Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 254

Breaking News: (Friday, 7:15 AM edit) Sadness in Cincinnati as Lauren Hill has passed away, but she leaves a powerful example of perseverance  and a strong message of hope.

Given the Republican uproar over the deal regarding Iran’s nuclear program, I say that if President Obama negotiated the Republican preferences, the Republicans would disagree with the outcome.

A Federal grand jury has  charged Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) with bribery. Someone in Washington involved in a bribery scheme? Say it ain’t so, Joe! No way! To clear his name, he needs to get in front of one of the two great oxymorons – the Senate Ethics Committee.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) announced his candidacy for the 2016 Republican nomination for President. Although he is interesting, and given his history of comments, I await the debate Sen. Paul has with himself. I chuckle at the contradiction of “returning to the Constitution” followed by calls to amend it.

In support of presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) It’s time for truth, here’s his scorecard on his statements rated by PolitiFacts.

From PolitFacts.com

From PolitFacts.com

Although the majority of Christians celebrated Easter last weekend, Happy Easter (this weekend) to my Christian Orthodox friends.

Sharna Burgess is one of my favorite pros on Dancing with the Stars … but I don’t like her current hair color.

Congratulations to Duke University for representing ABK as college basketball champions. (ABK stands for Anyone but Kentucky.) This means that I was happy that the University of Kentucky didn’t win the tournament, but their loss to Wisconsin didn’t pass my 3-prong test for my happiness.

Fortunately, I wasn’t drinking or eating anything (thus no spew) when I heard former Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig say, “The job of the Commissioner is to protect the integrity of the sport.” At least not being in the job hasn’t stopped him from making an ass of himself.

Act 2 of Meals: The Musical should take to the stage next week, so I will announce the theme on the next Monday Morning Entertainment.

Saturday Morning Cartoons returns with the next post!

To lead you into The Onion, here is their introduction to Rand Paul.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Narcissist convinced total strangers would want his organs
New app lets you work for your company even while you sleep
Geologists unearth fully intact rock
Conversational lamprey slowly draining life from dinner party
Sea World responds to California drought by draining animal tanks halfway

Interesting Reads
Anti-Obamacare Republican governors taking Obamacare grant money
American Pie: Obsessing its lyrics 
Gluteus and the Maximus (Sounds quite Shakespearean)
Everybody can sing?
Start baseball season with an article about Ty Cobb
Sex by the Numbers

Your Weekend Celebrations

  • (Weekend) National Pie Championships
  • (Fri) Audubon Day, Cinnamon Crescent Day, Farm Animals Day, Safety Pin Day, Siblings Day, ASPCA Day, Encourage a Young Writer Day, Golfers Day
  • (Sat) Eight Track Tape Day, Barbershop Quartet Day, Louie Louie Day, Baby Massage Day, Pet Day, Teach Children to Save Day, Chinese Fondue Day, Parkinson’s Disease Day, Table Top Day, Submarine Day, Slow Art Day, Education and Sharing Day
  • (Sun) Licorice Day (I love black licorice), Drop Everything and Read Day, Big Wind Day, Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day, Look Up at the Sky Day, Reach as High as You Can Day, Day for Street Children, Day of Human Spaceflight, End Child Sexual Abuse Day

Given the celebrations, there should be any doubt what song will send you into the weekend, Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 192

On Politics
As Republicans continue their push to stop the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), here’s a good one. I don’t know the exact quote or the actual person in Congress who said it, but this one says a lot to me: (From my recall, but it’s close) We must defund Obamacare before people start to realize its benefits.

While Congress has an approval rating in the teens, I recently saw a poll that over 50% of the people approve of those representing them. Yep – this shows we are getting just what we’ve asked for.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Heroic plastic surgeon gives small-breast starlet a chance at normal life
Dolphin spends amazing vacation swimming with stockbroker
Fans flock to Lollapolooza to see all the biggest brands
Footage of Neil Armstrong playing sax on the moon clearly fake
Two people who went to same college ruin evening for the group
Royal baby spits up on great-grandmother

Interesting Reads
Columnist Kathleen Parker on Congress
Dolphin social memory
Apps ahead of us
Driving the interoceanic highway through Peru
Some classic humor from Archon
The winner’s gallery from National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest 
See Snoring Dog’s painting of Endangered Species

On Potpourri
Congratulations to Tim, a local friend and everything-marching-band enthusiast, for making the 30,000th comment on this blog (yesterday).

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Besides Saturday marking the start for Elvis Week and being National Garage Sale Day, Saturday is the day celebrating S ‘mores, the Smithsonian, Skyscrapers Appreciation, and Duran-Duran. Why the latter? Other than because they can, I don’t know.

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I’m a baseball fan and one against players using Performance Enhancing Drugs. On the other hand, the latest suspensions by Commission Bud Selig are rooted in his head-in-the-sand stance in the 1990s. He’s pathetic!

Count me in as one looking forward to seeing the movie The Butler. Wow – his eyes personally saw 12 US Presidents, and meet 11. Amazing! Here’s an interesting article about his (Eugene Allen) funeral.

Sorry, no cartoon post this Saturday.

To send you into the weekend, here are two short videos from Cincinnati. Last weekend the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO) held Lumenosity for the first time. Basically, it was a CSO concert held outside in a renovated city park in the shadow of their indoor home, Music Hall – which this time served as a backdrop for a light show.

Enjoy the show and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

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Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 171

On Politics
There’s no doubt that President Obama’s inaugural address is more to the left. Although the GOP squawking about it is not surprising, I remind them that they spent four years focusing on the goal of “making sure he would be a one-term president” – so what the heck to they expect. Sorry GOP, reconciliation is in your court, not his.

Wow – House Republicans backing down from the debt ceiling fight is a huge surprise. Here’s an interesting read.

I’m still amazed to hear references as Fascism, Hitler, etc regarding the Obama administration. This time it was the CEO of Whole Foods.

Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) isn’t much better:

I think my role is to uphold support and defend our Constitution, … The Constitution I uphold and defend is the one I carry in my pocket all the time, the U.S. Constitution. I don’t know what Constitution that other members of Congress uphold, but it’s not this one. I think the only Constitution that Barack Obama upholds is the Soviet constitution, not this one. He has no concept of this one, though he claimed to be a constitutional lawyer.

Regardless of the topic and the administration, here’s one thing that we can count on during Congressional hearings: one side is generally soft while the others proudly declare, “I am an ass.”

All the hubbub about Beyonce’s singing at the inauguration is a sad commentary in itself.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion

  • Nation descends into utter chaos following Dear Abby’s death
  • Lance Armstrong plan return to cycling as fan-hating villain
  • Russell Crowe praised for man who cannot sing in Les Mis’
  • List of politically achievable reforms down to just three minor changes to traffic code
  • Romney makes desperate last-ditch bid for presidency
  • Biden working through scratch-off tickets during Obama’s swearing in
  • Michelle Obama is not keen on President’s new bangs

Interesting Reads

On Potpourri
While Super Bowl XLVII is the first with two brothers as head coaching opponents – but here is the tie to me. Their father, a long-time NFL assistant coach, graduated from the same college as me – Bowling Green State University.

I have often said that biology teachers are in three categories regarding teaching evolution: Those teaching it well, those teaching it poorly, and those not teaching it at all. It seems this article supports my claim.

Cheers to my Cincinnati getting baseball’s 2015 All-Star Game. Too bad that Commission Bud Selig came to town for the announcement. I must say that I may like idiotic politicians more than him.

Check out the interactive Census Dotmap created by a MIT graduate student.

Yesterday’s post was about Word(s) – coincidentally, Harmonique and LouAnn at On the Homefront also posted about the topic – so give them a visit and tell them I sent you.

Good news – I will post a classic cartoon post on Saturday.

Bad news – I’m taking a short break after Saturday’s post.

To send you into the weekend, enjoy these images of the wonder of creation from deep space to the fitting music by Vangelis. Have a good weekend! In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 157

On Politics
This is a great line that is not only appropriate for this political season, it’s true for life: Think for yourself, don’t believe everything you hear, and look it up.

I find the late-night comics and their take on politics  to be funny, such as this pre-debate bit by Conan O’Brien.

I didn’t watch the debate, but did notice that top Google searches during the debate involved two of the questions on my list: Simpson-Bowles and Dodd-Frank. Even heard some morning commentators mention Glass-Steagall (another one of questions). For those who watched, could the moderator have used my rules? I note that some are criticizing Mr. Lehrer’s performance.

Debate Fact Checks

This article at National Journal provides a great graphic about the breakdown of voter preferences. Thanks Moe.

For those who enjoy The Onion, here are the voter guides (video) for the election: Barack Obama and Mitt Romney

For anyone desiring a deep discussion of various global issues, consider visiting Intelligence Squared. Thanks Tim for mentioning this site.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion

  • Guy in Suit Handling Newspaper like a Pro
  • Florida to Experiment with New 600-Lever Voting Machine
  • Reporter Steps in to Replace Woman’s Missing Husband
  • Schwarzenegger Admits to Affair with Predator Costume
  • Texting While Fielding Causes Record Number of Outfield Collisions
  • Nauseating Precious NYC Couple to Walk Around in Rain

Interesting Reads

On Potpourri
I will have a Saturday Morning Classic Cartoon  post tomorrow.

I like this one. The race for Ohio’s senator involves Josh Mandel and Sherrod Brown. When people search “Mandel Brown Ohio”, the commonly get the site for Mandell Brown, a Cincinnati plastic surgeon.

Here this weekend is the football battle that is the oldest non-league rivalry game in college football. Go Bearcats!

Baseball’s regular season ended on a Wednesday, thus another reason to hate Commissioner Bud Selig. The one-game playoff games are about to start, thus another reason to hate Commissioner Selig.

The Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame may be a great idea, but their selection process may be one of the worst processes ever. All I have to ask is no Moody Blues again? Is Bud Selig also running the R&R HOF?

Have a good weekend. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch. Enjoy the video. (Here’s a higher quality video to the same song below that must be watched on YouTube.)

On Sports Shorts 072809

On Pete
Seems that some Hall of Famers have approached Commission Selig about reinstating Pete Rose. Ha ha … fat chance Bud Selig changes his mind. As I’ve said in a previous post, although I think Pete should be in, I can live with Pete not being in the HOF, and not working in the game. But the one thing I can’t accept is #14 NOT being a retired number in Cincinnati.

On the Reds
Here’s more good Cincinnati news. Reds ownership believes the Reds are still in the race. “If we can get our pitching to show up and get our hitting to show up at the same time, we’re still possibly considers.” Mr. Castellini, you’re a good guy and the organization is better today because of you. But outside of the month of May, the situation you described hasn’t happened. The team is not very good.

On Bill James Stats
Bill James is a noted statistical guru in baseball … no question; but now he publishes a report saying there no harm of steroids in baseball. Hmmm … now what does that do to his credibility? What will Commissioner Selig say or do?

On an Alternative HOF
Larry (Nutball Gazette) sent me an article of interest written two years ago. The writer suggested an Alternative Baseball Hall of Fame for Cheaters – thus for Bonds, McGwire, Sosa, Palmeiro, etc. And he suggests Cincinnati be the location because it was home to Pete Rose. Yes, he broke rules and makes questionable choices, but he didn’t cheat; and to put his troubles in the same category as the steroid guys is ludicrous.

On NFL Training Camp
NFL talk is also increasing as training camps are opening. We in Cincinnati are proud to say “We’re #1!” What other city can boast being the long-term worst football-baseball team combination in the country?

On College Football
Kickoff to the college football season is about a month away, so the talk is intensifying. Meanwhile, many of the BCS teams continue to play soft out-of-conference schedules for two reasons: more home-game revenue and padding their record to get more bowl revenue.

Meanwhile, I bummed as I just discovered that The Sporting News is not having one of my favorite fantasy games: Salary Cap College Football.