Newmann: Up, up and away |

Newmann: Up, up and away

So here we are, heading down the runway for a flight toward Christmas and hoping that, between now and then, it won’t be a bumpy ride (or that, at most, we’ll have only minor turbulence).

On the domestic front, holiday gifts may be delivered in June if a threatened national rail strike takes place on Dec. 9. The dispute between the companies and the workers is now in the hands of Congress. The House has approved legislation that would impose a labor agreement between the two sides. The measure now moves to the Senate, where support for the legislation is more problematic. The Grinch must be viewing this whole situation with a wide grin.

And then there’s Georgia. If you haven’t had your fill of election mudslinging — together with some of the lunacy surrounding the results — you’re in luck. The contest is a repeat of the November match-up for the U.S. Senate between the incumbent Baptist minister and the former football star who’s challenging him. And neither individual is shy about blasting the other. No doubt that joyful partisan spirits are alive and well — and will continue to create a fair share of mayhem both in Georgia and, of course, further afield. Maybe, as an early Christmas gift, we can have a respite from this stuff until Jan. 3, when a new Congress convenes. Let’s just hope it’s both new … and improved.

Meanwhile, Elon Musk (whose multiple roles include richest man in the world, car guru, space innovator and Twitter dismantler) embraced the spirit of peace on Earth by trying to mediate the war between Ukraine and Russia. His plan included Ukraine ceding territory to Russia. The Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, finally responded to Musk’s offer the other day saying that the Tesla founder should pop over to Ukraine to actually see what the Russians have done before he starts pontificating on what should be done. Seems like a fair comment.

A definite cause for holiday cheer is the drop in gas prices, which should appeal to all of our better angels. For a while, it looked like reindeer might be the only sustainable mode of travel. Maybe now folks can actually go farther than just a spin around the block when they drive off on their holiday journeys. If your travel plans happen to take you to South Florida, you may want to drop into Mar-a-Lago and wish the former occupant of the White House a “Happy Holiday.” Who knows, you might even be invited to dinner. Seems like he’s not very fussy about who shows up at his table.

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One group that should be happy about showing up at a table is the United States Men’s National Team, which booked its way into the World Cup round of 16. After years of being in the doldrums, the team has a chance to advance even further if it can defeat the Netherlands on Saturday. Regardless of the result, no “bah, humbug” for these guys.

The same cannot be said for the local NFL team. The Broncos have been … woeful. Despite (or, perhaps, in spite of) the presence of a quarter-billion-dollar quarterback, they’ve been a non-event in most of their games. But, in the spirit of giving, maybe we just have to be patient, write this year off and hope for a massive turnaround next season.

As far as the remainder of this season … well, given the current ownership of the team, a few of the players might benefit from spending some holiday time in the company’s shipping and receiving department. They might learn a thing or two about accuracy.

Tom Newmann splits his time between Edwards and Queenstown, New Zealand. He has been going winter-to-winter since 1986. He was also a journalist in Missoula, Montana, at the Missoulian for quite a few years. Email him at

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