Category Archives: News

OK… next step.They are going to get me ready for surgery.

Hope this doesn’t take long…. I don’t really want to be knocked out for a long time. It’s my right brain that this tumor is on and I hope when they take it out I’ll still have mind enough to do this blog…an activity I am unusually fond of.

 

 

I guess I’ll be signing off now.  I’ll try to get back up tomorrow or Sunday.   –  Bill

 

Harold Kepnes, my friend, has died. I’m very sad.

Harold S.Kepnes, 1947 – 2012

He was a year younger than me, but we were both in the Class of ’64 at Tabor. Harold was my best friend and in the summers, when I worked on Cape Cod at the Candle Factory doing tours, Harold, who lived close by in Hyannis, had the home I hung out in.

Harry and Billy… that was how everyone knew us… wandered the Cape, went to drive-in movies, chased girls and hung out at his family’s private chunk of Craigville Beach. Even when I went off to college in Illinois and Harold went off, too, we would get back together in the summer.

Harold was the kind of friend you didn’t have to see in years and yet nothing changed. You don’t get many like that.

He spent the last couple of years fighting pancreatic cancer… in and out o9f hospitals and with the caring support of his wife, Monica, and his daughter, Caroline, who came in from California to be with her Dad. Caroline, a television writer of talent, has been keeping everyone informed about Harold and his condition.

Now he has died at age 65 and I shall miss him. What awful news to get from Monica this morning as I packed for Georgetown Hospital.

Artist Will Barnet dies at 101…

Will Barnet, a titan of the visual art world, died at his home in New York on Tuesday. He was 101.

His family said the cause of death was old age. “He died peacefully in his home,” said Phil Alexandre of New York’s Alexandre Gallery, which represented Barnet.

Barnet, an art educator and a lifelong champion of the arts, inspired generations of artists and lived long enough to enjoy many honors that most artists receive only posthumously. In 2011, President Obama awarded him the National Medal of Arts, the highest honor for an individual artist in the United States.

This year, France recognized him with the insignia of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters.

Barnet and his wife, Elena, lived in a duplex at the National Arts Club on Gramercy Park in Manhattan. They were without power for a few days because of Superstorm Sandy, and had to move to a warmer apartment.

“Woman Reading” by Will Barnet

Barnet got “a touch of pneumonia” during the power outage, Alexandre said, but had been feeling better in recent days.

His daughter, Ona, said her father visited many art galleries on Saturday, “doing what he loved the most.”

Hard of hearing and unable to walk, Barnet never allowed his physical ailments to limit his love of art, said a longtime friend, Ira Goldberg, executive director of the Arts Students League of New York, where Barnet studied and taught.

He was as committed to his work at 101 as he was when he was a young man making his way in New York, Goldberg said.

Barnett was probably best known for paintings and prints of women with their cats.

[thanks to the Portland (Maine) Press Herald]

 

Starting the day in Hell…

Last night, on our way home from the MRI, we stopped at my daughter Penny’s to pick up our dogs where they were staying all day. Getting out of Cassandra‘s car and walking toward her house, I tripped over the base of my grandsons’ basketball net… painted black and invisible at night… and fell hard on the driveway and impacted my already weakened left side.

Getting up off the ground required really focused assistance from Elly and the girls who brought out a dining room chair for me to pull myself up using my right arm. This took about fifteen minutes and made my girls worry a lot.

While I don’t seem to have broken any bones, nor did I open any of the breaks I had in August/September, but my right arm hurts too much when I try to lift it that I’m really worried about what they are going to try to do at today’s exam in Hagerstown.

I spent the night switching between ice packs and a heating pad on my left shoulder and I have a little more movement, but not much, this morning. Elly made me a new ice pack for the morning.

I hope this doesn’t have the effect of cancelling Friday’s surgery on my head.

Quote of the Day – The man with the Romney Tattoo

Remember Eric Hartsburg?  He was paid $15,000 to get a five inch Romney campaign tattoo on his face. Hartsburg did it as an auction. His only requirement for bidding on the ‘ad space’ was that it could not be racist or offensive.

 

“I’m the guy who has egg all over his face, but instead of egg, it’s a big Romney/Ryan tattoo. It’s there for life.
“I’m hoping this opens some other doors in the entertainment business.”

Hmmm. Opening doors in the entertainment business? I was trying to think of a situation where that would be possible, outside of a film about Romney’s loss… not something I see much of a market for. Perhaps the logo could be sold to an auto manufacturer (Rolls Royce?) and Hartsman could become a car dealer’s mascot.

How much do you want to bet that Hartsman will be whining about the tattoo to his grandchildren.

 

Favorite Television Shows?

Since I’ve been forced to stay pretty still most of the day I have been watching a lot of television (and thanks to Infinity I can go back and see many shows I’ve missed over the months) and have developed a list of shows I don’t want to miss. Act6ually, I’d repeat watching many of them several times (I often fall asleep before the end due to my condition and I want to find out what happened.)

Yesterday my daughter Cassandra and I discovered we liked a lot of the same shows. Oh, there were differences, but so many of the major ones were on both of our lists that I was sure I had had a child who was just like me.

I know you probably have favorite shows, too. Here is my top seven:

  1. The Mentalist – I don’t know what it is about this one, but I am totally hooked on it. It’s Cassandra’s number 1 show as well.
  2. “Corky” Corcoran, my favorite “Copper” Cop

    Copper – Have you seen this one on BBC America? It’s the story of NYC cops in the 1860s during the late Civil War era and the conflict between the Irish slums of Five Points and the rich folk on 5th Avenue… not to mention the Confederate conspiracy to burn down New York with an explosive called “Greek Fire.” This one has finished it’s 10 shows of the season and is now running repeats. I guess the new season starts in January.

  3. Suits – New Episodes start in January, but you can see all the older one’s on USA Network‘s web site.
  4. White Collar – waiting for January for this one to come back for another season… really miss it.
  5. Covert Affairs – the current season is just ending, but I LOVE this little CIA girl and the stuff she gets into.
  6. Big Bang Theory – Got to have my favorite comedy in there.
  7. Burn Notice – which just came back for a seventh season last week. Watching Mike, Sam and the folks at work is sooo exciting.

I like “Vegas” on CBS, but the rumor is running around that it will be cancelled for low ratings. Too bad.

So, what are yours? Do you have the same esoteric crime and conspiracy lust that I do? If they had more shows like PBS’ Broadway Musicals (from 2004) which I have been watching the re-runs from, I’d be watching that stuff more.

I get most of my news from MSNBC and PBS. What’s life without starting the day with “Morning Joe?” or Sundays with CBS “Sunday Morning?”

 

So where are we with General Petraeus?

What on earth is happening when an American who has been trusted as much as General Petraeus has his little love affair exposed (which doesn’t seem to have effected his CIA leadership at all) and feels the need to resign?

This article is from Truthdig… I’m putting it all here:

How the David Petraeus-Paula Broadwell Affair Was Uncovered

 

AP/Cliff Owen
Former CIA Director David Petraeus.

Modern technology apparently cost ex-CIA Director David Petraeus his job. The retired general’s affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell was discovered by the FBI while it was investigating harassing emails she sent to Jill Kelley, a 37-year-old woman who serves as an unpaid social liaison to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla. A former associate of Petraeus says he and Kelley are just friends.

After news of the FBI investigation that uncovered the affair, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper stepped in and asked Petraeus to resign.

The Associated Press:

Clapper was told by the Justice Department of the Petraeus investigation at about 5 p.m. on Election Day, and then called Petraeus and urged him to resign, according to a senior U.S. intelligence official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly.

…Concerned that the emails he exchanged with Broadwell raised the possibility of a security breach, the FBI brought the matter up with Petraeus directly, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to publicly discuss the investigation.

Petraeus decided to quit, though he was breaking no laws by having an affair, officials said.

Read more

In the wake of Petraeus’ resignation, members of Congress are asking for more information about the investigation, including why they weren’t alerted sooner and whether the probe had any impact on national security.

Now here are my thoughts. Given the world situation, why in hell are we letting a man with this amount of military and foreign policy and management experience leave this job over a little penis stimulation? You can’t tell me that the Congressfolk who would sit over his situation if he hadn’t resigned haven’t been involved in the same kind of stuff.

If I were Obama, I would have, at least temporarily, refused Petraeus’ resignation and let him go ahead with his testimony about Libya (which he should do anyway, whether he has resigned or not.)

If we really let him go we are more stupid than I already think.

 

So the world’s culture changes… not necessarily for the better…

Is our view of social interaction unusually influenced by television crime drama? You Betcha!

For instance:

Dorothy, Dorothy! And what are you doing with your attack dog Toto?

Hey, did you see that they auctioned off the gingham dress that Judy Garland wore in the movie for $480,000.00?

It’s Veterans Day…

I’ll be clear, here. I am not a veteran of our armed forces. When my eligibility would have occurred I got a 1 Y on my physical and was never allowed in (I was also married with a child and in college at the time.)

What I do remember every Veterans Day, however, is my Uncle Butch (Marine Sgt. Irving B. Tchakirides, my father’s younger brother), who died on his third tour of duty in Viet Nam… a victim of American fire as it happens. Many times I have gone to DC to see his name on the Viet Nam Wall and to remember how much I liked him, along with my other uncles, as a child.

So I wish a Best Veterans Day to the memory of my Uncle Butch and hope that someday we won’t have to think about losing our young men in wars we never should have been in.

 

Cartoon(s) of the Week – It’s all over. Where are we?

Kevin Siers in The Charlotte Observer:

Perhaps we can start on getting religion out of politics. What are we, the Taliban?

- and -

Clay Bennett in the Chattanooga Times Free Press:

At least we know now that America is more than old white men…

- and -

Joel Pett in The Lexington Herald-Leader:

Of course, some Republicans will probably continue their uncooperativeness. It will kill them later.

- and -

Mike Luckovich in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Of course, this may make at least one news organization reevaluate it’s strategy…

- and -

Adam Zyglis in the Buffalo News:

And now forward into the second term (thanks, in part, to General Motors.)
 

 

 

 

 

Another good reason not to trust rich Republicans…

This was on NBC:

“From the moment Mitt Romney stepped off stage Tuesday night, having just delivered a brief concession speech he wrote only that evening, the massive infrastructure surrounding his campaign quickly began to disassemble itself.

Aides taking cabs home late that night got rude awakenings when they found the credit cards linked to the campaign no longer worked.”

- NBC’s Garrett Haake

No trickle up…guess that falls in line with trickle down. Obama spent most of the night praising and supporting his campaign workers.

 

Hey Radio Fans… I’ll be on from 10:30 to Noon today…

This will probably be the last time in the next two weeks that I can be on the air, given my forthcoming hospital visit next week. So… I’ll be thrilled to get your call-ins on “Talk To Me” (304-876-5369).b You can talk about anything you want to, as usual, or make an esoteric music request that you challenge me to find in a few minutes… it’s always fun for me.

If you are not in the 50 mile radius of WSHC at 89.7 FM, Shepherdstown WV, then you can go to 897wshc.org/listen-live. There are folks all over the country who listen, now (and a few friends in other countries) and I look forward to playing for everyone.

So, tune in this morning to “Talk To Me”. BTW, my daughter, Cassandra (from Connecticut) is my guest this morning. You can talk to her, too.

- Bill

 

 

A quote for the week – I can hardly believe someone would say this…

This is a quote that was published today by Buck Banks in Pensito Review. It was headed “Now This Guy Is A Sore Loser!”

Eric Dondero

“All family and friends, even close family and friends, who I know to be Democrats are hereby dead to me. I vow never to speak to them again for the rest of my life, or have any communications with them. They are in short, the enemies of liberty. They deserve nothing less than hatred and utter contempt…. I strongly urge all other libertarians to do the same. Are you married to someone who voted for Obama, have a girlfriend who voted ‘O’. Divorce them. Break up with them without haste. Vow not to attend family functions, Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas for example, if there will be any family members in attendance who are Democrats.”

— Former Ron Paul aide Eric Dondero, asserting that the only recourse to President Obama’s re-election is “outright revolt” and therefore is launching a “personal boycott” of Democrats.

Eric Dondero blogs at LibertarianRepublican.net.

I am impressed with how much difference can be read into the American psyche. What is wrong with these people? What good is a country where everyone believes the exact same things? How woud progress ever happen? Who would have invented the goddam lightbulb?

 

The Final Results of the Election…

If you haven’t seen where everything finally ended up after Florida was called (which took an awfully long time and right up to the very end the GOP said Romney had it… but he didn’t), then here it is:

This, to me, is a sure sign that Obama has a mandate to finish his agenda. To win by 126 electoral votes is not insignificant… it is a real rollover.

Now we will listen to Boehner claim that he is ready to cooperate, but will keep the House just a opposed to increasing taxes on the very rich and solving the rest of the economic problems. Will the House Republicans finally support Obama’s goal to increase jobs? Looks like they are going to stay just as opposed. Didn’t they learn anything from the election?

Mitch McConnell will probably keep the Republicans in the Senate from letting things go through, although they are still in the minority. McConnell is up for reelection in Kentucky in 2014, so maybe he will cooperate a little bit just to show that he’s not a schmuck. We’ll wait and see.

 

Looks like I’m on a revised schedule and a doctor change for brain surgery…

My wife, daughter and my son (who just came in from Wisconsin to see me) have just returned from a long morning and early afternoon in Georgetown (northern DC) where we have been at the hospital and physicians‘ center at the University.

It now seems that this is where everything will take place with the actual surgery one week from today. Tuesday we’ll have to go down again for more testing.

My new doctor comes with a very fine reputation and many years of experience. The hospital is one of the best rated in the country (something the Hagerstown hospital was far from) and it looks like they know what to do. The results of the surgery will take out part of the tumor, discover what kind it is and whether it needs chemotherapy, radiation or both. Then I will have an idea of how much living I will be able to expect… realizing that there is no 100% cure here.

Me and my brain. So this is what it looks like!

I now have much more need to research the idea of a brain tumor and how it will continue to effect my life. When you are 66 and facing something major like this in your head, it is also concerning how much life there will continue to be to effect.

I can, however, do my radio show tomorrow morning on WSHC, Shepherdstown. If you aren’t in our 50 mile radius for 89.7 FM, go HERE and listen live on line. Tomorrow I’ll be on from 10:30 to 12:00 ET and I look forward to calls and requests (and I think my daughter Cassandra is going to do the show with me.)

Hope you all had a better day than I did.       – Bill

(thanks to my daughter, Cassandra Corrigan, for the photo.)

My congratulations to Stephen Skinner…My best wishes to Elliot Simon

The election finished in West Virginia with results I predicted on the air.

So we have a wonderful guy going to the State House of Delegates representing us here in Jefferson County.

Although I consider myself glad to know both Skinner and his opponent, libertarian Republican Elliot Simon, who does the radio programCommon Sense” on Saturday Mornings just before my show, “Talk To Me”, on WSHC radio in Shepherdstown, I must say it is Stephen’s politics that I agree with. It does not surprise me that he won.

I’ll be glad to have Elliot’s full time attention back on our Saturday Morning broadcasts. I’m sure he disagrees with me, but I hope we will still cordially greet each other between shows.

 

A day of celebration underscored by personal madness…

AT 4:30 this morning when I posted Obama‘s win I had had 2 1/2 hours of sleep and needed to be up by five to drive to Hagerstown for the first of five different scheduled lab visits, Doctor conferences, and tests based on the notion that I’d be in surgery with my little brain on Friday.

Then, in the middle of all this, as my wife and I went from office to office (I had fasted for close to 11 hours because of one of the tests… so tired AND hungry) trying to get our neurosurgeon on the telephone to find out the results of yesterday’s testing, we were told the surgery would be moved to Monday from Friday!

Well, you’ve never heard anyone yell as loudly into a cell phone as Elly did to one of the front desk ladies at the Doctors‘ office who informed us of this unannounced time change. You have to understand, she takes time off from her work at the College to take me to these appointments and she manages our schedules and expenses, and she expects that professionals follow professional guidelines and maintain their schedules. They don’t.

There is a chance that they may not be able to do the surgery Monday, either, or that my wife will insist that we find another doctor (my daughters, I think, agree with that, too… I’m to worn out and dizzy to even think about it now. I’ll do what they say.)

So, if there is no surgery Friday, we will probably be headed to Georgetown ( 2 hours away) to interview another neurological practice.  If that does happen, I’ll probably be able to do my Saturday morning radio show on WSHC.

There is Joy In Mudville, though… Mighty Mitty has struck out. If you heard that snivelling concession speech he made (gracefulness is not a Republican skill) at 1:30 in the morning, then you have an idea of what kind of president he would have made.

Now we still have the House of Representatives with a big margin for the Repubs and John Boehner  which will let them trample the legislation we need for the economy, for single payer healthcare, for rebuilding our country and for getting out of all this war. I’m afraid it will be a difficult 4 years. Our support for the president will help get things done.

It will be one of the functions of this blog as long as I can keep it going.

- Bill

 

 

Obama Wins! Romney Concedes! The world can go on!

Congratulations Mr. President!

Here are Nate Silver’s totals as of 4:30 AM in the NY Times:

 

It is a win that is smaller than 2008’s but larger than many expected!

Getting this election over with is becoming an evening of sheer misery…

It’s not enough that I am going in for tests before my Friday brain surgery at 6:30 AM tomorrow and go through four different doctors and three tests by 2:30 PM…just getting my mind in the mood for that doesn’t let me bond with the TV pundits who are arguing out the campaign results they can’t really call.

Thinking about how miserable it would be if Romney won, but that is not nearly as bad as thinking about how graceless in their concessions the losers will be if Obama and the Democratic Congressional candidates win. Nobody seems to really be trying to tie the country together and make us the UNITED states that we have to become.

BTW, I want to really think the hundreds of you who have wished me well by e-mail, in Facebook, and those of you who have commented on this blog.  I never really knew how many of you visit the LobsterScope and it’s daily changing graphic background and what my daughter calls the rantings of an old man. I hope I’ll be back at full speed next week some time, but it will be hard to keep it up now through the weekend. Don’t be surprised if a day has no or only one post… and don’t plan on anything Friday or Saturday.

Those of you who listen to me on the radio at WSHC 89.7 Shepherdstown, either locally or on the worldwide live feed at http://897wshc.org , won’t hear me this weekend. I got friends and fellows to cover my time on the air and I thank all of them.

If you are in a state that has late polls open and you haven’t voted yet, get out there and do it. People have died for your right to vote!

Bye now… Bill.

Live Election Returns Map

The LA Times is running a live Election Returns Map which will be ongoing until the voting is over nationwide.

To keep track of it, Bookmark this page:

http://graphics.latimes.com/2012-election-results-national-map/

It will be a long while before a lot is up there (right now there is only a teeny bit of New Hampshire), but this will be a helpful track keeper.

 

It’s the beginning of the most important day of the year…

Waking up to Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire:

Nate Silver now projects President Obama’s margin of victory to be two or three percentage points in the popular vote, approximating the margin that George W. Bush achieved in defeating John Kerry in 2004.

In addition, he gives Obama a 91.6% chance to win the necessary 270 electoral votes for re-election.

John Avlon: “The final polls are out and behind the national horserace is a fascinating dynamic — Mitt Romney is narrowly winning independent voters while President Obama is winning centrist voters by a nearly 20-point margin.”

“This is significant because in past elections independents and centrist voters have been largely synonymous-overlapping cohorts, reflecting the belief of many independents that the two parties are too polarized and disproportionately dominated by their respective special interests. But what I think we’re seeing this year is the extended impact of the tea party – a growth in the number of independent conservatives that has moved the overall independent voting block slightly to the right. In turn, centrist voters are more likely to vote for Obama precisely because of the polarizing impact of the tea party and the intransigence of many conservative congressmen when it came to working in a good faith spirit of principled compromise with the Obama administration.”

OK… I’m off for my morning appointments (gee…how do people get up this early?).  – Bill

 

So how is Romney’s plan to send Foodstamps to the states going to effect his voter base?

That is a good question, after looking at this article in the Bloomberg News. Here’s a clip:

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said in May that he’d written off votes from 47 percent of Americans who are collecting government aid. Turns out many of them are part of his political base.

Seventy percent of counties with the fastest-growth in food-stamp aid during the last four years voted for the Republican presidential candidate in 2008, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data compiled by Bloomberg. They include Republican strongholds like King County, Texas, which in 2008 backed Republican John McCain by 92.6 percent, his largest share in the nation; and fast-growing Douglas County, Colorado.That means Romney is counting on votes from areas where lower-income people have become more reliant on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as food stamps.

Let’s see how it really fits his base support. Get the word out!

Tomorrow is Election Day… so where do the swing state polls stand today?

This will probably be the last time I put these up. Now it’s your turn. Make sure to get out and vote and hopefully our man will win.

Here are the latest polls from the battleground states:

Florida: Romney 52%, Obama 47% (InsiderAdvantage)

Florida: Obama 50%, Romney 49% (Public Policy Polling)

Florida: Romney 50%, Obama 48% (Pulse Opinion Research)

North Carolina: Obama 49%, Romney 49% (Public Policy Polling)

Ohio: Obama 48%, Romney 46% (Pulse Opinion Research)

Pennsylvania: Obama 49%, Romney 46% (Pulse Opinion Research)

Virginia: Obama 48%, Romney 47% (NBC/WSJ/Marist)

Virginia: Obama 49%, Romney 48% (Pulse Opinion Research)

Wisconsin: Obama 49%, Romney 48% (Pulse Opinion Research)

Looks like Florida is the one to keep an eye on. While Romney leads in 2 out of three polls, this is a REAL swing state that could go either way. I’m not sure the tie in North Carolina really goes to Obama. Nate seems to think it will.

This morning’s Nate Silver‘s poll roundup in Five Thirty Eight is strongly in favor of Obama:

Nate Silver is giving the Election to Obama.

 

Here are the Real Clear Politics Polls for today:

 

Mitt Romney Supports Barack Obama!

So get out and vote. Mitt gives us a good reason:

How do the candidates stand on America’s energy future? Here’s a radio piece from NCR

Energy policy, defining how we use energy to power our economy and our lives, is among the most pressing issues for the next four years. In this special edition of BURN, stories about the power of one: how, in this election season, a single person, place, policy or idea can — with a boost from science — affect the nation’s search for greater energy independence.

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