Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 380

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For those that missed Tuesday’s special announcement, Pronouns: The Musical this weekend with an Encore act featuring songs with two or more different pronouns used in this musical (or click here). See the SPECIAL page/tab (below the banner/header) for more information. Curtain time is Saturday at 1:00 am (Eastern US).

For the story writers in the crowd, hope you saw the Writing Challenge I issued earlier this week. See the Challenge page/tab (below the banner/header) for details (or click here). Responding to the challenge starts this coming Tuesday after I post my version. If you aren’t a short story person, pass along the challenges to others you know who may be interested.

A few days ago we saw First Man, the movie about astronaut Neil Armstrong. Interesting and well done, but I wouldn’t call it a must-see blockbuster. It’s not fast-moving, but has its tense moments. There’s a notice amount of silence throughout the movie. For most of his post-astronaut adult life, Mr. Armstrong lived in the Cincinnati area. From what I know of Armstrong’s personality, Ryan Gosling hit it!

I’m drafting a future post about shopping carts – which caused me to develop a new category – Shopping. Would you know it, I already have a few past posts that fit that new category. Feel free to visit the category in the future or by clicking here.

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President Trump says he could fire the entire Mueller investigation team to end the investigation. Mr. President, do what you mean and mean what you say. The time is now – enough talk – do it! Do what you say you can do. Do what you really want to do! Do it!!!

Although the anticipated Blue Wave didn’t not occur, Democrats gained control of the House of Representatives. I give House Democrats a 95% chance to do something in one month (by the end of January 2019) that strengthens President Trump re-election – which I raise the chances of happening to 80%.

Gerrymandering is not new. Not only has it been around for a long time, both parties are guilty – even in recent times!

Important “-isms” are in the news: Anti-semitism, racism, Nazism, and others – let alone include other related terms as Islamophobia and homophobia. I want to toss in another one that would impact more than any of the above – partyism. After all, there is plenty of data showing pathetic candidates from each side getting sizeable number of votes.

Eight states still have straight ticket voting – the method allowing voters to cast votes for candidates in one party by making only one mark. Good news is that the number of states doing this pathetic practice is declining.

As an authentic independent who sneers at each party, I enjoyed this article about Congress by the Washington Post.

Last week I wrote these words, “Whereas the focus continues to be the last 14 words of the Second Amendment, I continue to say the key to the debate is the first 13 words. After all, those are the words not on the lobby wall at NRA headquarters.” This week brought us news of another mass shooting.

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion discovered the latest “I Voted” stickers from Nevada. Are you willing to look here?

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)

Man does incredibly well at slot machine demo embedded in ad
Girlfriend really has mind of her own today
Supposedly educated professor has no idea how to get bird out of lecture hall
Area man thankful to be single during Golden Age of Television
Slug just taking it easy today
Voter just needs to know which candidate chops wood in a flannel shirt
North Carolina voter in heavily gerrymandered district somehow voting for Montana Senate, Mayor Of Phoenix

Interesting Reads

Eastern and Western European differences
A large, unused airport
Analytics and health care
Butch Cassidy
The re-shaped Milky Way
(Photos) From the 2018 National Geographic Photo Contest
(Photos) Beautifully designed spas

To send you into the weekend, here’s that I heard for the first time earlier this week. Enjoy Alex Murdoch with All My Days. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

41 thoughts on “Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 380

  1. Yes, the blue ripple now has the potential to divide the house into even more useless behavior. You know I think the legislative branch has failed this country. I’m not sure when it began but it has been years. Now the executive branch has no idea on how to build consensus so pathos will be the order of the day. BTW I dared to look at the Nevada voting stickers and can’t get the image out of my head.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Don’t be too dismissive of the “Blue Wave” just yet. A couple more seats went blue this evening which, while not able to compare with the 2010 shellacking Obama endured, will probably net around 35-40 pick-ups overall. Not horribly shabby in an age of gerrymandering or Secretary of State shenanigans. I’m hope the Dems decide to play nice and work together with the lying orange mango on something like infrasture and avoid heavy handed partisan oversight. Aa conviction will NEVER happen in Mitch McConnell’s senate even if the House votes to impeach. Looking forward to the new musical challenge (hopefully there will be a WiFi signal where I’ll be while rejuvenating after this bruising election season). Reading the latest Girl With the Dragon Tattoo book under an umbrella sipping a nice cocktail should help. 😉 Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

    • Monika,
      I’m going with John’s Blue Ripple. Even with their new majority, I am confident they will not only overplay their hand, they will do that it quickly. Personally, I hope I’m wrong. As for Senator McConnell, I don’t respect him.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. In Florida, notoriously red, The governor and senate race is so close a recount is underway. I call it a blue wave because the number of democratic votes far exceed the Republican votes. It’s disgraceful this president chosed to publicly shame fellow Rep for not including him in their campaigns. He cares so little for our constitution It’s heartbreaking. Can’t wait for 2020!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I agree that no matter how the Senate and House numbers stack up, each party is likely to just do things to address their supposed big picture, which means no real non-partisan problem solving. I would love to be optimistic. Most days I just feel like the supposedly educated professor who often is just taking it easy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patti,
      I agree. Governing is about working together to solve problems. The current Congress is not solving problems because they aren’t governing (or should I say that they aren’t governing because they aren’t solving problems). Either way – sorry state of affairs. Imposition of a point of view is not problem solving or governing. Fortunately, the schism with the Republicans is large enough to limit that (well, to some extent). Then again, put the Dems in charge of everything only changes the imposed view.


  5. I thoroughly enjoyed the video. Thank you for introducing me to Alexi Murdoch. I also enjoyed the Nat Geo photos (there’s a surprise! lol!). So true about the gerrymandering. We experienced it living in Ohio when the Republicans did it. Here in Maryland, the Dems did it. As for pathetic candidates on both sides, that is also true but sometimes you have to vote for a pathetic candidate to avoid a worse pathetic candidate. Those who think otherwise are, I think, partially responsible for giving us Trump. The whole system needs a complete overhaul. I don’t see it happening in my lifetime.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Robin,
      Thanks for verifying that gerrymandering today occur by both sides. After all, it’s been that way for over 150 years. Yes, sometimes a vote for the pathetic is done as a vote against the other. Then again, the option is leaving that portion of the ballot blank. The worst part is when the pathetic candidate either wins or gets a large number of votes – many of which due to strict voting for a party. Glad you enjoy Alex Murdoch – and that video is wonderful (IMO)!


  6. From the read “The re-shaped Milky Way” I liked finding out that the Milky Way Galaxy’s evolution will be studied “as if it were a Rosetta stone”—to better understand how galaxies across the universe evolve and how they affect the cosmos. I’m concerned, however, for the folks living here on earth four billion years from now who will be affected by the Andromeda galaxy smacking directly into the Milky Way.

    The Washington Post read “Laws and Disorder” calls out American voters to cast aside greed and tribalism and force the two political parties to work together in a bi-partisan manner to strengthen the legislative branch of the government against a pathetic and tyrannical chief executive like Donald Trump.

    Actually, 9 states still have straight ticket voting – Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Michigan (Michigan got rid of it then voted it back in).

    Sadly, the splat “Voter just needs to know which candidate chops wood in a flannel shirt” resonated.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sadly I agree that the Democrats will probably overplay their hand. Trump was already adept at blaming the Dems when the Republicans had the house. And now he is already setting them up to take the blame for anything that will go wrong during the next two years. The best hope is probably an overreaction to their shenanigans on his part though the immediate consequences of that overreaction could be ugly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I also think that Democrats (at least some of them) will overplay their hand, and Trump will spend many toilet-tweeting hours blaming the Democrats for anything bad that happens.
      However, the only people who will indeed listen to Trump and blame the Democrats are those who already blame Democrats for everything (in my favorite example, in one poll, 30% of Louisiana Republicans blamed Obama for the bungled Katrina recovery, and another 30% weren’t sure if they should blame Obama or Bush.)
      Democratic voters will continue to blame Trump. And people who aren’t beholden to either Democrats or Republicans tend to blame whoever is in the Oval office.
      So even if Democrats overplay their hand, they will probably pay a relatively small price for it, if at all.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. As an impartial observer of the end of the world (politically speaking), I was glad to see the Dems take the House. I cannot imagine what might have come about if the Republicans had it all. As it is, things look bleak . . I just don’t know anymore!

    More shootings, more madness. On the day after the attacks, a New York newspaper ran a headline that read “307 in 311”. A reference to the number of mass shootings in this country, year to date. As Don Lemon of CNN said the other night, “Gun rights advocates will say this is not the time to talk about gun control, and they’re right. That time was many years ago,”

    As for baseball, the Reds are knee deep in pitching talk. I believe they have eyes for Keuchel. Who knows? Maybe they’re the turnaround team next season . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marc,
      I’m also happy that the Dems took the House. In the current climate that we seemed to be stuck in, I don’t see one party domination as a good thing – well, actually do see it as a bad thing. On the other hand, I also see it as a golden opportunity for Dems to screw it up – therefore helping a presidential re-election campaign.

      As for the Reds, rumors are flying around here, too. I just roll my eyes because time will tell. The organization has issues, therefore my lack of confidence in them. But who knows, maybe they are trying to change.

      Gun madness goes on – and while the GOP keeps saying it’s a mental health issue – they also continue to kick that can down the road. Pathetic!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ominous observation there Frank. I hope you’re wrong. On this count . .

        Things can change quickly in the MLB. Just ask the Cubs. Two years removed from their first WS title in 108 years and you’d think that club would have a lifetime pass, but nope. Schwarber and Rizzo were mentioned in trade talks last year, and now it’s Bryant. Add to that, Joe Maddon isn’t being nominated for Sainthood after all and might be out after this season if they don’t advance further than they have the past couple seasons. Amazing.

        There is a mental health issue to be talked about. But there’s also a gun regulation issue that must be talked about. Now. And that’s where the rubber meets the road and that’s why they continue to ignore all the carnage. It IS pathetic.


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