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Then at the very end of 2011, Romney who was trying desperately to capture the imagination of the young voters made a reference to "Lucy in the chocolate factory."
Look, he's a zillionaire and you're telling me he can't afford Showtime so that he could perhaps toss in a Homeland reference instead of a reference to a black and while television show that went off the air almost a half a century ago?
Yet despite all that went on in 2011, 2012 still beat out 2011 for political gaffs. There are simply too many to go into but, just to hit on a couple of major ones, in 2012, Obama said, "You didn't build that," and then, in the first presidential debate, Obama looked like he thought he was taking the entrance exam for a mime school rather than trying to win a presidential debate.
And of course, in 2012, it came out that Romney had once said he didn't care about the 47 percent.
I could go on and on, but I think you can recall a lot of these on your own.
Down. Smoking and freedom. Right around the start of the year, after persistent badgering from the Guilford County Department of Public Health, the county's last openly pro-smoking bar Gate City Billiards in Greensboro threw in the cigarette butts. After a long and valiant fight against the law that went into effect in January 2010, the club finally began enforcing the ban earlier this year.
But you know who doesn't have to obey the no-smoking rule: rich fat cats at country clubs. The state's anti-smoking law makes an absurd exception for country clubs, which is, I'll bet, where most of the politicians who passed the law go when they aren't busy telling others how to live their lives.
If you're going to have laws that take away people's rights, you should have laws that consistently take the same rights away from everyone the pool players and the golfers, the rich and the poor, the people passing the laws and the common man.
Down. John Edwards' reputation. Here's a guy who, not all that long ago, was a serious contender to be president of the United States, but who was lower than low in May 2012 during a long, drawn-out trial that was very good for food vendors in downtown Greensboro but not so good for Edwards' reputation.
Edwards' escaped a jail sentence; however, in light of all the negative testimony, his reputation didn't escape.
During the trial, his own attorney was like, "Men and women of the jury, we freely admit that Mr. Edwards is a womanizer, a liar and a low-life cheat who abandoned his wife during her battle with cancer for a woman who's not even really all that hot. We're not denying he's a sleazebag we're just saying that doesn't mean he committed campaign fraud."
If you think about it, it's really sad, because that's what was being said about him by the guy on his side.
Even after the trial was over, Edwards couldn't just slink away a defeated man: He had to make a statement on the steps of the courthouse, in which to the fascination of a nation he brought up his love child with his mistress.
Up. West Market Street United Methodist Church. Speaking of the Edwards trial, this church sits right next to the federal courthouse in downtown Greensboro where the trial took place. Senior Pastor Dave Melton gave up his prime parking space so the church could rent it out to a California-based news show for the length of the trial. The church also let the reporters turn part of the church into a broadcast studio and began charging them for the space.
I went in there one day and a whole dining room looked like the set of Newsroom: It was just green screens and cameras and all sorts of television equipment. The church made thousands and thousands of dollars that went to help feed the needy.
Meanwhile, the City of Greensboro was only making $5 and $10 a day from the giant satellite trucks that lined the streets downtown and prevented handicapped people and elderly voters from curbside voting during the primaries.
Of course, The Rhinoceros Times also could not figure out a way to monetize the trail either though the World Headquarters of The Rhino Times did become the place where the elite of the national print media set up shop and operated out of for the duration of the trail. The Rhino did get recognized in a tweet for that hospitality.
Down. The Dark Knight Rises. Look, I liked the first four hours OK, and then, the next two hours, not so much, and, for the final three hours I was just ready to get out of the theater.
If you don't know, the dark knight is Batman and The Dark Knight Rises is the mega hit movie of 2012. Now, to me, it's really strange that this movie is called "The Dark Night Rises," yet, in the movie, Batman spends 90 percent of the time either flat on his back or moping around with a cane in a bathrobe saying he doesn't have the heart to fight for anything anymore.
Down. General Petraeus. My how the mighty have fallen. I read Macworld regularly, so I know that Gmail isn't secure; however, in 2012 it became clear that the head of the Central Intelligence Agency thinks Gmail is a very secure means of communication indeed.
Petraeus assumed his Google account was safe because he had a really secure password "secret."
I also heard that Petraeus used to keep his PIN, which is "1234," written on the back of his ATM card so he wouldn't forget it.
I'm just saying
OK, so that completes our look back at the past year. Now let's turn our sights toward what will hopefully be a more economically robust, better and, well, overall luckier year despite the fact that it contains the number 13.