Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 333

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The aFa Short Story Challenge (Footprints in the Sand) is on final approach. Thanks to those who reblogged the challenge in their blog. I will publish my story on July 10th at 12:15 am (Eastern US). Participants will link to that post (NOT the Challenge post). For those who didn’t see the challenge, click here.

Cheers to the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra for another wonderful Fourth of July concert. Interestingly, a three-quarters moon was displaying itself directly behind the fireworks.

We are watching the latest season of House of Cards. Through episode 9 was slow – very slow! … but the pace is starting to pick up as the house seems to the ready to tumble.

I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of the Seychelles Islands (in the Indian Ocean), and I don’t think I’ve encountered a Seychellian blogger … but I know two people who are currently here. From the views from this video, it appears to be a paradise.

So far, I’m comfortable with my random posting schedule.

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I wished I would have saved it, but last week I read an article that mentioned the Democrats top two strategies, which caused me to shake my head.

The previous I displayed the letter I sent to my representative (an R) regarding the health care & insurance issue in the U.S. Last week I wrote the following to one of my senators, Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH).

Senator Portman,
On Twitter you stated. “Let me know what you think.” about the recently proposed Senate health care. Your dilemma lies in this predicament. If you are representing your party, you should vote YES because partisanship and political gain is of utmost important. If you are representing the best interest of the people, you should vote NO because health care and health care insurance is a very serious issue that demands more than a frivolous attempt based on partisanship and political gain. Because of the importance of health care and health care insurance, doing what is best for the people requires a bipartisan effort. That is the challenge.”

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To lead you into this week’s dose of satirical headlines, The Onion provides the pros and cons of artificial intelligence.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Woman rearranging condiments in refrigerator door like puzzle in ancient tomb
Queen Elizabeth kicks off Wimbledon by serving ceremonial first ace of tournament
Man on internet almost falls into world of DIY mustard enthusiasts
Housefly drops everything to go stand on watermelon slice
Dolphin spends amazing vacation swimming with stockbroker
This stool shall pass

Interesting Reads
Understanding the latest fossils of human origins
50 things about the US Founding Fathers
Humans aren’t nutritious eating
3-D printed ovaries fight infertility
(Photo Gallery) Empty railways in America

For your weekend entertainment, here’s a fun song that you may not know that comes from my cousins. It’s an Italian classic from 1972. Although not in Italian, it’s meant to sound like English, but actually the lyrics are pure gibberish – except for two words. Enjoy! In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On a Ruling

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court surprised many people with their ruling regarding the Affordable Care Act (more commonly called Obamacare). As liberal Democrats responded predictably with glee, conservative Republicans also predictably responded with anger, doom, and gloom. Amidst all the rhetorical responses dominated by taglines, campaign slogans, and misinformation, I (on the other hand) have taken the time to ponder the situation.

In my opinion, Justice Robert would have voted no, but as the leader of the court, Chief Justice Roberts chose to his path based his long-term view of the court. Meanwhile, here is my opinion of what Chief Justice Roberts did.

He constricted the Commerce Clause

He kept the high court in its own jurisdiction, and out of the political arena

He passed the issue back to the people and their elections, especially this November

He assured governors the ability to opt out their state

I see more than a handful of governors will opt out, which means 1) fewer people will go into the Federal system – thus screwing up the numbers and the design so the program costs the Federal government more than projected; 2) elected officials will continue to politicize the issue, which includes using misinformation to gain political advantage

Meanwhile, the issue will divide the public more than ever, and the public will become more confused and angered than it already is. Because the public will want solutions and officials will continue to fail to deliver solutions, more people will become disillusion with government and participate less in elections – and when a political party gains total control, they will force something onto the public that the public doesn’t want. In the immortal words of pop music artists Sonny and Cher, and the beat goes on.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 145

On Politics
“The private sector is doing fine.” President Obama, that was a poor, poor, poor downright pathetic choice of words.

Mr. Romney’s responded to the above of saying President Obama “is out of touch”. So here we are today, unemployment is still high, yet corporate profits have returned to pre-crash levels. Mr. Romney, it’s reality check time!

If Ron Paul said he has a difficult time differentiating Republicans and Democrats, I ask this question: Then why are you a Republican?

Very soon, the U.S. Supreme Court will announce its decision regarding health care. This USA Today article provides some possible outcomes.  Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal provides a look at the potential Republican fallout of a ruling.

Regarding the upcoming decision, given this court is an activist court, I only see it going in one direction with the question being how far.

On Headlines from The Onion
Eco-Conscious Marketing Firm Developing Alternative Source of Synergy
U.S. Improves Infrastructure with Transnational Power Strip
Group of Hunky Cardinals Appeals to Pope to Relax Celibacy Requirement
Weather Channel Opens Las Vegas Casino
Breaking Story So New, Reporter has No Information
Nation’s Cotton Candy Crop Ravaged by Carnival Weevils
Teen who Cleaned-up Party Before Parents’ Arrival Totally Forgot about Overdosed Kid on Dining Table

Interesting Reads
Ruth Marcus on two faces of Republicans
E-readers in Africa
Tax Exceptions and religious organizations
Some berry recipes for dinner
The wine blends from Paso Robles
Fossilized Turtle Sex

On Potpourri
Lately, my stats resemble a downward staircase. 😦 … which is pathetic for someone approaching 1,000 posts in almost four years.

Sorry some of you didn’t see me as much this week. Simply said, I’ve got an important presentation to lead very soon.

This weekend we host our dinner group for a night of Scarborough Fare: parsley (appetizer), sage (soup/salad), rosemary (entrée), and thyme (dessert). Because we host, we have the entrée, so it will be interesting to see what the others bring.

Cincinnati is in final preparation for being the first U.S. city to host the World Choir Games, July4-14.

A classic cartoon post will go up for your Saturday morning.

Meanwhile, here’s a classic quirky musical video to send you into the weekend. Have a safe weekend everyone. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 89

On Political Shorts
As our politicians muddle and haggle their way through budget decisions and handling the government’s deficit, I remind everyone that both major parties are not in fiscal order. In fact, the Republican National Committee has a greater debt than the Democrats National Committee.

This past Wednesday, potential GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney said that the first thing he would do is repeal the healthcare bill. Hmmm … hey Mitt! What about that Massachusetts plan?

The battle between the state house and public employees in Wisconsin is well known. We’ve also seen similar situations in Ohio, Indiana, and others. An action by Maine Governor LePage caused a “huh?” Read this interesting post from former cabinet member Robert Reich. Thanks to Don in Mass for the heads up. Then see this post from Nonnie.

If you didn’t see this interview with Veronica de La Cruz about health care, it is worth your time. Thanks WriteChic for making me aware of this interview.

On a Streetcar
The debate by the city of Cincinnati officials regarding a streetcar project is over a year old. Regardless of the condition of federal and state budgets, the reason I’ve been against this $128 million dollar project is simple. Today, most downtowns are centers of commerce, so most investments should center on increasing (or at least keeping) employment.

On DTWS
As noted on these pages before, we take ballroom dance lessons and enjoy Dancing with the Stars. A reminder, I thought that having Bristol Palin on last year was a mistake, and my worst fears almost happened. Shortly before the announcement of the latest cast, the decision makers asked former Delaware senator candidate Christine O’Donnell to participate. Fortunately, she declined – but if she would have accepted, I would not have watched this season until she was off.

On a Water Bill
Over the past year or so, we purchased a water-efficient clothes washer and replaced two original, 23-year-old toilets. Interestingly, we have seen a decrease in our water usage. Our choices were the GE WHRE5550 and a Kohler Cimarron.

On a Sheen Tactic
Charlie Sheen has been in his share of news in recent months – actually too much. By never mincing words in his posts, Beeze says that Sheen’s antics are an act – which I admit, is something I didn’t consider.

Have a good weekend everyone. Here’s a music sendoff for you, which also is well synced with the animations. Besides, Z likes this group.

On a Health Care Prediction

The situation – A conversation with a friend, who is a self-proclaimed political pundit

The timing – Approximately a month ago, but it was before Congress passed the health care bill

My Series of Predictions

  1. The Democrats will pass a health care bill.
  2. Republicans will campaign to repeal it.
  3. Republicans will gain control of Congress as Independents back them because Democrats did not listen.
  4. Republicans successfully repeal the bill, and then replace it with what they think is best.
  5. Independents vote out the Republicans because they did not listen either.

Analysis

  • My friend (the self-proclaimed political pundit) said it would not happen because the Democrats did not have the votes to pass the bill.
  • For me, two check marks.