American Idol 9 Andrew Garcia, Casey James and Katie Stevens lead the most fans in Facebook

Just for kicks we searched the names of all the Top 24 American Idol Season 9 contestants in Facebook and compared fan numbers. We weren’t surprise to see that Andrew Garcia (35,513), Casey James (23,583) and Katie Stevens (20,255) show the most number of fans with a combined total of 79,351 fans as of February 28th. These numbers were most likely related to the three doing so well in the Audition and Hollywood week, and not so much on their Top 24 performances. Good for them, they were the Idol producers’ favorites as well as the judges’ early picks- they had the most air time among all the contestants!

Surprise, surprise John Park comes in 4th with 18,370 fans. If we were judging based on his dry “God Bless the Child” Top 24 performance, we would have booted him and saved Joe Munoz instead! Poor Joe, he showed very little exposure on Idol that his cute Jason Mraz “You and I Both” didn’t save him from being cut. He’s got 2,049 fans on Facebook. Fifth in line with most fans is teeny-bopper crush material Aaron Kelly with 17,269.

Didn’t the judges openly admit they want a girl to win this year? While Facebook fan numbers isn’t necessarily a good predictor of who is going to win this season or who is leading on the Idol stage, it is somewhat close an indicator on who will at least make it to the top 12 to go on tour! The low turnout of fan numbers may also very well say that if something as easy as clicking a button on Facebook (“become a fan”) couldn’t do it, then people are not going to spend time and money to text the contestants number or push the dial on the phone.

The Top 12 American Idol Contestants based on number of Facebook fans:

Guys:

1. Andrew Garcia (35,513)
2. Casey James (23,583)
3. John Park (18,370)
4. Aaron Kelly (17,269)
5. Tim Urban (10,449) really? we thought he should “apologize” for his sloppy performance on AI night.
6. Lee DeWyze (8,211) dark horse among the guys!
7. Jermaine Sellers (6,250)

Girls:

1. Katie Stevens (20,255) sing contemporary, age appropriate songs and you’ll keep the lead.
2. Crystal Bowersox (9,810) the rocker mom’s got the nod!
3. Didi Benami (8,404) If you have the urge, please do not sing Colbie Caillat or Sara Bareilles, UNLESS you make a new arrangement of the songs; they’re too SAFE and easy and they’ve been so overplayed people are tired of hearing their songs. Surprise us!
4. Lacey Brown (7,019) she better do well on her next performance. the audience might not be forgiving the second time!
5. Siobhan Magnus (6,095) – dark horse among the girls!
6. Katelyn Epperly (5,144)
7. Lilly Scott (3,085) we think she should be in the top 12 but perhaps she is too “Indie” for an Idol platform so she’s not getting enough fans?

A twist is that Tyler Grady (8,191) has more fans than Jermaine or Alex and he was cut. Janell Wheeler (3,126) and Ashley Rodriguez (4,548) have more fans than Lilly Scott and they were both cut. If it isn’t too early to predict that the next to go are Michael Lynche (1,258): he’s a mediocre a capable singer really but lacks star quality; his backstory brought him to the Top 24 and/or Todrick Hall (4,353): takes too much risks! and or Alex Lambert (4,852): too uncomfortable on stage; can’t fight off the nerves and it shows in his face!

The next to go in the girls might or could be Michelle Delamor (1,559), too sound-alike, good voice but not enough and or Paige Miles (3,816): Simon really likes her but a lot of people do not know her well. Like Michelle, she didn’t get enough exposure during the audition and Hollywood week and or Haeley Vaughn (2,088): Haeley, dear Haeley, we would have voted you off based on that shrilly “I want to hold your hand” performance. You are the weakest link.

Any of them could go and they will not be missed on the Idol stage… Prove us wrong you guys!

McCain Versus Obama on Social Security: Obama Needs a Fundraiser, McCain Missing in Action

This is a continuing series on the Primary Issues of the Presidential Election 2008. | Read Round One: McCain Versus Obama on the issue of Health care. | Round Two: Their take on the Iraq War. | Round Three: Obama Versus McCain on Free Trade. | Part One of Round Four on Natural Resources and Fossil Fuels, here. | In Part Two, we think the Democrats, Republicans And We All Are Misguided. | Part Three: McCain’s Position. Hypocrites Need Not Apply!! | Part Four: Obama Will Save The World, But the US will Go Broke in the Process | Round five: Is the US the Melting Pot or the Stagnation Pot? The candidate’s position on Immigration | Round Six: On the Issue of Abortion | Round Seven: McCain Versus Obama on Social Security: Obama Needs a Fundraiser, McCain Missing in Action | Part one of Round Eight: McCain Versus Obama on National Security, Obama’s Position | Part two of Round Eight: McCain Versus Obama on National Security, McCain’s Position

Everyone we speak to that works in America believes Social Security is just a pipe dream and that no funds will exist to support them when they retire.  This isn’t just paranoia.  Many politicians say the same thing. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson says the current system is unsustainable.

There are many ideas, such as taking Social Security private.  We find it funny that some politicians argue against that as being unsafe and it should remain in the hands of the Federal government. The Federal government has borrowed against Social Security with impunity, and, based on current estimates, in about 8 years or so will have to start paying that money back with interest in order to pay benefits.  Certainly, just examining the facts, Social Security in its current form cannot survive, and one can see it isn’t safe in the hands of the Federal government, who has acted like an irresponsible custodian stealing from her trustee’s trust fund.

Now the Federal government is sucking up mortgage backed securities at a huge rate, which means that all Federal investments will in part be based on these securities that have led to a major collapse of the financial institutions in America.  We are not so sure that keeping Social Security in the hands of government is a good idea at all.

From CNN:  “Demographics are a major reason for the funding shortfall. The number of workers, compared to retirees, has begun to shrink. That means the system will produce a smaller surplus, then none at all, and eventually it won’t be able to pay out all benefits promised to future retirees.”  This clearly argues for a strong immigration policy in favor of more immigration and less protectionism.  If we cannot demographically support our own programs, it only seems logical that we need to change the demographics.

It is currently suggested that there are only two ways to address the dire problems Social Security faces.  Raise the payroll tax even more or reduce benefits.  Some say to start now in small increments.  Fact is, they have already been increasing the tax, increasing the income limit on which Social Security tax is charged.  This has been a steady and subtle tax increase on Americans for years.

Medicare is an even bigger problem which we will address separately.  But we will mention that we are once again looking at the only way to address the problem being an increase in taxes from about 3% now to about 7%.  Doing the math, this implies that Medicare and Social Security alone will take approximately an additional 6% of Americans’ gross income.  Turn that around and imagine how much an American could save if that 6% went steadily into a retirement fund and was possibly even matched in part or in whole by an employer.

We personally believe in the abolishment of Social Security and Medicare, phasing them out in favor of private investments such as 401Ks and a national solution to the disaster the United States has created in its health care programs.

What are the candidates positions?

Obama’s Position

Protect Social Security

Obama is committed to ensuring Social Security is solvent and viable for the American people, now and in the future. Obama will be honest with the American people about the long-term solvency of Social Security and the ways we can address the shortfall. He will work with members of Congress from both parties to strengthen Social Security and prevent privatization while protecting middle class families from tax increases or benefit cuts. As part of a bipartisan plan that would be phased in over many years, he would ask those making over $250,000 to contribute a bit more to Social Security to keep it sound.

Increase taxes on those making over $250,000 may help contribute “a bit“.

Question, Senator.  Does the rest beyond “a bit” come from the middle class below $250,000?

Despite the many smears of his opponents, Obama does not support uncapping the full payroll tax of 12.4 percent rate. Instead, he is considering plans that would ask those making over $250,000 to pay in the range of 2 to 4 percent more in total (combined employer and employee). This change to Social Security would start a decade or more from now and is similar to the rate increases floated by John McCain’s close adviser Senator Lindsey Graham and that McCain has previously said he “could” support.

But our Treasury Secretary already says we will have to start paying back what the Federal Government has borrowed from Social Security in less than ten years.  And, c’mon, isn’t that a complete cop out?  Putting off the plan for ten years.  Senator, even if you won two terms as President, would place the burden on your successor.  Great idea.  Never seen that one before.  You are pretty good at math.  And in ten years, won’t inflation make it so people that earn 250,000 a year ARE the middle class not the wealthy?

Continue on next page…