Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 209

On Politics
Here are my key reasons why I did not watch the State of the Union (SOTU):

  • It’s a collection of applause lines over many topics with little substance
  • Congressional behavior is predictably pathetic (Suggestion: Stand and clap at the beginning; sit, listen, and be quiet; stand and clap at the end, then leave to run to the cameras)
  • The SOTU is a Constitutional requirement, but the opposing party’s response is nothing more than political grandstanding
  • I’m unhappy with the both parties

Given the predictable responses by both sides in Congress, I ask them this question about their legislative prowess: Which is worse: Sending a bill to the other chamber knowing they won’t act or not acting on a bill that was sent?

Here are a few fact checks on the speech: Fact Check, PolitFact, Fact Checker, Politico, and ABC News.

The Onion took this great picture during the SOTU.

The past week delivered Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) declaring President Obama started the war on women, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) blaming Democrats (again) on the government shutdown, Mike Huckabee (R-AK) making a ridiculous statement about libido, and the Arizona Republican Party censuring their senior senator from their own party, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

I said it before and it’s time to say it again: China carrying the bulk of US debt is a common misconception. Here’s the breakdown.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion

  • Dad Delivers State of the Union Rebuttal Directly into Television Screen
  • Increasingly Worried Man Hasn’t Yet Come Across any Guacamole in Burrito
  • Area Grandma Enjoys Flourishing Correspondence with Mailer-Daemon
  • Best, Most-Original Idea Man Ever Had Returns 14,000 Google Search Results
  • Spookiest Sound Effect Grammy Goes to Lord Chillingsworth

Interesting Reads

On Potpourri
The anticipated debate between science advocate Bill Nye and Answers in Genesis President Ken Ham is approaching, and no doubt will deliver a narrow view, thus providing a false choice. Here’s an article.

The recent Grammy Awards were big news. The show now focuses on performances and promotion over the awards. After all, there are over 80 categories, and how many did they broadcast? 10?

The AFA musical production for 2014 will be …. (click here for the drum roll) …. Life: The Musical. The production date TBA.

The Explorer of the Seas, the Royal Caribbean ship in the news with the recent norovirus, is the ship we were on this fall in Canada …. and no, the news doesn’t discourage me from cruising with Royal Caribbean in the future.

FYI for those living in/near metropolitan areas: When needing a new appliance, don’t forget the local independent dealer. We went to one and discovered the big-box stores were NOT close on price!

Here are your weekend celebrations

(Fri) Brandy Alexander Day, Fun at Work Day, Backward Day, Inspire Your Heart with Art Day, Hell Freezes Over Day, Baked Alaska Day, Working Naked Day

(Sat) Serpent Day, Freedom Day, Hula in the Coola Day, Robinson Crusoe Day, Change Your Password Day, Decorating with Candy Day, GI Joe Day, Ice Cream for Breakfast Day, Spunky Old Broads Day, Take Your Child to the Library Day, Face and Body Day

(Sun) Crepe Day, Dump Your Significant Jerk Day, Groundhog Day, Groundhog Job Shadow Day, Hedgehog Day, Sled Dog Day, Play Your Ukulele Day, Wetlands Day

Let’s use a dose of the 80s to whip everyone into the weekend with Ohio’s own Devo. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

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71 thoughts on “Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 209

  1. Now this one is just silly, Frank: Working Naked Day on a Saturday. (I know that there are millions of people who do work on Saturdays … still, it seems like Working Naked Day should be on a weekday — like Thanksgiving. And President’s Day ;)

  2. I used to watch SOTUs, but I don’t anymore. I figure it’ll all shake out in the end. One way or the other.

    Thank you. About the China comment/educational fact.

    When you mentioned the appliances, I remember something from way back – I think Florida was the state that invented refrigerated appliances or something of that nature, correct? Guess I’ll have to look that up.

    Got lots of responses tomorrow – way behind. :) Talk soon.

      • Ah! very interesting! thank you for that!You make a great point about the different parts. I will never look at a device or appliance the same way. typically I’m a big picture person but I’m learning how little I know the older I get!

        • Long ago, maybe in the 70s, PBS had a series called Connections, which would use the long-term dominoes to make a point … such using tar to waterproof ships is connected to the computer chip. (may example may or may not be true).

  3. Hi Frank – American politics is absolutely beyond me – but then so is my own country’s most of the time! So I gave that a miss.

    However I was mighty pleased to see there is a goodly amount to choose from in the Days this week – I’m going for the Brandy Alexander and Art on Friday [are twofors allowed?] As a spunky old broad, on Saturday I may also take the opportunity to change a password or two and Sunday may very well find me hunting a hedgie to adopt whilst playing my ukulele – unless the rains return and it all turns into wetlands again, in which case I shall stay in and celebrate that!

    Have a great weekend Frank!

  4. I enjoyed this SOTU more than most others. And, Biden has always been creative with his mouth. I like Joe.

    If Saturday warms up a lot and I can work at home, I will consider doing so nekid. No photos will document the event. Sorry. This will be a private affair.

  5. I’m also unhappy with both parties. But those are two very different levels of unhappiness – it’s like being unhappy with FedEx for delaying your packages compared to being unhappy with the guy who is stealing these packages from under your door.

    • X,
      I’ve said it before but if there was a national vote to vote them all out, I’d say yes … then again …. I would to clean house at least several times for them to get the message. Oh well … we’re stuck!

      • I’m afraid cleaning out everyone is sending a mixed message. I think getting rid of all the worst ones (like, say 20%-30%) every election regardless of the party would work better.

        • A few years ago a friend of lobbying me to vote for a person running against the incumbent. So I agree with one provision … I would vote for the candidate on Tuesday, and if they won, I would be calling for the removal on Wednesday.

    • Bulldog,
      I’ve watched many SOTUs, but given the current atmosphere, I probably would have gotten irritated very quickly. As a former boss used to say, “It’s worse elsewhere.”

  6. Serpent Day is an interesting one! I can understand “reptile day” but serpent? I couldn’t agree with you more about President’s address last night. I was in the car for most of it and listened on the radio. It doesn’t change it much, but it is easier to listen to than to watch, I think. At the end of it, though, I didn’t think much. I am as irritate with both parties as anyone else. Ridiculous! I’m looking forward to reading your offerings! Thank you.

  7. Frank, I did not watch the State of Union speech. It’s all about appearances, like you said. You gave us so many interesting things to read. Where to begin? I like Ice Cream for Breakfast Day and I always like Grounghog Day. Maybe we will watch the movie. I love that one.

    • Bumble,
      Ice Cream for breakfast does catch my interest … and given that it is celebrated on Saturday, and I’m going to the grocery store today, it could happen here! Meanwhile, enjoy the movie … and I imagine it will be a popular rental this weekend.

  8. I LIKED your Algebra/Texas top ten list.
    I’m CONFUSED about why your “Opinions in the Shorts” is on Thursday instead of Friday.
    I’m NOT SHOCKED that Mike Huckabee went to the top of the GOP’s 2016 Presidential Poll after his statement about contraception and women’s libido.
    I’m GRATEFUL to know about the website: GRIST – A Beacon in the Fog.

    • Tim,
      You must think on a bigger scale. Yes, Thursday is the OITS publish date from our perspective, which also means it’s a Thursday evening read in the western US. However, it’s also a mid-morning read in Australia/New Zealand and my European/African audience get it first thing in the morning.

      Meanwhile, Huckabee is going nowhere.

  9. I watched it. It was mighty disappointing. I get the feeling that our President just wants to get away from it all. And I wouldn’t blame him a bit. And the typical knee-jerk reactions from the FIVE Republican responses. They need an army to try to make their points. It will be very interesting to see if McCain wins his seat again given his dissing by the party.

    • SDS,
      I imagine that most people in that job have that feeling. Look how private Bush 43 has been since leaving office. I recall watching his last news conference, and yes, he looked relax and relieved.

      Five GOP responses? Gads!!!! But I’ve heard enough sound bites to notice the same ol’ response.

    • Catherine,
      A riverboat cruise in Europe is on our to-do list, but not sure when … but we’ve heard good and bad about them … then again, that can be applied to practically anything. Bottom line is outbreaks can happen anywhere there is a group of people … let alone when contained.

  10. You say you are unhappy with both parties, Frank, but in all candor I think this is a cop-out. Democrats are not perfect by a long shot but their transgressions tend to be of individual cupidity and venality whereas the GOP of late embodies an institutional meanness and intransigence that takes my breath away. Take the issue of income inequality for instance. Your ABC News link had this at the bottom of their opinion on that topic:

    That said, upward mobility – or a person’s ability to climb the economic ladder – has not really stalled. While it is still a lot harder to climb the ladder in the US as compared to other developed countries, a recent Harvard study showed it is not any harder to move from the bottom to the top than it was a generation ago.

    I don’t quarrel with their statement as far as it goes but the problem is what it does not address, i.e., the fact that only a tiny number of people ever reach the top. That’s the case in the past and it’s still the same now. The glaring omission in the ABC assessment is that the middle class is rapidly disappearing. Most of those good jobs in manufacturing have gone to robots and third-world countries. Those, in the past, were the engine of prosperity and hope and the GOP wants to ignore the problem and blame the victims, while at the same time pretending that top executives are actually worth salaries in the eight digits. The Dems want to do something about it, even if that means only stemming the tide for a while, as in raising the minimum wage. The two are not the same at all.

    • Jim,
      I’m with your regarding your assessment about the middle class. I’ll stretch it to include other businesses as well. For instance, a bank in Cincinnati buys a bank in another state.That acquisition may expand a few jobs at the central office, but many of the jobs at the acquired HQ are gone … now amplify that to consider all the mergers and acquisitions the past 20 years.

  11. What a treat to get an OitS one day early! Whether intentional or not, the rest of us benefit ;-)

    That 10 Reasons to Remove Algebra really put me up to the challenge to keep my poker face on at work. Only the strong can read that and not erupt in laughter!

    I have to confess I did what far too many Americans do, and skipped the actual SOTU address in favor of reading never-objective commentary after the fact. Yes, that’s right, I’ve become part of the problem. The fact-checkers made me feel better about myself though, so thank you :)

    • Twixt,
      LOL … it was very unintentional. Glad that someone read the Algebra II link because it is a hoot!

      Obviously, I wouldn’t say that you are part of the problem because the event has pushed us that way. From the tape that I’ve seen, seeing Speaker Boehner sad look would have driven me nuts … then again, watching Speaker Pelosi jump up and down as a jack-in-the-box was just as bad.

  12. Quite an entertaining post!
    Totally agree with you on politics.
    LOL on the drumroll.
    I plan to work better & be on the ball this year for AFA’s Musical Production. ;)
    YAY on Fun at work today. I’m working from home. :)
    Seeing that I’m still not back to my “normal” self. I won’t be having much fun though. But – I am comfy.
    Happy Friday – Happy Weekend :)

    • RoSy,
      Glad to find someone who needed the drumroll, so it makes my effort worth the time. ;)

      Fun at Work Day when working from home has endless possibilities, but I will pass on making suggestions.

  13. I always watch the SOTU, not so much for what any President has to say but for what the rebuttals from the other side are. I always find this an interesting process. How are you going to rebut what you haven’t heard yet? It isn’t like you were given a pre-read. I love this.

    Brandy Alexander day? Yummy!

    Devo, yaaaaa … loved them back in the day.

    The local guys are always the best. I have always checked them first, with rare exception they beat everyone always. Are you having fun yet?

    • Val,
      Interesting perspective about the SOTU. Then again, I’m totally against the opposing response … and the behaviors during the speech are pathetic. After all, it’s the SOTU … not a pep rally!

      Meanwhile, the moving process is never fun … but a plus for us is that we have a time on our side.

  14. SOTU? Everybody knows what state the union is in, it’s in a helluva state! Liked the Biden foto, somebody’s obviously been tickling his feet again :)
    As for the Onions, “Dad Delivers State of the Union Rebuttal Directly into Television Screen” seems oddly familiar, while “Area Grandma Enjoys Flourishing Correspondence with Mailer-Daemon” got the biggest smile.
    But “Best, Most-Original Idea Man Ever Had Returns 14,000 Google Search Results” or something very like it actually happened to a friend of mine, look out for a future post perhaps :)

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