From the nudity to the 'penis puppetry,' we look back at our favorite things about the Channing Tatum-led male-stripper movie.
By Kara Warner
Thursday, December 27, 2012
HOUSTON (AP) ? A "stubborn" fever that kept former President George H.W. Bush in a hospital over Christmas has gotten worse, and doctors have put him on a liquids-only diet, his spokesman said Wednesday.
Jim McGrath, Bush's spokesman in Houston, had said earlier in the day that the fever had gone away, but he later corrected himself.
"It's an elevated fever, so it's actually gone up in the last day or two," McGrath told The Associated Press. "It's a stubborn fever that won't go away."
Doctors at Methodist Hospital in Houston have run tests and are treating the fever with Tylenol, but they still haven't nailed down a cause, McGrath said. Doctors also have put Bush on a liquid diet, though McGrath could not say why.
The bronchitis-like cough that initially brought Bush to the hospital on Nov. 23 has improved, McGrath said. The 88-year-old is now coughing about once a day, he said.
Bush was visited on Christmas by his wife, Barbara, his son, Neil, and Neil's wife, Maria, and a grandson, McGrath said. Bush's daughter, Dorothy, will arrive Wednesday in Houston from Bethesda, Md. The 41st president has also been visited twice by his sons, George W. Bush, the 43rd president, and Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida.
Bush and his wife live in Houston during the winter and spend their summers at a home in Kennebunkport, Maine.
The former president was a naval aviator in World War II ? at one point the youngest in the Navy ? and was shot down over the Pacific. He achieved notoriety in retirement for skydiving on at least three of his birthdays since leaving the White House in 1992.
Plushnick-Masti can be followed on Twitter at https://twitter.com/RamitMastiAP
Monday, December 17, 2012
Samuel L. Jackson on "Saturday Night Live."
By Anna Chan, TODAY
"Django Unchained" star Samuel L. Jackson caused quite a stir when he appeared on a "Saturday Night Live" this week and dropped what sounded like an F-bomb.
The actor participated in a recurring skit called "What's Up With That," during which he appeared as himself. Kenan Thompson played DeAndre Cole, host of the fake BET show, who couldn't resist interrupting all of his guests by breaking into song. And that was part of the problem.
When Thompson's Cole asked the actor what the holidays meant to him, Jackson began to talk about his foundation, which helps people in need. While the actor tried to remind viewers to give, Cole broke into song again.
"I'm trying to talk about helping people here!" the actor snapped. "So don't you dare cut me off!"
"I won't cut you off, but I've gots to say!" Thompson as Cole started singing ... and continued to belt out a tune with the help of a few other guests for the next few minutes.
When the lengthy interruption finally ended and Cole thanked his guests, an angry Jackson blurted, "Man! %^$#!"
A minorly flustered Thompson replied, "Eh! ... C'mon, Sam! C'mon now! That costs money."
The NBC clip has the word muted:
The actor later denied that he said the whole curse word. "I only said FUH not (expletive)! K was sposed to cut off da (expletive), blew it!!" he tweeted, along with a photo featuring a look of shock on his face.
Clips on YouTube seem to suggest otherwise, though, with the K being audible.
What did you think of the skit? What was your favorite moment of the night? Tell us on our Facebook page.
More in The Clicker:
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Sunday, December 2, 2012
BOSTON (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve should continue buying long-term bonds to support economic growth until the outlook for U.S. employment gets considerably better, Fed Board Governor Jeremy Stein said on Friday.
Stein, who joined the U.S. central bank in May, defended the Fed's unconventional monetary policies on a panel with Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota, who focused his comments on regulating big U.S. banks, arguing that the perceived risk of a failure has receded in recent years.
The Fed has kept short term rates almost at zero for four years and has bought some $2.5 trillion in bonds to drive down longer-term borrowing costs and boost the recovery from recession.
Stein argued that these policies have not only brought down rates on long-term government bonds, but also have made it cheaper for corporations to borrow in capital markets.
"While this is not entirely uncontroversial, my own reading of the evidence is that there has also been substantial pass-through to corporate bond rates," Stein, who was a Harvard finance professor before joining the Fed, said at a conference hosted by the Boston Fed bank.
He estimated an additional $500 billion on Treasury purchases would lower long-term bond rates in the government and corporate markets by around 0.15-0.20 percentage point.
The effectiveness of the "pass-through" of the Fed's aggressive policies have been a hot topic since the central bank launched a third quantitative easing program in September, dubbed QE3, to buy $40 billion in mortgage bonds per month. Policymakers could decide to ramp that up when they meet in Washington on December 11-12.
While some have bemoaned the very incremental reduction in rates on home loans since QE3, others such as Stein and Kocherlakota, argue that every bit of support from the Fed helps in spurring economic growth and lowering the 7.9 percent unemployment rate.
Stein expressed frustration with the "constraint" lenders are showing in, for example, issuing mortgage loans.
He admitted that the impact of purchasing assets tends to diminish over time because, in a weak economic environment, companies opt to lower their funding costs by refinancing rather than make new investments.
Still, Stein argued the Fed's strategy of buying mortgage-backed securities was particularly effective in helping the housing finance sector.
"I suspect that mortgage purchases may confer more macroeconomic stimulus dollar-for-dollar than Treasury purchases," Stein said.
The U.S. economy expanded 2.7 percent in the third quarter, but growth is expected to be significantly slower for the last three months of the year. Consumer spending posted its first drop in five months during October, according to a report on Friday.
TOO BIG TO FAIL
Turning to the Fed's other key function, financial regulation, Kocherlakota highlighted that studies using measures of market risk, including credit default swaps, show "that the size of the too-big-to-fail problem has fallen over the past couple of years but remains large."
While the perceived risk of a big U.S. bank failure has receded, more study is needed to understand whether the improvement is due to government policies or simply an improved economic outlook.
For any given financial institution "it could be that creditors believe that there is little likelihood of that financial institution becoming distressed" perhaps because new rules require banks to put up more capital, Kocherlakota said.
It could also be that creditors believe a government bailout is unlikely, suggesting that other policies - such as the requirement banks devise blueprints for a wind-down should they become insolvent - are working.
But metrics could be improving "simply because creditors' assessments of future macroeconomic conditions improve," he said.
Teasing apart the reasons for the improvement in the too-big-to-fail problem is key to understanding whether approaches like those enshrined in the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform act are having the intended effect, Kocherlakota said.
The wide-ranging law, written in response to the 2007-2009 financial crisis, aims to reduce the likelihood of banks failing and to lessen the cost to society if they do.
Kocherlakota has urged the Fed to adopt guideposts for policy in terms of unemployment and inflation, and on Friday reiterated his view that without such metrics "it is challenging to know whether monetary policy is overly accommodative or not."
The same point can be made for the too-big-to-fail bank problem, which Congress has set out to resolve.
"The public can only hold Congress and its (delegates) responsible for achieving this mandate if there are quantitative measures of the size of the too-big-to-fail problem," he added.
(Additional writing and reporting by Pedro Nicolaci da Costa and Ann Saphir. Editing by Andre Grenon)
Saturday, December 1, 2012
Christmas. Chanukah. Kwanza. Festivus. No matter what you celebrate, December tends to be the month for giving. That goes for us, too, believe it or not. We might occasionally seem like Grinches on the outside, but come the end of the year we come down from Mount Crumpit and descend into Whoville with nothing but the best of intentions to spread Android joy and cheer amongst all the good little boys and girls.
And that brings us to our little helper here on the left. See what she's holding? That'd be a $10 Google Play Gift Card. We've got a stack full of these guys, and every last one is for you. Now doesn't that sound special?
Here's how it's going to work: We're going to give away one card every day this month. We're not stopping at Christmas, oh, no. We're gonna keep going, straight on through Phil's birthday (there's a not so subtle hint) and into New Year's Eve the following day. That's one $10 Google Play Gift Card each day this month.
Plus, each daily winner is going to be eligible to win a free Nexus 4 from us.
Wanna know how to enter?