Tuesday Night Open Thread

A new season of American Idol just started. Is anyone watching? There's a new judge this year.

I couldn't help but watch The Bachelor last night. My predictions: He chooses Melissa, with Molly being the #2 and Jillian #3.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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    An interesting diary (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by Steve M on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 08:24:19 PM EST
    particularly for those with an interest in gender issues, from Jared Polis, the intriguing freshman Congresscritter from Jeralyn's neck of the woods.

    Equal access to employment for half the workforce (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 09:55:17 PM EST
    Steve M, thanks so much for linking to that fantastic article by Congressman Polls (what a name).

    I would say that this subject is of interest to the vast majority of people. Women and men alike, who care about ensuring that women have equal recourse to the jobs Congress is creating via its national economic recovery package

    I love what Polls quoted at the beginning; word to President Obama and the democratic Congress:

    "In the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make, I desire you would remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors." ABIGAIL ADAMS TO JOHN ADAMS, MARCH 31, 1776.

    That's beautiful.


    Hehe (none / 0) (#34)
    by Steve M on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 10:07:57 PM EST
    It's Polis!  Like, the Greek word for city.

    Duh, I didn't see the dot over the "i" (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 10:19:20 PM EST
    Thought it was an "l". Ergo "Polls" vs. Polis. I've got a bit of a vision problem ya know. No wonder I hadn't heard of this new Congressman "Polls".

    Didn't realize you meant the gay and altogether fabulous, pro-woman, newly minted Congressman Polis. I'm doing CMA here, case you can't tell ;-)


    The most impressive (5.00 / 3) (#72)
    by Amiss on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 02:34:05 AM EST
    diary I have read on MyDD in a great, great while.Between it and Hillary's testimony before the FRC today, it has really been a good day for women, lets hope that there are many many more to come.

    Polis really impressed me and will look forward to hearing more from him.


    Indeed (none / 0) (#6)
    by andgarden on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 08:31:12 PM EST
    I have to admit that I feel a little bit of warm interest group pride about his election, so I can't be completely objective.

    Did you ever read (none / 0) (#8)
    by Steve M on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 08:34:07 PM EST
    his diaries about visiting Iraq?

    Yup (none / 0) (#11)
    by andgarden on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 08:37:19 PM EST
    Jared has a passion... (none / 0) (#46)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 10:42:08 PM EST
    ...for education that I think is sorely needed in Congress.  He will be a great champion of that issue--given his committee seating and his dedication to improving our education system.

    Here's the local version of his diary where he talks more about the recovery act.

    It's nice to have a Rep that's willing to come to the blogs and swap posts us little people.  I wish more of them would.


    Great diary - thanks, Steve M (none / 0) (#82)
    by Dr Molly on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 06:46:16 AM EST
    And great job working the comments from some, um non-enlightened, commenters there too!

    He sounds like a great new addition to Congress. And it's an issue about the stimulus package I hadn't thought about before.


    Some Jared Polis trivia (none / 0) (#86)
    by ruffian on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 09:21:02 AM EST
    His mother is Susan Polis-Shultz, the poet and greeting card staple in the 80's and 90's. I always liked her work.

    Props to AG Cuomo (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by nycstray on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 10:15:07 PM EST
    for exposing this health insurance BS

    Here's what was going on: Insurance companies determine reimbursement for out-of-network care based of what's called "usual, customary and reasonable rates" or UCR.

    Those rates are determined by a firm called Ingenix. It turns out, Ingenix is owned by United Health Group, one of America's biggest insurance providers.

    On Tuesday, New York state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo called it a conflict of interest that lowballs a medical provider's average fee by as much as 28 percent.

    "These companies that have been involved with Ingenix, there is a very strong case that they were perpetuating consumer frauds," Cuomo said.

    In a decision with national implications, United Health agreed to pay $50 million to establish an independent rating agency and shut down Ingenix.

    "We regret that conflicts of interest were inherent in these Ingenix database products," said United Health Group attorney Mitchell Zamoff.

    Isn't Brown in CA also working on something regarding health insurance?

    I haven't seen this discussed here, so (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by andgarden on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 10:17:32 PM EST
    shock of all shocks, Obama reversed himself on gay marriage in a politically expedient way.

    So was he lying then or is he lying now? National politicians never have to answer. I sure his current position comes from the same place where most Democrats source their "personal relationship with Jesus."

    Yeah (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Steve M on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 10:26:38 PM EST
    And in other news, every Democrat from the South just happens to be "personally pro-life."  I think we all know what's going on here.

    It's worth recalling that in Lincoln's day, the mainstream Republican position was nothing more than opposing the expansion of slavery to the territories.  You could be an abolitionist if you represented some vehemently anti-slavery district, but you certainly couldn't take that position as a viable national politician!  And of course Lincoln and everybody else had to VEHEMENTLY deny the outrageous smear that they supported the crazy notion of "Negro equality."

    So I mean, that's how the game is played down through the ages.  The abolitionists supported Lincoln if they were smart, but I bet they didn't stop pressuring him for a moment once he took office!


    It is obvious what's going on (none / 0) (#44)
    by andgarden on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 10:30:09 PM EST
    But I think what we have here is potential.

    8 years is a long time.


    Sheesh. If we had a real media (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 11:28:24 PM EST
    in this country, they would have turned this up back in, oh, January or February '07.

    Maybe this was an specific instance of... (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by EL seattle on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 12:35:15 AM EST
    ...a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" sort of thing that the Obama campaign was in favor of, at least until election day.

    Hair dark or gray? (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by BarnBabe on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 10:27:33 PM EST
    When HRC was running for President, there was always talk about her hair style, part change, etc. So I have a question concerning Obama's hair. How come there are days when there is a decent amount of silver at his temples and sides and there are days none is in sight. It is me, or is it the camera and lighting? Or some Just for Men? I think it is just as great that men have a choice to touch up or not touch up and I am just wondering if this is what is happening to Obama. Love those Silver Foxes BTW.

    With his curly hair (none / 0) (#79)
    by Fabian on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 05:12:25 AM EST
    it's probably the lighting.  Check the photos next time.  You should be able to see the gray in a 3/4 shot or if the lighting is balanced.

    In the photos of GW Bush I remember his complexion changing and his hair color appearing to change radically.  I began to realize that the "good days" and the "bad days" were mostly a matter of lighting.  For fun, check Obama's apparent skin color in current photographs.  You should see variations.  


    But but but that's not lighting (5.00 / 2) (#91)
    by Cream City on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 11:36:23 AM EST
    that's deliberate skin-darkening!  Just ask DKos.

    Law and gender (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by Cream City on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 12:06:49 AM EST
    A forthcoming issue of a leading women's history journal might interest some here -- including some who may want to be contributors of articles:

    Call for Papers: Teaching women's and gender history with legal sources

    Journal of Women's History Roundtable Forum

    How can legal sources give evidence of women's lives, experiences, and voices? How do these sources represent, clarify, and obscure gender roles? How do students negotiate and interact with these sources and what sorts of teachable moments do they stage in the classroom? What challenges do legal sources present for teaching women's and gender history and how can one avoid misperceptions and misunderstandings? We seek essays (1000 words) that engage the problems and opportunities presented by legal sources in the undergraduate classroom.

    The deadline for submissions is July 1, 2009. Please be sure to consult the JWH website for submission guidelines. Submissions should be addressed to: Dana Y. Rabin, Journal of Women's History, c/o Department of History, University of Illinois, 810 S. Wright St., Urbana, IL 61801.

    Truly INSPIRING NYT Story (5.00 / 1) (#85)
    by daring grace on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 09:20:32 AM EST
    Even after an acid attack Afghani girls are still flocking to this school.

    This just serves to remind us of the changes we can enact in the world if we (and our allies) set our minds to it.

    "But if the acid attack against Shamsia and 14 others -- students and teachers -- was meant to terrorize the girls into staying home, it appears to have completely failed.

    "Today, nearly all of the wounded girls are back at the Mirwais School for Girls, including even Shamsia, whose face was so badly burned that she had to be sent abroad for treatment. Perhaps even more remarkable, nearly every other female student in this deeply conservative community has returned as well -- about 1,300 in all.

    ""My parents told me to keep coming to school even if I am killed," said Shamsia, 17, in a moment after class. Shamsia's mother, like nearly all of the adult women in the area, is unable to read or write. "The people who did this to me don't want women to be educated. They want us to be stupid things."

    "In the five years since the Mirwais School for Girls was built here by the Japanese government, it appears to have set off something of a social revolution. Even as the Taliban tighten their noose around Kandahar, the girls flock to the school each morning. Many of them walk more than two miles from their mud-brick houses up in the hills.

    "The girls burst through the school's walled compound, many of them flinging off head-to-toe garments, bounding, cheering and laughing in ways that are inconceivable outside -- for girls and women of any age.  Mirwais has no  regular electricity, no running water, no paved streets. Women are rarely seen, and only then while clad in burqas that make their bodies shapeless and their faces invisible."

    Dear God.... (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 09:39:28 AM EST
    what kind of animal throws acid at teenage girls?

    Their courage is something to behold...it seems to me those girls are enacting all the change they need.  Nobody gives you nothing in this world, you have to take it...and they're taking control of their lives through education and standing up to the brutal bullies.  Sun god bless them.


    Yes, But With Us (none / 0) (#89)
    by daring grace on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 10:37:02 AM EST
    helping provide the means...

    I agree with you--and that's what I found so moving in this story: It's described as a 'conservative' place, and yet the girls themselves are so fiercely motivated and some of their male relatives and neighbors (like that uncle who is quoted and that principal) also seem committed to their learning.

    With all the negative news for girls and women around the world, stories like these really lift my heart.


    Help in any way... (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 12:10:07 PM EST
    that doesn't involve occupation or a violation of Afghani sovereignty, sure.

    We can't go around the world deploying troops everywhere human rights are being disrespected, no matter how much we would like to.


    Oh Yeah (none / 0) (#102)
    by daring grace on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 04:44:49 PM EST
    I'm thinking: go in and provide the means and then step back and help if needed.

    If I thought our going in with troops meant we could ensure human rights, I might disagree with you. But as we've learned (or should have) it's not quite that 'easy'.

    But I'm often inspired at the 'small' efforts I hear about like the mountain climbing nurse  who created the Central Asia Institute, which has built 50+ schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan.


    It's the second time this AM.

    My first was when I read the Omar Khadr thread and tried to google for a recent picture of him.

    Instead I found several pics of a happy looking kid, purported to be Khadr, proudly traipsing down a mid-east street carrying a severed human hand and foot on a string like my own kids did last summer with some sunfish they caught at camp.

    I think I need a break from TL.


    It's done fairly often in India (none / 0) (#98)
    by jondee on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 04:08:47 PM EST
    to untouchables, including children, but for some reason our good "trading partners" primarily seem to get a pass in the foreign press for this tradition.

    That is great (none / 0) (#88)
    by Steve M on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 10:16:02 AM EST
    What brave girls.  It's people like that who change the world.

    I am hearing from my sources (none / 0) (#1)
    by andgarden on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 08:21:46 PM EST
    that Ed Rendell might publicly support a Democrat over Arlen Specter next year. That's a big deal, because he and Specter go way back.

    Specter may have more than just his primary to worry about.

    So, who are the possible Democratic (none / 0) (#14)
    by caseyOR on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 08:41:17 PM EST
    contenders in PA? Anybody who could beat Arlen?

    It would be hard, but it's possible (none / 0) (#15)
    by andgarden on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 08:46:05 PM EST
    and some people may be beginning to smell blood in the water. The person I'm hearing Ed is going to support is Joe Torsella.

    Kale tale. (none / 0) (#2)
    by ThatOneVoter on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 08:24:11 PM EST
    I mentioned this
    reciple for kale the other night. I tried it, and it was even better than I expected.. really scrumptious.

    Looks good (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by andgarden on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 08:29:36 PM EST
    I wonder if you could get away with sauteing the kale without boiling it.

    but boiling the pasta with (none / 0) (#7)
    by ThatOneVoter on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 08:33:15 PM EST
    the kale water is the point. You add some of that liquid at the end too.

    Hmm (none / 0) (#9)
    by andgarden on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 08:34:46 PM EST
    Did you notice a big difference in the taste of the pasta because you did that?

    I'm personally just not a big fan of boiled vegetables.


    Well, boiling loses nutrients, but (none / 0) (#10)
    by ThatOneVoter on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 08:36:38 PM EST
    green beans are really superb if they're boiled---just to the right point, of course.

    Frankly, I prefer to steam (none / 0) (#12)
    by andgarden on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 08:38:37 PM EST
    or just use the microwave. I love green beans sautéed in olive oil with garlic.

    I like to prepare them (none / 0) (#73)
    by Amiss on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 02:36:32 AM EST
    in my rice steamer. Delicious! Being raised in the South, where most vegetables are cooked to death, I consider myself lucky to have married someone from New Hampshire who taught me different.

    Another option is pressure cooker (none / 0) (#74)
    by nycstray on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 03:09:17 AM EST
    My youngest cat killed my rice steamer, so when looking for a new one, I ended up with a multi cooker. So I now have a smaller electric pressure cooker ta boot. Fantastic as a rice steamer and with the added slow cooker and pressure cooker, I have a good set of options for things, especially produce. I've done Kale soups in it, but wouldn't have thought to try this recipe with the cooker. Thanks for the comment! I haven't boiled veggies in, like, forever, lol!~ but I was willing to go there to try this. The pressure cooker has been great with the veggies I've cooked in it. Why I haven't thought to use it for greens other than soup, is beyond me. Especially since I like how they turn out in the soups! :)

    Assuming you want to die and go to heaven (none / 0) (#20)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 09:16:41 PM EST
    try this: Rapini with Pasta (my recipe, via Italian former in-laws). Note: rapini/broccoli rabe/Italian broccoli is a very bitter green.

    *Wash a bunch of rapini well. Trim off tough ends and cut stems into 1/2 inch pieces. Cut leaves more coarsely and keep flowerets intact. Don't dry off the rapini at all.

    *Add salt to taste (more is better) and 1/4 tsp crushed dried red chili peppers to the raw greens.

    *Put 3 tbsp Olive Oil in deep pot over medium heat and add 3 smashed garlic cloves. Fry for a minute.

    *Add rapini and stir a few seconds to mix with the oil. Add 1 ounce of water, stir and cover.

    *Steam fry/simmer (covered) for 20-30 minutes over medium-low heat. Stir 3-4 times, add another ounce of water if greens start to burn.

    *Cook spaghettini pasta al dente. Remove pot from stove and rinse pasta with cold water till pot overflows. Drain briefly. Add 2-3 tbsp of olive to warm pasta.

    *Combine the pasta with the rapini (in the same pot) and stir well. The rapini will be very moist and there will be residual juices - you'll lose none of this.

    *Serve with any/all of the following: coarsely grated parmesan; toasted pine nuts; one chopped boiled egg per person (trust me); chopped pitted kalamata olives.

    PASTA TRIVIA: extruded pasta has a lower glycemic index than other pasta, so the longer and thinner the better. Al dente pasta also has a lower glycemic index than well done pasta.


    Personally, I find broccoli rabe (none / 0) (#21)
    by andgarden on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 09:18:32 PM EST
    to be too bitter. I've tried to like it, though. . .

    Now, I love the most bitter greens best... (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 09:39:20 PM EST
    The more bitter the better.

    What is the most bitter green? Aside from turnip tops, mustard greens, rapini, kale - love them all, but could use more bite.

    Oh, I've had some home-grown, uncooked baby arugula. It was a coarser texture than usual and it was, hands down, the most bitter green evah! It actually stung the tongue.

    What else is there bitter green-wise?


    All I know is that if it's bitter, I try (none / 0) (#30)
    by andgarden on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 09:41:26 PM EST
    to avoid it! Same reason I'm mostly a tea, not coffee, person. And I don't like Guinness!

    Don't take this the wrong way... (none / 0) (#47)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 10:49:21 PM EST
    You may have a geographic tongue. One of my best friends had one of those: the type with the fissures ;-)

    Nope, nothing like that (none / 0) (#52)
    by andgarden on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 10:56:48 PM EST
    I just don't especially like bitter foods. I think most of us are programmed to recognize that bitter = poison, and I'm just more sensitive to that than some other people.

    Ok, enough with my diagnostics... (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 11:09:48 PM EST
    Here's something fantasmagoric: Mango Wedges & Lime Juice/Salt/Chili Powder - to taste.

    *I'm told our tongues have 4 taste receptors for: sweet (the mango); bitter (the lime juice); salty (the salt); and spicy/hot (the chili powder).

    In some parts of Mexico, street vendors sell this on a stick: the mango is peeled, intact, cross-hatched, seasoned with the foregoing and impaled on a stick. It is, quite simply, HEAVEN ON A STICK (for you, go easy on the lime andgarden). It's like something really good blew up in your mouth.  


    heh, thanks (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by andgarden on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 11:15:43 PM EST
    Interestingly, I LOVE lime, but I'm not so hot on mango, which I find to have a funny aftertaste. Go figure!

    Have you ever had some foods that (none / 0) (#61)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 11:24:33 PM EST
    make your tongue feel fuzzy/furry just after you eat them? I can't stand it! That happens when I eat chard and, to a lesser extent, spinach - although I like the taste of both. I dunno what the hell the fuzzy tongue thing is about.

    Hmm, (none / 0) (#63)
    by andgarden on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 11:33:08 PM EST
    It's either mango or papaya that often does that, I think.

    It's chemistry I think. (none / 0) (#77)
    by Fabian on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 04:43:50 AM EST
    Spinach does that sometimes.  I think it has to do with minerals like calcium.  I would guess that it has more to do with how it is cooked, including the relative hardness of the water.

    I've never had that problem with tap or well water, but I suspect the problem is the dissolved salts of softened water.


    One of my kids has that (none / 0) (#54)
    by Cream City on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 10:59:23 PM EST
    and when the doctor pointed it out when the kid was but a toddler, I the young mom started to freek at what, what, what would that mean?  Absolutely nothing, said the doc.

    Almost 30 years later, that's still so.  It has meant absolutely nothing -- except what we thought were odd aversions to some foods in recent years.  But then those turned out to be signs of gall bladder problems, leading to later surgery.

    So it still seems that a geographic tongue is just a cool thing in grade school -- but possibly because the kid also inherited, from the other side of the family, the gene to be able to curl the geographic tongue!


    For my friend, (none / 0) (#60)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 11:19:25 PM EST
    with the "geographic tongue", it was actually painful to eat some foods: in particular those that were bitter and/or spicy. It's a matter of degree I guess, like so much else.

    Heh (none / 0) (#90)
    by daring grace on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 10:42:18 AM EST
    Boy, did I take that term the wrong way!

    Until I followed your link, I thought a 'geographic tongue' was what you had when you're a northerner who hates okra and collards or someone of N. European descent who has trouble with spices other than salt and pepper!


    It's not the bitter (none / 0) (#76)
    by Fabian on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 04:40:07 AM EST
    it's the sugars that come with the bitter.  Why do some greens taste sweeter after a good frost?  Because they are concentrating certain types of sugars in their tissues to act as antifreeze.

    BTW - I have found that the bite of raw greens does a better job of keeping the sleepies away than the traditional mint.


    Its Delicious (none / 0) (#49)
    by squeaky on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 10:51:30 PM EST
    Maybe try adding a dollop of ricotta or similar cheese, that will mellow out the bitter. I almost always add carmelized onion with wine reduction, which also sweetens it up quite a bit.

    Another mouth watering addition is to add finely chopped garlic, several cloves, that have been browned in good butter with a splash of wine.

    Nice garnish for any pasta.


    Most of these dishes can be mixed with (none / 0) (#53)
    by befuddledvoter on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 10:57:21 PM EST
    swiss chard or escarole.  Italians use both regularly.  Rapini is strong in flavor.  I like only a bit; family loves the taste.  Try escarole or swiss chard, instead of the rapini, in any of the recipes.

    Yes (none / 0) (#55)
    by squeaky on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 11:02:12 PM EST
    More than anything it is a way of cooking rather than following recipies, many things are interchangeable. It depends what is available and your mood, so to speak.

    mmm.. i love broccoli rabe. (none / 0) (#22)
    by ThatOneVoter on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 09:21:46 PM EST
    It's funny, ordinary broccoli is the brassaica vegetable I like least.

    Hate ordinary broccoli? Well... (none / 0) (#45)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 10:35:21 PM EST
    *Steam/fried Broccoli: Peel the stems and cut them into 1/2 inch rounds. Split the flowerets into uniform sizes, say 2 inches around and steam/fry all over medium-low heat, covered for 10 minutes: with olive oil, salt, dried crushed red chili, garlic and a little water, as per the the rapini in the Rapini and Pasta recipe I posted hereabouts.

    *Steamed Broccoli w. Lemon & Garlic: Prep broccoli as above but steam it over salted water for 5-10 minutes. When it cools add olive oil, fresh lemon juice, smashed garlic and salt - all to taste and toss. Serve chilled or room temp.


    Lol.. i don't hate it. (none / 0) (#48)
    by ThatOneVoter on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 10:49:37 PM EST
    I just far prefer broccoli rabe, etc.

    Sorry, was it George Bush the elder (none / 0) (#50)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 10:55:00 PM EST
    who took a whole lotta flak (from the Broccoli Growers Association of America, or wev) for telling some schoolchildren he hated broccoli. I am a big broccoli booster, but really, its not meant for EVERYTHING is it.

    Thank You! (none / 0) (#31)
    by nycstray on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 09:53:03 PM EST
    another recipe for my CSA files. I see myself doing "all" with the toppings, lol!~  :)

    The Shape of The Pasta (none / 0) (#58)
    by squeaky on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 11:11:07 PM EST
    Is an architectural aspect of the meal. Some pastas, like fusilli, are designed to catch little bits, while others like thin spaghetti are meant to just be evenly coated, lasagna, manicotti, orecchetti, etc. all have their architectural aspect of holding sauce.

    So what's with the recent buzz (none / 0) (#26)
    by Radiowalla on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 09:31:04 PM EST
    about kale?

    I make it all the time.  But, I swear, I've never found it a topic of discussion on leftie blogs.  

    Not that I have anything against kale, mind you.  I'd rather discuss kale than, say, Karl Rove or Dick Cheney.


    I like to talk about food. (none / 0) (#28)
    by ThatOneVoter on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 09:36:47 PM EST
    Kale is just a current topic.

    Good. (none / 0) (#33)
    by Radiowalla on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 09:57:35 PM EST
    So do I.

    Where else do you post?

    And since you love kale, have you ever made Colcannon with dinosaur kale?  Yummy!


    Got any good recipes (none / 0) (#65)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 11:41:02 PM EST
    for oxtails anyone?  The thick, dark oxtail soup on offer at just about every eating place in Germany when I spent time there was one of my favorite foods, but it's rare you can find them in this country.  But I scored some good meaty ones at the market today-- there only by accident, according to the meat guy, because their supplier goofed and gave them oxtails instead of the beef liver (yuck!) that was supposed to be in the box.

    It may be years before I find them again, so I want to make the most of them!


    You were lucky! (none / 0) (#78)
    by Fabian on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 04:56:57 AM EST
    Ox tails are hard to come by.  My family used to make a barley soup with them, but barley is incompatible with me so I've only tried to make it once.

    I suggest a standard soup with onions, carrots, celery and barley.  Making the above with mushrooms would work too.


    Treasury Sec. (none / 0) (#5)
    by nell on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 08:30:22 PM EST
    What do you think will happen with the treasury sec. nominee? It seems like the nanny issue is not so big, but the tax issue is a bigger deal...I guess I am not sure exactly what happened, but from what I heard on the news, he acknowledges being notified by the IRS, but then he just didn't pay?

    Basically (none / 0) (#13)
    by Steve M on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 08:39:20 PM EST
    he had a job at the IMF, he was supposed to withhold Social Security and Medicare taxes himself since he was technically self-employed, but he didn't do it.  This is clearly not a big deal as it was a common mistake made by employees of the IMF and the IRS basically granted an amnesty for it.

    Where it might get tricky is that when the IRS caught his error, they made him pay the extra tax retroactively for the 2003 and 2004 tax years.  But what the IRS didn't check, and nobody caught until Obama's vetters spotted the issue, was that he had made the same screw-up in 2001 and 2002 and didn't pay the back taxes even after the IRS told him about the issue.  He finally paid them after the Obama vetters told him to, but of course that's pretty late in the game to do the right thing.

    My personal belief is that the issues facing the country right now are too important to have these nominations decided on trivia.  There may be good policy reasons to oppose Geithner, but this is no time to get distracted by nanny problems.


    Well as someone who does contract work (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by nycstray on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 09:07:56 PM EST
    and staff work, it's pretty much common knowledge when you are responsible for SS and Medi etc. I would expect someone with a financial background to know this. But hey, if they want to call it an "honest mistake" . . . . He should have at least noticed SS wasn't coming out of his pay. . . .

    IRS may not have caught it, but that doesn't make his mistake any more acceptable, imo. If he had already had an issue with 2 yrs and worked for the same company prior, rather interesting he didn't do something about it until he had to.


    Like I said (none / 0) (#18)
    by Steve M on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 09:13:57 PM EST
    it's apparently a very common issue when working for international organizations like the IMF.  I don't know if your personal experience or mine necessarily translates.

    Common issue or not, (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by Radiowalla on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 09:25:58 PM EST
    it's a screw-up and doesn't look good as a first impression of the new Secretary of the Treasury.  

    Granted, our IRS rules are arcane and byzantine beyond belief, but just the same....

    Maybe Gaither could help himself by promising a rapid simplification of the IRS Code.


    You mean they don't clue in their (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by nycstray on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 09:28:17 PM EST
    employees and the employees don't ask? I'm sorry, this just doesn't fly with me. You have to realize this stuff when doing taxes, right? And if he had an accountant handling his business, well that doesn't say much. I'm the farthest thing you can find to a finance person, but there are some tax basics that you just need to know. Especially in the contract/self employed/international companies area if that is where your employment is.

    And again, once the IRS contacted him about the 2 yrs, he should have realized he had 2 other years of concern.

    I don't know, I guess I would like someone who's going to be dealing with all this money going out to big businesses to be a tad more alert in the next admin . . . :)


    My house is glass (none / 0) (#27)
    by Democratic Cat on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 09:36:27 PM EST
    I made the same mistake when I worked for a similar international organization. It tooks me years to pay off the IRS since I was a graduate student and the "extra" money I kept had already gone to tuition.

    I can't criticize him too much, although it seems like he should have come clean on the earlier years once he knew about the problem in the later years.


    He was no graduate student (5.00 / 2) (#56)
    by befuddledvoter on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 11:03:34 PM EST
    Did he think his money was just tax free?  Interesting perception.  Funny that never occurred to me and I am self-employed, and vendor for the state.  

    I do agree with the above poster though that I just want the best person for the job.  That does also mean an honest person though.


    Geithner (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by christinep on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 10:23:37 PM EST
    Most organizations provide some gen'l or more specific info about personnel matters at the onset (e.g., leave, health care, taxes--note, esp., taxes.) I don't know what the IMF provides or doesn't provide in terms of info. I would be interested; and, I would be interested to know if most people employed by IMF withold social security or not. In any event, Geithner is supposed to be smart, with it, and nominated for Treasury Secretary. While I understand that people make mistakes, etc....this is the nominee for Treasury (with IRS within its ambit) and it does cause me concern. I don't want to be nasty, but this is a bit much to swallow. When I recall Zoe Baird and Kimba Wood ( and think again about how smart Geithner is reputed to be--Geithner who was involved in responding to some of the early financial failings this past year) I burp. Seriously. He sounds like a nice enough gentleman. Perhaps, tho, that is the problem. Are we really talking about a popular, buddy, good-ol-boy or are we talking about someone who may be a step ahead? I don't know. But, I do want to hear more after today.

    I suspect that (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 11:37:31 PM EST
    folks with Geithner's level of income aren't all that aware of what's taken out of their paycheck and what their tax obligations are or aren't.  I think there are also certain situations when people are employed by international organizations like IMF where they don't, in fact, have to pay U.S. taxes.  Can't remember the details, but it sticks in my mind from somewhere.

    What I'm puzzled by is why a guy with his income doesn't employ an accountant to do his taxes for him, who would certainly have prevented this from happening.  Perhaps his wife does the family taxes and she didn't realize, but he doesn't want to blame her and is taking the heat himself.  Who knows.

    In any case, nobody in his position is going to try to cheat on his taxes in such a blatant way.

    But it surely will create problems with the Republicans, who are just itching for some high-profile Obama nominee they can cause trouble for in order to assert themselves and try to take him down a peg.


    This article doesn't help him much (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by nycstray on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 12:08:06 AM EST

    He failed to pay self-employment taxes for money he earned 2001 to 2004 while working for the IMF, according to materials released by the Senate committee. In 2006, the IRS notified him that he owed $14,847 in self-employment taxes and $1,885 in interest from 2003 and 2004, which he paid after an audit. The IRS waived penalties for those tax years.

    Transition officials discovered last fall that Geithner also had not paid the taxes in 2001 or 2002. He paid $19,176 in back taxes and $6,794 in interest for 2001 and 2002 several days before Obama announced his choice, the committee documents showed. All told, Geithner had failed to pay $34,023 in self-employment taxes for the years 2001 to 2004.

    He should have figured the other years were an issue.

    The committee's materials said Geithner "has experience with Social Security tax issues." He filed the taxes late for his household employees in 1996 for years 1993 to 1995; he incorrectly calculated Medicare taxes for his household employees in 1998 and received an IRS notice; and he received notices from the Social Security Administration and the IRS after not filing 2003 and 2004 forms for his household employees, the report states.

    He sure doesn't seem that together for a finance guy.

    This is interesting:

    Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., said he still hoped Geithner could be confirmed on Inauguration Day, asking senators for unanimous consent to skirt rules and schedule a hearing as early as Friday.

    I think that Americans (none / 0) (#66)
    by andgarden on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 11:46:23 PM EST
    are responsible for paying taxes on their worldwide income, though I think there are some reciprocal arrangements with other countries. This is, I understand, fairly unique.

    He paid his portion (none / 0) (#84)
    by Jlvngstn on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 09:10:13 AM EST
    but not the "employer" portion which seems to me an honest mistake...

    No I'm not . . . (none / 0) (#16)
    by SOS on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 09:05:25 PM EST
    However if I was in the Law Profession Arena Jeralyn I would EXPECT (not ask) to be permitted to kick back and indulge in some mind nUmBiNg distraction and entertainment as I saw fit from time to time.

    Have fun

    Anybody read the recent court filings (none / 0) (#19)
    by magster on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 09:14:33 PM EST
    by Franken?  The subject matter jurisdiction arguments sound pretty strong to me in last night's motion to dismiss.  I don't know about the petition to the MN supreme court though.

    I will read them later (none / 0) (#24)
    by Steve M on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 09:27:02 PM EST
    but frankly, since the Minnesota statute is quite narrowly drafted to ensure that the court only makes a finding of fact (who received the most lawfully cast votes) as opposed to a determination of the ultimate issue (who won the election), I have my doubts about the jurisdictional argument.  I mean, if the courts aren't allowed to review disputes about which ballots should count, how come the state canvassing board gets to review those disputes?  Shouldn't exclusive jurisdiction vest in the Senate the moment the polls close?

    On a related note, I'd point out that BTD apparently erred in his prediction that Franken would not sue to get his certificate.  It looks like he's going to try.


    Yep. St Paul Pio Press (none / 0) (#36)
    by Cream City on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 10:16:19 PM EST
    reported yesterday, as I recall, that Franken already had filed such a suit to just get certified.  From the sources I read in that story, it looks doubtful that he would get a favorable decision.  But then, from paper to paper in the Twin Cities, the stories vary; see also the Strib.

    Here's the latest story (none / 0) (#39)
    by Cream City on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 10:19:27 PM EST
    I find from today's Pio Press site:  Give Me My Senate Certificate Now!  From what this story says, I don't see how Franken has grounds to get around the state law.  But then, smart lawyers always seem to find a way, so whaddaIknow.

    And here's a comment (none / 0) (#41)
    by Cream City on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 10:24:14 PM EST
    among hundreds at the two papers' sites, this one from the Strib that describes electoral ennui as this debacle drags on and on. . . .

    I don't even care anymore. I don't really like either one of them. How about a do over with new candidates? Normal people this time, no career politicians. No famous people.

    Heck, it's below zero there (and where I am) now.  Kinda hard to remember what got us all so heated  back in balmy November.:-)


    Sometimes, one person... (none / 0) (#51)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Jan 13, 2009 at 10:55:34 PM EST
    ...can have an profound effect on politicians.  

    Shaking and crying, Don Johnson turned to the lawmakers in front of him, produced an urn holding his daughter's ashes and begged them to pass a bill mandating carbon monoxide detectors in new homes and apartments.

    "This is my daughter today!" he screamed. "That's all that's left of her!"

    "And what's the difference? What's the difference? There it is. Twenty bucks," he said, holding up a bill to show what it would have cost for a detector that could have saved his daughter's life.

    Lauren Johnson, 23, died last week after the lethal gas infiltrated her apartment. "Don't you dare not pass this bill. Please. Please."

    I don't think they will dare not pass the bill.  

    Common hazards..... (none / 0) (#80)
    by Fabian on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 05:30:19 AM EST
    CO detectors are great.  

    Too bad we can't mandate common sense.  Most CO events are from people doing things they MOST emphatically should not be doing.  

    The repairman who gave me the bad news on our 20+ year old furnace told me a story while he was trying to get our furnace to perform.  He was repairing a furnace when the gas valve became stuck full open.  He tried everything but he couldn't get it to shut off.  He shut the gas off manually and gave the homeowner the bad news - the furnace stayed off until that part was replaced.  She pitched a fit.  If she had her way, she would have had a furnace spewing natural gas into her basement nonstop.  I've seen the footage of homes literally blown to pieces because of natural gas explosions.  Impressive.  Like a localized F5 tornado.

    Most of our state's CO deaths happen during power outages (due to improper use of fires, combustion in general and generators) so CO detectors need batteries to be truly effective.


    Very sad... (none / 0) (#83)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 08:39:48 AM EST
    Carbon monoxide detectors are an excellent idea in any dwelling...but do we need another law?

    I just worry about giving the government another reason to come in your home and extort...err, fine you.  


    Ellen Moran Works It (none / 0) (#70)
    by squeaky on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 01:31:03 AM EST
    This is interesting:
    He motorcaded to a house in Maryland this evening, and if the press pool report is accurate, he is breaking bread with William Kristol and David Brooks.  (If Brooks and Kristol seem to be unusually briefed about Obama's thinking, you'll know why.)

    CBS News's Dan Raviv tells the pool that the house, on Grafton Street in Chevy Chase, belongs to George Will. (Unless he's moved.)

    Tomorrow, I hear Obama has another private meeting with non-Republican opinion columnists.

    Ellen Moran, the incoming White House communications director, set these meetings up.

    Again -- establishment opinion matters to the Obama communications team.

    link via think progress

    Serious message control? (none / 0) (#71)
    by nycstray on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 02:32:18 AM EST
    Apparently his campaign manager said today that they will be continuing the campaign. We're on for 2012 . . . . Bring out the warm fuzzies!!!  ;)

    Now I'm not saying he's like Bush or a Bush clone, but after the last 8 yrs, I would like some separation between media and state, and for that matter church and state also, lol!~


    Sounds like McCain? (none / 0) (#81)
    by Fabian on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 05:36:06 AM EST
    Blatantly schmoozing the media was something McCain did very well for years.

    Now I'm trying to remember which lazy pundit whined when Fitzgerald wouldn't leak anything about the Libby case.  He implied that it was part of Fitzgerald's job to give the media the inside scoop so they would have something to write about - instead of waiting for the official announcements with the rest of the peons.


    Democratic U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek (none / 0) (#75)
    by Amiss on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 03:16:11 AM EST
    in the 2010 race to replace retiring Republican Sen. Mel Martinez.
    Meek's voting record, according to Progressive Punch, puts him towards the middle of the House Democratic caucus, perhaps slightly to the right of center.

    Fingers Crossed (none / 0) (#94)
    by squeaky on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 01:04:52 PM EST
    Hamas has agreed to a ceasefire in Gaza based on Egypt's proposal, Arab sources told Ynet Wednesday. The conditions for the truce have not been published at this time.


    The police officer (none / 0) (#95)
    by CST on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 02:37:18 PM EST
    Who killed an un-armed man on BART was finally arrested and charged with murder.

    I heard he ran to Nevada... (none / 0) (#97)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 03:34:32 PM EST
    because he feared for his safety...now he knows how many citizens in his precint feel every god damn day.

    Patrick McGoohan RIP (none / 0) (#96)
    by squeaky on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 03:12:34 PM EST
    Danger Man aka Secret Agent Man, is one of my faves...  

    Emmy-winning actor Patrick McGoohan, best known for starring in cult 1960s TV show The Prisoner, has died at the age of 80.
    He died in Los Angeles after a short illness, his film producer son-in-law Cleve Landsberg told Associated Press.


    I remember... (none / 0) (#99)
    by desertswine on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 04:15:04 PM EST
    The Prisoner was a great, great show. "I am not a number!"

    Also gone is Ricardo Montalban,
    "I stabbeth thee!"


    But It Sells Soap (none / 0) (#100)
    by squeaky on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 04:29:22 PM EST
    The Internet may not be such a dangerous place for children after all.

    A task force created by 49 state attorneys general to look into the problem of sexual solicitation of children online has concluded that there really is not a significant problem.

    The findings ran counter to popular perceptions of online dangers as reinforced by depictions in the news media like NBC's "To Catch a Predator" series. One attorney general was quick to criticize the group's report.


    Bernie Madoff wins again (none / 0) (#101)
    by scribe on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 04:44:22 PM EST
    in the government's appeal from the Magistrate's refusal to revoke his bail, the District Judge affirmed, allowing Madoff to remain free.

    I can't wait to see Bloomberg's head explode over this.

    Hope It Is Messy (none / 0) (#103)
    by squeaky on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 04:48:34 PM EST
    Bloomberg's head exploding that is.

    The Other Inaugural Invocation (none / 0) (#104)
    by squeaky on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 06:51:56 PM EST
    On hand for "reading historical passages" will be actors Jamie Foxx, Queen Latifah and Denzel Washington, as well as Martin Luther King III. The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson will give the invocation at the event.
    The selection of Robinson may be an effort by the Obama team to blunt the anger expressed in the gay community after he tapped Rev. Rick Warren, an opponent of gay marriage, to give the invocation at his Jan. 20 inauguration. Robinson, in contrast, the first openly gay bishop in the Anglican Communion.

    link via FP

    Looks like Obama is listening.... to everyone.