Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 205

On Politics
Healthcare.gov, health care rates, cost and availability of health insurance, are related issues – but not the same.

When Congress passed the Affordable Care Act, I saw it as a start, not an end. Republicans tend to under-regulate while Democrats tend to over-regulate. Given the at best, shaky rollout of healthcare.gov and initial implementation of the law, I hoped each party would step forward to make the law better. Because would stretch each party outside of their comfort zone, fat chance of that occurring.

Insurance companies decreasing their list of physicians is not only problematic and pathetic!

First I wondered why a first-term senator would attend Nelson Mandela’s funeral. Then I wondered why said senator would ceremoniously protest Raul Castro by walking out of a ceremony honoring a man of reconciliation. Yes, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), that’s you – and staging an action to bring attention to yourself is very unlike Mr. Mandela. I yield my final comment to this great American orator.

A good read about Senator Cruz from the editor of Real Clear Politics.

I enjoyed columnist Dana Milbank’s take on political selfies.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Obnoxious friend won’t stop attaining major life milestones
Eighth grader caked in makeup probably really confident
Poll shows the majority of Americans would watching something called Love Trap
Modern-day Caligula orders Everything Bagel
New attractive person comes to nation’s attention
Encouraging economic report reveals more Americans delusional enough to start their own business

Interesting Reads
The Greatest of Gifts by Sue @ Dreamwalker’s Sanctuary
50 Breakthroughs since the wheel
An ancient Israeli wine cellar found
Three Italian Mountain Towns
Book review about Johann Sebastian Bach
A saga about Coca-Cola’s polar bears

On Potpourri
I have a holiday party for the weekend, which will start very early in my day. After all, I must open the doors early for those in time zones ahead of mine. Your friends are welcome as well … beware … there will be items with names on them.

Plus, don’t forget my annual Christmas Eve posts of video gifts.

For those needing these pertinent holiday tips, The Onion offers these suggestions for decorating a Christmas tree.

Once again, I enjoyed Act 11’s music. Bad News – Time: The Musical will conclude after the first of the year. Good news – A new musical will take its place

Getting Freshly Pressed still brings a smile, but it is work. After all, staying to true form, I respond to all comments and reciprocate many visitors.  Reality is that FP brings a spike in followers and daily hits (temporarily), but maybe a couple of bloggers who may turn into regulars. Juggling FP with holidays, Time: The Musical, these OITS, and preparing for a holiday fest is more than a chore! For those that didn’t know, here’s the post.

Being on the same FP page as Kathy McCullough was an added treat!

Apologies to Bulldog for my careless mistake in Act 11.

I added a new subpage under More Bloggers called Possibilities, which has some new bloggers.

Here are your weekend celebrations

  • (Fri) Human Solidarity Day, Mudd Day, Sangria Day, Underdog Day
  • (Sat) Solstice, Crossword Puzzles Day, Humbug Day, Don’t Be a Scrooge Day, Ann & Samantha Day, Hamburger Day, Kiwi Fruit Day, Yalda, Yule, Flashlight Day, Phileas Fogg Win-a-Wager Day
  • (Sun) Haiku Poetry Day, Date Nut Bread Day

Let’s celebrate going into a weekend with a song from 1968 that reached Billboard’s Top 10. The video has wonderful images to go along with Everything that Touches You by The Association. Who remembers them?

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

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 203

On Politics
Last week, Sarah Palin spoke about Pope Francis, “He’s had some statements that to me sound kind of liberal, has taken me aback, has kind of surprised me,” Newsflash to the Nincompoop – Jesus was one of the most liberal people ever! However, she did justify her comment with “… unless I really dig deep into what his messaging is, and do my own homework, I’m not going to just trust what I hear in the media.”

Martin Brashir’s (MSNBC) comments regarding Nincompoop were not only unprofessional and unnecessary, they weren’t worth his time.

Whereas Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) isn’t sure Gov. Chris Christie’s (R-NJ) GOP brand will sell across America, I don’t believe Gov. Perry’s brand will sell.

Even though Republicans currently have some momentum, I don’t think they can handle it. Here’s columnist Kathleen Parker’s take.

With the Senate changing a rule, the fact that not that long ago roles were reversed, which means what each party says is also reversed. That probably means they did the right thing.

Hmmmm … Senators Graham (R-SC) and McCain (R-AZ) were against Susan Rice becoming Secretary of State, but favor her stance regarding Egypt over Secretary of State John Kerry’s, who they supported for the cabinet post.  (A read here)

Sorry, Mr. President, I disagree. You say the healthcare rollout mess is not about politics, but I say Washington is about politics 99% of the time, and your comment does not fall within the 1 percent.

Although I continue to separate issues regarding healthcare.gov and the law itself, I did notice a spin change from the website will be fixed by November 30th to the website will be working much better by then. To me, the spin is reminiscent of Baghdad Bob’s clueless rhetoric.

Cheers to The Onion for discovering President Obama’s plans for fixing the Affordable Care Act.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion

  • Scientists theorize sun could support fire-based life
  • Store manager impressed by new trainee’s ability to ignore customers
  • Man who drinks 5 Diet Cokes per day hoping doctors working on cure for whatever he’s getting
  • Siblings patiently waiting for day they’ll be close to each other
  • Area woman thinking about doing that thin where she’s mean to other women she meets for no reason
  • Mariana Trench once again voted worst place to raise a child

Interesting Reads
A view about moderate Islam
Fish and oral sex
Famines and gender ratios
How superstitions work
Images of insects covered in dew
Images of if they were alive today (Thanks Elyse)

On Potpourri
Given the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination, information about November 22, 1963 has been more than bountiful. Interestingly, overshadowed in the news that day was the death of two other famous people: Aldous Huxley (author, Brave New World) and C.S. Lewis (intellectual writer of Christianity)

Here is my 2008 reflection about the Kennedy assassination.

A potential holiday gift for the hard-to-buy person – a WTF stamp (courtesy of The Onion Store)

Say it ain’t so, but someone wants to remake It’s a Wonderful Life.

Super Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Filipino people. If you can, support relief efforts through the agency of your choice

Dancing with the Stars has been a good season. I always enjoy seeing non-dancers progress, but I don’t like seeing the audience vote causing better dancers to leave.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford should resign and start a consultant agency specializing in damage control for celebrities.

Here are your weekend celebrations

  • (Fri) Start Your Own Country Day, Cranberry Relish Day
  • (Sat) Fibonacci Day (past post), Family Volunteer Day, Aura Awareness Day, Cashew Day, Jukebox Day, Eat a Cranberry Day, You’re Welcome-giving Day
  • (Sun) Brownielocks Day, Celebrate Your Unique Talent Day, DB Cooper Day, Mother Goose Day, Espresso Day

Sorry, no Saturday Morning Cartoon post this weekend, but there will be a post – a new, occasional series called Take 5. Stop by this weekend for the inaugural post.

Let’s celebrate going into a weekend with a song from my youth. Warning: the ending is a bit monotonous. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 202

On Politics
President Obama is catchy his share of criticism from his “if you like your insurance, you can keep it” comment. To me, it’s a good example of Washington’s preference for politics over policy, and for the poor job done of educating the public about the Affordable Care Act.

Earlier this week was Election Day in the USA. Sadly, I’m embarrassed to say that turnout was poor. Maybe moving Election Day to a weekend is a good idea.

Another idea I heard this weekend is an 18-year term limit for US Supreme Court Justices, something I had considered before, but will continue to ponder.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Desperate man hands out resume to trick-or-treaters
Nabisco snack physicists develop highly unstable quadriscuits
Drug kingpin considers buying extravagant mansion
Local teen walks in on family masturbating
Giant burrito to solve all of area man’s problems in six precious minutes
Center of Disease Contraction urges Americans to suck doorknobs

Images worth seeing from The Onion
For the holidays, a Charles Darwin ornament from The Onion Store
A vegetarian option for a menu
Bedtime talk with the Clintons

Interesting Reads
Congress reforming Congress
Death by chocolate: An explanation
Safety posters from the 1930s
Reasons to ignore college rankings by US News & World Report
Cereal impacts on culture
Excellent infographic showing financial mergers since 1996
50 states, 50 sandwiches (a slideshow with short text)

On Potpourri
TeddyToppsWasn’t yesterday’s video about Teddy wonderful! Below is his baseball card, and I’m hoping the family has a card-signing event as a charity fundraiser.

Earlier this week I made my first risotto. Because it was a very tasty success, here’s the recipe.

The testimonials are now on an About subpage. Even though I shortened some, thanks for all for your generous kind words.

Given interest by many, my current plan is posting the handbell premier Tuesday (Monday evening).

For those who dare, Leo (@Doggy’s Style) is having a contest about pick-up lines.

With a huge typhoon pounding the Philippines, prayers and good thoughts for everyone’s safety.

Here are your weekend celebrations

  • (Weekend) Last chance for Intimate Apparel Week
  • (Fri) X-Ray Day, Harvey Wallbanger Day, Ample Time Day, Cook Something Bold and Pungent Day
  • (Sat) Scrapple Day, Chaos Never Dies Day, Parade Day
  • (Sun) Area Code Day, Tongue Twister Day, Sesame Street Day, Forget-Me-Not Day, Vanilla Cupcake Day

Sorry, no Saturday Morning Cartoon post this weekend.

Because a recent announcement has The Eagles returning to Cincinnati for an expensive concert, let’s go into the weekend with an Eagles classic! Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 200

New Header
The time is right for a header change, so I return to deep space. This is from NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory photo gallery, which actually is a computer-stimulated image of a star’s gases falling into a black hole. My header collection is on the Past Headers page (or click here).

I also changed my theme from MistyLook to the update version called Misty Lake, so I imagine adjustments will be necessary. If I don’t like it, I’ll be either switching back to Misty Lake or go for a new look.

On Politics
I didn’t know about this death benefit for families of members of Congress.

Put Congressional Democrats and Republicans in a room to discuss the budget is easy. Getting them to make policy decisions about the budget may not be difficult – but they would have to ignore the big obstacle also in the room – Politics – because policy and politics are not the same, but quite different.

Cheers to ongoing Senator Olympia Snow (R-ME) for this comment: If we (voters) allow our political system to be subjugated to the fringe factions or to ideological interests or the podium-thumping belligerents that we’re witnessing today, then that’s the government we’re going to get.

There is an interesting battle in my state (Ohio) regarding Medicare Expansion between our Republican governor and the Republican legislature.

Republicans using the debacle at healthcare.gov to criticize the Affordable Care Act makes as much sense as Democrats making excuses for healthcare.gov. Meanwhile, a Congressional hearing on the matter is nothing more than political theater.

Given the previous statement, this one from The Onion will lead you into The Onion’s headlines for the week: New and improved Obamacare program released on 35 floppy disks

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion

  • Child sees no reason why Iron Man costume can’t be worn at grandfather’s funeral
  • Proposed immigration law calls for US to shut down border slide
  • Weird man begins every morning by dousing his naked body in water
  • Republicans announce plan to go after Obamacare
  • Mom breaks into son’s apartment to administer latest flu vaccine
  • Johnson & Johnson announces new Leave-In Q-Tip

Interesting Reads
See the video and the article about the person behind Humans of New York
Interesting editorial about fixing Social Security
Eight unlikely animal friendships
How black holes work (timely with my new header)
A book review about Ben Franklin’s science
Enjoy these bioluminescence images
See Jim’s good explanation of timing a launch to Mars

On Potpourri
Think about this one. What if you were from Sudan then came to the US to play basketball and get an education. Six years later, your passport is no longer good because you are from South Sudan, which now has independence. Then recently, you learn that your father died. Here’s the story.

A writer at DeadSpin ranked 51 regional dishes (50 states and DC) and ranked my beloved Cincinnati Chili #52 – behind being hit by a car.

Time: The Musical returns next week featuring short time (a minute or less). I announce the planned date on the next Monday Morning Entertainment, (probably Tuesday). Thinking outside the box is important for this act, but dealing with a tyrant producer is a challenge in itself.

Texting + driving = matches + gasoline … thus begs the question WHY? Here’s an interesting post IAMM3Z about the pair.

Here are your reasons to celebrate this weekend

  • (Friday) International Artist Day, Sourest Day, World Pasta Day, Bandana Day, Breadsticks Day, Greasy Food Day, Punk-for-a-Day Day
  • (Saturday) Make a Difference Day, Mule Day, Forgiveness Day, and Mincemeat Pie Day
  • (Sunday) Cranky Co-workers Day, Mother-in-Law Day, Reformation Sunday, Visit a Cemetery Day, Potato Day

The next Saturday Morning Cartoon post will feature a well-known character – and the post is ready!

This is the perfect occasion to thank ABtwixt for this comment: I’d never willingly deprive myself of your OITS, it’s better than the Sunday paper!

To send you into the weekend in honor of Time: The Musical, here’s one that does not qualify for the next act, but could have been in Act 1: the ‘70s hit from The Babys: Isn’t It Time. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 199

On Politics
Earlier this week I called my Congressional representative’s office and stated three easy-to-understand points: I’m not happy, get something done now, and he won’t be getting by vote in 2014. Then again, because I’m not a donor, he probably doesn’t care. In the end, he voted against reopening the government and extended the debt ceiling.

Now that the US government is open again for business, I wonder these two questions:

  • If it possible that Speaker Boehner (R-OH) purposely administered more rope to the far right?
  • Because the deal moves new deadlines to January and February (2014), will the recent situation replay in a few months?

I heard this interesting comment earlier in the week: I call upon all of you to wage a second American nonviolent revolution, to use civil disobedience to demand that this president leave town, to get up, to put the Quran down, to get up off his knees, and to figuratively come out with his hands up.

Two good truthful chuckles

  • Polls show that the people favor the Affordable Care Act over Obamacare – which (for my foreign audience) are the same thing
  • Interesting freshman roommates: Tea-Party advocate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Craig Mazin, co-screenwriter for the Hangover movies

The rollout of the government’s healthcare insurance site is pathetic.

With all the talk about the Washington Redskins changing their name, my shared this one with me: Redskins considering dropping Washington from their name

To help show the Washington discourse and the biased perspectives, see these real headlines:

  • Republicans need to Dump the Tea Party
  • Democrats Show Their Insincerity
  • The Republican Party’s Age of Unreason
  • Obama’s intransigence is a big bluff’
  • Democrats Waiting for GOP Surrender on Shutdown A Small President on a World Stage
  • Give Boehner a Break
  • In Nixing Weekend Deal, Dems Exposed
  • Republicans Will Pay for This
  • Obama Can’t Waste This Moment
  • Boehner is Speaker in Name Only
  • The Presidency is No Place for Amateurs

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion

  • Cereal commercial completely neglects showing numerous life problems character faces beyond breakfast
  • Internet rocks by blogger’s sarcastic sensibility
  • Chipmunk’s plan for future better crafted than 8 of 10 Americans
  • New Pumpkin Spice Channel offers fall-themed hardcore porn
  • Thursday’s cry moved up to Wednesday due to scheduling conflict
  • Heroic broken sewage pipe flood Congress

Interesting Reads
The American stalemate
Wow paintings from a Russian artist (Thank you Patti)
Both parties blundering columnist Michael Barone
A tribute to one of the original astronauts: Scott Carpenter
US, China, and Middle Eastern Oil
Five Misconceptions about Columbus
One Man’s Love for Math

On Potpourri
Look what made Smithsonian Magazine’s “20 Most Iconic Foods Across America!

Home decorating tips for Halloween from The Onion

Upcoming Celebrations Calendar

  • (Fri) Chocolate Cupcakes Day, No Beard Day, Alaska Day
  • (Sat) Menopause Day, Bridge Day, Evaluate Your Life Day, Sweetest Day, Seafood Bisque Day
  • (Sun) Toy Camera Day, Brandied Fruit Day

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame recently announced its 2014 nominees. NWA, The Replacements, Hall & Oates, LL Cool, and Link Wray are some of the nominees more worthy than the Moody Blues. At least Yes is on the ballot. Finally! Although this museum is a worthwhile visit, I continue to question its selection rationale and process.

A Saturday Morning Cartoon is next!

To send you into the weekend, a cheer to a rock classic, Roundabout by Yes – but as an acoustic version. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.