TODAY’S TOUGH TASK: STAYING THANKFUL

1. It’s Monday, November 30, 2015.

2. It’s supposed to be Cyber Monday, a big online shopping day for those who either didn’t get what they wanted on Black Friday or didn’t even bother. Happy shopping, and thanks for doing your part to boost the global economy.

3. Hopefully your Thanksgiving was a good one. I enjoyed it, in large part because my wife and I have two adult children who are our biggest reasons to be thankful, and we spent the holiday with them.  I hope you were able to spend time with the people you care about, either in person or via the magic of our connected age,

It’s hard to get back to the grind after the four days, but Christmas and New Year’s aren’t so far away.

4. The problem for the rational among us is how to focus your anger in the wake of the Colorado Springs tragedy.

Is it on the fact that a guy whose sanity has been questioned for a long time can easily get his hands on weapons whose only purpose is killing lots of people?

Or is it the fact that he was all riled up to shoot at women who he perceived, through tricked-up videos, as monsters because they were tending to their bodies as they saw fit?

It’s hard to sort out which makes me angrier this morning.

We should be infuriated by both. We should be ashamed that we have allowed the proliferation of weapons and the demonization of women seeking the best for themselves.

But I’m skeptical, even after a day like Friday, even after hearing about the worthwhile lives wasted in a barrage of bullets, even after recognizing that there is no real difference between the terrorist who did this and the terrorists who attacked Paris and a Nairobi mall and a Connecticut elementary school, that any goddamn thing will move this country toward sanity. On controlling guns or on allowing women to make their own decisions about their bodies.

That’s what makes the most angry.

5. The collective head of cauliflower known as the Republican presidential candidates are going to have a field day with President Obama’s speech at the Climate Change conference in Paris. The President said the United States bears some responsibility for the problem, but also relishes the opportunity to take a lead role in solving it.

Oh my God! He’s apologizing for America again! You can hear them on the stump from now until there’s some other thing that makes them chase their collective tails.

In fact, Donny Trump didn’t need to wait until the president actually gave his speech. He said that the President calling climate change the world’s biggest problem is one of the dumbest things ever said. What about terrorism, wails Donny, failing to see the connection that a thinking person – that would be President Obama in this case – already understands.

Of course, President Obama is not apologizing for America. Recognizing that this country’s reliance on fossil fuels contributed to a global problem is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of our strength. Our willingness to see a problem and face it, using the talent and ingenuity that makes us great.

Climate change will, despite attempts by conservatives to ignore or deny it, be a determining factor in the security of ourselves and our heirs. The President understands that. Let’s see if he and the rest of the world can come together to offer hope for the future.

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