Archive for the ‘ABC News’ Category


The daughter has learned how to use the remote control on the DVR. Neither her mother nor I showed her; she just picked it up by observation. She’s particularly fond of pausing or reversing her program so we can see something on her program that amused her, and thought she should share with her parents. Sometimes, I’m truthfully not all that interested, but it’s useful nonetheless to see how her mind works.

One time, I was in the kitchen, listening to, but not watching ABC News. She had wandered into the living room and was captivated by this graphic that showed how it snowed so much somewhere in the upper Midwest that it would bury a car. The graphic of the increasingly covered vehicle fascinated her. And she needed to share; it was sorta interesting.

Actually, I need to be more mindful when she’s around and I have control of the remote, trying to catch up on the news. There was a recent story about a drone strike that killed 20 people; fortunately, there were no graphics. She was drawing something and I didn’t think she was paying attention. Still, she asked me, “Daddy, were they all bad people?” After thinking, “Oh, crap,” I said, honestly, “Well, probably not,” which seemed to satiate her for the moment.

Another time, I didn’t think she was paying attention was while I was watching the 11 January JEOPARDY!, almost certainly after 11 January.
FACTS & FIGURES $1200: Researchers have found more than 40,000 of the dust type of these microscopic bugs in 1 ounce of mattress.
She turns to me and says, “Dust mites!” She didn’t reply in the form of a question, but she was correct. This pleased me greatly.
***
She knows I blog about her and as I was musing about what to write. She suggested that I tell that Sunday morning, she wrote notes saying “I love you”, and put them on her mother’s and my pillows. OK, I’ll write that.

ROG

I just don’t understand it.

All this talk about rationing health care under “Obamacare”. We already ration health care. from patients bounced from insurance coverage for unrelated pre-existing conditions to serves denied until patients actually die. WE RATION health care. Perhaps that’s even necessary in a world of finite resources, but to dump it on the current plan(s) is most disingenuous.

Rationing. Why else does Remote Area Medical®, founded by Stan Brock in 1985, provide “free health care, dental care, eye care, veterinary services and technical and educational assistance to people in remote areas of the U.S. and the world”? The “remote” area of the United States this week? Los Angeles, California. For his efforts, Brock was picked as ABC News’ Person of the Week.

I know, from personal experience, that people without insurance wait as long as they can before seeking medical assistance. I know that, until I got dental insurance, my trips to the dentist were few and far between, going only when I was in extreme pain, instead of going regularly to maintain my dental health.

I may have told this story before but can’t find it. Two days before I was going to college in 1979, I was at a friend’s house and somehow got an infection under my toenail. It hurt mightily but I had no insurance. But I WOULD have insurance in a couple days. So I hobbled through college registration; if I had had a walker or wheelchair, I would have used it. Then I went to the infirmary. By this point, the infection was going up my leg; if it had reached my heart, I most likely would have DIED. As it was, I spent the next six days – the first six days of the semester – in bed.

Yes, I believe in universal coverage. Heck, I believe in “socialized medicine”, though I know THAT’S not gonna happen. But why can’t we just debate the reasonable differences, such as its effect on the deficit, a legit question.

Take Sarah Palin, who is repeating her “death panel” claims. Someone please explain why she would say this, yet again. If there is a third option, PLEASE let me know, but I have to think that the only reasons would be that 1) she is stupid or 2) she is lying. I tend to think she’s not stupid, but I could be wrong about that. Of course, the White House’s reality check page won’t be believed, or listened to, by those who’ve been listening to the Sarah Palins.

Joe Baker, President of the Medicare Rights Center, was recently on the Newshour with Jim Lehrer on PBS to discuss some aspects of Medicare in national health reform. The specific topics related to Medicare discussed during the segment include the much-discussed reimbursement for end-of-life counseling, as well as other provider reimbursement rates. Here is a link to the transcript and video of the segment. It seems that a good libertarian position would be for individuals to control their own end=-of-life decisions, rather than have others do it for them. Expect that this provision NOT to show up in the final bill.

The cost of health care reform is $1 trillion over 10 years; that’s real money. But what is the cost of NOT doing reform? Current estimates based on the recent rise health care costs is $70 trillion or more in ten years.

Did you happen to see Jon Stewart this week when FOX News was “monitoring” some town hall debate and promised to go to the event if it got heated? Evidently, people screaming at elected officials is some sort of infotainment, but a reasoned conversation must be too boring to cover.

Finally, I HATE the phrasing of current poll questions about health care, one of those “How’s he doing?” things. More people think he’s not doing well than think he is. But saturated by coverage of the screamers, one could conclude that all the objectors think the plan’s too radical. In fact, there are some people, and I number myself in their ranks, who would answer the question negatively as well because I don’t think the plan’s “radical” enough. Amazingly sloppy poll questions, which, I guarantee will be cited by the host of at least one Sunday morning talking heads program; David Gregory of NBC’s Meet the Press is almost a lock.

ROG

I do know and am quite likely to remember how I learned of MJ’s death.

Just as I remember when JFK died – fifth grade, Miss Oberlik’s class, Daniel S. Dickinson School, Binghamton, NY. Just as I remember finding out about the Challenger disaster – working in the back room at FantaCo Enterprises, the late comic book store store on Central Avenue, Albany, NY, while listening to Q-104, when Mary Margaret Apple interrupted the music to give the news.

This is not to say – lest you start to fret – that I’m making a comparison about the import of these events. I am talking about how memory works.

I was at the Albany Public Library, main branch, computer room, shortly after 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 25. I needed to write about my daughter for a blog post the next day. Then I heard someone say to the woman at the desk that Michael Jackson had died. WHA? So I went to CNN and AP, both of whom indicated that Michael had been rushed to the hospital but neither of whom had announced his death. Most sources indicated that TMZ, the Matt Drudge of entertainment sites, WAS declaring Michael dead, but that they were seeking independent verification.

About 15 minutes later, CNN notes that “multiple sources” have noted Michael’s passing. In the moment, I was more peeved that TMZ had been right in breaking the story, that this was a greater sign of the deterioration of the mainstream media, than the death of an entertainer who I’d watched, sometimes with tremendous admiration and other times in disdain, over the past four decades. Someone who, and I ALWAYS hate this, was younger than I am.

The death of Michael Jackson is this fascinating cultural and technological phenomenon. It slowed Twitter to a crawl and taxed much of the rest of the Internet as well.

Here’s what always bothers me about these types of stories. There are folks who say endlessly, “Why do people care about THAT? If people spent more time caring about (pick one or more) world hunger/the health care crisis/the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan/whatever, rather than some entertainer’s death, we’d be better off.” It’s often the same people disdain the use of television (they don’t have one or only watch PBS).

I’m willing to bet that if people spent as much time worrying about the health care industry as they did about Michael or Jon & Kate (who I must admit, I didn’t even know who they were until a month ago) or some other “frivolous” thing, it would have next to zero impact on the important issue. It is as though some individuals feel that passion for Off the Wall, Michael’s best album, could be somehow transferable to other, more “significant” things. (Speaking of which, apparently Michael’s soul has been saved, in case you were wondering.) Thank goodness ABC was planning repeats of Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice last Thursday so they could preempt them for instant specials on Michael and Farrah Fawcett, who, not unexpectedly, had died earlier that day. (What, no special on Sky Saxon of the Seeds?)

So I will remember how I learned of Michael’s death, just as I remember John Lennon’s (heard it from Howard Cosell on Monday Night Football) or the shootings of Lee Harvey Oswald and Robert F. Kennedy (saw them on TV in real time). The intensity of the events will wane, but a piece of the recollection will likely remain.
***
Just discovered The Dead Rock Stars Club. Have only been in 2009, but it is quite detailed. Not does it have obvious choices such as MJ, Sky Saxon and Koko Taylor, but more obscure artists such as Viola Wills, and even folks you wouldn’t have thought of in this context: Gale Storm (I’m old enough to remember My Little Margie), Ed McMahon, and David Carradine, e.g.


ROG


I must admit that it was my intention not to add any new shows to my list of programs to record on my DVR and (presumably) eventually watch. From a DVR at 0% on Labor Day, the machine got filled up to about 77% on Halloween weekend, and currently is is the mid 50% range.

As always, we have shows that are hers, hers, theirs, mine and ours.

HERS (the wife):
Skating. Unfortunately, the ISU series, save for Skate America, is not airing on any TV network, broadcast or cable. Apparently, this is a particularly big deal since we’re leading into an Olympic year and it’ll be easier to handicap the skaters once you’ve seen them on the Grand Prix circuit.
Also one of those home improvement shows on HGTV.

HERS (the daughter):
Little Bear. A nice show on Noggin co-created by Maurice Sendak.

THEIRS:
Dancing with the Stars. Even I know that 82-year-old Cloris Leachman stuck around longer than her talent would suggest based on her bawdy charm.

MINE:
This Week/Meet the Press/ABC World News – current.
Everything else is at least a week behind, including JEOPARDY!, CBS Sunday Morning and 60 Minutes. Also watching:
Boston Legal: yes, I know, but it’s the last season. There was actually a pretty good episode, one lacking with most of the supporting cast, in which Kyle Secor (Homicide) played the accused murderer and husband of Alan Shore’s former loves.
Pushing Daisies: frankly, I thought this show was too whimsical last season to survive, but ABC brought back virtually everything except Men in Trees. I expect it to get canceled THIS season. BTW, some kind person sent me this link to video content they had received directly from ABC, a new “Inside with the Stars” of Pushing Daisies
or here.
Dirty Sexy Money: my unapologetic soap opera trash, and I liked Peter Krause from Sports Night and Donald Sutherland from so many things, most recently, Commander in Chief.
Grey’s Anatomy: more tolerable since Grey and McDreamy have decided to actually have their damn relationship.
Life on Mars: One of the adds to the list. Jason O’Mara has intrigued me going back to a short-lived show called In Justice in 2006. Since then he was a love interest in Men in Trees and an arsonist on The Closer. Additionally, I lived in NYC albeit in 1977, not 1973, but it feels right. Interestingly, this is a short-lived British show that moved to a Los Angeles setting with the cast above to a disastrous result. It now has the cast pictured here and a different venue.
Brothers and Sisters: if you’ve ever had siblings…

OURS:
With the exception of one Earl and one Office, we’ve watched NOTHING on this list- My Name Is Earl, The Office, and at the suggestion of my wife, an add, 30 Rock.

So I never complain about TV shows being pre-empted. There’s always something in the queue. Frankly, I looked forward to November 12, when the CMA Music Awards scuttled the entire ABC lineup for Wednesday.

And no, I’m not adding anything else. I’m sure there are perfectly good shows out there, like How I Met Your Mother (saw once) or Eli Stone or those geeky guys on that CBS Monday sitcom. I’m not going to get invested in Lost or Heroes or Desperate Housewives at this point. Hey, I added 30 Rock.

ROG

The first time I had a chance to vote for Ed Koch, the 1977 Democratic primary for mayor of New York City, I voted against him, and in favor of some guy named Mario Cuomo. Koch won and was easily re-elected mayor that fall.
The second time I had a chance to vote for Ed Koch, the 1982 Democratic primary for governor of New York State, I voted against him, and in favor of some guy named Mario Cuomo. Cuomo won and was easily elected governor of New York.
In 2004, Koch, ostensibly a Democrat, supported the re-election of GW Bush. So, I’m not a big fan of Edward I. Koch. And yet…

When Ed Koch says that a Sarah Palin presidency ‘scares’ him, that resonates with me.

Look, I can get into a rhetorical debate about this – and BTW, the Librarians against Palin website points out that she probably meant “theoretical” when she talked about her “rhetorical” book ban. And yes, I know the banned book list floating around the Internet has been debunked, but there are still questions to be resolved.

But I didn’t need the word of the former New York City mayor to tip me off. Frankly, her responses in the Gibson/ABC News interview were often troubling. Is it that she really WANTS to go to war with Russia AND Iran? Does she assume that Israel should have carte blanche? A scary interview.

At least she “clarified” her Bridge to Nowhere position during the interviews, though she returned to the lie two days later. Even Pat Buchanan says she’s being trained to “parrot the McCain-neocon line”, contrary to her own earlier beliefs.

I do wonder about Troopergate as much as how it reflects her governing style as the specific facts in the case. And has been the role of Alaska’s “first dude”?

Know that I don’t care particularly about Sarah Palin’s 17-year-old pregnant daughter. I do, however, care about her position of forcing “abstinence-only education” down the throats of the school districts. (Hey, send money to Parenthood in Sarah Palin’s name!) And I can’t help but wonder: How well would Barack Obama have done if he had come forth with a 17 year old pregnant, unmarried, unemployed daughter? And speaking of sex, Sarah Palin’s “hotness” factor, which I know liberal bloggers are tired of hearing about, but which voters may be responding to initially, won’t be enough the more voters learn more about her.

Even the resident conservative of The View, Elisabeth Hasselback thought that Obama’s “lipstick on a pig”, a phrase used by John McCain regarding Hillary Clinton’s health care policies, was a non-issue. Ah, politics of distraction. The handlers at least are on script as they play the gender card. I will say this – Sarah Palin does snark well – and are community organizers, which would have included my late father, ticked.

Having said all that, I’ve pretty much tired of talking about Palin – well, maybe not this Palin. Until Sarah does something else totally outrageous, I’ll let others carry that ball. I’d rather discuss about the top of the ticket, John McCain.

If I were a Republican in 2000 and voting in the primary, I likely would have gone for John McCain, certainly over George W. Bush. While I was mildly troubled by that Keating Five thing involving the Savings & Loan disaster of the 1980s, he seemed like an honorable guy. In this lengthy (30 minute) piece, Joe Biden talks, among other things, how badly he felt when the forces of W. vilified McCain before the South Carolina primary that year:

Since he had been tortured himself, he was sensitive to a strong anti-torture policy for the United States, and I applauded that.

So how the hell did the ‘Straight Talk Express’ get so derailed? More than anger, I have a profound disappointment that the Arizona senator has sunk to such levels that even Karl Rove says McCain is lying in his ads.

A raspberry to the MSM here. It took Comedy Central’s the Daily Show, FCOL, to show how McCain’s 2008 talking points about working with Democrats, et al was almost verbatim what W said in 2000 – anyone have that link? – and we all know how well THAT worked. Obama gets knocked for wanting to talk to Iran, but – surprise – five former U.S. Secretaries of State are saying the same thing.

McCain’s self-declared lack of strength in the economic side is problematic. His economic policy, deemed ‘incomplete’ by the hardly liberal US News makes the rich richer. He declares that fundamentals of the economy are strong even as Wall Street collapses. McCain, the computer illiterate is the one I find “out of touch”. And it saddens me. Earlier this year, Wesley Clark, that is, General Wesley Clark, got in trouble for suggesting that John McCain’s war record was not an automatic qualifier for the Presidency; he wasn’t wrong, merely impolitic. America is guns AND butter.

I’ll be mentioning McCain again, I suspect.

ROG

Saw a couple people yesterday that reminded me about my war with stuff. There was a period, once upon a time, when I coveted stuff – new music, new books, pretty much what every good American has been trained to do. Yet at the same time, I admired people who had a better handle on stuff. I knew this couple from my former church who lived in a small house, and they had a rule that for whatever came into the house, something of equal size had to go out. Music, books, magazines were purchased, but something else had to be passed along.

This is why I have rules about playing music; if I own it and am not playing it, what’s the point? To “have”? (Whereas I’m keeping my Warner Brothers’ Loss Leaders LPs for a reason.)

Alan David Doane, noted comics blogger, and former FantaCo customer, came by my house yesterday morning and took a comics magazine-sized box of periodicals out of my house. It included early Amazing Heroes (back when it WAS mag size), about 30 Comics Journals, and various and sundry other bits of comics journalism from the early 1980s. As I looked through the box, I had a twinge of nostalgia, especially for a square-bound CJ featuring the Pinis and Elfquest. But an even stronger sensation was this: I will never read these magazines again. ADD will enjoy having them much more than I at this point. And, if he finds any FantaCo-relevant info in there, ADD will tell me, making it a win-win.

Less than an hour later, I had lunch with Mitch Cohn, who used to work at FantaCo and edited 2/5 issues of the Chronicles, Gates of Eden and Deja Vu. (Mitch says hi to Fred and Rocco.) In the course of catching up on our lives – he’s teaching English in NYC – Mitch wondered whether Tom Skulan, former FantaCo owner, still had this copy of Abbey Road purportedly signed by all four Beatles. I said no, he gave it to me for Christmas or my birthday in 1984 or ’85. Here’s the weird thing about that; I often forget that I have it. There was a show of Beatles memorabilia to which I had contributed some pieces, but the Abbey Road, which was/is NOT with my Beatles’ materials, totally slipped my mind. So,I’m thinking that I probably should just sell it. Of course, this would probably involve authenticating the signatures. The Beatles were notorious for letting their surrogates sign on their behalf. But having it to “have” it just isn’t making sense anymore.

It’s not that I’m immune to wanting stuff altogether. Sure I’d like a stereo HDTV some day. But my now 21-year-old, pre-SAP, pre-V-chip TV still works, and I’m not throwing it to the curb (probably not literally; there are rules in this city against that) for something I want but just don’t need.
***
Things that are bugging me:
*the way the US Census discounts, or more correctly, uncounts married gay couples
*this cartoon featuring Barack Obama; I think it’s racist. No, it’s not the New Yorker cover.
*and I feel rather callous about this one, but after Martha Raddatz, the ABC News White House correspondent reported on the death of former White House press secretary, who died of colon cancer at the age of 53 earlier this month, anchor Charlie Gibson thanked her, adding “I know how hard this story was for you.” Undoubtedly, some affection develops for someone one talks with on a near-daily basis, but hearing “how hard” it was for Martha, who was showing no visible signs of emotion, made me wonder how aggressively the network was in dealing with the Bush administration. (No, that’s not the ONLY thing that made me question that.) And it made Martha’s reaction part of the story, which made me uncomfortable.

No idea where I found this:
Click to view my Personality Profile page
I told you I was shy. Why do so few people believe me?
***
Someone was complaining about my spelling of the word pierogi (as pierogy) recently, even though most sources cite both as correct. It’s in that spirit, and in honor of Dictionary Day last week (yes, I missed it, alas), that I share this piece about some other words where the standard spelling is changing:

***
Besides the last of the Rat Pack guy, whose late-night show I used to watch – Regis Philbin was his sidekick; and that From Here To Eternity woman – still a steamy sea scene a half century later; I noticed the death recently of Vernon Bellecourt, who led the “charge against Indians as sports mascots”. More than merely the nickname, the goofy image of the Indians logo has long given me pause. In any case, the Red Sox whomped Cleveland last night, so it’ll be Boston who I’ll be rooting for against Colorado.
***
I’m recommending you read Dan Van Riper’s October 14 piece on Yassin Aref, who was almost certainly convicted in a bogus FBI operation. On a lighter note, see how ADD discovers he’s not five years old anymore and how Scott answers questions posed by, among others, me.
ROG

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