• Kim Kardashian finally found her lifetime soulmate for nearly two and a half months.
• Despite a prophecy by revered Christian radio lunatic Harold Camping, the world did not end on May 21.
Come to think of it, that last development wasnt totally positive, not when we consider all the other things that happened in 2011. In case youve blotted it out, lets take one last look back, through squinted eyelids, at this train-wreck of a year, starting with
which sees a change of power in the House of Representatives, as outgoing Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi hands the gavel over to Republican John Boehner, who, in the new spirit of Washington bipartisanship, has it checked for explosives.
In the State of the Union address, President Obama calls on Congress to improve the nations crumbling infrastructure. He is interrupted 79 times by applause, and four times by falling chunks of the Capitol ceiling. In other Washington action, Chinese President Hu Jintao is honored at a White House dinner for 225 luminaries, who dine on prime rib accompanied by 17,000 little plastic packets of soy sauce. As the official state gift from the United States, President Obama presents Hu with a six-pack of Bud Light, this being the only American product the White House staff can find that is not manufactured in China.
The months biggest story is a tragedy in Tucson, where a man opens fire on a meet-and-greet being held by U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. The accused shooter turns out to be a mentally unstable loner with a history of drug use; there is no evidence that his actions had anything to do with uncivil political rhetoric. So naturally the blame for the tragedy is immediately placed on: uncivil political rhetoric. This results in a nationwide spasm of civil political rhetoric lasting about two hours, after which everybody returns to uncivil political rhetoric, which has been the norm in the United States for two centuries.
In Egypt, demonstrators take to the streets to protest the three-decade regime of President Hosni Mubarak following revelations that Hosni Mubarak can be rearranged to spell A Bum Honks Air. The movement continues to grow in
when Arab Spring anti-government protest demonstrations spread from Egypt to Yemen, then to Iraq, then to Libya, and finally in a development long feared by the U.S. government to the volatile streets of Madison, Wisc., where thousands of protesters occupy the state capitol to dramatize the fact that its warmer in there than outside. As the protests escalate, 14 Democratic Wisconsin state legislators flee to Illinois, where they barricade themselves in a hotel and, after a heated four-hour debate, decide, by a 7-4 vote with three abstentions, to order room service.
In other national news, a massive snowstorm paralyzes the Midwest, forcing a shutdown of Chicagos OHare airport after more than a dozen planes are attacked by yetis. President Obama responds with a nationally televised speech pointing out that the storm was caused by a weather system inherited from a previous administration.
In Europe, the economic crisis continues to worsen, especially in Greece, which has been operating under a financial model in which the government spends approximately $150 billion a year while taking in revenues totaling $336.50 from the lone Greek taxpayer, an Athens businessman who plans to retire in April. Greece has been making up the shortfall by charging everything to a MasterCard account that the Greek government applied for in what some critics consider a questionable financial practice using the name Germany.