Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 256

While I appreciate the No-Labels organization and their agenda as the National Strategic Agenda (for problem solving), in the end, politicians remain loyal to their party. Nonetheless, this is a good read.

The Senate’s delay of dealing with confirming a new Attorney General is the type of political theater I deplore. All presidential nominees should be acted upon, thus not treated as political footballs … and that’s regardless of the president’s party and the majority party in the Senate. If the senators are hiding behind Senate Rules, then I suggest changing the rules.

Welcome to another edition of It’s Time for Truth with Presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). Here’s the explanation from PolitiFact.

CruzSmallBiz

Wayne LaPierre is the Executive Vice President of the National Rifle Association (NRA). Given a high position in many other organizations (if not most), remarks like he makes would have gotten him fired.

The Rock n Roll Hall of Fame recently inducted new members. Joan Jett before the Moody Blues? Joan Jett before Yes? That organization has no credibility – None, nada, zilch, zero. Their credibility level is near that of Baseball Commissioner Emeritus Bud Selig and Congress … and that’s not good company.

I had a lousy week of visiting your blogs. :(

Our energy provider recently sent us this graph regarding energy use.

EnergyUse1year

Meals: The Musical is scheduled to return next week, which means I will announce Act 3’s theme on the next Monday Morning Entertainment.

No Saturday Morning Cartoons this weekend, but Saturday will bring a new Explore post.

Milestone alert – Approaching a quarter of a million hits, thus should surpass next week.

Body cameras on police is getting a lot of attention. To lead you into it’s headlines, The Onion offers a list of pros and cons regarding this issue.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Medical experts disappointed in man who failed to live up to life expectancy
Lethal injection least effective drug man took while in prison
Hand gestures transform friend’s story into immersive virtual reality experience
Relationship reaches point where breaking up, getting married would be equally huge hassle
Lovestruck Arabian princess begs father to spare John Kerry’s life

Interesting Reads
Columnist Dana Milbank on partisanship, the elected, and the electorate
Redefining India’s textile heritage
World War I Anzaks (and Anzak Day is Saturday)
How an octopus is coordinated
A short web & digital technology quiz from Pew Research Center

Your Weekend Celebrations
(Fri) Hairball Awareness Day, Satchmo Days, Meningitis Day, Arbor Day, Pigs in a Blanket Day, New Kids on the Block Day, Teach Your Children to Save Day, Puppetry Day, Sylvester the Cat’s Birthday, Natasha’s (Sesame Street) Birthday
(Sat) Anzac Day, DNA Day, Dance Day, Hug a Plumber Day, Bob Wills Day, Eeyore’s Birthday, Hairstylists Appreciation Day, Marconi Day, License Plates Day, Malaria Awareness Day, Go Birding Day, Herb Day, Penguin Day, Red Hat Society Day, Rebuilding Day, Save the Frogs Day, Sense of Smell Day, Spring Astronomy Day, World Day for Animals in Laboratories, World Healing Day, Veterinary Day, Tai Chi & Qigong Day, Telephone Day, Kiss of Hope Day, East Meets West Day
(Sun) Hug an Australian Day, Photography Day, Static Cling Day, Hug a Friend Day, Help a Horse Day, Audubon Day, Mother-Father-Deaf Day, Kids & Pets Day, Pretzel Day, Pet Parent’s Day, Richter Scale Day, Intellectual Property Day

There should be any doubt why these songs 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.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 255

Two new candidates for 2016 race for US President are officially in the race: Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). Although neither is unexpected, it will be interesting to see if Mrs. Clinton implodes and if Mr. Rubio becomes the second choice of most Republicans.

Here’s an interesting closing by Aaron David Miller (Woodrow Wilson International Institute for Scholars) in this Op-Ed at CNN about Hillary Clinton.

Clinton’s biggest challenge on the campaign trail and in office should she win is whether she can develop a foreign policy vision and an effective approach to the world that strikes a better balance between the risk-readiness of George W. Bush and the risk-aversion of Barack Obama. And given the cruel and unforgiving nature of the world America now inhabits, this will be no easy task.

I appreciated Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus’ take about the situation involving President Obama, Republicans, and Iran.

Last Friday morning I added the news about the passing of Lauren Hill. I was surprised how the positive message and stories continued. Here’s one of the early tributes.

After Lauren Hill played her first game, I wrote about some of the other positive aspects of that game, which included the role of Hiram College and its players. The mere fact that their team made the 4-hour trip to Cincinnati for the memorial service says a lot about how they were impacted.

This week included anniversaries of the Lincoln assassination and the Titanic disaster. I included an article about each in the Interesting Reads.

Act 2 of Meals: The Musical featuring fruit was a big hit. Choices were numerous as my prep list included apples, apricots, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupes, casabas, cherries, elderberries, grapes, grapefruit, kiwis, lemons, limes, mangoes, oranges, peaches, pears, plums, raisins, raspberries, strawberries, tangerines, and watermelon .. then toss in grapevines. Well done!

No Saturday Morning Cartoons this weekend, but Saturday will bring a new Explore post.

Here’s an interesting trivia question to ponder. Hopefully, I will remember to give the answer on Monday. Category is US Geography. Person X is standing in State Y. No matter if Person X travels directly north, south, east, or west, the next state encountered will always be State Z. Where (what state) is Person X standing, and is the next state?

To lead you into it’s headlines, The Onion introduces us to the latest presidential candidate.

This Week’s Headlines from The Onion

  • Report: Only 40% of celebrities marrying their stalkers
  • Teacher arranged desks in giant circle
  • Fast food drive-thru just cow carcass and bucket for money
  • New evidence suggests Middle East conflict predates all human civilization
  • Obama fantasizes about ordering drone strike against self on last day of presidency
  • US encouraging Cuba to shift toward Democratic system of corruption

Interesting Reads

Your Weekend Celebrations

  • (Weekend) Youth Services Days
  • (Fri) Blah! Blah! Blah! Day, Day of Silence, Malbec Day, Nothing Like a Dame Day, Bat Appreciation Day, Ellis Island Family History Day, Ford Mustang Day, Haiku Poetry Day, Cheeseball Day, Sherlock Hemlock Day, Daffy Duck Day, Petunia Pig Day
  • (Sat) Jugglers Day, Animal Crackers Day, Adult Autism Day, Columnists Day, Golf Day, Pet Owners Independence Day, Amateur Radio Day, Husband Appreciation Day, Original Yankee Stadium Day, Auctioneers Day, Poem in Your Pocket Day, Paul Revere Day, Laundromat Day, Record Store Day
  • (Sun) Hanging Out Day, Amaretto Day, Bicycle Day, Garlic Day, Humorous Day, Oklahoma City Bombing Commemoration Day

To send you into the weekend, here are two big hits by big starts eligible for Act 2. Well … at least until I add them. 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. 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.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 253

Interesting how much Governor Mike Pence (R-IN) danced around answering questions about recent religious freedom legislation in his state, then changed his dance. Answering questions with direct truth must be against a politician’s credo … and the Republicans don’t have a corner on that market.

In this speech announcing his candidacy for the 2016, Republican presidential nomination, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) stated, “It is the time for truth” – and in that spirit, here’s a fact-check of his speech.

The Naked Cowboy is one of New York City’s multitude of personalities. Did you know he is from Cincinnati and a University of Cincinnati graduate? Here he is.

We booked a future vacation with Vacations To Go. A tip-of-the-cap to them for discovering a mistake at their end AND correcting it beyond our satisfaction.

Monday is Opening Day in Cincinnati, which means baseball season starts. If the weather is nice, I hope to spend a few hours in the city among the many dressed in red. As of now, the weather is iffy.

My time for reading your wonderful blogs continues to be small. Yuk!

Thursday was our 38th anniversary, thus a tribute to 38 is about ready. Because I know the throngs outside the aFa Theater for the Performing Arts were getting restless, I chose to debut the musical on our anniversary instead of next week. Nonetheless, we had a wonderful dinner at this local restaurant.

Opening Night for Meals: The Musical provided quiet the variety of songs, so we are off and running. To my surprise, you provided more songs that I didn’t know. :) I believe Act 2 will be easier than Act 1, but you will have to wait for the theme.

My selection of Frank Zappa opening Meals: The Musical surprised some. Here’s an interesting explanation of the musicality behind St. Alfonzo’s Pancake House.

Last week’s Explore took us to the Iguazu Falls along the Argentina-Brazil border. It turns out the a visitor here posted about her visit, which brings a personal touch to this wonder. Thanks, Madhu!

Prepare yourself for a journey on the Explore series this weekend.

To lead you into The Onion, here’s their take on paying college athletes.

This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Siblings quietly relieved oldest brother setting bar so low
Cost-cutting measures force company to start hiring more female employees
Man who baked banana bread spends entire party anxiously watching it go uneaten
Senior citizen keeps mind active by contemplating death
Man thinks going to Vegas for things other than gambling somehow less sad

Interesting Reads
Churchill’s Iron Curtain speech that mentions my birthplace
The grand piano in Gaza
Studying the DNA of a nation
From National Geographic: Why Do Many Reasonable People Doubt Science?
Urine-based recharging of phones
A Nazi hangout in Argentina?
Technology improving sex

Your Weekend Celebrations

  • (Fri) Chocolate Mousse Day, Walk to Work Day, Hot Cross Buns Day, World Party Day, Workplace Napping Day, Sow the Seeds of Greatness Day, Don’t Go to Work Unless It’s Fun Day, Tweed Day, Pony Express Day, Find a Rainbow Day
  • (Sat) Walk Around Things Day, Vitamin C Day, Hug a Newsperson Day, Chicken Cordon Bleu Day, Tangible Karma Day, Rat Day, Birding Day, Victims of Violence Day, Tell a Lie Day, Square Root Day, Kids Kick Butts Day (anti-tobacco), Pillow Fight Day, Every Day is a Tag Day, Chocolate Milk Powder Day, Mine Awareness Day
  • (Sun) Lava Lamp Day, Bell Bottoms Day, Deep Dish Pizza Day, Plum Pudding Day, Go for Broke Day, Caramel Day, Read a Roadmap Day, Raisin & Spice Day, Dandelion Day, Stories Day, Check Your Batteries Day, Baked Ham & Pineapple Day, Accelerate ACL Awareness Among Young Women Day

Here’s a 2-fer to send you into the weekend. First is a leftover from Act 1, while the second has a fitting title for the 2-fer. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

(Double Vision, Foreigner)

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 252

This week was the fifth year anniversary of the signing of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Since then, the White House and its departments did a lousy job educating the public, and Congress has done absolutely nothing to improve the ACA. On the other hand, nothing is something Congress does well. Cheers to Ron Fournier for this National Journal article.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) declared his candidacy for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. I smiled at the announcement because I continue to say his nomination is exactly what the Republican party needs. Maybe I should endorse him.

During the first three months of their Congressional majority, Republicans have not shown me that they can lead.

Have you ever seen the International Space Station fly overhead? Thanks to Jim in Iowa, here’s a website to determine when that happens in your area.

The leading thought was that college basketball player Lauren Hill wouldn’t see Christmas. Well, she did … and New Years Day … and Valentine’s Day … and St. Patrick’s Day. Although she may be struggling, she is a fighter and her attitude remains positive.

Did you realize I’m mentioned in Lorna’s video?

For the sidebar, I followed Catherine’s suggestion of displaying the blogger’s location with a rollover. See yours if it’s correct, and let me know if you want me to change it. I need help with List of X.

No Saturday Morning Cartoon this weekend, but an edition of the Explore series is ready – thus you can wonder if it will be a person, place, or thing.

Meals: The Musical debuts next week, and I’m side-stepping my normal protocol. Act 1: Meals will feature songs with any of the following words in the title: Meal(s), Breakfast, Lunch, Lunchtime, Brunch, Dinner, Dinnertime, or Supper. More about the debut on the next Monday Morning Entertainment.

To lead you into The Onion, here’s a week in pictures.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion

  • Report: Employees most innovative when brainstorming dramatic quitting scenarios
  • Man filled with gratitude at sight of other customers in nice restaurant wearing jeans
  • Study: Not many Disco songs about daytime
  • New speech recognition software factors in user’s mouth always being full
  • Siblings playing tense game of chicken to decide who takes care of mom
  • Michael Dukakis still drives old tank everywhere

Interesting Reads

Your Weekend Celebrations

  • (Weekend) Crossword Puzzle Days, Listening Weekend
  • (Fri) Quirky Country Music Song Titles Day, Joe Day, Corkscrew Appreciation Day,Celebrate Exchange Day, Viagra Day, Spanish Paella Day, Kite Flying Day, Photography Day, Steam Fire Engine Day, Education & Sharing Day
  • (Sat) Barnum & Bailey Day, Be Mad Day, Virtual Advocacy Day, Weed Appreciation Day, Earth Hour, Black Forest Cake Day, Something on a Stick Day, Hot Tub Day, Eat an Eskimo Pie Day, Children’s Picture Book Day
  • (Sun) Vietnam Veterans Day, Mom & Pop Business Owners Day, Niagara Falls Runs Dry Day, Love Your Children Day, Lemon Chiffon Cake Day, Coca Cola Day

To send you into the weekend, here’s a relatively recent video of a classic from the 1979 album Breakfast in America – enjoy Supertramp’s Take the Long Way Home. 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. 251

The kerfuffle about vaccinations has raised the ire of many. Here is a collection of worthwhile posts to help clarify various aspects of an issue I mentioned last week.

A note to Gov. Scott Walker (R-WS) and all presidential aspirants in both parties. When one seeks or considers seeking the highest office in the land, all questions are on the table … so ducking them isn’t a good idea. At least learn to give an answer that doesn’t answer the question – after all, that’s what candidates do well.

I learned to tune out Jay Carney when he was the White House Press Secretary (well, actually change the channel) but, at least I can listen to his replacement, Josh Earnest. Interestingly, when Carney is contributing on CNN, I still tune him out!

In a recent hearing, Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) accused Veteran Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald of glossing over the extraordinary problems confronted by your department among others things. Cheers to Mr. McDonald for his replies

  • “I’m highly offended by your comments, Mr. Coffman.”
  • “I’ve run a large company (Procter & Gamble) sir, what have you done?”
  • “I’ve been here six months. You’ve been here longer than I have. If there’s a problem in Denver, I think you own it more than I do.”

Life: The Musical is officially over, and Epilogue was a smashing finale. Thanks again to all participants, and as I’ve said many times, I’m the lucky one because I listen to all entries. Who knows, maybe someday I will list the collection of songs. Meanwhile, the next musical won’t be until mid-to-late March.

A tip of the hat to Dale for a valiant effort in catching up on Life: The Musical. At the time of this posting, he is approaching completion of all acts within 24 hours … and I listened to each entry … although she did receive the buzzer once (obviously from over confidence).

Interestingly, this is post #1600. After 6+ years of hosting over 52,000 comments,  plus who knows how many visits and comments elsewhere, I proudly say I only need the fingers on one hand to count the bloggers who truly irritated me. Thus my point – blogging is just like life because so much is about who one chooses to hang around.

No Saturday Morning Cartoon this weekend, but, I am working on the next one. After last week’s delightful trip to the Gobi Desert, wonder what person, place, or thing will be next … hmmmmm ….

To lead you into The Onion, here’s a graphic showing the results of their opinion poll about government requiring vaccinations.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Literary study finds all modern narratives derived from classic Alien vs. Predator conflict
Area woman not good enough artist to justify eccentricities
Scientists working to harness energy produced by intense fracking debates
Astronomers discover new planet that makes Earth look like S#-t
Health experts recommend standing up at desk, leaving office, and never coming back

Interesting Reads
American Ideas: a brief history
Baltic Dry: Not what I thought it meant
Doodles from Darwin’s children (Thursday was Darwin Day)
Columnist David Ignatius on acting like a superpower
Columnist David Brooks scandals and forgiveness
US-Cuba relations and Netflix

Your Weekend Celebrations

  • (Weekend) Great Backyard Bird Count, American International Toy Fair
  • (Fri) Blame Someone Else Day, Get a Different Name Day, Desperation Day, Employee Legal Awareness Day, Madly in Love with Me Day, Radio Day, Tortellini Day, International Condom Day
  • (Sat) Ferris Wheel Day, Quirky Alone Day, Pet Theft Awareness Day, Library Lovers Day, Have a Heart Day, Cream-filled Chocolate Day, National Condom Day, Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day, League of Women Voters Day, Women’s Heart Day, Race Relations Day, Singles Appreciation Day, Donor Day, Telephone Day, Organ Donor Day, Marriage Day, Whale Day, Read to Your Child Day, Valentine’s Day
  • (Sun) Gum Drop Day, Hippo Day, Remember the Maine Day, Susan B Anthony Day, Clifford the Red Dog Day, Angelman Syndrome Day

Since hearing this classic song early in the week, it’s been crawling around in my head – so, it seems to be right for sending you into the weekend. 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. 250

Maybe the latest horrors regarding the Jordanian pilot will motivate the Arab world to fight ISIS with boots on the ground, and then the world follows their lead.

It was quite the week with some US politicians pandering for votes with vaccinations. Long ago on these pages, I stated something like this about Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) – Keep him talking. Meanwhile, I wonder (thus I don’t know) if President Obama’s has been consistent since 2008.

Speaking of vaccinations, here’s part of the closing statement from a recent Wall Street Journal editorial: Let’s chalk up the weird science of Messrs. Paul and Christie to a lack of information, and we’re happy to send them 13 years of vaccine editorials if they want to study up.

Here’s CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s Op-ed on vaccinations.

Much has been made about the Seattle’s blunder in the Super Bowl. Interestingly, the game before marked an unbelievable comeback against Green Bay – a team who had won against Dallas on a questionable call by an official late in the game – yet Dallas won its previous game against Detroit on another questionable call by an official. Oh well … all is over.

For those who didn’t notice, this post is a milestone post.

Amazingly, the previous post marked the last act of Life: The Musical. Many thanks for the great songs!

I’ve decided on the next musical, which will probably start sometime in March. To order to see what my readers are anticipating, I invite you to answer the question on my first poll!

No Saturday Morning Cartoon this weekend, but an Explore post will appear. Wonder what person, place, or thing will serve as the highlight.

To lead you into The Onion, here’s an outstanding satirical flowchart about vaccinations (but not from The Onion).

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Man figures he has two more bites or roommate’s leftover before it is noticeable
Pope nervous for annual performance review with God
Neighbors come together to watch BMW owner struggle in snow
Man wistfully looks around website he hasn’t visited for 30 minutes
Venus added to registry of historically significant planets
Fingerprints on Lombardi Trophy to be used in dozens of criminal investigations

Interesting Reads
A 2014 article about politics and the Affordable Care Act
A bit of history about US government’s budget
Are swing states disappearing?
Surprises on Uranus?
Texting and head positions affecting the neck and spine
(Infographic) 50-years of financial engineering

Your Weekend Celebrations

  • (Fri) Wear Red Day, Working Naked Day, Waitangi Day, Canadian Maple Syrup Day, Lame Duck Day, Doodle Day, Pay a Compliment Day, Cordova Ice Worm Day 6-8, Girl Scout Cookie Day, Monopoly Day Give Kids a Smile Day
  • (Sat) Wave All Your Fingers at Your Neighbor Day, Dump Your Significant Jerk Day, Ice Cream for Breakfast Day, Ballet Day, Pinocchio Day, Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, Take Your Child to the Library Day, Send a Card to a Friend Day, Girls & Women in Sports Day, Leadership Success Day, Fettuccine Alfredo Day
  • (Sun) Laugh and Get Rich Day, Autism Sunday, Boy Scout Day, Opera Day, Man Day, Fly a Kite Day, Molasses Bar Day, Marriage Day

Here’s a 2-fer to send you into the weekend. The first is an unused song from yesterday’s Life: The Musical, and the second is a classic blast from the past. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.