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Barack Obama 30 minute TV ad worth $2 million. A Winner!

3 networks air Obama’s 30 minute commercial simultaneously before World Series baseball.

Barack Obama presidential election campaign short of 2 million dollars.

$2,000,000 well spent? You decide!

Barack Obama 30 minute advertisement
Barack Obama 30 minute advertisement

The infomercial started with soft music, pictures of farms, people waving the US flag and Barack Obama’s voice in the background talking about tough times the US economy has faced in recent times. “Despite the crisis, I still see optimism in American people”: Obama. Seemed like beginning of a classic patriotic movie.

We’ve seen over the last 8 years how decisions by an American president can have a profound effect on history and on American lives. I’ve traveled lengths of this country over the last 20 months. Michelle and I have met so many Americans who are looking for real and lasting change. These are American stories.. I’d like to introduce some of these people tonight.

This followed a case study on Rebecca Johnston – A woman dedicated to her family, with 4 children and a husband who couldn’t afford an operation, only to give their kids better education and cope with rising costs. How they manage within the limited resource, how they try to make ends meet, pay bills.. All this wasn’t a problem at one time, Rebecca Johnston recalls.. when mortgage rates were lower and perhaps also inflation. 

We measure the strength of our economy, not by the number of billionaires we have, or the profits of the fortune 500. Whether someone with a good idea can start a new business.. whether a waitress who sustains a living on tips can take a day off without the risk of losing her job. An economy the honours the dignity of work. 8 years of failed policy resulted in the worst state of ecomony since the great depression.

 Here’s what I’ll do as president (Part 1 – Economy plan):

  • Cut taxes for every family making less than $200,000.
  • Give businesses tax credit for every new employee they hire in the US over the next 2 years.
  • Eliminate tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas. (Major impact on outsourcing)
  • Help home owners to pay their mortgages by freezing foreclosures for 90 days.
  • Provide low-cost loans to small businesses to hire more workers and keep their doors open.

Case Study 2: This again follows a clip where a gentleman who should’ve received 1500 dollars, ended up being paid just $379 per month when the company closed down. “Americans who are willing to work should be able to find a job that pays them enough to make a living, and retire respectfully with a decent pension” Barack Obama said.

Ohio governor Red Strickland, Kathleen Sebelius (Kansas governor), Deval Patrick (Massachussets governor) supported Barack’s tax cut, anti outsourcing policies.

Case Study 3: Larry Store and his wife Onida from Sardinia, Ohio, a couple with 6 children who owned their own house, looked forward to retirement, but Onida’s growing medical costs forced them to get a loan against their house. Larry, 72, despite retirement, had to start working again.

Here’s what I’ll do as president (part 2 – Energy Plan):

  • Invest 15 Billion dollars a year on energy efficiency, renewable sources of energy.
  • Create 5 million clean energy jobs in the next decade.
  • Create fuel efficient cars in America.
  • Give tax credit to buy fuel efficient cars.
  • Expand production of gas, coal and oil in the US to reduce dependence on Middle East.

Eric Schmidt (CEO – Google), Tim Kaine (Governor of Virginia) started off by endorsing Obama’s ideas as teh best for America.

Case Study 4: Juliana Sanchez is a widow with 2 children and a mortgage who has dedicated her life to giving good education to her children. With a day that starts very early, Juliana works 2 jobs and undergoes teacher training. All, just to provide good education to her 2 kids.

Every parent in America wants the same thing – Good education for their child. Responsibility for our children’s success doesn’t start in Washington, it starts in our homes. No education policy can replace a parent who’s involved in his child’s education from day 1, who makes sure children reach on time, helps with the child’s homework and attends the parent-teacher conferences. No government program can turn off the TV set, put away the video games or read to your children.

To show he personally understood and has faced similar hardships, there was a clip where Barack Obama said “I had met my father only once when I was 10. My mother used work fulltime, she used to wake me up 4:30am and we used to go through my lessons”. 

Here’s what I’ll do as president (part 3 – Education & Healthcare):

  • Tax credit to cover tuition at public colleges and universities in exchange for serving their community or country.
  • Improve Information technology for use in healthcare.
  • Provide coverage for preventive care and pre-existing conditions.
  • Lower healthcare costs for families at just $2500 a year.

Talking of healthcare, he talked about how his mother died of cancer so suddenly and how big a shock that was. Add to that video clips showed Obama with his two daughters and how he read all Harry Potters with them.

Dick Burbin (Senator Illinois), Claire McCaskill (senator Missouri), Joe Biden (senator Delaware) talked about Obama’s leadership skills.

Barack Obama then moved on to talking about Joe Biden. He has the best foreign policy experience, father lost his job, we share the sense of where the country needs to go. (Things we’ve heard before.)

Case Study 5: Mark and Melinda, who were both sacked from their jobs due to the economic crisis are struggling to make ends meet..

“I learnt from a very early age from my grand parents how important it is to defend liberty. ” Obama

Here’s what I’ll do as president (part 4 – Military and Defence):

  • Rebuild military to meet 21st century challenges.
  • Implement tough direct diplomacy to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, curb Russian aggression.
  • Focus on finishing the fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afganistan.

John Adams, retired Brig. Gen. US Army supported Barack Obama’s presidency saying he has the capability to be tough and sensitive to the constitution and people at the same time.

Watch the entire 30 minutes of infomercial here :

(Cannot download on this site online. This can be downloaded only using Realplayer and going to Youtube at youtube.com)

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4
 

 Overall

In the 30 minute informercial, almost all case studies revolved around education, mortgages, retirement pension, and the war. As much as I liked and enjoyed those 30 minutes, I’ll have to say that the commercial could have covered much more. Rather than tax rebates to people for cars, small businesses, recruitment in the US, clean energy, I think what we need is tax free “private” education, which is expensive and the root cause of every modern middle class person’s financial struggle.

Overall, a very well planned and executed 30 minute infomercial that will have a big impact on his campiagn. Without naming Mccain, Palin or any opposition (to the contrary, there was a statement where Obama was quoted saying “We’re not republicans or democrats, we’re Americans”), Barack Obama has thrown a winner just days before the D day!

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Ten years of Sex and the City: girlfriends like these

Sex and the City has been a phenomena for the last ten years. Has it really been that long? Yes it has. August 1998 was the airing of the first episode of this cult show, recently followed, in 2008, by a movie by the same name.

Carrie Bradshaw has changed every woman’s notion of fashion and given every girl dreams of what clothes are all about. One could go as far as to say that the show made Manolo Blahnik’s and Jimmy Choo’s iconic brands. But the one service (or dis-service as some critical religious groups may say) that Sex and the City has done for woman (and maybe, secretly, man) kind is all to do with (of course) sex. Sex and the City was undoubtedly the first mainstream show to openly discuss explicit sexual subjects. The discussions between the girlfriends, the Samantha Jones, Carrie Bradshaw, Charlotte York and Miranda Hobbes had women worldwide hooked and wishing they had friends like those. Those weekend brunch and after-work drinks conversations brought up every sex-related topic that females everywhere had been afraid to discuss and, quite frankly, many that the viewers had probably previously never thought about. Everything from STDs to girl on girl action.

The four friends had very different personality and in the real world it’s difficult to see how they could have come together as close as they were. Samantha Jones, try anything once, sex missionary (but in every position but missionary), self-confessed BJ-addict, different man every night but still made it look somehow classy. Almost all the porn and great sex advice in the show came from her scenes. Charlotte York: prom Queen, straight As, conservative, sexual prude even, looking for the perfect man, always offended at Samantha’s use of sexual language and, almost ironically, marries a man who has emotionally-rooted impotence and then discovers her own infertility. Carrie Bradshaw: made it all look so easy, always on top, that washboard stomach, rippling stomach muscles as she rode her man using those powerful thighs (and always seemed to make love with her bra on?), and of course the most emotionally attached to her sexual experiences. And finally utterly cynical Miranda Hobbes: who taught the masses about phone sex in season three, has predictable sex honed down to the last move with her partner;. The character that softens as she becomes a mother and later marries.

And let’s not forget the “fifth girlfriend” as, Stanford Blatch, gay best friend of Carrie Bradshaw and with almost as good taste in fashion (and men). Stanford is distinctly stereotypically gay but in a completely non-Will and Grace, “oh so hot, what a shame he’s gay, looking” way – all short, balding and teddy bear cute. And, accordingly, has dilemmas of his own with men and looks.

So, are we gonna miss these girlfriends, now that the show is finished and the movies been released? No. I’ve already started again at season one. And anyway, there is always Lipstick Jungle…

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Samsung SGH i900 Omnia – Worst of the lot!

I hate Phones 4u

I happend to be amongst the unfortunate few who mistakenly entered the Phones 4u outlet in Victoria Street, London. Had broken my Nokia N95 the previous day and I for some reason thought it’s better to talk to the idiots at Phones 4u rather than o2.

Anyway, the following happened at PHONES 4U:

1. They offered me the Samsung i900 Omnia on a 45 pounds per month, 18 month contract for free.

2. After sitting there for an hour, the gentleman found that it wasn’t free on a 45 per month contract, and I’ll have to go with the £75 per month contract. Had no option and desperately needed a phone, so I agreed.

3. The guy at the till said the contract has a 14 day “peace of mind” guarantee and if you’re not happy, we’ll change your contract or phone or both. I was pretty impressed at that stage to be honest.

4. The worst phone on earth as I call it – The Samsung i900 Omnia hung with a blank screen for 13 times in the first two days of using it. I checked a few forums and message boards online and found that to be a pretty common problem.

5. Went back to Phones4u and asked for a change of handset. i wanted the Blackberry Bold or Nokia E71 this time. For me, the most important thing is email, and having read some very good reviews about Samsung Omnia’s email connectivity on Windows mobile 6.1, I thought it might be ok, but it’s really a piece of crap.

6. Anway, people at Phones 4u then tell me that because mine was an existing contract on O2, they cannot change my plan, which was by now £75 plus £10 insurance plus £7.50 an internet usage bolt on = £92.50 per month.

7. With no option left, the gentleman at the till this time (surprisingly, not a single person from last time was present) offered the Blackberry Bold and I agreed. Another 45 mins to do some stupid paperwork and I was told that Blackberry Bold wasn’t available on existing contracts!! WHAT?? I said.. but then having no other option left at all in stead of the Nokia N95 or N96, i returned home with a new Samsung Omnia i900.

Samsung Omnia - Worst of all
Samsung Omnia - Worst of all

8. Here’s why you don’t need a Samsung Omnia:

  • Windows Mobile 6.1 operating system: Contrary to my expectations, the Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.1 really sucks. You can’t get most windows mobile applications on it, almost everything that you get on IPhone, you don’t get here. Not even Youtube, Google talk or any decent games.
  • The unbelievably bad touch screen system: If you’ve happened to lay your hands on the Apple iPhone, you’d have seen screen gliding past on your touch, or photos enlarging on taking two fingers away from each other etc. Forget all that, 99% when you’re trying to get past the scroller on the Samsung i900 Omnia, you’ll end up mis-cliking a few links and spend the next 5 mins closing those windows. Of all the touch screen phones I’ve used including the LGs, I rate the Samsung Omnia – WORST!
  • No Good Battery life: Despite all claims that it has a good battery life, I have to charge the phone 2 times a day when all i do is take 3 incoming calls.
  • Unbelievable unlocking mechanism and lack of hundreds of options: If you don’t want to make hundreds of calls while the phone’s in your pocket, the only option you have is to lock it with a 4 digit pin, which is a pain to unlock with this touch phone 50 times in one hour. Plus you’d expect some basic options like auto-connect to your wireless network etc, which don’t exist and that’s when I haven’t veen explored the phone properly.
  • Samsung – please stick to TVs or something: With this level of competition and this quality of a phone, I don’t see why Samsung bother at all anyway.
  • Oh did I mention connectivity? 2 out of 5 times people reach my voicemail despite my phone being on. ha ha.. I’m adopting laughter therepy – You know when you are really mad at something but can’t do anything about it? Just laugh it off and pay all your money to these suckers!

Final word: Go for iPhone (it doesn’t have video recording or MMS texting or text forwarding or Bluetooth file transfer but a super set of applications and compatibility), any of the Nokias or one of the Blackberry models, but never never never go for the Samsung Omnia and NEVER go to Phones 4u.