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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?”

 

I might have limited posting for a while…

Due to a medical emergency (the discovery of a potential brain tumor… aint that a kick in the head?) I’m going to be going in for several days of testing, etc., but I’ll try to keep up with you folks. I want you to know how much I appreciate the readers of Under The LobsterScope, and your e-mail to me is always welcome, as well as your likes and comments.

DON’T FORGET TO VOTE THIS MORNING IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY.

I don’t want to wake up in a hospital and find that Mitt the Twit is president.

English: Nate Silver in Washington, D.C.

 Nate Silver

I’m glad that Nate Silver in the NY Times, 538 column, is still got his usually very accurate poll predictions on Obama carrying most of the swing states… and his prediction that our president will be re-elected.

Your e-mail is always appreciated… Bill.

The New Romney Health Plan for the Poor…

 

I watched’ “60 Minutes” last night and heard Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney reveal his new plan for the millions of Americans who don’t have any health care coverage: Go to the emergency room.

“Well, we do provide care for people who don’t have insurance. If someone has a heart attack, they don’t sit in their apartment and die. We pick them up in an ambulance, and take them to the hospital, and give them care. And different states have different ways of providing for that care.”

- The 2012 Mittster

As just about anyone will tell you, this is a publicly more expensive program and must less effective than insured quality care on an ongoing basis.

This is the same man who implemented the universal health care law in Massachusetts (what we tend to call Romneycare) while he was the governor. He also reiterated the need for universal coverage back in 2010 during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“Look, it doesn’t make a lot of sense for us to have millions and millions of people who have no health insurance and yet who can go to the emergency room and get entirely free care for which they have no responsibility, particularly if they are people who have sufficient means to pay their own way.” 

- The 2010 Mittster

Does this guy ever stick to his opinions? Are any of his thoughts really his own?

I doubt it.

 

Tom Brokaw rushed to hospital in Charlotte this morning…

 

The former Nightly News anchor was reportedly transported to a hospital after an appearance on MSNBC‘s Morning Joe. Brokaw felt “light-headed” and taking great caution, he was removed to the hospital for evaluation.

Somewhat later, a tweet came from Brokaw in the hospital laying the blame on a sleeping pill:

“All is well Early AM I mistakenly took a half dose of Ambien and made less sense than usual. Made a better comeback than Giants…”

Brokaw, 72, has been contributing to a number of NBC and MSNBC discussion panels on both the Republican and Democratic conventions. He should be back at it soon.

 

 

 

Is there really a liberal media bias? The stats don’t think so…

 

We’re always hearing the conservative right complain about the “liberal media bias.” The truth of the matter is, however, that it doesn’t seem to exist (maybe with the exception ow MSNBC.)

Take a look:

It sure looks like the conservatives have it pretty fine…not to mention the fact that they also seem to be getting more coverage.

So don’t let the complaints of the right fool you. They know where their advantage lies.

 

Quote of the Day – Romney knows how people feel about him…

 

This from a Politico interview with Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen:

“I know there are some people who do a very good job acting and pretend they’re something they’re not. … You get what you see. I am who I am. I don’t think everybody likes me.”

- Mitt Romney

Well, at least he knows.

Thanks to Dogs Against Romney

 

How do we deal with American illiteracy?

Perhaps you are disturbed, as I am, that there are large numbers of Americans appearing in this political season who cannot interpret either the needs of the nation or the words of various experts in how to fill those needs. It is very apparent in the repetition by average Americans of things they hear from sources like Fox News, or even CNN and MSNBC, without evaluating whether they are true.

This has a lot to do with literacy, defined by ProLiteracy.org as “the ability to read, write, compute, and use technology at a level that enables an individual to reach his or her full potential as a parent, employee, and community member.” The statistics?

  • 63 million adults — 29 percent of the country’s adult population —over age 16 don’t read well enough to understand a newspaper story written at the eighth grade level.
  • An additional 30 million 14 percent of the country’s adult population — can only read at a fifth grade level or lower.
  • Forty-three percent of adults with the lowest literacy rates in the United States live in poverty.
  • The United States ranks fifth on adult literacy skills when compared to other industrialized nations.
  • In the U.S., 63 million adults — 29 percent of the country’s adult population —over age 16 don’t read well enough to understand a newspaper story written at the eighth grade level.
  • An additional 30 million 14 percent of the country’s adult population — can only read at a fifth grade level or lower.
  • Forty-three percent of adults with the lowest literacy rates in the United States live in poverty.
  • The United States ranks fifth on adult literacy skills when compared to other industrialized nations.
  • Adult low literacy can be connected to almost every socio-economic issue in the United States.
  • Low health literacy costs between $106 billion and $236 billion each year in the U.S.
  • Seventy-seven million Americans have only a 2-in-3 chance of correctly reading an over-the-counter drug label or understanding their child’s vaccination chart.
  • Low literacy’s effects cost the U.S. $225 billion or more each year in non-productivity in the workforce, crime, and loss of tax revenue due to unemployment.

Got the idea? How do you think the result of these statistics show up during the election season? Take a look:

This is not something that can be corrected in the short term… mores the pity. It requires long-term support of education and the increased employment of teachers. It mandates aiming the majority of our youth to college education as opposed to the military. It means encouraging reading and writing on continuing upgraded levels.

It also requires a massive reduction in the influence of current television programming, something that is the least likely to happen anytime soon.

 

 

If you didn’t see Letterman last night…

…then you missed Keith Olbermann talking about his breakup with Current.

I know Keith can come across as somewhat pompous, but I an’t tell you how much I miss tuning in to his show. I was very upset when he left MSNBC and was fortunate enough to have a cable contract that included Current (which I now no longer need)… but now there is no Keith at 8 PM.

Here’s the interview with Keith from last night:

Yeah, I know. Keith often seems full of himself… but I don’t think any conservative host would ever take responsibility for a show’s failure, money or not. And I hope the “nice Judge” takes Keith’s side in court…I really think he has been screwed.

Finally, I don’t know where he will end up next, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be there.

MSNBC Dumps Pat Buchanan

You can either celebrate or cry, but here’s the word:

Pat Buchanan has been dismissed by MSNBC, the left-leaning news network, four months after the channel suspended him.

In an angry post on his blog, conservative commentator Buchanan took his critics to task, writing, “After 10 enjoyable years, I am departing, after an incessant clamor from the left that to permit me continued access to the microphones of MSNBC would be an outrage against decency, and dangerous.”

Buchanan says the calls for his firing began with the publication in October of his book “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?” about America’s decline, which critics have called racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic.

Upon his suspension, Buchanan quotes MSNBC President Phil Griffin as telling the press regarding his new book, “I don’t think the ideas that (Buchanan) put forth are appropriate for the national dialogue, much less on MSNBC.”

Buchanan, a former White House aide to Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan and a former Republican presidential candidate, had been with MSNBC as a political analyst since 2002.

On his website, Buchanan called his ouster “an undeniable victory for the blacklisters.”

Among the groups he cites as his accusers: Color of Change, Media Matters, the Anti-Defamation League and the Human Rights Campaign.

Frankly, I’m just as glad to see him go, although he didn’t really bother me. I saw him as more of a clown. He’ll turn up on the McLaughlin Group  and on Fox… don’t worry about it.

Quote of the Week (or more) – How the GOP views contraception…

Bayer 04 Leverkusen

Andrea Mitchell got a big surprise when interviewing Santorum funder Foster Friess about Rick’s stand on banning contraception:

“Back in my day, they used Bayer aspirin for contraceptives. The gals put it between their knees and it wasn’t that costly.”

As someone said on television this morning, it’s the kind of quote you can hear over and over again and just not believe someone said it… and certainly not on the air.

Here’s what it looked like:

Tonight is Obama’s State of the Union Address…

President Barack Obama will deliver his State of the Union speech tonight at 9 p.m. EST. It is expected to last at least an hour, after which Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana will deliver the Republican response (there will be a Tea Party response from Herman Cain… don’t miss it. All speeches like this should end with humor.)

Obama is expected to use the State of the Union to pitch new initiatives on jobs, taxes and housing, in what will be billed as his opening salvo in a long 2012 election race. He will probably push tax breaks for bringing manufacturing jobs home from overseas, give ideas to help the troubled home-mortgage market and create incentives for alternative energy development. Expect him to call again for higher taxes on the wealthy – despite consistent Republican opposition – and to speak of further pressure on China over currency and trade practices.

There are a number of ways you can watch and follow the speech online. The official White House website, which will not only be streaming the speech live, but will be accompany it with charts, stats, and data that reinforce the address. On television, ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC will all air the speech live. The Huffington Post will also run liveblog coverage of the event, accompanied by an embedded live video feed.

Some items based on recent Obama remarks leading up to the address:

“Before we take money away from our schools or scholarships away from our students, we should ask millionaires to give up their tax break.”

The President has promised to let the Bush tax cuts for millionaires expire at the end of 2012.

_____

“[The Affordable Care Act] is making prescription drugs cheaper for seniors and giving uninsured students a chance to stay on their parents’ coverage.”

At least 2.5 million young Americans now have health insurance through their parents’ health care plans until 26 years of age. As of November, more than 2.2 million people with Medicare had saved more than $1.2 billion on prescriptions (I’m one of them. I support this whole heartedly. - Bill)

_____

Expect the Republicans to make it clear that they will continue to oppose Obama’s positions… but also expect Obama to say that he will be seeking bi-partisan progress even though it is an election year.

It should be noted, however, that State of the Union messages have historically not effected increases in a President’s poll ratings (an exception being Bill Clinton’s 2nd address which increased his numbers by 3%.)

Most Disgusting Quote of July – have you heard this one?

Referring to the mass murders in Norway and the murderer’s views on immigrants:

Pat Buchanan joins the Ranks of the Inverted

“With her native-born populations aging, shrinking and dying, Europe’s nations have not discovered how to maintain their prosperity without immigrants. Yet the immigrants who have come – from the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia – have been slow to learn the language and have failed to attain the educational and occupational levels of Europeans. And the welfare states of Europe are breaking under the burden.[...]“

As for a climactic conflict between a once-Christian West and an Islamic world that is growing in numbers and advancing inexorably into Europe for the third time in 14 centuries, on this one, Breivik may be right.”

- Pat Buchanan in an OpEd on World Net Daily.

Of course, Pat Buchanan is the main reason I don’t even turn Morning Joe on any more. If MSNBC had any sense, they’d ship him over to Fox who would welcome him in with open arms.

It feels so good to have Olbermann back!

OK… It’s the first day of Keith Olbermann‘s Countdown on the Current TV Network, and I am watching him Interview Michael Moore on Obama’s ethical and legal avoidance of the War Powers Act in Libya. I’m thrilled that the first thing Keith did was show that he wasn’t a front for the current Administration… or Democrats in general.

When you compare him to Fox News with its talking heads adhering to the Roger Ailes Daily List of attacks that will be made on the left and no connection with the truth, you find the kind of independent thought that we have missed since Keith went off MSNBC.

It is great to hear again a Special Comment, this one giving the definition of his program’s point of view:

“The weakest citizen in this country is more important than the strongest corporation.”

John Dean is here to comment on Justice Clarence Thomas taking gifts and his wife taking funding from a conservative Texas millionaire and seeing how this affects his Supreme Court decisions, like the Walmart/ women employees class action suit which came down against the female employees of the big-time retailer. As Dean said

wearing army uniform

Markos Moulitsas (before Daily Kos)

about the Court, this is a great day for big business.

And Markos Moulitsas (of the Daily Kos) is back as a regular commentator after having been bounced off the tube by MSNBC a year ago for comments that network ( and especially Joe Scarborough) apparently didn’t agree with.

Welcome back, Keith. I’ll be watching.

Ed Schultz Apologizes to Laura Ingraham… who apologizes to no one…

As I started watching the Ed Show tonight on MSNBC, Ed came out and did a long apology to Laura Ingraham, to MSNBC, to his wife and family and to his audience for making a low and insulting statement, apparently as an improvisation, on his radio show.

This was the statement:

President Obama is going to be visiting Joplin, Missouri, on Sunday, but you know, like this right-wing slut — What’s her name, Laura Ingraham — Yeah, she’s a talk slut.

“You see, she was back in the days, praising President Reagan when he was drinking a beer overseas.  But now that Obama’s doing it, they’re working him over.”

In his statement, Ed said he had been trying to get Ingraham on the phone to apologize in person, has left a message stating his apology and will continue trying to reach her.

Ingraham responded with cool understatement and claws extended.

“I was surprised to learn that Ed Schultz actually hosted a radio show,” she said.  “Is it available only on line.”

Ingraham added a remark about “men who preach civility but practice misogyny.”

Of course, Ingraham is famous for insulting Obama and his family… like this graphic on her web site:

Separated at Birth

Irish pop group Jedward

Then there was her statement on Nancy Pelosi in November of 2009:

“Nancy Pelosi basically did everything except sell her own body” (to pass health care reform bill).

There was her comment about how “black people” love ribs, followed by another statement on Michelle Obama back in November of 2010:

“Michelle’s lunch was baby back ribs. Afternoon snack, more ribs. Bedtime snack, the last three ribs!”

To date, I’ve never heard Laura Ingraham apologize to anyone… and, you know, she IS a talk slut.

The Return of Olbermann – a Date is Set.

Hooray! Keith Olbermann will be back on Monday, June 20, at 8 PM Eastern… the network? Current TV (The one Al Gore is a major investor in).

What’s even better is what he is going to call the new show: Countdown with Keith Olbermann.

As Keith said when making the announcement vis-a-vis the show name:

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

I guess I’m going to have to catch MSNBC on the re-run.

Quote(s) of the Day – re: The Republican Budget Plan

“A nervous breakdown on paper.”

- Rep. Emanuel Cleaver on MSNBC

 

Of course, this is a quote on the opposite side that an assistant to Paul Ryan (main author of the Republican Budget Plan) said to Wiccaspirits that was quoted at The Political Carnival:

“His representative told me that they did not think it would hurt the middle class that much, and that the budget needed to be cut in any way necessary.

___________

“He told me that Republicans are not paying attention to what the American people want, they are paying attention to the cuts that need to be made, no matter where those cuts come from. He said Republicans are carrying the momentum right now and they will continue to do because that is what the American public wants right now.”


So whose side sums it up best? My bet is on Cleaver.

Republican War on Working Families… the new Ad in Wisconsin:

Thanks to Bold Progressives.

Rachel Maddow’s comments last night on Scott Walker

You go Rachel!

Colin Powell “manipulated” into making the case for the Iraq War…

…said his former Chief of Staff last night on MSNBC.

Take a look:

clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com
Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Colin Powell, appeared on “MSNBC Live” tonight and discussed Powell’s role as Secretary of State during the lead-up to the Iraq War. Wilkerson said he believes that Former Vice President Dick Cheney‘s office “manipulated” Powell into justifying the case for war and that “the Secretary of State was not told the complete truth.” He went on to state his belief that the Bush Administration was “using” Powell due to his respected reputation.
A key moment in the interview comes when host Cenk Uygur asks Wilkerson about Powell’s speech to the United Nations in which Powell made the case for war:

Uygur: Do you think the Vice President’s office manipulated you and Secretary Powell into giving a speech?

Wilkerson: Absolutely. Absolutely.

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Of course, this is something most of us have assumed for years.

Let’s hear it for Al Gore…

HuffPo gives us this report:
clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com

Keith Olbermann Wooed To Current TV By Al Gore: THR

Al Gore personally asked Keith Olbermann to come to Current TV less than 24 hours after he left MSNBC, the former vice president told the Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday.
THR says it was Gore who convinced Olbermann to make the move to Current. “We’ve been friends for a while,” he told THR.
During the conference call in which he announced his move, Olbermann made a point of praising Gore and saying how honored he was to be working for him.
THR says that the Current show, which does not yet have a title, will probably premiere in late May, after the deal Olbermann made with NBC blocking him from appearing on other networks ends.
Sources also told THR that Olbermann went to Current because it falls outside the terms of that deal, which specifies different channels that Olbermann cannot work for, even after the non-compete clause ends.
For THR’s full report–including more of Gore’s thoughts on the deal with Olbermann–click here.
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Keith Olbermann Lands on his Feet!

Cropped headshot of Keith Olbermann

Keith Olbermann

Keith will be coming back to television and I can’t wait!

This from Huffington Post (You can go in and read more…):

clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com

Keith Olbermann To Current TV: Hosting New Show, Becoming Chief News Officer

Keith Olbermann announced on Tuesday that he will host a one-hour, nightly primetime show on Current TV starting in late spring. He will also become the “chief news officer” for Current. Olbermann had been without a television home since he abruptly left MSNBC, where he had hosted “Countdown” for eight years, in January.

For Olbermann, his move to Current gives him a chance to wield large influence over a a relatively tiny network. Current averages about 23,000 viewers in primetime every night–a far cry from the million or so viewers who watched “Countdown.”

Olbermann said that “nothing is more vital to a free America than a free media, and nothing is more vital to my concept of a free media than news that is produced independently of corporate interference.” He called Current “the model truth seeking entity” in television, and said that his new show was “the most exciting event in my career.”
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Quote of the Day – So, after Olbermann are we next?

“The loss of Keith Olbermann is a bad omen for America. We should be aware of this loss, and do what we can to let others know its impact — how much of democracy we have lost. I’m sure if George Orwell were alive today, he would weep at this atrocity. Just as we should, but we must also stand strong against these oligarchs. We must realize that they are in control; we must support our alternative media sites so long as we can — because soon they will be taking our websites down by raising prices and by other underhanded means to silence all dissent — even on the Internet.”

- Sam Hamod, Ph.D., at http://www.todaysalternativenews.com

What we can do to preserve Liberal/Progressive standards and information in the growing Right-Wing Oligarchy…

My wife asked me, as we watched the news about Keith Olbermann’s firing at MSNBC, the House of Representatives’ attack on necessary human services – especially in Health care, and the limiting of the commercial media to control by 6 right leaning corporations (excuse me… “citizens”, according to the SCOTUS): “What can we do?”

Good question, and one I think many Progressives and Liberals are asking themselves and each other right now.

Well, here are a few things to remember right now:

1.) The Internet, especially the blogosphere on the WWW, is an overwhelmingly Progressive place, with left oriented sites far outnumbering those on the right. As long as technology moves forward, it will remain Progressive… “Conservative Technology” is a backward concept that will not bring us into the kind of social network that we are only recently becoming aware if.

Therefore: get out there on these blogs (start with mine and the list of others you’ll find on the right side of this page)… make your comments seen… start your own blogs and make your opinions stand up with the rest of us. I look forward to cross-linking ith you.

2.) Get anything you can onto other media. I’m particularly fond of Radio and I participate on a very liberal morning radio show (I’m on every Friday and I sub on other days when the regular host is on vacation) called “Winners and Losers” on WSHC FM 89.7, in Shepherdstown, WV. For folks not in our local broadcast range (limited to the WV Eastern Panhandle area) this station at Shepherd University has a large local listening population and more and more people who listen On Line.

If you live in a college town, you may find other stations like this one who allow locals to broadcast (you do it for Free as college stations have very low budgets.) Check it out.

3.) You can run for local, state, county… even National offices. Get involved in politics now. 2012 is likely to bring back the many voters who got Obama elected in the first place.

In Summary… GET INVOLVED. And when you come up with things, click on my little mailbox and let me know what you’re doing. Or leave a comment.

-Bill.

Quote of the Day… one of many I’m seeing all over the Internet

Countdown with Keith Olbermann was the anchor of something extraordinary that emerged, painstakingly and against all odds, during the Bush years. A mild liberal alternative was established in the corporate media to counter the flamethrowers at Fox. Nothing like it had existed since MSNBC fired Phil Donahue in early 2003. Now it’s gone. And it’s hard to see how this gaping hole on the “liberal” end of the corporate media is going to result in anything other than giving a louder voice and greater ventilation to the policies that are currently being advanced by an aggressive right-wing oligarchy.”

- Joseph A. Palermo, Associate Professor, American History, California State University, Sacramento.

This Sucks! Olbermann is leaving MSNBC

I was coming back from an event in Gettysburg, PA, with Elly’s AIGA group, so I didn’t see Countdown tonite. To find this out on line when I got home is both depressing and maddening. I hope Keith turns up on another network soon… he is very important to the Progressive perception of the world.
clipped from news.yahoo.com
MSNBC host Keith Olbermann announced Friday that he is leaving the network and has taped his last “Countdown” show.
MSNBC issued a statement that it had ended its contract with the controversial host, with no further explanation. Olbermann hosted the network’s most popular show, but his combative liberal opinions often made him a target of critics.
Olbermann did not explain why he was leaving.
A spokesman said Phil Griffin, MSNBC’s president, would not comment on Olbermann’s exit. Spokesman Jeremy Gaines would say only that the acquistion of NBC Universal by Comcast, which received regulatory approval this week, had nothing to do with the decision.
Olbermann, before leaving the show with a final signature toss of his script toward the camera, thanked his audience for sticking with him and read a James Thurber poem.
He thanked a series of people, including the late Tim Russert, but pointedly not Griffin or NBC News President Steve Capus.
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