Happy 2010! The New Year From A to Z

By Emily Ling

By Emily Ling

For whatever reason, we humans have an odd habit of investing certain arbitrary dates with great significance: birthdays, anniversaries and, of course, New Year’s Day. This is because the end of an old year and the beginning of a new one offers the sense, however delusional, of renewal and of a fresh start. So in honor of 2010, the New University’s editorial staff picks 26 stories to watch for during the new year.

A is for Afghanistan: During the 2008 Election, Candidate Obama dubbed Afghanistan “The Good War.” Now, with 30,000 additional troops headed to the conflict zone and no end in sight, will the Americans and the Afghans be able to pull together a stable government or will they prove again to be the graveyard of empires?

B is for the Budget Deficit: The financial crisis made it necessary for the government to step in and spend in order to prevent a second Great Depression. Now, as a recovery begins, the nation faces the challenge of paying back a budget deficit that is $14 trillion and counting.

C is Climate Change: They came, they saw and they did not conquer. The Copenhagen Conference failed to result in a global treaty for climate change. In 2010, will developed and developing nations be able to reach an agreement to solve the problem? Or will polar bears continue to die?

D is for the Decennial Census: The comprehensive government questionnaires are set to arrive soon at American households.

E is for Education: Get one.

F is Federer-Nadal: Grace versus Brawn. Will Federer continue his streak or will the pure brawn of Majorca’s best triumph?

G is for Guantanamo Bay: Harold and Kumar escaped from Guantanamo Bay. Now will the approximately 200 detainees remaining at the facility find an out, or will they remain in limbo for another year?

H is for Health care: The Senate passed a health care bill in December. The bill will need to be reconciled with a House bill passed earlier last year. At this point, no one seems to be happy with the bill. Republicans think it forewarns of a government takeover and liberal Democrats decry a weak bill without a public option and cost controls.

I is for Immigration Reform: The Democrats gear up for immigration reform. Again.

J is for Jobs: Thankfully, the rate of unemployment has slowed, but many economists expect for the job market to remain relatively flat for years to come, which is not good for the Class of 2010.

K is for Kinetic Energy: Use your potential energy and do something!

L for Lady Gaga: Will the pop sensation’s no pants streak continue?

M is for Mid-Term Elections: Democrats start the year with majorities in both houses of Congress, but hanging on during the upcoming mid-term elections will not be easy.

N is for a New Media Model: 2009 saw the continuing decay of traditional media. R.I.P Gourmet Magazine and the Rocky Mountain News, among others. How will the news industry adapt in the coming year?

O for Obama: Change we could believe in? The president falls to Earth. With an unimpressive approval rating of 50 percent, Obama no longer seems to be touched with political fairy dust. Instead, at the end of his first year in office, the golden boy looks decidedly bruised.

P is for Peace in the Middle East: Miracles can happen.

Q is for Queers (getting rid of prop 8 in 2010): The next chapter of the culture wars. Will the California ban on gay marriage stand?

R is for Republicans: 2009 saw several prospective presidential candidates fall from grace. Remember Sanford and Ensign? Somehow, giving new meaning to the term, “hiking the Appalachian Trial,” is not the best item for a presidential resume.

S is for Save California: The Golden state’s reputation took a serious beating in 2009. Once known for sunny beaches and movie stars, California now seem synonymous with dysfunctional government and, well…dysfunction.

T is for Tuition: A 32 percent fee increase awaits incoming freshman and returning students next fall. The master plan that California once took so much pride has been all but abandoned. In 2010, will public higher education survive?

U is for the Unexpected: Which, for obvious reasons, cannot be anticipated here.

V is for vampires: Twilight fever continues. Why is everyone so obsessed with vampires?

W is for the World Cup: South Africa will become the first African nation to host the huge sporting event. The nation faces serious challenges amid concerns about crime and infrastructure, but pulling off the event would be the best global coming out party that the rainbow nation could ask for.

X is for Xenophobia: 2009 saw flares of racial disquiet from Riverside to South Africa. Let’s hope 2010 will be better.

Y is for Youth in Revolt: No Jobs. Rocketing tuition. A bleak future. Will we take it anymore?

Z is for zip up Kanye West’s Mouth: Tay tay rules, Kanye drools.

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