Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Friday Morning News Roundup

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 20, 2009


Lawrence Wilkerson, who served under Colin Powell at the State Department before Powell was purged for not being pro-PNAC enough:

Many detainees locked up at Guantanamo were innocent men swept up by U.S. forces unable to distinguish enemies from noncombatants, a former Bush administration official said Thursday. “There are still innocent people there,” Lawrence B. Wilkerson, a Republican who was chief of staff to then-Secretary of State Colin Powell, told The Associated Press. “Some have been there six or seven years.”

He stepped forward because he was sickened by Dick Cheney’s trashing Obama earlier this week. But of course, this was ignored in favor of AIG.

— Speaking of which, Nate Silver has a good piece that cuts through the noise and screeching on the subject.

— President Obama sez ‘hi!’ to hybrids. Specifically, the next generation of plug-in hybrids, especially the SUVs.

The First Lady is growing an organic garden near where her daughters play:

Twenty-three fifth graders from Bancroft Elementary School in Washington will help her dig up the soil for the 1,100-square-foot plot in a spot visible to passers-by on E Street. (It’s just below the Obama girls’ swing set.) Students from the school, which has had a garden since 2001, will also help plant, harvest and cook the vegetables, berries and herbs.


The Clintons grew some vegetables in pots on the roof of the White House. But the Obamas’ garden will have 55 varieties of vegetables — from a wish list of the kitchen staff — grown from organic seedlings started at the executive mansion’s greenhouses.

The Obamas will feed their love of Mexican food with cilantro, tomatilloes and hot peppers. Lettuces will include red romaine, green oak leaf, butterhead, red leaf and galactic. There will be spinach, chard, collards and black kale. For desserts, there will be a patch of berries. And herbs will include some more unusual varieties, like anise hyssop and Thai basil. A White House carpenter who is a beekeeper will tend two hives for honey.

Total cost for the seeds, mulch, etc., is $200.

The plots will be in raised beds fertilized with White House compost, crab meal from the Chesapeake Bay, lime and green sand. Ladybugs and praying mantises will help control harmful bugs.

Cristeta Comerford, the White House’s executive chef, is eager to plan menus around the garden, and Bill Yosses, the pastry chef, is looking forward to berry season.

Sam Kass, an assistant White House chef who prepared healthful meals for the Obama family in Chicago and is an advocate of local food, will oversee the garden. The White House grounds crew and kitchen staff will do most of the work, but other White House staff members have volunteered.

Now that’s gardening we can believe in!

3 Responses to “Friday Morning News Roundup”

  1. MEC said

    I think it’s even more impressive that the White House kitchen is composting.

  2. Charles II said

    I’m not sure I buy Nate’s argument, which is that the compensation structure was agreed to before executives knew what would happen to the portion of their assets that hadn’t crashed. By the end of 2007, the mortgage market was already way down and inventory was way up (see this chart). The average person may not have known that a catastrophic event was in the making, but it’s highly unlikely that execs at AIG did not know.

    If they knew their business was about to crash, and they did not take immediate steps to staunch the bleeding but instead jacked up the wages of soon-to-become-unnecessary employees, they were engaged in malfeasance. If they had made a public announcement then, rather than waiting until September, when they swooned into the arms of the Federal Reserve, I might credit their intentions. As it is, I think they committed fraud.

    And, having tried to reason with him while he was CEO of Allstate, I think that Liddy is a crook.

  3. Allstate. Enough said. :-)

    MEC: Yup.

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