Patterico's Pontifications

8/31/2018

Recipe: Low-Carb Almond Flour Bread

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:36 pm



I’ve been cooking more lately. What with the desire to avoid carbs, I looked for a way to make low-carb bread. The first time I tried was unsuccessful. The loaf was crumbly if somewhat tasty. It did not perform like regular bread at all.

The following recipe is something I’m making right now, for about the fourth time — and it has been a delight every time. I’ll warn you: it does not rise and become fluffy like a yeasty bread. It much more resembles banana bread in thickness and texture: somewhat squat and a bit moist inside. But it slices like bread. You can toast it (although be careful as the crust can get very hot and can burn). My favorite thing to do, other than eat it by itself, is to use it for almond butter or peanut butter sandwiches (using all natural nut butters with no salt).

Warning: because it’s basically a giant soft almond, this is a very calorific bread. I calculate a 3/4 inch slice as having fully 183 calories, with about 16 grams of fat and 3.3 grams of carbs (3 grams of which are dietary fiber, leaving you net carbs of only .3 grams). If you have an almond butter sandwich with two 3/4 inch slices, you’re looking at about 450 calories with about 40 grams of fat. But oh! the taste! So flavorful, with hints of vanilla. I try to make a loaf every week. I hope you like it.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour (I use Trader Joe’s Blanched Almond Flour)
  • 1/3 cup flaxseed meal
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (I use Trader Joe’s Vanilla Flavored Almond Beverage)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350

Grease loaf pan with PAM on the bottom and sides of the pan — but not all the way up the sides, just 3 inches or so

Add all ingredients to bowl

Mix (with beater if possible, to add air pockets) all ingredients until a smooth dough forms

Transfer the dough to the prepared loaf pan

Bake in preheated oven until top is golden brown, about 40 minutes total

25 minutes in (about 15 minutes before taking it out), tent a piece of aluminum foil lightly over the top, to prevent the crust from burning while the inside cooks

Remove from oven

Allow to sit in loaf pan 10 minutes

Use a butter knife or spatula on the sides to make sure bread is not sticking to the side (it never has for me)

Gently turn the pan upside down to get the loaf out

Transfer the loaf to a cool wire rack to cool completely. I just put it in the second oven that wasn’t used for the baking process.

I can’t get enough of this stuff. I just now tented the foil over the bread and man does it smell delicious.

Let me know if you try this.

UPDATE: Nutritional information corrected.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

Fella with Ties to White Supremacists Attended White House Meetings

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:11 am



Only the best people:

In one email from 2015, Smith responded to a group dinner invitation whose host said his home would be “judenfrei,” a German word used by the Nazis during World War II to describe territory that had been “cleansed” of Jews during the Holocaust.

“They don’t call it Freitag for nothing,” Smith replied, using the German word for “Friday,” according to the Atlantic. “I was planning to hit the bar during the dinner hours and talk to people like Matt Parrot, etc.,” Smith added, a reference to the former spokesman for the neo-Nazi Traditionalist Worker Party.

. . . .

The emails cited by the Atlantic do not include any explicitly racist statements made by Smith, but they do suggest he was comfortable enough within the milieu of American white nationalism to refer to its leading figures on a first-name basis.

In one 2015 email, for example, Smith explains that he missed an event hosted by “NPI,” the National Policy Institute founded by white supremacist Richard B. Spencer.

He wasn’t the top guy but he wasn’t nobody:

Though Smith was not assigned a supervisory position at DHS, he “wasn’t just some low-level schlub who didn’t do anything,” according to one government official familiar with his work for the administration. … On repeat occasions, they said, Smith attended immigration meetings at the White House convened by senior Trump adviser Stephen Miller, attending at times in place of his supervisor, Michael Dougherty, the DHS assistant secretary for border, immigration and trade policy.

How did this guy get his job to begin with?

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

8/30/2018

Trump: That Tape of My Interview with Lester Holt Was Fudged!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:41 pm



Unbelievable — or, it would be unbelievable from almost anyone else:

You know what tape he’s talking about. It’s the one where he admitted that, when he fired James Comey, he had Russia on the brain. Decide for yourself how “fudged” it is.

TRUMP: Oh I was gonna fire regardless of recommendation —

LESTER HOLT: So there was– [OVER TALK]

TRUMP: He made– he made a recommendation, he’s highly respected, very good guy, very smart guy, uh the Democrats like him, the Republicans like him, uh he made a recommendation but regardless of recommendation I was going to fire Comey knowing, there was no good time to do it. And in fact when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story, it’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won.

Sure, he backtracked later, saying he just wanted someone competent, and that he wanted the Russia investigation done right, blah blah blah. But the damage was done; the idiot had made a very damaging admission that Democrats could end up using against him one day in impeachment proceedings.

It’s hilarious to watch the reaction to Trump’s bizarre Twitter claim. Allahpundit wonders where it’s coming from — did an allegation like this appear on Fox & Friends or something? People wonder aloud if it’s technically possible that it’s fudged. Because people don’t just say things like this out of nowhere. Right?

Wrong. This is very simple. He’s lying. He’s making it up. He says things because he thinks they will benefit him. He does not remotely care whether they are true. He does not remotely care whether sensible people think it could be true, or that he could be sincere. He simply says whatever he wants to say, knowing that some lunatics somewhere will make stupid arguments to defend him. He doesn’t care about truth.

He even admitted the stuff on the Access Hollywood tape during the campaign, and then during his presidency floated the theory to advisors that that tape was a forgery.

This is a guy who would routinely call up reporters pretending to be his own publicist so he could talk himself up. And when this was revealed during the campaign, he denied it was him.

This is why I have deep disdain and contempt for anyone who pretends Trump is anything other than a soulless and immoral lowlife. You like his policies? Fine. I like some of them too. You think his policies are more important than his character? OK. We’ll agree to disagree, but whatever. But if you think he’s anything but a truly bad person? Then you’re a chump sucker.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

8/29/2018

New York Post: Let’s Have Government Regulate Speech!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:53 am



The New York Post is jumping on the very popular “let’s have government regulate tech giants” bandwagon, with an editorial calling for government oversight over Google:

Tuesday brought endless commentary and reporting on how President Trump was being utterly ridiculous and conspiratorial to accuse Google of bias in its search algorithms. Funny: Just over a year ago, in June 2017, the European Union fined the company $2.7 billion for … bias in its search algorithms.

Yes, Trump’s off-the-cuff charge focused on political bias, whereas the EU verdict (after a seven-year investigation) was about the company “systematically favoring” its own Google Shopping feature. But all the Trump-bashers who were suggesting Google would never, ever put its thumb on the scale seem to have ignored at least one elephant in the room.

As we write, the top headlines on Google News include two CNN stories: “Trump slams Google search as ‘rigged’ — but it’s not” and “Debunking Donald Trump’s latest conspiracy theory on Google.” How is the average Web surfer to trust that Google isn’t weighting those stories?

Clearly, there can be no “trust” in the quality of speech without the involvement of, um, government:

The layman has plenty of reasons to worry about political bias to which the company could be blind: Silicon Valley is a notorious progressive place (except on issues that touch its own interests, anyway), and the internal Google discussion over “dissident” engineer James Damore showed a shocking intolerance for the merest questioning of certain left-liberal pieties.

. . . .

We’re no fans of heavy-handed government intervention, but any free democratic society is going to frown on enormous unchecked power. It certainly seems like some kind of independent oversight is called for here.

“We’re no fans of heavy-handed government intervention, but…” is a scary phrase to see about speech in a major publication. Usually, you might expect to see such phrases on the left. Like: “We’re no fans of heavy-handed government intervention, but this hate speech has really gotten out of control.” Or: “We’re no fans of heavy-handed government intervention, but government must play a role in making sure the community megaphone is available to all viewpoints.”

But no: here we have a right-wing publication calling for government oversight of speech. (And yes: it’s speech. You’re asking a Web site to tell you what the best answers are for your question, and the Web site is telling you what it thinks the right answer is. That’s speech, even if it comes in a non-conventional form that many don’t instantly recognize as such.)

This shows how easily Republicans accept anti-capitalist and pro-socialist arguments, the moment it appears to be to their narrow short-term political advantage to do so. “Enormous unchecked power” by a company is achieved in a free market by providing quality service. A company becomes big and powerful in a free market by doing a good job. For all conservatives’ whining about Google, conservatives mostly use Google for their searches. Why? Because they get you what you want more often, more quickly.

Note that there is a caveat in the above sentences: “in a free market.” True: in a crony capitalist society, companies often get ahead, not just by providing good service, but by scratching politicians’ backs. The solution for that, however, is not to break the successful companies, but to change the rules to make the market more free.

That way, any company with “enormous unchecked power” who is starting to hurt the public interest will simply be supplanted by another that does a better job.

Those who deny this ignore history and can view events only on a small timeline with a crabbed view of reality that assumes that the present situation will remain constant forever. Such people supported an antitrust lawsuit against IBM, because it was literally unthinkable to them that IBM’s iron hold on the relevant market could ever be broken. Today, the kids say IB Who? And that’s not because of a lawsuit, but because of innovators like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.

Similar examples can be found throughout American economic history.

Anytime a politician tells you that they will protect you from the speech of the Big Bad Company, Americans’ BS detectors should be instantly sounding the alarm. For a media organization to support such an effort is, quite simply, pathetic and un-American.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

8/28/2018

Quelle Surprise! Cuomo’s “Free College” Initiative Underwhelms

Filed under: General — JVW @ 1:22 pm



[guest post by JVW]

I apologize for the gratuitous French in the post title.

What if I told you that New York’s Excelsior Scholarship program, which Governor Andrew Cuomo promised would make in-state tuition “free” for middle-class residents, hasn’t ended up impacting all that many Empire State families? The program was first proposed in the spring of 2016 and launched amid much fanfare in January 2017, in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s election and the Democrat Party’s struggle to define a set of principles going forward. Senator Bernard Sanders joined the corrupt governor on stage to give his socialist blessing to the program, with the elderly Vermonter insisting that “we must make public colleges and universities tuition free for the middle-class and working families of our country.” The state’s 2018 budget was passed three months later, and the Excelsior Scholarship program was rolled out in time for the 2017-18 academic year.

So a bunch of New Yorkers from middle-class families ended up getting free tuition at the State University of New York and City University of New York campuses, right? Well, not exactly. A report by the Center for an Urban Future suggests that only about 3.2 percent of the more than 633,000 students enrolled in public colleges in the state are Excelsior Scholarship recipients. The numbers are even worse for the NYC public colleges, with CUNY university students and CUNY community college students reporting only 2.1 percent and 0.9 percent of students as scholarship recipients respectively. What’s more incredible is that better than two in three scholarship applicants were denied, a proportion way out of whack with the promises that Cuomo made to his middle class constituents.

The program’s eligibility is limited to families who make no more than $110,000 per year (bumped up to $125k next year), so there are plenty of New Yorkers who believe themselves to be middle class but are finding out that their kids don’t qualify because the family’s income is too high. In addition, students seeking an Excelsior Scholarship must first apply for all forms of federal financial aid, and many of the poorest New Yorkers are receiving full tuition aid from Uncle Sucker in Washington and thus do not need the additional help from Albany. Accepting the scholarship also obligates the student to spend one year working in New York after graduation for every scholarship year they received money, so given the difficult economic conditions in parts of New York state perhaps some potential recipients and their families have decided the scholarship isn’t such a good bet after all.

The biggest factor though that is limiting the scholarship’s reach is the requirement that recipients take at least 30 hours of course credit each year, which is pretty much a very manageable four courses per term, not even including summer sessions. Apparently New York college kids don’t care too much for being a full-time student, even when the government is picking up tuition costs. The Center for an Urban Future determined that a whopping 83 percent of the application rejections were students who were not keeping on graduation pace. With the traditional four-year bachelor’s degree now being stretched out for six years and the two-year associate’s degree taking three, the idea of matriculating your way through college before you turn 24 seems to be quaint and archaic.

And it just wouldn’t be a progressive crowning achievement were the program not confusingly administered and mostly opaque. Financial aid officers complain that the program lacks clear guidelines and buries both the student and the institution in tedious paperwork. While both SUNY and CUNY saw modest budget increases of 1.6% and 1.0% respectively in the 2018-19 state budget, the state plans to spend $1.15 billion managing student loans, a 23% increase over last year and a full tenth of what is spent on the two state college systems. And there is still no clear and definitive action plan for enforcing the post-college residency requirement, let alone defending it from the inevitable legal challenges.

It’s not too difficult to conclude that the Excelsior Scholarships were little more than progressive grandstanding, a way to pretend to make college “free” by creating jobs for bureaucrats without asking the higher education industry to undertake any meaningful reforms. Bringing along Crusty Old Bernie to provide an aura of real Marxist purity to the program is cynicism typical of Andrew Cuomo, an odious yet ambitious politician known primarily for his insincerity and nastiness. A real plan to either keep college costs low or to have them completely absorbed by the state would include genuine reforms such as requiring professors to teach more classes, closing departments and programs that don’t serve a great number of students, and paring the course catalog of esoteric courses that fit in with academia’s increasingly bizarre fetishes in order to concentrate on larger courses that have more general usefulness to the degree. With American higher education serving as the indoctrination camp for Democrat progressivism, don’t expect politicians like Andrew Cuomo to issue that sort of challenge any time soon.

– JVW

Mike Cernovich and Gateway Pundit Publish Fake News About Shooter

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:58 am



A Gateway Pundit post on the recent shooting at a gamer gathering accused the shooter of being hostile to Trump. The post was bullshit pushed by Mike Cernovich and has been washed away. The person they accused has since posted that he is not the shooter.

The post bears the URL https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2018/08/jacksonville-shooter-was-member-of-anti-trump-resistance-referred-to-trump-supporters-at-trumptards-murdered-4-people/. No hint of the original post remains, save an UPDATE at the bottom:

UPDATE: An anonymous Reddit user was mis-identified in an earlier post.

This is what Gateway Pundit does when one of its breathless posts turns out to be an utter fabrication. Fortunately, one of those sites that scrapes content reproduced the post and I took a screenshot:

Screen Shot 2018-08-28 at 7.09.10 AM

One of our commenters who inhabits the fever swamps (the same commenter who repeated the falsehoods about my friend Henry Kerner) fell for this. So I figured I would perform a public service by correcting it, and mocking the Cernoviches and Gateway Pundits of the world.

By the way, Kelli Ward is on a bus tour with Mike Cernovich. That’s pretty much all you need to know about that garbage candidate.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

8/27/2018

President Trump Shamed Into Praising Sen. McCain, Orders White House Flag To Fly At Half-Staff

Filed under: General — Dana @ 2:51 pm



[guest post by Dana]

As Patterico emphasized this morning, we truly have a petulant, thin-skinned man-child sitting in the Oval Office. While he has refused to praise an American military hero, he has shown he is more than willing to praise tyrannical thug-leaders.

It’s instructive to note the contrast between the president’s comments toward members of the military and their families and his presidential proclamation regarding the passing of First Lady Barbara Bush with the feeble tweet he sent after the passing of McCain.

To military families attending a 4th of July picnic at the White House:

President Donald Trump on Wednesday praised the U.S. military for keeping America “safe, strong, proud, mighty and free” and used the Independence Day holiday to thank them for being willing to put their lives on the line in defense of the nation.

“Two hundred and 42 years ago on July 4, 1776, America’s founders adopted the Declaration of independence and changed the course of human history,” said Trump, addressing hundreds of military families attending a White House picnic from a balcony overlooking the South Lawn of the White House.

“But our freedom exists only because there are brave Americans willing to give their lives, to defend it and defend our great country,” added Trump, who was accompanied by his wife, Melania. “America’s liberty has been earned through the blood, sweat and sacrifice of American patriots.”

From the presidential proclamation regarding First Lady Barbara Bush:

On this solemn day, we mourn the loss of Barbara Bush, an outstanding and memorable woman of character. As a wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, military spouse, and former First Lady, Mrs. Bush was an advocate of the American family. Mrs. Bush lived a life that reminds us always to cherish our relationships with friends, family, and all acquaintances. In the spirit of the memory of Mrs. Bush, may we always remember to be kind to one another and to put the care of others first.

As a mark of respect for the memory of Barbara Bush, I hereby order, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, on the day of interment. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same period at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.

Yet he was unable to muster any face of grace this weekend. It’s stunning, given that President Trump likes to wrap himself in the glory of the American flag and all things American. Whether it’s praising US troops, notable Americans, or by contrast, calling out NFL football players who “disrespect Flag & Country”, this president who loves all things American, refused to budge and praise a flawed individual, who by all accounts was no angel, yet rose to the occasion and exemplified the best of what America has to offer and became the quintessential American military hero. Even when directly (and awkwardly) confronted by ABC News’ Jonathan Karl, the president stubbornly refused to budge:

However, while her father pointedly ignored Karl’s question, Ivanka Trump took time to school her father and honor McCain:

“I want to extend my deepest sympathies to the family of Sen. John McCain, an American patriot who served our country with distinction for more than 6 decades. The nation is united in its grief, and the world mourns the loss of a true hero and a great statesman.”

Soon after this, the White House released an official proclamation lauding McCain’s service to country and ordering flags – including at the White House – be flown at half-staff:

As a mark of respect for the memory and longstanding service of Senator John Sidney McCain III, I hereby order, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, on the day of interment. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half‑staff for the same period at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.

While Vietnam began honoring Sen. McCain at word of his passing, it’s possible that President Trump might have done so sooner too, if only McCain hadn’t gone and gotten himself captured…

Here is President Trump’s statement that was released today:

Despite our differences on policy and politics, I respect Senator John McCain’s service to our country and, in his honor, have signed a proclamation to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff until the day of his interment.

I have asked Vice President Mike Pence to offer an address at the ceremony honoring Senator McCain at the United States Capitol this Friday.

At the request of the McCain family, I have also authorized military transportation of Senator McCain’s remains from Arizona to Washington, D.C., military pallbearers and band support, and a horse and caisson transport during the service at the United States Naval Academy.

Finally, I have asked General John Kelly, Secretary James Mattis, and Ambassador John Bolton to represent my Administration at his services.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)

–Dana

Zero Class

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:59 am



The flag at the White House is back up to full staff:

Meanwhile:

President Donald Trump reportedly rejected sending out a statement praising Sen. John McCain, opting instead to write a short tweet.

According to the Washington Post, Trump nixed the statement, despite calls from his senior aides, including press secretary Sarah Sanders and Chief of Staff John Kelly.

The statement, drafted before the senator’s death Saturday, would have commended the Arizona Republican for his military service and his decades in the Senate. It also would have called him a “hero.” A final draft of the statement was ready for the president’s approval, per the Post.

But Trump reportedly told his aides that he’d prefer to send out a tweet. In that missive, he was brief – and his words focused on the McCain family and didn’t offer praise for the senator’s legacy.

He doesn’t want to do anything to take back his campaign-era slander of McCain.

Petty, childish … and typical.

UPDATE: He let himself be pressured into reversing himself. Cuck!

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

8/26/2018

Did Trump Know About the Trump Tower Meeting in Advance? Of Course He Did — But a Story Saying So Is Being Retracted

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 4:53 pm



About a month ago, I passed along a CNN story claiming that Michael Cohen had information that Donald Trump knew about the infamous Trump Tower meeting in advance. I included a note of caution in the post:

Cohen is hardly Mr. Credibility, and the “sources” relied upon say he doesn’t have evidence.

But, I stated (and still believe — see below) that of course Trump knew about the meeting in advance.

It’s now being reported that the source for the stories, Lanny Davis, is recanting:

CNN reported last month that Cohen was claiming to have witnessed Trump being informed of the Russians’ offer by Trump Jr. and that the then-candidate approved the meeting.

The following day, The Post reported that Cohen had told associates that he witnessed an exchange in which Trump Jr. told his father about an upcoming gathering in which he expected to get information about Clinton. The Post did not report that Trump Jr. told his father that the information was coming from Russians.

The information in the Post story, which was attributed to one person familiar with discussions among Cohen’s friends, came from Davis, who is now acknowledging his role on the record.

Davis said he should not have expressed such confidence in his information.

“I should have been more clear — including with you — that I could not independently confirm what happened,” Davis said, adding: “I regret my error.”

Having passed along the original story — even with the cautionary language — I think it’s incumbent on me to pass along this retraction.

That said:

Did Trump know about the meeting in advance?

Well of course he did.

You don’t need a questionable anonymously sourced news story to know that. All you need is your common sense.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 49

Filed under: Bach Cantatas,General,Music — Patterico @ 12:01 am



It is the fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost. The title of today’s Bach cantata is “Ich geh und suche mit Verlangen” (I go forth and seek with longing).

Today’s Gospel reading is John 6:56-69, which continues the theme of the last two weeks: Jesus as the bread of life. Apparently it didn’t go over well with everyone.

Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.

Many Disciples Desert Jesus

On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”

Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life. Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.”

From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.

“You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.

Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”

The text of today’s piece is available here. The second recitative (section 5) contains these words of joy in accepting the invitation to the holy banquet of redemption:

How happy I am!
Heaven is raised up for me:
Majesty itself calls and sends its servants,
so that the fallen race
in the hall of heaven
at the banquet of redemption
might be a guest,
here I come, Jesus, let me in!

Happy listening!

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

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