Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 167

Celebrating the End of the World as if it is just another day … and before anyone says, “Oh crap – why didn’t I listen?”

On Politics
I’ve got the feeling that we will see the nomination of the first female for Secretary of Defense.

On the fiscal cliff: I really believe that if it was only up to Speaker Boehner (R-OH), he would reach a deal. Although I’m not convinced that Democrats get it, it is obvious that many Republican don’t – so in response, it may be time to consider selling all mutual funds with stocks.

In my opinion, passing an assault weapons ban would be slam-dunk for pragmatist of both sides of the aisle. Maybe I’ve given one reason why it won’t happen.

Hello? Is anyone home?

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
New desk chair is a boring dream come true
Mercury’s winter proves planet could support intergalactic space prison
Half-asleep man pauses 20 seconds between socks
Kim Jong-Un’s wife escapes North Korea in long-range missile
Relaxation tape can’t play any louder
Dream of walking around with no pants in supermarket finally comes true

Interesting Reads

On Potpourri
In light of the recent Connecticut shootings, here a collection of moments to restore faith in humanity

Interestingly, after last year’s unusual physical snafu, the Cincinnati-Xavier annual college basketball rivalry game was the feature sports article in Wednesday’s USA Today. ESPN also rolled into town to broadcast the game between the two schools separated by 3.5 miles – thus the hype was high – and all the nation got was what Cincinnatians expected – a hard-fought rivalry game that included good sportsmanship.

Don’t forget Friday’s the End-of-the World Party at Aqua Tom’s. Tell him I sent you.

In lieu of Monday Morning Entertainment, my Christmas Eve party will start around 8 pm on Sunday, 23 Dec, a special start for the Aussies; plus allowing early morning visits from Europe and the Mediterranean region.

I will have a Saturday post, but instead of a cartoon classic, it will be one of historical significance.

Here’s an interesting audio version (and not easy) of a handbell arrangement of a well-known Christmas song that we’re playing. (The angels, Hark and Harold)

To send you into the weekend, enjoy handbell video below is another one we’re playing for the season: Gloria Hodie (Glory Today). Many techniques going on in this one.

Have a good weekend! In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch – and hope to see you at the party!

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 166

The new header that is fitting for the season – the Aurora Borealis – and with hope I may see the glorious lights someday.

On Politics
Republican leaders are having a summit to discuss what went wrong in their election bid. Thanks to the Rick Perry (R-TX) counting system, I’ll offer two tidbits: Using blatant distortions, obvious flip-flopping, allowing Super PACs to make their own ads, and questioning the collective poll-taking profession.

I appreciate this quote: “What if we could trust that our candidates would tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? As a nation could we really handle the truth?” (Kiran Chetry, journalist)

That quote goes well with this one from former senator and last man on the moon, Harrison Schmitt (R-NM): “Anyone going to Washington to do what is right will not get re-elected.” (Paraphrased, but close, as I heard it in person)

Here’s an interesting thought about the fiscal cliff negotiations between President Obama and Speaker Boehner (R-OH). If they agree, the Speaker Boehner will have to deliver enough votes from his divided caucus, and Minority Leader Pelosi will have to deliver her share of votes from her caucus.

I appreciate PolitiFact’s Lie of the Year because it happened in my state (Ohio) with less than two weeks before the election.

The Onion has these plans for solving the fiscal cliff.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion

  • Area man to make greatest contribution to world in 70 million years as fossil fuel
  • Family has no idea where dad gets shirts
  • Tokyo adds 100-story toadstool to skyline
  • Oscar Meyer unveils new wiener drone
  • Supreme Court to hear cases determining whether human beings deserve equal rights
  • The Hobbit to feature 53-minute-long scene of Bilbo Baggins trying to figure out what to pack

Interesting Reads
Debra’s post about giving
The long-term budget challenge by one of my favorite economists
Telescope at the bottom of the sea
History of AOL as told through NY Times crossword puzzle
Love this about seeds
Did this battle decide WW II? 

With a Holiday Twist
Photo gallery of Christmas cats

The Onion’s Gift Guides are below:

Oh my! I just saw my first moustache pacifier!

On Potpourri
Stats Review: Last week may have been the best week ever. Well, I’m sure much, and understandably so, was due to Guapo’s birthday. Thanks Guap! Plus, 20,oooth comment may happen before 2012 closes.

I met Buddhakat at Guapo’s birthday bash, and wow – checkout out her art creations!

Parties? I’m planning a holiday party to start no later than December 24th, so put it on your calendar to stop by for gifts – plus tell and bring your friend

Another party! With the world ending on December 21st, Aqua Tom is throwing a party. See his post to learn more.

For those enjoying photography, Otto is collecting recommendations of the best photo blogs on this post.

A Saturday morning classic cartoon post returns this week – and one perfect for the season.

Let’s go into the weekend with a laugh. Do you recall this holiday classic? Have a good weekend! In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 165

On Politics
It was interesting to discover that some members of the House of Representatives have sued the Senate over their filibuster rules. I believe a court heard the case earlier this week. Here are two resources: Politico and the plaintiff’s blog.

As some in Congress want to pass the fiscal cliff responsibility to the next Congress, I ask, What about all the time you wasted in 2012?

Many of the cranks want to blame the fiscal cliff on President Obama; yet the Constitution clearly states that fiscal matters  are Congress’ responsibility.

Here’s an interesting article about the fiscal cliff and the debt limit from an economist I enjoy reading.

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) resigned to lead the Heritage Foundation. Good riddins’.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion

  • 15-year-old trailer park duchess announces pregnancy
  • Apple promises to fix glitches in map software by rearranging Earth’s geography
  • Recent Powerball winner already divorced, bankrupt
  • Congress arrested on manslaughter charges
  • UN agency says 2012 celebrities hottest on record
  • Pope tweets picture of self with God

Special thanks to two readers who submitted some of their Onion-esque headlines on Wednesday.

  • Curmudgeon-at-Large for combining two: Obese salmon did not see Mark Walberg’s sex change coming
  • Mobius for one from a reference later in this post: Scientist steals Pat Robertson’s Children after big fight

Interesting Reads

On Potpourri
An Addendum: Take time today to remember 71 years ago – Pearl Harbor.

Stats Review: November 2012 closed as the fifth best month; plus last week was   strong.

Thursday’s birthday celebration for El Guapo was a lot of fun … and my first time participating in a big event. More importantly, I’m confident that he had a lot of fun.

I’m due to change my header here, so I’m in the planning stage.

This week I watched a fantastic 2010 edition of NOVA (PBS): Hunting the Edge of Space: The Ever Expanding Universe. Images from the Hubble telescope capture my attention.

I’ve criticized Rev. Pat Robertson on more than one occasion. After all, he makes it easy to do. However, this comment surprised me. Thanks Mobius!

The handbell choir plays again this Sunday, so here’s an audio to the brisk Jig on Morning Song. Enjoy.

A Saturday morning classic cartoon post returns this week.

Let’s go into the weekend with by saluting the life of a jazz legend that passed away this week, Dave Brubeck Have a good weekend! In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 164

On Politics
Cheers to this comment by Bruce at Moe’s: It would be nice if the anti-Obama right would settle on if the President is a flaming secularist, or a hidden Muslim. At least he can’t be both.

With the movie Lincoln getting much press, here are two interesting reads relating Lincoln to the current situation: from a University of Cincinnati professor and columnist Ruth Marcus.

For continued buffoonery in Washington, take your pick: comments about Ambassador Rice or comments about the fiscal cliff. Love the ones saying everything is on the table – then followed with a string of “but” qualifiers.

Two interesting reads about the fiscal cliff:
Economist Bruce Bartlett (with a great opening pic)
Confessions for a deficit denier

Regarding government spending, here is something that neither party can boast: The best time to cut spending and reduce debt is during periods of strong revenue.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Turkey Pardon Mishap Results in Accidental Release of Serial Rapist
20,000 Sacrificed in Annual Blood Offering to Corporate America
BP CEO: “We deeply regret the tragic loss of $4.5 million.”
Nation’s Moms Demand Christmas List
US Government to Save Billions by Cutting Wasteful Senator Program

Interesting Reads
Atheism and Science (the conclusion is interesting)
A sequel to the movie Casablanca?
A success of the unorthodox Finnish educational system
Historical infographic of financial deregulation in the US 
Laughing and your health
Seinfeld and double dipping

On Potpourri
Sad to report that I didn’t win the huge Powerball drawing – but I enjoyed this pre-drawing report about lottery officials losing the balls.

Congratulations to Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani on winning Dancing with the Stars. Especially for pro Tony, who has toiled every season (14) to finally triumph.

As one who appreciates wine, here are two reads from the Wall Street Journal: Tips from a master sommelier and wine-food pairing.

Speaking of wine, Wine Enthusiast just released their Top 100 wines – and #41 is a $9 red wine – Folonari Chianti 2010.

Started by a candle maker and a soap maker who married sisters, Cincinnati-based, consumer-product giant Procter & Gamble celebrated its 175th anniversary in early November. Here is a page with some than a few interesting articles about P&G, including this fun product quiz.

This answers why the chicken crossed the road!

Something to ponder: Would a claustrophobic barophobe be willing to serve on the international space station?

I planned a Saturday morning classic cartoon post for the weekend, but then I realized something very important to me. In other words, there will be a post, but not about cartoons.

Our handbell choir will play for the Sunday school teachers, students, and parents – and I think this version of Fum Fum Fum will create a few smiles. Have a good weekend! In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.