Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 199

On Politics
Earlier this week I called my Congressional representative’s office and stated three easy-to-understand points: I’m not happy, get something done now, and he won’t be getting by vote in 2014. Then again, because I’m not a donor, he probably doesn’t care. In the end, he voted against reopening the government and extended the debt ceiling.

Now that the US government is open again for business, I wonder these two questions:

  • If it possible that Speaker Boehner (R-OH) purposely administered more rope to the far right?
  • Because the deal moves new deadlines to January and February (2014), will the recent situation replay in a few months?

I heard this interesting comment earlier in the week: I call upon all of you to wage a second American nonviolent revolution, to use civil disobedience to demand that this president leave town, to get up, to put the Quran down, to get up off his knees, and to figuratively come out with his hands up.

Two good truthful chuckles

  • Polls show that the people favor the Affordable Care Act over Obamacare – which (for my foreign audience) are the same thing
  • Interesting freshman roommates: Tea-Party advocate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Craig Mazin, co-screenwriter for the Hangover movies

The rollout of the government’s healthcare insurance site is pathetic.

With all the talk about the Washington Redskins changing their name, my shared this one with me: Redskins considering dropping Washington from their name

To help show the Washington discourse and the biased perspectives, see these real headlines:

  • Republicans need to Dump the Tea Party
  • Democrats Show Their Insincerity
  • The Republican Party’s Age of Unreason
  • Obama’s intransigence is a big bluff’
  • Democrats Waiting for GOP Surrender on Shutdown A Small President on a World Stage
  • Give Boehner a Break
  • In Nixing Weekend Deal, Dems Exposed
  • Republicans Will Pay for This
  • Obama Can’t Waste This Moment
  • Boehner is Speaker in Name Only
  • The Presidency is No Place for Amateurs

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion

  • Cereal commercial completely neglects showing numerous life problems character faces beyond breakfast
  • Internet rocks by blogger’s sarcastic sensibility
  • Chipmunk’s plan for future better crafted than 8 of 10 Americans
  • New Pumpkin Spice Channel offers fall-themed hardcore porn
  • Thursday’s cry moved up to Wednesday due to scheduling conflict
  • Heroic broken sewage pipe flood Congress

Interesting Reads
The American stalemate
Wow paintings from a Russian artist (Thank you Patti)
Both parties blundering columnist Michael Barone
A tribute to one of the original astronauts: Scott Carpenter
US, China, and Middle Eastern Oil
Five Misconceptions about Columbus
One Man’s Love for Math

On Potpourri
Look what made Smithsonian Magazine’s “20 Most Iconic Foods Across America!

Home decorating tips for Halloween from The Onion

Upcoming Celebrations Calendar

  • (Fri) Chocolate Cupcakes Day, No Beard Day, Alaska Day
  • (Sat) Menopause Day, Bridge Day, Evaluate Your Life Day, Sweetest Day, Seafood Bisque Day
  • (Sun) Toy Camera Day, Brandied Fruit Day

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame recently announced its 2014 nominees. NWA, The Replacements, Hall & Oates, LL Cool, and Link Wray are some of the nominees more worthy than the Moody Blues. At least Yes is on the ballot. Finally! Although this museum is a worthwhile visit, I continue to question its selection rationale and process.

A Saturday Morning Cartoon is next!

To send you into the weekend, a cheer to a rock classic, Roundabout by Yes – but as an acoustic version. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

71 thoughts on “Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 199

  1. I am saving the reads for later, I have been so behind on my reading I am sinking.

    Your real headlines vs. The Onion, oh boy what are we coming to, really? It makes me somewhat sad.

    The answer? Yes, we will be right back here in 12 weeks. This also makes me sad. How about you? Sad or Angry?

    Your chuckles, I love them both. One I knew the other, well perhaps he was the prototype.

    The interesting thing about the rollout Frank, the states are doing pretty well it is the Federal Marketplace that is having difficulty. Being from the IT side, this should have been expected as there was absolutely no way to test this, none. This level of use the first few days? It could not be tested. Could they have built it better? Yes and whoever had the contract for this should be paying in spades for the poor architecture, bad sizing and horrific support. But, to blame entirely the law and not the contractor responsible, well it is somewhat ridiculous.

    Thank you for the grins.


    • Val,
      IMO, I am not holding on to an agreement. After all, failed bipartisan committees or getting the Body to agree as a whole with the committee as a long history of failure. In other words, my expectations are low.

      Besides, and as you know, I’ve been a throw-them-all-out mode long before the current wave.

      Good points about the rollout … and I believe the largest state (California) worked well. Yes – the blood should be on the contractor … and the the HHS Dept for poor decision making… nonetheless, an ineffective rollout.


  2. This:
    “The rollout of the government’s healthcare insurance site is pathetic.”

    Yes. Let me just say, yes. And as Valentine Logar says above, the contractor should be fired. And then there are the live chat bots. Yes, bots. I had the opportunity to “speak” with 5 of them, I think. I asked 2 of them if they were bots or humans. I honestly could not tell.

    There’s more. I could go on about this for a long time. I won’t.

    I’d go for seafood bisque day, but none of the others works for me.



    • Melanie,
      The rollout was pathetic, and I am one who doesn’t put the blood on the White House … but it was still pathetic. Luckily, the shutdown got more news.

      Meanwhile, as an independent moderate, I don’t have a party to protect.


  3. Today I read that Sen. Cruz had some huge increases in his campaign war chest accounts. Apparently his donors thought his grandstanding and such was good stuff. Not so much in my opinion. That kind of stuff is not what our country was founded upon.

    One of the things I liked about the reopening of the gov was that the Astronomy Picture of the Day was back. For any who don’t know APoD…


  4. I’ve seen some interesting commentaries about Boehner letting the far right hang themselves.
    Interestingly, the Chamber of Commerce seems to be standing by him, and looking for more moderate Republicans to support in upcoming races.


    • Guapo,
      The Chamber is a big GOP donor, so it will be interesting to see. I believe Boehner would have rather made a deal long ago … but his party’s dynamics are a bit weird! As for the future, who knows.


  5. “Because the deal moves new deadlines to January and February (2014), will the recent situation replay in a few months?” I have been wondering the exact same thing, Frank. What a way to possibly start the new year. Anyone up for re-election that is behind doing that should be voted out of office.


    • Lame,
      As far as Jan/Feb, my hope is slim. Meanwhile, all seats in the House are up in 2014, plus a third of the Senate. IMO (sadly), I still say at least 85% of incumbents seeking re-election will win. Ouch!


  6. I had heard that despicable comment that asks the president to put the Koran down and leave down. That one infuriated me.

    However, I LOVE the twist on the Washington Redskins situation. Yes, drop Washington from their name. How funny!

    Hope your week is doing well.

    Hugs from Ecuador,


  7. give me the pumpkin spice – and everything that goes with it. also, if you’re interested in learning more about the congressional stalemate, do a google search on “house resolution 368.” interesting move by boehner, but i’m not sure what he thought the result would be. possibly it was a safeguard to take blame off himself if things went really wrong. i mean really really more wrong.


  8. I love your thought on how the Redskins should drop Washington from their name. That is classic, man.
    As for the HOF, don’t blame Hall and Oates and LL for the committees’s shortsightedness as per other candidates . . although I am with you on this Moody Blues thing, completely so.


  9. Under your “interesting reads” list, Frank, I especially liked the Barone column about “both sides (political parties) blundering”. I’ve long been frustrated with polls that show the public bashing “Congress” while re-electing their own extreme Congress Creature. Barone’s analysis helps explain it. He said,

    Democrats believe that a shutdown would be politically disastrous for Republicans. But the 1995-96 wasn’t, and back then Bill Clinton made a great show of negotiating.

    Obama’s refusal to negotiate is less attractive. It is stunning that 47 percent of Americans say that a twice-elected president is behaving like a spoiled child rather than a responsible adult.

    He’s right, but I was disappointed that he didn’t go farther and point out the important difference between Clinton’s situation and Obama’s. The recent case was more extreme and the opposition more single-minded and more unreasonable. Obama was actually being mature and circumspect of the potential ramifications of the executive branch relenting to political extortion. That’s what “negotiating” would have meant. Obama sacrificed his own political capital for the good of the country. He explained it well several times, but Barone and most of the country weren’t listening. IMHO.


  10. That’s an interesting clip on your Sweden, Viveka. It sounds idyllic.

    Drilling down, however, as I am wont to do, I perceive several criticisms/omissions in the comparison between your country and ours:

    1. Sweden’s military costs, per capita, are half of ours.
    2. Sweden’s healthcare costs per capita are about half of ours (and that’s totally our fault).
    3. The tax rate in Sweden was 45.8% in 2010, about double the U.S. rate.

    Given no 3. the implication that a trend away from progressive thinking is responsible for Sweden’s relative economic success is, I submit, misleading. Instead, I your success is more due to nos. 1. and 2, and your homogenized culture which surely makes deregulation more practical there than here in politically-balkanized America.


  11. After looking at those “old men” in Yes, I realized how youthful I appear. Take it easy on The Moody Blues. They’ve ensured their commercial success, but not entirely at the sacrifice of artistic expression, and they’ve had some social commentary over the years. 🙂


    • Archon,
      I’m picking on the Rock and Roll HOF … not the Moody Blues because I think they are very deserving … and more deserving than some inductees. … thus I imagine you enjoy them as well. 🙂


  12. I’m gearing up for brandied fruit day tomorrow! Why not! “I call upon all of you to wage a second American nonviolent revolution, to use civil disobedience to demand that this president leave town, to get up, to put the Quran down, to get up off his knees, and to figuratively come out with his hands up.”–I am thinking I really should be a little fearful! Wow!


  13. Some of us Canadians have wondered how a government can just shut down and not pay it’s workers? At the same time, we have been known to prorogue government, which in once sense is better, because people still get paid.

    I am also amazed at the Tea Party not wanting Obamacare. Why would they not want accessible health care for everyone?


  14. Are you sure this isn’t from The Onion?
    “(Sat) Menopause Day, Bridge Day, Evaluate Your Life Day, Sweetest Day, Seafood Bisque Day”
    Seriously. I had to reread it, and the more I did, the more wry it became. 😀


  15. Haven’t been around lately because I’m finishing up my book (man this is hard work). But took a little breather to see how you’re doing. I was most saddened by the comment about the President and the Quran (same ol’ “other” rhetoric), but I was even sadder that the Republican party didn’t denounce it. This is one of the major issues I have with them and it is hard not to see it as a racial issue.

    The shutdown was hard on those who were affected by it. I know a few people who this careless action messed up their lives for a while. As to the healthcare system, it is definitely a mess. But Val is right. There was no way to test it. I’ve worked in companies that tested a new computer program for months and when it rolled out, it was still a mess, and it was a small internal program–not one needed for the entire country. It will work out. But it happen a lot faster if the “haters” would step back and give it a chance. Anyway, thanks for the funny titles.


    • E-Tom,
      Glad you have been working hard … but even happier that you stopped by.

      Right on about those in the GOP not denouncing it. Pathetic!

      Shutdown was simply unnecessary. It had to be hard on all, but harder on some than others … so the shutdown was also pathetic!

      Although I’m against repeal the ACA (but for improving it), I can’t accept excuses for the website blunders … therefore, pathetic!

      Here’s something not pathetic …. I think you missed this headline: Crane Used to Move DC Area Woman’s Jewelry Box


  16. Pingback: Living the Wombat Dream | butimbeautiful

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