Paul Adair is a 21-year Germantown resident, retired scientist, writer, and lecturer.
Another year is almost over. Although not as politically eventful as 2012, this year certainly had its interesting moments. As our year-end retrospective, the staff here at Just Sayin' has determined our top 26 Political Winners and Losers of 2013:
Winners- The unintimidated patriots of the Solidarity Sing Along for braving arrest in the state Capitol to defend our First Amendment rights.
Losers-Taxpayers of Wisconsin for paying substantially more money to cover fewer people in the nonsensical Walkercare health insurance scheme.
Winners- Secretary of State Kerry, President Obama, and the American people for diplomatic success in eliminating Syria's chemical weapons arsenal and the start of winding-down Iran's nuclear weapons program. All this was done without embroiling the US in another war.
Losers- The students, parents, and taxpayers of Germantown School District, for our “conservative” School Board opting-out of the Common Core State Standards for paranoid political motivations.
Winner- WI Sen. Jon Erpenbach for prevailing against MacIver “Institute” in a lawsuit. The “think” tank attempted to force access to personal information in e-mails from Erpenbach's constituents. They wanted to conduct a witch-hunt against those who disagreed with the Republican legislature's Act 10.
Winners- Harry Reid and Senate Democrats for FINALLY changing the rules of the Senate so that President is actually allowed to put his Executive branch appointees and Federal judges in place.
Losers- The women of Wisconsin when Dan Knodl (R-Pleistocene), Alberta Darling (R-Neolithic), and others voted for the “wand up the wazoo” mandatory vaginal ultrasound law.
Winners- Millions of Americans (1.2 million in Oct/Nov alone) who are getting a better deal on their health insurance through the ACA Insurance exchanges.
Losers- Wisconsin Taxpayers for being forced to fund religious instruction through the school voucher program.
Winner- Scott Walker (R- Some fly-over state) for amassing a gazillion frequent flyer points while promoting his book, campaigning for President, and raising campaign funds on the East and West Coasts.
Loser- Wisconsin Native Americans for the Legislature's bill making it much more difficult to remove racist and insulting team mascots. This travesty becomes law on Thursday if Walker does not veto it.
Winner- Pope Francis for his Christian advocacy of economic justice.
Winners- The people of Wisconsin for rejecting wing-nut Don Pridemore (R-Paleocene) in the election for State School Superintendent
Loser- Ted Cruz (R-Alberta) for his fake filibuster to stop the ACA, including his rendition of Green Eggs and Ham and lines from Star Wars.
Winner- The National Rifle Association for heading-off any and all attempts to institute even the most dilute common sense gun safety laws after the Sandy Hook massacre, including universal background checks and limits on clip capacity.
Losers- The children of America for the NRA heading off any and all attempts to institute even the most dilute common sense gun safety laws after the Sandy Hook massacre, including universal background checks and limits on clip capacity. There have been at least 28 more school shootings since Sandy Hook.
Winner- Sarah Palin for showing that a person can go far on no brains and little talent. Her book about the “War” on Christmas is doing well. Her new reality show, “Amazing America” will start broadcasting on the Sportsman Channel in April.
Losers- Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Misty Mountains) and Ron Johnson (R-Koch Industries) for shutting down the US government and threatening the economic stability of the world in their failed attempt to deny health insurance coverage to millions of Americans.
Winner- Jim Sensenbrenner for his support of an updated Voting Rights Act and for his outrage over the domestic spying stemming from the Patriot Act (that he introduced).
Winners- The Ukrainian people for huge mass protests in Kiev in opposition to their President's policies of rejecting the EU overtures and sidling-up to Russia.
Losers- Daryl Issa (R-GTA), Fox News, and other political propagandists for their failure to stir-up the public with their fake outrage over an imaginary Benghazi “conspiracy”.
Winner- Nelson Mandela, for a life well-lived. He showed that one person can change the lives of millions for the better.
Loser- Congressman Trey Radel (R-Columbia), arrested for buying cocaine from an undercover agent. Radel ironically voted “aye” on a bill that would allow states to drug-test food stamp applicants.
Winners- The people of neighboring Illinois and Minnesota for joining neighboring Iowa in ending the ability of an intrusive Big Brother government to tell adults who they can and can't marry.
Loser- Gogebic Taconite President Bill Williams, whose company was given the keys to Northern Wisconsin, for being accused of contaminating a Spanish aquifer with arsenic.
Winners- Political wonks (like me) who are watching the current and future civil-wars within the Republican Party. Never a dull moment ! Grab the popcorn and a super-sized drink !
Well, that is our list for the year. Congratulations to the winners. I am sure that each of our readers has their own additions to our list. We can only hope that politics in 2014 will be as interesting as in 2013.