Happy Holidays and an early Presidential endorsement

My father-in-law told me an interesting story this morning that bugged me and showed me just how much influence assholes like Bill O'Reilly have on this country.

He's a mail carrier, and has a good relationship with the people on his route, a large number of whom are Jewish retirees. He mentioned today that he's benn loud and vocal about saying "Happy Holidays" everywhere he goes as opposed to "Merry Christmas" because he's seen the people on his route, some of whom he's known for years, cowed and stumbling over themselves to make sure not to offend him. Bob is one of the most easy-going guys you could ever meet, and he was hurt by this, so he's gone on the counterattack against the O'Reillys of the season.

Now for the second half of this post. I've decided that, barring an entry by Howard Dean into the presidential race, my early favorite is Senator Russ Feingold.

I've always liked Feingold's stands on civil liberties, as well as on the Iraq War, and the fact that he donates the difference between what he first made as a Senator and what he makes now back to the Treasury, but after reading this, I'm sold completely:

Political watchers such as University of Virginia professor Larry Sabato point out that while Feingold's recent stands on civil liberties and the Iraq war may please liberal activists, they may well hurt his chances later on with moderate Democrats and conservatives.

The senator had a blunt answer.

"I don't care," he said. "Whatever political considerations I have are absolutely irrelevant to the decisions I make having to do with people's civil liberties and something as weighty as Americans risking their lives overseas. The day that I start think politically about those things is the day I should leave politics."

Feingold for President 2008.

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