In many ways, this has been a tough year, both politically and personally. Leaving politics aside, since I covered that here, let's concentrate on the personal.
All too many of us have emotional issues, health issues, family problems, money problems, you name it. And because we all understand all too well what it's like to suffer from any one, or all, of those, then even temporary respites from those often excruciating tensions are even more precious.
Over the past three years or so, I've simultaneously had to deal with the declining health of my dad and my mother-in-law on the home front while contending with an ongoing and very intrusive situation with someone who has done his level best to destroy my online friendships and professional reputation.
The bad news is, my dad's health will only continue to deteriorate, since tiny strokes forever damaged his motor skills and memory, while thankfully, his sharp wit remains intact. He's still hilarious, even through his devastating ordeal. Again, those who have been there for me and offered their kindness, good wishes, advice, and caring have my eternal thanks.
The good news is, my kids and Mr. Laffy are doing well, as are most of my friends.
And on the Internet front, slowly but surely people are figuring out who this very disturbed "progressive" (and his very few remaining supporters)-- who's relentlessly written about me and others-- really is and are abandoning him and repudiating his (their) smears. Despite that, it's been painful to observe, and so those who have supported me have my undying gratitude, as do those who have come forward to publicly acknowledge and apologize for their part in his still-ongoing rants.
Sometimes total strangers act like better friends than "real life" friends do, and that never ceases to amaze and hearten me.
To our wonderful readers who keep us going, who are generous with your time, encouragement, and your donations, we cannot begin to thank you enough.
To my buddies on Twitter who have helped me through the unpleasantness (including swatting away those pesky RWNJ trolls) over the years, you are angels and I appreciate you more than you can ever know. And thank you, Twitter pals, for your insights and political commentary, your very helpful links and personal stories, and of course, your jokes, even the groaners. Your voices really do matter.
And speaking of voices that really do matter, it's nearly impossible to express my thanks to Rachel Maddow for what she does, how she does it, her humor, her genius for communicating and informing, and for the encouragement she has given me personally.
And to Nicole Sandler, Angie Coiro, Ed Schultz, Lizz Winstead, Lawrence O'Donnell, Melissa Harris-Perry, Chris Hayes, Martin Bashir, Ari Melber, Nina Turner, Joy Ann Reid, Keith Boykin, Rosie Perez, Catherine Crier, the Stephanie Miller Show, Jacki Schechner, Randi Rhodes, John Dean, Joan Walsh, Jonathan Capehart, Sally Kohn, Martha Plimpton, Thom Hartmann, the Occupy Movement, and so many others who I'm forgetting (for which I apologize), thank you for fighting for all the right causes and standing up for those whose voices are often ignored, and doing so with ferocity, fire, smarts, humor, and heart.
We need more progressive voices out there, so let's make that happen. Then we can thank ourselves.
One more thing, one that I should have put right at the top: Nobody, but nobody, has a better partner in crime than I do. A big fat heartfelt thank you to Paddy.