Sunday, May 31, 2009

Government Run GM Will Fail

While I have supported President Obama in many of the decisions he has made since becoming the 44th President of the United States, the idea that the U.S. federal government can run GM better than the management of the company is something I have a real problem with. After GM declares Chapter 11 bankruptcy tomorrow morning, U.S. taxpayers will own 60% of GM - which means that in effect President Barack Obama will be the new Chairman of the Board of GM. Frankly, if we thought GM management did a poor job in running GM - just wait until the U.S. federal government gets involved in running a huge American public company.

I understand why President Obama and Members of Congress do not want to see GM go away, but there is a real good chance that GM will go away anyway in the next few years and the total amount of taxpayer dollars that were flushed down the toilet in a futile attempt to save a failing company might be consider incompetent at best and criminal at worst. At the heart of President Obama's desire to keep GM afloat even when most Americans don't want to buy their cars anymore is the power that organized labor plays in the democratic party. In addition to labor concerns, an outright failure of GM and the job losses that would soon follow would be a major blow to the U.S. economy - which is finally starting to show some signs of new life in recent days.

While I consider myself a conservative leaning moderate politically, what the Obama administration is doing right now in regards to GM is nothing short of all out socialism. Do the American people really want to be major stockholders in a company that could fail anyway? I doubt it, but most people do not understand how business works and also most people certainly do not understand how a government run GM will differ from the company we have known for several generations. While I hope the government will do a good job running GM, history proves that the U.S. government is worse at managing things than any public run company including Enron.

What worries me the most about a government run GM is the fact that the U.S. federal government will succeed in implement social programs into the daily activities of a once publicly held company. The problem with trying to put public policy goals into the running of a company like GM is that no other private or public companies will be doing the same thing - which will leave GM at a tremendous cost disadvantage to all other automobile competitor in the years to come. In the real world, there is a place for business and there is a place for government. However, businesses are terrible at trying to do government things and government is terrible at running a business. I have grave concerns about the amount of money that will be sunk into GM in upcoming years just to try and integrate social programs into a major U.S. business.

Title: Government Run GM Will Fail
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GOP Leaders Stand Up To Rush Limbaugh

Finally, a few Republican leaders in the Congress are starting to stand up to Rush Limbaugh who has personally taken the GOP to all time lows in public support. The past few days, Senator John Cornyn and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have said that Rush Limbaugh was dead wrong when he said that President Obama's first choice for the U.S. Supreme Court is a racist. For weeks now I have waited and wondered when GOP leaders would stand up to Rush Limbaugh and then not back down the next day when he went on the air to condemn them.

I guess we will all need to wait and see what Rush Limbaugh has to say on his radio program this week about Senator Cornyn and McConnell. Will Limbaugh continue to attack U.S. Senators that disagree with his narrow minded view of the GOP or will they finally stick to their guns and be the leaders that voters expected them to be when they were elected to office. Rush Limbaugh is only as powerful as members of the Republican Party allow him to be. While millions of people follow each and every word spoken by Limbaugh each day, hundreds of millions of Americans do not.

The biggest threat to the rich and power Rush Limbaugh is the possible resurrection of the Fairness Doctrine in the United States. For years, Rush Limbaugh has accused democrats of trying to revive the Fairness Doctrine in an effort to shut him up by shutting down his popular radio network. The past few months, I have seen Rush Limbaugh attack members of his own Republican Party who do not agree with him. If Limbaugh continues to disgrace members of his own political family, I could see many GOP Members of Congress going along with the democrats when it comes to reenacting the Fairness Doctrine so they can take their revenge out on Rush Limbaugh.

While it should not be necessary for current GOP leadership to send Rush Limbaugh down the road by totally ignoring his out-of-touch comments - in the end the party as a whole may have to totally cut their ties with Rush Limbaugh in order to build a better and stronger GOP for the future. Right now, the GOP is only strong in the south and some parts of the southwest. If the GOP is to grow it's power base in other parts of the country, it will be necessary for the party to throw Rush Limbaugh under the bus at some future date or the party will continue to shrink and eventually die.

Title: GOP Leaders Stand Up To Rush Limbaugh
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Barack/Michelle Date Night In NYC

Last night President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle went on a date in NYC. Of course, conservative Republicans were quick to criticize the President and his wife for wasting millions of taxpayers dollars on that date - but was it wrong or right for them to go on that date in the first place? The answer to that question is more based on whether or not you like and approve of President Obama than anything else. From a moral and legal standpoint, Barack and Michelle Obama have nothing to worry about. However, when it comes to a PR move - that is an entirely different story for the new President of the United States.

Millions of American are having a difficult time right now because of the recession of 2008/2009. Families all across the country are cutting back on entertainment like trips to other places because of a lack of financial resources or because they are afraid to spend money - because at some future date their job might be in jeopardy. From a purely gut level, I think it was a mistake for President Obama to take his wife Michelle on a date in NYC Saturday night - because the cost of that trip was paid for by U.S. taxpayer dollars. From the beginning, the White House made it clear that last night's date night in NYC was not a public or private event that President's attend all the time, but instead it was a date solely for the President - his wife and two young girls.

From my laid back country point of view, it is wrong for any political or business leader to take his family on vacation and let someone else pay for it. There is no doubt that there would be outrage in the White House if the CEO of GM took his wife and family on an all expense paid vacation and let GM pick up the tab. However, for the President of the United States it is legal and acceptable for him to take his whole family on a vacation and let the taxpayers pay for the trip? Something about this date night in NYC just gives me a bad feeling in my stomach. Mind you, I have been almost totally supportive of President Obama since he took office - but I believe he made a huge mistake in taking his wife on a date and forcing the taxpayers to pick up the tab.

In the big picture will last night's date night in NYC between President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle amount to much? Probably not. However, for millions of American like myself - the intelligence and good judgment of President Obama is why we supported him in the first place. If President Obama continues to make decisions like this date night in NYC, his future as the President of the United States is going to be hurt somewhere down the road. Some might think it is unfair that a sitting President cannot take his wife out on a date without security following close behind and the tremendous cost of flying Air Force One. However, both President Barack Obama and his wife knew what they were signing up for as leaders in the U.S. and last night's NYC date night was a huge PR mistake for our new President.

Title: Barack/Michelle Date Night In NYC
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GM Bankruptcy, Monday June 01, 2009?

It took about three months longer than it should have, but from several press reports it has been learned that GM will file for bankruptcy protection on Monday June 01, 2009. Don't get me wrong, I am not celebrating the bankruptcy of a long established and well know American company. Instead, I am very disappointed that the U.S. auto business has degraded to the point where an automobile giant like GM must seek bankruptcy protection just to have a chance at survival.

In many ways, the demise of GM was caused by some of the same factors that drove Wall Street to the brink of failure late last year. Like other Wall Street companies, GM decided years ago to focus only on short term profits - which left them ill equipped to handle any kind of downturn or market fluctuation that would make imported cars more popular with the American driving public. This short term business model was also seen at GM dealerships around the country as car dealers focused only on making the sale today and also trying to squeeze out ever cent of profit from their customers - which left millions of customers upside down the next time they wanted to buy a car.

Instead of focusing on short term profits, Japanese car companies like Toyota and Honda focused on a business model that made their cars more reliable for the customer. In the end, it was proven that the Japanese automobile business model was superior to the short term, make as much money as you can today philosophy of GM and the other big three auto makers. One of the major reasons GM is filing for bankruptcy protection on Monday is because they spent years ripping off their customers in the F&I office by charging their best customers higher interest rates than they had earned with financial institutions and also by selling them over priced warranty agreements that had the effect of taking that customer out of the car market for at least the next five years.

Now Monday morning, bright and early, GM is expected to enter bankruptcy court - which will turn out to be the biggest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history. When GM files for bankruptcy on Monday morning, there is no guarantee that a company restructuring plan will ultimately save them. Instead, GM is just buying more time so they can build new cars that Americans will once again want to buy and drive. In addition to building better and more reliable cars and trucks - I hope that GM will restructure their dealerships as well so they stop the practice of ripping off customers today, while taking that customer out of the new car marketing for longer than they should. The future of GM will be decided within the next few years and at the top of the list of whether or not they will survive will be good old fashion service after the sale and a fair atmosphere at their dealerships when consumers show up to purchase a vehicle.

Title: GM Bankruptcy, Monday June 01, 2009?
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Saturday, May 30, 2009

What's Next For Susan Boyle?

When all the votes were counted tonight on the 2009 edition of Britain's Got Talent, worldwide favorite Susan Boyle came in second behind a great bunch of young dancers called "Diversity". It did not help Susan Boyle when the British tabloid media turned on her this week after she got mad and lost her temper in public a couple of times. As I have said previously, no one in the world would have been able to withstand the public pressure any better than Susan Boyle and in my opinion - she conducted herself much better than anyone else considering the amount of public scrutiny she has been put under the past six weeks.

So, what's next for Susan Boyle? While I do not know for sure, my guess is that early Monday morning she will be signing a record contract with the record company of Simon Cowell. After listening to Simon's comments directed toward Susan Boyle after she sang for the last time on Britain's Got Talent, it's clear that Simon Cowell personally likes Susan and I would be shocked if he did not step up and offer a great record deal. Especially here in the U.S., Susan Boyle has gone from an unknown person to a lady that most people know about and have heard sing within a one month period of time.

While music experts will probably disagree with me, I believe after Susan Boyle signs her new record contract - she should take a couple of weeks off and go on vacation. She must be tired and she will more than likely strike out once again at reporters and even members of her adoring public if she does not take a break from public appearances. Unlike, novelty acts that are here today and gone tomorrow - Susan Boyle has a talent that will withstand the passage of time. I have no doubt that fans of Susan Boyle in the United States will still be eager and ready to hear her sing after a couple of weeks of vacation as they are right now.

While I was disappointed tonight when I heard that Susan Boyle had lost to a group of young entertainers on Britain's Got Talent, I felt much better once I went to YouTube and watched "Diversity" preform in the finals. All I can say is wow after watching those young men preform like a bunch of Hollywood professionals on stage. Now, the competition is over - but the future of Susan Boyle is not bleak by any stretch of the imagination. Instead, I can see Susan Boyle recording a hit album soon and down the road I can see Susan as a star on Broadway in a long running musical play.

Title: What's Next For Susan Boyle?
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Sonia Sotomayor Supreme Court Nominee

I still believe, in the end, that Sonia Sotomayor will be confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the next associate justice of the Supreme Court. However, she will face some major bumps along that road to confirmation including hard questions as to why she made what some have referred to as racist comments during a speech in 2001. When taken out of context, it does first appear that radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh is right when he calls Sonia Sotomayor a reverse racist. However, when you read the full context of her comments back in 2001 - Limbaugh's tirade loses it's punch.

In many ways, I dread it when a U.S. Supreme Court member decides to step down. Ever since Clarence Thomas was selected as President George HW Bush's nominee to sit on the highest court in this land, the whole process of Senate confirmation of Supreme Court justices has deteriorated into something this nation should not be proud of. What is at the heart of this controversy is the Roe v. Wade decision by the Supreme Court years ago. That one decision, caused many religious conservatives to lose faith in the U.S. Supreme Court and ever since they have voted for politicians who will promise to only vote for court nominees that oppose abortion.

As the power and influence of social conservatives grew in Washington D.C., the people on the far left that feel like a woman should always have the right to choose an abortion - went to work electing only candidates for the U.S. Senate that would appoint pro-choice candidates for the Supreme Court. Now, decades after the Roe v. Wade decision - the entire process of selecting a new member to sit on the Supreme Court has become a disgrace to this great nation, which was founded on the principle that we are a nation of laws and no one in the U.S. is above the law. The spectacle we are about to witness in the U.S. Senate as Sonia Sotomayor faces confirmation to the Supreme Court will be a 'black eye' to what our nations founders envisioned over 200 years ago.

While I personally believe that abortion should be avoided at all cost, I do not feel like my position on that issue should overrule the opinion of someone else. Rather than fighting to change the law of the land on this issue, I wish that both sides would work together to reduce unwanted pregnancy and also do more to promote adoption for women that do not want a child at this time in their life. While my solution might make sense to some - extremist forces, years ago, on the right and left lost their ability to find common ground on this issue. Instead they use every occasion to demonize those who oppose their narrow view of the abortion issue. Soon, Sonia Sotomayor will see her stellar reputation attacked by conservatives in the U.S. Senate and when that happens - the principles, of our founding fathers, will be diminished - because of single issue politics and the few people that believe it is OK to destroy anyone that does not totally agree with them.

Title: Sonia Sotomayor Supreme Court Nominee
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Susan Boyle Finals On May 30, 2009

While this week has not been the best for Susan Boyle, in the end I still believe she will win the 2009 edition of Britain's Got Talent on Saturday night May 30. Members of the mainstream media have been quick to jump on Susan Boyle, because she lost her temper this past week and said some things she should not have. However, I do not know anyone on the face of the Earth that would have made it as far as Susan has without losing their temper and my feeling is that the great British public will look past Susan Boyle's mistakes this week and award her with the championship title, if she sings well on Saturday night.

Pierce, Amanda, Simon and hundreds of millions of people around the world have been touch by Susan Boyle's amazing singing voice and while there are other good competitors Susan will face Saturday night, in the end it will be her competition to lose. That said, there is a possibility that Susan Boyle has become so angry at some of the things that have been said and written about her, that she may not be able to put that anger behind her before she shows up to sing on Saturday night. If that happens, it will really be a tragedy not only for her - but for the millions of other people that are pulling for her to win.

Maybe it's just because Susan Boyle touched me in such a personal way when she had her first audition on Britain's Got Talent, but I find myself pulling for her with every fiber of my being to win on the show. Right now, I am angry at some members of the media for using their position of power to try and bring Susan Boyle down before she has a chance to compete Saturday night. I have known for years that the only reason some members of the mainstream media build people like Susan Boyle up is so they will have them around to tear down at some future date.

It's no wonder that most people in the world do not like or trust members of the news media. Right now, I'm sure that Susan Boyle is in a state of shock after the mainstream media praised her every move just a few weeks ago and now they are openly saying that they hope she will lose the 2009 edition of Britain's Got Talent. While I do write a blog, I do not consider myself part of any media establishment who's goal is to hurt decent people that pursue a dream. Hopefully, Saturday night May 30 - Susan Boyle will see her dream come true and be the newest winner of Britain's Got Talent.

Title: Susan Boyle Finals On May 30, 2009
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Friday, May 29, 2009

Win Or Lose, Susan Boyle A Star

This weekend, new singing superstar Susan Boyle will compete in the finals of "Britain's Got Talent". While millions of people are hoping that she will win this years competition, there are a few negative people that want to bring her down just because they are mean. This week has been hard on Susan Boyle as negative reporters have started to criticize her both in the media and a few have even insulted her personally in public. The old time Texan in me wants to slap their face for this, but in some ways they are just doing their job as reporters.

The sad fact is, that just like others before her - Susan Boyle is finding out that being a famous celebrity is not all fun and games. There is a definite downside to fame and Susan Boyle is feeling that downside right now as she is being attacked by some who are criticizing her weak start to the song "Memories" in the semi-final round of the show last weekend. I too felt a pain in the pit of my stomach when she missed that first note of "Memories" in last weekends semi-final round. However, by the end of the song - she knocked my socks off.

In about 24 hours, we will all know whether or not Susan Boyle is the winner or not of the 2009 edition of "Britain's Got Talent". I think that she will go all the way, but to be honest about it she must rid her mind of the negative things that have happened this week and focus only on getting the job done by giving the performance of her life if she is to win this years title. I watched an interview on the "Today Show" this morning with Pierce, one of the judges from the show, and he said that Susan Boyle has been put into seclusion ever since some reporters got out of line when they publicly insulted her this past week.

Win or lose this weekend, Susan Boyle is already a star and there are tens of millions of people all over the world that are eager and ready to spend their hard earned money on a CD of her music. That said, winning is always better than losing - so I hope that Susan Boyle will be on her A game this weekend as she competes on "Britain's Got Talent". The future looks bright for Susan Boyle and my hope is that she makes the best of this break of a lifetime that she has earned with the help of the reality TV show "Britain's Got Talent".

Title: Win Or Lose, Susan Boyle A Star
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Sotomayor Likely To Win Senate Confirmation

If you need anymore proof that the former GOP is dead, you need to look no further than the upcoming confirmation hearings of Sonia Sotomayor for the U.S. Supreme Court. Just two days after President Obama nominated Sotomayor to be his choice as the next member of the Supreme Court, even long time Republican members of the U.S. Senate say that her confirmation is pretty much already a done deal. There was a time when someone with the liberal credentials of Sonia Sotomayor would have faced a long and difficult battle winning confirmation in the U.S. Senate, but the days when GOP social conservatives ruled the day in Supreme Court nominations has come and gone.

For weeks, I have been writing about how right wing political ideologues like Rush Limbaugh have destroyed the GOP of past. For most of my life, I never thought about voting for anyone - but a Republican candidate for political office. However, ever since George W. Bush showed me exactly what a real social conservative looks like, I decided I did not want to have my name associated with the Republican Party anymore. Rather than leading by making the government smaller and keeping bureaucrats out of the personal lives of Americans - President George W. Bush did the exact opposite and then tried to blame the Democrats for his own mistakes.

Now Sonia Sotomayor is likely to become the next justice to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States and she will win confirmation without the GOP putting up much of a fight against her. Personally, I don't want to see the U.S. Supreme Court drift back too far to the left - but that is likely to happen because so many Republicans like myself feel burned by our party during the eight years that George W. Bush was the leader. In hindsight, it's clear to me now that President Bush was an 'ends justify the means' kind of leader and that kind of attitude flies right in the face of the U.S. Constitution.

To die-hard social conservatives, nothing is more important than who is selected to sit on the Supreme Court. Many social conservatives don't like any federal court that much, because they believe that too many judges legislate from the bench. At the top of their list is always the Roe v. Wade decision where the U.S. Supreme Court made abortion legal in all 50 states without the legislature voting to approve it. I personally believe that the high court went too far in Roe V. Wade, but I also believe that in most states abortion would be legal today even if they had not have acted on their own to make it so. The political fortunes of the GOP have not been this bleak, since I first started voting back in the 1970's.

Title: Sotomayor Likely To Win Senate Confirmation
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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Liver Damage Caused By Acetaminophen

Almost everyone that regularly takes acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol - has found out the hard way when they have blood test run that acetaminophen causes liver enzymes to rise, because when too much of it is taken - liver damage is soon to follow. In fact, I have wondered for years why there were not stronger warning labels on acetaminophen products like Tylenol. Most times when a person is admitted to the hospital, a Tylenol type product containing acetaminophen is administered as a mild pain reliever. In fact, for decades - acetaminophen has been given to young children by doctors when they suffer from minor accidents or are running a fever.

About 20 years ago, I worked for a man who decided that he and his wife should purchase life insurance. One day, a life insurance sales person showed up at his company and filled out the needed paperwork. Then both my former employer and his wife visited a doctors office to have blood work done before their life insurance policies were issued. A couple of weeks later, the wife of my former employers receive word that her life insurance policy was being rated higher because she had extremely high liver enzymes. The shocker about this whole situation that took place 20 years ago is this - my former employer use to drink a six pack of beer every night, but his wife never touched alcohol. However, his wife did take Tylenol several times each day for headaches.

My simple question is this, if doctors and insurance companies knew that acetaminophen products like Tylenol caused liver damage at least 20 years ago - why was it only yesterday when the FDA decided to start warning the public about the potential for liver damage when too much acetaminophen is consumed? While I am happy that the FDA is finally officially warning the public about the potential for liver damage when too much acetaminophen is consumed, down deep inside I am wondering to myself why the U.S. government took so long to state the obvious to the American people?

It's no secret that companies that use acetaminophen based pain relievers in their products stand to lose billions of dollars now that the U.S. government via the FDA is warning about real liver damage if too much acetaminophen is consumed by American consumers. Is it possible that huge companies that make money from the sale of acetaminophen based pain relievers put pressure on the FDA to not tell the public sooner that acetaminophen is not the safe product it has been advertised to be for decades? I don't know the answer to that question, but my guess is that lawyers will be looking into a potential conflict of interest between the FDA and huge companies that made billions of dollars from the sale of acetaminophen based products.

Title: Liver Damage Caused By Acetaminophen
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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Carrie Underwood Best Paid Idol

It should come as no surprise to anyone that last year, Carrie Underwood was the best paid former contestant of American Idol. For the year, she racked up over $14 million in income from record sales, concert appearances and endorsement deals. Of all the previous American Idol contestants, Carrie Underwood is my personal favorite - but coming in a distance second was Jennifer Hudson ($5 million) who's career is made up of more that just music. Ms. Hudson also has made a name for herself as an actress, as well.

I am happy that Carrie Underwood is earning good money in the music and endorsement business. Carrie is a super nice person and the fact that she can make a bunch of money as a nice person is a good and welcome sign for others who wrongly think they must change in order to become successful in the music business. One thing is for sure and that is none of us would know a famous singer today by the name of Carrie Underwood - if it were not for Simon Cowell and the TV show American Idol.

Sadly, there are thousands of young girls in the United States that sing as well as or better than Carrie Underwood - but they have never been exposed to a national TV audience like Carrie Underwood was. I believe that is why Carrie Underwood returns often to American Idol to preform and also to help new Idol hopefuls that look up to Carrie as their role model. Ms. Underwood has come a long way from her rural upbringing in Oklahoma. However, in every way that counts she is just as down to Earth today as she was before she became famous thanks to American Idol.

Monday, my wife and I visited family on Memorial Day. We both had a bunch of fun sitting out on my sister-in-laws backyard deck. We ate hamburgers, drank cold beer and on the CD player there was Carrie Underwood singing some wonderful music. I did not know until then that my sister-in-law also loved Carrie Underwood music, but now I do. There are always people that come along in the music business to cheer up even the most desperate of souls. Carrie Underwood has lifted my spirits during some low times and I'll be there are thousands of other people that feel exactly the same way.

Read more about Carrie Underwood:

Title: Carrie Underwood Best Paid Idol
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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Will Limbaugh Ask Ridge To Leave GOP?

This past weekend, Tom Ridge the former GOP Governor of Pennsylvania and Homeland Security director told Rush Limbaugh that he should not be attacking moderate Republicans like Colin Powell, but instead should be focusing his efforts on rebuilding the party. Later today, when Rush Limbaugh returns to the national airwaves where 20 million people plus listen to him - I wonder if Rush, who is the current leader of the GOP, will say that Tom Ridge is no longer a good Republican either and try to get him to leave the party?

Right now, Rush Limbaugh is the best friend of liberal democrats who can always count on him to stunt any new resurgence in the Republican Party. While Rush Limbaugh reaches 20 million people per day on his radio program, that is not enough people for the GOP to win national election even if every Rush Limbaugh listener agreed with him and voted exactly the way he though they should. Limbaugh is concerned that the Republican Party will move away from conservatism and to him that is the worst thing that could happen to the Grand Old Party.

The problem is that it's not just the GOP that is moving away from conservatism, but the country as a whole. It's not uncommon for U.S. citizens to change their views of political ideology over the years and then without much notice change back to their old ways of thinking. Democrats have seen their political fortunes fade the past three or four decades and now the same thing is happening to conservatism in the Republican Party. National Republican leaders can see this change via polling, but Rush Limbaugh wants no part of a more moderate GOP.

For a long time, what was good for the Republican Party was also good for Rush Limbaugh. However, ever since Barack Obama became President earlier this year - it is not in Rush Limbaugh's personal self interest to help the GOP rebuild it's brand and expand it's base of voters. Instead, Limbaugh is benefiting in ratings and income by attacking the very political party that he backed for all of his career and he is becoming even richer in the process. People that really care about the Republican Party should be asking themselves right now, if their good and long time friend Rush Limbaugh is more interested in the GOP or in his own notoriety?

Title: Will Limbaugh Ask Ridge To Leave GOP?
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Monday, May 25, 2009

Susan Boyle Performance With Judges Comments

Last night, UK singing sensation Susan Boyle took to the stage once again on "Britain's Got Talent" to preform in that shows semi-final round. For hours tonight, I search for a YouTube clip that had the whole portion of Susan's performance along with what the judges (Simon, Amanda and Pierce) had to say to her. Fortunately, a few minutes ago - I found an almost eight minute clip of Susan Boyle in the semi-final round of Britain's Got Talent - which has the whole segment of the show about her in one YouTube clip. Hopefully, this clip will remain live via YouTube - but I cannot promise that because sometimes television networks decided to demand that YouTube take down whole clips of their programs. Click the box below to watch Susan Boyle bring the house down once again on Britain's Got Talent on May 24, 2009. What an amazing woman.



Title: Susan Boyle Performance With Judges Comments
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Sunday, May 24, 2009

"Memories" From Cats, Susan Boyle Wins

Tonight in the UK, Susan Boyle took the stage again and won the semi-final round of "Britain's Got Talent". With a whole new hair style and much better clothing, Susan Boyle blew the audience away with the song "Memories" from the long running Broadway musical "Cats". I was pleased with Susan's choice of songs, because for decades "Memories" has been one of my favorite songs.

From Barry Manilow and Barbara Streisand to Betty Buckley, the song "Memories" has been a favorite of mine for a long time. Now new singing superstar Susan Boyle has added her version of that fantastic song and more than like when she signs her record contract with Simon Cowell's record label - that song along with her first audition one will be part of her debut album. Unless some kind of act of God intervenes, I feel certain that Susan Boyle will win the 2009 edition of Britain's Got Talent - which will be broadcast in the UK and via the Internet on May 30th.

Here in the U.S. this is Memorial Day Weekend. During this holiday weekend, Internet traffic to my blog and millions of others is usually slow - because most people are cooking out and spend hours at the lake either sking, fishing or swimming. However, today - I noticed a tremendouos increase in the number of people visiting my blog and the number one page that most people were coming to was one written about Susan Boyle's semi-final preformance on Britain's Got Talent tonight.

I am thrilled that Susan Boyle is moving on to the final round of Britain's Got Talent and I will be cheering her every step of the way. People here in the United States should prepare for non stop television news coverage of Susan Boyle next week as she prepares to take on the other top contenstants on this years show. In what took a month to go from the first auditions to the semi-final round, will now only take one week until the winner of the 2009 edition of Britain's Got Talent is announced on May 30, 2009.

Title: "Memories" From Cats, Susan Boyle Wins
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Will Susan Boyle Go All The Way?

Now that Susan Boyle has moved on to the final rounds of the 2009 edition of "Britain's Got Talent", people from all around the world are waiting to see if this unlikely lady from the UK - with that amazing singing voice will win this years competition. Like hundreds of millions of other people from around the world, I have found myself drawn to the voice and story of Susan Boyle as she first shocked the audience and judges on "Britain's Got Talent" and then went on to build a worldwide fan base of tens of millions of people with the help of YouTube.

Tonight, Susan Boyle will compete in the semi-final round of "Britain's Got Talent" and I feel like most certainly she will move on the the final round and eventually win this years competition. It is sad for the other competitors of this years show, because at this point in time it is almost impossible to believe that someone else will beat Susan Boyle in the final round of the show. However, I learned a long time ago to not pre-judge reality TV shows - because in the end anything can and usually does happen. Just look at how many people had egg on their face when they laughed at Susan Boyle before she opened her mouth to sing?

Right now, from Europe - to the United States, to Asia and Africa - hundreds of millions of people are watching and waiting to see how Susan Boyle does in the final rounds of "Britain's Got Talent". While Susan is definitely already a winner in the field of public opinion, when it comes to a career as a professional singer - it most certainly does matter whether or not she becomes the winner of this years show. In recent weeks, Susan Boyle has changed her hair color and she has also started wearing more flashy cloths - but over all she is still the Susan Boyle that blew us all away at her first audition of Britain's Got Talent back in late April.

I want to wish Susan Boyle luck in the final rounds of the show and I would be lying if I did not say that I want her to win, badly. Like Paul Potts before her, Susan Boyle is about more than just an outstanding singing voice - it's the whole package of an unlikely appearance and a real life difficult human story, that will help launch her career in the same way it propelled her to the finals of the show. Good luck, Susan.

Title: Will Susan Boyle Go All The Way?
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Obama Supreme Court Nominee, Who?

The biggest issue that divides conservatives from liberals in the United States is abortion. Conservatives view the legality of abortion as state sanctioned murder, while liberals view the issue as one of equality for women to have the right to choice whether or not they carry a pregnancy to term. A few weeks ago, President Obama gave the commencement address to graduates at Notre Dame University and tried his best to find common ground on this issue - but he failed.

The reason President Obama failed when he tried to find common ground between pro-life conservatives and pro-choice liberals, is because these two political camps have been working against each other for generations. In the same way that no one can seem to find common ground between Israel and the Palestinians, there in no way for pro choice and anti abortion extremist to find common ground where they can and will agree on this important issue. To try in do so, is both arrogant and stupid all at the same time.

Soon, President Barack Obama will make his first selection to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States of America. No matter who President Obama eventually decides as his choice to sit on this nations highest court, all conservatives will be against his choice - because his selection will not be a right wing zealot that will be against all abortion. In the same way, when President George W. Bush looked for only pro-life prospective Supreme Court nominees - President Obama will be making sure that all of his potential selections will be pro-choice.

What is about to happen in Washington D.C. is the worst part of this great nation. Extremist from both the far right and left are warming up to use the U.S. Senate to promote their own vision of abortion. While conservative Republicans will be showing up on television to put down President Obama's Supreme Court nominee, liberal Democrats will show up in similar numbers to talk about how great that nominee is for this country. There is never a time, other than war, when Americans find themselves so divided than over the issue of Supreme Court nominees and where they stand on the single issue of abortion rights.

Title: Obama Supreme Court Nominee, Who?
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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Summer Leads To Potassium Deficiency

As the weather heats up outside, many people will find their blood levels of potassium start to decline. While most people will easily replace that lost potassium the next time they eat a full meal, there are some people that either don't eat enough potassium rich foods or their bodies are not working well enough to absorb the potassium they do eat and drink. I am one of those people that much keep a daily track of how much potassium I eat and drink, because on several different occasions I have found that my blood level of potassium has dropped - which caused me to become weak tired and ache.

The good news is that potassium is easy to replace even in people that do not absorb this life critical mineral that well. Many foods are loaded with potassium and nothing brings my blood level of potassium back up to normal levels faster than a large baked potato (skin included) and a twelve ounce glass of fresh squeezed orange juice. Those two meal choices bring my body over 2000 milligrams of potassium at one meal setting and I start to feel better within a couple of hours. While many different foods have some potassium in a serving, for me a big baked potato and a large glass of orange juice works better than any other food or pill supplement.

For all of my life, I have lost large amounts of water, salt and potassium through intense sweating. On a hot day, even if I do not exert myself - I find that I start sweating almost as soon as a go outside. While most research suggests that sweating does not cause a severe loss of potassium, in some people like myself that sweat easily and in abundance, a large amount of potassium can be lost over the period of a day. I have learned over the years how to notice when my blood levels of potassium start to get low just by paying attention to how my muscles feel when I try to relax.

The human body needs equal amounts of potassium and sodium to get our electrolytes in balance. The American diet is filled with greater portions of sodium than potassium so all of us must think about what we are eating and drinking to make sure that we consume equal amounts of both of these important minerals. Put simply, sodium is used by our muscles for tension and strength while potassium is needed to help those same muscles relax. If I find myself extremely tense even after trying to relax, usually I am low on potassium so I increase my supply as soon as possible. Just remember to keep close tabs on the salt/potassium consumption ratio and you should feel great, even during the hottest summer months.

Title: Summer Leads To Potassium Deficiency
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Rumors Circulate That Patrick Swayze Died

This week, actor Patrick Swayze released a picture of he and and wife sitting by a beautiful lake in order to stop rumors that claimed he had died. Swayze has been fighting pancreatic cancer for months now and even he admits that his incurable cancer will eventually take his life, but that has not happened yet. I have personally seen what pancreatic cancer does to a person, because my own father died a horrible death from that same disease back in 2001.

Maybe it's just because I have personal knowledge of how deadly and painful pancreatic cancer is, that I got so angry when I learned that stupid people had nothing better to do than to say Patrick Swayze was dead when he really was not. Unlike many people who are cursed with a pancreatic cancer diagnosis and decide to just lay down and die, Patrick Swayze decided to fight his cancer and live for as long as he possibly can.

Rumors are a staple of American life because most people do not believe anything they can not see with their own two eyes. Since it had been weeks since anyone had seen Patrick Swayze on television, some sick people decided to just make up a story that he had died and for some reason his family was keeping that information from the public. As Swayze has admitted, pancreatic cancer will be the death of him eventually - but he is fighting every single day to have more time with his family.

Sometimes it is easy to see famous people like Patrick Swayze as not real people at all. The world of entertainment turns regular people into something more than just human. However, underneath all the flashy lights, glamor and money - that is current day Hollywood. In the end, every famous actor is just another human being who will suffer and die from the same diseases as everyone else. Rather than make up rumors about the death of Patrick Swayze or any other famous person, maybe we should spend our time praising the positive example he is showing for future people - that will have the unfortunate luck of receiving a pancreatic cancer diagnosis themselves.

Title: Rumors Circulate That Patrick Swayze Died
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Looks Like GM Bankruptcy A Done Deal

Without meaning to sound too cold, if GM is going to declare bankruptcy anyway - why don't they go ahead and get about the business of filing for bankruptcy protection, which will lead to reorganizing the company? I learned today, that even though GM is certain to file for bankruptcy protection soon - the U.S. federal government just gave them another $4 billion in bailout money this week. Why the U.S. government keeps throwing good money after bad when it comes to General Motors (GM) is something I do not understand?

I know there are complicated issues involved whenever a major company like GM goes into bankruptcy, but it has now been almost six months since most experts said that without bankruptcy GM could not survive - but here we are as a nation, continuing to send taxpayer money to a bankrupt car company that seems to be dragging it's feet when it comes to doing what is inevitable. Surely, someone at the U.S. Treasury is putting some kind of pressure on GM to file for bankruptcy protection so that taxpayer money is no longer being thrown away?

It's not just me that is angry about all of these U.S. car company bailout plans, but everywhere I go on a daily basis - people are starting to question the wisdom and judgment of the Obama administration as GM continues to delay filing for bankruptcy and the U.S. Treasury Department seems to keep rewarding that bad choice with even more billions of dollars from the taxpayers. A few weeks ago, I was certain that I heard someone in the Obama administration say that GM would get no more taxpayer money without them first filing for bankruptcy protection.

Then today, I read on the Internet that another $4 billion was just given to GM - but they have as of yet not gone to bankruptcy court and filed the needed paperwork in order to restructure their badly damaged company. Right now, the fact that GM is dragging it's feet when it comes to filing for bankruptcy - while at the same time getting billions more dollars in taxpayer bailout money, the GM brand could be getting damaged beyond repair. The time has come for the federal government to force GM into bankruptcy court or tell them to survive on their own in the future.

Title: Looks Like GM Bankruptcy A Done Deal
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Friday, May 22, 2009

Honor Brave Vets On Memorial Weekend

Millions of Americans are just starting a long three day weekend, because Monday is Memorial Day. For far too many people, this weekend is about having a good time at the lake or cooking hot dogs over a grill in the backyard. While there is nothing wrong with laying back and enjoying the Memorial Weekend with friends and family, let's not forget the real reason why most of us are getting the day off on Monday.

Over the decades, millions of brave Americans have served the United States as members of the U.S. armed services. During all those years, most members of the military have done their job without complaint and also without much to show for their service in the way of monetary reward. Too many Americans take our freedom for granted because members of the U.S. armed services have done their job so well in the past. Memorial Weekend is the time when we are suppose to give thanks to the men and women that have served and are currently serving the U.S. as a member of our armed services.

It's difficult for me to write about holiday's that recognize military men and women, because I find myself tearing up at the very thought of the sacrifices they have made to keep my family and the country I love safe over the years. At this very moment, there are tens of thousands of men and women serving in harms way in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. While President Obama did not run on a strong military platform, he along with everyone else that cares about this country needs to show the proper respect for the men and women who volunteer to serve the U.S. in many different military duties.

While most of us are out enjoying our long three day Memorial Weekend, let all take at least some time to reach out to a vet or a current serving member of the U.S. military to just say thank you for their service. The U.S. usually runs hot and cold when it comes to feelings about our military, but one thing has always remained constant and that is that brave men and women in uniform are always ready to serve and put their lives on the line when their country ask for their help. The very least all of us can do this Memorial Weekend is to reach out our hand of friendship to a vet or serving member of the military and just say thank you.

Title: Honor Brave Vets On Memorial Weekend
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Credit Card Scams/Shams Are Everywhere

For a long time now, the U.S. federal government has allowed major credit card companies to take advantage of consumers - but hopefully soon all of these scams and shams will come to an end. Not only do consumers have to watch out for criminals that try and steal their credit card numbers and/or PIN number, but they must watch carefully to make sure their own credit card company does not try and pull a fast one on them with hidden fees and interest rate increases.

Television is filled with commercials from so call credit card debt reduction companies that advice consumers that they can help them get out of credit card debt fast, because they can work with their credit card company to either reduce their balance and/or reduce or eliminate their interest rate. While on the surface these credit card consolidation companies might appear to be "just what the doctor ordered" when it comes to helping overloaded consumers - in the end many of their practices and fees end up hurting consumers more than helping them.

Another sham that is used by credit card companies to get new customers is to offer a really low interest rate at the time you open a new account with them, but before long that low rate is gone and the consumer ends up with a large credit card balance and a high interest rate. A new law passed by Congress last week is suppose to stop those practices, but as we all know - all laws are filled with loopholes and more than likely this new law is no different. Time will tell if this popular way of marketing credit cards is really going to go away for good when this new credit card consumer protection law goes into effect at the end of the year.

Most Americans were outraged when they learned about the games major banks were playing in the sub-prime mortgage lending market last year. However, banks have been playing games with their customers for years when it comes to the rules and regulations they try to hide in the fine print of credit card statements. It's sad that along with the criminals who try to steal credit card numbers, we now have to watch our own credit card companies to make sure they are not trying to steal our money, as well. Major banks run television commercials all the time to promote their strength and compassion for customers. However, once that 30 second television commercial is over - some of these financial institution go about finding new ways to "nickle and dime" their own customers out of their hard earned money.

Title: Credit Card Scams/Shams Are Everywhere
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Has Missing Wife Stacy Peterson Been Found?

The smug and confident Drew Peterson might find himself with more that one murder charge facing him in the near future because a citizen found a blue barrel floating in the Des Plaines River and not far away a clean up crew found skeletal remains of yesterday as well. It has long been suspected that Drew Peterson dumped his then wife's body in a blue barrel after he killed her. However, until yesterday there were few leads as to what really happened to Stacy Peterson.

Now police in Illinois are moving at light speed to try and connect the dots and figure out if the skeletal remains that were found yesterday are indeed those of Stacy Peterson. For those of you that have not followed the Drew Peterson case that closely, Mr. Peterson has had the misfortune or the diabolical personality to have seen two of his four wife's either die or disappear under mysterious circumstance. Anyone that has seen Drew Peterson interviewed on television has walked away with the thought that "this guy must have killed them", in the back of their mind.

Whether it is right or wrong, the personality traits and the terrible humor of Drew Peterson is something that just gives people the creeps. For a young man, it is also almost impossible to believe that two wife's just disappeared or died in such a short period of time. It is also hard for me to believe that any real and caring husband would act in the same way that Peterson has if he was a normal person with real live human feelings. What I have taken away from the various TV interviews of Drew Peterson is that he is an arrogant man that does not seem to care for anyone but himself.

Drew Peterson is already in jail and charged with the death of one of his previous wife's, who's death was originally ruled an accident. Upon an exhumation and re autopsy of her body - it was found that, that wife - Kathleen Savio, did not die of accidental causes - but instead she was murdered. It is entirely likely that in the near future, Drew Peterson will find himself on trial for not just one dead wife, but two. More than likely he will keep smiling and joking around with anyone in his presents as these criminal cases against him move forward.

Title: Has Missing Wife Stacy Peterson Been Found?
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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Who's Winning, Obama Or Cheney?

Right now, it's hard to tell who is winning the PR war when it comes to the wisdom of closing down Guantanamo Bay and moving those terrorist prisoners to the U.S. to either stand trial or be released. While it's clear that President Obama has the moral high ground firmly staked out - more and more Americans are starting to think that former VP Cheney is the person that is more concerned with the real life safety of Americans in recent days.

Ever since 911, Republicans have staked out the high ground when it comes to making sure that terrorist are not brought into the United States and given the same access to criminal trials as American citizens are guaranteed. While I can see why President Obama feels the way he does about this country, the world has changed for all Americans since terrorists attacked and killed thousands of Americans back in September of 2001.

While most people that spoke on TV today from the Obama administration seemed to think that American citizens were concerned that these potential terrorist would escape captivity if moved to the United States, most of the people I have talked to are more concerned that having Middle East terrorist housed with already bad apples in U.S. prison could create a nightmare situation if some of their terrorist ways rubbed off on some of the really bad criminals we already have in prison right now in the United States.

While I agree little with former VP Cheney, on this one issue I can see his point and I think more and more Americans are going to come around to his way of thinking, soon. While housing potential terrorist prisoners at Guantanamo Bay may seem like a bad idea from a public relations stand point, from a real life national security point of view - it probably makes more sense to keep them there than to bring them in and have them co-mingled with U.S. prisoners. Honestly, there is no easy or good answer as to where to house terrorist prisoners.

Title: Who's Winning, Obama Or Cheney?
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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Judges/Doctors Playing God With Children

Daniel Hauser is a 13 year old boy who is suffering with cancer. Hauser, in recent months - told his parents that the medical treatments he was receiving to treat his cancer were too painful and he also told them he did not want to suffer through those treatments anymore. Finally, the parents agree with young Daniel and told doctors to stop treating him. That is when this story took on a life of it's own, because Daniel Hauser's doctors went to court and found a judge that took young Daniel's parents rights away from them - so his doctors could continue to treat him for cancer.

Now, earlier today - Daniel's mother has gone missing with her young child after they were scheduled to attend a court hearing, but never showed up. The judge in this case, John R. Rodenberg, has now issued an arrest warrant for Daniel's mother and has also decided to remove custody of the child from the parents and give it to the State of Minnesota. According to doctors, Daniel Hauser's type of cancer is very effectively treated, but without the treatment he would most certainly die. Daniel's father has reported told reporters that he hopes his wife will return home soon with his son.

When it comes to the best interest of a child - often times parents, doctors and judges disagree on the best course of action. At 13 years old, Daniel Hauser is not of legal age to make his own decisions when it comes to medical treatments, so his wishes are just one part of a complicated legal process that is played out in court room across the nation every single day. This one issue of what is best for a child is also at the heart of what separates conservatives from liberals when it comes to the amount of power judges should be given when deciding a case like this one.

While I completely understand the desire of Daniel Hauser's parents to go along with their son's wishes not to undergo further treatments for his cancer, I do believe that research supports the doctors in this case when it comes to his long term survivability if properly treated. While young Daniel does not want to live right now, if he were cancer free I'm sure his opinion was be very much different. As parents, we have all heard our own children get mad and want to quit when they were very young. However, that is when the job of parent become extreme tough, because we have to stand up and teach our kids not to quit just because something is hard.

Title: Judges/Doctors Playing God With Children
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Credit Card Companies Must Change

Major banks are learning that there is a world of difference between President George W. Bush, who let them rewrite the bankruptcy code to be more friendly toward business and President Obama who is preparing to sign a new law that stops many of their unfair practices against credit card consumers. Of course, big banks and the U.S. automobile companies are finding out what other welfare recipients have known for years and that is there are always strings attached when you take money from Uncle Sam.

Almost overnight, the United States of America is changing from a capitalistic country to one where socialism is more the norm of the day. While conservative Republicans are quick to blame President Obama for this change in direction - I blame the big banks, Wall Street and the U.S. automakers for letting greed get them into so much trouble that the federal government had to bail them out. Surely, no one in big business really thought they would receive billions of dollars from Uncle Sam and not face some major changes in how their businesses were run?

Yesterday, President Obama and both Republicans and Democrats in the Congress made it clear to credit card companies that bait and switch offers will no long be allowed under U.S. law and they also made it clear that people who pay their bills on time should not be punished with extremely high interests rates because banks want to make up for lost money in some other part of their business. Needless to say, the major banks and other credit card issuers were not happy about today's decision - but I'm sure their bean counters are already at work trying to find a new way to cheat customers out of their hard earned money.

It's almost too hard to keep up with all the changes that are taking place every single day now that President Obama is in office. In my lifetime, I have never seen so many big issues tackled in such a quick way by any new President of the United States. While I don't know if all of these new ideas being put into effect by President Obama will be effective in the long run, I do know this - when he ran on a platform of change, he certainly was not making a campaign promise that he did not intend to keep once he was in office.

Title: Credit Card Companies Must Change
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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Obama Mandates Better Gas Mileage

Yesterday, it was learned that President Obama is going to tighten federal government standards on gas mileage and pollution on new cars and trucks sold in the near future. Right now, there is a U.S. standard for car emissions in California and one that is less strict for the rest of the country. When President Obama's new standards are put into effect in about five years, all U.S. vehicles will be required to lower pollution output and also be required to get much better miles per gallon of gasoline.

Whether you agree with President Obama or not, there is one thing all people must agree on and that is he is moving full speed ahead with the agenda he campaigned on last year. Also, the list of things that President Obama considers to be national priorities are completely different from his predecessor President George W. Bush. While President Bush spent much of his time on issues of war, peace and foreign policy - President Obama is clearly more focused on what is happening right here in the United States.

The way in which President Obama is moving to change most of the old ways in the U.S. is almost mind blowing when taken in it's full context. In a way, I did not think President Obama would be working on so many issues at the same time when he first took office back in January. However, I was dead wrong about how President Obama would lead this nation and it would not surprise me that within his first year as President - if he does not change most of the things we have become accustomed to in the U.S. over the past three decades.

In many ways, President Obama has the power to make changes to the U.S. automobile companies, because those businesses made mistakes and reached out to take government money in the form of bailouts. Now, President Obama is in the drivers seat with all the U.S. automobile companies to pretty much demand whatever he wants - because those same companies owe their very survival to U.S. taxpayer bailouts and at this point in time President Barack Obama is the leader of all those American taxpayers.

Title: Obama Mandates Better Gas Mileage
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