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What 21 Leading Progressives Say They're Thankful for

This Thanksgiving, I asked leading progressives: is there a silver lining to all the storm clouds in America?

It’s been a tough year, what with soaring unemployment, disasters both human-made and natural, and brutal political battles. So this Thanksgiving, I asked leading progressives: is there a silver lining to all of these storm clouds? Some found deep values, some found humor, but all found something important to think about this holiday season.

What are you thankful for this year?

“I am thankful for the Web. It is an enormous potential equalizer in giving progressives without money comparable input into public debate as the right-wingers with lots of money. In this vein, the Huffington Post’s webhits are going up. The Washington Post’s circulation is going down.” - Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research

“I’m thankful that Sarah Palin might actually run for president. It will be a lot of fun to watch and we can feel confident that in the end she will be fully refudiated.” - Eric Alterman, columnist and author most recently of Why We’re Liberals

“That even in a time of broken ideals, our idealism can still keep us pushing forward. I am also thankful that the Fed and the Obama administration have not yet completed their transfer of private wealth to the small handful of too-big-to-exist banks.” - Joshua Rosner, Managing Director, Graham Fisher & Co., Inc.

“For all the disappointment, I am thankful John McCain is not president.” — Jeff Madrick, Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow and author of The Case for Big Government

“I’m grateful that we won’t have Larry Summers to kick around anymore.” - James K. Galbraith, author of The Predator State and Professor of Government, University of Texas at Austin

“That there aren’t enough jobs in our government, political parties, and mass media for the turkeys who want them.” - Thomas Ferguson, Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow, Professor of Political Science at U Mass, Boston,  and author of Golden Rule

“That the GOP ran three certifiably insane Tea Party candidates in Nevada, Colorado, and Delaware, thereby ensuring that the Democrats at least retained control of the Senate, and thereby arresting the complete descent into the abyss.” - Marshall Auerback, Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow

“I am grateful to Social Security, which made it possible for our family to avoid economic disaster when my father died of a second heart attack when he was 41. I am grateful to a nation in which I could be a serial whistle blower, exposing the misconduct of two presidential employees, the Speaker of the House James Wright, and the ‘Keating Five’ — and survive. And I am grateful to the Ancients, who faced a vastly crueler world and recognized that the key was for each of us to try to repair it, and whose advice has led generations to make those repairs, rather than accepting cruelty, greed, exploitation, and indifference as the natural state. I am thankful for all who came before and worked to make things better.” - Bill Black, Associate Professor of Economics and Law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and white-collar criminologist

“We’re grateful that Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas did not win the Mirror Ball Trophy on Dancing with the Stars, although we’re still confused as to which one was the star.” - Naomi Cahn, John Theodore Fey Research Professor of Law at George Washington University Law School, and June Carbone, Edward A. Smith/Missouri Chair of Law, the Constitution and Society at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, co-authors of Red Families v. Blue Families

“That we still have enough of a semblance of rule of law in this country that judges are not giving banks a free pass on the failure to adhere to the terms of their own contracts and the abuse of legal processes.” - Yves Smith, founding editor of Naked Capitalism and author of ECONned

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