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The Best Worst Gifts for Christmas

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Want to buy something for someone who has everything, including a sense of humor?

The website stupid.com has released its second annual list of the top ten stupidest holiday gifts for 2008. The website’s founder, Gary Apple, says 2008 was a bad year for the economy but a great year for stupidity because gift ideas are coming from everywhere. Apple says there was almost too much stupidity to choose from and narrowing it down was truly tough.

Last year’s list was crazy enough, featuring items such as a Hillary Clinton nutcracker, Mother Theresa breath spray and portable mistletoe. But the items for 2008 definitely are a little, well stupid. So here goes:

1. Screaming Chicken, The World's Most Annoying Toy  read more »

Ratings Up: Revenue Down

Broadcast media is now getting hit with the same economic tidal wave that has been pushing newspapers and magazines under water. But it’s not just due to the internet turning consumers from couch potatoes into keyboard clickers. It’s also advertising dollars now disappearing from all forms of traditional media.

Here is a case in point.

The other day I played golf with a long-time friend of mine who is also in the media business. He anchors a very popular morning radio show in the San Francisco Bay Area. When I asked how things were going for him given the always tenuous nature of careers in broadcasting, he said, “Ratings for my show are through the roof. We have no problem getting listeners. The problem is we have no buyers.”  read more »

Big Three CEO’s Grounded

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Car manufacturers were hoping their desperate message to Washington politicians in hearings a few weeks ago to pony up billions in bailout money would resonate on Main Street. But most news organizations concentrated on the CEO’s each taking their own private jets to the Washington hearings, a fact not lost on politicians and taxpayers.

So now the CEO’s for all three major U-S automakers drove hybrids as they traveled the 500 miles with hat-in-hand to Washington today to again plead for $34 billion in bailout money from you the taxpayer. I’m sure those highly paid Public Relations folks who should have known there would be flak flying from their first trip, were working overtime to convince their bosses this time around driving would make better sense.  read more »

We’re officially in recession. But you already knew that.

Declaring an economy in recession is like looking into a rear view mirror. You only know you are there by looking backwards. So yesterday the National Bureau of Economic Research, the non-profit group of economists that classifies business cycles, officially declared a recession in progress since December 2007.

Technically a recession is two back to back downturns in the gross domestic product.

But that is not surprising since home values were dropping while unemployment was rising, the stock market was tanking while consumer prices were jumping, and you had this gut feeling that things were just not going so well. So now it has all come home to roost.  read more »

Inauguration may break Capital bank.

If you think the bailout is expensive, wait until you find out how much change the change in Washington will cost you.

According to the D-C Examiner, huge crowds are expected for the inauguration of President-elect Obama on January 20th. And with it comes a record breaking bill for services. Each year the Federal Government gives the district $15 million dollars to cover the costs of events. But with huge crowds expected, security costs will far surpass that amount.  read more »

Cyber Monday-- Tips to Avoid Identity Theft this Holiday Season

Monday, December 1st is “cyber Monday” a day coined by retailers as the biggest online shopping day of the year. And despite the shaky economy analysts are predicting a spike in sales. According to the Wall Street Journal marketing executives are anticipating sales to grow 2.4% from last year. They are also expecting an increase in the purchase of gift cards.

But while the surge in spending is good news for retailers there are still some warnings for online shoppers. According to the Federal Trade Commission, last year consumers reported $1.2 billion dollars of losses from identity theft and fraud.

In order to protect yourself Life Lock, a company working to stop identity theft, has compiled this list of suggestions to keep your bank accounts safe this season.  read more »

Pudgiest Pets Compete To Lose Weight

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It’s a weight loss program for cats and dogs and Britain’s largest pets are lining up to drop a few pounds.

Eight of Britain’s pets are embarking on a one hundred day diet and exercise regime in an effort to be crowned Britain’s feline or canine weight loss champion. The competition will feature seven dogs and Tinks the cat, who tips the scale at 21 point six pounds. Another contestant is Bo, a King Charles spaniel that weighs 43 pounds and has to sit down halfway through his walk to rest.  read more »

It truly is a Happy Thanksgiving!

You may think offering that special Happy Thanksgiving toast during your turkey dinner this year may be tough to do. But it shouldn’t be.

Sure, we’ve hit a bad patch on our economic road to riches that some may say has become a road to ruin. Greed and fear, the twin idols of Wall Street, have yet again reared their ugly heads. In response, wagging fingers are pointing at bankers, regulators and consumers who deceived the system and themselves.
But downturns, even as severe as this one, have a way of cleansing the system of its scoundrels. And it becomes the perfect opportunity to focus on basics.  read more »

Sports is taking a big hit in this bogie economy

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Golf courses, country clubs and golf equipment manufacturers all around the country are reporting losses. Not just in golf balls or bets lost by weekend golfers hoping their game shows up just in time to take a buck from their bosses. But in revenue that has suddenly dropped quicker than a handicap after a hole-in-one.

And the follow-through of this economic downturn is spreading throughout the sports world.  read more »

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This story could make you sick

It looks like getting your annual check-up might become even more of a pain.

According to a recent survey primary care doctors in the United States feel overworked and almost half of them are planning on cutting back or quitting medicine completely. The survey conducted by the Physician’s Foundation found that of the 12 thousand doctors that responded, 60 percent would not recommend medicine as a career, 20 percent are cutting back on patients and others are considering a move to part time work.  read more »