If this column needs a subtitle, let it be "Where The Rubber Meets The Vinyl."
It's been an up and down, rough and tumble, crazy, sad, frustrating year for America the Beautiful so far.
Sure, the country isn't doing so well at the moment, but there are still plenty of reasons to be thankful this Thanksgiving.
As I have done at Thanksgiving for many years, I want to proclaim some of the things for which I am thankful on this uniquely American holiday.
It's not every day that Democrats and Republicans get to shake their fist in the same direction. That honor goes to Education Secretary Arne Duncan whose insult against "white, suburban moms" whose "child isn't as brilliant as they thought they were" has sparked outrage from the tea party to teachers unions-not to mention the PTA moms who are heavily invested in their children's schooling. Sec. Duncan is still walking back his remarks, but if a similar story in Texas is any guide, he's not done with this fight by a long shot.
The saying, "A picture is worth 1000 words" is so true. In the case of my four month old grandson, we have a book started. Still nothing compares to actually holding, squeezing his chubby legs, or getting Bob to laugh out loud. As we enter the holiday season, families across the country hardly need a reminder that November 24th through the 30th is designated as National Family Week.
HOLLYWOOD - God bless America, and how's everybody?
"I'm not upset that you lied to me, I'm upset that from now on I can't believe you," declared Nietzsche.
In 2006 I came up against a holiday deadline crunch, so I turned my column over to Turpy, the beloved eight-year-old Golden Retriever/Chow mix who had turned up at our doorstep as a puppy.
Come on, Oprah.
We humans like to divide time into neat little boxes based on dates, but the case can be made that the styles, policies, manners and mores of one ten-year period usually spill over into the next.
Whew! I need to catch my breath. I can't keep up with the quickly shifting journalistic conventional wisdom.
Last week, when Bill Clinton said President Obama should allow people to keep their health-insurance coverage - an early attempt to distance Hillary and himself from ObamaCare - I began to worry that the Clintons may be serious about another run at the White House.
"The holiday turkey sure looks grand this year," Dick Cheney said. "Why don't we go around the table and say what we're thankful for?"
The heck is going on here, people? Did someone drop the flag signaling the start of the 2016 presidential election race in secret? Was there a furtive whispered "go now" left on the voice mail of all the major players in the 202 area code? Thirty-six months before the election? Is it possible to earn extra credit by skipping this one and moving right on to 2020?
Liberal billionaires reap the benefits of their XL pipeline lobbying and what do they get?
Jack Clayton's 1974 rendition of The Great Gatsby is the quintessential American epic, as well as a sophisticated blockbuster.
Talk about being in the middle of Middle America.
Illegal immigrants are the perfect Republican foe. They're easily exploited as low-cost workers benefiting business and easily maligned for being "lawless" benefiting politicians. They're a foreign other with a tendency not to speak English so suspicion is ready-made. Plus, how are illegal immigrants going to stick up for themselves? They're not. They're an ideal rival!
I've done my fair share of stupid things over my life.
I set out to write an obituary about my mother, who died Nov. 15, and was taken aback by how much she never accomplished in her 94 years.
The autumn dark is lengthening, which means the English-speaking, Judeo-Christian Holiday Season is about to split open wider than a crocodile mouth at the bottom of a baby duckling water slide. It begins with Columbus Day. No mail and the banks are closed. Much is to be said for starting slow. Then the downward hurtle is set off by Halloween, when people toss about candy, free, incognito.
Most Americans, regardless of ideology, oppose "crony capitalism" or "cronyism." Cronyism is where politicians write laws aimed at helping their favored business beneficiaries. Despite public opposition to cronyism, politicians still seek to use the legislative process to help special interests.
At least once in a lifetime every American should lay eyes on the Grand Canyon, whose brilliant colors and dazzling erosional landscape inspire a kind of planetary patriotism. Stretching 277 miles long and a mile deep, it is perhaps our nation's greatest natural treasure.
Apparently, you're pretty busy. I'm a little surprised that you have time to read the paper, frankly. And you're not alone. Only 36 percent of our countrymen bothered to vote in the midterm elections. A lot of people were busy that day.
President Obama is leaning heavily on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), an independent agency, to change the Internet from a competitive, free-market service into a government-regulated public utility.
Did the election last week really mean that much? I took to my Twitter account on Tuesday to point out that the change in control of the Senate from Democrat to Republican actually means very little, despite efforts by politicians and the mainstream media to convince us otherwise. Yes, power shifted, I wrote. But the philosophy on Capitol Hill changed very little. The warfare/welfare state is still alive and well in Washington.
So Jonathan Gruber thinks the American people are stupid, does he?
Usually when a burning issue arises, I feel compelled to squeeze every last drop of my own phrasing, logic and wit into this limited space.
What an amazing five years this has been!