Two days after the event, I’m still having incredible difficulty processing the thought that Smithereens lead vocalist/songwriter/guitarist Pat DiNizio is gone. DiNizio had been fighting some major health issues for the past several years, but to lose him at 62 seems almost criminal.

The Smithereens were never a huge commercial success. They never had an album crack the top 40, and enjoyed only two top 40 singles. Nevertheless, they maintained a strong, loyal fan base that stayed with them throughout their multi-decade career. A sign of how revered they were by rock and roll royalty was that none less than the late Tom Petty insisted they come tour with him in 2013.

The Smithereens music was gritty, gut-level, always tough yet always melodic rock and roll. It was power pop minus the excessive cheeriness, a weary and wary overview of relationships gone wrong (and sometimes right). It was real music played by real men; no vapid pretty boy posing allowed. The Smithereens never took themselves overly seriously, but they were seriously brilliant.

This one is hard to process.

God speed, Pat DiNizio.

When the United States officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, reactions around the world were pretty much what everyone expected. Anti-Israel activists were up in arms from San Francisco to the EU. Muslim countries protested. Violence broke out in Israel. Mild objections came from some of our allies, including Saudi Arabia.

One of the most important reactions came from the Palestinians themselves who declared they would not negotiate for peace if the United States was involved. Surely the Trump administration knew this was likely, but they’ve been working on a peace agreement that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told European leaders he liked this weekend. Why work on a peace deal if one party isn’t going to acknowledge it? To answer this, we look back a couple of months to Mohammed bin Salman and Jared Kushner.

The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia met after an unannounced trip by President Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law in October. It was widely reported their two days of face-to-face meetings were about an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. This made little sense at the time because Saudi Arabia has been in favor of such an agreement for a long time. There’s no need to send Kushner for intense meetings unless they had more to discuss. Some (including I) have speculated that one topic of discussion was the “corruption purge” that happened days after Kushner left the Kingdom. It makes sense to coordinate stories ahead of a controversial move to eliminate any opposition to the next King of Saudi Arabia. Could they have also discussed Saudi Arabia’s role in a peace agreement?

There is no evidence of this that’s not circumstantial, but it’s easy to connect the dots once we look at it all as a whole. Saudi Arabia may be the perfect proxy for a Trump peace agreement to be presented to the Palestinians and Israelis. Netanyahu has already been told some of the details and seems potentially open to concessions in the agreement, a good sign if peace is to move forward. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas will not work with the United States, but will likely work with the Saudis as a proxy.

All of this means the Saudis may end up being the key to Middle East peace. Even if it’s the Trump administration that creates the plan and sells it to the Israelis, it’s the Saudis who may actually end up brokering the deal. Keep an eye on this in the coming months. Chances are strong this will move quickly once it’s officially rolling.

Duke: I saw you beat that man like I never saw no man get beat before, and the man kept coming after you

Rocky 2 1979

Ulysses don’t scare worth a damn!”

Union a soldier during the Battle of the Wilderness 1864

Amid all the the various pronouncement concerning the Alabama Senate Results President Trump has made it clear that no matter what the MSM thinks he knows how to play this game.

First his reaction to the Democrat win.

Note the contrast to how the MSM/Left reacted to his win. No blaming the people, no cries of interference a polite congratulation and a reminder that the seat will be up again soon and that political contest never ends. He doesn’t give the left what they want, reminds those of the right that tomorrow is another day.

Then he follows up with this:

He points out that Moore wasn’t his candidate but he wanted that vote and complements him on hard work but notes the “deck stacked against him” acknowledging to his base what was done here.

But the best part is what happened next. And this is where Trump takes a page from US Grant’s book.

The first battle that Grant fought after being put in charge of all Union Armies was the Battle of the Wilderness. Though for a time it was a close run thing in the end Robert E. Lee’s confederates beat beat him left right and center and delivered as sound a thrashing to the Union Army as ever he had done in the war.

But it didn’t matter because Grant didn’t stop

for the first time, the Army of the Potomac marched south after a battle in Virginia, instead of retreating, as all previous Union generals had done. Grant forced Lee onto the defensive

In other words in the face of a defeat what did Grant do? He moved forward and kept fighting.

So now we have the MSM / Democrat / Left  going on about how Alabama changes everything and it means the GOP is in full retreat and the Trump agenda is finished, so  what does Trump do:

GOP leaders on Wednesday agreed on a final tax cut plan that would lower the corporate rate to 21% and drop the top individual rate to 37%, according to a Republican source briefed on the deal.

Earlier House and Senate versions of the measure would have lowered the corporate rate to 20%, but in reconciling the two plans, leaders needed to nudge up the corporate rate in order to pay for benefits elsewhere.

Among those benefits will be a drop in the rate paid by the richest Americans, a risky move since President Trump and GOP leaders have tried to portray their sweeping plan as aimed at the middle class.

Democrats cried foul

The push to pass the bill next week was sharply criticized by Democrats, who called on Republican leaders to slow what has been a sprint to pass the tax bill and wait for a newly-elected Democratic senator from Alabama, Doug Jones, to be seated before holding any more votes on the legislation. Mr. Jones won a special election on Tuesday night over Roy Moore, a Republican, flipping control of the seat and reducing the Republican Senate margin to 51-49.

But Trump was having none of it:

Trump said he hopes to sign the bill “in a very short period of time” and that it’s “very important for the country” that Congress vote on it next week.

The compromise bill is expected to set the U.S. corporate income tax rate at 21 percent, effective in 2018, according to a Republican official who asked not to be named because the discussions are private. The top federal corporate rate is now 35 percent, and Trump had insisted it should be no higher than 20 percent, but gave ground on that position earlier this month.

Trump said Wednesday that he’d support a 21 percent rate.

“I would,” Trump said, “We’re going to see where it ends up but I said that already. It’s at 35 right now so if it got down to 21 I would certainly, I would be thrilled.”
“We haven’t set that final figure yet, certainly 21 is a very great success,” he added.

“I’m just very excited by” the bill, he said. “This is one of the biggest pieces of legislation ever signed by this country.”

So what do the Democrats get for their Victory on Tuesday? A while house moving forward with their agenda without skipping a beat.

That’s going to take the wind out of a few Democrat / media sails.

In Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court, relying on little more than the majority’s “reasoned judgement” that “liberty” as mentioned in the Fourteenth Amendment somehow encompasses the dignity of same-sex couples, created a right to same-sex marriage. As the case was being deliberated, traditional marriage supporters, including me, were concerned that creating such a right would immediately create tension (to say the least) between this newly-created right and the right to Religious Freedom and Freedom of Speech. In his dissent, Chief Justice Roberts correctly pointed out that “Many good and decent people oppose same-sex marriage as a tenet of faith, and their freedom to exercise religion is—unlike the right imagined by the majority— actually spelled out in the Constitution.” In a separate dissent, Justice Thomas elaborated on what Religious Liberty actually means, pointing out that it “is about freedom of action in matters of religion generally, and the scope of that liberty is directly correlated to the civil restraints placed upon religious practice.” In an apparent attempt to mollify the dissenters, Justice Kennedy explicitly stated in his majority opinion that “Many who deem same-sex marriage to be wrong reach that conclusion based on decent and honorable religious or philosophical premises, and neither they nor their beliefs are disparaged here.” Unfortunately, the LGBT community has done nothing but disparage us and our beliefs since.

Fast-forward two years and we’re back at the Supreme Court for Masterpiece Cakeshop v Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the case where a same-sex couple sued a Christian baker to force him to create a custom cake to celebrate their “wedding.” The baker, Jack Philips, declined to create a custom cake, but offered to sell them anything else in the store. Naturally, the couple cried “discrimination” to the Commission who claimed that Philips not only had to use his creativity and talent to create a cake to celebrate an event to which he was morally opposed, but also had to teach his staff, including members of his family, that his religious beliefs about marriage were discriminatory. The Commission’s ruling blatantly violated both Philips’ right to freely exercise his religion and his freedom of speech, and eventually led to oral arguments at the Supreme Court last week.

I’ve read the transcript of the oral arguments, and while I’m optimistic that Justices Kennedy, Thomas, Alito and Gorsuch, along with the Chief Justice, will rule in favor of Philips, I’m a bit concerned that the ruling may be too narrow to fully protect religious liberty against the same-sex “marriage” onslaught. Much of the argument focused specifically on what aspects of a wedding ceremony counted as “speech” for the purposes of the First Amendment. Trying to draw a line and putting some wedding-related activities, such as cake baking and photography on the protected side and makeup and hairstyling, for example, on the other side, is a complete red herring.

Rather, I believe and hope that the court will take a broader approach to the question of religious liberty that was touched upon by Chief Justice Roberts when he asked whether a Catholic legal aid service could be forced to represent a same-sex couple in a marriage-related case simply because they offered pro bono legal services to the community at large. The question really goes beyond just a wedding. If “decent and honorable” people believe that same-sex marriage is wrong, their “freedom of action in matters of religion generally” demand that they be able to live out their faith.

Christianity teaches that we should treat everyone with love, but it does not demand that we approve of every choice that others make. Why should there be a difference between forcing a baker to create a cake to celebrate a same-sex wedding and forcing a Catholic adoption service to place children with same-sex couples? Why does the same-sex couple’s supposed right to adopt a child supersede a child’s right to have a mother and a father or the Catholic social worker’s right to live out his or her vocation to care for orphans by placing them in healthy family environments?

In either case, the state would be forcing the subject to endorse or facilitate an event or behavior which his sincerely held religious beliefs teach is wrong. It’s really that simple. In either case, the objection is not to the fact that the person is gay. It would be discriminatory if Philips refused to sell the couple a pre-made cake or anything else in the store because they were gay, but that’s not what happened.

The Constitution says there shall be no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion or abridging the freedom of speech. I believe the Court can and should develop a doctrine that allows Christians and other decent and honorable people to avoid endorsing or participating in events or behaviors that their religious beliefs proscribe while still protecting the rights of LGBT persons against discrimination. As Justice Kennedy said in the oral argument, “tolerance is essential in a free society. And tolerance is most meaningful when it’s mutual.”

I’m not in Alabama, I don’t read tea leaves, and I can’t tell apart the My Pillow guy from Larry Sabato.

However, I’ve been reading enough social media and news editorializing that I can observe the following, Roy Moore or no Roy Moore:

One: American politics is clearly a bare-fisted blood sport. Mitt Romney-like gentlemen are not going to win against full-Alinsky “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”

The only difference between Fight Club and present-day politics is the first rule of Fight Club; we must talk of politics because it affects us.

Two: I have to agree with Andrew Klavan, all the news is one big scam:

From the sex scandals to Russian collusion to climate change, we are being distracted from the great moral question of the age

And what is the great moral question of the age? FREEDOM.

Klavan explains it in his podcast, and asks, among other things, which candidate would restrain the growth of all-intrusive government?

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Three: Like Klavan, I’m done with the sex scandals

prosecute, eject or slap. Otherwise, I’ll take each case in context as it comes.

The more you focus on this, the less attention you pay to the issues.

Four: Moore’s looss may end up becoming a net-positive for the GOP, but, as a Facebook friend put it, “If you’re a Republican who isn’t worried about the 2018 midterms yet, you’re a Republican who isn’t paying attention.”

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog

It’s 10:30 PM and as I write this the AP is calling Alabama for Jones (although some networks have not yet done so) and the spin has already begun.

This is Scott Brown x 10! (It’s not the MSM didn’t spend a month hitting Coakely 24 x 7 nor accusing her of sexual sins will take it back in a walk )

This means the Democrats have a shot at the senate in 2018 (They don’t it means that after 2018 the GOP majority will likely be 5 instead of 6)

This hurts the Trump agenda and tax cuts (that’s fair true but if the GOP wasn’t willing to repeal Obamacare with 52 votes 51 isn’t going to make a huge difference)

That hurts Bannon (A fair point but it’s going to be a lot of fun when the establishment that tried to bury him comes to strong conservatives and asks us to hold our nose for a RINO again)

It hurts Trump (A little but let’s not forget he was for Strange and his entire argument was “I need this vote”, not “I love Roy Moore”)

But what really matters , the really big story is the opportunity that has been lost by the GOP / right that they completely fail to see.

This was the best chance to absolutely bury the MSM and the left and the GOP Establishment has thrown it away. If Roy Moore had managed to pull it off even with the left pushing unsubstantiated accusations 24 x 7 for months and still couldn’t beat him then they would have been completely finished. It would have been the final demoralizing blow that they unlikely never would have recovered from. And if in the very unlikely case actual evidence of wrongdoing had been produced after the election Moore could have been removed and replaced by an appointed republican.

That we had the MSM on the floor and let them up is inexcusable and will cost republicans and conservatives for decades to come. That people did not see this is incredible and that is the real sad thing about Alabama to me.

What a waste.

Closing thought. Now that the Democrats have won the watch every single member of the media who insisted that the allegations against Roy Moore were serious, credible and demanded action suddenly decide they’re old news and the accusers who made them suddenly decide they’re not worth perusing them in the courts at any level. Particularly as such courts would require the rules of evidence be followed and statements made under oath under pains of perjury.

I wonder why?

by baldilocks

Because thieves need to soil their underwear.

From the UK’s Daily Mail:

A man in Washington created a genius device to catch pesky thieves who steal packages from front porches.

Jaireme Barrow, from Tacoma, Washington, was tired of people stealing his expensive Jeep parts and decided he ‘wanted to even the playing field.’

He created one of the earliest models trap – using 12-gauge shotgun blanks, fishing line, bricks, a wooden box-like, a small box, aluminum carrying vessel for the blanks, a small plate, and a cardbox box – and has filmed numerous wannabe thieves.

But the original model was not fool proof, and Barrow had to make a sign that said ‘Package armed,’
Nevertheless, numerous thieves can be seen being caught in the action, with one unfortunate soul even stumbling over himself trying to escape the popping.

From that, Barrow decided to launch The Blank Box, revising his old box method for something much simpler and sell-able.

For roughly $50-$70, people can get their own safety boxes and replace with extra blanks for an additional $2.99.

Thieves thwarted and only feelings, along with dignity – such as it is – get hurt. And, it’s technically not a trap, but a noise maker.

The contrast between the attitudes of the thieves and their would-be victim isn’t lost: one group tries to take that which does not belong to them. One individual, in trying to find a way to protect his property, creates a way to generate wealth.

And there’s some extra entertainment in the piece: proof that, even with double entendres, Brits and Americans speak a different language.

He even sells t-shirts that say ‘don’t touch my box.’

Not quite.

Barrow.

However, with recent revelations about the high and mighty, either slogan on a t-shirt is useful.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!

Against the backdrop of sexual scandals and a maelstrom of mistakes in the media, director Steven Spielberg tries to bring a feel-good movie about journalism.

But The Post, which opens later this month, only adds to the milieu of fake news, presenting a storyline that plays fast and loose with the facts.

The Spielberg creation focuses on The Washington Post and its bid to publish The Pentagon Papers, officially titled United States–Vietnam Relations, 1945–1967: A Study Prepared by the Department of Defense. Daniel Ellsberg, who worked on the study, leaked 43 volumes of the material to Neil Sheehan, who covered Vietnam for DaTimes.

DaTimes published the first stories and got hit with a lawsuit to stop publication by the Nixon Administration. But Spielberg doesn’t focus on DaTimes but DaPost.

DaPost got a copy of The Pentagon Papers a week later, along with more than a dozen other news organizations, and got hit with a lawsuit.

As The Poynter Institute notes in a review, “the Spielberg version is not close to being true as far as who deserves the real credit.”

Sheehan is one of those heroes—as is James Goodale, Da Times’ lawyer who argued that the press had a First Amendment right to publish information significant to the people’s understanding of their government’s policy. It’s hardly surprisingly that people at DaTimes aren’t happy about the movie that virtually excludes the news organization.

But it is Hollywood, so Spielberg reportedly dropped other projects after Donald Trump was elected. The movie apparently is intended to demonstrate that Richard Nixon, the press hater, has become reincarnated as Trump.

But that is fake news, too. Nixon didn’t want to challenge publication of The Pentagon Papers because they basically showed how John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson had mucked up in Vietnam. But Henry Kissinger convinced Nixon to try to stop publication because failure to do so would convince other whistleblowers to leak secret documents.

One of the real stories, which isn’t addressed in the film, is how Ellsberg didn’t cut and run—unlike Edward Snowden and Julian Assange.

Ellsberg faced trial under The Espionage Act of 1917 for leaking the documents. The charges were dismissed after the infamous plumbers of the Nixon White House stole some of his medical records in an idiotic effort to bolster the government’s case.

Ultimately, the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed the case against DaTimes and DaPost, allowing them and others to print The Pentagon Papers.

The Post is yet another film about history that gets the facts wrong. That happened in All the President’s Men, which placed too much importance on DaPost’s work and too little on the judiciary and Congress. See my colleague’s assessment at  http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-18215048

Unfortunately, many people only remember what they see at the movies, continuing the ignorance about what happens in reality.

Saturday in the wake of their massive error I teased CNN about the definition of “Newsworthy”. Yesterday I told the story of a special election that took place last week in Massachusetts, a State where Hillary won by 27 points and where they hold super-majorities in both houses, where a GOP State Senate Candidate flipped a seat that Democrats have held for over 25 years and suggested this story is a good example of what is Newsworthy.

However while I’ve done lots of shoe leather reporting over the last 8 years I’ve never actually worked for a newspaper or in a newsroom, nor have I exercised editorial control over anything larger than this blog.

So what would experienced reporters who have done journalism for a living all their lives and have to sell their product elsewhere, what would such folks lives think?

So I contacted several professional reporters current and former and asked them, without giving any details if he would consider a pro-life 2nd amendment republicans flipping a seat held by democrats for over 25 years in a special election in Massachusetts newsworthy.

As you might guess my first stop was Robert Stacy McCain. He has decades of experience as a reporter in papers large and small from his early twenties. He concluded it was for the following reasons:

“It points to the direction of politics as we head to the midterm elections and it is a possible indicator that the Trump momentum will continue despite the usual trend of off-year elections favoring the party out of power.”

He game an example from recent history as well.

“When democrats had a very good result in Virginia elections in November and this was made national news…the election of a transgender Democrat to a formerly republican held seat (also in Virginia) it made national news.”

And he cited the upcoming special election in Alabama as something that elevates the newsworthyness of the story further:

“If Trump really has momentum nationwide this result in a special election in Massachusetts might point to what we are looking at in Alabama.

That agenda has encouraged the Republican base. It’s about who can get out and mobilize their base. Republicans flip a Democrat seat in Massachusetts that tells you that despite what the pols might indicate and despite what the media might tell you to believe Trump remains popular with his base. So when you come to Tuesday, Democrats have tired to nationalize the Alabama senate race but it will be a base election.”

I also spoke to Don Surber author of Trump the Press and Trump the Establishment the same question. While currently retired he like Stacy McCain has decades of experience in the newsroom. To him the answer to the question would really depend on location.

“If I’m in Massachusetts it’s newsworthy because it has proximity, it has prominence, it’s timely, it’s odd because Gop doesn’t win there it has consequence because it will affect legislation.”

With the GOP only up to 7 senators that last one point is unlikely although you can’t get to 21 without getting to 7 first. So if he was in charge at the Boston Globe

“It has front page newsworthiness below the fold right hand corner.”

The Globe apparently disagreed with Mr. Surber. Tran’s victory didn’t make the front page but a search of their web site for Dean Tran did have a result in the Metro region.

linking to this seven sentence story by Jake Johnson from Wednesday including this quote from the Mass GOP Chair Kristen Hughes:

“The MassGOP is proud to congratulate [Tran] on his victory, which is a testament to the fact that voters stand with Governor Baker’s vision of fiscal discipline and common sense reform,” Kirsten Hughes, chairwoman of the MassGOP said in a statement announcing Tran’s victory.

Based on Don Surber’s stated opinion the Massachusetts paper of record definitely undersold a newsworthy story in the state, but when asked if it rises to the level of a national story , his opinion was very different.

“It’s not really national news I’d probably report it on some level If I ran it on AP I’d run it as a small 3 paragraph story.”

And he explained why: “I’d blog about it, for partisans it has impact. it’s not a national story because you have fifty state senates, most of them are republican. Space is a limited thing…you have to pick and choose your spots, AP would have it, same with Bloomberg news, three paragraphs”

A search of AP showed that while they didn’t have any original reporting they had picked up the Sentinel articles quoted in this piece

While a search of Bloomberg produced plenty for “Dean” results on colleges and “tran” on transgerder issues they had nothing on the special election in Massachusetts.

But that’s newspapers, Should we have seen something on Fox for example?

“Would I expect it to be on Brett Baier’s special report, no.”

And apparently Fox news agrees

How about CNN?

“If you are doing a political hour you might mention it but to the audience CNN is serving it’s not a national story.”

and apparently CNN agrees there as well

Of course part of what makes a story news is the attempt of people to push it. For example If I was the GOP chair national chair, particularly if I was the daughter of the former governor of Massachusetts, I’d have made it a point to mention this election to force coverage of a GOP win in a democrat stronghold and if I was the National GOP I’d at least have a mention of this result on my page

Here again Surber disagrees. “Democrats went with their minor victories because they had nothing else to brag about.” Surber cited the Tax bill, news reports on manufacturing jobs and President Trump move on Jersualem as stories of a much higher priority for the national party to push. But even if the national party decided to push the story, if it was up to him Surber wouldn’t bite saying bluntly: “It’s just not a national story.”

So maybe I shouldn’t be as hard on CNN as I was yesterday.

Closing note.  I had planned to have a third reporter for this post, unfortunately for me and him Dave Weigel became rather tied up this weekend.  Ironically he became more newsworthy than my story or this post.

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – Are you trying to get into the Christmas spirit?  Already IN the spirit?  Here’s a list of things to do because it is Christmas (inspired by British Logic):

  1. Bake some fruitcake cookies (fruitcake is awful; fruitcake cookies are wonderful).
  2. Watch Love Actually.
  3. Mix up some spicy Bloody Marys and an assortment of garnishes. Invite friends over.
  4. Go to a really crowded shopping center. You don’t have to buy anything.
  5. Avoid every WalMart.
  6. Bake and decorate sugar cookies.
  7. Build a gingerbread village.
  8. Drive around and look at Christmas lights.
  9. Listen to Christmas music on Pandora, especially the traditional tunes.
  10. Hang tiny white lights around your kitchen.
  11. Make four batches of Chex Mix. Throw in whatever sounds good.  Distribute what you can’t eat to friends at the office.
  12. Wear Christmas socks.
  13. Go see Santa. Count how many children cry when their picture is taken with him.
  14. Put up a live Christmas tree.
  15. Have an argument with someone about white v. colored lights.
  16. Watch Christmas Vacation.
  17. Buy one really extravagant gift for someone who would least expect it but really deserves it.
  18. Write out Christmas cards: not the obligatory Xerox Christmas letter and not a Shutterfly photo of your perfect family – real cards with glittery Christmas scenes.
  19. Buy Christmas stamps for your Christmas cards.
  20. Stand in a really long line at the post office at absolutely the last possible minute.
  21. Put a red tablecloth on your table. Find some holly to use as decoration.  Bonus points if it has red berries.
  22. Postpone all of your gift wrapping until the last minute. Spread it out across the living room floor and do all of your wrapping in one evening.
  23. Forget where you hid at least one gift.
  24. Put antlers or a reindeer nose on your car.
  25. Attend a performance of The Nutcracker.
  26. Read a great Christmas book.
  27. Attend a local performance of Christmas music.
  28. Make a killer rum cake.
  29. Buy at least one present for yourself.
  30. Buy an advent calendar.
  31. Hang a live wreath on your door.
  32. Donate to the charity of your choice. Bonus points if it’s a local animal rescue or a homeless shelter.
  33. Watch A Charlie Brown Christmas.
  34. Attend a small-town Christmas parade.
  35. Eat your weight in Brach’s peppermint nougat.
  36. Make a pot of seafood gumbo. Serve with hot French bread.
  37. Watch the A Christmas Story
  38. Find some live mistletoe growing in a tree; knock it down and hang a sprig in a doorway. Do not do this at the office.
  39. Roast pecans. Add sugar and butter.
  40. Take your next door neighbor a plate of Christmas cookies.
  41. Treat yourself to a shot of really fine bourbon.
  42. Buy a poinsettia. Or two.  Or three.
  43. Build a bonfire.
  44. Go sledding. Unless you live in Louisiana.
  45. Play upbeat Christmas tunes over your outdoor speakers while doing yardwork. Look at how many neighbors come outside.
  46. Visit with neighbors.
  47. Have a really good cry for those you miss so badly it hurts.
  48. Check out the list of top 100 Christmas movies. Watch a few you’ve never seen.
  49. Make cheese straws. They are best with a cold bourbon over ice.
  50. Go to the midnight Christmas service at your church. Or someone else’s church.
  51. Attend a Christmas play.
  52. Go ice skating.
  53. Watch The Bishop’s Wife.
  54. Call your mother, if you can.
  55. Read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas with a child.