I am sad to report that the Department of Homeland Security has announced plans to scrap the beloved five-level, color-coded terrorism advisory system in favor of a new two-tiered system that may or may not have colors.
I'm not a Christian, but like many Jews, I've envied Christmas since childhood. I like the twinkly lights, pink-cheeked carolers, heartwarming television specials, and exuberantly ho-ho-ho-ing Santa Clauses ... pretty much everything except the endless renditions of "Jingle Bells" warbling from every audio speaker in the country.
Most of all, I love the spirit of good will associated with Christmas -- smiles from strangers, charitable giving and other acts of kindness. We Jews have a holiday called Purim for spreading joy and charity, but Purim also involves raucously cheering the murder of 75,000 Persians, which is somewhat low on the good will meter.
"If 'don't ask, don't tell' is repealed and you are assigned to bathroom facilities (that have)] an open bay shower that someone you believe to be a gay or lesbian service member also used, which are you most likely to do?"
-- Question on 2010 Department of Defense Comprehensive Review Survey of Uniformed Active Duty and Reserve Service Members
Creepy medieval puppets hung from the ceiling on the set of the "Glenn Beck Program" -- a conquistador, a squire, a witch, and a bearded guy who looked like a cross between Santa Claus and the Fiddler on the Roof.
"Make no mistake, we are watching a show," Beck gravely told his audience. That much was obvious enough, but Beck did not mean his own television program. "You have to see who's behind the puppets," he continued, "Who is choosing the puppets and the players? Who's the puppetmaster? George Soros."
Barack Obama had a story once. He spoke of hope and change, of restoring a distant government tainted by partisan infighting and corporate influence to the people it was meant to serve. But we have not heard that story since November 2008.
November 8, 1994: It was a slaughter. In one night, Republicans seized 54 seats in the House and eight seats in the Senate, capturing Congress for the first time since 1954.
The newcomers, many from the South, were predominantly white, male and angry. "You're going to have a difference in style," predicted an Atlanta-based Republican pollster. "With the Southern Republicans, you get a more aggressive, assertive conservatism. This is a conservatism that has been built on confronting Democrats and liberals, not accommodating them.