Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Welcome Home Troops!

President Barack Obama on Wednesday welcomed home returning troops from Iraq, hailing their service to help a people they didn't know as an example of what makes America great.
"As your commander in chief, and on behalf of a grateful nation, I'm proud to finally say these two words, and I know your families agree -- welcome home. Welcome home," Obama told cheering troops at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
"Welcome home," he repeated again, to enthusiastic applause. "Welcome home."
The U.S. military mission that began in 2003 is ending this month, and Obama used the speech to mark the fulfillment of a campaign pledge he made in 2008 to end the war.
Noting the almost 4,500 Americans killed and more than 30,000 injured, Obama spoke of the heavy sacrifice and hard work in the Iraq mission.
"Because of you -- because you sacrificed so much for a people that you had never met, Iraqis have a chance to forge their own destiny," Obama said. "That's part of what makes us special as Americans. Unlike the empires of old, we did so not for territory or for resources. We do it because it's right.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Luxury sports car pile-up in Japan

TOKYO — A botched lane change led to a spectacular traffic pileup in Japan over the weekend that left a highway strewn with the smashed wreckage of eight Ferraris, a Lamborghini and three Mercedes sports cars.
The crash drew international attention not only for its stunning price — the vehicles collectively cost more than $1 million — but also for the rare glimpse of Japan’s superrich, who tend to avoid ostentatious public displays of wealth. Local police officials were quoted as saying that they had never seen so many expensive cars in one place, much less involved in a single accident.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

NASA Telescope Confirms Alien Planet in Habitable Zone

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — NASA's planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft has confirmed the discovery of its first alien world in its host star's habitable zone — that just-right range of distances that could allow liquid water to exist — and found more than 1,000 new explanet candidates, researchers announced today (Dec. 5).

The new finds bring the Kepler space telescope's total haul to 2,326 potential planets in its first 16 months of operation.These discoveries, if confirmed, would quadruple the current tally of worlds known to exist beyond our solar system, which recently topped 700.

The potentially habitable alien world, a first for Kepler, orbits a star very much like our own sun. The discovery brings scientists one step closer to finding a planet like our own — one which could conceivably harbor life, scientists said.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Madonna Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show

Madonna will take center stage at halftime of Super Bowl XLVI, flanked by Cirque du Soleil performers in what traditionally is one of the year's most watched shows.

The NFL announced Sunday night, in a press release, that the Michigan-born singer would headline the halftime show on February 5, 2012, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

She follows other high-profile acts in recent years, including the Black Eyed Peas and Usher during the most recent edition of pro football's championship game at Cowboys Stadium in Texas.

Friday, December 2, 2011

5 biggest myths (and lies) about the AT&T/T-Mobile deal.

Prices would fall
 In its public statement about its merger proposal with T-Mobile, AT&T said prices would fall as a result of the companies combining. The combined company would have more capacity for customers' wireless needs, and could therefore charge lower prices, AT&T suggested.

 AT&T also claimed that T-Mobile customers would be forever protected from price increases, because AT&T would agree to honor their current contracts for an unlimited time.

The FCC said it in its staff report that its analysis suggests prices would instead rise if the merger were completed, since AT&T would eat the cheapest national carrier.
Eliminating T-Mobile's competitive price points would also give Verizon and Sprint incentive to raise prices, causing pain in the wallet for the majority of cell phone customers. The FCC called T-Mobile a "disruptive force" in the mobile marketplace that keeps competitors' prices in check.
The regulator also say that it's unlikely T-Mobile customers will remain on their current contracts forever. When they want a new phone, or if they want to upgrade their plan, they'd eventually have to switch. And since everyone else's plans would become more expensive, current T-Mobile customers would have to make the unhappy choice of sticking with old technology or paying a higher price to upgrade than they would have if the merger had never taken place.

Muhammad Ali is ‘home, well, happy’

Muhammad Ali is home and doing as well as can be expected after he was hospitalized in Arizona, the Louisville Courier-Journal reports.
The newspaper spoke with longtime Ali friend and Louisville radio personality John Ramsey, after Ramsey was quoted in the Star magazine saying the boxing legend had been hospitalized "after slipping out of consciousness at his Phoenix-area home."
Ramsey said he spoke by telephone with Ali's wife, Lonnie, last night and was told Ali is "home and well, for a person who has had Parkison's since the 1980s. He may not be going in the direction you or I like, but no one is on alert. That's the truth."
Ramsey said the Alis still plan to be in Louisville in mid-January for a celebration of the three-time heavyweight champion's 70th birthday, Jan. 19.
Ramsey said he didn't have any details of Ali's hospital treatment but that he believed, "I don't think he stayed very long," Ramsey said.

8.6% unemployment rate won't help Obama (much)

The Labor Department reported Friday that the unemployment rate dropped to 8.6% in November, the lowest since March 2009 and a sharp improvement from 9.0% in October.
That part of the report is great news for the White House. The unemployment rate plays an important role in campaign rhetoric, and the closer the rate drops to 7.8% -- that was the rate when Obama took office -- the better it is for the White House.

And even that might not be enough to save the president's job. Just consider this stat: No president since Franklin D. Roosevelt has won re-election with an unemployment rate over 7.2%.