Thursday, January 3, 2008

2007 Favorites: Events

Here’s a brief look at 12 events that intrigued me. Some you will remember, others you won’t, but at the very least, hopefully it will be education.

January 4: Nancy Pelosi becomes the first female speaker of the House of Representatives.
Talks a pretty big game but doesn’t really end up doing anything, and a few days later Bush announces a troop surge in Iraq. Other Democratic goals like the Minimum Wage Bill and SCHIP (Children’s Health Care) can’t survive vetoes and the Dems continue to fail to change course on Iraq. I thought Pelosi would be good, but she didn’t really do anything and proved herself to be just another politician.

February 4: The Indianapolis Colts beat the Chicago Bears 29-17 in Super Bowl XLI
A great season by the Bears who were exciting to watch, and managed to overcome some serious injuries to put up a pretty good game against the heavily favored Colts, steered by a great season by Rex Grossman. The loss was disappointing, but not nearly as disappointing as the Bears’ follow up season in the later half of 2007.

March 8: Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert admits Israel had planned an attack on Lebanon in the event of kidnapped soldiers on the border, months before Hezbollah carried out its kidnapping.
Probably no one really knows what this story is about, but it references the Israeli-Lebanon war during the closing months of 2006, an embarrassing debacle for Israel. Olmert’s admission confirmed that many thought that the US and Israel had been looking for a way to strike Hezbollah. I guess it interests me because it’s closely tied to this year’s debate topic…

April 12: Don Imus is fired by CBS for making controversial comments about the Rutgers women's basketball team.
Seems like we average about one of these a year now since the Limbaugh-McNabb fiasco a few years ago. It boggles my mind that people say this stuff, ON THE RADIO! What were they thinking? Even if you do harbor those thoughts, why would you broadcast that? Anyways, the story damn near KILLED my interest in EVER watching ESPN, as they just would not let it go.

May 6/May 10: Nicholas Sarkozy is elected as President of the French Republic and Tony Blair announces he will resign as British Prime Minister.
The political dynamics of Europe take a strange turn when the pro-Bush PM Blair leaves office in disgrace while the pro-Bush President Sarkozy takes office with great flair. While Blair’s successor looks to push Britain farther away from the U.S., Sarkozy looks to strengthen US-French ties. Blair seemed kinda cool, Sarkozy seems kinda weird, although his girlfriend is totally hot.

June 29: Apple’s iPhone is released in the United States.
Steve Jobs’ company is great at churning out hip new toys, and the iPhone is no different. It started with a great ad campaign during the Super Bowl (or maybe it was the Oscars) with typical Apple-Cool fashion and a catchy song by Eberg. The touch screen interface and vertical and horizontal sensor feature, people couldn’t get enough of it, snatching up this $500 toy like there was no tomorrow. My interest in this skyrocketed when one of my roommates got one, sparking jealous desire.

July 7: Live Earth concerts are held in nine cities throughout the world.
Featuring a great, diverse collection of musicians, nine near simultaneous/consecutive concerts happen to raise awareness about climate change. The 22 hour live (web)broadcast set a record with 15 million internet streams. I planned on watching it, but never got around to it.

August 7: Barry Bonds breaks Hank Aaron’s home run record with his 756th home run.
To many this was inevitable, while I was one of the few people who hoped and prayed Bonds would suffer a career ending injury. Instead, he pulled it off, albeit he did have to wade through all the steroid talk and the humbling hilarity of his record-setting ball being branded with an asterisk before being given to Cooperstown. I never liked Barry Bonds because he seems to have serious attitude problems while also coming off as the type of guy who wouldn’t hesitate about cheating.

September 26: Emperor Akihito swears in Yasuo Fukuda as Prime Minister of Japan.
Another even that probably went unnoticed by everyone. But it ended the reign of Koizumi, another extremely pro-Bush PM who was one of my first favorites. Well, in the sense that I did a lot of debate-related research regarding him over the last few years. But most Americans will probably never remember him, considering they’d heard of him before.

October 28: The Boston Red Sox win the 2007 World Series, completing a four-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies.
The Red Sox getting a second World Series so soon made me jealous that the Cubs continued to go without one of their own in the last century or so, losing this year to the Arizona Diamond backs in three straight games. I guess there’s always next year.

November 27: The Annapolis Conference is held in Annapolis, Maryland, to try to restart the Middle East Peace Process.
I thought it was hard to tell whether Bush was actually trying to do this, or just trying to mend his image and attempt to get something done on which he could hang his legacy. The conference including many nations with tenuous relations with the United States, which is an accomplishment in itself, but it achieved almost nothing. Again, this interested me because of this year’s debate resolution.

December 27: Former prime minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto is assassinated, with at least 20 others in a bomb blast at an election rally in Rawalpindi.
This tragic event capped a momentous December. What makes this all the more shocking is how an event on October 18 is overlooked when Bhutto returns after 8 years in exile to barely escape a suicide attack that killed 136. This time, she did not escape. The incident pushed Pakistan even closer to the breaking point than it was with all of Musharaaf’s States of Emergencies. Hopefully 2008 will bring peace to Pakistan.

For more 2007 events, click here.

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