The Best and Worst of 2017

President Donald Trump capped off his year by signing comprehensive tax reform. (Screen capture, YouTube, ABC News)

It was the best of times and the worst of times; 2017 brought an end to the Obama administration, a blame tour by Hillary Rodham Clinton, Donald Trump entered the White House, the stock market soared to new heights, the media descended to new lows.

And now it’s coming to an end. Looking back on the past 12 months, here are some of the good and bad things that shaped the year.

Good: President Trump hit the ground running, naming Gen. James Mattis as Defense Secretary, appointing Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, and instead of apologizing for America, he set the wheels in motion to fulfill his vow to make the country great again.

Bad: Clinton traveled the country on a “book tour” that became a blame game. She was trying to remain relevant and explain the unthinkable loss to Trump the previous November.

Good: The economy began moving. Jobs were created. Unemployment declined.

Bad: The dominant media relentlessly criticized the new president, revealing a visceral bias that may have irreparably damaged the only thing the press really has going for it: Credibility.

Good: Mass murder mastermind Charles Manson died in prison, albeit having lived decades longer than the victims of his followers.

Bad: Revelations about the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee surfaced, but were virtually ignored by the “mainstream” press.

Good: An eight-year White House effort to erode gun rights came to an abrupt halt and the gun prohibition lobby lost its Rose Garden bully pulpit, at least for the time being.

Bad: For the first time in years, the firearms industry slowed down, even though the state-level war on Second Amendment rights continues with full financing from wealthy elitists like Michael Bloomberg. There has been no resolution of the Fast & Furious gun walking scandal.

Good: The Trump administration began carefully reversing policies of the previous administration. Gone is the policy of “strategic patience” toward terrorists. In its place is the crushing of ISIS.

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Bad: Capitol Hill Republicans could not seem to get their act together. Arizona Sen. John McCain seemed far too eager to derail health care reform. North Korea continued to push the envelope with provocative missile launches. A would-be terrorist used a rental truck to kill several people on a popular bike trail in New York City. Another would-be terrorist failed in an attempted suicide bombing in the Big Apple.

Good: The president traveled to the Middle East and the Far East and he didn’t bow to anybody. He warned the United Nations that if North Korea launches an attack on US territory or U.S. allies, it will be obliterated. Ambassador Nikki Haley ripped the UN over its attitude toward Israel, stunning delegates and the media.

Bad: Two mass shootings marred the year, in Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs, demonstrating that gun control laws do not prevent determined people from committing mass mayhem.

Good: At Sutherland Springs, a legally-armed private citizen confronted the gunman, using the very kind of semi-auto rifle that anti-gunners want banned.

Bad: Sexual harassment scandals erupted from coast to coast, bringing down Hollywood magnates and Capitol Hill careerists. The Seattle mayor resigned, an Alabama GOP candidate lost an election and a veteran morning network news anchor was fired.

Good: Congress passed a massive tax reform package that knocked out a cornerstone of Obamacare: the insurance mandate and penalty. The House of Representatives passed national concealed carry reciprocity.

Bad: The Senate did not seem interested in reciprocity, and put the issue over into 2018 as the GOP majority shrank. Baltimore’s murder numbers climbed, Chicago’s bloodbath continues but to a slower degree.

Good: As the year draws to a close, we’re all here to tell one another we made it through on this side of the grass.

Bad: The year isn’t over quite yet.

Thanks for reading.