An Ol' Broad's Ramblings
The yearâ€™s most memorable quote is a fitting epitaph for this most forgettable 2007.
â€œDonâ€™t tase me broâ€¦â€
We should be so lucky.
This was a year dominated by the transgressions of Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and Britney Spears who at one point shaved her head, but still has higher approval ratings than Nancy Pelosi
A scorned love-sick astronaut wearing diapers drove cross country to stalk her lover; Miss Teen South Carolina shared her views on the absence of maps in American education; and we got tips on bathroom etiquette from Larry Craig ( â€œI have a wide stanceâ€) and Sheryl Crow, who suggested we should all limit ourselves to one-square of toilet paper a visit. She still canâ€™t figure out why people wonâ€™t shake her hand.
Al Gore won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, a Nobel and everything else except Dancing with the Stars. There was some brief embarrassment when it was reported that his house uses 20 times as energy as the average American home. Environmentalists explained this away by resurrecting the medieval churchâ€™s practice of selling indulgences, which they renamed â€œoffsetting carbon credits.
Hillary Clintonâ€™s presidential campaign stumbled after she tried out several personalities, including a southern accent, but focus groups found that voters didnâ€™t find her credible as a middle aged black woman. Oprah endorsed Barack Obama.
Democrats took control of Congress and did nothing, except introduce the concept of the â€œnon-binding resolutionâ€ to a new generation. Jack Murtha talked about a â€œslow bleedâ€ of the military to stop the war in ; Harry Reid declared the war lost; Russ Feingold demanded immediate surrender; Tammy Baldwin proposed impeaching Dick Cheney. Despite their best effort, however, the â€œsurgeâ€ succeeded. No joy in Surrenderville.
Wisconsinâ€™s newest congressman, Steve Kagen, began his term in office bragging that when he met the president and First Lady Laura Bush, he cracked, â€œHi Barbara, how are ya?â€ Kagen explained that â€œthe meanest thing you can say to another gentleman is he is a fine fellow and you then refer to his spouse by a different name.â€ Kagen later apologized and admitted that he made the story up. Kagen was not the first politician to tell a lie or embellish stories to make himself to look better, but he may be the first politician to go out of his way to make himself look like a boorish crap-weasel. .
In a sign that good taste is not totally obsolete Jeff Ruby, of Rubyâ€™s Steakhouse in Louisville, Kentucky told O.J. Simpson and his entourage, â€œIâ€™m not serving you.â€ The University of Colorado fired bigot and fraud Ward Churchill; and UW dumped 9/11 conspiracy theorist Kevin Barrett.
Miller was swallowed by Coors; Midwest Airlines was effectively bought out by Northwest Airlines; and legislative Democrats proposed doubling state taxes.
Madison officials indulged their addiction to pointless time-wasting symbolic gestures by toying with the idea of changing the oath of office to protest the constitutional ban on gay marriage. A Michigan woman claims that Starburst candies were â€œdangerously chewy,” asking for $25,000 for injuries she sustained biting into one of the flavorful candies.
Karl Rove left the White House unindicted and for some reason Tommy Thompson ran for president. Air American continued to fizzle and, amazingly, feminist radio flopped when it failed to attract either gender to a network with absolutely no sense of humor. Michael Vick abused dogs; Barry Bonds abused pharmaceuticals; and Major League baseball stuck it to fans everywhere.
Wisconsinites are still not allowed to carry concealed weapons; defend themselves with tasers; buy cold medicine without a photo ID; or decide how their kids should ride in cars. But legislators once again busied themselves with legislation banning the scourge of the Yo-yo water ball.
Katie Couric was named CBS anchor and promptly disappeared; ditto for J.B. Van Hollen who has not been seen since he was elected attorney general. Former speaker Scott Jensen won his appeal and Milwaukeehired a police chief who is not afraid to use the word â€œthugâ€ to describe thugs. The Brewers made a pennant run; and Brett Favre achieved football divinity.
But the year was not without its piquant ironies: Former Mayor Paul Soglin endured the wrath of the quicheoisie, who accused him of being a reactionary Neanderthal after he suggested that it was stupid to ride bikes during a blizzard.
Welcome to the vast right wing conspiracy, Paul. Next year we can talk about tort reform, but I promise to take it slow.
Happy New Year.