Latest Posts

  • The Most Interesting Fundraiser in the World

    Jonathan Goldsmith, the actor who plays "The most interesting man in the world" in Dos Equis ads, doesn't always host money for fundraisers for politicians. But when he does, they're for Barack Obama.

    Goldsmith is scheduled to host a fundraiser for the Obama Victory Fund next Tuesday in Burlington, Vermont, along with the Speaker of the VT House.

    Even before this fundraiser, the campaign had moved from hope to hops. From beer giveaways  to promises of future beer summits, Obama is desperate for the Joe Sixpack vote. In fact, there's a relationship between beer connoisseurship and support for the president. Remarkably, ff the 25 states with the highest concentration of craft breweries, all 25 voted for Obama in the 2008 election.

    So it's not the case that Obama supporters have only drank the Kool-Aid. They've also downed quite a bit of beer.

    Photo by Glenn Francis/Wikimedia Commons

    Tags: Alcohol, Barack Obama, Fundraising, Vermont
  • Don't Frack My Beer, Bro

    The policy and environmental blogosphere is deep into a discussion of an International Energy Agency report weighing the benefits and drawbacks of expanded natural gas production.

    On the plus side, natural gas is abundant, inexpensive and less carbon-intensive than coal. At the same time, the process of extracting gas from shale, known as fracking, is fraught with danger. Industry groups refuse to release the contents of fracking fluid, even though a "we could tell you, but then we'd have to kill you basis" response would be persuasive, considering the likely toxicity of fracking chemicals.

    But even as environmentalists whine about fracking-induced earthquakes and methane seeps, they're neglecting one key issue that could turn public opinion on this matter

    The brewmeister of Brooklyn Brewery says toxic fracking chemicals like methanol, benzene, and ethylene glycol (found in anti-freeze) could contaminate his beer by leaking into New York's water supply. Unlike neighboring Pennsylvania, New York state has promised to ban high-volume fracking from the city's watershed. But environmentalists say the draft fracking regulations are weak and leave the largest unfiltered water supply in the United States — not to mention the beer that is made from it — vulnerable.

    Perhaps not coincidentally (but probably totally coincidentally), the state with the highest number of breweries per capita, Vermont, recently enacted the first statewide ban on  fracking. Unfortunately, banning fracking in Vermont is like banning jungle deforestation in Alaska or deep sea fishing in Kansas. Still, it's nice that someone is trying to not frack with our beer.

    Photo by Irish Government – Pool /Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: Alcohol, Energy & Oil, Environment, Vermont
  • Penguin Bites Newt Gingrich, Perhaps Initiating Animal Rebellion

    The animal kingdom has not fared well under human stewardship. Climate change is disturbing fragile ecosystems. Deforestation is destroying habitats. The rate of species extinctions is 100 to 1000 times the background rate of extinction recorded throughout evolutionary history.

    Perhaps it was only a matter of time before animals took matters into their own flippers, beaks and claws…

    The day after Newt Gingrich was bit by a penguin at a zoo, he acknowledged he is "the underdog" and said his campaign began renting their donor list because they needed money…

    Following a tour of the NASCAR museum, Gingrich said he spoke with Santorum in St. Louis, Mo. but only briefly. (This was the same day the Speaker visited the St. Louis Zoo, was nipped by a penguin and met a tiger named Callista — just like his wife, he joked to reporters.)

    The media is clearly missing the story by making only elliptical references to the penguin biting incident. Yes, releasing contributor lists to third parties is scummy, but every donor should have known Gingrich prefers "open" relationships.

    The real story is the leadership of this penguin, who mistook Gingrich's fishy oratory for actual fish and possibly set off a wider revolt

    Read More »

    Tags: Animals, Newt Gingrich, Peter Shumlin, Primaries, Republicans, Vermont
  • Profiling the Personality Types of the Super Tuesday States

    When attempting to predict the outcome of a huge primary day like today, it may be useful to create personality profiles for each of the states voting. Obviously, each of the states in this union has its own unique foibles and singular peccadilloes, and each of those differences will play into the candidate they ultimately chose.

    With that in mind, I — armed with a half-completed semester of Psychology 101 — decided it fitting to profile each of the Super Tuesday states according to the popular Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, developed by Dr. Carl Jung and used by psychologists and stalkers the world over. I hope you find this enlightening and helpful in your own predictions…


    ISFJ (introversion, sensing, feeling, judgment)

    Quiet, people-oriented and kind-hearted, Vermont tends to put the needs of other above those of itself, which probably goes a long way toward explaining the smell of its citizens. Those people do realize that those crystal deodorant stick-things don't actually work, don't they? And, also, come on, get a real car. Do they still even make parts for VW buses?


    ISFP (introversion, sensing, feeling, perception)

    Quiet, serious, sensitive and kind. Unless you're not like them, in which case, get out. Seriously, out. That gun on the wall is not for show. Tennessee is not interested in leading others, except maybe to the state line. This state tends to have a "Live and Let Live" attitude, just so long as you do it nowhere near them. Enjoy your life, but way over there.

    Read More »

    Tags: Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Primaries, Republicans, Science & Technology, Super Tuesday, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia