4)  Getting Jimmy Carter involved in anything at all (see #3, above) will only make matters worse.

5) Getting the United Nations involved in almost anything (see everything on this list) will quite likely make matters worse — with the exception of the UN itself, which will almost certainly emerge with more of your money.

6) There are miracles in life.

7) But fortune favors those who do their homework. Especially in politics, it is folly to depend on miracles.

And whatever the fol-de-rol, wrangles. loss, sacrifices and genuine crises that lie ahead — as a great many surely do — it’s worth celebrating life itself, which I think is the basic reason we raise a toast to the dawn of a New Year. Happy 2012!