Rounded with a Sleep

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by Ann Nichols

Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

-William Shakespeare, “The Tempest”

We won the big one. I had dared, privately, to hope that Obama would win, and I always said publicly that I was sure he would win, but I felt something hard and tight melt inside of me when it was a fact that he really, actually did win. After Obama was declared a winner, my 11-year-old son reminded me that “now we can both say we shook a President’s hand.” I’m proud to say we did.

We lost the little one, though; Bob Alexander’s Congressional campaign for which I have lost sleep, accepted “snack sized” pay, and written, read, analyzed and studied when I was so tired I was sure I couldn’t do one more thing. We were not even close.


Crash Test

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by Amy Ephron

Dear Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid,

You’ve been writing to me for months (years), now I’m writing to you....
Why are we bailing out the auto industry?

We have enough cars sitting in new car lots and used car lots across the country that nobody can buy.  Why do we really need to waste all that steel, rubber, leather, emit greenhouse gases for a product nobody needs.  What we need to do is figure out how to convert those cars to energy-efficient cars.  We can change a heart, how come we don’t know how to change an engine?

Yes, I know, that 600,000 jobs hang in the balance but wait, I have a solution.  Why don’t we convert all those plants to alternative energy sector plants, windmills, solar panels, solar batteries, bio-diesel, lithium batteries...put the UAW workers first in line for those jobs and turn that sector into a Union Shop.  It’s a win-win all around.

Sports, Food and Politics

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by Laura Johnson

planes.jpgFour days in San Francisco is a "Stewardess" dream trip. My crew of 10 departed Atlanta promptly at 9 am to pick up the Philadelphia Eagles and head to San Francisco for their game this weekend. We parked at a small, remote airfield along with a bunch of tiny private jets scattered around, at least they appear tiny compared to our Boeing 767. We got a lot of looks and everyone wanted to know what we were doing there. When a sports team charters a big plane from a major airline, we gladly park anywhere they want.

The air stairs arrived and a friendly face greeted us only to pass along the grim news that the team would not be arriving until 4 p.m., which was 5 hours later. My first thought was 'oh great; this meant lunch out of a vending machine and some free, bad coffee,' because there are no restaurants inside remote air terminals. A few minutes later a man in a white van arrived and asked if any of us would be interested in going to Ruby Tuesday's. We all jumped up in unison and couldn't get in his van fast enough, without ever bothering to question who this man was. We could not have been more excited if he was taking us to Mario Batalli's restaurant.

No Dessert Til You Clean Up That Mess

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by Carol Caldwell

mrs-tennessee_sm.jpgAround our house in those days, if you didn’t clean up your room you went to bed without dessert.  Not just a mess in your own room, either.   If you left a mess anywhere and refused to be responsible for it—reasons ranging from recalcitrance to outright sloth—no matter!  There was NO EXCUSE FOR IT!

In the great Southeast, no meal was complete without something sweet to round it out.   While you might be able to stand fast, stay whatever course had to be stayed concerning your Mess and its necessity, it was you, the Messer, who teetered bedward in sugar shock, the withdrawal kind, not the law upholders of the land.

It was l960, when our mother’s chums entered her in the Mrs. Nashville contest as a practical joke.  Not because she wasn’t up to muster in all things home ec, it just wasn’t something anyone from our side of town had ever “done.”  Nonetheless, she jumped through the field trials and sashayed home with the banner.  Mrs. Nashville.  Nice picture in the paper, everybody got a big kick out of it.

Why We Register

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by Maria Elena Rodriguez

regfrm.jpgI don’t have enough hobbies.

Following the mantra of “grassroots organizing,” I set up shop at 3 different sites to hunt for new voters: Homeboy Industries on Friday, the Westside Costco on Saturdays and St. Augustine’s Catholic Church on Sundays.

I don’t need volunteers, infrastructure or permission as long as I’m on the public sidewalk. With one rickety TV tray, a folding chair, two clipboards with forms I pick up at the post office, and some hand outs I made which compare Obama vs. McCain views on major issues – I’m in business. In a few hours I get anything from 5-25 people to stop by. Most are re-registering because they’ve moved. The rest are voting for the first time in their lives.

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.

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.”

One for the Table's Favorite People in '08

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by the Editors

  barack_obama.jpg Barack Obama  
  hillary_clinton.jpg Hillary Clinton because she was so steadfast and even when you wanted her to quit, you just had to admire her -- and then, when she did, she stepped up so beautifully and never got off the campaign trail!
  ari_emanuel.jpgAlan_Wertheimer.jpg Ari Emanuel
Alan Wertheimer
could they do a reprieve in '09!
  Patric_verrone.jpg Patric Verrone for being ahead of the curve even if we didn't always agree with him
  keith_olbermann.jpg Keith Olbermann for catching the ball...
  rachel_maddow.jpg Rachel Maddow ...and throwing it back to us
  AB_Culvahouse.jpg A.B. Culvahouse because he vetted Sara Palin
  robert_graham.jpg Robert Graham
August 19, 1938 - December 27, 2008 Detail_of_Gates.jpg
Detail of Gates to the Contemporary Museum, Honolulu by Robert Graham, cast bronze, 1988
  arianna.jpg Arianna Huffington we can't even figure out how she does it, a true force of nature -- and she still manages to look like a goddess.
  david_axelrod.jpg David Axelrod among other things, we admire his ability to function without sleep
  caroline_kennedy.jpg Caroline Kennedy get over it. she's great
  al_franken.jpg Al Franken (even though he wouldn't give us a recipe)
  carol ogline Carol Ogline the 84 year old woman who put Anna up in Alliance, Ohio and went canvassing with her!
  ed_begley.jpg Ed Begley, Jr. because he's been doing it so quietly and for so long and has been so far ahead of the "green" curve.

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. 


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