Opinions in the Short: Vol. 169

On Politics
Sure seems that both parties are still believing in the governing-by-ultimatums approach

Political observers notice that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has been very unhappy with various cabinet choices by President Obama. The probable reason is simple – he faces a primary challenge in 2014.

Congress may have reached a end-of-the-year tax compromise, but the next 3 months are going to be business as usual – nothing

A special thanks to Alex Jones, guest on Piers Morgan, for demonstrating my point about a national conversation regarding gun control. For those that did see it, here’s an interesting 6 minutes.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion

  • Ornithologist forced to participate in History Channel’s “What if Human Beings Suddenly Became Birds” program
  • Walgreen manager certain dead father would have been proud of Crest toothpaste display
  • Asshole on plane greeted at baggage claim by whole family
  • Four copy editors killed in ongoing AP Style-Chicago Manual gang violence
  • Man returns to work after vacation with fresh, re-energized hatred for job
  • Biden’s handlers suggesting he forget the words “pink” and “stink” together

Interesting Reads
Piano pleasures
Augustine’s two books and Genesis
Humans as violent animals
The development of jazz
Seven shapers of technology in 2013
Infographic: The Internet – a decade later

On Potpourri
Wow – baseball spring training is 5 weeks away.

Earlier this week, the baseball writers didn’t elect anyone to the Hall of Fame. That;s fine – and so is the treatment to the steroid guys. But their vote reminded me of something they said in the past. They stated that Pete Rose’s eligibility had run out, so he wouldn’t appear on the ballot. Hello – because he was never eligible to be on the ballot, how could his eligibility expire?

Good news – Saturday will deliver the first classic cartoon post of 2013.

To send you into the weekend, let’s take a trip to the Star Wars’ Cantina for the band – well, a different version of it. Have a good weekend! In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 44

On the Health Insurance Dilemma
There’s no doubt that I support some sort of universal health care because I believe it’s a matter of human decency. On the other hand, I simply don’t trust Pelosi-led legislation. Stop cheering Republicans, you passed on your chance to get anything done.

Although columnist Charles Krauthhammer isn’t one of my favorites, this was an interesting column.

On South Carolina Republicans
Wow. South Carolina, arguably the most conservative state, has a battle brewing between conservative (as Sen. Lindsey Graham) and ultra-conservatives (as Sen. Jim DeMint). Now there’s a battle aimed at winning over moderates. Here’s an article.

A similar thing is happening in my district as a conservative incumbent is being challenged by two to the further right: those so far right that they are actually left. I like this Kathleen Parker column about the GOP.

On the Swiss Reaction
The Swiss vote banning the building of Islamic minarets could me off guard. On the other hand, the multitude of reactions is a balance between interesting and scary. The holy wars are definitely ramping up, and I have to wonder when a similar referendum is tried in here.

On Drivers Holding Cell Phones
Some states have passed laws against drivers talking on a cell phone while driving. Also, and well documented, females do this act more than males – and my observations note that the numbers are considerably different. Meanwhile, we in Ohio don’t have any laws about as such; and to top it off, today I observe a member of our local police force holding and talking on a cell phone while driving the cruiser. Yes, it was a female.

On Baseball’s Hallowed Hall
This year’s Hall of Fame ballot was announced. Given the choices, I would vote for Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven, Andre Dawson, Barry Larkin, Edgar Martinez, and Fred McGriff. Then again, that doesn’t mean anything to the actual voters.
On a Cake Recipe
I like wine and I like chocolate, so how does a chocolate wine cake sound? We’ve used this recipe from Food & Wine twice and it’s been a hit both times.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 5

I wonder what percentage of GM and Ford’s U.S. sales are to people qualifying for the employee discount?

I agree with George Will who states that WW II got us out of the recession, not the New Deal.

President-elect Obama is upsetting the left and of course can’t please the right anyway. This makes me smile as I’ve been hoping for a centrist.

When it comes to politics and religion together, I’m weary of evangelical Republicans. With that said, I have no problem with Pastor Rick Warren’s role in the inauguration because I see this as an attempt to work across the aisle for one America. At least the president-elect is trying to bridge the divide.

If the Republicans were running Congress, how long (and at what $ cost) would they investigate the link between President-elect Obama and Governor Blagojevich? And for those who forget, how much did Ken Starr cost?

Since the Democrats are running Congress, how long will it take (and at what $ cost) to investigate various abuses of power in the Bush administration? Personally, I hope they stay away from it.

The struggling economy is the top story of 2008; not the election. Keep in mind that the September downturn helped swing the election.

We recently lost acclaimed playwright Harold Pinter at the age of 92. Although he had his accomplished, he is forever etched in my mind with The Caretaker – the play that served as the low benchmark in my time as a season ticket holder at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park.

With a flury of bowl games upon us, let us remember that the BCS is about the 6 major conferences dominating the bowl revenue; not about determining a national champion.

Baseball Hall of Fame ballots are due soon so here are a couple of HOF thoughts.

  • If I was a voter, Bert Blyleven, Ricky Henderson, and Andre Dawson would get my votes.
  • I agree with Johnny Bench; “The HOF is for the very best, not the very good.”
  • How could Pete Rose be declared “no longer eligible” when he was never eligible?