Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for April 8th, 2017

First GOPM in a while: Lamb with broccolini

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I use the 1.5 qt cast-iron Staub pan, but you could probably use a 2-qt cast-iron dutch oven. You would just use a few more of each ingredient—e.g., more scallions, 1/3 cup pearled barley instead of 1/4 cup, a whole diced carrot instead of a half. Since you build the dish a layer at a time, you can just add enough more of whatever to make a layer of the depth you want.

In the 1.5 qt pan, I added these ingredients, a layer of each, beginning with the scallions:

3 scallions, chopped (green and white)
good pinch of salt
several grindings of pepper
1/4 cup pearled barley
1/2 large carrot, diced
10 oz lamb flank (1 package), cut up
4 cloves garlic, minced
chopped mint
chopped broccolini
halved cherry tomatoes
salt and more pepper

I had to mash it down a bit to get all to fit. One bunch of broccolini was plenty and I had some stems left over.

Put the following in a small glass jar, shake well, and pour over:

1.5 tablespoon Crosse & Blackwell Mint sauce
1.5 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon sherry
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
a dash or few of mint bitters
salt
pepper

Cover, put in 450ºF oven and let cook for 45 minutes.

Remove, let pot stand, still covered, for 15 minutes.

Serve and eat. It was quite tasty.

Update: I just remembered I have mint bitters (one by the Fee Brothers). Next time I’ll add a dash or two of that to the pour-over.

Written by LeisureGuy

8 April 2017 at 6:49 pm

Posted in Food, GOPM, Recipes

Ronnie O’Sullivan makes an astounding comeback in this five-minute game.

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Written by LeisureGuy

8 April 2017 at 4:20 pm

Posted in Games, Video

What makes Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse angry?

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Jeffrey Toobin writes in the New Yorker:

Sheldon Whitehouse is a politician with a great name, a bad haircut, and a pissed-off attitude. The second-term Democratic junior senator from Rhode Island has built his career around two seemingly unrelated issues—climate change and money in politics—and he’s just written a book to demonstrate how intimately connected they turn out to be.

Whitehouse, who is sixty-one years old, has an aristocratic bearing and a background that belies his everyday fury. He’s descended from the Crocker railroad fortune, his father was a career diplomat (which included stints as ambassador to Laos and Thailand), and Sheldon himself is the product of St. Paul’s and Yale. Good breeding, however, has not assured him good manners, at least politically.
At one level, climate change is almost a parochial issue in what’s known as the Ocean State; the Atlantic is getting bigger all the time, and, consequently, Rhode Island, which is not too big to start with, is shrinking. “It’s unbelievably important to Rhode Island,” Whitehouse told me in a conversation the other day. “Right now our coastal-resources agency is predicting nine to twelve feet of sea-level rise in this century. A little girl born in Providence today is going to live long enough to see that happen. And that’s before the storm surges that are sure to come as well.” (As it happens, Whitehouse’s wife, Sandra Whitehouse, is a marine biologist, who has reinforced his grasp of the science of global warming.)
Whitehouse arrived in the Senate in 2007, at a time when the recognition of global warming, as well as the fight against it, often had bipartisan support. “When I was sworn in, we had Republican-sponsored climate-change bills all over the place,” he told me, “You had John McCain running for President in 2008 on a strong climate platform. You could see American democracy actually starting to work at solving a difficult problem.”
But the momentum on the issue stopped suddenly in 2010, he said, with the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case. As Whitehouse sees it, the Supreme Court ruling in that and other related cases freed corporate interests, especially oil-and-gas companies, to browbeat Republican legislators into withdrawing support for any climate-change legislation. “The fossil-fuel industry acted like a sprinter off at a gunshot,” he said. “They told the Republicans, ‘Game over, no more crossing us or we will fuck you up.’ “ Whitehouse saw the 2010 defeat, in a Republican primary, of Bob Inglis, a congressman from South Carolina who had embraced climate science, as a critical event. “Americans for Prosperity”—the political organization tied to the Koch brothers—“said publicly that anybody who crossed them on climate change would be severely disadvantaged,” Whitehouse said. “They took credit for the political peril that they had created in stopping any Republican from going the green-energy route.”
Whitehouse’s book (written with Melanie Wachtell Stinnett) is called “Captured: The Corporate Infiltration of American Democracy,” and it spells out, in considerable detail, the extent of corporate influence over a variety of issues, mostly wielded through campaign contributions. In the book, Whitehouse explains his support for tighter laws mandating disclosure of political contributions by corporations and others—which is one area that the Supreme Court, at least for now, still allows Congress to regulate. “A lot of the Citizens United problem could be solved if we knew where the money came from for all these ads,” he said. “The companies create these entities with fake names—like ‘Citizens for Nice Puppies’—which means that the sources of the money are unaccountable.”
Still, the over-all message of the book is plainspoken and bleak—describing a bad situation that is getting worse, especially since the election of Donald Trump and his installation of climate-change deniers across the government. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

8 April 2017 at 1:09 pm

Good source for Klein bottles (two Möbius strips joined in a special way)

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In various formats, including a Klein stein and a wine Klein. More on the Klein bottle. More on the Möbius strip.

Written by LeisureGuy

8 April 2017 at 12:01 pm

Posted in Daily life, Math

Ambassador’s tweet accidentally reveals that Trump is violating the Constitution

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It’s a shame that the Constitution is no longer considered all that important, at least not by members of Congress—as, for example, in the case of one Representative, who said that Congress worked for the President. Laurel Raymond writes at ThinkProgress:

Before President Donald Trump took office, “emoluments clause” was hardly a common phrase, even in the politics- and history-obsessed city of Washington, D.C. Now that Trump is in the White House, however, the Constitution’s chief protection against foreign bribes has become one of the primary controversies of his presidency — and on Thursday, a Georgian ambassador inadvertently showed why.

“Great #hotel and so far the best service I’ve seen in the United States! Keep it up!” Ambassador Kaha Imnadze tweeted, accompanied by a picture from inside the Trump International Hotel in downtown D.C.

Before President Donald Trump took office, “emoluments clause” was hardly a common phrase, even in the politics- and history-obsessed city of Washington, D.C. Now that Trump is in the White House, however, the Constitution’s chief protection against foreign bribes has become one of the primary controversies of his presidency — and on Thursday, a Georgian ambassador inadvertently showed why.

“Great #hotel and so far the best service I’ve seen in the United States! Keep it up!” Ambassador Kaha Imnadze tweeted, accompanied by a picture from inside the Trump International Hotel in downtown D.C.

Imnadze’s tweet is not only a stark example of an emolument — an illegal payment from a foreign government entity to the President of the United States — but also an indication of the importance of this clause’s guard against corruption.

The framers crafted the emoluments clause to silo off the president from any foreign influence; that is, to prevent any temptation of foreign-policy favoritism based on gifts or bribes. It prohibits the U.S. president from receiving “any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever” from a foreign government or its dignitaries without the express consent of Congress.

Enter President Donald Trump, who owns an international real estate empire. It’s a perfect avenue for foreign governments to attempt to curry favor by patronizing his hotels, thereby funneling money into his pockets.

Since Trump became the president, his downtown D.C. hotel has become the new go-to place for foreign embassy events, diplomats, and even lobbyists and government officials looking to get close to the President.

Imnadze, a foreign government agent, clearly wants his stay at the Trump International hotel to be noticed. His tweet isn’t part of his common travel practice: He has never before tweeted about a hotel, and most of his few previous tweets tagged “#travel” have been travel advertisements for Georgia.

It is, however, a clear example of how foreign governments are using Trump’s hotels to curry favor with his administration.

“Rumor has it that there are quite a few of these forbidden foreign government payments to Donald Trump that are taking place in secret. This is some evidence of that,” Norm Eisen, President Barack Obama’s chief ethics counsel, told ThinkProgress regarding Imnadze’s tweet.

Eisen and the nonpartisan government watchdog group he co-chairs, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), are currently suing the president for his alleged violation of the Constitution.

“We also know of Saudi and other Middle East examples. We will find out about a lot more when we get to discovery in our case,” Eisen said. He also pointed out that, now that Ivanka Trump has an official government post, foreign payments to the hotel concern her too. She owns part of the property, along with her father and brothers Eric and Donald Jr.

“This is not just a problem for the president but, now that she works for him, for his daughter. According to her financial disclosures, she apparently benefits from the foreign government payments there as well. If so, that’s a violation too,” Eisen said.

The General Services Administration, which administers the lease (and is now part of the Trump administration), however, ruled that Trump’s ownership is not a violation. Ethics experts weren’t convinced by this reasoning. . .

Continue reading.

Of course the GSA reports to Trump, so it’s not especially surprising that they rule as Trump wants.

Written by LeisureGuy

8 April 2017 at 9:46 am

Simpson Duke 3 Best, Tim’s Wood & Roses, Baby Smooth, and D.R. Harris Pink After Shave

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I went in a rose direction today. My Simpson Duke 3 made a good lather from Tim’s Soap Wood & Roses, a sandalwood-rose fragrance. The Baby Smooth is a soothing razor, though still extremely efficient and it easily delivered the desired BBS result, to which I applied a splash of D.R. Harris Pink After Shave, a rose-fragranced splash.

Written by LeisureGuy

8 April 2017 at 8:57 am

Posted in Shaving

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