Monthly Archives: August 2012

The Man from Bloomfield Hills…

The Mitt Romney Story:

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Character Actor Steve Franken Dies at 80…

Steve Franken, 80, a veteran character actor whose long career included playing the spoiled young millionaire Chatsworth Osborne Jr. on the popular situation comedy “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis” in the early 1960s, has died. He was 80. Franken died last Friday in Canoga Park, CA.

Franken appeared in scores of TV shows and movies over a 50 year career. These included “The Party,” “The Americanization of Emily,” “The Missouri Breaks” and the Jerry Lewis comedies “Which Way to the Front?” and “Hardly Working.”

For many TV fans, especially old guys like me,  Franken is best remembered as Chatsworth Osborne Jr. on “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.” The series, which aired on CBS from 1959 to 1963, starred Dwayne Hickman in the title role of the girl-crazy grocer’s son, whose beatnik friend, Maynard G. Krebs, was played by Bob Denver. Franken joined the series in 1960, replacing the young actor who had played Milton Armitage, the show’s original rich kid: Warren Beatty.

When Hickman appeared at an autograph show with Franken a few years ago, he said:

“Steve told me people were still coming up to him on the street asking for his autograph and calling him Chatsworth.”

Franken, however was a serious actor who worked up to this past year.

Here is Franken playing the drunken waiter in the Peter Sellers comedy, “The Party,” from 1968:

Summary of last night’s RNC… the closing night… in 100 seconds.

Here’s the third and final convention summary in 100 seconds out out by Talking Points Memo:

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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.

 

Art and Commerce Meet in a Fabulous Format…

English: Andy Warhol

Before you do your food shopping this week let me ask you a question. Are you planning on buying tomato soup?  If so, you could bring home some Andy Warhol for your pantry.

Campbell‘s announced Wednesday that a new limited-edition line of Warhol-themed condensed tomato soup cans will go on sale starting Sept. 2 at most Target stores across the country.

These cost 75 cents each and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Warhol’s first paintings of the familiar soup cans.

Campbell's Soup Cans by Andy Warhol, 1962. Dis...

PHOTOS: Turning 50 in 2012

The soup will come in a variety of intensely colored cans meant to mimic Warhol’s pop-art style. The artist exhibited his soup-can paintings in 1962, and they became his signature works.

Campbell’s said the new cans are being sold in partnership with the Andy Warhol Foundation, which controls the licensing of the artist’s name and images.

Paul Ryan said we have to elect a leader… turns out he IS one.

Ryan is a leader in the War On Women!

 

Thanks to Mary Ellen Heinemann and beverle bloch for their contributions to this blog…

My thanks to Mary Ellen Heinemann and beverle bloch donations to Under The LobsterScope. The two of you contributed on the same day and raised my spirits immensely.

Watch your e-mail, your Bill’s Box Specials  font is on the way!

– Bill

If you’d like to help us out at Under The LobsterScope (and we hope you will), go HERE.

Second Day Summary of the RNC from TPM:

 

Here it is in 100 seconds:

Amazing… it’s all there!

 

Want to know what Medicare will cost you when you retire under the Romney Plan?

 

There is a great danger in electing Mitt Romney and letting him and Paul Ryan get their hands on Medicare. According to a report from Harvard economist David Cutler, an Obamacare architect, and the Center for American Progress the cost of health care at retirement will be obscenely expensive.

If Romney and Ryan are allowed to turn Medicare into a voucher system for Americans under 55 when they qualify for Medicare, 48-year-olds would have to pay $124,600 more for Medicare, 39-year-olds would have to pay $216,600 more during retirement, and 29-year-olds would have to pay $331,200 more in total. That’s because the vouchers would not keep up with rising health care costs. For those 29-year-olds, the extra costs would consume 62% of their lifetime Social Security benefits. And that’s as long as the Republicans don’t destroy Social Security altogether.

It’s up to you and who you vote for to preserve and continue to improve Medicare as Obama has done so far. It’s your choice… don’t forget it when you approach the voting booth.

 

Is Ryan as much of a Liar as Mitt?

Well, last night their VP candidate dropped five big ones on the conservative audience who cheered him on with no concern for the truth.

Thanks to Brian Beutler  in TPM, these lies are exposed. Let’s look them over:

  • MedicareRyan forged his reputation in large part by drafting and advancing an unpopular plan to dramatically cut and privatize Medicare. Though he didn’t mention that plan once on Wednesday, he included it in his last two budgets, both of which preserved the Affordable Care Acts cuts to Medicare — taken mostly from overpayments to private insurers and hospitals.Instead, Ryan once again dubiously accused President Obama of being the truethreat to Medicare.“You see, even with all the hidden taxes to pay for the health care takeover, even with new taxes on nearly a million small businesses, the planners in Washington still didn’t have enough money. They needed more. They needed hundreds of billions more. So, they just took it all away from Medicare. Seven hundred and sixteen billion dollars, funneled out of Medicare by President Obama. An obligation we have to our parents and grandparents is being sacrificed, all to pay for a new entitlement we didn’t even ask for. The greatest threat to Medicare is Obamacare, and we’re going to stop it.”

    Obama did use those Medicare savings — in the form of targeted cuts in payments to providers, not in benefits to seniors — to pay for the health care law. Ryan’s budget calls for using them to finance tax cuts for wealthy Americans, and deficit reduction. But by now calling to restore that spending commitment to Medicare, Ryan and Romney are pledging to hasten Medicare’s insolvency by many years.

  • U.S. Credit Rating

Ryan said the Obama presidency, “began with a perfect Triple-A credit rating for the United States; it ends with                          a  downgraded America

  • Standard & Poors downgraded the country’s sovereign debt rating in 2011 because congressional Republicans, of which Ryan is a key leader, threatened not to increase the country’s borrowing authority — risking a default on the debt — unless Democrats agreed to slash trillions of dollars from domestic social programs and investments. Ryan even briefly toyed with the ideathat the country’s creditors would forgive default for “a day or two or three or four” as long as Democrats ultimately agreed to GOP demands.
    • Janesville GM PlantRyan criticized Obama for — yes — not using government funds to prop up an auto plant in his district.“A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that GM plant. Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said: ‘I believe that if our government is there to support you … this plant will be here for another hundred years,’” Ryan recalled. “That’s what he said in 2008. Well, as it turned out, that plant didn’t last another year. It is locked up and empty to this day.”Ignoring the inconsistency of a Republican chastising Obama for not bailing out more auto manufacturers, the plant in question closed before Obama’s inauguration in 2009.
    • Bowles-Simpson Debt CommissionRyan chastised Obama: “He created a bipartisan debt commission. They came back with an urgent report. He thanked them, sent them on their way, and then did exactly nothing.”Ryan sat on that commission. He voted against it. Following his lead, so did the panel’s other House Republicans.
    • Protecting the PoorNear the end of his speech, Ryan claimed the campaign’s top priority is protecting the poor. “We have responsibilities, one to another — we do not each face the world alone,” he said. “And the greatest of all responsibilities, is that of the strong to protect the weak.”Just under two thirds of the dramatic spending cuts in Ryan’s budget target programs that benefit low-income people. That plan also calls for large tax cuts for high-income earners.

So we have another hypocrite condemning Obama for their his actions. This is what we have to make sure people realize.

So what has the Republican Convention accomplished?

 

Gee. Keep your eyes on these guys. When they complain about Obama, pull out this sheet.

Healthcare Question: WHO GETS HELP AND WHO DOESN’T?

My friend Ted Czukor sent me this essay and I am pleased to pass it on to you:

WHO GETS HELP AND WHO DOESN’T?
By Ted Czukor

info@tedsyoga.com

I’d like to take a poll of all readers over the age of 30. How many of you think that life is going to unfold the way you had envisioned? It certainly hasn’t been like that for me! I’m 65 now, and on the one hand I’ve had some wonderful experiences that I never could have predicted, while on the other hand some experiences have been the sheerest crap; but very seldom in my life has my planning brought about the exact result to which I had looked forward.

One of the more disturbing surprises I’ve had recently is that finally getting Medicare health insurance is not necessarily a guarantee of receiving proper medical attention—because healthcare providers are sometimes slow to order medical tests. I say “sometimes” because it’s a very mixed bag. Sometimes our doctor may send us immediately to the lab for something that he feels is necessary, but other times we may have to come back to his office for multiple appointments over several months with the same persistent complaint before he will decide that the quickly-written prescription isn’t doing anything, and we really do need to have a tube stuck down our throat or a picture taken of our brain or joints to see what the hell is actually going on.

It’s hard to predict when our doctors will jump on a test immediately or delay one for several months—but it seems clear from the national discussion on TV that some tests are being delayed due to concerns about cost. Our healthcare system is losing money, and some patients are guilty of what the insurance industry calls “over-utilization of services”—which makes it damned hard on those of us who legitimately need the testing.

On the Today Show on Wednesday morning, August 28th 2012, Dr. Nancy Snyderman actually suggested that any medical test will come up with something treatable, so therefore people in their 90’s should hold off on such tests so that younger people with longer-expected life spans can benefit from the treatments instead!  We like and respect Dr. Nancy, and we never expected her to take such a cold-blooded stance on the subject. It sounds logical and fiscally responsible on the surface, but how low on the age scale should we set the cutoff point? Age 80? 70? What about people over the age of 60? Shouldn’t other factors besides age be considered in such a decision?

Such a stance is easy to support, so long as the older people in question are generic groups whom you have never met. But when that older person is suddenly a personal friend or a member of your own family—or when, God forbid, it’s actually you—then you will probably take a second look and decide that in this case, at least, an exception should be made!

Another unexpected and recent surprise has been that we have to do our own diagnosing. More accurately, we have to research our symptoms on the Internet and take our questions about possible causes to our doctor, to get him to look into them and determine whether we are barking up the wrong tree—or not. Only our doctors and their labs can diagnose for certain, but we have to tell them what to look for! This is doubtless due to the overwhelming number of patients they see every day, with the result that even the most conscientious physician can only pay full attention to the patient who is right in front of him. As soon as that patient has left and a new one has come in, the first one better receive proper follow-up from the doctor’s staff, because the doctor himself will have forgotten about him until their next scheduled appointment.

In the last three years my wife and I have been successfully treated for degenerated hips and shoulders, melanoma and allergic reactions to various medications—but in every case we were the ones who had to self-diagnose the condition and then go to the proper specialist to have it verified! Until we did that, we were simply given prescriptions for pain or infection in an attempt to mask symptoms.  It was never suggested that surgery might be needed, or that a medication should be discontinued because it might be messing us up.  Suggestions of that nature had to be put forward by us.

I have two reasons for writing this essay and sharing it with others. For those in the medical profession, I want you to know that educated patients understand your dilemmas concerning healthcare costs and the limited time you are allowed to spend with each of us—but we insist that attention be paid to us as individuals, rather than as generic members of a certain age group. For my contemporaries who are experiencing the same frustrations that I am, I want to encourage you to Keep Doing Your Searches on WebMD, and Keep Asking Questions. Don’t take a doctor’s “I don’t know” for an answer. Get your facts lined up, and insist on getting tested for anything that alarms you and that your doctor isn’t completely sure doesn’t need a test.

For those of you who aren’t wealthy and are under 65 without health insurance, I empathize.  I went without insurance for two years before finally making it to Medicare age. The best advice I can give is to do whatever you feel is necessary to maintain your functionality, until you can finally get coverage to see doctors again. The trick is to just stay alive. But remember that getting the insurance won’t be enough. You will have to be an active advocate for your own health and for the health of your spouse and parents.

Want to know the results of Florida’s voter restriction program?

 

Take a look:

There are about 2 months left for about 114,000 residents who have been shut out of the vote, be they seniors or blacks or hispanics. We should all be working to clean up this mess.

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT-MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA issued a ruling on August 21 striking down some of the Florida restrictions… especially the trimming down of early voting dates.

Let’s see what happens now.

 

Racism raises its ugly head at the RNC…

 

“This is how we feed animals,” were the words shouted at an African-American CNN camera woman while throwing nuts at her at yesterday’s RNC session.

Two people were removed from the Republican National Convention by security and police. Multiple witnesses observed the exchange and the convention released a statement saying:

“Two attendees tonight exhibited deplorable behavior. Their conduct was inexcusable and unacceptable. This kind of behavior will not be tolerated.”

A CNN representative said:

“CNN can confirm there was an incident directed at an employee inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum earlier this afternoon. CNN worked with convention officials to address this matter and will have no further comment.”

No information has been released as to who the two offenders were nor what has happened to them

 

Quote of the Day: Grover Norquist says Romney will do what a Republican Congress says to do…

 

“All we have to do is replace Obama. …  We are not auditioning for fearless leader. We don’t need a president to tell us in what direction to go. We know what direction to go. We want the Ryan budget. … We just need a president to sign this stuff. We don’t need someone to think it up or design it. The leadership now for the modern conservative movement for the next 20 years will be coming out of the House and the Senate.

Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the United States. This is a change for Republicans: the House and Senate doing the work with the president signing bills. His job is to be captain of the team, to sign the legislation that has already been prepared.”

– Grover Norquist

So, who runs the Republican Party anyway? This guy holds no office and doesn’t speak at the convention. So why is he so important. Why do all these dumbos sign his goddam anti-tax pledge?

That I have no answer for. I wonder if Romney does.

 

Who actually casts more votes? Women or men? Blacks or whites?

What about age? What about Rich vs. Poor?

Here are the stats:

And, of course, there’s West Virginia with one of the lowest voter turnouts. Whadda ya know?

Why do we take medications that can kill us?

Have you noticed on more and more TV commercials for prescription medications that something upsetting appears?  According to law, prescription meds have to state their side effects in advertising, and since I take a lot of prescription meds I monitor these commercials with scrutiny.

A great number of these side effect revelations include such things as depression, sleeplessness, stomach problems or DEATH! So in taking these sleeping pills or pain killers or diabetes medications, the side effect could be that you die.

Does this cause any problems for the medications industry? It looks like doctors have very little trouble prescribing these potential killers… and the TV ads convince many patients to request these from their physicians.

I see no one on the news or in other source material debating this issue, so I wonder if it is important to Americans (it is becoming important to me because I take at least one of these pills.)

Let me hear from you if you have any thoughts on this issue.

Yesterday’s Republican Convention… a quick summary from TPM

Talking Points Memo did a neat summary of yesterdays Republican convention called “The Convention in 100 Seconds.” I haven’t seen anything else which shows the emptiness of the event. Here it is:

Court says Texas redistricting law actually discriminated against Latino voters…

 

It seems a redistricting plan signed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) intentionally discriminated against Hispanic voters. So said a three-judge panel today in a unanimous decision. The judges found that seats belonging to white incumbent members of Congress were protected under the plan while districts belonging to incumbent minorities were targeted for changes.

The court said it was

“…persuaded by the totality of the evidence that the plan was enacted with discriminatory intent.

There was

“…sufficient evidence to conclude that the Congressional Plan was motivated, at least in part, by discriminatory intent.”

It is clear that Texas Republicans  want to suppress minority representation in order to keep a rising Hispanic population from turning this red state into a blue one in the near future.

Texas’ voter ID law is till on the books but is  being challenged by the Department of Justice.

 

The Republican Guide to Female Anatomy:

 

Hey there folks… ever wonder how the Akins and Ryans and Tom Smiths come to their considered conclusions on rape and incest and the general needs of women?

Why, they have precise technical information like this:

Of course, the statements of “experts” are much appreciated.

My thanks to Rosie Fenton at pic.twitter.com/sReVt96H.

 

Bill Nye the Science Guy says don’t teach your kids Creationism.

 

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Scientist and children’s television personality Bill Nye, in a newly released online video, panned biblical creationism and implored American parents who reject the scientific theory of evolution not to teach their beliefs to their youngsters.

“I say to the grownups, ‘If you want to deny evolution and live in your world that’s completely inconsistent with everything we’ve observed in the universe that’s fine. But don’t make your kids do it,'” said Nye, best known as host of the educational TV series “Bill Nye the Science Guy.”

If I were a professional educator, I would give Bill Nye my thanks for coming out with this video:

Evolution is the fundamental idea in all of life science, in all of biology. Creationism is not.

 

Boehner tells the press that he hopes blacks and latinos don’t vote…

The Speaker of the House told a luncheon hosted by the Christian Science Monitor in Tampa Monday that the Republican Party counted on apathy from the Latinos and blacks in choosing Democrats over Republicans… something that has become apparent by record margins in recent polls.

His actual words (in public, no less):

“This election is about economics… These groups have been hit the hardest. They may not show up and vote for our candidate but I’d suggest to you they won’t show up and vote for the president either.”

Combine this with the Republican campaign for voter ID laws, for limiting voting hours and for stalling registrations , and you get the clear fact that these laws were meant to keep blacks from voting.

As Doug Priesse, chair of the Franklin County, Ohio Republican Party, said about restrictive early voting hours and voter ID laws:

“I guess I really actually feel we shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban — read African-American — voter-turnout machine… Let’s be fair and reasonable.”

In Pennsylvania House Republican leader Mike Turzai conceeded the point of voter ID is to help Republicans win

  “Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.”

So it looks like Republican leadership from the top to the bottom will do their best to realize a publicly stated hope: Keep minorities away from the voting box… it’s the only way for them to have a 100% white male government.

What is it about Republicans and Rape?

Tom Smith is running for Senate against Democratic Sen. Bob Casey in Pennsylvania. When the Akin/Ryan/Rape business came up he was interviewed by Mark Scolforo of the Associated Press. Catch this:

SCOLFORO: How would you tell a daughter or a granddaughter who, God forbid, would be the victim of a rape, to keep the child against her own will? Do you have a way to explain that?

SMITH: I lived something similar to that with my own family. She chose life, and I commend her for that. She knew my views. But, fortunately for me, I didn’t have to.. she chose the way I thought. No don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t rape.

SCOLFORO: Similar how?

SMITH: Uh, having a baby out of wedlock.

SCOLFORO: That’s similar to rape?

SMITH: No, no, no, but… put yourself in a father’s situation, yes. It is similar. But, back to the original, I’m pro-life, period.

Perhaps Republicans have no real idea what Rape is… a violent and immoral crime. For the state to have control of a woman’s decisions related to the use of her body is equally as violent, whether psychologically or physically, and just as criminally immoral.

At least we know now that birth out of wedlock is “similar” to rape.

I hope you Pennsylvania folks keep a very good Senator that you are lucky to have… Bob Casey.

(Special thanks to Wonkette for the transcript.)

Paul Ryan Watch…

 

Did you know rape is just another method of conception? That’s what Ryan said in a live, television interview:

And we thought Todd Akin was the brain dead sex definer.

 

😦

 

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