Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 297

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Thursday was my wife’s last day at work, but she wasn’t there much. We celebrated her retirement and our upcoming anniversary with a nice meal out. For her first official retirement day, we will go out to breakfast … but I have to work in the afternoon.

Although she didn’t respond to anyone, my wife appreciated all the best wishes from the readers here, so she says Thanks to all.  Yep – the majority of the world is good.

As a science person, this scathing commentary directed at the Houston Science Museum caught my attention.

Geraldo Rivera was one of the worst contestants ever on Dancing With The Stars -but not worse that Master P. Then again, he knew he couldn’t dance, so cheers to his sense of humor for accepting the show’s invitation.

Opening Day in Cincinnati to start the season is big – very big! My wife has never been downtown for the festivities, so if the weather is nice, we may go. Meanwhile, it’s been a long time since I’ve been this discouraged at the start of the season about my team … but maybe they will surprise me.

I’m ready for a blogging break – one spending time visiting, writing, and adjusting to my wife being at home – so I will be announcing one in the near future … BUT – there will be a post on Saturday that’s not the break announcement.

Because of the upcoming blogging break, I’m delaying the next act of Colors: The Musical until further notice. I’ll first post the next act on the Hear Ye page.

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Somehow, Donald Trump (R-NY) continues to survive. While supporters proclaim that he says what people are thinking, I wonder this: Is anyone listening? The man is one bluff after another. He continually changes the subject when he has no answer – especially about foreign policy. Lies, exaggerates, and doesn’t know the primary rules in the contest he’s chosen to engage. Passing the buck through blaming others. As many proclaim he’s tapping into the anger of the American voter, I say he’s activating the stupid gene … Yet – I continue to what I’ve said all along that he won’t get the nomination.

The notion of any of the Republican candidates wooing the “Reagan Democrats” is a fantasy because the many (if not most) of the Reagan Democrats are now Republicans and have been for some time.

With cracks in the Republican wall against the process of filling the Supreme Court vacancy, is it possible that the Republicans cave in, then the Democrats reject the idea? The Dems could claim it’s too late in the term, but actually mean they could get someone more liberal by winning the White House. If so, I say a good idea by the GOP, but a lousy idea by the Dems. Yes – an issue that could greatly influence my vote.

We hear a lot about the Democratic superdelegates – but much less so about Republican uncommitted delegates. Interestingly, the role of delegates earned by “suspended” candidates differs from state-to-state.

Meanwhile, the GOP race continues to focus on wives, size of hands, physical contact, lies, and more – and at the least of avoiding important issues.

For those who think it’s time to change the current primary system, NPR provides 6 alternatives with pros and cons for each.

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To lead you into your weekly dose of satire, here a 2-fer of tips from The Onion:

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Bacon added
Questions linger about long-fingernailed man
Area man reports new girlfriend has that new girlfriend smell
Family has strict no smartphone rule while eating dinner in front of TV
Trophy wife slowly becoming regular wife
Report: Most effective marketing technique still giving out little version of product

Interesting Reads
The ancient origins of social media
Being forced to leave – unfortunately
The hunt for Fabergé eggs
The lesser known trail to Machu Picchu
The battle of Pork Chop Hill
Five facts about chickens

To send you into this weekend, here’s one you may not know from Pink Martini. The beginning provides an explanation for Tuca Tuca. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On Primaries and Political Reality

Each time I hear a politician in an interview defending a candidate because the voters elected him through a legit primary system I want to gag – hence it is time to defend my point.

America has a 2-party system – Each with a very strong infrastructure and deep financial pockets designed for self-preservation. Then, especially at the state and national levels, an agreement between the two creates a new infrastructure for committees. Even if a third-party candidate won a place on Capitol Hill, how much power will they possess?

Each party has a national, state, county, and even local party organization – each with its own executive committee to make decisions such as endorsements. Let’s say person A, because of their desire to serve, decides to enter the race for a particular position – but the executive committee of the local party organization endorsed person B. Any implications?

  • Person B will appear on all sample ballots, but not person A.
  • Person B will appear on all local ads, but not person A.
  • Person B will be able to use “Party-Endorsed Candidate” on their web site and campaign materials, but not person A.
  • Person B will be able to use the party’s emblem on their web site and campaign materials, but not person A.
  • Person B will receive the local party’s work force aid, but not person A.

I think everyone would agree that the odds of winning the election are in person B’s favor, so let’s say they win the primary and eventually take office. Time will pass and the time comes to re-elect the position. Not only does the cycle start again, but person B is now the incumbent, which brings name recognition into play.

Therefore, here’s a twist. What is person B (the incumbent) rankles the local party’s executive committee? Could they loss their endorsement in favor or person C? You betcha!

The late Tip O’Neill’s famous All politics is local quote hits is right on target. Partisan politics starts at the local level. Marching to the party’s drummer starts at the local level. Serving the party’s best interest over the community’s best interest starts at the local level – thus continues at state and national levels as party bosses identify the best soldiers who are electable.

As far as Washington goes, ever wonder way a president has political advisors on staff? Ever wonder why Democrats and Republicans parties have committees to elect senators? Ever wonder the importance of “leadership” PACS headed by members of Congress?

  • Just something to remember as another round of primaries are about to start.
  • Just something to remember when hearing our members of Congress speak.
  • Just something to realize when wishing party moderate working together on common ground.
  • Just something to keep in mind when the president speaks – even when he says “I’d rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president; And I believe that.”

There is only minimal (at best) political grace in Washington – the genuine interest of doing what is best for the country. Regardless of who, their words and their actions demonstrate Party First – thus one reason why the public is fed up with Washington (poll) and why more people regard themselves as independents.

By the way, here’s a great article by Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal.