Gentlemen, start your bacteria!
Lawmakers from states where Greek yogurt is a booming business are, quite naturally, thrilled. New York is home to the plants for Fage and Chobani; the latter also has a facility in Idaho.
“I hope USDA will continue the important process of making this healthy food option increasingly available to young Americans,” Sen. Mike Crapo (R- Idaho) said in a statement.
“I am proud to see this pilot plan reach this final step, because it’s a boon for New York yogurt and dairy industries, and it’s beneficial for the health of our kids,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who claimed credit for helping kick-start the program as part of his campaign to make the Empire State the Greek-yogurt capital of the world — at least outside Greece, that is.
There’s a trickle-down effect as well, with the yogurt craze also boosting dairy farmers in those states who supply the raw goods.
Both New York and Idaho are part of the pilot program, along with Arizona and Tennessee.
Since the program could be expanded nationwide, the company (or companies — the USDA could give the contract to multiple suppliers or settle on a single manufacturer) that snags a contract could be in for a boost in business. The initial buy alone is some 199,800 pounds of yogurt.
Fiction is stranger than truth
Some former members of Congress write measured op-eds and dull think-tank papers outlining the problems facing America and their possible solutions.
Instead of penning a dime-a-dozen white paper, former senator
chose a more entertaining format for sounding the alarm about the vulnerabilities of the nation’s electrical system with a fast-paced new novel, “Gridlock.”
Written with veteran thriller author
, the book tells the story of a terrorist plot to use a computer virus to bring down the interconnected power networks that we rely on for everything from clean water to street lights.
The North Dakota Democrat, who also teamed with Hagberg on the 2012 bio-terrorism thriller “Blowout,” tells the Loop that he drew inspiration from his own research and a 2009 Wall Street Journal article about the possibility that foreign spies were targeting the U.S. electrical system.
“I’m not trying to scare anyone, but we face substantial new threats, and our next war may well be a digital war,” he said.
Dorgan used his expertise in the ways of Washington to give the book a dose of authenticity that’s often missing from outsiders’ renderings of Beltway protocol. He knows, for example, which agency heads would be in meetings with the president. “I’ve been around a lot of top secret briefings and discussions about threats to our country,” he said.
And he’s seen plenty of world leaders in action.
Other elements of the story were a little more challenging to conjure up, he admited, like one setting, an encampment near Amsterdam populated by drug addicts and murderous computer hackers. Not exactly the normal environs for a nice North Dakotan.