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Janelle Vreeland

Richard Cordray appointed as America's consumer watchdog

Richard Cordray given position as recess appointment

Richard Cordray earned a position as America’s consumer watchdog as President Obama made a series of recess appointments on Wednesday.

In an address made on Wednesday, Obama stated that Cordray’s main task would be to look “out for the best interests of American consumers. His job will be to protect families like yours from the abuses of the financial industry. His job will be to make sure you’ve got all the information you need to make important financial decisions. Right away, he’ll start working to make sure millions of Americans are treated fairly by mortgage brokers, payday lenders and debt collectors. In fact, just this week, his agency is opening up a simple, 1-800 number you can call to make sure you’re getting a fair deal on your mortgage, and hold banks and brokers accountable if you’re not.”

The president continued, saying that he attempted appointing Cordray for last summer but that “for almost half a year, Republicans in the Senate have blocked his confirmation.”

As the Washington Post explains, recess appointments are described in the Constitution as giving the president the ability “fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate.” It also, however, gives the president the power to appoint individuals who wouldn’t otherwise win a Senate confirmation vote.

Obama continued his address, saying, “The only reason Republicans in the Senate have blocked Richard is because they don’t agree with the law setting up the consumer watchdog. They want to weaken it. Well that makes no sense at all. Does anyone think the reason we got in such a financial mess was because of too much oversight? Of course not. We shouldn’t be weakening oversight and accountability. We should be strengthening it – especially when it comes to looking out for families like yours. Financial firms have armies of lobbyists in Washington looking out for their interests. It’s time someone fought for you, too.”

Read more about Richard Cordray and his recess appointment here.

Ben Gibbard, Zooey Deschanel file for divorce

Ben Gibbard, Zooey Deschanel divorce papers cite “irreconcilable differences”

It’s official, Ben Gibbard and Zooey Deschanel are getting a divorce.

ABC News reports that Deschanel filed for divorce on December 27, citing irreconcilable differences. Deschanel’s publicist said that the split was amicable and there was “no third party involved.”

Gibbard, 35, and Deschanel, 31, married in September 2009.

Gibbard is the frontman of the indie band Death Cab for Cutie. In addition to starring in Fox’s “New Girl,” Deschanel is also half of the band She & Him.

Read more about Ben Gibbard and Zooey Deschanel’s divorce here. You can read our previous report on Gibbard and Deschanel’s split here.

Nick Cannon moved to L.A.

Nick Cannon still hospitalized following mild kidney failure

Nick Cannon has been transferred to a L.A. hospital after experiencing mild kidney failure.

MTV reports that Cannon’s wife, Mariah Carey, said his condition seems to be improving.

“As always, he’s in good spirits considering the situation,” Carey said. “We are hopeful that he’ll be 100 percent as soon as possible.” She added that “the situation is not easy” and that Cannon is “in a lot of pain.”

Cannon also tweeted about his condition, saying, “Currently being transfered to a hospital in LA. Thank you all for all your love, prayers and concern. You know me… I will be a’ight.”

It is unclear at this time what caused Cannon’s kidney failure.

As we reported yesterday, Carey tweeted and blogged about Cannon’s kidney failure to fans, asking them to keep him in his prayers. Cannon was previously admitted to an Aspen hospital. The couple was in Aspen with their children to celebrate the holidays.

Read more about Nick Cannon’s kidney failure here. You can read our previous report on Nick Cannon here.

GLA: What is it?

GLA mention by Dr. Oz garners interest in supplement

Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) was recently mentioned by Dr. Oz on his TV show, when he suggested it to a woman who was having trouble losing weight in her midsection. Now, interested viewers are inquiring to find out more about GLA.

So, what is GLA? WebMD reports that GLA is a fatty substance found in various plant seed oils such as borage oil and evening primrose oil.  Commonly, GLA is used to treat skin conditions like systemic sclerosis, psoriasis and eczema. In addition, GLA has also been used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, high cholesterol, heart disease and metabolic syndrome.

How does GLA work? It is an omega-6 fatty acid which the body converts to substances that reduce inflammation and cell growth.

As the Best Price Nutrition blog details, GLA “convinces fat cells to get rid of the fat.” Although the blog claims there are no side effects, WebMD warns that it can cause digestive-tract side effects.

Remember, always consult your physician to determine the best supplements for you.

Killswitch Engage moves on without Howard Jones

Killswitch Engage announces departure of Howard Jones

The members of Killswitch Engage made a shocking announcement Wednesday afternoon — they are continuing on without vocalist Howard Jones.

In a post on the official Killswitch Engage website, the remaining band members explained the situation and their plans to move forward.

To our family, friends and fans: We have decided to continue on without Howard Jones as the singer of Killswitch Engage.  We love Howard and are thankful for the nine years that we’ve had him in the band.  Out of respect for everyone involved we will not be discussing the specific reasons behind this decision.  Howard is a part of our family and always will be, and we wish him well.  He has left big shoes to fill, so we certainly have our work cut out for us to find the next singer of Killswitch, something we plan on making priority #1 going forward.  Most importantly, thanks to all of you for all the support throughout the years and for sticking by us for all this time.  We really do appreciate it and we very much look forward to having a new record for all of you in the not too distant future that we can all be proud of.  Sincerely, Adam, Joel, Mike & Justin.

Fans were quick to respond to the announcement, suggesting that All That Remains vocalist Phil Labonte or former Killswitch Engage vocalist Jesse Leach should carry on in Jones’ place. Both Labonte and Leach were called upon to take Jones’ place when he dropped out of the Killswitch Engage tour two years ago.

Read more about Killswitch Engage and Howard Jones’ departure here.

Nick Cannon hospitalized

Nick Cannon hospitalized following “mild kidney failure”

Nick Cannon has been hospitalized after experiencing mild kidney failure.

Cannon’s wife, Mariah Carey, posted about Cannon’s condition on her Twitter account and on her official blog, including a photo of her with Cannon in his hospital bed.

Carey tweeted, telling followers to “Please pray for Nick as he’s fighting to recover from a mild kidney failure. #mybraveman.” She followed the tweet with a short blog post.

This is us in the hospital – role reversal; Last year it was me attached to the machines (after having dembabies) and Nick was there with me through it, and now here we are.

We’re trying to be as festive as possible under the circumstances but please keep Nick in your thoughts because this is very painful. They tried to kick me out of the hospital but here I am pon de bed with Mr. C.

We’re doing OK but we’re “straaaaaanded in Aspen”. #DramaticDivaPlace (I know, we could be in a lot worse places) but the truth is as long as we’re together, we’re OK. I’m not trying to make light out of the situation because it’s a serious moment that’s very tough on all of us so please keep us and our family in your prayers. LYM

The LA Times reports that as of Wednesday, Cannon is still hospitalized, but his rep did not comment further on his condition.

Currently, Nick Cannon is the host of “America’s Got Talent.”

Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel are engaged

Justin Timberlake proposes to Jessica Biel

Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel are engaged!

Us reports that Timberlake proposed to Biel in late December. Reportedly, Timberlake popped the question in the mountains of Jackson, Wyoming. 

Timberlake and Biel have been together for four-and-a-half years, but spent three months separated last year. The split was brief, an insider says, because Biel realized she wanted to spend the rest of her life with Timberlake.

Another source reports that Timberlake knew it was the right time to propose.

Read more about Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel here.

Super Bowl 2012 commercial time sells out

Super Bowl 2012 commercials to include Pepsi, “The Voice,” Doritos featuring Lonely Island

It’s official. Commercial time for Super Bowl 2012 has sold out.

MarketWatch reports that commercial time for the Super Bowl sold out last fall. So, what can we expect from Super Bowl 2012 commercials? Well, Pepsi, “The Voice” and Lonely Island to name a few.

Entertainment Weekly reports that Pepsi has bought two 30-second spots, one of which will feature “X-Factor” winner Melanie Amaro. Speaking of reality shows, “The Voice” will have  60-second spot featuring judges Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Blake Shelton and Adam Levine.

In the junk food arena, M&Ms will be featured in a Super Bowl spot for the first time since 1998 and The Lonely Island will star in a 30-second spot for Doritos.

Although most Super Bowl commercials run an average of 30 seconds, it’s expected that many may go over the 30-second mark. Many sponsors have bought enough air time to run commercials longer than the standard 30 seconds.

Read more about Super Bowl 2012 here.

Virginia Tech loses to University of Michigan

Virginia Tech loses by three points in Sugar Bowl

Virginia Tech was defeated by the University of Michigan during Tuesday’s Sugar Bowl, and the team is still hurting from the loss.

AP reports that Michigan’s 23-20 victory over Virginia Tech owed a lot to some “key miscues” by Virginia. Despite the miscues, Virginia Tech was a force to be reckoned with, dominating most of the first half of the game.

“I’m about half-sick right now,” Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said. “They weren’t stopping us; we were stopping ourselves.”

This marks Michigan’s first BCS Bowl victory since 2000.

“I’m just real proud,” coach Brady Hoke said. “Real proud of our seniors, real proud of how they took this football team last January and molded it and did a tremendous job.”

Read more about Virginia Tech and the University of Michigan here.

Iowa caucus results: Mitt Romney's narrow win

Iowa caucus results in Rick Santorum placing second

The Iowa caucus results are in and although Mitt Romney took the lead, it was not by much.

The CBS News reports that according to the Iowa caucus results, Mitt Romney won out over Rick Santorum by only eight votes. Santorum’s narrow loss is impressive considering he was at the bottom of opinion polls just weeks ago. Romney now appears to be headed toward the nomination. Santorum, however, isn’t giving up.

“With your help and God’s grace, we will have another fun night a week from now,” Santorum told supporters before the final caucus results were announced.

Ron Paul came in third, Newt Gingrich places fourth, Rick Perry placed fifth, Michele Bachmann placed sixth and Jon Huntsman placed seventh. Reacting to their disappointing standing in the caucus results, Perry and Bachmann are hinting that their campaigns may be over. A defeated Perry told supporters following the iowa caucus that he would return to Texas to “determine whether there is a path forward for me in this race.” Meanwhile, a senior Republican official with direct knowledge says Bachmann is suspending her presidential campaign.

Read more about the Iowa caucus results here. Read our previous coverage of the Iowa caucus here.