Late start.

Sorry I’m late today — I had to leave early, and here I sit, in the journalism library at Wayne State, waiting for my little lambs to come see me. Been here one hour. One student. They must all be at the pro-Libyan democracy demonstration, going on as we speak.)

Which means time to blog a bit.

Is it possible for me to love Mark Bittman more? Every week, a new pleasant surprise. Today’s: How to Make Oatmeal…Wrong. It’s about McDonald’s efforts at health-washing their breakfast menu:

The oatmeal and McDonald’s story broke late last year, when Mickey D’s, in its ongoing effort to tell us that it’s offering “a selection of balanced choices” (and to keep in step with arch-rival Starbucks) began to sell the cereal. Yet in typical McDonald’s fashion, the company is doing everything it can to turn oatmeal into yet another bad choice. (Not only that, they’ve made it more expensive than a double-cheeseburger: $2.38 per serving in New York.) “Cream” (which contains seven ingredients, two of them actual dairy) is automatically added; brown sugar is ostensibly optional, but it’s also added routinely unless a customer specifically requests otherwise. There are also diced apples, dried cranberries and raisins, the least processed of the ingredients (even the oatmeal contains seven ingredients, including “natural flavor”).

A more accurate description than “100% natural whole-grain oats,” “plump raisins,” “sweet cranberries” and “crisp fresh apples” would be “oats, sugar, sweetened dried fruit, cream and 11 weird ingredients you would never keep in your kitchen.”

It so happens I had oatmeal for breakfast today. I added two tablespoons of brown sugar and a handful of dried cherries. I guess that leaves out the 11 weird ingredients, but it made for a tasty breakfast. I feel a little bad for Mickey D’s, as they’ve gradually become my ubiquitous fast-food joint of choice. (My fast-food weaknesses are sorted into ubiquitous and special-occasion choices. Ubiquitous are the ones that are on every other corner. Special occasion is Steak & Shake.) I’ve come to far prefer it over Wendy’s, certainly. If I don’t have time to eat and am in sight of the golden arches, I get a crispy-chicken snack wrap, basically a single fried chicken finger wrapped in a tortilla with a little lettuce, cheese and ranch dressing, 340 calories that, along with a Diet Coke, suits me just fine. Sometimes I add a small order of fries, and call it lunch. What’s appalling to me is that it’s marketed as a snack in the first place. With a small fries, it’s knocking on the door of 600 calories, which is a perfectly fine lunch for anyone trying to stay under 2,000 for the day, which includes most people (or should). McDonald’s seems to be trying to make their menu a little less burger-centric, and I appreciate it.

Still, $2.38 for a bowl of oatmeal is highway robbery; I don’t think my beloved snack wrap is that much. One of the things Bittman touched on in his first column was a need to teach cooking skills to generations of Americans who’ve lost them along the way. Bittman is absolutely right that if you think you don’t have the time or skills to prepare oatmeal for yourself in the morning, you are seriously not understanding the nature of oatmeal, and McDonald’s will profit on your ignorance. Profit handsomely. Charging $2.38 for oatmeal and a little diced dried fruit is like charging $20 for a day’s worth of air.

What did you have for breakfast? Although now I’m thinking lunch.

Something found en route to looking up something else, and I’m sensitive to those of you who have topped out with $P news, because this is genuinely amusing and maybe interesting: Sarah Palin has created a sock puppet on Facebook to “like” herself. “Lou Sarah,” no photo available, confines his/her Facebook activity to commenting favorably upon, and otherwise boost, Sarah Palin’s Facebook presence. As a Wonkette commenter said, “Will the circle jerk remain unbroken?”

Newt Gingrich believes in a forgiving God. He’d better.

Finally: Rahm Emanuel, now hizzoner. Let the tired Chicago corruption jokes fly.

Posted at 12:22 pm in Current events |

57 responses to “Late start.”

  1. beb said on February 23, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    Chicago union busting begins in five…four…three…

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  2. Mark P. said on February 23, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    I’m sure Newt would say that he’s not perfect, just forgiven. Over and over. But what many people don’t understand is that for the right, religion is a servant. It’s twisted every which way but truth to support whatever the right wants to do. Following every little tenet is for the flock and the ignorant. Even believing is just for the faceless crowds they rely on for money and votes.

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  3. Dexter said on February 23, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Looking forward to my first Sox game in a couple months, and seeing the Chicago Skyway sign, WELCOME TO CHICAGO Rahm Emanuel , Mayor. I remember every sign change since Richard J. Daley. Bilandic, Byrne, Washington,Sawyer, Richard M.Daley,and now…there was also a temporary or interim mayor for a week or so after Harold Washington died…ah hell…I gotta look it up…(back)–it was David Orr.
    I had two coupons for the McD’s oatmeal. It was really good, but I won’t pay for it when oatmeal is so damn cheap and so easy to make.
    I am a big fan of the McD’s biscuits & gravy. I don’t like to stuff myself with double portions or anything, but they down-sized the biscuits to use less gravy, I guess. The cost is $2.50 and you will get a tiny biscuit with about three tablespoons of gravy on them. I sort of quit going there.
    Today I made a tray of biscuits out of a cardboard pop-open can and made gravy out of an envelope, and added a couple chopped-up SmokyLinks…threw a layer of shredded cheddar on the hot split-open biscuits and dumped the gravy on top. I had never added the cheddar cheese before…it was a big hit.
    The trouble is there are just two of us now that the grandson went back to Las Vegas to live with his mom again. And biscuits and gravy just does not keep.
    And on the food topic, I am elated to write that I have found a little Mexican joint that makes excellent (meaning edible) re-fried beans. They are not the lard balls you come to expect at times; these are great, served with nice cups of salsa and shredded cheese on the side.

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  4. LAMary said on February 23, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    I had oatmeal as well. I buy the drum of oats at Trader Joe’s and I add a little salt, some water and microwave it. Sometimes I add golden raisins, sometimes cut up apple, today, nothing. I feel broke right now and eating plain oatmeal enhanced the mental self flagellation.

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  5. jcburns said on February 23, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    I was surprised how good the new Wendy’s fries are. We stopped off I-75 in Tennessee, and they handed them to us seconds out of the fryer, and, wow, nice, simple. I’ve seen comments elsewhere that say that they’re often “too salty” (they are, after all, marketed as ‘with sea salt’), but it’s possible the nice wendy’s-er undersalted them slightly–they were as good as In and Out Burger, and that’s saying something. Oh, I’m sorry, did you say oatmeal? I have a coupon for a free Starbucks oatmeal…haven’t used it yet.

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  6. Julie Robinson said on February 23, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Yogurt with granola. Delicious, and took less time to prepare and eat than a run through the drive-up window.

    God may forgive Newt but for conservatives, two ex-wives may be one too many. Especially considering the circumstances. It will not play well among my ultra conservative and religious family members in Iowa.

    The Indiana governor, not-my-man-Mitch Daniels, has finally earned my admiration for announcing he will not send state troopers after Democratic legislators who have left the state to kill a right-to-work-bill. “I trust that people’s consciences will bring them back to work. I choose to believe our friends in the minority, having made their point, will come back and do their duty,” said Daniels. Finally, a bit of common sense.

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  7. alex said on February 23, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    I still can’t shake that image of Gingrich’s wife that was linked here a while back. Shit, even I’d forgive him if he fucked around.

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  8. Sue said on February 23, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    Did any of you see Colbert last night? I haven’t laughed so hard since this whole thing started. Although I must say his “reasonable Wisconsin accent” was way more Minnesota Scandihoovian or Michigan Yooper than Wisconsin. The boots comment was spot on, though.

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  9. Kim said on February 23, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Fresh fruit, none of it in season in North America and a toasted English muffin with unsalted butter. Two cups of coffee, then a skinny latte chaser from the local independent. Yum.

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  10. Rana said on February 23, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    A friend of mine says the Starbucks oatmeal is good, for what that’s worth.

    I have sympathy for those who feel that oatmeal is too much work. Compared to pouring cereal from a box and adding milk to it, it is – unless you go for the instant powder oatmeal. I have to admit that, although I like oatmeal, I’m usually too stupid and distractable in the morning to stand by the stove for the required 20 minutes to cook the Irish cut oats I prefer. I tried to over-night it in the slow cooker once, and that was a gluey mess. (Any suggestions?)

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  11. paddyo' said on February 23, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    An in-the-bowl mix of not-very-sugary cold cereals (a practice since childhood)and skim milk, Oroweat double-fiber English muffin (toasted, light margarine) and my bar-none favorite breakfast item of winter, a Rio Star Texas ruby red grapefruit. A little later, a grande Cafe Americano-no-room-for-cream at a coffeehouse on the vanpool route to work.
    Oatmeal, I save for the weekend — cooked on the stove with half water and half skim milk, then filled with lots of dried fruit (apricots, dates, cherries, currants) and topped with cinnamon.
    Can you tell breakfast is my favorite meal?!
    And as for McD’s oatmeal: I can’t imagine they would make it any other way but bad.

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  12. paddyo' said on February 23, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    P.S., Rana — I don’t buy much from Whole Paycheck, er, uh, Whole Foods, but I do get oatmeal there, the bulk stuff in the big drum. It only takes 5-10 minutes’ cooking, is inexpensive (I think maybe $1.79 a pound or something) and it’s delicious. OK, not Irish steel-cut-oats delicious, but pretty close for a fraction of the time.

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  13. coozledad said on February 23, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    I had cheese grits and fried eggs this morning. My wife has discovered that oatmeal is pretty good with spinach sauteed in olive oil, and some grated Parmesan.
    Scott Walker is too busy fawning over himself to think. When it’s this easy to get the idiots to reveal their motives, you know the only qualification to be a Republican politician is to be a company man.

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  14. Bitter Scribe said on February 23, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    The great thing about oatmeal is it consists of one ingredient: rolled oats. That’s it. I like mine with half water, half milk, and drizzled with a little honey.

    Regular oatmeal is so easy to make that I don’t understand why instant even exists. You boil the stuff for five minutes, stirring occasionally. What’s hard about that?

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  15. garmoore2 said on February 23, 2011 at 2:08 pm


    If you have a pressure cooker, you can cook up steel cut oats in about 5 minutes excluding the warmup time (maybe another 3-5 minutes). The oats/water ratio is about 1/3 to 1/4. The best thing about doing it this way is that there’s no stirring until the oats are done. Also, you could try the microwave. It takes about 8-10 minutes, with only one stir halfway through. Either way works fine.

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  16. bobolink said on February 23, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    PaddyO’ I love grapefruit and grapefruit juice too. Makes me feel virtuous, too. However, it cancels out Lipitor, so no more for me. This getting old body breakdown stinks, but is better than the alternative.

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  17. Scout said on February 23, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    Funny you should ask. I am sitting at my desk at work enjoying a bowl of Coach’s Oats oatmeal that I just nuked in the Company microwave, liberally accented with brown sugar, craisins and toasted almond slivers. Dee-lish.

    On edit – Just heard this breaking news:

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  18. Judybusy said on February 23, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    I only occasionally have oatmeal because I add half and half, brown sugar and a very thin slice of butter on top, ending with a dash of salt. Delicious, but probably not very healthy.

    For weekday breakfasts I have granola with yogurt (this week, with Greek-style, since it was on sale) and apples. For much of the fall, I added pomegranate seeds until the season ended. Now that was heavenly! In late summer, peaches, nectarines, and blueberries are the fruits of choice. Given our recent snowfall of 12-15″, those fruits seem very far away indeed!

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  19. Randy said on February 23, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    I can’t resist a Burger King Whopper. I think it goes back to my university days when I would pick one up at 2:00am after too much five cent draft at the bar. It seemed to take the edge off the next day’s hangover.

    The Starbucks oatmeal is even more expensive. It looks appetizing, but I can’t buy it at that price.

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  20. Jeff Borden said on February 23, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    I’d have preferred a runoff between Rahm and Gery Chico myself, but what’s done is done. It will be interesting to see how he conducts himself. Once he opens up the full books at City Hall, you may be able to hear the screams all the way to Michigan. The city is broke, of course, and we just lost 200,000 people in the past census, which is enormous and quite a difference from 2000, when our population spiked largely because of Hispanic immigrants.

    More interestingly, in my ward, the establishment candidate to replace our retiring alderman –the guy who spent heavily on mailings, billboards, yard signs and robocalls– was knocked off by a 30-year-old progressive.

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  21. Scout said on February 23, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    The She-Who story is becoming pretty par for the course for Mama GrizzlyGrift. She is a laughing stock now, with only her most ardent admirers refusing to wake up and smell the teaparty. Lou Sarah indeed. And then her FB ghostwriter puts up a post denying the whole thing. Snort. What a buncha maroons.

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  22. Dorothy said on February 23, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    Asiago bagel from Middle Ground, toasted with light butter on it this morning. Oatmeal was forced on me when I was young and it gagged me then, and if I ventured to take a mouthful now I’m sure the gag mechanism would kick in immediately. The only time I willingly ate an entire bowl of farina was when I had my C-sections and hadn’t eaten any solid food (not that farina counts) in two days or so, and I was REALLY hungry. Most days a bowl of Life cereal with half a banana cut up in it suffices, or an English muffin with some Clearbrook Farms brand peach butter on it is my breakfast.

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  23. Sherri said on February 23, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    I’ve had good luck with steel-cut oats overnight in a crock pot on a timer. I use a 4 to 1 water to oats ratio, set the crock pot to cook on low for about 6 hours, and have nice hot oatmeal when I get up in the morning. The leftovers go in the refrigerator and get microwaved and are still good. Brown sugar, dried cranberries, and walnuts finish it off.

    When I don’t have oatmeal, I usually have yogurt with fruit and granola. Sometimes I fry up an egg and toast an English muffin instead.

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  24. LAMary said on February 23, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Rana, you can get the McCann’s Irish Steel cut quick cooking oats and do them in the micro in about six minutes. Also Trader Joes has another brand of steel cut that works in the micro as well. The long cooking kind are great but definitely reserved for the weekend.

    And Paddy-O, I’m with you on the red grapefruit. Just the best thing for waking up in the AM and worth a trip to Costco for the big honking bag. I’ve been buying heirloom navel oranges (2.99 for a large bag)at Trader Joes lately too, as well as some small but very delicious blood oranges.

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  25. Jolene said on February 23, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    Leftover Chinese. I hang my head in shame.

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  26. harrison said on February 23, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    To call Gingrich an asshole is to insult assholes. Asshole is a nasty name for rectum, which does a useful function by eliminating waste. Call him a shithole instead, because that’s where it congregates.

    Julia, Daniels is acting semi-presidential. (If you folks didn’t know, he’s thinking of running for president. He’ll make his decision after the current legislative session is over.)

    I bet he’s seething at this action. If he didn’t want to impress the powers that be in the national GOP, he’d probably send out the state police to collect the absent senators.

    I bet he’s also seething because the state Senate defeated a bill to eliminate township advisory boards. That was a project of his, along with the Chamber of Commerce.

    Coozledad, don’t call them “company men.” Call them “company clowns,” because no true human being enslaves himself or herself to business organizations that will spit them out at a moment’s notice.

    O yeah. Today’s breakfast was two bananas, four oat-and-honey granola bars, a glass of milk, a multi-purpose vitamin, and two tablets — one was 500 mgs of Vitamin C tablet and the other was 1200mg of fish oil.

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  27. Connie said on February 23, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    You’re OK Jolene. I will admit to a pack of cheese and crackers from the machine. Otherwise it’s toast with cheese or bagel with cream cheese at home, with whatever fruit I’ve got. One last clementine.

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  28. prospero said on February 23, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    With the Palin humiliation, I wonder how many people understand that her book sales figures are artificially inflated to a huge degree by jackasses like Richard Mellon Scaiffe that buy them in Limbaughian bulk and give them away to all sorts of Pacs to use as gifts for PBS-style pledge begging.

    If you roll up all the teabagger states right objections to Obamacare into one greasy splat of Cuccinelli guano, how does it reconcile with the Defense of Marriage Act? How about full faith and credit? DOMA has produced such obscene inequalities, it should embarrass do death all the hypocrites that endorse it while railing against the AHCA. ‘Course, they didn’t call it Obamacare for nothing. People like all the individual provisions. The part vehent opponents don’t like is the “Obama” part.

    Wisconsin media commentary: For a change, the left has won the ‘framing’ battle. Nobody but Townhall, Fox and Freeperland are calling this balancing the budget. It’s busting unions, and, increasingly, the direct assault on one of the last bastions of the American middle class. It’s possible that Republicans swilled too much of their own Midterm massacre referendum hooch, and they’re acting stupid and blustering like Mel Gibson after a lot of Fosters and Jaeger. And when was the last time any House Republicans talked about balancing the budget or making meaningful inroads on the budget deficit. Now it’s all just meaningless and infantile “cost-cutting” babble, because it’s dawning on people that

    ▪ any serious attack on the deficit requires raising taxes,

    ▪ nobody wants to whack SSecurity, and

    ▪ medicare is immensely popular.

    Republicans really agree with Deficits Doan Mean Dick Cheney.

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  29. Julie Robinson said on February 23, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Harrison, I probably should have said Daniels has my grudging admiration. It was common sense compared to Wisconsin. He’s still not-my-man-Mitch.

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  30. Mark P. said on February 23, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    Randy, a BK Whopper can actually be reasonably healthy if you tell them to hold the mayo. That drastically reduces the fat. I tell them to put mustard on instead. They actually have a name for that: mustard Whopper. But you have to be careful because sometimes they think all that goes on it is a meat patty and mustard.

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  31. 4dbirds said on February 23, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    I’m an oatmeal with a dab of butter and sprinkle of brown sugar girl.

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  32. alex said on February 23, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    Leftover Chinese. I hang my head in shame.

    A girl after my sclerotic heart.

    Actually, I love leftover anything for breakfast. Have never been a big fan of Danish, cereals, oatmeal, etc., but lately in the habit of doing yogurt with fruit and granola most days.

    MarkP, even sans mayo I can’t imagine a BK Whopper being anything but a risk to one’s health and cleanliness. But I do kind of miss them.

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  33. Mark P. said on February 23, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    alex, the BKMW still holds the health risk of beef, but at least the fat content is significantly reduced. Oh, and you also can’t get cheese on this one to keep the fat content reasonable. It’s hard to find the count for a Whopper without mayo or cheese, so I’m not sure exactly what it is. But once you take that stuff off, you might as well get the regular hamburger without mayo or cheese at about 15 grams of fat. No fries.

    Or you could just consider it a once-in-a-great-while indulgence.

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  34. bobolink said on February 23, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    The DOMA report confuses me. So now, the President (and staff) determine Constitutionality and tell the DoJ to not defend the law anymore. Where does this leave the judges? Is their judgment preempted? Won’t the cases keep coming? Without any defense, how can a split in the circuits arise to allow the Supremes to decide the Constitutionality? (which I thought was the job of that branch.) I like the result in this case, but it seems the Executive is unilaterally overriding the legislature and there isn’t any SCt oversite. A slippery slope on any issue I don’t support…

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  35. Mindy said on February 23, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    My BFF shared her recipe for oatmeal a few weeks ago. It’s quite good:

    Combine and soak overnight:
    1 cup oats
    1 cup water
    2 Tbsp whey, yogurt, or buttermilk
    Then, add and boil until done:
    1 cup water
    1 Tbsp flax seeds (optional)
    1/4 – 1/2 tsp sea salt

    But this morning I scrambled an egg and wrapped it in a small tortilla with a slice of Canadian bacon and a Kraft single.

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  36. mark said on February 23, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    bobo- The Court will still consider the issue even if DOJ doesn’t defend the statute. They have an independent duty to get the law right, regardless of what the advocates say (or don’t say). Generally, statutes come to the Court with a presumption of Constitutionality, so they really have to (should)present a cogent argument before striking it down. I also suspect there will be a few Amicus briefs allowed on each side, presenting arguments pro and con.

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  37. DellaDash said on February 23, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    same as every workday in the winter…a packet of Kashi GoLean Truly Vanilla oatmeal (lotta fiber, including flax seeds); about 2/3 cup soymilk, 20 raisens (counted or a handful)…microwave 45 seconds, stir, zap 30 seconds more…a little bit sweet but not too much…perfect, puddinglike portion control for someone who lacks it otherwise.

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  38. brian stouder said on February 23, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    No breakfast in the am for me; my fast usually breaks at lunch, and indeed McD’s is the easy choice when anything will do. I stay on the dollar menu, and usually get a McChicken (hold everything) or else the double cheeseburger (hold everything else), plus a dollar drink and a dollar for three oatmeal cookies….$3 plus tax. The only downside is the ubiquitous Fox News on the big screen, where the scandal du jour is those scheming, lying doctors who wrote “fraudulant” (they love that word, except when discussing things like Rummy’s ruminations in his new book, or bogus bogeymen like the new black panthers, but we digress) excuses for teachers in Wisconsin.

    Except today I had the afternoon off, so as to go to South Side High School for a panel discussion between an accreditation agency and parents of students (ie – “stakeholders”). As a bonus, friend-of-nn.c and president of the FWCS schoolboard Mark the Shark was there, so the ensuing discussion was lively and informative.

    Owing to the half-day off, Pam met me at Logans, where it was two meals for $14, and we had an almost enjoyable lunch. The waitress seemingly forgot all about us, and Pam was on a tighter schedule than me – so that when the food finally showed up, she had to wolf through it and then skedaddle……

    but not before very specifically telling me how much I could tip her whenever the check arrived.

    And now the question is, were my lovely wife’s threats idle, or genuine…..?

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  39. alex said on February 23, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    bobo, I’m not sure what’s going on with DOMA either. Because the Schwarzenator and Jerry Brown refused to defend Prop 8 in California, and the people who lost at trial evidently don’t have any standing to appeal the case, it looks as if it also won’t make it to the high court.

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  40. coozledad said on February 23, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    New wiretaps revealing a conversation between Scott Walker and an actual Koch brother from early this evening were released in transcript form by the Communications Workers of America:
    Koch: No. Get his ass on the line right now. I don’t give a shit if he’s having brain surgery. Get him.
    Walker: Sir, I can explain…
    Koch: Abhalten sie! Der ist Keine, und I mean no no no explanation for this breach of carefully established protocol, und I am feeling I must consider invoking the scheissvogel prerogative.
    Walker: Sir. Yes sir.
    Koch: Open the door to your office.
    Walker: But sir…
    Koch: NICHTS! NICHTS! This is not a time for insubordination.NICHTS. Aaaahgghh!
    Walker: Yes sir.
    Koch. Ab pullen sie der hosen down.
    Walker: Sir?
    Koch: Arrrgharrgh! The PANTS. Off mit der Pants! And have your aide ring me on the punishment line with your cellphone. We are about to take a little trip outdoors!
    Aide: Do I have the punishment line?
    Koch: Yes, yes you do, liebchen. Is he fully naked?
    Aide: Yes. We are in front of the mansion right now.
    Koch: Is it very cold?
    Aide: Freezing sir.
    Koch: Beautiful. Hand him the phone. Full scheissvogel prerogative. Tell him to bust ein gut!
    Walker: Sir, I think this is…
    Koch: NOW!
    Walker:(Sings) I’m a little shitbird, I’m a little shitbird, I’m a little……

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  41. brian stouder said on February 23, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    Who’d a thunk it? The cheesehead governor was ‘buffaloed’ by a phony-Koch?

    So, he’s now an official honest-to-goodness Koch sucker.

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    • nancy said on February 23, 2011 at 9:06 pm

      You’re pronouncing it wrong, Brian. The original head on the story calls him “Koch whore.”

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  42. Linda said on February 23, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    Why be ashamed of leftover Chinese? I love non-breakfast food. Frankly, oatmeal doesn’t have enough protein to keep me full for a long time. I usually eat something else, and if I split the dinner from the night before, it makes the portions on both days small and managable.

    Re: the Republican defenders against greedy government workers. One of them is the loathesome John Kasich of Ohio. I blew my top when I found out that his recent appointee to the Office of Faith Based and Community Orgs (a good office under Strickland), is paid about $15,000 more than his predecessor, which Kasich does a lot. He has complained that salaries for high offices in Ohio don’t pay enough to attract good people. I guess he only thinks his cronies are “good people.”

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  43. alex said on February 23, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    That’d make him a sucker in either case. And a whore.

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  44. Jolene said on February 23, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    alex and bobolink: The PBS Newshour had a good explanation of the legal reasoning that the Prez relied on in announcing the change in their position on DOMA. It doesn’t seem to be online yet, but I imagine it will be soon.

    My takeaway: Laws regarding marriage are made at the state level, but they have implications for federal action. For instance, a surviving spouse does not pay inheritance task, and he or she is eligible for a portion of the deceased spouse’s Social Security benefits. Thus, the federal government is, in effect, discriminating against same-sex partners in that they are treated differently than other marital partners. (This applies, of course, only in states that permit ss marriage or recognize such marriages performed elsewhere.)

    DOJ has said that it will continue to enforce the law–that is, the president will not order the IRS or the SSA to change its practices. But, it will not defend the constitutionality of the law in court. Congress, if it wishes, can appoint someone to defend the law, and the House, at least, probably will.

    As I am writing this, R. Maddow is talking about this w/ a law professor who is providing more detail. Says that the law may have more far-reaching implications re gay rights. I imagine that video will be on line after the show.

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  45. alex said on February 23, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    On a bright note, Indiana’s senate president put the brakes on the union-busting bill and chastised the house fore even contemplating it. I think this is a sign that that Republicans are worried about blowback next year.

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  46. coozledad said on February 23, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    The sad part of this is they could have gotten audio of Walker getting a Cleveland steamer from Koch while Dick Morris went down on his toes and Michelle Bachmann performed lieder looking stage right with clothespins on her nipples, and your average Republican will say “The battle against socialism warps God’s anointed. The harder they fight communists, the more likely Pampers and chain hoists will be involved.”

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  47. Jakash said on February 23, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    The one thing to be said for the McDonald’s oatmeal, which I feel Bittman discounts, is that however many ingredients it has, however expensive it is, however easy it is to make it at home, if you’re stuck having breakfast at McD’s and you have the oatmeal, you AREN’T having a sausage mcmuffin or whatever else they serve for breakfast that’s much less healthy than a little cream and caramel color. (Disclaimer: I don’t really know what the other choices are and I haven’t had the oatmeal.) I agree with NN when she says “McDonald’s seems to be trying to make their menu a little less burger-centric, and I appreciate it.” As for the expensiveness, well, they are trying to make money, after all. I imagine that price was carefully market-tested.

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  48. Deborah said on February 23, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    I’m a sucker for the egg McMuffin. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. I could eat eggs for every meal and never get sick of them. I’ve had Starbucks oatmeal and it’s way too runny for me. I like my oatmeal cooked a little on the dry side then with brown sugar and a smidge of cream on top. Maybe some raisins too.

    The Koch bros are extreme capitalistic bullies.

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  49. Rana said on February 24, 2011 at 2:40 am

    Thanks for the suggestions, all! I will bookmark this page. 🙂

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  50. brian stouder said on February 24, 2011 at 9:36 am

    Honestly, I don’t see how the governor of Wisconsin will ever repair the damage done to himself, in his conversation with the phony Koch. Reading the conversation is like watching a giant toilet flush; “ohhh – wouldja lookit THAT” “Whoa!! Where’d THAT come from?!” etc etc

    Like when the Buffalo Koch says maybe some ‘troublemakers’ need to be put into the crowds, and the governor says “we’ve looked into that”.

    Don’t know about you, but that gobsmacked me. This is the governor of Wisconsin talking? Wisconsin?

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  51. alex said on February 24, 2011 at 9:43 am

    More evidence (as if we needed any) that the teabaggers are more John Birch than libertarian.

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  52. coozledad said on February 24, 2011 at 9:48 am

    The only place Walker’s Louisville Slugger is going is up his pasty white ass. It’s strange to hear these jowly creatures fantasize about violence. I wonder if it’s the emotional legacy of particularly deep, brutal wedgies.

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  53. mark said on February 24, 2011 at 10:23 am

    Looks to me like Walker’s winning. And yes, it is about taking some power away from the unions, not just about current budget issues. That will still leave Wisconsin teachers in a better position, in terms of their union rights, than unionized federal employees. Hardly the end of the world.

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  54. Jill said on February 24, 2011 at 10:33 am

    I boil water in the evening (3 – 4 times the amount of oats I’ll use). Stir in steel cut oats, turn off the burner, and cover. Cook it for 10 minutes in the morning and it’s good to go.

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  55. alex said on February 24, 2011 at 11:10 am

    I dunno, mark. Looks like Walker’s Koch dependency may be getting the better of him.

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  56. basset said on February 26, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    Totally off topic but interesting nonetheless – Charlie Brooker on Fox News:

    “dystopian future sci-fi satirical shouty-porn sledgehammer channel,” indeed…

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