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You Say You Want a Resolution? Share Yours

Here it is, the last day of 2008, and I wonder what I achieved in the last 12 months, exactly.

Didn't I mean to learn Spanish this year? Or was that one of last year's New Year's resolutions? Surely I promised to exercise more, which I'm pretty sure I did, even if I haven't stepped on the treadmill in a fortnight. And the dieting? Well...

But enough about me. Let's talk about you. Have you ever made a New Year's resolution that you actually kept? What was your secret? Or is there a pesky resolution you make every year but just find unable to see through to completion?

Please start by taking this simple poll:

There's something to be said for making resolutions for other people, rather than for yourself. With that in mind, here are some resolutions that I'm sure would improve things around here.

Please feel free to add your own in the "Commons" comments section.

Washington's motorists. Please resolve to: use your turn signals; stay out of the fast lane unless you're passing; clear all the snow off your cars; come to a complete halt at stop signs; use your cell phone hands-free; refrain from reading/applying makeup/tweezing eyebrows/neutering feral cats/napping while driving...

Metro riders. Please resolve to: stand to the right on the escalators; bathe; eat your dinner somewhere else; give up your seats to elderly/disabled/pregnant people; move away from the doors; stop pretending to be asleep while sitting in an aisle seat; stop having your iPod turned up so high that the earbuds turn your cranium into a huge woofer, broadcasting your crappy music throughout the car...

Metro. Please resolve to: improve the signage inside the stations, so passengers (even long-time riders such as yours truly) don't mistakenly jump on the wrong train as it's about to leave the station; improve the lighting inside stations so I wouldn't be tempted to carry a flaming torch with me just to light my way; install more SmarTrip Addfare machines...

Sears repair guy/cable repair guy/plumber/electrician. Please resolve to: Give me a window for an arrival time at my house that is smaller than "between 8 and 4"; have the necessary part on your truck; pull your pants up at the back...

The National Zoo's giant pandas. Please resolve to: Get it on. We want another cute panda baby. We deserve another cute panda baby. Get cracking.

Barack Obama. Please resolve to: Become a part of our community; do something about the disenfranchisement of D.C.'s citizens; fix the economy/stop global warming/bring peace to our planet; quit smoking; teach me Spanish...

Readers. Please resolve to: Donate to Children's Hospital.

I'm sure I've left out all manner of resolutions that will make 2009 better than 2008 -- if only people would listen to reason. Share yours. And if you have any secrets for sticking to your plans for self-improvement, share those too. Have fun, be safe and I'll see you next year.

By John Kelly  |  December 31, 2008; 9:25 AM ET
 | Tags: New Years, polls  
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Mr. Kelly,

I liked almost all of your resolutions, particularly the ones about driving and the metro. But as far as the "disenfranchisment" of DC citizens the resolution of that problem has always been right before our eyes. The District was created because of state militia holding the Congress hostage. This is no longer a threat and just as the parts of the District on the Virginia side of the Potomac were retroceded back to Virginia, so should the rest be retroceded back to Maryland. This would allow the citizens in the District to vote in all elections including for two US Senators. The District is not a state and never should be a state. It is a city that was meant to house the federal government and there is not real reason not to include it with Maryland. The only reasons are political. The politicians in Maryland don't want Washington to be part of Maryland because it would elevate the number of black voters in Maryland and threaten their control of the state. The politicians in Washington don't want to give up their political fiefdoms and the corruption that has been rife throughout the history of the city.

My resolution is that the District be retroceded back to Maryland and the politicians in both entities learn to get along and accept the will of the voters in future elections.

Posted by: John721 | December 31, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

I'd add to the Metro resolution: Post signs telling people to stand to the right on all the escalators (after making sure the escalators work most of the time, of course). I'd also urge the National Park Service to require similarly appropriate lane discipline on the GW Parkway.

To John721, I would say that your idea may be based on historic facts, but it doesn't reflect the reality of history or the fact that DC would long ago have become a State if a) a majority of its population were of European-American descent or b) if the people that wrote the 70's era Statehood Constitution had used more sense and less rhetoric...its to painful to detail! A State of DC would have a population similar to some of the "big empties" out West. Plus, I believe that the District will soon face a population boom with new growth along the Anacostia and more residential units downtown.

Posted by: mfromalexva | December 31, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Oh yes, stay out of the "passing lane" and name it the "Kelly Memorial Speeding Lane."

Except where we have to use all the lanes for "driving lanes." If you want an autobanh - go to Germany. Or have more lanes. Right now, we can not affor the luxury of a passing lane. We have left side exits and it is even safer to drive with a clear emergency lane to the left.

Posted by: gary4books | December 31, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

In response to mfromalexva. You want to ignore the historical facts and make some reference to states out west. I am assuming you might mean Wyoming or Montana. These are large bodies of land that have multiple industries, including manufacturing, mining, ranching, etc... Just what type of economic diversity does the District have? This is a government enclave that revolves around government funding. The industry is tourism and government and if the government were not here there would be no tourism.

Anyone who looks at the issue and wants to ensure full voting rights to the District should be supporting giving it back to Maryland. There is a constitutional issue with making the District a state. While the Constitution is hazy on this topic it does give some clear direction stating that New States may be admitted by the Congress but also forbidding a new state to be created out of the territory of an existing state without the consent of both Congress and all the state legislatures involved.

On the first issue why would member of Congress from other states allow their vote in the Senate to be diluted by admitting the District as a state and thus two Senators. It would be political suicide for any member to make this vote.

I continue to maintain that the best way to give the people in the District the voting rights they want and deserve is to become part of Maryland once again.

Posted by: John721 | December 31, 2008 10:42 PM | Report abuse

John721, (the website made me register again and added the extra "1". The District could apply to become a State. It exists independently of Maryland. One can argue the case of West Virginia, but it exists and I do not believe the Union ever recognized the right of the Confederacy to exist. I am intrigued by your logic on the dilution of the vote of existing members. If that were the prevailing logic through our history, perhaps we would still only have 13 States. I believe that the District should apply for Statehood as any of the previously admitted States have. I true Federal district could be carved out of it. This is a great and interesting discussion.

Posted by: mfromalexva1 | January 1, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

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