Chattanooga and our national schizophrenia on mass shootings

Kyle Wingfield

Police officers enter the Armed Forces Career Center through a bullet-riddled door after a gunman opened fire on the building Thursday in Chattanooga.   (AP Photo / John Bazemore) Police officers enter the Armed Forces Career Center through a bullet-riddled door after a gunman opened fire on the building Thursday in Chattanooga. (AP Photo / John Bazemore)

First things first: Prayers for the good people of Chattanooga. This is appropriate in every instance of tragedy or horrific crime, but the murder of four Marines on Thursday hits a little closer to home for me. I have probably spent more time in Chattanooga than any other city I haven’t lived in. I grew up about 30 miles south of there, and it was often said that the only thing to do in Dalton was to go to Chattanooga. It’s a lovely city that over the past two or three decades has re-imagined itself in a way most other places can only dream of, an achievement that speaks well of the people who live there. Those people need prayers right now…

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Obama couldn’t do better than this Iran deal? That’s kind of the point, isn’t it?

Kyle Wingfield

The perfect metaphor for our negotiating position: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif leads British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and a hobbled John Kerry off the stage in Vienna Tuesday. (Carlos Barria / Pool Photo via AP) The perfect metaphor for our negotiating position: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif leads British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and a hobbled John Kerry off the stage in Vienna Tuesday. (Carlos Barria / Pool photo via AP)

President Obama has his deal with Iran. That sentence was always going to be written one day, because no serious person believed, as Secretary of State John Kerry still insists, that Obama was willing to walk away from the table. Nothing about his actions in these negotiations — nor, really, during his presidency — suggests that was true.

So there was going to be a deal. And the question was always going to be whether it would be a relatively good deal (perfection in these matters is impossible) or a relatively bad deal. As details about the deal continue to emerge, I suggest your answer to that question depends on whether you…

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‘Daily Show’ talks pool etiquette in McKinney

All Ablog Austin

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It didn’t take long for the controversial police use of force at a McKinney neighborhood pool to earn the attention of the writers and performers at “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”

Stewart riffed on the McKinney police officer caught on video outside a pool party throwing a teenage girl to the ground and pointing his weapon at other teenagers.

Later in the segment, “senior Texas aquatics correspondent” Jessica Williams breaks down for Stewart pool etiquette for black people in McKinney, donning body armor under a string bikini — a “McKinni,” if you will:

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Gold Dome churn could bode ill for reforms

Kyle Wingfield

state-capitol

Just last fall, statewide offices were filled for another four years. Yet 2015 hadn’t yet entered spring before folks under the Gold Dome started speculating about the next round of elections.

The most discouraging thing about this year’s legislative session may be how obvious it was that a number of lawmakers already had 2018 on their minds. It was apparent in the types of bills introduced, the amendments offered to those bills, the votes cast on them. The transportation-funding measure was a prime example, as legislators with higher ambitions maneuvered with them in mind.

You can expect a certain amount of this before a second-term governor leaves office. But four years ahead of time?

It doesn’t bode well for legislators’ ability to tackle big issues soon. They’ll all be up for re-election in 2016. The 2018 campaign for statewide offices will begin shortly thereafter. As hard as it is for…

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Paul Qui to open his first restaurant outside of Austin

The Feed

Jesser Herman (left) and Paul Qui tour the space where Otoko will be at the forthcoming South Congress Hotel. (Credit: Stephen Spillman FOR AMERICAN-STATESMAN) Jesser Herman (left) and Paul Qui tour the space where Otoko will be at the forthcoming South Congress Hotel. (Credit: Stephen Spillman FOR AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

Paul Qui will open his first restaurant outside of his home base of Austin later this year, as first reported by Food & Wine. Qui’s yet-to-be-named restaurant will be located in the Faena Hotel Miami Beach. The restaurant will join concepts from L.A. chef Gabriel Ask, who will serve as the hotel’s executive chef, and famed Argentine chef Francis Mallmann, who will open his first U.S. restaurant at the hotel.

Qui’s new restaurant is a partnership with hospitality industry veteran Jesse Herman’s new company Waterloo, and is similar to the duo’s work on forthcoming Otoko, the modern day kaiseki Qui will open at the South Congress Hotel in the coming months.

Qui and Herman are working on the new Miami Beach restaurant in close…

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You’re buying your spaghetti noodles wrong

PostNOW

For busy weeknights, having a good dried spaghetti in the pantry is about 90 percent of having dinner made. (Kirk McKoy/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Rough noodles are better than smooth noodles.

That’s the rule of thumb — or should it be fork? — when looking for the right box of dried spaghetti, according to a cook who bought and tested 10 brands, including gluten-free.

What noodles did he like best? The Garofalo sold at Costco and Amazon.com ($3.81 per pound), Whole Foods’ store-brand 365 “organic” ($1.49) and supermarket staple Barilla ($1.49).

The actual flavor of the noodles tasted varied little. Tasting naked spaghetti is like differentiating among various degrees of beige, (investigative food journalist) Russ Parsons says.

But the differences really showed up — and showed out — when he added the sauce. Everybody knows the best pasta sops up sauce like a soft piece of Italian bread. That’s where the rough stuff…

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Pat Haden to skip CFP meeting because of Indiana’s controversial new law

Statesman U

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Southern California athletic director Pat Haden, one of 13 members of the College Playoff Committee, will skip a meeting this week that’s set for Indianapolis.

Haden is conducting a personal boycott against the state because of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act signed last week by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence. It’s been interpreted to mean that Indiana businesses, because of their religious beliefs, can discriminate against the LGBT community.

The NCAA, which is based in Indianapolis, issued a statement last week, criticizing the new law:

“The NCAA national office and our members are deeply committed to providing an inclusive environment for all our events. We are especially concerned about how this legislation could affect our student-athletes and employees…

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