By any measure, 2015 has been a stormy and turbulent year. Terrorism, potential war, and the economy characterized the year as the world seemed to come unhinged. It was hard to find the positives in such an insane year.
However, it was not all too difficult to come up with a list of news stories to make my year-end list. The challenge was limiting it to a Top 10, but I created guidelines for myself to narrow down the choices.
If there is a 2015 news story that you don’t see it here, it was likely considered and trumped by something equally as important. After the year we’ve had, this could have been a much longer list.
As we prepare for another new year, this is the Top 10 news stories of 2015, as chosen by Koffee-O-Matic. As you look down the list I have compiled, the impact each story had can be described as significant.
Donald Trump for President
Many political establishment experts considered the Donald Trump campaign for President to be a joke or a novelty. Few expected that in December 2015 he would still be the frontrunner for the Republican Presidential nomination. Most seem blind to the fact Trump is a manifestation of disgust with the way government operates, and the apparent collusion with the mainstream media.
The tragedy of the terrorist attacks on Paris shocked the world. There were 130 victims and up to 368 injured, at a time when the Obama Administration was attempting to de-escalate the War on Terror and take America off a war-footing. The world is not always they way we would like it to be. It is a lesson this U.S. President needs to learn.
Did your Dad ever convey to you the old adage, “Winners never cheat, and cheaters never win”? Well, Tom Brady proved in 2015 that bit of conventional wisdom is not true. Cheaters do win, and they win big. After an investigation of Deflategate, the NFL suspended Brady for four games, but Brady disputed the action in court and the penalty was overturned due to “lack of fair due process.”
In an April 2015, Bruce Jenner announced to the world that he suffered with gender dysphoria since youth, and came out as a trans woman. However, what probably shocked people most was that Caitlyn Marie Jenner (her name change as of July) is a Christian, leans politically conservative, and is a Republican. Her strength of character makes her a true American hero.
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Hillary Clinton has become the presumptive Democratic nominee for the 2016 Presidential Election, thanks to a limited field and the DNC rigging the nomination process in her favor. The big news about Clinton is the fact that as Secretary of State, she used an unsecured personal server, in her home, to handle government business, and that she apparently was transmitting classified information. If Clinton is prosecuted, this could leave the Dems in a very bad position in 2016.
The stock market is up considerably since the lows of 2009, but in 2015 it has stalled, and this could be the result of average Americans having not recovered. Companies have improved their bottom-lines, but are generally not expanding. The Dow Jones peaked in 2015 at 18,351.36, then dropped to 15,666.44 by August. While the market has come back to be flat for the year, and could climb back to the 52 Week High, weak Fourth Quarter results may hit investors hard in the beginning of 2016.
Iran Nuclear Deal
Despite the majority of Congress being opposed to the Iran nuclear deal, the Obama Administration perceives it as reaching a “historic understanding” with Iran, and a major legacy item for the President. Opponents have described Obama’s negotiating stance as any deal at any cost. The President has stated it is a choice between an imperfect agreement and going to war. Only time will tell which side is right.
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
In January 2014, President Obama was describing the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), as the “JV team,” as in junior varsity. Today, after the Paris attacks, we have small groups of troops going into Iraq to “train” and “support” those fighting ISIL/ISIS. Some military experts are comparing Obama’s approach to Vietnam, with mission-creep and politically defined rules of engagement.
Greek Financial Crisis
The financial crisis in Greece is not new news, but in 2015 Greek citizens voted to reject bailout terms, impacting stock markets across the world. There is now another a provisional agreement for a third bailout that would save Greece from bankruptcy, but negotiations are still needed for a final deal, and requires ratification in several nations. There are those who believe the financial failure of Greece could have a domino effect, causing the European Union to fall apart.
Syrian Civil War
Again, the Syrian conflict is not new. It was born in 2011, and there are those that state the mess which exists today are a direct result of a lack of American action and the Obama Doctrine of “leading from behind.” However, the reality is a bit more complicated. The only thing about it that is straightforward is the Syrian civil war has allowed ISIL/ISIS to become a major threat to not only to the stability of the region, but also a threat to Western civilization.