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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Morning News

posted by on June 25 at 8:29 AM

Hypocrisy: Woman claims “pro-life” candidate paid for her abortion when they were dating.

“Grave Violation” : Rockets fired into Gaza.

“Edge of Suicide”: Lebanon on the brink amid renewed sectarian conflict.

How Nice For Her:
Pelosi finally acknowledges sexism against Clinton, says she had the “luxury,” as convention chair, of ignoring it.

No, Thanks: More states say no to useless abstinence-only-education money.

No Relief, But: Offshore drilling offers beneficial “psychological impact,” according to crazy John McCain.

Not Surprising: Justice Dept. illegally used “political or ideological” factors in hiring.

Women Pay More: For health insurance, under Blue Shield’s new official policy—and it’s not about pregnancy.

Bush: Irrelevant president threatens to veto homebuyer-assistance law—his second veto threat in a week.

Pretty Soon, That’s Real Money
: Presidential candidates have raised more than $1 billion.

Oh, Yes, He Did: Bush visits Phillipines, makes joke about his Filipino cook.

Heckuva Job: Weakest spot on Mississippi River threatened by floods.

Obama: Leading by 15 points in latest poll.

Recipes of the Day: Chilled Cantaloupe Soup With Chives And Prosciutto (via Cookthink) and Asparagus Spread and Prosciutto on Buttered Toast (via The Kitchn; photo via The Kitchn)



1 large ripe cantaloupe
Splash lime juice
4 slices prosciutto, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Freshly ground black pepper

Cut the cantaloupe in half and scoop out the seeds and pulp from the center. Cut each half in half and slice along the edge of the flesh to cut off the rind. Put the cantaloupe flesh in a food processor with a splash of lime and puree until it’s soupy and free of lumps.

Pour the soup into a large bowl and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Just before you’re ready to serve the soup, chop the prosciutto and chives and sprinkle them evenly into soup bowls.

At the table, ladle the soup into each person’s bowl. Sprinkle with black pepper to taste.


1 pound asparagus, trimmed
1 large leek (white and light green part only)
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons lemon juice
salt and pepper
1/2 pound prosciutto
1 loaf of ciabatta bread, sliced, or baguette rounds

Boil the asparagus in a shallow pan for about 5 minutes, until tender and bright green. Remove from pan and put in an ice bath or run under cold water to stop the cooking. Pat dry.

Slice the trunk of the leek lengthwise and reserve one half for another use. Chop the remaining half. In a sauté pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and leeks, season with salt and pepper, and cook until soft but not brown, about 6 to 8 minutes.

Roughly chop the cooled asparagus and add to the bowl of a food processor. Add the ricotta and leek-garlic mixture and pulse until combined. Add the lemon juice and remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Purée until smooth, then add salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, butter slices of bread and toast until golden. Spread a dollop of asparagus purée on each slice, then top with a piece of prosciutto.

RSS icon Comments


Re: higher health insurance premiums for women--What about males who are charged higher car insurance premiums because they're male??? I see no problem with this!

Posted by Lenny | June 25, 2008 8:53 AM

The problem with charging women more is that it is a penalty for women seeking more preventative care. The inherent short-sightedness of the insurance industry has created a perverse incentive to increase your risk of an expensive illness in order to save a little on short term costs. Blue Shield is probably betting they can drop you when you get a serious illness. Or they, like most corporations, can't think much beyond the next few quarters.

The larger problem is that as insurance approaches perfect knowledge of each individual's risk, they approach a perfect premium in which you will reimburse them for exactly as much as all your claims will total. It stops being insurance and becomes a savings account where the insurer collects the interest. Come to think of it, aren't "health savings accounts" the conservative solution?

Posted by elenchos | June 25, 2008 9:10 AM

@2 you are correct.

It's not insurance.

Insurance covers risk.

As health care advances it's virtually near certain each of us will live long enough to get a costly disease/heroic care at the end costing $350,000 and up.

Not a rick, like a lightning bolt striking your home.

So let's just call it socialized medicine OK?

"Insurance" is a business and in the proper field there's nothing wrong with the market supplying it. This isn't a proper field for insurance.

Posted by PC | June 25, 2008 9:14 AM


PC, a proper role for you in a discussion of insurance would be for you to spread rumors of scandalous videos of Blue Shield executives. Fake smears are your specialty, not facts.

Posted by elenchos | June 25, 2008 9:25 AM

The Cookthink link is broken, yo.

But I'm totally going to have to make that cantaloupe soup recipe.

Posted by Balt-O-Matt | June 25, 2008 9:26 AM

Said Bush:

"I am reminded of the great talent of the -- of our Philippine Americans when I eat dinner at the White House.... And the chef is a great person and a really good cook, by the way, Madam President."

Ok, where exactly is the alleged joke?  Or the oh-no-he-di'int!-oh-yes-he-did!-worthy offense?  All I see is a painfully banal compliment.

It was fun writing this comment at 19:00 last night, though.  Love the RSS feed!

Posted by lostboy | June 25, 2008 10:00 AM

One of the best things about prosciutto or serrano is how it makes a nice Fino Sherry seem appropriate for breakfast.

Posted by kinaidos | June 25, 2008 10:01 AM

... and as the men get older they pay more than women, ECB. Why does it always have to be about sexism with you?

Posted by Anon | June 25, 2008 10:41 AM

men DIE sooner, so that's not exactly fair, either.

Posted by max solomon | June 25, 2008 10:57 AM

@2 is right.

It's also a surtax based on the fact that women get pregnant (a major cost), which is not something a society should make any surcharge for.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 25, 2008 11:15 AM

@ 10: No, it's not. Read the article - Blue Cross does NOT pay for anything pregnancy-related.

Posted by ECB | June 25, 2008 11:50 AM


No, it's not, Will. Read.

Posted by elenchos | June 25, 2008 11:50 AM

I stand corrected - you're talking about Cali's Blue Cross, whereas that's illegal in WA state and thus not excluded in the policies offered in THIS STATE.

Oh well.

How come nothing on the upcoming mass arrests of drivers using cell phones?

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 25, 2008 12:26 PM

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