Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 331

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The Cincinnati Enquirer published an interesting photo essay: A Day in the Life of Fiona the Baby Hippo. Enjoy.

This recent post on the Cincinnati Zoo Blog by one of Fiona’s handlers is good and has excellent pictures.

Opening Day is Monday. First of all, the occasion is formally capitalized in Cincinnati because it is (and has always been in my lifetime) a major event. Opening Day is the official start of the baseball season, and Cincinnati embraces it like no other place. We hope to go downtown for the festivities, but the projected weather is concerning.

Although I think the Reds will be better this year, my goals for their 2017 resemble last year’s:

  • Win more games than the 1961 Mets (Checked in 2016)
  • Have a better record than the worst team in baseball (Checked in 2016)
  • Finish higher than last place in the division
  • Finish closer to first in the division than to last
  • Anything else is extra topping on the sundae

On the downside, a shooting in a Cincinnati nightclub made the news this week. No arrests at this time, but the business has turned in its liquor license and will not reopen.

Enjoy this song with 300 words in one minute.

Several weeks ago I linked a handbell version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. Here’s is another version of the same arrangement, but done with a different touch.

A tip of the cap to Lorna who is retiring her blog. I can’t recall how the two of us met each other in blogging, but I recall her move from the eastern US to Oregon. Best of luck Lorna, and thanks for the support.

The time is approaching when I will go on a spring blog break.

No Saturday post this weekend, but I will publish the Sunday post earlier than normal.

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I have a plan to improve the Affordable Care Act (ACA/Obamacare) – sensible Democrats and sensible Republicans get together. Then again, I’m not convinced enough of those exist to overcome the obstinance of their respective bases.

  • Why can’t Republicans propose allowing insurance to be sold across state lines within the ACA? (However, states have the final say because they control insurance commerce.)
  • Why can’t Democrats propose eliminating taxes on the wealthy that shouldn’t have been in the ACA in the first place?
  • Why can’t either side propose either allowing credits for the insured or making the fine for not having insurance be greater than the cost of insurance?
  • Why can’t elected officials favor problem solving for the good over the country instead of party-first interests?

I know the answer to the above question – they are jackasses!

Regarding the mega-snafu by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, I say get him out of there!

“Clean coal” is possible – but expensive.

I can’t agree more with this headline that I saw earlier this week: It is Never Trump’s Fault – yep … it’s always Obama’s fault.

Former President Obama’s Five Faults of the Week
No Cincinnati teams making it to college basketball’s Final Four
Mild winter not killing mosquitos
Coal industries 40-year decline
Hunting hogs from helicopters
An upcoming Blog Break approaching for me

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion identifies the top 10 destinations for spring break.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Hundreds Of blind, pallid Disney characters discovered living in caves deep within Space Mountain
Stoned extraterrestrial stumbles across hidden message after listening to Golden Record backwards
Audubon Society revokes black-capped chickadee’s membership after species fails to pay dues
4 copy editors killed in ongoing AP Style, Chicago Manual gang violence
Military aides try to cheer up Kim Jong-Un after failed missile launch by putting on surprise execution

Interesting Reads
A perspective about nostalgia
Your life and history
Evolution of and future of charter schools
Churchill’s Iron Curtain speech (delivered 7 years before I was born, he mentions my birthplace)
Trapped in amber during sex
(Photos) Earth Hour Celebration

To send you into the weekend, here’s an MTV classic from days gone by. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

39 thoughts on “Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 331

  1. Regarding the ACA, Frank, I’m in agreement with your comments except for this one:

    Why can’t Democrats propose eliminating taxes on the wealthy that shouldn’t have been in the ACA in the first place?

    The reason why that can never be is because the economic health of a country depends on the entire body politic functioning efficiently. The wealthy benefit in countless ways from this: efficient utilities, law enforcement, infrastructure, and national defense, are all examples of functions that benefit from a healthy underclass which not only works but pays payroll and sales taxes that are the mainstay of the economy. Healthcare may consume a quarter or more of a poor person’s income, so how can it be unfair to ask the wealthy to contribute 1% or 2% of theirs? (Unless, of course, one takes the Romney view that 47% of the populace are merely slackers being supported by the 10%.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jim,
      I’m all for helping the needy, but not with asking minimum incomes of $250K (joint)/$200 K (single) to pay an additional 0.9% Medicare tax + 3.8% investment income tax.


  2. Opening Day in Philadelphia is fast approaching and our goals for the Phillies are indeed as conservative as those of Reds fans. We don’t expect any “extra toppings on the sundae” but won’t turn them down if they’re available. The Cincy-area basketball teams each have much to be proud of for their respective seasons. I like the way the Final Four turned out even if my bracket didn’t turn out so well. I did have North Carolina winning it all and will stick with that pick. The failure to repeal or rework the ACA was something I would not have predicted…but after Election Night I’m done predicting anything political. I will be interested to see if the “nuclear option” comes to pass regarding the current Supreme Court nominee. Frank, I have always thought Robert Palmer was an underrated performer – kudos on the song/video choice!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bruce,
      Opening Day looks like rain at this point, but we’ll decide in the morning if we will joint the festivities. The Reds pitching staff is very young … so young we don’t know what will happen.

      In terms of the Final Four, amazing ending to NC-Oregon … amazing that the Ducks got caught not boxing out twice in a row … stunning! Meanwhile, given the finals, I’m hoping for Gonzaga … but with is fine because they represent ABK.

      Meanwhile, I foresee the nuclear option being used.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Here’s to the final four (both men’s and women’s) teams – an ending to an exciting series. Hope you have a fantastic Spring break and I hear the song “Take me out to a ball game . . . “

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mary,
      A crazy weekend of basketball, and the UConn women was the most shocking. Then again, anyone can have a bad game … but the timing wasn’t the best. Meanwhile, Opening Day Cincinnati style is tomorrow, but the weather is iffy at this point.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Just couldn’t believe what happened, I mean seriously. But as Coach Geno said, it is important for them to feel what many teams have felt after they’ve played UConn – they have to mature yet as players and a team, they are young. But wow some of those other teams are going to be formidable next year. Take me out to a ball game – the DFW area is ready for tomorrow.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’m sure Geno would have rather lost in the regular season, but it was an important learning experience for his players. Today’s weather remains iffy, so we are delaying our decision regarding going into the city for the traditional festivities.

          Liked by 1 person

        • My husband said the same thing as you, but all happens for a reason. Was a good tournament, tonight’s game should be exciting. Hope you are able to enjoy the festivities this evening.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. The ACA cost the DEMS dearly and gave the country Donald Trump. The AHCA is costing the GOP just as dearly and is showing the country that the Emperor has no clothes. So who are the jackasses? It’s everybody in the U.S. who refuses to listen to the Canadian couple who told you that their country’s single payer health care system is “wonderful.”

    The Brookings Institute report “The evolution of the charter school market and the next generation of charter school research” went into my golf bag for when I’m playing especially bad.

    I’m studying Michael Chabon’s “The True Meaning of Nostalgia” for advice on how far to go in remembering the past.

    No splats.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tim,
      You know that I have been saying “throw them all out” for some time …. so I’ve officially declared them all as jackasses. In terms of single payer, I’m sure you read Krauthammer today in our paper.


  5. I really enjoyed the article and photos of little Miss Fiona. I am sure her care team is simply enthralled, and hoping she doesn’t grow to her full potential just too quickly! Enjoy opening day tomorrow. I don’t think it’s celebrated here in the way you describe, but it is still a very big deal. I know plenty of people staying home from work tomorrow! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Debra,
      Fiona has achieved local celebrity status … and now she is known elsewhere! In terms of Opening Day, Cincinnatians take the day seriously … it’s an event … and from what many say, no other city does it like here because it is more than just the game. Hopefully the rain will stay away.


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