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Feel free to be happy about the weather, the economy and the Nobel Peace Prize



Isn't it beautiful out?

You may get this type of miracle weather year-around in places like Honolulu and Santa Cruz, Calif., but could people there possibly appreciate 75, bright and breezy the way we do after five months of Sonoran summer? No way.

You feel like drinking the air, like never going inside. You can leave the windows open and get into your car without actual physical suffering. The geraniums have begun to perk up, and teeny baby lizards are everywhere. We're all giddy with the weather intoxication my husband remembers feeling at the first scent of spring back when he lived in Buffalo. The seasons are reversed, but it's the same feeling. Go fall!

And there's so much else to be happy about. We seem to have evaded total economic cataclysm (no thanks to the geniuses at the giant banks); the stocks I bought a year ago are up nicely (bless you, Warren Buffett); and darn if people haven't started to realize that Afghanistan is the last place on Earth, literally, where you would want your army to be. The ancient Macedonians could have told us that, but better the truth dawns late than never. The Obama Era is looking fine.

And what about the announcement out of Oslo last week?!

Regarding right-wing chagrin about the Nobel and the pundits' stunning contention that the committee is "leftist:" Listen carefully—they're Norwegians. It's their prize. They don't ask the editors of The Weekly Standard for their opinions. Oh, and this one is called the Peace Prize—it's for, like, peace? It generally doesn't go to hawks. (Except for Henry Kissinger, but let's not go there.)

You'll notice, by the way, that the idea that the president is above criticism is officially defunct. In fact, it's good to see a blatantly un-American practice—that of treating the president as an inerrant king—disappear, but it's still amusing to watch those who were the first to cry treason during the Bush years yipping and snarling at President Obama. There are presidents, and then there are presidents, if you know what I mean.

Obama wins a Nobel Prize, and it's yet another disaster for America. Why? Because the old white right doesn't like him and never will, and never believed any of that don't-criticize-the-president blah-blah anyway. They were just saying it, working the old hocus-pocus on the ever-gullible, ready-to-be-outraged talk-radio masses.

But that was then, and this is now. And now is the time to gloat.

How delightful was the timing of the Nobel announcement, coming as it did the day after the news broke that Bristol Palin's baby-daddy will be getting naked in Playgirl? Very delightful, indeed. Admittedly, these were news items on somewhat different planes of significance, but that made the juxtaposition so much sweeter. I mean, just think of the inspiring spectacle American leadership could have presented to the world this fall had we only all voted in the family-values ticket.

Let's all step into The Twilight Zone and imagine, for a moment, that history took a terrible fork in the road, and we had, right now, as our president, a petulant, elderly, divorced guy currently married to a tense, fragile heiress with, as his second-in-command—just an aging heartbeat away from the leadership of the free world—an ignorant but beddable hick. (At last, we see what right-wing males go for in a female politician: fertility. Better yet, a healthy, fertile female with healthy, fertile daughters. Go ahead and scoff if you will, but in my book, the fecundity of Sarah Palin and her daughters is beyond question.)

But we awoke from the nightmare at last, and actually elected a brilliant, energetic, genuine family man with major governance skills, enormous powers of persuasion, a level head and a great team. The rest of the world thinks he's a rock star, and, more importantly, they're beginning to believe that Americans aren't, as a people, violently insane after all.

Most of us, I have to believe, are proud and happy to have such a man in the White House, representing us before the rest of the world. Of course, Arizona is still one of the dark places on the political map, but there's hope. And, of course, the weather.

Our guy won the Nobel! Woo-hoo! And it's still October.

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