‘Laugh-In’s’ ‘Sock it to Me’ Girl, Dies at 76

Actress Judy Carne, best known for being the “Sock it to me!” girl on “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” in the ’60s, died on Sept. 3, according to the Telegraph. She was 76.

Carne rose to overnight fame with her appearances on “Laugh-In,” where the bouncy actress’ zany persona would be doused with water every time she uttered the phrase “Sock it to me,” accidentally or not. She acted on the sketch comedy show for two years, making the occasional appearance in the third season.

Carne was also known for her tumultuous relationship with Burt Reynolds. She was the actor’s first wife, marrying him in 1963 before they divorced in 1965. She detailed their relationship, confessing to partaking in several affairs and struggling with drug addiction, in her 1985 autobiography “Laughing on the Outside, Crying on the Inside: The Bittersweet Saga of the Sock-It-To-Me Girl.”

She battled heavily with drug addiction after leaving “Laugh-In,” being charged with heroin possession and prescription forgery in the late ’70s. She was acquitted of the heroin charge.

The actress was born near Northampton, Northamptonshire, England, and trained at the Bush Davies Theatrical School for Girls at East Grinstead as a child. Her first television appearance came in 1956, in “The First Day of Spring.”

Carne went on to serve as a panelist on “Juke Box Jury” and also appeared on sitcom “The Rag Trade,” as well as the 1962 comedy film “A Pair of Briefs.”

Her other TV credits include a regular role in sitcom “Fair Exchange,” “The Baileys of Balboa,” a starring role in sitcom “Love on a Rooftop” and appearances in “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”

Dipshits of the day: High school football players ejected for vicious cheap shots on referee


Two high school football players in Texas were ejected from a game late in the fourth quarter after appearing to intentionally target a referee and hit him from behind.

Marble Falls led John Jay 15-9 and had possession of the ball with around one minute remaining on the clock. As Marble Falls rushed the ball, one John Jay player lined up as a safety charged into the back of the referee, nearly 10 yards away from the play. After the referee fell to the ground, another player dove into him, leading with his helmet. Both players were ejected, and Northside Independent School District says it is investigating the incident.

John Jay’s coach Gary Gutierrez apologized for his players’ actions after the game.

Via MySanAntonio:

“After the game, [Marble Falls coach Matt] Green said Jay coach Gary Gutierrez apologized for the late events.

Green said he had to believe there was no way Gutierrez condoned the behavior and was upset with the behavior of those players…. Green said the play was unique from others he’s witnessed during his career.

“I’ve coached 14 years and I’ve never seen anything like it,” Green said.”

2 dozen executions, no lethal drugs

The state now has two dozen condemned killers with firm execution dates, but with four months before the first one, it still doesn’t have the lethal drugs it needs to carry them out.

The state’s inability to find drugs has death penalty opponents calling for the end of capital punishment in Ohio. Supporters say the state needs to keep looking or find alternatives to provide justice for killings that are in some cases decades old.

“Rather than frustrate that process it would seem to me their goal ought to be to carry out that process,” said Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien, who’s contacted the prisons department, the attorney general and the governor’s office for updates on their progress finding drugs.

One option he’d like Ohio to consider: nitrogen gas, approved by Oklahoma in April as an execution alternative.

On Jan. 21, the state is scheduled to execute Ronald Phillips for raping and killing his girlfriend’s 3-year-old daughter in Akron in 1993.

The Department of Rehabilitation and Correction “continues to seek all legal means to obtain the drugs necessary to carry out court-ordered executions,” said spokeswoman JoEllen Smith, using the same statement the agency has offered for months. “This process has included multiple options.”

On Wednesday, the Ohio Supreme Court set a March 2017 date for Gary Otte of Cleveland for the shooting deaths of two people in a 1992 robbery spree. The remaining executions are scheduled clear into 2019.

The state hasn’t executed anyone since January 2014, when condemned killer Dennis McGuire gasped and snorted repeatedly during a 26-minute procedure with a then untried two-drug method.

Ohio abandoned that method in favor of other drugs it now can’t find.

Like other states, Ohio has struggled to obtain drugs as pharmaceutical companies discontinued the medications traditionally used by states or put them off limits for executions.

The state’s latest attempt, to obtain a federal import license to buy drugs from overseas, ran into a roadblock when the FDA informed Ohio such actions are illegal because the drugs in question aren’t FDA-approved.

That’s the kind of thing that happens when dates are set without drugs on hand, said Tim Young, the state public defender.

“That continual setting of dates seems to bring to bear unfortunate pressure to drive the choices with untested drugs, untested processes,” he said.

Gov. John Kasich said other states won’t give Ohio their drugs and lawsuits may tie up attempts to import approved drugs. But he said there’s still time before the January execution.

“I want to continue forward with the death penalty, but if I don’t have the drugs it becomes very difficult,” Kasich said.

Ohio appears to have the most killers with execution dates because of the state’s system for scheduling them. Texas, which still leads the nation in the number of executions annually, sets dates a maximum of 90 days out. Missouri, which has a similar system, has a maximum 60-day window which extends up to 120 days next year.

Last week in Arkansas, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge asked Gov. Asa Hutchinson to set execution dates for eight death row inmates. Rutledge had waited until the prison system obtained the three drugs used in the state’s new execution protocol, which happened about two months ago.

Dog lost in Yellowstone found 42 days later


Yellowstone National Park is known for its wildlife, including bears and wolves. But for six weeks, one animal that roamed the park didn’t belong.

An Australian shepherd named Jade was found in the Canyon area Friday, 42 days after she went missing.

“She’s skin and bones, but otherwise she seems perfectly fine,” owner David Sowers of Denver said.

Sowers said Jade ran off July 23 after an auto wreck on July 23 while he and his girlfriend, Laura Gillice, were driving through the park with the dog.

“When they tried to get her out of the car she bolted and she ran into the woods,” Sowers said. “She disappeared for, like, 15 days, and I thought she was gone.”

Over the last several weeks, signs were posted and an Internet campaign started asking park visitors to keep an eye out for the dog. Traps with dog food were even set.

Reports of Jade being seen roaming the park started coming in. Sowers and his girlfriend, who were both injured in the wreck, had returned to Yellowstone several times to look for the dog before finding her Friday.

“I haven’t been following doctors’ orders very well,” said Sowers, who suffered injuries to his ribs, arm and leg in the accident. “They told me not to be doing this, but I wanted to find my dog.”

On Friday morning, Gillice was with their other dog when she saw something black and white across a meadow.

In less than a minute “she started running toward me,” Gillice said.

Sowers said other than a small cut on her lip and losing weight, Jade is OK.

“It’s a miracle,” Gillice said.

Big Medicare premium hike in 2016


The latest report from the Social Security Trustees Report assumes that for just the third time since the automatic adjustments were adopted in 1975, people who receive Social Security payments will not receive a cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) in 2016.

COLAs only kick in when the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the official gauge of inflation, goes up. The CPI is not expected to increase in the base period used to determine the COLA.

A report by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College says this would have an unintended consequence that would sock some Medicare recipients with a significant Medicare premium hike.

“Cause a flap”

“The anticipated lack of a Social Security COLA will cause a flap in the Medicare program because, by law, the cost of higher Medicare Part B premiums cannot be passed on to most beneficiaries when they do not get a raise in their Social Security benefits,” the authors write.

This unintended consequence also highlights the complicated interaction between Medicare premiums, which are generally deducted automatically from Social Security benefits, and the net benefit – the money available for non-health care expenditures.

According to the report, the Social Security COLA does not fully reflect the increase in health care costs faced by the elderly because the net Social Security benefit does not keep pace with inflation. While many seniors rely on the inflation adjustment in Social Security, “the rise in Medicare premiums undermines the ability of beneficiaries to maintain their purchasing power for non-health-care items.”

Medicare recipients are accustomed to paying more each year in premiums. The report finds that, barring any complicating factors, the premium would increase from $104.90 in 2015 to $120.70 for 2016.

Hold-harmless provision

But here’s the rub; the law contains a hold-harmless provision that limits the dollar increase in the premium to the dollar increase in an individual’s Social Security benefit. This provision applies to roughly 70% of Part B enrollees. They have nothing to worry about.

The remaining 30% aren’t covered by the hold-harmless provision. They include new enrollees during the year; enrollees who do not receive a Social Security benefit check; enrollees with high incomes (who are subject to the income-related premium adjustment), and dual Medicare-Medicaid beneficiaries – whose full premiums are paid by state Medicaid programs.

Because 70% of Medicare recipients would see no increase in the absence of a Social Security COLA, the Part B premiums for the remaining 30% must be raised enough to offset the rising costs.

52% premium hike

“Under the intermediate economic assumptions, the estimated monthly premium in 2016 for these other beneficiaries is $159.30,” the authors write. “That means that, unless the Administration figures out some workaround, the base Part B premium would rise from $104.90 to $159.30 – a 52% increase.”

For higher income participants, the premiums would rise even higher, based on multiples of $159.30.

“Clearly, political pressure will build for some kind of work-around,” the report concludes.