Federal Reserve Board Chair Ben Bernanke has been on a publicity offensive for the last several months. He wants to mobilize support for his own renomination for another term and to oppose several bills making their way through Congress that would strip the Fed of some of its powers or subject its decisions to more review on Capitol Hill. Bernanke has appeared on 60 Minutes, written op-ed columns for major newspapers, and held a town hall meeting in Kansas City that was broadcast on PBS.
I have just finished putting out my rows of milk cartons with 24-hour votives lit inside them. It is the evening of Dec. 21, the winter solstice, the shortest day and longest night of the year. For those of us who migrated to the North Country, winter solstice is a bit of a non-event in terms of marking the official beginning of winter.