Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 205

On Politics
Healthcare.gov, health care rates, cost and availability of health insurance, are related issues – but not the same.

When Congress passed the Affordable Care Act, I saw it as a start, not an end. Republicans tend to under-regulate while Democrats tend to over-regulate. Given the at best, shaky rollout of healthcare.gov and initial implementation of the law, I hoped each party would step forward to make the law better. Because would stretch each party outside of their comfort zone, fat chance of that occurring.

Insurance companies decreasing their list of physicians is not only problematic and pathetic!

First I wondered why a first-term senator would attend Nelson Mandela’s funeral. Then I wondered why said senator would ceremoniously protest Raul Castro by walking out of a ceremony honoring a man of reconciliation. Yes, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), that’s you – and staging an action to bring attention to yourself is very unlike Mr. Mandela. I yield my final comment to this great American orator.

A good read about Senator Cruz from the editor of Real Clear Politics.

I enjoyed columnist Dana Milbank’s take on political selfies.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Obnoxious friend won’t stop attaining major life milestones
Eighth grader caked in makeup probably really confident
Poll shows the majority of Americans would watching something called Love Trap
Modern-day Caligula orders Everything Bagel
New attractive person comes to nation’s attention
Encouraging economic report reveals more Americans delusional enough to start their own business

Interesting Reads
The Greatest of Gifts by Sue @ Dreamwalker’s Sanctuary
50 Breakthroughs since the wheel
An ancient Israeli wine cellar found
Three Italian Mountain Towns
Book review about Johann Sebastian Bach
A saga about Coca-Cola’s polar bears

On Potpourri
I have a holiday party for the weekend, which will start very early in my day. After all, I must open the doors early for those in time zones ahead of mine. Your friends are welcome as well … beware … there will be items with names on them.

Plus, don’t forget my annual Christmas Eve posts of video gifts.

For those needing these pertinent holiday tips, The Onion offers these suggestions for decorating a Christmas tree.

Once again, I enjoyed Act 11’s music. Bad News – Time: The Musical will conclude after the first of the year. Good news – A new musical will take its place

Getting Freshly Pressed still brings a smile, but it is work. After all, staying to true form, I respond to all comments and reciprocate many visitors.  Reality is that FP brings a spike in followers and daily hits (temporarily), but maybe a couple of bloggers who may turn into regulars. Juggling FP with holidays, Time: The Musical, these OITS, and preparing for a holiday fest is more than a chore! For those that didn’t know, here’s the post.

Being on the same FP page as Kathy McCullough was an added treat!

Apologies to Bulldog for my careless mistake in Act 11.

I added a new subpage under More Bloggers called Possibilities, which has some new bloggers.

Here are your weekend celebrations

  • (Fri) Human Solidarity Day, Mudd Day, Sangria Day, Underdog Day
  • (Sat) Solstice, Crossword Puzzles Day, Humbug Day, Don’t Be a Scrooge Day, Ann & Samantha Day, Hamburger Day, Kiwi Fruit Day, Yalda, Yule, Flashlight Day, Phileas Fogg Win-a-Wager Day
  • (Sun) Haiku Poetry Day, Date Nut Bread Day

Let’s celebrate going into a weekend with a song from 1968 that reached Billboard’s Top 10. The video has wonderful images to go along with Everything that Touches You by The Association. Who remembers them?

Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

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54 thoughts on “Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 205

  1. I have always had a great respect for your “blog hospitality”, seen in your faithful responding to all your commenters, and in general creating a welcoming, conversational atmosphere. It’s hard work, but makes a great identity for yourself and your blog. Keep it up!

    • Twixt,
      Many thanks for the comps. Some prefer at edgy style … and some prefer to visit blogs that are edgy. But I recall a wise person telling me years ago, “Don’t try to be who you aren’t.”

  2. You’ve got a lot going on. Make sure to take care of YOU. It’s funny how things often come all at once, don’t they? It’s feast or famine, I guess. Too bad winning the big Mega Millions jackpot wasn’t one of your recent activities. ;)

  3. In my opinion, the best story I heard today was how the Annenberg Foundation and one other person bought 23 of the 24 Hopi Indian religious artifacts at an auction so they could be returned to the tribe.

    http://thinkprogress.org/alyssa/2013/12/17/3073831/anenberg-foundation-hopi/#

    There are people and organizations who do good things for others. That is a good message.

    Snow and ice on the way. This weekend could be a mess. Glad I don’t have to travel.

    • Jim,
      What an awesome story that I didn’t catch. I may use the NY Times article as a future OITS read. Thanks!

      Meanwhile, sounds like you have a good reason to stay in and stay warm this weekend.

  4. Obnoxious friend won’t stop, orders everything bagel.

    Cruz is all about Cruz. He’s a reality show waiting to happen and then disappear just as quickly. i will be interested in seeing just where he is in ’16. i’m hoping wal-mart.

    • Bulldog,
      I’m humbled by your praise. Thanks. My stats are more paltry than many think, but I have a group of regulars as yourself who keep me going. Hope to see you at the party that will start near your dawn.

  5. Do I remember “The Association?”…ooo…”Cherish” makes me swoon every time and stop, stop what I’m doing just to take a listen. I love this one too, as I play it writing this comment. Won’t submit though until it’s over, get carried away in the moment and not interrupt…submitting interrupts the song. I saw them at MSU back in the day, maybe ’70…but what I do remember– then boyfriend got front row seats…talk about close up, it was memorable. Take care, you’re doing a lot…but still you found time to get the car serviced? (I read that somewhere…not on this post.) What a multi-tasker!

    • Georgette,
      Wow … you saw The Association? .. .and from the front row too! You may be the first person I know who ever saw them in concert!

      I had no choice on the car going to service because leaking brake fluid is not a good thing. Most of the time I take my laptop along, but this time I didn’t … but I did have my pad of paper! Hope to see you at the holiday party!

  6. Frank, I don’t drink Coke … but I love their Polar Bears … what ever they may drink in real life.
    I’m sure they wouldn’t prefer Coke. *smile
    Didn’t have a clue about the “walk out” on Mandela’s funeral – they treat me like a mushroom *smile – have to look into that.
    Glad is wasn’t Bulldog that had made a mistake, but I’m sure he has done some .. *smile
    Have a great weekend, Frank .. and keep on dancing.

    • Viveka,
      And that’s OK not to like Coke. :) … Hopefully Sen Cruz’s walkout only made US news. I find it both appalling and embarrassing. Hope to see you at the tomorrow’s party!

    • Hi Catherine,
      As an AFA-Party neophyte, I will gladly help you.

      The doors will open between midnight -1 AM Saturday … so show up when you please …. it will go well into Sunday.

      The post will provide instructions. (I don’t want to disclose much at this point).

      It’s also chance to mingle and get to know others (if one so desires). You have a good sense of humor, so I suggest using it. … there could also be musical entertainment throughout the day!

      Hope that helps. See you then.

      Your host is gracious, and does not require gifts.

  7. I hadn’t heard that song in ages!!! Really nice for a Friday and thank you for Sue’s gifts… wonderful aren’t they?! Enjoy the winter solstice [thanks for the reminder, I had forgotten], tomorrow and the weekend. :-)

  8. Frank, I look forward to your Christmas party! Isn’t this just deja vu. Last year, you got pressed around this time! I recall that you had a longer than usual time in the limelight. Getting Freshly Pressed is kind of mixed bag. No matter, I hope you enjoyed it! Congrats again!

    • Bumble,
      Correct … given the two holidays and the weekend, I has high on the post for some time … which means I was staying busy … and the stats were very distorted. Oh well … it’s still good to be recognized.

  9. Many thanks for influencing me to pick up my unread copy of The Atlantic Magazine and learn about the “50 Breakthroughs since the wheel.”

  10. Whoops! Guess I got the wrong day. Apologies for my continued absence – today was “National Ditch Diggers’ Day”, or at least it was here in the wilds of Ohio. :D
    Be sure to stop by, probably tomorrow (if I’m not bailing out the basement), so’s you can catch my tribute to that great person born on a cold December’s early morn, heralding a new age of wisdom and delivering unto man the greatest gift this planet would ever see. (And I might even work in the birth of that OTHER great December baby, that wood-working Mexican dude, Jose, Jaime, … something like that. ;) )

  11. I have rarely felt sorry for John Cornyn (our other Texas Senator) I do now. Cruz is frightening, now we have another one who is even more scary but who is going after Cornyn and Cruz is going to stay silent. Gad.

    Loved the Onion, always do. Just don’t feel creative. I had three favorite reads this time, can you guess? Sue doesn’t count, I read her always.

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