November 25th, 2011
08:19 PM ET

Letters to the President #1040: 'Bleak Friday'

Reporter's Note: I write a letter to President Obama every day. Even when, perhaps, I should be shopping.

Dear Mr. President,

You realize that we've all gone crazy out here, I assume. All you had to do to be utterly convinced was turn on a TV to see the crowds of insane people flooding into stores at midnight, driven mad by the weird alchemy of turkey, gravy, and the scent of possible shopping deals.

I do not shop on this day. It is too exhausting to contemplate the struggle, to imagine the noise, to deal with the possible emergency room visit after losing a digit to an overzealous fellow shopper who spies me reaching for that blue sweater he or she has just spotted; in short, it is just too dangerous.

To be frank, I'm not sure why anyone shops on this day. I'm not at all convinced that the deals are any better than they are many other times during the year. Yes, a few pieces of bait are scattered around; computers for six dollars or some such, and if you are willing to camp all night and risk a broken limb, you might snag one. But beyond that I think the evidence supports the idea that this is largely just a creation of marketers.

Oh well. I guess some folks just love it.

As for me, the economy will just have to wait a bit more for my wallet to crack open. I intend to spend the rest of the weekend relaxing with my family, enjoying all those things we always hear about that money can't buy.


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Filed under: Letters to the President • Opinion • President Barack Obama • T1 • Tom Foreman
November 25th, 2011
02:49 PM ET

Tonight on AC360: Ungodly Discipline

Tonight AC360 continues its investigation into the suspected practice of physically punishing children in the name of religious beliefs.  Some say spanking children helps make them "right with God."  But many of those children now say they were abused, and sometimes seriously injured.  Tune in at 8 p.m. ET for the "Ungodly Discipline" report.

Filed under: Ungodly Discipline