Welcome to the Rand Paul Project, where Lesson No. 1 is that unconventional candidates are prone to do ... unconventional things. It's hard to tell them that, no, they shouldn't go on a liberal cable news show at a moment of maximum attention to their every word and, no, they shouldn't indulge the temptation to defend their extreme-sounding views on the sort of racial discrimination that once had African-Americans drinking out of "colored" water fountains. "He thinks he's got enough working knowledge of the system and his philosophy to hold forth on anything any time,"Al Cross, a longtime Kentucky political journalist, said of Paul on Thursday. "But he's not ready for prime time." In some ways, it's just a freshman media mistake: Accept every interview that's offered, even if it means walking into the lion's den wrapped in red meat. But with what should be a safe Republican seat on the line, the first days of Paul's general election campaign have party pros unnerved.
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