Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 214

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On Politics
Cincinnati is in the final six for hosting the 2016 Republican convention. Given Ohio’s swing-state status and the fact that no Republican has never won the White House without winning Ohio, odds are good that the GOP will reward either my city or Cleveland.

Here’s one thing I find in common with the four Congressional leaders (Boehner, Pelosi, McConnell, and Reid). Whenever they have a new conference, I change the channel – which is what I also do with White House spokesperson Jay Carney’s daily briefings.

At the time of the passing the law, I told a friend (and reader here) that the abortion clause in the Affordable Care Act should have been something Democrats gave up. Now, we await word from the US Supreme Court regarding the Hobby Lobby challenge.

This week the US Supreme Court ruled (McCutcheon v. FEC) that money is a form of free speech regarding campaign contributions. I can accept this under two conditions: 1) No tax-exempt status for Political Action Groups, and 2) Identification/disclosure of donors and amounts – thus increasing transparency.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Parents reminisce to children about dating algorithm that brought them together
Lowly mortal opens portal to Hell
Mom leaves sweet little note for sixth grader in ADD prescription bottle
Levi’s factory implicated in cruel treatment of denim cows
Study finds majority of non-shark-related fears completely unjustified
New law requires Richard Gere to personally inform residents when he moves into a new neighborhood

Bonus Onions

Interesting Reads
Reforming political polarization from Brookings Institute (Link to abstract with download)
Columnist Ruth Marcus on a budget item
A view about dealing with Russia
Map animation of Europe between the two World Wars
Learning and pseudoscience

On Potpourri
This past Wednesday was Autism Awareness Day; and April is Autism Awareness Month. Here’s an article about the brains of autistic children.

I wonder this question about Vladimir Putin’s move regarding Crimea and Ukraine: Is he a good chess player or are his actions out of political necessity?

As the National Labor Relations Board ruled in favor of Northwestern University athletes being able to unionize, I wonder if colleges should offer “Sports” as a major.

Erin Andrews, the new Dancing with the Stars co-host, does much better than previous host Brooke Burke-Charvet.

My wife and I celebrated our 37th anniversary this week with a wonderful dinner at Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant.

I moved a few bloggers to my sidebar, and several onto the More Bloggers page. From the sidebar, checkout Claudine, Cindy, Dreamwalker, Hudson, List, Mind Margins, Pauline, and Trent. I hope to move a few more very soon.

Here are your weekend celebrations

  • (Weekend) Mule Days
  • (Fri) Walk to Work Day, Stray Animals Day, Vitamin C Day, Rat Day, Blame Someone Else Day, Chocolate Milk Powder Day, Cordon Bleu Day, Square Root Day
  • (Sat) Deep Dish Pizza Day, Pillow Fight Day, Tangible Karma Day, Every Day is Tag Day, Rubber Eraser Day, Dandelion Day, Caramel Day, and Raisin & Spice Day
  • (Sun) New Beers Eve, Hostess Twinkie Day, Tartan Day, Teflon Day, Caramel Popcorn Day, Free Tomato Day, Sorry Charlie Day

Here’s a classic gold song from the past to send you into the weekend – Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress (The Hollies). Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

68 thoughts on “Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 214

  1. Walk to work day tomorrow? I can actually celebrate that! I’ll just have to to walk from the bedroom to the living room – unlike most days when I have to drive to work to another state. 🙂
    Happy anniversary, 37, wow.


  2. I had no idea there was an Autism Awareness Day Frank.. I am pleased there is.. having worked with adults with Autism… Its something which has a vast range of problems.. I know from my own experience and taking the person I supported out and about in the community how afraid many people are of someone not expressing themselves as ‘Normal’ ..
    Loved reading through the various bits and pieces here Frank…. I hope you and yours are settling in nicely… Enjoy your weekend… 🙂 xxxx


  3. Happy Anniversary – 37 years … fantastic and the marriage survived the removal too. *smile
    I know you will have a fantastic evening .. and I wish you good luck with every day that will be given to you from now on too.
    A tip to get more space – your blogging months you can put into what I can “drop down” – that will free up loads of space.


  4. Your two conditions for accepting this week’s US Supreme Court decision (McCutcheon v. FEC) that money is a form of free speech regarding campaign contributions, have merit. (No tax-exempt status for Political Action Groups, and Identification/disclosure of donors and amounts.) I look forward to continuing the discussion “stressing the importance of critical thinking and reasoned skepticism” as encouraged by organizations like the New England Skeptical Society, the James Randi Educational Foundation, and the Center for Skeptical Inquiry.


  5. My monies on Cleveland, they have a fancy smancy shopping mall at the airport.

    Thanks for the autism link, Frank. My nephew’s son is autistic (and a hoot to be around).


    • Until I read E’s comment I completely missed the anniversary. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY SHTUFFFS! Must be quite the gal to put up with the likes of you. Thirty seven years is longer than I’ve had a fully functional brain.


    • Hudson,
      An interesting contrast between Cincinnati and Cleveland is that the Cleveland corner of the state is Democratic … while the Cincinnati corner is Republican. Given the two and all other things considered equal, I could see Cincinnati selected because it would serve to energize the base here. After all, President GW Bush campaigned here several times to energize the base and gather dollars. Thanks for sharing your link to autism.


      • Well reasoned and logical, Frank. Makes perfect sense. But from this side of the border, in recent times, illogical stands out when it comes to Republican planning and strategies (whispers ever so softly Sarah you know who). You maybe making a case for Cleveland.


        • I understand making a case for Cleveland …. on the other hand, the other four cities will put their best foot forward for the cash cow. Meanwhile, Nincompoop has no say with me.


  6. First things first: Happy 37th Anniversary Mr. and Mrs. A! May you be blessed with many more years of love, good health (don’t know about you, but something new aches on me every morning), fun travels, and delicious food and wine.

    I agree with Hudson, my monies are on Cleveland. I also agree with you in that I’m turning off more and more TV these days because it is robbing my peace. If I start hearing ways our politicians are compromising and trying to get along, then they will capture my attention again.

    I think I’ll choose Friday’s celebration, especially “walk to work” day. But wait a minute: I’m retired, so how is that going to work? 🙂


    • E-Tom,
      Many thanks for the anniversary wishes! Just wonder when we will run into you and WW on a cruise. 🙂

      Given the two Ohio cities, I can make a case for Cincinnati (see my reply to Hudson). Then again, there are 4 non-Ohio cities also in the mix.


  7. This week the US Supreme Court ruled (McCutcheon v. FEC) that money is a form of free speech regarding campaign contributions. I can accept this under two conditions: 1) No tax-exempt status for Political Action Groups, and 2) Identification/disclosure of donors and amounts – thus increasing transparency.

    I’m fully in agreement with 2), Frank, but 1) is a problem, and it is one that’s at the heart of both McCutcheon and Citizens United, i.e., the issue of free speech under the First Amendment. If we subject speech to tax we are thereby “abridging” it. It seems to me that taxing political ads would limit the voices of those with less disposable income and empower the wealthy who have oodles of it.

    I am still wrestling with this conundrum in my mind and at the heart of it is this question: to what extent can professional propaganda influence voters and to what extent is such influence proportional to funding? Exemplar: Triumph of the Will.


    • Jim,
      Donors can give straight to the campaigns … heck, raise or even remove the cap. After all, as I look at the IRS guidelines for 501(c) exemptions, I can’t see how political advocacy groups qualify … other than stretching the for-the-general-welfare phrase. Shortly after the IRS “scandal” broke regarding targeting conservative groups, I was quick to say target all them on all sides of the aisle. Better yet, I would like to see the IRS change the guideline effective in 01 Jan 2015.


  8. Mom leaves sweet little note for sixth grader in ADD prescription bottle–this is actually probably more truth than Onion fiction! Happy Anniversary, Frank. New home and the start to a wonderful new year, I trust. I just took a peek at the “Map animation of Europe between the two World Wars” and that really interests me. I’ll have to study that one a little bit. Now I will contemplate what I could possibly do to celebrate Mule Days! Quite a problem for me, perhaps. Enjoy yours!


  9. I’m late getting here, and later wishing you and Right Angle a happy anniversary! I love the name of that restaurant!

    Even without reading your post, I managed to celebrate Cordon Bleu day without even knowing it was existing. It was the lunch special at the new office — which I cannot walk to. Which is good because it is a depressing place …


    • Elyse,
      The server told us that the restaurant was named after a royal dog. Unfortunately, they aren’t along the east coast yet, but coming to Richmond this summer.

      Cheers to celebrating Cordon Bleu day … so what kind of view did you get?


      • Named after a royal dog? Cooper was MY dog! But a cooper’s hawk is a bird: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooper%27s_Hawk so you have me a little bit confused.

        My view is horrible, Frank. I wasn’t kidding about the brick wall and the a/c units. Everything about the new place is horrible, except that I still have a job. The commute is longer and filled with 528 stop signs with a zillion cars stopped at them so that I cannot get above 25 mph; heavy traffic; a route that is prone to serious flash floods; there is no getting out of traffic there, once stuck — all the roads off the main road lead to neighborhoods; when I get there, we are in the middle of nowhere — no restaurants, no place to walk. We’re in the back of beyond. And everybody is very unhappy. I still have a job. I still have a job. I still have a job.


    • Trent,
      Well, a difference is that the US system of government is a tad different than most of the world … yet a similarity is that we are also governed by the selfish who love to say they represent the people, but actually don’t.


  10. Where were those parental tips when I needed them? LOL

    Happy 37th Anniversary to you & your wife. And – wishes to you for many more years of love, blessings & happiness.
    {Hugs} to you both


  11. sports is already a major, that’s for sure.

    i don’t accept that money equal speech because that means those with more money are entitled to more speech. one vote is one vote. one voice is one voice. more money seems like more voices within one person. don’t like it. not a bit. however, i do accept that someone’s private money is theirs to spend.

    transparency is only working for those who don’t need it.


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