Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 148

On Politics
Cheers to Republican Jon Huntsman for these words: “I will not be attending this year’s convention, nor any Republican convention in the future, until the party focuses on a bigger, bolder, more confident future for the United States — a future based on problem solving, inclusiveness, and a willingness to address the trust deficit, which is every bit as corrosive as our fiscal and economic deficits. … I encourage a return to the party we have been in the past, from Lincoln right on through to Reagan, that was always willing to put our country before politics.”

I enjoy listening to a radio station dedicated to politics (POTUS, XM). However, my channel-changing urge kicks in when I hear any of these voices: Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV, and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.

Besides the campaigns for US president being too long, this one is quite boring.

This David Brooks’ column about opportunity ended with these words: “Political candidates will have to spend less time trying to exploit class divisions and more time trying to remedy them — less time calling their opponents out of touch elitists, and more time coming up with agendas that comprehensively address the problem. It’s politically tough to do that, but the alternative is national suicide.”

On Headlines from The Onion
Highest Blender Setting Drowns Out Angry Jamba Juice Customer
ESPN Poll Asks Readers if They Like Sports
Grandpa Used as Yard Sale Greeter
Roommate Eats Emergency Preparedness Kit
Washington Monument Set Up with Date with Eiffel Tower
Player Asks Stadium Crew to Turn Off Lights so Team can See the Stars

Interesting Reads
The Subtle Science of Scotch Whisky
Math and the musical genius of the Beatles
A high-performance electric car
Myths about the Financial Meltdown
Blogger Alisha about happiness
About Charles de Gaulle
50 years of Bond’s style – that’s James Bond

On Potpourri
The World Choir Games ends its first time run in the US run this weekend. It’s been a surprising success as tickets are difficult to get and one has to go early to get a seat at the free events.

Some readable potpourri about the God Particle
An infographic
A humorous look
Blogger Nancy chimes in

Artists to see who are connected to this blog in some way: African art and watercolors from Greece.

A reminder to everyone: Check your Spam folder on your dashboard to see if comments by regular visitors are unexpectedly going there.

While in the Spam folder, you may find some gems – like the one about Christmas music on my recent post about Education: Texas GOP Style.

I will have a classic cartoon post this weekend.

To send you into the weekend, here’s a tribute to the dedicated people of the U.S. Coast Guard. Have a safe weekend everyone. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On a GOP Primary Update

I remain bored with the Republican race for the nomination, yet I try to remain informed. Below are some random thoughts.

Michelle Bachmann is thankfully out, Huntsman (sadly) never caught on, and more will follow her after this Saturday’s South Carolina primary.

Here’s the reason Newt Gingrich didn’t make the ballot in his own state: He’s on a book tour! So, will he vote for Romney or Paul? Not voting is an option, as is voting and leaving that part of the ballot blank.

Although I still have not watched a GOP debate, I heard one interesting sound bite explains a lot. In responding to Gingrich’s accusation of an anti-Gingrich ad from a Romney Super PAC, Mitt Romney said he did not know what was in the ad, and then listed all the points in the ad. The toping on the cake is that none of the other candidates called him out on this.

This year’s race is bizarre. The nominee will face a beatable incumbent, yet the candidates vying for the nomination can’t defeat the beatable leader of the pack.

The Ohio primary is in early March, but I wonder if a race will still be in play at that time. I recently learned that Rick Santorum did not make all ballots in the state. In the end, odds are I will either leave that part of the ballot blank or vote for Jon Huntsman if he remains on the Ohio ballot. Then again, my wild hair side may vote for Santorum just to see the party get annihilated in the fall.

Forget the drama, Mitt Romney will be the nominee, leaving the major question as who will be is VP. Because the far right will not embrace Romney, he will pick someone further to the right so he can play the center – which the far right won’t like, but will ignore.

As for Mitt and my vote, he may have too much to overcome.

As for this independent moderate, being socially liberal and fiscally conservative these days is the Island of No Hope as both parties want my vote, but not my policies. Much can happened between now and November, but I will say this much – the thought of Republican over-reach scares me as I lived it in Ohio and watched it in Wisconsin.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 108

On Politics
I don’t care about tomorrow’s GOP Ames Straw Poll. Simply put, the presidential campaign season is too long.

Sarah Palin said her arrival in New Hampshire on the same day Gov. Romney announced his candidacy was coincidental. Tomorrow, signs point to The Nincompoop’s coincidental arrival in Ames. Oops – it appears to be the same day Gov. Perry upstages all of them.

Is Jon Huntsman getting the cold shoulder because he refuses to play crazy?

News came out this week that President Obama’s re-election campaign plans to paint Gov. Romney as weird. Wow – I would have though his Massachusetts health care model, his worker-layoff record, and his waffling and flip-flopping would have been a better suggestion. Now that’s weird.

Not to my surprise, I’m unhappy with the Super Committee selections. Besides, Sen. Jon Kyl’s (R-AZ) selection goes against my pledge of no jackwagons.

Regarding the Super Committee, would it have been more interesting if the party leaders selected members from the other party? By the way, sequester them for a long weekend away from the press and any communication with the outside world.

Meanwhile, on the House side of Capitol Hill, I remind Speaker Boehner that it is Week 31 of the Boehner-led House without a jobs bill. To quote Speaker Boehner, “Where are the jobs?”

Interesting Reads

Interesting Headlines I Saw this Week on The Onion

  • Obama Turns 50 Despite Republican Opposition
  • Dept of Labor Reports it could be nothing, but They may have Spotted a Job in an Iowa Strip Mall
  • New GOP Strategy Involves Re-electing Obama. Making his Life More Miserable
  • Silicon Valley Town Pinning Tourism Hopes on World’s Largest Website
  • Scientists Trace Heat Wave to Massive Star at Center of Solar System

On Potpourri
What has Oklahoma done to be the top-ranked college football team this season?

My shoulder passed the first golf test of hitting about 30-40 wedges at a driving range.

This week was the anniversary of President Nixon’s resignation, which came 6 years to the day of his 1968 nomination.

This weekend we our hosting our dinner group with a theme based around Food Network’s Chopped. Each couple received a basket of key ingredients to use for their course, and with the aid of their pantry, they will feed the rest of us. Here are the baskets. Should a future post report the results?

  • Appetizer: Shrimp, pretzels, dried cranberries, and kiwi
  • Soup/Salad: Dairy case crescent rolls, green grapes, tomatillos, and pork rinds
  • Entrée: Orange juice concentrate, beer, red wine, and ham hocks
  • Dessert: Egg whites, walnuts, hominy, and frozen waffles

In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good works, and stay in touch.