Sunday Night Open Thread

It's evening on the east coast and we just took off from Atlanta. The plane has wi-fi -- free one time until December 31. The company is called GoGo. They need to put some more work into this... pages are slow to load, you tube videos start and stop and Jeffrey Toobin's new article in the New Yorker on Roman Polanski, The Celebrity Defense: Sex, Fame and the Case of Roman Polanski, which arrived in my e-mail box but will be online tomorrow, has been downloading for more than one minute. The right column of TalkLeft also isn't loading.

The TL kid and I had a great time in Key West, no surprise there. Aside from spending time with great friends I only get to see once a year or less, the abundance of fresh fish (and fun raw bars), there were terrific speakers and once I finished my talk on the latest in electronic surveillance techniques being used in drug cases, I was free to relax.

I have not seen the news since we left last Thursday, so I have nothing to write about on that front.

Here's an open thread, all topics. welcome.

< A New Health Assistance Bill Proposal | What People Know About The Health Insurance Premium Assistance Bill >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    This is the shizzle Shrimp Scampi. (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by ChiTownDenny on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 06:46:41 PM EST
    As some of you may know, I have some time on my hands.  As such, I've experimented with a Shrimp Scampi recipe.  Scouring the recipe sites, I've used recipes with olive oil; I've used recipes with lemon.  This is the one (and no where to be found).
    For two
    1/2 lb. thawed or fresh, cleaned shrimp;
    1/2 lb. angel hair pasta (or your favorite long pasta);
    1/2 lb. fresh asparagus, trimmed.
    1.  Saute asparagus in 1/4 lb. butter, 1 tbsp garlic, pinch salt, until tender (5-7 minutes or so on medium high heat).  Remove to serving platter.  (I cut the asparagus once cooked.)
    2.  In same pan/pot with melted butter and garlic (add more if needed) saute shrimp over medium high heat (about 1 minute per side).  Remove to serving platter.
    3.  Add water to the same pan/pot that has butter and garlic.  Add another pinch salt.  Cook pasta according to package directions.  When cooked and drained, return pasta to pan/pot and add 1/4 tablespoon butter and stir until butter is melted.
    Combine all cooked ingredients on platter.  Sprinle Romano cheese.  OMG!
    In 15 minutes, you have a meal Obama would love.  Well I do.  Hope you do, too.

    That sounds delicious. (none / 0) (#8)
    by Anne on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 06:57:39 PM EST
    Love shrimp scampi, the more butter and garlic the better!

    Thanks, Anne. (none / 0) (#10)
    by ChiTownDenny on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 07:03:40 PM EST
    I'm learning to cook.  Yeah!

    Only thing I don't have for that dish (none / 0) (#14)
    by Anne on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 10:06:55 PM EST
    is the asparagus...but that's easily remedied!

    Tomorrow, my daughter's boyfriend is making ribs in the slow-cooker...mmmmm...Ravens are playing the Packers on Monday Night Football, and win or lose, we are at least going to eat well!


    Leftover asparagus (none / 0) (#26)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 12:36:14 AM EST
    Toast a piece of good bread, give it just a little smear of mayo, lay on a single slice of ham, then the leftover cooked asparagus, then a slice of your choice of cheese, run 'er under the broiler til the cheese melts a bit.  Oh, my!!!

    The asparagus (none / 0) (#20)
    by BackFromOhio on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 11:15:44 PM EST
    is a great addition to traditional dish

    I'm not big on garlic (none / 0) (#29)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 12:53:06 AM EST
    so I use less, but here's my shrimp, scallops and pasta recipe: Feeds 2, with second helpings:

    4 of the freshest, biggest jumbo shrimp you can find in shell, raw
    4 giant scallops, halved horizontally
    3 fresh tomatoes, diced small
    1 tsp fresh minced garlic
    2 tb butter
    1 tb olive oil

    Put olive oil and butter in pan. When hot, add minced garlic to pan and saute until it turns lucid and flavor releases. Add scallop halves (8), salt and pepper the scallops.  High heat, sear on both sides, adding salt and pepper to other side when turned. When both sides are seared, lower the heat, add the tomatoes, basil, oregano.  Add shrimp in the shell (cleaned) and 1/2 cup white wine. (Conumdrum is my favorite white wine, I use it for everything.) Bring big pot of cold water to a boil.

    Add just a few hot pepper flakes to fish and tomatoes. When water boils, add 1/2 pound of your favorite whole wheat pasta. I like Gia Russo's Linguine. Cover the sauce pot, lower the heat to low and cook for another 10 minutes. Pasta and shrimp/scallop sauce and cook covered on low heat, for about 10 more minutes. It's done, and the linguine should be done as well.   Drain pasta into big  large bowl. Pour sauce  over pasta. If I'm doing fancy, I add some freshly chopped  arugula and some small fresh mozarella balls. Then I cook the sauce another 5 mzinutes or so,  divvy up the linguine, pour on the sauce and serve with a nice bottle of red wine, Bow-tie pasta is another good one to use for it.

    If any of you give it a try, let me know how it turns out. Serve with a salad of arugula, sliced cucumbers, a few cherry tomatoes and a few sliced strawberres, Use a raspberry vinaigrette dressing.

    I created the recipe myself, so don't be shy if yuo have some recommendations to make it better or didn't like it all all.


    Silly question (none / 0) (#31)
    by lentinel on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 03:45:28 AM EST
    Could you describe how you cut the asparagus?

    into 3 or 4 (none / 0) (#32)
    by ChiTownDenny on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 08:04:00 AM EST
    bite size pieces.

    Thanks (none / 0) (#50)
    by lentinel on Wed Dec 09, 2009 at 04:18:11 PM EST
    Will try the recipe.

    Wow - I never print out posts (none / 0) (#34)
    by ruffian on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 08:48:31 AM EST
    but I'm gonna print these!  Sounds delicious and easy for a non-cook like myself.

    NYT artcile on bank bailout (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Politalkix on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 10:25:43 PM EST
    Lead sentence (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 12:38:39 AM EST
    "The Treasury Department expects to recover all but $42 billion of the $370 billion it has lent to ailing companies since the financial crisis began last year, with the portion lent to banks actually showing a slight profit, according to a new Treasury report."

    ok, the important question: (none / 0) (#1)
    by cpinva on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 06:01:39 PM EST
    did you get any fishing in? the keys are one of the best places, both on and off-shore; red drum, snapper, etc. fun to catch and eat.

    no but we ate a lot of (none / 0) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 06:05:12 PM EST
    yellow tail snapper which tastes like lobster and was the favorite of a lot of the guys we were with who do fish.

    Hope you experienced "hog snapper" (none / 0) (#12)
    by KeysDan on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 07:48:38 PM EST
    also called hog fish.  A great, light, local fish obtained through free diving with a spear.  A real competitor with yellow tail.

    Did you eat any conch? (none / 0) (#40)
    by oculus on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 11:24:36 AM EST
    A majority of Americans (none / 0) (#3)
    by Politalkix on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 06:07:35 PM EST
    agree with the President on his Afghanistan policy

    gallup (none / 0) (#15)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 10:10:23 PM EST
    had the country split on the issue.

    Ha Ha!!! (none / 0) (#17)
    by Politalkix on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 10:35:09 PM EST
    51% support the President's strategy, 40% oppose it.
    That is a majority, not a split. link

    Sorry (none / 0) (#18)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 10:48:00 PM EST
    I should have said likely to succeed. People might support it slightly but don't give it a great chance of succeeding.

    48% say the U.S. is certain or likely to achieve its goals in the war, while 45% say the U.S. is unlikely to do so or is certain not to achieve its aims.

    This poll is more recent than the one you are citing.


    Those numbers are unlikely to hold though. (none / 0) (#19)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 10:50:11 PM EST
    People are sick of these wars and all the money going down the drain there. We're continuing to dump billions into Iraq with no end in sight there either.

    That's actually (none / 0) (#33)
    by jbindc on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 08:18:32 AM EST
    a tie - including the margin of error.

    Hope your weekend was great (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 06:24:41 PM EST
    Good to have you hack, even if on a plane with spotty service.

    Erm (none / 0) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 06:58:58 PM EST
    Back. A lot of hackery from me these past few days.

    My cable modem is apparently on the fritz (none / 0) (#6)
    by andgarden on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 06:54:44 PM EST
    I scheduled a tech visit for Tuesday, but in the meantime shelled out for my own cable modem at Radio Shack. It "may take up to 48 hours" to provision. FAIL.

    To "provision"? (none / 0) (#13)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 10:03:25 PM EST
    What does that mean?

    It means "to provide" (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by Cream City on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 11:44:12 PM EST
    but companies can charge more per syllable.  Or the lawyers do who write their contracts.  There has to be some reason for all this awful lingo that is so endemic.

    A cable modem has to be "on the list" (none / 0) (#21)
    by andgarden on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 11:30:11 PM EST
    to get on to their network.

    Anyway, further investigation suggests that there are deeper problems with my connection than just my modem: On Demand isn't working either.



    If you haven't seen news since Thursday, (none / 0) (#7)
    by Anne on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 06:56:21 PM EST
    I'd venture to guess that your blood pressure is great, you were able to fully relax, slept better than you have for a while and actually lived in the moment, enjoying where you were, what you were doing and who you were with, in a way that you just don't in your day-to-day life.

    I am trying - not too successfully - not to be envious... :-)

    More than a few great looking matchups (none / 0) (#11)
    by CoralGables on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 07:25:46 PM EST
    for the Bowl games.

    Texas & Alabama
    Boise & TCU
    Florida & Cincinnati
    LSU & Penn State

    I'd say Oregon and Ohio State but I don't think Ohio State has a chance.

    Boise State and TCU (none / 0) (#35)
    by rdandrea on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 09:37:27 AM EST
    Is a great match, but also notice that they put those teams from non-automatic conferences in the same game.

    That way they don't embarrass anybody from the BCS establishment.


    Blackberry web browser initially (none / 0) (#22)
    by oculus on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 11:40:02 PM EST
    worked just fine in Manhattan.  Then didn't; although my friend had no trouble at all with her iPhone and web.  AT&T store guy on Madison got it working but didn't know why it had stopped.  Any ideas?

    How long are you going to be in the city? (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by shoephone on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 12:43:36 AM EST
    If you are at all interested in going to hear some great live jazz, forget about that arrogant phuck, King Wynton, and treat yourself to either of these shows:

    Dave Douglas at the Vanguard

    Randy Weston at Dizzy's Club

    Dave Douglas is an excellent trumpeter, composer and band leader, who has really come into his own in the last 7 or 8 years. Donny McCaslin, Douglas's tenor sax player, grew up in Santa Cruz (I remember hearing him at Cabrillo jazz concerts -- when he was kicking a$$ at age 16!) and he is one fine player. So are Douglas and the other members of the band.

    Randy Weston is a true living legend, whom I had the distinct honor of interviewing many years ago, when he was in Seattle for a festival performance. His piano playing is a mix of powerful left hand rhythms, beautiful right hand motifs, and blues. His band includes African drummers (usually Gnawans, such as Obo Addy). It's my opinion that everyone should see and hear Randy Weston live, at least once. And since he is 83 years old, now might be a good time to see him in his home town of NYC.

    Hope you are having a great time!


    We had a fabulous, exhausting time.d (none / 0) (#37)
    by oculus on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 10:27:24 AM EST
    Home now.  I am not a jazz fan usually, with so many other choices re theatre and classical music.  Such fun.

    Shoephone...thanks (none / 0) (#49)
    by DFLer on Tue Dec 08, 2009 at 06:35:30 AM EST
    after reading this entry, I went off to the library to check out a Weston CD. I've been listening to African music for a long time, so I was intrigued by Weston, with whom I am not acquainted.

    Anywho, got "Saga" Fantastic...love that tenor player too. Waiting for another CD with African drummers on it.

    Thanks for the illumination.


    I'm so glad to hear that! (none / 0) (#51)
    by shoephone on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 10:35:05 PM EST
    Have you listened to "Spirits of the Ancestors"? It came out in 1992, I believe. It is fantastic. I think you would really enjoy it. He has also done some solo piano tributes that are wonderful. The ones for Duke and Monk are especially nice.

    Good listening!


    The only other selection (none / 0) (#52)
    by DFLer on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 11:09:56 PM EST
    available via the regional library was The Splendid Master Gnawa Musicians of Morocco. Arrived this afternoon, will be tomorrow morning's concert.

    I very much liked the Moroccan musicians and the moroccan vibe on Peter Gabriel's soundtrack for "The Last Temptation of Christ" The source music cd for that was also very cool.

    I will go to the state-wide library search for Ancestors. Thanks.


    Agreed. Last Temptation of Christ (none / 0) (#53)
    by shoephone on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 11:17:21 PM EST
    is a great soundtrack.

    dude...just came back from MN Link Library site (none / 0) (#54)
    by DFLer on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 11:26:40 PM EST
    and have reserved the recommended "Spirit..." CD...and the Thelonius Monk cd with Weston Q-tet, and saw an Abbey Lincoln cd with Higgins on drums, so there you go, ordered that one too.

    Love my public library...selections from any public and/or university library in the state, sent to your local, that is if you don't owe any overdue fines.


    I love Abbey Lincoln too (none / 0) (#55)
    by shoephone on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 11:37:41 PM EST
    Oh, and I'm a "dudette." Or is it "dudelle"? ;-)

    dude is a non-gender specific term for me (none / 0) (#56)
    by DFLer on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 11:41:34 PM EST
    but if you insist, I will call you Dudessa!

    I haven't listened enough to Abbey to have a knowledgable opinion, but somehow she scares me a little, which is a good thing. I suspect she's more fierce than smooth....I like that.


    LOL (none / 0) (#57)
    by shoephone on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 11:43:35 PM EST
    I guess she might be scary for some. "You Gotta Pay the Band" is a beautiful CD.



    Rock on Dudessa (none / 0) (#58)
    by DFLer on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 11:50:31 PM EST
    I'll get back to you when I've soaked in all this new music.

    Thanks again. Been a fun yak. Bedtime for this bonzo.


    Maybe (none / 0) (#24)
    by CoralGables on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 12:10:08 AM EST
    all your recent travels had the CIA dialed into the GPS system of your phone causing it to lock up. They thought maybe you were contemplating springing Polanski :)

    Anything's possible. U.S. Customs (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by oculus on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 12:26:02 AM EST
    looks at the screen for an eternity when I present my passport.  But, I swear, absolutely no plans to go to Switzerland in the near future.

    One thought: AT&T's Manhattan network blows (none / 0) (#30)
    by andgarden on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 01:57:47 AM EST
    . . .but less than it did a year ago.

    Ah. My friend's iPhone, of course, is (none / 0) (#36)
    by oculus on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 10:25:54 AM EST
    also on ATT, but she mentioned 3g or something. I think I am a couple of generations behind her re phones.

    According to TMZ headline, one ot (none / 0) (#38)
    by oculus on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 10:32:32 AM EST
    Tiger Woods' neighbors provided new info.  And here I speculated they were all too wealthy to be tempted to talk publicly. Tough times for all, I guess.

    girls now.

    Time for STD tests (none / 0) (#47)
    by oculus on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 02:21:13 PM EST
    Saw Greg Mortenson (none / 0) (#39)
    by CST on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 11:18:26 AM EST
    Author of "Three Cups of Tea" speak at the Boston Public Library this Saturday.  Interesting, before I posted the article here the other day I barely knew who he was, and then I found out he was speaking in Boston.

    Had a lot to say about the value of education in promoting peace and prosperity, specifically female education.  Some of the benefits were - reducing population growth, increasing the health of communities, increasing gdp, and promoting the education of future generations.  Also regarding the promotion of peace, most men who become extremists ask permission from their mothers before hand, and educated women are much more likely to say no.

    Regarding the increase in troops to Afghanistan he said "the one guarantee is that it will escalate violence and more people (americans and others) will die".  As to what that means in the long-term was not discussed.  It was more of a "decide for yourself" moment - and one of his major criticisms was that the decision was very secretive and not open. He was very critical of the administration decision making process, although he had some very positive things to say about the current military leadership.

    Mostly he wanted to focus on and advocate for education.

    Very interesting and positive guy, although it certainly provided a "what the hell am I doing with my life" moment.

    So . . . if only Obama's mother (none / 0) (#42)
    by Cream City on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 11:56:38 AM EST
    -- highly educated and all with her Ph.D. -- still was with us to just say no.  (Except that Obama certainly is no extremist politically as president . . . but it could be said that he is extremist as commander in chief, as there can be no more extreme option than war.)

    Extreme for the average human being (none / 0) (#44)
    by CST on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 01:24:42 PM EST
    Yes.  For a president of the U.S.?

    I wonder who the last president was that didn't go to war at some point during their tenure.  I honestly don't know the answer to that question.


    Which is why (none / 0) (#41)
    by jbindc on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 11:33:24 AM EST
    Had a lot to say about the value of education in promoting peace and prosperity, specifically female education.  Some of the benefits were - reducing population growth, increasing the health of communities, increasing gdp, and promoting the education of future generations.  Also regarding the promotion of peace, most men who become extremists ask permission from their mothers before hand, and educated women are much more likely to say no.

    Many cultures don't like for women to be educated.  In fact, there are many "cultures" within our own country where female education is frowned upon.

    One thing he discussed (none / 0) (#45)
    by CST on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 01:31:25 PM EST
    was the ability of people to be convinced otherwise, and the importance of making these changes with the will of the people behind you.

    He talked about one local leader who took years to convince that he should allow girls to go to school.  But convinced he eventually was, and now he is their fiercest defender - and will attack those who try to stop them.  This also helps stop groups like the Taliban from preventing it.

    In this country, we have laws preventing the most basic forms of gender related education discrimination.  Starting with the fact that you are required to go to school for a certain number of years, regardless of gender.  Generally speaking, we don't have a female-related education problem in this country (look at enrollment in college by gender).  What happens after school is a seperate issue.  "Frowned upon" is an issue where it exists, but it is very different from "prevented".


    July 2011 (none / 0) (#43)
    by jbindc on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 12:11:23 PM EST
    Locked in for Afghanistan Withdrawal, according to the White House.

    During the Senate Armed Services hearing today, Defense Secretary Robert Gates was pressed by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. on whether the July 2011 date for beginning to withdrawal troops is "locked in."

    Gates seemed to suggest there was some flexibility, that "it was a clear statement of his strong intent" and that "the president always has the freedom to re-evaluate his decisions." After the hearing Graham said he took that to mean the date is "not locked in" and will depend on conditions on the ground.

    It was a point of contention at the White House briefing today - I asked White House spokesman Robert Gibbs if senators were incorrect calling the date a "target."

    After the briefing, Gibbs went to the president for clarification. Gibbs then called me to his office to relate what the president said. The president told him it IS locked in - there is no flexibility. Troops WILL start coming home in July 2011. Period. It's etched in stone. Gibbs said he even had the chisel.

    This is a stupid move by the WH, in my opinion.  If the date is even August 1, 2011, it's a PR nightmare.

    Wiggle room abounds (none / 0) (#48)
    by caseyOR on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 03:24:54 PM EST
    Everyone I have heard from the administration has said that "Some" troops will start coming home. No firm number of troops is ever given.

    Obama could bring home 5 soldiers and still claim to have done what he said.

    When they start giving us real numbers for the trip home from Afghanistan then we can talk about this "firm date."