Here are three quick observations on leftover news items for you to pick at as you pick at that bird:
Turkey day opportunity: Probably the last thing you’ll do this prolonged weekend is read President Trump’s Thanksgiving proclamation. That’s a shame, seriously.
It may be among the best things to come out of this White House. Much longer than a tweet, it talks about the things for which we all should give thanks, and it ends by encouraging “all Americans
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to gather, in homes and places of worship, to offer a prayer of thanks to God for our many blessings.”
No sardonic comments; no insults.
In truth, however, it’s much the same as any Thanksgiving proclamation given by any president in at least the last 70 years or so. In the history of the nation, we tend to remember only two of these, if we remember any at all. Abraham Lincoln issued a powerful and touching one in 1864, during the middle of the Civil War. Franklin Roosevelt issued a similarly moving one in 1944, during the middle of the Second World War.
As I said a few years ago, if any president today wants to be remembered for a Thanksgiving proclamation, he should issue one that graciously lists things about the opposite political party for which he is thankful.
Make it sincere and honest, not, “I like how Nancy Pelosi can lie without blushing.”
Imagine how this might change things in Washington. The other party would be put in an awkward position, having little choice but to respond in kind without seeming ungracious.
A lot of parents out there end disputes among their children by getting them to say something nice about each other. Maybe this wouldn’t change the course of the nation, fix the deficit, end the standoff over health care and win the war against terror, but I’d love for a chief executive to try it and see what happens.
So, you really want to do this, huh? The state’s Olympic Exploratory Committee has released a poll purporting to show 89 percent of Utahns want to bid for another Winter Olympics.
I chalk this up to the general ignorance — not of the Olympics and the exhilarating feeling they can bring to a community (many people were left with good feelings after 2002) — but of the International Olympic Committee.
If anything, the IOC pressures that brought about the Salt Lake bid scandal have gotten worse. Think of the billions spent to put on the Soshi games. Think of the IOC demands that led Norway, perhaps the most enthusiastic winter sports nation on earth, to withdraw its bid. Think of the current vote buying and corruption scheme unraveling around the 2016 Rio Games.
Utah has a lot to offer the Olympics. Folks here put on a great show without losing money and have kept many of the venues from 2002 in great shape. If the state wants to do this again, it should make demands of the IOC, rather than the other way around.
Is it part of the job description? Three observations come to mind as a wave of sexual abuse allegations sweep the land. The first is that it is hard to paint this as a politically motivated effort by one side or the other. The spotlight is just as strong on Democrats John Conyers and Al Franken as it is on Republican Roy Moore. Some feminists even are belatedly reconsidering their support for Bill Clinton 20 years ago during his scandal.
The second is to wonder whether politics and celebrity media are especially attractive professions for people who like to force themselves on others, or is it just that these are the professions to which we pay the most attention?
The third is that this national attention cannot be allowed to fade into history the way the ice-bucket challenge and other recent public obsessions have. If this doesn’t result in a sea change for the way people treat one another at work, nothing will have been accomplished.
And one more observation after reading details of allegations against Charlie Rose, Moore and others — eww.