David Petraeus' extramarital affair

This story refuses to go away like most controversies similar to it.

I usually eschew discussing politics on this blog, but this is a break from tradition since this news story is well and truly hot in the U.S. right now. It has become somewhat of a national soap opera.

It it is about an extramarital affair that former CIA chief David Petraeus had with his married biographer, Paula Broadwell. Broadwell and Petraeus share West Point roots and also a fitness regimen. Furthermore, Petraeus liked to have positive press and this is where Broadwell came in even more handy.

What is more, is that the Petraeus scandal has extended to an investigation on a hand-picked General by Petraeus, John Allen, with regards to his supposed e-mails to socialite Jill Kelley who was the whistleblower in the Petraeus affair.

It has been quite a sudden drastic turn of affairs in the Obama administration with his much praised CIA director having to resign and the future of his Afghan war commander in jeopardy. There has been concern that national security may have been compromised as a result of all of this, but President Obama maintains that this is not so.

David Petraeus is now turning his attention to his family after resigning as CIA director. Petraeus acknowledges his wrongdoings but this extramarital affair had its roots as far back as the Spring of 2006. The two ‘lovers’ had an undercover way of communicating that would have been difficult to get wind of electronically: they saved correspondences in the draft folder of the same e-mail and once each one was read it would be deleted and replaced by a reply message by the viewer. Very clever indeed!

Denzel Washington stars in Flight

Whip is like a character out of "Training Day" or "American Gangster," but this time he can make you panic!

After the action thriller 'Safe House' in early spring, we get another Denzel Washington flick in 'Flight.' This a mystery drama with Denzel starring as the alcoholic pilot Captain William Whitaker.

The plot by John Gatins really sets the stage for a blockbuster and has the audience at the edge of their seats at times. There is that right mix of comedy, emotion, romance and action that ensures that the film will be one of those Denzel classics like 'Training Day' or 'Remember the Titans.'

Flight feels so real and people with a fear-of-flying are bound to get even more terrified after watching the crash scene. I obviously will not spoil the fun for you by revealing too much here. I only wanted to highlight something that is truly 'hot in the U.S.'

It shows Denzel Washington in a new light; rather than marvel at him, viewers are forced to worry for his well-being save the incredible crash landing that he accomplishes.

The film has gotten rave reviews from the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune among others. It features Washington in a fairly meaty role and could see him potentially winning an Oscar. Director Robert Zemeckis always serves up the best for moviegoers.

The movie promises to be a must-watch with its action-packed scenes and Denzel brilliance. The flight crash scene makes for some crafty special affects too. Paramount Pictures, Robert Zemeckis and Denzel Washington have taken a huge gamble with this morally ambiguous drama and you know what - it just might pay off.

Moreover, the Captain Chesley Sullenberger landing on the Hudson River gave Flight its wings.

Donald Trump's big announcement

It didn’t live up to the ‘October Surprise’ billing.

From the Desk of Donald Trump: Major Announcement

Donald Trump’s big announced seemed to be nothing more than trying to get some of the limelight to himself. What better way to eat up the media attention than circulate reports about a possible bombshell being dropped about President Obama?

I suppose reading Obama’s college transcripts and his passport application would be interesting and solve some of the problems for a substantial minority of Americans. But, if we go by what the non-partisan website Factcheck.org has to say, presidents usually don’t release these types of records.

Even the transcripts that were obtained from George W. Bush and John Kerry were actually leaked by the press rather than being released by Bush and Kerry.

I was quite disappointed about the Trump announcement because I expected something bigger. It merely served to rehash a few unimportant issues that were already out there. Unimportant because even if President Obama was going to do what Trump asked him to do, he would not make the conspiracy theories go away altogether.

President Obama predictably brushed it off on Jay Leno’s show with jokes about him have a beef with Trump that dates back to their childhood days in Kenya.

I guess the media and people like me have encouraged this type of self-promotion from the business magnate. It seems like anything that Trump does or talks about is newsworthy. The problem is that with antics like this it makes Trump appear to be the ‘clown’ that right-winger Michelle Malkin aptly called him.

I don’t think Trump is helping the Republican cause with announcements such as these as it is going to make the American people hate people like him more. His ‘I will give $5M to the charity of Obama’s choice’ is the type of elitist comments that Romney is trying to steer clear off.

Beyonce to perform at the Super Bowl XLVII Halftime Show

Things are going to heat up come February.

Beyonce will perform her hits at the Super Bowl XLVII Halftime Show. Fans are excited and Beyonce has stated many times that this would be her dream. I wonder if there will be any wardrobe malfunctions this time!

There isn’t much out there with regards to what to expect. Will Destiny’s Child make an appearance? And what about Jay-Z? Solange Knowles could possibly do a cameo. I've always been a big fan of Beyonce's sister. Anyway, the Super Bowl XLVII halftime show will be buzzing with the Queen Bey performing.

It has been reported that Beyonce will not be acting in Clint Eastwood’s remake of the classic film “A Star is Born.” This was due to scheduling conflicts, but one can’t help but wonder if Eastwood’s bizarre speech at the Republican National Convention might have had something to do with it.

We all know that Beyonce and Jay-Z are close friends of President Obama and his family. The power couple have been to the White House a number of times. President Obama talks about family and other stuff that he only discusses with close friends with Mr. and Mrs. Carter. I am not starting something here but I thought it would be a great segway to talk about Jay-Z’s new campaign ad for Obama.

President Obama needs as much help as he can to bring some of the 2008 magic to the current campaign. Who better to help him than Beyonce and Jay-Z? Beyonce sang at President Obama’s inauguration and her rap star husband was a prominent feature in get out the vote concerts leading up to the 2008 presidential election.

Powerful supporters try to sway inside trader Rajat Gupta sentencing

Bill Gates and Kofi Annan among them.

Rajat Gupta had a great career at McKinsey & Company and he did a lot of philanthropy. It is this support of good causes that has helped him secure letters from powerful people to the U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff who tends to be rather lenient. Still, Rakoff will have to hand down an appropriate sentencing to discourage others.

There will be plenty of top-level executives watching the proceedings as Gupta was a major corporate figure. Mr. Gupta is in this position as he passed on some tips to Raj Rajaratnam who was sentenced last year to 11 years in prison for insider trading at his hedge fund the Galleon Group. A prison term isn't the only way that Gupta could pay as illustrated in the Rajaratnam case where the latter was fined $92.8 million because of his immense fortune.

Gupta has been found guilty of providing trading tips to Rajaratnam on Goldman Sachs on whose board he served. He also passed on information regarding a $5 billion investment by Berkshire Hathaway. Gupta has received letters of support to the Judge on his behalf from business leaders of the likes of Mukesh Ambani to Harvard professors who present Gupta as a good man.

Anyway, insider traders like Gupta are fairly lucky as their sentences are shorter than the expected 25 year terms. Furthermore, co-conspirator Rajiv Goel got away with just a two-year probation. Anil Kumar too got away easy with his lawyer painting a picture of an honorable man who got suckered by Rajaratnam.

Sunday Night Football: Giants at Eagles

This should be a physical and aggressive football game.

There has been a lot going in the NFL. The good news for football fans is that the nightmarish calls will come to an end as the NFL is getting back their regular officials. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has realized that compromising on officials can be hard to swallow.

I am sure fans want the officiating to be a non-factor from now on and especially this week’s big game on Sunday. This is a great clash on Sunday Night Football with the defending champions taking on the much talked about Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles have been criticized, but wide receiver Jeremy Machlin did make the point that they are still 2-1.

As for me, I always expect great things from Michael Vick in a big game like this. There are explosive play makers on both sides that make this an exciting game to watch. For me, its DeSean Jackson on the offense and Nnamdi Asomugha on the defense for the Eagles. As for the Giants, I like the wide receivers and safety Antrel Rolle. Of course Eli Manning who is so famous for his fourth-quarter comebacks is a draw. I expect there could be another one this Sunday.

As for the Eagles QB Michael Vick, patience is crucial and he will need to exercise better judgment on which plays to extend and which to pass up. It is his desire for a spectacular play almost every down that has been his downfall.

With all the uncertainty surrounding the Eagles and Michael Vick, I expect this one to be a close game and possibly the Eagles coming out on top.

Bill Gates tops Forbes 400 list and more

Gates praised the benefits of capitalism.

Bill Gates is still the richest American with a net worth of about $66 billion. Gates shared his thoughts on why he thought capitalism was such a great economic system and also how the United States should tackle the national debt issue and get the economy going again.

Gates' positive comments about America and capitalism come at a time when 23 million Americans are out of work and those who aren’t in the privileged one percent are finding it difficult to achieve their dreams. People like Gates and more or less the Forbes 400 in general have either been blessed with a chunk of money handed to them or have had social capital that has led them to their billions.

Gates has been instrumental in the Giving Pledge along with Warren Buffet which has now 92 wealthy families committed to it. But there are criticisms against these Foundations because they do reduce tax revenues. Still, it is great for the U.S. economy when there is a lot of philanthropy that funds innovation and takes care of the poor; something capitalism does not do. Even helping communities abroad like what the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation does is important for us here at home because it will increase the buying power in the global economy and reduce a lot of problems that are holding the human race back.

Having listened to Bill Gates regularly and reading his blog often, I definitely agree with his policies and views. As much as people criticize Microsoft and their monopoly, Gates the person is different from the businessman.

Vick and the Eagles need to win this season

Michael Vick is always must-see TV!

Michael Vick has now signed two $100M contracts and his fans have become impatient and want to see him win a Super Bowl. The Eagles were highly touted last season, but ended with a disappointing 8-8 record. Vick needs to stay healthy if the Eagles are going to have any chance of going deep into the playoffs this season.

Vick Says Eagles Need To Win Quickly

Vick is always going to be highly talked about, which has been the case for him ever since he came into the league with the Atlanta Falcons. Vick was a number one overall draft pick and now Eagles' owner Jeffrey Lurie has stated that the Eagles will go as far as the quarterback can take them. Steve Young, who Vick idolized growing up, has some sound advice for Vick and Young believes that the Eagles QB is getting it.

Vick has stated that he is ready for the challenge and we should see him take fewer chances and make smarter plays in Cleveland for the Eagles season opener. Andy Reid is supporting Vick's idea of mixing it up by being a pocket passer and also getting out of the pocket for those big plays.

Michael Vick has a new book out entitled Finally Free. He reveals the importance of this book on telling his story to the public in a Time interview. Vick has a lot of advice for people who are in a tough environment and how important it is to make the right decisions. It definitely gave a feeling of hope and inspiration reading the transcript of the interview and also watching the video.

President Obama's version of 'Call Me Maybe'

This edited video with the ‘Call Me Maybe’ soundtrack has 23 million views on YouTube.

I don’t know whether it was Sasha or Malia who brought this to President Obama’s attention, but he is aware of a remix of what he calls a cute pop song. It is definitely a very entertaining musical performance with various speeches of the President being compiled together.

Barack Obama Singing Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen

President Obama has come under criticism as of late for not engaging in serious talk and giving what conservatives call ‘fun’ interviews to People Magazine and Entertainment Weekly instead of facing some tough questions from the White House Press Corps. But here on the Hot in the US blog, I wanted to a break from all the partisan politics and just entertain some readers about what is making news in the United States.

President Obama spoke to a radio show in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he was asked about his favorite music. He revealed that he had Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and Earth, Wind and Fire on his iPod. Interestingly, he seems to like the Jay-Z and Beyonce perennial hit ‘Crazy in Love’ when he is hitting the gym.

Talking about the gym, Mitt Romney’s running mate Paul Ryan is really passionate about the gym and his instructor talked about his discipline. I guess I have to drop in a few lines about the partisan politics and just wanted to mention that Obama and Ryan campaigned extensively today and they both had some choice words for each other.

The President who first said he liked 'some ideas' in the Paul Ryan budget proposal, has stepped back and talked about how bad of an idea it is for America.

Mitt Romney names Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as running mate

I didn't expect this...

I guess Mitt Romney choosing Paul Ryan as his running mate is his way of signaling how important the economy is going to factor into the upcoming presidential elections. Additionally, conservative base of the Republican Party will be very happy with this selection. Rank-and-file conservatives were pleased with this pick and so were the tea party groups.

But, as usual, the Democrats have something to say about this and that is that it is a pointer that we are going back to the old policies that put the U.S. economy in a recession in the first place. The Democrats want to enlighten the country about how Paul Ryan has been very supportive of debatable policies that involving cutting the budget.

The conservative media mogul Rupert Murdoch was very happy about the decision to get Paul Ryan as part of the GOP ticket. There was a lot of secrecy involved in the way Mitt Romney went about picking Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate.

The other potential running mates were former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Ohio Senator Rob Portman, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and Florida Senator Marco Rubio.

Right now, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are on a bus tour that takes them through the states of Virginia, North Carolina, Florida and Ohio. These states were won by President Obama in 2008 and they are also battleground states so it is critical that the GOP ticket steps up their presence in these states.

The Ryan choice is great to show Americans that Mitt Romney has a precise reform plan to generate faster growth and to increase incomes.