December 30, 2013

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2013 Will Go Down As A Very Weird Year

The other one was 1975. At least in my lifetime.

1975 was weird for good reasons and bad. Saturday Night Live debuted with the Not Ready For Prime Time Players: Dan Akroyd, John Belushi, Chevy Chase, Jane Curtain, Gilda Radner, and Garrett Morris. President Gerald Ford tried to stop inflation with WIN buttons (seriously). New York City faced bankruptcy, but, after initially saying ‘drop dead,’ Gerry Ford ended up bailing it out with $2.3 billion loan. Inflation was 9.2 percent, but gasoline was only (ready for it?) $0.44 a gallon. And I got a magic set for Christmas.

Oh, and the Vietnam War ended.

Yeah, 1975 was that kind of year, where the story that dominated life and politics for a decade was number 42 on the list of the most remarkable things that happened.

2013 was somehow weirder.

The economy went sideways, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average went through the roof.

Americans, forced to decide between the US president and a Syrian dictator, chose Putin.

The President’s single most important achievement, Obamacare, failed every test it was given. It’s on double secret probation.

The IRS admitted to using NSA domestic spying data to harass and disrupt conservative grassroots organizations. Because that’s what tyrants to, dammit.

A guy named Edward Snowden released a bunch of documents detailing how the NSA has infiltrated the most personal communications of all Americans. Several members of Congress, like Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and Peter King (R-NY) shamelessly defended the NSA’s Orwellian spying, but others, like Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) are fighting domestic spying.

Weirdest part of all the NSA revelations was the news that the NSA Director spent millions remodeling the spy headquarters to look like the control room of the Starship Enterprise.

In January, Ed Martin became chairman of the Missouri GOP thanks to a grassroots takeover of Republican townships and committees. Also in January 2013, House Republicans in Washington capitulated on taxes. Then, they did it again in December. They’re getting really good caving. For example, the Sequester came and went and almost no one noticed, as I predicted last February. But the GOP, led by career insider Paul Ryan, gave back the sequester cuts in December in exchange for . . . nothing.

I spent a lot of 2013 making a case for conservatives to get out in front on ending the war on marijuana. Apparently, I have more readers in Uruguay than in Missouri. Still, most Americans now support legalization, and Democrats will get all the credit when it happens.

The 5th anniversary of the new Tea Party movement came and went with little notice, but tea partiers began realizing, in big numbers, that our fight is with political elitists. That includes a lot of big businesses that use government to keep down competition from small business. Have you seen how many small banks have failed? Companies like McDonald’s and Walmart uses the federal food stamp program to avoid paying market rates for employees. By encouraging their workers to apply for food stamps and other redistributive programs, Walmart workers are content with the money the make.

Global Warming took a break in March, as the St. Louis area received almost a foot of snow on Palm Sunday.

I did a lot of travelling in 2Q, so my political eye rested. I did have an opportunity to examine what liberalism does to people out in San Francisco: it ruins them.

From August to December, tried to bolster House and Senate Republicans to do the right thing. We succeeded–and failed. A dire prediction in this post came true:

Boehner doesn’t want to [block passage of continuing resolution]. He’s afraid that shutting down the government will hurt Republicans in the 2014 election.

Boehner could be right.** If the House blocked the continuing resolution and later caved, voters would likely punish the GOP.** But by committing now to defunding Obamacare, and following through on their commitment, the House would force Obama and the Democrats to negotiate.

Luckily, the launch of Obamacare on October 1 proved we were right all along.

And that brings us to the end of a very weird year. Let’s hope that 2014 brings a power shift–from central planners to the people.

That’s all we’ve been asking for all along.