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.
There is a big problem with the prevailing liberal narrative that the phrase describing subsidy eligibility in Obamacare, "established by the state," could not possibly mean what it says. The problem is named Jonathan Gruber.
Political correctness is a contradiction of reality and distortion of morality that necessitates relentless government intervention devised by those who seek to control our lives. These self-appointed "Speech Sheriffs" warn us that words spoken outside the imaginary perimeters they've set are judgmental, negative, racist or intolerant.
Nebraska's legislature recently made headlines when it ended the state's death penalty. Many found it odd that a conservatives-dominated legislature would support ending capital punishment, since conservative politicians have traditionally supported the death penalty. However, an increasing number of conservatives are realizing that the death penalty is inconsistent with both fiscal and social conservatism. These conservatives are joining with libertarians and liberals in a growing anti-death penalty coalition.
Craig Ranch North Community Pool in McKinney, Texas was not a "whites only" pool, but it might as well have been. Before Eric Casebolt shoved a black girl's face into the ground and pulled a gun on her two unarmed friends, white neighborhood residents at the pool assumed that all those black teenagers were in the wrong place. They didn't see the invited guests of a black neighbor getting a little rowdy at an end-of-school pool party. They saw black people who didn't belong in the mostly white neighborhood.
Rich people with too much time and money on their hands often seem to get bored with the hum and drum of their gold-filigreed existences. In response they turn to egalitarian enterprises, such as feudal kings commissioning alchemists to turn base metals into gold, because a lot of stuff back then needed to be filigreed.
You don't need to check a screen to know how much time we're spending with them. Besides, surveys keep reminding us: total screen time for adult Americans is now just under 10 hours per day - roughly half in front of what we still call a "television," the rest spent with computers and mobile devices.
When we last visited the sorry state of Kansas, Governor Sam Brownback - a former short-lived GOP presidential candidate - was showing us what happens when a right-wing ideologue tries to impose his utopian fantasies on the real world. Predictably, the result has been disastrous.