Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 162

On Politics
Let’s see if winners shy away from declaring mandates or referendums.

Following the elections results (and to no surprise) Speaker Boehner (R-OH) and Minority Senate Leader McConnell (R-KY) made predictable partisan-based comments while Donald Trump made an ass of himself.

Do you recall the name Samuel Wurzelbacher? He made a splash in 2008 as Joe the Plumber. This year he was the Republican nominee in his Congressional district, for which he received 24% of the vote.

Interesting comments from people as devastated, disappointed, doomed, and my favorite, May God have mercy on this nation because we have walked away from His ways.

Too much credit is given to Ohio. After all, I don’t think many imaged President Obama winning without Ohio and Florida.

Preceding the election, many Republicans continually discounted polls by calling them biased. Some people forget that many polls are done by companies who have a vested interest in being accurate. Interestingly, the polls as an aggregate hit the target on this one.

On Wednesday, ABC published their list of 2016 candidates for both parties.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion

  • Lone Doofus Waited 36 Hours for the Next C Train
  • Bored US Postmaster General Creates Beard of Stamps during Meeting
  • Only Person Area Man Recognizes on Ballot is Jill Stein
  • Gluten-Free Pancake Mix just a Bag of Sand
  • Lone Runner Mike Bloomberg Wins NYC Marathon
  • Man Who Eats Breakfast at Dunkin’ Donuts Every Morning and Enjoys “Saw” Films Allowed to Vote
  • 9 Brightly-Colored Tarantula Species Found

Interesting Reads
Darwin and Eyes
Book review about James K Polk’s presidency
Storms that changes history
What candidates won’t say
Goals and limits of science

On Potpourri
Our handbell choir plays this weekend. The tune, Fantasy on Restoration, isn’t easy for us, but we will give it our best. It won’t be familiar to your ear, but interesting. Although there is a lot of malleting in this piece, we don’t play it as fast as this recording, but we move at a good clip. I invite you to listen here.

Last week I had a burger with the following description: Fried Banana, Chunky Peanut Butter Cream Cheese, Jam and Smoked Bacon. Yep … a PBJ Burger that was tasty!

I was disappointed when nobody commented on the surprise visitor we saw in Estonia (yesterday’s post).

There will be a Saturday Morning Classic Cartoon post this weekend.

Going into the weekend, here is a video of collections of videos to music. I image you will recognize some segments. Enjoy and have a good weekend! In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 153

On Politics
Mitt Romney’s selection of Rep Paul Ryan (R-Wis) did not surprise me. What has surprised me is the comparison by some partisan pundits of Rep. Ryan to Sarah Palin. He may be an ideologue, but he is not a nincompoop.

Selecting Gov. Chris Christie to deliver the keynote address at the Republican convention is a good choice.

As the Medicare rhetoric wars heat up, here are two interesting articles: one and two.

In his campaign for Congress, Joe the Plumber’s “Put a damn fence on the border going to Mexico and start shooting” is more than a goofy comment by someone who has no business being in Congress. It is a sign of the tone, tenor, and lack of sincerity in today’s political arena. Let’s hope that the majority of citizens in Ohio’s First District have enough sense. Sadly, even if he loses, he will receive too many votes.

Because VP Biden’s “chains” gaffe and the political aftermath received much media play, I sought and listened to the entire speech. (I wonder how many people did that.) Although it was a not the best metaphor, it still goes back to context – thus didn’t deserve the attention it got. Interestingly, Sen. McCain said the President Obama should replace Biden on the ticket. Senator, are you speaking as a partisan or from your experience?

Does anyone have friends who still believe President Obama was not born in the U.S.?

The Mute button on my TV remote is still working on the campaign ads and interviews with surrogates!

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Michael Phelps Returns to His Tank at Sea World
New Dating Site Matches Users with Partners They Deserve
Subway Introduces Pool-Water-Soaked Sandwich to Honor Michael Phelps
Long Jumper Imagines Transatlantic Flight as One Big, Long Jump
Herman Cain Lifts Suspension of Presidential Campaign

Interesting Reads
Disavowing Super PACS
Brush up on Your Fake Science
Washington Post graph of global temperatures since the late 1800s
Soul of the Olympics
The craft of ancient Belgian beer
An initial Christian response to Darwin

On Potpourri
As I wrote yesterday, the college football season is around the corner, which also means the bowl season is not far away. Given the number of teams required to fill the bowls, the NCAA standards for selections by the bowls, and the number of high-profile schools ineligible for bowls, the NCAA pathetically put their best foot forward by changing the standards.

These are for any enjoying Italy. Debra, an Australian who spends time in Italy, had this wonderful post from the area of both sides of my family. Earlier in this week, I posted about cruising into Portofino. On the same day, Margie also posted about this picturesque village.

William Shatner returns to Priceline ads, which means he survived the crash.

Sadly, I will not have a Saturday Morning Cartoon post this week. After all, it’s time for me to take a break. Although you may see me stopping by, I will return here in about 3 weeks. Meanwhile, I encourage everyone to visit the delightful bloggers I provide in the sidebar. Until my return, be safe, enjoy life, and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch … and enjoy this fun video.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 119

On Politics
The latest Mitt Romney side-step/misstep started less than 10 miles from my house during his Cincinnati visit.

I admit it: I found the Herman Cain ad with the smoker amusing, especially since it sparked many parodies.

Recently seeing Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) reminds me of this question: Are the House Ethics Committee and Senate Ethics Committee oxymorons?

Congratulations Congress on reaching the single-digit approval level! That’s ok Senator McConnell (R-KY), just keep blaming President Obama. Oh wait … Ohio’s 9th Congressional District has the answer: Send Joe the Plumber to Congress! Oops, I meant Sam I am, but does he like green eggs and ham?

If I understood Speaker Boehner (R-OH) correctly, no agreement by the Super Committee is unacceptable and any increases in tax revenues is a nonstarter. Of course his answer to the “cake or ice cream” question is, I want the whole damn buffet and the ability to determine what’s on it.

By the way, I remind Speaker Boehner that it is Week 42 of the Boehner-led House without a jobs bill. To quote Speaker Boehner, “Where are the jobs?” Meanwhile, I’m getting tired of these reminders.

Interesting Reads

On Headlines from The Onion

  • French Teacher Forces Student to Inform Her of Bathroom Fire in French
  • Genetically Modified Shrieking Broccoli Toned Down
  • New Decoy Website Launched to Lure Away All Moronic Internet Commenters
  • Comatose GOP Candidate Drops Out of Race due to Sex Scandal
  • QB Eli Manning Announces Second Down is His Favorite Down

On Potpourri
Thoughts and prayers to victims of Turkey’s earthquake and Thailand’s floods.

Thanks for the feedback this week on a possible new theme/layout/template for this blog. Time is tell what happens, meanwhile, it’s back to the original.

Hip, Hop – Hooray! A new annual rainfall record for Cincinnati!

I continue to maintain that the bias of the listener is a major (but not the only) contributor to media bias. FOX News is about as fair, balanced, and predictable as a fight between Popeye and Bluto. Nonetheless, see this article about FOX News by Bruce Bartlett. Then again, the comments following the article are not only interesting, and support my point.

I have not played night golf in over 10 years, but this past Tuesday was an interesting twist to an already difficult game. Trying to hit a ball without normal depth perception is an interesting challenge – let alone a ball that does not travel as far. Nonetheless, we had fun.

An Oregon kindergarten was using a pit bull to teach how to avoid dog bites. Hmmm…….

I do not actively look for artists, but sometimes I stumble across interesting treasures that continue to show the creative human ingenuity. See this work by Alex Queral. Thanks to Kay for the discovery. For those who like storm photos, click here.

It’s Halloween weekend, so enjoy this awesome animation. Many thanks IzaakMac!

It’s time for me to take a break from my daily routine here, just a break for 7-10 days. Although I am in a minor cyberfunk, nothing serious, a break is good – but it also means I could miss the debut of a long-awaited blog – simply one of those a person can look back and wonder, “I remember _ when _. I wonder if _ remembers me?”

Y’all come back now and enjoy this great commercial.

On Republican Socialism

Dear Republican Members of Congress as well as the Republican National Committee,

I realize that politics is a tough business, and in that climate, hyperboles are commonly used to combat the other side. Since I’m not stupid, and neither is much of America, please stop use “socialism” as one of your fear-mongering terms. Knowing that you will ignore my plea, I’ll set forth some conditions for its use.

Use “socialism” is you are willing to denounce the prescriptive drug program adopted during the recent Bush administration.

Use “socialism” if you are willing to denounce the initial TARP plus any and all other aid to banks in any form.

Use “socialism” if you are willing to declare the elimination of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

Use “socialism” if you are willing to declare the elimination of unemployment benefits.

Use “socialism” if you are willing to denounce any and all forms of national health care.

Use “socialism” if you are willing to declare the elimination of all farm subsidies.

Use “socialism” if you are willing to denounce any funding of any kind (grants, subsidies, tax breaks, etc) to any and all private businesses regardless of size.

Use “socialism” if you are willing to selling the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and all other federally-owned corporations to private enterprise.

Use “socialism” if you are willing to say that all research for alternative energies must be driven and provide by the private sector without the any government assistance.

Use “socialism” if you are willing to declare that all airports should be privately owned.

Use “socialism” if you are willing to denounce and seek the overturn of any and all socially-supported programs established by President Reagan and every Republican president before and after.

Knowing that you will not only ignore my plea and my conditions, thus speak with forked tongue, at least proclaim Joe the Plumber as your candidate in 2012!

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol 4

Do you know the ten most common last names in the U.S.? The Census Bureau reported in 2000 these top 10 surnames: Smith, Johnson, Williams, Brown, Jones, Miller, Davis, Garcia, Rodriquez, and Wilson. So that’s why the GOP wants to attract Latinos.

Given Time’s Person of the Year, the Runner’s-Up, ad the People who Mattered, I can’t believe Joe the Plumber wasn’t listed.

Speaking of Time’s Person of the Year list, see the list of interesting personalities who left us in 2008, but still touch us today. (Once there, scroll down to see the list.)

Many people asked movie critic Roger Ebert to review Ben Stein’s documentary Expelled, about defending creationism. For those that didn’t see it, it’s an interesting read.

In a recent NY Times column, Nicholas Kristof uses a “finger in the dike” analogy about the U.S. automakers and their situation … and I continue to maintain that the automaker situation is more complex than many make it to be.

As part of my falling asleep process, I like to listen to Echoes with John Diliberto. I love the music! Sometimes I tune in early and catch the end of Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor. Two sayings stuck me the other night.

  • “Never assume the obvious is true.” (William Safire) Think about that one in terms of the Internet.
  • “Be well, do good works, and keep in touch.” (Keillor’s signoff). Wow, this is meant for a future post.

Thanks for those giving input on a potential new header, which will be coming soon.

Meanwhile, my Battle Cranberry recipe for Cranberry-Sausage Spaghetti got a lot of reads.

What a tough week for those in the northeast with the ice storm. My prayers and thoughts go out to them; especially to friends like Mo.

Sports
Good for Penn State giving Joe Pa an extension. Whenever I see news about Paterno’s contracts, I keep thinking about legendary Bear Bryant; who suddenly died only a few months after retiring. Similar to General Pattern, his mission was done.

As the Bengals continue their streak of ONE winning season since 1990, and a given tough economic times, a significant majority of season ticket holders will renew.

Entertainment World
Guy Ritchie, who had $25 million when his relationship with Madonna started, get somewhere between $76-95 million in a divorce settlement. Now that’s one good investment.

With NBC’s ER in its final season, how would you end it? I would close the show with the ER staff being introduced to the new chief of staff: Dr. Doug Ross (George Clooney).

I still can’t believe the Material Girl entered a relationship without a prenump, but I still believe Sara Palin needs Dancing with the Stars to broaden her base.