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. 161

I invite you to try something different today. The video contains segments of a wonderful orchestra piece: New Beginnings by Peter Boyer – which provides a grand sound that is very me. So, please launch the video to serve as your background music for this edition of Opinions in the Shorts.

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On Politics
A friend of mine wanted the FactChecks from all the Debates. Here ya go, Jim!
Debate 1, VP Debate, Debate 2, Debate 3

FactCheck recently did this campaign summary

I will have an interesting post that will go live Election Day evening.

Senator John McCain declared that the Libyan embassy event is the great incompetence he’s ever seen regarding national security. I have a question for Senator McCain: Greater than 9-11?

Regardless the results of the presidential election and assuming the Republicans keep control of the House of Representatives, it will be interesting to see who they select as Speaker of the House. In case they don’t know, I am Constitutionally qualified and available.

Some pundits are discussing the increased possibility of neither presidential candidate having enough electoral votes to win.

I find it interesting that some newspapers endorsements have been tepid.

The ad from Randall Terry is so bad that stations have disclaimers before showing it.

Each political party is actively fund-raising for legal challenges of the election. Oh boy – better brace for the possibility of no winner come Wednesday morning.

Here are two early states that could spell trouble: If Romney loses Florida, or if Obama loses Pennsylvania. Yet, NY Times columnist Gail Collins focuses on Cincinnati as she writes here something that we already knew – it’s all about Ohio.

Because of the political ads, we’ve limited the local evening news to the weather – thus switched to local classical radio station for dinner music – which is easy the using the Mute button.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion

  • New High-Tech Voting Machines Lets Voters Manipulate Candidates
  • Misinformed Man Riding Out Storm in Bathtub Filled with Batteries
  • 20 Idiots Evacuated from Times Square M&M’s Store
  • Man Throws Man at Problem
  • Birthday Card Discretely Passed around Office like Covert CIA Operation
  • Mom Calls to Make Sure Son not Under Dangling Crane
  • Weird Couple has Greatest Sex after Announcement of Disney-LucasFilm Merger

Interesting Reads
A pipe organ builder
Race baiting and the election (by an editor, not a hack)
Benefits of practice
The Rise of Asian-Americans
God and science
Who needs facts
Image: Fibonacci and Hurricane
My past post about Fibonacci

On Potpourri
Strength to all those affected by Superstorm Sandy; thus I encourage those who can to donate time, goods, or money to the relief efforts. Please consider the American Red Cross or the charity of your choice.

Baseball’s World Series is over, so congratulations to the San Francisco Giants and their fans. Meanwhile, the series enjoyed one of the low TV ratings ever, thus another reason to hate Commissioner Bud Selig.

A reminder to the U.S. readers that this weekend we switch from Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time – so don’t forget to set the clocks back.

With the cool weather here and cold not far away, it’s flannel sheet season in our house. Is anybody else a fan of flannel sheets?

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

Thanks for everyone for making October 2012 my third best month ever.

Ginger Ale Report

Natural Brew Outrageous Ginger Ale: Good ginger with a hint of spice that lingers – Fits my taste well.

Fresh Ginger Ale by Bruce Cost: This one looks funny with the ginger sediment that one sees in the clear bottle – thus it’s unfiltered. Mild ginger taste, not a lot of carbonation, but there is a lingering spicy kick. This is a pleasant surprise.

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

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 160

On Politics
Here are fact checks on the last 2012 presidential debate
Annenberg Fact Check
PolitFact
Washington Post Fact Checker
Associated Press
National Journal

By the way, Pulitzer Prizing winning PolitiFact issued two “Pants on Fire” false-statements ratings in the third debate.

A long-time friend of mine is a disrespectful, clueless, partisan hack. The other day he called, made a ridiculous comment, to which I responded, “Don’t go there.” He kept babbling, so I repeated, “Don’t go there.” Because he ignored my genuine request, I hung up the phone. We haven’t spoken since, I’ve “unfriended” him on Facebook, and I watch Caller ID on my phones.

I cannot justify any reason why law enforcement officials (sheriffs. prosecutors and judges) can run for office under a political party banner and/or endorsement.

The race for one of Ohio’s senate seats involves $30 million of outside-the-campaign money where donors do not have to be identified.

This is interesting: a scorecard of President Obama’s promises and a separate scorecard of promises by GOP Congressional leaders.

This is a wonderful 7-minute video about the Electoral College from CBS Sunday Morning.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion

  • Thriving Onion Puts Another Print Edition Out of Business
  • Town Hall Attendees Still Standing Patiently Waiting for Their Questions to be Answered
  • Backup Spatula Always Ready to go in case the Unthinkable Happens
  • Study: Human Imagination Capable of Magnificent Things during masturbation
  • Trump Announces He is a Very Sad Man

Interesting Reads

On Potpourri
It’s World Series time. Anyone asking me about team I want to win, and I will answer, “The Reds.” The questioner will explain that the Reds aren’t playing as the series involves the Tigers and Giants, which leads to my answer, “Then I don’t care!”

Now that Blood of Nincompoop is off Dancing with the Stars, I am happily able to concentrate on watching the show.

With another milestone approaching, I wonder who will be the 100,000th visitor to my little corner of the world.

AFA’s Ginger Ale Report
Gosling’s Ginger Beer – On the sweet side, good ginger that lingers, a light cloudy color

Boylan’s Ginger Ale – Slightly better than the mass producers

Jamaica’s Finest Ginger Beer – Too spicy for my taste, but others may enjoy it

Gus Extra Dry Ginger Ale – Light taste all the way around with a pleasant aftertaste

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

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

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 159

On Politics
Here are fact checks on the presidential town hall debate.

Gotta love Greatsby’s notes through pictures of the recent presidential debate.

I appreciate this bit of advice from Chris at Nachos Grande (who also happens to be the first person to comment on this blog): I won’t engage in political talks with people I don’t know. You can argue with buffoons and too many people who want to argue politics are buffoons – and from both sides of the political aisle.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion

  • The Onion Wins Nobel Prize in Overall Excellence
  • Polls Reveal Essential Nothing
  • Spielberg Panics, Adds Comical Groin Injury to Lincoln
  • Millions Head to Internet to Figure Out Own Opinions about Debate
  • Man on Personal Mission to Explain Why He Universally Enjoys Things that are Bad
  • Whales Beach Themselves in Attempt to Purchase The Onion Book of Known Knowledge

Interesting Reads

On Potpourri
I just returned from a fun event playing night golf. Yep … the glow-in-the-dark ball, a glow stick on the flagstick and in the hole, my clubs, and a flashlight.

Sometimes timing is everything. When I wrote and published yesterday’s Movember post about cancer and Proctober, I didn’t realize that I have an appointment on Friday at the urologist.

Earlier this week I announced my candidacy for Worldly High President of the Not-Freshly Pressed Community (NFPC). Some wonder about the title. Any suggestions?

This week I met my first blogger who happens to be a very loyal reader here. Thanks for the delightful day John Erickson!

On my trip, I saw this office building approaching and drive by for the first time – the headquarters for Longaberger Baskets.

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A ginger ale update: I purchased more varieties and hope report next week. Meanwhile, Suranac Ginger Beer was on the smooth side and very balanced – thus bumps Hansen’s on advancing to the competition round.

Sorry – but no classic cartoon post this Saturday morning. HOWEVER, I want to something, so I hope to have a light post for your weekend.

Let’s go into the weekend with some class with the great voices of Katherine Jenkins and Placido Domingo Have a good weekend! In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On the Next “Debate”

Tuesday brings another presidential debate, which actually means more none answers and maneuvering the answer toward the scripted response. Unfortunately, because the event will not be using my rules, I doubt if I’ll watch. By the way, I’ll be making a special announcement during the debate, hopefully during the first 20-40 minutes!

Before we get started, here are good resources to fact-check the VP candidates and their answers.

I added another twist to this event with an independent Answer Rating Panel. Assuming I don’t banish the candidate to the Cone of Silence, each panelist will score the response from 1 (low) to 5 (high). However, the score is not if they agree/disagree, but how well the candidate answers the question. Given the rules, time will tell if the panelist will get a chance to rate an answer.

I diligently searched for independent minds to help inform American voters. Without any further adieu, here are your Answer Rating Panelists.

My questions for Gov. Romney
1) You have commonly referenced the United States being “On the road to Europe”. You have also mocked Europeans on numerous occasions by not waiting to drag America down to Europe’s standards Yet, when you were in Europe, we refused to answer what you meant by that and other similar comments. What’s good about Europe?

2) Given your statements on Afghanistan, what is the difference between your plan and the president’s?

3) How would you respond if Germany wanted to have a military base in the U.S.?

4) Forbid this would happen, but here’s a scenario. The U.S. military enters a new military conflict in country XYZ. Would your administration finance the operation on or off the books?

5) Shortly after crediting the military and intelligence professionals Shortly after crediting the military and intelligence professionals for their infliction on Al-Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan, including bin Laden’s death , you stated ” I will vigorously pursue the terrorists who attacked our consulate in Benghazi and killed Americans.” …. So I want to ask – While you are on your solo, covert mission as Mittbo the Nemisis, who will serve as president?”

6) Your tax cuts cost money. Your expansion in military spending costs money. Meanwhile, cutting funding to PBS and Planned Parenthood doesn’t put a dent in financing those ideas. You mention closing loopholes. In order to help the American people understand your position, I gave you a checklist of deductions and loopholes for individuals so you can check Yes or No regarding whether you favor or against removing this item. Let’s now show how you answered.

7) This is about the campaign. You accused the Obama campaign about its dishonest, deceptive, divisive, distorted, misleading, and out-of context information.

  • Please give 3 examples of this.
  • By making the previous accusation and supporting it with examples, are you also saying your campaign has not used dishonest, deceptive, divisive, distorted, misleading, and out-of-context information?
  • So, are you also saying that the independent fact-checking reports have not been truthful with their findings?

8) You previously stated, “The president has to spend three years working in business before he becomes president of the United States. Then he or she would understand that the policies they are putting into place have to encourage small business to grow.” Does your running mate meet these qualification?

9) Instead of the government bailout, you favored the banks helping the auto industry. What would you have done if the banks, for whatever reason, decided not to help the auto companies?

My Questions for President Obama
1) In your 2008 campaign, you strongly wanted to close Gitmo, and one of your first year acts was to start the closing process. Because Gitmo is still open, how did you underestimate the process?

2) How would you respond if Great Britain wanted to have a military base in the US?

3) Tax increases seem to be the focus of your plan to increase revenues. Respond to the nonpartisan economists that mention the additional need for other revenue streams.

4) In terms of federal revenues as a share of GDP, additional taxes from those making more than $250,000 is only a small revenue stream. With that in mind, how do you propose to increase federal revenue?

5) Congress enacted and you signed Dodd-Frank to tighten up the financial sector. Why was this needed because the actions from the industry were legal. After all, the Justice Department has did not prosecute anyone involved in the financial collapse.

6) Many voters want bipartisan cooperation. During your term to date, was your biggest mistake why this did not happen?

7) Should the U.S. Supreme have another independent swing-vote justice?

8) In order to increase the supply of doctors, should the U.S. encourage immigration of doctors?

9) With America greatly reducing pollution in the past 50+ years, should Americans face a carbon tax while the greatest polluters today are in other countries?

10) Who made the decision to have someone tickle VP Biden’s feet during his debate with Rep. Ryan?

On “Debates” 2012

The first of the presidential debates starts this week. Well, there are not debates, but actually glorified new conferences with the parties setting the rules that give the candidates plenty of opportunities to continue there taglines.

Odds are very good that the candidates will provide an answer without answering the question. After all, Mr. Romney has previously stated to a moderator, “You have the right to ask the questions you want to, and I have the right to answer them in a way I want to.”

What if I was running the event? If so, here are the six rules in the A Frank Angle interview format.

  1. The moderator (me) is in charge; thus asks the questions, exercises any rule at any time, and can re-ask questions until answered.
  2. If the candidate does not answer the question, immediately turn off their microphone and surround them with the cone of silence.
  3. If the candidate strays from the question, immediately turn off their microphone and surround them with the cone of silence.
  4. If the candidate stresses the faults of the other candidate’s position over emphasizing their position, immediately turn off their microphone and surround them with the cone of silence.
  5. If a candidate cuts off the other, turn off their microphone and surround them with the cone of silence.
  6. When in doubt, see Rule 1.

Better yet, here are some questions that probably will not be asked on the televised events.

To Mr. Romney
Let’s assume you win, but face a divided Congress. How will you navigate the non-compromising segment of your party?

Was President Obama born in the United States? Is President Obama a Muslim? Besides some horseshit answer like “They are entitled to believe what they want to believe”, explain yourself to the people who do believe it.

If the US Supreme Court is for all Americans, would you favor one in the mold of the other conservatives or one of independent mind?

(Follow up) There are taxes, penalties, and fees. You repeatedly state that you want to lower tax rates After the Supreme Court ruling regarding the Affordable Car Act, you happily accepted the mantra that penalties are taxes. With that same thought, aren’t fees also taxes?

There are many in your party who advocate the teaching of various explanations of Biblical creationism in a science classroom. Why have you not taken the stance that the US Supreme Court ruled against that over 40 years ago?

To President Obama
One aspect of your 2008 message of hope and change focused on bringing the two parties together as much as possible. On the other hand,  a hard-driving Rahm Emmanuel’s (your chief of staff) is a direct contradiction to your message. How do you explain the difference between what you say and what you do?

Afghanistan continues to be a trouble spot. Although the American public supports the military, the majority does not favor this conflict. When are you going to make the decision to stop nation building and get the heck out?

Why did you not immediately embrace the recommendations from the bi-partisan Simpson-Bowles Commission?

The financial sector is the foundation for our economic system. Because Dodd-Frank continues to allow banking deregulation, why did you not support returning to the regulation established by Glass-Steagall?

Outside of the stimulus, the economy didn’t become the focus of your presidency until year three. Why?

To Both
Each of you frequently mentioned the importance of small businesses. What is your definition of small business?

(Follow-up) Why did you ignore the Federal Government’s own definition as per the Small Business Administration? Now, given statistics from the SBA and IRS, let’s examine your claims.

To Rep. Ryan
What is 1+1?
Good, you can add. Here’s a calculator, a pencil, scrap paper, and your budget. Because your numbers do not add up and need more explanation, go over to the side to work on this and we’ll get back to you.

To Vice-President Biden
How did you react to The Onion’s portrayals of you washing a sports car and offering guitar lessons?

Two Interesting Reads