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October 22nd, 2017

Insight

Happy thoughts about what we hope will happen in 2015

 Ann McFeatters

By Ann McFeatters (TNS)

Published December 29, 2014

WASHINGTON — It's hard at this pleasant, anticipatory time of year to dwell on grim news about our politicians (who have all fled this city for the holidays). So let's not.

We will think happy thoughts about what we hope will happen in 2015.

We would like President Obama to stop sending us emails that seem friendly enough, "Ann! I have important news for you!" but which turn out to be appeals for money. Even the firefighters are more subtle. ("Things you should know to keep your house from burning down.")

It is to be hoped that Sony produces a cheerful children's movie that is without any controversy whatsoever, and we never have to think again about anything videographic called "The Interview."

Similarly, perhaps North Korea could become the new Brigadoon, disappearing into the mists for many decades. (Hey, we all need fantasies. I once stood in Panmunjom, watching the Potemkin houses and listening to the weird music being played by the North Koreans on loudspeakers - psychological torture - and decided this is a country with no redeeming social value.)

We did get an early Christmas present - the country lost its Internet access. "Hey, accidents happen!" the U.S. said with a shrug.)

Perhaps, when Pope Francis and Obama get together, the pope could give the president some ideas on how to deal with the "chatter, grumbling and gossip" that seem to be the hallmark not only of the Vatican but the federal bureaucracy. What the pope calls "the sickness of the cowardly who, not having the courage to speak directly to the people involved, instead speak behind their backs."

Speaking of resolutions, it would be nice if incoming Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., sticks to his vow to stop Republicans from saying "no, no, h—- no" all the time and start saying "yes, yes, we mean yes."

It's not exactly clear how that will work out, but any change has to be good. There are two kinds of people in politics, McConnell says he has decided. "Those who want to make a point and those who want to make a difference." We are so desperate, that this sounds refreshing. At the wisp of thought of Washington working, we find a kind of irrational exuberance bubbling up inside us that has nothing to do with the eggnog. (Well, maybe a little.)

We understand that the plummeting price of oil is very bad for many people, including oil producers in our own country. But we can't help hoping that it might make the arrogant Vladimir Putin a tad less obnoxious as he gets fewer billions from the Russian Bear's oil wealth.

As we brace for the tedium of another presidential race, let us hope that Hillary Clinton focuses less on her hair and being rich and more on what she would actually hope to do for the country. Let us plead for understanding from Jeb Bush that we don't want four more years of the 12 Bush years we already had. And just let all the others be civil.

We know we've grown up when the thought of Christmas without snow is not unbearable. But we truly hope that 2015 does not bring the extreme weather we've been seeing for quite some time all across the nation. And we would like to think that deniers of climate change will grow up, face the music, get religion, face facts and learn a little about science.

We hope that Stephen Colbert still makes us laugh, that police officers and the citizens they help will get to know each other and that we learn to eat better, stop smoking, never text and drive and attend only the meetings that accomplish something important.

We'd like to see the economy keep improving and good jobs for everyone who wants one, because, believe it or not, Americans are happiest when they feel they are doing something that benefits society and fulfills them personally.

And we don't care one bit that Brussels sprouts are the new kale.

Ann McFeatters
(TNS)

Comment by clicking here.

Ann McFeatters is an op-ed columnist for McClatchy-Tribune.


Previously:


12/15/14: Banks tell cash-stuffed companies to look elsewhere
11/27/14: Does the Postal Service protect your privacy?
10/27/14: Police intervention replacing traditional discipline in schools

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