Political Musings December 1, 2013: Obamas kick-off Christmas holiday season celebrating with traditions

POLITICAL MUSINGS

http://historymusings.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/pol_musings.jpg?w=500&h=80?w=600

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

OP-EDS & ARTICLES

Obamas kick-off Christmas holiday season celebrating with traditions

By Bonnie K. Goodman

First Lady Michelle Obama, with daughters Sasha and Malia, along with Obama family pets Bo and Sunny, welcome the arrival of the official White House Christmas tree at the North Portico of the White House, Nov. 29, 2013.
(Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon)

First Lady Michelle Obama presides over the arrival of the Official White House Christmas tree which will spend the holiday adorning the White House Blue Room, Nov. 29, 2013; the First Lady, daughters Malia and Sasha and first pups, Bo and Sunny greeted the tree

President Barack Obama and his family celebrated Thanksgiving and the kick-off of the holiday season as families did across the country, a festive Thanksgiving meal, reaching out to family by phone, Christmas decorating and commencing holiday shopping. However, their…READ MORE

History Buzz November 28, 2013: Thanksgiving’s history goes beyond 1621

HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY HEADLINE NEWS

History Buzz

HISTORY MAKING HEADLINES

Thanksgiving’s history goes beyond 1621

Source: Lexington Dispatch, 11-28-13

The politicians’ tradition of citing Gov. William Bradford’s thanksgiving proclamation in 1621 — observed again this year by the president in his proclamation — has also contributed to the general impression that there was a “first” Thanksgiving….READ MORE

Full Text Obama Presidency November 28, 2013: President Barack Obama’s Weekly Address: Wishing the American People a Happy Thanksgiving

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

Weekly Address: Wishing the American People a Happy Thanksgiving

Source: WH, 11-28-13

Remarks of President Barack Obama

Weekly Address — Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Transcript | Download mp4 | Download mp3

Hi, everybody.  On behalf of all the Obamas – Michelle, Malia, Sasha, Bo, and the newest member of our family, Sunny – I want to wish you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.

We’ll be spending today just like many of you – sitting down with family and friends to eat some good food, tell stories, watch a little football, and most importantly, count our blessings.

And as Americans, we have so much to be thankful for.

We give thanks for the men and women who set sail for this land nearly four centuries ago, risking everything for the chance at a better life – and the people who were already here, our Native American brothers and sisters, for their generosity during that first Thanksgiving.

We give thanks for the generations who followed – people of all races and religions, who arrived here from every country on Earth and worked to build something better for themselves and for us.

We give thanks for all our men and women in uniform – and for their families, who are surely missing them very much today.  We’re grateful for their sacrifice too.

We give thanks for the freedoms they defend – the freedom to think what we want and say what we think, to worship according to our own beliefs, to choose our leaders and, yes, criticize them without punishment.  People around the world are fighting and even dying for their chance at these freedoms.  We stand with them in that struggle, and we give thanks for being free.

And we give thanks to everyone who’s doing their part to make the United States a better, more compassionate nation – who spend their Thanksgiving volunteering at a soup kitchen, or joining a service project, or bringing food and cheer to a lonely neighbor.  That big-hearted generosity is a central part of our American character.  We believe in lending a hand to folks who need it.  We believe in pitching in to solve problems even if they aren’t our problems.  And that’s not a one-day-a-year belief.  It’s part of the fabric of our nation.

And we remember that many Americans need that helping hand right now.  Americans who’ve lost their jobs and can’t get a new one through no fault of their own.  Americans who’ve been trapped in poverty and just need that helping hand to climb out.  Citizens whose prayers and hopes move us to act.

We are a people who are greater together than we are on our own.  That’s what today is about.  That’s what every day should be about.  No matter our differences, we’re all part of one American family.  We are each other’s keeper.  We are one nation, under God.  That core tenet of our American experience has guided us from the earliest days of our founding – and it will guide us to a future that’s even brighter than today.

Thank you, God bless you, and from my family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving.

Political Musings November 27, 2013: Obama pardons the National Thanksgiving Turkey at White House ceremony

POLITICAL MUSINGS

http://historymusings.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/pol_musings.jpg?w=500&h=80?w=600

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

OP-EDS & ARTICLES

Obama pardons the National Thanksgiving Turkey at White House ceremony

By Bonnie K. Goodman

The next National Thanksgiving Turkey and winner of this year’s annual presidential pardon is… Popcorn. On Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013 President Barack Obama with the help of his daughters Malia and Sasha conducted this year’s…READ MORE

Political Headlines November 27, 2013: President Barack Obama names Popcorn the National Thanksgiving Turkey at annual pardon ceremony

POLITICAL HEADLINES

http://historymusings.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/pol_headlines.jpg?w=600

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

President Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha name Popcorn the National Thanksgiving Turkey at annual pardon ceremony

Source: NY Daily News, 11-27-13

U.S. President Barack Obama gives the annual presidential pardon to the national Thanksgiving turkey at the White House in Washington November 27, 2013. John Burkel (L), Chairman of the National Turkey Federation, and the president's daughters Malia (R) and Sasha (C) are pictured watching the pardon. REUTERS/Gary Cameron (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ANIMALS)

GARY CAMERON/REUTERS

I now pronounce you… pardoned: U.S. President Barack Obama gives the annual presidential pardon to the national Thanksgiving turkey with daughers Sasha (left) and Malia (right).

First daughters Malia and Sasha were on hand for the tradition on National Thanksgiving Turkey Wednesday….READ MORE

Full Text Obama Presidency November 27, 2013: President Barack Obama’s Remarks at Pardoning of the Thanksgiving Turkey

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

Remarks by the President at Pardoning of the Thanksgiving Turkey

Source: WH, 11-27-13

U.S. President Barack Obama gives the annual presidential pardon to the national Thanksgiving turkey at the White House in Washington November 27, 2013. John Burkel (L), Chairman of the National Turkey Federation, and the president's daughters Malia (R) and Sasha (C) are pictured watching the pardon. REUTERS/Gary Cameron (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ANIMALS)

GARY CAMERON/REUTERS

President Barack Obama along with daughters, Malia and Sasha pardon the National Thanksgiving Turkey during a ceremony at the White House’s North Portico, Nov. 27, 2013

North Portico

1:30 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT:  Good afternoon, everybody, and happy Thanksgiving.

The office of the presidency — the most powerful position in the world — brings with it many awesome and solemn responsibilities.  This is not one of them.  (Laughter.)  But the White House Turkey Pardon is a great tradition.  And I know Malia loves it — as does Sasha.

Generally speaking, Thanksgiving is a bad day to be a turkey.  Especially at a house with two dogs.  So I salute our two guests of honor — Caramel and Popcorn — for their bravery. They came all the way from outside Badger, Minnesota to be with us.  They, like my Chief of Staff, are Vikings fans.  (Laughter.) I’m not sure that they know — (turkeys gobble) — uh-oh.  (Laughter.)  See.  I’m not sure they know that that my Bears are heading to Minnesota on Sunday, but in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’m going to give them a break.  (Laughter.)

We are also excited to have students from Badger High School here.  (Applause.)  Where are you guys?  There they are, right there.  And finally, let me say thank you to John Burkel,  chairman of the National Turkey Federation.  Give him a big round of applause.  (Applause.)

Now, 80 turkeys on John’s farm competed for the chance to make it to the White House, and stay off the Thanksgiving table. It was, quite literally, the hunger games.  (Laughter.)  and then, after weeks of vocal practice and prepping for the cameras, the two tributes, Caramel and Popcorn went head-to-head together for America’s vote as top gobbler.

The competition was stiff, but we can officially declare that Popcorn is the winner — (applause) — proving that even a turkey with a funny name can find a place in politics.  (Laughter.)   As for Caramel, he’s sticking around, and he’s already busy raising money for his next campaign.  (Laughter.)
On a more serious note, later today, Michelle, Malia, Sasha, and I will bring a couple less fortunate turkeys to a great organization that works to help out our neighbors here in D.C. who need it most.  And I want to thank Jaindl’s Turkey Farm in Orefield, Pennsylvania, for donating those dressed birds for the fifth year in a row.  This is a reminder that this is a season to not only be thankful for the incredible blessings that we have, but also to remember the neediest and generously serve those who are not as fortunate.

This is a quintessentially American holiday, and during this time we give thanks to our friends and our family, for citizens who show compassion to those in need, and for neighbors who help strangers they’ve never met.  We give thanks for the blessings of freedom and opportunity that previous generations worked so hard to secure for.  And we give thanks for the service and sacrifice of our brave men and women in uniform who serve our nation around the world.

For those of you who are watching, you keep us safe.  You make us proud, and you remind us of our own obligations to build on the work of our predecessors and leave something better for our own kids.

So on behalf of the Obama family, I want to wish everybody a very happy Thanksgiving.  Tomorrow, as we gather with our own friends and family, we’ll count ourselves lucky that there’s more to be thankful for than we can ever say, and more to be hopeful for than we can ever imagine.

And now, before these turkeys get away — with the power vested in me, I want to grant Popcorn a full reprieve.  Come on. (Laughter.)  Popcorn, you have a full reprieve from cranberry sauce and stuffing.  We wish you well.  And we’re going to give Carmel a break as well.

All right?  (Laughter.)  Congratulations, everybody.  (Applause.)   Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.  See you, Popcorn. (Applause.)  Get out of the rain.  (Laughter.)

END
1:35 P.M. EST

RELATED LINKS

History Buzz November 27, 2013: A History of the Presidential Turkey Pardon

HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP


History Buzz

HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP

A History of the Presidential Turkey Pardon

Source: NYT, 11-27-13

Until 1989, turkeys sent to the White House for Thanksgiving usually suffered a different fate.

Full Text Obama Presidency November 27, 2013: President Barack Obama’s Annual Thanksgiving Proclamation

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 113TH CONGRESS:

President Barack Obama’s Annual Thanksgiving Proclamation

Thanksgiving offers each of us the chance to count our many blessings — the freedoms we enjoy, the time we spend with loved ones, the brave men and women who defend our Nation at home and abroad.

This tradition reminds us that no matter what our background or beliefs, no matter who we are or who we love, at our core we are first and foremost Americans.

Our annual celebration has roots in centuries-old colonial customs. When we gather around the table, we follow the example of the Pilgrims and Wampanoags, who shared the fruits of a successful harvest nearly 400 years ago.

When we offer our thanks, we mirror those who set aside a day of prayer. And when we join with friends and neighbors to alleviate suffering and make our communities whole, we honor the spirit of President Abraham Lincoln, who called on his fellow citizens to ‘fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation, and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.’

Our country has always been home to Americans who recognize the importance of giving back. Today, we honor all those serving our Nation far from home. We also thank the first responders and medical professionals who work through the holiday to keep us safe, and we acknowledge the volunteers who dedicate this day to those less fortunate.

This Thanksgiving Day, let us forge deeper connections with our loved ones. Let us extend our gratitude and our compassion. And let us lift each other up and recognize, in the oldest spirit of this tradition, that we rise or fall as one Nation, under God.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 28, 2013, as a National Day of Thanksgiving.

I encourage the people of the United States to join together — whether in our homes, places of worship, community centers, or any place of fellowship for friends and neighbors — and give thanks for all we have received in the past year, express appreciation to those whose lives enrich our own, and share our bounty with others.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-sixth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.

History Buzz November 26, 2013: Abraham Lincoln, father of the Thanksgiving holiday

HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP

History Buzz

HISTORY BUZZ: HISTORY NEWS RECAP

Abraham Lincoln, father of the Thanksgiving holiday

Source: Detroit Free Press , 11-26-13

It was Lincoln who issued an 1863 proclamation calling on Americans to “set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving,” partly to celebrate victories in the then-raging Civil War. “He’s the father of the whole idea….READ MORE

On this day in history… November 26, 1941: FDR establishes modern Thanksgiving

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

History_Dates

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

On this date in history: FDR establishes modern Thanksgiving

Source: Daily Press, 11-26-13

On Nov. 26, 1941, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed a bill officially establishing the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving. In the 17th century, Thanksgiving became an annual custom in New England, and the first national American….READ MORE

Obama Presidency November 23, 2012: First Lady Michelle Obama Receives the 2012 White House Christmas Tree

POLITICAL BUZZ

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

First Lady Michelle Obama Receives the 2012 White House Christmas Tree

Source: WH, 11-23-12

The official White House Christmas tree, a 19-foot Fraser fir, arrives in a horse-drawn carriageThe official White House Christmas tree, a 19-foot Fraser Fir, arrives in a horse-drawn carriage at the North Portico of the White House, Nov. 23, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Today, First Lady Michelle Obama greeted the official White House Christmas Tree, which arrived via horse-drawn carriage. Daughters Sasha and Malia and First Dog Bo also helped welcome the tree. This year’s official tree is a 19-foot Fraser Fir that was selected in early October and harvested this month at Peak Farms in Jefferson, North Carolina.. It will be displayed throughout the holiday season in the Blue Room. Members of the National Christmas Tree Association have presented the official White House Christmas Tree for display in the Blue Room each year since 1966.

First Lady Michelle Obama, with daughters Sasha and Malia, and the family dog Bo, receives the official White House Christmas treeFirst Lady Michelle Obama, with daughters Sasha and Malia, and the family dog Bo, receives the official White House Christmas tree at the North Portico of the White House, Nov. 23, 2012. The tree, a 19-foot Fraser Fir from Jefferson, N.C., arrived in a horse-drawn carriage. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Full Text Political Headlines November 22, 2012: GOP Weekly Address: Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers Optimism Is Important in Face of Fiscal Challenges

POLITICAL HEADLINES

http://historymusings.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/pol_headlines.jpg?w=600

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

GOP Address: Rep. McMorris Rodgers Optimism Is Important in Face of Fiscal Challenges

Source: ABC News Radio, 11-22-12

McMorris [dot] House [dot] gov

In this week’s Republican address Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.) echoes the president’s message reminding us of the freedoms  afforded to Americans.

Giving thanks to service members serving away from their families and remaining thoughtful of the many families still dealing with the effects of superstorm Sandy, Rep. McMorris Rodgers says, “The same spirit of service and optimism that brings us together today should inspire us all year round.”

“That why, here in Washington, D.C., Republicans have reached out to President Obama in the hope of working together to help our economy grow and solve the debt that threatens our children’s future,” she says in the address….READ MORE

Full Text Obama Presidency November 22, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Weekly Address Wishes the American People a Happy Thanksgiving

POLITICAL BUZZ

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

President Obama’s Weekly Address: Wishing Americans a Happy Thanksgiving

Source: ABC News Radio, 11-22-12

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

As Americans are preparing to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, President Obama take the opportunity in his weekly address to reflect on the blessings and freedoms we share.

Thanksgiving is a day “full of family and friends; food and football,” the president says. ” … But most of all, it’s a time to give thanks for each other, and for the incredible bounty we enjoy.”…READ MORE

Weekly Address: Wishing the American People a Happy Thanksgiving

Weekly Address: Wishing the American People a Happy Thanksgiving

Weekly Address: Wishing the American People a Happy Thanksgiving

Source: WH, 11-22-12

During this holiday season, President Obama gives thanks in his weekly address for all of the blessings we share as Americans, and expressed his gratitude to the brave men and women who are defending our freedom around the world.

Transcript | Download mp4 | Download mp3

Weekly Address: Wishing the American People a Happy Thanksgiving

WASHINGTON, DC—During this holiday season, President Obama gave thanks in his weekly address for all of the blessings we share as Americans, and expressed his gratitude to the brave men and women who are defending our freedom around the world.  As we come together to spend time with those we love, we also stand with those who are less fortunate this year, including our fellow Americans in the northeast who lost so much during the recent storm.  This Thanksgiving, friends, family, and community will gather in the spirit of unity and look out for those less fortunate – to pull each other up and move forward together.

The audio of the address and video of the address will be available online at www.whitehouse.gov at 6:00 a.m. ET, Thursday, November 22, 2012. 

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
November 22, 2012

On behalf of the Obama family – Michelle, Malia, Sasha and Bo – I want to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving.

For us, like so many of you, this is a day full of family and friends; food and football.  It’s a day to fight the overwhelming urge to take a nap – at least until after dinner.  But most of all, it’s a time to give thanks for each other, and for the incredible bounty we enjoy.

That’s especially important this year.  As a nation, we’ve just emerged from a campaign season that was passionate, noisy, and vital to our democracy.  But it also required us to make choices – and sometimes those choices led us to focus on what sets us apart instead of what ties us together; on what candidate we support instead of what country we belong to.

Thanksgiving is a chance to put it all in perspective – to remember that, despite our differences, we are, and always will be, Americans first and foremost.

Today we give thanks for blessings that are all too rare in this world.  The ability to spend time with the ones we love; to say what we want; to worship as we please; to know that there are brave men and women defending our freedom around the globe; and to look our children in the eye and tell them that, here in America, no dream is too big if they’re willing to work for it.

We’re also grateful that this country has always been home to Americans who see these blessings not simply as gifts to enjoy, but as opportunities to give back.  Americans who believe we have a responsibility to look out for those less fortunate – to pull each other up and move forward together.

Right now, as we prepare to gather around our dinner tables, there are families in the northeast who don’t have that luxury.  Many of them have lost everything to Hurricane Sandy – homes, possessions, even loved ones.  And it will be a long time before life goes back to normal.

But in the midst of so much tragedy, there are also glimmers of hope.  Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen FEMA personnel, National Guard and first responders working around the clock in hard-hit communities.  We’ve seen hospital workers using their lunch breaks to distribute supplies.  Families offering up extra bedrooms.  The fire department advertising free hot showers.  Buses full of volunteers coming from hundreds of miles away.  Neighbors sharing whatever they have – food, water, electricity – and saying again and again how lucky they are to have a roof over their heads.

It would have been easy for these folks to do nothing – to worry about themselves and leave the rest to someone else.  But that’s not who we are.  That’s not what we do.

As Americans, we are a bold, generous, big-hearted people.  When our brothers and sisters are in need, we roll up our sleeves and get to work – not for the recognition or the reward, but because it’s the right thing to do.  Because there but for the grace of God go I.  And because here in America, we rise or fall together, as one nation and one people.

That’s something to be grateful for – today and every day.

So to all the Americans doing your part to make our world a better place – it is my privilege to serve as your President.  To all our servicemembers – it is my honor to be your Commander in Chief.  And from our family to yours, happy Thanksgiving.

Full Text Obama Presidency November 21, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Remarks at the National Thanksgiving Turkey Pardon — Pardons Cobbler, the National Thanksgiving Turkey

POLITICAL BUZZ

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

President Obama Pardons Cobbler, the National Thanksgiving Turkey

Source: WH, 11-21-12

Watch the video

Today, President Obama pardoned Cobbler, the National Thanksgiving Turkey, in a ceremony at the White House. This year marks the 65th anniversary of the National Thanksgiving Turkey presentation, and the first time the American people cast their vote via the White House Facebook page to decide which of two turkeys would receive the honor.

Although Cobbler was selected for the title of National Thanksgiving Turkey, both he and his alternate, Gobbler, received a pardon. The two 19-week old, 40-pound turkeys were named by elementary school students Rockingham County, Virginia, where the turkeys were raised.

President Obama, the First Lady and daughters Malia and Sasha will be taking two not-so-lucky turkeys to a local food bank this afternoon, and he asked that “every American to do what they can to help families who are in need of a real Thanksgiving this year.”

Tomorrow, in the company of friends and loved ones, we will celebrate a uniquely American holiday.  And it’s a chance for us to spend time with the people we care about and to give thanks for the blessings that we enjoy; and to think about just how lucky we are to live in the greatest nation on Earth.

But it’s also a time to remember those who are less fortunate -– and this year, that’s particularly true for our neighbors in the Northeast who have lost their homes and their possessions, and even their loved ones to Hurricane Sandy.

He also wished a very happy Thanksgiving to the men and women in uniform who are away from their families this holiday. “But the reason they’re there is because they give thanks too for the extraordinary life that have here in the United States of America,” he said.

After the ceremony, the two turkeys spared the fate of becoming Thanksgiving dinner will travel to George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens. The National Thanksgiving Turkey will be on display for visitors during “Christmas at Mount Vernon,” a special program through January 6.  After the holidays, the two birds will live in a custom-made enclosure at Mount Vernon’s nationally recognized livestock facility.


For more information:

 

Remarks by the President at the National Thanksgiving Turkey Pardon

The Rose Garden

2:08 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, good afternoon, everybody.  (Turkey gobbles.)  (Laughter.)

They say that life is all about second chances.  And this November, I could not agree more.  (Laughter.)  So in the spirit of the season, I have one more gift to give, and it goes to a pair of turkeys named Cobbler and Gobbler.  The American people have spoken, and these birds are moving forward.  (Turkey gobbles.)  (Laughter.)  I love this bird.  (Laughter.)

Now, I joke, but for the first time in our history, the winners of the White House Turkey Pardon were chosen through a highly competitive online vote.  And once again, Nate Silver completely nailed it.  (Laughter.)  The guy is amazing.  He predicted these guys would win.

I want to thank everyone who participated in this election.  Because of your votes, the only cobbler anyone’s eating this Thanksgiving will come with a side of ice cream.  And for that, our winning turkey can thank his stellar campaign team led by Steve Willardsen, who is the Chairman of the National Turkey Foundation and raised this beautiful bird at Miller Farm in Harrisonburg, Virginia.  So here’s Steve.  (Applause.)

And, as always, if for some reason Cobbler cannot fulfill his duties as the Official White House Turkey, Gobbler will be waiting in the wings.

From here, these two — (laughter) — from here these two lucky birds will be swept up in a whirlwind of fame and fortune that will ultimately lead them to Mount Vernon, where they will spend their twilight years in the storied home of George Washington.  And later today, Michelle, Malia, Sasha and I will be taking two turkeys who were not so lucky to a local food bank here in Washington, D.C.  I want to thank Jaindl Turkey Farms in Pennsylvania for donating these birds — or those birds — and I’d like to ask every American to do what they can to help families who are in need of a real Thanksgiving this year.

Tomorrow, in the company of friends and loved ones, we will celebrate a uniquely American holiday.  And it’s a chance for us to spend time with the people we care about and to give thanks for the blessings that we enjoy; and to think about just how lucky we are to live in the greatest nation on Earth.

But it’s also a time to remember those who are less fortunate -– and this year, that’s particularly true for our neighbors in the Northeast who have lost their homes and their possessions, and even their loved ones to Hurricane Sandy.

In the last few weeks, I had a chance to visit both New Jersey and New York.  And while I’ve seen entire neighborhoods reduced to rubble and heartbreaking loss and devastation, I have yet to find a broken spirit.

Countless stories of courage, and compassion, and resilience have emerged in the aftermath of the storm.  But one that comes to mind today is about a tree on Staten Island.  It’s a giant blue spruce that came crashing down in the front yard of Joseph Ingenito, whose home in New Dorp Beach flooded during the hurricane.  Today, if you go to Joseph’s street, you’ll see a lot of damage and debris scattered all over the block.  But you’ll also see the top of that tree, standing tall in front of his house, decorated with ornaments that survived the storm, along with anything else his neighbors could find including empty cups and surgical masks and safety goggles.  It’s a Christmas tree, and it’s there to remind the neighborhood that there will still be holidays to celebrate, and happy moments to share, and life will go on.  And we will rebuild.

And so tomorrow, we give thanks -– not only for the things that we have, or the people we love, but for the spirit that sees us through the toughest times, and holds us together as one American family, guided along our journey by the hope of a better day.

And I hope that over this holiday weekend, we’re also thinking about our extraordinary men and women overseas who are serving far away from home in harm’s way.  But the reason they’re there is because they give thanks too for the extraordinary life that have here in the United States of America.

So may God bless those brave men and women in uniform who are away from their families this holiday season.  May God bless the American people.  May you all have a very happy Thanksgiving.

And with that I think we are going to bestow the official pardon on — wait, which — is he Gobbler or Cobbler?  Cobbler.  Come on.  All right, I’ve got to give the special dispensation.  Congratulations, Cobbler.  You have a great life.

Everybody give Cobbler a big round of applause.

(The turkeys are pardoned.)

END
2:18 P.M. EST

Political Headlines November 21, 2012: President Barack Obama Pardons Thanksgiving Turkey

POLITICAL HEADLINES

http://historymusings.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/pol_headlines.jpg?w=600

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

THE HEADLINES….

President Obama Pardons Thanksgiving Turkey

Source: ABC News Radio, 11-21-12

ABC News

President Obama “pardoned” the National Thanksgiving Turkey – and its designated backup — in the Rose Garden on Wednesday.

Cobbler and alternate Gobbler are each 19-week old, 40-pounders, raised at the farm of Craig and Nancy Miller, near Harrisonburg, Va., with the supervision of National Turkey Federation chairman Steve Willardsen, in partnership with the Virginia Poultry Federation.

The turkeys’ names were chosen by students from elementary schools in Rockingham County, Va….READ MORE

%d bloggers like this: