Vin Diesel Girlfriend: Vin Diesel Talks About Girlfriend Paloma Jimenez and Fatherhood

Vin Diesel girlfriend Paloma Jimenez is certified a hot mama. Paloma gave birth 11 months ago to their daughter named Hania Riley. In an interview, Vin Diesel was quite exuberant to become a father saying that fatherhood made him a "changed man". Vin explained, "You can’t pull me away from my house as easily as you used to, because I’ve got a nine-month-old thing on me and it’s heaven. I love it. I love being a dad."

Although Vin Diesel and girlfriend Paloma Jimenez is yet to go down the aisle, Vin is already eyeing on giving little Hania a playmate as he is setting eyes on having "12 kids". Whoa, that's a lot of job for you Vin! And with a girlfriend who looks like that, it wouldn't be difficult to attain your fervent wish. Anyway, Vin Diesel is currently in Fast & Furious 4 slated to be shown on April 3.

paloma-jimenez-237x300Vin Diesel Girlfriend Paloma Lopez
Paloma JimenezPaloma Jimenez2

Your Ad Here - Vito and Nicks Pizza Official Website is the official website for Vito and Nicks Pizza. It is airing your calendars from January 12th.
From Vito and Nicks Pizza Official Blog:
To everyone who signed up for our mailing list, Thank You!!! We have exciting
news to finally share with all of you. We have 100% confirmation from The Food
Network that the airing of Vito & Nick's Pizza (Chicago location) is
scheduled to air Monday January 12th, 2009 @ 9:00pm (Central Time).

Working Hours of Vito and Nicks Pizza:

Mon - Thurs 11 am - 11 pm
Fri & Sat 11 am - 1 am
Sunday 12 pm - 11 pm

Last Order 1/2Hr Before Closing

Learn more from


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Apple MB881LL/A MacBook 13.3" (white) For $799.99 "Save 20%"

Expiration Date: Apr. 12, 2009
Manufacturer: Apple
Product Type: MacBook 13.3" (white)
Model Number: MB881LL/A
Refurbished: No

If you want

Here is a great deal in the white Macbook with the $200 mail-in-rebate now you can have a Mac for a PC price. Better act soon I'm sure these won't last long.

MacBook has everything you need to do everything you need. Advanced NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics, a fast Intel Core 2 Duo processor, and more memory standard deliver power and performance. And MacBook offers a slew of innovative features, including a built-in iSight camera for video chatting on the go, fast Wi-Fi so you can work from anywhere, and a glossy 13-inch widescreen display that makes graphics and video come alive.

# Intel® Core 2 Duo Processor 2.0GHz
# 2GB DDR2-667 RAM
# 120GB Serial ATA Hard Drive
# SuperDrive Double Layer 8x DVD±RW Drive
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# 10/100/1000 Network
# AirPort Extreme 802.11n Wireless Network
# Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
# 13.3" Widescreen Display
# Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard

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'Cupid' gets another shot at love

You can’t say “Cupid” (9 p.m. Central Tuesday, ABC; two and a half stars) hasn’t gotten a fair shot from the gods of television.

Rob Thomas, who later went on to create the cult detective drama “Veronica Mars,” first brought “Cupid” to the small screen 11 years ago. The original series, which was shot in Chicago and starred Jeremy Piven as a man who either was Cupid or thought he was that charming rogue of a god, lasted all of one season.

ABC decided to give Thomas and “Cupid” another chance, and though new star Bobby Cannavale is entertaining as the title character, it’s not entirely clear why ABC thought this slight premise was worth another go-round.

This feather-light romantic comedy certainly couldn't be mistaken for anything on another network. Just as CBS has cemented its reputation as the go-to source for dark, shadowy crime dramas, where dank basements, rain-slicked streets and Gothic color schemes are the norm, ABC shows (not counting that drama with the smoke monster) are resolutely upbeat and brightly lit.

Seriously. It's as if there was a sale at the lighting store and ABC grabbed every bulb in stock, lest a single corner of any of its shows remain in shadow.

Even the mid-season show "Castle," ABC's attempt at a detective procedural, is sunny and funny (at least that would appear to be the goal). Few gloomy outlooks or sour purveyors of sarcasm are allowed on the alphabet network, unless, of course, they sport McDreamy-style poufy hair or Sawyer's bewitching dimples.

The problem is, though this good-natured show doesn't lack for energy, “Cupid” is a little bland and formulaic. And it doesn’t help that, like so many shows of late, it features an irrepressible and charming male lead who is constantly hemmed in by an uptight and fairly humorless woman. Is it not possible for a woman on a broadcast network show to be a lovable rogue? Even a likable rogue?

Still, the slenderness of “Cupid’s” premise and characters might not matter if there were more sparks of love-hate chemistry in the mix. Alas, this is a romantic comedy without an abundance of sparky romance, at least between the show’s lead characters.

Sarah Paulson plays Dr. Claire McCrae, a psychiatrist who sees the problems of “Trevor Pierce” (that’s Cupid’s earthly pseudonym) as a mental malady. In her professional opinion, his goal—which involves uniting 100 couples in true love and thus regaining admission to Mt. Olympus—is a delusion, one most likely rooted in a psychic trauma, one that needs to be properly excavated and analyzed.

Not only is Pierce’s mission problematic, in her view, she finds his view of love as a passionate, intemperate and glee-inducing phenomenon almost dangerous. McCrae made her name writing self-help books full of sensible and practical relationship advice, and as far as she’s concerned, Pierce’s attempts to convince jaded New Yorkers of the irrational power of romance is bound to come to grief.

"Maybe you two would be better served by altering your expectations," she primly says to Pierce about his first "client," a lovelorn musician.

Yikes. Who would you rather have as your wingman? Cupid or Dr. Buzzkill?

Though Cannavale is a warm and instantly likable presence, Paulson may be a bit too stiff to make McCrae likable. Or maybe McCrae is just not that interesting of a character.

Still, it wouldn’t do to give up on “Cupid” after only one episode, which is all ABC provided for review. The pilot, which is well-paced and breezy, has to set up Pierce and McCrae’s relationship as well as introduce the question of whether this “god” is insane or not. Perhaps once those plot mechanics are more or less out of the way, love will bloom, or at least affection for these characters.


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EXCLUSIVE: Jason Wahler Calls Off Engagement

Jason Wahler has called off his engagement from Katja Decker Sadowski, 21.

"I have decided to end my engagement, and it's an amicable split," the Hills star, 22, tells

Wahler -- who has also dated Lauren Conrad -- says they're "still good friends.

See all the guys Lauren has dated.

"We agreed we are both just too young to be considering getting married right now," he added.

Last June, Sadowski (a University of Southern California student) told Us she wanted to wed "sooner rather than later.

See Hills stars in bikinis!

"But my parents want me to finish school first and that won't be until 2010," she said. "So we want to do it probably a little bit before graduation, but I need my parents' help to plan the wedding!"

Look back at big celeb splits!

The actor is currently shopping around a dating reality show called Jason and the Cougars.


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Contamination Worries Cause Pistachio Recall

California based Setton Farms has issued a pistachio recall due to contamination worries. Here we go again with another food recall.

Earlier on March 27 the California Department of Public Health had announced that it had been investigating the pistachio recall from a CA supplier. According to naomistarkman FDA held conf call at 7pm ET to announce expansion of pistachio recall, said consumers shouldn't eat any pistachios until more info is known.

According to CBS report "Food safety officials are looking through Setton Farms' plant in rural Tulare County to see if it could lead them to the source of the contamination. The recalls began last Friday when the Georgia Nut Company recalled its Kraft Back to Nature Nantucket Blend trail mix after some samples tested positive for salmonella. Setton Farms has started a separate recall of roasted pistachios, and grocery operator Kroger also has recalled some pistachio products."

Emaxhealth reports that this latest pistachio recall is involving one million pound, thus adding to the Salmonella worries, that periodically make news in the recent years. "What's up with nuts? First peanut butter, now a pistachio recall? Government conspiracy to quash a nut uprising? You decide," Twits graywes.

I went to Setton Farms' website hoping to find some fresh information about the latest Pistachio recall. However, I could not find any updates. Perhaps they will come tomorrow from the company.

So far our update is that do not eat any pistachio nuts due to this major recall from California.


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The Directors Rob Reiner DVD New Sealed!

The Directors - Rob Reiner DVD New Sealed! , - eBay (item 200318476495 end time Apr-08-09 13:01:52 PDT)
Google Trends rob reiner

Item specifics - DVDs
Format: DVD Edition: --
Leading Role: Rob Reiner Rating: NR
Release Date: Feb 22, 2000 Genre: Documentary
UPC: 720917307329 Sub-Genre: Biography
Region: DVD: 1 (US, CA)
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Detailed item info
Movie description
A profile on the work of director, Rob Reiner. His movies include Ghosts of Mississippi, A Few Good Men, The Princess Bride, This Is Spinal Tap, Stand By Me and The Story of Us. Includes interviews with Annette Bening, Billy Crystal, John Cusack, Michael J. Fox, James Woods and more.
US $2.29
End Date: Wednesday Apr-08-2009 13:01:52 PDT
Buy It Now for only: US $2.29
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What's On Tonight: Big Bang Theory, Greek, Saving Grace, Ax Men

At 8, ABC has a new, two-hour Dancing with the Stars, followed by a new Castle.
CBS has a new Big Bang Theory at 8, then new episodes of How I Met Your Mother, Two and a Half Men, Rules of Engagement, and CSI: Miami.
NBC has new episodes of Chuck, Heroes, and Medium.
There's a new House on FOX at 8, then a new 24.
The CW has a new Gossip Girl at 8, followed by a new One Tree Hill.
PBS has a new Antiques Roadshow at 8.
ABC Family has the season premiere of Greek at 8, then a new Roommates.
TLC has two new episodes of Little People, Big World at 8.
Discovery has two new episodes of Destroyed in Seconds at 8.
Also at 8: BBC America has a new Top Gear.
At 8:30, Food Network has a new Will Work For Food.
At 9, USA has a new Monday Night RAW.
At 10, TNT has a new Saving Grace.
History Channel has a new Ax Men at 10.

Check your local TV listings for more.

After the jump, the late night talk shows.

Charlie Rose: chefs Ferran Andria and Jose Andreas
The Daily Show: Jack Cafferty
The Colbert Report: Derrick Pitts
The Late Show with David Letterman: Seth Rogen, Tom Dreesen, and Adele
Jay Leno: Vin Diesel, Lisa Lampanelli, and Gavin DeGraw
Chelsea Lately: Diablo Cody, Chris Franjola, Camille Guaty, and Billy Gardell
Jimmy Kimmel Live: Jaime Pressly and The Pretenders (repeat)
Tavis Smiley: Kevin Spacey
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon: Bill Hader, Emma Roberts, and Glasvegas
The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson: William Shatner and Regina King
Last Call with Carson Daly: Charles Hamilton (repeat)


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One Tree Hill - The Complete Third Season (DVD, 2006) on eBay

The third season of the WB's small town soap begins with the blaze that ended the second ("Like You like an Arsonist"). Dan (Paul Johannson) makes it out alive, but vows to seek vengeance on the perpetrator--even if that person happens to be estranged son Lucas (Chad Michael Murray). In the following episode ("From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea"), Dan's preferred offspring returns to Tree Hill. Will Nathan (James Lafferty) reconcile with wife Haley (Bethany Joy Galeotti)? It's her deepest desire, but Nathan has his doubts. Further changes are afoot. Haley and Brooke (Sophia Bush), for instance, move in together...which wouldn't seem so strange if they were in college rather than high school. Brooke and Lucas also try a "non-exclusive" arrangement (her idea, not his). When sexy schemer Rachel (Danneel Harris) joins the cheerleading squad, Brooke starts to regret her decision. Meanwhile, the delightfully odious Dan runs for mayor. Just when he thinks he's got it locked, Lucas’s mom, Karen (Moira Kelly), throws her hat in the ring. But those developments are minor compared to the school shooting in episode 16 ("With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept"). Guest stars include Nada Surf ("Return of the Future") and season two favorites Fall Out Boy ("An Attempt to Tip the Scales"), while recurring characters include Peyton's birth mother Ellie (Sheryl Lee, Twin Peaks), and smug singer/songwriter Chris (Tyler Hilton, Walk the Line), with whom Haley collaborates again. As in the previous year, the finale ("The Show Must Go On") is a cliffhanger. Fortunately for fans, One Tree Hill was picked up by the CW, so resolution awaits in season four. Special features include commentary, deleted scenes, and a featurette about the making of "With Tired Eyes."
US $13.50 (9 Bids)
End Date: Tuesday Mar-31-2009 18:11:53 PDT
Bid now | Add to watch list


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High Stakes Poker Season 5, episode 5 - updated weekly

Once again HSP showing up online is a crapshoot. I was in transit most of the day but had a colleague on the lookout for the videos as they came online. It is after midnight central and still no videos online. Hopefully something will show up for tomorrow morning. We have made a pretty serious commitment to bringing everyone these videos but it can be frustrating.
High Stakes Poker Season 5 episode 5 resumes this weekend. Weekly we put up the shows as soon as they show up online. This season so far has been full of action with the blinds being double the previous show (this season the blinds are 400-800). While there are many familiar faces thus far the clear leader of the play has been online superstar Tom “Durrrr” Dwan. Last weeks show saw Tom with a big lead on Barry Greenstein with Aces only to have Barry catch up to him hitting two pair for the biggest pot of the season (over 500k).

High Stakes Poker Season 5, episode 1, this show capped off the season that was much anticipated. While High Stakes Poker has long been the most popular show on GSN they experimented briefly with the World Poker Tour causing a year and a half hiatus. This show is the beginning of the coming out party for Tom Dwan. While Dwan is a relative unknown to poker fans he is very well known amongst online poker fans. Durrrr, is he is known online, is one of the biggest winners of the “young guns” and his unorthodox style clearly has the table baffled.

High Stakes Poker Season 5, episode 2. Week two featured a hand that will not soon be forgotten between Tom Dwan, Peter Eastgate and Barry Greenstein. It is the last hand of the night but you will want to continue to watch. This hand seemingly set up some hands in future shows.

High Stakes Poker Season 5, episode 3. This show basically was the unravelling of Daniel Negreanu, “Kid Poker” found himself zigging when he should have been zagging all night. Eventually Daniel runs into quads, Daniel previously lost with quads against Gus Hansen when Gus caught bigger quads, while this was not near as big of a bad beat David Benyamine rakes in the enormous pot. Once again extending Daniel’s unlucky streak on HSP.

High Stakes Poker Season 5, episode 4. This is the show mentioned above where Barry holds Jh and 9h and manages to get it all in with top pair against Dwan’s Aces.


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General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner will step down from his position immediately as recently reported by various news associations. This comes about maybe as a slight surprise on the eve of President Barack Obama’s expected announcement of a deadline for Chrysler and General Motors to finalize their terms for restructuring or deciding on a Chapter 11 bankruptcy package.
As the economy shows no apparent signs of improvement except for the recent stock market rallies the auto industry continues to suffer and look for some type of outlet. The outlet for Rick Wagoner was specifically requested by the Obama administration.
Rick Wagoner spent 32 years with GM and in part over-seeing the operations of General Motors all through its better days and recent slump.
Below after the jump is the official message from Rick Wagoner and GM’s board restructuring announcement.


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asiNotes: For entertainer Tony Pace, variety is the spice of his act

SOME PERFORMERS may take umbrage in being called a "throwback." Tony Pace revels in it.
Pace, who will have the distinction of being Atlantic City's first casino headliner of 2009 when he opens a five-night run Sunday at the Atlantic City Hilton, is a classic variety artist. His one-man, semi-autobiographical show, dubbed "Up On the Roof," combines straight singing, musical-comedy numbers, stand-up bits, audience-participation shtick and impressions to create a wonderfully entertaining package that recalls great entertainers of the mid-20th century such as Sammy Davis Jr. and Danny Kaye.

"It's like medicine," said the 48-year-old Massachusetts native, who now lives in Las Vegas with his wife and two teenagers. "Everyone's going into specialization. I'm the general practitioner."

According to Pace, who for years has been billed as "The Man With the Voice Who Just Happens to Be Funny," working from the variety blueprint is the best way for him to accomplish his onstage goals.

"I chose this format because the most important aspect for me is to have people forget their problems when they come to see me," he explained. "I want them to take the roller-coaster ride - laugh and cry and forget about everything outside those doors for an hour.

"I wouldn't be able to do that if I was just billed as a singer or comic or impressionist. In order to be the general practitioner, I have to know it all. I have to feel it all."

While hardly a household name, Pace is no stranger to AyCee audiences. A few years ago, he made a bid to become a Las Vegas-style resident headliner at the Screening Room, the jewel box of a theater on the 13th floor of Resorts Atlantic City.

He won glowing reviews and a loyal following during his six-month run, but permanent success there escaped him, primarily because Atlantic City's gaming industry has traditionally been based on repeat customers. Vegas depends heavily on less-frequent visitors, which creates a potentially larger market for shows of that kind. As a result, casino execs in Atlantic City prefer to book different acts rather than more permanent attractions.

While much of "Up On the Roof" at the Hilton might be familiar to those who caught Pace at Resorts, he insisted that it will not be the exact same show.

" 'Up On the Roof' at Resorts put out material without a real storyline to it," he explained. "Now it has a storyline. The evolution has come with time. As you do something over and over, you develop a polish to it. Some material has changed, but it's more in the structure."

It's not that Pace prefers to keep doing the same material, but in order to survive, a performer has to give the people what they want.

"We have people who come back because they remembered a certain song or [comedy bit]. They'll say to a friend, 'You've got to see this guy. He did . . . XYZ.' Like [the '60s hit] 'Cara Mia.' I'd like to move away from 'Cara Mia,' but there are people who come specifically to hear it."

Although the current economic situation is and is expected to continue taking its toll on the entertainment scene, Pace is optimistic about the new year. Topping his to-do list for 2009 is completing two long-in-the-works CDs of original music and getting them national distribution. He's also hoping to realize his dream of being at least a semiresident casino performer.

"What I'd really love to do is be in Atlantic City once a month for two nights the entire year. And do the same thing in Vegas," he said, adding that he'd also like to find a television gig.

Pace is also planning a series of shows staged in conjunction with the Freemasons that he describes as "an enrichment program for children."

The idea, he suggested, is to have as many balls in the air as possible. "I have always been diversified," he said. "Diversification keeps me in the public eye. And it takes the stress from putting all your eggs in one basket."

Atlantic City Hilton, Boardwalk at Boston Avenue, 7 p.m. Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, 2 p.m. Tuesday, $15, 800-736-1420,

Gotta 'Dance'

On Tuesday, the Tropicana raises the curtain on the year's first extended-run program, "Spirit of the Dance." The revue, a worldwide smash for the past decade, is heavy on traditional Irish choreography but also delves into such terpsichorean realms as flamenco and salsa. It runs through Feb. 19. *
Tropicana, Boardwalk at Brighton Avenue, 8 p.m. Monday, 3:30 and 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 9 p.m. Saturday, 3:30 and 7 p.m. Sunday, $25, 800-736-1420,

Chuck Darrow has covered Atlantic City and the casino industry for more than 20 years. Read his blog at Or e-mail him at


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"The Fox Nation" Goes Live Today

Fox News is launching its new web site, "The Fox Nation" today. Here's an opinion piece by Grover Norquist on the new site...

FOX Nation for America
By Grover Norquist

Founder and President, Americans for Tax Reform

I believe that FOX Nation has the potential to do to the Internet what FOX News did to cable television. That is, be a disruptive, transformative–but also profoundly constructive–media force.

Just as FOX News brought a new vision and voice to the media landscape in the 90s–fair and balanced reporting, plus strong debate and commentary–so FOX Nation will bring still more vision and voice in the decade to come. Only this time, the vision and voice will come from you, the American people. That’s right: Thanks to FOX Nation, all Americans will now have a landmark forum, a watershed opportunity to speak out on the issues they care about, want to learn more about–and do more about.

FOX Nation itself takes no position on issues–although unlike so many other Web portals, FOX Nation does begin with the presumption that America is a special and unique place, a blessed land to be treasured and defended.

So members of the Leave Us Alone Coalition, I predict, are going to love FOX Nation as it fully rolls out in the weeks and months to come. That’s right, conservatives, libertarians, and other believers in limited government have found a new home–at FOX Nation.

The Leave Us Alone Coalition consists of all Americans who want the government to stay out of their lives, confining itself and its power to protecting the vital concerns of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Other than that, we believe, the government–federal, state, and local–should Leave Us Alone. Let us make our livings, let us raise our children, let us run our lives, without the dead hand of statist intervention.

The Leave Us Alone Coalition is not asking the government for others’ money, time, or attention. Instead, we want to control our own money, control our own property, and control our own destiny. That’s the American Way.

And that’s why I am confident that the Leave Us Alone Coalition will appreciate the larger power of FOX Nation. Of course, FOX Nation will only be as good as the American people. Which is to say, FOX Nation, indeed, has the potential to be great.

Across our history, Americans have made use of new tools in their struggle for freedom, just as the government has often used those same tools in its effort to suppress freedom.

But I believe, deep in my heart, that in the long run, freedom is always the victor, because freedom taps into the deepest creative wellsprings of the human spirit. Free people, and people who want to be free, will always fight the hardest. And now free people have yet another tool in FOX Nation.


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Britney Spears' conservatorship -- update

The attorneys for pop singer Britney Spears believe that her conservatorship is too conservative.The following excerpts are from Harriet Ryan, Britney Spears' conservatorship compared to Soviet oppression, LA Times, March 13, 2009:

Attorneys for Britney Spears’ father [appeared in court last week] to respond to court papers in which a Whittier lawyer compares the conservatorship overseeing the pop star’s affairs to the forced labor camps portrayed in the Russian masterpiece “The Gulag Archipelago.”

In the March 6 filing, lawyer Jon Eardley contended that the court-ordered arrangement giving her father complete control of her personal life and shared control of her estate is invalid, partly because Spears, who is touring to promote her new album, is working while deprived of freedoms.

He wrote that there were parallels to the suppression of dissidents in Alexander I. Solzhenitsyn’s book, adding: “It is worth noting that there has not even been a ‘show trial’ for Ms. Spears.”


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Britney Spears Death Threats; Spears Stalker Fears Threaten Circus Tour

Britney Spears has threatened to cancel her eagerly anticipated Circus World Tour after receiving a string of death threats.

The “Womanizer,” 27, singer kicked off the visually-impressive Circus: Starring Britney Spears in New Orleans earlier this month, but has become increasingly concerned for the lives of herself and her toddler sons Sean Preston, three, and two-year-old Jayden James, after receiving messages last week.

Spies tell Britain’s Look magazine: “Britney received some anonymous death threats over the phone and in the mail, and her worst fear is a kidnap plot against Sean or Jayden. She’s been having terrible nightmares ever since then and she wakes up in the middle of the night crying out for her boys.”

The pop tart’s security team believes the messages are the calling card of a crazed stalker.

“She told her head of security and he thinks it’s a lone stalker. Her paranoia has reached fever pitch and she’s wracked with fear.”


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Britney Spears: No Madonna Cameo

She’s in the midst of a super-successful comeback tour, and Britney Spears is on top of the world. But contrary to rumors, she won’t be getting a visit from Madonna onstage.

There has been widespread speculation that Madge was planning a cameo appearance at some of Brit’s upcoming dates, but the Spears camp says it isn’t so.
Posting on her official site, a rep for Britney revealed, “Despite rumors otherwise, at the moment Britney has no plans to collaborate with anyone in the near future at any of her upcoming performances.”

The rumors began when someone claiming to be the “Gimme More” songstress’ stylist said that a collaboration with the Material Girl was “in the works.”


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News Ticker: DJ AM, Britney Spears, Elvis Presley and Amy Winehouse

* DJ AM is seeking at least $20 million in damages from the company that booked the jet carrying himself and Blink-182’s Travis Brarker when it crashed in September 2008, TMZ reports. AM wants $10 million for medical bills and lost earnings, while the other $10 million is for physical pain and suffering.

* Contrary to reports, Britney Spears “has no plans to collaborate with anyone in the near future at any of her upcoming performances,” the singer’s official site posted yesterday. Rumors began circulating after Madonna was in attendance at Brit’s show at Nassau Coliseum last week.

* Elvis Presley’s sequined blue jumpsuit from his 1972 concert at Madison Square Garden, a white baby grand piano from Graceland and a pair of pants from Jailhouse Rock are among the many Presley-related items up for auction over at

* Amy Winehouse has pleaded not guilty to common assault charges after an incident that occurred last year. According to BNO’s Twitter, Winehouse will go to trial on July 23rd.


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EXCLUSIVE: 'Amy' Outfit- Win One! has teamed up with Lacoste to give three lucky Britney fans the chance to win a pink polo and sweater set just like the one Britney wears in the 'If U Seek Amy' video.

In order to have a chance of winning, all you have to do is scroll through the gallery of past Britney music video looks and leave a comment saying which one is your favorite and why!

We'll pick three winners at random. Just make sure you enter your e-mail address when you fill out the comment fields or we won't be able to contact you.

View the rules: Britney Spears contest rules


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Kevin Federline waiting for Britney Spears ?

Kevin Federline is waiting for Britney Spears in the wings during her comeback concerts around the country — and sources tell Star that old loving feeling is coming back!

In the March 23 issue of Star, the magazine Kevin was brought on board for Brit's Circus tour to help watch over their young sons, Preston and Jayden. But he's not just a babysitter: Kevin has been showering Britney with attention and affection, say insiders — and she's lapping it up!

"The truth is, they're falling in love again," says an insider. "I don't think they ever really fell out of love to begin with!"

Kevin has actually been gushing to his mom that being with Britney now reminds him of when they first fell in love in 2004, a family insider tells Star.

The family friend reveals there's been "some kissing. It started when they agreed that Kevin would take the boys on tour. They've shared a lot of flirty moments."


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Download Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4.0 CTP

I still haven’t installed Visual Studio 2008 SP1 on all my Virtual PC’s and there is a pre-release version of Visual Studio 2010 and the .NET Framework 4.0 that you can download and install. Wow!You can download Visual Studio 2010 and .NET Framework 4.0 here.

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Visual Studio 2010 - Review

Microsoft released Visual Studio 2010 CTP in October. You’ll be amazed with the download size its near about 7 GB. You can download it from here.

After you download you’ll run the .exe file to extract the setup and the setup is of the .vhd format that is Virtual PC hard disk. So you’ll need Virtual PC to run Visual Studio 2010.

But, but, but guys please check out the minimum requirement for this CTP to run. Hard disk space required is 75 GB, yes, its not 7.5 but 75 GB. Well that’s not true you can have this CTP run if you have upto 25 GB on one drive.

When you extract the .exe file the .vhd file extracted is of size 23 GB. Also when you bind the .vhd file to the virtual pc, you need minimum 1GB ram allocated to the Virtual PC disk.

When I ran the Visual Studio for the first time the screen took around 10 mins to load and I just shut down the CTP and got back to work.

The reason for the extracted file to be of 23 GB is because that VHD when you map to Virtual PC will have Visual Studio 2010, Visual Studio 2008, SQL Server 2008, SQL Server 2005 + many more software installed.

When you execute the Virtual PC which is mapped to VHD, Virtual PC will load Windows Server 2008 and it takes lots of burden it killed my laptop. Although I have fair enough configuration. My processor is Core 2 Duo, 1.83 GHZ and with 1 GB ram. Yet it just killed my PC performance.

I even tried to extract the file on an External Hard Disk and Even on my IPod classic. But I was able to extract only first rar file. I googled the reason and found it was because the External Hard Disk is of FAT32 format and they do not support data transfer of more than 4GB. So I had to clean up my Hard Disk and extract 23 GB .vhd file there.

I really did not understood why Microsoft shipped Visual Studio 2010 this way. With 7GB download size and 23 GB extracted file. I was really disappointed with such strategy. Microsoft must have shipped Visual Studio 2010 as a single file. What could be the reason for adopting this process?

Here is my Virtual PC screen shot with Visual Studio 2010 :


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IPhone OS 3.0 To Unlock 2G iPod Touch Bluetooth Functionality

If there ever was a great reason to shell out ten bucks, the iPhone update would have to be it. According to Apple’s Greg Joswiak, the iPhone OS 3.0 unlocks the Bluetooth functionality hidden in the 2G iPod Touch. We all knew and were desperately hoping the Bluetooth chip actually did something. So our hearts are glad, our minds at peace, knowing that we were right all along.



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Geithner waited 2 days to tell Obama about AIG bonuses

WASHINGTON (CNN) — A new timeline released by White House officials late Tuesday evening reveals the president first learned about the $165 million in AIG bonuses last Thursday, days before the story leaked to the media over the weekend.

The new timeline was released after White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said he was unaware of when President Barack Obama first learned of the bonus controversy and reporters asked that the White House provide a timeline. It also shows that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner first found out about the bonuses from his staff last Tuesday.

It was not until the following day, after 6 p.m. Wednesday, that Geithner called AIG’s CEO Edward Liddy to “express outrage” and say the payments were “unacceptable,” according to the timeline released by White House officials


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Natasha Richardson Suffers SKI Accident

Actress Natasha Richardson suffered a skiing accident on Monday at Mount Tremblant ski resort in Quebec, Canada.
According to sources from Fox, the 45-year-old actress is brain dead and will be transported to New York City where she will be taken off life support.
A representative from the family is expected to release a statement on Wednesday.
Natasha’s husband is actor Liam Neeson. They have two sons, Michael, 12 and Daniel, 11.
Our prayers and thoughts are with Natasha, friends and family.


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Pope Benedict says "Condoms can increase the problem of Aids"

"HIV/Aids is a tragedy that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which can even increase the problem." This was Pope Benedict's message to Africa at the beginning of his papal visit to the continent. 22 million people are infected with the Aids virus in sub-saharan Africa, which accounts for nearly two-thirds of infections worldwide. But Pope Benedict believes condoms can exacerbate the problem by encouraging promiscuity.
This is not the first time the Vatican has questioned the effectiveness of condom distribution as a strategy for combating HIV, but the pope's decision to make this statement while visiting the continent most devastated by the Aids pandemic is sure raise yet another worldwide debate about his judgement. At the very least, many will question his understanding of PR implications of an analysis that flies in the face of the consensus view within medical science. At worst, he will face accusations of moral irresponsibility given the weight of influence his words carry in Africa, where 17 per cent of the population is Catholic.

The Times religion correspondent Ruth Gledhill has already fired a salvo in his direction: "Pope Benedict XVI has re-opened a running sore in the side of the Church and Africa with another scientifically illiterate attempt to justify a policy that is unjustifiable even by faith."
Ruth ends her piece with a defensive coda: "And before any more readers come out and accuse me of yet another 'Paisleyite' attack on the Church, I haven't got it in for the Roman Catholic Church. This latest episode is proof that the Church has got it in for itself."


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First Hands on with iPhone firmware 3.0 New Features via AppleInsider

Developers late Tuesday evening are downloading a widely distributed beta of Apple’s new iPhone 3.0 software, installing it on their handsets, and weighing in with some first impressions and screen shots, all of which follow.

The beta is available in a variety of distributions for the various multi-touch products Apple has released over the past two years, each of which weighs in around 250MB. The updated version of the iPhone SDK is much heftier, at around 2.5GB.

Generally speaking, developers are excited about the release and say the beta is stable enough for them to use as their primary iPhone OS for the time being, though the software is clearly ‘not something Apple would ship’ at this point.

In particular, Spotlight is said to be very responsive and functions just as you would expect having used the feature previously on a Mac. Copy & paste is also well received, but feels somewhat flaky. Developers have experienced some difficulty making selections in Safari, which may suggest a slight learning curve like that required when exploring the iPhone’s touch keyboard for the first time.

Below are a series of screenshots highlighting some of the widely publicized features of iPhone 3.0 and some that have gone unmentioned, like encrypted iPhone backups, background messaging and Camera app tweaks. Two apps that have reportedly seen no changes as of yet are Weather and Clock.


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Veterans Groups Slam Obama Over VA Healthcare Plan

President Barack Obama was harshly criticized by veterans groups Monday over a controversial plan he has proposed to bill veterans' private insurance companies for the treatment of combat and active-duty related injuries in order to generate half-a-billion dollars in 2010 for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Currently, VA covers those costs, and bills veterans’ private insurance only for treatments unrelated to a veterans’ military service. Critics of Obama's proposal, who include a number of Democrats in both Houses of Congress, said Obama’s plan could end up discouraging employers from hiring disabled veterans because it could raise employers’ insurance premiums.

Following a meeting Obama had with veterans groups Monday, Commander David K. Rehbein of the American Legion, the country’s largest veterans organization, excoriated the president for moving forward with an “unreasonable plan” and for refusing “to hear arguments about the moral and government-avowed obligations that would be compromised by it.”

“I got the distinct impression that the only hope of this plan not being enacted is for an alternative plan to be developed that would generate the desired $540-million in revenue," Rehbein said. He added that American Legion "has long advocated for Medicare reimbursement to VA for the treatment of veterans" and he plans on presenting his proposal to the White House on Thursday.
"This, we believe, would more easily meet the President’s financial goal," he said.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Tuesday Obama has not made a decision on his proposal.

"The president and the [veterans groups] had a good conversation, and veterans can be assured that the president understands any concerns that they would have," Gibbs said. "The budget the president has proposed represents an historic increase in discretionary spending to take care of our wounded warriors: those that have been sent off to war, have protected our freedom and have come back wounded."

The meeting Monday afternoon included Obama’s Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki and Steven Kosiak, the overseer of defense spending at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

David Gorman, executive director of Disabled American Veterans, attended the meeting. He characterized Obama’s as “the vets are paying premiums to insurance companies, and that is a free ride that needs to stop.”

The backlash directed at Obama after Monday’s meeting appears to have caught White House officials off-guard. To quell the anger, Emanuel has scheduled another sit-down with the organizations and their representatives on Thursday to further address their concerns about Obama's plan.

Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, said “America's veterans and their families pay the true cost of war everyday, and we must pay for the care and benefits they have earned.”

Rehbein, however, opposes the plan on moral grounds.

“This reimbursement plan would be inconsistent with the mandate ‘… to care for him who shall have borne the battle…’ given that the United States government sent members of the armed forces into harm’s way, and not private insurance companies,” Rehbein said. “I say again that The American Legion does not and will not support any plan that seeks to bill a veteran for treatment of a service connected disability at the very agency that was created to treat the unique need of America’s veterans!”

Paul Riechkhoff, the executive director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, said Obama’s proposal “is bad for the country and bad for veterans.”

“If the president and the [Office of Management an Budget] ant to cut costs, they can start at AIG, not the VA," Rieckhoff said, referring to the insurance giant that received $170 billion government bailout.

To be fair, Obama’s proposed 2010 budget for the VA, which he recently unveiled, calls for a $15 billion increase above 2009 levels. The $113 billion request includes $52.5 billion in discretionary funding, an increase of $4.9 billion from 2009, or 10.3 percent. The bulk of discretionary spending goes to VA medical care. By contrast, the Bush administration routinely underfunded VA and shortchanged veterans even as the Iraq war raged.

Bush proposed a 0.5 percent budget increase for the VA for fiscal year 2006, which amounted to a “cruel mockery” of Bush’s promises to do everything to support veterans and soldiers, Rep. Lane Evans, D-Illinois, said at the time.

Evans called Bush’s proposed budget increase for the VA “grossly inadequate,” saying it would force the VA to “ration” healthcare to veterans.

VA officials had testified in 2005 that the agency needed at least a 13 percent increase to meet the needs of hundreds of thousands of war veterans wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan and others who needed long-term mental health care.

Simultaneously, Bush was resisting congressional efforts to beef up the VA’s budget. In May 2007, Bush threatened to veto legislation that sought a 10 percent—$3.2 billion—increase, calling it too expensive. Bush proposed a 2 percent increase, far below what lawmakers and VA officials said was needed to treat a dramatic increase in traumatic brain injury and PTSD cases.

After Congress passed the legislation with the higher VA spending, Bush backed down on his veto threat but that was largely due to the fact that every Republican in the Senate with the exception of Jim DeMint of South Carolina, supported the measure.

Last week, Rep. Bob Filner, the House Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman, said during a hearing last week that Obama’s budget proposal for VA “marks the first time any president has submitted a budget that exceeds the recommendations of the Independent Budget.

But Filner requested an additional $600 million from the White House to cover the health care expenses that Obama said he could raise by billing private insurance companies. Filner said his committee does not support Obama’s plan to bill insurance companies.

During the same committee hearing, Rep. Mike Michaud D-Maine, told Shinseki that Obama risks losing votes on his budget proposal for the VA if he intends to try and win support for his plan to bill insurance companies for treating veterans.

“It's unconscionable and it is an insult to our veterans who have been hurt overseas,” Michaud told Shinseki.

Although Rehbein said he believes Obama won’t back down from his proposal, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., who sits on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, told Shinseki last week the proposal would be “dead on arrival” if it is formally presented to the Senate.

“I do want to express my concern about a rumored proposal that would supposedly allow the VA to bill a veteran’s insurance company for service-connected disabilities and injuries.” Murray said at a committee hearing March 10. “I believe that veterans with service-connected injuries have already paid by putting their lives on the line for our safety. When our troops are injured while serving this country, we should take care of those injuries completely. We shouldn’t nickel and dime them with their care. While no such proposal has been formally made, I can assure you that it will be dead on arrival in this Congress if it is proposed.“

Murray also expressed her opposition to the plan during a phone call with Shineki that took place earlier this month.

When rumors of the plan began to swirl late last month, about a dozen veterans organization fired off a letter to Obama stating their fierce opposition to the proposal.

“There is simply no logical explanation for billing a veteran’s personal insurance for care that the VA has a responsibility to provide,” said the Feb, 27 letter signed by representatives from American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled Veterans of America, Blinded Veterans Association, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Jewish War Veterans of the USA, Military Officers Association of America, and Military Order of the Purple Heart of the USA, Paralyzed Veterans of America and Vietnam Veterans of America. “While we understand the fiscal difficulties the country faces right now, placing the burden of those fiscal problems on the men and women who have already sacrificed a great deal for this country is unconscionable.”

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Will Seattle Post-Intelligencer Be Profitable Online?

NEW YORK ( -- Most newspapers wouldn't dream of stopping the presses, from which they still derive the overwhelming bulk of their ad revenue, which in turn often contributes to a healthy, profitable bottom line. In 2007, the most recent year figures are available from the Newspaper Association of America, print ad revenue represented 93% of total ad revenue for newspapers.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer's final print edition.

But Hearst's Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which is going online-only after today, had big losses to contend with. If the print revenue wasn't enough to erase a $14 million loss, according to Hearst, you can see the logic in shutting down. The weekday print edition booked $141 million in ad revenue in 2007, but that dropped to $118 million in 2008, according to TNS Media Intelligence.
Now the question is what it takes to make the new, online-only P-I profitable.

The site will probably cost $4.5 million to $5.5 million a year to run, according to back-of-the-envelope estimates by Ken Doctor, the newspaper vet-turned-analyst for Outsell. If the site maintains or expands its current traffic, and if it could achieve $10 pricing per thousand impressions by making the most of relationships with Yahoo and others, it could collect some $4.8 million in revenue.

There are several big "ifs" in that analysis, however. The site won't be a traditional newspaper site. It will aggregate content, link to sources including The Seattle Times and pull in community participation. The site also has to build a sales staff from scratch and make the most of partnerships with Yahoo's Newspaper Consortium and Quadrant One. And a lot of the page views the site has to offer right now represent low-value inventory like photo galleries and blogs.

"The challenge is to have a sales force that can be quickly and well trained on the Yahoo system and then make the connections," said Mr. Doctor, who has written about the Seattle situation on his blog, Content Bridges. "But Hearst has time. This is the thing. Let's say they lost a couple million. That's not a lot to Hearst. For Hearst it's a great lab. They can really learn what happens when you flip the switch."

While Hearst Newspapers is backing this venture, others who have lost their jobs and newspapers are attempting to create their own web news site. Following the demise of Denver's Rocky Mountain News, a group of journalists banded together to start InDenver Times. The group is asking readers to pledge to pay a $4.99 fee per month, and if they reach 50,000 pledges by April 23, they will go live with a news site.

A Hearst spokesman did not respond to requests to speak with Seattle P-I executives or George Kliavkoff, hired Monday to lead the digital expansion of Hearst Entertainment and Syndication.

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Mass Effect 2 Coming In “Early 2010,” PS3 Not Mentioned

A few months ago, EA’s CEO mentioned that a sequel to Mass Effect was already in development. Today, the company confirmed in a press release, that Mass Effect 2 is coming in ‘early 2010.’ The document announced the next installment of the RPG will be available for the PC and Xbox 360 and it purposely didn’t mention the PlayStation 3. What does this mean for Sony owners? Simple. As of now, its not coming out for the PS3, which is strange because EA usually publish their games on all of the next-gen systems.

Of course, Left 4 Dead is also published by EA and Valve was the team who created it. Because Valve has issues with Sony’s consoles, they decided not to release the game on the PS3. Looks like Bioware might have the same concerns and EA agreed with them, for now. Joystiq contacted Bioware’s Heather Rabatich who said, “We have no comment beyond the platforms we’ve announced it for.” I guess that’s a better answer than “no.”


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Christina Ricci Is Engaged To Comedian Owen Benjamin

Actress Christina Ricci and comedian boyfriend Owen Benjamin are reportedly engaged. The two met on set of their movie All’s Faire in Love, and are of disproportionate height, Christina is a tiny 5′1″ and Owen is 6′6″. They went public with their relationship last October. E!Online claims Christina and Owen have already thrown a little engagement party but so far the reps. for both remain mum on the subject.

Photo: SplashNewsOnline

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Happy St Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's day is a day filled with the "luck of the Irish" and much green. Saint Patrick was the patron saint of Ireland who is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland.

Did you notice the really cute shamrock? It was created with the loving hands of a little one - isn't it cute? On the back is this little poem:

Just like the leaves on each shamrock I see,

There are three parts to the Holy Trinity,

First is God the Father,

Then Jesus His only Son,

And the Holy Spirit

Together as One.

So, did you eat Corned Beef and Cabbage today? We did over the weekend, but not tonight. By the way, I have it on good authority that Corned Beef and Cabbage is not the traditional St. Pat's meal. Corned Beef is apparently more of an English meal, not Irish. A meal that is eaten in Ireland is boiled bacon and cabbage. Lest you forget, here is a funny poem by Frances Shilliday to help us remember:


I just want to put something straight
About what should be on your plate,
If it's corned beef you're makin'
You're sadly mistaken,
That isn't what Irishmen ate.

If you ever go over the pond
You'll find it's of bacon they're fond,
All crispy and fried,
With some cabbage beside,
And a big scoop of praties beyond.

Your average Pat was a peasant
Who could not afford beef or pheasant.
On the end of his fork
Was a bit of salt pork,
As a change from potatoes 'twas pleasant.

This custom the Yanks have invented,
Is an error they've never repented,
But bacon's the stuff
That all Irishmen scoff,
With fried cabbage it is supplemented.

So please get it right this St. Paddy's.
Don't feed this old beef to your daddies.
It may be much flasher,
But a simple old rasher,
Is what you should eat with your tatties.

©Frances Shilliday 2004, please visit her website which debunks other myths including this little ditty.


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How to add RAM to Laptop

How to add remove and installing laptop ram memory. The steps are common for all types of laptops like hp, acer Toshiba etc. but the place for the ram may different for different laptops. Ram is on the back side of laptop and on the cover there is a image stampl on cover.

Remove one screw of the memory cover. after that you can see memory ram installed on motherboard yellow arrow indicate the ram.

As shown in the picture with red arrow Carefully spread latches on both sides of the memory slot with fingers.

The memory module will come out at 30 degrees angle. Remove as shown in read arrow direction.

To install memory follows the steps in reverse direction.

How to Upgrade your Laptop Memory :Video

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Seattle Post-Intelligencer is Latest Newspaper Casualty

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer is the latest casualty in what seems like a never-ending stream of newspaper failures. Today is its final issue.Unlike the Rocky Mountain News, it will continue as an online publication.

What's next -- the San Francisco Chronicle or the Miami Herald? Both have been struggling and it seems like newspaper closings are but a sign of the times. [More...]

I wonder if 20 years from now, trying to describe a printed newspaper to our grandchildren will be met with a blank and quizzical look --- like trying to explain to someone under 40 today how we typed with colored carbon paper before the invention of the xerox machine. How we couldn't make mistakes or else had to start all over, how there was no cut and paste (it was pre-word processor or computer.) Can anyone who wasn't there can even imagine such dinosaur days?

Maybe the end of newspapers will be met with the same reaction. Those born after the end of the daily paper may scratch their heads in bemusement and bewilderment when told the daily paper used to be delivered to every home before sunrise and people got the news twice a day: from the morning paper and TV's nightly news -- with no updates in between.

Yet, how strange it will seem to the rest of us to walk into an airport, a doctor's waiting room, a bank, a subway station or a breakfast diner and not see the newspaper either for sale or lying around discarded on a chair. Surely, not everyone who reads the paper in these places will have a Kindle on them. Not to mention that reading a paper on a cell phone can be slow and frustrating.

I imagine all these establishments will soon have monitors like the one in the elevator at my office building that flashes the headlines with a two sentence lead and photo caption throughout the day. In other words, once leaving home in the morning, without the benefit of the morning paper, millions of Americans will be stuck only with the equivalent of CNN Headline News.

The times, they are a changing. But maybe not for the better.


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Jon Stewart and Jim Cramer? Meet KRS-One and P.M. Dawn

I'm doing a dialogue with some hip hop journalists/bloggers and in search of a newspeg with which to pitch the whole package I stumbled on the notion of Jon Stewart pulling a P.M. Dawn on Jim Cramer as an amusing analogy.

So we know the Stewart vs. Cramer hubbub from last week, but do you know about when hip hop legend/scholar KRS threw P.M. Dawn off the stage. You can get a first-hand perspective/recap via unkut's interview with Kenny Parker.

The interesting comparison comes in because KRS compares to Stewart as a sort-of hip hop media watchdog. Obviously there's a whole bunch of different ethnocultural circumstances, but he was one of the few dudes that would call people out, by name, and try and hold them accountable. And in hip hop at the time if you did your calling out on wax, or during a radio show, that was the equivalent of doing it at 11PM on Comedy Central. More to the point: KRS fancied himself, like Stewart, a truth-teller for his people and times. And he saw his task as doing that in the most compelling, entertaining, but also *truthful* way possible.

In the other corner, P.M. Dawn is emblematic of a Cramer Mad Money mentality. A symbol of American values/dreaming gone wrong. Not inherently evil in and of itself -- after all, we all have to make a living and it's not Cramer or Prince Be's fault people buy into schtick -- but wrong for going overboard into manipulating people, presentation, perception for capital gain.

This doesn't all work dot-for-dot. Prince Be was a hippie artist, and Cramer stands accused of crimes much worse than being a chubby bohemian rapper. But still, I give Cramer the benefit of the doubt to think there's an art to his business; I don't think he was born on the dark side of the force, he was lured there by American greed like any of us in the right circumstances.

AnyCramer, as the story goes KRS was performing at the same club as P.M. Dawn one night and long story short he (or as the recap i linked earlier clarifies, it wasn't him but his crew) threw Prince Be off the stage and took over. For most hip hop "heads" it's a moment you remember as old school real vintage hip hop nostalgia. Hip hop was always about settling beef and calling people out and holding people accountability for being wack, shady, or whatever. And that's exactly what Stewart did to Cramer last week. A contemporary, civilized passive-aggressive/pansy-ass version of throwing a rival off the stage.

Which is to say, aside from how politically (and legally) improper it is, it would seem people really just wanted to see Stewart punch Cramer in the face.

In this post that I got abused over, it was this bullyish alpha-dominant behavior that struck me. Not the moralizing of the exchange (i.e. obviously Stewart's right, Cramer's wrong, that wasn't a question going in or leaving), but that Stewart was playing by hip hop rules while Cramer was playing fold your hands in class and don't look at the guy who's gonna beat you up after class in the eye. It's so aggressive, and primal, and Nietzschean, and awesome, and ultimately, as I see it, so hip hop. Or what hip hop should be. Or what media infused with more hip hop values should be. More public beef please.


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Caring for Veterans Is Matter of American Honor, Obama Says

Caring for veterans is a responsibility and duty for all Americans, and the employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs are those who are charged with repaying "that debt of honor," President Barack Obama said during a ceremony in Washington marking the department’s 20th anniversary today.

The president promised the VA employees that he will make good on his promise to create a 21st-century department.

VA, formerly called the Veterans Administration, became a cabinet-level department in 1989. The employees are charged with providing education, training benefits, health care, home loans and cemeteries for American veterans. "It’s a commitment that lasts from the day our veterans retire that uniform to the day that they are put to rest, and it continues on for their families," the president said.

U.S. servicemembers are the country’s best and brightest, Obama said. "They are our bravest, enlisting in a time of war, enduring tour after tour of duty, serving with honor under the most difficult circumstances and making sacrifices that many of us cannot begin to imagine," he said. The department must take care of these people and of their families, he added.

The VA mission always is vital, Obama said, but it is even more so during long and difficult conflicts like today’s. "Last month, I announced my strategy for ending the war in Iraq, and I made it very clear that this strategy would not end with the military plans and diplomatic agendas, but would endure through my commitment to upholding our sacred trust with every man and woman who has served this country," the president said. "And the same holds true for our troops serving in Afghanistan."

The president has requested an extra $25 billion for the department over the next five years. The agency – under the leadership of retired Army Gen. Eric K. Shinseki, former Army chief of staff – is reviewing its operations.

"With this budget, we don't just fully fund our VA health care program," the president said. "We expand it to serve an additional 500,000 veterans by 2013, to provide better health care in more places and to dramatically improve services related to mental health and injuries like post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury."

Obama said technology also will help to cut red tape and ease the transition from active duty. He promised new help for homeless veterans, "because those heroes have a home."

"It's the country they served -- the United States of America," he said. "And until we reach a day when not a single veteran sleeps on our nation's streets, our work remains unfinished."

He called on VA employees to help to implement the GI Bill for the 21st century. Just as the veterans of World War II formed the backbone of the progress after that war, the veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan too, can be the catalyst for progress. The deadline for putting the rules for the new GI Bill in place is Aug. 1.

"That’s how we'll show our servicemen and women that when you come home to America, America will be here for you," Obama said. "That's how we will ensure that those who have borne the battle, and their families, will have every chance to live out their dreams."

Transforming the agency is a tall order, Obama said, but he added that he has the fullest confidence that the men and women of the department can do it.

The United States will "fulfill our sacred trust and serve our returning heroes as well as they've served us," he said.

Article provided by Jim Garamone, and the U.S. Department of Defense.

On the Web:


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Lindsay Lohan Is Irresponsibly Free (Photos)

Lindsay Lohan’s arrest warrant was nothing more than a major misunderstanding according to the actress’ lawyer Shawn Chapman. The arrest warrant was issued due to failure to attend three sessions of “alcohol education classes” in a 21-day period. But the truth is Lindsay “had been in one programme but left that programme” for another because of a “personality conflict”.

The Mean Girls star is off the hook for now but she will have to show new proof of enrollment in a programme by April 3rd. Lindsay had a rough weekend: first the arrest warrant, then she had a nasty fight with her lover Samantha Ronson, which ended up with a broken window and police. Today Lindsay was spotted outside her house looking like she is recovering from a pretty bad hangover.


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Leftist Victory in El Salvador Closes an Historic Cycle

The apparent victory of leftist candidate Maurico Funes in Sunday's presidential election in El Salvador finally closes out the Cold War in Central America and raises some serious questions about the long term goals of U.S. foreign policy.

With Funes' election, history has come full cycle. Both El Salvador and neighboring Nicaragua will now be governed by two former guerrilla fronts against which the Reagan administration spared no efforts in trying to defeat during the entire course of the 1980's. We will now coexist with those we once branded as the greatest of threats to our national security. Those we branded as "international terrorists" now democratically govern much of Central America.

Funes, once a commentator for CNN's Spanish-language service, comes to power representing the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), a Marxist guerrilla group-turned-political -party, an organization that the U.S. government once described in terms now reserved for Al Qaeda and Hizbollah.

From the late 1970's until a negotiated peace settlement in 1992, the FMLN fought a bloody civil war against a series of U.S.-backed right-wing regimes. Those Salvadoran regimes engaged in horrific massacres and deployed savage death squads, taking a massive human toll. While the FMLN also perpetrated atrocities, all independent analysts agree that the overwhelming majority of the 75,000 who were killed in the war in El Salvador were victims of government-sponsored violence.

This same FMLN which now comes to power in El Salvador was once declared as the primary perpetrator of "international terrorism" by the Reagan administration who deployed hundreds of U.S. military advisors to the tiny Central American country and who quadrupled the size of the Salvadoran Army. In this all-out quest to crush the FLMN, U.S. authorities, at best, turned a blind eye to the bloody excesses of the Salvadoran regime. At worst, it encouraged them.

At the same time in history, the U.S. spent billions creating a "contra" army to destabilize and dislodge the leftist Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) which had taken power in Nicaragua in 1979, overthrowing the dynastic and dictatorial rule of the Somoza family - another U.S.-backed ally.

During the entire eight years of the Reagan era, defeating both the FMLN and the FSLN were the absolute top priorities of U.S. foreign policy as the administration argued that the Texas border was a short hop from the fields of Central America and that all must be done to stop the northward march of hemispheric revolution. The sort of inflammatory rhetoric used to describe the Central American guerrilla movements was an eerie precedent for the overheated war of words against "The Axis of Evil" that would emerge earlier this decade.

The Nicaraguan Sandinistas were eventually defeated by an American-backed opposition in elections in 1990 and democratically and peacefully transferred power (something the Reaganites claimed could never happen). But the Sandinistas returned to power last year re-electing its historic leader Daniel Ortega as president. Almost twenty years of rule from the pro-U.S. coalitions that had succeeded the Sandinistas had failed to implement any meaningful social change.

The Salvadoran FMLN, meanwhile, which has acted as a parliamentary opposition party since the 1992 Salvadoran peace accords, now comes to power ending twenty years of uninterrupted rule by the country's ultra-conservative ARENA party - a political organization born directly from the death squads of the 1980's and, yes, a close ally of the U.S.

All of this raises the question of why so many lives were spent and so many billions in U.S. dollars were burned in an attempt to expunge these leftist forces twenty years ago? Wouldn't it have been possible in 1989 to find some sort of accommodation with these radical forces and not postpone the inevitable for twenty years?

In the case of Nicaragua, the year-old reborn and duly elected Sandinista administration--while far from a model of democratic ethics-- hardly poses any threat to U.S. interests. Though President Ortega, saddled with governing one of the poorest countries in the hemisphere, still clothes his actions in revolutionary rhetoric, he has headed up what many think is essentially a conservative regime which recently outlawed all abortion (a move that could warm the deceased Ronald Reagan's heart). Ortega campaigned successfully for the presidency last year by quoting from scripture and has not flinched from pacting with the most conservative of political elements.

In the case of El Salvador, President-elect Funes has pledged to maintain close and cordial relations with the U.S. And while the FMLN--like the Sandinistas - clings to some of its Cold War revolutionary rhetoric, no one expects any radical moves by the incoming government. Fighting widespread poverty aggravated by the global slump and a chilling crime wave, the FMLN will have its hands full just keeping the government on keel. President-elect Funes holds distinctly moderate views and in an American context would be little more than a liberal Democrat. In any case, the FMLN can point to its recent governance of several Salvadoran cities (including until recently the capital of San Salvador) as its democratic bona fides.

The resurrection of the FMLN and the FSLN at this time in history raises a troubling irony regarding U.S. foreign policy. Yesterday we were told they were our greatest enemies. Today, now in power, they hardly garner any U.S. press coverage, let alone much attention from Washington. Likewise, the right-wing forces we bankrolled with blood and treasure and who we were told were a bulwark of Western Civilization, utterly failed in solving the basic existential questions that bedeviled their respective countries. Twenty years from now, we have to ask, what will Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria look like? Might we find ourselves peacefully co-existing with the same undefeated forces who today we proclaim our mortal enemies? Might we be better off using our soft power, our economic and diplomatic clout to force negotiation and moderation with those we perceive as irrational and radical enemies? Or do we only reach that conclusion after the dissipation of prolonged, bloody and ultimately unsuccessful armed intervention and war?


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Racist or Not Racist: German Obama Fried Chicken

You would be wrong if you thought the Axis Powers stopped insulting America in 1945. Japan set it off with a blackface Obama magician and Germany takes it to the next level with Obama fried chicken. At this point, I half expect an Italian company to sell Obama grape soda to complete the trifecta. So what do you think LOA? Is German Obama fried chicken racist or not racist? You make the call.


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Cutler wants out of Denver, skips 1st team meeting

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) -Jay Cutler says he wants to break up. The Denver Broncos say they want to make up.

The Pro Bowl quarterback was a no-show on Monday for coach Josh McDaniels' first team meeting and the start of the Broncos' offseason workouts, and if he gets his way, he'll never step foot in the team's training facility again.

``The Denver Broncos confirm that Jay Cutler has requested a trade,'' team spokesman Jim Saccomano told The Associated Press on Monday.

McDaniels declined interview requests after telling The Denver Post that he wanted to meet again with Cutler to try to resolve their differences before he considers a trade.

McDaniels briefly addressed his broiling quarterback controversy when he gathered his team as a group for the first time Monday morning.

``He just addressed it and said, 'I'll take care of it,''' recounted defensive lineman Kenny Peterson.

Cutler is upset that the Broncos tried to trade him for New England quarterback Matt Cassel last month and what he considers McDaniels' misleading answers to his inquiries about those discussions.

So, he asked for a trade through his agent, Bus Cook, who engineered Brett Favre's departure from Green Bay last summer.

The Broncos declined interview requests Monday for McDaniels, general manager Brian Xanders and owner Pat Bowlen. Cook didn't return calls to The AP.

The sides met face-to-face for the first time Saturday and Cutler came away convinced McDaniels wanted someone else under center while the Broncos were incredulous that the gathering didn't result in a resolution to this nasty spat. They told Cutler they expected him to attend Monday's meeting and workout even though it's voluntary.

Cutler told ESPN he would attend every mandatory minicamp and training camp but would skip the offseason training program, which won't subject him to fines.

He will, however, miss out on a $100,000 bonus if he doesn't attend 90 percent of the workouts. Cutler is entering the fourth season of a six-year, $48 million contract he signed as a rookie.

Even though it's voluntary, the coaches expect everyone to attend the team's offseason program unless they have an excused absence such as newcomer Brian Dawkins, who helped the NFL Players Association elect a new executive director in Hawaii on Sunday.

``Right now we're just running and lifting,'' Peterson said. ``You'd like to see everybody here. ... But we'll be all right. I mean, I got faith in the people upstairs and everything else that we'll be just fine.''

The Broncos' first minicamp is April 17-19, a week before the draft.

The Broncos have said for two weeks that they have no interest in trading their star quarterback, who set several team passing records last season and just played in his first Pro Bowl.

It's looking increasingly likely, however, that trading Cutler might be the only way to resolve the dispute.

``Jay's a great quarterback, as we all know, very good teammate, good friend of mine,'' receiver Eddie Royal said. ``But we've got to do what's best for the team and the organization. We've got a great coaching staff, great guys upstairs and they'll make the right decision.''

Cutler has been unhappy since learning that McDaniels, who was New England's offensive coordinator the last three seasons, entertained the notion of trading him to Tampa Bay in a three-way swap that would have brought Cassel from the Patriots to Denver on Feb. 28. New England instead traded Cassel to Kansas City.

Cutler believes McDaniels misled him about those trade talks; McDaniels has said all he did was listen to the trade proposals, as he would with any player, as he tries to rebuild the once-proud franchise.

The Broncos have been the NFL's most active team in free agency, signing 15 players, including quarterback Chris Simms, who signed for two years and $6 million, ostensibly to serve as Cutler's backup.

Peterson said the players aren't dwelling on the controversy.

``I mean, honestly we've been there all morning, not one person has said anything about it,'' Peterson said. ``... We're worried about what we've got to run tomorrow versus what's going on.''

Although the snit with Cutler and his refusal to show up Monday could serve to undermine the 32-year-old coach's authority, Peterson said McDaniels commanded the room.

``I don't care if he's 20, 40, 50, 60 years old, you're the head coach. You're going to get the respect. No question about it,'' Peterson said.

Newly signed cornerback Andre' Goodman said McDaniels asked the players not to talk about what he said in the meeting regarding Cutler.

Still, there was a major void in the room with Cutler missing, Goodman said.

``I think the quarterback is the face of the team,'' Goodman said. ``You take the coach out of it and he is the face of the team.''

Perhaps subconsciously, Royal slipped into the past tense when speaking about Cutler.

``As you know, he was a great competitor, you always saw in his eye that he wanted to win, came to practice prepared every day,'' Royal said. ``So, you knew what you were getting out of Jay.''

The question now is whether the Broncos will get anything more out of him on the football field or by way of compensation in a trade.


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