Fire all the teachers you want, but don’t fuck with the brew

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s War On Craft Beer. (Commie-pinko liberal website ThinkProgress)

Tucked into Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) much-discussed budget was a little-noticed provision to overhaul the state’s regulation of the beer industry. In a state long associated with beer, the provision will make it much more difficult for the Wisconsin’s burgeoning craft breweries to operate and expand their business by barring them from selling directly to restaurants and liquor stores, and preventing them from selling their own product onsite.

The new provision treats craft brewers — the 60 of whom make up just 5 percent of the beer market in Wisconsin — like corporate mega-brewers, forcing them to use a wholesale distributor to market their product. Under the provision, it would be illegal, for instance, for a small brewer located near a restaurant to walk next door to deliver a case of beer. They’ll have to hire a middle man to do it instead.

Chicken on the cheap

A vow for 2011: No cheap chicken. (Francis Lam @Salon)

I want to get back to that sense of value, of deliberate appreciation and enjoyment. (And, hopefully, it’s not going to happen from privation.) I’m going to learn about chicken. About how it’s produced, how it’s valued by the people who raise it and by the people who cook and serve it. I’m going to talk and share stories. I’m going to learn how chicken turned from something special to something common to something cheap.

Checkoff

What do checkoff programs do? (Food Politics)

…the USDA-sponsored program that collects a “tax” from dairy producers and uses the funds for generic promotion of dairy products.   What fills the folks running the checkoff with pride?  Among them,

  • Focusing on dairy health and wellness by helping to combat childhood obesity by encouraging schools to implement physical activity and good nutrition, including dairy.
  • Partnering with Domino’s Pizza to develop pizzas using up 40% more cheese than usual.  This worked so well that other pizza chains are doing the same thing.
  • Partnering with McDonald’s to launch McCafe specialty coffees that use up to 80 percent milk, and three new burgers with two slices of cheese per sandwich.  The result?  An additional 6 million pounds of cheese sold.
  • Creating reduced lactose milks in order to bring lapsed consumers back to milk.  The potential result?  An additional 2.5 to 5 billion pounds of milk each year.
  • Partnering with General Mills’ Yoplait to develop yogurt chip technology that requires 8 ounces of milk.

Socialism, or something.

Pho An Sandy

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I’ve been going to this place for nearly eight years, back when it was Pho Oregon “West” (despite being only a mile from the other Pho Oregon at NE 82nd Ave).

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The interior is spartan. You are automatically rationed the standard beverages.

It took a name change, and a format change, plus Extra MSG’s vetting of the assorted grilled meat platter, that got me thinking about anything but pho at this place.

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But why would I? I’ve long contended this location on NE Sandy, when it existed as a namesake to the NE 82nd version, had the better bowl of soup of the two doppelgängers. Since the obvious switch of ownership (and name, and staff, who are now dressed in lovely white uniforms) a few years back, I had no reason to really look past the first turn of the first menu page, the page where various permutations of pho are listed in perfunctory uniformity, the same list xeroxed and sampled by every pho joint from Chula Vista to Bellingham.

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The salad platter at Pho An Sandy, as it was back when it was Pho Oregon, is unparalleled in Portland. You will always get more than enough <em>ngo gai</em>, aka culantro aka sawtooth herb, no matter how lily white your skin or accent may be.

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The broth at Pho An Sandy I believe is one of our city’s most well balanced, though—as with any soup joint with high turnover that is constantly bootstrapping their stockpot—it can vary in the amount of spice, clarity, beefiness, sweetness, etc.

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The braised meats (chin, nam) are very consistent.

All in all, a very excellent pho, served quickly and without fuss. What more could you ask for? Well, Pho An Sandy also has a wide and varied menu that expands beyond the perfunctory soup offerings.

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Including this “dac biet” mixed grill platter, which features bo la lot (beef wrapped in betel leaves), grilled lemongrass pork (topped with sauteed shallots and chopped peanuts)…

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…grilled sugarcane shrimp…

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…and nem nuong (pork patty/sausage)

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As is Pho An Sandy’s MO, the salad platter that accompanied this impressive phalanx of deliciously grilled meats was generous, overflowing with spearmint, perilla, rau ram, cucumber, and lettuce.

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The general idea with Vietnamese meats is to roll your own (using the carefully constructed quenelles of rice noodles served with the meats as a starch foundation), thus you’re given a bowl of warm water and dried rice paper sheets…

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…and a bowl of nuoc cham dipping sauce (always add a dollop of the fresh chili garlic sauce on the table—you’ll be thankful).

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A delicious strip of nem nuong about in pre-rolled state.

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I can roll a fat blunt.

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Come to daddy, sugarcane shrimp.

Pho An Sandy on THE WORLD WIDE WEB
Portlandfood.org

Pho An Sandy

6236 Northeast Sandy Boulevard
Portland, OR 97213
(503) 281-2990

“Lettuce” entertain your proclivities for racist legislation

Will Immigration Law Doom America’s Lettuce?. (The Atlantic)

Seemingly permanent factories in Salinas are dismantled, packed into trailers, and reconstructed in The Desert in time for the first harvest, relying on veteran farmers to determine when the crop will be ready. Glimmering steel tanks used for washing greens in a chlorinated bath, giant driers that tumble the washed greens, and conveyors that gently move the fragile leaves along and into bags for retail are all portable. And with the crop and the factory go many undocumented workers.

But many of the harvesters who painstakingly kneel to cut each head of lettuce may choose not to work in Arizona this fall in the wake of its new, hostile immigration law, putting the produce industry in a potentially dangerous position.

It was marginally better than a trillion dollar war and thousands of dead people

Cheney: Telling Leahy to ‘f*ck’ himself was ‘sort of the best thing I ever did.’ (ThinkProgress)

MILLER: By the way, my, I also want to thank you, on the list of things I feel I should thank you for, almost kicking Patrick Leahy’s ass. Thank you very much.

CHENEY: Hehehehe.

MILLER: I love that move. One of my favorite stories. Muttering that.

CHENEY: You’d be surprised how many people liked that. That’s sort of the best thing I ever did

Now for old time’s sake…hey Dick Cheney: choke on Satan’s cock, you sniveling, wretched homunculus.

Do as I say, not as I do

Burrito chain’s Food, Inc. sponsorship generates off-screen drama over farm-worker issues. (Grist)

On July 13, Chipotle Mexican Grill announced it was throwing its marketing weight behind Food, Inc., a documentary that takes a highly critical look at the food system.

The fast-food chain would be sponsoring free screenings of the film at 32 theaters nationwide. It would also be distributing material promoting the film at all its restaurants—thus exposing people in search of a tasty burrito to a film quite different from the super-hero blockbusters that get promoted in typical fast-food chains. In addition, there’d be a Chipotle-related “bonus feature” in the film’s upcoming DVD.

The Chipotle/Food, Inc. tie-up caught my eye, because just a month before, a group of food writers and activists signed a letter to Chipotle CEO Steve Ells sharply criticizing the chain for its inaction on farm worker rights. The two signees who topped the list were Food, Inc. director Robert Kenner and co-producer Eric Schlosser, who is also prominently featured in the film. (I signed the letter as well.)

Go ask Alice

Alice in Wonderland – The gushing of waters is all Wet. (NRO via Food Dude)

In an interview shortly after the groundbreaking, Alice Waters — the organic-food world’s most active and least humorous spokesperson — commented on the new White House vegetable garden: “The most important thing that Michelle Obama did was to say that food comes from the land. . . . People have not known that. They think it comes from the grocery store.”

Oh, really — is that what people think? To whom, exactly, is Ms. Waters referring? Is she referring to the millions of people living in the grain-belt states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri — states one cannot drive across without spending hours staring at corn and soybean fields? The millions living along the Pacific Northwest coast and Alaska who are supported by the fishing industry? The fishermen of Gloucester, Mass.? Maybe she is talking about people living in Wisconsin — where dairy farms and cow pastures are as ubiquitous as art galleries in New York. Or perhaps she is referring to the thousands of people like me, who — in the suburbs of an East Coast metropolis — just throw a few Lowe’s-purchased plants in the ground, and hope for some rain to support a small backyard garden. Yes, Ms. Waters, even these “people” know that the grocery store doesn’t spontaneously produce food.

The National Review is dismissive of exponents of post-corporate farming? Color me surprised.

America’s robust agricultural sector has made food cheaper and more plentiful not just for our nation’s citizens, but for the entire world. Environmentalists may dismiss big, industrial farms, but it is these largely American innovations that are helping feed the world, and keeping costs down for coupon clippers like me.

This conclusion is simply emblematic of the National Review’s mindset of Corporatism = Good. No mention of the side effects—intense use of antibiotics and chemicals, the monoculture of commodity agriculture, the circumvention of the natural order—that inevitably result from the mass industrialization of our food chain.

—Julie Gunlock, a former congressional staffer, is now a stay-at-home mom.

How very convenient for her to excoriate Ms. Waters for high-minded condescension and to call her out for casting stones from an ivory tower. I mean, who amongst us doesn’t work from home penning op-eds for a magazine (that is subsidized by ideological largesse) after a career working on Capitol Hill?

I think the point Alice Waters is trying to make, however inartfully it may be portrayed, is that industrialized farming has made everything a commodity, and that is precisely the problem. Food shouldn’t be treated like fungible materials such as petroleum or copper. The mass scale industrialization championed by Ms. Gunlock in practice serves the master of cheap protein. Farm land is usurped by a mostly singular goal to provide calories for livestock in an unnatural setting that requires massive amounts of antibiotics to offset the disease and amelioration that results from taking animals out of existing ecosystems and fattening them in cities that are not unlike an animal husbandry version of “The Matrix”.

The factory farm didn’t exist 50 years ago. Government farm policy in the last half-century has effectively given corporations a massive assist in turning society into a socially engineered petri dish for misbegotten “good” intentions. The result is a strangely bizarre, impersonal and mechanically artificial reality where “efficiency” has trumped common sense.

Chemical addiction

First lady’s organic garden concerns chemical firms. (The Hill)

But MACA, which represents agribusinesses like Monsanto, Dow AgroSciences and DuPont Crop Protection, is rather less thrilled about the fact that no chemicals will be used to grow the crops. The group is worried that the decision may give consumers the wrong impression about conventionally grown food.

“We live in a very different world than that of our grandparents. Americans are juggling jobs with the needs of children and aging parents,” the letter states. “The time needed to tend a garden is not there for the majority of our citizens, certainly not a garden of sufficient productivity to supply much of a family’s year-round food needs.”

Obama’s chef

Obamas Bring Their Chicago Chef to the White House. (NY Times)

Sam Kass, a private chef for the Obamas while they were living in Chicago, is now working in the White House.

A spokeswoman for Michelle Obama, Katie McCormick Lelyveld, said Mr. Kass will not be the only cook preparing the family’s meals, but “he knows what they like and he happens to have a particular interest in healthy food and local food.” He will work alongside the White House executive chef, Cristeta Comerford, who was promoted to that job by the Bushes and is being kept on in that role by the Obamas.

Mr. Kass’s appointment signals changes at the White House that should please chefs like Alice Waters, who have lobbied the Obamas to set an example for the rest of the country by emphasizing food that is healthy, local and sustainable. It further suggests that a vegetable garden on the White House grounds, another of Ms. Waters’ dreams, could be on the horizon.

Mr. Kass, one of the new breed of chefs who are concerned about the environment and about poor eating habits in this country, has been quoted as saying people in his profession should take the lead in tackling public health issues. “Not only is there an unconscionable amount of people who remain hungry,” he told “In These Times” magazine last year, said, “there’s even a larger population, mostly poor, who are faced with obesity, diabetes and various other problems from overabundance.”

Surely another harbinger of a failed presidency barely one week old.

A dawning of a new era

As we usher out the current administration, we officially start the next era of bitching and moaning. But it’s worthwhile to revisit the prescience of America’s Finest News Source:

During the 40-minute speech, Bush also promised to bring an end to the severe war drought that plagued the nation under Clinton, assuring citizens that the U.S. will engage in at least one Gulf War-level armed conflict in the next four years.

“You better believe we’re going to mix it up with somebody at some point during my administration,” said Bush, who plans a 250 percent boost in military spending. “Unlike my predecessor, I am fully committed to putting soldiers in battle situations. Otherwise, what is the point of even having a military?”

On the economic side, Bush vowed to bring back economic stagnation by implementing substantial tax cuts, which would lead to a recession, which would necessitate a tax hike, which would lead to a drop in consumer spending, which would lead to layoffs, which would deepen the recession even further.

“Finally, the horrific misrule of the Democrats has been brought to a close,” House Majority Leader Dennis Hastert (R-IL) told reporters. “Under Bush, we can all look forward to military aggression, deregulation of dangerous, greedy industries, and the defunding of vital domestic social-service programs upon which millions depend. Mercifully, we can now say goodbye to the awful nightmare that was Clinton’s America.”

“For years, I tirelessly preached the message that Clinton must be stopped,” conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh said. “And yet, in 1996, the American public failed to heed my urgent warnings, re-electing Clinton despite the fact that the nation was prosperous and at peace under his regime. But now, thank God, that’s all done with. Once again, we will enjoy mounting debt, jingoism, nuclear paranoia, mass deficit, and a massive military build-up.”

An overwhelming 49.9 percent of Americans responded enthusiastically to the Bush speech.

“After eight years of relatively sane fiscal policy under the Democrats, we have reached a point where, just a few weeks ago, President Clinton said that the national debt could be paid off by as early as 2012,” Rahway, NJ, machinist and father of three Bud Crandall said. “That’s not the kind of world I want my children to grow up in.”

(Originally published: JANUARY 17, 2001).

Oh yeah, and one more, this time with feeling: Dick Cheney can suck the swollen and diseased hemorrhoid currently festering near the inner cavity of my crusty anus and rinse from a bottle of acidic mouthwash filled with my own caustic urine backwashed from a dozen lepers. See you in hell, you grimacing homunculus.

Save a fetus: buy a Cinnabun instead

Pro-Life Group up in Arms over Krispy Kreme’s Abortion Doughnuts. (Miami New Times)

Krispy Kreme, being the genial purveyor of glazed goodness that it is, decided to get in on the Obama inauguration craze and is offering one free doughnut to every costumer on January 20, Inauguration day, and released this seemingly innocuous press release:

“Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc. (NYSE: KKD) is honoring American’s sense of pride and freedom of choice on Inauguration Day, by offering a free doughnut of choice to every customer on this historic day, Jan. 20. By doing so, participating Krispy Kreme stores nationwide are making an oath to tasty goodies — just another reminder of how oh-so-sweet ‘free’ can be.”

Well, The American Life League noticed the liberal use of the word choice and decided to blast the chain bakery for producing abortion doughnuts.

“The unfortunate reality of a post-Roe v. Wade America is that ‘choice’ is synonymous with abortion access, and celebration of ‘freedom of choice’ is a tacit endorsement of abortion rights on demand,” the group’s president, Judie Brown said in a statement.

Love me

Cheney: I’m actually ‘lovable. (Politico)

Cheney conceded in an interview with CBS radio that he sometimes expresses himself “rather forcefully toward some of my compatriots, like Pat Leahy from Vermont” but dismissed as a caricature the idea that he is a “Darth Vader-type personality.”

“I think all of that’s been pretty dramatically overdone,” the vice president said. “I’m actually a warm, lovable sort.”

You’ll agree if you’re the sort that finds rectum tumors lovable.

Do as we say

Foodies Make a Pitch to Obama (Diner’s Journal, NYT)

The fact that a Secretary of Agriculture has yet to be named has some chefs, farmers and animal welfare advocates wondering whether food and farming have been shoved to the Obama D team.

To help move the process along, nearly 90 notable figures in the world of sustainable agriculture and food sent a letter to the Obama transition team earlier this week offering their six top picks for what they called “the sustainable choice for the next U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.”

Finally

Nation Finally Shitty Enough To Make Social Progress. (The Onion)

Although polls going into the final weeks of October showed Sen. Obama in the lead, it remained unclear whether the failing economy, dilapidated housing market, crumbling national infrastructure, health care crisis, energy crisis, and five-year-long disastrous war in Iraq had made the nation crappy enough to rise above 300 years of racial prejudice and make lasting change.

Amen.

Government cheese

RNC shells out $150K for Palin fashion. (Politico)

“With all of the important issues facing the country right now, it’s remarkable that we’re spending time talking about pantsuits and blouses,” said spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt. “It was always the intent that the clothing go to a charitable purpose after the campaign.”

Just like that Seinfeld episode where the homeless were given puffy shirts.

The RNC: Clothing America’s Needy

I need to say something about Dick Cheney in order to add categorical significance to this post. Done.

Somebody explain this to me

How is Sarah Palin continually touted by the McCain campaign (and in the press, for that matter) as being an “expert” in energy? I mean, has she even completed a relevant online course from the University of Phoenix? Attended a symposium?

From what I can gather (~20 seconds of the Google search engine), her main qualifications are:

a) Her husband worked as an oil field production supervisor.
b) She wants to open up Alaska and drill it.

That’s like claiming I’m a gynecologist because I want to explore vagina and my brother is the doorman at a strip club.

Department of Pre-Crime

Dozens Detained Ahead of Convention. (NY Times)

On the weekend before the Republican National Convention, law enforcement agencies detained dozens of people and issued a series of search warrants aimed at groups believed to be organizing demonstrations while delegates and Republican officials are in town.

The R.N.C. Welcoming Committee, a group that has said it wants to block roads during the convention, issued a statement Friday night that was read aloud outside the meeting place by a woman who identified herself as Sarah Coffey.

Ms. Coffey said that the officers, citing fire violations as the reason for their visit, “detained over 50 people in an attempt to pre-empt planned protests.

The sheriff’s department continued the sweeps on Saturday morning, executing warrants for three houses in Minneapolis and two in St. Paul, detaining more than 50 people and arresting 4.

Speechless.

What does Cokie Roberts have against Don Ho?

Cokie: Hawaii Too Foreign For Obama. (TPM)

This is the sort of mind-numbingly banal observation that passes for political analysis these days. Tut-tutting over the timing of Barack Obama’s family vacation, Cokie Roberts yesterday on ABC’s This Week added that Hawaii was not an appropriate destination: too foreign and too exotic. “I know Hawaii is a state, but …” Roberts declared, while insisting Obama vacation in some place like Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Perhaps Cokie thinks the presumptive Democratic nominee should take a page from Cheney and vacation at his estate in Wyoming, where the Vice President shoots endangered fauna in between fellatio from a denture-less Lynne and bites from the live flesh of shaved toy poodles.

Party of Stupid

Know-Nothing Politics. (Paul Krugman Editorial @NY Times)

And the debate on energy policy has helped me find the words for something I’ve been thinking about for a while. Republicans, once hailed as the “party of ideas,” have become the party of stupid.

Now, I don’t mean that G.O.P. politicians are, on average, any dumber than their Democratic counterparts. And I certainly don’t mean to question the often frightening smarts of Republican political operatives.

What I mean, instead, is that know-nothingism — the insistence that there are simple, brute-force, instant-gratification answers to every problem, and that there’s something effeminate and weak about anyone who suggests otherwise — has become the core of Republican policy and political strategy. The party’s de facto slogan has become: “Real men don’t think things through.”

Krugman does succinctly encapsulate the modern Republican movement. But he forgot one detail: they are also the party of filching, cum-sucking gutter toads like Dick Cheney, whose predilections for the Dirty Sanchez and wilted tossed salads keeps Lynne busy during the weekends.

Slim Shady

Too Fit to Be President (Wall Street Journal)

But in a nation in which 66% of the voting-age population is overweight and 32% is obese, could Sen. Obama’s skinniness be a liability? Despite his visits to waffle houses, ice-cream parlors and greasy-spoon diners around the country, his slim physique just might have some Americans wondering whether he is truly like them.

The candidate has been criticized by opponents for appearing elitist or out of touch with average Americans. A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll conducted in July shows Sen. Obama still lags behind Republican John McCain among white men and suburban women who say they can’t relate to his background or perceived values.

“He’s too new … and he needs to put some meat on his bones,” says Diana Koenig, 42, a housewife in Corpus Christi, Texas, who says she voted for Sen. Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary.

“I won’t vote for any beanpole guy,” another Clinton supporter wrote last week on a Yahoo politics message board.

The inanity, it burns. It burns brighter and hotter than Dick Cheney’s micturated golden shower, which has singed Lynne’s cheek on many occasions.

And Jimi Hendrix would have supported Bob Barr

“Somebody’s got to walk the line in the country. They’ve got to walk it unapologetically,” he said. “And I’m sure Johnnny Cash would have been a John McCain supporter if he was still around.”

A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: Every politically categorized post for the remainder of the current administration will bear some passing reference to Dick Cheney and the fucking of billy goats or the sucking of a warted, flaccid cock or some variation therein, if only to enumerate the amount of entries in the category “Fuck You Dick Cheney”. The software architects at WordPress I am sure will be proud that their efforts to gift the end user such taxonomic prowess have become so transformative.

Vets: Go Cheney yourself

Injured vets tell pull Dick Cheney invitation over security demands. (NY Daily News)

When Cheney spoke to the group in 2004, his handlers imposed the same stringent security lockdown, upsetting members, officials said.

Many of the vets are elderly and left pieces of themselves on foreign battlefields since World War II, and others were crippled by recent service in Iraq and Afghanistan. For health reasons, many can’t be stuck in a room for hours.

“It was a huge imposition on our delegates,” added David Autry, another Disabled American Veterans official.

Autry said vets would’ve had to get up “at Oh-dark-30 and try to get breakfast and showered and get their prosthetics on.”

Once inside, they “could not leave the meeting room, and the bathrooms are outside,” he said.

Manhattan dog walkers: watch your back

City and State Brace for Drop in Wall Street Pay. (NY Times)

A review of the latest statements from the largest financial companies based in the city shows that they intend to hand out about $18 billion less in pay and benefits in 2008 than in 2007. The cutting of payrolls is well under way, but the full effect will not be felt until the year’s end, when bonuses for employees based in New York could shrink by $10 billion or more, according to city officials and compensation experts.

“One of the things that highly compensated people do is they spend money,” Mr. Bleiwas said. “So when Wall Street suffers, the pain ripples through the rest of the economy.”

The impending decrease in the personal income of so many New York-area residents, Mr. Bleiwas said, “is a significant reduction which will affect not only state and city coffers but also have a direct impact on other sectors.” He said the jobs on Wall Street pay so well that on average, each one spawns two jobs in other fields in the city and a third in the surrounding region.

California bans trans fats

California becomes first state to ban trans fats. (IHT)

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California signed a bill banning trans fats in restaurant food, making California the first U.S. state to ban the use of the cooking oils linked to artery-clogging cholesterol.

The new law, modeled after a ban implemented in New York City, prohibits the use of partially hydrogenated oils, which contain trans fats, by the state’s 87,000 restaurants beginning in 2010 and in all baked goods sold in the state starting in 2011.

Now if they could only also ban Jingle All the Way.

Money well spent

AP: Food industry bitten by its lobbying success (AP/Yahoo! News)

One of the worst outbreaks of foodborne illness in the U.S. is teaching the food industry the truth of the adage, “Be careful what you wish for because you might get it.”

The industry pressured the Bush administration years ago to limit the paperwork companies would have to keep to help U.S. health investigators quickly trace produce that sickens consumers, according to interviews and government reports reviewed by The Associated Press.

The White House also killed a plan to require the industry to maintain electronic tracking records that could be reviewed easily during a crisis to search for an outbreak’s source. Companies complained the proposals were too burdensome and costly, and warned they could disrupt the availability of consumers’ favorite foods.

The apparent but unintended consequences of the lobbying success: a paper record-keeping system that has slowed investigators, with estimated business losses of $250 million. So far, nearly 1,300 people in 43 states, the District of Columbia and Canada have been sickened by salmonella since April.

Witte House beer

McCain could have a conflict brewing. (LA Times)

Hensley & Co., one of the nation’s major beer wholesalers, has brought the family of Cindy McCain wealth, prestige and influence in Phoenix, but it could also create conflicts for her husband, Sen. John McCain, if he is elected president in November.

Hensley, founded by Cindy McCain’s late father, holds federal and state licenses to distribute beer and lobbies regulatory agencies on alcohol issues that involve public health and safety.

The company has opposed such groups as Mothers Against Drunk Driving in fighting proposed federal rules requiring alcohol content information on every package of beer, wine and liquor

Its executives, including John McCain’s son Andrew, have written at least 10 letters in recent years to the Treasury Department, have contributed tens of thousands of dollars to a beer industry political action committee, and hold a seat on the board of the politically powerful National Beer Wholesalers Assn.

Growth industry

Hate Groups’ Newest Target. (Washington Post)

“I haven’t seen this much anger in a long, long time,” said Billy Roper, a 36-year-old who runs a group called White Revolution in Russellville, Ark. “Nothing has awakened normally complacent white Americans more than the prospect of America having an overtly nonwhite president.”

“What you try not to think about is that maybe if Obama wins, it will create a very demoralizing effect,” Doggett said. “Maybe people see him in office, and it’s like: ‘That’s it. It’s just too late. Look at what’s happened now. We’ve endured all these defeats, and we’ve still got a multicultural society.’ And then there’s just no future for our viewpoint.”

Even the talking cretins at FOX News were aghast

Man, which campaign operative had the great idea to have McCain speak an hour before Obama’s nomination clinching speech? That guy should be forced to carry Cookie McCain’s Gucci handbags the rest of the general election.

It was like watching a tree stump speak in front of a drunken Young Americans for Freedom convention. Contrasted side-by-side with Obama’s overall tone, the difference couldn’t be more stark. Like otoro and a fucking fried baloney sandwich.

U.S. Senate: Democratic endorsement forthcoming

Tomorrow is primary election day here in Oregon. Well, if you’re like most people, you’ve already voted as you received your ballot in the mail weeks ago. Me? I like to wait out the entire campaign cycle before dropping my ballot at a drop box location—which for me this year is the Capitol Hill Library. (This library incidentally currently has a “Graphic Novel” section featuring three compendiums of Peter Bagge’s Hate, as well as an Arcade Fire album, and noise canceling earphones joined to the computers that cause my daughter to yell “I want a new one!” at the top or her lungs because she’s unable to modulate her own pitch).

One of my reasons behind waiting until the last minute, other than sheer laziness1, is so I can be sufficiently assaulted by the full ad cycles from each candidate. Take, for instance, the Democratic primary for the opportunity to take on Gordon Smith (R-Pendleton) for the right to represent Oregon in the U.S. Senate.

To this point I had been on the fence. The two candidates are Jeff Merkley, who is currently the speaker of the Oregon House, and firebrand lawyer Steve Novick. Both seem like perfectly fine candidates. Merkley seems the more conventional candidate, with a fine resume of legislative service at the state level, while Novick has made a name for himself as an environmental lawyer who took on big pollution.

Gordon Smith, the two-term incumbent that one of these Democratic upstarts hopes to unseat, is your standard-issue, right-wing rubber stamper. However, his well-coiffed affability and perceived centrist demeanor gives him a bit of crossover appeal and has allowed him to serve two terms in the U.S. Senate representing what is ostensibly seen as a Democratic state. Part of his appeal, as you can clearly see below…

…is due in large part to his hair. Look at that lid. You’d be hard pressed to find another elder statesman in either chamber of the U.S. Congress with such marvelous hair (this includes the three recent Democratic House special election winners). One can easily get lost in his wavy browns. It is mesmerizing, and literally exudes gravitas. Smith is like the Samson of American politics; if you were to shave his head, he would literally cease to be a politician.

With this in mind, Merkley would appear as the safer bet, and conventional wisdom would decree that he matches up in the general with Gordon Smith. If you compare the photos of Merkley and Novick on their websites you’ll see Merkley’s smile featured prominently, a blissful grin that says “life is good, I’m a good person, I am generally satisfied with my life and my place in the world.” Novick’s smirk, on the other hand, says “I know you’re fucking your secretary.”

And, if you don’t already know, Novick is also a 4’9″ impish troll. And he has no left hand. Instead, he has a steel hook.

However, Novick is so resourceful that he makes all of this work to his advantage. You can’t help but like the guy and his non-conformist gumption. He has a mean streak, and he’s shown he’s not afraid to “stick it to the man”, whomever he or she may be or whatever power vacuum is being currently usurped.

But in recent weeks, up until tonight, the one thing that has swung the pendulum to Novick’s side has been television advertising. Not Novick’s, but Merkley’s2.

Exhibit A: one Merkley ad, which ran quite frequently, took Novick to task for trashing fellow Democrats. The irony was lost on Merkley, apparently, but this is politics. However, the quotes attributed to Novick were ripped from his off-the-cuff blog posts, and were taken largely out of context. This kinda pissed me off. I mean, if somebody took direct quotes from this blog, such as Rush Limbaugh “…is a fat, disgusting drug addict. He is a hypocrite, an unfortunate scion of pent up rage, unrequited hatred, and inordinate hubris…He is a wheezing, decrepit, decaying piece of rotting maggot filth…” or that Sandra Lee “…must either a) be fucking some exec at the Food Network or b) have a photo of the same exec in bed with a dead hooker or a live boy…” or simply, “Fuck you, Dick Cheney”, and attributed them directly to me, they’d be a) somewhat disingenuous, and b) entirely accurate.

Fair enough, but then tonight I saw another ad with Merkley and his daughter. Pimping your daughter out is one thing, however, I really don’t care about that (she’s only 11 or something and for all I know her dad is threatening to delete her MySpace profile), but the real crime was the ad used the font Comic Sans MS.

And for that reason, the official Guilty Carnivore Endorsement for Democrat for U.S. Senate goes to Mr. Steve Novick. Sir, now that you will ride my ringing endorsement to a primary victory, may I suggest your first course of action once the general campaign commences is to do something, anything, to demonize Gordon Smith’s hair. Perhaps a whisper campaign, that when it was a young buzzcut it was educated in a madrassa, or that it hangs out in the airport restroom.

1A bonus for not mailing your ballot early during a hotly contested presidential primary, I’ve discovered for the first time ever, is that each candidate will call you often. Just yesterday, the a campaign called me to ask if they could count on my vote for Hillary Clinton, who apparently is still in the race.

With all the calls, you start to feel good about yourself, like you’re a hot commodity, with many courters. Then it gets kinda weird and feels more like stalking, which in itself is not unwelcome, either.

2It should be noted that Gordon Smith himself is on the air, as well, but with two potential opposing candidates running neck-in-neck, the gist of his commercials has been “One of these guys is a total dick.”

======POST-ELECTION UPDATE======

…and Steve Novick…lost. But, in the sage words of one Bret Michaels, every rose has its thorn: the Republican candidate for the open U.S. congressional seat in my district will be the abortionist who threw cocaine-fueled sex parties on his yacht (allegedly). Happy day!

Dick Cheney: whale sashimi fan?

Cheney’s Office: (Do Not) Save The Whales. (TPMMuckraker)

The latest contribution to good government from Vice President Dick Cheney: preventing the implementation of rules to protect the endangered right whale.

This comes from a letter House sleuth Henry Waxman (D-CA) sent to the White House today, requesting that the administration quit delaying the rules, which would restrict the speed of ships near American ports. Faster moving ships hit the whales, causing injury or death, scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say.