Election Sweets

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by Joseph Erdos

redvelvetcupcake.jpgI love red velvet cake, and I love red velvet cupcake even more. Not to mention that my favorite frosting is cream cheese. For me this combination is highly appealing in a cake. Red velvet is so easy and fun to make at home. I’ve tried different recipes but the best resulting one so far is from Paula Deen. Her more or less traditional Southern recipe uses oil instead of butter. What I’ve found is that oil makes a much more moist cake than the traditional butter. I am starting to think that from now on I might just use oil in cakes.

I’ve adapted Paula’s recipe here with some minor tweaks. For a more delicate crumb I use cake flour instead of her all-purpose. You will notice too that instead of the typical nut topping, I’ve decorated the little cakes using blueberries, which I’ve fashioned into a blatant political message for this upcoming election day.

Will God Stop Voting?

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by Deepak Chopra

deepak400.jpgAn article in the Washington Post On Faith section in response to their question: Is there a religious reason to vote for or against Obama or McCain?

There never will be, and never should be, a religious reason to pick one candidate over another. God hasn't personally voted in an American election, but he keeps voting by proxy. In an ideal world that would never happen. Supernatural beings aren't citizens. Omniscient deities don't make choices (since they already know every outcome in advance). To anyone who holds a serious regard for the Constitution, voting your faith should be a private matter, not a public one. It wouldn't make me happy to know that a Catholic friend voted for someone solely because he was a Catholic, or that a Jewish friend voted for someone solely because he took a hawkish stand pro Israel, but that's their right. No public discussion is required.

Yet we have to be realistic. God is going to vote by proxy this year. The real question is where his massive voting bloc is heading, now that the Republican Party has been so thoroughly discredited. Can we hope that religious voting will return to being a private matter?

Why I'd Be a Better VP than Sarah Palin

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by Rosanne Cash

From The Nation

rosannecash.jpgI'd like to formally submit myself to replace Sarah Palin on the GOP ticket. I feel confident that John McCain will see that the very attributes he desired in his VP choice can be met, and even exceeded in some areas, by me. For your consideration, my big, fat résumé:


Here's where I really shine. Governor Palin got her first passport in 2007. I got my first passport in 1970, when the Governor was only 6 years old! Not only do I have a passport, I have actually been outside of the United States, dozens of times. I have had relationships and conversations with real foreigners, in their own countries, in restaurants, shops, flea markets, museums, nightclubs, spas, hotels, all modes of public transportation, and even in their own homes. My foreign policies are fair, inclusive and sensitive to cultural differences. I don't ask for English Breakfast tea when I'm in France. I never call foreign currency "funny money" (even though it does look funny.) I don't shout at people to help them better understand English and, finally, I act on God's will when in Paris by going to Chanel, and to all the great boutiques, which is just an extension of God's will...

I know Governor Palin has one distinct advantage in living so close to Russia, in that she can keep a close eye on nefarious activity across the Bering Strait, but I, too, live very close to a foreign country. Canada is less than 400 miles from my home in New York City, and you never know when it might become necessary to invade a sovereign nation that has not attacked us, as we learned the hard way. Not only that, I have a girlfriend in Austin, Texas, whom I'm going to ask to keep an eye on Mexico.

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McCain's Desperate Claim: Obama is Dangerous

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by Arianna Huffington

The McCain campaign is all set to roll out its message for the last 30 days of the campaign: "We may not be good for your bank account, your mortgage, your health care, or your job security -- but none of that will matter if you are dead. John McCain: If You Want to Live."

It's coming a little earlier than expected, but with an imploding economy and no solutions from the McCain camp other than yet another round of tax cuts, Team McCain is hitting the GOP's default key: Be Very Afraid!

The title of McCain's latest TV ad says it all: "Dangerous." The ad brands Obama as "dishonorable," "dangerous," and "too risky for America." That's right, folks, it time to appeal to the voters' Lizard Brains.

For the moment, McCain is allowing his high-sticking hockey mom to lead the fear-mongering parade, accusing Obama of "palling around with terrorists" and not seeing America "like you and I see America." For bad measure, Palin also teamed up with her mentor Bill "Henry Higgins" Kristol to re-pry the manhole cover off the Jeremiah Wright sewer.

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The Maverick and the Post Turtle

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by The Editors

We received this Aesop's-like fable from a contributor, Julia Fowler, and just couldn't resist...

turtle_on_post.jpgWhile suturing a cut on the hand of a 75-year-old rancher, who's hand was caught in the gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man. Eventually the topic got around to Palin and her bid. The old rancher said, "Well, ya know, Palin is a Post Turtle'." Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a 'post turtle' was.

The old rancher said, "When you're driving down a country road you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a 'post turtle." The old rancher saw the puzzled look on the doctor's face so he continued to explain. "You know she didn't get up there by herself, she doesn't belong up there, and she doesn't know what to do while she's up there, and you just wonder what kind of dummy put her up there to begin with."

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.

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 the Race in Michigan is Closer Than It Should Be

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by Ann Nichols

michigan_map.jpgI live in a college town in Michigan.  There are at least 40,000 students who should be voting in the upcoming elections. The Obama folks are doing a great job of getting them registered, as are University organizations.


We have a situation in Michigan that makes it difficult for students to vote if they are away at school. Michigan law states that a person voting for the first time cannot use an absentee ballot, but must vote at the polls. That means college students have to vote in person – this also applies to residents of Michigan who are attending college out of state who will only be allowed to vote if they show up in person, which effectively wipes out their vote as well.

There is a second law in Michigan that basically hammers this in stone. This law was introduced in 1999 by then-State-Senator and now U.S. Congressman Mike Rogers. “Rogers Law,” states that, in order to vote, a person's voting address has to match the address on their driver's license or state ID. The effect of this law is that students cannot vote in the town where they attend school, unless they change the address on their driver’s license.

Hollywood Memo to McCain

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by Barry Levinson

From The Huffington Post

john_mccain.jpgOver the years since directing Wag The Dog I have been asked whether Hollywood producers are directly involved in political campaigns. I hear rumors from time to time that they might be pulling the strings but no hard evidence. But my suspicion is, no Hollywood producer is involved in the McCain presidential run.

I say this for a simple reason, it's badly orchestrated, lacks a narrative, and when they come across a good story idea they bungle it. An example: When McCain left the campaign trail to return to Washington to help solve the financial crisis it blew up in his face. It made him seem erratic, ineffectual, and worse of all, not true to his words. There's an old Hollywood axiom that says, "Don't put the leading man in a scene that makes him look bad."

The shooting script of McCain's failed political move would have been played out differently.

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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.


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