Here is my list of the top stories of 2014.
1. The 2014 Midterm elections. Why did the GOP have such a resurgence? In the midterm elections, there is a constant shift in who turns out to vote. Midterm elections are overrepresented by white, older, males. So . . .
“It’s all about the base, ‘bout the base, the GOP gets out its base.”
2. Afghanistan. We pulled most of the troops out. But even though we call it “the end of the war,” we had to leave several thousand advisers there. Why”
“It’s all about the base, ‘bout the base, keep it stable with a US base.”
3. Science. The new plan that is on everyone’s agenda is a mission to Mars. Who knows what we can learn, what advances we can discover about the universe if we had astronauts living on Mars. But in order to do that . . .
“It’s all about the base, ‘bout the base, station astronauts at a base.”
4. Economic growth. Some economists say the economy is growing. Others say it still has a lot to make up for since the Great Recession. How can they have such different answers? Because . . .
“It’s all about the base, ‘bout the base, what year they use as the base.”
5. Climate Change. The world has done a lousy job of doing anything tangible about climate change. The landmark agreement between the US and China sounds good. But the US is only reducing emissions to 30% under 2005, which wasn’t exactly a stellar year. And China has until 2030 to do anything. So the deal depends on what level of CO2 emissions you use as the starting point. Because . . .
“It’s all about the base, ‘bout the base, what CO2 level you consider as the base.”
6 Sports. The Red Sox are now the first baseball team ever to go from last place to first place to last place. Because in baseball, you can’t just hit singles. They were desperately short of power hitters and couldn’t get runners in from scoring position. Because to win the game . . .
“It’s all about the base, ‘bout the base, getting runner ‘round the base.”
7. Technology. Everyone thought Facebook was crazy to spend upwards of $20 billion to buy WhatsApp. But they have 500 million users, so on a per-user basis they are actually cheap. Social media company valuations seem to be more related to the number of users than they are to revenue or earnings. Because . . .
“It’s all about the base, ‘bout the base, what’s the size of the user base.”