The SF Chronicle has word clouds of the major speeches from the DNC convention.
Wondering how Biden has fared on the environmental front, I took a look at the League of Conservation Voters Environmental Scorecard.
During the 110th Congress, McCain did not vote on any of the 15 bills included in the LCV scoring, earning him a big fat zero. Obama and Biden had identical votes on the scored bills, with a series of non-votes pushing their 110th congress scores to only 67%. Boxer, my yardstick of Congressional environmentalism, was given a score of 80%.
|Name||110th Congress||109th Congress||Lifetime|
The scoring of the 110th congress set a high bar. Obama and Biden both had the same five black marks against their score:
- #8 Liquid Coal: This bill would was rejected 35-55 by Senate vote. The NO vote was the LCVpro-environment vote. On this bill, Senators Obama and Biden did not vote. Boxer voted no.
- #11 Water bill: Water bills are notoriously complex, oh-so political, and expensive. This bill wold have provided $23b to the Army Corps of Engineers to address its backlog of projects. The bill included a Commission to prioiritze projects and screen back pork barrel projects. The Yes vote was the LCV pro-environment vote. The bill was passed by the Senate, but was vetoed by W. The Senate overrode the veto, but the version that passed did not include the commission. Obama, Biden, and Boxer all voted no. The Boxer not vote makes me think that there was more going on in this bill than the LCV summary indicates.
- #12 Population: As many of you know, W’s administration has made it so that overseas organizations that provide women’s health services are not able to receive US funding if they provide abortion services (the use of U.S. foreign assistance to fund abortion has been prohibited since 1973). This bill included language allowing overseas organizations, otherwise ineligible for U.S. family planning funding, to continue receiving contraceptives from the U.S. government. The YES vote was the LCV pro-environment vote. The bill failed 40-54 by roll call vote.
- #14 Farm Bill Subsidy Caps: This bill included a measure that would address farm bill subsidies. Biden and Obama did not vote. The YES vote was the LCV pro-environment vote. The bill needed 60 votes to pass, yet received only 54 in a roll call vote. Boxer and Feinstein voted yes. Iowa politics probably dictate an out-of-the-fray approach to farm bill changes?
- #15 Farm Bill: Eminent Domain: This bill was rejected 37-58, with the NO vote being the LCV pro-environment vote. The bill would have barred governments from using eminent domain to acquire any land for public parks, recreation, open space or conservation. The ban would even apply to efforts to save lives or property (such as levees).
Naked Lady in the Shade
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Every day is ice cream and chocolate cake
And what you make of it, let me say
You get what you take from it, so be amazed
And never stop, never stop, never stop
You gotta be brave
‘Cause all this beauty
You might have to close your eyes
And slowly open wide
And watch the sun rise
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
A Shell suggestion in advertising that its Alberta Oil Sands projects was a sustainable energy source has been ruled out of order by the UKâ€™s Advertising Standards Authority, upholding a complaint lodged by WWF-UK.
The ASA ruled that the frequent use of the word “sustainable” was defined as “primarily in environmental terms”. Because Shell had not provided evidence that it was “effectively” managing carbon emissions from its oil sands projects “in order to limit climate change”, the ASA deemed that the advertisement was misleading. (from ENN)
The WWF has produced its own spin on things, with footage of the Oil Sands project, post ruling.
Peach Almond Scones, Canon Digital Rebel XTi
yesterday I was working from home, and from the couch I could smell these two peaches getting over-ripe. They were peaches we bought without tasting a sample, which is totally against my peach policy, for the very reason that sometimes peaches that cost $3.99/lb are just “eh” and not the “ohmygod i am so sure that god invented peaches for me” yum that a peach should be.
so ye ol’ mediocre peaches became super yummy scones, that ended up being kind of like a cross between a muffin and scone, in that scones are oft too dry and these had a bit ‘o moist.
I adapted my recipe from this one from allrecipes. And here’s what I did:
- 2 cups all-purpose (organic) flour
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup butter, chilled
- 2 ripe peaches, chopped
- 1/2 cup cream (you could use milk, but I had cream in the fridge)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 tbs maple sugar
- 1/2 cup chopped or shredded almonds
For the top:
- 2 tbs cream
- 2 tbs white sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (mmm, love cinnamon!)
- Measure flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, and salt into a large bowl. Cut in butter or margarine until crumbly. Add peaches and milk. Stir to form a soft dough.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently 8 to 10 times. Pat into two 6-inch circles. Place on greased baking sheet. Brush tops with milk, and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Score each into 6 pie-shaped wedges.
- Bake at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) for 15 minutes, or until browned and risen. Serve warm with butter (or ice cream!)
Ok, these rock so I must share. I made up the recipe, got lucky that I love the hatch brand sauce that Whole Foods sells, and stole the idea to soften the tortillas in cream from an allrecipes recipe. These take about 2 hours to prep, but they’re worth it!
- three small/medium zucchinis
- a couple of handfulls of crimini mushrooms
- 1 yellow onion
- a 12-pack of tortillas (pronouncing both “L’s”)
- 1 can of Hatch mild enchilada sauce (really, use Hatch)
- 12 oz. shredded jack/cheddar
- 1/2 pint of half & half
METHOD TO THE GOODNESS:
The approach here is to dice everything, so as much as possible will fit in the tortilla.
- Dice onions
- For carrots, peel and cut lengthwise, then cut lengthwise again, then dice into smallish pieces (see photo, eh)
- For zukes, cut of the ends, cut lengthwise, then cut lengthwise into thirds, then dice into the same sized pieces as the orange things
- For mushrooms, if they’re biggesh, cut into fourths, then halve those
- Sautee onions and carrots in just a couple tablespoons of olive oil. When those look about half way done, add zukes, then add shrooms about 4-5 minutes later.
- Stand in awe at the beauty of vegetables frying.
- Of course salt and pepper each layer of added veggie yum.
- With everything cooked, now it’s time to roll up your sleeves. Spread a little bit of the canned sauce into a casserole dish and use pyrex because it’s rad.
- Pour about 1/2 of your 1/2 and 1/2 into a frying pan and bring it almost to simmer, reduce to low. Using tongs, place one tortilla (again, pronounce both “L’s”) into the cream and play with it till it’s just soft. (If this is too fatty for you, you can soften the tortillas in some enchilada sauce instead. But it’s damn good with the cream.)
- Stuff each tortilla full of veggies (4 tbs?), and a little queso. Roll ‘em up, which should be easy because the cream makes them soft and sticky. Place in the pyrex. Stuff up the ends with filling to make sure they’re as full as can be. Repeat 11 times.
- Pour on the sauce, dump on the cheese.
- Place in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 15 mins, just to get the cheese melty ooey gooey.
- Then chow down. Of course, best with arroz y frijoles, but just fine as a stand alone stuff your face kinda meal.
I have to tell ya, the Olympics this year are just making me sad. The 1984 Olympics are the first that I remember. I was big into track and field back then, my little 9 year old self. The big news in the running world was whether or not Zola Budd could run for England (since South Africa was excluded from participation due to their political practice of apartheid, which is just a fancy word for extreme racial oppression of an indigenous minority by the white, landed class). Since Budd could bring home a medal, England had her on the team. Of course I was a huge Mary Decker fan, and was just crushed/confused when she tripped herself up on that little bare-footed Zola Budd.
I also remember the big hullabaloo about Russia not being there. My parents described it somehow as the USSR retaliating against us for dissing their 1980 games, because our two governments didn’t agree. It all made the whole thing seem somehow less grand, since not everyone showed up for the party. (Ironic, isn’t it, that 65 nations boycotted the 1980 Moscow Olympics in protest of the USSR’s invasion of Afghanistan.)
So politics dominated the first Olympics of my life (too young to remember) and the second. But then, Barcelona, Atlanta, Sydney, Athens….things pretty much went off without hitch, till now.
What is making me sad about the Beijing Olympics is the escalation of oppression being carried out by China in an attempt to keep order, to gain all the honor of the Olympics without addressing the dishonor of human rights violations. Read the rest of this entry