Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Some Things Change. Others? Don't.

Sometimes the hardest thing to do is begin. Since 2013 has already begun, however, you shouldn't have that problem today.

In case your favorite calendar app suddenly stopped working, or the bank forgot to give you your annual calendar, today is January 2nd, 2013, the first real workday of the new year. If you were hoping the world would end so you wouldn't have to go to back work, we're sorry to spoil things for you, but the Mayan prophecy was wrong.

We hope you had a safe, enjoyable holiday break, filled with family and friends, as we did. Even though the holiday season is generally a slow time for news, this year it was even slower than usual.

Sure, there was yesterday's heartbreaking - if not predictable - Husker football bowl game performance. The melodrama of the fiscal cliff also appears to be over - at least temporarily - after the childish and dangerous temper tantrums of the extremist Republicans in the U.S. House gave way to a deal that no one is truly happy about.

There was also the ridiculous "press conference" by Wayne LaPierre of the NRA during the holiday break, which added nothing productive to the gun safety debate in America. As usual, LaPierre and the NRA's idea of putting armed guards in schools is preposterous, when you consider most school districts in the U.S. don't even have enough money to pay their teachers properly.

If we can't afford to pay teachers, how could we ever afford to pay armed guards - let alone the increased insurance costs to each school.

For better or worse, not much truly changed during the 2012 holiday break this year, though we have a strong suspicion that was only the calm before a storm of changes in 2013.

For one thing, it's obvious to anyone honest that the Republican Party is at war with itself. After 'the worst year ever' for the tea party in 2012, according to some political pundits, we have a feeling the tea party extremists will do one of two things in 2013. Either they will succeed in splitting the GOP this year, or they'll finally be put back under their rocks by those Republicans who are sick of the extremist's obstruction. Our sources tell us that much of the political action - and conflict - this year may also be at the state level, as the tea party extremists retreat back into their local communities. From what we've researched, in many, many regions around the country, the tea partiers' local neighbors really don't want their extremism at home, either.

We also believe it's likely there will be some further change in the national attitude towards more effective gun safety laws. Thankfully, President Obama and Vice President Biden don't appear to be letting that topic disappear down the media memory hole. As Paul made clear last month in his cartoons, we're not necessarily counting on any new gun safety legislation actually passing - but we're now certain that lack of passage won't be because of neglect of the issue from the White House.

One thing that won't change this year is our commitment to you.

Our expanded focus over the last year, from politics to sports and entertainment was one you embraced - so we're keeping our focus broad this year. Our general aversion to horserace politics was also appreciated in 2012 - so we've decided we're keeping that too. Our complete daily archive - accessible along the right hand side of the Daily Commentary - was another addition last year, and will also continue in 2013.

As we noted already today, we don't think news in 2013 will be anything like the nearly frozen 2012 holiday period. It will likely be a storm of changes - one that we'll be happy to help guide you through, as we have for many years now.

Happy new year - and welcome to 2013.

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