Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 219

On Politics
When are public figures going to learn that references to the Holocaust, Hitler, or 9-11 seldom are effective. Here’s the latest: “Democrats bragging about the number of mandatory sign ups for Obamacare is like Germans bragging about the number of mandatory sign ups for ‘train rides’ for Jews in the 40s.” (Stacey Campfield State Senator, (R-Tennessee). And then in a follow-up phone interview, he stood by his comments and wasn’t concerned about criticisms – but has since apologized. I yield to these words of a great American orator.

Las Vegas hosts the most conventions in the US (over 22,000 in 2013). Interestingly, neither of the major political parties have ever chosen the glamour and lights of the desert to host their convention – but 2016 could be different because Las Vegas is on the Republican shortlist of six finalists.

This past Tuesday was Primary Day in Ohio. I proudly proclaim that I am not longer a registered Republican. Because I wouldn’t declare as a Democrat, this means I received an “issues-only” ballot.

The US is divided into 435 Congressional districts, with each district electing a representative every two years. I can’t recall the source (but it is reputable), but only 7 districts have toss-up elections this fall. Surely this has nothing to do with gridlock in Washington.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion

  • Tree outside window upset man changed channel
  • Poll: 56% of voters say country better than it was 4 eons ago
  • Picasso’s “Guernica” triples in value after being autographed by the 1994 New York Rangers
  • Donald Sterling just glad tape recorder batteries died
  • National jeweler recalls 2 million cursed wedding rings

Onion Extras
Pros and cons of homeschooling
Pros and cons of gun control
Reasons for and against capital punishment

Interesting Reads
Alan Shepherd’s first space flight
A conservative economist about the tax reform vacuum
Bonds infographic
Interesting collection of black & white nature images from National Geographic
About journalist Lara Logan
How eyes sense motion

On Potpourri
Earlier this week I posted images of some of Cincinnati’s companies. I took them while walking the streets during the Opening Day festivities. I forgot one major company … and I even walked into their building that day. E.W. Scripps Company is a major media company operating newspapers and television stations throughout the country. You may be familiar with Scripps as the sponsors of the National Spelling Bee. Plus, in 2007, Scripps split separated into two company with Scripps Network Interactive (based in Nashville) … and many of you know their cable television stations as Food Network, Travel Channel, DIY Network, Home & Garden Television (HGTV), and Cooking Channel.

Time has worked against me this week, so no Saturday Morning Cartoon Classic post this weekend.

Here are your weekend celebrations

  • (Fri) Tear the Tags Off the Mattress Day, Moscato Day, Lost Sock Memorial Day, Military Spouse Appreciation Day, Hooray for Buttons Day, Fintastic Friday (Give Sharks a Voice), Peter Pan Day, Butterscotch Brownies Day
  • (Sat) Birthmother’s Day, Belly Dance Day, Train Day, Chinese Language Day, Clean Your Room Day, Cornelia de Lange Syndrome Awareness Day, Trust Your Intuition Day, Fair Trade Day, Mother Ocean Day, Babysitters Day, Miniature Golf Day, Lupus Day, Windmill Day, Astronomy Day, Shrimp Day, Stay Up All Night Day, Military-Amaetur Crossband Communications Day
  • (Sun) Mother’s Day, Eat What You Want Day, Hostess Cupcake Day, Mocha Torte Day, Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Awareness Day, Root Canal Appreciation Day

To send you into the weekend, here’s a 1973 hit by Deely Stan Steely Dan. Enjoy, Reelin’ in the Years. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

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62 thoughts on “Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 219

  1. I have been hearing references to Hitler these days, hmm. Come to think of it. Things can never just be peaceful. I think it must be impossible. But Lost Sock gets his own special day, so hey…there’s that! Oh, have a great weekend and Mother’s Day! I have no official plans. Maybe we’ll all go see Spider-Man!

  2. I’m sorry your party abandoned you. As far as Senator Hyperbole, yeah, what else is new from the empty talking heads (of any stripe)…

    Great song pick, but everything about that video (from the source to the intro to the outfits) just makes me feel old.

    • Guap,
      LOL … regarding the video. I thought had going with a newer version, but I couldn’t pass on the the throwback in time. Love the comment about the empty head of any stripe!!!

  3. Your link to the words of a Great American Orator didn’t work for me :(

    That aside, I must say that The Onion really did a pretty well thought out balance sheet for and against the death penalty.

  4. 1. Congratulations, Frank, for politically moving in the right direction. (I knew you were a smart guy all along.)
    2. Kudos for posting the link to the savvy Bruce Bartlett column about “tax reform” under the heading “interesting reads”, even though the subject is dead on arrival, a.k.a., hopeless.

    As a reformed former Republican and now proud Democrat I am here to admit that there are deadbeats out there. They are consuming food stamps and are basically leeches on society, taking far more than they contribute. Shame on them, i suppose. Shame on them for being afflicted with neglectful parents, with addictions, with poor nutrition, with bad or no medical attention while in the womb or since, with mental illness, with bad luck, bad choices, or possibly the worst sin, being born unattractive. Why should society continue to support these bums when the same amount of money could be used to pay CEO’s to create new jobs and to support the maintenance of the historically necessary (everybody knows it, don’t they?) half-million person armed forces? (Suppose Russia invades Mexico and then threatens Texas? What then?)

    The horrible truth is that I would rather support these people at a low level that still affords some measure of dignity and gives hope of improvement to the few who have some aspiration left in them, if for no other reason than that it makes American society something I can be proud of.

    Hang in there Frank. You are reading the right stuff.

  5. Must remember this today…. Tear the Tags Off the Mattress Day…
    and this one for Saturday… Miniature Golf Day
    But who would forget Sundays Mothers day accompanied with Root Canal Appreciation Day..

  6. For far too long Frank I have lost too many socks at my laundromat. It’s about time we have a Lost Sock Memorial Day. This year, Milton lost his keys. Let me know when there’s a Lost Keys Memorial Day.

    • Lame,
      With due respect to Milton, I admit to briefly searching for Lost Keys Memorial Day … but without success. So to all your lost socks, I pause for a moment of silence.

  7. The fact that only a few elections are tossups is not the result of gridlock in DC. It’s because many of those 435 districts have been gerrymandered to death – hence the shoo-in candidates, hence the gridlock in DC. Just thinking of this makes me feel like Root Canal Appreciation Day isn’t such an oxymoron compared to politics…

    • X,
      Gerrymandering is unquestionably one aspect of the gridlock. Interestingly, numerous polls show people being fed up with Congress, but they continue to re-elect their representative and senator. Hmmmm …. It appears I have identified the problem.

        • Too many people complain about representatives and senators, except for their own .. thus re-electing their own. So one side of me is saying that we (the collective) are simply getting what we deserve because we asked for it.

  8. Politics ???? This year we will have our share of it – we are voting for EU this month and Sept. is it time to shake the government up a bit, but the circus haven’t started yet.
    Not much for Mothers Day, because if we can’t remember and celebrate mum and dad … on any every day, why do it once a year – but I truly like the idea of Eat What You Want Day.

  9. Well I learned something new about American politics. I did not know you had to declare as either a Republican or a Democrat, else you receive an “issues-only ballot”. Though it has been a very long time since I was in high school, (oh there is no in fun saying that) and may have forgotten some of my American history/politics.

    Enjoy your weekend Frank. Ours will be spent painting the many garden boxes hubby Matt and the two kids have been building for me the last few days.

    • Catherine,
      Those are the rules in my state (Ohio), but other states have different rules. I’m fairly sure that for primaries in some states, votes must declare the party in advance of the day to vote. Cheers to the your new garden boxes!!!

  10. Well cool, I think I will call my First Mother on Saturday, bet the lines won’t be as crossed up and we will be able to talk more easily.

    Eat what you Want Day? I will, thank you very much. Some of your offerings of the day were great, read them all this time. The Fiscal Times, well I ended up there for a good hour after reading one I had to stay. But Frank the Black & White pictures, some of them were stunning.

    As for party lines? Haven’t been one thing or another in years. It is freeing isn’t it?

    • Val,
      Now that I’m undeclared, I want to send a letter to the county GOP office to let them know, thus kindly requesting the removal of my name from their mail and call lists.

      I can’t wait to hear what you eat on Sunday! Hope you get some time with your kids as well. Glad you enjoyed the reads because I know you check them out!

  11. Good music.

    I see more comments from people within blogs and in daily face-to-face contacts about how they are less involved in the politics of the day. They are disgusted with the rhetoric and fighting. They see no end to it and nothing promising to get excited about. As a result, participation in voting is left to a smaller and smaller few. Districts are gerrymandered so badly now that there are not even contests between good candidates from both sides.

    I was very active as a volunteer during the 2012 campaign. I was neighborhood team leader for two precincts in my city. We worked our butts off to get out the vote and educate people. Too many folks at doors or on phone calls said they were unhappy with the trends of partisan politics. It seems worse today.

    I admit to avoiding the political news more now than ever before. It makes me angry to see our system fall into the hands of money and power and away from the hands of the common person with a vote. That trend is destroying something very valuable.

    • Jim,
      Thanks for your insight. The good news at my end is that my intention is to remain a voter … thus simply not participating in party identification. Nonetheless, less engagement by fewer people is not a good thing.

  12. It seems quite logical to me that Mother’s Day coincides with Eat what you want Day and Hostess Cupcake day…wonderful! Have a great weekend, Frank!

  13. Although I voted on a Democratic ballot, I actually only cast ballots for two of the primary choices, in addition to the issues. That’s not good, and I plan to work harder next time to take the primary elections seriously and find out more about where the candidates stand. That MUST be done at the primary level, otherwise the system too often leaves voters with nothing but extreme choices in the general election.

  14. The party thing drives me nuts. Why must one declare?
    All I want is peace, love & harmony.

    Mother’s day – Yay me. I think – LOL

  15. If Bill Cosby had not started talking I would not have recognized him. Oh my gosh! How old am I. I had an afro that rivaled that one. I understand your transition because I was once a Republican and did the same thing. We need the Republicans to balance the Democrats but until they clean house, it is going to be pretty awful in the Republican party for a long time.

    Sorry I haven’t been around in a long time. I’ve been traveling. ET

    • E-Tom!!!! … how and the heck have you been doing? Hopefully your travels have been for some fun!!!!

      To me, balance between the parties requires balance within each party … thus one of the problems. Oh sure, it’s easy to for us (and I do too) point to the dysfunctions within the GOP, but the Dems aren’t exactly one big happy family.

      • So true…so true. Travels have been for fun and work. Trying to figure out if I should front load my retirement with as much travel as possible because one never knows when this old body will stop cooperating and I won’t be able to go anywhere. In the meantime, hope all is well with you and Mrs. A.

  16. Frank… now you know Politics and I do not Mix… especially as I do not understand One jot of the USA’s intricate dealings …. But I do wish all Mother’s out there a Happy Mother’s Day, and eating what you like day.. sounds good to me…. :-) especially since I baked some cup cakes too for this weekend :-)

    Enjoy Sunday…
    take care..
    Sue

    • Sue,
      As you know, politics are everywhere. On thing about US politics that those outside the US find confusing is that the US system has differences from other democracies … something that the Founding Fathers intentionally did. Hope you enjoyed those cupcakes!

      • Yes I did enjoy the cupcakes Frank… And thank you for explaining… It makes me not feel as Dumb LOL when it comes to the US politics.. I have no problem understanding our own.. But you just get so sick and tired of the same-old-same oh talk talk… and nothing changes.. :-)

  17. I somehow missed the Stacey Campfield statement. It’s almost hard to believe they keep stepping in it! I plan to read the Lara Logan article. I find her very intriguing for a variety of reasons. I don’t know that much about her, so thank you. But I dedicated myself to avoiding Root Canal Appreciation Day. I refuse! :-)

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