Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 230

On Politics
Inside scoop is that Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Mn) is considering a 2016 bit for the presidency. Other than the entertainment aspect of her willing to make an ass out of herself, I say NO … A thousand times NO.

Shortly after President Obama’s 2008 election, I called for the removal of all top Congressional leaders. Six years later as all remain in their positions, approval ratings of Congress are pathetic, and they haven’t accomplished much …. thus I enjoyed this Paul Kane article about the Senate’s top leaders.

I appreciate this Robert Samuelson column about the government budget.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) wrote this opinion piece on changing the primary system.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Study finds only 5% of Americans have correct amount of pride in country
Life guard would save drowning man, but who is he to play God?
Everyone in Middle East given own country in 317 million-state solution
Study finds high school students retain only one-third of obsolete curriculum of the summer
God pledges $5000 for cancer research

Interesting Reads
A Nik and Dick encounter (that’s Khrushchev and Nixon)
Interactive graphic: Middle East friendship chart
Size of iPhone: the company – a what if graphic
The ugliest churches in the world
Beethoven: The Life
Science findings and people’s opinions

On Potpourri
I’ve had several posts about the influence of German immigrants on Cincinnati. Here’s an interesting article that recently appeared in our local paper about World War I’s influence on the area.

My baseball team (Cincinnati Reds) are going nowhere.

Your weekend celebrations

  • (Weekend) Ukee Days, International Pinot Noir Celebration, Gilroy Garlic Days
    (Fri) Talk in an Elevator Day, Carousel/Merry-Go-Round Day, Lumberjack Day, Thread the Needle Day, Video Games Day, Candles on a Cake Day, Hot Fudge Sundae Day
  • (Sat) One Voice Day, Dance Day, Day of the Cowboy, Paddle for Perthes Disease Awareness Day. Coffee Milkshake Day, All or Nothing Day
  • (Sun) Take Your Houseplant for a Walk Day, Sleepy Head Day, Walk on Stilts Day, Scotch Day, Creme Brulee Day, Aunties Day, Barbie-in-a-Blender Day, Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, Parents’ Day

Life: The Musical returns next week, so I’ll announce Act 8’s theme on the next Monday Morning Entertainment post.

With family in town this week and over the weekend, my watering detail, and having a contractor in the residence, it’s best that I don’t have a Saturday Morning Cartoon post this weekend.

To send you into the weekend, here’s a pop R&B hit from 1976, which reached #19 on the Billboard R&B charts … I also owned the vinyl album. Enjoy Lou Rawls with Groovy People. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

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40 thoughts on “Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 230

    • Lame,
      LOL on the suit! Looking back at the dress of those times is always a hoot. One good thing about Bachmann running (if she decides to run) … just more opportunities for her to make an ass out of herself.

    • Pauline,
      Good question … It seems the study is seeking balance … “As it turns out, those who engage in over-the-top, borderline aggressive displays of patriotism and those who endlessly vocalize their disdain for America without once stopping to appreciate that this country grants them the right to dissent in the first place are both off the mark,” he added. “Indeed, we found that having an appreciable, but tempered, amount of pride in the United States is a rarity among the general populace.”

  1. Lou Rawls?! What a great blast from the past! Gilroy Garlic Days is not too far from me–always fun, but crowded. And you can get garlic candy, garlic ice cream, garlic everything! I also like Talk in Elevator Day! Try that without turning around to face the doors–it really freaks people out to stand looking at them. It is some special physics law that all are invisible in elevators! .

  2. You must be very disappointed in your baseball team the Cincinnati Reds, one blunt line saying they are going nowhere. After you mentioned you had the Lou Rawls album, I started to check ours, which are supposed to be in alphabetical order, but after finding P’s, and other letters in the “R” section I gave up. Darn kids of mine. Our album collection is one thing all three of our children want, so whenever they are all in the living room, I gingerly bring it up, helping them to decide who gets which album.

    • Catherine,
      The Reds have been disappointing … then again, I didn’t expect much … then again, as a sports loyalist, I hang onto that thread of hope.

      Great that your kids love the albums … thanks for sharing!

  3. The 317 million state solution for the Middle East isn’t a bad idea…. of course, many would quickly consolidate, but then we could just start from scratch.

    *starts humming “If I Ruled the World” to myself*

  4. Everyday is video game day in our house. But I’m quite excited about Parents Day because I’m sure my kids will do wonderful things for me. Maybe they will put Barbie in a blender. Interesting! I wonder how that one came about.

  5. Thank you first for Lou!

    Loved the reading materials! All of it was good, but loved especially this week the interactive from Slate.

    I have nothing for you on the satire, I am not feeling funny this week.

  6. Question: Does the following from Paul Kane’s “Leadership war stymies Senate mission,” support the call you made after President Obama’s 2008 election, for the removal of all top Congressional leaders as a solution to deadlock in Congress? Paul Kane says:

    “Some say that weakness comes from the demise of powerful individual senators, some of whom ruled their committees like fiefdoms and others who otherwise exercised outsize influence.

    According to (Trent) Lott , the absence of Senate “characters” such as Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) and Sam Nunn (D-Ga.) is a significant factor in the equation. “There were characters, personalities, men, mostly, that had disproportionate personalities and influence on the institution. There are none now,” he (Trent Lott) said.

    Almost half the chamber’s members have served less than one term, and by early this year five chairmen had decided to retire at the end of 2014.

    That has put more power in the hands of the party leaders, Reid and McConnell, making their personal relationship even more important to making the Senate work. The Reid-McConnell relationship melted down long ago amid personal animosity between them.

    “They’re like oil and water,” Lott said. “They don’t mix.”

    • Tim,
      My call of leadership removal in 2008 was an opportunity for a fresh start, but both parties shunned the idea, thus dug in. Yes, the inexperience and ideology of the newbies is part of the issue, thus always is a counter to my call to “throw them all out.” It seems that neither party is willing to get rid of their leaders, so maybe the voters will help … after all, they took care of Rep. Cantor.

  7. LMAO on: Life guard would save drowning man, but who is he to play God?
    Thank you for the educational chart on the Middle East!
    Enjoy your time with your fam. :)

  8. Loved the Lou Rawls vid, Frank – my husband wanted me to call my “Joys of July” post “Feelin’ Groovy” :-) This is just as good with a totally different “groove.” I think I will celebrate Creme Brûlée Day.

  9. The Samuelson piece on the budget process is as cogent an analysis as I’ve read on the subject, and his summary deserves reprinting:

    Except in crises, which create their own logic, our political system requires the support or (at least) the acquiescence of public opinion to make major changes. The only way to cure chronic deficits is to cut someone’s benefits or raise someone’s taxes. But this requires an open debate to reshape public opinion. What is government’s proper role? Who deserves benefits? What taxes are effective and needed?

    These are precisely the basic questions that political leaders of both parties evade, because the answers would offend much of the public. They would jeopardize the protected status of all of today’s benefits for the elderly. They would reveal that, even after plausible spending cuts, only higher taxes can balance the budget. Presidents and congressional leaders have judged this sort of candor to be a pointless exercise in political suicide.

    Instead, they take refuge in “budget process” fixes. What we’ve learned after four decades is that, as policy, this is little better than prayer.

    Down here in Missouri (motto: We’re more average than anybody!), some of the pols have become so despairing of the Highway Trust Fund’s moribundity that they want to raise the sales tax to fix the roads and bridges. It’s on the ballot next month.

    Terribly regressive of course and I wrote an op-ed letter comparing it to boiling a frog. You know, to boil a frog you just put him in the water and raise the temperature very gradually. (The current total sales tax is over 7.85% and this would boost it another 0.75%.) What the Congress Creatures really need to do of course is to raise the fuel tax and index it to inflation. As Samuelson implies, that’ll happen when pigs fly.

    • Jim,
      The fact that you give approval to this piece makes me smile … so many thanks. … and thanks for reprinting the summary! Meanwhile, politicizing (instead of properly funding) the highway trust fund is a good example of Washington’s pathetic nature.

  10. Groovy People–one of my favorite songs from one of my favorite singers. Thanks for the Sunday morning joy. Loved the pics of the world’s ugliest churches. There is no accounting for taste, although I did like a couple of them–so there you have it. Have a wonderful Sunday and coming week. ET

  11. Michelle Bachmann, really? I hadn’t heard that rumor. I guess we’ll have to start preparing for those elections soon. Just think of all we’ll need to endure. I’ve had quite a week, Frank. I’m ready for a do-over. I haven’t commented much…but I have read your posts, as I always enjoy them. :-)

    • Debra,
      Fortunately, I wasn’t eating or drinking anything when I heard Bachmann’s considering. Even without her drivel, Ohioans aren’t looking forward to avalanche the television ads and mailings. Meanwhile, I figure you’ve been busy.

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