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 Forbes.com. 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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Pixie Cut for Emma

Emma Watson's Pixie Cut

Emma Watson posted a photo to her Facebook profile of her new haircut, and it's quite a drastic change! The actress and Burberry model totally chopped off her tresses in favor of a Twiggy, Jean Seberg, Mia Farrow-esque look. She wrote,
         "Dear all. Cut my hair off a few days ago... Feels incredible. I love it. I've wanted to do this for years    and years; it's the most liberating thing ever. Hope you like. Big love from Emma x."

Fan reactions remain to be seen.  Personally, I like it and after ten years of starring in the Harry Potter Series, Emma deserves to make her own choices.

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