Daily Archives: December 22, 2010

Actor Steve Landesberg Dies of Cancer..

Former standup comedian and veteran actor Steve Landesberg, perhaps best known for his role as an intellectual detective on 1970s police sitcom Barney Miller, has died at age 65. He had been suffering from cancer for some time.
Landesberg was Det. Arthur Dietrich on Barney Miller, and joined the show after the first few seasons.
Here’s a video from the show:

Looks like Obama got more today than anyone expected…

Both the Senate and the House (finally) passed the health bill for 9/11 first responders and it was sent to the White House for Obama‘s signature. The Senate was unanimous (after offices of Senator Coburn and others were stormed by 9/11 first responders this morning.) The House took very little time to pass it… and now it’s going to be law. It looks like the Republicans were “shamed” into coming in on this after tromping it the other day.

The Senate also finished up with and passed the START arms reduction treaty with Russia by a 71-to-26 vote. The treaty had needed at least two-thirds support for passage.

The President signed the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell bill that was passed yesterday.

I’ll bet Mitch McConnell will have to agree with Lindsey Graham that Harry Reid has “eaten our lunch.”  And the President, at his Press Conference this afternoon said “we are not doomed to endless gridlock.”

Today, Obama and the Democrats lived up to their word. They maintained their focus and, despite the agreement on the Tax Cuts, brought in the majority of their bills. It’s going to be a Happy Holiday for Democrats.

At the Food CoOp…

I’m down in Frederick, MD, at the Common Market Food CoOp (where seniors get a 5% discount on Wednesdays), having lunch before I shop the grocery list Elly and I put together this morning. Traffic coming in was extremely heavy as soon as I got off the highway, so I guess I’m in the Christmas shopping rush… although Common Market is not as busy as the roads. I may do a little more stocking stuffer shopping while I’m down here, but this kind of crowd situation is something I usually avoid.

There are things here I just can’t get in Shepherdstown… like the locally grown beets that I really like, and a wide range of organic bulk foods, flours and nuts. The prices are usually pretty good, too, given the fact that organic foods at our supermarket level at home are always priced higher than the chemically contaminated stuff. This and the 5% discount makes it worthwhile to come down here on a Wednesday… usually something I do once a month on Social Security payout day (like today).

This is a very relaxed shopping environment, which makes it all the more enjoyable. It allows me time to look around and think about trying new things. This is where we first discovered the flavored stevia drops which, with straight seltzer, has replaced sugar/flavored sodas in our diet (also great for adding extra flavor to coffee or tea.)

While I was driving down I played a few Bob & Ray tapes that I haven’t listened to in a long time.  Here we had two extremely funny guys who never had to use bad language or violent subject matter, but created amazing humor from ordinary situations. Al Franken has noted many times how Bob Elliott and Ray Goulding influenced his comedy writing and performing back in his SNL days… and I know they influenced a lot of other major performers (including their own decendants) as well.

One of the things it made me think of was looking into the possibility of buying rights to do a community theatre presentation of Bob & Ray skits… and do it like a radio show with a sound effects guy and microphones. I’d have to find two really talented guys who could do the kind of low-key stuff that B&R did.

OK, Lunch is over… time to go shopping and get back home.

Meow Mix by Cyriac

It’s been awhile since I played one of those wonderfully surreal animations by British artist Cyriak. Here’s one for today:

Quote of the Day – Results of the Lame Duck Session and a salute to Harry Reid.

“When it’s all going to be said and done, Harry Reid has eaten our lunch. This has been a capitulation in two weeks of dramatic proportions of policies that wouldn’t have passed in the new Congress.”

— Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)


The Lame Duck Wins are Adding Up for Obama

Steve Kornacki at Salon has a pretty good summary of why the Lame Duck Session hasn’t been lame for Obama.

Here are a couple of clips, but I encourage you to go into Salon and read it all:

clipped from www.salon.com
Despite their leaders’ bluster, Senate Republicans do not have the votes to block ratification of the New START treaty. When a vote to end the GOP‘s filibuster was called on Wednesday afternoon, 11 Republican senators broke with their party. With a total of 67 senators voting to kill the filibuster, the path now seems clear for the chamber to formally ratify the treaty, which calls for the U.S. and Russia to pare back their nuclear arsenals over the next seven years, on Wednesday.
Needless to say, this represents a significant political victory for Barack Obama — and not his first one this lame duck session.
Not all of the Republican opposition, mind you, stemmed from an effort to obstruct Obama’s agenda for political gain.
There was always going to be a solid bloc of right-wing opposition in the Senate to New START, no matter how Obama sold it.
. The lame duck session hasn’t been perfect for Obama and Democrats

but it’s been a lot more productive than expected.

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