- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 27, 2008


Could this offer a subtle clue about President Bush’s inclinations once he leaves office? Mr. Bush introduced an intriguing new term in his Thanksgiving proclamation this year.

He praised the American military, and the freedom, faith, family and service that make up the national tapestry of our values.

“Americans are also mindful of the need to share our gifts with others, and our nation is moved to compassionate action. We pay tribute to all caring citizens who reach out a helping hand and serve a cause larger than themselves.”

Did you catch the potential motto? “Compassionate action.”

It could be the proactive form of “compassionate conservatism,” which was a hallmark of Mr. Bush’s earliest campaign days, and a concept that might bode well in Mr. Bush’s future.


“If President-elect Barack Obama wants to make an eye-opening statement about just how bad our financial situation is, let him cancel all the fancy inaugural partying and spend the money getting Americans back to work building the green economy he says he wants. This way, he would hit the ground running on day one in office and show millions of Americans who have lost their homes, their jobs and their life savings that he feels their pain,” writes Ira Flatow on Friday in the blog Science.

“Better yet, let’s tell everyone not to spend their party money on lavish gowns, limos and caviar. Let’s have the president ask potential partygoers to choose a green project and spend the money there. For your part, Mr. Obama, a good place to start would be putting solar panels, ripped out by Ronald Reagan, back on the roof of the White House. That would send a real message. While you’re at it, take that inaugural ride down Pennsylvania Avenue in a hybrid.

“We know everyone wants to party. We’re happy about change, too. But ditch the fancy jewelry, gas-guzzling limos and the imported water in those square bottles. Because those of us on the outside, with no pension money and wondering where we are going to retire, are not celebrating.”


A Rasmussen Reports survey revealed Wednesday that more than two-thirds of Americans think that Thanksgiving now gets lost in the tumult of “holiday” time that now stretches between Halloween and New Year’s Day.

There are those politicians who agree, and are particularly irked that Thanksgiving - like Presidents Day, Memorial Day and other significant dates - has become yet another retail opportunity.

Massachusetts state Rep. William Pignatelli, a Democrat from Lenox, has toyed with the idea of filing legislation to stop a mall in his district from opening at midnight - just hours after the big turkey dinner is over. He doesn’t like the wear and tear on workers.

“Whole families travel for Thanksgiving, and then mom and dad have to go to bed at 4 p.m. so they can go to work at midnight,” Mr. Pignatelli said. “I don’t know why you have to open at midnight when you can open at 6 a.m.”

Mr. Pignatelli blames “corporate greed” for the idea.

“If you want to go shopping, go right ahead,” he told the Berkshire Eagle. “I think you’re losing some factor of respecting and honoring the holidays. You’re clearly violating people when you have them work that day, even if it’s at 10 at night.”


It’s going to be childhood as usual in the White House. Malia and Sasha Obama will still have to make their beds when they arrive at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in January.

“That was the first thing I said to some of the staff when I did my visit to the White House,” Michelle Obama told ABC News on Wednesday.

“They said ‘the girls, they’re so great.’ I said, ‘you know, we’re going to have to set up some boundaries, because they’re going to be able to make their beds.’”

Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, will also need to keep their rooms tidy and keep up with homework, the future first lady said.

Her husband also had a little something to add.

“When momma’s happy, everybody is happy,” President-elect Barack Obama told the network.


The choices President-elect Barack Obama has made for his administration have been both curious and alarming for his supporters.

“Behold, they are not new faces, nor are they the change agents that Obama’s campaign rhetoric promised. Instead, we are seeing Clinton [administration] retreads and a surprising move toward the political center. Rather than the far-left team of new faces and new politics that the president-elect’s supporters dreamed about when they cast their ballots for the “change” they could believe in, we are seeing familiar faces and experienced pols. More than a few Obama fans are experiencing buyer’s remorse,” writes Janet Shaw Crouse of the American Thinker.

Why does he do this? She has a theory.

“What Obama’s critics are overlooking is that he is a former community organizer; he prefers to work under the radar, starting from the grass roots. Those who are looking at the top layer of the Obama administration wanting to see a sign of the ‘second coming of Saul Alinsky’ (as one blogger put it), are going to be disappointed. Those who watched first lady Hillary Clinton set up little fiefdoms in all the government agencies to push the policies of the Beijing Platform for Action and those who observed Sen. Barack Obama utilize ACORN to build a political machine that spread from Chicago throughout the nation will recognize the strategy and tactics of master manipulators.”


Thanksgiving brings an appetite for political discussions in some households.

Take the opportunity to listen to different viewpoints.

“You might want to hear about why they voted for someone, or their analysis,” Temple University psychologist Marsha Weinraub told CNN. “People have different perceptions than you do. Rather than convince them our perception is better than theirs, we might learn something if we listen to them.”

Ms. Weinraub also suggested older generations reveal what the “hot issues” were in an earlier era, not to mention the identities of the heavyweight politicians of the day.

Contact Jennifer Harper at jharper@washingtontimes.com or 202/636-3085.

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