Monday, December 2, 2013

The Truth About Gratitude

As December begins, and most of America attempts to crawl back to work and out of our collective national tryptophan-induced comas, we think it's important for you to catch up on a few things that happened over the last few days.

Yes, the annual Black Friday stampedes and sales occurred - with many of them starting on Thursday - though that extra day didn't appear to help retailers as much as they thought it would. The Republican National Committee declared racism dead over the holiday break, in a completely boneheaded move on Twitter. Meanwhile, the GOP's position on the hungry appeared to remain, "Let them eat cake."

Hanukkah began, and the Pope also delivered his first apostolic exhortation - effectively his platform for his papacy - a positive and amazing statement on world economics that truly decouples the idea that Wall Street is on the side of God. A train also derailed in New York City during the holiday break, Auburn derailed Alabama's national championship hopes, Nebraska's head football coach Bo Pelini kept his job, and - contrary to all the hate, lies, and detrimental counter-measures Republicans and conservatives have engaged in for years - Obamacare did not derail over the break. In fact, the national Affordable Care website has significantly improved - just as the Obama Administration promised it would.

In short, some Americans obviously came out of the long Thanksgiving weekend filled with continued gratitude and gratefulness, while others are still the ungrateful, angry, fact-free little monsters they've always been.

Welcome to the holiday season, 2013 edition.

We're more than certain you're going to hear about many of these stories today, and you may have even caught a few slanted, sloppy versions of them over the weekend. Whatever claims you heard from that one uncle or auntie we all have, the facts on most of these stories are no different than they were five days ago.

For example, Republicans in Congress and those on the right are still screaming about all the problems with Affordable Care Act. Yet they still don't want to take any responsibility for all the problems they've caused in the rollout of the program - and they still have no concrete alternative plan. Meanwhile, the Obama administration did indeed meet its own goals on improving the system by November 30. Sure, there are many more things to do to improve our national health insurance system - it's just doubtful you’ll find anyone on the political right trying to do anything to improve that system.

Likewise in Nebraska's football program, there are still those grousing that head coach Bo Pelini should be fired, even in the wake of an obvious statement of support from Nebraska's new Athletic Director, Shawn Eichorst. These anti-Pelini armchair football 'geniuses' have no legitimate idea of who the program would replace Pelini with, and no understanding of the massive economic damage such a hasty action would cause to the school they claim to love. They also seem to have forgotten the petition once passed around Nebraska to fire legendary football coach Bob Devaney, or the years when similar discussions swirled around legendary football coach Tom Osborne.

In other words, whatever expressions of gratitude some Americans whispered over the weekend, their monsterous actions in the three days since prove that - in their hearts - their facade of gratefulness disappeared as rapidly as this year's latkes, stuffing, and pumpkin pie.

We hope that as this month of holiday festivities begin, you remember that being grateful - not just for what you have, but also that things aren't worse - isn't merely a once-a-year action.

Being grateful is a way of life.

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