Jan 182007
Authors: Hilary Davis

So long, farewell, adieu, 2006. We had many great moments together. On a personal note, 2006 was the year I began working as a columnist and moved into my very first apartment. It was also one more year my roommates can add to the list of years in which they were not food poisoned by me – that’s 365 days of success.or at least survival.

For the nation, 2006 was an interesting year in politics, world events and popular culture. It began in January with Samuel Alito’s confirmation as chief justice of the Supreme Court, thus fulfilling televangelist Pat Robertson’s shocking “premonition” that President Bush would nominate conservative judges to the nation’s highest court, if he remembers he’s allowed to do that. Following Alito’s confirmation the Democrats are, not surprisingly, pissed for the 2,190th (ish) consecutive day since President Bush’s 2001 inauguration. The Republicans are just happy it wasn’t Harriet Miers. They can only handle one strong woman at a time, and as long as her husband’s in the White House, Condoleezza is not going anywhere.

February brought the South Dakota state ban on abortion. All pregnant South Dakotan women must now flee elsewhere to obtain their federally protected medical rights. But attention South Dakotan women: Do not flee to Mexico! The margaritas may be cheap, and those hats sure are fun, but we have enough problems going on down there. Also in February, the XX Winter Olympics take place in Italy, setting off a firestorm among television reporters over the very important issue of whether they are reporting from Turin or Torino. Except for the really ditzy TV reporters who ended up in Germany-o.

In March, the world is lucky enough to hear the testimony of Saddam Hussein for the very first time. In yet another excellent foreign policy move, Hussein urges Iraqis to stop fighting each other and focus their attacks on the United States. Lucky us. March also sees the renewal of the Patriot Act though, so by constantly talking on your cell phone you are helping to fight terrorism. At least according to the National Security Agency, which is probably reading this right now.

April 2006 could be rechristened the “month of scandal.” Tom DeLay announced he will not seek reelection to Congress. This is, of course, after DeLay’s shady doings earlier in the year with his even more shady friend Jack Abramoff. Republican leaders promised, “There will be no more Republican scandals.” Unfortunately, neither Mark Foley nor Ted Haggard got that memo.

In early May, the Sudanese government signed a peace pact with most of the rebel groups in Darfur, forcing hopelessly impassioned college students to find a new cause to champion. That is, unless the rebel groups who didn’t sign the peace pact decide to start some stuff, in which case Peace Corps recruiters can come out full force and showings of sad African movies can resume indefinitely.

The month of June sees Tom DeLay’s last official day in office. Congress develops a committee to plan a going away party, spearheaded by Nancy Pelosi. Also in the “highly important news of June” category: Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey’s divorce is finalized. Tom DeLay sends a thank-you note to the pair for taking the heat off of him and that whole corruption thing.

July is a very busy month. The highlights: Italy wins its fourth World Cup, Italian fans drink and celebrate. France loses the World Cup, French fans drink and head-butt one another in the streets. The state of New York rejects a proposal to define marriage; all of Queens and half of Brooklyn drink and celebrate. And former Enron CEO Kenneth Lay conveniently dies of a heart attack before going to jail; fellow convicted fraudsters would drink and celebrate if only they weren’t locked behind bars.

August is a bittersweet month for many – students must deal with the start of school and Pluto is demoted and no longer considered a planet. Displaced Darfur protesters take up the cause. The relegation of Pluto launches more than 500 Facebook groups in defense of the former planet, as well as a galaxy-wide union for planetary protection. NASA has yet to negotiate.

September 2006 becomes a month of “strange but true.” For instance:

True: Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin is killed in a freak accident.

Strange: It is a freak accident with a stingray and not a crocodile.

True: Mark Foley is caught sending naughty messages to male Congressional pages.

Strange: Ted Haggard was not one of the pages in question.

October 2006 also brings us a bout of “strange but true,” Bush-style, when the president actually admits the war is not going as well as planned. Not strangely, he still refuses to change tactics. One war that did end peacefully, however, was the war between Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie. The public can again anticipate the televisual gold that is “The Simple Life.”

Ah, November – a time for crunching leaves, pumpkin pie and midterm elections. Democrats and their fun gal Nancy Pelosi take over Congress while not-as-fun guy Donald Rumsfeld finally takes a hint and an application for a sales associate position at Dillards after quitting his job as secretary of defense. Pelosi is already plotting her swearing-in speech, which can best be summarized by the quote, “Take that, bitches!”

So soon December is upon us! Quickly after her much-anticipated divorce, the ever-classy Britney Spears is out partying with new pal Paris and without her underpants. Sadly for Britney and her not-at-all hyped comeback tour, most Americans are paying attention to more important things. Like Steve Irwin, Jessica Simpson and Pluto.

That’s the year in review from me to you. Happy (belated) New Year. Go Rams!

Hilary Davis is a senior technical journalism major. Her column appears in the Collegian on Fridays. Replies and feedback can be sent to opinion@collegian.com

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