- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 27, 2008

WHITE HOUSE

Bush’s mom has ulcer surgery

HOUSTON | Former first lady Barbara Bush, the mother of President Bush, underwent surgery late Tuesday to treat a perforated ulcer, a family spokesman said Wednesday.

Mrs. Bush, 83, underwent routine laparoscopic surgery Tuesday night at Methodist Hospital in Houston after complaining of abdominal pain, the hospital said.

Mrs. Bush, the wife of former President George H.W. Bush, was resting comfortably Wednesday morning and was expected to be discharged from the hospital next week.

During the procedure, surgeons cleaned her abdominal area, then patched and closed a one-centimeter hole in her stomach caused by the ulcer, the hospital said.

“I am thankful for the fact that my mother is doing well,” Mr. Bush told a crowd gathered in the White House Rose Garden for the presidential pardon granted annually to a Thanksgiving turkey.

TRADE COMMISSION

Guidance for cigarette ads pulled

The Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday rescinded guidance it issued 42 years ago that has allowed tobacco companies to make claims about tar and nicotine levels based on testing by a machine.

In its advertising, the cigarette industry uses a test known at the Cambridge Filter Method to support any factual statements of tar and nicotine content in cigarette smoke. But the commission said the test is flawed. It also said that the resulting advertisements touting tar and nicotine levels could cause consumers to believe that lighter cigarettes were safer.

The commission said it would not allow tobacco companies to use the FTC’s “stamp of approval.”

TRANSITION

Change.gov invites users to join in

Change.gov, the Web site of President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team, has invited visitors to submit their views on health care, drawing hundreds of comments in less than 24 hours.

Change.gov added the new feature called “Join the Discussion” late Tuesday, asking users for their answers to the question “What worries you most about the health care system in our country?”

To jump-start the discussion, the site featured a video from two members of Mr. Obama’s health policy transition team asking users for their opinions by e-mail.

WHITE HOUSE

Bush twins show Obama girls fun side

Malia and Sasha Obama learned a few tricks from Barbara and Jenna Bush on their recent visit to the White House - like how to slide down the solarium ramp, bottom first.

The daughters of President Bush showed the girls their bedrooms, helped them jump on a bed and taught them a few ways to have fun, first lady Laura Bush told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Wednesday.

“It was fun for the girls to get to show them not only [their rooms], but the way the big cross hall can be an obstacle course for little kids to run up and down, and the solarium ramp that you can slide down on your bottom. So they showed them all the special tricks,” she said.

The twins also “aided and abetted” the Obama girls’ running jump onto a tall bed.

“We usually put a step out for people to step into when they stay in that room. But instead the little girls did the running jump, and Barbara and Jenna, of course, aided and abetted that jumping,” she said.

Mrs. Bush said the girls’ rooms were her first task in decorating the White House.

TRANSITION

Obama plot suspects plead not guilty

JACKSON, Tenn. | Two white supremacists accused of plotting to kill President-elect Barack Obama and dozens of other black people have pleaded not guilty to more federal charges in Tennessee.

Daniel Cowart of Tennessee and Paul Schlesselman of Arkansas were originally indicted on firearms and conspiracy charges. They have already pleaded not guilty to those counts.

Both men were then charged in a superseding indictment on Nov. 20 with civil rights conspiracy and Mr. Cowart with damage to religious property and the use of a firearm during a crime of violence.

CHARITY

Obama, family hand out food at church

CHICAGO | President-elect Barack Obama and the soon-to-be first family handed out food to the needy at a Chicago church on the day before Thanksgiving.

Mr. Obama, wife Michelle and their two daughters shook hands and gave holiday wishes as they handed wrapped chickens to people who had been lined up for hours at the food bank.

The president-elect, dressed casually in a leather jacket, black scarf and khaki pants, was in a jovial mood, calling out “happy Thanksgiving” and telling people “you can call me Barack.”

His wife and daughters wore stocking hats, winter coats and gloves as the family worked the food bank in the outdoor church courtyard.

From combined dispatches and staff reports

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