Monday, October 25, 2010

Redbook readers - and their guys! - share how they show their love.

You already know it's important for you and your guy to tell each other "I love you" — as often as possible. But you shouldn't depend on those three little words to let your one-and-only know what's in your heart.

In fact, nonverbal displays of affection are often a better way to get through to the man in your life. "Guys tend to be action-oriented, so they feel less comfortable using words to express emotions," says REDBOOK Love Network expert and psychiatrist Scott Haltzman, M.D., author of The Secrets of Happily Married Men. "They've seen enough Tom Hanks movies to know they're supposed to always say 'I love you,' but they're not sure that words alone convey how they feel."

Ready to let what you do speak louder than what you say? We asked REDBOOK readers and the men in their lives to share some sweet ideas.
Plus, we added in some expert tips on how to give your love a boost without uttering a word.

"Sometimes I 'write' a love message on my husband's breakfast toast. Using cookie cutters, especially my Valentine's Day set of hearts, I press one lightly into a slice of bread, just hard enough to imprint it, then I toast it. It never fails to bring a smile to his face." —Anita Crehan, Mason, NH

"Every now and then I leave a card saying how much I love and appreciate him under his pillow for him to find before he goes to sleep." —Cim Collins, Springfield, IL

"My wife, Leigh Anne, sometimes has to travel for work, and when she gets home, I give her a small gift for every day she has been gone. I'll set them on the kitchen table and wait for her to notice them — things like her favorite perfume, fresh flowers, or a cool piece of hand-made jewelry. I love to spoil her!" —John Montgomery, Birmingham, AL

"I place special little love notes, cartoons, jokes, or small articles — sometimes racy ones — in her underwear drawer. She never knows what to expect next. She gets a big kick out of them and knows it is my way of saying I love her." —Joe Cirillo Jr., Englewood, FL

"When I take a shower at night, I write messages on the fogged-up mirrors so they appear when he takes a shower in the morning before he goes to work." —Jackie Peirce, Oley, PA

"My husband puts toothpaste on my toothbrush and leaves it lying on the sink for me every night before bed. He is the sweetest husband ever!" —Lisa Wilkes-North, Heath, TX

"I scour the TV listings for his favorite movies or a sporting event that I know he'd love to watch. I TiVo it without telling him, then surprise him with it on Saturday morning. Bonus: While he's on the couch, I've just bought myself some me-time. Manicure, pedicure, here I come!" —Cindy Panowicz, Grand Island, NE

"Before my husband leaves for work, he sets the table for my breakfast. He lays out a bowl for cereal, a cup for orange juice, strawberries, a napkin, and a spoon. For a big, manly union guy, this is a really major step!" —Patricia Armstrong, Danvers, MA

"I love that my husband gets up every morning when I do. His job doesn't start till 9, so he could easily sleep later than me, but he doesn't. While I get ready, he gets our three kids dressed and loads them into the van with their backpacks. To me, this is one of the best ways he can say he loves us all." —Jeanette Dominguez, El Paso, TX

"We brag about each other when we're out with our friends — even if it's about something little, like 'Oh, Barry had the best idea the other day' or 'Barry fixed the whatsit that's been leaking!'" —Jennifer Starr, Columbus, OH

"For Christmas, I bought a dictionary and went through it, highlighting all the definitions that describe him or remind me of him." —Jaynee Germond, Roseburg, OR

"Every morning before I get up, he leaves two folded towels in the bathroom for me for when I take a shower — one big towel for my body and a smaller towel for my head." —Amy Rossi-Espagnet, Atlanta

"The number one complaint I hear from guys is they feel like they don't get rewarded for the things they do, only told what they didn't do. Next time your man takes out the trash without being asked or starts the coffee pot for you in the morning, reward him with a 30-second full-body hug. Guys are so physical — it's easy and teasy." —Toni Coleman

"In the wintertime I start my husband's car in the morning so it will be toasty warm for him on his way to work." —Autumn Griffin, Canton, OH

"I changed the banner on his cell phone to read 'I Love You' when he wasn't looking!" —Becky White, Newton, AL

"My husband and I send each other short e-mails to say what we are thinking about at that very moment. Once, he wrote me, 'The new Brad Paisley song makes me think of you.' Now every time I hear it on the radio, I'm reminded how much my husband loves me." —Michelle Magnetti, Colorado Springs, CO

"My husband gets up at 5:30 a.m., but he pulls his dresser drawers open the night before so the noise of them opening and closing won't disturb me. Now that's love!" —Connie Maynord, Bastrop, TX

"Here's a suggestive sign he can't miss: Leave a trail of post-it notes in the hallway with arrows on them leading all the way to the bedroom." —Joyce Morley-Ball, Atlanta psychotherapist and author of Seeds for the Harvest of a Lifetime.

"Every time we kiss, we do it three times, which stands for 'I love you.' When my husband pulls out of the driveway in the morning, I stand at the door while he sets off the emergency light on his truck, also three times for 'I love you.'" —Peggy Clayton, Dubuque, IA

"Use your eyeliner to give yourself a temporary tattoo — an arrow that starts at your navel and points down. Remember: Men are very visual!" —Scott Haltzman, M.D.


These days, he can claim to be many things: political satirist, pseudo-anchorman, media critic, author, successful businessman, philanthropist, Emmy Award magnet. On Monday he arrives in Washington in a new, self-anointed role: as our national voice of reason, moderation and rationality -- a uniter, you might say, not a divider.

Jon Stewart's Saturday afternoon "Rally to Restore Sanity" (merged with partner-in-satire Stephen Colbert's concurrent "March to Keep Fear Alive") may become the largest "nonpartisan" event to hit the national Mall since . . . well, since a couple of months ago, when another basic-cable TV star, Glenn Beck, hosted his "Restoring Honor" rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Beck claimed his event was nonpartisan, too.

With less than a week to go, it's still not exactly clear how Stewart will be using this new platform. No guests or musical acts have been announced, Stewart has done only a couple media interviews, and he's offered few details about the rally on his nightly program.

Nevertheless, the similarities to Beck's rally are just the sort of thing Stewart himself would satirize on his show if, of course, it weren't his rally and his TV show in the first place. In his few pre-rally comments, Stewart has reached for some of the broad values and high-minded themes that Beck's did -- civility, decency, making America better -- though admittedly with fewer religious allusions and more comic panache. And whereas Beck undercut his claim of non-political intent by inviting Sarah Palin to be his co-star, Stewart may have undercut his by allying with a couple of noted liberals, Arianna Huffington and Oprah Winfrey. He'll also get a nice plug this week, while here at the Shakespeare Theatre Company's Sidney Harman Hall to tape "The Daily Show," from President Obama, scheduled to appear on the show on Wednesday.

Stewart has also insisted that the timing of the gathering is coincidental to the midterm election three days later, a statement that has faint echoes of Beck's disclaimer that his event was inadvertently scheduled on the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech.

Stewart, 47, has never claimed to be anything more than a guy trying to get laughs on "a fake news program on basic cable," as he puts it. While that surely understates his case, it comports with his background as a stand-up comic and entertainer.

Born in New York and raised in New Jersey, Stewart (born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz) rattled around the stand-up comedy circuit after graduating from William & Mary in 1984 before landing a memorable role on HBO's "The Larry Sanders Show" in the early 1990s. This was followed by hosting gigs on several long-forgotten MTV and Comedy Central shows and a few better-forgotten movie roles ("Half Baked"). He landed at "The Daily Show's" desk in 1999 as Craig Kilborn's replacement.

Since then, Stewart's stature as a news source, kingmaker and sociocultural figure has grown apace, abetted in no small part by "The Daily Show's" skeptical "reporting" on the Bush administration, the news media and politics in general. The show has even spawned an academic cottage industry of scholars who probe the program's impact on society.

'A watershed moment'

It's true that the 11 p.m. broadcast of "The Daily Show" (which runs Monday through Thursday) plays to a relatively modest crowd -- an average of just 1.8 million viewers a night thus far in October. But that doesn't count four daily repeats on Comedy Central, which nearly double the program's daily audience to 3.5 million. This means Stewart has roughly the same number of viewers as "Nightline," David Letterman or Jay Leno, and a bigger audience than any show on the cable news networks except "The O'Reilly Factor" on Fox News Channel.

Add in the untold millions who see "DS" clips embedded on Facebook pages, blogs and Web sites, or read about him in the mainstream media (media types love yakking about "The Daily Show"), and you've got a cultural force that transcends mere "basic cable."

"He is mobilizing people like Glenn Beck does, but I suspect his cultural influence surpasses Beck's," says Geoffrey Baym, a media studies professor at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, who wrote one of the first scholarly studies of "The Daily Show" in 2005. "[Beck] has a narrow but very committed audience whereas Stewart resonates much wider with people who are fed up with the polemical aspects" of national affairs. "He's reaching a watershed moment."

Nor is Stewart's news entirely fake. Much has been written about "The Daily Show" as legitimate news, particularly among young viewers who've grown up watching Stewart. An often-cited study by the Pew Research Center in 2004 found that almost as many people under 30 (21 percent) relied on comedy shows such as Stewart's for information about the presidential campaign as relied on the networks' evening newscasts (23 percent).

In a follow-up study in 2006, Julia R. Fox of Indiana University found something even more startling: "The Daily Show" contained roughly the same amount of audio and visual "substance" in its political stories as the network newscasts (on the other hand, Fox noted, neither source was all that substantial).

Whether watching "The Daily Show" makes you smarter has been an emerging question among academics, who seem as much in love with "The Daily Show" as journalists. But Lauren Feldman, an assistant professor at American University, suggests in a forthcoming collection of academic research about Stewart and Colbert that Stewart's program has raised viewer awareness of science and environmental issues.

"In most cases, people are already bringing some knowledge to the show," Feldman says, echoing comments Stewart has made. "You need some background knowledge to [get the satire]. I would say that the people who are watching are broadly interested in politics but are not necessarily well-versed in its nuances."

Some research backs this up. Another survey, this one from 2007, classified 54 percent of the "Daily Show" audience as "high-knowledge" viewers, based on a current-events test. This equaled the percentage of those who were readers of major newspaper Web sites and slightly exceeded viewers of "The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer" on PBS, "The O'Reilly Factor" on Fox or NPR's regular listeners.

Stewart's political clout has been evident since at least 2003, when former senator John Edwards (D-N.C.) announced his presidential candidacy on the show. Democratic candidate John Kerry was a guest in 2004, and candidate Barack Obama made the now obligatory pilgrimage to the program's studios in New York's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood a few days before the 2008 election. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), whom Stewart calls a friend, was a frequent guest. President Bush was never a guest.

Just as he giveth a platform for politicians and presidents, Stewart can taketh away, too. Stewart's breakthrough moment may have been his 2004 appearance on the CNN show "Crossfire," in which he denounced the "partisan hackery" of the program to its flummoxed hosts, Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala. The clip quickly went viral on the Internet; when CNN canceled "Crossfire" a few weeks later, the network's new president said, "I agree wholeheartedly with Jon Stewart's overall premise."

The media challenge

The notion that the media emphasize conflict rather than offering illumination or accountability is at the heart of "The Daily Show's" daily take. Baym says the program has offered "an important new model of journalism," that abandons traditional ideas about "objectivity" or "neutrality" and instead challenges the underlying veracity of official claims and statements. A staple of the show is a clip of a politician or official saying one thing, followed by the same official saying something contradictory a few weeks or months earlier, followed by Stewart with a look of mock-horror or surprise.

"He's really creating a discussion around those clips," Feldman says. "He's promoting discourse and activism. I think he's teaching people a form of media literacy and making them more discerning and skeptical. He's not replacing what journalists do -- gathering the facts -- but he is challenging the media to think more broadly about what they're doing and how they're doing it."

Nevertheless, there are many, including Feldman, who don't view Stewart and his program as above politics or partisanship. "The Daily Show's" popularity soared as a direct result of its relentless satirical broadsides against the Bush administration. While it certainly hasn't ignored Obama's foibles and missteps, the critique seems less frequent and more subdued. One telling statistic: During Bush's two terms, only one Cabinet member, Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, appeared on the show. During President Obama's first two years, six Cabinet secretaries have been guests, plus the head of the EPA, and first lady Michelle Obama.

At the same time, much of Stewart's media criticism has focused on Fox News, the most overtly conservative of the three cable news networks.

"I won't deny his partisanship," Feldman says. "It's quite obvious to many viewers. He doesn't point out the absurdity of the left as much as the right, but he will do it. But I do think he is nonpartisan in his desire to create more civil dialogue."

Baym agrees that the program and its host are "center-left" but "it's a mistake to try to put it on a straight left-right continuum. I don't think Stewart wants to be typecast as another liberal player. That undermines him. . . . He's a progressive but his bias is toward reasonableness."

And so, a mass gathering with the stated aim of being nice. Is that a role a satirist can really play?
Paul Farhi
Washington Post

"That's real hypocrisy!" GOP win top prize with your money!

Companies that received bailout money giving generously to candidates

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) was a fierce critic of the federal bailout of General Motors and Chrysler last year, saying he could not "ask the American taxpayer to subsidize failure."

But GM doesn't seem to hold a grudge.

The political action committee formed by the company, which is now largely owned by taxpayers, cut McConnell a $5,000 campaign check in September, a small piece of the $190,000 it donated to campaigns in the past month.

Although GM suspended its contributions while it solicited the government for financial help, it is now back in the game of political giving, increasing donations from its federal PAC steadily over the past few months.

It is not alone: Companies that received federal bailout money, including some that still owe money to the government, are giving to political candidates with vigor. Among companies with PACs, the 23 that received $1 billion or more in federal money through the Troubled Assets Relief Program gave a total of $1.4 million to candidates in September, up from $466,000 the month before.

Most of those donations are going to Republican candidates, although the TARP program was approved primarily with Democratic support. President Obama expanded it to cover GM and other automakers.

Greg Martin, a GM spokesman, said that the company's PAC donations come from voluntary contributions from its employees. "We contribute to candidates who thoughtfully approach issues that are important to the auto industry and manufacturing," he said. "If you look at our giving, we have given equally to both parties' leadership."

Some of the generosity to Republicans can be explained by the expectation that the party will make huge gains in Congress. But another factor is the Democratic Party's push for financial-regulation legislation this year. The new law, which passed the Senate with the votes of three Republicans and all but one Democrat, placed new curbs on banks and introduced a regulator to vet financial products for consumers. Most Republicans, and banks, say the law creates too many new restrictions.

Scott Talbott, a lobbyist with the Financial Services Roundtable, said another factor could be the tone some Democrats used against financial firms. At one point, Obama called Wall Street executives "fat cats."

"The entire industry was painted with a broad brush, and there was dissatisfaction with that," Talbott said.

Democrats have been abandoned by individual Wall Street donors as well as corporate PACs, leaving the party without an important source of funding as it fends off aggressive Republican challengers.

The bailouts have become campaign fodder for Republicans to use against their Democratic rivals. In a television commercial, former Republican senator Dan Coats pillories his opponent in the Indiana Senate race, Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D), for supporting "the Obama-Reid-Pelosi agenda," including "the disastrous bank bailout."

Coats has received more than $30,000 for his Senate campaign from companies, including J.P. Morgan Chase and GM, that took government money. No companies on the bailout list have donated to Ellsworth. Neither campaign responded to a request for comment.

One company that used TARP funds to invest in toxic assets from other banks is getting into the political giving mode for the first time. The investment fund BlackRock created a federal PAC in March, only a few months after the company used $2 billion in government money to invest in those assets. Its newly formed PAC has cut campaign checks to federal lawmakers including Rep. Barney Frank (D.-Mass.), the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.

The two top recipients of money from companies receiving TARP funds are the top two House Republicans, Minority Leader John A. Boehner (Ohio) with $200,000 and Republican Whip Eric Cantor (Va.) with $187,000. They are followed by the ranking members of two key House committees, Spencer Bachus (Ala.) on Financial Services and Dave Camp (Mich.) on the tax-writing committee.

The Republican Party itself is getting some of the bank contributions. Seven financial firms have given the maximum $15,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee in each of the past two years, including American Express, Bank of America, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs - a total of $210,000.

A new ad by the NRSC running in Alaska shows a black-and-white photo of Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. "They're out of control - government takeovers, Wall Street bailouts," the ad says as photos stamped with red ink pile up.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has taken $93,500 from companies that received TARP funds. The committee did not accept money from companies while they owed the government, except for one $15,000 donation from Capital One.

Citigroup, one of the few top recipients that has not paid back all that it owes the government, in September gave $30,000 to Republicans including Camp and Bachus. It also cut $12,000 in checks to Democrats, including the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (Md.).

The DCCC also has found a way to use the issue leading up to the midterm elections. A DCCC ad attacks Republican Scott Rigell, a car dealer opposing Democratic Rep. Glenn Nye in Virginia, for campaigning against the bailout while accepting money from the government's "Cash for Clunkers" program.

"Hypocrisy. That's politics these days," the ad says. "Rigell rails against the bailout, but his business raked in the cash, almost a half million of our tax dollars filling Scott Rigell's pocket. Mr. Rigell, that's hypocrisy. It's wrong."

Rigell said that it was his customers that chose to participate in the "Cash for Clunkers" program, and that he felt an obligation to participate so that he would not need to lay off any of his employees.

"Glenn Nye and his Democratic allies are attacking me for a program that Glenn Nye voted for," Rigell said in a statement. "That's real hypocrisy!"