Sunday, November 14, 2010

Newsweek and The Daily Beast Merge

MIAMI - NOVEMBER 12:  The Daily Beast web site...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
A merger between Newsweek and the Daily Beast will be announced this morning with former New Yorker and Vanity Fair editor Tina Brown at its helm, according to the New York Daily News. The New York Observer broke the news late Thursday night, which Brown confirmed on her Web site. "The union of The Daily Beast and Newsweek magazine finally took place with a coffee-mug toast between all parties Tuesday evening," wrote Brown, who helped launch the reporting and opinion site the Daily Beast in 2008. "The final details were only hammered out last night." Speculation about the merger has swirled for weeks, with the deal seeming to hang by a thread as Brown wrestled for more editorial control from Newsweek owner Sidney Harman, 91, who bought the ailing news magazine in August for $1. Brown wrote of her desire to work with Harman to "restore Newsweek to its glory days" and infuse the older publication with some of the "new creative energy" that has helped draw 5 million unique visits per month to the Beast, according to Brown.


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Monday, November 8, 2010

Meghan McCain Blasts Bristol Palin

NEW YORK - MAY 6:  (NO SALE, NO ARCHIVE) In th...Image by Getty Images via @daylife

"Dancing with the Stars" contestant Bristol Palin reportedly was so busy rehearsing that she didn't vote in the recent election. The daughter of former Gov. Sarah Palin was apologetic to her mom, though.

The 20-year-old daughter of former Gov. Sarah Palin, who is in L.A. competing on ABC's Dancing With the Stars, told Inside Edition she forgot to send in her "absentee ballot in Alaska. I'm going to be in trouble. Sorry, Mom!"

Meghan McCain is slamming Bristol Palin for not voting in Tuesday's elections. Appearing on the Tonight Show With Jay Leno, McCain, 26 said, "If you didn't vote in my family that was like bad news. I've been voting since I turned 18."

Ripping on Palin, she added, "I guess it's only important for Bristol Palin to vote for Dancing With the Stars. I think a lot of women worked really hard to give us the right to vote. Anyone that doesn't vote is just ridiculous."

Just because she didn't vote, Palin still has opinions on politics: She thinks her mom should run for president in 2012. "I know that she's great and she'd be great for our country," she said.

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Charlie Sheen: At It Again

ASPEN, CO - FEBRUARY 08: The lawyers for actor...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
Well. Charlie Sheen is at it again.  The actor stars in the TV sitcom "Two and a Half Men" but the show pales when compared to his off air drama. Most recently, the police were called to Sheen's hotel room at the Plaza Hotel in NYC.  They found Charlie drunk and the room trashed. Wonder how he keeps his job with scandal after scandal.
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Twin Boys for Celine Dion

Celine Dion performing "Taking Chances&qu...Image via Wikipedia
While Celine Dion celebrates last Saturday's birth of healthy twin boys Eddy and Nelson, the singer recently revealed a heartbreaking loss during the pregnancy.
During an extended Quebec TV interview taped 10 days before she gave birth, Dion confessed that she was originally carrying triplets, not twins.
Dion, 42, explained in the special (which aired on Thursday) that the heart of the third fetus stopped beating soon after she learned she was expecting.
"He chose to let go to give space to his brothers to grow," Dion said of the unborn child. A rep for Dion confirmed this to E! News.
Dion and Angelil, 68, have been frank about their struggles to conceive. Eddy and Nelson were successfully conceived following 5 failed IVF attempts.

Angelil told Canadian TV show "we were crying" when the first twin was born last Saturday. "We were both thinking about the time it took. We are very lucky, very privileged and very fortunate to have these boys."

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Celine Dion hospitalized

Celine Dion has been admitted to a Florida hospital to prevent the early delivery of her twins.

The superstar singer is at St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Fla. The hospital said in a statement the admission was recommended to make sure she's near her doctors leading up to the babies' birth. Her rep said she is due to deliver the twins early next month.

Dion announced earlier this year that she's pregnant with two boys. She had tried for years to have more children. She and her husband, Rene Angelil, are the parents of a 9-year-old son, Rene Charles.

TV Moments That Changed Us

Fifty years ago in October, America launched a new political tool, televised presidential debates. Richard Nixon won the debate among radio listeners, but Americans watching live named young, tan, telegenic John F. Kennedy the victor. Kennedy’s 1960 TV victory, viewed by 70 million viewers is just one of the milestone broadcasts that shaped America’s identity for the last half-century. Here are some other TV moments that changes us forever:

November 22-25, 1963
J.F. K’s Assassination/Funeral Coverage
Television news bound American’s together during a national tragedy.
93 percent of U. S. televisions tuned in.

February 9, 1964
The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show
Fans saw The Fab Four on screen for the first time.
73 Million fans kicked off the rock ‘n’ roll revolution.

August 26-29, 1968
Democratic Convention Riots
While anti-war activist demonstrated, 16.2 million viewers watched 28,000 law enforcement fight against the nation’s first widespread peace protest.

January 12, 1969
Super Bowl III
41.6 million viewers watched Joe Namath’s AFL Jets stomp the heavily favored NFL Colts in a 16-7 upset, setting the stage for years of Sunday showdowns to come.

July 20, 1969
Apollo 11 Moon Landing
528 million viewers world-wide watched Neil Armstrong’s giant leap for mankind.
Soviet television refused to broadcast the feat.

July 29, 1981
Britain’s Prince of Wales Weds Lady Diana Spencer
750 viewers around the globe watched the nuptials. The world’s love affair with Princess Diana long outlasted the couple’s marriage.

August 1, 1981
MTV Debuts
MTV’s debut song was the Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star”. The station garnered 2.1 million subscribers in the first year.

January16, 1991
Persian Gulf War Invasion
Operation Desert Storm opened live in living rooms across the country.
Thanks to CNN 118 million viewers watched a war in real time.

September 11, 2001
Terrorist attack America
80 million viewers watched the news of the terrorist attacks. The video of the toppling twin towers shattered America’s sense of security.

Source: October 2010 AARP Bulletin

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Recent Transistions

Barbara Billingsley in the pilot Image via Wikipedia

Barbara Billingsley, an American film, television, voice and stage actress died in October 16 at the age of  94. She gained prominence in  her best–known role, that of June Cleaver on the television series Leave It to Beaver and its sequel Still the Beaver (also known as The New Leave It to Beaver).

Albertina Walker

Albertina Walker, a legendary gospel singer with a lush contralto voice recorded a string of hits in the 1950s and 1960s. She nourished the careers of such greats as the Rev. James Cleveland, Inez Andrews and Pastor Shirley Caesar. She was a fixture in body and spirit at Chicago's Gospel Festival since the event's inception, both solo and with the Caravans. Walker had been battling emphysema, and died October 8 in a Chicago hospital, where she had been since late August,

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Forbes LIst: World's Most Powerful Women

Forbes Magazine has released their picks for 2010's Most Powerful Women in the World -- and the First Lady is at the head of the class.  Michelle Obama was ranked as the world's No. 1 most powerful woman, while the queen of daytime, Oprah Winfrey, snagged the No.3 spot.

Women in entertainment scored big this year, with pop superstar Lady Gaga taking the seventh spot and music mogul/designer Beyonce ranking ninth. Comedian and talkshow host Ellen DeGeneres rounded out the list at No. 10.

The U.S. was the list's clear winner -- eight of the10 coveted spots were filled by American women, while Chicagoans dominated the mighty top three. In addition to Windy City natives Obama and Oprah, Irene Rosenfeld, CEO of Kraft Foods and another Chicago resident, was ranked No. 2. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (originally hailing from the Chicago suburb, Park Ridge) rang in at No. 5.

2010 Forbes Most Powerful Women In The World top 10:

1. Michelle Obama, US First Lady
2. Irene Rosenfeld, chief executive Kraft Foods
3. Oprah Winfrey, media mogul
4. Angela Merkel, German Chancellor
5. Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State
6. Indra Nooyi, chief executive, Pepsi
7. Lady Gaga, singer
8. Gail Kelly, chief executive, Westpac
9. Beyonce Knowles, singer and fashion designer
10. Ellen DeGeneres, talk show host

Source: Forbes;

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Jennifer Hudson: You Go Girl!

When tragedy hits stars and celebrities, some fall and some stand. Hats off to Jennifer Hudson who stood tall through it all.

Jennifer Hudson won TWENTY NINE awards for her debut performance including: Golden Globe, NAACP Image Award, Screen Actors Guild, Academy Award and her debut album won a Grammy.
Now, in addition to being a new mom and overcoming the tragic murders of her mother, brother, and nephew, Jennifer Hudson has a brand-new look that exudes confidence, strength, and positive energy. She’s also recently been named a spokesperson for Weight Watchers and is purportedly working on new film projects as well as a new album.

You go Girl!
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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Bullying Epidemic, But No Consequences

Two young people chose life over death after "acquaintances" made life unbearable.

Rutger's University student Tyler Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge after his room mate Dharum Ravi streamed video of his sexual tryst on the internet. Thirteen year old Seth Walsh took his life by hanging himself from a tree after repeated bullying by classmates.
 Clementi’s death marks the fifth suicide by a gay teen in the past month. Justin Aaberg, openly gay and just 15, committed suicide after being bullied in school. Billy Lucas, also 15 wasn’t out, but was mercilessly bullied in school. He hanged himself. Asher Brown, 13, who told his parents he was gay the morning he shot himself in the head, was also bullied. And Seth Walsh, also just 13, hanged himself after suffering from years of bullying.
There's something wrong in a society where no action can be taken against folks who bully others resulting in death.  Guess it only works if the person being bullyed kills the person making their life miserable.
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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Actor Tony Curtis Dies

Oscar-nominated actor Tony Curtis died at age 85 Wednesday evening of cardiac arrest at his home in the Las Vegas-area city of Henderson, Clark County Coroner Mike Murphy said Thursday.

In 1958, "The Defiant Ones" brought him an Academy Award nomination as best actor for his portrayal of a white racist who escaped from prison handcuffed to a black man, Sidney Poitier. The following year, he donned women's clothing and sparred with Marilyn Monroe in one of the most acclaimed film comedies ever, Billy Wilder's "Some Like It Hot."

His first wife was actress Janet Leigh of "Psycho" fame; actress Jamie Lee Curtis is their daughter.

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Utah police investigate plural family for bigamy - Yahoo! News

Update on "Sister Wives" plural family.

Utah police investigate plural family for bigamy - Yahoo! News
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Amazing Star Salaries

Ophrah Winfrey, Charlie Sheen, Hugh Laurie
I set out to find out the salary of contestants on "Dancing With the Stars" trying to find out what attracted participants.  It was plain that nonentities like Bristol Palin were looking for a paycheck and possible linkage to a regular hook-up. Stars in the declining years of fame like Florence Henderson and David Hasselhoff probably were looking for an additional fifteen minutes of attention and maybe a renewed interest leading to regular employment.

Each DWTS contestant is paid $200,000 for the season regardless of how long they remain on the show.  First, second and third place winners are paid an additional bonus and the ultimate winner receives a bonus of $100,000 dollars. Not bad for limited talent, a little publicity, and another line on the resume.

As always when surfing the internet, one click leads to another, so let me share some of the interesting information I found.
  • Oprah Winfrey gets paid $315 million-a-year for her talk show topping a list of the highest paid talk show hosts in the US, with her staggering wage more than the combined total of the next four top earners, Judge Judy Sheindlin and David Letterman, who earn $45 million and $28 million respectively, ‘Tonight Show’ star Jay Leno on $25 million and Conan O’Brien, who gets paid $10 million.
  • Jennifer Lopez will rake in $12 millon per season while Ryan Seacrest paycheck will be $15 million annually, triple his salary from last season.
  • Charlie Sheen of "Two and a Half Men"  is paid $1.8 million per episode while co-star Jon Cryer nets $550,000 per episode.
  • Law and Order SUV stars Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay both earn $395,000 while David Caruso, CSI: Miami rakes in $375,000.
  • Hugh Laurie, Dr. Gregory House earns $400,000 in season five of the award winning series.
  •  Jersey Shores Snooki will earn $30,000 pr episode, up from $2,200 in season one.
  • NCIS star Mark Harmon makes $325,000 while Michael Weatherly makes under $100,000.
For more detailed information, see the related articles below.
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Monday, September 27, 2010

"Sister Wives" Take Center Stage

Meri Brown, Janelle Brown, Kody Brown, Christine Brown, Robyn Brown

Last night I watched the first offering of TLC's "Sister Wives".  Don't ask me why, but I thought I might learn something about the women who accept polygomy as their life style of choice. Chalk it up to curiosity.

Polygamist Kody Brown is the show's husband to three wives and father of thirteen children. I could understand why Kody never stopped grinning as the head of a plural family, but I never understood the upbeat wives and children.  Everyone seemed accepting of the unorthodox communal life and no one addressed the emotional stress or financial burdens in a family trying to meet the needs of seventeen individuals. As the show progressed, we find that Kody is "courting" another woman who he has selected to be wife number four.  The new wife -to-be has three children of her own to bring to the family relationship.

It may be interesting to watch as this nationally broadcast reality show progresses, just to see if all the smiles continue from day to day. Somehow it was hard for me to believe the “unexpectedly tight-knit and loving relationships between Kody’s wives” that TLC presented. Time will tell if normal human disagreements, jealousy, and dissatisfaction prevail and are addressed or if the boring family of unnaturally happy faces continues.
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Saturday, September 25, 2010

First Lady's Stunning Attire

Check out our First Lady's stunning attire at the White House State Dinner welcoming Mexican President Felipe Calderone and his wife Margarita Zavala. I could not be more proud of her. Some haters said her "arms were fat" (ha ha ha) and some said "her chest was swishing out". Of course everything the Obama's do is a subject for criticism. Michelle Obama has the right idea...hold your head up high and do your thing. Love her to death!

First Lady Michelle Obama continued her movie star glam style streak at the annual Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Phoenix Awards dinner, stunning in a red gown. See the related articles for additional photos of her unique fashion statements.

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Most Hated Sports Figures

LeBron James in New York City to discuss the f...Image via Wikipedia
Right now, LeBron James is one of the most polarizing figures in sports. Even Michael Jordan in talking smack about him, which must be humiliating. Barry Petchesky ‘s blog Deadspin comments on James’ Q Score citing that just 14 percent of the general population has a favorable impression of LeBron James, compared with 39 percent “who think he's a big selfish jerk who drove a stake through the heart of Cleveland”. (Petcheskh’s words, not the poll's.)

That's bad. In one survey, he's the sixth most hated athlete in the country, behind Michael Vick, Tiger Woods, Terrell Owens, Chad Ochocinco and Kobe Bryant. Most impressively, James didn't earn his infamy by committing some horrible transgression, like killing dogs, breaking up a marriage, or starring on a VH1 show.

But LeBron is far from unique in the pantheon of hated sports figures. Here's a look at  others who are possibly hated more than Lebron.  

Last year, quarterback Mike Vick topped a Forbes poll of the most hated persons in sports.
This year, he walks off with that "honor" for a second straight year.

The rest of the 2010 top five consists of Raiders owner Al Davis, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, golfer Tiger Woods, and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

You'll discover that there are many list available and the names of hated sports figures vary from list to list. There have been people who have stolen elections and started illegal wars. Ask some Iraqi civilians shredded by cluster bombs if Michael Vick is the worst person. It's sad someone can rape someone and get away with it, and he's not the most hated guy in sports. It's funny where we put our time and our energy.  Why waste your time on hating someone.  Love is the answer and it's much more fun.

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Kevin McCarthy "Body Snatchers" Star Dies

Kevin McCarthy

Actor Kevin McCarthy, who played the frantic doctor trying to save his friends and neighbors in the science-fiction movie classic "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," has died at age 96. McCarthy was born in Seattle on Feb. 15, 1914.

McCarthy died Saturday, said Cape Cod Hospital spokesman Dave Riley, who wouldn't reveal the cause of death or any other details.

McCarthy's acting career took off in 1938 with his Broadway debut in "Abe Lincoln in Illinois."

Soon after, he became an early member of the Actors Studio and was chosen by Elia Kazan to play Biff, the son of Willy Loman, in the London production of "Death of a Salesman." He repeated the role in the 1951 film starring Fredric March and earned an Oscar nomination as supporting actor.

But while he would consistently win praise for his acting during a long and busy career, his most lasting fame would come for "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." In the 1956 film, he vainly tried to warn residents in his small town of the evil pod people from outer space who were quietly taking over the personalities of everyone on Earth.

McCarthy had appeared in several other films and had a string of TV anthology-series credits behind him when he was cast as Dr. Miles Bennell in "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," director Don Siegel's thriller about an unsuspecting California town whose residents were being replaced by emotionless alien clones grown in oversized seed pods.

In the film's most memorable scene, McCarthy's frantic Bennell runs into traffic, screaming to motorists, "Stop and listen to me! …. They're not human! … Can't you see? Everyone! They're here already. You're next!"

"Body Snatchers" flopped at the box office, considered too bleak for audiences of the time. It was elevated to classic status, and its star to iconic status, after such critics as Francois Truffault hailed it and late-night television programmers embraced it.

McCarthy dismissed assertions that "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" was an allegory about the communist infiltration of America or an indictment of McCarthyism.

Sources: Wikipedia, IMBD, LATimes, Yahoo News

Monday, September 13, 2010

Schwarzenegger’s daughter reveals details of growing up in famous family | The Upshot Yahoo! News - Yahoo! News

Katherine Schwarzenegger, the oldest child of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and journalist Maria Shriver, has penned a new book, scheduled for release tomorrow, about how she and other young women deal with body-image issues. Something that's key for girls trying to gain perspective these sensitive matters, she argues, is sustaining a close relationship with their families.

Schwarzenegger’s daughter reveals details of growing up in famous family The Upshot Yahoo! News - Yahoo! News
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Saturday, September 4, 2010

Paris Hilton Banned from Wynn Resorts

LV Metro Mug Shot-Paris Hilton-2010

Drug arrests and celebrities seem to go together.
Paris Hilton was arrested in Las Vegas for cocaine possession. Police found a small amount of the substance on the socialite and reality-TV starlet after a black Cadillac Escalade she was riding in was pulled over. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department confirmed the arrest to MTV News.

A traffic officer stopped the SUV shortly before midnight on Las Vegas Boulevard near the Wynn Hotel Casino after noticing the scent of marijuana billowing from the vehicle. An officer told MTV News that cocaine fell out of Hilton's purse as she pulled out some lip balm. She was booked into the Clark County Detention Center and later released Saturday (August 28) at 2:45 a.m. on her own recognizance. Cy Waits, who is reportedly dating Hilton, was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol and remained in custody Saturday morning.

The heiress has a history of getting in trouble for possessing substances and hitting the road. Hilton served 23 days in jail in 2007 for violating probation stemming from a 2006 DUI bust. Hilton had another run-in with the law over alleged drug possession earlier this summer. The star was detained in South Africa at the World Cup for marijuana possession, but the case against Hilton was later dropped after officials learned that someone else in her group was smoking.

Paris Hilton has been banned from two Las Vegas resorts, and her boyfriend was dismissed as a nightclub partner. This came after the heiress was arrested and later charged with felony cocaine possession and her boyfriend was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The boyfriend in this incident is just the latest for Paris. To be a partner in a Las Vegas casino or club requires a gaming license, something a conviction could put in jeopardy for her boyfriend.

Bristol's Dancing with the Stars

Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas
Talk about fifteen minutes of fame, first Levi Johnston gets a reality show and now baby mama Bristol competes on the eleventh season of "Dancing With the Stars". Bristol will partner with two times champ Mark Ballas who is in his 7th season.

Bristol Palin, former first daughter of Alaska, is a "spokesperson" for the prevention of teen pregnancy and for other teen issues. As an advocate for the protection of life, Palin wanted to share her story with other teens who may one day face a similar situation. So, what's the best way to do that? Join a popular T. V. show, make money, and keep your face in the news.

Bristol has moved to Los Angeles, hired a nany for little Tripp, and is rehearsing for the show.  Levi is shocked by the revelation, but wishes Bristol well.

Another 15 minutes of fame "star",Gate crasher and D. C. Housewife Michaele Salahi — yes, the same one who yesterday revealed she’d be auctioning off her infamous red sari — is going to be posing naked for Playboy. How naked?

According to TMZ, the answer is: “full-frontal, birthday suit naked.”

Ain't America wonderful?

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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Religion and Glenn Beck

Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" Rally, Washington D. C.

In public appearances and on his Fox News show, Glenn Beck has made religion a central part of his message, although he rarely refers to his Mormon faith. I guess he's too busy talking about our president's faith and providing the world with his own explanations about the president's beliefs.

Salt Lake City lawyer and member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Stephen Owens didn't follow his in-laws to Glenn Beck's Washington rally. When he read that fellow Mormon Beck publicly questioned President Obama's "version of Christianity" the day after the rally, he was so angry that he wrote a letter to the local newspaper.

"I think it's arrogant of anyone to say whether someone is a Christian or not," said Owens, a 42-year-old Democrat. "My view of that is, if someone says, 'I follow the teachings of Jesus Christ,' then they're Christian, and who am I to say, 'No, you're not,' let alone [to] the president of our country? I was offended at that."

Michael Otterson, managing director of public affairs for the church, said that opinion of Beck is just as divided among Mormons as it is elsewhere. While Mormons consider themselves Christians, key tenets of the Mormon Church are disputed by mainstream Christian denominations - a disparity that critics say adds to the irony of Beck questioning another person's Christian faith.

There are more than a dozen Mormon members of Congress from across the political spectrum, from Nevada Sen. Harry Reid on the left to Sens. Orrin G. Hatch and Robert F. Bennett - both Republicans from Utah - on the right. But Beck, whose Washington rally last weekend drew upward of 87,000 people, may be the highest-profile Mormon on the national stage.

A Time magazine poll released last week showed that 29 percent of Americans hold unfavorable views of Mormons, compared with 43 percent who had unfavorable views of Muslims, 17 percent who felt unfavorably toward Catholics and 13 percent who viewed Jews unfavorably.

During Romney's 2008 presidential bid, some viewed his Mormon faith as a liability. A Pew survey at the time showed that 25 percent of Americans - including 36 percent of evangelical Republicans - expressed reservations about voting for a Mormon for president.
I guess we're lucky that Glenn Beck says he has no interest in running for president.  Guess it's more fun to sit back and comment about the president than to walk in his shoes.  You make lots more money that way.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Obama Not Muslim: The Roots of Americans’ Baseless Beliefs - The Daily Beast

Tunku Varadarajan wrote an interesting article for The Daily Beast on the baseless beliefs of some Americans that President Obama is Muslim. There's a hint on the contentin the title of the article.."America the Ignorant".  I thought it was worth sharing and worth the time to read.

Tunku Varadarajan is a national affairs correspondent and writer at large for The Daily Beast. He is also the Virginia Hobbs Carpenter Fellow in Journalism at Stanford's Hoover Institution and a professor at NYU's Stern Business School. He is a former assistant managing editor at The Wall Street Journal.

Click the link below to access the article:

Obama Not Muslim: The Roots of Americans’ Baseless Beliefs - The Daily Beast
Barack Obama, President of the United States o...Image via Wikipedia

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tiger's Ex Speaks Out

After months of silence, Elin Nordegren speaks to People magazine about her divorce from famous golfer Tiger Woods and the heartbreak the whole situation has caused her. As with most wives, Elin says she had no idea that she wasn't the only woman in her husband's life.  She was completely blind-sided by revelations of his numerous affairs. elin says she expects that Tiger Woods would have a place in his children's lives. Financial agreements from the divorce were not disclosed, but rumors guestimate her settlement to be in the range of $200-$300 million dollars.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

World's Richest Rappers in 2010

Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter

Rap star Jay-Z came first in a list of the richest rappers in 2010, earning more than double that of runner-up Sean "Diddy" Combs. Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter took in $63 million US in personal income between June 2009 and June 2010, according to Diddy took in $30 million, followed by Senegalese-American rapper Aliuane "Akon" Thiam at $21 million. Despite beginning a jail sentence in March for weapons charges, New Orleans-born rapper Dwayne "Lil Wayne" Carter came in fourth, earning $20 million, ahead of California rap icon Andre "Dr. Dre" Young, who took in $17 million.

The real money isn't in record sales, said Zack O'Malley Greenburg, a Forbes writer who compiled the list.
Almost all stars at the top of the list all share a common strategy -- diversification. The top-earning rappers pulled in cash from alcohol sponsorships, clothing lines, nightclub properties and film appearances, in addition to concert tours and record sales.  Jay-Z co-owns the 40/40 nightclub chain. Diddy promotes Ciroc vodka and appeared in the feature film Get Him to the Greek. Dr. Dre and Lil Wayne have record labels. Akon appeared in a Pepsi World Cup ad campaign.

"Eminem tied at number 14, even though he's sold more records than any artist since 2000," Greenburg said.
Eminem earned $8 million this year, despite the release of his album Recovery which sold 741,000 copies in the first week of sales.

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World's Richest Best Selling Authors

Despite the financial woes of some print sources, Forbes announced that a select few bestselling authors from making big bucks. Coming in at the No. 1 spot on Forbes magazine’s list of highest-paid authors—with $70 million—is the thriller writer James Patterson, up from the second-place spot two years ago. The 63-year-old Patterson has written more than 50 bestsellers and sold more than 170 million books worldwide, creating a franchise that expanded into Hollywood, television, comic book and gaming deals.

Following him is vampire romance writer Stephenie Meyer, whose Twilight series earned her $40 million, despite her not releasing a new book in 2009. Stephen King ranks third with $34 million; his 51st novel, Under the Dome, sold 600,000 copies, according to Bookscan. Others on the list include romance novelist Danielle Steel ($32 Million), British writer Ken Follett ($20 million), Dean Koontz ($18 million) and Janet Evanovich of Stephanie Plum fame ($16 million).

Legal thriller writer John Grisham, romance writer Nicholas Sparks and prolific British author J.K. Rowling, who made $10 million -- a smaller sum for the billionaire after she did not release a new book in the past year -- rounded out the top 10.
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Friday, August 6, 2010

First Lady Critized for Vacation in Spain

Andrea Tantaros has penned a scorching editorial for the New York Daily News deeming First Lady Michelle Obama a "modern-day Marie Antoinette" for her vacation in Spain with her daughter.

"The First Lady is spending the next few days in a five-star hotel on the chic Costa del Sol in southern Spain with 40 of her 'closest friends,'" Tantaros writes, pointing to a CNN report that Michelle Obama and her group are expected to occupy 60 to 70 rooms. "Not exactly what one would call cutting back in troubled times."

The Chicago Sun Times reports the following:
Mrs. Obama’s U.S. Air Force jet landed at Malaga on Wednesday; she skipped celebrating her husband’s 49th birthday with him. (Daughter Malia, 12, is at overnight camp.) Mrs. Obama pays for personal expenses — as do her friends who arrived on their own — but that only covers a small part of the expense. Taxpayers pick up the tab for staff and security at the exclusive hotel and most of the expenses for the plane.

First ladies often go on vacations, with and without the president. An issue for Mrs. Obama may be how many: New York in March; Chicago, over Memorial Day; Los Angeles in June; Camp David — sort of an extension of the White House — in July; Maine in July, to highlight Acadia National Park, and now Spain. Mrs. Obama is glamorizing Spain’s coastal resorts before her Aug. 14 first family weekend visit to Florida’s Gulf Coast, to encourage tourists scared away by the oil spill. Starting Aug. 19, the Obamas will spend 10 days in Martha’s Vineyard.
Personal expenses are being paid by the Obamas and by friends traveling with them, but there are always related taxpayer-paid costs when a First Family travels. Of course with the Obamas, everything is worse, because of the glare of attention they generate from all who despise them.

If the First Lady stayed a Holiday Inn in Bayonne, would that be okay? I doubt it.
The White House also disputes Tantaros's claims about M. Obama's Spanish jaunt. Katherine Skiba of the LA Times Top of the Ticket blog writes,
 A White House official said Obama had a "small" group of friends and "minimal" staff on the trip, and said personal expenses, such as hotel rooms and meals, were being paid for by the Obamas."
Any additional footprint, including rooms needed for security support and transportation, falls under the same rules as have applied to any previous first family travel," the official said. That is, private expenses are paid for privately and government expenses are picked up by Uncle Sam.
All this may not sway Tantaros much, however, as it's clear who she wants the Obamas to emulate:

For a couple that has sharply criticized former President George W. Bush so widely, they could stand to follow his example for once and select a more low-key locale, as Bush regularly did in his Texas vacations.

"Regularly" is right — in 2008, Bush set a record for most vacation days taken during a Presidential term. On July 17, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that Obama had taken 65 days off — Bush, by the same point in his term, had taken 120. And Obama didn't go with Michelle and Sasha to Spain — because he's working

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