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2008 – Year In Review

Tuesday, December 30, 2008
By Dan

Here now are Daily Danet’s most important stories for 2008.  They may not be the most memorable now, but in time, these events will be remembered longer than anything else in 2008, for their consequences as well as the stories themselves.  These are the stories that, when we look back in 20 years, we will vaguely remember they happened before the coming apocalypse.

  1. Complete collapse of the housing market. 2008 will certainly be remembered as the year the housing bubble went pop.  The median home price peaked in 2006 at about $250,000.  The median home price is now around $180,000.  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were officially taken over by the government with no hope of being broken up anytime soon.
  2. Wall Street Follows Housing Over a Cliff. In a related store, in 2008 we found out that Wall Street was as foolishly optimistic as that kid whose parents wrapped clothes in an Xbox box.  With no adults manning the shop, no one thought to look into all those subprime loan derivatives.   The failure of Lehman Brothers, and the death of the last five remaining large investment banks was the earthquake in 2008.  The Tsunami is on its way.
  3. Bailout Mania. Congress realizes that they have skewed the housing market, encouraged risky behavior and destroyed several financial companies by providing easy access to money, by removing accountability and by introducing market distortions.  Congress immediately moves to fix the problem by providing more free money, completely eliminating accountability and further distorting markets.  At some point, a politician somewhere will read Ayn Rand.
  4. Barack Obama Elected President. An unknown junior Senator from Illinois, who happened to be African American, was elected president by the largest popular margin ina generation.  The election will be remembered for a long time, even beyond the racially-motivated “historic” headlines.  Senator Obama spent record amounts in the primary and general elections, and was the first person to not use federal funds since Richard Nixon.  Hillary Clinton’s bid to be the first female presidential nominee, and Sarah Palin’s selection as the first female GOP vice presidential candidate will also be remembered for years to come.  So, too, will the media’s abdication of its investigative responsibilities.
  5. Global Warming Begins to Collapse. In time, 2008 will be recognized as the last time anyone took Al Gore seriously.  2008 will be the coldest year in the United States in over a decade, and record cold and snow have plagued the rest of the world.  Although deranged lunatics will continue to shout from their daddy’s Escalades and their Hollywood mansions, 2008 will be the year that skeptics were finally given a voice.
  6. Gasoline Prices. 2008 will be remembered for its dramatic jump in the price of gasoline, rising to over $4 per gallon in the United States.  The impact, however, will be felt for years as Americans begin to reduce their consumption of gasoline and thereby their dependence on foreign oil.  By December, the price of a barrel of crude oil had fallen nearly $100, a decline of over 70% from it’s summer time high.  Low prices for crude oil minimize the influence of OPEC nations and Russia.
  7. Iraq turns a corner. The Surge shows dividends as Iraq is able to reconcile its political differences and unite its factions against foreign and domestic insurgencies.   In time, although the war was mishandled for too long, the decision to invade Iraq and the consequences of a free nation in the Middle East will be seen as the high point of the Bush administration.
  8. NASA discovers water on Mars. After countless complicated experiments are conceived and tested, the little Phoenix lander scrapes the surface of Mars, and, a few millimeters below the red dust, it finds ice.  In time, this will be seen as an enormously significant find for human exploration of the planet.
  9. Russia on the Offensive. Russia invaded Georgia and rattled its sword in the Western hemisphere, meeting with Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez and Cuban dictator Raul Castro.  These events signal a growing hostility towards the West.
  10. Nobody’s Perfect, Nothing’s Impossible. After a 10-6 record in the regular season and nearly firing their head coach the year before, the New York Giants make an improbable run to the Superbowl, winning a record 10 straight games on the road.  They face the undefeated New England Patriots, the first team to ever win 18 games in a season and only the second team in history to make it to the Superbowl undefeated.  The Giants were expected to be sacrificial lambs to the Patriot’s crowning victory.  But, as they say, on any given Sunday, anything can happen.  The impossible odds.  The impossible catch.  The heartpounding final seconds.  This is why we watch sports.  These are the games we tell our grandchildren about.

Honorable Mention:
Fidel Castro resigns
The Large Hadron Collider fires up (and doesn’t destroy the Earth)
USS Lake Erie fires a missile that destroys a damaged sattelite in space
Banazir Bhutto is assassinated
Beijing hosts the Summer Olympics
Bill Gates leaves Microsoft

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