My simple wishes for 2010:
1. Alaskans would stop whining about taxes. Alaska has the lowest combined state and local tax rate of any state in the nation. It has enjoyed that status for more than 25 years. It’s an historical aberration, linked to taxes on the oil industry, but it’s indisputable. So stop whining about it.
2. TSA would stop punishing the passengers when TSA screws up and lets a terrorist on a flight. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab came pretty close to blowing up an Northwest Airlines jet on final approach at Detroit. Scary. The passengers on that flight helped save the day. He was on board because of a failure of intelligence (he’d been busted by his own father, but allowed to board) and a failure of screening. But instead of fixing what’s broken, all passengers will be punished: more intrusive screening, forced to sit the last hour of any flight, nothing in our laps but our hands. So that the suicide nut cases will make their attempts earlier in the flight? I don’t need to post a screed against this folly; Christopher Hitchens has written a fine one.
3. Sarah Palin would just shut up. Incredibly divisive, dishonest, narcissistic and ignorant, she represents everything reprehensible about about politics in general and the Republican Party in particular.
4. George W. Bush would announce, “I was wrong. Global warming is real. It’s a terrible threat to America and requires immediate action. I was wrong to try to suppress the research showing it was a threat. The Republican Party needs to join with the Democrats and develop a serious, drastic response now, even if the U.S. has to go it alone.”
5. Just a single member of Congress who is willing to say, “The issues facing the country are too important for partisanship. I’m working across the aisle to serve America, not my personal interests or the interests of the party.” We know it’s not Joe Lieberman. Anyone?
6. A year without a single Alaska elected official being indicted.
Bad odds on all of them, I’m afraid. But it’s a New Year. It’s okay to hope. All the best in 2010, everyone.