2014 started with an ambitious State of The Union address by president Obama and then turned into year of tension and transition.

The year brought a historic climate agreement with China and a new dawn for U.S.- Cuba relations.

It was also a year of mysteries. One of those mysteries involved a huge airliner simply that vanished, and to this day nobody has any idea what happened to it, despite literally thousands of hours of intensive speculation on CNN, MSNBC, FOX News and other major world media networks.

Another mystery is the millions of Americans suddenly decided to make videos of themselves having ice water poured on their heads. Remember? There were rumors that this had something to do with charity, but for most of us, the connection was never clear. All we knew was that, for a while there, every time we turned on the TV, there was a local newscaster or Gwyneth Paltrow or Kermit the Frog or some random individual soaking wet and shivering. This mysterious phenomenon ended as suddenly as it started, but not before uncounted trillions of American brain cells died of frostbite.

And the mystery of an intruder who jumped the White House fence and, inexplicably, managed to run into the White House through the unlocked front door. Most of us had assumed that anybody attempting this would instantly be converted to a bullet-ridden pile of smoking carbon by snipers, lasers, drones, ninjas, etc., but it turned out that, for some mysterious reason, the White House had effectively the same level of anti-penetration security as a Dunkin’ Donuts.

Of course not everything that happened in 2014 was mysterious. Some developments — ISIS, Ebola, the song Happy — were simply bad. There was even some good news in 2014, mostly in the form of things that did not happen. A number of GM cars — the final total could be as high as four — were not recalled. There were several whole days during which no statements had to be issued by the U.S. Department of Explaining What The Vice President Meant To Say. And for the 30th consecutive year, the Brewers failed to play in the World Series.

But other than that, it was a miserable 12 months. In case you have forgotten why, let’s take one last look back, starting with…


Remember the Polar Vortex? Cold blasts of air from Canada, bringing with it heavy snows, record low temperatures and Justin Bieber. Weather is also the big story in drought-stricken California, where the state legislature passes a tough new water-conservation law requiring all noncelebrity residents to go to the bathroom in Oregon.

Read more here:http://www.miamiherald.com/living/liv-columns-blogs/dave-barry/article4940373.html#storylink=cpy

In Colorado, the new year begins on a “high” note as the sale of recreational marijuana becomes legal. Despite dire predictions from critics that this will lead to increases in crime and addiction, state law-enforcement officials report that if you stare for a while at the flashing lights on top of their cars, you can see some amazing colors.

In a major speech, President Barack Obama, responding to allegations that the National Security Agency has been electronically snooping on foreign leaders, announces that all federal agencies will henceforth follow strict new guidelines on the sale and distribution of naked photos.

Elsewhere, how about NBA weirdo and idiot Dennis Rodman making his fourth visit to North Korea to hang out with his misunderstood pal Kim Jong-Un, who defeats Rodman 168-0 in a friendly one-on-one game refereed by the North Korean army, then celebrates by firing a missile towards Japan.


In politics, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, responding to a radio interviewer’s questions about his alleged role in the 2013 “Bridgegate” lane-closure scandal, eats the interviewer. And in a historic policy shift, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announces that same-sex married couples will henceforth be subject to the same incomprehensible tax laws as everybody else.

Speaking of incomprehensible, in…


The big story involves the Crimea, which until now many of us thought was a disease, as in “Bob has a bad case of the Crimea,” but which turns out to be a part of Ukraine that Russia wants to annex. As tension mounts in the region, the United States and the European Union issue Stern Warnings to Russia, such as “You better not annex the Crimea!” And: “Don’t make us turn this car around!” Nevertheless Russia goes ahead and annexes it, forcing the U.S. and Europe to escalate from Stern Warnings to Harsh Sanctions, including the suspension of Vladimir Putin’s Netflix account.

On a happier note, Colorado announces that it has already collected marijuana sales taxes totaling $2million, which the state plans to spend on “a subwoofer the size of Delaware, or a club sandwich as long as California.

Speaking of invasions, in…


…Russia, ignoring both the Stern Warnings and the Harsh Sanctions, continues its military intervention in Ukraine, leaving the United States with no choice but to deploy the ultimate weapon: Joe Biden, who is sent to Kiev to deliver a Strong Rebuke, followed by dinner.

On a happier note, the Polar Vortex finally goes back to Canada.

Speaking of Canada, in…


…the United States, Canada and Europe, which are really starting to lose patience with Russia’s actions in Ukraine, announce that they intend to “seriously consider” taking steps that could ultimately result in the cancellation of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s American Express card.

In domestic news, the Department of Veterans Affairs is engulfed in scandal following revelations that some VA hospitals are just now getting around to treating veterans of the War of 1812. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki tells a Senate committee that he is “mad as hell” about this, but he ends up resigning after he is out-angered by President Obama, who according to a top aide is “madder than hell.” Numerous Republicans declare that they, too, are extremely mad. Basically everybody in Washington is hopping mad about this scandal, as of today, everyone is still mad and not a damn thing has been done to fix the problems at the VA.

Speaking of scandals in…


…Washington scandal news, the Internal Revenue Service, responding to a subpoena, tells congressional investigators that it cannot produce 28 months of Lois Lerner’s emails because the hard drive they were stored on failed, and the hard drive was thrown away, and the backup tapes were erased, and no printed copies were saved — contrary to the IRS’s own record-keeping policy, which was eaten by the IRS’s dog. “It was just one crazy thing after another,” states the IRS, “and it got us to thinking: All these years we’ve been subjecting taxpayers to everything short of rectal probes if they can’t produce EVERY SINGLE DOCUMENT WE WANT, and here we lose YEARS worth of official records! So from now on, if taxpayers tell us they lost something, or just plain forgot to make a tax payment, we’ll be like, ‘Hey, whatever! Stuff happens!’ Because who are we to judge?”

But all kidding aside, you can bet that before this thing is over there will be a strongly worded report. Oh boy.

Speaking of brutal, in…


…the Ukrainian crisis intensifies when a Malaysia Airlines plane is shot down over Ukraine by a missile apparently fired by separatists backed by Russia. This is the last straw for the U.S. and Europe, which retaliate swiftly with a stern statement warning that any Russians planning to dine in U.S. or European restaurants in the future can expect to receive “very slow service.”

In other news, Colorado calls up Mexico at 1:30 a.m. and attempts to place a takeout order for 65,000 beef chimichangas. They really have the munchies.

Speaking of seemingly endless, in…


Ferguson, Missouri, which is rocked by a wave of sometimes-violent protests following the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson. The shooting ignites a passionate national debate whose participants had basically as much solid information about what actually happened as they do about Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

Speaking of drama, in…


…the FBI announces that it is investigating the distribution of hundreds of naked-celebrity photos that were helpfully uploaded from the celebrities’ iPhones to the “cloud,” which also has all of your personal information despite the fact that you have NO idea what it is. An outraged Miley Cyrus threatens to sue Apple when she discovers that none of the photos are of her.

But the mood turns less festive in…


…when the Ebola virus takes center stage as a parade of medical authorities appear on cable news to assure the American public that there is absolutely no reason to panic about Ebola so we should just stay calm regarding Ebola because given what we know about Ebola there is probably no danger that you will get Ebola so just stop worrying about Ebola Ebola Ebola OMIGOD EBOLA! After a solid week of being reassured 24/7 about Ebola, the public has been soothed into a state of panic, which is not improved when the director of the Centers for Disease Control does an interview for CNN from inside a bubble.

President Obama, responding decisively to the mounting crisis, appoints as his “Ebola Czar” Ron Klain, an attorney who is never heard from again.

In politics, the big story is the looming midterm elections, which have President Obama crisscrossing the nation at a hectic pace in a last-ditch effort to find a Democratic candidate willing to appear in public with him.

The president is finally able to schedule an event with 94-year-old R. Nordstrom Fleemer, who is running for his 17th term as road commissioner of Carwankle County, Tennessee. Mr. Fleemer appears pleased by the endorsement, although he refers to the president repeatedly as “Mr. Truman.”

In baseball, the Giants defeat the Royals to win the World Series, with the Series MVP award going to Derek Jeter.

Speaking of defeat, in…


…the Democrats get creamed in the midterm elections, which means the Republicans will control both houses of Congress as well as the road commissionership of Carwankle County, which R. Nordstrom Fleemer, despite being unopposed, loses badly, although his wife elects not to tell him. With the federal government now facing total gridlock, Republican and Democratic leaders realize that the only way they can attack the many serious problems facing the nation is to stop their endless cheap-shot partisan bickering and work together in the spirit of … Wow, this is some STRONG stuff I am smoking here.

In other political news, the debate over U.S. immigration policy intensifies when President Obama, in a move that infuriates Republicans, signs an executive order giving Texas back to Mexico. In a close vote, the U.S. Senate defeats the Keystone Pipeline, which would, at peak capacity, have delivered 830,000 barrels of oil per day from the Canadian tar sands to Leonardo DiCaprio’s yacht.

As the month draws to a close, the healing begins, with the Thanksgiving holiday bringing Americans of all races and religions together to fight over discounted electronics.

Speaking of fighting, in…


…President Obama, moving to fill the cabinet vacancy created by the resignation of Chuck Hagel, announces — in what is seen as a major shift in military policy — that his new Secretary of Defense will be Chuck Norris. The nomination is swiftly approved by the Senate Armed Services Committee after Norris, in lieu of making an opening statement at his confirmation hearing, reduces the witness table to kindling with his forehead.

But the biggest White House surprise comes later in the month, when the president announces he has reached an agreement under which Cuba will release two prisoners, in return for which the Castro brothers will receive $274 million worth of Viagra.

Maybe 2015 will be better. We can hope, right? It might help if we stand downwind of Denver.

Anyway, Happy New Year.