2010: The Most Boring Year of the Decade

As 2010 draws to a close, for my final long post of the year, I want to talk about how 2010 was the most boring, ho-hum year of the decade.

In 2008, politics was exciting. In 2009, we were excited as we waited for the hope and change. In 2010, we realized it wasn't coming. The reality is President Obama is not that exciting a personality. He's far too normal. He doesn't fall down and make us laugh like Gerald Ford. He doesn't reek Hollywood like Ronald Reagan, and Mrs. Obama doesn't rely on astrologers and silly slogans like "Just Say No" as did Nancy Reagan to keep us snickering in amusement.

Bush I was boring too. It was like having a caricature of the white Protestant Male from the yacht club for President. But, it was still the 80's, so he doesn't count in this competition. [More...]

And then we had Bill Clinton who decidedly was not boring. MonicaGate kept us abuzz for years. The sideshow of Paula Jones was entertaining. And perhaps because we were so focused on his voracious appetite for fast food, his drug-using brother Roger, and his undeniable charm, so many among us failed to realize he had implemented some of the most draconian and unfair criminal laws in history, from the increased number of crimes that brought a mandatory minimum prison sentence, to his near-obsession with 100,000 cops on the street, to AEDPA's absurd one year statute of limitations for bringing habeas claims. Perhaps in need of holding Newt Gingrich and his 1994 Contract On America at bay, Clinton upped the ante to be the toughest on crime.

Clinton also had to deal with TWA Flight 800 and the Oklahoma City Bombing. His method was obvious: Strike fear of terrorism in the heart of every American, so they'll gladly give up their rights with barely a whimper. He oozed charisma, with that southern drawl he had at the time, and we followed him down whatever path he led us on.

GW Bush was a cartoon, the former drunk, partying, draft-evading kid of a rich and privileged father, who as President had to rely on advisers because he had no idea how to make policy decisions on his own. Lo and behold, he gave us Dick Cheney, no boredom there. The two of them, along with John Ashcroft and their neocon cronies kept us awake at night with two wars, warrantless surveillance and a decimation of privacy rights. Judith Miller and Matthew Cooper can speak volumes on that last one. He also gave us Karl Rove, and Valerie Plame-Gate, the Scooter Libby trial and torture memos, Abu Ghraib and the likes of John Yoo. He gave us so much he ended up giving us a big mission: Send Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove and company packing and out the door. We had a purpose, we sure weren't bored.

Bush also had 9/11 which kept us busy for a while. And there were sideshows like Rudy Giuliani trying to own the event, and then encouraging his sidekick Bernie Kerik to apply for Homeland Security Secretary. That sure went well, didn't it? And we had real terror trials, in federal courts, like the trials of the Blind Sheik, Richard Reid, John Walker Lindh (The "American Taliban") and the out-to-lunch Zacarias Moussaoui. All convicted in federal criminal court, with no martyrdom. We haven't heard a peep from them since. They have no one to talk or write to, locked away in the bowels of Supermax. We also had Bush vs. Gore that kept things exciting for a year. Let's face it, the Bush years were the most exciting of the decade, even if it was just because of the horrible things he did to us and in our name.

Then we had 2007 and 2008. With Bush a lame duck who had a tendency to hide out in Texas when things got rough, where we got to see him fall off his bicycle, we turned to Hillary vs. Obama. And we had to worry that Rudy G. was trying to sneak back into the limelight, with his nobody wife Judy, who seemed to be the only person he surrounded himself with (along with her massive pocketbook collection that gets its own seat on the airline) since he no longer has any friends. (Even his "bromance" with Bernie Kerik busted up and neither of his kids want anything to do with him, no surprise there.) Again, hating Rudy gave us a purpose -- to see that he never holds a national elective office -- which made for exciting times.

We got a real release from boredom when Sarah Palin showed up in 2008. This most uneducated, unpolished, underbody (my term for someone who is less than a nobody) comes along and rattles our cages good. The half of the country that still had a modicum of common sense left in their brain were able to spring into action, mobilize and tear her to shreds. She was left holding the only costume that didn't have to go back to Saks: the one for the Emperor with no Clothes. She's not nearly as interesting this time around, and since she will never again become a nominee for either one of the two highest offices in the land, laughing at her has become so last year. This year, we can just tune her out. She's just boring now.

So we're back to President Obama. His idea of excitement is to play in a private basketball game with a few friends. He doesn't mingle with the people. Michelle has a garden and campaigns against childhood obesity. She could do both of those in Chicago. For all we see of their kids, they could be ensconced away at a boarding school in Switzerland rather than the Sidwell School, and 99% of us wouldn't know the difference. They are just not social creatures. They're family people. That would be okay, but when Pops is the President, it means the whole family needs to be a little accessible, so we can be excited by the first family. It's not happening.

2010 was also a dud crime-wise. Obama didn't keep his promises to close Guantanamo or equalize the penalties for crack and powder cocaine. He gave stingy pardons to those who least needed them. The biggest excitement he generated was unintentional -- in medical marijuana policy-- where he caused big spats between the DEA and DOJ over the loop-hole-filled Memo that was supposed to say the feds would stop the raids and let people comply with state law. The end result was the memo got turned into a piece of swiss cheese, with its many loopholes and an undefined term ("clear and unambiguous compliance with state law") that people would have to be a mind-reader to figure out what's legal and what isn't. The reality is, what's legal is decided on a case by case basis after DEA agents fight it out with the U.S. Attorneys, and the DEA has been winning. It's running roughshod over the memo by substituting its definition of "clear and unambiguous compliance" for the one AG Holder (probably intentionally) left out.

By 2010, even the crime stories were boring. On the terror front, all Obama got was Captain Underpants. We had no Saddam, no more Oklahoma City bombing trials, not even a Jonbenet Ramsey. We had no Patsy Ramsey to push around any more. We had no more Gary Condit; no more O.J. trials of the century; not even a biting, cross-dressing Marv Albert, a case that was entertaining for the spats between Gloria Allred and Roy Black.

Face it, we got stuck with missing white girls and their mothers crying on TV night after night and Nancy Grace screaming at people to the point one committed suicide afterward. For 2010, the most exciting cases may have been Paris Hilton's coke bust, Charlie Sheen's domestic squabble in Aspen and Joran VanderSloot's arrest in Peru.

Maybe it was to generate excitement that Obama unleashed the DEA on the rest of the world. Like its excellent African adventures, where it brought men back to the U.S for us to pay for their trial and likely decades of incarceration, when they weren't even intending to bring drugs here. The perps had people in South America ship cocaine to Africa so they could then transport it to Europe. How is that our business? It's not. So as part of the sting, a DEA agent gets a bright idea and convinces one of the men to agree to send his portion of the cocaine to America. Voila - Jurisdiction! Like we don't have enough traffickers in our own country to worry about, we have to fly around the world finding more?

Or the teenage Somali pirate who kidnapped a crew in Africa. Because the boat belonged to the U.S., the FBI dragged him here to stand trial. We'll pay for his lawyers and trial and his likely 20 years of incarceration too. All this at the same time we hear over and over from our government how broke we are and how we may not be able to afford the social security benefits we've already earned and paid for our entire adult lives.

Also this year, cable news destroyed itself, mostly from its inability to figure out how to use journalists and pundits at the same time and produce an exciting, informative show -- something it did quite well for a decade --and from keeping the same old (and aging) stable of pundits around way too long after we heard everything they could think of to say, at least a dozen times.

With a few exceptions like Breaking Bad, Weeds and Nurse Jackie, even TV went downhill this year. No more Sopranos. Even Jake Pavelka and Ali Fedotowski as the Bachelor and Bachelorette were as bland as mayonnaise. TV fare was so boring, merely passable shows got elevated to "good." Movies didn't fare much better. How many great movies did you see that came out in 2010, and by great, I mean a movie you still thought about every day for a week after you saw it?

Facebook got clunky, old and boring. Twitter is better, but its filtering system isn't sophisticated enough. Who wants to sift through 2,000 stranger's identical tweets on a subject just to get to the pearl you find interesting or the update on a news item you've been waiting for? Not me.

Yes, 2010 was the most boring year in the decade, for politics, for crime and for entertainment.

2011 can't possibly be worse....or can it?

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    Suffering (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by kmblue on Fri Dec 31, 2010 at 04:35:47 AM EST
    is not boring.

    It's Obama's ability to make it boring (5.00 / 5) (#2)
    by BDB on Fri Dec 31, 2010 at 08:01:12 AM EST
    both at home and abroad that is his real gift.  He's effectively Bush III and yet progressives don't go after him nearly as much as they did W (or do Palin*).  It's why the big money backed him in 2008 - he normalized all the atrocious policies and made them boring.  You'd think deliberately letting people starve, die of lack of healthcare, lose their homes to fraud while bombing civilians, torturing people, advocating for the right to hold people indefinitely and even kill them without trial all while expanding the 2 wars we had into 4 or 5 would be "not boring".  But Obama's greatest gift to the rightwing, of which he is a member, is to make progressives not care about these things or at least not care enough to be as outraged by them when he does them as when Bush did them.  

    In that way, he's not only as bad as Bush, he's worse (he's arguably worse on a lot of policy, too, including the ones this blog cares about, but that's another issue).

    * Say whatever terrible thing you want about Palin, she hasn't used killer robots to bomb villages in Pakistan or handed trillions of dollars to the "savvy businessmen" of Wall Street and she's not going to be the one that guts Social Security next year.  Oh, sure, she no doubt would do all of those things if elected because her corporate masters are the same as Obama's, but the fact that she would do horrible things doesn't lessen the fact that Obama has done them and will continue to do them.  Ioz, I think, put it best:

    I would like to revisit Sarah Palin for a moment. I want to concede that she is wrong about everything. But I also want to say, look, your schematic cultural objections to her winking style of pretended regular-guy-ism is no excuse for judging her to be a greater moron than Barack Obama, who is also wrong about everything. If there is one characteristic that this dude has demonstrated over and over again, it is that the world-view he has synthesized is fundamentally stupid and unsound. His Nobel speech proceeded more neatly from word to word than Sarah Palin's RNC convention barnburner, but as an expression of a thesis it was equally incoherent, and as a statement of principles it was a good deal more bloodthirsty.

    To the elite (5.00 / 4) (#7)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Dec 31, 2010 at 10:32:02 AM EST
    It was a boring 2 years.  To the rest of us, it was one of the most challenging times we've ever experienced.  NOT boring.

    It's very subjective isn't it? (none / 0) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 31, 2010 at 12:29:54 PM EST
    I was thinking to myself gee, ummmm....the family going through an Afghanistan tour wasn't what I would have called boring :)

    I guess I just don't get this post. (5.00 / 4) (#11)
    by Anne on Fri Dec 31, 2010 at 12:14:17 PM EST
    Is it snark, is it serious?  I can't decide.

    Snark would make me feel better, frankly, than serious, only because if it's serious, it trivializes so much of what has been happening to too many people, and frankly, to the country and to the democracy.

    Is bad policy really boring?  Boring?  Is Obama really too normal?  So, he's not a former party boy, not a womanizer - but he is the son who was abandoned by his father, and more or less abandoned by his mother, who is playing out that psychodrama on the national stage, seeking constant approval and proof that he is worthy from Republicans, conservatives, and the religious right, with the result that we are not only farther than ever from real Democratic policy than ever, but what he is implementing and advocating is coming to define Democrats - I guess we are all authoritarians now, huh?  

    I can't decide if I'm supposed to yawn, or if my mouth is open in a silent scream...hmmm.

    And I don't think better TV and movies would have helped much.

    I'm just completely befuddled by this post.  

    Anybody who jokes about killing people... (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by lambert on Fri Dec 31, 2010 at 12:24:02 PM EST
    ... with drones is decidedly not normal (well, for some definition of normal; by elite standards, yes, Obama's completely normal).

    the last line makes it clear (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Dec 31, 2010 at 12:37:05 PM EST
    it's not about people or their lives, it's about the year in politics, crime, and entertainment. Sorry if you don't get it.

    I don't see how you can separate (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by Anne on Fri Dec 31, 2010 at 12:57:04 PM EST
    what happens in arenas like politics or crime from the people who are directly affected by events and decisions and policies and legislation; it's just not possible.

    And I guess I am troubled by the concept that somehow we need to be better entertained in these areas; I don't understand how that works, exactly.

    Will 2011 be worse?  In the gee-this-is-boring-me sense, or in the real-pain-and-suffering-people-experience sense?  Well, if people find suffering boring, they might want to prepare to go into some sort of boredom-induced coma in 2011.

    I fully expect my hair to burst into flames; with luck, I can capture it on video and entertain bored people with it.


    Compared (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by CoralGables on Fri Dec 31, 2010 at 12:58:45 PM EST
    to the events you mention in the rest of the decade, I'll take this kind of boring every time.

    You got to admit, J... (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Dec 31, 2010 at 01:11:32 PM EST
    ...that Colorado politics is never boring!  

    Dan Maes.  The Governlooper.  Scooter McInnis.  Jane Norton.  Josh Penry.  Doug Bruce.  Romanoff v. Bennet.  Dick Wadhams.  The crazies at the Capital (Lamborn et. al.).  The TP'ers...  

    I can't remember a more entertaining year that 2010!  

    LAT is full of retrospectiscope (none / 0) (#22)
    by oculus on Fri Dec 31, 2010 at 01:32:51 PM EST
    re Governator, who is leaving office after seven years.

    We watched The Expendables (none / 0) (#36)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jan 01, 2011 at 10:01:52 AM EST
    over Christmas, and the line up of old action hero film war horses was terrific even if the movie wasn't that great.  They couldn't save Dolph Lundgren.  He couldn't get cleaned up....off some unnamed mystery drug, and he went down in infamy.  When Arnold walked into his first frame (and I think he had a cigar with him), I melted in laughter for no reason that I can define.  Well, except that action heroes who become politicians and then go back to being action heroes crack me up.  Hulk Hogan does that to me too.  I saw an episode of his series about revealing secrets the other day too and it made me explode in laughter.

    My daughter passed away in 2010 (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by rdandrea on Fri Dec 31, 2010 at 02:41:34 PM EST
    Way too soon.

    I'll trade you for boring.

    I am so sorry for your loss... (none / 0) (#28)
    by Anne on Fri Dec 31, 2010 at 03:40:05 PM EST
    Nothing's ever really the same after such a loss, especially for a parent who loses a child; as a parent myself, it make my heart hurt to think about what you must be going through.

    Wishing you peace and the comfort of happier memories of better times as you make your way into the new year and beyond.


    Thank You (none / 0) (#30)
    by rdandrea on Fri Dec 31, 2010 at 05:32:17 PM EST

    Sympathies for you and yours (none / 0) (#33)
    by Towanda on Fri Dec 31, 2010 at 07:46:31 PM EST
    and if only we could offer more than sympathy.

    I went to a funeral yesterday for a young man, an extraordinary young man with so much promise -- he had made it to a top grad school after coming back to college and earning honors despite the setback of being called up to Iraq midway through.  But although he had left Iraq, Iraq never left him.

    He was found dead on Christmas Day.

    I never have seen a mother in such anguish, and I cannot imagine what you endured.  I am so sorry.


    I am so very, very sorry (none / 0) (#42)
    by sj on Mon Jan 03, 2011 at 11:23:16 AM EST
    Words fail me.

    Whatever Bill Clinton did (none / 0) (#3)
    by brodie on Fri Dec 31, 2010 at 09:37:33 AM EST
    to civil liberties in reaction to a few terrorist incidents, it was as nothing compared to what his successor would do.  I don't recall Bill calling on Congress for sweeping new powers for the exec as Junior did with the Patriot Act and related, nor did Bill and his admin seek to instill a sense of fear in the public with loud and ominous threat-level pronouncements from his security chief.

    Nor do I recall Bill or anyone in the WH taking to the podium as press sec'y Ari Fleisher chillingly did for Bush to remind Americans to "watch what they say, watch what they do."  I recall a palpable sense of fear and oppression in the public square in the days and weeks following 9-11 which the Bush admin did everything to encourage, the better to consolidate power to themselves and make people psychologically dependent on the Bush crowd for their personal safety.

    And compared to Obama, Clinton might have been slightly to the left in terms of preserving basic liberties and rights.  Though for sure, following decades of Dems being unfairly castigated by Rs as coddlers of criminals and with major crime still too high in most of our major cities, he did proceed to fulfill a campaign pledge to put more cops on the street, and by the end of his two terms, probably owing far more to a robust economy, the major crime rate was significantly reduced.  Nothing to complain about there as I see it.  I prefer safer cities.

    As for Obama being an underwhelming personality, that's an unexpected take but probably true.  Except that it might owe in part to his being associated with the rather boring, half-loaf, process- and compromise-heavy way of getting some mostly minor to moderate partly-progressive legislation through Congress.  He's been an overly cautious field goal kicker who's declined, quietly, after surveying and overestimating a pretty good defense, to boldly go for the end zone touchdown.  

    After the first few, how exciting is it to watch a guy repeatedly kick 30-yard FGs?

    On Clinton (none / 0) (#8)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Dec 31, 2010 at 11:02:42 AM EST
    I disagree. I followed it pretty closely writing a monthly column on crime legislation from 1995 to 2001. On the terror angle and wiretapping, see here. On the drug crime legislation, see here and overall, seehere. (Joe Biden may have written many of the bills but Clinton owned them.) These are just three examples I happened to have saved.

    Yes, as I acknowledged (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by brodie on Fri Dec 31, 2010 at 11:24:37 AM EST
    Bill had his moments chipping into our civil liberties structure, but as I reiterate, it was small stuff compared to Bush's Patriot Act.  And the scary atmosphere of domestic fear was something the Bush admin sought to ratchet up to suit their own executive power-grabbing goals.  

    By contrast, Bill Clinton didn't, imo, use the occasion of the first WTC bombing nor OKC to ramp up fear in the land in order to grab more power for himself, nor did he or his underlings cynically take advantage of the incidents to try to stifle free speech and pressure people into conforming their public views with those of the admin, either at the grass roots level or by those appearing in the media (Maher et al).

    There was real fear in the land at the time of Bush that we might not be able to "afford" the same sort of freedoms as before 9-11 (ominous phrases like "this changes everything", etc etc).  I recall this being discussed numerous times in the media at the time, 2001 and in the months following.  

    Nothing remotely like that was talked about during Clinton.


    third example is (none / 0) (#9)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Dec 31, 2010 at 11:08:05 AM EST
    here (coding error, sorry.)

    Re Pres. Reagan: 2010 bio of Justice (none / 0) (#4)
    by oculus on Fri Dec 31, 2010 at 10:06:50 AM EST
    Brenna states Brennan found Reagan charming and personable and liked the fact Pres. Reagan visited the Supreme Court to meet the Justices there.  But Brennan did not admire Reagan's policies.

    As a DISemployed "underbody"... (none / 0) (#5)
    by lambert on Fri Dec 31, 2010 at 10:18:45 AM EST
    ... I have to say that I find life incredibly exciting. Sorry you don't feel the same way!

    happily there's more to life (none / 0) (#6)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Dec 31, 2010 at 10:29:06 AM EST
    than politics and media, which is all I was discussing in this post.

    Well, of course! (none / 0) (#12)
    by lambert on Fri Dec 31, 2010 at 12:22:42 PM EST
    I find learning to grow one's own food not only pragmatic,  but fun. So, "politics" -- for some definition of politics.

    I don't want to know about the Obama children (none / 0) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 31, 2010 at 12:32:43 PM EST
    I have no business in their daily lives.  It is difficult enough I'm certain to be a President and a first lady, and I don't really want to know about any of their children and I would prefer that they be GOOD parents and sheild their children from vicious prying eyes and minds.  Nope....I want those kids to be kids and they are none of my business.

    Truly (none / 0) (#17)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Dec 31, 2010 at 12:56:35 PM EST
    why is anybody even interested in what the children are doing? I'm certainly not. They have no influence on policy. For all practical purposes in my mind, the Obama's are childless.

    If you have a chance to read NYT on (none / 0) (#21)
    by oculus on Fri Dec 31, 2010 at 01:32:04 PM EST
    a family's experience during deployment, I'd be interested in your reaction.

    My first reaction? (none / 0) (#34)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jan 01, 2011 at 09:47:06 AM EST
    How could the military still be doing this all so badly?  My second reaction, it is shameful what some kids are going through.  Joshua has two classmates who have experienced difficulties due to a dad being deployed too much for too long.  One of the dads got out, he said he had given enough and he did find a decent DOD job here.  The change in his son has been dramatic.  The other dad did not get out but is home and his son is a very different person too since he is home.

    I don't think I am the average person going through deployments because of my childhood experience of losing my family instantly one day.  It may not be considered "nice" to say, and I love my husband deeply, but I have an inner knowing that most people don't have that if he dies before me I'll make it.  I will survive no matter how much I love him.  I have a strange set of skills that come from surviving a really horrible trauma.

    The first deployment was still horrible though, that one was a nightmare but many lies were involved in that one too and they were going into Iraq and nobody knew what they would face or deal with.  For some reason that level of uncertainty affected me horribly, and for a year....if I slept it was because I was too exhausted to do anything else.  Our daughter began to have horrible problems too and I did seek help from someone in the mental health field.  I worked very hard to find someone who knew something about what we were going through, and that wasn't easy to find.  But finally I found a retired military chaplain with a degree in psychology and extensive self inflicted education beyond that too. He had been through Vietnam and years and years of service to families after that, and he sort of had developed a tool kit of facts, realities we would face, the changes we would experience, that he had systemized....and he made things so much easier but he dealt with facts and real feelings, not silly facade emotions concerning patriotism or nationalism or idolizing the military.

    But if the military as a whole began to take the family trauma seriously, it would make it a lot more difficult to gain consent from the American people to deploy soldiers whenever the Pentagon and our leaders want to.  If you document all this well and address it as fully as you can, you will have a harder time gaining agreement on your next war.

    They do employ some social workers that they claim are supposed to be assisting families with the stresses and difficulties, but those social workers have agendas handed down from on high of  do whatever you can to make these soldiers appear "deployable" on paper.  When we moved here we were "assigned" one because of problems with our daughter, and I immediately felt manipulated before I investigated the system.  And this woman was so rude whenever I spoke about the stresses that I felt that our daughter had experienced and was still recovering from that I refused to ever see her again and I could.  Our daughter refused to see her too, couldn't stand her.  The only person who couldn't refuse to see her was my husband....he is the only family member that they own so he ended up having to go there alone.  But he can't speak for the whole family and I have no idea if the woman was able to accomplish her goal.  In any case, when it was time for my husband to deploy again we felt we could do it.  We didn't fight the system to keep him home, he went.....and the manipulative social worker fudging reality was in the end not needed for the military to make him do anything.

    Funnier still, this is a small town too and my daughter and this woman's son were in the same class in High School.  The woman is a DOD social worker while her husband is a local psychologist.  Her son had a difficult time in school but he knew what he wanted to do with his life, and he wanted to go into the Army.  Apparently though his mother did not want him to because she feared he would be killed in Iraq or Afghanistan, and she thought she controlled him enough that he would never do anything like enlist in the Army.  The day he turned 18 though he went in and enlisted and picked for his MOS to become an MP.  A very very tough dangerous job in Iraq and Afghanistan, but he was thrilled...this is what he really wanted to do.  When his mom found out though, she told his father that this was all his doing insisting that his child could be his own person and she had a screaming meltdown and threw him out of the house for months (one of our friends lived nextdoor to them and reported the whole fiasco to us knowing what this woman had put our family through). Life is strange.

    And we are a weird family.  When my husband is gone, he phones home every night that he is able.  If it means we pay hundreds of dollars in phone cards we don't care.  That communication is vitally important to both of us and I don't know why, I only know that it is.  And when he was in Iraq he said that our couple behavior was considered odd, not that he cares....he will conduct his life as he sees it needs to be conducted.  But we stay very very emotionally close on some things.  Some things you can't because you aren't under the same roof together, but we stay interconnected enough that I don't think we feel like strangers to each other to the same degree that some people do when they get home.  What if you don't have the money for all the phone cards that would allow you to do this?  What if you are young, and enlisted, and of modest means?


    Interesting life development though (none / 0) (#37)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jan 01, 2011 at 10:31:44 AM EST
    I think my daughter has found her life partner.  And he isn't anything that I would have looked into a crystal ball and seen either.  You know how the next generation will often swing the other direction in order to avoid "family shared insanity"?  Well he is an Army kid too.  A pilot's child too.  His father was shot down in Bosnia and laid out in the cold, body broken, for the better part of a day.  He has had some really amazing surgeries on his back.

    Our kids will never join the military though.  They both had similar problems that evolved from having dad in combat, and neither one of them will ever ever be a soldier.  They share a profound peace together though.  They are a wonderful couple.  They hosts New Years Eve last night and both sets of parents went.  Neither family cares if any of our kids are soldiers, we just want them to be happy, and the families are a scary scary happy fit with each other.  Our kids are very happy together though, and in a strange way have healed each other too.


    This is wonderful news. (none / 0) (#38)
    by oculus on Sat Jan 01, 2011 at 11:13:34 AM EST
    Old Oriental Curse: (none / 0) (#24)
    by the capstan on Fri Dec 31, 2010 at 02:30:09 PM EST
    May you live in interesting times!

    Re media, a correction: (none / 0) (#27)
    by Towanda on Fri Dec 31, 2010 at 02:43:30 PM EST
    Cable news destroyed itself in 2008, along with the Democratic Party.

    With a working understanding of (none / 0) (#29)
    by KeysDan on Fri Dec 31, 2010 at 04:54:04 PM EST
    'exciting' or 'not boring' being represented by the droll antics of the "Normal twins, Ab and Sub"-- Cheney shooting his 78-year old friend, Harry Whittington, in the face or George W. Bush drunk and stumbling at the Olympics in China, President Obama does seem 'normal.'   Even Obama's press conferences do not have the flare of a presser with Bush fielding  hard ball questions from Jeff Gannon, the press and escort hustler.  But, there is some of that excitement and boredom in the Obama presidency, it is just not picked up on as much.   While most  of it is cunningly concealed in policies and appointees (e.g.,Bush tax cuts and Geithner), occasionally his humor, which runs to Tosh.0, seeps out, such as likening his bowling skills to the Special Olympics. But then that was in 2009, not 2010.    Happy New Year to All---dan

    Deepwater Horizon oil spill was not boring (none / 0) (#31)
    by ding7777 on Fri Dec 31, 2010 at 05:57:13 PM EST
    nor is it boring that President Obama is cutting Social Security benefits 2 years in a row under the "NO INFLATION" mantra.

    That's (none / 0) (#40)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Jan 01, 2011 at 01:55:17 PM EST
    a truly bizarre interpretation.

    I don't know about boring (none / 0) (#32)
    by ruffian on Fri Dec 31, 2010 at 05:58:53 PM EST
    I learned more about deep water well kills and also mine rescues than I ever expected to. Those were some pretty suspenseful stories.

    Politically, yeah. Dems in disarray. Same old story.

    If Obama tried to (none / 0) (#35)
    by ding7777 on Sat Jan 01, 2011 at 09:49:04 AM EST
    "cut" Social Security benefits the Progressives/Liberals would be out in full force but use the "no inflation" gambit to do the same thing and not a whimper

    There were no cuts (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by CoralGables on Sat Jan 01, 2011 at 12:34:02 PM EST
    There was no increase. This wasn't Obama. It was COLA's for SS passed by a Democratic Congress in 1975 based on data provided each year by the Bureau of Labor Statistics based on the Consumer Price Index.

    Passing along wrong information is so last year.


    Interesting post (none / 0) (#41)
    by lilburro on Mon Jan 03, 2011 at 09:15:19 AM EST
    it's good to take the long view.  All the stuff about Bush reminds me of the fact that it's not only the GOP that is good at being the Party of No - it's easier regardless of party to say "no" than "yes" and the Bush years certainly provided us the opportunity to do that.  Being the oppositional party is easier.  And perhaps more entertaining.

    One thing you missed was Haiti.  The earthquake there was astonishing as a reminder of how for various reasons we fail at one of the main purposes of having a civilization at all - providing shelter and safety against nature and protecting others.  The suffering there was atrocious and continues to be horrible.  Then from another POV it was interesting to see how cell phone texts raised lots of money for recovery.  Yet resources are still only trickling to Haiti.  

    The story goes on...