DEBATE SUPERTHURSDAY

Gwen Ifill is the moderator of the debate. Now, normally I applaud debates because I want the candidates to square off as much as possible. At the very least, it reveals a lot about the candidate under pressure without having to fly a 747 at them.

The problem with Gwen Ifill, however, is she needs Obama to win.

Apparently she wrote a book about it. Her defense of the book is “Do you think they made the same assumptions about Lou Cannon (who is white) when he wrote his book about Reagan?” said Ifill, who is black. Asked if there were racial motives at play, she said, “I don’t know what it is. I find it curious.” Apparently Obama is only a small part of the book.

What does her publisher say?

ABOUT THIS BOOK

In THE BREAKTHROUGH, veteran journalist Gwen Ifill surveys the American political landscape, shedding new light on the impact of Barack Obama’s stunning presidential campaign and introducing the emerging young African American politicians forging a bold new path to political power.

Ifill argues that the Black political structure formed during the Civil Rights movement is giving way to a generation of men and women who are the direct beneficiaries of the struggles of the 1960s. She offers incisive, detailed profiles of such prominent leaders as Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, and U.S. Congressman Artur Davis of Alabama, and also covers up-and-coming figures from across the nation. Drawing on interviews with power brokers like Senator Obama, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Vernon Jordan, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, and many others, as well as her own razor-sharp observations and analysis of such issues as generational conflict and the “black enough” conundrum, Ifill shows why this is a pivotal moment in American history.

THE BREAKTHROUGH is a remarkable look at contemporary politics and an essential foundation for understanding the future of American democracy.

About the Author
GWEN IFILL is moderator and managing editor of Washington Week and senior correspondent of The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Before coming to PBS, she was chief congressional and political correspondent for NBC News, and had been a reporter for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, and Boston Herald American. She lives in Washington, D.C.

Nice that she never mentioned being the moderator, you would think that would be a good feather in her cap. Amazon’s summary is roughly copypasta, but here it is anyway:

Product Description
In THE BREAKTHROUGH, veteran journalist Gwen Ifill surveys the American political landscape, shedding new light on the impact of Barack Obama’s stunning presidential campaign and introducing the emerging young African American politicians forging a bold new path to political power.

Ifill argues that the Black political structure formed during the Civil Rights movement is giving way to a generation of men and women who are the direct beneficiaries of the struggles of the 1960s. She offers incisive, detailed profiles of such prominent leaders as Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, and U.S. Congressman Artur Davis of Alabama, and also covers up-and-coming figures from across the nation. Drawing on interviews with power brokers like Senator Obama, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Vernon Jordan, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, and many others, as well as her own razor-sharp observations and analysis of such issues as generational conflict and the “black enough” conundrum, Ifill shows why this is a pivotal moment in American history.

THE BREAKTHROUGH is a remarkable look at contemporary politics and an essential foundation for understanding the future of American democracy.

About the Author
GWEN IFILL is moderator and managing editor of Washington Week and senior correspondent of The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Before coming to PBS, she was chief congressional and political correspondent for NBC News, and had been a reporter for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, and Boston Herald American. She lives in Washington, D.C.

Frankly it sounds pretty positive towards Obama, and if the premise of the book is accumulating political power, it’s going to look awfully silly if Obama doesn’t.

The Spoils of Wort: Pumpkin Ale Afterflavoring

You may remember me from such diaries as the last one on pumpkin ale!

The ale continued it’s pace of slow bubbling, and it’s getting on week five in the fermenter. I did start marking down the level of trub on the side and finally realized it wasn’t making more trub. The light fizzing was obviously something else. Infection? Beer-AIDS? What could it be?

I got on the Beer Advocate forums and started looking around. Finally someone suggested that if it’s a Big Brew, it may have a lot of suspended carbonation. Unlike wine, there is no “outgassing” phase since we generally like carbonated beer. But if we have a lot of suspended carbonation, and we have a layer of trub or yeast still suspended in the beer, it creates nucleation sites for the carbonation to be released. It’s the mentos and diet coke effect. Sure enough I took a hydrometer reading and it was down to 1.010, which is where finished beer usually is.

I went to check on my mason jar of spices and was horrified to find all the alcohol had evaporated out and what was left was a disgusting slurry of crap. However, it smelled great! I added a bit more vodka to get it less thick and dumped it into the beer and was met with a bit of fizzing. Yep, suspended carbonation. I tried a shotglass of it and the beer was good, but maybe not as good as it should be. The spices were just a bit disappointed and subdued, but this project also went on twice as long as it should have before bottling. I think for tonight before bottling, I’m going to steep identical levels of spices in hot water to get the aromatics going and dump them in to taste. I may also add a bit of almond.

Is it beer? Yes, and it’s good. It’s dark and malty and there’s enough room left from the mild hopping to let the spices give it some kick without undoing the balance between the malt sweetness and the spicyness of everything else. Is it pumpkiny? Not really. This was the most disappointing part about this brew because I made a royal mess out of a baking sheet to try to get the pumpkin in there. While we missed the target, it’s not a failure either.