Not in the Parade

John McCaslin
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Posted: Nov 21, 2007 10:53 AM
Not in the Parade

A North Carolina congresswoman who was once a Christmas tree farmer is coming to the defense of the Lowe's home-improvement store chain, saying it was a "copy-editing slip-up" that led to the company labeling Christmas trees "family trees" in its holiday catalog.

Republican Rep. Virginia Foxx says she fully supports "every American's right to voice concerns over what many see as the steady march of secularism each Christmas season," and like others she paid close attention to the "no small outcry from a number of concerned citizens who thought that Lowe's might be up to something here."

But after "hearing from Lowe's myself," the congresswoman says the company "assured me that they were not out to alter the nomenclature of this fine Christmas tradition."

"As a former Christmas tree farmer ... I also know that Lowe's was in no way attempting to undermine our celebrations of Advent."

Lowe's has pledged to redouble its proofreading.

Seger clan

It's not every day that the average Joe gets invited to the White House, so why not take advantage of the privilege?

That's what Indiana farmer Ted Seger, chairman of the National Turkey Federation, did yesterday at the annual pardoning of the "National Thanksgiving Turkey" in the White House Rose Garden.

"Appreciate you coming, Ted," remarked President Bush, who then couldn't help but observe that Mr. Seger brought with him to the White House his mother, seven brothers and more than 30 family members.

"No wonder there are so many people in the Rose Garden," Mr. Bush commented.

Much obliged

They make it a sport to bash President Bush, but Democrats say they have more to be thankful for this Thanksgiving than they did during the Clinton years.

Both Democrats and Republicans were asked in a new Fox News/Opinion Dynamics Poll: "This Thanksgiving, do you have more or less to be thankful for than you did 10 years ago?"

Exactly 74 percent of Democrats — about three in four — say they have more to be thankful for this year than they did in 1997. As for Republicans, 88 percent have more reason to be grateful.

Open wide

The late comedian Rodney Dangerfield was best known for the catchphrase: "I don't get no respect."

Now, an Idaho congressman is asking that Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers show Americans a little more respect this Thanksgiving season.

Rep. Bill Sali, Idaho Republican, said yesterday that he is troubled by complaints "that Americans are not being treated respectfully as they make it through checkpoints" of the nation's airports.

He says he understands that TSA agents have a tough job, but they "must combine courtesy with thoroughness, kindness with scrutiny. That's not easy, but it's also no excuse for professional or personal discourtesy ... and outright rudeness associated with the TSA checkpoints."

He called attention to three constituents from Idaho — a father, mother and infant — who stood by as TSA officers unsealed baby food and gave the infant the option of eating it there or having it go to waste.

Wandering voters

Imagine supporting Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton for president and Republican Sen. John McCain as vice president. OK, that might be a bit far-fetched.

Still, the National Journal Group announced yesterday the release of the 2008 edition of The Almanac of American Politics," or what George Will calls "the bible of American politics." In the introduction, political analyst and commentator Michael Barone argues that the country has entered a period of "open-field politics," where voters are less permanently attached to one candidate or party.

As a result, he foresees surprises in store for the 2008 presidential and congressional elections.

"We seem to be entering a new period in American politics," Mr. Barone explains, "a time when there are no permanent alliances, when new leaders arise with new strategies and tactics, when the voters, instead of forming themselves into two coherent and cohesive armies, wander about the field, attaching themselves to one band and then another, with no clear lines of battle and no landmarks to rally beside."