Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 184

On Politics
I laughed at the video of the IRS workers doing the Cuban Shuffle. After all, how many organizations do team building exercises? However, their use of Star Trek and Gilligan’s Island didn’t make me smile.

As Washington continues to pursue the IRS issue, politicians continue to politicize the event while avoiding the tough question: Do political groups fit the definition for 501 (C)(4) tax exemption as an organization organized for profit but operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare? Here are examples, and the regulation is below.

The promotion of social welfare does not include direct or indirect participation or intervention in political campaigns on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office. However, a section 501(c)(4) social welfare organization may engage in some political activities, so long as that is not its primary activity. However, any expenditure it makes for political activities may be subject to tax under section 527(f).

See the IRS-cited examples for yourself.

This week marked the passing of the last WW II veteran to serve in Congress – Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ). It’s obvious that the current generation of Congress could learn much from The Greatest Generation, but fat chance of that happening.

Two interesting reads about dysfunctional government from the AP and Washington Post .

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion

  • Gap forced to recall pants after man dies eating 37 pairs of corduroys
  • Angelina Jolie stuns on first rollerblading competition since double mastectomy
  • Family’s euphemism for genitals really weird
  • Company hosts fun night for employees to get drunk and complain
  • Vain Galapagos tortoise trying to pass for 90
  • Teen declares, “You’re not my real step-dad!”

Interesting Reads
Obamacare indicators
David Ignatius on Obama and counterterrorism
Americans and financial literacy
The Breadwinning Females from Pew Research
Black/White marijuana arrest gap in charts
Adrenalin: A book review
Comparisons and human cognition

This past week was the 71st anniversary of WW II’s Battle of Midway. Because John Erickson is such a WW II buff, here are two links: Pictures & Maps and the Japanese story.

CNN’s Jeanne Moos reports on a moose statue attracting a moose.

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On Potpourri
I am proud to say that I smiled the first time I saw this Cheerios commercial, thus sadly shake my head at the controversy.

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Ohio State University President Gordon Gee put himself in the negative spotlight, so he retired. Good riddance – I never cared for him.

For those needing to know: GEICO’s Hump Day commercial with the camel does air on days other than Wednesday.

I hope to announce the next act of Time: The Musical on the next Monday Morning Entertainment post.

There will be a Saturday Morning Cartoon post this weekend.

As a change of pace, here is a peaceful sendoff into your weekend. Have a good weekend! In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 183

On Politics
I discovered that all but one of Oklahoma’s representatives and senators voted against relief for victims of Hurricane Sandy. Because of the recent tornado, keep your eye on them. Interestingly, the one rep that supported the relief is from the district taking the biggest hit this week.

Do you remember the cranky criticizing UN Ambassador Susan Rice? Well, the disclosed emails regarding Benghazi seem to be vindicating her.

Because important problems remain, I like the headlines of this Charlie Cook column: Republicans Hatred of Obama Blinds Them to the Public’s Disinterest in Scandals.

Earlier this week, I asked a question that Congressional committees focusing on the IRS scandal, so here is another one. Whereas the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling opened the door to financial contributions to campaigns, did it protect the fact that such a vehicle be through a 501(C)(4) tax-exempt organization?

This week we saw the dark side of humanity through the horror of the senseless attack of the British soldier.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
90% of audience at college graduation involved in heated family argument
Nation supposes it is outraged by White House scandals
Burundi Beef Council announces, “Please send beef”
YouTube to air first hour-drama: Turtle has Sex with Shoes
Everyone forgets to bring swimsuits to coworker’s party
Study: Anxiety resolved by thinking about it real hard

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! The Onion secured this picture of Duchess Kate Middleton with morning sickness.

Interesting Reads
The global garment trail
Ottomans then, Turkey today
Clergy and their views of origins
Importance of mom from Scientific American
Infographic: The evolution of headphones
Caffeinated toothpaste

On Potpourri
To my American readers, we have a three-day holiday weekend, don’t forget to remember Monday’s intent.

Congratulations to Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough for winning the latest Dancing with the Stars (DWTS). I know cast selection involves luck, thus this season’s cast was a bit weak (in terms of dancing). However, Kellie and Zendaya were awesome …. and how could anyone not enjoy Jacoby Jones!

Overall, I continue to believe that part of DWTS success is that it is a throwback to variety shows of the past.

The rash of followers continues, but it surely is not translating into increasing reads and comments. For someone who has blogged as long as I have, my stats are, at best, mediocre. On the other side, thank you to my regulars.

I’m taking a break after this post, which means another Saturday morning without a cartoon post. I know – that’s three in a row. Nonetheless, I plan on using the break to 1) finish some in-progress posts, 2) focus on visiting other blogs, and 3) doing some daytime activities with my wife during her time off. Besides, maybe I will at least sneak in some satire to charge my week.

I’ll send you into the weekend with two videos. The first is a commercial that I couldn’t take my eyes away. The second is a tribute to the US Armed Forces, fitting for our Memorial Day weekend. Personally, I like this tribute from 2008, as it also reminds me of a wonderful maestro who is no longer with us.

Have a good weekend! In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Omega Co-Axial Commercial

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Armed Forces Salute