Daily Archives: May 17, 2012

I’ll be on the radio alone tomorrow morning…

John Case just called to tell me he and his wife are going camping in Pennsylvania and I’ll be doing our joint show, Friday Winners and Losers, alone tomorrow.

If you want to tune in and you are within 50 or so miles of Shepherdstown, WV, it’s 89.7 on the FM dial.

If you are from anywhere else in the great wide world, go to http://897wshc.org and tune in from there.


The TED Talk they tried to keep off the Net…

Young multi-millionaire Nick Hanauer gave a TED Talk that the TED folks originally refused to put up (not like them). Hanauer persisted and it is now up. If you want to hear a rich guy’s view of where jobs come from in this economy, then I URGE you to watch this one… and pass it on:

So when Romney says not to tax the wealthy because they create jobs, ask him where the jobs are.

Congratulations to Hal Holbrook…

HANNIBAL, Mo. — Actor Hal Holbrook has been performing as Mark Twain for six decades. Now, he’s getting an award named after the author and humorist. The Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum in Hannibal, Mo., said Wednesday that Holbrook is the first-ever recipient of the Mark Twain Lifetime Achievement Award to honor those whose life’s work has furthered the legacy of the literary icon.

Holbrook has been portraying Twain since 1954, and won a Tony award for “Mark Twain Tonight!” in 1966. He authored a memoir, “Harold: The Boy Who Became Mark Twain.”

The award was created in collaboration with the centennial of the Twain home and museum.

I have seen Holbrook play Twain several times, but one of my greatest thrills was to see him play Harry Hotspur (Sir Henry Percy) in Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part 1 at the Stratford, CT, Shakespeare Festival in 1961. He is an amazing actor.

Romney Added to his Lies last week:

 • Romney said Obama’s record includes “the first trillion deficit in history.”

That’s a blatant lie — the day Obama was inaugurated, there was a $1.3 trillion deficit Bush had left for him to clean up.

In New Hampshire, Romney saidObama is “focused on taking away from those who have the least.”

That’s blatantly untrue in an ironic sort of way. Romney’s tax plan calls for higher taxes on those at the lowest end of the income scale. He also intends to cut food stamps, Medicaid, and educational spending, which benefit those who have the least.

Romney summarized his message to young people: “It’s so critical, in my view, for you to consider what’s in the best interest of not just yourself, but of America, over the coming century, and it is to stop the excessive overspending.”

Annual domestic spending is already on track to become the smallest share of the economy since Dwight Eisenhower’s administration.

Romney said once “Obamacare” is implemented, “government at all levels” will “consume” 50% of the American economy.

David Corn explained this week that this is Romney’s arguably “biggest fib,” which falls “somewhere between ‘ridiculous’ and ‘stupid.’”

• “The Obama administration has decided that it has the power to mandate what Catholic charities, schools, and hospitals must cover in their insurance plans…. Here we are, just getting started with Obamacare, and the federal government is already dictating to religious groups on matters of doctrine and conscience.”

In Massachusetts’ governor for one term, Romney took the same position Obama has adopted. He somehow forgot to mention this.

Thanks to Steve Benen over at the Rachel Maddow Show who puts out Romney’s lie list every week. Mitt seems to think we don’t pay attention.


Donna Summer is Dead at 63

The Queen of Disco — died yesterday morning after a battle with cancer, which she believed she contracted from breathing in air particles from 9/11.

Summer was in Florida at the time of her death. She was 63 years old.

The singer had been trying to keep the extent of her illness under wraps as  she focused on trying to finish up an album she had been working on.

Summer was a 5-time Grammy winner who shot to superstardom in the ’70s with iconic hits like “Last Dance,” “Hot Stuff” and “Bad Girls.”

Summer married Brooklyn Dreams singer Bruce Sudano back in 1980. They had two daughters together.

I’m not happy with the World…

…but I can’t do anything about it on a scale that would change anything.

Listening to politicians on the morning news babble at each other that they will not do anything about jobs or or education or ANYTHING unless the debt is reduced (which most economists will tell you is a false concern in relationship to income)… and then seeing that they do NOTHING while they are in session to work with each other or the President, and ignore the wishes of the voters.

Then I see the report on Global Biodiversity which shows that we are gobbling up the Earths resources at an unreplaceable rate (we are “outstripping the Earth’s resources by 50 percent — essentially using the resources of one and a half Earths every year, according to the 2012 Living Planet Report, produced by conservation agency the World Wildlife Fund (WWF)”

Natural resources — and the rate at which humans burn through them — rarely appear on policymakers’ balance sheets.

– Emily McKenzie, the director of the WWF’s Natural Capital Program

Tie all this in with the ignoring of Global Warming which is leading us further down the path to an unliveable planet.

The fact that we are still at war in the Middle East and are committed there for at least a dozen more years with billions of tax dollars being spent and no budget cuts to aid the economy is frightening. In my lifetime there have been relatively few years when we were not at war with SOMEONE… and the claims that this would all lead to peace are now nothing but laughable.

So my thoughts come back again to “what can we do?”

Elly and I have replaced all our light bulbs with the energy controlled ones and, even then, we sit in the dark most of the time to keep electricity down. We are growing our own food now (and buying and trading with local farmers.) We are planning to add chickens.

I am working with groups like Sustainable Shepherdstown to promote local job growth and development of our  local and regional small businesses.

I am campaigning against Monsanto, Dow and the rest for poisoning our foods and making it more difficult to get organic seeds in the market… yet they are taking over the food industry at rates that are more than alarming (for instance, Kellogg buying out Kashi has removed the latter from the organic food makers and now fills their products with GMO grains.)

But I wake up every morning more depressed than the day before… worried about the future for my children and my grandchildren (currently four of them).

Do you worry about all of this as well? Do you try to do anything about it, or just throw your hands up and resign yourself to it?

Let me know.


Spending, Taxes and Deficits are all down…

Think Progress has raised an interesting issue:

“Inconvenient though it may be for conservatives (especially those who are running for president), the truth is that spending, taxes and the deficit are all lower today than when President Obama took office.”


“In January 2009, before President Obama had even taken the oath of office, annual spending was set to total 24.9 percent of gross domestic product. Total spending this year, fiscal year 2012, is expected to top out at 23.4 percent of GDP.

“Here’s another interesting fact. Taxes today are lower than they were on inauguration day 2009. Back in January 2009, the CBO projected that total federal tax revenue that year would amount to 16.5 percent of GDP. This year? 15.8 percent.

“One last nugget. The deficit this year is going to be lower than what it was on the day President Obama took office. Back then, the CBO said the 2009 deficit would be 8.3 percent of GDP. This year’s deficit is expected to come in at 7.6 percent.”

So when Romney says all this stuff is going up, up, up… then we should show him our thumbs are down, down down.

Gosh, I wish I was a multi-billion-dollar Super Pac so I could match liars like Crossroads dollar-for-dollar with ads that tell the truth. What I’ve got, however, is this little blog and a growing quantity of thinking readers, many of whom are passing the word around.