Check out the video. They’ll be coming in-studio real soon!
Check out the video. They’ll be coming in-studio real soon!
WE POST ALL THE STORIES WE TALK ABOUT!!!!!! AND SOME TIMES PICTURES AS WELL!!!!!!
T-Boz from Celebrity Apprentice will be calling in at 10:30 am PST
Also, Tim will be telling you what university now offers a major in a band…
On Tuesday R&B douche bag Usher said he was ‘disappointed’ with seeing Chris Brown in Miami after what he had done to Rihanna.
Well, Usher is now taking his stance back.
Usher’s people released this statement on Tuesday Night:
“The comments made during a recent recording session amongst friends were taken out of context and blown out of proportion. I apologize on behalf of myself and my friends if anyone was offended. The intentions were not to pass judgment and we meant no harm. I respect and wish the best for all parties involved.”
It was rumored earlier in the week that The Sarah Silverman Show may be cancelled due to budget cuts… Well not anymore.
The show that has a 1.1 million dollar budget per episode is not getting clearance to continue with 10 more episodes thanks to sister network, Logo.
Sarah Silverman said, “We’re happy. All we ever wanted was just to make our show. Nothing fancy — just our show.”
You better be doing something fancy for 1.1 Million!!!!!
Homer Simpson is not a stereotypical man!
On Sunday’s show, Homer had a dream sequence and imagined wife Marge locked in a Lindsay Lohan/Samantha Ronson kiss with one of her gal pals. And she liked it! Similar to Katy Perry?
The Jonas Brothers are on a losing streak this week!!
After coming in at #2 in the U.S. box office for the weekend, The Jonas Brothers have now also failed to nab the #1 spot for album sales, sitting at #3 with the soundtrack for their 3-D Concert Experience.
They sold 30,000 copies less than their label projected – who is the projector at the label?!!! They moved just 53,465 units.
So who came out on top??
Joe Jonas’ ex, Taylor Swift!!
Swift’s album, Fearless, unloaded over 20,000 more copies than her x-lovah’s album, putting her at #1 for the 11th week now, selling 74,635 copies – a 19% gain from the week before.
Britney kicked off her tour last night in New Orleans. Source say she DID NOT look sedated, out of her mind, like her usual self and seemed to be all there!!!
Britney Spears agreed to pay Kevin Federline $5,000 a week while she is on tour. So how does he decide to spend his first night in New Orleans doing his job?
Kevin spent the night at Harrahs Casino.
Octo-mom had someone tape the birth of her 8 fake babies. She is trying to sell the video to multiple sources with a 7 figure price tag
n one of this week’s more bizarre stories, a Nebraska man was arrested for smoking marijuana out of a bong that had his cat stuffed inside. The man, who claims he was trying to calm down his hyperactive pet, faces animal cruelty charges but thankfully the cat, who was understandably disoriented, seems to be on the road to a full recovery:
“This cat was just dazed,” Sgt. Andy Stebbing said. “She was on the front seat of the cop car, wrapped in a blanket, and never moved all the way to the humane society.”
Schomaker told deputies 6-month-old Shadow was hyper and he was trying to calm her down. The contraption she had been stuffed inside was 12 inches by 6 inches. Shadow was timid but in good condition Monday at the Capital Humane Society, executive director Bob Downey said.
MSNBC’s Tamron Hall covered the story and was unable to stifle her giggles as she introduced the “sad but true” story. The network evidently felt the story lacked a certain realism because they played the sound of gurgling water over the anchor’s report. Anchor Contessa Brewer couldn’t quite believe that the cat was stuffed inside the bong, but as Tamron informed her, “I understand you can make a bong out of anything.” There were then more giggles all around.
Firms receiving billions of dollars in government bailout money have continued to contribute large sums to political campaigns.
The eight largest banks’ political action committees (PACs) spent roughly $225,000, not including operating expenses, between Nov. 25 and the end of January, according to a review of year-end and February filings with the Federal Election Commission.
Those same eight banks have received $170 billion of the government’s $700 billion financial rescue package, passed in October and currently being reworked by President Obama’s administration.
PACs of other banks receiving more than $1 billion in bailout money spent roughly $75,000 over that same period. The firms spent more money at the end of 2008 than the beginning of 2009.
Meanwhile, the PACs of General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC, the ailing automakers that requested more than $20 billion in additional bailout money last month, spent roughly $67,000 in the period. Most of that money — $62,500 — came from Chrysler’s PAC in December.
The expenditures range widely, covering local, state and federal politicians, state and federal campaign committees, other PACs and 527 organizations. The financial-services industry has always spent heavily on political campaigns, but the latest contributions come at a time when lawmakers in Washington are slamming the bailout package and calling for new restrictions on how the money can be used. Some banks have been scolded for throwing lavish parties and giving out corporate perks while receiving government help.
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) introduced a bill last week restricting bailed-out firms from “hosting, sponsoring or paying for conferences, holiday parties and entertainment events.” Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) want to ban funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), as the bailout is formally known, from being used for lobbying expenses. Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Pete King (R-N.Y.) introduced a bill to demand a central database of how TARP funds are being spent.
Some lawmakers, including House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), have said they will no longer take campaign contributions from company PACs representing bailed-out firms. Most lawmakers and campaign committees have not said they will refuse the firms’ contributions.
“We think overall it was not appropriate and did not give a good appearance to receive PAC money at this time from institutions that receive TARP money,” said Jim Segel, special counsel to Frank.
Frank will also not receive personal contributions from the top five executives at the eight financial firms receiving the bulk of the TARP money, Segel said.
Dodd’s Friends of Chris Dodd PAC received two contributions from Goldman Sachs’s PAC in December and January worth a combined $4,500, as well as a $2,000 contribution from U.S. Bancorp’s PAC in January. The contributions are for his 2010 Senate reelection campaign. Dodd has returned two of the contributions and is due to return the third, according to an aide.
“Sen. Dodd’s campaign decided in September, when the TARP program was being created, that it will not accept PAC contributions from companies that have received TARP funds,” Dodd spokesman Bryan DeAngelis said.
JPMorgan Chase & Co., which received $25 billion in bailout money last fall, was the largest bank contributor in the last two periods. The firm’s PAC spent roughly $87,000 since Nov. 25, including $5,000 to former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), $5,000 for debt retirement to Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), $15,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee and $5,000 to the New Democrat Coalition PAC.
“We operate our PAC so employees at every level can increase their civic engagement and participation in the electoral process if they want to. One hundred percent of our PAC money comes from more than 5,000 voluntary employee donations, out of their own pockets,” said Jennifer Zuccarelli, spokeswoman for JPMorgan Chase.
Wells Fargo’s PAC also gave Coleman a $5,000 PAC contribution on Dec. 23 for his Senate Recount Fund. Huntington Bancshares, an Ohio-based bank, gave $5,000 to the leadership PAC of House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Jan. 15. KeyCorp, another Ohio-based bank, gave $7,670 to Ohio Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland in January.
Chrysler’s PAC made $62,500 in campaign contributions in December, including $25,000 to the Democratic Governors Association, $12,500 to the National Conference of Democratic Mayors and $25,000 to the Republican Governors Association. Chrysler has received $4 billion in TARP money. Chrysler Financial, a lending arm, has received another $1.5 billion.
“PAC funds are voluntarily contributed by Chrysler managers consistent with federal law for political purposes. We have not and will not use corporate money for political purposes,” a Chrysler spokeswoman said.
The government extended $17.4 billion to GM and Chrysler in December to prop up the ailing carmakers. In February, the two firms presented plans to the Treasury Department requesting another $21.6 billion in government aid.
But critics said that it was inappropriate for companies that have received government money to be turning around and contributing to political campaigns.
“Businesses that are receiving huge amounts of public funds to help salvage themselves from themselves ought to operate as semi-publicly owned entities and should not be making expenditures for influence-peddling on Capitol Hill that includes campaign contributions and lobbying expenditures,” said Craig Holman of Public Citizen.
Some firms’ PACs have spent nothing or very little during the period. Morgan Stanley’s PAC, for example, did not spend any money between Nov. 25 and the end of January.
Some of the leading trade associations representing the financial industry also have given hundreds of thousands since mid-November. The American Bankers Association PAC spent $132,000, and the Independent Community Bankers Association spent $106,000. The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association PAC spent only $1,000, and the Financial Service Roundtable PAC spent roughly $17,000.
American International Group is keeping the spin machine employed. The US insurance giant – which just received its fourth taxpayer bailout – has four public relations firms on its payroll. Private jets, golf days and lobbying are out for recipients of rescue funds. Some taxpayers and their representatives in Congress could see PR in the same category.
AIG has retained Kekst and Company, founded by Gershon Kekst, the lion of New York’s financial spindustry, to work on its asset sales. Sard Verbinnen – a longtime AIG adviser – helps the insurer present its earnings. And the company has Hill & Knowlton and Burson-Marsteller working the Washington crowd. It has its own in-house public relations team, too.
It is hard to know how much each firm is paid for its artfully crafted rhetoric. And AIG may legitimately need help talking to the crowds of journalists, regulators, legislators, and investors now that it is in crisis mode.
Whatever their price, though, the spinmeisters haven’t necessarily managed to keep AIG’s bigwigs on message. During the firm’s conference call on Monday, chief restructuring officer Paula Reynolds unwisely quipped that it might be “better to go to jail” than have to deal with intricacies of securities laws as they apply to AIG’s situation.
In any event, words won’t help soothe the losses taxpayers will probably take on the $150bn-plus bailout they are funding. In fact, they might be irked about the way the AIG spin machine is working. Despite a series of massive bailouts, the company has given little clarity on taxpayer losses to date or indeed much communication directed towards taxpayers at all.
Then again, maybe that means that from AIG’s perspective, its PR army is worth every penny.
After multiple failed attempts, Ramirez and the Dodgers agreed to general terms Tuesday on a two-year, $45 million deal, a source told Rojas. Another source told ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark that obstacles still remain to completing the contract.
Agent Scott Boras told ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick that while he has been in daily contact with Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti, no agreement has been reached.
“We are in discussions and we have no deal in place,” Boras said.
Boras would not elaborate further on the status of the talks.
The outfielder was expected to travel to Los Angeles on Tuesday night. The Los Angeles Times reported that Ramirez is scheduled to meet with Dodgers owner Frank McCourt on Wednesday.
Los Angeles announced last week that Boras had declined the team’s fourth offer to the star outfielder — a one-year, $25 million contract with a $20 million player option for 2010.
SEVIERVILLE – Who would have thought you could showcase all shapes, sizes and sorts of knives in front of a live television audience twice a week for three to four hours without a break, without even one commercial, and sell them by the thousands?
Steve Koontz and Tony Watkins, that’s who. They are the stars of KnivesLive TV, televised live from Smoky Mountain Knife Works in Sevierville on Monday and Friday nights.
Koontz, 43, is vice president of collectibles and televised sales for the SMKW, and Watkins, 38, a University of Tennessee graduate in agricultural economics, grew up in the business working with his father at Hickory Hill Cutlery in Jefferson City.
Jay Parker, 29, whose father John Parker is the original partner in the knife company, is full time at SMKW and the show’s “utility” man, filling in for one of the two co-hosts when Koontz or Watkins need a day off from putting together one three-hour and one four-hour live show each week.
Koontz has been with SMKW for 21 years, Watkins arrived in 1994 and Parker in 1999. Koontz says that with Parker, the three men have about 80 years of experience in knives and the history of the blade.
For the past three years, Koontz and Watkins, with occasional appearances by Parker, have co-hosted KnivesLive TV, produced by John Stewart Productions, from a small studio in the gargantuan retail knife store on the edge of Sevierville.
Stewart and the three TV hosts are full-time employees at SMKW. Koontz and Watkins work on nothing but the television show, and designing one-of-a-kind knives for collectors and antique knives fans.
The show airs on DirectTV Channel 225 8-11 p.m. on Monday and 7-11 p.m. on Friday and Dish Network Channel 217 8-11 p.m. Monday and 7-11 p.m. Friday. The show has also just picked up 30-plus cable networks across the nation.
KnivesLive TV is also streamed live over the Internet around the world. Soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan send e-mail messages to the show for requests or questions, as do hundreds of people around the nation. The “family friendly” show is in every state in the United States, says Koontz.
The two co-hosts keep up a steady banter of conversation, read and answer e-mail messages over the air that come in and are taken by Betty Hill, who works only on show nights.
Koontz keeps a “wall of achievers” behind the display desk, in which a “show special” is constantly featured in front of two cameramen and turning on a turntable. The wall is filled with photos of children of all ages, some holding knives they have collected. Other nights, Koontz will even brag on a child’s school grades.
The 100,000 square-foot blue building on Highway 66 is the world’s largest single retail outlet for knives, and second only to the Walmart behemoth in retail sales of knives. In fact, SMKW buys Walmart closeout knives to sell at deep discounts over the air. And in addition, SMKW is home to the National Knife Museum, where aficionados can view more than 150 exhibits and a knife time line dating back 200,000 years.
The operation is owned by SMKW President Kevin Pipes, who began selling knives from a cigar box in “the glove box of my car” in the 1970s. He was a Realtor at the time and then purchased a building in Pigeon Forge, which he turned into a knife store. Since then, SMKW has gone from pipsqueak to eye-popping sales.
Today, SMKW has 226 employees, a 100,000-square-foot warehouse facility in Dandridge and pumps out a monthly catalog to five million addresses with its own art and graphics staff.
Although sales figures aren’t something Pipes talks about, his volume in annual knife orders is impressive. Last year, SMKW shipped 438,256 orders representing 1,496,704 knives, he says. Of that number, KnivesLive TV accounted for 230,497 of those knives. In addition, Pipes says the showroom sold another 1,296,000 pocketknives.
Two of his pet projects are A Knife for a Soldier (www.smkw.com/images/kfas-pdf08.pdf), in which a free knife is sent to military personnel in Iraq or Afghanistan, “until they come home,” says Pipes, and donations through knife sales to the Cancer Institute at the University of Tennessee Medical Center. Last year SMKW sold about 10,000 knives in nine months to raise $78,000 for the Cancer Institute. The priciest knife in that project was $12 and the cheapest was about $7.
Pipes, a survivor of prostate cancer, says he is creating a new product line of knives to raise more money in the future for the institute.
What makes the television show unique in the shop-at-home motif is that the three men design many of the one-of-a-kind knives they sell on the show to collectors. Most are made in a short run of, say, 100 knives, numbered and signed by the knife craftsman. Many of the more expensive knives are handmade by an artisan.
“This is the only place a collector can get this particular knife. And when it’s gone, it’s gone,” says Koontz.
On a recent Friday night, Watkins, who does most of the presentation on the show, held up a $200 knife. There were only nine left, he said, and within 30 minutes, that knife was sold out. Some 30 phone operators work seven days a week, not quite 24 hours a day, taking orders for knives seen on the show. Even though the show goes off the air at 11 p.m., the operators stay on until 2 a.m. taking orders.
During the economic downturn, Koontz says that knife collectors are making sure of a knife they might want to add to their collection, instead of simply buying. “They have become a little more selective,” he says.
Pipes says 2008 “was a tough year. Profits were way down.” Freight and fuel carried a surcharge, he says, hospital insurance for employees went up 40 percent and sales were down.
As for 2009, Pipes says it can’t get much worse than 2008. “I’m optimistic, though. If we do the things we need to do and treat the customer like we want to be treated, we will have a good year,” he says.
Barbie could get an unwelcome present for her 50th birthday: outlawed in West Virginia.
A state lawmaker proposed a bill Tuesday to ban sales of the iconic Mattel doll and others like her.
The proposal from Democratic Delegate Jeff Eldridge says such toys influence girls to place too much importance on physical beauty, at the expense of their intellectual and emotional development.
A Mattel spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday. The Barbie doll officially turns 50 on March 9, and the toy maker has made big plans this year to mark the anniversary.
Barbie has had her foes over that half-century. Critics say the doll promotes materialism and an unnatural body image.
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