Wednesday Afternoon Open Thread

Tebow! Tebow! (Just for the Denver/Gator audience.)

Open Thread.

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    Other Campaign Promises . . . (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 02:11:31 PM EST
    "President Barack Obama is moving at a historic pace to try to diversify the nation's federal judiciary: Nearly three of every four people he has gotten confirmed to the federal bench are women or minorities. He is the first president who hasn't selected a majority of white males for lifetime judgeships.

    More than 70 percent of Obama's confirmed judicial nominees during his first two years were "non-traditional," or nominees who were not white males. That far exceeds the percentages in the two-term administrations of Bill Clinton (48.1 percent) and George W. Bush (32.9 percent), according to Sheldon Goldman, author of the authoritative book "Picking Federal Judges."

    "It is an absolutely remarkable diversity achievement," said Goldman, a political science professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, who is only counting judges once, even if they fit more than one category."

    YAY! (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by jbindc on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 02:19:20 PM EST
    Too bad he is on pace to be one of the worst presidents in modern times actually filling vacancies.

    While getting the Senate to confirm judges is a perennial problem for presidents, Obama is on track to perform even worse than his predecessor, due to particular rancor in Washington and, some critics say, because the White House focus has been on other priorities.

    "The question will be, over the course of Obama's first term, did he do as well as George Bush?" said Russell Wheeler, an analyst at the Brookings Institution who studies the judiciary.

    About 87 percent of Bush's appointees to the bench were confirmed in his first term. Obama's confirmation rate for nominees currently hovers around 62 percent, including nominees who were recently submitted to the Senate, according to the White House.

    Obama currently has about 55 judicial nominees pending before the Senate and he is likely to nominate others this fall. The pressure is building because of the presidential election next year -- getting nominees confirmed becomes increasingly unlikely as the year progresses.

    If the Senate does not confirm Obama's pending judicial candidates this fall, it must agree unanimously to keep the nominations pending; if it does not, the nominations expire and the president will be forced to renominate them in 2012.

    All told, about 200 appellate and district court judges were confirmed during Bush's first term. Just 97 of Obama's nominees have been confirmed to date. In other words -- he must double the rate of confirmations in the next year to reach parity with Bush -- an unlikely scenario.

    It's great to lead in percentages of diversity picks, although when the numbers are close to zero in all those categories, even one or two picks amps up the percentages vis a vis other presidents.  Kudos to him for doing that.  But he's dragged his heels on these nominations, and now, going into an election year, we will see very few vacancies filled.

    And he had 60 votes for 2 years remember......


    He'll never get credit (none / 0) (#9)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 02:30:33 PM EST
    for anything from some folks.

    You should take a look at the back and forth regarding the status of his nominees. He's had much more aggressive push back from congress than most other presidents.

    Alternative theory: Maybe, just maybe, it is a lot harder for a minority POTUS to get a bunch of liberal women and minorities through congress (regardless of the party in charge) than it is to get a bunch of liberal white guys through.  That's kind of the whole issue.

    Seems like a slightly more logical position than "Obama really doesn't want to get his own nominees  seated".


    ABG (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 02:31:20 PM EST
    Are you ready for some football?

    Lets fight about sports for a change of pace.


    Definitely Ready for some Footbaaaaalllll (none / 0) (#41)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 05:31:05 PM EST
    Falcons and Titans are my teams of choice and both got rolled last week.  Interesting week coming up in ATL as the Falcons take on Vick and the Eagles.  There is still a semi-ugly undercurrent of race that splits the city on the issue of Vick, with much of the black community believing that the punishment was too severe and wanting Blank to bring Vick back and much of the white community taking the opposite position.

    All I know is that Vick is the best QB in the game right now (yeah I said it Brady lovers) and it is going to stink to see him execute his revenge fantasy on the Falcons by running up and down the field on us all day long.

    Plus I have Ryan in my fantasy league and I used a good draft pick on that guy.


    I'm with ya... (none / 0) (#49)
    by kdog on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:04:08 PM EST
    It's Eagles and Packers and also-rans in the NFC by all early indications...Rodgers right behind Vick for best QB.  



    victory over the Eagles on 9/25. You heard it here first. :-)

    That said, the Eagles do get great QB's. Vick and Cunningham are probably the two most exciting QB's, heck, most exciting players, I've ever seen...


    Stranger things have happened... (none / 0) (#55)
    by kdog on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:17:48 PM EST
    NFL is parityville, we will see a season where everybody goes 8-8 in our lifetimes.

    That being said, I think your squad is approaching a mini Joe Pisarcik era.


    That hurts. (none / 0) (#58)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:23:43 PM EST
    Sorry bro... (none / 0) (#59)
    by kdog on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:25:09 PM EST
    I'm a Mets/Knicks/Isles fan...this is my only chance to be a sports talk prick:)

    OMG. It's Not Just Obama... (none / 0) (#101)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 01:00:41 PM EST
     ...you love any type of hype or bandwagon, don't you ??

    "Make some room on the dream team bandwagon for ABG..."

    It's hype all generated at ESPN, Vick is better than average, his only real 'talent' is being a lefty which always has been his biggest asset.

    I put Vick at... 7, maybe 6 depending how the Manning injury plays out.

    But fear not ABG will give us 1000 excuses as to why Philly sucks (the economy) while the bestest eva QB (President) does everything to a level gods would be envious of.


    I could be wrong (none / 0) (#17)
    by CoralGables on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 03:06:19 PM EST
    but isn't 60 a meaningless number for judicial nominations? You need all 100 to permit someone to come to a vote. A hold by any senate member will leave that nominee hanging in the wind. Two Senators with rotating holds can shut down a nominee forever.

    There are also (none / 0) (#25)
    by jbindc on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 03:37:40 PM EST
    Recess appointments

    True (none / 0) (#27)
    by CoralGables on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 03:40:33 PM EST
    but how many people want to quit their current job to take a new one, knowing in a year they will likely be out of the new job.

    And again (none / 0) (#28)
    by CoralGables on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 03:42:50 PM EST
    I could be wrong, but don't recess appointments expire at the end of each year?

    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by jbindc on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 05:00:43 PM EST
    But it's harder to get rid of someone who's already doing the job.  It's not perfect, but at least it would look like he's fighting for something.

    Recess appointments last until (none / 0) (#64)
    by caseyOR on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:40:16 PM EST
    the end of the Congressional session. Congress is in session for two years, concurrent with the terms of members of the House.

    So, if Obama appoints someone during the Christmas recess, that person remains in office until January, 2013.


    Thurgood Marshall was initially a recess (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by caseyOR on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:44:34 PM EST
    appointment to the Supreme Court because of the opposition from Southern Senators. His appointment was, as we know, later confirmed by the Senate.

    Still, if RAs can be used for the Supreme Court, you have to wonder why Obama isn't using them for the lower courts and to get Peter Diamond on the Fed Board.


    A friend who is better informed than moi (none / 0) (#54)
    by oculus on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:15:50 PM EST
    sd. the Senate has had someone on the floor to bang the gavel every day to short circuit and Obama attempt to make recess appointments.  

    Yup, they started that in the last year or so (none / 0) (#76)
    by ruffian on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 07:14:53 PM EST
    The Senate has not been in recess for a long time.

    Back to our other thread, a tactic that would surely bring the wrath of the 'Independents" down on Dems were they to try it.


    The Dems did do it (none / 0) (#80)
    by CoralGables on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 07:53:43 PM EST
    the last two years of the Bush administration IIRC

    Since Dems are the majority in the Senate, how is (none / 0) (#82)
    by caseyOR on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 07:58:29 PM EST
    it that the Republicans are blocking a recess? My goodness, does an official recess require 60 votes, too?

    If not, why doesn't Harry simply declare the Senate in recess? And if it does require 60 votes just to recess, well, that's just silly, if not kind of stupid.


    Here you go (none / 0) (#84)
    by CoralGables on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 08:04:08 PM EST
    Under the U.S. Constitution, neither chamber can adjourn unless a majority in both chambers agrees to it

    I think maybe not. (none / 0) (#85)
    by caseyOR on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 08:04:29 PM EST
    I am not so sure Independents would object to recess appointments. They are also aware of the GOP's obstructionist ways. And they are just as frustrated with the gridlock as the rest of us. I think they could easily be persuaded that cress appointments are the only way to get the needed people into important jobs.

    Of course, that would require that the Dems, specifically Obama, explain, in simple terms, why recess appointments are necessary right now.

    Of course, that would require that Obama upset John Boehner, and we all know how much Obama does not want to cause John any distress.


    Not to mention the wrath of the GOP. (none / 0) (#87)
    by oculus on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 08:08:34 PM EST
    over at DK (none / 0) (#45)
    by The Addams Family on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 05:52:22 PM EST
    i was looking at a diary about the current boycott & found this in a diary titled "How to Criticize Obama Without Being a Racist":

    Some have argued that President Obama cannot confront the Republicans the way many of us would like because he can't afford to fall into the "angry black man" trap. Well, OK, but does that mean that those of us who want a "fighter" for our side as President should never consider voting for a black man?

    My suggestion . . . would be to just avoid all explicit references to race as it relates to the actual performance of President Obama. . . his race should not be material to the question of whether he's doing his job to our satisfaction or not.

    contrast this:

    Maybe, just maybe, it is a lot harder for a minority POTUS to get a bunch of liberal women and minorities through congress (regardless of the party in charge) than it is to get a bunch of liberal white guys through.  That's kind of the whole issue.

    Diversified Tyranny... (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by kdog on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 02:21:00 PM EST
    Happy Days Are Here Again!

    Trying to think if having our liberty eroded and our markets further rigged with the help of a culturally diverse judiciary is any different than liberty erosion and market rigging almost exclusively at the hands of old crackers.  

    Nah, don't think so...but it does make for better pictures.


    He's nominated (none / 0) (#10)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 02:31:18 PM EST
    some pretty liberal folks.  That's another part of the problem.  The Blue Dogs have put up some resistance.

    He nominates and walks away, (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Anne on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 03:09:27 PM EST
    which is why so many of these nominees just die on the vine.

    Dawn Johnsen wasn't nominated for a judgeship, but she was nominated for OLC, which I think most Democrats agreed was a particularly important position, given how Bush had perverted it - with predictably terrible results - while he was president.  And while Obama got all kinds of kudos and credit for the stellar nomination it was, he never lifted a finger, twisted an arm, held a come-to-Jesus meeting with anyone in the Congress to get that nomination confirmed.  Eventually, she withdrew her name, and not without a few parting shots, as I recall.

    Some day, Obama may realize that the nominations alone aren't enough, any more than the speeches are, that it is the follow-through, the actions that accompany them that tell the tale, but I don't hold out much hope that he will figure that out anytime soon.

    The Senate certainly plays a role, but for a guy who manages to use his executive power when something really matters to him, he sure seems to have been reluctant to use the recess appointment power that was available to him.

    You can't just look at some of the numbers, you really do have to look at the whole picture, something you studiously - and understandably - avoid.


    Presidentin' sure is hard (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by jbindc on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 03:38:42 PM EST
    Agree. As on many other issues (none / 0) (#14)
    by ruffian on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 02:50:56 PM EST
    a 60 vote Dem 'majority' that includes Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson is not a real majority.

    I'm not as tuned in... (none / 0) (#19)
    by kdog on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 03:11:54 PM EST
    as you my friend, I'll take your word for it.

    I am not too keen on the two women appointed to the Supreme Court so far...I can tell ya that much.  If thats the saving grace for voting Brand D we shall not know grace or be saved.


    Well (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 02:38:21 PM EST
    good for him. Are there still a lot of vacancies though? I mean if the next president gets to fill the vacancies it would change the over all numbers.

    That is something to brag about (none / 0) (#2)
    by ruffian on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 02:15:31 PM EST
    and I hope the staff hirings in the justice department reflect that same trend.

    Orton is horrid. (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by magster on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 02:20:50 PM EST
    His record the last 23 games... 5-18

    JaMarcus Russel's career record... 7-18

    It's Tebow time. God Bless!

    Eh (none / 0) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 02:27:41 PM EST
    Tebow is not an NFL QB.

    I do find it hilarious how the Media has decided that booing Orton is an unforgivable sin.


    Orton is not an NFL quarterback either (none / 0) (#13)
    by magster on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 02:50:35 PM EST
    Not elite... (none / 0) (#16)
    by kdog on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 03:00:23 PM EST
    but serviceable...not a bad career stat line at all, more TD's than INT's, 58% completions.

    Much like the president, the QB gets all the credit or all the blame, when they truly deserve neither.  A QB is only as good as his O-Line, Receivers, and Backs...which is where the Broncos problems truly lie.  Tebow ain't gonna do any better, he might do worse.


    ... and Obama deserves a lot of blame (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by magster on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 03:20:04 PM EST
    But not all of it...n/t :) (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by kdog on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 03:24:39 PM EST
    Disagree (none / 0) (#21)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 03:15:24 PM EST
    He's pretty horrible.

    9 million a year for Orton?

    What an insane contract.


    Overpaid I can't... (none / 0) (#24)
    by kdog on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 03:28:04 PM EST
    argue with...he's a top notch 2nd string or bottom 1/3rd starter.

    I'd start Orton over Eli Manning right now...if Asante Samuel picks off that ball that Eli put right in his mitts in the Super Bowl, Eli Manning is Kyle Orton.


    Not an Orton fan (none / 0) (#20)
    by rdandrea on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 03:12:04 PM EST
    But the real story of the Broncos failure was 38 total yards rushing.  22 by Moreno, the "other" useless first-round draft choice.  Just 3 yards by McGahee.

    The Broncos have a lot of fundamental problems that don't have a thing to do with Orton.


    This one goes out... (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by kdog on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 02:28:36 PM EST
    to my homegirl jbindc...I am siding with the police in a local brew-ha-ha.  Time to rock your ice skates down in hell!

    People are making a stink that some officers on duty at the West Indian Day Parade had a good time bumping and grinding with some of the beautiful dancers...I call that quality policework building a rapport with the local community, no reason for cops to be stone cold hard-arses all the time.  Commish Kelly is right as well (for a change) not to make a big deal about it. The only concern might be their guns accidentally discharging during that kinda action:)

    Let them dance!

    Did you get the news? Gumby (none / 0) (#63)
    by oculus on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:39:33 PM EST
    7/11 unsuccessful robbery:  Gumby and his friend turned themselves and the costume in to SDPD.  They are young and stupid.  Hope their parents didn't talk them into turning themselves in. LAT

    That would be some awful parenting... (none / 0) (#100)
    by kdog on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 11:14:43 AM EST
    imo, plenty of ways to discipline at home that don't involve prison and a lifelong record to hinder your young and stupid kids.  

    eBook of Jackie Kennedy tapes (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by ruffian on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 02:29:42 PM EST
    For you Kindle or iPad owners, the new book of Jackie Kennedy tape transcripts and audio has been released in ebook format. It is a great way to take in this material. The audio is embedded with the transcripts and some video in every chapter, making excellent use of the format.

    Beyond the format, the content is really interesting as well. ABC has picked up the more gossipy stuff, sometimes taking it out of context, but beyond that hearing her speak as a loving and admiring young wife is truly moving. I also think she captures well the contrast between JFK and the moribund political establishment of the time. I also have to remember she is really of my mother's generation, no matter how frozen in time she is to many of us as a young woman. Her attitudes about the proper role of women had not yet evolved as an independent woman.

    anyway, it is worth a listen/read,

    Fascinating opinionated woman (none / 0) (#91)
    by brodie on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 08:37:38 PM EST
    who was both very contemporary in many of her attitudes and able and willing to evolve as society changed.  Just that one mistake marrying Onassis.  Otherwise she became an accomplished woman in her own right.  Quite an interest she had too in certain periods of the past -- ancient Egypt and the various courts of the ancien regime in France.  Figures-- as one observer once noted about her:  Elle est plus reine que la reine.

    I'll probably want to eventually listen to all eight hrs of tapes.  Unfortunately it appears the subject of Dallas was avoided by Schlesinger either out of respect to her or because she'd already named Wm Manchester to write about that.  Regrettably there too much of what she confided to him she later decided shouldn't be published, and Manchester's original manuscript or notes haven't been made public.  Something to do probably about what she said about Lyndon from what I hear.


    My understanding is that Jackie (none / 0) (#93)
    by caseyOR on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 08:51:12 PM EST
    could not bear to relive the horror of Dallas again after having gone through everything with Manchester.

    Even though Diane Sawyer did seem to focus on the more gossipy parts of the tapes, I still found them fascinating. The part where Jackie talks about her preference for a marriage where the woman is subservient, describing it as a Japanese-type marriage, seemed to me to be very reflective of the time (early 60s) and her age (just 34 when Jack was killed).

    I had to laugh at the part where Jackie is describing her talk with Jack about Clare Booth Luce and another woman who's name I don't recall. Jackie is mystified as to why Luce and the other woman insist on being acknowledged for their accomplishments and resist subordinating their work and wants to a man's. Jack's response was that those women resented the idea that their power should come through their relationship with a man. He said they hated men. Jackie opined that they must be lesbians.

    Of course, she changed as the times changed and became a very powerful woman in her own right. And, despite her earlier stated belief that women were unsuited for politics, she became a champion of women in politics.

    I'd love to listen to all 8 hours of the tapes.


    The other woman she referenced along with (none / 0) (#94)
    by brodie on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 09:49:27 PM EST
    CBL was Madame Nhu, first lady of SVN.

    Very opinionated she was.  But more often right in her judgments of those in the Kennedy admin --as with her very negative conclusion that SoS Dean Rusk should be ousted.  That was one of the major certain changes JFK intended for his second term.

    As for all the tapes I hope they're all released unedited for the sake of the reader and of history.  Historian Mike Beschloss, who is apparently the editor handling the single volume hardcopy book, was involved in editing multiple volumes of the LBJ tapes -- but they were edited with at key times a very heavy hand, leaving the reader wondering what was left out in the ellipses.


    Aaaaarrrggghhh! (5.00 / 4) (#15)
    by Zorba on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 02:58:12 PM EST
    I just need to vent.  I am starting to slowly recover from two weeks of cooking (and cleaning) for my church's food festival.  I never want to hear about baklava, stuffed grape leaves, tzatziki sauce, gyros, chicken souvlaki, or hummus, ever, ever again.  (Until our next food festival, I guess.)  I cannot imagine how anyone in their right mind would even think about raising the Social Security retirement age to 70.  I'm 63, and can barely do this for two weeks.  I cannot imagine how a cook who had to do this all year, every year, would last that long.  Not to mention construction workers, miners, ditch diggers, hospital orderlies, nurses and nurse's aids, telephone-line repair people, loggers, and so on and on.  I would like to invite any politician who thinks that raising the retirement age is a good idea to join me in cooking for just a week.

    Good Lord, Zorba - I think I gained a couple (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by Anne on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 03:55:12 PM EST
    pounds just reading the names of those scrumptious dishes!  I would happily come cook with you for the opportunity of learning the right way to cook Greek food.

    I hope you are mentoring the next wave of Greek cooks, so that you can have the luxury of not having to work so hard on the one hand, and gaining the pride and satisfaction that comes from passing on the traditions to a new generation, on the other.

    But your point is one that just sails over the heads of most politicians - and the heads of a lot of others whose labor is mostly of the mental variety, not the physical.  You are fortunate that your labors are voluntary - which is not the case with a lot of people whose financial lives are dependent on their bodies' ability to handle the work of construction, warehousing, nursing, landscaping, farming and so on.


    Oh, believe me, (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by Zorba on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 04:04:20 PM EST
    I am mentoring my buns off.  My kids, and younger people at church.  I know, and they know, that I cannot do this forever.  And I certainly realize that most people, politicians or whoever, who do not do physical labor, have no frigging idea about the physical break-down of the body that makes certain work impossible after awhile.  I guess, when their nurses, gardeners, maids, etc, can no longer do the work, they just jettison them and hire new people.  They are totally clueless.  (That, and probably heartless.)    

    I'd like to see Obama working in NYC (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by nycstray on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 03:59:17 PM EST
    for one year in construction or perhaps with those guys fixing the streets in the blistering heat and freezing winter temps. Or heck, just delivering the mail in my old 'hood in Brooklyn. Oh yeah, and try and live on the salary/health insurance for whatever job he choose.

    In a perfect world (none / 0) (#39)
    by cal1942 on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 05:23:01 PM EST
    doing the tough jobs would be a prerequisite for political office.

    An addendum to the requirement would be that the prospective candidate must have worked alongside lifers, people who would be working those jobs for their entire working lives.


    Which brings us back... (none / 0) (#43)
    by kdog on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 05:47:56 PM EST
    to my idea of filling congress and the presidency via random draft lottery...if Yolanda Vega announces your social security number ya gotta do a house/senate/president term.

    I read once, somewhere, (none / 0) (#48)
    by Zorba on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:03:14 PM EST
    and I can't remember where, that the Founding Fathers envisioned the House of Representatives as something that average people (farmers, craftsmen, your neighbors, basically) would serve in for one or two terms (as opposed to a lifetime position) and then go home.  I don't know if this is true, but it does sound reasonable to me.  (The Senate was supposed to be more elitist, which is not good, but there you go.)  I don't think that I would approve of some of the idiots that I know serving in such positions, but I'd certainly like to see term limits applied to Congress.  And federal judges, for that matter.  (And I'd also like to see major campaign finance reform and strict limits on lobbyists.)

    It's a big roll of the dice... (5.00 / 0) (#52)
    by kdog on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:11:15 PM EST
    to be sure...does it beat a roll with a virtually predetermined outcome?  There are some real winners out there, but who knows, people rise to the occasion sometimes.  And look at some of the winners elections have gotten us, I'm ready to play Lotto!

    Rest up Master Chef, save some mojo for Capt. Casey and her salty crew for a Sunday dinner ashore in RoZ one day.


    Here is a statement that I think (5.00 / 3) (#66)
    by MO Blue on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:43:20 PM EST
    you might appreciate, especially the last sentence:

    I don't give a [expletive] about who wants to get married to anybody else! Why not?! We're making a big deal out of things we shouldn't be making a deal out of ... Just give everybody the chance to have the life they want...what I really believe is, let's spend a little more time leaving everybody alone."
    - Clint Eastwood

    And considering what he did in (none / 0) (#86)
    by easilydistracted on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 08:05:40 PM EST
    Big Whiskey in general and to Little Bill in particular, I'm taking heed to the warning.

    Indeed I do... (none / 0) (#97)
    by kdog on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 08:47:48 AM EST
    couldn't have said it better myself...we're all up in everybody else's business and the people's proper business has been neglected.

    Zorba. I'm not sure if you caught my comment (5.00 / 0) (#32)
    by observed on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 04:12:04 PM EST
    a few days ago,but I made greek potatoes a few days ago.Man were they good.

    I missed it (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Zorba on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 05:07:35 PM EST
    Mainly because I was a bit busy and missed a lot of comments for awhile.  But, good for you!  Yes, Greek food is good.  Actually, any food using fresh ingredients (and with a semi-decent cook) is good.  Fresh tomatoes out of my garden, sliced, with fresh basil out of my garden, and a little salt (sea salt or Kosher salt only), pepper (fresh ground), good olive oil, and, if you like it (we do), a drizzle of good balsamic vinegar- divine!  Add some fresh mozzarella, and you've pretty much got dinner, especially if you have some decent bread to sop up the juices with.  Cooking doesn't have to be complex.  (Well, okay, there are some recipes that taste really good that are complex, but there are plenty of recipes that are easy and tasty.)

    I bet fassolia is pretty easy (none / 0) (#37)
    by observed on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 05:12:08 PM EST
    and it's just fabulous.

    You got some beans, (none / 0) (#38)
    by Zorba on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 05:21:39 PM EST
    you got some tomatoes, you got some olive oil and garlic, and you go from there.  Tons of variations.  Add lemon juice, oregano, and/or dill, onions, or whatever.  Heck, add some feta, if you like.  You can make the beans into a side dish or a soup.  Or use fresh green beans.  Beans are good (unless beans present a problem for you, ahem, digestively, in which case I recommend Beano.)

    Okay, I've got lots of haricot verts (5.00 / 0) (#62)
    by caseyOR on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:34:54 PM EST
    from the garden. I am desperate for ways to cook them. I am not really an intuitive cook. So, Zorba, could you, please, give me a little more guidance, like amounts and such, for fassolia?

    Thanking you in advance. :-)


    Oh, sweetie, it's (none / 0) (#79)
    by Zorba on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 07:37:57 PM EST
    pretty free-form.  Saute some chopped onions and garlic in olive oil, throw in some chopped fresh tomatoes, then throw in your green beans and simmer until the beans are done.  Add some salt and pepper.  You can add a bit of water or broth, if you want.  And, if you like, just a little bit of sugar.  Add any kind of fresh herbs that you have, if you want.  Parsley (only Italian- flat leaf- don't use the curly parsley), dill, oregano, whatever you like.  And a squirt of lemon juice is good in this.  We like this with some potatoes sometimes, too, especially earlier in the season when you have new potatoes- add the potatoes early so they'll cook well.  I really don't have amounts- I just pretty much throw things in to taste.  I would guess about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of oil, one large onion chopped, two or three cloves of garlic chopped (we like garlic), about 2 pounds of beans, maybe three large tomatoes.  Herbs, if you use them, to taste.  Don't overwhelm the beans with herbs, though.  

    Thanks, Zorba. (none / 0) (#81)
    by caseyOR on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 07:53:54 PM EST
    I am swimming in green beans, and, since garden fresh green beans have made it impossible for me to eat store bought beans, I feel a need to eat them all up. You know, because I won't eat them again until next year.

    I've been cooking them in a stir-fry w/steak or chicken, hoisin sauce, soy sauce and sriraccha, served over rice. Pretty tasty. Still, a new recipe is much appreciated.

    Since the temps have dropped to the 60s here, Sunday's menu will be roast chicken with roasted green beans.

    I did succession planting, so I could be eating green beans until Halloween, depending on when we get our first hard frost.


    We had green beans (none / 0) (#83)
    by Zorba on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 07:59:52 PM EST
    coming out of our ears (not that I'm complaining).  I canned a bunch, then I also canned a bunch in a Greek-style vegetable mixture with green beans, okra, potatoes, summer squash, tomatoes, dill, garlic.  I also made a bunch of dilled green beans, which were hugely popular (if you like pickles, which we do).  They're easy to do, and you don't need a pressure canner for them, just boiling water bath.

    Gosh Zorba (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 08:11:58 PM EST
    even though you are talking about being tired the amount of energy you have must be amazing! All the stuff you talk about doing. You must be canning the entire summer away. I guess maybe we will be able to get more political posts from you when the growing season winds down.

    Well, at least (none / 0) (#90)
    by Zorba on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 08:22:47 PM EST
    we'll be well-fed if the country goes to pieces.   ;-)
    (There's energy and then there's energy- I can and freeze a lot, but I don't do it every single day, and it doesn't take all day to can or freeze a batch of something.)

    I love pickles. (5.00 / 0) (#89)
    by caseyOR on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 08:12:05 PM EST
    I also love dilled green beans. I hope to someday get myself organized enough that I can put up jams and pickles in my tine little kitchenette. Sadly, not that organized yet   :-)  

    In my working life, very organized, never lose a thing. In my personal life? Disaster. Although, unlike some, I am never so disorganized the I overdraw my checking account or forget to pay bills on time. Thank god.

    And I am always early, never late for dates and appointments. (I cling to the few good virtues I have managed to cultivate.)


    I'm told there are many Armenian (none / 0) (#40)
    by observed on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 05:30:10 PM EST
    and Georgian restaurants in Astana. I'm looking forward to that. I know a little bit about Armenian food, and nothing at all specific about Georgian, but I'm sure it's delicious.

    Oooh. Wonderful and unusual breads. (5.00 / 0) (#56)
    by oculus on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:21:41 PM EST
    And those oh-so-yummy tiny Georgian meatballs.  Enjoy.

    But what about Georgian opera?! (none / 0) (#60)
    by observed on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:30:10 PM EST
    Wiki says opera in Georgia started (none / 0) (#69)
    by oculus on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:47:06 PM EST
    before the birth of Christ.  Wonder what the repertoire was?  There is an opera house in the capital.  When we were there in 1983, some people in our group saw the ballet "Giselle" there.  They left before it ended and were not enthusiast.  The Georgian men sang to us in harmony at an InTourist hotel wine terrace.  Fabulous. They also sent over a bottle of good Georgian wine.

    Nice. Isn't Georgian wine somewhat famous? (none / 0) (#71)
    by observed on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:51:21 PM EST
    I think the brandy is more famous. I got (none / 0) (#75)
    by oculus on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:54:17 PM EST
    my brother, a wine collector, a bottle of Stalin's favorite white.  Don't think bro ever opened it.  

    I've never had (none / 0) (#44)
    by Zorba on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 05:52:10 PM EST
    Georgian food, but I know several Armenians, and have enjoyed Armenian cooking a number of times- it's really good, and their rice pilaf almost rises to the level of Persian rice pilaf, which is the best in the world, but that's just my humble opinion.   ;-)

    "Persian rice pilaf (5.00 / 0) (#46)
    by MO Blue on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 05:55:50 PM EST
    which is the best in the world." Great stuff.

    We did have (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by Zorba on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:09:47 PM EST
    a Persian guy visit our food booth a couple of years ago.  He asked me if we had a restaurant in town, because he thought our food was great.  I considered that a huge compliment.

    Persian food is absolutely my (5.00 / 0) (#47)
    by observed on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 05:58:07 PM EST
    favorite in the world.
    Fessenjon over basmati rice, anyone?

    Had saffron chicken kabobs and (5.00 / 0) (#65)
    by oculus on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:41:48 PM EST
    barberry rice for lunch.  Going to a different Persian restaurant tonight.  

    Ok, now I officially hate you. (none / 0) (#67)
    by observed on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:43:27 PM EST
    Birthday month. Keep the free food comin. (none / 0) (#70)
    by oculus on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:47:56 PM EST
    et tu? Are you also 39? (none / 0) (#72)
    by observed on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:51:54 PM EST
    I wish. Dr. yesterday kept (none / 0) (#74)
    by oculus on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:53:18 PM EST
    saying, well,since you are __.  But I've only been that age for a week!

    I think barberry rice (none / 0) (#73)
    by MO Blue on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:53:08 PM EST
    may be another name for Zereshk Polo.

    My favorite rice dish (none / 0) (#50)
    by MO Blue on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:07:10 PM EST
    is Zereshk Polo with or without the chicken.

    Do you need a taste tester for this festival? (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by jbindc on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 05:03:33 PM EST
    I'm happy to do quality control or whatever.  :)

    Hee, hee! (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Zorba on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 05:09:05 PM EST
    Are you anywhere near Western Maryland?  Because if you are, come on over!   ;-)

    Alexandria, VA (none / 0) (#98)
    by jbindc on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 09:05:06 AM EST
    But I have a car!

    Uhhmmmmm (none / 0) (#42)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 05:33:57 PM EST
    I am absolutely terrified about Greece now.  I think the default is going to bring down a bunch of European banks and pull us back into a sharper recession.

    And that's the best case scenario.  If for some reason they abandon the euro, all hell is going to break loose and it is going to be very, very bad for everyone, including us.

    Happy Wednesday!

    Look on the bright side (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by Yman on Thu Sep 15, 2011 at 10:10:33 AM EST
    You'll have an excuse for explaining how wrong your economic forecasts were, and (more importantly) it's something that's beyond Obama's control!

    A two-fer!


    Attention: not all Tebow followers (none / 0) (#57)
    by oculus on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:23:26 PM EST
    are Gator and/or Broncos fans.  Same re Harvin.  Although I never would have noticed either of them w/o BTD's constant boosterism.  Which is why this blog is so valuable.  Gator chop:  easy question.  

    "Manny Ramirez: The hits just keep on (none / 0) (#61)
    by oculus on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 06:31:09 PM EST
    coming."  h/t T.J. Simers, LAT

    What people want. Bloomberg poll on deficit (none / 0) (#77)
    by caseyOR on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 07:26:38 PM EST
    reduction options asked people very simple, direct, yes or no questions about the various ideas being bandied about to reduce the deficit.

    Not surprisingly, at least to me, the people do not see cutting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid as the way to go. Raising taxes on those making more than $250,000, eliminating the salary cap on SS deductions are supported. Changing the COLA formula (chained CPI), reducing payments to Medicare providers, the Ryan Medicare plan, and shifting more costs to Medicare recipients are rejected, as are cuts to Medicaid.

    Check it out. It is interesting to me how clear the American people are about what they support when they are asked clear and simple questions.

    That's (none / 0) (#78)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 07:34:06 PM EST
    why I think that if we have a Republican President elected in '12 and unless he's as liberal as Richard Nixon, he's not going to get reelected. Conservatives are swimming against the tide with their issues and that's why they haven't produced any large electoral wins since '88.  

    The American people are very clear about (none / 0) (#92)
    by MO Blue on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 08:47:21 PM EST
    what they support. It is just a shame that the powers that be in D.C. are not listening to the American people but to the big money folks. The real reason to raise the Medicare age to 67 (hint it is not to save money or make medical care more affordable).

    The reason for-profit medical corporations push for this change is simple. Kicking seniors out of Medicare means they will be forced, by the individual mandate in Obama's Affordable Care Act, to buy far more expensive, and inefficient, private insurance that pays higher rates for services. The move will also shrink Medicare's market size, making it harder for Medicare to get the lowest prices for the government as possible. It is effectively adopting Paul Ryan's Medicare privatization plan for people between the ages of 65-67, creating a gradual but clear path to Ryan's vision through a series of similar age increases.

    This change would be a massive financial windfall for the industry, mostly at the expense of Americans about to retire. Essentially it steals money from old people to give to large corporations, and there is a very real possibility this will happen. link

    Site Violation - spam (none / 0) (#96)
    by MO Blue on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 10:03:52 PM EST
    We were talking about rice not coats.