Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 190

On Politics
I was surprised to learn that 15 states allowing voting for a straight (one party) ticket with one vote. Personally, that’s pathetic!

Conservatives loving Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) as a potential Republican presidential candidate just goes to show they do not understanding winning.

Oh my my … a Stop Hillary PAC has been formed, so expect to see ads.

As House Speaker Boehner (R-OH) explains votes will not come to the House floor for vote without Republican majority, I say that is a prime example of the House Speaker’s position should be an impartial, nonmember of Congress, which would be Constitutional.

On more than one occasion, and for some time, I have proclaimed repealing various banking laws in favor of returning to the pre-deregulation days of the Glass-Steagall. Finally, I am not alone.

Anthony Weiner (D-NY) is an ass with a problem, which unquestionably qualifies him for political office. However, in the end, it is up to the NYC voters (not me or anyone else outside the city) to decide his fate. On a related note, The Onion offers tips for making a political comeback.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion

  • Man at salad bar must say every item aloud as he ads it to salad
  • Royal baby already crawling
  • Man making $1000 per month has nerve to complain about minimum wage laws
  • Frustrated novelist no good at describing hands
  • Area man sobbing after Phil Mickelson’s win
  • Royal baby speaks first words

Interesting Reads
Columnist Thomas Friedman’s look at Egypt
A view of the city of Detroit’s bankruptcy
Tony Bennett about Duke Ellington
Gettysburg and Pickett’s Other Charge – the family secrets
Voyager 1 is still going
Infographic: Comparing 1940 & 2010 in the U.S.
Cute graphic about history
Texting on the toilet

On Potpourri
My wife (the avid reader of fiction in this house) purchased The Seneca Scourge by Carrie Rubin, a blogger who visits here …. In addition, the book received a big thumbs up!

In my personal quest to find good ginger ales, I requested tasted two that are new to me. If you like a little (but not a lot) zing, try Red Rock Ginger Ale. Cock N’ Bull Ginger Beer was a solid choice for my taste, so it may make it to my taste-off event.

Are you kidding me? Lance Armstrong’s legal defensive against his then sponsor (USPS) is that they should have known that he was doping (thus lying).

Time is running out on National Doghouse Repairs Month and Sandwich Generation Month. Meanwhile, this weekend is the World Lumberjack Championships and someone I imagine one of my California readers have attended – Garlic Days in Gilroy. Single day celebrations include (Fri) National Talk on the Elevator Day (say Eleven); (Sat) National Dance Day, National Creme Brulee Day, Take Your Houseplant for a Day, Walk on Stilts Day (Go Guap), and Barbie in a Blender Day; (Sun) National Milk Chocolate Day, Auntie’s Day, and Parent’s Day.

Next Tuesday is the scheduled curtain rising of the next act of Time: The Musical. The theme for Act 5 will be “Day” – so get your song title that include Day, Days, or Monday through Friday.

Interesting that we get to live at a rare time with three living heirs to the throne. All the royal baby hoopla reminds me of this comedy bit from Tim Wilson.

I’ve planned a cartoon post for Saturday

To send you into the weekend, here’s some classic rock by someone who should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but isn’t. Have a good weekend. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On the Closing of a Story

The trials and tribulations of Anthony Weiner seemingly closed last week with his resignation. He screwed up big time and Washington continues to fiddle as the country faces important problems.  In other words, the whole event continues to bother me on several fronts.

Legality & Ethics: As far as we know at this point, he didn’t break the law. Yet, in that light, others in the hallowed chambers have broken laws and survived. Am I missing something here? As I’ve said before, congressional ethics is an oxymoron.

Politics: I continue to believe that since this was not a legal issue, it was one for the constituents to decide. Yet, Republicans called for his resignation and key Democrats followed, thus willing to throw him under the bus. So how with the leaders of each party react the next time? Are we entering a period of intolerance for those caught?

Coverage: With all the important issues on our plate, media coverage of the event seemed a bit over the top. Was it the event, or the combination of the event and his name? Of course, it is the same media that followed around Sarah Palin’s bus tour waiting for something to happen. Did she really deserve that much coverage? Is the media delivering the sensationalism that the public wants?

Culture: The frenzy around Weiner story reminded by of the prevalent reality-show mentality. I continue to wonder the following: Do reality shows mimic society or does society mimic reality shows? Is the media seeking its reality show niche?

On the other hand, the situation provided its share of laughs. From the late-night comedians to the political cartoons, humor has a way of making us laugh while making a point. With that in mind, I end this post with a catchy tune fitting to the situation.

On Responsibility

Since Arnold Swartzenegger, Anthony Weiner, and pundits on the campaign trail mention responsibility in recent announcements, here is a short bit on this interesting word.

Responsibility: A particular burden of obligation upon one who is responsible (answerable or accountable, as for something within one’s power, control, or management) (American Heritage Dictionary)

Responsibility: The quality or state of being responsible –as a moral, legal, or mental accountability, liable to be called to account as the primary cause (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

Our elected officials do not seem to have a handle on neither responsible government nor governing with responsibility. Whether the inability to make a strong, good-for-the-country based decision is due to fright, lack of guts, selfish preservation, or any other inadequate reason, our elected officials are an embarrassment for their lack of responsibility and continual commitment to their party’s supply chain and their re-election. As I have stated before, politicians are first, foremost, and possibly only about their party – thus, is there any surprise at Washington’s continual failure to handle responsibly the key issues of our times?

I recently found two interesting columns focusing on responsibility. The first (from NPR) looks at Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) and his recent snafu. In the other column (in USA Today), Jonah Greenburg offers no solutions, but examines the big picture. His last paragraph is loaded.

More and more, it seems as if our politicians want to be the divorced parent who only visits on weekends to do the fun stuff: Give out goodies, go to the movies, enjoy pony rides and ice cream cake, while expecting somebody else to be the tough parent who has to deal with the costs and the consequences. That is a natural human desire, particularly for politicians, a breed of professionals who have an unhealthy need to be liked. The problem is, that’s not what they’re being paid to do.

Swartzenegger and Weiner taint the work and credibility of many politicians. Nonetheless, maybe acting responsibly is expecting too much, especially in light of important topics as debt ceiling, defense, education, government spending, health care, jobs, Medicare, military engagements, revenue enhancement, and Social Security. Since we elect these officials and most seeking re-election most commonly win again, maybe we the people are getting exactly what we deserve.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 99

Announcements

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On Politics
Republicans asking for the resignation of Rep. Weiner (D-NY) is as pathetic as the congressman’s actions. If you can’t practice what you preach for everyone, stay quiet. Meanwhile, given the information at this time, it’s a matter of his constituents.

At the time of the death of Osama bin Laden, political pundits were proclaiming a 2012 lock for President Obama. I said (at the time) the pundits were out of touch, and the current polls are already validating my position.

I listened to Tim Pawlenty’s (R-MN) recent policy speech from Chicago. Two points: he’s boring and although he caught my attention on some points, he had a difficult time convincing me.

Politico wonders if there will be a Bachmann-Palin cat fight.

Another week goes by without a jobs bill from House. To be precise, 5+ months and counting. To quote Speaker Boehner (R-OH), “Where are the jobs?”

My governor, John Kasich (R-OH) continues to delay implementing the people’s vote – building casinos in the state.

Two good reads about the political football known as the debt ceiling debate

A great quote from Beaglezmom: You can believe in a candidate and still admit they made a mistake. You can support a leader and still call them on a lapse of judgment. You can acknowledge disappointment, and still support a person, idea or party. Our country needs voters who are a lot more real, and a lot less “star struck.”

On the Potpourri
Aging brings interesting problems. For instance, this week I received a cortisone shot in my shoulder. For what you ask? I strained my rotator cuff when putting on a sweatshirt this winter. Physical therapy starts soon. For those that don’t know, rotator cuff refers to the area where several shoulder muscles and tendons connect to the shoulder blade and upper arm bone.

It looks like the NFL labor situation means fewer losses for the Bengals!

Bill Tammeus provides this short post about Muslims fighting terrorism.

I also appreciate this quote from a different post from Bill: The struggle for peace — and the routine failure to achieve it — is an ancient story.

See the winners of the photo contest from The World at Night.

Congratulations and good luck to a classy lady, Today show host Meredith Vieira. Once I got to know her personality, I could appreciate her work. Enjoy her highlights video.

On a sad note, Al has taken down his 2012 blog. My interactions with him have always been enlightening, positive, and in good spirit – thus I will miss him space. On the plus side, I am grateful for his genuine presence. A tip of the hat to you Al. Best wishes to you and selfishly, I hope you make your presence known through visits.

Thanks Moe for taking me back to junior high and this interesting 1966 look at future computers. Have a safe weekend. You come back now.

On Two Worthless Stories

As Washington continues its typical sounds of moans and drones, it’s no wonder many fellow independents are continually shaking their heads. With that in mind, let’s take a short look at two of the latest hot topics.

Weinergate: As I mentioned last week, regardless of whether or not his Twitter account was hacked or not, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) has done a good job of making himself look bad. Then earlier today he comes clean, thus causing me to revamp this post before publishing.

Whether he resigns or not should NOT matter to those of us outside of his district. His seat is up for election every two years, thus I trust his constituents will do what they feel is best. On the other hand, if he broke House rules, that’s another story. However, isn’t congressional ethics an oxymoron?

Meanwhile, here are interesting views about the situation: one visual (RJ Matson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch), one by a columnist (Kathleen Parker, Washington Post), and one by a blogger who doesn’t mince words and has a wonderful opening image.

Palin and American History
I checked the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and Real Clear Politics looking for commentary about Sarah Palin’s latest history lesson. Lo’ and behold, none were to be found. Interestingly, FOX News did air an interview with her explaining how she got it right. Nonetheless, I did find this worthwhile, short animation at the Washington Post. After all, she is a nincompoop.