Sunday, May 5, 2019
No time to work on this, as I spent Sunday trying to break in a new
Mexican cookbook. Much of Saturday too, and more of Friday -- not that
I had even started then. The one story that dominated the interest of
the liberal media was Attorney General William Barr's Senate testimony
and his failure to appear before the House. I was tempted to tweet when
I looked at
Talking Points Memo and
they had devoted their entire front page to Barr (aside from one bit
on the implosion of Stephen Moore's Fed nomination).
Actually, this should have been a banner week for the media to pick
apart Trump's increasingly manic and deranged foreign policy. The US
hasn't been taken such a nakedly imperial stance toward Latin America
since FDR traded in his cousin's penchant for Gunboat Diplomacy for
the sunny promise of a Good Neighbor Policy. I didn't link to anything
below on Trump's phone call to Putin, mostly because no one seems to
know enough about it to write intelligently. But there were also fairly
major stories that could have been reported about Korea, China, Iran,
Egypt, Turkey, Yemen, and Israel/Palestine (where Netanyahu celebrated
his election victory by launching the heaviest assault on Gaza since
Some scattered links this week:
Alexia Fernández Campbell:
Jason Del Ray:
The making of Amazon Prime, the internet's most successful and devastating
Venezuela's Guaido 'consering asking US to invade. That'll really
convince the Venezuelan people he has their best interests at heart.
Trump wants to block Deutsche Bank from sharing his financial records.
Matt Gertz/Rob Savillo:
Major media outlets' Twitter accounts amplify false Trump claims on average
19 times a day.
Under Trump, the language we use to create political reality is
One of the most frightening things I've witnessed in recent months was
a very polite conversation in a well-lit room in the Ronald Reagan
Building, in Washington, D.C., on Monday. The director of policy
planning at the State Department, Kiron Skinner, was interviewed
onstage by a woman who used to hold her job: Anne-Marie Slaughter,
who is now the head of the New America Foundation (where I am a
fellow this year). . . .
I have heard talk like this before, in Russia. A government official
once told me that he "carried out emanations": not policies, laws, or
even orders but signals akin to what Skinner called "hunches and
instincts." It's what officials do in countries that are led by a
combination of ignorance and corruption.
David A Graham:
Why Stephen Moore's Fed bid failed.
Bill McKibben has been sounding the climate alarm for decades. Here's his
best advice. Interview with McKibben, whose new book is Falter:
Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?.
All of the impeachable offenses: "Focusing on the Mueller report
alone risks leaving out the obvious.
Trump has nominated Kelly Craft to be the next UN ambassador. Here's who
Trump's abortion lies are going to get somebody killed.
Tennessee passed a law that could make it harder to register voters.
Once again, 'NYT' distorts the news, dishonestly making Gazans the
aggressor and Israel the victim.
John Kelly joines board of company that detains migrant children.
Joshua Partlow/David A Fahrenthold:
At Trump golf course, undocumented employees said they were sometimes told
to work extra hours without pay.
Susan E Rice:
The real Trump foreign policy: stoking the GOP base: "Why else would
he pursue so many policies in Latin America that do not serve the national
interest?" What about the economic interests of his donors? Or their more
general hatred of popular rule (aka democracy)?
Charlie Savage/Eric Schmitt/Maggie Haberman:
Trump pushes to designate Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group. Paul
Woodward, in linking to this, also linked to a background piece from Jan.
27, 2017: William McCants/Benjamin Wittes:
Should the Muslim Brotherhood be designated a terrorist organization?
The dangerous ideas of Bill Barr: "The attorney general's theory of
executive power places presidents above the law."
The left needs to stop crushing on the generals. I'd respond that the
left I know doesn't, but when you write for American Conservative
your perspective might be distorted enough to include some "leftists" I
For the record, tonight's Cinco de Mayo menu, nearly all from The
Best Mexican Recipes (America's Test Kitchen):
- Chicken adobo
- Braised short ribs with peppers and onion
- Cheese enchiladas
- Classic Mexican rice
- Skillet street corn
- Restaurant-style black beans
- Shrimp and lime ceviche
- Mango, jicama, and orange salad
- Cherry tomato and avocado salad
- Key lime pie
- Duce de leche cheesecake
I generally cut the hot peppers back by 50%. I made the beef and the
desserts the night before. Started around noon, aiming at 6pm dinner,
but it wound up closer to 7pm, putting a couple guests to work. Used a
gluten-free shell for the key lime pie, but made cheesecake crust from
scratch, using a box of caramel and sea salt cookies plus some graham
crackers. Used store-bought yellow corn tortillas, which were the weak
link in the enchiladas (otherwise pretty great). Ten people, so the
table was pretty crowded. Kitchen was a colossal mess, but got it
straightened out by bedtime.
I've never been a big fan of Mexican food, but figured I should give
it a try, especially given access to specialty grocers here. But when
I bought my first Mexican cookbook, I found it impenetrable. This one
is intentionally simplified, which helped get me started. This cookbook
didn't have any desserts, so I scrounged around the web, not finding
much that interested me. (I've made flan and rice pudding many times
before, but didn't want to do them here. And while I'm partial to cake,
tres leches isn't a favorite.) On the other hand, lime figures large
in the meal, and I had the pie shell on the shelf. The cheesecake was
a second thought, and turned out to be a nice complement.