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Thursday, November 23, 2006

What I'm Thankful For

  • I'm thankful for my wife, my health, my general I-guess-I-don't-have-it-so-badness, and that my family, friends, and coworkers are all pretty much okay this year. My dog's getting crazier, but then I'm thankful we have a good vet and can afford to treat her.

  • I'm thankful that I can afford a turkey and can cook it myself; recent news of rising demand, again, for help feeding families is disheartening.

  • I'm thankful for the job, as much as it stresses me, and the opportunity to try to do a little bit of good in this city. No, I don't expect to change the world one classroom at a time, but if I can make a little difference, that's enough.

  • I'm thankful for those in service to this country, in the military, in the peace corps, or elsewhere, spreading the best of what America has to offer under, often, hellish circumstances and on a mission that was long ago doomed to failure.

  • I'm thankful for the internet, and the people I've met and have come to know well here in the ether (and occasionally in real life). I can't name everyone, so I won't start, but this whole blogging thing has opened up a world of cool and interesting people, on all sides of the divide, that I am glad to know. Add to that the folks at Apple Computer and the cable company that provide this access. The blogging has scored me some TV gigs, and that's worth something; the Governor reads my blog, and that's also not nothing. Some days it scares me a little just how much people are looking to me for advice, opinion, leadership--I mean, I know me--but the opportunities have been tremendous and more than I could have hoped for just writing crank letters to the editor.

  • I'm thankful for Howard Dean and the 50-state strategy. And for Nancy Pelosi. Seriously. Consider:
    Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi will open the House for the first session of the 110th Congress on January 4, and keep it in session for the first several weeks of January. While that may not sound remarkable outside-the-beltway, it is departure from tradition that is certain to prompt some teeth gnashing among Republicans.

    Congress typically convenes the first week of January after a holiday recess just long enough for new members to be sworn in, and then promptly adjourns until the president's State of the Union Address toward the end of the month. Pelosi's team apparently figures there's no reason to allow President Bush to set the agenda in January by leaking bits of his speech. Instead the Democratic Congress will immediately plunge into its lengthy to-do list, starting with an ethics reform package, and perhaps have some bills on Bush's desk by the time the State of the Union is ready for delivery.

    "From economic security to national security, the American people have resoundingly called for a new direction,'' Pelosi said in a just-released statement. "It is imperative that we waste no time in addressing the pressing needs facing our nation.''
    Contrast that with the Republicans, who put off the annual budget bills until the last minute, and then just skipped out on them altogether. I also love the 100 hours agenda. Expect me to rave more about it later.

  • I'm thankful for good music, a lot of which I've seen and heard this year. New records from Peter Mulvey, Jeffrey Foucault, Mark Erelli, and Ellis Paul, among others. I didn't make it out to Patty Larkin live the other week, but here's a YouTube:

  • And I'm thankful for you, my readers. Is it cheesy? Sure. But in almost exactly three-and-a-half years of doing this, I've cultivated a fine audience, a collection of people willing to debate, engage, and explore ideas. The thing that I'm most proud of here is not the TV or undue influence I may someday wield; it's the community. And, after all, isn't that what Thanksgiving is really about?
Enjoy your day, your family, your friends. Be well, eat well, shop carefully, and rest up. Next week, everything starts back up again. Peace.

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