On election night 2012 I was in DC doing the rounds of various media outlets. At one stop I found myself in a small cramped office of foreign journalists reporting to countries all over Europe and Asia, some as far as Korea. The conversations in the unventilated suite defaulted into election night chatter: "Two-seventy is impossible without Wisconsin." "Florida has 29 electrical votes, but their demographics are changing." "If Romney wins Ohio, he still needs Pennsylvania, but if Obama wins Ohio he doesn't need Pennsylvania."
So what do you get when you cross a community organizer-turned-president with union thugs? No one is really sure – yet, but one thing is for sure, Congressional Democrats have every reason to be afraid. President Obama's BFFs have them in their sights and promise to strong-arm them into submission should they dare compromise on the fiscal cliff. On MSNBC just before Thanksgiving, United Steelworkers Union boss Leo Gerard said any Democrats compromising with Republicans will suffer the same fate as former senator Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), the last of a dying breed of moderate Democrats.
President Obama's reelection was a triumph of Big Data, technological innovation, and precision targeting over the usual gravity of an incumbent president with a record of economic failure. This was facilitated by largest data trove in the world, Google, lending talent, expertise, and quite possibly data to the cause. Now Google CEO Eric Schmidt is being rumored as a potential Commerce Secretary or even Treasury Secretary – the top economic policy position – in Obama's second term. That's probably far-fetched, but the close relationship between the administration and Google deserves scrutiny.
Seriously? Both political parties talking pre-emptive smack barely a week after the election. Partisan politics? Again? So soon? Not even time to catch our breath? For crum's sakes, give it a rest, you guys. Besides, shouldn't you be out on recess? After all, it's Thanksgiving. Yes. Already. The earliest Thanksgiving possible. That's what happens when November first is on a Thursday. Merchants are dancing the happy dance. Shoppers too. Retail workers, not so much. Black Friday Creep seems destined to devour Halloween.
The older I get, the more I realize the importance of the little things that are right in front of me to appreciate all year long. So, once again, as we celebrate Thanksgiving, this uniquely American holiday, here is the list of blessings for which I am thankful in 2012.
We all know that the 2016 campaign will cost way more money than ever before - $10 billion is the latest head-spinning estimate - and that the reform laws aimed at curbing fat-cat clout have virtually collapsed. But still, it was shocking last week when the nation's top watchdog said that she's powerless to police the new Wild West.
I had never really thought about such books existing, but the May 8 "Newsweek" reports that Amish romance novels are big business, accounting for as much as half of the inspirational fiction market and involving dozens of new titles each month.