Sunday Roast: Rebooting the American Dream, Chapter 7

Chapter Seven of Thom Hartmann’s book, Rebooting the American Dream: 11 Ways to Rebuild Our Country, is called “Cool Our Fever.”

 

 

This week, Thom discusses two things:  Stripping oil of it’s strategic value, and ways to clean up our atmosphere before we boil.

The United States has about 3% of the world’s oil, but we consume 24% of the oil produced around the world.

[O]il accounts for roughly 95 percent of the energy used for transportation in the United States (and our military is the world’s single largest consumer of oil), and that’s what makes it strategic. If we want to strip oil of its strategic value, so it can’t

be used as a weapon against us and we can use our remaining oil supplies for rational things like producing plastics and medicines, we need to shift our transportation sector away from oil and do so quickly. 

If we change the way we power our transportation, then we won’t need such a huge, oil-guzzling military to invade countries like Iraq, who are sitting on “our oil.”  That would be one huge problem solved.

But how can we do it?

In 1999 progressives in Germany passed the 100,000 Roof Program (Stromeinspeisungsgesetz), which mandated that banks had to provide low-interest 10-year loans to homeowners sufficient for them to put solar panels on their houses. They then passed the Renewable Energies Law (Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz) and in 2004 integrated the 100,000 Roofs Program into it.  The Renewable Energies Law mandated that for the next 10 years the power company had to buy back power from those homeowners at a level substantially above the going rate so the homeowners’ income from the solar panel would equal their loan payment on the panel and would also represent the actual cost to the power company to generate that amount of power had it built a new nuclear reactor.

Germany was trying to find a way to avoid building two new nuclear power plants, and they succeeded wildly.  In eight year’s time, the 100,000 Roof Program was generating 8,500 MW of power to the grid — about eight nuclear plants worth.  Enough power to make it easy to power transportation!

After all that, cleaning up the atmosphere would almost take care of itself.  Yes, I know we’re not the only country in the world, nor are we the biggest polluters, but for some unknown reason other countries pay attention to what we’re doing, and they tend to want to do what we’re doing. Wouldn’t it be great if we were inspiring the world to make this a better place for our children and grandchildren?

Two things can help accomplish these goals:  Taxes and tariffs, baby.

[I]n 1793 Congress passed much of Alexander Hamilton’s plan to use taxes—tariffs—on imported goods to encourage Americans to start manufacturing companies to meet demand and needs here in this country. Those tariffs stood until the 1980s, and American jobs stayed here along with them.

Similarly, two presidents—Republican Herbert Hoover (1929 to 1933) and Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933 to 1945)—supported high taxes on the rich. They believed it’s not a good thing for too much wealth to be concentrated in too few hands because it would lead the wealthy to influence government policy for their own good rather than the public good.

There are two pretty straightforward ways to tax carbon. The first is to simply assign a tariff or tax value to it at any particular point in its use cycle. The tax could be levied when it’s used, for example, or when it’s extracted. A tax on carbon that’s imported would serve to really speed our change from gasoline-only cars to flex-fuel and plug-in-hybrid cars.

The second way to tax carbon is to tax the industrial emission of it but also “allow” a certain amount of carbon to be released into the atmosphere by “giving away” to polluters what are referred to as “carbon credits.” A threshold is set for the total amount of carbon a country will allow to be emitted (a “cap”), and anything above that point is heavily taxed. Companies that don’t want to pay the tax can instead pay to buy carbon-emitting credits from companies that have a surplus of them (presumably because they’ve reduced their levels of carbon pollution), thus “trading” the carbon credits.

I’m probably living in a liberal dream world here, but these things make sense to me.  Of course, I have to start with the assumption that everyone else is interested in the well-being of mankind and not continuing to poison the Earth.  Most people might actually be in favor of making the world a nicer place to live, but the ruling class has made it clear that accumulating vast quantities of money is more important than anything else.  It is discouraging…

This is our daily open thread ~ What do you think?

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272 thoughts on “Sunday Roast: Rebooting the American Dream, Chapter 7

  1. So currently,the U.S. consumes 20,680,000 barrels/day. That means that wingnut who claim we can make up our import shortfall thorugh offshore and/or deep-sea drilling believe those sources can make up an additional 21%, or 18,095,000 barrels/day. Is there that much oil off our coasts and/or in the Gulf? I’d like to see them present some numbers to support such a claim.

  2. PS: Can I get in on this TPZoo thing? Posting here looks like fun, and I’d like to think that I’m well-regarded by this community. I’m elbruces at gmail dot com if you need to get a hold of me.

  3. Zxbe, I remember you posting Al Hirt doing Flight of the Bumblebee, the Green Hornet theme. I’m watching a 1943 movie on TCM called Best Foot Forward, with Harry James playing the same thing!

    Can I get in on this TPZoo thing?

    El Bruce, looks like you’re already in. Welcome to The Zoo!

  4. House, that’s very cool. Harry James is amazing.

    Now, of course, I’m going to have that tune stuck in my head again today. lol

  5. Nice to read about Germany’s ‘localization’ of power generation in such practical fashion. I can hear the American Wingnut reaction: “Goddamned German Socialists!”

    Welcome El Bruce, to the relative peace and quiet of the Zoo.

  6. I wish I could believe that we could start from the assumption that everyone is interested in the well-being of mankind. We seem to be a culture that glorifies selfishness and equates consumption with prosperity.

    As perhaps the least erudite poster here I am thrilled to welcome ElBruce and his store of knowledge to The Zoo!

  7. Solar power + wind+ hydro could, with just a bit of effort and support serve three purposes. Wean us from oil and coal for supplying our fixed base power needs, radically drop our emissions and put us on a road to energy independence. It would also add a huge boost to our power grid technology.

    Good to see you, el bruce. ;)

  8. Welcome, ElBruce!

    It would take some digging in the archives at Climate Progress, but back in early Obama admin when the “drill baby drill” shit was especially unhinged, there were several reports posted there noting that (1) it would take a minimum of 10 years for such drilling and production to actually come on line, and (2) it would make for only a few percentage points and that for only a couple of years of consumption, before those reserves were entirely depleted.

    The search engine at CP is not very sophisticated, but the sidebar sub-headings might break topics out well enough to find the specific posts after only an hour or two of bitter sifting … (Since the dissertation, I’ve found my willingness to claw through mountains of data definitely has taken a ‘hit’.)

  9. To Hooda’s list, I’d also add rationalizing the power grid. This is a national infrastructure, but it is regulated and maintained on a state-by-state basis.

  10. Agreed, Gary. The power grid is a prime example of what the free market can do when it comes to something of national importance. All the private companies work for their profit picture and there is no overall game plan. We have a hodge podge patchwork with barely compatible systems. If there is a threat to the US security it is in the vulnerability of our power infrastructure. A remarkably small effort could easily paralyze huge sections of the country.

  11. Oh, and ElBruce, armed duels are not allowed at TheZoo. :)

    But, OTOH, we don’t allow no stinking trolls to take up residence and cause us problems. We ban them immediately. We do welcome conservatives who wish to have a rational, fact-based discussion, but a certain troll (who, by convention, we have agreed not to name) and his sockpuppets are thrown out as soon as they try to infiltrate.

  12. I have interest in tidal energy but concerns about unintended consequences. Is anyone familiar with any legit studies of these potential issues?

  13. Now Wayne, Zooey has plenty of charisma to go around, don’t be so selfish. :)

    ElBruce is here, swoon.

  14. I’m watching Christiane Amanpour and the first inarticulate self-centered comment came from a guy who started a tea party group. “People shouldn’t be applauding.” “We shouldn’t be discussing the political.” blah, blah, blah.

  15. They arrested one of the gunshot victims for speaking out against a gun enthusiast but I haven’t seen that yet.

  16. For some reason Republicans seem to think we have all sorts of drilling rigs just waiting to be plugged into oil pockets. Each rig, particularly the off shore type, are quite custom in design and no one company ‘builds’ oil rigs. Considering the present state of manufacturing in the US, it would likely take years before any significant number could be made.

  17. db, Bill Maher had an interesting comment the other night. In talking about how the teabaggers fancy themselves to be like the founding fathers he talked about how educated and into science they were. Then he said something like if Ben Franklin was here he could explain to Bill O’Reilly why the tides go in and out. I’ll look for the video today.

  18. They didn’t show any disruption. But they mentioned that one of the victims who’d been shot twice was accused of “threatening a tea party member” and was taken out by police. They showed that he looked like a very frail and dignified older man. He was charged with a misdemeanor and “committed” . Sounds like one of the teabaggers didn’t like his own medicine and targeted this poor guy.

  19. Looks like more potato leek soup and panko crusted chicken around here. What do the rest of you have on the menu. I have got to get these kids to diversify.

  20. Nice summary, Hooda. But I’ll bet the Right Wing will stop at nothing to prevent it all from happening, and in the process will use whatever means they can come up with no matter how sordid.

  21. Hooda,

    Didn’t they say the rig that exploded was built in another country? I don’t think they build those things in the US. If they did, they’d have to pay the workers who built it a living wage, and that just doesn’t sound like the oil and gas companies I know.

  22. db, I’ve wondered about tidal power as well. I once saw an artist’s concept for what looked like a series of floating ferris wheels placed in areas of heavy tidal flow.

  23. “We do welcome conservatives who wish to have a rational, fact-based discussion,”

    Wayne, is this like the Loch Ness monster or the chupacabbra? I’ve never seen one.

  24. Wayne, I remember that as well. Rigs are giant erector sets with components made in many countries and assembled on site. I guess that’s why WalMart doesn’t sell cheap East Asian made knockoffs yet. D)

  25. “Looks like more potato leek soup and panko crusted chicken around here. What do the rest of you have on the menu?”

    Home-made veggie chili. With the Lentil stew of a few nights ago, that should have dinner stockpiled for most of the rest of January.

  26. Shayne,

    There have been the rare conservatives with whom we found we could discuss things rationally. IMHO, the trolls at TP drove them away by posting moronic right-wing talking points in unintelligent and disrespectful fashion, thus provoking the hate-filled comments we spewed back at them. Rational conservatives probably think we treat all right-wingers like that, especially when they are unaware of the history we’ve had with some 0f the trolls. So when a troll posts, what appears to be, an innocuous comment and gets flamed, the rational conservatives steer clear of TP.

  27. I’m not a vegetarian of any flavor — the lentil stew has some low-fat chicken sausage in it, for example. But I do like a number of dishes that go in that direction, and the lower fat/cholesterol count does me no harm. Plus, the absence of animal fats will (I believe) lend itself toward longer “shelf-life,” especially when that shelf is in the ‘frig.

    On the other hand, about the only time I have red meat is when I visit my friends in S.D. county.

  28. Oh yeah, that did come out a little weird.
    The bird, of course.
    If you’re fond of a strong liver taste.
    I won’t eat them again, but at least I now know better.

  29. Friends are in town for the weekend, so dinner tonight is incredible Schezuan food at Lucky Strike. It’s a weird place, with a decor that looks like 1930s Shanghai, Portland hipster servers, and excruciatingly good cooking. The chef has found the perfect balance where the heat does not obscure all the other wonderful flavors. They may even have rabbit!

    Lunch tomorrow — since my friends don’t get here on weekdays much — tomorrow lunch was a very tough call. Looks like it will be Laurelhurst Market for sandwiches from the butcher shop.

  30. Grilled seatrout in the backyard today.
    Drab decor that looks like a post dust bowl ghost town, barking dogs and inquisitive cats.

    • Gary has a lentil recipe I’m going to try — because it looks amazing — but if the dirt taste comes through, I’m giving up on lentils.

    • I see ElBruce stopped by. Yay!

      If I’d known the way to reel ‘em in was to let them know I look like a warthog, I’d have done it years ago…

  31. Well, I made a big potful of chicken soup/stew last night, packed several containers into the freezer and left a big serving in the fridge for today.

    I do like a nice thick lentil soup as long as there are other ingredients to alleviate the boredom of the lentils. I infinitely prefer split pea, with or without ham.

    • That sounds wonderful, Jane. Do you have a recipe you’re willing to share?

      Regarding split pea soup, I prefer it without the ham as well. I usually just cook up a couple slices of bacon, and that gives the soup enough flavor.

  32. Well you guys inspired me to cook a pulled pork in my LeCreuset pot. I’m hoping 6 hours from frozen until done at 325 works.

  33. It’s always a good idea to rinse beans before you cook them. D0h. :)

    I’m running and hiding now.

  34. Polenta is also awesome with lamb shanks but I can’t get these barbarians I live with to eat it. I have a husband born in Kentucky who won’t eat grits either. Or greens. I was born in Chicago and love them all. He is twisted.

  35. I wonder if I can sell them on black bean soup instead of the potato leek… They are like potato leek junkies. I am getting concerned. Still it is like the world’s easiest and foolproof recipe….

  36. Zooey, you did remember the birthday present, right?

    And how about a lentil cake with buttercream frosting?

    • Badmoodman, Zoo Jr is very happy with his TomBaker/Peter Davisson Doctor Who DVD set. Whew. :D

      Damn, I should have thought of the lentil cake before…much more interesting than the white cake with white frosting he wants. Damn!

      HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ZOO JR!! 23 YEARS OLD TODAY!

      (I have to shout because he’s still sleeping — yeesh)

  37. I had polenta with short ribs for my Christmas dinner–and fried polenta for several meals after. Damn. I had forgotten how awesome fried polenta is.

    No grits? No greens? No glory!

  38. Zooey, when I’m really lazy, which is every day, I make chicken soup with a square box of chicken broth, a square box of vegetable broth, chopped onions, celery and onions. Then to stretch it for cost I add water and bouillon accordingly. I boil it up and add breasts usually 3. Then I take them out and cut them into small pieces. I add inch pieces of big carrots or mini carrots and boil then simmer with chicken back in it. Then I use those quarter inch farm style noodles. It isn’t cheap but it’s easy and makes a lot and goes far.

    • Shayne, that sounds yummy and easy — two totally amazing things in my world.

      We’re having the weather for it today — 30/40 mph winds, with rain and a flood watch. Woo hoo!!

      I live on the higher side of town, so if my toes start getting wet, we are in serious trouble.

  39. I had a TN ridgerunner buddy in the Navy who tried to sell me on grits, greens and the like. I told him where I grew up we knew which things were fed to livestock and which to people. But I do like polenta.

  40. Zooey, Cats can share a fantastic story about the “life saving properties” of lentils … better than eating Hatian dirt cakes, I’d say (I love lentils!)

    About tidal energy, the Bay of Fundy has had some hydro equipment there since FDR’s obsession with it back in the day. While Bangor Hydro enjoys some of the highest electricity rates in the country, and has done some preliminary studies to update the machinery to harness this vast renewable resource, the company still feels it is “too expensive” …

  41. Zooey, in all honesty I never cook lentils because my husband doesn’t like them either. But I buy lentil soup at Whole Foods for me sometimes.

    Gummitch, when we’re living together on the ranch life will be good. At least we have plenty of cooks.

  42. Here’s my own recipe for lentil soup. I always make it in a pressure cooker, but a crock pot works equally well if you have the time. The flavors are complex and interesting, and it’s low calorie. It has no meat of any kind other than the bouillon cube, but almost everyone who tries it says it tastes like it has a LOT of meat in it. Easy to prepare:

    This is a simple but delicious soup which can be prepared in a pressure cooker in about 20 minutes, in a crock pot in about 5 hours, or over hot coals in the woods (or on the kitchen stove) in about 2 hours. The key is to not overcook either the lentils or the vegetables and since lentils take longer to cook, no matter which kind of ‘pot’ used it’s always best to wait till the lentils are nearly ‘done’ before adding the celery and carrots. To serve four you will need:

    4 cups water
    1 cup dried lentils
    2 Bay Leaves
    1 small (5.5 oz, about cup) can V-8 Veggie juice
    1 cube Knorr® beef or chicken bouillon
    1 cup chopped onion
    1 cup sliced carrots
    1 cup sliced celery
    1 Tbsp balsamic (or red wine) vinegar
    1 Tsp salt (more or less to taste)

    To prepare:
    Combine water, lentils, bay leaves, V-8 juice, and bouillon; cook under pressure for ten minutes, then remove from heat. When pressure is relieved, add carrots, celery, and onion, then pressure cook for an additional three minutes, remove from heat, and cool. Add the vinegar and stir; allow to rest for ten or so minutes before serving.

  43. Sincerely Sustainable
    finding true sustainability in the marketplace

    Tidal-Energy Project Set To Power San Francisco; At Quite The Premium Price

    San Francisco looking into tidal energy

    Calculating tidal energy turbines’ effects on sediments and fish

    • Shayne sez:
      White cake with white frosting? What is he some kind of alien from outside space?

      You know, if he didn’t look and sound almost exactly like his father (suppress urge to strangle child), I’d swear he was switched at birth…

  44. frugal, that sounds delicious. I found a huge jar of Knorr chicken powder so I’m ready except for the V8. Will any lentils do or do you have a preference.

  45. I should add that we used that lentil soup recipe quite often as the ‘soup of the day’ when we were “chef-ing” at Hannagan Meadow Lodge in AZ, summer of 2008, and people loved it.

  46. Dang, all this talk of lentils reminded me of a recipe for harira I haven’t used in years. Now I have to go shopping.

  47. Alright you people have convinced me. I’ll just make a big batch of polenta and cut it and freeze it so I have it when I mash potatoes for everybody else.

  48. frugal, that was Shayne but I agree. I’ve never noticed a real difference in taste for lentils. Green just seem to be the easiest to come by.

  49. I’m lost – seems while looking up sustainability of tidal power, y’all have done gone lentil on me!

  50. Harira is a chick pea, lentil, chicken and rice dish that is commonly served to break the fast at the end of the day during Ramadan. Lots of interesting flavors from ginger, tumeric, cinnamon, nutmeg and cilantro.

    It is also a favorite in the deserts of Wi. ;)

  51. Hooda: “frugal, that was Shayne,,,”

    I noticed that after I washed my glasses. It’s a bitch to get old.

    How do glasses get so goddam dirty, btw, when one never takes them off ‘cept to sleep?

  52. Now I’ve got to go out and take a photo of a particular sign downtown.
    It concerns grits. Look for it later today…

  53. frugal, I’m with ya there – I just washed both sets of glasses this morning.

    Shayne, your chicken soup sounds like mine, although I add potatoes and don’t bother with the noodles. I figure that, since I freeze most of it, I can always add noodles any time if I need to stretch it. I love using the boxed low-sodium organic chicken broth, the canned shit is just that, shit.

  54. She has to find it first, Zooey. I learned my lesson (once I recovered).

    Isn’t that troll one of the ones who complains about censorship on TP? And he’s telling you there are words you can’t use?

    Also, has Utah really passed a law abridging freedom of speech? Because that would violate the 14th and 1st Amendments.

    • Wayne, you remembered why you needed to hide it? Wow. :D

      Eh, I’d have to read the troll closer to know that. *yawn*

      Knowing Utah, they probably did pass a law forbidding naughty words. Gorgeous state, but it’s full of weirdos, dirty restaurants, and very poor wait staff service.

  55. All I know frugal is when you’re short you can’t cook anything without your glasses getting filthy. That explains Jane and myself. I’m sure leggy Zooey doesn’t have that problem.

  56. Also, has Utah really passed a law abridging freedom of speech? Because that would violate the 14th and 1st Amendments.

    Wayne, that’s from the ‘old’ Constitution – under the ‘newly revised’ by the repugnant and teabagger party… State’s rights usurp the nasty, big, mean Government.

  57. Jane, as a bartender in Chicago I was taught that an easy weapon to use if necessary is a full bottle of anything cracked over somebody’s head. ;)

  58. My brother lives in Utah and swears more freely and colorfully than I do. America, FUCK YEAH!

  59. Utah is beautiful, and it’s a mystery to me how it can create so many mean-spirited people.

    The most incredible stone fruit I’ve ever eaten came from a roadside stand in Utah; traffic had been diverted off the Interstate by construction and the farms along the road were taking advantage. I suspect fruit like that can’t be shipped out of the region because it is so juicy and fragile.

    • gummitch, I don’t think it’s a parody troll. I think it tries to make it seem as if it is, but it says some truly vicious things (like it did to Jane this morning). That ain’t parody.

    • Nectarines — yummy!!

      When I was a teen, we had bears come into our campsite in Yosemite trying to get the box of nectarines stashed in a tree. I don’t know why they didn’t get them, but the campground cleared out nicely the next morning…

  60. I have a stone fruit recipe with garam masala that is awesome. I just can’t remember what else.

  61. Sheesh, now the troll is whining, claiming that I’m saying he’s “the bad guy” there. Well, yeah, duh, of course he is. But there’s no excuse for what he said about my in-laws. They were wonderful people and he will never know what the world lost when they died.

  62. Zooey, so many suitors!
    Reading this is like a Bronte or Austen novel.
    Who will be chosen?
    She walks the moor, hooded cape about her warding off the chill thinking…
    leaving all with baited breath…does she keep on or turn back to the one who has her heart?

  63. Ok, got the fixins. The rest of the crew here is already looking skeptical but I think they will change their minds once I start making the harira.

    On a slight aside, the only possible way I might watch the Billo/Obama interview if the Packers and the Jets are playing. And even then it is a long shot.

  64. I wish I could say I was planning an exotic dinner but I’ll probably just make spagetti for my men. Word of warning..if a friend takes you to an inexpensive buffet featuring sushi and whole baby octopus DO NOT EAT! I may never want dinner again.

    Sometimes when I first come to this page I’ll see a goggle ad. It’s almost always an ad for Virginia ham. That’s just weird.

    • Google is insidious, Outstanding. Those stupid ads are foisted on us by WP, and they think they’re fooling us because administrators can’t see them. Grrr…

      Buffet restaurants are the debbil. :shock:

  65. Outstanding, while I love most good sushi, I agree on the whole baby octopus. They are best served fried in a bit of olive oil with oregano and basil until the tentacles are crunchy.

    Jane, please hand Wayne a barf bag. ;)

  66. I don’t think it is coincidental but the ads that come up for me on TP are Pacsun and other juniors clothes place I shop for my daughter. It seems like they are targeted at your browsing history because Pacsun never came up until my daughter had me look at a coat there.

  67. I don’t really wanna refelct on the whole issue of buffets from the view of a food distribution employee. I just know that you can’t give me all I can eat of anything good and charge me only 6.99 unless something sketchy is going on…

    Now as to this whole lentil thing… I thing we will all have to agree to disagree. Oh and I want some of that hariri.

    Harvesting the tide for kinetic energy in nearshore areas must disturb natural beach processes especially in sandy beach dune barrier island systems…

    • db, it seems like I saw something at some point (somewhere) that gathered tidal power using things that looked like bouys. Would that have a lesser affect than the paddle wheel-looking things?

      Sorry for all the technical language above…

  68. Baby octopus when properly cooked makes for a very nice salad. Tako is not my fave. Too chewy and tasteless

  69. Well, I can see right now that dinner in the Zoo Commune is going to be real interesting.

  70. The question I have about tidal would be how “near shore” would it have to be to 1) create the minimal amount of disturbance and 2) would any deliterous effects outweigh the cost benefits of this renewable resource?

    Back to my calculations … the B of F has quite a tide, you know ;)

  71. Nah, Shayne, I think we should go with my Mom’s old rule. “If I put it on the table, you have to at least try it.”

  72. Will John McCain now be getting threats from the teabaggers?

    We can only hope. The sooner this “movement” is discredited, the better.

    Chris Matthews interviewed Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips about violence in American political culture. Phillips seems utterly divorced from reality and history.

  73. OK hooda, but you try the octopus first. As a big fan of cooking shows I have seen too many chefs botch octopus cooking. We’ll have to see if dbadass or Walt want to handle it or other sea faring experts.

  74. Of course, the chance we’d be able to grow bananas on a BC island are just nil…it needs to be filed under, ‘just in case’ we have the opportunity!

  75. Deal, Shayne. I seldom put a botched dish out to the table. Not that it doesn’t happen. I’m surprised Mook doesn’t resemble a beach ball but there are some mistakes even he won’t eat.

  76. Judson Phillips is a moron. Matthews presents facts. Phillips says I disagree but doesn’t have an facts to back his assertion and says give me time and I’ll find something. He doesn’t even understand basic language.

  77. Someone should give Judson a bad octopus.

    I think vinyl grows pineapple ebb. I remember being surprised they grew anywhere in the US but Hawaii. I could be wrong though, I’ve been known to drink wine.

  78. I need to nap/doze for a bit before the Jets game. I’ve said all I need to say at TP, even to the trolls. Thanks, friends, for your support in my seemingly futile battle against the heartlessness of TP’s trolls.

    Later on, I’m going to write to Faiz and strongly urge him to schedule an open thread for each weekend day. They can schedule them to post at 6AM ET, and they don’t have to say anything more than “Open thread. What doesn’t apply to the topics posted should go here.” If they want, they can mention some of the major things (not in ThinkFast format) that happened during the week as jumping off points for discussion. Just an idea. Possibly another futile one on my part. :)

  79. I emailed Faiz after certain troll made a horrendous comment about a shooting victim saying he needs to be banned. Never heard anything back.

  80. Hey, I’ll try anything…once. Even baby octopus

    This octopus fascination is clear to me now. Zooey is intent on ridding the world of ink now that she’s got her Kindle.

  81. There is nothing more fabulous than fresh sushi and sashimi. Years ago, when I used to find myself in Los Angeles more than I really wanted to, I found a place to dine. It was in a Japanese hotel, name escapes, near downtown, on the edge of ‘Little Tokyo’. The restaurant served Japanese cuisine of all sorts, but I always ordered their Sashimi Dinner. It consisted of a few greens and shredded daikon, artfully arranged, and surrounded by seven or eight varieties of beautifully fresh raw fish/seafood — sashimi — and all served elegantly in a crystal clear bowl. Made of ICE! Everything was there on the side, of course, but the sashimi itself was absolutely delicious and forever memorable.

    Think I made it there maybe four times total, and each was at least as good as the previous. Magnificently delicious, and the presentation was an artform in itself.

    • It sounds amazing, frugal. I’ve always wanted to try suchi and sashimi, but I’d like to go with someone who knows what the heck they’re doing in terms of ordering, etc. One of these days!

  82. I’d take you, Zooey … of course, I’d only be helpful to a certain California/cucumber roll, edamame, wasabi, brown rice and other sea veggie degree …

    back to calculations …

  83. Is Zooey slumming for a date? I don’t like mackeral for the most part but raw it is actually pretty good…

  84. Judson Phillips is a stupid shit, reminds me of my cousin. Intellectually blind as a freakin’ bat and apparently believes that guns and woodies are intimately related.

    I’m not seeing much hope for this country, folks. The dumb seems to be gaining the upper hand. Or maybe it’s just because I got so pissed at “Iwo Jammies” and “justanotherbeerfart” on TP today.

    • Ignorance seems to be a goal for a certain percentage of our population — usually those who are screaming the loudest and longest about some stupid shit.

  85. usually those who are screaming the loudest about some stupid shit

    They forget that One can’t listen when the mouth is open…

  86. I’m a bit torn about ordering eel. Have read where they really aren’t sustainable.

    Don’t know if there’s an update on this – will have to search a bit later.
    This caused me to think on my choices.

  87. ebb, until Infisherman discovers eels the fishery is safe in America. Eels are one step below catfish as far as fisherman are concerned.

  88. Eel seems to be becoming more fashionable. I am seeing an increase in demand. It is okay but I can sort of take it or leave it sort of like sea urchin…

  89. Eel is fairly common and popular in Europe and East Asia. Americans still view them as underwater snakes so doG doesn’t like them.

    Smoked eel is awesome, be it fresh or salt water.

  90. I don’t believe I’ve posted this here. The last time I made it, I still thought it a little “thin,” and I strongly suspect that the added moisture from the other ingredients means I shoul use no more than 5 1/2 cups of water, rather than the stated 6. This time around, I did add 2Tbl of flour to thicken it, and I used 2 chicken sausages. Still a tad short on salt, so add to your taste. Zooey, don’t forget to add Tobasco while it is cooking.

    Oh, and this recipe is of my own making. I picked up clues from other dishes, but the assembly (and many additions) are entirely of my making. First such thing I’ve ever done.

    GARY’S GLORIOUS LENTIL STEW.

    (“Glorious” because if there is anything left in your pantry or refrigerator when you are done, you didn’t do it right.)

    — 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, diced
    — 1 small onion, cut into slices
    — 1 or more low-fat turkey or chicken sausages, cubed. (Vegetarian version can skip this, but it adds a lot of flavor.)
    — 1 can garbanzo beans, drained
    — 1 bell pepper, sliced into 2″ strips. (I prefer something other than green for the color.)
    — 1 unpeeled potato, cubed (Sweet potato – not yam – works very well here.)
    — 1 cup frozen carrots
    — ½ lb. (1 heaping cup) lentils
    — 6 cups water or broth in any combination
    — ¼ tsp Dill weed
    — ½ tsp cilantro
    — ½ tsp basil
    — ½ tsp thyme
    — Ground black pepper – don’t be shy.
    — 1 Tbsp oil (EV olive recommended)

    Soak the lentils to soften them prior to cooking – ½ hour or when you start the other prep. Drain the water prior to adding to the stew.

    Heat oil at med to med-hi in large, dutch oven sized pot.

    Add garlic and onion, and allow them to soften for a few minutes. Add sausage and seasoning and cook, stirring to mix and brown thoroughly.

    Add garbanzo beans, stir and cook some more.

    Add bell pepper, potato and carrots. Stir until well mixed.

    Add water/stock combination, then stir in lentils, thoroughly mixing.

    Bring to a boil. Turn down to a low/simmer, and allow to cook UNCOVERED for at least an hour to thicken, stirring occasionally. Cover and continue to cook for at least another hour, again stirring occasionally.

    The lentils and potatoes should be done enough for the first serving at this point. Remember, it is a stew and wants to be cooked a lot. It will be better after longer times in the pot.

    Salt and Tabasco to taste. Add Tabasco especially during cooking process, to thoroughly mix with other flavors (I rarely add salt, but this needed some. Tabasco is STRONGLY recommended over ordinary red peppers or cayenne. The vinegar will hold hands with the dill and do a dance.)

    Makes (at a guess) 6 or more servings.

  91. 1 cup frozen carrots.

    Sorry Gary but carrots survive freezing like taters. Fresh is always better.

  92. This is the recipe of chili (from a friend in Chicago) that I’m going to assemble, pretty much as soon as I it “post”.

    Do you ever make chili? That’s not as complex as a tagine, (Gary adds: I also have my friends tagine recipe) goes a lot faster, and can make a boatload of meals. And you can add ground beef or ground turkey, or make it vegetarian. All you need is:

    — 2 onions, chopped (or 1/2 to a whole bag of chopped frozen onions)
    — 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
    — 1 Tbsp olive oil or canola oil
    — 3 cans of diced tomatoes (consider using the tomatoes + jalapenos)
    — a green or red pepper, chopped (Gary adds: I prefer green for the color; red tends to disappear.)
    — 3 cans of beans, drained and rinsed (I like to use a combo — can of kidney beans, can of pintos, and can of black beans)
    — 1 can HOT jalapenos <– Gary adds: this is actually my contribution
    — 1 tsp dried oregano
    — 1 tsp ground cumin
    — 2Tbsp chili powder (or more)
    — cayenne powder (to taste)
    — salt (if you wish, although the canned beans will be salted already) (Gary adds: I've never added salt to this.)

    Heat the oil in a large pot. Throw the onions and garlic into the hot oil, put the heat to medium low, and let the mixture soften for a few minutes; if it browns a little, that's OK, but don't let it get dark. Then throw everything else in, stir well, let the pot come to a boil, turn to a simmer, and forget about it for half an hour (although you should stir it once in a while; it may stick a little if you don't).

    If you want meat in it, the first step would be to brown the ground beef or turkey in a little hot oil; keep stirring, but let it cook thoroughly (maybe 15 mins., depending on how much you use. 12-16 ounces would be the max I would use). Then pour off the oil, take the meat out of the pot and set it aside in a bowl, add some fresh oil to the pot, and proceed with the recipe above. Throw the cooked meat in with the rest ot the ingredients at the end.

    The chili freezes well — but make sure to let it cool before freezing it. If you're going to freeze it, put it into individual containers and let them cool before you cover them and put them in the freezer.

  93. “Sorry Gary but carrots survive freezing like taters. Fresh is always better.”

    They are being cooked in a stew — which is to say, cooked to beat the band — and the vast majority of it goes into the freezer after it has cooled. Feel free to adjust ingredients to your taste, but this is the recipe I not only use, but that I made.

  94. Call me a purist (among other terms) but I will always choose fresh ingredients over anything. Frozen is a distant second choice. Canned a speed expedient.

  95. I remember looking at the ingredients in some brand of hot cocoa mix and finding silicon dioxide.
    That’s sand, I believe…

  96. Tell you what, Gary. This spring when I make my road trip I will make your recipe for chili. With fresh ingredients. If it isn’t better, I will humbly apologize. Heck, I will apologize now. I’ve made chili like that and it it isn’t bad. But the real stuff is better.

  97. So I did some research and it seems silicon dioxide (silica) is an important nutrient.
    Drink your hot cocoa and eat your lentils.

  98. The harira is done. The addition of fresh cilantro and lemon juice at the end sort of changes the whole game.

  99. I’m a bad grandpa. I fed my grandkids a traditional Moroccan dish (read Arabic) and they like it.

  100. Hooda, you really seem intent on fixing things that ain’t broke. I’ve no doubt you grow your own beans, give each one of them names, and send them to college prior to eating them. But for reasons that transcend comprehension, I simply haven’t the time or energy to do that.

    I was (generically) asked to share my recipes, and I did. Feel free to share your own, and comment on what you like about them. But I’m a tad mystified at what you mean to accomplish by offering nothing but criticisms.

  101. Gary, I apologize. I didn’t mean to offer criticism. As I said, your recipe for chili is sound. And I made an offer to someone on showing the difference between canned and fresh. Or frozen and fresh. I have obviously offended you and I apologize. Not my intent.

  102. And everytime the word “l” word is mentioned, I think of Mr. Cats/Breezewood Breeze/what is his handle again, Cats?

    Good to see you “peeking” :D

  103. Good evening everyone. Well I have to admit, that I didn’t expect the Jets to win that one, but I’m certainly happy that they did. And I’m happy that the Bears won. I think the Bears/Packers game will be a fun one to watch.

    Shayne, thanks for the Bill Maher clip. I no longer have HBO, and I forget how much I used to enjoy his show.

  104. Until TP bans “Iwo Jima” and removes his comments, Jane and I won’t be posting there for a while. We’re both pretty upset about what he said about her parents. I e-mailed Faiz and told him as much.

    I also suggested he start posting Open Threads on weekends and holidays. We’ll see how that works out. Good night, Everyone. I’m off to bed.

    • That troll was really filthy to Jane this morning. I don’t blame either of you, Wayne.

      We’ll enjoy your company here!

  105. I’m watching the Golden Globes and it seems very anti-teabaggers. One producer said something about all the intelligent women there and that he hopes his daughter sees that being and intellectual elite is a good thing. The gay boy and woman from Glee both won their categories. Annette Benning won for playing a married gay woman. And Glee won for best comedy series and the producer said he wanted to thank all school teacher for being underpaid and under appreciated and doing so much for children. And there was much more like it. Good for them.

  106. The troll’s comment were deleted before I read them but I can imagine how horrific they were. Good for you Wayne.

  107. What sort of person gets their jollies out of sitting and posting, as a troll? Very sick and deranged. I just got home from being gone all day, so I’ve not kept up over there, but sounds like I don’t need too if Iwo Jima is running amok.

    I’m sure the tea baggers will just dismiss the golden globes as Hollywood’s liberal elite.

    • zxbe, maybe those posters really are just despicable people, who enjoy causing pain in others and wreaking havoc anywhere possible.

      I can’t imagine being like that, but I suppose if I were posting my usual comments on Redstate (*spit*), they’d think the same of me — until I was banned for life within three comments.

  108. The one hi-jacking EDebs is a complete imbecile. Debs gets under their skin with his ways!
    The fake keeps posting ED’s little jibes figuring that when we flag ‘it’ we’re flagging the real Eugen.
    Troll is a simpleton.

    • As annoyed as I get sometimes with Eugene’s repetitive responses to trolls, he’s a smart and thoughtful person otherwise. When he makes on topic comments, he’s always very insightful and caring.

      The hijacker misses this nuance — of course.

      • Woo hoo!!

        We’re under a “river flood warning,” “flood advisory,” and “wind advisory.”

        Am I wrong to be enjoying the relative heat wave?

  109. I guess exactamente could also apply to your enthusiasm for the “river flood warning” – it was actually meant for the Eugene Debs comment.
    I love that he gets under their skin like scabies. Yet, they keep trying to get him banned.

    • If I were Eugene, I’d be grinning like a Cheshire Cat.

      Stealing his moniker and trying (badly) to imitate him is a big mark for his win column.

      • I’m not really celebrating the river flood warning, since some people do live near the river to the north of us. One consolation is that our “rivers” are nothing like the Mississippi or Missouri Rivers that leave people flooded for weeks.

  110. I love Eugene too. He is a dear and takes the bullet for many of us at TP. I went to some basically non-partisan site and there were so many evil teabaggers that I didn’t comment even though I had something to say. I can’t understand what kind of person could be a troll.

  111. I’m watching the Golden Globes and it seems very anti-teabaggers. One producer said something about all the intelligent women there and that he hopes his daughter sees that being and intellectual elite is a good thing.

    • • That was the very progressive Aaron Sorkin, the writer, who has publicly lambasted Sarah Palin for being proudly ignorant.

  112. Ricky Gervais just said thank you go God for making me an atheist. The Hollywood elite seemed really pissed at the Republican types.

  113. The Hollywood elite aren’t usually so vocal on their disdain for one group. The shooting last week much have riled them. Good. Maybe Limpjob will give himself a stroke tomorrow.

    • The teabagger-types may dismiss the “Hollywood elite,” but right now those elites are reaching a lot of viewers — and they’re having an impact on said viewers.

      It’s about fucking time.

      • Remember from the very start, we were saying that Palin just needed to hole up and do some studying about current and world events? I actually thought she’d be dangerous if she did.

        But not to worry, she never bothered and never will. Like Sorkin said, she’s “proudly ignorant.”

  114. The Hollywood elite aren’t usually so vocal on their disdain for one group.

    •  • But remember these awards are given by the Hollywood foreign press, the show is live, and there’s plenty of booze served.

  115. Zooey, that’s like our Guadalupe “River” – we love it though, gives us riparian life!

  116. Are Rush and the rest taking MLK Memorial Day Off – do you know?
    I’ll laugh silly if it’s true – given the vitriol and bad mouthing they do about Dr. King.

    I ask -if they don’t then the ‘Hollywood Elite’ would most likely be the theme.

  117. Remember from the very start, we were saying that Palin just needed to hole up and do some studying about current and world events?

     • • The poor girl labored through 5 colleges. Learning for some people is a finite endeavor.

    • Badmoodman,

      To my eternal shame, in May I will graduate from the same university from which Palin finally managed to graduate.

      The only saving grace is that we still have Mark Felt to our credit…

  118. First Rush has to lambaste that poor shooting victim that got arrest during the taping with Christiane Amanpour because some teatard said he threatened him.

  119. I just hope the Hollywood elite are truly pissed at the teabaggers because they’re the only ones with enough money to battle the CoC types.

  120. That would be zero thank you very much. The only think I can do is keep posting the anti-teabagger stuff to the actors and management types on my FB page. Since Taylor got her braces we’re not seeing too many people.

  121. I’ve been proposing a national effort just like Germany’s for putting solar shingles (see Ovshinsky, Stan) on every goddamned roof in America. Think of the installer training efforts that could pay 40 + an hour… Fuck the oil companies.

  122. Hurray! RUC ! It makes too much sense. Can be done expediently (after said training).

    What a great concept and could be brought to fruition.

    (then again – given the climate (pun intended) of the government: it would take decades to “study” before ‘discussions’ could take place). /s

  123. US cancels ‘virtual fence’ along Mexican border. What’s Plan B?

    The dream of a high-tech barrier stretching from one end of America’s southern border to the other – originally hailed by then-President George W. Bush as “the most technically advanced border security initiative” ever – is officially burst.

    More wasted money by the treasonous bush.

  124. ebb,

    For about 64-72 million dollars, 8 to 9 Earth orbiters could have been put up in a multi-satellite mission using existing technology which would detect anything larger than a hummingbird entering or leaving US territory.

    The border fence is a folly designed to enrich the defense industry!

  125. The damn GoP is not a forwarding thinking crowd. Stir up the fear; push through the legislation; have it debunked or de-constructed after millions of dollars have been spent.

    As you so aptly pointed out about a multi-satellite mission.

    The sky is fairly ‘busy’ with satellites as it is. Certainly the US could attempt to employ what exists. Adapt what’s up there.

  126. ebb,
    What is ‘up there, is not adaptable to border patrol. All existing satellites are designed to either look outward or are on patrol in foreign lands (read military recognizance).

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