7. Tiger Woods – We loved to root against him in the past, but when he’s struggling to find moral clarity and swinging his clubs more like the man in front of the golden EIB microphone than the Golden Bear, it just isn’t any fun to watch the world's former greatest golfer lose anymore. Here’s hoping Tiger gets his personal and professional life back on track in 2011 so we can root for the other guy again without feeling guilty.
6. Scott Brown – From the great new hope of the Republican Party and firewall against Obamacare to the disappointing RINO who might end up with a voting record to the left of Arlen Specter, no politician in Washington could disappoint us more in less time without the initials B.H.O. But maybe, just maybe, it will remind conservatives why Massachusetts Republicans can’t be relied on in presidential races either.
5. The Cupcake Fad – Gourmet cupcakes. Designer cupcakes. Five dollar cupcakes. Cupcakes not shaped like cupcakes. Everywhere you turned in 2010 there were cupcakes. Doctors offices, dry cleaners, and barber shops closed at an alarming rate but we got 20 new places to buy cupcakes. Surprisingly, they taste like... cupcakes. Perhaps no one looked sillier all year than a fifty year old man in a business suit licking the icing off a cupcake shaped like a mouse. We’re still a nation of adults, aren’t we?
4. Football in Texas – The Lone Star State prides itself on football. There is no greater church for the Texas sporting fan. And yet for the first time in recent memory, the Dallas Cowboys failed to make the playoffs AND the Texas Longhorns didn’t qualify for a bowl game. There was even talk of a Cowboys Super Bowl at the beginning of the year. HA! Meanwhile, Florida stole the Longhorns' coach-in-waiting, and the Houston Texans are, well, the Houston Texans. The only bright spot of the year is TCU. Not to take anything away from what they’ve accomplished, but when TCU is the pinnacle of Texas sports, you know it’s been an unusually bad year.
3. Homeland Security – The myopic agency ended 2010 by failing to heed the warnings of a father in the U.K. who tipped off the CIA that his son was planning some kind of attack. You would think such a tip from a credible witness would at least initiate a red enough flag to get the underwear bomber’s name on a No Fly list. Nope. Follow that with the failed Times Square plot and efforts to placate every radical Muslim by calling their religious beliefs “peaceful” and refusing to use the word “terrorist” except when referring to Christian militias. Then initiate a heavy-handed security protocol at the airport that wastes valuable resources on law-abiding, non-threatening citizens and gropes and undresses ten year old children. We’re not any safer and we’re conditioning our kids to give up their liberties and be less vigilant when faced with the all-powerful state. It’s time for this bloated, intrusive, and ineffective government agency to go.
2. The Economy – Too many longtime local businesses have closed their doors. Unemployment has hovered around 10% all year. If you didn’t lose your job this year, you know someone who did. One in six Americans is on food stamps. Obamanomics hasn’t been good for anyone really except Goldman Sachs. Contain. Constrict. Control. Regulate. Resrict. Restrain. These are all words the Left uses to describe government policy and they are all antonyms of GROWTH. Obamanomics is destroying our once-thriving private sector. Look for only mild improvements in 2011.
1. Eric Holder’s Justice Department – They can’t get a conviction against an Al-Qaeda terrorist accused of blowing up two African embassies in 1998, failing on 179 out of 180 counts, but they have the people of Arizona back on their heels for daring to check the legal status of arrested residents. They dropped all charges against two black panthers for intimidating voters outside the polls dressed in military-style uniforms and waving weapons. Most recently, they sued a school district for refusing to give a Muslim teacher a month off so she could take a vacation to Mecca. This is the most political Justice Department in history. What local or state entity will the federal government try to usurp next for failing to give greater influence to special interest groups dear to Mr. Holder and President Obama?