Monday, December 28, 2015

The LuLac Edition #3102, December 28th, 2015


(in countdown form)


This June, Bruce Jenner made waves across the United States and beyond as he graced the cover of Vanity Fair magazine with with the title,“Call me Caitlyn.” Jenner posed for famed photographer Annie Leibovitz weeks after telling Diane Sawyer he was transitioning to a woman. Social media blew up in reaction to the photo, and it wasn’t long before Caitlyn Jenner reached a Twitter following of over 1 million. In fact, Guinness World Records announced Jenner had set a new record for fastest time to reach 1 million followers on Twitter — a total of 4 hours and 3 minutes. Jenner’s transformation was received well for the most part, and ESPN gave the former Olympic athlete the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage at this year’s ESPY Awards. But others struggle with Jenner’s new identity, seeing the former athlete in an entirely different light. In November, the widower of a fallen 9/11 hero, who was posthumously named as one of Glamour Magazine’s Women of the Year in 2001, Fed Exed the award back to Glamour in response to Jenner’s 2015 nomination.


Vice President Joe Biden said in 2015 that he will not run for president. . Biden made his announcement at the White House Rose Garden, standing with his wife, Jill, and President Barack Obama.
He cited the death of his 46-year-old son, Beau, who died of brain cancer in May.
"As my family and I have worked through the grieving process, I've said all along what I've said time and again to others, that it may very well be that that process, by the time we get through it, closes the window on mounting a realistic campaign for president," Biden said. "I've concluded it has closed."
Biden is and was an area favorite and many people here in LuLac land were looking for a Biden/Clinton face off. Former Scranton Mayor Jim McNulty is fond of saying that “Joe Biden is Scranton’s son while Hillary Clinton is her adopted daughter”. That face off, which would have been one for the political ages, was not to be with Biden’s announcement. However this is a 2015 wrap up and there are many who believe even though Biden shut the door, he was still checking the window to see if anyone is looking for him.


I’m almost sickened to include this as one of the top stories of this year. But here it is because this woman’s defiance and ignorance must be documented.
Kimberly Davis was the county clerk for Rowan County, Kentucky who gained international attention after defying a federal court order requiring that she issue marriage licenses following the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the right to marriage is guaranteed to same-sex couples by the Fourteenth Amendment. Davis began refusing to issue any licenses, either to same-sex, or to opposite-sex couples. Four couples represented by the ACLU filed a lawsuit against Davis, Miller v. Davis. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky ordered Davis to issue licenses as required by law. Her lawyers filed an emergency application with the Supreme Court seeking to put the lower court's order on hold while she pursued an appeal, but the application was denied. Davis continued to defy the court order and refused to issue marriage licenses, saying she was acting "under God's authority". She was subsequently jailed for contempt of court, then released five days later. When she returned to work, she stated that she would not interfere with her deputies, who had begun issuing licenses as directed by the court order. Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway said that because the matter was already being handled by the federal court, the appointment of a special prosecutor to pursue charges of official misconduct against her "is not necessary at this time.


Between Sept. 24 and Sept. 26, millions of people flooded the streets of New York City armed with their cellphone cameras, hoping for a glimpse, not of a famous rock star, but of Pope Francis. The pope’s first visit to the Big Apple was arguably one of the biggest events for New York City in 2015. The pope’s schedule was so jam-packed in his two-day visit — with an evening prayer at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, a visit and address to the United Nations General Assembly, a multi-religious service at 9/11 Memorial and Museum, a visit to Our Lady Queen of Angels School in East Harlem, a historic procession through Central Park, and a Mass at Madison Square Garden — it’s amazing he had any time to sleep or even eat. One of the biggest challenges for New York City was keeping a pope who is known for spontaneously greeting his followers safe and secure during his visit. Business boomed for many in the city while the pope was in town, with pope memorabilia flying off the shelves. And after capturing the hearts of New Yorkers, Pope Francis was given a New York City municipal ID card, making him an official New Yorker.


The economy expanded a touch slower in the third quarter than previously reported, revised government figures show, but the path of growth is still the same: The U.S. running well below the historical norm more than six years into a recovery.
Gross domestic product — the sum of all the activity in an economy — increased at a 2% annual pace from July to September, according to the government’s latest update. Previously the Commerce Department had said the U.S. grew at a 2.1% rate after a 3.9% increase in the second quarter.
The slight downgrade was triggered by a larger trade deficit and a smaller buildup in inventories than earlier estimates showed.
The U.S. expanded at a 2.2% rate through the first nine months of the year, and the economy is projected to grow at a similar pace in the fourth quarter that ends on Dec. 31. If so, the economy will have failed to reach 3% growth for the 10th straight year, marking the slowest stretch since the end of World War II.
Historically the economy has expanded at a 3.3% rate.
Keep in mind though that jobs are still being created, the economy is doing a slow build from the near disaster of 2008 and unemployment is at its lowest since 2005.


There was a lot to House Speaker John Boehner’s resignation but it wasn’t crystallized until late September of this year. A Conservative rebellion that could not be quelled, a visit from the Pope which Boehner had been advocating for two decades and the realization that he could not handle a minority of his party made Boehner’s decision for him. With the Government on the verge of another shutdown, and the threat by the “crazies” to strip Boehner of his seat if Planned Parenthood was not defunded gave Boehner all the reasons he needed to exit.
He served admirably, tried to make deals with the administration but was damned by the success of the GOP in regaining the House. While Boehner could work with Democrats and some Republicans, he had major issues with Tea Party candidates who would rather destroy government than make it work. He made a good call for himself.
Ironically Paul Ryan who reluctantly took the position, now got a budget deal through that Boehner would have been pilloried for.


“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. … [The challengers] ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote. And with that, the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage across the country on June 26. President Barack Obama hailed the court’s 5-4 ruling as “a victory for America.” Gay and lesbian couples could already marry in 36 states and the District of Columbia. The ruling meant the remaining 14 states, in the South and Midwest, had to stop enforcing their bans on same-sex marriage. Gay rights supporters cheered, danced and wept outside the court after the decision, which put an exclamation point on breathtaking changes in the nation’s social norms. Spontaneous celebrations were echoed in New York City, where the LGBTQ community was gearing up for its annual Pride parade. Two days after the ruling, more than 2 million people watched as over 22,000 marched in a declaration of their new freedom


More Americans were killed by guns this year at an alarming rate. Some were killed by police. Here are just two examples.
Police officer Michael Slager, 33, was videotaped shooting Walter Scott, 50, multiple times in the back as Scott ran away after being stopped for a broken brake light. The video made all the difference in what would have been a major cover-up. It helped to get Slager fired from the North Charleston Police Department and charged with murdering Scott.
On April 12, Freddie Gray was arrested in Baltimore for possessing what police claimed was an illegal switchblade. Video surfaced of Gray being dragged into a police van, and we would later find out that while in the van, Gray fell into a coma. He was then taken to the hospital and died a week after his arrest from a spinal injury. The whole country watched as the citizens of Baltimore expressed their anger, grief and frustration with peaceful protests, as well as riots. The six officers who were initially suspended after Gray’s death were hit with charges soon after; false imprisonment for all, as well as manslaughter charges for three of the officers.
Police were also the victims of gun violence. These cases will wind their way through the Judicial system but stories like them will surely take place again in 2015.
Another off shoot of these cases has to be the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement. The incidents with police as well as the availability of cell phone videos has given Americans of all races the indication that things are not fair for everyone in America. If anything The Black Lives Movement has increased awareness of that disparity.


A New York Times report in March revealed that former secretary of state — and current 2016 presidential candidate — Hillary Rodham Clinton had conducted all of her official business using a personal email address during her four years at the State Department. Facing calls for transparency, Clinton turned over about 55,000 pages of emails to the State Department that she sent and received using a homebrew server set up at her New York home. This happened at a time when Clinton’s support in the early Democratic contests had declined against a rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont). In late August, the State Department released roughly 7,000 pages of Clinton’s emails — including about 150 emails that were censored because they contain information that is now deemed classified. But it wasn’t until early September that Clinton apologized for the arrangement she had made with the State Department. Initially Clinton had said an apology wasn’t necessary because what she did was “allowed” by the State Department.


When I was first starting to follow politics as a young boy, the election year began in the time frame that the elections were supposed to be held. Not now. This year 17 candidates entered the race on the GOP side. Bush, Christie, Carson, Cruz, Fiorina, Gilmore, Huckabee, Kasich, Pataki, Paul, Rubio, Santorum, and Trump. Perry, Walker, Graham and Jindal dropped out. On the Democratic side five made the effort with two dropping out, former Senators Jim Webb and Lincoln Chaffee. 
This election year was the year of Donald Trump and the others. The entry of Trump, the vast number of candidates vying for the top job and the 24 hour news cycle made Election 2016 more like a pepped up pre game show to a long awaited Super Bowl. One wondered when the main event was going to begin.  The interesting thing about 2015 and election years before the actual Election year is that no votes are counted. This year it was all bluster and entertainment. 2015 were the preliminary bouts, 2016 is the main event. That’s when votes count, and bluster does not.
Sources: wikipedia, Wall Street Journal, The Blaze, MSNBC, CNN, LuLac archives,


(in countdown form)


The Kansas City Royals won their first World Series in 30 years beating the New York Mets.


Revived by a fresh-faced shooting superstar Stef Curry, and a first-year coach who made them believe, the Golden State Warriors again reign supreme. Their 40-year NBA championship drought is finally over.


In a frantic finish, and after a dose of karmic payback, the Patriots survived. It was New England that became a team for the ages, not Seattle, winning its fourth Super Bowl title, 28-24, when Malcolm Butler intercepted Russell Wilson’s pass in the end zone with 26 seconds remaining


American Pharoah (Foaled February 2, 2012) is an American Thoroughbred racehorse who won the American Triple Crown and the Breeders' Cup Classic in 2015. In winning all four races, he became the first horse to win the "Grand Slam" of American horse racing. He was bred and owned throughout his racing career by Ahmed Zayat of Zayat Stables, trained by Bob Baffert, and ridden in most of his races by Victor Espinoza.
In my lifetime, there have only been 4 Secretariat (1973), Seattle Slew (1977), Affirmed (1978), and American Pharoah (2015).


To the delight of American fans, Carli Lloyd of the United States scored a hat trick in the first 15 minutes of the FIFA Women's World Cup Final against Japan on Sunday
The U.S. team won the Women's World Cup soccer final 5-2 in a game that brought U.S. fans to their feet, reduced polished sportswriters to all-caps expressions of awe and rewrote FIFA records.
Sources; AP, ESPN, Fox Sports.


At 8:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait a second, let me get this straight. A disgusting, redneck holy roller and a Kardashian by marriage make the top 10, but an ISIS terrorist attack in San Bernardino, in which one of the terrorists entered this country by falsifying information, occurs days after the President says that there is no threat of a terrorist attack on US soil, doesn't make the national story list?
To quote Arsenino Hall... things that make you go hmmmm?

At 7:13 PM, Blogger David Yonki said...

Wait a second, let me get this straight. A disgusting, redneck holy roller and a Kardashian by marriage make the top 10, but an ISIS terrorist attack in San Bernardino, in which one of the terrorists entered this country by falsifying information, occurs days after the President says that there is no threat of a terrorist attack on US soil, doesn't make the national story list?
To quote Arsenino Hall... things that make you go hmmmm?


Still love "The Hall" but your point is well taken. I did refer to San Bernadino in the number 1 story of The World.
Glad you noticed. I was hoping someone would!


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