On Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 39

On a Longer School Year
President Obama and others want to lengthen the school year by 40 days. Although I favor such a move as part of educational reform, let me pose these questions.

  • Should the Feds mandate something that is primarily controlled by state and local entities?
  • How much the public and the travel industry will fight to retain the status quo?
  • Why more time with the same outdated curriculum and industrial age standards?

On the Noble Peace Prize
I will admit that last week’s announcement struck me as surprising and confusing. Then again, after listening to the initial (especially the immediate) and continual criticism from the partisan opposition, I am more convinced than ever that they will mock anything and everything about President Obama – thus further alienating me and my moderate, independent vote. Meanwhile, and again I say – Congratulations Mr. President; plus, the Noble committee can do whatever – after all, it’s their award. This Thomas Friedman column is interesting on the matter.

On the Health Care Debate
Since the Congressional Budget Office seemingly declared the Bauchus proposal as deficit neutral, it’s been interesting to watch both parties and special interests apply their spin. I continue to be wary of the current Congress and their attraction to special interest needs and pork – therefore worries about the effectiveness and the efficiency of any bill – let alone one of this magnitude. In other words, will the final health care bill really and truly attack the problem? History says no. Here are three interesting columns: David Brooks and Nicholas Kristof’s first and second.

On Car Buys
I’m a long-time Cincinnati Reds fans, but the fact that Cincinnatians lead the nation in red car sales caught me by surprise. Although I don’t believe in a correlation between car color purchases and favorite sports teams, human behavior is a statistical goldmine. Here’s an article with lists.

On a Personal Note
I’ve taken on a major project in my work life that will decrease my writing and reading time. I’ll try to do what I can, but I know my blogging will suffer. Meanwhile, I’ll probably post in the evenings and try to keep going. Hope everyone has a good and safe weekend.

Before going, here’s a very short video demonstrating speed and agility.

On Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 38

On the October Opener
The first Monday marks the start of the Supreme Court. Those pointing to the addition of Justice Sotomayor as a swing in the court aren’t even close. No question – Justice Alito replacing Justice O’Conner is the most recent philosophical swing.

Meanwhile, USA Today had a few interesting articles on the first Monday.

On Bauchus Health Care Reform
Seems the Congressional Budget Office says the Baucus Plan, the one from the Senate Finance Committee, is the only one the CBO says won’t increase the deficit. So is it cuts or taxes? Here’s the CBO report.  The Washington Post has this interesting interactive.

Meanwhile, I’ll ask these questions: Does the plan leave anyone uninsured? If so, who? Does the plan work to maintain or lower costs? Will anyone with a salary below $250,000 face additional tax increases?

On the Rangel Ruckus and Rove
Although somewhat partisan, Congressman Rangel (D-NY) needs to be proven guilty. If so, then immediately resign. Since I can’t imagine that all the charges are face, he should resign and move on with his life. Of course what House members don’t get that the issue is about ethics, not political affiliation. Meanwhile, ALL 565 members of Congress should be audited!

So Karl Rove has written the people are abandoning Democrats. Moderates to Karl – Maybe so, but that doesn’t mean these people are embracing Republicans.

On the Noble Peace Prize
This morning’s announcement about President Obama winning the Noble Peace Prize. First of all, congratulations Mr. President. Secondly, the immediate partisan responses are pathetic.

On Dancing with the Stars
Now that several weeks are in, it’s time to look to the finals. Make no doubt about it, but (as a whole) this year’s female class has been much stronger since the opener.

  • Contenders: Aaron Carter, Natalie Coughlin, Jonna Krupa, Mya, Donny Osmond
  • Possible with Improvement: Mark Decascos, Kelly Osbourne, Louis Vito
  • Biding Time: Michael Irvin, Chuck Liddell, Melissa Joan Hart
  • Gone: Tom DeLay, Ashley Hamilton, Macy Gray, Kathy Ireland, Debi Mazar

Another interesting oddity this year is that 4 of the fan favorite professional dancers are gone: Edyta, Tony, Cheryl, and Maksim.

By the way, I enjoyed this Macy’s Stars of Dance clip with the USC Marching Band.

On Sports Shorts

  • Wow … The Detroit Tigers may have achieved one of the greatest chokes since the ’64 Phillies.
  • I continue to wonder about the bias and the rationale behind college football polls.

A Musical Sendoff into the Weekend
I’ve been fortunate enough to see Blue Man Group twice, a concert tour and a theater show. Awesome!