What to be thankful for (or not)
Among the things for which Americans can, on this feast day, be thankful is Washington's resolve to temper severity with mercy: It will seriously — this time we really mean business, we are not going to be Greece, or worse, Illinois — restrain spending but will not balance the budget on the backs of popcorn eaters. Growers of this essential snack may yet retain their subsidy, lest the price of a tub of the stuff at the movies soar by a nickel, even a dime. Can't have that.
Ignoring William James' admonition that one should do an unpleasant duty every day just to stay in moral trim, millions did not dutifully vote. In a burst of ennui, turnout declined for the first time in 16 years. Who says you cannot make a souffle rise twice? Barack Obama was re-elected.
Having spent four years making a sow's ear out of the silk purse of public support with which he began his presidency, he won by essentially vowing for his new term what an NBA player promised his new team: “We'll turn the program around 360 degrees.” Joe Biden called his boss's decision to kill Osama bin Laden the most “audacious plan” in 500 years. Pick your counterexamples.
Tina Brown applied her editor's magic to Newsweek, R.I.P. If only she now could become editor of The New York Times. In a radio broadcast, a Times food columnist said government should “protect us from things from which we can't protect ourselves.” He meant sugar. Michael Bloomberg, scourge of big sodas, undoubtedly agrees.
You can be queasy being “green”: A reusable grocery bag was blamed for an outbreak of norovirus-caused diarrhea and nausea. But lighten up, Kermit, it's lucrative being green. Al Gore (estimated net worth, $100 million) has invested in 14 renewable energy firms that have benefited from $2.5 billion in taxpayer benefits.
For the seventh consecutive hurricane season, none hit Florida. After Katrina in 2005, climate-change prophets said major (Category 3 or higher) hurricanes would increase. None has hit the U.S. since that year, the longest period without one since reliable records began being kept in 1851.
The Obama administration, claiming creation of 2.7 million “green jobs,” said that category includes sellers of antiques — recycling, you see.
Big Teacher is watching: Some Orwellian school districts asked children to wear bracelets monitoring their physical activity and reporting it to a website.
Literature flourished this year as sales of the “Fifty Shades” trilogy passed 40 million.
Hot for egalite , France's new socialist government proposed banning homework because it gives advantages to students from homes conducive to study.
Congress found that Amtrak spends $16.15 to make a cheeseburger it sells for $9.50.
Houston's new “pole tax” — $5 per customer at strip clubs — will fund rape investigations because the clubs promote unhealthy attitudes about women.
Los Angeles County's $1 billion pornographic movie industry may decamp for more libertarian precincts now that voters passed a measure requiring performers to wear condoms.
Florence Green, the last World War I veteran anywhere, died in England two weeks shy of 111.
Finally, at Bishop Hartley High School in Columbus, Ohio, Megan Ryan has Down syndrome and the title of homecoming queen, which by itself redeems 2012.
George F. Will is a columnist for The Washington Post and Newsweek.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Number of jobs in high-tech industry outpace workers in Pittsburgh, nation
- Video posted online captures Wilkinsburg child’s injuries
- Gilpin settles lawsuit with suspended police officers
- Rayburn man, 74, dies in Manor Township crash
- Armstrong ‘bitten’ by antique tractor bug
- Dogs brighten day at Ford City assisted-living facility
- Monessen mayor: Bickering out, blight fight in
- United Way turns to small businesses to boost donations
- Bayer plastics unit may be gone
- New Kensington native competes for title of U.S. Army Europe’s best NCO
- Robinson received rousing reception in visit to NAACP fete