Tag Archives: White House

Friday Linkage 12/16/2016

Is Donald Trump just trolling America now with his picks?  The Scott Pruitt choice was bad, but Rick Perry to lead the Department of Energy is just ridiculous.  Rick Perry literally does not know what the Department of Energy does.  Most of the people claiming he will do a good job talk about his coming from an oil and gas state.  Never mind that oil and gas exploitation falls under other federal agencies and the Department of Energy actually spends most of its time and budget on nuclear responsibilities.  Maybe we will get a return of George W. Bush’s interesting pronunciation of nuclear.

On to the links…

Full Levelized Cost of Electricity In the United States by County—This is an amazing interactive map that lets you play with assumptions about cost, tax incentives, etc. to see at what the lowest LCOE of various electricity generation methods would be by county.  I am surprised that nuclear is able to be competitive in any of these scenarios.

If Trump Wants to Dismantle Obama’s EPA Rules, Here are all the Obstacles He’ll Face—Given the makeup of the cabinet and its glaring lack of experience in public service, I cannot wait to see them whine, moan, and bitch that government does not operate like their personal business fiefdoms.  No shit Sherlock, there is a reason that government does not work like a private business…it’s not a private business.

Solar Capacity has Increased 99% since Last Quarter—Maybe the best thing I have heard in a while: “The industry is booming, and President Trump will be hard-pressed to stop it.”

White House Releases Strategy for Deep Decarbonization by 2050—Save this document because we are about to spend four years without such vision.  We are far more likely to see reports about how we can make America great again by being big league and classy and yuge.

The End of the Commonwealth—The gilded age has returned and the crony capitalists have swept into power.  Populism was co-opted to allow for a takeover by wealthy elites.  The “blue collar billionaire” who criticized his opponent for giving speeches to Goldman Sachs has tapped former employees of the bank for key positions and even nominated the CEO of the most reviled oil company to be Secretary of State.  Our government is at the service of a very few very rich people.

Without These Ads, There Wouldn’t be Money in Fake News—The dictum “follow the money” has always been true.  Without the ability to garner revenue from clicks, fake news would be a gnat’s ass.

Renewables Produce 56% Of Denmark’s Domestic Electricity—The U.S. is unlikely to be leading a lot in this area for the next few years, so we need to take solace in the world making progress.

Solar Panels have been Benefiting the Climate ‘since 2011’—The carbon debt has been paid.

Your Hobby Is Action, Not Accumulation—I used to be so guilty of this when it came to books.  I read a lot, but I still acquired books like crazy.  It became more about a good looking library as opposed to actually reading and accumulating knowledge.  At what point do the things we own begin to own us?

I Love Meat. But these New “Bleeding” Veggie Burgers Convinced Me to Give it up for Good.—These burgers are only available in limited markets right now, but I cannot wait to try them once availability increases to more markets.  Now, if they could tackle the whole veggie bacon thing we would be cooking so to speak.

Homeopathic “Drugs” Will Have to Carry Disclaimers That They Are Bunk—Finally.  Homeopathic drugs are just ridiculous.  It’s like the snake oil salesmen of yesteryear were allowed to continue peddling patent medications without any repurcussions.

First Industrial Hemp Seeds Certified by Colorado Department of Agriculture—The “Green Rush” hype in Colorado has focused on the recreational smoking aspect of marijuana legalization, but there has been a steady increase in the interest of farmers and industry to exploit industrial—e.g. non-psychoactive—hemp as an alternative crop.

Degrowth Is Punk as F*ck—Maybe this is the answer.

Hands off the Turkey!

This year my family has finally bitten the bullet and done away with the turkey that is the centerpiece of so many feasts during the Thanksgiving holiday.  Why?  No one really liked the meat and it became an obligation every year that monopolized the oven taking space from foods people actually cared about.  It’s an “all sides” holiday in our household.

For those of you who cannot break with tradition and crave the bird, think about the modern turkey that you might have purchase in a supermarket.  If you bought your bird from a farmer raising heritage turkeys in a humane setting just ignore what I am about to show.

Modern turkeys’ lives are, to crib from Thomas Hobbes, nasty, brutish, and short.  How bad you ask?  The good folks at Mother Jones have put together a series of charts that give you an idea of the horror that is the modern turkey:


Even if you do not take these birds to slaughter they will die because longevity has essentially been bred out of them.  How do I know?  The turkeys that are “pardoned” every year by the President often end up dying soon after because they were bred to produce meat, not live long lives.

Happy holidays!

Election Night Beer Thoughts

I am sitting in my living room watching the election night coverage on MSNBC and thinking about beer.  It’s actually not much of a stretch because I have been thinking a lot about the President of the United States and beer.

Beer You Can Believe In

President Barack Obama is not actually brewing beer, but his surrogates in the White House kitchen did ferment two different beers—a so-called White House Honey Ale and a White House Honey Porter.  The recipes are available online, following a spirited online petition drive, at the White House’s official site.  Check them out.

Reviews of the beers have trickled in.  The New York Times enlisted the assistance of the good folks over at Brooklyn Brewery to sample the Honey Ale.   As I have read a few reports of these brews I come across as less excited about the prospect of brewing my own.  Why?  The ingredients seem a little heavy on the sweet with not enough hop bittering to even things out.  Brewed with honey from the White House’s resident bees—thank you First Lady—there is a lot of fermentable sugar for both the yeast strain to digest.  The hops used are also not high in quantity and mild in nature, reflecting the British origins as opposed to more bitter American hops that are in vogue right now.

Northern Brewer, my supplier of homebrew supplies, even has kits available for those wanting to try their hand at executive privilege.  Maybe the forthcoming Honey Blonde that is rumored will satisfy my craving for less sweetness and a little more hop forwardness.  We can hope for change!

Scottish 60 Shilling

My most recent beer—a Scottish 60 Shilling ale recipe kit—is out of the bottle:

Mild.  Very mild.  According to iBrewMaster this batch should have come in at about 20 IBU and 2.8% ABV.  I have no reason to disagree with those numbers because this beer is really mild.  Almost too mild.  The maltiness of the beer is not offset enough by hop bitterness.  In essence, the beer is not balanced well enough.

Dry Irish Stout and the Innkeeper

The next beer, which I have to bottle this weekend, is a Dry Irish Stout recipe kit.  I reduced the amount of time the hops were to be boiled to bring the bitterness down.  My hope is that it highlights the malt profile a little more.  I tend to like my stouts to be light and finish very clean, with little or no aftertaste on the palate.

The funny thing about this beer is that it went crazy when I came home from vacation.  Why?  Our house’s furnace was set at 56 degrees for 10 days and went up to 64 the day we came home.  The rise in temperature reanimated the yeast and it started bubbling away again.  I love how alive and unpredictable this entire process can be sometimes.  I really do feel like a mad scientist.

This weekend I am going to make a return to the Innkeeper recipe kit.  I had favorable impressions about this beer the first time around, so I am interested to see if I still like the profile or if my tastes are being redefined in a certain direction.

We the People Petition to Release White House Beer Recipe

Someone filed a Freedom of Information Act request to get the details on the White House homebrew recipes, but there is another way.

If 25,000 people sign a petition at We the People the administration will acknowledge the will of the people.

Sign the petition today!

Friday Linkage 8/24/2012

This is it for about two weeks because I will be spending the time around the Labor Day holiday in Colorado visiting friends.  It should be a nice break spent sampling beers at several of the Front Range’s well-regarded craft brewers, some nice hiking, and maybe bagging a couple of fourteeners if I am lucky enough to get the time.  Who knows, maybe the Manitou Incline will make the schedule this trip.

On to the links…

White House Brews its Own Beer and the People Want the Recipe—The person who filed the Freedom of Information Act request is awesome!

Natural Gas, Renewables Dominate Electricity Additions in 2012—Expect this trend to continue as the downside of coal fired power becomes too much to overcome in the U.S.  In China it is another story entirely.

Older Boomers Help Shift Driving Trends into Reverse—There is going to come a time when I stop having to read articles on the impact of baby boomers.  Until then, I can at least hope there are more positive stories like this one.  Essentially, with such a large cohort of people entering the period of life where driving declines there is going to be a general trend downward in miles driven in the U.S.

U.S. Hits 30 Bike Shares in Just Four Years—Compound the decline in baby boomer driving and following generations’ inclination away from auto-centric lifestyles…you get those socialist sounding bike shares.  Sean Hannity is crying in his Ayn Rand pajamas right now thinking about people sharing…bikes!

Most New Yorkers Say Bike Lanes are a Good Idea—New Yorkers were already probably on Mitt Romney’s hit list because of their affinity for dense urban living and public transportation—where does one find space for a car elevator in SOHO—but their support of bike lanes will make him join a therapy session with fratty Paul Ryan.  Just don’t take either of them to the Park Slope Co-Op.

On Lanai, Community Faces Change—Lanai is such a strange place.  Just off the cost of Maui, it seems like it should be developed for tourism like so much of the area around Lahaina yet it is sparsely built out.  Now that Larry Ellison has bought the island there are concerns about his plans.  So far, he has said nothing.

Marine Defenders App Helps Fight Ocean Pollution—Technology can offer new ways to help heal and protect the planet.  We need to take advantage of every opportunity to do so.

The Art of Saving Reefs—Last week I had a link to some similar information on man-made sculpture reefs.  Here is a video showcasing some of the marine life that has come to inhabit these odd, but compelling creatons.

USDA Eyes Whether Tainted Beef Entered Food Supply—The story emerging out of Central Valley Meat Co. is disturbing.  The folks over at Compassion Over Killing obtained video imagery of sick animals being slaughtered and shoddy practices leading to quite brutal deaths.  At least In-and-Out did the right thing by severing ties with this company.  The only way to affect positive change in the system right now is to hit them in the pocketbook.

Celebrate the Farmer—Mark Bittman is right to suggest that we need to celebrate the people who make our food as much as we celebrate the people who cook our food.  The problem is that people are too disconnected from the production of basic foodstuffs.

How to Improve School Lunch without Spending More—If there is one place where everyone should be in agreement, it should be that we can provide better food to our children in school.  Sorry, but strawberry flavored milk, reconstituted chicken parts, and some faux mashed potatoes from a box do not count as food.

Ten Gardens Prettier than a Lawn—In the United States we are obsessed with covering our landscape with acres of green carpet.  What about alternatives?  With the drought afflicting so much of the country I would hope that more people consider replacing some, if not all, of the lawn on their property.  It is going to be one of my priorities come spring.

Front Yard Garden in Quebec Wins Right to Stay—The sweet front yard garden in Drummondville, Quebec that was slated to be ripped out has won a stay of execution.  This is such a better alternative than a blah patch of green grass.

88 Year Time Lapse of a Forest—Forests can seem so static, but this series of photos taken from the same spot in Idaho show how dynamic the landscape can be in just under a century.