On a Needed Laugh

No matter of ones political persuasion, many of us have been anxiously watching and waiting the debt ceiling situation. Depending on the individual’s perspective, emotions and opinions range from A to Z and then some.

As of this writing on Sunday evening, still no deal – although the Breaking News is saying a vote will be on tomorrow. The opening of the Japanese market is nearing, so that could deliver an important sign of things to come. Who knows what we will awaken to in the morning.

Meanwhile, readers here need their Monday Morning Entertainment. We need smile and/or a giggle to break our mood.To me, this one fits the situation more ways than one, so I will let you make your own take. Enjoy, and have a good week.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 106

On Thoughts and Prayers
To the people of Norway for their violence
To the people of Korea dealing with their mega rain

On Politics
GOP Presidential Candidate John Huntsman (R-UT) endorsed the Boehner deficit plan and the need for a Constitutional amendment regarding a balanced budget. Consider this as his first major faux pas for my vote.

Although Senator McCain (R-AZ) recently criticized the Tea Party, he also criticized Senator Reid (D-NV) and President Obama in the same speech. Let us not forget that he is the one who brought The Nincompoop into the spotlight.

The debt ceiling stalemate is all about political positioning by both sides. Here’s a quote from Speaker Boehner (R-OH): (to this party’s members) “Get your ass in here. I can’t do this job unless you are behind me.”

The Tea Party expanded it’s “our way or the highway” approach by stating it is time for Speaker Boehner to go and be replaced by a Tea Party Speaker of the House.

The magic number is $4 trillion over 10 years – the number to stop growth – thus both Boehner and Reid plans fall short.

It’s Week 29 of the Boehner-led House without a jobs bill. To quote Speaker Boehner, “Where are the jobs?”

Interesting Reads
John Avlon
New York Times editorial
Columnist Ruth Marcus
Texting transcript between a Norwegian teen and her mother

Interesting Headlines I Saw this Week
Rupert Murdock is King Lear on steroids
Latex Casey Anthony mask fetches almost 1 million on eBay
Bachmann warns of Dictator Obama
Bad weather, busy roads mean more Ohio potholes
Emergency team of 8th grade civics teachers dispatched to Washington

On Potpourri
My Cincinnati Reds have won consecutive games only once in the past 5 weeks. Going into the trading deadline, it’s time to be a cautious seller.

With the NFL labor strife over, we Cincinnati fans are eagerly anticipating a routine lousy season.

For those remembering the Volkswagen commercial with the kid in the Darth Vader costume, CNN’s Dr. Gupta recently did a wonderful story about the kid who was born with a rare heart defect.

Last fall, George Clooney used Cincinnati for an upcoming film. Here is the just released trailer for Ides of March. Have a good and safe weekend everyone!

On the Debt Ceiling Debate

As the debt-ceiling deadline approaches, it is time for me to chime in with my perspective as an independent moderate.

Democrats are right by considering additional revenues. Republicans are right regarding the importance of cuts.

Democrats are right by categorizing House Republicans as noncompromising ideologues. Republicans are right by wondering why President Obama did not embrace the Deficit Commission’s report earlier.

Democrats are correct that Republicans are protecting loopholes and taxes for the upper income. Republicans are correct that the Democrats are protecting entitlements. Interestingly, entitlements are not the issue because fixing programs as Social Security and Medicare would not be that difficult.

We have a climate that if President Obama gave the Republicans what they wanted, the Republicans would turn it down because they must disagree with him. Let us not forget that Senator McConnell (R-KY) restated his 2009 pledge of doing what he can to make President Obama a one-term president.

At this late hour, plans from separate camps are still dominating the scene. We have partisan plans that cannot pass the other chamber. A large Republican block opposes their Speaker’s plan. Minority Leader McConnell describes the majority leader’s plan as “pulling the wool over the eyes of the American people.”

In order to make the debt a campaign issue, Speaker Boehner (R-OH) aims for a six-month solution; thus the Senator Reid (D-NV) plan aims for 2013, thus off the campaign-season table.

As conservative columnist George Will proclaims that Congress is right to take a stand, let us not forget that it is also Congress’s responsibility to act responsibly for the nation. Maybe this satirical headline says it best: Congress Continues to Debate Whether or Not Nation Should be Economically Ruined. (The Onion).

As for President Obama, although he did not make the details of his ideas public (and I’m ok with that), he has tried to work a compromise. He is correct that the time has come to stop kicking the can down the road; therefore, I still encourage him to walk away from the ongoing conversations – thus placing the responsibility on Capitol Hill’s back.

As the economy continues to struggle, Washington continues to focus on the fall rather the leading the country forward. As House Minority Leader Pelosi (D-CA) says we must all sacrifice, I wonder if the middle and lower class has not sacrificed enough by the loss of employment, falling house prices, and losses to retirement accounts.

In a time when the nonfederal government sector (states, cities, counties, townships, and villages) face additional layoffs, cut in services, and an infrastructure in need of repair, what will be the source for needed revenue? In order to stimulate a new economic base, how do we invest in training, research and development, and innovation?

How are we going to differentiate, let alone fund, wars of choice vs. wars of necessity? How are we going to compete in today’s global economy with a twentieth century mindset? What will guide our global policy? How are we going to restore our place in the world, not isolate from it?

I have long proclaimed that the Democrats misread the 2008 election results, and the same is true for the Republicans in 2010. Although President Obama is vulnerable in 2012, the Republicans are doing what they can to push independent moderates away.

Meanwhile, as Rome burns, our decision makers continue to fiddle to the tune of self-interests and passing on a prime opportunity to make a difference.

Americans are rightly angry, frustrated and more than a little scared by this debt fight. It has only confirmed that our politics have taken a terrible turn. And how striking it is to have an emergency that has not been caused by our foes — but is entirely a self-inflicted wound. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we didn’t have to listen to more arguments from politicians — as well as pundits — and could actually wake up to a bold, courageous, bipartisan solution? David Gergen

On Flute Man

Another weekend in the books and hope you had a good one. Both my wife and I leaped from a ‘regular” cell phone to a droid this weekend. Whew … a definite leap in technology. Besides that, it was a family weekend as my sister-in-law is in town for the week.

Well, last week started with the high voltage energy of comedian Greg Hahn. This simple routine from a different comedian named Greg always cracks me up – a story of his high school days playing football, wrestling, and the clarinet. Have a good week!

 

Opinions in the Short: Vol. 105

On Politics
Several weeks ago, I told a friend that Congress would not raise the debt ceiling unless some sanity from the Senate side step forward. Although that has happened, there is still plenty of time for the House Republicans to screw it up.

As the GOP continues to talk about their version of the 2010 election mandate, I saw several polls this week that Congress continues to have a lower approval rating than President Obama, and a high percentage of people disapprove of Republican obstinate ways.

Joke of the week: Cut, Cap, and Balance legislation

Thank you Spinny for this Ronald Reagan comment about the debt ceiling. This is worth the one minute it takes to listen.

Interesting Reads

Here’s a hoot of a headline from the LA Times

It’s Week 28 of the Boehner-led House without a jobs bill. To quote Speaker Boehner, “Where are the jobs?”

On Potpourri
Congratulations to Atlantis and its successful last voyage of the Shuttle. Good luck to the 8,000 employees who have lost their job.

I found this interesting USA Today piece about a Cuban Catholic bishop.

Given the release of summer movie blockbusters as Harry Potter, Captain America, and The Undefeated Nincompoop, theaters are packing them in.

I stumbled across this interesting site that I look closer in the future: Center on Economic Policy and Research

My shoulder has strengthened enough that I can start limited use of the golf driving range – but it’s too damn hot now!

After starting the procedure in July 2010, this past Monday I finished the tooth implant procedure. Then back to the dentist Wednesday morning because I popped off an onlay while flossing.

Although I am for from reciprocating at the moment, I appreciate the continual visits from many of my regulars.

It’s Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Weekend in Cooperstown. (Sadly, a place I have yet to visit.) In honor of the inductees, here’s a former Yankee playing a baseball song on a smooth guitar. Enjoy – and have a safe weekend.

On Wisdom and Creation

The Tree of Wisdom contains many branches; of which three are science, theology, and technology. While science tells us about our observations in nature, theology aims to provide meaning beyond the boundaries of nature. Meanwhile, technology is an important too because many disciplines use it to aid understanding. In terms of the Tree of Wisdom, it is up to each of us to examine the branches for reflection, integration, and application.

God gives His creatures room to be themselves – and for we humans, the space is enormous. This independence is one of God great gifts. With our minds, we can discover the great potentiality of His ongoing grand creation and His great purpose.

The human brain may be the most complex system in the natural world. Because our brain differentiates us from other living things, we have also determined that the grand creation of nature displays patterns, connections, unity, universality, and interrelationships of which we are a part. God gave us an ability to investigate (through science) and discover (through theology) that he is the ultimate source of our revelations.

I close with these words from Francis Collins, a scientist who led the Human Genome Project and is currently the head of the National Institute of Health.

I do not believe that God who created all the universe, and who communes with His people through prayer and spiritual insight, would expect us to deny the obvious truths of the natural world that science has revealed to us, in order to prove our love for Him. (from his book, The Language of God, 2006)