Those living in this great land, even during difficult times, have much for which to be thankful during this Thanksgiving week. While some may recoil in near horror from the political process, democracy itself is one of those things. As Winston Churchill said about democracy, it is the worst possible system until all the alternatives are considered. The health of any democracy rests on the degree of civic engagement, the quality of leadership, and regular voting.
1. The Iowa caucuses that begin the selection of the most important, powerful official in the world are just 6 weeks away.
2. The battle for the Republican nomination remains in flux, with both Paul and Gingrich surging and Romney falling in New Hampshire in the latest poll from the Granite state. There Romney leads Gingrich 29-27, with Paul at 16%. In Iowa, Cain and Paul both hover around 20% and lead narrowly Romney.
3. How informed are voters as they prepare to select a President? Just 12% of voters know that taxes have declined since President Obama took office, according to an ABC poll.
4. A family of four with median income is paying less in federal taxes than in 1955.
5. While taxes are down, total energy production in the USA is rising to record levels. The USA will almost certainly produce a record amount of natural gas in 2011 and produce more gas than any nation.
6. Temperatures continue to rise, with NOAA saying that August 2011 was the second hottest month ever in America.
Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!