3rd Quarter 2009
Episodes 512, 513, 514, 515, 516, 517, 518, 519

Episode #512: That's Not Logical
First Broadcast: 6/29/09
The members of the State Senate are doing next to nothing in the special sessions ordered by Governor Paterson. That is, when the Democrats and Republicans aren't having competing sessions at the same time, passing separate sets of laws that are almost certain to be challenged in court if they ever make it as far as the governor's desk. A State Supreme Court Justice is begging the Senators to resolve this on their own, but will they? Of course, we might not be in this situation if New York State legislators had the foresight to amend the state constitution to allow for a new Lieutenant Governor when one becomes Governor for some reason--you know, like the 25th Amendment did for allowing a new Vice President to be appointed when a Vice President becomes President? Thanks a lot, Elliot! P.S.: Barack Obama shows just how sharp he is, when he responds to a critic who suggests that an inexpensive Public Health Insurance plan will put private plans out of business:

Why would it drive private insurers out of business? If private insurers say that the marketplace provides the best quality health care, if they tell us that they're offering a good deal, then why is it that the government -- which they say can't run anything -- suddenly is going to drive them out of business? That's not logical.

Nice to have a President say something intelligent for a change.

Episode #513: Slightly Less Fictional
First Broadcast: 7/6/09 Video level was low. Audio level was also low.
Repeated: 7/12/10
Most of the episode discusses the media coverage of the death of Michael Jackson, a man who appeared to see many physical flaws with himself where there initially were none, while simulataneously refusing to see any of the mental flaws within himself, where there appeared to be several. Nonetheless, Jackson was still a very talented performer, and his death seems to have freed people to admire the singer whom millions listened to back in the days of Off The Wall and Thriller, as opposed to the freak who was under indictment and living with a chimp. But does that excuse the mainstream media and so many Jackson fans from overlooking the weirder aspects of Jackson's personality in the wake of his death? Isn't this similar to the way mainstream media overlooked the awful aspects of the Nixon and Reagan presidencies when those two men died? Didn't the book Lies My Teacher Told Me point out the dangers of selective history? And is this bad timing to bring this up during Independence Day weekend? Perish the thought.

Episode #514: Sitting in Different Seats
First Broadcast: 7/13/09
Is New York State Governor Paterson's appointment of Richard Ravitch to the position of Lieutenant Governor constitutional? State Assemblyman Michael Gianaris says "Yes." State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo says "No." I agree with the Assemblyman, because, logially, if that kind of appointment isn't illegal, it must be legal, right? (But will any of that matter, now that State Senator Montserrate has decided to go back to voting with the rest of the Democrats?) And what does it say about Republicans that they are so much more likely to vote for Sarah Palin than either Democrats or Independents, even after her incoherent resignation speech? I couldn't begin to guess--because by that point, the show was over.

Episode #515: Wax Nostalgic
First Broadcast: 7/20/09
Repeated: 5/31/10
Today, school security weighs heavy on our minds, especially the unnecessary aggressive policing and metal detectors in New York City schools, which seem to detect cell phones more than anything else. And does removing cell phones from schools prevent cheating, as some would allege? Probably not, I think.

Episode #516: He is a Citizen
First Broadcast: 8/10/09
Repeated: 5/17/10; 4/4/11
First: President Barack Obama is a citizen of the United States. Second: This information has been available to the general public since August, 2008, when FactCheck.org verfied the authenticity of Obama's birth certificate during the Presidential campaign that year. Third: Government officials from the State of Hawaii have publicly stated twice that Barack Obama was born in the State of Hawaii, making him a citizen of the State of Hawaii and of the United States. Fourth: The House of Representatives recently commemorated the 50th Anniversary of Hawaiian statehood with a resolution which read, in part, "Whereas the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961..."

So, with all that in mind, why are there so many idiots all across America who cling to the false belief that Obama is somehow not a citizen of the United States? Why do they remind me of the fanatics who insist that the events of September 11, 2001 were an "inside job"? Why are they filled with the same kind of fervor that was once reserved for proponents of conspiracy theories about the JFK assassination? Or the people who think we didn't go to the Moon? And the most important question of all: Am I really going to have to put up with their nonsense for the next four to eight years? At least one of these questions will be answered by the end of 2012, I think.

Episode #517: It Actually Helps You
First Broadcast: 8/17/09
Repeated: 9/14/09
The troglodytes who are accusing Barack Obama of being a socialist, fascist, Maoist Nazi with regards to his ideas for health care reform are, for lack of a better word, unhinged. There are no "death panels" in the works to "pull the plug on grandma," as some of the more incoherent cranks have put it. The White House has put up a web site to explain its positions and counteract some of the more outlandish claims in plain English, but who knows if the people who need to see it most are paying any attention. Perhaps Stephen Hawking put it best when he talked about how the public health care option in his country has helped his life (contrary to claims made by Investor's Business Daily): "I wouldn't be here today if it were not for the NHS. I have received a large amount of high-quality treatment without which I would not have survived." If that sort of thing is good enough for him, I think it's good enough for the rest of us, don't you think?

Episode #518: Rants About Ranters
First Broadcast: 8/24/09
Why would any woman think a publicly-funded health insurance program would equate President Barack Obama with Hitler? Why would Rush Limbaugh also compare Obama's health plan to Nazi Germany? Why did a man with ties to a militia bring an assault rifle to an event where Obama was speaking? Why did former GOP House majority leader Tom DeLay question Obama's citizenship? Why did Frank Laffer claim that Medicare wasn't a government-run program? And why do 45% of Americans think that Obama's health plan has "death panels" in it? Maybe the right-wing in this country has just become mentally ill? Too bad there isn't a cheap health-care option to help them out...

Episode #519: Give Me An IST
First Broadcast: 9/7/09
Why has President Obama's plan to address public school students with a speech about the importance of education made people on the right wing think that he's going to indoctrinate them with "socialist" ideas (in, I repeat, public schools)? Why do some of these extremists think it's a better idea to keep their kids home from school than possibly expose them to a Presidential speech? Why do these people think it's better to remain ignorant about things they disagree with, rather than know enough to have a reasoned debate about an issue? And why do so many opponents of Obama's health care proposals find no problem with visiting a government-operated hospital for all their various ailments? I used the word "unhinged" to describe these people once before; I think that description still stands.

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