[This is my list. I'd love to hear what you feel thankful for.]
10. Tina Palin [Sarah Fey?]. Palin helped ruin John McCain’s chances by turning off independents and in general being emblematic of his erratic approach to decision-making. Plus she is the gift that keeps on giving as “64% of GOP voters say Palin is their top choice for 2012,” which means she may help lead conservatives to an even bigger defeat in 2012. And she made possible Fey’s SNL uber-fey impression. Talk about win-win. Thank you very much!
9. Climate Scientists. If you enjoy spending time outdoors, thank a climate scientist for helping to alert the world in the 1970s and 1980s to the dangers of chlorofluorocarbons, which led the nations of the world to control their use just in the nick of time to save the ozone layer that protects us from dangerous ultraviolet radiation. Can you believe that within five years of the first scientific papers on CFCs deadly impact, the United States voluntarily banned their use in spray cans? Now saving the planet requires much more than simply doing good science. It requires a willingness to suffer the gauntlet of the climate deniers disinformation campaign. And the stakes are much higher — the health and well-being of the next 50 generations. TYVM James Hansen et al.
8. The Thrilla in Vanilla. OK, it wasn’t Ali-Frazier, but Henry Waxman’s smackdown of John Dingell for chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee was high drama with high consequences. Finally, we have a champion of serious action and strong regulation, someone who gets the dire nature of global warming, in charge of the crucial committee for climate, energy, and health-care legislation. TYVM House Democrats!
7. The Daily Show. And the Rachel Maddow Show. And the Colbert Report. With a gazillion channels, the wasteland is vaster than ever. But thanks to Jon Stewart and his ilk, sometimes TV seems only half vast [and yes, I've waited a long time to use that pun]. How would we really know what’s going on — and how would we retain even a smidgen of our sanity — without these modern-day bards? Certainly not by paying attention to the drivel that passes for the MSM (see, for instance, “The New York Times blows the bark beetle story“). Oh, and maybe a TYVM to Mad Men, House, Entourage, Battlestar Galactica, and yes, Lost, for distracting us or at least me from the worst reality television show in history — The West Wing starring Dick Cheney and George Bush.