When a politician takes a fall, whether you like him or not, there is a mix of sadness and anger.
In Harry Thomas, Jr.’s case, it is sadness that someone from a prominent family, who grew up with a lot of benefits others around him didn’t have, has managed to squander them all for ego and greed. Anger because his actions hurt not only his family but his constituents and the city as a whole. What he did perpetuates the belief that all politicians are crooks and out for themselves, and that the District of Columbia has more than its fair share of such politicians.
Neither of those two myths should stand.
The District has no more or less crooked or unethical politicians than anyplace else, and in the District most politicians are in it for the right reason. I am not saying they don’t benefit from being in office. Of course they do! We voters treat them differently. We are mostly deferential.
I am always amazed that when constituents meet with and discuss issues with their elected officials they often forget that they pay their salaries and they work for them. Too often politicians respond to constituent requests and ideas as if they are doing them a favor. Many even think that favor should be returned with a vote the next time around. Instead it is the elected official who owes his/her best efforts to their constituents. What we forget is that we feed what must already be the huge ego needed to run for office.
When Thomas stood before the judge, one could only wonder what was going through his mind. He was pleading guilty to felonies which could put him in jail for between 36 and 47 months and strip him of not only his office but his dignity. He put his family in financial straits. He must have understood that his children would never again see him in the same light.
He had to be thinking of his father looking down at him, watching as he squandered a hard-earned legacy. I know that many hope his time in prison will be spent repenting and figuring out how he ended up in this situation and how, in some way, he can make this up to his family as well as the people he was elected to serve. I don’t think Thomas is a bad person, but rather a person that got caught up in the trappings of office and totally lost sight of right and wrong.
Now is the time for the U.S. Attorney to move swiftly on the two other ethics cases he has in front of him involving District officials.
We need closure on those cases. Once that occurs, the District can move forward without this in the background eclipsing all the progress that is being made. If there is criminal activity, those responsible deserve the same fate as Thomas; if what they did was simply unethical or stupid but not criminal the public needs to hear that. If they are innocent, that needs to come out as well.
By Peter D. Rosenstein
I'm upset by my holiday bloat! But I’m thankful I've already lost 3 pounds. How did I do it? Here are some things to consider when deciding how you should lose your “2011 pounds” to help you get 2012 off to a healthy start…
A new client shared a familiar story with me. Sarah, who has struggled with her weight for years, had just spent a week at a health spa, successfully losing three pounds. But within a few days of returning home, she had gained all of her hard-earned weight loss back – and more. She felt so desperate, she was considering a 21-day “cleanse,” but was fearful severe dieting would backfire again and wanted my advice.
Her fears were well-founded and illustrated the most frustrating dilemma of dieting: Weight loss is exhilarating, but too often the results are fleeting.
This struggle has been going on as long as people have been looking for quick-fix, formulaic diets. In the 1970s, it was carb-counting with Atkins or Scarsdale. The 80s brought us liquid diets (remember Oprah and Optifast?). In the 90s, low-fat diets were the rage. Then we came full circle with low-carb diets returning in the 2000s and the modern equivalent of liquid diets – “cleanses” and “detoxes” – back today.
But the challenge remains the same: You cannot “diet” forever. At some point, you must transition from the “diet” to an eating plan and lifestyle which maintains your weight and health.
Sarah said it would be such a relief not to have to think, or make choices, and so rewarding to lose weight quickly. I completely understand the temptation here. And these factors do make weight loss with a liquid diet easier for many people. But I encouraged Sarah, “Ask yourself: Will the weight loss stick? Yo-yoing can be demoralizing.” Though I agree it is better to try something than to stay overweight, unhealthy and feeling miserable.
If you decide to go all the way and try a “cleanse” or very low calorie diet plan, you probably will lose weight. It’s a fact: when you eat fewer calories than you burn, weight loss is a consequence. And even a liquid cleanse, if short term, shouldn’t be harmful. (Though some people experience constipation, nutritional deficiencies, headaches, depression/irritability, hair loss.)
But since by definition this is temporary, be prepared to transition slowly to healthy eating (go too fast and you’re liable to gain a lot of water weight).
A second option would be to start with the healthy lifestyle that you would be transitioning to. Lose weight in a sustainable way so that when you’ve lost it, the good habits are in place. I probably don’t need to tell you this is my choice, and it’s successful for the majority of people.
Based on studies of successful weight loss maintainers, here is what you should do to keep weight off once it is lost:
Live at a spa. Not practical? Okay, create a “Home Spa” to jump-start 2012 and feel as good, if not better, than you would being on a liquid “cleanse.” Do…
· Minesweep for Calorie Bombs– Banish any “risky,” fattening or unhealthy foods from the house,
· Control Your Environment- Stock your home (and office) with delicious, healthy foods, and piles of clean, chopped, ready-to-grab fruit and veggie snacks,
· Start Every Day with Physical Activity– Don’t even think about it! Before checking email, taking phone calls, or applying make-up (I know – I’m horrible!), get out the door for a walk, jump on your home treadmill, go to boot camp or to the gym,
· Eat Breakfast Every Morning – Preferably at home, so you’re not tempted by the bagel the size of your head at the office,
· Eat Light at Night – Soup is ideal for feeling satisfied with fewer calories so you don’t go to bed feeling too full. Wake up hungry for a good breakfast in the morning,
· Sleep at least 7 to 8 Hours – Sleep disturbances are correlated with weight problems
For more information, contact Katherine Tallmadge.
Katherine’s “Cleansing” Veggie Soup
(excerpted from “Diet Simple: 195 Mental Tricks, Substitutions, Habits & Inspirations,” LifeLine Press, 2011)
This may not be considered a genuine “cleanse” but that’s good! It contains real food you can actually chew! It’s delicious, satisfying, loaded with nutrients and is naturally fiber-rich for natural "cleansing!"
10 to 12 - 100 calorie servings
4 Quarts Defatted Chicken Stock
1 Large Can of Tomatoes with Juice
1 Large Potato
1/4 Large Cabbage
2 Stalks Celery
1 Medium peeled Onion
1/2 tsp butter or light margarine per serving (optional)
1 Large Clove Garlic
4 Sprigs of Fresh Parsley
2 Sprigs of Fresh Dill
Cut all of the vegetables into bite size pieces. To make the “bouquet garni,” place the garlic, parsley and dill in a cheese cloth, tie with a string. Put vegetables and bouquet garni in the chicken stock and simmer until potatoes and carrots are soft - about 40 minutes.
When serving, garnish each bowl with 1/2 tsp of butter or light margarine.
Written by Katherine Tallmadge, MA, RD, LD
Georgetown University opened its doors Wednesday evening spreading warmth and cheer during their annual community holiday party hosted by President John DeGioia and his wife in conjunction with The Office of External Relations and The Office of Student Affairs.
Associate Vice President of External Relations, Linda Greenan led the hospitality by welcoming guests, including Mayor Vincent Gray, D.C. Councilman-at-Large Vincent Orange, ANC2E Commissioners Ed Solomon and Bill Starrels, Commander Michael Reese of Metropolitan Police Department, Britt Swan, Ray Danieli, Beth Webster, Rokas Beresniovas and many others packing the historic Riggs Library.
The architectural details of the room added to the cozy feeling, along with gingerbread houses, hot chocolate and decorated holiday cookies.
Mayor Gray commended Linda Greenan for her dedication to the community and its respect for her work. He jokingly recalled that he went to the other University. Councilman Orange wished everyone a happy holiday and Linda Greenan thanked everyone for coming out.
The Gospel Choir, as well as the Holy Trinity School Choir, sang Christmas carols putting everyone in a festive mood.
A good time and a good night was had by all.
Written by Janine Schoonover