Bye Bye 2012

2012 was the year of "The Huh?" – as in "What? You've got to be kidding."

It was the year that many people thought would be the last year of the world. They based this prediction on the fact that one Mayan calendar would come to an end before the new Mayan calendar would start. "Huh?"

Movie icon and philanthropist Elizabeth Taylor passed away in 2011. It took until 2012 for the release of a television movie about her life. Since she was heralded as a fine actress and received countless awards, including two Oscars, raised millions of dollars for AIDS research, and received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, the obvious choice to portray her in the movie was Lindsay Lohan. Huh?

The Iowa Supreme Court ruled that you can be fired from a job for being "too attractive" to your boss. Huh?

Actor/writer/director Ben Affleck announced that he was not running for the Senate. Huh?

President Obama won both the popular and electoral elections. Some Republicans responded by calling the election, "A tie." Huh?

Hockey team owners, concerned that the sport has had more trouble attracting television viewers, responded by locking out the players which ensured that no fans could be excited about watching hockey. Huh?

Some countries have more mobile phones than toilets. Does this mean that they're using their smart phones to find out where the nearest bathroom is? Huh?

Mitt Romney's son Tagg recently said that his father never really had any interest in being President. Huh?

Chin lifts were the hottest form of cosmetic surgery this year. Huh?

There are still people who believe that climate change is just as silly of an idea as evolution. Huh?

Finally, the big one. Former CIA head David Petraeus, the keeper of the country's most important secrets, couldn't keep his illicit affair a secret. Obviously a great judge of character, President Obama had chosen Petraeus to command the U.S. forces in Afghanistan before picking him to head the CIA. Petraeus' affair was uncovered because his mistress, Paula Broadwell sent disturbing emails to someone she thought was too interested in Petraeus -- Jill Kelley. Broadwell is an Army intelligence officer, but in this case, "intelligence" is just a military title. Kelley, the target of the emails, as well as her husband were friends with Petraeus and his wife, Holly. Jill Kelley told another friend of hers, Frederick Humphries II about the emails, and since Humphries was an FBI agent, he turned the information over to the FBI and continuously urged them to pursue the case vigorously. He also sent shirtless photos of himself to Jill Kelley, but not to Paula Broadwell. Obviously a very social person, Jill was also friends with Four Star General John R. Allen who received cyber stalking messages from Paula Broadwell, too. Natalie Khawam, Jill Kelley's twin sister, was friends with both David Petraeus and General Allen. Earlier, Jill convinced both Petraeus and Allen to try to help her twin in a child custody case in which the judge found that Natalie had "misrepresented everything." Huh? Huh? Huh?

Here's to 2013, a year that I guarantee will have us saying, "Huh?"

Happy New Year.

Election Elation

I know it's been about a week, but I still feel the same elation I felt on Election Night. Not just President Obama's supporters, but every American should still feel that thrill. Why? … Because the campaign is finally over! No more speeches, no more commercials, and best of all – no more of those annoying phone calls. I also assumed that the emails would stop. Unfortunately, the day after the election, I received an email from President Obama's campaign manager. At the end of it was the word, "Donate." He's still asking for money? Does Obama plan on running for a third term?

This $2 billion dollar campaign -- that's "Billion" with a "B" -- was a nasty campaign. Based on the commercials they endorsed, neither of the candidates seemed particularly nice. After each debate and major commercial, independent groups told us how untruthful many of their statements were. I propose that for the next election, there should be an independent commission set up to evaluate each commercial. If it's found to be untruthful, the candidate who endorsed that commercial will have to pay an amount equal to what that commercial cost to his or her opponent's campaign. Good-bye untruthful commercials.

While most of us are thrilled that the campaign is over, there are those politicos who are dreamily thinking, "Only about 1,460 days until the next Presidential election." -- or right after they finish counting this election's votes in Florida. What's with Florida and elections? How hard can it be? A few high school kids with a Mac could probably have handled it. 

If you were the Governor of Florida and you had more political aspirations, wouldn't you have made sure that your state at least moved into the 20th Century on Election Day this time? In some Miami precincts, voters were still casting their ballots while Obama was making his victory speech. They must've felt great about how meaningful their votes were.

It's easy to pick on Florida – boy is it easy – but it's not the only state that is goofy at election time. Here in California, on Election Day, we don't just vote for people. As you know, we vote for laws. Lots of them. These are laws that even experts who study the issues for years have trouble deciding on and evaluating their economic impact. They deal with taxation, education, the rights of public employees, and everything else they can squeeze onto the ballot. When I first moved here years ago, I didn't get it. I asked anyone who would listen that if we decide all these issues, what do the state legislators do? Nobody could ever answer that. 

I had a favorite ballot measure this year. It was the one that asked us to decide if male porn actors should be required to wear condoms while making their films. In other words, on that night we had to settle both election and erection issues.

In case you missed the big news, the measure passed. I'm happy to say that I voted on the winning side on this one. Regardless of the practicality of the proposition, I felt that if I could do a little something to possibly help save someone's life, I should. However, there was another motivation behind my vote. When I thought about how they could possibly enforce this law, I figured that before any porn movie could be released, either there would have to be a state official who watched a screening of the porn flick, or they'd have to have an official on the set of every porn movie checking to make sure there were no naked penises. "Finally," I thought, "there's going to be something for those legislators to do."