Monthly Archives: June 2012

Graphic Humor for the Evening – what in the world?


Back to the Radio…

I just got into the WSHC (89.7) studio and I’m setting up for my 11 – 1 show. Given the Shepherdstown Street festival combined with the number of trees that came down in the storm last night, getting in here took longer than I expected.

Elly did the driving, since I am banned from doing it for at least six months (assuming I have no more seizures.) It’s another hot day out but the studio is AC’d and relatively comfortable.

If you are outside of our area you can listen on the web at

My wife posted this on Facebook…

If you wonder what an important piece of legislation Obamacare is and want to know the kinds of things it corrects, then read this short letter about her late father that she posted on Facebook:

To my wonderful friends and family. When I was growing up, we were deeply affected by the “pre-existing clause” in health insurance. We grew up with a father who suffered quietly with leukemia for 18 years and could not leave his job… his anti-semitism infested job. He could not leave it because he would lose his health insurance since his leukemia was a pre-exisitng condition.

I realize that the republicans could vote this out before 2014 when it goes into effect but for today, June 29, 2012 I am happy to say “Daddy, you were not alone!”

Love Ellen X0X0

Ivan Karp, noted art dealer and proponent of Pop Art, dies at 86.

Ivan Karp died yesterday at 86 of natural causes.

Ivan Karp by Andy Warhol

In 1958, Ivan became an art dealer at the Martha Jackson Gallery while publishing short stories in the Cambridge Review and the Evergreen Review. In 1964 his novel “Doobie Doo” was published by Doubleday

From 1959 to1969, Ivan was associate director of the Leo Castelli Gallery and played a significant role in the careers of Warhol, Lichtenstein, Chamberlain and many other artists in the New York Pop Art community. From 1966 to 1969, he taught contemporary art history at Finch College and at the School of Visual Arts.
In 1969, he opened OK Harris Works of Art, one of the first galleries in the Soho district. He was responsible for the burgeoning of that neighborhood to a vibrant residential and commercial district. OK Harris continues to operate in its original space.
In 1985, Ivan became director of the Anonymous Arts Museum in Charlotteville, NY, and restored 25 historic cemeteries and family burial grounds in Schoharie County.

Quick Look – 10 Things Obamacare means for all of us…

Here they are:


2, 3 and 9 are the big ones for me.

Making fun of CNN announcing that Obamacare was struck down…


This, of course, is based on another large media mistake:


We needed a good laugh for the evening.

Quote of the Day – everything in perspective

“Now, Teddy can rest.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to Vicki Kennedy, widow of Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA)

Thanks to all of you who have called and e-mailed after my accident…

So many of you have wished me well. I am still in some pain in my ribcage (I’m  calling it “airbag shock”), but, in general I’m feeling much better.

Several have asked what caused the the accident and the best I can say is “I don’t know.” Essentially I had a blackout seizure and when I finally realized where I was I was 30 miles down the road having hit two cars and a power line. When I noticed a police car behind me and I pulled over, I had no idea what was going on, or that the whole front of my car was just about gone.

Somewhere in the course of the accident I lost my Superfocus glasses… I terrible loss for me. We don’t know yet of the insurance covers the loss as part of the accident.

Anyway, they’re not likely to let me drive again unless they can figure out what causes the seizures (apparently I’ve had a couple of other ones, not while driving, over the last couple of years. Most of these include lapses of time that I don’t remember, either.)

So my computer and I will continue to travel the world… but I won’t be getting out of the yard unless someone else takes me.

Decision is in… for the most part Obama has triumphed.

From the Financial Times:

US Supreme Court upholds bulk of ‘ObamaCare’

The US Supreme Court has left Barack Obama’s healthcare law broadly intact but ruled that an element of the law was not valid, handing the president a political victory.

In decision written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the majority of justices ruled that the individual mandate that compelled every American to buy insurance was not valid under the commerce clause of the Constitution. But they also ruled that the financial penalty outlined in the law against people who did not buy insurance was allowed. In effect, it means that the high court agreed with critics who said the mandate as written was unconstitutional, but that the implementation of the law will proceed much as it would have if the law had been completely upheld.

The mandate can now be enforced as a tax.

So the Mandate is unconstitutional, but it still may be applied with a different definition. This, of course, means Congress has to create the tax and the forthcoming conflict will be in this area.

Today is the day the Supreme Court weighs in on Obamacare…

The news media is waiting with baited breath for the decision of the SCOTUS which is due today on the President’s health care plan. So many questions are waiting to be answered:

1. Will the Court’s decision be primarily political?

2. Who will suffer the most if it is overturned?:

– Young people under 26 years old who are able to be on their parents’ health care plan, who could lose that  advantage unless the insurance company itself allows it.

– Protection for sick patients who can lose their coverage due to a mistake in paperwork.

– People in southern states who have the least amount of state-mandated protection on their health insurance as opposed to more progressive states.

– Women will not be able to get free birth control (this is Planned Parenthood‘s major worry.)

– The risk of coverage will increase immensely for insurance companies who will not be as supportive of the users and more supportive of themselves.

3. Will the Court separate the Mandate (the requirement that everyone have insurance) from the rest of the law?

So we await the decision which will be written by Justice Roberts and see if they use it as the standard  anti-Democrat response the court has made since putting George W. Bush into office.


30 lies in seven days… Romney beats his record!

Last Friday he achieved his peak

with thirty lies in just one week…

He treats the voter like a twit

by feeding him this Romney shit.

1. In an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, Romney claimed it’s fiscally responsible to eliminate the entirety of the Affordable Care Act: “It saves $100 billion a year to get rid of it.”

That’s the opposite of the truth. According to the CBO and other nonpartisan budget estimates, killing the law would make the deficit go up, not down, and would cost, not save, the country hundreds of billions of dollars in the coming years.

2. In the same interview, Romney said, “I think a lot of people forgetting is there is only one president in history that’s cut Medicare by $500 billion and that is President Obama.”

Romney says this a lot. He’s not telling the truth.

3. Romney also said, “I see people holding up signs, ‘Don’t touch my Medicare.’ It’s like, hey, I’m not touching your Medicare.”

Romney endorsed Paul Ryan’s House Republican Budget plan, which ends the Medicare program and replaces it with a private voucher scheme.

4. In the same interview, Romney said President Obama has “never had the experience of working in the private sector.”

Actually, that’s not true. Obama worked at a private-sector law firm before entering public service.

5. Romney also told Hannity Obama went on “an apology tour” in his first year.

As Romney surely knows by now, he’s lying.

6. Romney, trying to talk about foreign policy, said Syria is Iran’s “route to the sea.”

Iran doesn’t share a border with Syria, and Iran already borders two bodies of water.

7. At a campaign event in Stratham, New Hampshire, Romney claimed, “Bill Clinton and so many other mainstream Democrats are revolting against the backward direction President Obama is taking his party and our country.”

In reality, Bill Clinton supports the president’s re-election and recently said a Romney presidency would be “calamitous for our country and the world.”

8. At an event in Cornwall, Pennsylvania, shared an anecdote about a local optometrist who was forced to fill out a “33-page” change-of-address form — several times — at the post office.

There is no such change-of-address form.

9. At the same event, Romney said Obama is “taking away” scholarships and charter schools for “kids in Washington, D.C.”

This has become a line in Romney’s stump speech, but it isn’t in any way true.

10. Romney also claimed, “This president has put together almost as much public debt as all the prior presidents combined.”

That’s a lie.

11. Romney went on to say, “It’s immoral in my view for my generation to pass on to these kids the burden of our generation. I think it’s wrong. It’s got to stop. And if I’m president of the United States I will get us on track to have a balanced budget.”

That’s plainly false. Romney says his plan “can’t be scored,” but independent budget analysts have found his agenda would make the deficit bigger, not smaller, and add trillions to the national debt.

12. At a campaign stop in Weatherly, Pennsylvania, Romney said the president’s “trillion- dollar stimulus” failed to “create jobs.”

That’s the opposite of the truth.

13. At the same event, Romney said about Obama, “He was told that one small business was having a hard time dealing with Obamacare. He said he hadn’t heard that.”

That’s not what happened. In fact, the small business wasn’t having a hard time dealing with Obamacare, and was hurt by policies Romney wants to pursue.

14. Romney went on say, “I was in Las Vegas and met a woman who was worried. She has a business renting furniture to casinos and to conventioners that come to Las Vegas. And when the president said, don’t bother coming to Las Vegas for your company meetings a few years ago, her business dove.”

Obama actually said, in reference to Wall Street recklessness, “You are not going to be able to give out these big bonuses until you pay taxpayers back. You can’t get corporate jets. You can’t go take a trip to Las Vegas or go down to the Super Bowl on the taxpayers’ dime. There’s got to be some accountability and some responsibility.” To blame the failure of some random business in Nevada on this is ridiculous.

15. Romney added, “If we stay on the road we’re on, we’re going to become like Europe…. I don’t believe Europe works in Europe. I don’t want it here.”

The irony is, Europe is trying to grow through austerity, just as Romney intends to do here. He’s lying in a self-refuting sort of way.

16. In his “Face the Nation” interview, Romney said of Obama’s new immigration policy, “If he really wanted to make a solution that dealt with these kids or with the illegal immigration in America, then this is something he would have taken up in his first three and a half years, not in his last few months.”

That’s remarkably misleading. Obama has pushed for the DREAM Act for years, and would have signed it into law in 2010 had it not been blocked by a Republican filibuster.

17. In the same interview, Romney said about health care, “I will continue to describe the plan that I would provide, which is, number one, to make sure that people don’t have to worry about losing their insurance if they have a preexisting condition, and change jobs.”

This is the kind of answer that’s clearly intended to deceive. Under Romney’s approach, millions of people with pre-existing conditions would be denied coverage — and occasionally his campaign even admits it.

18. Also on health care, Romney said the president “jammed through a bill” and “didn’t really try and work for a Republican vote.”

This is laughably untrue. Obama worked for months to find someone — anyone — in the Republican Party who would work with him in good faith, including delaying progress while the “Gang of Six” engaged in pointless talks.

19. Romney also said, “I’m not looking for a tax cut for the very wealthiest.”

Either Romney hasn’t read his own tax plan, or he’s lying.

20. Appearing via video at the “Faith and Freedom Coalition” annual event, Romney applauded the far-right group’s leader: “Ralph Reed has been a real champion in fighting for the fundamental values that have made America the nation that it is.”

You’ve got to be kidding me.

21. In the same speech, Romney said, “When you put in place a bill like Obamacare, you attack the freedom of people to make a choice about their own insurance and what kind of coverage they want to have.”

That’s not true. Under the Affordable Care Act, consumers would choose from competing plans as part of a health care exchange. Romney knows this — it was part of his own plan.

22. Romney went on to say, “[M]edian income in this nation has dropped by 10 percent over the last four years.”

That only makes sense if we count Obama’s first year in office, which relies on a standard Romney believes is fundamentally unfair.

23. He also argued, “Government at all levels is about 37 percent of the economy today — 37 percent. And if Obamacare were allowed to stand, government would control about half of the economy of America.”

That’s demonstrably ridiculous.

24. At the same event, Romney said that Obama “insists” that “Israel return to the ’67 borders — indefensible borders.”

He’s lying.

25. At a campaign event in Brunswick, Ohio, Romney claimed that Obama said “if you let him borrow all that money, he’d keep unemployment below 8 percent.”

As Romney surely knows by now, that’s simply not true.

26. At the same event, Romney said under Obamacare, we’ll get “a healthcare system run by the government.”

There is no universe in which this is true.

27. At a campaign event in Janesville, Wisconsin, Romney argued, “[T]he path we’re on, spending $1 trillion more every year than we take in, is leading us to Greece.”

That’s painfully untrue.

28. At a campaign event in Holland, Michigan, Romney claimed that, as a result of the Dodd-Frank reforms, “small banks and community banks are finding it harder and harder to make loans to small businesses.”

According to community banks, this is false. These banks have actually gotten stronger after Dodd-Frank, and the president of Independent Community Bankers Of America recently said, “I am sick of Wall Street using community banks as their shills to scare community bankers into stampeding Congress into undoing provisions of law that finally attempt to deal with too big to fail and Wall Street overreach.”

29. In a speech to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials yesterday, Romney argued that President Obama “has not completed a single new trade agreement with Latin America.”

Romney does realize that Panama is part of Latin America, right?

30. Romney went on to argue, “Unfortunately, despite his promises, President Obama has failed to address immigration reform.”

Actually, Obama has addressed it quite a bit, taking executive action where the law allows, and pushing Congress to pursue comprehensive reform based on a bipartisan plan he presented last year.

– Thanks to Steve Benen, Chronicling Mitt’s Mendacity

I’ve never missed a week of blogging since I started eight years ago…

Being in the hospital is no fun whatsoever…

…but this past week my record was shattered…as was my car and (almost) me, too.

It started last Friday when I was driving down to the Apple Store in Bethesda to get the trackpad fixed on my MacBookPro. On the way I had a car accident (if you don’t mind I’ll leave out the details) which put me in the Hospital for four days. I’m OK now…a little ribcage pain where the airbag hit… and looking forward to restarting things.

My mother and sister took care of my laptop… just got it back an hour ago… and I can get back to Under The LobsterScope. At least some things work out.

There’ll be some new posts pretty soon… just give me a chance to get it together again.

– Bill

Artist LeRoy Neiman dead at 91…

LeRoy Neiman died Wednesday evening at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan.

The 91-year-old artist painted everything from U.S. presidents to jazz musicians to the powerful animals of Africa… but he was best known for his bright, bold sketches of the sports world, capturing its motion and emotion in his brushstrokes.

He was named official artist of the Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid and in Sarajevo as well as the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. His powerful imagery of the boxing ring, including fight posters and program covers for the historic Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier fights, earned him a spot in the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2007. He was so closely identified with the world of boxing that actor/director Sylvester Stallone tapped Neiman to appear in four of his “Rocky” movies.

Neiman taught at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago for 10 years early in his career before gaining recognition as a contributing artist for Playboy in the 1950s.

Staying true to his style, Neiman’s public persona was as almost as colorful as his artwork.

“I guess I created LeRoy Neiman,” the artist once said, according to the biography on his website. “Nobody else told me how to do it. Well, I’m a believer in the theory that the artist is as important as his work.”

Hey, Mitt: A majority of Americans want to keep the Health care Law!

New Bloomberg poll results show a plurality of Americans, 43 percent, say they want to retain the 2010 law with only small modifications, while 15 percent say the measure should be left alone, a Bloomberg National Poll shows. That’s 58 % for keepers! Only 33% say it should be repealed.

Next week the Supreme Court is expected to rule “on the constitutionality of the law, the centerpiece of which is the mandate that most Americans buy insurance or pay a fine.”

Do you suppose the Court pays attention to people, or to Republican campaign rhetoric?

The campaign speeches we don’t hear.

So much has been pointed out lately, through television commentaries and new legislation, about Congressmen and Senators entering office as middle-class individuals and leaving office as millionaires by using secret investment information they learn at work.

What would happen if their reelection campaigns listed the things they had done for their constituents AND said they had earned no unethical investment income and are happy with the income they make on their salaries and, say, speaking engagements?

Don’t expect to hear it. Politicians seek reelection in order to continue making money, either legally or illegally. It doesn’t matter if they are Democrats or Republicans or Independents. It’s all the same.

Frankly, I’d vote for the candidate who promised ton do the job he was elected for and not focus on his retirement wallet. And party wouldn’t matter…much.

Choices, choices… the Religious Right or the Rights of Women?

Here’s what I base my choice on:

The Religious Right’s agenda is not about being good to each other, showing forgiveness, sharing prayer or believing that all men are created equal. It’s about being utter idiots.

Fifth Grader banned from speaking on Major News Topic

From: The Daily What

Kameron Slade, a fifth-grader from Queens, NY, was scheduled to deliver a speech as part of a school-wide competition at PS 195. But when the principal learned Kameron’s speech was about same-sex marriage, he was ordered to choose a new topic or lose the opportunity to speak.

Brilliant speech… very well reasoned. Perhaps the principal should choose a new career and let Kameron take HIS job.


Looks like Kameron’s controversy caused enough attention to allow him to make the speech after all.

Definitive Quote… this made my day.

If you think you’re meeting your destiny on the other side of a door you may not be

Work by Ettore Sottsass

interested in its design

–  Ettore Sottsass

Sottsass is a designer whose work I have admired for years. This comment speaks to most people who are much more concerned with where they are going than how they get there.

Artist Paul Jenkins dead at 88

Paul Jenkins, Painter of Abstract Artwork, Dies at 88

Paul Jenkins, a colorful Abstract Expressionist who came of age during the heyday of the New York School and for several decades carried on its highly physical tradition of manipulating paint and canvas, died on June 9 in Manhattan, where he lived and had continued to paint until recently. He was 88.

He died after a short illness, said his wife, Suzanne.

Jrenkins was a contemporary and friend of both  Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko. In 1953 he resettled in Paris, but maintained a lifelong connection with New York.

He became well-known outside the art world in 1978 when his paintings had a starring role in the Paul Mazursky movie “An Unmarried Woman,” in which Alan Batesplayed a Manhattan artist. The paintings supposedly done by the Bates character were actually his work.“I try to paint like a crapshooter throwing dice, utilizing past experience and my knowledge of the odds,” he said in 1964. “It’s a big gamble, and that’s why I love it.”

Some Fun from Taegan Goddard’s blog:

Michigan state Rep. Lisa Brown (D) — who was banned from speaking on the House floor for saying “vagina” — led a reading of the play, The Vagina Monologues, at the Michigan state Capitol last night, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Eve Ensler, who wrote the play, agreed to fly in from California to oversee the performance: “I’m over dudes who can’t even say ‘vagina.’ I’m over the Michigan state Legislature… censoring and rebuking and removing Lisa Brown. My vagina’s got decorum.”

🙂 Thanks To Taegan Goddard.

Things are looking up for the Housing Market…

Permits to build new homes rose sharply in may, suggesting a beginning housing recovery remains on track.

The Commerce Department said on Tuesday that although groundbreaking on new homes dropped last month, upward revisions to data for March and April put starts above 700,000 for five straight months, a first since 2008.

This means a big turn of eventst is under way: while the broader U.S. economy appears to be losing steam, housing is gaining traction and has become a relative bright spot. Homebuilder sentiment has risen to a five-year high.

“The incipient recovery in housing market activity, in short, seems not to have been affected by the recent softening in much of the other economic data,” said Ian Shepherdson, an economist at High Frequency Economics in Valhalla, New York.

Starts for single-family homes, which account for most of the market, increased 3.2 percent.

My apologies for not posting…

After putting up the Joseph Stiglitz piece yesterday, the trackpad on my MacBook started playing games on me… going where it wanted to go, not where I did, and opening windows and folders I didn’t want to.

I spent most of the day cleaning the pad, trying all the downloads recommended on the help boards, loading and unloading applications, changing administrative sign-ons, etc., but it was only late in the evening that it started working more-or-less correctly again.  So far this morning there is no problem.

The non-working computer also kept me from finishing the article on the arts in Shepherdstown, WV, that I am writing for the new Fluent magazine… so that will take up a lot of my day today (assuming this baby keeps on course.)

So come on back later this afternoon and I hope something will be here for you.


Cheers for Joseph Stiglitz…

In a section of his book, “The Price of Inequality,” printed in Salon, Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz gives a thorough analysis of why the top 1% is able to manipulate the rest of us by “brainwashing” us about inequality:

Joseph Stiglitz

The fact that the 1 percent has so successfully shaped public perception testifies to the malleability of beliefs. When others engage in it, we call it “brainwashing” and “propaganda.” We look askance at these attempts to shape public views, because they are often seen as unbalanced and manipulative, without realizing that there is something akin going on in democracies, too. What is different today is that we have far greater understanding of how to shape perceptions and beliefs — thanks to the advances in research in the social sciences.

It is clear that many, if not most, Americans possess a limited understanding of the nature of the inequality in our society: They believe that there is less inequality than there is, they underestimate its adverse economic effects, they underestimate the ability of government to do anything about it, and they overestimate the costs of taking action. They even fail to understand what the government is doing — many who value highly government programs like Medicare don’t realize that they are in the public sector.

Stiglitz compares the perceptions of Americans to citizens in other countries and discovers polar opposites in experience of  inequality and fairness. It is worth reading the whole article (HERE) to get his opinions on how beliefs effect reality,

Rodney King Dead at 47

Rodney King, whose videotaped beating by four police officers eventually sparked violent riots in Los Angeles two decades ago, was found dead in his swimming pool by his fiance, Cynthia Kelly. She called 911 at 5:25 am after discovering his body.

King was thrust into the national spotlight in March 1991 after a videotaped assault at the hands of the LAPD made headlines. Four officers were charged with King’s assault  and with exessive use of force. Their acquittal on April 29, 1992 led to intense riots in Los Angeles, resulting in 53 deaths.

King fought a life-long battle with alcoholism, and had periodic run-ins with the law since the 1991 incident.

A Quote for the Month – No matter what Obama proposes, the Right will show its racist values…

From Sen. Bernie Sanders:

…you have a Republican mindset that says, hmm, let’s see we can repair the infrastructure, save money long time, and create millions of jobs, bad idea. Barack Obama will look good, and we’ve got to do everything that we can to make Barack Obama look bad, so despite the fact that we had a modest bipartisan transportation bill, roads, bridges, public transit pass the senate with over 70 votes, Inhofe, the most conservative guy in the senate, working with Barbara Boxer, we can’t get that bill moving in the House of Representatives. So if you’re asking me why, I would say hundred percent political. If it’s good for America, if it creates jobs, if it’s good for Barack Obama, we can’t do it.”

Do the Republicans really think if they get Romney elected, the Democrats will not get even for this atrocious activity? The Dems have never filibustered EVERY legislation… but if they lose the Senate, watch them show what they learned from Mitch McConnell ( but watch for them to let REAL joint ventures that benefit Americans pass… Dems just can’t get as malicious as Repubs.)

Then again, the last three and a half years of Republicans’ anti-Obama activity may just become the convincing argument to keep Obama in power AND get back more of Congress.