A Year (and Decade) That Won't Be Missed | Editorial | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

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A Year (and Decade) That Won't Be Missed

The year 2010 gets The Source Weekly's last BOOT of the year.


It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was the ...

Well, actually, no. Although the year 2010 probably wasn't the worst of times - for instance, it wasn't as bad as 1348, when the Black Death was ravaging Europe - there's no way to pretend it was the best of times, or even one of the almost-pretty-good times.

How did 2010 suck? Let us count the ways. Or at least some of the ways, because we don't have room for all of them.

Although the actions of President Obama and Congress in 2008 and 2009 appear to have prevented a total economic meltdown, America remained bogged in the Great Recession. The official unemployment rate nationwide was edging toward 10%. In Oregon it went over 12%, and in Deschutes County it came close to 17%.

Bend clung to its dubious distinction of Bubble-and-Bust Capital of America. Foreclosure notices continued to sprout, and officials continued to scrounge for enough money to keep the lights on in City Hall.

For Wall Street banksters, though, it was a very good year: After sucking up billions in federal bailout money, they gave themselves multimillion-dollar year-end bonuses.

When we turned our eyes away from the economic horrors, the scenery wasn't any better elsewhere.

The American penal colony at Guantanamo remains open, despite Obama's solemn campaign promise to close it. American troops are still in Iraq. The quagmire in Afghanistan looks as mucky as ever, and the administration shows no sign that it's serious about extricating us from it.

In April one of BP's deepwater drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico blew up, spewing millions of gallons of crude and inflicting environmental damage that may last for generations.

In another event whose damage may last for generations, American voters in November gave the House of Representatives back to the Republican Party, apparently on the theory that because the Democrats didn't get the economic bus out of the ditch fast enough, the smart move was to give the keys back to the people who drove the bus into the ditch.

And then in the waning days of the lame-duck Congress, Obama the Origami Master did one of his patented folding maneuvers and worked out a deal to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for billionaires.

Altogether, 2010 was a fitting climax to a decade of horrors that began with George W. Bush sneaking into the White House through the cellar door and went on to give us 9/11, the trumped-up Iraq war, Hurricane Katrina and the real estate collapse of '08, to name just a few little treats.

A handful of good things happened in 2010: The military's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy was repealed, a health care reform bill was passed (a feeble one, but it's something), a nuclear arms limitation treaty was approved. And the Ducks made it to the BCS Championship game.

Take it all in all, though, 2010 was a near-total loss. We're overjoyed to see it go, and to speed it on its way we're giving it THE BOOT.

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