Lucky Bird

John McCaslin

11/19/2007 12:48:35 PM - John McCaslin

President Bush has several Thanksgiving-related events on his plate before he disappears into the Maryland woods surrounding Camp David, where he will celebrate the holiday with his family.

Today, he will travel south to Richmond to visit the Central Virginia Foodbank, and from there it's off to the Berkeley Plantation along the James River, where he will tour a Thanksgiving shrine and deliver remarks about the importance of the holiday.

Otherwise, tomorrow is the big day — for one lucky butterball, at least. The "National Thanksgiving Turkey" will be pardoned by the president shortly after 10 a.m. in the Rose Garden.

Downie's diner

We're assured that hungry editors of the Washington Post will be eating turkey at the newspaper this Thanksgiving.

To its credit, the newspaper reported late last week under "health code violations" that the Post's "executive kitchen" was closed for one day "for operating without a license."

Home alone

There will be a unique protest of sorts this week on an otherwise empty Capitol Hill as adults from across the country who spent their childhoods in foster care gather to celebrate Thanksgiving in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol.

They want to draw attention to a holiday season that to them was "often filled with disappointment," organizers say.

"I'm 21 now, and I can't remember a time when I was in foster care that we really celebrated Thanksgiving," says Foster Care Alumni of America member Eshawn Peterson of Tucson, Ariz., who will speak at the dinner. "I have felt so incomplete during the holiday season, especially since the people I care about most, my six sisters, were separated from me for so long."

Convened by Foster Care Alumni of America as part of its work with the national Kids Are Waiting campaign, this first-of-its-kind Thanksgiving dinner will emphasize the need for national foster care financing reform so foster children can move swiftly to safe, permanent families and so other youth may avoid the need to enter foster care in the first place.

More than half a million American children will celebrate this Thanksgiving in foster care.

Lenexa and beyond

That was retired chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Richard B. Myers, dressed in purple, spotted in a Crystal City sports bar on Saturday in Arlington. Unfortunately, despite his school spirit, he was unable to spur his Kansas State University Wildcats into victory against sixth-ranked Missouri, losing the battle by a score of 49-32.

Gen. Myers, who retired in 2005 as the nation's highest-ranking military officer, graduated from Kansas State in 1965 with a degree in engineering. Once upon a time, long after he'd risen through the Pentagon ranks, he was invited back to his alma mater to deliver a lecture.

He recalled sitting in his office when "a friend from my hometown in Merriam, Kansas, dropped by."

"He said, 'What are you doing, Dick?' I replied, 'Well, I'm working on this presentation for Kansas State University.' I told him, 'I bet nobody in Merriam even remembers who I am or anything about that.'

"He says, 'Oh, no, they talk about you all the time back there in Merriam. In fact just the other day they put up a sign in your old homestead there where you were born and raised.' "

It read: "Lenexa, 8 miles."

"Just in case I was getting too big for my britches," Gen. Myers explained.

Social studies

That was 2008 Republican presidential contender Rudolph W. Giuliani addressing the Federalist Society in the District late Friday afternoon, and whereas the leading Democratic contenders for the White House are busy trying to differentiate among themselves, the former New York mayor is seeing clones.

"I'm going to give you 200 reasons why the next election is really important. It's the 200 federal judges that the next president ... will likely appoint over four years in the White House," Mr. Giuliani said. "If a president is elected who has the kind of thinking of a Hillary Clinton or a Barack Obama or a John Edwards — and I don't think there's much distinction there — I think you're going to see ... judges who will be activists in the sense of trying to legislate their social policy through judicial interpretation."

And where would these judges have acquired their social activism?

"For many years, law schools, too many of them, had been confusing constitutional law with sociology. And there is a big difference between constitutional law and sociology," Mr. Giuliani said.