Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 242

Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, this is an abbreviated and prerecorded edition of Opinions in the Shorts. More importantly, I hope all those celebrating the holiday had a wonderful day!

From The Onion

New York City’s Thanksgiving Celebration at Rockefeller Center

A Republican-led House of Representatives committee report about the attack at Benghazi debunks notions of a conspiracy. Because the conclusions don’t fit the party’s narrative, the people deserves another report. After all, this was only the seventh committee.

Cheers for … CNN returning to my home! … Receiving this year’s mystery wine from my Secret Santa from Texas!

Last week, Cincinnati-based global consumer product giant Procter & Gamble issued a statement in support of same-sex marriage as a “statement of support for our employees.” Since reported (and as one can imagine), the local letters to the editor have provided interesting commentary. Cheers to P&G!

How can anyone not appreciated NFL player T.Y. Hilton’s reaction after scoring a touchdown last Sunday and his television interview after the game. (Watch)

Congratulations to Alfonzo Ribeiro for winning Dancing with the Stars. We thought the Monday night show was one of the best ever.

Hooray for everyone participating in Act 13 of Life: The Musical. Life is full of ups and downs, so start thinking about the next act. After all, I’m sure readers can determine what follows positive emotions.

A shout-out to Pauline (in New Zealand) for this outstanding post about blogging, which is a good read.

 Interesting Reads
At Issue: Interfaith marriages in Egypt
Columnist Nicholas Kristof on immigration
Humorist Dave Berry’s Holiday Gift Guide
Athletics and neurons
The fall of the humble spud
Robots and creativity
(Graphic) Common Mythconceptions

Headlines from The Onion
Report: None of good cousins coming to Thanksgiving this year
Man had no idea what to do with visiting friends between meals
Family revels in height difference between mother and tall son
Man tentatively takes shot at bad mouthing girlfriend’s family for the first time
Americans enjoying Thanksgiving tradition of sitting around the airport
Turkey pardon mishap results in release of serial murderer

The celebration list mentions French Toast Day (Friday) … so here’s a unique toast to toast.

Celebrations for your weekend

  • (Fri) Leftovers Day, Buy Nothing Day, Red Planet Day, Flossing Day, Gone-ta-Pott Day, Maize Day, Black Friday, Day of Listening, Letter Writing Day, Native American Heritage Day, French Toast Day, Your Welcomegiving Day, Fur Free Friday, Make Your Own Head Day
  • (Sat) Gnocchi Day, Electronic Greetings Day, Small Business Saturday, Day of Giving, Square Dancing Day, Chocolate Day, Throw-out Your Leftovers Day
  • (Sun) I Feel Well Day, Computer Security Day, Play Hooky Day, Meth Awareness Day, Mousse Day, Stay Home Because You’re Well Day

In the spirit of “Positive Emotions” from Life: The Musical – Act 13, here’s a song that will be a surprise, yet send you into the weekend with a smile … Smiling Happy Monsters by REM with the Sesame Street gang.  Have a safe weekend, and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 241

Embed from Getty Images

On Politics
Earlier this week the Senate voted against the Keystone XL Pipeline, a bill that President Obama was against (one reason being the release of carbon dioxide when burned). The pipeline would have been the 76th oil pipeline between Canada and the US. Interestingly, the oil will still move – but by rail – a method that releases much more carbon dioxide than the pipeline.

Writing this before President Obama’s announcement about immigration, I’m remain against the executive action for the following reasons: 1) Poor timing coming off the recent election, 2) President Obama has had 6 years to do this, 3) An effective date of early January 2015 does put onus on the new Congress 4) Many, if not the majority, of nonpartisan Americans are tired of continual gamesmanship, 5) the majority of Americans want productivity, and 6) no matter how the courts decide if faced with the issue, the majority of American won’t be happy that it went that far.

A different way of doing business was an important aspect of the “Hope and change” mantra, but the executive action actually points to business-as-usual while reinforcing the notion that Congressional Republicans haven’t cornered the market on political obstinance. On the other hand, the House not acting on a Senate-passed bill and the overall Republican idea of shallow taglines is quite pathetic. In the words of Clara Peller ….

The White House mishandled the news around Jonathan Gruber. All they had to do was a) admit they used him, b) state that he’s a smart guy, c) and point to the fact he sometimes says stupid things, of which they don’t approve. Meanwhile, dancing around those facts attempts to play to what we aren’t … and that’s stupid.

By keeping their Congressional leaders in power, the Democrats have an early start in pushing away the 2016 independent’s vote.

Except among the partisans, there isn’t much confidence in either party. Yes, President Obama has a low approval rating, but that of Congress is much lower. Pew Research Center provides this interesting article about the challenges of bipartisanship.

As Washington stymies progress and avoid solutions, I appreciated these two articles (National Journal) about the smallness of Washington: Part 1 & Part 2

On a lighter note, this one made me laugh … If a tree falls in the forest and Fox News is not there to cover it, is it still President Obama’s fault?

Embed from Getty Images

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Mellowing Jihadist not as enraged by western culture as he used to be
Paleontologists determine dinosaurs killed by someone they trusted
10th grade math prodigy studying math at 10th grade level
New law to forgive student debt for college graduates once all their dreams are shattered
Chinese citizens gather in Beijing square to watch US National Debt Clock strike $18 trillion
Astronomers discover planet identical to Earth with orbital space mirror (I like this accompanying image)

Interesting Reads
The causes behind the mid-life crisis
Geography and terrorism
Malta: An ancient fortress and the modern world
Life of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Converting Facebook Likes of NFL teams into a map
(Gallery) Wildlife photography winners
(Interactive) What the world eats (This is outstanding)

On Potpourri
The latest on Lauren Hill is that her weakness is her practice time with basketball team … and I wonder if she sees 2015. Earlier this week, Xavier University (the game’s host) and Mt. St. Joseph University (her school) presented a check (over $58,000) from the game’s receipts and merchandise in honor of her to her fund-raising effort. Being the game sold out in less than an hour, it’s too bad the price wasn’t doubled from the $5 charge.

These words stuck with me this week: “Our hearts are battered, but they will mend. The world is broken, but it will be healed in the end.” (By the mother of the recently beheaded American)

This past Wednesday was World Toilet Day. When I announced to start the week, Vanessa provided this outstanding link from the BBC about the day … and it is worth seeing! Thanks Vanessa!

The On Perceptions post from earlier in the week is an idea that came to me more than a year ago … so it was good to finally post it.

Over 8 feet (240+ cm) of snow south of Buffalo … That seems unbelievable!

Life: The Musical has been running every other week starting on a Wednesday night into Thursday. With next week being Thanksgiving in the US, I will temporarily shift curtain time to Tuesday at 9:30 pm (US Eastern). Therefore, I will continue to step outside of normal protocol, thus announce right now ….. Act 13 will have much leeway, thus many choices because it’s about Positive Emotions, so all song titles must include a positive emotion in the song title, BUT, love is not acceptable.

With a series of busy weekends on the horizon, I’m unsure about the next Saturday Morning Cartoon post.

Your weekend celebrations

  • (Fri) World Hello Day, Stuffing Day, False Confessions Day, Alascattalo Day (Alaska & Humor), Beaujolais Nouveau Day, Television Day
  • (Sat) Start Your Own Country Day (Anglestan), Cranberry Relish Day, Go for a Ride Day, Humane Society Day, Family Volunteer Day, Adoption Day, Survivors of Suicide Day, Stop the Violence Day
  • (Sun) Fibonacci Day (a past post for your celebration), Doctor Who Day, Jukebox Day, Mother Goose Day, Eat a Cranberry Day, Buy Nothing Day, You’re Welcome-Giving Day, Aura Awareness Day

To send you into the weekend, here’s some high energy from a concert at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles. (Look closely, we may spot Debra in the crowd) … It’s the Doobie Brothers with China Grove. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.