November 27th, 2008
08:04 AM ET

Count those blessings

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/HEALTH/diet.fitness/11/19/cl.healthy.thanksgiving.food/art.cl.thanksgiving.food.jpg]
Gail Collins
The New York Times

Time to give thanks. Let’s get cracking.

Sure, this isn’t the absolutely best and brightest holiday season ever. But look at the pluses. There has never been a better time to buy a condo in Reno, Nev., or a plane ticket from Oklahoma City to Disney World. Bargains abound!

And we sleep the sleep of the insolvent innocent. Our retirement funds may have evaporated, and we may be envisioning ourselves deep-frying chicken nuggets on our 85th birthdays. But the good part is that it wasn’t our fault. As a matter of fact, if it had been left to us, the subprime derivative never would have been invented. And a clean conscience is worth more than all the golden parachutes, indoor squash courts and $13 million vacation houses in the world.


Filed under: Barack Obama • Gail Collins • Raw Politics
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Uma in Liverpool, UK

    This is going to take effort, as I am half-Indian (as in Mumbai)... but I did live in the USA for forty (40) years, and would live there again, if I could.

    I have the awkward task of trying to think of things for which I am thankful, in a grotty suburb of Liverpool... still, it is worth the exercise.

    1. I am thankful that the world has finally acknowledged the Ukrainian Genocide, of 1931-32.

    2. I am thankful for the contribution of Saturday Night Live, and The Daily Show, with Jon Stewart, to this year's unbelievably long election.

    3. I am thankful for the existence of CNN-International, so I didn't have to watch rubbishy reporting of said unbelievably long election.

    4. I am thankful for my mother's good health, at 84. She still works, in NYC, and I could not be prouder of her.

    5. I am thankful that British social services include a place to live. That is the reason I came back to England. I didn't fancy being homeless, even with food-coupons. Here, I can be hungry, but at least I am indoors, behind a locked door.

    6. I am thankful for certain anchorpersons on CNN-I, who are very attractive, and keep the mind pleasantly engaged.

    7. I am thankful for the falling British Pound Sterling. If my mother sends me some money, it will be worth more than 48p!

    8. I am thankful for microwavable bed-booties! Yes indeed. Very thankful for toasty feet!

    9. I am thankful for the majority of people in the USA, coming to their senses, and agreeing that there is nothing wrong with allowing same-sex couples to have the same rights as opposite-sex couples. I might even see it become law there, as it is in Canada, the UK, most of the EU... that would particularly be grounds for thankfulness, if I still lived in CO, and was not single...

    10. I am thankful that, after a long, abusive relationship, I have lived alone long enough to find me again, and I like me. It has been a long time, since I have been able to say I am content, but I am reasonably content. I'm much older than I feel as though I ought to be, but that too has its advantages. I remember interesting things, because I was there. For a writer, that is a distinct advantage.

    Above all, I am thankful that I will no longer be insulted, by people here, for having lived most of my life in the USA. As a woman of colour, I am thrilled to bits! Nice going, 56%. Please keep an open mind, 44%. I hope to return, preferably soon, to being 'brown in the USA'.

    November 27, 2008 at 6:57 pm |
  2. Larry

    Subprime derivative? Well you can thank the guy who gives speeches from some fantasy office called the 'Office of the President-Elect' along with sitting President Bill Clinton, ACORN & Penny Pritzker; all back in 1999.

    November 27, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  3. Pat Tibbs

    Anderson, Happy Thanksgiving.

    I'm grateful today for my family, my health, a stable retirement, our new President-Elect.

    We in the LGBT community mourn the loss (temporary) of our right to marry in California and are grateful for the 8% of voters who have since signaled that they regret their vote for Prop. 8. And I'm grateful for the very strong nationwide protest from LGBTs and our supporters in the struggle for full equality. Further, I'm grateful for Dan Savage's righteous anger and for the line he has drawn in the sand. Our time is coming and my goal is to live to enjoy it when it happens. Boo Yah!

    November 27, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  4. Gene Penszynski from Vermont

    Right Gail ... Many Americans may have had teh MIS-judgement to put someone like G W Bush in the White House TWICE but I don't want to rub their noses in it since I'm sure they many of them are suffering just as much as the rest of us are because the 'leaders' they chose were just so incredibly incompetant. Remember there are still those out there that actually beliefve that Sarah Palin is 'brilliant' but I hope they will forver be in the minority and teh American electorate will never again have a 'Brain Burp' like they had in 2000 and 2004.
    Time will tell.

    November 27, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  5. matthurlbut1@msn.com

    1. The U.S. is fortunate that stateside terrorist attacks are rare compared to other countries.
    2. We live in a nation that at least has SOME kind of government or social resource to address most crisis situations. There may be lots of red tape to get them, they may be inadequate to resolve the entire issue, they may take time and a rocket scientist mind to figure out, but they are there.
    3. We have at our disposal some of the finest health practitioners in the world. If we can't afford them, there are free health clinics within reasonable distance or we can go into debt to use them which is more than people in many 3rd world countries can say.
    4. We have the potential to be an illiteracy free nation with full access to free libraries and programs teaching people (who choose to use these services) to read.
    5. We have disability programs giving cash and free medical care(inadequately funded but available) to subsidize those who are unable to make a living wage.
    6. If the government does not fullfill a need, often churches or other social organizations are available to fill voids.
    7. We have one of the finest communication systems in the world. We have information available to us at the touch of a keyboard button.
    Please continue this list by adding other blessings not available in other countries.

    November 27, 2008 at 12:55 pm |

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