It will be easy to improve on 2009, which will go down in history as a most difficult year. With a little luck, the year ahead will be much better, especially with the right New Year's resolutions. Here are some we hope made various lists.
President Barack Obama: To use the lessons of youth learned in Chicago and Hawaii, defend the lunch money, kick some sand in the faces of the bullies in the Republican Party and twist some Democrat arms to move the country ahead.
CIA, National Security Agency, Department of Homeland Security: To own the errors that allowed a radical young man wired with explosives to fly unchecked from Africa to the U.S. with a one-way ticket and no luggage, fire the people who made them, learn how to compare databases (talk to a teenager), and to humbly thank Dutch filmmaker Jasper Schuringa who saved the 289 passengers and crew from a fiery death.
New York City: To sub for poor Detroit and give the hero of Flight 253 a ticker-tape parade.
Air travelers: To put the shoes in the box and understand that more than their feet are going to look naked after the cry goes up for full body scans.
U.S. Senators and Representatives: To quit sitting on their hands while staring at lists of campaign donors, to regulate the financial industry that brought the nation to the brink of ruin and stop the unconscionable bonuses for bank executives of companies who received government bailouts. Are you listening Congressman Mike Simpson?
Army Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl: To survive kidnapping and imprisonment by the Taliban in Afghanistan and to come home to his family in Hailey.
Wolf-haters and wolf-lovers: To put aside wild claims and discuss differences rationally and civilly.
Investors: To run away screaming "Madoff" when anyone tries to get your money by insisting that an investment will always and only go up.
Democrat U.S. senators and representatives: To put serious health care cost controls into any health care reform bill.
U.S. Senate: To get rid of minority rule by getting rid of the filibuster rules that allow the minority to hold up consideration of bills favored by the majority.
Shoppers: To read labels on clothes and food and to vote with their dollars for a more robust American economy, a curb on global warming and healthier food.
Hailey Mayor Rick Davis: To finally resolve the impasse between the city's primarily volunteer fire department and Wood River Rural Fire Department to get the city the best protection it can have.
All local mayors: To resolve the recurring dispute over who will pay what for emergency dispatch services.
Idaho Legislature: To actually read the pile of research on phoning and texting while driving and to outlaw both before any more people die deaths by phone.
Drivers: To remember that 15 people walked away from a T-bone crash and two rolled vehicles at Timmerman Hill and that fastened seatbelts were the reason.
Elk-feeders and fox-feeders: To learn from the deaths of foxes from mange that feeding wild animals is hazardous to their health.
Idaho drivers: To budget for lots of car repairs and insurance because with the state's recession-bludgeoned budget, new roads will be a long time coming.
Booksellers and authors: Send a thank-you note to French courts for coming down hard on Google's plan to digitize books for online distribution—copyright laws be damned.
National Football League: To succeed in changing the rules to protect players from the head injuries that shorten their lives.
Sun Valley Co.: To keep the new investments in facilities coming and happiness flowing for guests.
Idaho Gov. Butch Otter: To quit preaching to the choir, designate northern Blaine County as capital for a day and hear something other than the same old Boise song.
Idaho Fish and Game Commission: To establish rules requiring signs to be posted notifying the public of the locations of leg-hold traps to prevent injury to domestic dogs.
Doctors and lawyers: Spread the word that the nation can reduce its health care costs with good nutrition and end-of-life directives.
Right-wing Democrats: To form a national third party, the Republicrats, so voters really know for whom they vote.
Ketchum developers—same as last year: To get a new hotel built, running and advertised in order to bring in guests who will infuse new life into the local economy.
Whiskey Jacques' bar: To keep on rockin' and rollin' and enjoy its rise from the ashes.
Local public officials: To remember to communicate with the people who elected them whether the lights are on or not.