Both P&J spent time over Christmas with servicemen, including Marines newly back from Afghanistan. To a man, they agree that the sooner we get out of that godforsaken, Paleolithic hellhole, the better. These are men — boys really, from P&J's perspective — who have put their lives on the line for the cause, and even they see the fallacy in our no-win situation, costing billions of dollars and the lives of thousands of their fellow soldiers.

Unfortunately, people like our own Little Big Man, Senator Jack Reed, spend their time talking to morally vacant, self-absorbed party line spouters like the disgraced David Petraeus or hand-picked p.r.-obedient grunts — swallowing the bullshit they are fed about what a difference we are making in Afghanistan. If Jack and other members of Congress want to glimpse reality, they might try staying a month in the witches' brew that is Afghanistan.

But forget Kandahar — our elitist, out-of-touch politicians could barely make it to Washington during the Christmas holidays to take on the mythical "fiscal cliff." Is this the best we can do? A president who won re-election only because he was running against a cartoon character mind-bogglingly removed from the problems of three-quarters of the American populace? Senate leaders like the unspeakable Harry Reid and aging, narrow-minded queen Mitch McConnell? And House leaders like disgraceful self-promoters Nancy Pelosi and QT-tinted John Boehner, who should be arrested for treason?

While we may be unable to reverse our country's surrender to corporate whores in suits and ties, it is still worth taking on those suits loudly and publicly. Our best and bravest kids are being killed in countries that have no chance of US-led recovery, Big Oil and Big Biz continue to deny science and reason, and our supposed representatives have failed to ban assault weapons, reducing the slaughter of innocent men, women, and children to a mere annoyance cutting into Sunday Night Football telecasts.

If this sounds like a wild-eyed harangue, you are right. But someone has to speak truth to power, and P&J have been doing it for 33 years and counting. If you disagree with us, just bend over and put the pillow in your mouth, because that's the future we look forward to under the status quo.

Oh, and have a happy New Year. We're sure our men and women in uniform are wishing you the same, provided you recognize they exist. Back to you in Times Square, Mr. Seacrest and — who's your next guest, Wayne LaPierre?


AND MANY, MANY MORE HAPPY YEARS AHEAD

Now that P&J have composed themselves, here's something a little more upbeat: a list of folks we hope to toast for years to come.

Tom Brady, Bill Murray, Meryl Streep, Dr. John, all the Neville Brothers, Denzel, Mark "Don't call me Marky Mark" Wahlberg, Keith Richards, Tilda Swinton, and Charlotte Rampling.

Locally, Ron St. Pierre, The Bud-I, Jim Taricani, Sean "Yes, I am over the top but you love it" Daly, Bill "How do I still get away with that Saturday column?" Reynolds, Jimmy Gillis and Joe Baker, Kathy "Faster, Pussycat, Kill, Kill" Gregg, Bob Plain, Bob Whitcomb, Mark Murphy, everyone at the RI Foundation, P&J's longtime mentor Ms. Swift, Bert Crenca, Erminio Pinque, and a multitude of restaurant owners who have made La Prov a diner's heaven.

And for places to go, don't forget the Met, Lupo's, the Narragansett Café, Nick-a-Nee's, the Hot Club, Jimmy's Saloon, and (they will never know why) Flo's.

Send scarves and Pulitzer-grade tips to p&j@phx.com.

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