SciFi Weekend: Doctor Who, The Angels Take Manhattan (plus Amy and Rory) Plus Other New and Returning Shows

We knew that the ending was coming even before the point early in The Angels Take Manhattan when the Doctor said he hated endings, Despite the few moments of hope after everyone returned safely to the present, we knew that this episode would mark the end of Amy and Rory on Doctor Who. Rory died three more times and Amy died twice, but the two ended the episode to live out their lives together in the past.

Having the episode take place around landmarks which are familiar to me made the episode even more meaningful. On future visits I will be much more cautious when running out for coffee, and have always thought there was something odd about seeing a Starbucks on virtually every block in much of Manhattan. (Perhaps the Doctor will investigate that in the future.) I will certainly be more suspicious of any statues on future visits to New York, and will be certain not to blink around that fountain in Central Park which I have passed several times in the past.

In other ways this was an alien world to me, stranger than any of the alternate worlds seen on Fringe. I can’t imagine The New York Times having a headline saying the Detroit Lions Win Superbowl. New York also seemed quite warm for that time of year.

Once the decision was made to have the statues in New York become Weeping Angels, it was obviously far too tempting for Moffat to resist making the Statue of Liberty an Angel. Until the time paradox which wiped out the Angels occurred, I couldn’t imagine that there would be no historical record of the statue moving across Manhattan on at least two nights in the city which never sleeps. When all the Angels were removed from New York, why was the Statue of Liberty still standing? Perhaps the Angels were inhabiting pre-existing statues, and the statues returned to their previous inanimate forms. Of course if Angels take over other statues, there might not be the need for those babies in the basement.

The bigger question is why Amy and Rory cannot ever return. Clearly this is more a matter of whether the actors and producers should decide to have them back for an episode as there are numerous weaknesses to the reasons presented in the episode. This notion of fixed points in time has been rather ambiguous and hardly something the Doctor couldn’t work around. Perhaps the TARDIS could not return to that precise spot in 1938 but what about having Amy and Rory meet him elsewhere and at a different time? We know that River could go back and give Amy the manuscript and a message, presumably with the contraption on her wrist. Besides, why not use those instead of the TARDIS to save them?

If it is simply a case that time has been written, and cannot be rewritten here, there are still loopholes which are far larger than ones the Doctor has used in the past. The tombstone changed once to add Amy. Even if it could not be changed again, there were many years between 1938 and their eventual deaths. Why couldn’t some of those years again be with the Doctor, as long if the wound up returning to die as in the rewritten version of history? Why not have Melody Malone’s book include a series of mysterious absences by Amy and Rory after the events already written?

While Amy and Rory are gone, River Song will be traveling with the Doctor, at least for a short time longer. We found that she was released from prison because it turned out that the man she was accused of killing never existed, as evidence of the Doctor was wiped out. I had expected that she would ultimately get released for the opposite reason as people realized that the Doctor was still alive. The elimination of knowledge of the Doctor is one recurring storyline from this season. The Angels Take Manhattan also continued this season’s use of light bulbs, as the bulbs blinked on and off in the corridors of the Winter Quay.

Relive The Last Days of the Ponds in the video above.

In this video, Steven Moffat and the crew of Doctor Who discuss the making of The Angels Take Manhattan.

We know Doctor Who will be returning on Christmas, with a new companion played by Jenna-Louise Coleman. How does her character tie in with her role on Asylum of the Daleks? Is she the same person? How important will her character be in the ongoing theme of the removal of knowledge of the Doctor? There’s no doubt there will be Christmas lights. Will light bulbs become even more important as the season goes on?

Doctor Who was about separation, but also about Amy’s decision to remain together with Rory. Fringe returned with the reunion of another family. There was not only the reunion of Etta with Olivia, but we also found that Olivia and Peter had split after Etta was taken. The episode has yet another case in which Walter’s memories fail him. This time his memories of how to fight the Observers received from September were destroyed.

I am a bit confused as to how the Observers could be said to have evolved from humans yet come from 2609. That would hardly be enough time for such evolution, but Fringe has often invented ways to get around conventional science. Apparently after destroying the planet once before, they are working towards doing so again, even if just for humans and presumably not themselves.

Person of Interest showed that the machine did have a contingency to work on after Finch was captured, but it was limited to having someone else take over saving people of interest and not saving Finch. I won’t mind if Finch remains a captive if this keeps Amy Acker on the show longer. I am also curious as to what her character means by setting the machine free.

Revolution is setting up for a family reunion. As I (and probably most viewers) predicted, Elizabeth Mitchell’s character remains alive. This raises questions as to why things weren’t handled differently in the first episode’s attempt to capture her husband. I will give Revolution a little longer but so far this looks like it might join the long list of other recent genre shows to die in its first season.

There are several shows returning tonight. There is a new world situation to deal with on Homeland. Dexter returns with Deb knowing about her brother’s dark secret. The curse is broken but magic has returned on Once Upon A Time with a more intense season promised. Revenge returns with an expanded world and more family. There is also one new genre series as 666 Park Avenue premieres tonight.

Earlier this week Michael O’Hare, who played Commander Jeffrey Sinclair in the first season of Babylon 5, died following a heart attack at age 60.

Losing In Ohio Makes Victory Almost Impossible For Romney

There is increasing pessimism about Mitt Romney’s chances of winning the presidential election, even among Republicans. Some are in denial, as many right wing bloggers and pundits believe that the polls are rigged by the mainstream media to predict a Romney defeat. There’s no good explanation as to why Fox and Rasmussen are going along. Others are in the anger stage, blasting Romney for not going far enough to the right or attacking Obama strongly enough. No, Romney has delivered the far right wing message and has repeated all the right wing talking points about Obama, along with making up some of his own. Romney’s repetition of  right wing arguments don’t work because because of the absurdity of the message, even if Romney is a flawed messenger. Other Republicans have reached the acceptance stage, including many in Ohio:

Either many top Ohio Republicans are in the grips of the worst panic attack since an Orson Welles 1938 radio drama convinced thousands that the earth was under attack by Martians. Or more likely, judging from the comments of these GOP insiders, Romney’s hopes of carrying Ohio are fast dwindling to something like the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot.

Presidential candidates have rebounded from downbeat polls before, especially when we are still five weeks from Election Day. So Romney’s problem is not just the recent Ohio surveys that show him losing to Barack Obama by as many as 10 percentage points. Instead, what is striking is the funereal interpretation that downcast Ohio Republicans derive from these numbers. Maybe Romney isn’t down by 10 points, they argue, but the GOP presidential nominee seems destined to lose by a solid 5 points – and in closely divided Ohio that represents a loss of nearly landslide proportions. (That would mean that Obama would slightly improve his 2008 victory margin against John McCain.)

Many of the well-known Ohio Republicans I interviewed offered their blunt assessments only after they were guaranteed complete anonymity. That is often the Faustian bargain of political journalism in 2012: robotic talking points on the record or something resembling honesty with no names attached. The reason, though, that I am emphasizing the don’t-quote-me part of the equation is that I was stunned by the vehemence of the thumbs-down-on-Mitt verdict. All but conceding the state to Obama, these Republicans were offering what may be the biggest rejection of Ohio since Philip Roth wrote “Goodbye Columbus.”

The Romney problem in Ohio is not so much campaign strategy as the candidate’s inability to transcend who he is. “The Obama people have convinced Ohio voters of two things,” says Curt Steiner, a well-connected Republican public relations strategist. “That Mitt Romney doesn’t believe anything. And what he does believe is all anti-middle class.”

While there is time left, Romney does not appear to have the ability to turn things around:

The potential pitfall for Romney in Ohio, though, is the person behind the political veneer. As a Ohio Republican insider, who resisted my pleas to put this colorful metaphor on the record, told me, “Romney is a guy who is used to talking to the board of directors instead of the shareholders or the employees.”

When a presidential nominee is perceived by his own party as not being able to talk even to Americans wealthy enough to own stock, there are deep political problems from Lake Erie to the Ohio River.

There is still time for things to change but I don’t believe it is possible for Romney to do anything to change his fate. If Obama were to lose it will be because of external events which harm the incumbent allowing Romney to win by default, but I cannot see anything Romney could do to win without major external assistance. The quotation on the 47 percent is hurting Romney by showing that the narrative spread about him really is true. As much as that quote hurts, I’m not so sure that the choice of Paul Ryan wasn’t more disastrous, tying Mitt Romney to the Republican plans to destroy Medicare and Social Security.

If Romney was only facing a six point deficit nationally there might be a chance of recovery. His problem is in the electoral college, with swing states beyond Ohio leaning strongly towards Obama. At this point Obama appears to being very close to repeating his 2008 margin of victory in the electoral college. Obama leads in at least some polls in every state he won in 2008 other than Indiana, which regrets its 2008 decision to join the 21st century. Some states such as Virginia, Florida, Colorado, Iowa, New Hampshire, and especially North Carolina are close but Obama could still squeeze out 271 electoral votes even if he were to lose all of these states, provided he maintains his lead in Ohio and other states where he now has a comfortable lead. There is also a chance that Obama could pick up some states he lost in 2008 should he decide to make an effort there. Some polls show Obama close in Arizona and Missouri. While he will probably lose both again in 2012, I wonder if Obama should spend some time and money there to force Romney to fight to preserve those states, along with the long list of swing states mentioned above where Obama is leading.

The bleak Republican outlook in the race for the White House caries over to the Republican prospects in other races. There is no longer much talk of the Republicans being able to win control of the Senate, and a Democratic take over in the House no longer looks unimaginable.

West Wing Reunion For Michigan Candidate

Bridget Mary McCormack, a candidate for the Michigan Supreme Court, has received help from the cast of The West Wing to get voters to remember to vote on the non-partisan portion of the Michigan ballot even if voting a straight party ticket for other races.

Obama Destroys Romney By Quoting His Words

Obama is running a brutal anti-Romney ad (video above) which consists entirely of Romney’s words on the 47 percent and representative pictures of people who might not pay income taxes. The ad works because it reinforces the negative views of Romney previously spread by the Obama campaign, showing that the attacks are true based upon Romney’s own words. Greg Sargent commented:

Obama and Democrats had spent the better part of a year painting Romney as a corporate predator who is completely disconnected from the economic experiences of ordinary Americans and thinks cutting taxes for the rich and letting unfettered free market capitalism run rampant will magically solve all our problems. The idea behind that attack line wasn’t just to paint Romney as a heartless plutocrat; it was designed to make it easier for voters to believe that his policies really would further enrich the wealthy at the expense of the middle class.

Judging by recent polling — a stunning 38 percent of Ohio voters think Romney cares about the needs and problems of people like them — that version of Romney may be taking hold among voters. Now Dems have him on video essentially acting out the worst caricature of himself by speaking with undisguised disdain about nearly half the country — the less privileged half. As Jonathan Chait put it recently, Romney played the part of the “sneering plutocrat” who “put himself forward as the hopeful president of the top half of America against the bottom.” This, exactly at the moment when Romney is fighting perceptions that his policies are skewed in favor of the rich, and undecided voters are making their final choice about which candidate can truly be trusted to guard their interests.

Further comments from Jonathan Chait:

The damage of the remarks is twofold. Obviously, it deeply reinforces the worst stereotypes voters have of Romney. Indeed, the fact that he is currently running ads trying to make the case that he does care about all of America testifies to the grim position in which Romney finds himself. If you’re trying to clear the threshold of “does this candidate hate me” six weeks before the election, you’re probably not on the verge of closing the sale.

Worse still, the comments destroy Romney’s fundamental credibility. Here America sees what he says behind closed doors. Nothing he can say in public can possibly overcome the damage of these comments, because voters will quite correctly assume that he is telling them what they want to hear. George W. Bush’s campaign figured out how to do this to both Al Gore and John Kerry — by painting them as liars, Bush destroyed them as a message delivery platform. Romney has, essentially, done it to himself.

The size of the political damage Romney has incurred is beside the point. He was trailing narrowly, but in a polarized electorate with a tiny number of undecided voters. Not only has he turned some of those undecided voters against him, but he’s blown up his bridge to reach them.

Romney has lost the support of many undecided voters with this comment. He also risks losing the support of many Republican voters. His assumption that the roughly 47 percent who supported Obama when he said this are the same people as the approximately 47 percent who don’t pay federal income taxes is false (as is most of what he says about taxation and the economy). Those who don’t pay income taxes are split between both parties and include many in the Republican base. Perhaps Romney’s lack of understanding of  the Republican base, as well as lack of understanding of those who support his opponent, explains why he is struggling in his campaign.

Polls have often demonstrated that a clear majority supports Democratic positions when no party labels are attached. Many people vote Republican because the right wing noise machine has so thoroughly distorted what both Democrats and Republicans actually believe in. Hearing a candid comment as to true Republican beliefs has given a strong boost to the Democrats.

Legitimate Criticism of Obama, But A Poor Reason Not To Vote For Him

The attacks on Obama coming from Mitt Romney  have been counter to fact, which is one reason Romney continues to fall further behind in the polls. This does not mean there is not legitimate criticism to be made of Obama’s record. The Republicans are not going to criticize Obama where it is deserved as their positions are generally worse. Today Connor Friedersdorf has done what the Republicans never do–present legitimate criticism of Obama. While the criticism is legitimate, I still do not feel it justifies his decision not to vote for Obama.

Friedersdorf criticism is essentially based upon Obama’s foreign policy moves such as the use of drones in Pakistan, killing of an American citizen (although it is significant that the targeted American was working with al Qaeda) and sending troops into Libya without Congressional authority. The criticisms are all valid but I think that it is naive to ignore the difference with the party which moved the country to the right on these issues as opposed to the one which failed to reverse these measures. In an atmosphere in which we do face real dangers, and the Republicans are prepared to blame any future attacks on a Democratic president for not taking all the same actions they advocate, I don’t believe any president after George Bush would have behaved very differently. My bet is that if any Democrat short of Dennis Kucinich ad been elected his supporters would now be having similar complaints, and I’m not entirely convinced that even Kucinich would have wound up doing things much differently.

This is hardly justification for all of Obama’s policies, but it is a fact of life in our two party system. In our two party system, either a Democrat or a Republican will be our next president. Friedersdorf’s idea of voting for Gary Johnson is a meaningless protest. At least hopefully it will be meaningless, as opposed to the Nader vote in 2000 which helped give us George Bush, the Iraq War, and all of the national security nightmares which Friedersdorf  is right to be concerned about.

If there were really no difference between the parties today then such a gesture would be understandable. The fact is that there are major differences between the parties and there is no major issue where having a Republican in the White House would not make matters far worse.

In a two party system you are not going to get everything you want, and it makes little sense to be a one-issue voter or to demand ideological purity. The next president will likely choose the next three Supreme Court justices. I would far rather that this be done by someone who believes in our heritage of separation of church and state, supports a woman’s right to control her own body, and does not support the teaching of creationism in the schools. It is not hard to imagine the harm that three more conservative Republicans would do on the court.

On health care we would risk returning to the days when insurance companies could deny coverage to those with medical problems. We would see the destruction of Social Security and Medicare. We would see further redistribution of wealth to the ultra-wealthy, which is dangerous both to a market economy and to democracy. In this political climate I’m not sure whether Obama could do much about climate change, but I would certainly prefer a party in power which understands the challenges it poses as opposed to a party which denies the problem.

While I personally would prefer Obama over Romney on national security issues, there is plenty in Obama’s record to object to. The same is true with regards to the drug war. Even if we were to consider the parties equal on these issues, there remains major reasons why Obama is far superior to Romney. That is how voting is done in a two party system.

Press Covering Romney Say He Was Joking About Open Windows On Airplanes

There was a lot of talk yesterday about a quote from Mitt Romney questioning why they can’t open windows on airplanes. Reporters who were there are now saying he was joking:

The Los Angeles Times story that relayed Romney’s airplane remark to the world was based off a pool report written by the New York Times‘s Ashley Parker. When we asked Parker this morning whether it seemed as if Romney made the mark in jest, she left no doubt. “Romney was joking,” she e-mailed. Parker told us that while the pool report didn’t explicitly indicate that Romney was joking, it was self-evident that he was. “The pool report provided the full transcript of his comments on Ann’s plane scare,” she said, “and it was clear from the context that he was not being serious.”

The Blaze hears the same thing from William Everitt, who attended the Saturday night Beverly Hills fund-raiser where the remark happened:

“Basically he was retelling the story and when he said ‘I don’t know why they don’t have roll down windows on airplanes,’ he looked at the audience and everyone laughed,” Everitt told TheBlaze. “It was a clearly delivered joke … There were 1,000 people there that will tell you the same thing.”

Apparently after George Bush both the media and bloggers are conditioned to believe that a president, or presidential candidate, is capable of saying the most idiotic things. After comments such as the trees being the right height in Michigan it is easy to believe reports of Romney saying virtually anything.

It is good to hear that someone who might become president doesn’t really think that it is safe to open windows on an airplane, but there are many more statements from Mitt Romney which worry me. As I said in my post on this report yesterday, I’m was more concerned about the ignorant comment Romney made on Sunday about going to ER as a solution for the uninsured.

I am perfectly willing to take back a report of Romney saying something stupid if it turns out it was just a joke. What is the point of attacking someone for a belief they do not really hold? Actually doing just that makes up the bulk of Mitt Romney’s campaign speeches. If only Mitt Romney would take back all the  beliefs he falsely attributes to Barack Obama based upon misquotations and taking statements  out of context.


The Two Dumbest Things Mitt Romney Said Over The Weekend

Mitt Romney is rapidly becoming a laughingstock. We have already seen him sing patriotic songs out of key at campaign rallies and declare that he was happy to be back in Michigan where the trees are the right height. Add two more examples from the past weekend of Mitt the Twitt not looking very bright. The first is more amusing but the second is more significant as it involves public policy (along with another Romney flip-flop).

The first is that Mitt Romney doesn’t understand why you can’t just open the windows on an airplane to get some fresh air. The Los Angeles Times reports ( hat tip to Think Progress):

Romney’s wife, Ann, was in attendance, and the candidate spoke of the concern he had for her when her plane had to make an emergency landing Friday en route to Santa Monica because of an electrical  malfunction.

“I appreciate the fact that she is on the ground, safe and sound. And I don’t think she knows just how worried some of us were,” Romney said. “When you have a fire in an aircraft, there’s no place to go, exactly, there’s no — and you can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem. So it’s very dangerous. And she was choking and rubbing her eyes. Fortunately, there was enough oxygen for the pilot and copilot to make a safe landing in Denver. But she’s safe and sound.”

The really dangerous thing would be to let this man become President.

The second is Romney’s answer to the uninsured having a problem such as a heart attack–just call an ambulance and go to the ER:

Well, we do provide care for people who don’t have insurance,” he said in an interview with Scott Pelley of CBS’s “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday night. “If someone has a heart attack, they don’t sit in their apartment and die. We pick them up in an ambulance, and take them to the hospital, and give them care. And different states have different ways of providing for that care.”

This is wrong in so many ways. Going to an Emergency Room is certainly the right thing to do for someone having chest pain, but the ER is a very inefficient way to treat most problems Yes, a person having a heart attack will  receive immediate treatment. However, without insurance they will not receive adequate follow up after discharge. They might not have had the heart attack in the first place if they were treated for underlying risk factors. Emergency Rooms are not the place for management of chronic medical problems or preventative care. The person taken to ER will receive treatment, but also risks bankruptcy when the medical bills come in.

This is no solution to the problem of the uninsured, and Romney acknowledged this in his book No Apology:

After about a year of looking at data — and not making much progress — we had a collective epiphany of sorts, an obvious one, as important observations often are: the people in Massachusetts who didn’t have health insurance were, in fact, already receiving health care. Under federal law, hospitals had to stabilize and treat people who arrived at their emergency rooms with acute conditions. And our state’s hospitals were offering even more assistance than the federal government required. That meant that someone was already paying for the cost of treating people who didn’t have health insurance. If we could get our hands on that money, and therefore redirect it to help the uninsured buy insurance instead and obtain treatment in the way that the vast majority of individuals did — before acute conditions developed — the cost of insuring everyone in the state might not be as expensive as I had feared.

In a 2007 interview, Romney also describes such use of the Emergency Room as a form of Socialism:

“When they show up at the hospital, they get care. They get free care paid for by you and me. If that’s not a form of socialism, I don’t know what is,” he said at the time. “So my plan did something quite different. It said, you know what? If people can afford to buy insurance … or if they can pay their own way, then they either buy that insurance or pay their own way, but they no longer look to government to hand out free care. And that, in my opinion, is ultimate conservativism.”

Mitt Romney–secret Socialist or just another right wing imbecile? We report, you decide.

Update: Reportedly Romney was joking about the windows on airplanes Unfortunately he was serious about his health care comment.

SciFi Weekend: Doctor Who, The Power of Three; Merlin: Revolution

The Power of Three refers to both the power of the alien cubes and to the power of the three stars of Doctor Who. This week’s episode was primarily a last look at the Doctor’s relationship with Amy and Rory before their final episode next week. The slow invasion allowed the three to spend a lot of time together,  and we learned it has now been ten years since Amy first went off with the Doctor. Now Amy and Rory are starting to live normal lives, making commitments for the future which they would not have made in the past in case they were off somewhere with the Doctor.

The episode also provided a reunion with UNIT. It came as no surprise that the new head of UNIT,  Kate Stewart, played by Jemma Redgrave, turned out to be the daughter of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. Kate, apparently unaware that to most of the universe the Doctor has died, recognized him by his manner of dress and verified the presence of two hearts. Scientists are also now in control of UNIT.

Rory’s dad Brian asked the Doctor about the fate of his previous companions. The Doctor answered,  “Some left me. Some got left behind. And some… not many but… some died.” While this could be preparing the viewers for next week’s episode, this did not stop Brian from encouraging Rory and Amy to go off once again with the Doctor.

The invasion story provided an amusing backdrop as we saw the cubes become assimilated into day to day life over the course of the year. They were used for mundane tasks such as holding up menus in restaurants and had a thousand different Twitter accounts. Did the disparaging comment on Twitter reflect the views of either Matt Smith or Steven Moffat? The episode, like all the earlier episodes of the season, also included light bulbs–this time Christmas lights.

Unfortunately the ending was rushed and made little sense. The Doctor solved everything too easily with a wave of the Sonic Screwdriver. I can accept that the cubes were able to emit electric shocks to stop the hearts of those around them. After all, this is alien technology, and who are we to question what an apparently empty alien cube might be capable of? It is harder to accept that reversing the shock would restart the hearts of those around them as here we are dealing with human physiology. Once a heart has stopped and the person has died, a second shock would not reverse this. Even if this was possible, the the people should all be brain dead and not capable of just getting up again as if nothing had happened. (Or is this now a Zombie invasion to be dealt with in a future episode?)

Next week, The Angels Take Manhattan. The Space video promo is above. The BBC press release confirms what we already knew:

Doctor Who: The Angels Take Manhattan

The Doctor’s heart-breaking farewell to Amy and Rory – a race against time through the streets of Manhattan, as New York’s statues come to life around them…

With Rory’s life in danger, the Doctor and Amy must locate him before it’s too late! Luckily, an old friend helps them and guides the way.

Guest stars: Mike McShane, Alex Kingston and Rob David

Written by Steven Moffat

Executive produced by Steven Moffat and Caroline Skinner

Directed by Nick Hurran

Produced by Marcus Wilson

And above are two promos from the BBC.

A new promo for Merlin is above.

Despite the failure of multiple genre shows over the last couple of years, NBC is heavily hyping Revolution. If it succeeds I fear it will be because enough people like the gimmick of people fighting without modern weapons in a background which almost looks like our world. A sword fight in a Chicago hotel might be cool, but can this idea remain fresh for long? The special effects of a modern world destroyed without power were well done, but far too many genre shows try to succeed with special effects as opposed to a good story.

The science fiction aspects do remind me of FlashForward and Jericho. As on FlashForward, we have a change in the rules of physics with some unknown people responsible. Instead of jumping forward in time, on Revolution all devices dependent upon electricity suddenly stop working (but some people still have access to working electricity, appearing to have downloaded it to a fancy USB drive). Like on FlashForward, planes dropped from the sky and Elizabeth Mitchell has a role. I do question whether she is really dead, limited to appearing in flashbacks. When asked about this by Entertainment Weekly she responded, “I am not allowed to say one word. I’m not even allowed to tease.”

The show is also reminiscent of Jericho in showing people living after a tremendous disruption to normal life. It is more like the final episodes of Jericho, showing the battle for control of the country. The pilot might have felt more plausible if it was more like the early episodes of Jericho, showing how people survived and established a civilization. Perhaps we will see more of this in flashbacks on future episodes.

Like Lost there is a big mystery (along with Elizabeth Mitchell) , but according to J.J. Abrams the show will not feature long, drawn out mysteries as on Lost. The show’s writers do know why the power went out, and hopefully it doesn’t involve a man in black or turning the power back on with a donkey wheel. As it appears that this was intentional, there are two possible motives which I sure hope do not turn out to be the explanation. I hope it is not a case of environmental radicals turning out the power to reduce carbon emissions. Anyone capable of stopping all electricity in the world would probably be able to come up with a more sensible solution to global warming such as a clean energy source or a way to cool the planet. I also hope this is not a reaction to the situation seen at the start of the pilot, showing signs of too much technology invading our lives. If someone with advanced technology wanted to act upon this, it would make more sense to knock out television and cell phones, as opposed to all electricity which would cause massive deaths.


Seniors Boo Romney/Ryan Plan To Repeal Obamacare–Hopefully Realizing How Obama Has Helped Seniors

Paul Ryan’s plan to end Obamacare received boos at the AARP’s annual convention in New Orleans yesterday. Hopefully this is a sign that they realize that Romney and Ryan are lying about how Obamacare affects Medicare (video above). Hopefully seniors won’t be conned into believing  that Romney and Ryan are trying to protect Medicare when their plans would actually destroy the program as we know it.

Joe Biden put this into perspective considering how it was actually Republicans who opposed Medicare going back to the start of the program:

“If you came from another country and you just listened to their convention, you’d say, those guys came up with a great idea 50 years ago,” Biden said at a campaign rally in New Hampshire. “You’d think it was a Republican idea.”

Moving past the dishonest rhetoric from the Romney/Ryan campaign, Obama has strengthened Medicare. He has made it more sound fiscally and has increased benefits for seniors. Benefits include phasing out the donut hole on prescription medications and covering preventative services which were not previously covered–both reducing out of pocket expenses for seniors. The Romney/Ryan plan to replace Medicare with vouchers will increase out of pocket costs. In addition, their plan to radically reduce Medicaid will harm many duel eligible seniors who count on Medicaid to pay for their Medicare premiums and deductibles.

Romney Shows That Romney Not Qualified To Be President

Mitt Romney has released his 2011 tax return while still refusing to release most past tax returns. Instead he released a summary of past returns, which is of no value without the actual returns. The most interesting aspect of today’s limited release of information was to see Romney-September contradict Romney-July. The Mitt Romney of July had said: ““I don’t pay more than are legally due and frankly if I had paid more than are legally due I don’t think I’d be qualified to become president.” We all know that with Mitt Romney past statements or opinions have no bearing on any future statements or opinions. Today’s Romney says he kept his tax rate over 13 percent by not reporting nearly half of his charitable contributions. (By charitable contributions I would assume contributions to the Mormon Church).

Mitt Romney is now saying he paid more taxes than are legally required. If we could trust the Mitt Romney of July, we have a clear argument that the Mitt Romney of April (or whenever Romney filed his taxes) was not qualified to become president. (He would be right, but for different reasons.)

Or maybe it is all a trick. The New York Times points out: “It is possible, however, that Mr. Romney could still deduct the unclaimed amount of his charitable donations in future tax years, experts said.”

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