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Election

TV Dinners

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by Evan Kleiman

oberman.jpgBig TV nights…what’s a restaurant owner to do?  I’ll tell you the last thing you want to do.  Stand in your empty place sobbing with your head on the bar.  There are a couple of nights a year when you are pretty much guaranteed to be hosting a bowling alley rather than a bustling “eatery”.  Those would be, the night of The Academy Awards and THE UPCOMING ELECTION NIGHT. 

So I decided to close the Angeli Caffe on November 4th  for in-house dining, but take-out?  Hold onto that phone!  It’s sure to be a night of fingerbiting, sighing, barely held in panic attacks and a lot of swearing at the television.  It’s a night that caps off a couple months of the most intensely escalating high anxiety most of us have ever experienced not brought on by ourselves.  The solution to get us through the night?  LET’S EAT!

This isn’t the night to savor a slow meal of a perfectly balanced plate of meat/fish/veggie entrée accompanied by two veg and a starch.  No, I think this night calls for hours of guilt free grazing. Think crunchy, salty, (fatty?) bites.  Cheese boards with your favorite crackers you never let yourself have.  Full fat cheeses that seem like strangers to your home.  Little plates of deep fried goodies…

Sleeping with the Enemy

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by Darryle Pollack

russert-carville-matalin.jpgI was born a Democrat. Party affiliation was served along with the canned vegetables I was forced to eat for dinner. My first crush was on John Kennedy. I went to Washington to work for George McGovern against Nixon, and in the middle of chemotherapy I put on my wig and took my daughter to meet Bill Clinton and Al Gore. In my blogs on the Huffington Post, my politics are an open book. But I am harboring a secret. And with the election almost upon us, I can't wait much longer to confess.

I've been lucky in my second marriage, despite the fact that I was diagnosed with breast cancer on our first anniversary. My husband handled everything with grace – cancer, my kids, even befriending my ex-husband. But along with all the great things about him came this one little detail: like me, my husband is a product of his background, the flip side of mine. Which means that I married a conservative Republican.

I never signed up for this, of course. I might have been more likely to marry an axe murderer. Although I'm sure some axe murderers have very nice qualities – as I discovered Republicans did. At least this Republican.

If I Were Running for Vice-President

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by Amy Ephron

sarah-palin-speech.jpgamy_ephron_color.jpgIf I were running for Vice-President, what would I wear?  In light of Sarah Palin’s recent clothing expenditures ($150,000 and counting), it occurred to me to wonder if I were running for Vice-President, what would I wear? I’m a Brentwood Mom. Jeans? Sweats? No, probably not.

But Sarah Palin’s put herself out there as a one-woman beauty pageant.  I’ve never seen her wear the same thing twice.  By the way, there’s nothing wrong with wearing the same thing twice.  Same jacket, different skirt, same jacket, different top.  By the way, t-shirts look perfectly fine under a fancy jacket.  Could someone teach this girl to accessorize? 

Newsflash:  no one ever sees your feet, mostly you’re standing behind a podium. 

Fashion tip:  cranberry goes with almost everything.  One pair of cranberry heels, one pair of black heels, one pair of beige heels, a couple of pairs of boots, on a particularly long day – wear flats.

The Big If

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by Carol Caldwell

votebutton.jpgWhat if the recession, which has become the American voters’ number one concern, is just retribution for all of us who continue to go along with the unjust wars which are waged in our names at a retail cost of 10 billion dollars a month?  The wars have slipped to fourth and sometimes fifth in voters’ concerns this election year, and yet…and yet, how many more innocent women and children and men in Iraq and Afghanistan will debit their deaths for three thousand innocent New Yorkers killed on September 11, 2001?  Today, Americans can credit some 20 of Them to 1 of Us; and every day that the wars of vengeance go on, you and I condone the rising costs.

Those of us who have not paid for the war directly with our children, boots to the ground, are now going to pay and pay and pay for the unjustifiable war in Iraq which was “going to pay for itself” with Iraqi oil revenues.  For those Americans who have paid with their children, or husbands, or wives, or mothers, or fathers, or brothers and sisters, we have already passed the one to one ratio:  4500 innocent American soldiers to 3000 innocent New Yorkers. 

Campaigning for Congress

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by Ann Nichols

alexandercongress.jpgA friend who is making thousands of Get Out the Vote calls recently advised me that those of us working on campaigns should be eating plenty of oranges to ward off scurvy. At one time I would have laughed and made a joke about impressed seamen. Instead, I went out and bought a big bag of oranges between writing a press release and blogging about wind turbines.

Since July, I’ve been the Press Secretary for Bob Alexander, a Democrat running for Congress in Michigan’s 8th Congressional District. For three of those months, my job has been all about getting someone to pay attention to the fact that Bob exists. He’s trying to unseat a four-term incumbent, and “the Party line” (literally) was that Bob was a good guy, doing a dirty job that someone had to do.

This month, the tide has turned. Bob has morphed from sacrificial lamb to Feared Challenger. Two polls, one conducted by a crusty local politico with a history of phenomenally accurate predictions, give Bob a 50% chance of winning. Russ Feingold selected Bob as a “Progressive Patriot,” and one of the largest papers in the District endorsed him resoundingly. We can now pay our bills, we have a TV ad, albeit a teeny, tiny one that’s almost all made of still photos, but it’s a “buy.”

Will Vote for Food

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by Edythe Preet

pol-stevenson-hole.jpgI vividly remember my first exposure to the U.S. Presidential Election process. It was 1952, I was five years old, we had just bought our first television, and I was broken-hearted when an entire 30-minute episode of I Love Lucy was bumped so that Adlai E. Stevenson, the Democratic Party’s candidate, could present his platform to the American public. I wasn’t alone. Stevenson was barraged with hate mail from thousands of other disappointed fans. He had made history by being the first presidential candidate to use television as a way to promote his message, but he lost his bid for the presidency to Dwight D. Eisenhower who only interrupted the airwaves with a series of 20-second commercial spots.

Fast forward fifty-six years to one of the most historic elections our nation has yet witnessed. An African-American is leading the polls as the presidential candidate and the opposition is running a woman in the vice-presidential slot. In the nearly two years that this battle for the White House has been waged, thousands of television hours have been devoted to covering state-by-state caucuses, primary voting, stump speeches, and dozens of debates. Every network has its pundits who gleefully dissect every nuance and nod, and posit their predictions of what the eventual outcome might be. As the critical voting day draws near, battalions of volunteers canvass ‘swing’ districts in an effort to persuade the public to vote one way or another and ‘I have approved this message’ commercials pepper every program on every television channel.

Georgia On My Mind

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by Max Cleland

cleland.jpgSix years ago this week, I was campaigning across Georgia for re-election to the United States Senate. I loved being a U.S. Senator and serving the people of Georgia. As our country headed to war in Iraq, and continued to fight to find Osama Bin Laden, I believed that my service in Vietnam, my experience as a combat veteran, would be of added value to my home state, and to my country.

My opponent at the time, Saxby Chambliss, disagreed; running a television commercial against me that not only had Osama Bin Laden's face morphing into mine but also questioned my "courage to lead." I felt at the time that surely, my service and my sacrifice in Vietnam would be seen in a more positive light than that of Mr. Chambliss's, who was forced to miss the war with a bum knee.

Sadly, as my good friend John Kerry would learn two years later, the power of well-funded lies can be hard to overcome with the truth, and six years ago next Tuesday, Saxby Chambliss won.

Why I Won't Vote for McCain

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by Lt. Gen. Robert G. Gard Jr. (USA, Ret.)

veterans.jpgSome people have been surprised by General Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama. How could Powell, who served in several Republican administrations, endorse a Democrat over John McCain, a storied war hero?

As a lifelong military man, I too will be casting my vote for Barack Obama on Election Day. I deeply respect John McCain’s service to our country. I admire his bravery as a prisoner of war, described by a fellow prisoner as similar to that demonstrated by hundreds of other U.S. prisoners in North Vietnam.

The fields of foreign and national security policy, however, are John McCain’s disqualifying weaknesses, in my view. McCain has demonstrated clearly that he is a dedicated ideologue when it comes to foreign policy, unwilling to consider opinions or even credible evidence contrary to his preconceived notions.

His temperament, marked not only by impatience but also by rude and sometimes hostile behavior, would discourage advisors from bringing to his attention views that might not be consistent with his preconceptions. A President with this combination of significant shortcomings would be a dangerous commander-in-chief, posing an unacceptable risk to the security of the nation.

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Conservatives Voting for Obama

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by Eric Hirshberg

stars-large.jpgThere are a number of people in my life – some family, some friends, some colleagues – with whom I have never agreed upon anything political. Ever. These are my political opposites. My bizarre-o twins. And they have been my adversaries in countless debates; the kind nobody ever wins, but nobody ever seems to tire of, either.

Sadly, politics have become sort of a new sports league in modern culture. We don't really listen to each other's points of view so much as we pick a side and root for it. And just as with our favorite sports teams, our faith in our parties can become blind. I have had about as much success convincing my Republican father-in-law of my liberal points of view as I have had convincing my father, an Ohio State alumnus, to root for Michigan.

But over the last few months, something unprecedented has happened. Almost all these folks have told me that, for the first time ever, they are voting for the same candidate I am: Barack Obama.

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Ballot Box Cookie Tin

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by The Editors

ballotcookie2.jpgThe 2008 Presidential Election is only 3 weeks away and we know everyone is in an emotional tizzy about the potential results. No matter what side you're on, this election is a must win.

In an effort to add a little sweetness to the proceedings and help shape the futures of others, we wanted to share with you these adorable Ballot Box cookies handmade by the Lower Eastside Girls Club.

ballotcookies.jpgThis organization is dedicated to providing a safe place where economically disadvantaged girls and young women can grow, learn, have fun, and develop confidence in themselves and their ability to make a difference in the world. Plus, they make adorable treats. 

Since cookies are just made to be eaten, they have made their voter awareness sweets to appeal to both parties. So, you can support your candidate and a good cause all at the same time, providing your party a win-win on Election Day.

Order today...

Restaurant News

The Nugget Diner
Las Vegas
by Scott R. Kline

thenugget.jpgThe Nugget Diner in Reno, Nevada represents much of what Reno is all about. From a run down strip near downtown Reno, one enters through the gaudy exterior, which portrays a nugget of gold...

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Finding L'Astrance
Paris
by Alexander Lobrano

An excerpt from  "Hungry for Paris"

paris1.jpg Some ten years ago, I went to dinner one night with no expectations. A London newspaper had asked me to write about Lapérouse, an old warhorse of a...

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The Joel Palmer House
Oregon
by Lisa Dinsmore

jphouseI know it was April when we ate at The Joel Palmer House, but with fall finally upon us in Los Angeles, I keep thinking back to that perfect, mushroom-filled meal. The actual house, which is on...

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A Memorable Meal in the Berkshires
New England
by David Latt

berkshire1The road to John Andrews Restaurant twists and turns through woods and farmlands. We arrived at dusk while there was enough light to sit outside on the wooden deck that backed up against a grassy...

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