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2016 DNC host city


Description Ben Franklin <b>Bridge</b>-2.jpg

Join us.
We’re ready to elect another Democrat as the 45th President of the United States in 2016, and today we’re taking a big step on our path toward doing that.

After much buildup and very careful consideration over which city will host our 2016 Democratic National Convention, I’m pleased to announce that we’ll nominate the next President of the United States in Philadelphia — the City of Brotherly Love.

We’re going to have a great time together come July 2016 in Philadelphia — and many more details are coming soon. But there’s plenty of work for us to do before we reach Philadelphia, and Democrats will need your help to keep the White House blue.

So if you’re committed to electing the Democrat we’ll nominate next July, then add your name here and I’ll make sure you stay in the loop:

http://convention.democrats.org

The One Thing You Need to Know When Buying Vanilla Ice Cream


We devoured pint after pint to get the scoop on vanilla ice cream — and uncovered the best-tasting brand along the way.

The One Thing You Need to Know When Buying Vanilla Ice Cream

Go to the freezer section of your local supermarket and you’re bound to find a number of brands peddling vanilla ice cream. Sounds fine, right? However, there’s a problem lurking among the labels: Brands that print phrases like “natural vanilla” on their packages may actually be pushing products that contain anything but.

RELATED: Want to make your own ice cream? Arm yourself with the best recipes and detailed video tutorials (try it for free).

In our America’s Test Kitchen TV taste test segment for supermarket vanilla ice cream, Jack Bishop explains that counterfeit vanilla is a bigger problem than one might think, and implores smart shoppers to read labels before buying a pint of the stuff.

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“Vanilla extract is the key to buying ice cream with good vanilla flavor,” says Bishop. “If it doesn’t say vanilla extract, walk on by.”

Bishop explains to co-host Christopher Kimball that shoppers might see the words “natural vanilla flavor” printed on ice cream cartons. “Sounds pretty good, right? It’s actually imitation extract made from wood pulp.”

RELATED: Not sure if a Vitamix is worth it? Read our review of blenders. Shopping for a new skillet? We have you covered.

Vanilla flavoring was all over the map in the 8 ice creams we included in our taste test, ranging from barely detectable in some to overpowering in others. We looked on the back of the cartons and noticed that each brand seemed to list vanilla in a different way—as Bishop explained—from the wordy and virtuous “fair-traded certified vanilla extract” to “natural vanilla flavor” to simply “vanilla.” Dairy expert Scott Rankin, a professor of food science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, explained that the different wordings on the labels amount to an industry shorthand for specific kinds of natural or artificial flavorings. As he helped us break the code, we looked at our favorite (and not-so-favorite) ice creams according to the type of vanilla.

First, a little background: The flavor in vanilla beans is predominantly due to the presence of a compound known as vanillin. Vanillin is produced three ways: from vanilla beans, from wood, and from resins. The first two types are considered natural, while the vanillin from resins is synthetic. Not surprisingly, our top three top-ranked brands all contained the real deal—“vanilla extract”—natural vanillin extracted from vanilla beans, just like the real vanilla extract in your pantry. Less favored brands were made with vanillin extracted from wood (“natural vanilla flavor”), which is chemically identical to the synthetic vanillin found in artificial vanilla extract. Simple “vanilla” turned out to be code for a combination of synthetic and natural vanillin, while “natural flavors” (with no mention of vanilla at all) indicates just a trace of natural vanilla (there’s no required level) and other flavorings such as nutmeg that merely trigger an association.

Bottom line: Our tasters strongly preferred brands containing real vanilla extract.

Jobs … Coming from Wind ~ a repost


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2016 Senate Map

Learn more about how we’ll take back the Senate in 2016.

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Historic negotiations with Iran


VoteVets.orgThis is historic. Iran, and western governments, including the United States, have negotiated a framework that would end the immediate threat of a nuclear Iran.

As Major General (Ret.) Paul Eaton, Brigadier General (Ret.) Steven Anderson, and Colin Powell’s former Chief of Staff, Colonel (Ret.) Lawrence Wilkerson said:

“[This agreement] sends a very strong signal to all of us in the US, and especially those in Congress — the United States will stand up firmly to Iran, when Iran’s demands conflict with our best interests. There can be no doubt that our negotiating team, while fair, is tough.

At the same time, our team remains committed to negotiating a good deal, that will move the region away from another war in the Middle East, peacefully. That is in the best traditions of America, and its leadership role in the world. It is an ideal to which we all must remain committed – for America, for our military, and for our security.”

Join retired Generals Eaton, Anderson, Wilkerson and VoteVets and add your name in support of these historic negotiations with Iran.

This framework would set the stage for an incredibly strong deal, which would drastically cut back Iran’s nuclear capability, limit it to peaceful purposes, force it to submit to constant, intrusive inspections, and not see any relief in sanctions until it proves to nuclear inspectors that it is meeting benchmarks.

In short, it would defuse a major powder keg in the region, that would have led to a protracted war in the Middle East.

But this is not done. Hardliners in Congress still may try to derail a final agreement. We need to stand up to them. You can help do that, by signing on to the statement from retired Generals Eaton, Anderson, Wilkerson and VoteVets:

http://action.votevets.org/iran-negotiations

Thanks for your support, and we will keep you up to date.

Jon Soltz
Iraq War Veteran
Chairman, VoteVets.org