Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Twitter, Kindle, Obama, Billie Holiday, Greed, Sam Kass

It's almost the New Year. I think it's going to be a good one. Time for reflection.
2009 was the exclamation point on the Decade of Greed.
The past 10 years was a time when the rich rallied to accumulate and horde as much as they could and the middle class aspired to do the same, pretending that they too were wealthy, emulating the rich with fancy handbags, cars they couldn't afford, homes twice the size as necessary, Biggie-sized TVs. People didn't live in their homes, they used them as ATMs.
Wall Street and bankers took full advantage of home lust, giving us what we demanded, bringing the financial system to a near collapse.
If we don't want to be beholden to bankers and banker salaries, then we need to get out of debt.
Even the people who didn't have much of an income tried to emulate the rich.
In America, there's this belief that we are entitled to certain things. But in reality, we're not entitled to anything.
We may finally be reckoning with that. We're not even entitled to retirement after a full life of work.
Entitlement is another byproduct of greed. Maybe this will be the decade when we're a little more grateful for the things that we have, a little less consumeristic (we can find other ways to prop up our economy). Maybe this will be the decade when we're more open to sharing the things we have.
With that, here's a mish mash of predictions and "of the years:"

Wingnut of the year: Teabaggers

Over played story of the year: Sarah Palin

Underestimated person of the year: Barack Obama

Overestimated person of the year: Sarah Palin

Biggest coward of the year: Dick Cheney

Biggest threat to the nation: Wingnuts (ignorance), ideology

Person I respected more: George Bush for showing respect and not criticizing Obama

Biggest losers of the year: AIG and the rest of the Greed Mongers

Best trend of the year: People paying down their debt, cutting up credit cards, saving money

Politician to Watch: Olympia Snowe

Obama's focus 2010: Education reform

Person who will soar in 2010: Michelle Obama

Favorites within the Obama Administration: David Axelrod, Hillary Clinton, Arne Duncan, Joe Biden, Eric Holder, Bob Gates (likely to be leaving his post in 2010. He reported that himself in an interview earlier this year)

Best political site: Politico

Worst political columnists: Howard Fineman, Maureen Dowd, Charles Krauthammer

Best political reporters/columnists: Marc Ambinder, David Brooks, Political Animal

Best source of political news: NPR (bye bye to the voice, Carl Kassel) Realclearpolitics

Favorite politicians: Sen. Claire McCaskill, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Harold Ford, Dianne Feinstein

15 minute fizzlers: "you lie" Joe Wilson, Joe the Plumber

Thorniest politician: Joe Lieberman

People who will keep bothering us in 2010: Michele Bachmann, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh (unless he retires)

Fools of the year: John Edwards, Mark Sanford, John Ensign, Birthers

Most scapegoated: Rahm Emanuel, Larry Summers, Timothy Geithner, Ben Bernanke

Biggest political football: Public option

Best moments in 2009: Sonia Sotomayor becoming a SC judge, Sully landing the plane, Navy Seals rescuing fisherman from pirates.

Best thing that happened in 2009: Obama takes office

Record of the year: John Frusciante's Empyrean & Warpaint's Exquisite Corpse

Song of the year: Empire State of Mind and Billie Holiday

Best foodie trend of the year: Nutritious food, gardening (thanks Michelle), local farming

Hottest White House foodie: Sam Kass, White House assistant chef

Favorite gadget of the year: Kindle. Love, love, love.

Social media of the year: Twitter

Show I wish wasn't canceled: Dollhouse

Best shows: Parks and Recreation, The Office, 30 Rock, Medium, Heroes, The Middle, Modern Family, Glee (it was a good year for TV)

One of my favorite videos of the year, Warpaint's Billie Holiday:

Other compilations:
Best and worst in climate change
Publisher's Weekly's best books