Frank R. Pignanelli and LaVarr Webb: Post-turkey political gratitude on Thanksgiving weekend

Politicians have much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving weekend (especially the patience of voters). Using a number of investigative techniques (learned from the Russians), we were able to detect the expressions of gratitude by politicians.

Political commentators and think tank talking heads: "We are grateful that Republican tax reform legislation is so complicated that any comments we make about it cannot be easily refuted. Makes us look smart."

Potential statewide candidates in the next three election cycles: "We admire and respect the tremendous stewardship Matt Holland provided Utah Valley University. May his mission be successful and long."

New Congressman John Curtis: "I will always be grateful for the vision and courage of the leaders behind Count My Vote. Otherwise, I would soon be the next ex-mayor of Provo."

Gov. Gary Herbert: "I admire the commitment Speaker Greg Hughes has to solving the homeless issue. Keeps him focused and away from my priorities.”

National Democrats: "We are grateful for the tenacity and bull-headedness of Judge RoyMoore in the Alabama special election. We hope he hangs in there."

National Republicans: “We are thankful for Democratic Sen. Al Franken and that granddaddy of all the dirty-old-men, Bill Clinton, who show Democrats are equal-opportunity harassers.

Women everywhere (and correct-thinking men): “We appreciate the brave women who have come forward and have changed the climate to make such tawdry actions unacceptable. Sexual harassment clearly knows no political boundaries and occurs at every level of society.”

Congressional Democrats: "We are so thankful for President Donald Trump, the Alabama special election, Russia and Steve Bannon. We don’t have an agenda or any vision, but our theme, ‘We’re Not Them!’ may deliver the House for us in 2018."

Congressional Republicans: We are thankful for the authors of the U.S. Constitution — especially for provisions allowing state legislatures to draw congressional boundaries. It may be the only way we survive 2018."

National pollsters, pundits, campaign experts, lobbyists and political wise men: “We are grateful for the chaos that exists in politics today. The more the turmoil, the more they need us.”

News media owners: "We’re grateful we can hold conflicting positions at the same time. We are outraged at Trump for calling us ‘fake news,’ but are appreciative that his antics are giving us the highest ratings ever.”

Former Utah governor and current ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman Jr.: "I'm grateful to have had the presence of mind to endorse Trump in 2016. Given the inevitable downfall of Rex Tillerson, I’m on the fast track for secretary of state."

Sen. Orrin Hatch: "I'm grateful that all those wannabes who covet my Senate seat fully understand that I will leave when I'm good and ready — and not before.”

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams: "I have much to be thankful for: evil pharmaceutical companies just begging for a lawsuit … constitutional provisions allowing congressional candidates to live outside their districts … the Trump atmosphere that has weakened my opponent Mia Love. …"

Congresswoman Mia Love: "I’m grateful for voters’ understanding that a vote for my opponent Ben McAdams is a vote to turn over the U.S. House to Nancy Pelosi and her high-tax, big-government, left-wing cohorts.”

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jenny Wilson. "I'm grateful for the continued health and vibrancy of Orrin Hatch. May he stay in the race.”

Advertising agencies, TV and radio stations, graphic artists: We are deeply grateful for the cornucopia of blessings our democracy delivers, especially the super PACs and activist billionaires. May they prosper and raise ever more money for their right-wing and left-wing causes — and spend it on us.”

Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox: "I’m thankful that political lightning can strike — that a set of completely unforeseen circumstances can catapult a kid from Fairview into contention for Utah’s highest political office. 2020 is coming fast!”

Congressman Rob Bishop: "I'm grateful for a friendly administration that understands public lands and the rural people who depend on them. I won’t need to resurrect my Public Lands Initiative to shrink the Bears Ears and Escalante Staircase national monuments because Trump is going to do it.”

Attorney General Sean Reyes: "Just being normal gives me good approval ratings."

Sen. Mike Lee: "Amid the tumult in Washington, I’m grateful to have mostly avoided the circus atmosphere while writing my book on … what else? — the Constitution (and it has been well received by historians).”

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney: “I'm grateful to Orrin for clearing the decks. Now if Orrin will only jump ship. …"

Congressman Chris Stewart: "I’m grateful for those Hill Air Force Base F-35s rumbling across the skies of Davis and Weber counties. Nothing like the world’s most fiercesome fighter jet to strike fear in the hearts of America’s enemies.”

Pignanelli & Webb: We’re grateful for roasted turkey and pumpkin pie topped with whipped-cream — and for the relative calm and sanity of Utah politics as the national political scene erupts in near-chaos.