Goodbye, farewell, and good riddance to 2012. What a year it was! A presidential election year that will rank as one of the all-time dirtiest, negative campaigns this country has ever gone through. Did you ever think you’d actually see a presidential campaign where the President of the United States accused his opponent of being responsible for murder, not to mention felonious tax evasion? Personal attacks, lies, and false accusations were the strategy for the Obama campaign this time around. Let’s just hope that in four years the next presidential campaign can clean up its act and take a higher tone. Americans deserve better.
And speaking of ugly attacks, this year saw the terror group al-Qaeda back in business in a big way. Libya’s interim president, Mohammed Al-Megarif, said that al-Qaeda was behind a deadly assault as heavily armed Islamic terrorists stormed the American consulate in Benghazi and shot and killed U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other embassy officials on the anniversary of the September 11th attacks. Stevens is the first U.S. ambassador to be killed in the line of duty since 1979.
And good riddance to a year that saw a deranged maniac wipe out 20 children and 6 adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. As to be expected the media played it up and dragged it on much longer than it needed to be, with photos of the poor kids plastered all over the TV and papers for days on end and giving us more information than necessary on the killer. No, it’s not about too many guns, its about too few insane people being locked up as they should be and as they once were before the ACLU made institutionalizing crazy people a breech of their “civil rights.”
Nature threw a couple of fits in the U.S. this past year. Hurricane Isaac hit the Gulf Coast in August causing an evacuation of 3,000 people with another 600,000 residents losing power. But the worst was yet to come when Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast in October and caused $30 billion in damage to New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. Over 100 died and 8 million people lost power.
Goodbye to those notables in entertainment, sports, politics, journalism, the arts, and others who left us this year: Larry Hagman, Deborah Raffin, Lucille Bliss, Lee McPhail, Carmen Basilio, Darrell Royal, George McGovern, Arlen Specter, Gary Collins, Alex Karras, Turhan Bey, Andrew Breitbart, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Michael O’Hare, Herbert Lom, Andy Williams, Dorothy McGuire, Art Modell, Sun Myung Moon, Hal David, Neil Armstrong, Phyllis Diller, Tony Scott, William Windom, Phyllis Thaxter, Helen Gurley Brown, Judith Crist, Marvin Hamlisch, Gore Vidal, Tony Martin, Chad Everett, Sherman Hemsley, Sally Ride, Kitty Wells, Celeste Holm, Ernest Borgnine, Andy Griffith, Don Grady, Doris Singleton, Nora Ephron, Leroy Neiman, Ray Bradbury, Richard Dawson, Doc Watson, Robin Gibb, Donna Summer, Vidal Sassoon, George Lindsay, Dick Clark, Mike Wallace, Earl Scruggs, Davy Jones, Gary Carter, Whitney Houston, James Farentino, Joe Paterno, Etta James.
Thanks to the bakers union we said goodbye to Hostess Twinkies, Sno-balls, Ho-Ho’s, Ding Dongs, and cream-filled devil’s food cupcakes with that distinctive squiggle on top this year. And no one mentions it, but Hostess also made my favorite white bread, Wonder Bread, the bread of my childhood with the red, yellow, and blue balloons printed right on the wrapper, as Buffalo Bob used to say. Hostess sponsored the Howdy Doody show in the early fifties. Only a child of the fifties could get teary eyed over the demise of a bakery company. Sniff!
Say goodbye to lower taxes. Beginning in January 2013, taxes will go up for everyone. Surprise! And you thought it was only going up for the millionaires and billionaires? Sucker! Your taxes will go up by 2% of your gross annual income up to a maximum of $2,202 for those who make $110,100 and up. Single workers making $50,000 will take home $83 less each month. Unless politicians can pull off a miracle every working American will be hit with a marginal tax rate increase of 5% on average, according to the Tax Policy Center. What this will mean for the economy is slower growth and higher unemployment — throwing the economy back into recession and likely driving unemployment above 9%.
So say bye-bye to 2012 and hang on ‘cause 2013 is right around the corner and gaining on us fast! But, hey, who knows? Maybe the economy will pick up. Maybe our national debt will shrink. Maybe America will gain more respect in the world. Maybe “the rise of the oceans will begin to slow and our planet will begin to heal,” as Obama promised us over four years ago. Who knows? Maybe Twinkies and Ding Dongs will make a comeback. Maybe Dick Clark isn’t really dead. Maybe it will be a hell of a good year. Check back with me in twelve months and we’ll take a look.