So here we are just four days before Christmas and what’s up in the news? Here are what I believe are the 12 stories of Christmas that are emblematic of where our country is at the finale of 2006.
- A president who is delusional about the situation in Iraq and who is backing away from taking advice from military leaders because their view doesn’t jive with his.
- A White House that is touting that the rank and file troops are telling Secretary of Defense Robert Gates that they want more troops there to achieve victory which differs from their leaders.
- A fight between “The Donald” and Rosie O’Donnell that is both ugly and a BIG “Who cares?” But I have to admit that “The Donald” is just a nasty, nasty man! The personal attacks were those of a 2 year old. Geez Donald – Get over it- you are reacting to what a comedian said about you? I think you are just looking for earned media just before the premier of your tired old show “The Apprentice”. If someone would just fire Donald! At least Rosie is bringing ratings (for whatever reason) to “The View”.
- American consumers are spending close to $1,000 per person during this holiday season. Much of it due to irresistible bargains that are driving up personal debt.
- The total retail number for the American holiday season is projected to be $457.4 billion. Remember the 1947 movie- “Miracle on34th Street”? The theme was that too much commercialism was part of Christmas. I guess we didn’t heed the warning.
- Americans have given $260 billion to charity for the entire year of 2006 – compare that to the $457.4 billion that we’re spending on goodies for the holidays. Makes you think doesn’t it?
- The American Episcopal Church is on the verge of the biggest schism it has seen since Henry VIII founded the Anglican Church. What a lovely Christmas message- if you don’t discriminate against gays, lesbians and women we want to pick up our marbles and your real estate and answer to some Ethiopian Bishop. Talk about Christian Charity.
- Although it is tragic that the hikers in Oregon have all been lost, it seems odd that so much money is spent on search and rescue for three white men who voluntarily went mountain climbing at a very precarious time (i.e., winter weather) and New Orleans is still in ruins.
- The number of uninsured in the United States has reached an embarrassing high of 46 million Americans.
- Teenage girls are the most likely candidates to begin smoking because it curbs their appetites! Thank goodness we have so many positive role models for real life female body image!
- In the USA education funding shorts low-income children. Alabama’s low-income students are not receiving as much federal money for education as those from higher-income areas, according to a report released by the nonprofit Education Trust that criticizes the U.S. government’s funding process. The report, which was released Wednesday, shows how the funding process benefits wealthier states and systems. “In America, we say you can be anything you want to be if you work hard and stay in school,” Education Trust President Kati Haycock said. “But while we say that to kids, we are essentially sucker-punching them at the same time.” The U.S. government provides money for schools based on the number and concentration of low-income children in a state and on the state’s average per-student spending as outlined in Title I of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. The study shows that the state expenditure factor skews the distribution to benefit wealthier states.
- The media replay OJ Simpson news and JonBet Ramsey news until we are ready to vomit. And this is CNN not E! What has happened to the television news media in this country? I guess Edward R. Murrow and Fred Friendly are spinning in their respective graves.
Let’s hope we do better in 2007. I pray that this country wakes up and get back on track. I am not being cynical- just realistic and hopeful. I’ll be posting again after the New Year begins.