Giving Thanks

Done BountyThis is the 11th Thanksgiving that emptywheel has survived: through the last year of the Bush Administration, the hope and shortcomings and some progress of the Obama Administration, and now two years of Trump, bolstered now by the hope, again, of a Democratic House.

Through it all there have been certain constants. Each year, I realize how lucky I am to live in a state with the diversity to supply our entire Thanksgiving meal, from sugar to turkey to locally raised veggies to wine to sunchokes (Deleuzian artichokes, as we call them in my household) raised in the yard. Over those years, the farmers that supply that bounty have become not just welcome sources, but true friends, down to the bonfires that our meat farmers, Mary and Jill, host, into which we throw sticks named for curses we want to burn away.

There’s always the Lions, who’ve returned to their losing ways. Hopefully that means I’ll be able to start snacking off the bacon on top of the turkey early this year.

In spite of the toxins in social media, there’s an ever expanding network of people, joining on-line and off to try to make this world a better place. I’m especially encouraged by the energy younger people are bringing, whether it be the Parkland kids, younger politicians like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and others. They might just salvage the wreckage the Boomers have created! That said, in MI, both young and old contributed to real progress this year, including a slate full of Constitutional officers I’m genuinely excited about and reforms to make democracy work better.

And, amazingly, there are readers who’ve been reading emptywheel even longer than that 11 years, offering so much with their comments, wisdom, and feedback. With each holiday, we at emptywheel remember those who have passed, readers who are still dearly missed. But marking each new year also reminds me how many wonderful new readers have joined our community. Thanks to those who’ve been here for years and those just joining us. The conversations here, as much as the writing, is what makes the site.

Happy Thanksgiving!

56 replies
    • Valley girl says:

      And thanks to all the commenters new and old at EW who continue to educate and entertain me (both senses for the latter).   EW not only has must-read posts, but the best comment section ever.

      • Lulymay says:

        I’m with you @Valley girl with respect to information and interpretion of that information is communicated on this site.  I also agree that this IS the best site for comments ever.  I learn so much about your political/judicial etc. systems which are different than ours (a parliamentary system inherited from Old Blimey).

        Thanks to all and enjoy your Thanksgiving — we had ours over a month ago.

  1. Bob says:

    Nicely expressed thoughts amidst some dark days.

    I hope to be thankful for Mueller’s efforts to bring more charges and indictments against enemies foreign and domestic. For me, this past two years (and more) have been the most stressed filled in my life. Even today, trump has ruined thanksgiving and the GOP issued suppoenas against Comey and Lynch.

    We can’t even have one day free from evil and demagoguery.

  2. Wm. Boyce says:

    Yes, thank you for all the insightful analysis. I too, am very grateful for all we have here in CA, despite the terrible fires which are directly related to climate change. It’s important to keep saying that, and I’ve been happy to hear those words – climate change- increasingly mentioned in print and radio and television.

    Unless the government leads on this issue, and we’re unlikely to see anything done for the next two years at least on the federal level, we face an uncertain future.

    So enjoy the present as ye may!

  3. scribe says:

    Happy thanksgiving, folks!

    I’ve already chowed down on my feast, just in time to sit down and watch Honolulu Blue face the Monsters of the Midway.  For those interested, it was turkey, the shallots and celery from the cavity, gravy, pureed chestnuts, gratin of leeks, brussels sprouts and a slug of white wine.  All, through careful shopping, for about $20.  Belly full, I proceed to football.  And the Kitties start the game with a three and out.
    More later – I have to let the dinner percolate and the game progress, then disassemble the turkey for later – sandwiches, turkey soup, turkey stew.  You know the deal.

  4. Bobby Gladd says:

    My sincere best Thanksgiving wishes to all of you. Cheryl and I are off shortly to serve the homeless (at a nearby UU church), regarding which our state now has about 50,000 new ones. They neglected to rake their forest “floors” adequately, and, well, to quote you-know-who, It Is What It Is.


  5. punaise says:

    Thanks for providing reporting and analysis that far exceed my capacity to fully understand. And for a *lively* and smart commenting community to boot. (OK, I’ll be frank: the occasional ferocity is, ummm, attention-getting).

    Thanks for indirectly providing a meeting place for us old FDL refugees ((hi VG! Peter, and many others).

    And of course, thanks for tolerating the occasional, hopefully topical (but also flippant, silly, glib, ___) world play. In that vein:

    “Over the drivel
    And through the hoods
    To Grandmother Souse we go…”

  6. HanTran says:

    I rarely comment but have been a regular reader since the early FDL days. Thanks so much for the fine work you do!

  7. Philip Munger says:

    Your thousands of essays, hundreds of radio and television appearances and illuminating book have stood as hallmarks of how honest ideas can be brought forth through media, both old and new.  Your influence would be far deeper on contemporary ideas and political thinking were it not for the pervasive fears of relentless honesty and freethinking that hold humanity and the USA hostage.

    Keep up the courageous work, Dr. Wheeler.

    Philip Munger (former nom de blog: Edward Teller)

    • bmaz says:

      Hey Phil!! How you been? See you every now and then on Twitter, but good to see you here again. We know exactly who you are, and Happy Thanksgiving!

      • Philip Munger says:

        I have been well, bmaz.

        Visiting Hawaii for the past three weeks.  Headed back to Alaska tomorrow for the winter.  Writing music, teaching history, thinking about getting into the edible cannabis production business.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Hope you enjoyed the tropical warmth before the long polar night.  Always enjoy your comments – and the others here, many alums from FDL and the original TNH.

      Happy Thanksgiving to those still here, and to the echoing voices that we remember and cherish.

      • Philip Munger says:

        Thanks.  I rarely comment at emptywheel or elsewhere these days.  But I learn something important reading here every week.  I shared the growing Whitaker article with a friend yesterday.  He will be a new fan of Marcy’s work.

        Got to visit Charles Tuttle down at the south end of the Big Island last week.  Lots of fdl reminiscences with CT over a few Longboards.

  8. Marinela says:

    Thankful for many reasons, but I wanted to remind myself how thankful I am for having a person of Mueller integrity leading the investigation, for his appointment in the first place.

    You would need to be squiky clean, to survive Trumps aggresion and dirt digging.

    In other countries a Mueller person just doesn’t exist, or would not be allowed to investigate, or would  get fired.

  9. dimmsdale says:

    My thanks to you all as well–Ms. Wheel, Bmaz, Rayne, Ed, everyone (including the astute commentariat) who make this my main go-to website for informed perspective. May you all have a wonderful holiday weekend and let’s hope for the best in the latter half of the year! Cheers!

  10. Thomasa says:

    It is sometimes hard for me to remember to be thankful; though it is a good mental discipline, I know. Marcy and you all have given me incentive to reflect on what I have to be thankful for and for that I am thankful.

    I am also thankful to have found EW through Marcy’s appearances on Democracy Now! I now find that there are more people than I thought minding the store during a time when most of the media has sunk to new lows of hucksterism while watching Rome burn.

    I have volunteered at some social good nearly all of my adult life though during the last few years I have become dispirited and withdrawn a bit. Reading EW and the commenters has got me looking for what I might do next that’s more useful than drowning my sorrows playing jazz trumpet in dive bars.

    For that and for you I am thankful. You all give me hope.

    • rosalind says:

      Hi Thomasa!

      If you are by chance near any of the 826 chapters – they are a fabulous organization that does after-school (and in-school) writing & creative projects with kids in underserved communities. The newest chapters are in Detroit and New Orleans. There are also affiliated groups springing up all across the globe. Links here.

      • bmaz says:

        Oooh, that does look worthy. I especially like “The Pirate Supply Store and King Carl’s Emporium” location. That is awesome!

  11. Pete says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to you all as well.

    I hope we remember that we all came from immigrants (unless you are 100% Native American) and the Native Americans have been, and continue to be dealt, a short hand to this day.  That may be an understatement.

    I hope to be thankful that the younger generation of leaders and a few of us oldsters here and there can help this country truly reconcile the truths of its past. You cannot unring a bell, but you can reconcile that the bell was rung and maybe we will continue to strive to be the country and nation that we perhaps think we are and certainly would strive to be.  Trump is just a dip, albeit a big one, in that effort.


    Nice to have seen and heard Marcy last night on All In with Chris Hayes.  Always good to put a face and voice to someone who has Marcy’s talents and unselfishness.  Just need to figure out a better “job” description – granted that’s tough with her –  that fits in the space allotted for that – as MSNBCs was a bit understated IMHO ;-)

  12. BSChief says:

    Thankful for EW’s honesty, courage, dedication, intelligence, and generosity of spirit.  Best Thanksgiving wishes to all!

  13. scribe says:

    Well done, Stafford!  Having led his Lions back to tie Da Bears, he just threw a pick-six, ensuring another Kitties’ T-Day loss.


  14. posaune says:

    I am so grateful for Marcy’s amazing intellect, talent, perseverance and generosity. And to bmaz, rayne, jim, and all who write here. Plus, the illuminating commenters (and their senses of humor). This wonderful place keeps me sane, and believe me that sanity is passed daily to mr posaune. Thank you Marcy and all. You have given so much — may your generosity be returned to you threefold.

  15. Greenhouse says:

    There’s lots to be grateful for, not least of which the forum that YOU Marcy provide and the awesomeness of the moderators (Bmaz, Rayne, et al), other writers (Rayne, Bmaz, Ed W, Jim, Quinn, Peterr, etc…), and commentors (EoH, Avattoir, Trip, orion, Peterr, Eureka, just to name a few, etc…) provide. I try to live in  the moment. It’s a second by second daily exercise which must be repeated like a mantra. Blessings to ya’ll, and especially my family as we sit down to chow and gobble down the GOBBLE. Peace!!!

  16. Jim White says:

    We had a Thanksgiving to be very thankful for, with both daughters and our new grandson present. All the food came together without drama and the baby even let Mom eat with us. A truly perfect day.

    I’m finally catching up from a time with lots of other things going on and now think there will be more blog time available, so it will be fun rejoin the conversations around the terrific posts and maybe add a few middling ones.

    Thanks to everyone for the talking space over the years. I know that I’d be lost without this anchor of analysis based on facts and documents.

    Cheers, everyone!

    • posaune says:

      Congratulations on the arrival of your beautiful grandson!  Adorable! We’re so happy for you and the family.

  17. DrFunguy says:

    If you are the Donald, apparently you are thankful for yourself!
    My wife thought it must be satire.
    Anyway, even thought its a regular workday here in Canada, I will take this opportunity to express my deepest gratitude for Marcy’s insightful and succinct analysis.
    This blog is the one I most often point people to when they are discouraged about the ‘lack of progress’ from Mueller…
    Also, the comments here are the best reasoned and informed I have come across.
    God bless us every one!

  18. Willis Warren says:

    I can’t believe I never heard of this site until Nate Silver linked to you. I’m embarrassed to have missed your work on Iraq. Proud to be a part of this amazing group.

  19. Theresa N says:

    Hello, I’m fairly new to this blog. I found Empty Wheel on twitter via Benjamin Wittes I think. Lawfareblog. Figured out who EW was and ever since been wondering about Marcy’s background…lawyer, infosec, former DOJ, FBI, CIA, NSA, etc…. Each time I get on twitter I increasingly pull up EW first. I’m pretty hooked now. Also, I’ve been noticing the increase in twitter followers lately and it’s very very close to 131K! I’ve enjoyed Marcy’s tweets a lot! Plus the intel, commentary, analysis and the newly discovered commenters section in the blog posts. Darn if I didn’t miss her on TV last night. Will have to pull that up on Demand if I can.

    I’m thankful for my family and friends, having a good life, (had a lovely Thanksgiving down here in Virginia Beach, VA), my dog, the beach and the Robert Mueller team, not in any particular order, but probably the Mueller team first.

    Today the wanna be Mussolini in chief said this:
    Reporter: Who should be held accountable for [Jamal Khashoggi’s murder]?
    Trump: Maybe the world should be held accountable because the world is a vicious place. The world is a very vicious place. (via CBS)
    So, I thank EW and followers for keeping me sane and informed. Happy Thanksgiving 🍁🦃

  20. Peterr says:

    Over those years, the farmers that supply that bounty have become not just welcome sources, but true friends, down to the bonfires that our meat farmers, Mary and Jill, host, into which we throw sticks named for curses we want to burn away.

    Tell Mary and Jill to be careful with those bonfires, Marcy. Given events in DC these days, there are enough curses to be burned that you might start a major wildfire.

    This was our first Thanksgiving without my dad, and while he never commented here, I know he read Emptywheel. He surprised me one day several years ago by quoting something to me that you had written — without saying where he found it — and I was clearly caught off guard because I immediately recognized the source. Before I could reply, he grinned, winked at me, and said “Marcy’s got a real way with words.”

    *raising a glass*

    To those who lurk!


  21. Eureka says:

    I am thankful my husband and I and our beloveds have warmth and shelter and food.  I am thankful for all who give beyond themselves, in whatever ways they can, to bring basics and joys to all.  I am thankful for the writers and commenters here- and the learning and conversation that accompany both and ramify each other.  You all (and my zeal-ridden dog) give me life force amidst the fascism, and I cannot thank you enough.

  22. Trip says:

    Thanks Marcy and everyone for keeping me (marginally) sane.

    And you know what was nice yesterday? The lack of wall to wall Trump coverage in the news. There should be more of that, instead of the MSM repeating every single breath fart he emits.

    • Marinela says:

      Nicely said.

      Can you imagine a world when he spins out of control on twiter, or Fox, or whatever medium, and nobody acknoledges a word he said?

      There are so many real news to cover…

  23. oldoilfieldhand says:

    Thank you Marcy! There is much to be thankful for, I agree. The time to give thanks is also the time to ensure we act to change the course America is charting through darkening times. We all need to believe in the inherent goodness of mankind, the innocence and beauty of youth, the ability to control our destiny. So, in response to your comment:

    “They might just salvage the wreckage the Boomers have created!”

    As a reformed boomer I have to take exception to your attribution of responsibility to us because the boomers aren’t exclusively responsible for the wreckage. We were schooled by the “greatest generation”, taught to play by and follow the rules; taught by our mothers, fathers and teachers that only white, Christian men were equipped with the “values” to guide and govern us, the greatest civilization in history. We were inundated with the doctrine that questioning authority was a surefire path to reform school and life as an outcast. Those of us who were influenced by Jim Anderson, Ward Cleaver and other television fathers were rewarded for blindly adhering to the rules, group-shunning and mocking the free thinkers who questioned and in rare cases defied the accepted dictates of white, Christian manhood the rest of us followed like sheep. American Exceptionalism is the end product of 150 years of relentless brainwashing. We were taught to read, we weren’t taught to think. So now, we’re consumers, worried more about our credit score than what our children are learning in school. Paraphrasing the defendants in the Nuremberg trials, “We were following the example of our betters”, the people who control content of media and education.

    Boomers are the designed, logical product of the same civilization that decimated peaceful indigenous populations, one after another, attacked and imprisoned entire races, raped the bounty of nature and polluted the earth for profit. My eternal shame is being an unenlightened part of that planned destruction. The good book was our guide, our manifesto as it were. Those of us who believed in the golden rule and the Boy Scout oath were held up as examples of real Americans. We believed in fair play and honor. We played by the rules, listened to and followed the guidance of our elders. Look where it got us…Look where we are…
    It’s time to stop believing in propaganda and fairy tales. Time to take stock of what American might has wrought in this world. This blog is resplendent with people I admire. Those who take to the time to think and analyze what is happening and who likely were part of that 1% of troublemakers my high school principal feared would infect the 99% of good students who follow the rules.

    There is still time for the people to save each other and our wonderful, bountiful host planet, provided we share the knowledge that the richest part of the capitalist society (looking at those who control mass media) does not have earth’s best interests at heart. We believe we can save the earth, or we believe it’s already too late. Either way, we’re right.

  24. Tommy D Cosmology says:

    Thank you , EW community, for giving me a place to vent. A place where F1 fans are progressive. A place where I can search the comments and threads of years past and gain insights into how to better communicate. Thanksgiving went well. “No politics!” was the rule until my oldest daughter broke it with an outburst about kids getting separated from parents at the border. I’m thankful for an excellent public school education for my kids in St. Louis County, in a highly diverse district ranked in the top 10% of the nation. Next week’s choir event is in Ferguson, MO, and I am thankful for the small progress being made and the great friends being made in our collective efforts to improve the area for everyone.
    Peace and Love.

  25. Yogarhythms says:

    EW , et al, moderators, commentariat,
    Let be frank not crass or maybe named sue wait for it…. I’m amazed and so thankful for Emptywheel. As a former documented vessel captain your are my navigational bouy in a sea high frequency chop. Xoxo

  26. Kick the darkness says:

    No Tgiving shout out for Junebug?  That occurred to me this AM with my own little terrorist “sleeper” cell, when I heard The Ruckus.  “What’s going on!”.  Human, dog and cat heads poke out from the covers.  “Nothing”.  Giggle, giggle.  Dog (just one of the foundlings) thunks it tail up and down.  “I didn’t do anything-not me”.  Cat (kids had me live trap it of a Marie Callender’s parking lot-don’t ask) sits and nonchalantly licks itself, but then tongue, embarrassingly, does not retract completely. “Nothing to see here Citizen-now best you move along”.  And I’m thankful for  all the insanity, at least when I can sort it out clearly  And I’m thankful SoCal got some rain, and for the large mobilization of people who helped those whose lives got torched just to the west of us.  Just like others helped out during the NC floods, and so many times before.  The best coming out in people.  And I’m thankful we’ve got a pretty good country, all things considered.  My earliest political recollections are the Watergate hearings taking off Saturday morning cartoons.  And the Freedom Train.  Strange.  E pluribus unum.  In whatever lies ahead we must remain focused on that.  Because there probably really is no other way, even though so much seems to augment against it.

  27. person1597 says:

    Two of the best minds in the universe have the last name Wheeler. One named Johnny, another named Marcy, both keen to explore the “deep, happy mysteries.”

    Well…how does it all work?

    “If you will tell me how to look at thought, I will be your student.”

    It’s all about electricity!

    “High voltage man kisses night to bring the light to those who need to hide their shadow deed
    Go into bright find the light and know that friends don’t mind just how you grow”

    All that and more at the wheelhouse!

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