In a study appropriately titled “Very Happy People,” researchers sought out the characteristics of the happiest 10 percent among us. Do they all live in warm climates? Are they all wealthy? Are they all physically fit? Turns out, there was one—and only one—characteristic that distinguished the happiest 10 percent from everybody else: the strength of their social relationships.
H/T Sully and his Mental Health Break
From the Andrew Sullivan’s The Dish, a story that makes people like me salivate:
I spent years shopping my novel to publishers and agents; after reaching the end of my patience I dumped the book into the Kindle Bookstore expecting only my mother to buy it.
I did no marketing. Somehow (I’m still not quite sure how) the word spread.
He’s taking the usual slew of tactical hits as his opponents try every single line of attack and pound every day, squeezing every ounce of agitprop from the news cycle. His numbers are gliding downward (although not by much), his foreign policy gains are structural and have as yet no tangible results, a critical Mid-East ally, Israel, is doing all it can to destroy his credibility with the Muslim world, his health insurance reform is still not passed, the debt is simply staggering (and the GOP’s willingness to blame it all on him is as shameless as it can be convincing to those who know nothing and think less), etc etc.
We knew that about a charlatan like Kristol and a nihilist like Rove. But what I didn’t fully come to terms with, until the Palin farce, was the full extent of John McCain’s recklessness and cynicism. This is worth keeping in mind through all this. The only reason we even know about Sarah Palin is John McCain.
—Andrew Sullivan, The Daily Dish, 11/17/2009
and I’m sure he’s not the only one:
The president just announced that as of Monday, the ban on HIV-positive visitors, tourists and immigrants will formally come to an end. There are 60 days before the new rule comes into effect. But after that, people with HIV will be treated in exactly the same way as any other person with a serious illness – according to science, not politics, and following the logic of reason, not fear.
The ban has been in existence for 22 years, pioneered by Jesse Helms, resisted by the first Bush, signed into law by Bill Clinton, legislatively repealed by George W. Bush and now administratively ended by Barack Obama. In an age when bipartisanship is out of fashion, the repeal was led by Gordon Smith and John Kerry, with backing from many Republicans and Democrats.
Jesse Helms, now, there’s a scary name. Around Halloween or any other day of the year.
Continue reading Free at Last
He takes on Richard Cohen
He writes a column on torture that makes wringing one’s hands look decisive. He tells us he has an abhorrence of torture and yet describes the torture of Khaled Sheikh Mohammed as merely a “quite brutal interrogation.” See the sleight of hand?
and the money quote:
I think the intelligence we now get will be much more reliable; I believe that torture recruited thousands of Jihadists; I believe holding torturers accountable will help restore our alliances and give moral integrity back to the war on terror; I believe that without torture, we may actually be able to bring terrorists to justice; and that restoring America’s moral standing will make the war of ideas against Jihadism more winnable and therefore the West less vulnerable than it is now.
Continue reading What Richard Cohen Omits