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February 20th, 2010
08:42 AM ET

Levs' links

Links to some of the latest things I'm showing you on the air:
The CNN Stimulus Project – where the $862 billion is going. To weigh in with your thoughts, click comments here or scroll down to our previous post on the Stimulus turning 1 year old.
24 ways to make some extra money – we've been taking a look at this story from the folks at
Amazing seatbelt PSA – here's the video from the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership that has got people talking all over the world.
Viral Video Rewind – you'll find the full list of this week's viral videos here .
Hip-hop Orchestra – the coming together of two musical worlds – here's the video.
Send your thoughts, responses, and links under "comments."

Filed under: CNN Newsroom • Josh Levs
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Josh when the seat belt law first came out you proubly was a little kid with two front teeth missing and choclate cake all over your face and cloths no body wanted to be told to wear there seat belts and the people had to be forced to buckle up but now its common practice and it turns out that at least one time the government was right seat belts are a good thing but that commercial kinda sucks .

    February 20, 2010 at 8:54 am |
  2. Nelson

    I must say I was impressed by the great seat-belt video, Josh; not sure if you heard about the fatal vehicle accident in Wilcox County (Cordale) GA, this week. Mother and three kids riding in a vehicle without seat-belts, resulting in 5 lives lost.
    Please continue the education on mandatory seat-belt use, hopefully people heed and save their lives.

    February 20, 2010 at 10:56 am |
  3. Jay Tift

    It would be interesting to question the impact of the stimulus on state budgets. What would the layoff figures of state funded employees be by state and total. I have not heard this figure and yet ecery state rec money for their budgets. Lets tell the whole story

    February 20, 2010 at 11:42 am |
  4. douglas farner

    Change comes slow and people expect immediate quick fixs. A year is to soon to expect or see a lot of change. It take's time to set things up and get is working slowly lets take a look after year 2, then people will see more change......People need to wake up...and try to use some common sence...!!!!!

    February 20, 2010 at 11:43 am |
  5. Betty

    Single mom, three kids in college. In the summer of '08, I told my son I had a feeling that things we took for granted would become harder and harder to get. We were fine at the time, but we would need to really use our resources wisely and be prepared to sacrifice. I couldn't explain why I felt that way. Four months later, federal meltdown - Bush's administration had to own it. A real "I told you so" moment. Do I feel the stimulus? Yes! My tax withholding changed shortly into '09, improving my cash flow. My twins who are seniors now are looking at job opportunities that will help forgive their federally-funded student financing. The ARRA funded the interstate improvements in my county, giving jobs to local workers. The improvement is amazing and has cut 20 minuts off my commute time. I'm about to purchase new Energy Star appliances that I badly need and will enjoy an instant rebate funded by federal stimulus dollars. THERE ARE CHANGES AND OPPORTUNITIES for people who are willing to look and take responsibility for their piece of the solution. The sense of entitlement that I see in people who are waiting for handouts and answers without looking or earning is disappointing and makes me wonder why our memories are so short. Don't look for handouts, do your part.

    February 20, 2010 at 11:48 am |
  6. Laura

    I'm 30, have a Masters in Public Health, and found myself unemployed last September. Thanks to the Stimulus, I immediately found a job, doing Project Managment for a local Federally Qualified Health Center, implementing an Electronic Health Record (also purchased with stimulus dollars). Those of us working in health care, particurally those serving the uninsured and underinsured, see the positive effect of the Stimulus everyday, as Stimulus dollars are helping to move the healthcare system towards the 21st century, through the facilitated purchase of health information technology. As this type of investment is happening across the country, every day Americans will begin to recognize a positive transformation in the care they recieve, including improved quality and less duplication of services, leading to reduced spending. In light of this, I would argue that the economic stimulus has been extremely positive for myself, my organization, my community and my industry, spurring change that might have taken decades, not months, through federal incentives.

    February 20, 2010 at 11:49 am |
  7. Kitty Johnson

    Hi Josh,

    Regarding the stimulus plan and whether it's doing any good... weren't American's wondering a year ago whether another major Depression was inevitable? That's what I was hearing. I was hearing a whole lot about how to avoid panic. The topic on everyone's lips was whether to cash out of of all investments immediately. Journalists were speculating about the possibility of various types of shortages. Golly, we have short memories. We made it through Christmas. We have hiring freezes in education but lay offs have been minimal so our kids still have teachers. Families will be helped by generous tax allowances for education and the costs associated with providing for children. The price of gasoline is not causing pump side apoplexy. I totally support President Obama's efforts and am grateful that I'm not actually homeless at this point.

    February 20, 2010 at 11:55 am |
  8. Susan

    A lot of people are complaining that they haven't benefited from the stimulus. Almost everyone saw a tax cut. There were 25 tax cuts included in the stimulus. Twenty-seven billion dollars went for unemployment insurance. Benefits were extended for the longest time ever. Money went to shore up other federal programs like food stamps and Medicaid. Last year tax receipt were down by 17%, the largest drop in 70 years. The media is doing a poor job getting out where the money was mostly spent. They sensationalize some minor ridiculous project. Also many people think that the entire stimulus was spent in one year. They don't know that the spending continues until 2019. I fault the media for their poor reporting which only adds to people's anger and confusion.

    February 20, 2010 at 11:57 am |
  9. Jerry Glasscock

    Why doesn't main stream media cover the terrorist attack in TX like they covered the attempted terrorist attack in Detroit.

    How can someone flying a plane into a IRS building be seen as anything different than twin towers?

    Shame on CNN for broadcasting a specific agenda.

    February 20, 2010 at 11:57 am |
  10. Josh Levs

    Nakia – thank you! I just fixed it! – Josh Levs

    February 20, 2010 at 12:45 pm |
  11. lee hendrix

    t commentator fredricka whitefield program on personal finance with karen lee, talking about living on our income amd not borrowing and saving it would be good for her that is to karen to take her wisdom to congress about living on what you have or cutting back to be in their budget as we in u.s.a are having to do. i believe she ought to run for a senator in congress that would be a great deal for all.
    thanks for the programs to inform hope those in controll pay atenison of those there
    lee hendrix

    February 20, 2010 at 8:05 pm |
  12. Shirley Rodrigues

    Nice commercial – everyone likes this...real beauty. Uhhhggggg – Phew – let's face it. If you crash without a seat belt, you might be lucky enough that a bag will pop out of the steering wheel post and cushion you – you'd still be black and blue, maybe a couple of black eyes, etc. and MAYBE you'd survive the crash.

    What people need to see is what REALLY HAPPENS in a crash without seat belts. A clip from some automaker's crash test with dummies getting the steering wheel jammed into their lungs as their necks and heads are flung forward into the windshield and then flung back into their seats (sometimes their heads and necks don't make it back through the broken glass because their heads and necks are STUCK in the windshield).

    I saw a clip like that years ago. I became very conscious about speeding, wear my seatbelt religiously, and hope the other guy in the other car is aware of the same risks we take when we are driving.

    Forget the flowery commercials about seatbelts. Just know when you don't wear them, you are thumbing your nose at death, betting that "nothing is going to happen to me". You might get lucky, and then you may not be so lucky to survive a crash. One thing, though – you're either going to have one miserable headache going through the windshield, suffer whiplash or have a bad back for the rest of your life, or maybe crushed legs (maybe you'll be crippled), OR YOU MAY BE DEAD (AS IN DEAD AS A DOORNAIL, BOUGHT THE FARM, LEFT THE PLANET, ETC.)

    iT'S YOUR CHOICE! Do you want to live, or do you want to die?

    February 21, 2010 at 10:40 am |
  13. Gerry

    "Embrace Life" (which I'd never heard of until this article) has nothing on "Epic Beard Man"

    February 21, 2010 at 12:21 pm |
  14. Aja

    I thought that video was awesome! Save a life!My car has a bell that rings and rings. If the car is in motion, it won't stop ringing untilt eh driver buckles the seatbelt. But my husband's car deosn't and I always have to tell my husband to buckle up. I put myself in the family's position- if I could, I would reach out and strap him down for safety. Instead, I only hope he remembers to do the right thing on his own so that in case of an accident I can know he's safe.

    February 21, 2010 at 1:29 pm |
  15. Bill

    Compelling seat belt video.

    Seatbelts I get. Please ask the director to make a similarly compelling video for those of us that smoke and/or eat too much.

    February 21, 2010 at 2:33 pm |
  16. GP

    Hey Josh,

    Regarding the seatbelt video. I still don't understand why people don't wear their seatbelt in this day or age. Is it a comfort issue?

    Beautiful video btw.

    February 21, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  17. hal9thou

    I like the glitter a LOT!!!

    February 21, 2010 at 9:24 pm |
  18. Robert

    The guy was calling the cops on the cops who were using excessive force. The cops trumped up that one. In Texas you are allowed to resist if the force used is excessive. It's in the Texas Penal Code [near the end]. Prosecutors still file bogus charges even if the officer intentionally knocks the "suspect" down or off balance and calls it resisting arrest and assaulting a peace officer.

    February 22, 2010 at 9:16 am |
  19. eugenio macias

    Josh, You are correct. My comments need moderation. Bear with me. After many years, predating the birth of many TV jocks, of being kind, gentle and mild, it is difficult not to vent frustration.
    The following are exerts from my not yet titled forthcoming April 2010 ebook:
    "America is a Capitalist, Democracy, Nationalist, Welfarist, Socialist, Dictatorship and Tyrant Nation, with one aspect of Communistic Ideology."
    "There are those who call it a communistic ideology when we increase taxes on the rich to help the poor, low income, middle income and the nation. These same people will not admit that through a system of::: greed, excessive procduct pricing, high mark ups, high loan interst rates, excessive fees, penalties, corporate welfare, low interest rates on all types of personal savings, etc., the real communistic distribution of income is from the commoner to the wealthy."
    "The stimulus program and bailout of "Big Business" saved the wealth and enriched the wealthiest 10,000,000 Americans and millions of foreign investors, but did little for the remaining 320,000,000 Americans."
    "The projected $20 trillion deficit (debt) is a scam to enrich the wealthy and foreign investors, do little for the struggling American people, bury us in debt, while Destroying America."
    "Or do we yield to a rampant government and entrenched politicians whose vision of America is a hallucination."
    "HOW DARE Congress tell us that our system is the best in the world when etc. etc. etc."
    Anymore and I will give my book away. The rest of my book is not moderate in expression. Writing is how I vent my frustration. Thanks for listening. Eugenio

    February 22, 2010 at 9:18 am |
  20. Kate Forgach

    Stunning video. Maybe I'm a soft touch but it brought tears to my eyes and delivered its message.

    February 22, 2010 at 12:22 pm |
  21. Sh'Vaun

    Great seat belt video, really gets the message across. Now if only the government got it. We are forced to wear our seat belts but our children aren't. They will pull you over and give you a ticket because you aren't wearing a seatbelt but there are none on our school buses? Why? The answer: Money! Just like the law is there because they want your money and they want to control you. It has nothing to do with our safety. If that was true then our government would do whatever it took to seatbelt our children on buses.

    February 26, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
  22. Warren Merriman


    Here's something you may find interesting.

    I had a Washington Mutual checking account, with about $50, that I never used. It just sat around for several years. No big deal.

    When Chase entered the picture, I was asked to jump through several little hoops to establish that I was aware of the account and still wanted my money, which I did.

    Suddenly, I noticed that Chase was charging a $12 monthly inactivity fee. As I never payed much attention to this account, they got two fee payments before I noticed.

    I immediately closed the account. When Chase asked why I wanted to close the account, I said, "Because you're stealing my money."

    In my opinion an 'honest' banker would have sent me a notice, with big red bold print that said, "Notice, account will incur $12 inactivity fee commencing on said date. Please make deposit to avoid fee, or close account."

    I wonder if my situation regarding the Chase takeover of former Washington Mutual accounts is unusual, or did they make off with a tidy little sum from these sudden 'inactivity fees'?

    Just wondering . . .

    February 27, 2010 at 5:24 pm |