Sunday, February 08, 2009

I may turn into a book blogger yet....

I am currently reading The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, and I came across the following paragraphs that I just loved. So...I had to share them. Florinda--you are right--you may yet turn me into a book blogger!

"The cherry plum test is extraordinary for its disarming clarity. It derives its power from a universal observation: when man bites into the fruit, at last he understands. What does he understand? Everything. He understands how the human species, given only to survival, slowly matured and arrived one fine day at an intuition of pleasure, the vanity of all the artificial appetites that divert one from one's initial aspiration toward the virtues of simple and sublime things, the pointlessness of discourse, the slow and terrible degradation of multiple worlds from which no one can escape and, in spite of all that, the wonderful sweetness of the senses when they conspire to teach mankind pleasure and the terrifying beauty of Art.

The cherry plum test is held in my kitchen. I place the fruit and the book on the Formica table, and as I pick up the former to taste it, I also start on the latter. If each resists the powerful onslaught of the other, if the cherry plum fails to make me doubt the text and if the text is unable to spoil the fruit, then I know that I am in the presence of a worthwhile and, why not say it, exceptional undertaking, for there are very few works that have not dissolved--proven both ridiculous and complacent--into the extraordinary succulence of the little golden plums."

Ahhhh, I love food and so take great delight in the idea of measuring the worthiness of literature against the perfection of a single piece of fruit. Food and reading--two of my favorite things in the world. Brilliant, I say, just brilliant.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

He's all boy....

Any doubts I had about my son being raised in a very female-influenced household have now been laid to rest. To wit:

1. He just watched a video of a boy screaming for 30 seconds while said boy (not son) farts 5 times, then falls on the stairs. "Mom, this is so cool--you've got to see this...." Although he did watch it only 8 times in a row. (Gee, thanks iCarly.com).

2. While playing solo video games, he acts as his own announcer: "No one has ever defeated E_____; he steals right, then left...oh no, here comes the cheese. Hah!--E_____ is victorious again......" etc. etc. etc.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Tuesday Teasers on Thursday.




Teaser Tuesdays, hosted at Should Be Reading, asks you to:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given.
  • I'm sick, so no rebellious poetry or snarky comments. Just the quote, ma'am; just the quote.

    "I wonder if it wouldn't be simpler just to teach children from the start that life is absurd. That might deprive you of a few good moments of your childhood but it would save you considerable time as an adult--not to mention the fact that you'd be spared at least one traumatic experience, i.e. the goldfish bowl." p. 23

    From The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery.

    Saturday, January 31, 2009

    Poem of the Day

    It's official: I am obsessed with the poetry of Mary Oliver. Here is the M.O. poem of the day--from Dream Work.

    Members of the Tribe

    Ahead of me
    they were lighting their fires
    in the dark forests
    of death.

    Should I name them?
    Their names make a long branch of sound.

    You know them.

    ~~~~

    I know
    death is the fascinating snake
    under the leaves, sliding
    and sliding; I know
    the heart loves him too, can't
    turn away, can't

    break the spell. Everything

    wants to enter the slow thickness,
    aches to be peaceful finally and at any cost.

    Wants to be stone.

    ~~~~~

    That time
    I wanted to die
    somebody
    was playing the piano
    in the room with me.

    It was Mozart.
    It was Beethoven.
    It was Bruckner.

    In the kitchen
    a man with one ear
    was painting a flower.

    ~~~~

    Later,
    in the asylum,
    I began to pick through the red rivers
    of confusion;

    I began to take apart
    the deep stitches
    of nightmares.

    This was good, human work.

    This had nothing to do with laying down a path of words
    that could throttle,
    or soften,
    the human heart.

    Meanwhile,
    Yeats, in love and anger,
    stood beside his fallen friends;
    Whitman kept falling
    through the sleeve of ego.

    In the back fields,
    beyond locked windows,
    a young man who couldn't live long and knew it
    was listening to a plain brown bird
    that kept singing in the deep leaves,
    that kept urging from him
    some wild and careful words.
    You know that
    important and eloquent defense
    of sanity.

    ~~~~

    I forgive them
    their unhappiness,
    I forgive them
    for walking out of the world.

    But I don't forgive them
    for turning their faces away,
    for taking off their veils
    and dancing for death--

    for hurtling
    toward oblivion
    on the sharp blades
    of their exquisite poems, saying:
    this is the way.

    ~~~~

    I was, of course, all that time
    coming along
    behind them, and listening
    for advice.

    ~~~~

    And the man who merely
    washed Michelangelo's brushes, kneeling
    on the damp bricks, staring
    every day at the colors pouring out of them,

    lived to be a hundred years old.

    Friday, January 30, 2009

    Tuesday Teasers on Friday--Yes, Late Again



    In keeping with my recent rebellion against all rules and constraints, I bring you not just Tuesday Teasers on a Friday--but I bring you poetry--in the form of a whole damn poem.

    Teaser Tuesdays, hosted at Should Be Reading, asks you to:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given.
  • I'm currently in between books, more or less (I have more partially read books laying around my house than surfaces to put them on. I'd like to think it's just that I've become more discriminating and don't want to waste my precious time reading stuff I don't enjoy, but really--I think I've just completely lost all focus--for reading and just about everything else.)

    Last week, I accidentally came across a couple of poems by Mary Oliver (of whom I had not heard, despite the fact that she has won a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award), and I was very moved. I am not a big poetry reader--I'm just too linear, I suspect, and that makes me impatient with what I perceive as the inaccessibility of some poetry--The Wasteland, excepted, of course. However, I so loved and related to the poems I read, I immediately ordered not one, not two, but three volumes of Mary Oliver's poetry. I can't ever remember buying even a single volume of poetry, outside of class requirements. (Oh, once I bought some Rilke, because I was trying to track down, unsuccessfully I might add, a poem I had heard quoted....). This week's poem is from Mary Oliver's, Dreamwork.

    Anyway, here's your dose of poetry. Now sit back and take your medicine like a good girl/boy. It's really NOT that bad:

    WILD GEESE

    You do not have to be good.
    You do not have to walk on your knees
    for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
    You only have to let the soft animal of your body
    love what it loves.
    Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
    Meanwhile the world goes on.
    Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
    are moving across the landscapes,
    over the prairies and the deep trees,
    the mountains and the rivers.
    Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
    are heading home again.
    Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
    the world offers itself to your imagination,
    calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting--
    over and over announcing your place
    in the family of things.

    p. 14

    Tuesday, January 27, 2009

    As I am sure has become painfully clear, I have had a hard time mustering the requisite motivation to write of late. Too long a story to go into why--but I assume some time in the next few months, my output will pick up. At least I hope so...

    In the meantime, and luckily, I have others who can fill in for me periodically. This week, it's my son. Each week in his First Grade class at school one lucky student is picked to write "This Week's News." Last week it was my son's turn. So I will let him tell you about his week in his own words. Oh, and don't worry, I have ensured that he retains all copyrights in his material. I would never deprive my son of a livelihood. (Snort).

    And now, may I present......

    This Weeks News by E______.

    It was Miss B____'s birthday on Monday. We celebrated R______'s half birthday yesterday which is tomorrow. We did a science experiment called Will It Float? Some things did and some things didn't. This weekend we had a long weekend, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. For the past two days it's been raining so we get to have lunch inside because of rainy day schedule. Usually we have morning work in the morning, but this morning we had DEAR, Drop Everything And Read.

    We had two Mad Minutes in a row and also Ms. S said we are going to have subtraction instead of addition. Everyone should be finishing their handwriting books very soon. Yesterday we had P.E. at 10:35 instead of 11:45 because of our rainy day schedule. In P.E. you have to wear sport shoes, but if you don't and wear Uggs you have to sit out or walk during P.E. time. We had an excellent week.

    I hope you all have an excellent week, too! Buh-Bye.

    Tuesday, January 20, 2009

    LA Inauguration coverage

    Despite my near absence from the blog world of late (I seem to blog in spurts....it's just been a tough winter folks....), and in the spirit of a new era of hope and cooperation, I will be blogging and/or tweeting (www.twitter.com-I'm Nouvelleblogger) live on January 20th from a bi-partisan, single gender and very plugged-in inauguration-watching party, sponsored by Jessica Gottlieb, Elizabeth Petersen and Quaker Oats.

    As a staunch Democrat in a sea of Republican moms (apparently there will be a few of us brave Donkey souls attending....), I think I will find this event very......lively? Spirited? Engaging? Passionate? Enraging? Frustrating? Liberating? Tune in @ 9 am PST to find out...

    And finally--to the truly public service portion of this post: Quaker is using the parties to spread the word about their "Start with Substance" campaign which runs from January 12 through February 28. By visiting http://www.startwithsubstance.com/ and entering the UPC from any Quaker hot cereal, you will be able to donate a bowl of nutritious oatmeal to Share our Strength. Quaker hopes to reach the goal of 1 million bowls. Quaker's "Start with Substance" Campaign, which encourages consumers to feed their families and "fuel it forward" to those less fortunate, gives American families an easy way to answer the call of the President-elect to help others in a time of need.

    TTYL.

    Friday, January 16, 2009

    Saturday, January 10, 2009

    Tuesday Teasers on Saturday...



    What can I tell you? I've been running late for everything this week. To make up for my tardiness, I will gift (ha!) you with quotes from two books. Better yet, both of the quotes will be whole damn paragraphs--just 'cause they're so damn well written. So there.....Better late than never

    Teaser Tuesdays, hosted at Should Be Reading, asks you to:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given.
  • The first promised paragraph is from a book of short stories, Sunstroke and Other Stories, by British author Tessa Hadley. She has a devastating way with words and with tone...

    "Neither is exactly unhappy, but what has built up in them instead is a sense of surplus, of life unlived. Somewhere else, while they are absorbed in pushchairs and fish fingers and wiping bottoms, there must be another world of intense experiences for grown-ups. They feel as if, through their perpetual preoccupation with infantile things, they, too, have become infants; as if their adult selves were ripening and sweetening all in vain, wasted. You can see this sensual surplus in them. It glistens on their skin and in their eyes like cream rising to the top of the milk (though neither of them is fat: Rachel is tall and muscular, Janie slight and boyish, only her breasts rounded because she's breast-feeding). They half know this about themselves, how visibly they exude their sexual readiness. They know that they make a picture, spread out there under the trees in their summer dresses, with their brood gamobling around them." Page 5 (from the title story "Sunstroke").


    The second is from a book called, inaptly enough, The Little Book, by Selden Edwards. Why inapt? The book is not little and it took 30 years for the author to write it. Little indeed. It is about a 47-year-old man in 1988 who is plunged back into turn of the century Vienna by an event he cannot immediately remember. Thus far (I'm only about 60 pages into it), the book is mesmerizing.

    "Wheeler's mind raced, and then as if his grandmother's frail hand reached back to him one more time, he remembered her last words at the conclusion of the waltz a few days before, as they sat on the couch. 'You need to know-' she had said, catching her breath in short little gasps, then recapturing her composure. 'My life was very different from others. But-' She paused and looked down, as if distracted by a thought too complicated for words. 'Because of what I knew.' Then she looked up squarely into his eyes, as if trying to penetrate across time to the deepest recesses of collective history. 'You must know-' He remembered something in those strong eyes of hers. What she might have called ardor. She took his hands in hers and held them tightly. 'You must know this and remember this.' Wheeler felt something indescribable in her eyes and held them with his. 'That I was happy.'" page 109.

    Thursday, January 01, 2009

    Will Someone Please Bite Off His Little Head?



    Does anyone else hate the Gummy Bear Song (in all its many incarnations) as much as I do? If I have to hear that insidiously contagious tune one more time (my son listens to it over and over and over), or view the chubby green guy shake his workman's smile-baring butt one more time I will pull out each and every one of the hairs on my head. Smash the computer.

    Who thinks up this shit? Someone--please bite off the rest of his chewy little head (check out his ear--someone's already started nibbling)....end the agony, already.

    Tuesday, December 30, 2008

    Tuesday Teasers



    Teaser Tuesdays, hosted at Should Be Reading, asks you to:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given.
  • This week's work is a beautifully written (and very short) novelization of the author's parents lives and their family secrets. Spare and devastating--I highly recommend this quick, but haunting read:

    Memory by Phillipe Grimbert; translated from the French by Polly McLean:

    "A woman who'd tucked a stray lock of hair back into her bun. Now she was just this broken doll, dragged along like a sack, her back bouncing on the pebbles of the path." p. 52.

    Monday, December 15, 2008

    Every parent's dream . . .or is it nightmare?

    video

    You'll just have to turn your head sideways. I promise you it's worth it. Oh and make sure the sound is ON.

    PSA

    Ladies (and probably gentlemen, too): Do not blow dry your hair when you are naked if you are using a brush with a very sharp pointy end. Your nipple will never be the same....

    This public service announcement is brought to you courtesy of the "Duh School of Klutziness."

    Thursday, December 11, 2008

    Words on Women and Strength

    I'm too depressed today to write. Just one of my periodic existential crises. It will eventually pass. The following, sent to me by one of my best friends (thanks Coop!), cheered me a bit, so I'll share it here (I also shared it on Facebook, if you must know).


    Wednesday, December 10, 2008

    Miscellania

    It's another shallow, yet busy day for me. So, in keeping with my renewed commitment to post more frequently, I am going to do just that. However, I can't promise it'll be deep. In fact, it'll be pretty durn shallow--as my entire day has been.

    The World's Best Hot Chocolate:

    Although I hestitate to call anything having to do with chocolate "shallow" (especially this--which is among the most intense chocolate experiences I've had in a couple of years), in the grand scheme of things--looking at the economy, the state of the world, corruption scandals and terrorist killings--it's pretty fucking shallow. But we all have to get a little pleasure somewhere, don't we??

    So, if it's pleasure you are seeking (or at least pleasure of the chocolate variety), hie thee over to Chocolatt on the south side of Wilshire, a little east of Bundy. This Belgian chocolate shop has all sorts of ways to satisfy your chocolate jones, but by far my favorite is the store's intense hot chocolate. We're not talking your mom's hot cocoa. We're talking thick, hot, molten, melted, creamy, chocolate goodness like nothing you've ever tasted. (Although it's not as thick as the pudding-like consistency of Spanish hot chocolate). It truly is like drinking melted chocolate. With a lot of cream. My daughter and I are both pretty devoted chocoholics and neither of us could finish our small, extremely rich drinks. (They will make a less intense version for kids, but my daughter was having none of that--she wanted her chocolate straight up, thank you.) Never fear, however. You can bring home your cup of chocolately goodness, store it in the refrigerator (just watch how thick it becomes as it cools) and microwave it later.

    A friend who introduced me to this little slice of heaven (or hell, depending upon your perspective on calories and fat.....) likes to take the decadence one step further. She gets the hot chocolate alongside a scoop of the shop's delectable homemade ice cream, dipping her spoon into one and then the other...Frankly, I don't even want to venture into that realm. I might never surface.

    So check this place out on a day you need to warm up--or just be comforted.

    New Nail Color:

    Now we are truly entering the realm of the shallow. Another friend introduced me to the COOLEST nail color (I thought it was new, but upon further research, it appears the color has been out for at least a year....). It's called "My Private Jet" (from OPI) and it is, well, so cool. It is a gray--almost charcoal--based color with multi-colored metallic flecks in it. If you put only one coat on, it actually looks a little brown (and sparkly). With two coats you the gray really pops, and the shade changes with the light, because of all the different metallic colors in it. I guess it is hard to describe adequately. Let it be said, though, that I rarely put dark colors on my fingernails (I hate my stubby little fingers), but I love this shade so much it I tried it out. And it rocks. It really does. Almost makes me feel young. I'm sure my husband will make fun of me for this, but what the hey. Might as well get what joy we can from the little things.

    Tuesday, December 09, 2008

    My Teaser Tuesdays are Back. . .and hopefully so am I.



    Teaser Tuesdays, hosted at Should Be Reading, asks you to:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given.
  • Good to be back, folks. How you been? I am hopeful that I will be posting more frequently again. Hopefully, the more I write, the more inspired I will become.

    In order to ease back into posting, I thought I'd choose an easy day to start...hence, I begin with Teaser Tuesdays, which require only a minimum of thought on my part.

    Two books again this week: One fiction, one nonfiction.

    The first is the novel The Great Man, by Kate Christensen. It tells the story of an artist, a male painter, after his death, as revealed by the three women in his life: his wife, his long-term mistress and his artist sister.

    "Being dragged from the world of painting back into the world of life was as difficult as forcing herself from the world of life back into the world of painting. A thick but permeable membrane separated them." p. 118


    The second is Woman: An Intimate Geography by the brilliant Natalie Angier.

    "The aesthetic breast is a bon vivant, after all, a party favor. For reliability, look to the ducts and lobules. They'll return when needed, and they're not afraid to work up a sweat." p. 145 (Okay-it was three sentences. . .but they fit together like....like...like breasts and brassieres!).

    Happy Reading, folks!

    Sunday, November 30, 2008

    Because Everything Tastes Better With Dirt

    One of my great joys in life, as you may have already ascertained if you've read my blog in the past, is listening to my kids mangle the English language. I don't know why. If you were an adult, I'd want to launch an RPG at you for misusing our esteemed language, but if you're a kid--well, it's just adorable.

    One of my son's newest malapropisms is getting some extended play in our household. You see, he is one of those kids with an extremely limited diet (yeah, yeah, lecture me all you want. . .I know). One of the few things he eats is soy bacon, otherwise known as fake bacon around here. And it probably would not surprise you to learn that he is very particular about how is fake bacon is prepared. It has to be chewy, oily and a bit underdone. Well, sometimes Mama and her microwave don't quite measure up to his standards.

    Recently, when this happened, my son yelled: "Mama my bacon isn't SOILISH." I looked at him in askance and said, "What?." "Soilish, Mama, soilish, my bacon isn't soilish enough." "Soilish"? I replied. I'm thinkin': his bacon isn't dirty enough? What the hell is this child's problem? Finally, after a lot of digging, I was able to figure out what he truly wanted. He wanted his bacon oily and limp (sounds appealing, no?). Somehow, he must have gotten the words soy and oil all mixed up, and came up with "soilish." Once I was finally able to stop howling with laughter, I wiped the tears from my eyes and asked him if he knew what soil is. He shook his head, no, so I explained--and he thought that was pretty darn funny--but he still wanted me to re-cook his bacon to "soilish" perfection.

    Plopping a new plate down in front of him, I said with a grin: "Because everything tastes better with dirt."

    And from there a mantra was born...

    Wednesday, November 26, 2008

    Thanksgiving

    Hey there...remember my friend Jerry? Well, I'm continuing to steal his words for my posts, as my well has temporarily (I hope only temporarily) run dry. I couldn't sum up the Thanksgiving holiday any better than he has. And let's all do as Jerry suggests...give thanks for what we have and remember to reach out to those we care about.

    Thanksgiving Again!

    Posted 10 hours ago

    One of the first words that our girls learned was “again.” When Emma and Claire were very little, if they liked what you were doing and wanted you to repeat it – they would say “Again!”

    If you have little kids – or spend any time with little kids -- you know what I mean: Playing peek-a-boo. “Again!” Tickling their sides. “Again!” Pushing them on a swing. “Again!”

    Never has the word “Again!” been more powerfully on my mind than right now. As I think about what I am thankful for this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the ability to say and do “again” this year. To host Thanksgiving, to accompany the girls on Halloween and to the pumpkin patch, to celebrate the Jewish holidays this fall, to be at the girls’ bus stop when they get home from school, to cheer Emma at her soccer games, to walk the Billy Goat Trail, to play poker with the guys. I could list hundreds more activities. Pretty simple things. But things that I did not know I would be able to do this year, and I am grateful for the ability to have done them all again.

    I am also grateful for lots of things that were “firsts” for me in 2008 – including Space Mountain, Bermuda, the GammaKnife and visiting the Golan Heights. This list is long as well, and I am hopeful that I will have the opportunity to say and do “Again!” for many of them in the months and years ahead. (More like Bermuda, less like the Gamma Knife. Although I am glad to know it is there if I need it again.)

    I looked back at what I wrote last year on Thanksgiving. And I am still grateful for each of the things I outlined here last year. I am not sure I would say things much differently than I did last year. Perhaps I am just a little bit more grateful to be able to share last year’s posting with you -- “Again!”

    Wishing you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving.

    Love,

    Jerry

    Posted Nov 20, 2007 10:11pm

    On Shabbat, Lisa and I talk with our girls about what each of us is thankful for that week. But on Thanksgiving, we tend to focus more on drinking, overeating, football and, in more recent years, karaoke.

    This year is, well, a little different. And I wanted to let you know some of the things that I am thankful for. This Thanksgiving I am particularly grateful for:

    • Waking up each morning, the summer-like weather we had through the end of October, and the beauty of leaves changing colors.

    • The fact that I am not spending my time angry or bitter. That I can concentrate on getting well and enjoying life. That I laugh every day and have not lost my sense of humor.

    • My brother Norm and my friend Steve, who are both doctors. When I could not mentally or emotionally sort through my options for treatment this summer, they, along with Lisa, did it for me.

    • Michael Nissenblatt, the oncologist who treated me the second time I had cancer in 1984. Mike taught me then and reminds me now to look hell in the eyes and to fight back. His ability to inspire is unmatched.

    • Memories of my mother. Her perseverance for years in the face of illness provided invaluable life lessons. If I am pushing my body too hard now, if I am spending more time with people than resting, if I am crazy enough to host 22 people for Thanksgiving two days after chemo, it is because I saw my mother push herself long after others would have quit.

    • My sister-in-law Barbara, who has guided Lisa and me in addressing perhaps the most difficult part of our situation -- our kids’ emotional well being. Thanks to Barbara, we know exactly what to say when the girls ask tough questions.

    • My team at Johns Hopkins, in whose hands I feel both comfortable and confident. I am so fortunate that JH is only an hour away from Bethesda. It has helped us to live a normal life in the most abnormal of circumstances – while receiving the best medical care in the world.

    • The results of my scan on October 25.

    • The pharmaceutical industry, whose discoveries are keeping me alive.

    • That my side effects have been tolerable. I am really grateful that I can eat virtually all the foods I like – and that they taste perfectly normal to me. (Today it is worth pointing out – turkey is not a food I like. Never liked it. Still don’t.)

    • The Washington Wizards, for not going 0-82. I am glad to have something to cheer for this season.

    • Casey Jones, who has assumed so many of my responsibilities at CEB. He is an outstanding leader, with a huge heart and great sense of humor.

    • Rabbi Greg Harris. He is a friend and teacher as well as a spiritual leader and provides me with incredible comfort, strength and a greater sense of purpose.

    • Our family and many friends. The Beth El, Bannockburn and CEB communities. The well of support is much deeper and wider than I could ever have imagined. Your good thoughts, prayers, great meals and non-random acts of kindness have sustained us. We will be forever grateful.

    • Lisa, whose beauty, strength, intelligence, persistence and compassion sustain me and comfort me every day.

    • Emma and Claire. They make me laugh, make me proud, make me cry and make me scream. And when I look at them, I am reminded that miracles can and do occur.

    For these things, and so much more, I thank God every day.

    This Thanksgiving, if your parents are still alive, thank them and tell them you love them. If you have children, thank God and tell your children you love them. And reach out to a friend – maybe one with whom you have not spoken in a while – and say hello.

    Happy Thanksgiving. With love and a heart filled with gratitude – Jerry

    Saturday, November 08, 2008

    The Great Obama--a Guest Post

    I thought the following might be interesting for you to read. It was written by one of my best friends from law school, Jerry Sorkin. He has given me permission to post it here. Jerry is a tremendous and remarkable person--I wish I could be more like him: This was posted to his John Hopkins Care Pages website. For more than a year, he has been battling Stage IV lung cancer. He is doing amazingly well, and his optimism, humor, humanity and expansiveness are an inspiration. No one who has ever met him has failed to be impressed--or to have become a friend. He's just a lovely human being. So read on. . .and if you wish, keep Jerry and his family (wife Lisa and daughters Emma and Claire) in your thoughts and prayers:

    The Great Obama

    Twenty years ago, I was a first year law student. I can’t remember who came up with the nickname for our classmate, but there were a few of us who called him “The Great Obama.” I don’t think we ever called him “The Great Obama” to his face – it was a nickname that grew out of the kind of admiration and jealousy that you might expect from first-year Harvard Law students, who all had very high opinions of themselves as well.

    From the beginning of law school, he stood out. Smart, articulate, a leader. Ironically, he stood out, in part, for having “real world experience.” Most of my classmates had come to law school straight from college. Barack was a few years older, and when he spoke he could talk about his experience outside of the classroom in a way that few others could.

    Not surprisingly, Barack got a lot of airtime in class. And sometime during first year, I learned to do an impression of him that made friends laugh. I can’t do that impression anymore. Over the years his rhetorical skills have improved far more than my ability to impersonate. But every time I hear him interviewed, if he uses the phrase “my sense is…” or uses the word “folks” when he means “people”-- I laugh, remembering him talking in class during our first year of law school.

    You could tell from the moment you met him that Barack would do great things; he had the charisma and leadership ability that just made him stand out. But no --- I certainly would not have predicted that he would run for and be elected president. I don’t know that any of our classmates can honestly say that they could have foreseen what has happened since.

    When he decided to run for President I had my doubts – too inexperienced, too soon in his political career. But I supported him because of what I and my classmates had seen in him 20 years ago. He was smart, honest, hard-working, cool, and open-minded. Law school was a place with its ideologues on both sides, but Barack was willing to listen to and work with people regardless of their political beliefs. I didn’t think he could win (I had my doubts until Fox news called Ohio for him on Tuesday night), but I figured if he did it would be great. Barack has the characteristics that I wanted to see in my president.

    Across the last two years, we have done our tiny part to support his campaign. We’ve had yards signs and bumper stickers for the first time. We’ve attended fundraisers, I’ve made phone calls, Emma and I have been canvassing in Virginia. We’ve even eaten Obamaburgers. And we got on the local TV news for doing so:

    http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/us_world/Gastro-Politics_All__National_.html

    I spent the last few days of the campaign volunteering in Virginia, helping to get out the vote. On Monday, the final day of the campaign, we went as a family to canvass in Manassas, Virginia. We stayed that evening to attend the final rally of the campaign -- along with 80,000 other supporters --- at the Prince William County Fairgrounds.

    It was very important to me to bring the girls – even though Claire fell asleep before Barack spoke at 10:30 p.m. I wanted them to be a part of history at the rally. To remember that they heard Barack Obama speak the night before he was elected president. But even more importantly, I wanted them to help – even a tiny bit -- on the campaign. I wanted to help drive home the lesson of the importance of working for causes you believe in. It is not enough to sit home and watch it on TV and to wish for something to come true – if you want something to happen, you need to work for it.

    One thing that amazed me about the Obama campaign was how many people I know got involved. We had friends and relatives volunteering in Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Ohio, Wisconsin, Indiana and Florida. And many of these were folks like me: People who had never been involved in a campaign before – and they were traveling to battleground states to try to make a difference. Yes, a few of them were law school classmates – but the vast majority was not. They were simply moved by this election to take action.

    I believe that – whatever your political beliefs -- electing the first African-American president is both an historic moment and one that makes you proud to be an American. It has been so moving for me to speak to people who see Barack’s election as a validation of the American dream. To speak with immigrants and people of color who can now say to their children honestly, “In America, you can grow up to be anything you want, even President.”

    I believe in Barack Obama, and despite the horrible state of current affairs, I believe he and his administration will be able to help right the ship of this country. I believe it because of the character of the man I met 20 years ago. I believe it because I think he will attract a new generation of the “best and the brightest” to come to work in government again. And I believe it because of his (and his campaign’s) ability to motivate millions. If he can run a government half as well as he ran a campaign – as a country, we will be in good shape.

    I haven’t done much celebrating since Tuesday night. In part, I’ve been in shock. In part, I’ve just been exhausted. I put all my energy into those last few days of the campaign. But I did not want to wake up the day after the election and see that Barack had lost Virginia by a few votes and know that I might have been able to contribute. Even in some tiny way.

    The election has held such a fascination for me, I am certain to go into withdrawal over the next few weeks. Luckily, we have the transition and the inauguration to look forward to.

    Oh, and if someone can score tickets to the Inaugural Ball where Springsteen is going to play…let me know.

    Love,

    Jerry

    Oh, and (Karen here. . .), for those who want to know Jerry's background, his undergraduate degree is in economics from Yale and he has spent most of his working life in business-and finance-related fields...

    Saturday, November 01, 2008

    In Memoriam

    Edith K. Lipson May 11, 1924-October 31, 2008

    Loving and well-loved; beautiful inside and out. I'll miss you Aunt Edith.

    Tuesday, October 28, 2008

    Vote No on Prop. 8

    I don't have as much time as I'd like to get up on my soapbox and harangue you all about the importance of voting no on this CA proposition. So, I'm linking to a fellow mom blogger's entry, complete with compelling video. Go, read, watch, and vote no on prop. 8. http://www.svmoms.com/2008/10/how-the-calif-1.html

    Green Lemonade

    Short post today--still too much to do before reno. Wanted to let you know I continue to live and breathe, though.

    Okay, those who know me know that, although I try to make reasonably healthy food choices, I cannot be called a health foodist. I enjoy chocolate cake (and a few thousand other sweet treats) as much as anyone. Foie gras? You betcha. An occasional greasy fry? Oh YEAH. Still, all in all, I try to keep the crap to a minimum.

    And every once in a while, a truly healthy food crosses my path that I actually love. Lately, there have been two items. First is--hold your hats, folks-- Kale in a Krunch Chips in Pleasing Pesto by Alive and Radiant Foods. These are basically dehydrated pieces of kale, flavored with basil, garlic, hemp seeds and some other stuff. Most of it organic. All of it raw. I know, I know. Kale? Hemp Seeds? Dehydrated? Raw? Have I gone off the deep end? Nope, nope, nope and nope. These are the most addictive things this side of crack. The crunch is perfect (if you make sure they stay dry after opening) and the pesto flavor is so savory, so yummy, that it is almost impossible to stop eating them. It is rare that a whole bag will last even a day in our house. Lest you question my judgment, I brought them into my Pilates studio to share--(I know, this is arguably a self-selecting group) and they were a huge hit. (BTW, not every one who takes Pilates is all crunchy and healthy. My Pilates instructor, despite her g-ddamned perfect body AND face, is also a pastry chef--we spend almost every session exercising and talking about food. There's probably something wrong with that. . .but we don't care.) I'm telling you these things ROCK. And on top of everything else--they are really good for you. Kale is a major superfood, so you can satisfy your savory tooth and feel good about it at the same time. This stuff comes in other flavors, but I love the pesto flavor so much that I've not yet been tempted to stray. . .

    Aw man, what was I thinking? This stuff is hard to come by--and now I've shared the secret. (Head. Banging. On. Wall.)

    The second item takes a little more labor, but the health benefits are so great and the taste so yummy (assuming you like lemon), that all the work is worth it. If everyone drank a cup of this every morning--it might just bring down the cost of health insurance. 'Cause I'm tellin' you, hardly anyone would be getting sick. What is this nectar of the gods, you ask?

    Green Lemonade. I cannot even begin to take credit for this recipe. It comes from another raw food source. (I know, what is UP with all this raw food stuff in my house?): The Raw Food Detox Diet by Natalia Rose. Again, you don't have to be a raw foodie or detoxing to benefit from this juice. I'll let Ms. Rose describe it: "[Green Lemonade] literally infuses your body with millions of enzymes, keeps your immune system strong year-round, offers unparallelled protection against osteoporosis, and tastes highly refreshing and filling." It also cures the nastiest of hangovers. (Okay, she didn't say this last--but I thought it sounded good anyway. And you know what--I wouldn't be surprised if it did cure what ails you the morning after. . .).

    I give you....(drumroll, please). . . .

    GREEN LEMONADE

    Makes 1 serving

    1 head (yes, head) romaine lettuce or celery (NB: Unless you LOVE celery, I, Nouvelle Blogger, recommend you stick with the romaine).
    5 to 6 stalks kale (any type)
    1 to 2 apples (as needed for sweetness--Ms. Rose recommends organic Fuji)
    1 whole organic lemon (you don't have to peel it)
    1 to 2 inches fresh ginger (optional)

    Process the vegetables in a juicer. (Apparently, a food processor or blender is NOT what you're looking for here). Pour into a large glass, and drink! Notice how the lemon really cuts out the "green" taste that most people try to avoid. You may use any greens in place of the romaine and kale, like celery, chard, collards, spinach, cucumber, and so forth--as long as there are some dark leafy greens in there too. For best results, enjoy Green Lemonae on an empty stomach.

    Try it, you'll like it. Trust me. And the check's in the mail. Really.

    Wednesday, October 22, 2008

    You know it's bad when. . .

    You know it's bad when menopause looks like an attractive option.

    Sunday, October 19, 2008

    Out of Office Reply. . .

    I know I haven't posted in a while. I warned you. Between my kids practically NEVER being in school (Fall is a big holiday time for the Jewish Day School set) and trying to get ready for this move to our temporary abode, I simply have no time to write, and my focus at the moment ain't much to brag about either. No focus=no creativity=no topic=no output.

    Sometime soon after November 1, though, I hope to start posting again. And hopefully the nice ladies who run the LA Moms Blog will not have kicked me off (I'm supposed to post there at least twice a month. . .oops. I promise I'll make it up to you!)

    So hang in there, all two of you. I'll talk at you soon.

    Sunday, September 21, 2008

    Musical Misunderstandings, Excuses and Tuesday Teasers on Sunday

    MUSICAL MISUNDERSTANDINGS

    I've posted previously about my son's interpretation of Elvis Costello's Oliver's Army ("Ollabazami"). Two other songs recently made me remember how EASY it is to misunderstand song lyrics--and how funny the results.

    First up--Suicide Blonde by INXS. I hadn't heard this one in a long time when it recently popped up on my radio. I remembered how I could never figure out what the hell Michael Hutchence was saying. To me, instead of "Suicide Blonde", it sounded like he was crooning "Soup and Salad Bar." I couldn't figure out why anyone wanted to write a song about a soup and salad bar. Maybe it was a riff on society's bourgeois sensibilities? Obviously, I was at some point informed of my error. But you know what? Nothing's changed. It STILL sounds like he's saying "Soup and Salad Bar" to me. Seriously--go listen to it and tell me if you don't think it sounds more like my interpretation!

    Second, my kids heard a radio promo for a concert or something with David Byrne and Brian Eno--and a generous snippet of the Talking Heads' "Life During Wartime" was played. You can probably guess which part of the song it was: "This ain't no party, this ain't no disco, this ain't no foolin' around. . ." This resulted in loud guffawing from the back seat and the question: "Did he really say 'this ain't no potty,' Mama??" I of course explained that he was saying "party," not that the kids cared. They decided they liked it better as "This ain't no potty." So every time the promo comes on I am treated to their interpretation plus any other scatological lyrics they can come up with . . .--stuff like "This ain't no potty, this ain't no disco, don't want no poop in this house." It's lovely. (And okay, yeah, it's funny--but then again, I have the sense of humor of a 10-year-old boy).

    Maybe Musical Misunderstandings is a misnomer. Perhaps I should have called this section "Lyrical Misunderstandings." Nah, the first is so much more charmingly alliterative. (I just love saying that word. . ."aaaalllliiiiittttterrrrrrittttttivvvvvvve.")
    ====================================
    EXCUSES

    I'm sorry not to be writing more frequently. My husband is out-of-town for more than two weeks and we're getting ready to remodel the downstairs of our house. I seem to be spending all my time on that. (This week alone, I had at least 6-hours worth of meetings involving the remodel). And carpooling. And grocery shopping. And bill paying. And errands. And otherwise shuttling the kids around and yada, yada. The usual. We're also getting ready to go back east for a week for the Jewish holidays. All of this is making it very difficult for me to sit down at the computer and just write. I know, I know, bitch, moan, bitch, moan. And I've got news for you, folks. It's probably only going to get worse. Because as soon as I get back from my trip, I've got to find a temporary abode for us and pack up everything--all in the space of about three weeks. I hoping, at least, that the remodel, once it has begun, will provide me with fodder to write about. So, bear with me. All 2 of you who are regular readers!
    =====================================
    TUESDAY TEASERS


    As usual, I can't manage to post my Tuesday Teasers on the correct day. So here are mine for this week. Or is it last week? Tell you what--I'll post the teasers today for this coming Tuesday, but won't link the post at Should Be Reading until Tuesday. Does that work for you? Well, it works for me, so you're stuck with it.



    Teaser Tuesdays, hosted at Should Be Reading, asks you to:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given.
  • As usual, I can't confine myself to an excerpt from only one book. I actually think I'm showing enormous self-control in quoting from only two. Count your blessings.

    The first is from Nancy Horan's novelization of Frank Lloyd Wright's affair with Mamah Borthwick--told from her (Mamah's, that is) perspective--Loving Frank:

    "As she pulled into the driveway, she saw him and the workmen crouched around something, probably plans. When she got closer, she saw that they were circled around an array of eggs, standing, every last one of them, on end." Page 227.

    The second is from the YA fantasy novel, first in a series, called Fablehaven, by Brandon Mull:

    "'Are you okay?' Kendra said, squatting beside Seth.

    He made a garbled moan, then a second, more distressed complaint that sounded like a donkey gargling mouthwash." Page 132

    Wednesday, September 17, 2008

    LMAO, so I won't cry

    This in from the AP:

    McCain and running mate Sarah Palin softened opposition to government bailouts, accepting the U.S. takeover of the nation's largest insurer as unfortunate but necessary to protect ordinary Americans.

    "The shot that has been called by the Feds — it's understandable but very, very disappointing that taxpayers are called upon for another one," Palin told reporters during a visit to delicatessen in Cleveland.

    Uh, did it ever occur to McPalin that the "understandable but very, very disappointing" decision the government made is a direct result of the deregulation policies supported by McCain, and his Republican cronies and predecessors? The hypocrisy is appalling. I just wish I could find it surprising.

    Monday, September 15, 2008

    Black Shoes

    So, I was reading this morning's HARO requests and came across the following from a writer at Reader's Digest:

    "Why do many women frequently own 12 pairs of black shoes?"

    "Aha," I crowed. "FINALLY, something I can answer."

    Usually when I look at the reporters' requests they're so specialized that there's no way a simple (simple-minded?) SAHM like me could be of any assistance. They're looking for stuff like "Icelandic lesbian mothers with children with Aspergers Syndrome and careers in reindeer marketing. I want to know: How do you do it all.?"

    But shoes? Black shoes? THAT I could answer.

    My response to Mr. Reader's Digest was more or less the following. Of course, being the good Jewish mother I am, I first had to answer his question with a question:

    "Why only 12?"

    I mean, come one, how many pairs of black shoes do YOU own????

    My second response was: You know that old joke--Why does a dog lick his balls? Well, the answer to your question, Mr. Reporter, is the same--BECAUSE WE CAN.

    However, I felt a little guilty about my flippant remarks and decided to give him a more serious answer to his question. To wit:

    Black shoes, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways:

    Casual for jeans
    Casual nice for nice pants
    Work low heels
    Work high heels

    Summer nice sandals
    Summer bum-around-in shorts-sandals
    Semi-Dressy conservative high heels (for synagogue, church, etc.)
    Semi-Dressy conservative low heels (ditto)

    Formal, knock-me-down-and-fuck-me, sexy heels (cocktail parties, balls, galas, privacy of your own bedroom, etc.) -at least 2 pairs, one for summer, one for winter. (I chickened out, though--I left the "fuck-me" part out of my e-mail. This is Reader's Digest, for chrissake. And come to think of it, the formal shoes should have had their own category separate from the fuck-me shoes, because, really, they are--or can be--very different animals).

    Clogs
    Sneakers
    High Heel nice boots (extra points if you have one pair in leather and one in suede)
    Low Heel nice boots (ditto)

    Grungy kick-around in boots
    High Heel booties
    Low Heel booties
    Motorcycle and/or cowboy boots

    And at least one pair of black shoes you don't need, but couldn't help buying because they SPEAK to you. A pair you love so much you'll never, ever part with them. And let's be honest--most of us have more than one pair of these, don't we??

    I don't see what's so hard to understand. Duh.

    How many pairs of black shoes do you own? I really do want to know. Bonus points for putting it in appropriate sonnet form. No freakin' way I had to time or patience to do that.

    Contest on friend's blog

    My friend Florinda is hosting a giveaway of Joshua Henkin's Matrimony (signed by the author). Head on over to The 3 R's, and post a comment to be entered to win.

    Sunday, September 14, 2008

    Thoughts and Prayers

    My thoughts and prayers go out to all those who have been affected by the Los Angeles Metrolink crash and by Hurricane Ike. For those who don't know, a Metrolink crash near Chatsworth on Friday killed 25 people. The head-on collision between the Metrolink train and the Union Pacific freight train, with 222 people aboard, left 24 dead at the scene and 135 more injured in the crash, 95 of them critically or seriously. One person later died at the hospital.

    If you're an LA local and want to do something to help, I received the following information from the local Obama campaign:

    The UCLA Blood and Platelet Center will be open Monday through Friday to accept blood donations. Healthy donors of all blood types are needed to donate blood. Appointments can be made by calling 310-794-7217 ext. 2. Contact the Red Cross at 800-RED-CROSS or visit www.redcross.org for other information about blood donation or ways you can help.

    I'm sure that the Red Cross is also helping victims of Hurricane Ike.

    Thank you, and please keep your thoughts and prayers with the families and victims affected by these terrible events.

    Saturday, September 13, 2008

    You like me; You really like me!

    Well, I had a nice surprise this week: ChefDruck (which believe me, is a much better moniker than ChefDreck) nominated me for a "I [heart] your blog" award. Of course this one comes with strings attached. I have to answer some questions, then nominate seven other bloggers. . ..but that's okay with me as I was at a loss as to what to post today anyway! I'm feeling a bit of a creative void of late. In fact, I'm feeling paralyzed with so much to do, and a lot of things half-done. Ahh, but that's a different post.

    Here are the rules: I have to answer the following questions with one word answers and one word only! Then I must pass it on to seven others! The questions are as follows:

    1. Where is your cell phone? Charging
    2. Where is your significant other? Bathroom (!)
    3. Your hair color? Brown (today)
    4. Your mother? Virginia (oops, NJ, they're traveling this weekend)
    5. Your father? Virginia (ditto)
    6. Your favorite thing? Chocolate
    7. Your dream last night? Forgot
    8. Your dream/goal? Restedness
    9. The room you're in? Bedroom
    10. Your hobby? Reading
    11. Your fear? Cancer
    12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Happy
    13. Where were you last night? Home
    14. What you're not? Easygoing
    15. One of your wish-list items? Raging Libido (sorry--2 words--but "libidinousness" was just too awkward!)
    16. Where you grew up? Virginia
    17. The last thing you did? Dishes
    18. What are you wearing? Dirty clothes
    19. Your TV? Huge.
    20. Your pet? Dog & fish
    21. Your computer? Macbook
    22. Your mood? Unsettled
    23. Missing someone? Yes
    24. Your car? Sienna
    25. Something you're not wearing? Bra
    26. Favorite store? Chocosphere.com
    27. Your summer? Chaotic
    28. Love someone? Family
    29. Your favorite color? All (except burnt sienna)
    30. When is the last time you laughed? Bedtime
    31. Last time you cried? Thursday


    While it's hard to whittle my faves down to seven (I'll get the rest of them next time. . .), the seven bloggers I am nominating are as follows:

    Florinda at The 3R's: Reading, 'Riting, and Randomness (Fabulous book blog, seriously. I love this woman).

    Anna at Life Just Keeps Getting Weirder (I almost hesitate to give you this one; she is so freakin' funny, you may never read my blog again).

    Jessica Gottlieb (Not that she needs anymore love--but I'll give it to her anyway--even if she is a fuckin' Republican. I can call her that because she calls me a fuckin' communist. We have a special relationship.)

    Cynthia at Don't Gel Too Soon. (We should all be as talented and thoughtful as Cynthia is. Great political commentary).

    Joanne at Punditmom (This is another one who doesn't really need the linky love; she does quite well on her own--but her political blog is a must-read.)

    Ageless Body/Timeless Mom (I love reading this blog. She cracks me up AND she's currently as obsessed with the Presidential election as I am).

    Nina over at Charlie and Nina. (She's a young, incredibly bright mom who simply writes beautifully and from the heart.)

    Friday, September 12, 2008

    LBJ and the Jews

    Who knew that LBJ was such a long-time supporter of the Jews? I guess there's always room for surprise in this life. The man had flaws--but it appears he often tried to do the right thing. . .and that has to count for something. Read this Jerusalem Post article--It's fascinating.

    Thursday, September 11, 2008

    Devil's Confection

    Forget Sarah Palin--it's Nutella that's proves the Devil's existence.

    Really.

    I can resist Sarah Palin. I wish I could say the same about Nutella.

    Wednesday, September 10, 2008

    Lipstick, Pigs and Pit Bulls

    I can't say it (or show it) any better than Cynthia Samuels did, so I'm not going to.

    Mosey on over and read what she has to say. You won't be sorry you did; she couldn't be more right on.

    Tuesday, September 09, 2008

    Teaser Tuesdays, One Anachronistic Mama, and a Pundit Boy

    Much to blather on about, folks. But first up----




    Teaser Tuesdays, hosted at Should Be Reading, asks you to:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given.
  • I've realized that I have about 5 or 6 books I'm in the process of reading. I just haven't been able to focus on any one book lately. I'm sure it has more to do with my state of mind than the quality of the books; this just happens to me sometimes.

    I'd love to know: Have you ever experienced what I like to call Reading ADD?

    Anyhow--I'm teasing from two books today.

    First teaser is from Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking. I started this a long time ago; never finished it (I just couldn't get into it). I've picked it up again, and find myself enjoying it. Go figure.

    "As I thought about the difference between the two sentences I realized that my impression of myself had been of someone who could look for, and find, the upside in any situation. I had believed in the logic of popular songs." page 171

    The second teaser is from the YA-ish novel(I say "-ish," because my 9.5-year-old-daughter and I are reading this, and, as much as she'd like to believe otherwise, she is in no way close to being an adult--young or otherwise) The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart.

    "The strategy worked, but not without problems. In the corridor between classes Constance complained under her breath, 'Everytime you have a real itch, I get the wrong answer.'" page 227.

    Happy Reading, folks!

    __________________________________
    One Anachronistic Mama

    Okay, so I just had a birthday. I turned (gulp) 44. And, well, I'm feeling kind of old--I no longer think I can claim with any conviction that I am still in my early 40's. It's probably safe, if sad, to say that 44 can only fairly be viewed as mid-forties. Sigh. (Note to self: Begin to lie about age??)

    Anyhow, some of you may be aware of an e-mail service (for lack of a better word) called Help A Reporter Out (HARO). This guy, Peter Shankman--a self-described CEO, Entrepreneur and Adventurist (whatever the hell THAT is--what's wrong with "Adventurer"?)-- collects and collates requests from reporters and other such similar folks (I see a lot of requests for swag bag donations...), and a few times a day he e-mails out a list of these requests with the contact information for the reporter (or PR person, or whomever).

    Today, I answered a reporter's request for info on how college kids cook and eat in their dorm rooms. While college is ancient history for me, I still passed along my secret recipe for dorm room grilled cheese (it involves an iron. . .kinky stuff, huh?). I received the following gracious, if suitably ego-shriveling response:

    "What a great story. I hope I’ll have room for it in my article, as a measure of how times have changed."(Italics and red fucking ink mine).

    I'm a crone.

    _______________________________
    Pundit Boy

    The following happened last week--I just haven't had a chance to post about it. But first, a little background:

    My six-year-old son, who just began first grade, seems to have an unusually keen interest in politics for a child his age. We first noticed this during the primary season, when he was still in kindergarten. According to his kindergarten teacher, he was responsible on more than one occasion for heated discussions over the Lego table--usually involving mini-Camp Obama versus mini-Camp Clinton. She more than once had to break up the fun before the children resorted to blows.

    He would also go into his classroom daily with the latest primary results. "Barack and Hillary are nose-to-nose now," he reported to his teachers. When they asked him if he knew what "nose-to-nose" meant, he replied "Of course, it's like neck-and-neck, only closer." (I swear on my purple toenails--these reports came straight from his teacher--and were usually delivered amid peals of laughter and much eye-wiping).

    So last week, when I had McCain's acceptance speech (what a snooze-fest THAT was) on TV, I wasn't too surprised when my son suspended his game on Club Penguin (BTW, I'm convinced there are evil subliminal messages being sent to our children through insidious websites like Club Penguin, Webkinz and Toontown) and climbed on the couch to watch with me. He listened intently--more so than I did. Then, when my husband came home from work, my son ran up to him immediately and screeched with great conviction--"DADDY--YOU CAN'T VOTE FOR JOHN MCCAIN--HE WANTS WAR!

    Leave it to a kid to distill McCain's views down to their essence. Lest you think I influenced my son in any way--I did not discuss the speech with him (I couldn't have; I was barely listening), nor have I discussed McCain and his platform with him. He merely listened to what McCain had to say and drew his own conclusions. (Smart boy!!)

    My son continues to be ardently anti-McCain--the other day when his former kindergarten teacher was babysitting for us, he apparently also told her that she shouldn't vote for McCain, "because he likes war." She was gratified to know he continued to be interested in politics; she told me all about it--after drinking a large glass of water to cure her hiccups.

    I'm starting to believe my son should start a political blog--we could call it--what else?-- "Pundit Boy." (With a nod to Joanne Bamberger, the original Pundit Mom.) Unlike the rest of us, HE could probably get advertising revenue. . .

    TTFN, folks.





    Monday, September 08, 2008

    And the giveaway winners are. . .

    Okay--I know I should have posted this last night. So sorry. Luckily, the apology comes with a bit of free advice: Don't run a giveaway during the first week your children go back to school.

    Now, without further ado or excuses. . . .

    The winners of the Boca goods and Krazy Ketchup (gotta LOVE those k's):

    Vanessa
    Stimey
    Danielle.

    I just need your address info, and you'll be chowing down in no time. I also have some other stuff to give away--mostly kid-related, so if you feel comfortable telling me your children's ages and genders, I might just throw in a little something extra, provided what I've got is suitable.

    Congratulations one and all!

    Sunday, September 07, 2008

    Palin Speech Fact Check

    I received the following fact check of Palin's speech from someone in the Obama campaign. It does a pretty good job of breaking things down (albeit with some occasional Obama-flavored spin).
    Hello,
    We who work on the Obama-Biden campaign will not resort to malicious attacks. We will let the facts speak for themselves.
    Please see below,
    Best, Mitchell
    Mitchell Schwartz
    California State Director
    Barack Obama for President
    (310) 836-2009

    Fact Check of Governor Palin’s Speech

    STATEMENT

    RESPONSE

    PALIN: “Our opponents say, again and again, that drilling will not solve all of America's energy problems - as if we all didn't know that already. But the fact that drilling won't solve every problem is no excuse to do nothing at all.”

    REALITY: PALIN SAID SHE WOULD BEG TO DISAGREE WITH ANY CANDIDATE WHO SAID WE CAN’T DRILL OUR WAY OUT OF OUR PROBLEM

    Palin Said She Would Beg to Disagree With Candidate Who Said We Can’t Drill Our Way Out of Our Problem.7/11/08] Asked by Invester’s Business Daily “Some politicians and presidential candidates say we can't drill our way out of our energy problem and that drilling in ANWR will have no effect. What's your best guess of the impact on prices?” Palin responded, “I beg to disagree with any candidate who would say we can't drill our way out of our problem or that more supply won't ultimately affect prices. Of course it will affect prices. Energy being a global market, it's impossible to venture a guess on (specific) prices.” [Investor’s Business Daily,

    PALIN: “Senator McCain also promises to use the power of veto in defense of the public interest - and as a chief executive, I can assure you it works.”

    REALITY: PALIN OPPOSED CRUCIAL EDUCATION, HEALTH CARE AND SENIORS FUNDING

    EDUCATION/CHILDREN

    Total: 396,000.

    Anchorage – Fire Lake Elementary School Replacement of Unsafe Sports Equipment. Palin vetoed $10,000. [FY08 Budget]

    Tanana City School District – Repair School Bus. Palin vetoed $36,000. [FY08 Budget]

    American Lung Association of Alaska – Asthma Control Program and Champ Camp. Palin voted $350,000. [FY08 Budget]

    HOSPITALS/HEALTH CARE

    Total: $4,527,500.

    Ketchikan General Hospital Surgical Suite Expansion/Relocation. Palin vetoed $4,400,000. [FY09 Budget]

    Ketchikan General Hospital – Replacement of Outdated Equipment. Palin vetoed $70,000. [2007 Legislature Supplemental]

    Sitka – Community Hospital – Medical Equipment. Palin vetoed $31,000. [2007 Legislature Supplemental]

    Kenai Peninsula Borough – Diagnostic Hospital Equipment. Palin vetoed $26,500. [2007 Legislature Supplemental]

    SENIORS

    Total: $600,000.

    Ketchikan Senior Citizens, Inc. – Access Road for Pioneer Heights. Palin vetoed $300,000. [FY08 Budget]

    AARP Ketchikan – Access Road for Ketchikan Senior Housing Project. Palin vetoed $100,000. [2007 Legislature Supplemental]

    Catholic Community Services – Angoon Senior Center Stove, Refrigerator and Freezer. Palin vetoed $20,000 twice. [FY08 Budget, 2007 Legislature Supplemental]

    Alpha Omega Life Care, Inc. – Delivery Van and Moveable Building. Palin vetoed $20,000. [FY09 Budget]

    Older Persons Action Group – Senior Voice Equipment Upgrade. Palin vetoed $20,000. [FY09 Budget]

    Statewide Independent Living Centers – Assistive Technology for Alaska’s Centers for Independent Living. Palin vetoed $125,000. [FY09 Budget]

    Kodiak Senior Center – Facilities repair and Equipment. Palin vetoed $15,000. [2007 Legislature Supplemental]

    PALIN: “Before I became governor of the great state of Alaska, I was mayor of my hometown.”

    REALITY: UNDER PALIN, WASILLA GOVERNMENT SPENDING & DEBT SKYROCKETED.

    Total Government Expenditures Increased 63 Percent Under Palin. In fiscal 2003—the last fiscal year Palin approved the budget—the total government expenditures of Wasilla, excluding capital outlays, were $7,046,325. In fiscal 1996—the year before Palin took control of the budget—the expenditures were $4,317,947. The increase was 63 percent. [Wasilla Comprehensive Annual Financial Report 2003, Table 1]

    Palin Supported Increasing Wasilla Sales Tax From 2 to 2.5 Percent to Build $14.7 Million Sports Center. “Wasilla residents have given the go ahead to building a new multiuse sports center in town and to raising the city sales tax to pay for it. With the final votes counted Friday, residents voted 306 to 286 in favor of a measure to raise the city sales tax from 2 percent to 2.5 percent to pay the estimated $14.7 million cost of building the center…Mayor Sarah Palin, who supported the measure, said the tight vote will motivate city officials to keep a close eye on the budget for the center.” [Anchorage Daily News, 3/9/02]

    Palin Left Behind Almost $19 Million In Long-Term Debt, Compared to None Before She Was Mayor. In fiscal 2003—the last fiscal year Palin approved the budget—the bonded long-term debt was $18,635,000. In fiscal 1996—the year before Palin took control of the budget—there was no general obligation debt. [Wasilla Comprehensive Annual Financial Report 2003, Table 10]

    PALIN: “It was the spirit that brought me to the governor’s office, when I took on the old politics as usual in Juneau … when I stood up to the special interests, the lobbyists, big oil companies, and the good-ol’ boys network.”

    REALITY: PALIN HAS A LT. GOVERNOR WHO IS A FORMER OIL LOBBYIST, HIRED WASILLA’S FIRST FEDERAL LOBBYIST (A FORMER STEVENS STAFFER) & HAD THE SUPPORT OF ENTRENCHED ALASKA POLITICIANS DURING HER 2006 RACE.

    Palin’s Oil & Gas Appointee Is Former Lobbyist for TransCanada. “Marty Rutherford, who leads Gov. Sarah Palin’s gas pipeline team, made $40,200 in 2003 while consulting in Juneau for a pipeline subsidiary of TransCanada. TransCanada is one of the companies bidding for a state license to build a pipeline to carry gas to market from Alaska’s North Slope. It’s not a disqualifier, but the past connection deserves a second thought.” [Anchorage Daily News editorial, 12/15/07]

    Palin “Counting on Her Lieutenant Governor Candidate… Former Oil Lobbyist” to Help Win Oil Industry Support. “The defiantly grass-roots nature of the campaign may have distanced her from certain traditional centers of power in Alaska. The oil industry is one -- but the campaign says it is counting on her lieutenant governor candidate, Parnell, a former oil lobbyist and legislator, to help there.” [Anchorage Daily News, 10/24/06]

    Palin’s Former Chief of Staff is Stevens’ Campaign Manager. “Monegan says pressure came from those around Palin, including former Palin chief-of-staff Mike Tibbles, Department of Administration Commissioner Annette Kreitzer, and director of boards and commissions Frank Bailey. Tibbles, who is now the campaign manager for Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, said Friday he couldn't comment on whether he spoke to Monegan about Wooten.” [Anchorage Daily, 7/19/08]

    As Mayor, Palin Hired a Washington Lobbyist to Help Get Earmarks for Wasilla – Lobbyist Was Former Chief of Staff for Indicted Senator Ted Stevens. “And as mayor of the small town of Wasilla from 1996 to 2002, Palin also hired a Washington lobbying firm that helped secure $8 million in congressionally directed spending projects, known as earmarks, according to public spending records compiled by the watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste and lobbying documents. Wasilla's lobbying firm was headed by Steven Silver — a former chief of staff to Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, a key proponent of the bridge project.” [USA Today, 8/31/08]

    The Usual Alaska Suspects - Ted Stevens, Don Young, And Lisa Murkowski Fundraised For Palin. “Will we see Ted Stevens stumping for Sarah Palin? Palin said this morning that Stevens appeared at a fund-raiser for her in Ketchikan and gave a speech about ‘moving Alaska forward.’ But does that mean he’ll pop up in any advertisements? (Remember his arguably pivotal role at the end of the Knowles and Murkowski Senate race?) Palin said she doubts it and hasn’t asked… She said Don Young came to one of her fund-raisers two days ago, and she expects Lisa Murkowski at an upcoming event. Tonight she planned to talk with John Binkley, who she says is writing a letter to his supporters on her behalf, and she planned to meet with Frank Murkowski tomorrow morning.” [“The Trail” blog, Anchorage Daily News, 10/13/06]

    In Her 2002 Campaign for Lieutenant Governor, Palin Raised ‘About 10 Percent Of Her Campaign Fund’ From Veco, An Oil Company At the Heart of Federal Investigation. “While mayor of Wasilla, Palin ran for lieutenant governor in 2002. She gathered $5,000 -- or about 10 percent of her campaign fund -- from Veco officials or their wives along the way.” [Anchorage Daily News, 9/6/06]

    PALIN: “I came to office promising major ethics reform, to end the culture of self-dealing. And today, that ethics reform is the law.”

    REALITY: PALIN SIGNED WEAK ETHICS REFORM BILL & HAS HAD NUMEROUS ETHICAL FLAPS OF HER OWN.

    Palin Signed Ethics Reform Legislation That Anchorage Republican Bob Roses Said Didn’t Go Far Enough. “An ethics reform package for state officials was signed into law Monday by Gov. Sarah Palin, just minutes after a former state representative was convicted on seven federal extortion and bribery counts. Palin said the law will help re-establish trust between the public and elected officials by improving on existing statutes. … Ethics reform had been a recurring theme throughout Palin's election campaign, and she pushed hard for the bill to become a bipartisan effort in the Legislature this session. She said she remains determined to clean up Alaska politics. … Rep. Bob Roses, R-Anchorage, who succeed Anderson in the Legislature when Anderson didn't seek re-election in 2006, said the law didn't go far enough. Campaign contributions should be available for immediate public scrutiny, he said, and all contributions should be reported, even those below the current $1,000 threshold. ‘Quite frankly, I thought some of the things should have been a little tighter than what they were, but this is a first step,’ he said.” [The Associated Press State & Local Wire, 7/10/07]

    AUGUST 2008: Ethics Complaint Filed Against Gov. Palin Over Alleged Involvement in Hiring a Campaign Contributor. In August 2008, former state House member Andree McLeod” filed against Gov. Sarah Palin and her staff today with the Attorney General’s Office. It accuses the governor’s office of using its pull to get a Palin supporter hired to a [Department of Transportation] job in Fairbanks.” McLeod said “ ‘Executive branch employee shouldn’t be getting involved in the recruitment process unless it’s based on merit,’ said Andree McLeod, who wrote the complaint based on a series of e-mails between members of Palin’s team…The complaint accuses Palin, her acting chief of staff and others of breaking executive ethics branch and hiring rules. It centers on the hiring of surveyor Tom Lamal, who once co-hosted a Palin fundraiser, for a state right-of-way agent job in Fairbanks.” The complaint is available at http://community.adn.com/sites/community.adn.com/files/McLeod Ethics Complaint1.pdf [Anchorage Daily News, http://community.adn.com/adn/node/128527, 8/6/08; Anchorage Daily News, http://www.adn.com/front/story/486163.html, 8/7/08]

    July 2008: Special Counsel Appointed Last Month to Investigate Palin Abuse of Power Claim. In July 2008, the Alaska State Legislator voted 12-0 to approve $100,000 for a special investigator to begin an investigation into claims Palin fired a former state official because he would not fire a state trooper who was involved in a bitter custody battle with Palin’s sister. The legislator’s intent was to investigate the events surrounding the termination of former Dept. of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan and potential abuses of power and improper action by Palin and her administration. [KTVA 11, 07/28/08]

    PALIN: “I suspended the state fuel tax, and championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress.”

    REALITY: ALASKA HAS REQUESTED $589 MILLION IN PORK SINCE PALIN TOOK OFFICE & AS MAYOR, SHE HIRED WASILLA’S FIRST FEDERAL LOBBYIST TO SECURE EARMARKS FOR THE TOWN.

    Over $589 Million in Federal Pork Requests During Palin’s Tenure as Governor. According to Citizens Against Government Waste, www.cagw.org, under Palin’s tenure as Governor the state of Alaska has asked for $589,599,715 in pork barrel projects. [2007 and 2008 Pig Book, www.cagw.org]

    · Alaska Has Sought 31 Earmarks Worth $197.8 Million in Next Year’s Federal Budget. “But under her leadership, the state of Alaska has requested 31 earmarks worth $197.8 million in next year's federal budget, according to the website of Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), the former chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.” [LA Times, 9/1/08]

    As Mayor, Palin Hired a Washington Lobbyist to Help Get Millions in Earmarks for Wasilla – Lobbyist Was Former Chief of Staff for Indicted Senator Ted Stevens.8/31/08] “And as mayor of the small town of Wasilla from 1996 to 2002, Palin also hired a Washington lobbying firm that helped secure $8 million in congressionally directed spending projects, known as earmarks, according to public spending records compiled by the watchdog group Citizens Against Government Waste and lobbying documents. Wasilla's lobbying firm was headed by Steven Silver — a former chief of staff to Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, a key proponent of the bridge project.” [USA Today,

    · Under Palin, Wasilla Received $26.9 Million in Earmarks. “As mayor of Wasilla, Palin made regular trips to Washington seeking federal aid. The city received $26.9 million in earmarks during her tenure from fiscal year 2000 to 2003, according to the nonpartisan Taxpayers for Common Sense, which tracks pork barrel spending.” [LA Times, 9/2/08]

    McCain Criticized Earmarks that Palin Sought as Mayor.9/3/08] “Three times in recent years, McCain's catalogs of "objectionable" spending have included earmarks for this small Alaska town, requested by its mayor at the time -- Sarah Palin… In 2001, McCain's list of spending that had been approved without the normal budget scrutiny included a $500,000 earmark for a public transportation project in Wasilla. The Arizona senator targeted $1 million in a 2002 spending bill for an emergency communications center in town -- one that local law enforcement has said is redundant and creates confusion. McCain also criticized $450,000 set aside for an agricultural processing facility in Wasilla that was requested during Palin's tenure as mayor and cleared Congress soon after she left office in 2002. The funding was provided to help direct locally grown produce to schools, prisons and other government institutions, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan watchdog group.” [LA Times,

    PALIN: “In fact, I told Congress -- I told Congress, ‘Thanks, but no thanks,’ on that bridge to nowhere.”

    REALITY: PALIN WAS FOR THE BRIDGE TO NOWHERE BEFORE SHE WAS AGAINST IT.

    October 2006” Palin Supported Bridge To Nowhere. In 2006, Palin was asked, “Would you continue state funding for the proposed Knik Arm and Gravina Island bridges?” She responded, “Yes. I would like to see Alaska's infrastructure projects built sooner rather than later. The window is now--while our congressional delegation is in a strong position to assist.” [Anchorage, 10/22/06, republished 08/29/08]

    2006: Palin: Don’t Allow “Spinmeisters” To Turn Bridge To Nowhere Project “Into Something That’s So Negative.” "Part of my agenda is making sure that Southeast is heard. That your projects are important. That we go to bat for Southeast when we’re up against federal influences that aren’t in the best interest of Southeast.' She cited the widespread negative attention focused on the Gravina Island crossing project. 'We need to come to the defense of Southeast Alaska when proposals are on the table like the bridge and not allow the spinmeisters to turn this project or any other into something that’s so negative,' Palin said." [Ketchikan Daily News, 10/2/06]

    REALITY: PALIN ONLY ANNOUNCED OPPOSITION TO ONE “BRIDGE TO NOWHERE,” STILL SUPPORTS THE OTHER ONE

    Palin Refused to Fund Ketchikan Bridge, But Did Not Stop Funding for Knik Arm Bridge.“Among the earmarks: $449 million for what critics have ridiculed as two ‘bridges to nowhere’ -- one in Ketchikan and one across Knik Arm in Anchorage formally named Don Young's Way. Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, also a Republican, last month refused to use any more money for the Ketchikan project, redirecting it for other purposes.” [Anchorage Daily News,11/11/07]

    As Recently as June, State Asking for Cost Estimate Proposals for Knik Arm. “An independent party will be called in to look at one of the most elusive aspects of a proposed bridge linking Anchorage and Mat-Su: the price tag. Gordon Keith, regional director for the state Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, said his office will be putting the job of estimating the cost of the controversial project out for bids in coming weeks. He said the task of coming up with a price could cost up to $200,000 and take up to 3½ months. ‘The issue keeps swirling around, so we thought it best to go ahead and do an independent estimate,’ he said. The cost to get the estimate is going to be high ‘if you want to do it correctly,’ he said. The cost of a span reaching across Knik Arm from Anchorage to Point MacKenzie has ranged over the years from $450 million to $1 billion, depending on what kind of bridge is envisioned and what starting date is plugged into the formula… Randy Ruaro, a special assistant to Gov. Sarah Palin, said the administration, even in the face of the recent lengthy report from the bridge authority, was having trouble getting an accurate picture of everything that is involved in the project, of the timing of the phases, and of the costs. He said the independent estimate is expected to answer those questions. Mary Ann Pease, spokeswoman for the authority, said she welcomes the effort to get updated costs.” [Anchorage Daily News, 6/22/08]

    PALIN: “But we are expected to govern with integrity, and goodwill, and clear convictions…”

    REALITY: PALIN UNDER INVESTIGATION FOR ABUSE OF POWER.

    Former State Official Accused Palin, Palin’s Former Chief of Staff and Current Ted Stevens Campaign Manager and Palin’s Husband Of Pressuring Him to Fire Trooper. In July 2008, former state official Walt Monegan accused Palin, Palin’s former Chief of Staff and current Stevens’ campaign manager Mike Tibbles and husband Todd Palin of pressuring him to fire Palin sister’s ex-husband Mike Wooten. [Anchorage Daily News, 07/18/08]

    July 2008: Special Counsel Appointed Last Month to Investigate Palin Abuse of Power Claim. In July 2008, the Alaska State Legislator voted 12-0 to approve $100,000 for a special investigator to begin an investigation into claims Palin fired a former state official because he would not fire a state trooper who was involved in a bitter custody battle with Palin’s sister. The legislator’s intent was to investigate the events surrounding the termination of former Dept. of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan and potential abuses of power and improper action by Palin and her administration. [KTVA 11, 07/28/08]

    PALIN: “As Governor, I have a record of being a strong fiscal conservative and have vetoed millions in special projects pushed by legislators.”

    Palin Increased Taxes on Oil Companies to Pay for $1,200 Giveaway to Every Resident in the State. “One of her most significant accomplishments as governor was passing a major tax increase on state oil production, angering oil companies but raising billions of dollars in new revenue. She said the oil companies had previously bribed legislators to keep the taxes low. She subsequently championed legislation that would give some of that money back to Alaskans: Soon, every Alaskan will receive a $1,200 check.” [New York Times, 8/30/08]

    PALIN: “I understand that we must reduce our dependence on foreign energy. I’ve worked with our state’s energy producers to expand our production so that we can have a safe, reliable supply of energy produced here in the United States.”

    REALITY: PALIN SUPPORTED EXPORTING NATURAL GAS WHILE ALASKA BUSINESSES CLOSED BECAUSE OF SHORTAGES

    Palin Backed A Two-Year Extension Of The Export License To Export Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) To Japan And Other Asian Countries—Criticized Because Alaska’s Gas Reserves Are Declining. “Alaska producers can continue shipping gas to Asia after DOE last week approved an extension of the export license for the Kenai liquefied natural gas plant owned by ConocoPhillips and Marathon. The companies will be allowed to export up to 98.1 Bcf to Japan and other Pacific Rim countries over a two-year period through March 31, 2011. […] The application came under fire from local end-users, including gas distribution companies Enstar and the Chugach Electric Association, as well as fertilizer maker Agrium, all of which claimed the exports would exacerbate the problem of declining gas reserves in south-central Alaska. Agrium permanently closed its plant near Kenai due to an inability to find enough local supply for the facility that used 53 Bcf/year. In January, ConocoPhillips and Marathon reached a deal in which they agreed to step up development in the Cook Inlet region in return for the state's support of the export license extension. The producers also agreed to divert gas from the LNG plant as needed to meet the peak winter supply needs of the local utilities. […] Alaska Governor Sarah Palin welcomed the DOE approval. "In these times of economic uncertainty, this is great news for the state and its residents. This extension will secure a future for the LNG operation and is another step toward ensuring energy supplies and energy security for Alaska," the Republican governor said. [Platts Inside FERC, 6/9/08]

    · Agrium Closed Manufacturing Plant Because Of Gas Shortage. “Reserves of gas in producing fields in Southcentral Alaska are declining, posing concerns for supply to local utilities. A manufacturing plant on the Kenai Peninsula owned by Agrium Corp. recently announced it would close because the gas shortage.” [Alaska Journal Of Commerce, 11/25/07]

    · Gov. Palin: Agrium Closure Is Unfortunate. “Agrium announced yesterday that the plant will close in December due to a shortage in the supply of Cook Inlet natural gas, leaving about 100 of the 140 employees without employment.It's unfortunate to see the closure of a facility that has provided so many jobs that support families on the Peninsula,’ said Governor Palin. ‘I am heartened to hear that Agrium is willing to keep its options open if sufficient long-term supplies of gas can be found. We know there is more gas to be found and developed in Cook Inlet, so I remain hopeful that those jobs can be preserved.’” [Palin press release, 9/26/07]

    PALIN: “And despite fierce opposition from oil company lobbyists, who kind of liked things the way they were, we broke their monopoly on power and resources.” This

    REALITY: PALIN IS CLOSE TO THE OIL INDUSTRY

    Sierra Club Director Carl Pope Said “No One is Closer to the Oil Industry Than Governor Palin.” "No one is closer to the oil industry than Governor Palin," said Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club in comments reflecting the views of a cross section of environmental activists. They cite her eagerness to embrace expanded offshore oil development, her lawsuit against further protection of polar bears so as not to hinder oil drilling in Alaska's ice-filled waters and her ardent support to allow oil companies into the Alaska wildlife refuge. [Associated Press, August 30, 2008]

    Palin Took $13,000 from Lobbyists Representing the Oil Industry in Her 2006 Campaign for Governor. The lobbyists who donated to her campaign represent a range of industries, including oil and gas, tobacco, education and the Native Alaskan community. "She's fought oil companies and party bosses and do-nothing bureaucrats and anyone who puts their interests before the interests of the people she swore an oath to serve," Mr. McCain said Friday at an Ohio rally to introduce her as his running mate. But since Mrs. Palin leads a major oil-producing state, that industry is one of her top donors. She collected nearly $13,000 from lobbyists who represent oil and gas industries in her primary and general campaigns, according a review of her campaign donations and 2006 registered state lobbyists. [Washington Times, September 1, 2008]

    PALIN: “Starting in January, in a McCain-Palin administration, we’re going to lay more pipelines … build more new-clear plants … create jobs with clean coal … and move forward on solar, wind, geothermal, and other alternative sources.”

    REALITY: PALIN CUT FUNDING FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY

    2007: Palin Vetoed $20 Million Toward A Fire Island Wind Farm Project. “[Sen. Hollis] French and [Anchorage Mayor Mark] Begich both lamented the [Palin] veto of $20 million toward a Fire Island wind farm project and connecting transmission lines. That money was part of Railbelt Energy Fund cash that Palin said she doesn't want to spend until a study on energy needs is finished.” [Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), 7/30/07]

    2008: Palin Cut $20 Million For Chugach Electric Association Wind Farm. As part of a large package of budget cuts, in June 2007, Gov. Sarah Palin, R-AK, cut $20 million in funding for a Chugach Electric Association wind farm. The funding was expected to come from a fund called the Railbelt Energy Fund. Palin said she cut the $20 million because she wanted more information before dipping into the Railbelt Energy Fund. [Anchorage Daily News, 6/30/08]

    PALIN: “Taxes are too high … he wants to raise them.”

    REALITY: PALIN HAS REPEATEDLY SUPPORTED TAX INCREASES

    Palin Supported Increasing Wasilla Sales Tax From 2 to 2.5 Percent to Build $14.7 Million Sports Center. “Wasilla residents have given the go ahead to building a new multiuse sports center in town and to raising the city sales tax to pay for it. With the final votes counted Friday, residents voted 306 to 286 in favor of a measure to raise the city sales tax from 2 percent to 2.5 percent to pay the estimated $14.7 million cost of building the center…Mayor Sarah Palin, who supported the measure, said the tight vote will motivate city officials to keep a close eye on the budget for the center.” [Anchorage Daily News, 3/9/02]

    Palin Increased Taxes on Oil Companies to Pay for $1,200 Giveaway to Every Resident in the State. “One of her most significant accomplishments as governor was passing a major tax increase on state oil production, angering oil companies but raising billions of dollars in new revenue. She said the oil companies had previously bribed legislators to keep the taxes low. She subsequently championed legislation that would give some of that money back to Alaskans: Soon, every Alaskan will receive a $1,200 check.” [New York Times, 8/30/08]

    PALIN: “It was just a year ago when all the experts in Washington counted out our nominee because he refused to hedge his commitment to the security of the country he loves.

    With their usual certitude, they told us that all was lost - there was no hope for this candidate who said that he would rather lose an election than see his country lose a war.

    But the pollsters and pundits overlooked just one thing when they wrote him off.

    They overlooked the caliber of the man himself - the determination, resolve, and sheer guts of Senator John McCain. The voters knew better.”

    REALITY: MCCAIN COUNTED MCCAIN OUT TWICE

    February 2008: Palin Wouldn’t Endorse McCain. “Top Alaska Republicans were downcast Thursday as Mitt Romney suspended his presidential campaign just two days after overwhelmingly winning the state party caucus. Romney’s decision makes it nearly certain Arizona Sen. John McCain will be the party’s nominee for president. McCain finished dead last in the Alaska Republican preference poll, behind Romney, Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul. McCain opposes drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and has repeatedly battled with Sen. Ted Stevens over federal spending on Alaska projects… Republican Gov. Sarah Palin said she won’t make an endorsement until she can speak to McCain. [Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), 2/3/08]

    July 2007: Palin Was Waiting For A New Player In GOP Primary. ‘A lot of us are sitting back and waiting to see if there will be new players in there,’ Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said. ‘That’s probably why that box that says ‘none of the above’ is so popular right now.’ [The Associated Press State & Local Wire, 7/23/07]

    Palin Couldn’t Support McCain Because Of His Opposition To ANWR. “Some Alaska Republicans are conflicted over McCain, including Gov. Sarah Palin. They like his maverick reputation and military background but not his opposition to drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. ‘She said she’d like to support McCain but felt she couldn’t at this particular time because of his stand on ANWR,’ said the governor’s spokeswoman, Sharon Leighow.” [Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), 2/3/08]

    PALIN: “They are the ones who do some of the hardest work in America … who grow our food, run our factories, and fight our wars.”

    Palin Backed A Two-Year Extension Of The Export License To Export Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) To Japan And Other Asian Countries—Criticized Because Alaska’s Gas Reserves Are Declining. “Alaska producers can continue shipping gas to Asia after DOE last week approved an extension of the export license for the Kenai liquefied natural gas plant owned by ConocoPhillips and Marathon. The companies will be allowed to export up to 98.1 Bcf to Japan and other Pacific Rim countries over a two-year period through March 31, 2011. […] The application came under fire from local end-users, including gas distribution companies Enstar and the Chugach Electric Association, as well as fertilizer maker Agrium, all of which claimed the exports would exacerbate the problem of declining gas reserves in south-central Alaska. Agrium permanently closed its plant near Kenai due to an inability to find enough local supply for the facility that used 53 Bcf/year. In January, ConocoPhillips and Marathon reached a deal in which they agreed to step up development in the Cook Inlet region in return for the state's support of the export license extension. The producers also agreed to divert gas from the LNG plant as needed to meet the peak winter supply needs of the local utilities. […] Alaska Governor Sarah Palin welcomed the DOE approval. "In these times of economic uncertainty, this is great news for the state and its residents. This extension will secure a future for the LNG operation and is another step toward ensuring energy supplies and energy security for Alaska," the Republican governor said. [Platts Inside FERC, 6/9/08]

    · Agrium Closed Manufacturing Plant Because Of Gas Shortage. “Reserves of gas in producing fields in Southcentral Alaska are declining, posing concerns for supply to local utilities. A manufacturing plant on the Kenai Peninsula owned by Agrium Corp. recently announced it would close because the gas shortage.” [Alaska Journal Of Commerce, 11/25/07]

    · Gov. Palin: Agrium Closure Is Unfortunate. “Agrium announced yesterday that the plant will close in December due to a shortage in the supply of Cook Inlet natural gas, leaving about 100 of the 140 employees without employment.It's unfortunate to see the closure of a facility that has provided so many jobs that support families on the Peninsula,’ said Governor Palin. ‘I am heartened to hear that Agrium is willing to keep its options open if sufficient long-term supplies of gas can be found. We know there is more gas to be found and developed in Cook Inlet, so I remain hopeful that those jobs can be preserved.’” [Palin press release, 9/26/07]

    PALIN: “As for my running mate, you can be certain that wherever he goes, and whoever is listening, John McCain is the same man. I’m not a member of the permanent

    political establishment.”

    1999: Campaigning In San Francisco, CA, McCain Said “I Would Not Support Repeal Of Roe v. Wade.” In August 1999, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that McCain said he “would not support repeal of Roe vs. Wade”: “I'd love to see a point where (Roe vs. Wade) is irrelevant, and could be repealed because abortion is no longer necessary. But certainly in the short term, or even the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe vs. Wade, which would then force X number of women in America to (undergo) illegal and dangerous operations.” [The San Francisco Chronicle, 8/20/99]

    · McCain Said Roe v. Wade Should Be Overturned. McCain said, “I do not support Roe v. Wade. I think it should be overturned.” [New York Times, 2/24/07]

    At A Private Meeting With Hispanic Community Leaders, McCain “Assured Leaders He Would Push Through Congress Legislation To Overhaul Federal Immigration Laws If Elected.” “Republican presidential John McCain assured Hispanic leaders he would push through Congress legislation to overhaul federal immigration laws if elected, several people who attended a private meeting with the candidate said Thursday. Democrats questioned why the Arizona senator held the meeting late Wednesday night in Chicago. But supporters who were in the room denied that McCain held the closed-door session out of fear of offending conservatives, many of whom want him to take a harder line on immigration. … ‘He's one John McCain in front of white Republicans. And he's a different John McCain in front of Hispanics,’ complained Rosanna Pulido, a Hispanic and conservative Republican who attended the meeting. Pulido, who heads the Illinois Minuteman Project, which advocates for restrictive immigration laws, said she thought McCain was ‘pandering to the crowd’ by emphasizing immigration reform in his 15-minute speech. ‘He's having his private meetings to rally Hispanics and to tell them what they want to hear,’ she said. ‘I'm outraged that he would reach out to me as a Hispanic but not as a conservative.’” [AP, 6/20/08]

    · During GOP Primary Debate At Reagan Library, McCain Said He Would Oppose the Legislation He Authored With Kennedy. McCain co-authored the McCain-Kennedy comprehensive immigration bill which was described in 2006 by the Miami Herald as “the most generous of the bills now before Congress.” The legislation “would legalize as many as 11 million undocumented immigrants” and “grant temporary work permits to illegal immigrants and then after waiting six years and paying a $2,000 fine, it would enable them to apply for green cards.” During a Republican presidential primary debate held at the Regan Library, McCain was asked whether he would vote for the this immigration legislation that he previously sponsored. When pressed, he eventually replied, “No, I would not.” [Miami Herald, 2/24/06; CNN GOP Presidential Debate, 1/30/08]

    PALIN: “But we are expected to govern with integrity, and goodwill, and clear convictions…”

    REALITY: PALIN UNDER INVESTIGATION FOR ABUSE OF POWER.

    Former State Official Accused Palin, Palin’s Former Chief of Staff and Current Ted Stevens Campaign Manager and Palin’s Husband Of Pressuring Him to Fire Trooper. In July 2008, former state official Walt Monegan accused Palin, Palin’s former Chief of Staff and current Stevens’ campaign manager Mike Tibbles and husband Todd Palin of pressuring him to fire Palin sister’s ex-husband Mike Wooten. [Anchorage Daily News, 07/18/08]

    July 2008: Special Counsel Appointed Last Month to Investigate Palin Abuse of Power Claim. In July 2008, the Alaska State Legislator voted 12-0 to approve $100,000 for a special investigator to begin an investigation into claims Palin fired a former state official because he would not fire a state trooper who was involved in a bitter custody battle with Palin’s sister. The legislator’s intent was to investigate the events surrounding the termination of former Dept. of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan and potential abuses of power and improper action by Palin and her administration. [KTVA 11, 07/28/08]

    PALIN: “We need American energy resources, brought to you by American ingenuity, and produced by American workers.”

    Palin Responded Favorably to Obama’s Energy Plan. According to a news release from her office, Gov. Sarah Palin, R-AK, said she was “pleased” by Obama’s energy plan. “I am pleased to see Senator Obama acknowledge the huge potential Alaska’s natural gas reserves represent in terms of clean energy and sound jobs,” she said. “The steps taken by the Alaska State Legislature this past week demonstrate that we are ready, willing and able to supply the energy our nation needs.” The press release said that “in a speech given in Lansing, Michigan, Senator Obama called for the completion of the Alaska natural gas pipeline, stating, ‘Over the next five years, we should also lease more of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska for oil and gas production. And we should also tap more of our substantial natural gas reserves and work with the Canadian government to finally build the Alaska natural gas pipeline, delivering clean natural gas and creating good jobs in the process.’” [Palin press release, 8/4/08]

    PALIN: “ But listening to him speak, it’s easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform - not even in the state senate.”

    REALITY: OBAMA PASSED THE MOST SWEEPING REFORMS SINCE WATERGATE IN BOTH THE ILLINOIS AND US SENATES, AMONG OTHER ACCOMPLISHMENTS

    Obama Helped Pass The 2007 Ethics Reform Law, Which Curbed The Influence Of Lobbyists And Was Described As The “Most Sweeping Since Watergate.” In the first week of the 110th Congress, Obama joined with Senator Feingold to introduce a “Gold Standard” ethics package. Many of the Obama/Feingold bill’s most important provisions were included in the final ethics reform package passed by the Senate in late January: a full ban on gifts and meals from lobbyists including those paid by the firms that employ lobbyists; an end to subsidized travel on corporate jets; full disclosure of who's sponsoring earmarks and for what purpose; additional restrictions to close the revolving door between public service and lobbying to ensure that public service isn't all about lining up a high-paying lobbying job; and requiring lobbyists to disclose the contributions that they "bundle" - that is, collect or arrange - for members of Congress, candidates, and party committees. In January 2007, the Washington Post wrote in an editorial that “…Mr. Reid, along with Sens. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.), deserves credit for assembling and passing this package.” In September 2007, the AP reported, “President Bush signed a bill Friday that will require lawmakers to disclose more about their efforts to fund pet projects and raise money from lobbyists, a measure that backers call the biggest ethics reform in decades…Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. who had pushed for the bundling provisions and was one of four lawmakers who participated in a Democratic conference call to reporters said the measure marks "the most sweeping ethics reform since Watergate.” [S. 230, 110th Congress; S.1, Became Public Law 109-110-81, 9/14/07; AP, 9/15/07;The Washington Post, Editorial, 1/21/07]

    Obama Passed Illinois State Gift Ban Act “Heralded As the Most Sweeping Good-Government Legislation in Decades.” In 1998, Obama passed the Illinois Gift Ban that prohibited legislators, state officers and employees, and judges from soliciting or receiving gifts from a person or entity with interests affected by government. The Chicago Tribune wrote, “Gov. Jim Edgar signed into law Wednesday an ethics and campaign finance package heralded as the most sweeping good-government legislation in decades.” The law also required greater campaign finance disclosure and limited the uses for which raised money could be spent. Obama said, “I have seen a general cynicism from taxpayers about government. They believe they have no influence on the process since they don't have the money of special interest groups. With the gift ban and the ban on Springfield fund-raisers that are contained in this legislation, I think at least some of this confidence will be restored.” [HB672, 3R P 52-4-1, 5/22/98; PA 90-0737, 8/12/98; Chicago Tribune, 8/13/98; Chicago Independent Bulletin, 6/4/98]

    Ø Illinois Ethics Bill Most Far Reaching Since Watergate, Product Of Bipartisan Work. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch wrote of Obama’s bill, “The ethics restrictions would be the most far-reaching since the Watergate-era campaign financial disclosure law. They are the product of months of negotiations among two lawmakers of each party, other state officials and Mike Lawrence. He is an aide to former Sen. Paul Simon, a Democrat, and used to be an aide to Edgar, a Republican.” [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 5/24/98]

    Obama And Lugar Passed Law Boosting U.S. Efforts To Keep WMDs And Other Dangerous Weapons Out Of The Hands Of Terrorists. In 2006, Obama and Lugar introduced The Cooperative Proliferation Detection Act, which was passed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously on May 26, 2006 and was eventually incorporated into the Department of State Authorities Act of 2006 and signed into law on January 11, 2007. According to a Senate Foreign Relations Committee report on its legislative activity in the 109th Congress, “The committee passed S. 2566, The Cooperative Proliferation Detection, Interdiction Assistance, and Conventional Threat Reduction Act of 2006 by unanimous consent on May 26, 2006. The legislation authored by Chairman Lugar and Senator Obama enhances: (1) U.S. cooperation with foreign governments to destroy conventional weapons stockpiles around the world; and (2) the United States' ability to provide assistance to foreign governments aimed at helping them detect and interdict weapons and materials of mass destruction. The legislation, which garnered 26 co-sponsors (including 8 committee members), sought to energize U.S. programs to secure lightweight anti-aircraft missiles…The initiative was modeled after the Nunn-Lugar program that focuses on weapons of mass destruction in the former Soviet Union. The legislation was signed into law on January 11, 2007, as a part of H.R. 6060, the Department of State Authorities Act of 2006.” [P.L. 109-472, 1/11/07; House Report 109-706, 9/3/06; S. 2566, 109th Congress; S.1949, 109th Congress; Senate Report 110-40, 3/29/07]

    Ø Lugar Said It Was Accurate That Said Obama Reached Out To Him And They Passed Legislation To Lock Down Loose Nuclear Weapons. “Republican Sen. Dick Lugar (IN) today said an Obama campaign ad which features him is ‘accurate.’ The ad makes the point the Obama previously ‘reached out’ to Lugar to ‘help lock down loose nuclear weapons.’ Lugar is widely considered one of the most knowledgeable in the area of nuclear weapons proliferation and the coauthored of the 1991 Nunn-Lugar Act on cooperative threat reduction. ‘He did’ reach out, Lugar said. He explained that in 2005, Obama asked if he could join Lugar on a trip to Russia and other countries to visit sites under the Nunn-Lugar program. ‘After that, we had legislation that we cosponsored together which passed’ dealing with dangerous missiles. ‘So I am pleased we had that opportunity to work together,’ Lugar said. ‘I'm pleased we had the association Sen. Obama describes.’ But Lugar made clear up front that while the ad was accurate, and he's comfortable with the association, ‘There is no chance I will consider running with Barack Obama.’” [MSNBC, 7/15/08]

    Obama and Coburn Passed A Bill Creating A “Google-like” Database For The Public To Search Details About Federal Funding Awards. In 2006, Obama and Coburn co-authored a bill to create a “Google-like” database of information on federal spending. The bill requires the OMB by January 1, 2008, to make available to the public a searchable, free website that includes the (1) amount; (2) transaction type; (3) funding agency; (4) North American Industry Classification System code or Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance number; (5) program source; (6) an award title descriptive of the purpose of each funding action; (7) the name and location of the recipient and the primary location of performance; and (8) a unique identifier of the recipient and any parent entity. The site must allow users to conduct separate searches that distinguish between awards that are grants, sub-grants, loans, cooperative agreements, and other forms of financial assistance and awards that are contracts, subcontracts, purchase orders, task orders, and delivery orders. [S. 2590, Passed by Unanimous Consent, 9/7/06; Became PL 109-282, 9/26/06]

    Obama Passed Law Ensuring That Wounded Veterans Recovering In Military Hospitals Do Not Have To Pay For Their Meals Or Phone Calls To Family Members. In 2005, Obama sponsored and passed an amendment that to the 2005 emergency supplemental appropriations act ensuring that wounded veterans recovering in military hospitals do not have to pay for their own meals or phone calls to family members. The amendment was then passed in each of the following Congresses. Prior to passage of the amendment, service members receiving physical therapy or rehabilitation services in a medical hospital for more than 90 days were required to pay for their meals. Obama’s amendment required the military to provide free meals for service members in military hospitals undergoing recuperation or therapy as a result of wounds sustained in Iraq or Afghanistan. The amendment was retroactive to January 1, 2005 in an effort to provide those injured service members who received bills for their meals with some relief from those costs. The amendment became law. [S. Amdt. 390, Passed by unanimous consent, 4/14/05 to H.R.1268, Signed by the President, 5/11/05, Became Public Law No: 109-013; Obama Press Release, 5/11/05]

    Obama Proposals Providing Improvements In Health Care For Recovering Soldiers Were Passed Into Law, Including Requirements For Post-Deployment Mental Health Screenings And National Study On The Needs Of Iraq War Veterans. H.R. 976, passed by the Senate on August 2, 2007, includes several provisions from bills originally sponsored by Senators Obama and McCaskill. The provisions would improve health care services and health care tracking for service members, and would require post-deployment, face to face mental health screenings for returning service members within 30 days. The bill also adopts other Obama-McCaskill legislation, the HERO Act, which would launch a major national research endeavor into the readjustment needs of returning service members, veterans and their families. The bill also included measures to improve and reform the disability rating process. [Vote 307, H.R. 976, Passed, 68-31, 8/2/07; S. 713, 110th Congress; S. 1271, 110th Congress; Obama Press Release, 7/25/07; H.R. 4986, Became Public Law No: 110-181, 1/28/08]

    Obama Worked With Republicans To Pass Legislation, Which Became Law, Improving And Increasing Services For Homeless Veterans. In 2006, Congress passed a Veterans Affairs Committee bill which included several provisions originating in Obama’s SAVE Act (S. 1180) and Homes for Heroes Act (S. 3475). “The legislation…includes a number of proposals from legislation Senator Obama had previously introduced (S.1180, the SAVE Act and S.3475 the Homes for Heroes Act) to expand and improve services for homeless veterans. The bill permanently authorizes and increases funding to $130 million per year for a competitive grant program to provide homeless services to veterans. It greatly increases a successful program to provide rental vouchers to homeless veterans. The legislation extends programs to providing treatment for veterans with mental illnesses and other special needs. And it permanently extends VA's ability to transfer property it owns to homeless shelters.” Obama worked with VA Committee Republicans Craig and Burr on the committee legislation that eventually became law. [S. 3421/P.L. 109-461; S. 1180, 109th Congress; S. 3475, 109th Congress; Obama Press Release, 6/26/06]

    Obama Passed Bipartisan Legislation That Expanded Health Care Coverage To 154,000 Residents, Including 70,000 Children. As a state senator, Barack Obama sponsored and helped pass legislation that expanded and made permanent Illinois’ KidCare program by raising eligibility from 185% to 200% of the federal poverty level. The legislation provided coverage for an additional 20,000 children and 65,000 more Illinois adults in the first year, and by 2007 had expanded health care to 70,000 kids and 84,000 adults. In its endorsement for his Senate race, the State Journal-Register wrote, “Obama brings similar common-sense views to improving health care in America - for example, as a state senator he championed the successful KidCare program that assists thousands of children of the working poor.” The bill was sponsored in the state House by Sandra Pihos, a Republican and passed 42-13. [93rd GA, SB 130, 3R P 42-13-2; Signed into law 6/30/03, PA 93-0063; Chicago Daily Herald, 7/2/03; Blagojevich release, 1/9/07; Blagojevich release, 4/13/07; Kaiser family report, 5/07; State Journal-Register, 10/29/04]

    Obama Passed A Bill Creating $100 Million Earned Income Tax Credit As A Member Of The Minority Party In The Illinois Senate. In 1999, Obama was the lead sponsor of a bill making Illinois the 11th state to adopt an earned income-tax credit. The bill provided that each individual taxpayer is entitled to a credit against the tax imposed by the Act in an amount equal to 5% of the federal earned income tax credit allowed. Then-Gov. George Ryan opposed the move, but an unlikely political alliance – including Republicans and Democrats – formed to reduce the tax burden on working poor families. The AP wrote, “The new law, which offers about $105 million in tax breaks over the next three years, gives a state income tax credit equal to 5 percent of a similar federal tax credit. For the average working family making less than $30,580, that amounts to about $55 a year, or 15 cents a day. The maximum credit for families with two or more children is $191 a year.” [91st GA, HB 3939; 4/14/00, 3R P; 59-0-0; P.A. 91-0700, 5/11/00; Chicago Tribune, 4/10/99]

    Obama Passed Near-Unanimous Death Penalty Overhaul Package. Obama was the chief co-sponsor and voted for bill creating the Capital Punishment Reform Study Committee Act. The proposal, which was approved on a 57-1 vote, was virtually identical to reforms pushed in 2002 by then-Gov. George Ryan. If passed by the House and signed into law by the governor, the bill would let judges rule out a death sentence for someone convicted solely on the testimony of a jailhouse informant, accomplice or single witness; let the state Supreme Court overturn a death sentence that was “fundamentally unjust.; Reduce the crimes eligible for the death penalty by focusing on “inherently violent” offenses; Expand defendants’ access to genetic evidence used against them; Ban police officers from the police force if they committed perjury in a murder case; and Require juries to consider a defendant’s history of abuse or mental illness when deciding whether to impose the death sentence. Obama said, “As far as the Bill goes, it doesn't address whether the death penalty is applied fairly to all races and in all regions of the state. And it doesn't appease those who want capital punishment eliminated.” [93rd GA, SB 0472; 4/3/03, 3R P; 57-1-0; 5/29/03, HA1 SC; 56-3-0; 11/5/03, OAV P; 58-0-0; P.A. 93-0605, 11/25/03; Pantagraph, 4/4/03; Associated Press, 4/24/03]

    PALIN: “America needs more energy … our opponent is against producing it.”

    REALITY: Obama has expressed support for a bipartisan compromise that would cut tax breaks for oil companies, invest in alternative energies, and allow for limited new offshore drilling

    Obama Said He Would Be Open To Offshore Drilling If We Come Up With “A Genuine Bipartisan Compromise” To Get To Energy Independence. “Senator Barack Obama said Saturday that he would reluctantly consider accepting some new offshore oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico in exchange for stripping oil companies of tax breaks and extending several tax credits to spur the search for alternative fuels. At the same time, Senate Republicans appear to have dropped their insistence on opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling. Mr. Obama has until now opposed any offshore drilling. But in a news conference here, he noted that there had been ‘very constructive’ talks between Senate Republicans and Democrats on this issue in recent days, applauding a plan unveiled by a group of Republican and Democratic senators to permit drilling while supporting an effort to convert most vehicles to using alternative fuels in 20 years. ‘If we come up with a genuine bipartisan compromise, where I have to accept some things that I don’t like in order to get energy independence,’ Mr. Obama said, ‘that’s something I will have to consider.’ Still, he cautioned that he was not yet ‘ready to sign off on any approach.’” [New York Times, 8/3/08]

    Ø Tapper: “This Strikes Me As Not A Complete And Utter Reversal “But Rather “A Recognition That Energy Legislation Requires Compromise.” “Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, now says he'd be willing to consider legislation including expanded off-shore drilling if part of a larger package, despite his long-time opposition to the idea. I'm with my friend Marc Ambinder -- this strikes me as not quite a complete and utter reversal, but certainly a shift in tone and language, indicating a softening of his opposition and a recognition that energy legislation requires compromise. Not unlike Sen. John McCain's statement that when it comes to Social Security reform, everything must be on the table, even though he personally opposes tax increases. (Though the back-peddling on that was confounding.).” [ABC News, 8/2/08]

    Ø Ambinder: “This Strikes Me As Less Of A Shift And More As A Gesture Of Sorts To The Reality That The Major Cap And Trade Legislation Next Year…Requires The Participation Of And Compromise From The Industry.” Marc Ambinder wrote, “In an interview yesterday, Obama said that he'd be willing to accept additional domestic oil exploration as part of a bipartisan compromise on energy reform. This strikes me as less of a shift and more as a gesture of sorts to the reality that the major cap and trade legislation next year that Congress will mark up -- legislation that will be introduced regardless of who's president -- requires the participation of and compromise from the industry. The oil industry has two cards, basically, in the negotiations. One: that windfall profits taxes would disincentivize further exploration somehow... two: that, as the staple source of energy, oil companies ought to have more land/water to figure out where oil is and then tap those pools. Democrats are more likely to compromise on the second, rather than the first. Note that Obama is still opposed to expanded drilling off the coasts of Florida.” [The Atlantic, 8/2/08]

    Ø Stoller: Obama Supported A “Real Compromise” On Energy. Obama’s position on drilling is “actually a real compromise…the compromise put forward by Obama would in fact move us forward on sustainable energy while raising taxes on the oil companies. Since opening up new areas to oil companies is more about financial manipulation of oil leases than actually drilling, this is calling the oil company's bluff.” [Open Left, 8/5/08]

    Ø Pelosi: Obama Position On Gang Of Ten Compromise Was Presidential. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said, “What Senator Obama said is what we want a president to say…Let's look at all of the options. Let's compare them. And let's see what really does increase our supply, protect our environment, save our economy, protect the consumer, instead of a single-shot thing that does none of the above.” [Washington Times, 8/4/08]

    PALIN: “Victory in Iraq is finally in sight … he wants to forfeit.”

    REALITY: BUSH ADMINISTRATION AND INDEPENDENT MILITARY EXPERTS AGREE THAT DRAWING DOWN ONE TO TWO BRIGADES A MONTH IS NOT ONLY POSSIBLE BUT SAFE

    McCain Said He Thought 16 Months Is A Pretty Good Timetable For Withdrawal >From Iraq. McCain was asked, “So why do you think he said that 16 months is basically a pretty good timetable?” McCain responded, “He said it's a pretty good timetable based on conditions on the ground. I think it's a pretty good timetable, as we should -- or horizons for withdrawal. But they have to be based on conditions on the ground.” [CNN, 7/25/08]

    Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki: “Obama Is Right When He Talks About 16 Months.” “Asked in an interview with German news magazine Der Spiegel of when he would like to see American forces leave Iraq, Maliki said: ‘As soon as possible, as far as we’re concerned.’ He then added that ‘Obama is right when he talks about 16 months. Assuming that positive developments continue, this is about the same time period that corresponds to our wishes.’” [The Hill, 7/19/08]

    Maj. Gen. Anderson Said Current Capacity to Remove 2 ½ Brigade Combat Teams a Month. “The military has been redeploying troops for years, and Maj. Gen. Charles Anderson, who would help with the withdrawal, told us as we toured Camp Arifjan in Kuwait, ‘We have the capacity to do a minimum of two-and-a-half brigade combat teams a month -- can we expand that capacity? Sure. Can we accelerate? It depends. It depends on the amount of equipment that we bring back. And it's going to depend on how fast we bring them out.’" [ABC News, 7/11/08]

    4/8/08: Petraeus, Asked By a McCain Ally Whether A Brigade a Month Could Be With Drawn From Iraq, Said It Could Be “Doable.” In a Senate Hearing before the Committee on Armed Services, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), asked General Petraeus what would happen if one brigade per month was withdrawn beginning in January 2009. Petraeus responded, “It clearly would depend on the conditions of that time. If conditions were good, quite good, that might be doable.” [Senate Hearing before Senate Committee on Armed Services, 4/8/08]

    9/07: Larry Korb Wrote “A Phased Military Redeployment From Iraq Over The Next 10 To 12 Months Would Begin Extracting U.S. Troops From Iraq’s Internal Conflicts Immediately And Would Be Completed By The End Of 2008.” Lawrence J. Korb, former Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Reagan Administration, along with Max A. Bergmann, Sean E. Duggen, Peter M. Juul, wrote for a Center for American Progress Report, “A phased military redeployment from Iraq over the next 10 to 12 months would begin extracting U.S. troops from Iraq’s internal conflicts immediately and would be completed by the end of 2008. During this timeframe, the military will not replace outgoing troops as they rotate home at the end of their tours and will draw down force and equipment levels gradually, at a pace similar to previous rotations conducted by our military over the past four years. According to a U.S. military official in Baghdad involved in planning, a withdrawal could take place safely in this time period.” [“How to Redeploy: Implementing a Responsible Drawdown of U.S. Forces from Iraq” September 2007, Center for American Progress]

    7/13/07: Pace Said US Forces Were “Designed Right Now To Be Able To Increase Or Decrease About One Brigade Per Month.” General Peter Pace, former Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff said, “On the logistics side, the system itself is designed right now to be able to increase or decrease about one brigade per month. Can you surge U.S. military and commercial capacity beyond those numbers? Sure. But for a normal planning factor, we’re looking at either adding or subtracting about one brigade a month.” [DoD Media Roundtable with Secretary Gates and Gen. Pace, 7/13/07]

    12/6/06: Iraq Study Group Report Said “All Combat Brigades Not Necessary For Force Protection Could Be Out Of Iraq” By the First Quarter of 2008—15 Months. The Iraq Study Group’s independent assessment, released Dec. 6, 2006, found that, “By the first quarter of 2008, subject to unexpected developments in the security situation on the ground, all combat brigades not necessary for force protection could be out of Iraq.” [Iraq Study Group Report]

    PALIN: “Terrorist states are seeking new-clear weapons without delay … he wants to meet them without preconditions.”

    REALITY: REPUBLICANS AGREE WITH DIRECT TALKS WITH IRAN

    Defense Secretary Gates: We Need To “Sit Down And Talk” With Iran. “The United States should construct a combination of incentives and pressure to engage Iran, and may have missed earlier opportunities to begin a useful dialogue with Tehran, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said yesterday. ‘We need to figure out a way to develop some leverage . . . and then sit down and talk with them," Gates said. "If there is going to be a discussion, then they need something, too. We can't go to a discussion and be completely the demander, with them not feeling that they need anything from us.’” [Washington Post, 5/15/08]

    Henry Kissinger Said That The U.S. Should Negotiate Directly With Iran. “Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said the U.S. should negotiate directly with Iran over its nuclear program and other bilateral issues. ‘One should be prepared to negotiate, and I think we should be prepared to negotiate about Iran,’ Kissinger, who brokered the end of the 1973 Yom Kippur war and peace talks with the North Vietnamese, said yesterday in an interview with Bloomberg Television. Asked whether he meant the U.S. should hold direct talks, Kissinger, 84, responded: ‘Yes, I think we should.’” [Bloomberg, 3/14/08]

    Hagel: The United States Should Actively Pursue Direct, Unconditional, And Comprehensive Talks With Iran. Hagel said, “Now is the time for the United States to actively pursue an offer of direct, unconditional, and comprehensive talks with Iran. We cannot afford to refuse to consider this strategic choice any longer. We should make clear that everything is on the table, our issues and Iran's issues.” [CNN, 11/8/07]

    Lugar: Direct Talks With Iran “Would Be Useful.” “The United States needs to pursue direct talks and other diplomatic avenues with Iran about its disputed nuclear program before considering a military option, lawmakers from both parties said yesterday. ‘I think that would be useful,’ said Richard Lugar, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, when asked on ABC's ‘This Week’ about having direct talks. ‘The Iranians are a part of the energy picture,’ said Lugar, a Republican from Indiana. ‘We need to talk about that.’” [AP, 4/17/06]

    Former H.W. Bush Secretary of State James Baker: “It's Not Appeasement to Talk to Your Enemies.” James Baker said, “I can't make that judgment here this morning because I don't know what other elements are involved in it. I will say just generally as I've been saying since I've been on this book tour that I believe in talking to your enemies. I don't think you restrict your conversations to your friends. At the same time, it's got to be hard-nosed. It's got to be determined. You don't give away anything, but in my view, it's not appeasement to talk to your enemies. There ought to be some way. I mean, I point out the fact that I made 15 trips to Damascus back in 1991 when they were on our list of countries of state-sponsored terrorism and they changed 25 years…”[“This Week,” ABC News Transcripts, 10/8/06]

    Arlen Specter: It Seems Unrealistic That We Say To The Opposite Party That As A Precondition To Discussions We Want The Principle Concession We’re After. Republican Senator Arlen Specter said in a hearing of the Defense Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee, “Now, the position taken by the secretary of State has been we won't talk to Iran unless, as a precondition, they stop enriching uranium. It seems to me that it is unrealistic to try to have discussions but to say to the opposite party, as a precondition to discussions, we want the principle concession that we're after. Do you think it makes sense to insist on a concession like stopping enriching uranium, which is what our ultimate objective is, before we even sit down and talk to them on a broader range of issues?” [Hearing of the Defense Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee, 5/20/08]

    Rice: I Am Prepared To Meet My Counterpart At Any Time If Iran Suspends Its Enrichment and Processing Activities. Condoleezza Rice said, “I am prepared to meet my counterpart or an Iranian representative at any time if Iran will suspend its enrichment and reprocessing activities. That should be a clear signal.” [AP, 2/25/07]

    PALIN: “Government is too big … he wants to grow it. Congress spends too much … he promises more.”

    REALITY: IT IS MCCAIN’S BUDGET PLAN THAT WILL BREAK THE BANK

    Analysts Say McCain’s Plan Would Increase The Deficit More Than Obama’s. “Experts say that both the McCain plan and the Obama plan would increase the deficit, and that neither man has adequately explained how his proposals would be paid for. But several analysts have said they believe that Mr. McCain’s plan would increase the deficit more, because of the size of the tax cuts he is seeking.” [New York Times, 6/11/08]

    McCain’s Tax Cuts Will Either Explode The Federal Deficit Or Require “Unprecedented Cuts” In Federal Spending On Domestic Programs. “Sen. John McCain is proposing tax cuts that would either cause the federal deficit to explode or would require unprecedented spending cuts equal to one-third of federal spending on domestic programs. Once thought of as a deficit hawk, the near-certain Republican presidential nominee is now putting more stress on the traditional Republican orthodoxy of tax cuts.” [Wall Street Journal, 4/22/08]

    New York Times: McCain’s Budget Will Add $200 Or $300 Billion To The Deficit Per Year. “The Obama campaign claims it can pay for all this, and even reduce the deficit, through tax increases and spending cuts. I think a more skeptical look at its budget leaves you worried it may add something like $50 billion a year to the deficit. But applying the same arched brow to Mr. McCain’s stated plans leaves you worried that he will add $200 billion or $300 billion or, depending on his voluntary tax system, even more.” [New York Times, 6/18/08]

    Tax Policy Center Report Said That McCain’s Budget Plan Would Add $5 Trillion To The Debt Over The Next Decade. “Obama's plan -- cuts targeted to middle- and low-income Americans and increases for the wealthy -- would increase the national debt by an estimated $3.4 trillion in the next decade, the center said. Under a similar analysis, McCain's plan -- largely a continuation of Bush's tax reductions -- would add $5 trillion.” [Los Angeles Times, 7/24/08]

    · Ten Percent Corporate Tax Rate Cut Would Cost $100 Billion A Year. “The proposal to lower the corporate tax rate from 35% to 25% would cost about $100 billion a year.” [Wall Street Journal, 4/16/08]

    · Full Repeal Of The AMT Would Cost Over $150 Billion A Year. According to the Wall Street Journal, altering the Alternative Minimum Tax for middle class families at $91 billion annually. Eliminating the AMT for up-incomer earners would be an additional $60 billion per year. [Wall Street Journal, 4/16/08]

    · Gas Tax Holiday Would Cost $10 Billion. An Arizona Republic editorial questions McCain’s summer gas tax holiday proposal, asking “do we really want to extract $10 billion from the nation’s woefully underfunded transportation infrastructure?” [Arizona Republic, Editorial, 4/16/08]

    Doubling The Dependent Tax Exemption Would Cost $65 Billion A Year. “Doubling the dependent exemption would cost $65 billion a year.” [Wall Street Journal, 4/16/08]

    April 2008: McCain “Changed His Position” On Balancing The Budget, Said Economic Conditions Made It Unrealistic. John McCain had previously said he would balance the budget in four years, but changed his position in April saying that “economic conditions are reversed” and it would instead take eight years. [New York Times, 4/16/08]

    PALIN: “Taxes are too high … he wants to raise them. His tax increases are the fine print in his economic plan, and let me be specific. The Democratic nominee for president supports plans to raise income taxes … raise payroll taxes … raise investment income taxes … raise the death tax … raise business taxes … and increase the tax burden on the American people by hundreds of billions of dollars.”

    REALITY: OBAMA TAX PROPOSAL WILL NOT RAISE TAXES AND WILL PROVIDE A BIGGER BREAK FOR MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES THAN MCCAIN’S PLAN

    Annenberg Political Fact Check: McCain’s Ad Attacking Obama’s Plans That Would Increase Taxes And Bring On “Years Of Deficits” And “Billions In New Government Spending” “Puts Another Stitch In What We’ve Call His Pattern Of Deceit On Obama’s Tax Plan.” “McCain's new ad puts another stitch in what we've called his pattern of deceit on Obama's tax plan. This one claims Obama and congressional Democrats plan to push forward ‘painful tax increases on working American families’ and that they will bring about ‘years of deficits,’ ‘no balanced budgets’ and ‘billions in new government spending.’ The ad is plain wrong about higher taxes on working families. In fact, Obama's economic plan would produce a tax cut for the majority of American households, with middle-income earners benefiting most. As for ‘years of deficits,’ exactly the same claim could be made about McCain's program. It's unlikely either Obama or McCain would balance the budget, and both are projected to increase the debt by trillions.” [FactCheck.org, 9/2/08]

    Washington Post Editorial: “McCain Campaign Insists on Completely Misrepresenting Mr. Obama’s Plan” on Taxes – Under McCain’s Plan, “Wealthiest Taxpayers Make Out Terrifically.” “Instead, the McCain campaign insists on completely misrepresenting Mr. Obama's plan. The ad opens with the Obama-as-celebrity theme – ‘Celebrities don't have to worry about family budgets, but we sure do,’ says the female announcer. ‘We're paying more for food and gas, making it harder to save for college, retirement.’ Then she sticks it to him: ‘Obama's solution? Higher taxes, called 'a recipe for economic disaster.' He's ready to raise your taxes but not ready to lead.’ The facts? The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center found that the Obama plan would give households in the bottom fifth of the income distribution an average tax cut of 5.5 percent of income ($567) in 2009, while those in the middle fifth would get an average cut of 2.6 percent of income ($1,118). ‘Your taxes’ would go up, yes -- but not if you're someone who is sweating higher gas prices. By contrast, Mr. McCain's tax plan would give those in the bottom fifth of income an average tax cut of $21 in 2009. The middle fifth would get $325 -- less than a third of the Obama cut. The wealthiest taxpayers make out terrifically. The country can't afford the tax cuts either man is promising, although Mr. McCain's approach is by far the more costly. We don't expect either side to admit that. But neither side should get to outright lie about its opponent's positions, either.” [Washington Post Editorial, 8/31/08]

    Analysts Say That Obama’s Tax Cut Plan “Offers Three Times The Break For Middle Class Families Than Proposals” Of McCain. “The tax cut plan of Democratic nominee to be Barack Obama offers three times the break for middle class families than proposals of likely Republican nominee John McCain, according to analysts working for a left-leaning think tank. Families making between $37,595 and $66,354 of annual income with Obama would get an average tax cut of $1,042 per family while McCain’s tax cut for this group would be $319, the report states.” [Nashua Telegraph, 6/12/08]

    Under Obama’s Plan The Middle Of The Middle Class Would See Taxes Cut By $1,042 A Year; McCain’s Tax Plan Would Give Them Only A $319 Tax Cut. According to the non partisan Tax Policy Center’s computations, “under Mr. Obama’s plan, the middle of the middle class, or those earning $37,595 to $66,354, would see taxes cut by $1,042 a year. Under Mr. McCain’s plan, taxes for people in that category would also fall, but by $319; the largest chunk of the benefits would go to those making $2.8 million a year or more.” [New York Times, 6/13/08]

    Obama Plan: $80 Billion A Year In Tax Cuts “To Middle-Class Workers, Homeowners And Retirees.” “Senator Barack Obama proposed a plan on Tuesday to provide at least $80 billion a year in tax cuts to middle-class workers, homeowners and retirees, saying if he was elected president he would ‘end the preferential treatment that’s built into our tax code.’ Mr. Obama said he would give a $500 tax credit to more than 150 million workers, create a tax credit for homeowners who do not itemize their deductions and eliminate income taxes for older taxpayers who make less than $50,000 a year.” [New York Times, 9/19/07; Tax Fairness For The Middle Class]

    REALITY: OUTSIDE OBSERVERS AGREE: CLAIMS THAT OBAMA WILL RAISE TAXES ARE “WRONG,” “FALSE,” “MISLEADING”

    Time: McCain’s Tax Plan “Benefits Mostly Those In Higher Income Brackets While Obama’s Plan Benefits Mostly Those In Lower-And Middle Income Tax Brackets.” “They do, however, offer plans that differ strikingly from each other. McCain's tax plan benefits mostly those in higher income brackets, while Obama's plan benefits mostly those in lower- and middle-income tax brackets. McCain wants a tax cut for corporate profits, while Obama has proposed a whole host of tax cuts that will benefit those in the middle-income brackets.” [Time, 7/24/08]

    “Overwhelmingly Most Americans Will Not See Their Income Taxes Increased” Under Obama’s Tax Plan. Anne Mathias, an economist at the Stanford Group Company, “points out that 95.1% of the American people are in households that earn less than $200,000 -- so overwhelmingly most Americans will not see their income taxes increased, if Obama's math is correct.” [ABC News, 7/7/08]

    New York Sun: “Some Conservatives Are Praising” Obama For His Tax Plan And A Senior Policy Analyst At The Heritage Foundation Said That The Middle Class Would Likely Pay Less Under Obama’s Plan Than McCain’s. “Senator Obama, with his lead against Senator McCain narrowing in some polls, is trying to portray himself as the real tax-cutter in the presidential race. And even some conservatives are praising him for it. A senior policy analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation, Rea Hederman Jr., praised Mr. Obama for proposing a 20% tax rate on dividends and capital gains, lower than a 28% rate he had initially floated, though still more than the current 15% rate. ‘That's a great step in the right direction,’ Mr. Hederman said. ‘It's a big change from what we thought the Obama tax plan would be at the beginning of the summer.’ Mr. Hederman said the middle class would likely pay less under Mr. Obama's plan than Mr. McCain's but that the Democrat was excessively reliant on complicated tax breaks that would make the tax code more confusing. ‘Instead of a grab bag of tax credits, lower the marginal rates,’ Mr. Hederman said.” [New York Sun, 8/15/08]

    Washington Post Fact Checker: McCain Campaign Attacks on Obama Tax Plan “Overblown,” “Wrong,” and “Greatly Exaggerated.” “The McCain camp is attempting to persuade Americans that their taxes will increase dramatically with Barack Obama as president. The presumptive Republican nominee has repeatedly said that Obama would enact ‘the largest tax increase since the Second World War.’ A surrogate, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, insists that Obama has not proposed ‘a single tax cut’ and wants to ‘raise every tax in the book.’ … The claim that Obama will ‘enact’ the largest tax increase since World War II is also overblown. The Bush tax cuts will expire automatically at the end of 2010, so it is hardly a question of ‘enacting’ a new tax increase. ... Carly Fiorina is wrong to claim that Obama has proposed no tax cuts and wants to raise ‘every tax in the book.’ John McCain is on more solid ground when he claims that Americans from many different backgrounds could be affected by a rise in capital gains taxes, but he has greatly exaggerated the adverse impact.” [Washington Post, 6/11/08]

    Politifact: McCain’s Statement That Obama’s Tax Plan Would Raise Taxes Is “False.” Politifact reported, “So calling it a tax increase might not be considered fair. There's no disputing that taxes will rise, but the question of who's responsible for that tax increase is another matter entirely. At PolitiFact, we've concluded, as have others, that it's unfair to call Obama's plan a tax increase merely because it doesn't change existing tax law to keep rates low. We think about it this way: The reason taxes will increase is because of tax policy signed into law not by Obama, but by somebody else… the more recent data — combined with the fact that Obama's proposal does not constitute a tax increase in the traditional sense, since some taxes would be lower under his plan than they would under current law — persuades us to classify McCain's statement as False.” [Politifact, 6/11/08]

    Washington Post: McCain’s Attack On The Obama Tax Plan “Crosses The Line From Reasonable Argument To Unacceptably Misleading.” “Barack Obama and John McCain have important differences on tax policy. These are fair game for campaign ads, and no one expects 30-second spots to be suffused with nuance. But Mr. McCain's latest attack on the Obama tax plan crosses the line from reasonable argument to unacceptably misleading.” [Editorial, Washington Post, 8/10/08]

    Annenberg Political Fact Check: Claim That Obama “Promises More Taxes On Small Business, Seniors, Your Life Savings, Your Family” Is “Simply Not True For The Vast Majority Of Viewers Who Will See It.” “The TV ad also says that Obama ‘promises more taxes on small business, seniors, your life savings, your family.’ This statement is simply not true for the vast majority of viewers who will see it. Obama, in fact, promises to deliver a $1,000 tax cut for families making up to $150,000 a year, and he says he would increase income tax rates, capital gains tax rates and taxes on dividends only for those with family incomes over $250,000 a year, or for single taxpayers making over $200,000.” [FactCheck.org, 8/8/08]