Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Most Outspoken People of '06

Whether you agree with what they said or not, they said what they meant and they meant what they said despite attacks from the media and politicians.
Al Gore--Big Al wasn't saying anything new last year. He's been sounding a clarion call about global warming his entire career. The difference is that in 2006, with the release of his documentary film, An Inconvenient Truth, people were finally listening. However, when you see 50 degree temperatures and people running around in shorts in the middle of January in the American midwest, you can't help but wonder if it's too late.
Hugo Chavez--Sure, he sounded kind of crazy and ended up costing his country a seat on the United Nations Security Council, but the Venezuelan President wasn't afraid to stand up in front of the U.N. General Assembly and say exactly what he thought, in no uncertain terms, calling American President George W. Bush "El Diablo" (the devil).
John Murtha--A Vietnam vet and notorious "hawk" when it comes to military issues, the Democractic Congressman from my home state of Pennsylvania braved the disapproval of both political parties to become one of the first national leaders to publicly say that the war in Iraq was a fiasco and to call for bringing the troops home.
Michael J. Fox--The TV icon starred in a series of promos for political candidates who support federal funding for stem cell research and ended up being forced to defend himself from a series of vicious attacks from the right wing media, not on his politics but on him personally and the outward physical effects of his Parkinson's Disease.
Just when you thought that Rush Limbaugh's prescription drug addiction scandal had finally and deservedly relegated the fat obnoxious loudmouth to the scrapheap of irrelevancy, he manages to make one of the most outragous and patently offensive statements of the year and get his name and fat ugly face back on people's minds again. You've almost got to admire someone who, despite being publicly humiliated and utterly and thoroughly discredited--repeatedly--remains so consistently obnoxious and just plain wrong.
Then, there's Big Bad Bill, the Clintonator. Big Al's old boss wasn't saying anything new last year either, as he's been forced into defending his administration's policy on terrorism and Bin Laden since probably minutes after the planes hit on 9/11. But his dressing down of Bush administration butt-boy Chris Wallace of FOX News on FOX News Sunday is credited by many pundits with raising the morale of the Democratic party and rallying them in their ultimately successful efforts to wrest control of the congress from the GOP.
I sometimes picture Chris Wallace's father, the legendary investigative reporter Mike Wallace of CBS' 60 Minutes, watching FNS with his head hung low in shame, muttering to himself, " How can it be that the fool on my TV kissing Republican ass at every opportunity is my son? Where, Oh Lord, where, I beseech you, did I go so horribly wrong?"
Well, that pretty much wraps up my look back at 2006. Starting tomorrow, it's time to tackle '07 head on. Hallelujah!!

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