The Healthcare Summit Was Good Television. Sadly, That Might Be ALL It Was!!!!!!
I watched most of that 7 or 8 hour television show today. I found myself being interested in the prediction made by Newsweek's Ezra Klein before the healthcare summit began which was, "Thursday's summit might make for good TV, but it won't solve our problems."I think that what we saw today was riveting television seeing as how it involved many of our political leaders, including the President of the United States, passionately telling a live television audience what they think is the right way to go regarding healthcare reform.President Obama showed that he is willing to bend a little in the Republicans' direction, but there didn't seem to be any "bend" from Republicans. The Republicans seem to be insisting on making the Democrats "start over", (something that if the Republicans would be honest about) would result in a long delay before anything could possibly happen OR (and this is what the Republicans seem to want) the whole idea of healthcare reform would be scrapped. Finito, no mas, fuh-get-about it, etc., etc.But I really did think it was good televison.In today's Wall Street Journal (thank you, long time contributor Elvis), their recommendation is (in essence) that we patients need to be more responsible for the money spent on our healthcare. In other words, while everyone agrees that costs are out of control, we, the patients, should be responsible for paying more, but we patients should all also be given tax breaks on that money we spend on healthcare. Hmmmm.... I admit (as an acting teacher of mine likes to say) "I'm just another bozo on the bus", but wouldn't that "solution" simply ADD to this terrible DEFICIT everyone agrees is something we've delayed SERIOUSLY dealing with for too long a period of time?Because it's the Wall Street Journal, there is NO mention of the legal license to steal that is enjoyed by health insurers like Anthem (who have been in the news a lot) and other health insurers who make obscene profits while basically doing three things; Collect money from employers and individuals, give some of it to healthcare providers and put the rest of that money into their fat money filled pockets.And yeah, these companies are also very good at saying, "NO!!!" to sick people who desperately need help and "YES!!!" to any suggestion regarding raising rates 15-40% anytime they feel like it.Like I said, the Wall Street Journal won't say what I'm about to tell you and except for a passing mention of it (during the health care summit) regarding a vote taken by the House of Representatives Wednesday, there was nothing (that I heard) mentioned about.....FEDERAL ANTITRUST LAWS!!! The Health Insurance Industry IS EXEMPT FROM FEDERAL ANTITRUST LAWS!!! And that's how they are legally allowed to do the financial raping and pillaging of us.READ MY LIPS...If you want to bring down the costs of your health care, you can start by demanding the repeal of the health insurance exemption from antitrust oversight.Wednesday, in a 406-19 vote, the House of Representatives did indeed vote to repeal the health insurance exemption from antitrust oversight.If you, like many of us, feel power-less at times, I'm going to give you a way to feel power-ful!!!WRITE A LETTER, SEND AN EMAIL OR CALL MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE AND TELL THEM YOU WANT THEM TO VOTE TO REPEAL THE HEALTH INSURANCE EXEMPTION FROM ANTITRUST OVERSIGHT!!!!What the House of Representatives did yesterday is one third of what has to happen for this to get done. The United States Senate has to pass this bill and then it would be sent to President Obama who most assuredly would sign the bill.I am told that the United States Senate would (as of now) NOT come up with enough votes to pass this bill. WHY?!? I'm going to be gentle with my answer. Let me simply say the reason is, "Misinformation from lobbyists!" Have you been paying attention to what these Tea Party People have been doing? The most important thing they've doing is being proud and loud. And I mean, REALLY LOUD!!!They're activists. I don't agree with all of their positions, but I like the hell out of the fact that because they care, they're letting people in Washington know (in essence and with apologies to Paddy Chayefsky), "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!!!"Nobody likes what these health insurance companies are allowed to do to us. And the REASON they're allowed to do and get away with what their doing is because THE HEALTH INSURANCE INDUSTRY IS EXEMPT FROM FEDERAL ANTITRUST LAWS!!!Again...Do yourself a big favor. A favor that will make you feel like there IS something you can do! And do you know WHY you'll feel that way? Because you CAN do something!!!WRITE that letter...SEND that email....MAKE that phone call....To your two United States Senators and tell them you want them to CRAFT A BILL AND VOTE TO REPEAL THE HEALTH INSURANCE EXEMPTION FROM ANTITRUST OVERSIGHT!!!THOUGHTS AND OR COMMENTS? Write to me at email@example.comGLENN BECK...Speaking of the Tea Party People...Would we all agree that one of the heroes of the Tea Party movement is Glenn Beck? He was the main speaker at the Conservative Political Action Conference last week and while getting cheers, laughter and several standing ovations, Glenn Beck mentioned that he's an alcoholic and drug abuser that had to "hit bottom" before he could begin the act of "recovering" and that he believes in the concept of "redemption". To the surprise of many, he said (in his speech) that he doesn't think the GOP has taken the first step toward achieving redemption.Say, whaaat? Glenn Beck went on to say, "I have not yet heard people in the Republican Party admit they have a problem. I have not seen a come-to-Jesus meeting...'Hello, my name is the Republican Party and I've got a problem. I'm addicted to spending and big government.'....They need that moment."Later in his speech, Glenn Beck said, "Dick Cheney was here a couple of days ago and he says it's going to be a good year for conservative ideas. That may be true, but Republicans should know that it's not good enough to not suck as much as the other side."Short response: I agree with both of Glenn Beck's statements.TIGER WOODS...We're supposed to care about how many women this married father of two slept with? And more to the point, we're supposed to be outraged by this? I heard the very naive sports broadcaster Jim Rome do a rant on Tiger that made me believe that Rome felt Tiger owed Rome something.Stay in your booth, little man. Believe your own press clippings about your omnipotence while the rest of us will mentally pat you on your head while assuring you that despite your pitiful "concerns", the sky is not falling.TOYOTA...Not much to say about their problems, huh? The boss of that company has pretty much said it all.TAXES...How many of you have heard the argument that goes something like this; "We don't need to raise the taxes of the rich because they pay much more taxes than everyone else and besides, all that money they have after taxes is used to start new businesses or to improve businesses they have."!?!I'll bet you've heard a variation of that argument a lot, right?Have you heard about how much money in taxes the co-owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers paid from 2004 to 2009? According to documents recently filed in their divorce case, Frank and Jamie McCourt got 108 million dollars from 2004-2009. The amount of federal and state income tax they paid was zero.Again...ONE HUNDRED EIGHT MILLION DOLLARS!!! And they paid ZERO TAXES!!!And that's not an isolated case, gang.IRAQ...The "Status of Forces Agreement of 2008" calls for American troops to be out of Iraq by the end of next year, 2011. High level and very quiet conversations are being held and the topic of these conversations are about ignoring this agreement and keeping our troops their longer. Probably a LOT LONGER!!! Why? You gotta love this argument. "Just because you invade a country stupidly doesn't mean you should leave it stupidly."Well, it's nice to know that some Generals and Department of Defense people acknowledge what most us have known all along. That the invasion of Iraq was stupid.ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS...I want to thank long time blog reader and supporter "KrazyK55" for sending his frustrating commentary which is titled, "LET ME SEE IF I GOT THIS RIGHT!!":If you cross the North Korean border illegally, you get 12 years hard labor.If you cross the Iranian border illegally, you are detained indefinitely.If you cross the Afghan border illegally, you get shot.If you cross the Saudi Arabian border illegally, you will be jailed.If you cross the Chinese border illegally, you may never be heard from again.If you cross the Venezuelan border illegally, you will be branded a spy and your fate will be sealed.If you cross the Cuban border illegally, you will be thrown into political prison to rot.Buuuuut....If you cross the U.S. border illegally, you get:A job,A license to drive,Social Security Card,Welfare,Food Stamps,Credit cards,Free education,Free health care, A lobbyist in Washington,Billions of dollars worth of public documents printed in your language,The right to carry your country's flag while you protest that you don't get enough respect,And in many cases, the right to vote.I JUST WANTED TO MAKE SURE I HAD A FIRM GRASP ON THE SITUATION!!!Thank you, KrazyK55.ENTERTAINMENT STUFF..."American Idol" had their first elimination show tonight. Two of the twelve women finalists and two of the twelve men finalists were sent home. When the choice came down to the final two women, one of which would be told they were leaving, the right woman was chosen.For the men, the choice was very much up in the air. Not because they were all good. It was because of how lousy they sang on Wednesday night. I mean, with one exception, an argument could have been made to eliminate ALL of them because this group of men singers appears to be the WORST group of men singers in the history of "American Idol".The new film, "Shutter Island"...Wow!!!When you sit down to watch this latest Martin Scorsese project, be prepared to learn that this is a film that is not what you think it is. There are twists and turns and twists and turns and by the time the film has ended, it will be understandable if you are exhausted.If Leonardo DiCaprio doesn't get a Best Actor Oscar nomination next year, all of the Academy voters should have their voting privileges taken away from them. I mean, I can't imagine how exhausting this film was for DiCaprio. Not so much physically, but mentally.DiCaprio is surrounded by terrific supporting performances, but I'm reminded of what Tommy Lee Jones, while receiving his Best Supporting Actor Oscar for "The Fugitive" said, "And to Harrison Ford, who needs no support!"Nonetheless, kudos to DiCaprio's support from Ben Kingsley, Mark Ruffalo, Max Von Sydow, Michelle Williams and Patricia Clarkson who, in my view, deserves a Best Supporting Oscar nomination next year."The Possum", George Jones...My favorite music is Country music. George Jones is a Country music legend. Because of the way he lived when he was much younger, he would be the first to tell you he's lucky he's still alive. And the cause of death could have been because of his drinking, fast driving or cheating. Subjects he has sung about.I had never seen him perform, but I had the pleasure of being invited to his sold out performance near San Diego this past Friday night. His very fine band was a very good warm-up act and George Jones, despite what appeared to be a slight case of the flu, performed masterfully.Believe me when I tell you that this ol' country boy damn near wore himself out with all the hand clappin' I did and I walked out of that concert hall with a huge smile on my face.Doncha just love it when the Legends don't let ya down?THOUGHTS AND OR COMMENTS?!? Please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org I will respond to you immediately. If you write to the blog, there is no way for me to know your email address, so I won't be able to respond to you. Again... email@example.com and I will respond immediately. All "anonymous" emails are ignored.THE NEXT BLOG?Unless something unforseen happens, the next blog will be written and posted Wednesday night, March 3rd.
A ONE DAY DELAY! THE NEXT BLOG WILL BE POSTED THURSDAY NIGHT, FEBRUARY 25!!!
Hi Gang,I'm delaying this one day because I want to know what kind of discussion took/takes place at tomorrow's Healthcare conversation that will feature President Obama and Republicans, a discussion that you can watch on CSPAN 3.Tomorrow's blog will also include stories about;Tiger WoodsThe Health Insurance Industries' exemption from Federal Antitrust Laws, something that's the main reason they can "screw us" any way and any time they want to.ToyotasGlenn BeckTaxes that you and I pay, but that the rich/wealthy DON'T PAY!!!Reaction to my "Lounge act" line in last week's blogA possible delay in our leaving Iraq, a delay that could be a very long delayAmerican Idol and what appears to be the worst group of male singers that show has ever hadCountry Music living legend, George JonesAnd the new film, "Shutter Island"Thanks for your patience. The blog figures to be posted tomorrow evening, if not earlier than that.Scott "The Jammer with the Hammer" St. James
According To The Polls, President Obama Will Be A One-Term President!!!
A little more than a year ago, President Barack Obama had "rock star" status. Now, if the polls are accurate, President Barack Obama has become a "lounge act".And Republicans who have been out to destroy him from the get-go, like Mitch McConnell, the de facto leader of the Republican Party of "No" and Wisconsin's Paul Ryan, a guy who looks like he had all of his lunch money taken from him while he was in Junior and Senior High School, are busy trying to do whatever it takes to DESTROY this presidency.I've lost track of how many things McConnell was in favor of until Obama was in favor of those things and this Ryan guy has people believing he's a "little guy's" politician while he tries to sell everyone on his idea to (basically) eliminate Social Security so the rich can get richer and the "little guy" gets royally screwed.Yesterday, President Obama promised 8 BILLION DOLLARS to build the first NUCLEAR REACTORS in almost thirty years.Short Commentary: YAYYYYY!!!!I have been encouraging this kind of move for the last six years or so and so have a lot of other Republicans. It'll be interesting to see what these "Party of NO" guys say about this move by President Obama. Frankly, I hope President Obama orders the building of more of these nuclear reactors and plants.Back to those polls that just came out. The polls showing that a very large majority of Americans believe that President Obama has virtually no chance of being reelected.I BELIEVE THOSE POLLS!!!I BELIEVE that is what so many Americans are saying and I believe if a presidential election were held tomorrow, he wouldn't win unless he was running against Sarah Palin or Paul Ryan.But the next presidential election WON'T be held tomorrow. And if sometime in the next two years or so President Obama is able to get a healthcare bill (a bill that includes tort reform) passed THAT EVERYONE UNDERSTANDS.....Annnnd...If he is able to get a bill passed that will seriously regulate the way banks do business, the polls could change. Big time!"If, "If", If", Mr. President.AN EMAIL FROM CAIRO, EGYPT!!!A few weeks ago, I wrote about terrorists and made the point that the terrorists we've been dealing with have all been Muslim terrorists. Not some of them. ALL OF THEM!!!I supported and still do support "profiling" of Muslims when they want to get on our airplanes or are anywhere near locations here in America that are national security related locations. And I will continue to think this way until the day comes I believe we no longer have to be concerned about Muslim terrorists because they either don't exist or they no longer wish us harm.This Muslim U.S. Major who went on that murderous rampage in Fort Hood should never have been allowed to be in the position he was in. And I have no concern for his medical care (he was wounded by two American heroes) and I have no concern about his "rights". The next time I hear or read the word "alleged" associated with this Muslim Terrorist, I will puke.After I wrote my concerns about Muslim Terrorists, I did what I usually do after I've written a commentary about an explosive issue. I invited thoughts and or comments about what I had written.Never in my wildest imagination did I think I would get an email from Cairo, Egypt. The power and reach of the internet never ceases to amaze me and this isn't the first time I've been surprised and amazed. If I told you about some very famous people who have written to me about this blog, I think you would be every bit as surprised as I've been. And no, they don't all agree with me on a number of subjects. But yes, some do agree with me. And yes, their anonymity is guaranteed by me if it's requested, which pretty much all of them do. And I very much enjoy the private email conversations we have. And I've also gotten some good "topic ideas" from some of you great readers.Hussien Ali has not asked to remain anonymous. Hussien Ali is the man who wrote to me from Cairo, Egypt.Hussien is a Muslim. He's not a terrorist. He was born in Cairo, but he lived here in the Los Angeles area from the age of 12 to 34 when he moved back to Cairo. While he was here, (and yes, this was a mindblower for me) Hussien Ali started listening to me on the radio when I first got here and was part of the Robert W. Morgan morning show on Gene Autry's KMPC. I was also doing what was known as Rams Talk and Angels Talk on that same station. Hussien Ali told me he comes back here for visits and the last time he heard me on the radio was in 2007 when I was on KLAC with Joe McDonnell and Joe Grande.WHEW!!!!No way in the world I can be mad at or suspicious of this guy, right? Hussien Ali was and is a fan of mine and because he cares, he wants to make sure I understand a few things about Islam.He wants me to know (and the rest of us as well) that the word "Islam" means "submission" as in, Submission to God (Allah). He also wants us to know that according to their bible, The Koran, "People who kill innocent people go straight to Hell."Hussien Ali has also given me some "reading suggestions" so that I might learn a little bit about Islam.I can read the minds of some of you readers. "You about to go soft on terrorists because of this guy from Cairo, Scott?"Not hardly.Hussien, I'm flattered to have had you as a listener to many of the broadcasts I was a part of here in Los Angeles. And I am flattered that you are a reader of this blog in Cairo, Egypt.I am a peace loving man, Hussien. But I choose to have no mercy when it comes to people who want to do unprovoked harm to my country. While I find what is in your bible (The Koran) to be interesting, I must also tell you that what I find in the Christian bible is interesting as well.And just because it's in either of those bibles or in both of those bibles doesn't mean that everyone is going to abide by the words that are written.I choose to keep religion out of the equation when it comes to war because I think too many (far too many) wars have a religious "hook" to them. Hussien, my friend Muhammad Ali famously decided to not be drafted in the military and stated as his reason, something like, "I ain't got no quarrel with no VietCong!"Hussien, until 9/11, I had no quarrel with or concern about, Muslims.I believe what you say when you say the vast majority of Muslims are peace loving people. I also believe that until the day comes when the peace loving Muslims are able to get control of the Muslim Terrorists, we here in America will continue to "wonder" about people who wear turban like clothing on their heads and (with or without suspect head wear) happen to be people who just remind us of terrorists when they're trying to board an American plane.Is that kind of thinking fair? No. But neither was 9/11 or Fort Hood.One more thing, Hussien. The next time you decide to come back here for a visit? Please send me an email telling me when you're going to be here. I'd love to have lunch or dinner with you.CHANGE OF PLANS...I planned to give you a Theodore Roosevelt quote that's immigration related and I planned to tell you what happens to illegal immigrants who enter this country compared to what happens to them when they enter seven other countries. I'm now planning to do that in next week's blog.I also plan to tell you (If I finish reading it) about a new book that was written by legendary 93/KHJ Program Director, Ron Jacobs that's titled, "Obamaland".ENTERTAINMENT STUFF...A lot of reruns are being shown on television because of the Winter Olympics. Have you been watching the Olympics? Am I going to sound Un-American if I tell you I haven't been watching the Olympics?What I did watch last night was part one of a two-part series of eliminations on "American Idol", eliminations that (after tonight) will narrow the field to 24 contestants who will begin fighting for the chance to be the next American Idol next week.Back to that 2-hour "American Idol" elimination show last night. After taking what seemed like forever to eliminate one of three rooms of contestants (which only took two minutes or so) a lot more time was wasted while letting only seven of what will be twenty four know that they have made it.What took so much time! Way, way, WAY too much, MUCH too much, Ryan Seacrest!!!I mean, it was obvious they had a lot of commercial time that had been sold so they had to have "content" but that ain't Ryan Seacrest's strong-suit. He's a pleasant looking hustler who knows how to make money. But "A.I." had a room full of charismatic entertainers in the judge's room that would have been better served to fill all that time Seacrest used. No way do I believe that Seacrest's idol, Dick Clark would have allowed what happened last night to happen. Dick Clark figured out a long time ago that a little of him goes (went) a long way. I mean you had ELLEN in the judge's room. Along with three MUSIC POWER PLAYERS!!!!And correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't "American Idol" a MUSIC show.It ain't a Ryan Seacrest show. Never has been and never should be. Last night, it was. Big, big mistake.THOUGHTS AND OR COMMENTS? Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will respond to you immediately. If you write to the blog, there's no way for me to know your email address, so I'll be unable to respond to you. Again.... email@example.com "Anonymous" emails are ignored. Your "anonymity" is guaranteed when you write, but if you write anonymously, you are ignored.THE NEXT BLOG?Barring unforseen circumstances, next Wednesday night, February 24th. That will be the night after I have attended a Red Carpet event.
A Favorite L.A. Times Writer Of Mine Has Given Some Overdue "Props" To A Good Friend Of Mine In TODAY's L.A. Times!!!
Yeah, I know. What could this possibly have to do with stuff you usually read about in this blog?!?Well, I'll get to topics like the latest on President Obama... The Alaska Governor who won't stop talking, but she had no problem quitting working...Anthem Blue Cross, the company that has given us who have our eyes wide open, more of an understanding why we do indeed need healthcare reform and we need it NOW....A quote from President Theodore Roosevelt that ties in with illegal immigration....Examples of how illegal immigrants are treated in other countries compared to how they're treated here...An email from a reader in Cairo Egypt who takes me to task for what I wrote about Muslim terrorists a few weeks ago...How I think Ellen has done on "American Idol" so far...The Super Bowl commercial that most folks were talking about the next day....Comments about some terrific television performances this past week....Annnnd....I'll tell you about a nice experience I had playing an Airline Captain on a star-filled pilot for television a few days ago....But first, this item about a column you can read in tomorrow (Friday) morning's L.A. Times in the news section on page 2.It is a column about LARadio.com, a publication about (mostly) L.A. radio that is owned, published by and written by Don Barrett, a good friend of mine. The L.A. Times' columnist who wrote this story is a guy I've communicated with several times because I'm a big fan of the way he writes. His name is James Rainey and he is not a columnist who writes nothing but "puff pieces". Skeptical? There's an executive at Channel 5 here who is still grumbling about a recent column that Rainey wrote, a column that was definitely not a "puff piece"about the executive and some things that had taken place at Channel 5. Because I know Don as well as I do and I have been a reader/subscriber of his from the very beginning, I also know that James Rainey hit a "home run" with his observations about Don and LARadio.com. Folks, if you care at all about radio or if you care at all about somebody who does/writes the "right stuff" about radio, stuff that sometimes annoys people because "truth" can be bothersome at times, I wholeheartedly recommend that you get a copy of tomorrow's (Friday, February 12) L.A. Times. Turn to page 2 of the front (news) section and at the top, you'll see this wonderful column that was written by James Rainey.Bravo, James! And Don, I know it's a labor of love, but bravo for all the years of hard work, taking the time to patiently listen to radio executives and some announcers bitch and moan about something you wrote even though the only reason they knew what you wrote was because they had stolen what you wrote. And Don, it really is amazing you haven't had to have more dental work, because I know how much grinding of your teeth you did (and do) because of those complaining thieves! POLITICAL STUFF...After a little more than one year, people on the right are mad at him. People on the left are mad at him. People in the center are mad at him.That's about as close to batting 1,000 that President Obama can get, isn't it?A pessimist would say they can hardly wait for the next election, "So we can get rid of this guy!" but an optimist might say, "If he's pissing everybody off, he must be doing something RIGHT!"We will see what we will see, but one thing we definitely need to see (hear) is President Obama "leveling" with us about things we would probably not like to hear. But they are things that we absolutely must hear! We have a lot of problems. Especially economic problems. I blame Bush Junior for the stupid and very expensive war in Iraq and the all around amateurish way that operation was handled, but I don't blame Bush Junior for all of our economic problems. Bush Junior didn't help or find ways to solve these problems, but these are problems that began to fester in the Reagan years and continued through the Bush Junior years. And you wonder how a black guy became President?If President Obama doesn't figure out a miraculous way to get us moving in a direction that most Americans will believe in, he will be a one-term president who will unfairly be identified as the president who was responsible for ALL OF OUR PROBLEMS!!!If I had to pick one main thing that has been responsible for the mess we're in, that would be deregulation. Deregulation gave the "sharpies" free reign to rape this economy. It might have started before the Reagan years, but it was definitely happening during Reagan's time and continued through every administration after Reagan.As time went on, the lobbyists got more and more power and were willing to spend more and more money on campaign contributions. Why? To protect these gold mines that deregulation got the people the lobbyists represented and to this day, represent. Why do you think there's so much trouble getting a healthcare bill passed even though both the Senate and the House have big majorities of democrats? Like they said about Watergate, "Follow the money!"Sarah Palin for President?!?If you read about or saw some of that Tea Party stuff in Nashville a week or so ago, you know that Sarah Palin was the main speaker and a speaker who was paid more than a hundred thousand dollars to "rally the troops". I admit that I laughed when she used her "hopey-changey" line.In a blog I wrote a few weeks ago, I told you I like the idea of these Tea Party People standing up and letting everyone know what's on their minds. I have a lot more respect for people who are activists as opposed to people who simply sit home and complain a lot.In a conversation with Chris Wallace of Fox News, Sarah Palin was asked about the next presidential election and if she was planning to run for president. Palin (in essence) said no, but she now knows more about "issues" than she did when she was on the McCain ticket, and if people really wanted her to run for president, she would definitely give their request(s) careful consideration.Okay....Just for fun, lets imagine Sarah Palin does decide to run for America's highest office. What she and her advisors would immediately have to do is be on the lookout for things that opponents could use against her.Off the top of my head, here are a few of those things...The fact that she quit her job as Governor of Alaska. Being a "quitter" is not what's recognized as something that people would admire about someone who was thinking about being our president.Sarah Palin talks a good talk about "family values", but somewhere along the line, Sarah's message didn't seem to resonate with her own oldest daughter.Okay...Things like that might happen in your family, my family or a lot of other families. But in the family that would aspire to be our country's FIRST FAMILY?!?I think it was while she was in Nashville that Sarah Palin said she believes that the United States of America is a Judeo (or Judaic) Christian nation. I agree with that statement.But if she decides to run for president, she has to know that politics is a "blood sport" and she will most definitely have to deal with a video of her and man who claimed to be a religious man.You probably saw it on YouTube. Or some of the talk shows. Or some of the comedy shows. Or some of the news shows. If Sarah Palin is running for president and (as an example) I'M running against her, here's what happens. I run a campaign commercial on television all over America and I run it often. The first thing viewers would see is Palin saying her belief about America being a Judeo (or Judaic) Christian nation. The next thing viewers would see was Palin on stage with a man who says he's a religious man of some kind but while he's chanting and doing a laying of hands thing on Palin, you can't help but think this guy looks like a WITCH DOCTOR of some kind. While the Witch Doctor (or whatever he is) was continuing his gyrations, a voice over announcer would be heard saying, "Is someone going to ask Governor Palin which category of religion her dance or healing partner represents? Is it Judaic, Judeo or Christian? Because Inquiring Minds want to know!"Here are my final (for now) thoughts on Sarah Palin. Charisma does (and always has) sell tickets. "Elmer Gantry" and "A Face in the Crowd" are two great examples. And she has learned from those examples well.One Other Political Related Item...You have probably heard about Anthem Blue Cross and the new rate hikes their customers have been hit with. This is not just a California story. Imagine if YOU got a note in the mail saying that your healthcare insurance rates were going up 39%!!! Last year, a slightly higher hike was made by Anthem Blue Cross. The company has told their customers they can probably expect more hikes before this year is over. If this doesn't help us get a healthcare bill of some kind passed, I don't know what will.A CHANGE IN PLANS...I planned to tell you about an email I got from Cairo Egypt from a reader who took me to task (in a nice way) about my Muslim terrorists commentary. He also gave me some reading suggestions while pointing out what's in their bible, The Koran. I think we've had enough "heavy stuff" for this week's blog, but I will tell you about Hussien Ali in my next blog.Same deal with the illegal immigration related quote from President Theodore Roosevelt and a list of how illegal immigrants are treated in seven other countries, which is a whole lot different from the way illegal immigrants are treated here.ENTERTAINMENT STUFF....Was there a more talked about Super Bowl commercial than the CBS commercial featuring, David Letterman, Oprah Winfrey and Jay Leno? That commercial was only 15 seconds long, but that night (after the game) and all day on Monday, David, Oprah and Jay were seen over and over again while broadcasters all across America talked about them over and over.Did you see Ellen on "American Idol" this past Tuesday and Wednesday? These were her first two appearances as "A.I.'s" new judge. I'm a big "American Idol" fan and off of what I saw, I think Ellen is going to be a good addition to the show.Other television shows that (to me) were outstanding this week have (in no particular order)been...."Undercover Boss", the new show that was shown right after the Super Bowl on CBS. If the rest of their shows are going to be as good (or better) than Sunday's debut show was, that show is going to be a big hit!"24"! I'm a sucker for that show. I've seen every episode since it came on the air."House"! The story line this week was about the lady boss of the hospital. It was a great episode, but I couldn't help but think this actress has come a long way since she played a hooker the Rob Lowe character was interested in on "The West Wing"."Mercy"! It has taken a while, but viewers are beginning to find this show just as it's going on hiatus because of the Olympics. Yes, it's an NBC show, a show that left us with several cliff-hangers to chew on while we wait for the Olympics to end."Grey's Anatomy"! A show that seemed to lose it's way last year has come back with a vengeance. Very, very good stories again! Tonight's espisode was especially good.My favorite television show since it came on the air has been "Brothers & Sisters". But have you heard what's going to be happening to that show's cast, soon? The Rob Lowe character is going to leave the show (probably dead) and the Kitty character who plays Lowe's wife is going to be used only occasionally after this season has ended.And that means my NEW favorite television show is, "The Good Wife", a show that has become a big hit and a show that simply gets better every week. Tuesday's show was off the charts OUTSTANDING!!! And as a viewer, I have a major crush on the actress who plays the role of the investigator."Hot in Cleveland"! What? You haven't heard of that show?Well, neither has anyone else. They just finished making the "pilot" of that show. It's a comedy that stars (among others) Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick, Betty White and John Schneider.Basically, it's a show about the Bertinelli, Leeves and Malick characters being burned out in Los Angeles where they're living. The Bertinelli character is an author, the Leeves character is a makeup artist and the Malick character is an actress. The three of them decide to fly to Paris together. While on the plane, these three women are big time funny and the Bertinelli character has an embarrassing encounter with her ex-husband who is also flying to Paris and the Bertinelli character still misses him and is about to "make her move". But a 20-years younger drop dead gorgeous woman approaches and introduces herself while flashing a big diamond engagement ring. The ex-husband plans to marry the young beauty queen and what the Bertinelli character goes through is shown (by great acting) to be a moment in which you know she wants to find a big boulder to climb under. I promise you that when you see this scene, you will be watching something you might have lived through yourself and you will definitely feel sorry for the Bertinelli character.It's about that time when the airplane they're on begins to shake in ways it shouldn't be shaking. The more it shakes the more scared the passengers get. The Airliner's Captain does his best to keep everyone calm while keeping them informed. Eventually, the plane has to make an emergency landing, a landing that happens to be in Cleveland.The Airline Captain's name is Reid and I'm the actor who is playing Captain Reid.To make a long story short, the ladies end up liking what they're seeing and experiencing in Cleveland and they decide to stay a while before resuming their flight to Paris.Needless to say, if this show is "picked up", these ladies will stay in Cleveland, hence the title of the show, "Hot in Cleveland". As in, the men in Cleveland think these three L.A. women are HOT!!!This pilot was directed by Michael Lembeck and the person who hired me is show producer, Bob Heath, a guy who has been very nice to me. He hired me for the "Geena Davis" show which he was a producer of and he hired me many times for "According to Jim" which he was also a producer of.I had a wonderful time with the cast and crew and I hope the show gets picked up because what I saw was a very funny show that has "hit" written all over it.QUESTIONS AND OR COMMENTS? Please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will respond to you immediately. If you write to the blog, there's no way for me to know your email address so it will be impossible for me to respond to you. All "Anonymous" emails are ignored. Again...An email to email@example.com gets you an immediate response.THE NEXT BLOG? Barring unforseen circumstances, next Wednesday night, February 17, which also happens to be Ash Wednesday.
This Week's Blog Has Been Delayed ONE DAY!!!
Hi Gang,I'm writing this on the evening of February 10, the evening my new blog is scheduled to have been written and posted.Because of acting auditions (again) that require studying, the new blog will be written and posted late tomorrow night, Thursday, February 11.Among other things, I'll tell you about a new show I participated in last week.I'll also tell you about some other new shows and about Sarah Palin, who is always a good show.Thanks again for your patience.Scott "The Jammer with the Hammer" St. James
I Want The President of the United States To Be The Guy I Thought I Voted For!!!!
Here's a quote I would like us all to remember; "Telling the American people what we think they WANT to hear instead of telling them what they NEED to hear just won't do!"Would you be interested in voting for a guy who was promising us THAT?!?A lot of people did and I was one of them.Candidate Barack Obama said that before we elected him President of the United States."Telling the American people what we think they WANT to hear instead of telling them what they NEED to hear just won't do!"I'm a big believer in keeping religion out of politics. What happens in the political arena is real. What we're told that happened more than two thousand years ago is stuff that can't be proven and has no business being used as some kind of "crutch" when it comes to American Public Policy.But having said that, I'm going to relax my rule a little bit with a big, "Amen, Brother!" to what Barack Obama said before we elected him to be our current President of the United States.The late Barry Goldwater once said, "You don't have to BE straight to SHOOT straight!" Goldwater was a very conservative republican who also spent time as a military officer and he was referring to gays in the military and the ridiculousness of them having to hide who they are in order to protect us from foreign evil doers.I'll get back to that subject later in this blog, but Goldwater's "shoot straight" mention brings me back to my current thinking about President Obama.Yeah, that State of the Union speech was another pretty good speech by this gifted talker, but so far, all we've seen from him IS "talk".And a lot of it hasn't been "STRAIGHT TALK"!In his State of the Union address, Obama was right to "smack down" the Supreme Court for doing what the Limbaugh's and Hannity's have been bitching about for years and that is, accusing the Supreme Court of "legislating from the bench". In case you haven't been paying attention, this is regarding this unlimited corporation campaign financing business that John McCain, Russ Feingold and others fought so hard against and got a law passed on it's behalf. A law that no longer exists because of the Supreme Court's "legislating from the bench". Kind of like what they did that resulted in us getting the worst President of the United States in our history. A president that got us into one phony war, didn't follow through on what would have been a righteous war because of 9/11 and didn't ask the American people to pay for these wars or a big prescription drug bill. And we now have slick talking con men (and women) who have scared and gullible citizens believing this big deficit we now have is all President Obama's fault.Okay....President Bush and his irresponsible ways got us into this mess, but so far, the view here is that President Obama has been big time lacking in possible solutions to get us OUT of this mess.First of all, Obama's healthcare reform bill idea was (in my view) a very good idea that ended up having a very big problem and I think the problem was Obama's fault. ALL his fault. While all the back and forth negotiating was going on, Obama never explained to the American people what this bill was-is really all about. And that allowed slick politicians like Mitch McConnell to rally bought and paid for talk show hosts to help with the mission of sabotaging everything this young black president stands for and tries to do.YO, PRESIDENT OBAMA!!!! Most people LIKE you! To paraphrase Sally Field, they really, REALLY like you! Annnd...you have big majorities in the House and Senate. In previous blogs, I have stated that it's long past time for you to quit looking like a guy who's easy to "roll" and be an out and out Asshole from time to time.From my little corner of the world, it looks like the bankers have "rolled you", the Generals have "rolled you", the healthcare negotiaters "rolled you", Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner "rolled you", Federal Reserve Chief Ben Bernanke "rolled you" and as Newsweek's Howard Fineman referred to him, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Lex Luthor of the Senate, appears to have definitely "rolled you" or he has you so off-balance, you seem to be going through a slipping, stumbling and falling phase.Mr. President, if you don't start acting like what you are, which is the president of the most powerful country in the world, your political standing is in danger of getting to a life-support stage. But you still have plenty of time to turn things around.It's too late to do anything about Bernanke for another year, but you should fire Timothy Geithner right now.Mr. President, do NOT back away from getting enforceable regulations that bankers and the rest of these high powered financial titans are fighting against. They don't give a rat's ass about what's good for America. All they give a damn about is what's good for them. We, the American taxpayers recently bailed them out with billions of dollars of our money and a headline in all the newspapers today is about how AIG is handing out millions of dollars in bonuses.Mr. President, do not let AIG "roll you"!Mr. President, it is good that you have been barking at the Republican "No-Sayers" and pointing out to the Democrat "Scared-Sayers" that they shouldn't only be supporting things that will help them get elected again. In fact, they should be supporting and trying to legislate things that are best for America in the long run. When brave politicians got Social Security passed, the majority of Americans thought it was a bad idea. When brave politicians got Civil Rights legislation passed, the majority of Americans thought it was a bad idea. Shoot, there was a time in this country when American women weren't allowed to vote. Brave politicians changed that. And so many other unpopular (at the time) things have been passed by brave politicians, things that we all take for granted now. Mr. President, you absolutely HAVE to continue this barking you've recently begun doing. Your presidency and this country's future DEMANDS that you do!!! Now...Mr. President, what in hell is going on with this healthcare bill? Please be specific! Be specific or give it up. In your State of the Union speech, you said you're not going to quit. Talk is cheap. Tell us what's up with the healthcare stuff. Explain it in simple language, all of it, no surprises later and present that bill to the American people. If this is something that for whatever reason you can't do, give up and we'll start thinking about who we might like to have as our next president three years from now.Oh...Mr. President? One more thing. If the things we need to do are things that will require taxes to be raised for everyone, the American people won't like to hear that. I certainly won't. BUUUUUT.....If this is something you feel is absolutely necessary, you can tell the American people about your political opposition's FAVORITE president what HE did when difficult decisions had to be made.When you listen to the broken record that is Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and other history revisionists, you would swear that Ronald Reagan NEVER raised taxes.Well, here's the historical truth. In 1981, President Reagan signed the Kemp-Roth tax bill that lowered marginal income-tax rates. The next THREE YEARS, President Reagan RAISED taxes.Why? Because he knew it was necessary. Don't believe me? Quit listening to the revisionists who so desperately want Obama to fail and look it up. As the late sportscaster Jim Healy used to say, "I don't make 'em up, pally!"Thoughts and or comments? Please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org"DON'T ASK, DON'T TELL!!!"This is about gays in the military. President Obama says he'd like to see gay military folks to be able to serve openly. On Tuesday, February 2nd, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said they're in favor of repealing the 1993 "don't ask, don't tell" law.Full disclosure: No, I'm not gay, but I grew up during a time when people I associated with believed gay people or "homos" or "queers" as they were then known as were, in fact, "God's Abominations". A lot of people believed they shouldn't even be allowed to live, much less serve in the military.I used to believe that. When I was in the military, there was only one guy living with us in the barracks who most soldiers thought was "queer", but he never had any trouble from any of us because he never did anything to make us want to cause him trouble. After I left the military, I had an uncomfortable experience when I was hitchhiking from South Carolina to where my parents were living in California. For quite a few years after that, I was part of the crowd who believed that "queers" and or "homos" were the kinds of people we just shouldn't have around us. "God's Abominations", if you will.And you know what's pathetically funny about that? I'm not a religious guy, but a lot of people who wear religion on their sleeves will tell you there's something inheritantly wrong with what are now known as "gay people". My response to that is, if you believe in a God of some kind, a God that is the creator of everything, don't you think he (or she) would have stopped creating gay people if indeed this almighty creator of everything really believed there was-is somethingwrong with gay people. I mean, an almighty God would simply not allow mothers to give birth to a gay baby, right?I'm not going to sit here and tell you I now have a lot of gay friends, because that simply isn't true. It's also true that I don't have that many friends period, but that's another story.As I got older, I ended up working with a few gay people and here in Los Angeles (Hollywood) where I've been for most of the last more than 30 years, I've run into a lot of gay folks on film and television productions. I've never had a hint of a problem with those people. What I've learned is that gay people want the same things straight people want. A good job, a chance to be loved, to be treated equally, the "American Dream" if you will.The day after coming out and saying he supported the repealing of the "don't ask, don't tell" law, Defense Secretary Robert Gates is now saying (in essence), on second thought, this "don't ask, don't tell" business needs to be studied. No reason to hurry up with a decision like this, etc., etc.My reaction to Secretary Gates' new way of thinking? GUTLESS!I understand a dinosaur like John McCain being against this while his wife and daughter are supporting the idea, but Secretary Gates needs to check the demographics of his current military services. The vast majority of the troops are young and the vast majority don't look upon soldiers being gay as any kind of big deal because they've grown up around them.Here's my position on Gay Rights. Gays serving openly in the military? No problem. Repeal that stupid law.Gays marrying each other? No problem. With all the divorces in the straight community, you want to tell me there's something almighty sacred about marriage between a loving man and a loving woman? And that those marriages are superior to a marriage between a loving man and a loving man or a marriage between a loving woman and a loving woman? Yes, I'm aware of the argument regarding gay couples adopting children or having children through the use of surrogates, etc. and feeling that children being raised like that will be somehow corrupted.People who believe that, are people who then have to believe that it's possible to catch a disease which they think is "Gay". Translation; Do any of you honestly believe you can CATCH "Gay"?!?Thoughts and or comments? Please write to me at email@example.comOTHER STUFF....I was going to write about a great quote from President Theodore Roosevelt....An illegal immigrant's "do's and don'ts" in other countries compared to our country....A letter I got from Cairo, Egypt taking me to task about my comments regarding Muslim terrorists....And foreigners who honk their horns too damn much, buuuuut, I think it's time to lighten things up a bit.TELEVISION..."American Idol" has been showing auditions from other cities, auditions that resulted in a lot of singers coming to Hollywood with dreams of becoming the NEXT "American Idol".I watched a couple of those audition shows from the other cities and yes, my eyes watered up when some singers were told they would be flying to Hollywood and while watching, I also came to the conclusion that "American Idol" will really miss Simon Cowell when he leaves after this season's shows end. What's new judge Ellen DeGeneres going to be like? Hard to say, but according to The National Enquirer, she and Simon Cowell "are already at each other's throats".The Hollywood "American Idol" shows begin next week.FILMS...I saw a 1960 film classic on TCM a few days ago. And it was the first time I had seen "Elmer Gantry". It starred Burt Lancaster, Jean Simmons and Shirley Jones along with several other fine actors. Lancaster won the Best Actor Oscar and Jones won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar. The film is 50-years old, but I thought it stood up well and I enjoyed it very much.I want to make special mention of Shirley Jones. Her publicist is the long time Beverly Hills P.R. guru, Edward Lozzi who also happens to be a 30+years friend of mine. A few months ago, Lozzi invited me to an Elvis Presley related function in the San Fernando Valley. Shirley Jones showed up with her husband. I was introduced to her and we had a pleasant conversation for a few minutes. Because there was loud music, I had to stand very close to her. As I stated, Shirley Jones won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her work in the classic film, "Elmer Gantry". She played a prostitute who did a little hanky-panky with the Burt Lancaster character. While I was watching Shirley Jones in that film a couple of nights ago, I couldn't help but remember what Shirley looked like when I was standing 6-inches away from her a few months ago. Drop-dead gorgeous is what she looked like. In her 1960 Oscar winning performance and standing right next to me in late 2009. For some very rare people, the aging clock seems to never be ticking. Shirley Jones is one of those very rare people. It's no wonder her husband always has a big smile on his face.A 1997 film, "The Conspiracy Theory" is currently on the Encore circuit. I saw it for the first time two weekends ago. It stars Mel Gibson, Julia Roberts and Patrick Stewart. I liked this film a lot. Mel Gibson plays a guy you think is just "nuts" for most of this film and the nonstop and very fast way he has to talk is an acting clinic. Julia Roberts, having to keep up with him is an acting clinic as well. The way the film plays out is something that keeps your eyes glued to the screen until the film ends.Two days later, I saw Mel Gibson's new film, "Edge of Darkness". This is a nonstop revenge film. If you like action that's associated with a good story, I think you'll like "Edge of Darkness".OSCAR NOMINATIONS....I thought the film "The Blind Side" was Oscar worthy when I saw it. "The Blind Side" is the film I'm rooting for. My second choice would be, "Up in the Air". My third choice would be, "Avatar". "The Hurt Locker"? This is a film that cost 11-million dollars to make and it has sold 12-million dollars worth of tickets. Because a good chunk of that 12-million will go to the theaters showing the film, that means "The Hurt Locker" is a film that is "hurting" for an audience. My good friend, LARadio.com Owner-Publisher Don Barrett, loves this film and he is an Academy voter, so I know that "The Hurt Locker" will get at least one vote. Actually, it figures to get a lot of votes, but I don't think a film seen by as few people as this film has been seen by is worthy of being given the Best Film Oscar.My choice for Lead Actor is George Clooney, but I certainly wouldn't be bothered if Jeff Bridges wins.My choice for Lead Actress is Sandra Bullock.My choice for Supporting Actor is Woody Harrelson, but I certainly wouldn't be bothered if Matt Damon wins. I think the favorite to win is Christoph Waltz.My choice for Supporting Actress is Anna Kendrick, but I certainly wouldn't be bothered if Vera Farmiga won.My Oscar choices are not predictions. They are simply the people and or films that I would like to see honored.THE SUPER BOWL!!!!!Now this does involve a prediction. As of today, the Indianapolis Colts are favored by 5 points over the New Orleans Saints. One of the Colts' very best players might not play because of a serious leg injury and if he doesn't play that will be a serious loss for the Colts.But there is no bigger star in the NFL right now than Indianapolis quarterback and product pitch man, Peyton Manning. Strange things happen in games like these, but I think the Colts will win and they'll win by more than 5 points.THOUGHTS AND OR COMMENTS? Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will respond to you immediately. If you write to my blog, there's no way for me to know your email address, so I will be unable to respond to you. "Anonymous" emails to me are ignored. Again...Please write to me at email@example.comTHE NEXT BLOG? Barring unforseen circumstances, next Wednesday night, February 10.