3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1/2 pound spaghetti, uncooked
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 scallion, trimmed and thinly sliced
Bring large pot of salted water to a boil on high heat. Add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and spaghetti. Boil according to package directions until al dente. Drain.
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in small skillet over medium heat. Add sesame seeds. Sauté 2 minutes, or until brown. Toss spaghetti with soy sauce, sesame seeds and scallion. Serve immediately.
A scallion is also known as a green onion. This really is easy and I love pasta so I had to try it and I was surprised by how robust the flavor is. I wish I could suggest a bread for this because I tried several. I think poppy seed bread worked best if you're trying to match everything but I'm sure there's something that works better. (And you can always just toast wheat bread -- or white if that's what you like -- in a toaster and butter it. There's nothing wrong with that.)
Lou likes French bread best with it. (I e-mailed her the recipe on Tuesday so she could try it if she wanted.) She says if you buy it at the store, dab a little bit of water on it and put it in the oven for 15 minutes or so on 350 degrees to get it warm and toasty.
Turning to the economy, this is from Liz Peek's "Will Our Sickly Recovery Survive Doctor Obama?" (wowOwow):
The stock market has been taking a drubbing this past few weeks, selling off yesterday to a new seven-week low and settling below 10,000 for the first time since July 6. Anxieties about the still-weak housing sector and continued poor job growth have dialed down investors’ appetite for risk all over again. Moreover, there is a growing sense that our leaders are clueless about how to fix this mess.
Consequently, all eyes were on Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke today as he addressed a gathering of economists and academics in Wyoming. Bernanke has been hopping back and forth, nudging toward tightening one week and loosening the nation’s purse strings the next. He looks more like someone playing Double Dutch than a sound policymaker. This morning he pledged to again ramp up purchases of securities should the economy appear to be reversing gear. This came on the heels of a report that the economy slowed sharply in the second quarter, growing at a 1.6% rate. This may not have provided the reassurance the market was hoping for.
In fairness, his options are not great. Economist Alan Blinder wrote an excellent piece this week, detailing possible moves the Fed could make, concluding that none would have much impact at this point. The Fed has already (very successfully) expanded its balance sheet gigantically, purchasing mammoth amounts of mortgage-backed securities to keep rates in the sector low. Blinder suggests an interesting notion, which is that instead of paying interest on the $1 trillion in excess reserves that banks have on deposit, the Fed should instead charge a fee. His view is that, faced with such a penalty, banks might loosen their lending standards and more aggressively push money out into the economy. He also recommends encouraging bank examiners to kick back and relax a little. Current tight lending standards, a reaction to overly lax policies of the past, are not helping.
Indeed, numerous purported remedies for our ailing economy are going awry. Bernanke is flying into powerful head winds. He may have kept interest rates low – an important element in boosting our debt-laden economy – but he has no control over taxes, regulations and spending. While he was inching toward reining in the Fed’s bloated balance sheet, thus signaling to the rest of the world that the U.S. does not in fact intend to go broke, Congress pushed through more spending programs. At the same time, President Obama and his colleagues in Congress have created a regulatory tsunami, with one wave of "reform" after another. The upshot has been completely predictable unintended consequences that have unsettled industries across the board and intimidated small businesses.
There's really no trick left to play (except a brave and bold move and Barack doesn't have it in him) and that's the point of Ben White's article for Politico:
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Friday: