What The National Pamphleteers Don't Report:
Fall TV Preview: What to Watch, Skip, or DVR Each Night
By Angel Cohn
Aug 29, 2011
With even more good, if not legitimately great, shows on at the same time this season than ever before, TV fans will have some hard decisions to make every night (well, except Saturday). So, to make it easy on them, here's our comprehensive guide to what's worth watching in real time, what to record for later viewing, what to catch online, and what to skip entirely — for every hour of primetime this fall.
Monday at 8pm
Watch: "Terra Nova"
This new dinosaur show promises to be the most [....]
10 Things Social Security Won't Tell You
The secret of bigger benefits, and the truth about the agency's bottom line.By JONNELLE MARTE
September 6, 2011
1. "Long-term deficit? We can hardly afford our bills today."
Worried about the future of Social Security? You're far from alone. The Social Security Administration itself has said that unless something is done to reform the system, it will burn through its funds within the next few decades. Less talked about, perhaps, is the concern about the present: the program is having a hard time paying its bills. In 2010, the Social Security Administration collected less revenue in taxes than it needed to cover its benefit payments -- the first time expenditures have exceeded income since 1983. As a result, the program had to tap its $2.5 trillion trust fund, sooner than some had expected. The same is expected to happen this year. "The depth of the recession has [....]
Where's My Super-Cheap Mortgage?
by Annamaria Andriotis,
September 7, 2011
With mortgage rates at a 50-year low and banks near his Brookline, NH, home touting offers of 4% or less, Tom Rogers thought it would be a perfect time to refinance. But in spite of a solid credit score, after an exhaustive survey of lenders in the area and online, Mr. Rogers couldn't find a single one willing to give him such a rock-bottom rate. He eventually settled for a mortgage almost a full percentage point higher than what he had hoped for. "I was annoyed," he says. "We're someone they should want to do business with." It is an increasingly common frustration. The gap between the lowest advertised mortgage rate and the average rate that borrowers actually get is as high as it has been in two years, save a single week last September. As of last week, the lowest available rate — according to a survey of more than 200 lenders by LendingTree.com — was 3.75% for a 30-year fixed mortgage, but the average rate was 4.39%. At the current 0.64 percentage-point spread, the difference in rates could mean an extra $53,000 in interest payments over the life of a 30-year, $400,000 mortgage. While there is always a spread — not all borrowers [....]
8 Diet Food Ripoffs
David Zinczenko with Matt Goulding,
September 2, 2011
On a particularly hot July day this summer, my air conditioning stopped working. I’m not particularly handy around the house, but with a quick Web search, I was able to diagnose the problem. The fix: a $40 part. When the repair guy came, he confirmed by diagnosis. Then he quoted me $535 to fix it.
That, my friends, is a ripoff. I gave back his quote and kept my dignity. I wish all ripoffs were so obvious. They’re not. In fact, you’re getting duped just as badly every day and don’t realize it. It happens at the lunch counter, in the supermarket, at the restaurant . . . anywhere “healthy” foods are sold. Fact is, many supposed diet foods are more likely to add fat to your body than to strip it away. And they generally [....]
Tea party forcefully shaping 2012 GOP race
By MICHAEL R. BLOOD - Associated Press,
STEVE PEOPLES - Associated Press
September 4, 2011
BERLIN, N.H. (AP) — The tea party is forcefully shaping the race for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination as candidates parrot the movement's language and promote its agenda while jostling to win its favor. That's much to the delight of Democrats who are working to paint the tea party and the eventual Republican nominee as extreme. "The tea party isn't a diversion from mainstream Republican thought. It is within mainstream Republican thought," Mitt Romney told a New Hampshire newspaper recently, defending the activists he's done little to woo, until now. The former Massachusetts governor is starting to court them more aggressively as polls suggest he's being hurt by weak support within the movement, whose members generally favor rivals such as Texas Gov. Rick Perry and [....]
Readers Poll: The Worst Songs of the Nineties
'I'm Too Sexy,' 'My Heart Will Go On' and more
by Andy Green,
Rolling Stone Magazine
August 31, 2011
When people look back on a decade's music they tend to focus on the good stuff – but the people who lived through the time period know better. While the 1990s certainly had amazing music, not everything on the radio was Nirvana or Radiohead. Michael Bolton, Kenny G. and Vanilla Ice sold enough records to fill 500 landfills – which is where [....]
5 Nutrients You're Not Getting Enough Of
By Bill Phillips
and the Editors of Men's Health
September 01, 2011
After a long hard day at the office, I crave a manly dinner. Something that will sharpen my mind, feed my muscles, and infuse me with energy to keep up with two young kids till bedtime. So, often, I have a bowl of cereal. With bananas and whole milk. Mmm. Do I feel like I’m depriving my body of key nutrients? Quite the opposite, actually. My favorite dinner isn't just for kids. It contains high levels of three nutrients that American adults need much more of: B12, potassium, and iodine. Our shortfalls with these nutrients—along with vitamin D and magnesium—have serious health consequences, including a higher risk of heart disease and stroke, fatigue, and weight gain. Here's the good news: These nutrients are readily available in the foods you know and love. You can get more of one simply by spending more time outside. That doesn't sound so hard, does it? Here's how to fortify your diet—and your health.
1. VITAMIN D
This vitamin's biggest claim to fame is its role in strengthening your skeleton. But vitamin D isn't a one-trick nutrient: A study in Circulation found that people deficient in D were up to 80 percent more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke. The reason? Vitamin D may [....]
What could Obama have done differently to create jobs and improve the economy?
By Zachary Roth
Senior National Affairs Reporter
September 2, 2011
When President Obama stands before Congress on Thursday to lay out his new ideas for the improving the economy, he will face a daunting task. Job growth ground to a halt in August, unemployment remains above 9 percent, and the president's approval ratings have fallen to around 40 percent. How much blame does Obama deserve for the bleak position the country is in? For the last year or so, a debate has unfolded about where--and whether--the president's policies went wrong in trying to revive the economy. The implications are anything but academic. The latest volley took place over the past couple of weeks, when Bloomberg View's Jonathan Alter and the Washington Post's Ezra Klein each called on Obama's critics, on the left and the right, to get specific about what they would have done differently if they were the president. In response, David Frum, who served as a speechwriter for President Bush but lately has been sharply [....]
Gibson's Maccabee Movie Latest Twist In Star's Tortured History With Jewish Community
by Patrick Kevin Day,
The Hollywood Reporter
September 9, 2011
Mel Gibson's decision to make a biopic of the Jewish religious icon Judah Maccabee is the latest twist in the star's long, tortured history with the Jewish community.
The beginning of the strained relations dates back to the moment Gibson announced in 2002 that he was writing and directing a film about the final 12 hours of Jesus' life, then titled The Passion. Though Gibson had previously run afoul of the gay and lesbian community when he was accused of making homophobic comments in 1991 and was known to be a staunchly conservative Catholic in his faith, he was a largely [....]
Book: Kennedy scorned idea of Johnson as president
By BETH FOUHY,
September 9, 2011
NEW YORK (AP) — President John F. Kennedy openly scorned the notion of Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson succeeding him in office, according to a book of newly released interviews with his widow, former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy. She said her husband and his brother then-Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, a longtime LBJ antagonist, even discussed ways to prevent Johnson from winning the Democratic nomination in a future contest. The book, "Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy," includes a series of interviews the former first lady gave to historian and former Kennedy aide Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. shortly after her husband was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963. Over seven sessions, she recalled [....]
How to create financial security in retirement
By Robert Powell,
September 1, 2011
BOSTON (MarketWatch) — When it comes to retirement, there’s plenty to worry and dream about. But according to a recent survey, the three biggest worries that clients of financial advisers face seem somewhat easy to solve. Or at least they do to those who spend time studying such things. In its survey, Principal Financial Group found that slightly more than eight in 10 advisers say their clients’ top dream is greater financial security in retirement. With millions out of work, many people have been forced to take a break from contributing to their retirement account. But once they start saving again, how can they get back on track? Here are some tips. And according to advisers surveyed, their clients’ greatest retirement worries are, in order, outliving their savings (87%); the ability to enjoy the same quality of life in retirement (79%); and the ability to afford good medical care (70%). Not surprisingly, the survey showed that clients who can “easily visualize their financial dreams may be less worried about retirement.” But the survey also showed that very folks are spending much time visualizing. Only one in 10 advisers said their clients find it “easy to picture their financial dreams.”
Given those worries, we posed these questions to those in the business of giving advice: What would you tell Americans [....]
Until Next Sunday....