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Member since: Thu Oct 21, 2004, 05:06 PM
Number of posts: 20,942

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Bill Maher is back tonight for the start of his 12th season - 10 pm HBO and repeat at 11pm

Real Time with Bill Maher KICKS OFF ITS 12TH SEASON






Real Time with Bill Maher returns for its 12th season FRIDAY, JAN. 17 (10:00-11:00 p.m. live ET/tape-delayed PT), with a replay at 11:00 p.m., exclusively on HBO. Allowing Maher to offer his unique perspective on contemporary issues, the show includes an opening monologue, roundtable discussions with panelists, and interviews with in-studio and satellite guests. Journalist Glenn Greenwald is the top-of-show interview guest. Political consultant Mary Matalin is the mid-show interview guest. The roundtable guests are political commentator James Carville, former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm and political analyst Steve Schmidt.

Obama to Call for Overhaul of N.S.A.’s Phone Data Collection Program

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/18/us/politics/obam

Obama to Call for Overhaul of N.S.A.’s Phone Data Collection Program
President Obama will require intelligence agencies to obtain permission from a secret court before tapping into a vast database of telephone data, but he will leave the data in the hands of the government for now, an administration official said.
Mr. Obama, in a much-anticipated speech on Friday morning, plans to pull back the government’s wide net of surveillance at home and abroad, staking out a middle ground between the far-reaching proposals of his own advisers and the concerns of the nation’s intelligence agencies.
At the heart of the changes, spurred by the disclosure of surveillance practices by a former National Security Agency contractor, Edward J. Snowden, will be an overhaul of a bulk data collection program that has swept up many millions of records of Americans’ telephone calls, though not their content.

Read more: Link to source

Dear Elleng: I took the liberty to show you what Picasa can do

Remember: I mentioned to install the free program from Google called Picasa, and that you can straighten the horizon lines with it. We all do this from time to time. But you did not want to bother with it, and thought just holding the camera more still might do it.

Now look here:
I straightened this breathtakingly beautiful photo of yours in Picasa. It took about a second.
I don't know if or what you entered, but you have til midnight to exchange it out.
I just love this photo of yours, who knew you would learn so quickly!

Whole Wheat Bread - easiest ever - and 3 times in a row it turned out like this!

I've been baking bread for a long time, the old ways, the bread machine ways, the
Artisan way.
Never though have I been able to create tall loaves like this with only whole wheat flour until I made it like I'm describing in the attached recipe.

Hope you like looking and baking. I wrote it up for a friend who tasted it and wanted to have the recipe - so it's a bit more detailed and descriptive than it needs to be for seasoned bakers.

At no time though disregard the care you must take with the hot pot.

Whole Wheat Bread

You need whole wheat flour
envelope of regular yeast
salt and a Dutch oven (cast iron / Le Creuset / or ceramic Dutch oven with a lid. The lid cannot have plastic on it, because it has to withstand very high temperatures)

In a large bowl stir  together 4 cups of whole wheat flour (King Arthur's is preferred, or good flour sold in bulk )
2 cups of tepid water into which you stirred the yeast and 2 tsp of salt

Stir with wooden spoon till mixed. It needs to be moist, but hold together - you don't want it liquid. Adjust water or flour til it is a very moist but credible dough, not a puddle .

Cover with a towel and let sit on the counter for 12 - 18 hours / I wait about 18

Flour a surface ( I have one of the silicone mats that look a lot like this: 


Aldi sells them every now and then, cheaper)

gently dump the dough onto the floured surface and just push it together into a ball. Don't push it down or manipulate it.

Let it rise 2 more hours, covered with a floured kitchen towel.

Now put the Dutch oven and the lid into the oven and preheat the oven to 450 for at least 20-25 min.  

Be very very careful removing the lid and hot pot and set them onto a heat proof surface.

Gently lift the ball of bread and put it in the hot Dutch oven, which has been sprayed with Olive Oil and generously sprinkled with a mixture of  seeds/ sesame/sunflower/flax seeds/wheat germ/ stuff like that. You can get it at whole foods in the bins that release it into bags. I keep a mixture of it in a glass jar for when I bake bread. Then spray the top of the dough with water, and sprinkle it with the mixture as well.
Cover with the lid and bake at 450 for 30 min. Carefully remove the hot lid and bake it 10 more minutes, or till it looks and sounds done. You rap on the bread like it's a door and if it sounds hollow its done.

Carefully remove bread - slide it onto a rack to cool - do not cut it for at least 20 min.

OH NO - one of the most terrifying images from The Godfather: have we seen this version yet? (toon)

I've never done a "caption this" before - and maybe it should be in the Lounge

But then gun related posts are mostly political...
OK - so I'm not doing a "caption this" - really. I just wanted you to see this well prepared mutt.

Meet Lucas - a new neighbor

I was on a walk when my friend Lea asked me to come in and meet her new Chihuahua Puppy, and my camera happened to be with me

Christie Unaware He Was the Governor - new scandal revealed by Andy Borowitz

TRENTON (The Borowitz Report)—At a hastily called press conference today, Chris Christie revealed that he only became aware that he was the governor of New Jersey in the past seventy-two hours.

“Unbeknownst to me, some people I thought I could trust were secretly working to elect me governor of this state,” a visibly stunned Christie told reporters. “I have acted swiftly and fired them all.”
While asserting that he had terminated all of the people who were involved in the scheme to elect him, he said that, if he finds additional conspirators, “I will deal with them accordingly.”

Christie struggled to explain how he remained in the dark about being governor, a position he has held since 2010: “I guess I’m just not much of a detail person. People think I’m a micromanager. I’m not. If a bunch of people are going behind my back and plotting to make me the governor, that’s not the kind of thing I pick up on.”
Reflecting on his reaction to the news that he is the governor of New Jersey, Christie said he felt “angry, embarrassed, and humiliated, but mainly just sad.”

“It’s sad that this was allowed to happen,” he said. “It’s a sad situation for me and for New Jersey.”


Take a look: Population distribution of the United States, measured in Canadas

The population density of Canada is incredibly low compared to the United States. This map is a great way to visualize the difference between the two countries.
You could fit the entire population of Canada into each area on the U.S. marked "Canada."

it originated here:

Progressives stand united! They stand up for others, and for each other - here's the list.

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