On an Election Day Primer

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Tuesday is Election Day … and day that many of us have been anticipating for a long time. In my opinion, our process is too long and too expensive. That aside, it remains an important day. I encourage all to vote with their head.

To many people – a mixture of independents and partisans – this election has been a national embarrassment. One of my fears is that this may become the new normal. Even though embarrassing, I encourage people to vote, and not leaving their ballot blank. If that means holding your nose in the voting booth, just do it.

This election has been so goofy, so undignified, so disrespectful, …. there is only one way (for me) to post a primer leading into Election Day … and that’s with The Onion! Enjoy!!!! … Combos are welcomed! … Any favorites?

The Onion looks back with this timeline about the election …. and a few headlines for a laugh. After all, many of us can use one.

Nation’s still-undecided voters: “Help! We can’t get our car seatbelts off.”

Trump makes last-minute push to appeal to whites

Michelle Obama tosses a bunch of Barack’s old number 44 jerseys

Undecided voter waiting until he hears the same responses for the seventh time before making a decision

Trump raises concern over members of urban communities voting more than zero times

Anthony Weiner sends apology sext to entire Clinton campaign

Intergalactic law enforcement places energy shackles on Hillary Clinton

Trump complains entire personality is against him

New heavy-duty voting machine allows Americans to take out frustrations on it before casting vote

Teary-eyed Tim Kaine asks Clinton if his hair will grow back before Election Day

Mike Pence visits small town hit hard by kids seeing R-rated movies

Nation puts 2016 election in perspective by reminding itself some species of sea turtles get eaten by birds just seconds after they hatch

Trump hold strategy meeting with campaign’s top militia leaders ahead of the election

Clinton delivers stump speech in Moscow warehouse in effort to appeal to Russian hackers

Election Day is the only time most Americans in same room with person support other candidate

Anthropologists discover isolated tribe of joyful Americans in remote village untroubled by 2016 election.

On the Empty

I started this blog in late August 2008 focusing primarily on politics and sports. At that time, the presidential campaigns were in full swing, and I had plenty of material to write. Forty-seven months later, I venture into a wide variety of topics, yet still enjoy politics. However, the recent U.S. presidential campaign bores me – and I can‘t see that changing.

We have two parties who control their candidates as a puppeteer controls the marionette.

We have two parties who answer to the big-dollar donors over their constituents.

We have candidates who don’t have much meaning in what they say – but they can deliver a tagline.

We have candidates who deliver speeches to achieve cheers from their faithful attendees (as if they wouldn’t) – and to raise money for their cause of rhetoric taglines.

We have candidates and surrogates who won’t say much beyond the predictable, scripted responses that probably won’t answer the question.

We have candidates whose campaign teams actively seek past sound bites by the opposition so they can deliver a message out of context in order to support their side.

We have candidates who focus on peripheral issues while avoiding engagement.

We have candidates who continually avoid facing the music in terms of making the tough decisions that require going against the grain.

We have candidates who essentially promote gridlock by proclaiming a lack of compromise based on self-serving principles.

We have popular commentators whose method of going beyond scripted taglines is by tossing firebombs of misinformation against the other side.

We have reporters who may want to ask the tough questions and dutifully push the responder to answer the question, but they also want the next interview.

Bottom Line: As partisans blindly accept whatever their side says while unquestionably objecting to anything coming from the other side, there is another segment that will decide the election. Although we are finally inside 100 days until Election Day, some are openly wondering why many independents remain undecided because there contrast between the two sides is somewhat defined.

True independents are pragmatic, and many will delay their decision until the last three weeks. Meanwhile, this population segment that will decide this election’s outcome has a difficult time shifting through all the crap in order to find an honest information, worthwhile dialogue, and potential solutions about the issues of the day. No wonder some of the independents are disgusted and bored. Then again, maybe we expect more from our leaders than they can deliver.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 140

On Politics
Because of the failure of the Congressional Super Committee to reach an agreement, some in Congress are squawking about the approaching automatic, across-the-board budget cuts. I say, “Tough nuggies, you had your chance, so let it roll.”

Regarding a campaign ad regarding President Obama and Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Gov. Romney said, “I repudiate what they’re thinking about.” Mr. Romney, well done!

Follow the sequence. President Obama announces support for gay marriage. Since then, there is no change in his approval/disapproval rating and no change in the head-to-head matchup with Gov. Romney. So why did he make the announcement? As I said last week, campaign dollars!

Given the recent JP Morgan/Chase $2 billion loss, it is interesting to hear pundits use it as an example of why Dodd-Frank regulations isn’t working – interesting because Dodd-Frank is not in full effect. I may not be the biggest supporter of that law, but I hate politicians and their talking heads lying!

Because I believe the financial sector is the foundation of our economic system, I yearn for the days of regulation and commercial-institutional bank separation. Here’s an interesting column about regulation.

It’s only fitting that the Government Accounting Office (GAO) would publish a study about the study they did regarding Federal studies. You may have heard that on the news, but here’s the actual GAO report of the study about the studies regarding Federal studies.

On Headlines from The Onion
Same Homeless Man Always Begging for Change on United Flight
Authorities Place Alabama Resident in Foster State
In Bipartisan Spirit, President Obama Makes Deal to get Kicked in the Balls
Metric System Thriving in Nation’s Inner Cities (a U.S. Joke)
Guitar Music Fad Runs Course

Interesting Reads
Sexuality Issue and a Church Softball League
Interesting story about a physicist turned pastor and his interest in the interchange between science and religion
Citizens United and the Court
Columnist David Ignatius about an Economic Boom
Although the link is a book review, I chuckled at the 1957 picture of Sophia Loren and Jayne Mansfield

On Potpourri
This season’s (13) Dancing with the Stars (DWTS) has been very entertaining. With next week’s finals, a winner is difficult for me to predict. I tend to favor Katherine Jenkins, but who knows. Any thoughts?

Meanwhile, DWTS season 14 is going to be an All-Star edition featuring past contestants. Given it will air during the race for US President, the thought of ABC seeking Blood of Nincompoop is appalling.

Starla (Montana’s representative here) and Eleanor, (aka E-Tom, the crazy woman with the bling) asked for it, so here it is – a private video of our handbell group playing the crazy piece with percussion. I don’t think we played it as well as this the Atlanta group I featured here, but for a volunteer church group, we did ok. Yep – I am the guy separated by two people from my wife. Oh, if that’s not good enough, you’ll have to return to this post for a better hint.

Barring an emergency, I will have a classic cartoon post tomorrow. Hint: It’s a Looney Tunes character.

To send you into the weekend, here’s a video El Guapo introduced to me months ago. Gotta love the parody lyrics. Enjoy. Have a good weekend everyone. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch. 

On Super Tuesday Campaign Shorts

Super Tuesday 2012 is upon us – the day awarding more delegates than have been awarded to date. Being an Ohioan, the day after will be a great day to celebrate the circus leaving town. After all, they will return for fall campaign to flood Ohio with ads. Oh well – here are a variety of campaign notes in the shorts.

Since politics belongs to the people who vote, would the GOP race be different if more people were voting?

Mitt Romney will do better today than many anticipate.Here in Ohio, Rick Santorum’s 7-9% lead from last week has vanished. With his name missing from a significant number of ballots in this state, I wonder about the polls accurately assessing the vote; therefore, I say Romney gets the most votes and delegates.

A Gingrich win in Georgia will be insignificant.

The longer the GOP primary continues, the further the candidates move to the right with hopes of attaining the gold ring. Because presidential candidates win elections by capturing the center, it will be interesting to see how the eventual nominee backtracks with hopes of capturing the center.

Here are two interesting polls:

Politico’s Battleground Poll (plus each party’s analysis)
Purple Poll: February 2012

Santorum’s streak of focusing on social issues has and will continue to work in Romney’s favor.

As candidates, especially Mitt Romney, keep saying the same thing, using the same speech, the same lines, the same answers to different questions …. zzzzzzz

Gov. Romney is so robotic, that most of his stumbles occur when he goes off script.

Here’s an interesting line from a local campaign flyer promoting a slate: … they are not the incumbent candidates, nor have they held paid political office before. If any of them wins, do they realize that both aspect of that statement will do longer be true?

From William Galston, Brookings Institute (Entire column)

It is societies such as ours, badly divided and obsessed with the present, that most need communal ties. But they are the least likely to produce them. … Indeed, in these circumstances, only a steady appeal to common sense and common decency has any hope … But it’s still an open question whether our leaders have the fortitude to make, and our citizens the disposition to hear, such an appeal.

From columnist David Brooks (entire column)

Without real opposition, the wingers go from strength to strength. Under their influence, we’ve had a primary campaign that isn’t really an argument about issues. It’s a series of heresy trials in which each of the candidates accuse the others of tribal impurity. Two kinds of candidates emerge from this process: first, those who are forceful but outside the mainstream; second, those who started out mainstream but look weak and unprincipled because they have spent so much time genuflecting before those who despise them.

As the GOP refers to President Obama as an elitist, what if each of them had more college degrees? I appreciate these words from columnist Kathleen Parker. (entire column)

Santorum elected to pander to the idea that ignorance beats an education that might lead one to become an elite. His words, in addition to being false, were, dare we say, rather snobbish. How else to characterize speaking to people as though they aren’t capable of recognizing truth — or that their children aren’t smart enough to go to college and, grasping the flaws of liberalism, stay true to the conservative values with which they were raised?

Interesting Reads

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 127

On Politics
As Democrats and Republicans continue to point to the other for dividing America, I say the political rhetoric from each is leading the way in that endeavor.

I find it interesting that those promoting the way free markets work blame President Obama for rising gas prices.

The House of Representatives recently extended unemployment benefits without the cry of “socialism” from their base. Amazing!

Here’s a good example why I the far right drives me nuts. Four of us (3 talkers and 1 listener) are discussing European countries we visited. One person describes what she saw in Russia, and the listener suddenly says that she needs to tell that to President Obama. Huh? I turned away and entered another conversation.

A friend of mine (and Romney supporter) is not worried about his latest slide in the polls and feels Santorum is the leading candidate for the VP slot.

On Headlines from The Onion

  • Palm Tree Fires Warning Coconut
  • Annual Valentine’s Day Stoning of Happy Couple Held
  • Biography Shows Einstein Developed Theory of Relativity because He Wasn’t Smart Enough to Invent Microsoft Word
  • Shiny, Wiggling Object Attracting Interest among Fish Community
  • Shitload of Math Due Monday

On Headlines from the Campaign Trail

  • New Breeding Program Aimed to Keep Moderate Republicans from Extinction (The Onion)
  • Congressional Republicans Introduce Bill to End Handouts to Lazy Squirrels (Wear Your Cape)
  • GOP Voters: Can We See What it Looks Like with Huntsman and Perry Again? (The Onion)
  • Romney Would Team with McDonalds to offer Health Care McVouchers for the Poor (Wear Your Cape)
  • Obama Begs Voters not to make his Daughters Switch Schools (The Onion)

Interesting Reads

On Potpourri

A 2012 Dolts of the Year Nominee: Pat Robertson for saying President Obama’s policies are for people who want a dictatorship. Besides politicians, any other nominees?

FYI: Forty years ago this week (Feb 17), President Nixon started on his first trip to China. With that in mind, here is a good read from columnist David Ignatius.

The Jeremy Lin story in the NBA is fun. Interestingly, he has an economics degree from Harvard, which has more US presidents than NBA players as alumni.

Baseball is in the air as Reds pitchers and catchers report to training camp this Sunday.

To me, the passing of Whitney Houston serves as a reminder that the most important decision in life is whom one chooses to hang around.

FYI: I will be posting a surprise tomorrow.

Life continually hits us with unexpected news. I never met Judson, the owner of 3td Stone from the Sun and Canton Crazy Cuts (CCC) whose sites are in my sidebar, but he commented here. For anyone appreciating NFL history, CCC is fabulous! Early this week I learned he passed away several weeks ago of a stroke at age 47, thus leaving with 3 kids. RIP 3rd Stone, and thanks for being a class act. Here’s an interesting read about losing an Internet friend.

To send us into the weekend, here is an interesting song from Austria courtesy of xandi at World Music that caught me interest. Have a good weekend everyone, and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.