For too many Americans, the end of the Thanksgiving meal was followed by a “food coma.” During the holidays, many of us know that we eat too much.
It turns out that, on average, Americans eat too much during the rest of the year too.
Unfortunately, eating too much can have devastating consequences. Three quarters of all healthcare costs are attributed to chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. The major drivers of those costly chronic conditions are tobacco use and obesity which are both preventable and treatable.
At this moment in time, so many Americans seem to have overdosed on presidential politics and, in particular, the wave of negative advertising that dominated the recently concluded election. Nevertheless, as the year nears its close, two new films spotlight certain aspects of the lives and personalities of revered American presidents. They are Steven Spielberg’s LINCOLN, which stars Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln, and Roger Michell’s HYDE PARK ON HUDSON, which features Bill Murray as Franklin Roosevelt.
We are now almost three weeks past the November 6th elections, and there's still no resolution in sight to the leadership crisis in the state Senate.
All eyes today are on Ulster County - the fifth and final county in the new 46th Senatorial District to count its paper ballots. After Montgomery County completed its count this weekend, Democrat Cecilia Tkaczyk trailed Republican Assemblyman George Amedore by 920 votes. The outcome of this race could very well decide who controls the upper chamber.
By all rights, President Barack Obama should have been beaten handily by Mitt Romney. Usually, an incumbent President wins if the economy is doing well --- think of 1996 when Bill Clinton was re-elected, think of 1972 when Richard Nixon was re-elected. If the economy is not doing well, an incumbent President loses: Think of Jimmy Carter in 1980 and George H, W. Bush in 1992. There are “close calls” in this analysis – the two that come to mind are the successful re-election campaigns of Ronald Reagan in 1984 (which resulted in a landslide victory) and George W.
Where is my America? The nation of rugged individualists has ceded its position to those who embrace the command economy. Moreover, a failed record doesn’t mean very much when media panjandrums use barrels of print to boost the fortune of their desired candidates.
I have often thought back to a conversation I had many years ago with one of my students. She had come from a rural background with a strong, and in many ways admirable, streak of self-reliance. She was dumbfounded when I quoted the saying “There but for the grace of God go I,” often attributed to a sixteenth century evangelical preacher and martyr, John Bradford. How could I, her professor, imagine myself in the position of people who were down and out, people without jobs who needed help?
This commentator has always believed that age was never a guarantor of complaint or bad manners nor was it an established signal for curmudgeonly behavior. So it’s especially upsetting to find oneself setting a graphic example of what he has criticized.
The nation just celebrated its 37th annual “Great American Smokeout.” The Great American Smokeout has been offered as an opportunity for smokers to think about quitting and as an opportunity to reflect on society’s gains against the tobacco menace.
And big changes have occurred over the decades. Nationally, the smoking rate peaked at 42 percent when the U.S. Surgeon General’s report was issued and proved the link between smoking and cancer. Today the nation’s smoking rate is 19 percent, and here in New York that rate is even lower.