Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 215

On Politics
I find it interesting how former Florida Governor. Jeb Bush’s name has been receiving much attention of late as the frontrunner-for-the-moment regarding the Republican presidential candidacy in 2016.

Recent comparisons of President Obama to President Johnson (LBJ) confuses me.

This Pew Research Center poll provides interesting data about feelings regarding the Affordable Care Act. Although many citizens may have concerns about the law, while one party focuses on its repeal, the other party defends it – thus there doesn’t seem to be much interest in Congress to improve it.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Forbes release 2014 list of most-punchable CEOs
Spider invasion leads to Mazda recall
Alcohol unfairly blamed for local man’s impaired judgment
FedEx confirms more than 600,000 people try to mail themselves each year
Landmark Supreme Court decision lets American cram cash directly into politicians’ mouths

This is not from The Onion, but because Friday is Barbershop Quartet Day, here’s a mid-post dash of humor that’s not for the easier offended. As a time saver, start at 50 seconds.

Interesting Reads
Sweden, Finland, Russia, and NATO
Geopolitics of Energy
Brain waves and tango dancers (Thanks Elyse)
Extinct musical instruments
An LA native spent 4 days in Cincinnati and posted about it
The USS Thresher
Trent’s post about bloggers losing followers

On Potpourri
This week we get an old office chair out with the garbage. Once I heard the garbage truck outside, I looked out the window to see if they took the chair. To my surprise, it was in the street, but in front of my neighbor – so I watched … and then discovered that one of the two workers would sit in the chair and hold on to the truck as the other drove to the next building.

This post by Khamillion is very moving. It’s a short read with awesome images, so I encourage you to visit. Thanks to Cayman (@Drinks Well with Others) for directing me there.

For those who enjoy unique architecture, Cathy (@LargeSelf) shared this link featuring images of the expansion at the Denver Art Museum.

If I can get my act together, I’m hoping Life: The Musical returns next week.

Get ready! … The next post marks the return of Saturday Morning Classic Cartoons!

Here are your weekend celebrations

  • (Weekend) Youth Service Days
  • (Fri) Barbershop Quartet Day, Day of Silence, Education & Sharing Day, Louie Louie Day, Pet day, Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Day, Eight-track Tape Day
  • (Sat) Licorice Day, Big Wind Day, Walk on the Walk Side Day, Slow Art Day, Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day, Human Space Flight Day, Drop Everything and Read Day, Look Up in the Sky Day
  • (Sun) Scrabble Day, Baby Massage Day, Peach Cobbler Day

Given the celebrations, two classic songs equally qualify as worthy to send you into the weekend. Because both are worthy of high praise, I will put them in chronological order. Enjoy, have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Louie, Louie (The Kingsmen, 1963)

.
Walk on the Wild Side (Lou Reed, 1972)

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 213

On Politics
The fact that President Obama and House Speak John Boehner met this week is a good thing. The fact that they haven’t met in 14 months is not.

Although Congressional Republicans have been outwardly obstinate, I wonder if Congressional Democrats have also been quietly obstinate.

Given the odds are high for overreach, maybe it’s a good idea that one party doesn’t control Capitol Hill and the White House.

Comments by rocker Ted Nugent about President Obama are an example of one of the downsides of today’s information highway. As many elected Republican shrugged their shoulders and danced around the situation, cheers to Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), and several others for stepping to say Nugent was out of line.

For those waiting on the edge of your seat with high anticipation, please relax because Nincompoop will not seek the 2016 Republican presidential nomination for one reason – a loss would damage her brand.

I enjoy listening to Michael Smerconish on an XM radio political channel (124). Coming soon – He will have a new, Saturday morning show on CNN (I believe starting next weekend).

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
American Airlines to phase out complimentary cabin pressurization
Man who keeps keys on carabineer must rappel into office building every morning
Self-conscious flasher fully clothed under trench coat
Fourth-grader named Jackson to fire you someday
Report: Local gas station would not be hard to rob

Bonus Onions
Worst selling frozen dinners
Dogs who know fun

Interesting Reads
FBI and Osama bin Laden
The Smithsonian writes about the Monument Men
How a trust can reduce taxes
Interesting thoughts about the study of economics
Interesting images of sand art
Interesting graphic about crossbows

On Potpourri
Barbeque lovers know that macaroni and cheese is a great accompaniment. Chef Michael Symon takes it to the next level with this recipe. I haven’t tried it, but I delivered an OMG when I saw him make this.

WLWT is a long-time Cincinnati television station. This commercial for them caught my attention, and it’s a good way to you to see scenes of my city, including my beloved Skyline Chili – but I’m not sure the two kids are eating Graeter’s ice cream.

Saturday is a new month, so I hope to put month-long celebrations in the next Monday Morning Entertainment. After all, I still want you informed.

Jim Lange, former host of the original Dating Game, passed away this week. Here’s a list of star-to-be that appeared on the show: Karen Carpenter, Steve Martin, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, John Ritter, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Andy Kaufman, and Suzanne Somers. Does anyone remember the episode when comedian Don Rickles stood in for a shy girl to select here date? Here it is. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXzu8qgkINs

Here are your weekend celebrations (Wow … there are many!)

  • (Weekend) Snowshoe Days
  • (Fri) National Chili Day, Public Sleeping Day, Floral Design Day, DNA Day, Pockets Day, Car Keys and Small Change Day, Read Me Day, Tooth Fairy Day, Chocolate Soufflé Day, Rare Disease Day
  • (Sat) Beer Day, Bachelor’s Day, Underling’s Day, Go Bowling Day, Wear Yellow Day (for endometriosis awareness), Horse Protection Day, Peanut Lovers Day, Pig Day, Plan a Solo Vacation Day, Retire but Not Retired Day, Share a Smile Day, Compliment Day, Sock Monkey Day, Days of the Seals, Self-Injury Awareness Day, Holy Experiment Day,
  • (Sun) Banana Cream Pie Day, Daughters’ and Sons’ Day, Pyramid Day, Old Stuff Day, Dr. Seuss Day, Book Day, Silly Putty Day, Babysitter Safety Day, Cat-in-the-Hat Day, Frozen Food Day

This past week was very difficult, but at least I made it to Friday. The project is finished, and I made progress in terms of packing.

Over the past few weeks, I haven’t written or visited others, as I prefer to do. I thought cutting back to three posts per week would help more than it did. With that in mind, common sense tells me that I have to step away from blogging even more until after the move. Knowing that I will have a difficult time doing that, I will soon temporarily fade into the abyss …BUT … I hope to put together some timed short posts to keep you entertained during my absence.

Earlier this week we learned of the passing of actor Harold Ramis – and to me, this fun song from one of his movies is perfect to send everyone into the weekend. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 210

On Politics
When listening to the party-spin about the recently released Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report, it’s easy to get the impression that there were two reports … not one.

Lyle Denniston, a respected writer about the US Supreme Court, provides this interesting piece about executive orders.

Lee Hamilton, the respected former Congressman from southeastern Indiana, wrote this interesting op-ed regarding Congress and budgets.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Super Bowl packs up, leaves town in 40-wagon train
Man on vacation suddenly realizes no one feeding his hostages
New chip snack evades digestive system, burrows straight to heart
Area woman said “Sorry” 118 times yesterday
Nation terrified after millions lose consciousness for 8 hours last night

Interesting Reads
Columnist David Brooks on what machines cannot do
Shapes and names
How to talk about evolution with family
The first battle of Isonzo in WW I
Darwin’s Pigeons slideshow
Physics of freezing rain
Interesting graph of US labor force demographics

On Potpourri
Bad News: Punxsutawney Phil prognosticates 6 more weeks of winter.

Good News: Buckeye Chuck says spring is around the corner.

TBD News: Who is right? So far, and with the 7-day forecast, it’s Phil.

A tip of the cap to Jay Leno, who after 4,600 shows and almost 44,000 jokes, leaves the Tonight Show. Interesting, his number one joke target (by far) is Bill Clinton.

Last week I wrote the following: 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. Several days later, the Cincinnati Enquirer supported my point with the following headline on its Sunday front page: Bible! Science! Who Will Win? : It’s creationism vs. evolution as Answers in Genesis founder Ken Ham debates Bill Nye, TV’s Science Guy.

I did not watch the debate, but I trust this review from the team at BioLogos.

Given any unforeseen circumstances, the opening act of Life: The Musical will be next Thursday Wednesday at 9:30 pm (Eastern US). I will announce the theme on Monday.

It’s a handbell Sunday for us. The director moved me to the biggest bells for this tune, which are quite heavy. Because I didn’t find a good video of this song, enjoy this quality recording.

Thanks to everyone who visits here knowing my time for reciprocating is currently very limited.

Here are your weekend celebrations

  • (Fri) Wear Red Day, Bubblegum Day, Wave All Your Fingers at Your Neighbor Day, Ballet Day, Girl Scout Cookie Day, Cordova Ice Worm Day, Pinocchio Day, Send a Card to a Friend Day
  • (Sat) Laugh and Get Rich Day, Opera Day, Fly a Kite Day
  • (Sun) Man Day, Autism Day, Read in the Bathtub Day, Stop Bullying Day, Toothache Day, Hershey Chocolate Day

Here’s another throwback from the 80s to lead us into the weekend. It’s not about the weather, but the title is fitting for many of us in the central and eastern US. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

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.

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.