It’s nearly the end of the worst year on record, which is certainly worth celebrating. Of course, we can’t celebrate too much or we risk the possibility of 2017 somehow being worse. Can you imagine?

But of course, with Trump at the helm, we really can’t imagine things getting any better. At least one thing is for sure: unless Trump starts jailing political writers and dissidents, we in the progressive news industry will have a lot to report on – and a lot to share with our audiences – for quite some time.

So to say sayonara to this garbage year, here is a highlight of the top 5 stories published at the Ring of Fire Network this year:

5. “The Blame Game Begins – And Debbie Wasserman Schultz Goes First

In this video by Ring of Fire host Farron Cousins, he discussed a progressive’s least favorite politico: the corrupt, Bernie-hating, cast-off Debbie Wasserman Schultz. In this popular video clip, Farron does what he does best – get angry. And in this case, Farron spoke for so many of us when he attempted to force it into Democrats’ skulls that corrupt officials like Wasserman Schultz have a large share in the blame for the horrific political situation we’re all in. Still pissed off about the election results? Give this one a re-watch. 

4. “DNC Betrayal of Bernie Sanders Even Worse Than We Thought – David Pakman Show”

This news segment from Ring of Fire host David Pakman focused on one of the lesser-known scandals in the DNC – how Hillary Clinton used state fundraisers for her own gain, giving just a small portion to state races and keeping most for herself – a benefit that Bernie Sanders didn’t have.

3. “Pope Francis Calls Out Religious Right For Supporting Trump”

In another video from Farron, we looked at the thinly-veiled comments from Pope Francis concerning the outcome of the election and the victor’s promise to build a wall between the United States and Mexico. As the Pope has said more than once, focusing on building walls rather than helping others is un-Christian. Though he would not directly comment on the election results, it is easy to assume that the Pope might not consider those who voted for divisive Trump to be the best definition of pious and devout.

2. “Documentary Filmmaker Faces Up to 45 Years in Prison for Covering Pipeline Protest”

In a story that helped to kick-start the growing concern over pipeline protests in the northern states of America, the unconstitutional arrest of producer and documentarian Deia Scholsberg during a protest drew national attention.

Deia Schlosberg, producer of the 2016 film “How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change,” was following the actions of activists in North Dakota who were protesting against a pipeline. Both activists and documentarian Schlosberg were arrested by police and charged with conspiracy to commit theft of property and services. Scholsberg’s arrest was just one of many in relation to various pipeline protests and renewed a debate over the government’s ability to curb journalists from covering subversive activity.

  1. “Less than 12 Hours Post-Debate: Clinton Uses Pence’s Debate Words Against Him In Stunning New Ad”

Let us take a trip to the over-confident days leading up to the election. Back when we were all fairly confident in our bones that Clinton would take it in the end and we would be safe in political mediocrity for another 4 to 8 years. What fools we all were.

The most popular article at the Ring of Fire Network in 2016 was in response to a killer campaign ad by the Clinton campaign which showed Clinton’s V.P. partner Tim Kaine baiting V.P.-elect Mike Pence into several responses which were then edited and released in a stunning campaign ad the very next day. At the time, this sort of sharp gotcha politics seemed like it was all it took to convince the nation that Trump and Pence were the worst choice – boy how we were wrong.

So there you have it – the best of 2016 from our humble independent news media outlet to you. Now let’s all enjoy the holiday season and bid a not-so-fond farewell to the worst year yet (but not the worst year ever).

Sydney Robinson is a political writer for the Ring of Fire Network. She has also appeared in political news videos for Ring of Fire. Sydney has a degree in English Literature from the University of West Florida, and has an active interest in politics, social justice, and environmental issues. She would love to hear from you on Twitter @SydneyMkay or via email at