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After being grateful today for family and good health, it might be a stretch for some of us to fill out the rest of the list when coming up with things to be thankful for.

But in the never-ending quest to find the silver lining, I'm determined to be upbeat. Even in the wake -- what an appropriate word -- of the election, there's so much to be thankful for, if you just look a little deeper. For instance:

I'm thankful for billionaire developer and TV star Donald Trump, who dug deep and came up with $5,000 for the Police Athletic League of Buffalo.

The money came from the $200,000 Trump got for his 30-minute gabfest at the University at Buffalo earlier this fall -- the largest speaking fee ever paid by UB's lecture series.

I certainly hope this munificence won't cause Mr. Trump any hardship. In these times of economic uncertainty, we all have to watch every penny.

I'm thankful Mayor Tony Masiello will get to the bottom of why a Buffalo News series showed the city blew a half billion dollars in federal development aid, with little to show for it. He'll straighten out that mess right after he gets to the bottom of the Hickory Woods fiasco, the lead paint fiasco, the Breckenridge brew pub fiasco . . .

After all, he's been elected mayor three times now. He must know what he's doing.

I'm thankful Erie County Legislators Elise M. Cusack and Denise E. Marshall don't have to think too hard. Imagine how unenjoyable dinner would be today if the lawmakers had to bother themselves weighing the pros and cons of service cuts versus more revenue to solve the county fiscal mess.

It's so much easier to just blindly say you won't raise taxes under any circumstances.

If that's the level of mental acuity they bring to the job, imagine how much trouble we'd be in if they did try thinking.

I'm thankful for Johannes Gutenberg, who's credited with inventing the printing press. He was the inspiration for Washington Republicans, who virtually printed money last week when they hiked the debt ceiling another $800 billion, bringing it to a total of $8.18 trillion -- that's trillion with a "t." That probably surprises anyone who thought Republicans were the conservative party.

All of this GOP borrowing will suck up available dollars from private borrowers, which could raise interest rates and slow an already-anemic economy.

Thank goodness those irresponsible Democrats aren't in control.

I'm thankful we don't have to fund the campaigns of local politicians. Fortunately, we have the appointees of prestigious boards like the ones that run local colleges to do it for us.

As a News analysis showed, board members at local colleges are generous donors to the politicians who appoint those very boards. Of course, some end up clashing with the politicos. Still, the arrangement raises eyebrows.

But better that than public funding of campaigns. The last thing we'd want is to have politicians feeling indebted to the public.

I'm thankful County Executive Joel Giambra took time off to soak up some Florida sunshine last week.

Yes, I know it was in the middle of the budget crisis, and some people thought the chief executive should be here to deal with it.

But considering the "red budget" he put together when he was on the job, I'm more than grateful that he decided not to work for a few days.

If only he'd taken off sooner.

Most of all, I'm thankful we live in a country where we still have the freedom to talk about such things -- before Patriot Act III, IV or V takes effect.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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