Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 261

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I know there is a long way to go, but for whatever reason, I have an uneasy feeling about Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Just a perfect time for Vice President Biden to sit on the sidelines.

Although the Republican presidential field is many and growing, how these candidates pander to the right will continue to be a problem in a general election.

I wonder if the television ads by former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) warning of economic have any effect on his son’s candidacy, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY).

Given the situation in Iraq , here’s the question I’ve asked before and one that I haven’t notice anyone else asking: Would ISIS/ISIL be a problem if Saddam Hussein was in power?

We recently saw D-Day: Normandy 1944, an Omnimax film at the Cincinnati Museum Center. It’s very well done, so I encourage everyone to see it if you get a chance. To learn more, here’s the film’s website, which includes Find a Theater on the Menu.

The On Satire Bits finale was a lot of fun. Many thanks for the chuckles you gave me in the 134 posts. After all, I’m probably the only person who read every combo! One more series finale to go.

Meals: The Musical – Act 5: Ingredients provide many ingredients. Well done … but no eggs, mustard, ketchup, butter, barbecue sauce, peppermint, chili sauce, cheese, hot sauce, mayonnaise, flour, or coriander … and (as of this time), no buzzers from the producer!  Act 6 should be in two weeks – which means I will announce the theme in next week’s Opinions in the Shorts.

This week has had some unexpected turns, so no Explore or cartoon feature this Saturday, but I’m hoping to toast the new month next week. After all, two more months to go (June and July), and then all 12 months will have a tribute – which is something I didn’t intentionally try to do.

To lead you into this week’s headlines from The Onion, here’s their profile on newly announced presidential candidate Rick Santorum.

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On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Complete idiot forgot to shave between mouth and nose
Toyota recalls 1993 Camry due to fact owner really should have bought something new by now
Amusement park adds sleeper cars to its roller coaster for passenger who prefer more restful ride
Wedding guest blissfully unaware she barely made the cut
Long-time coffee shop employee thought customers would care more about his last day
Toddler adjusting to society after serving 2-minute timeout

Interesting Reads
Negative views of Congress crossing party lines
Changing size of bathing suits
Europe’s next cheap travel destination?
New ancient human species found
An inspired inventor
Gases We Emit

For the last time in OITS, here are Your Weekend Celebrations
(Fri) Gnocchi Day, Put a Pillow on Your Fridge Day, Day of UN Peacekeepers, Learn About Composting Day, Hug Your Cat Day, Bats Day, Paperclip Day, Coq Au Vin Day, Heat Awareness Day, Pink Flamingo Day

(Sat) Mint Julep Day, Water a Flower Day, Macaroon Day, Wicket world of Croquet Day, My Bucket’s Got A Hole In It Day

(Sun) Save Your Hearing Day, What You Think Upon Grows Day, No Tobacco Day, Speak in Sentences Day

Here’s a 2-fer to send you into the weekend – two classics, including an unused song from Act 5. 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. 133

On Politics
In the past month, Rick Santorum lead in the state he served as senator, has gone from +30 to +2.

Delusional? “We are reorganizing to execute the strategy we need to win the nomination.” (Joe DeSantis, Communications Director of the Newt Gingrich Campaign after the campaign lay-offs staff)

While in Cincinnati, Karl Rove (a Republican strategist) recently proclaimed President Obama “the most vulnerable Democratic president since Jimmy Carter.” Brilliant for the partisans, but weak for the pragmatic because President Obama is the second Democratic president since President Carter.

A quote by me on another blog, “Contradictions and politicians are a better match of words than macaroni and cheese.”

If there was ever a time to broadcast the US Supreme Court, the latest healthcare hearings was it. The Court’s decision to deny broadcast has nothing to do with tradition, privacy, or obstruction. After all, there was a time when the justices rode a horse to their job. (Thank you CNN viewer for the line.)

As Reuters reports two-thirds of Americans are unhappy how President Obama is handling something he cannot control, I say a high majority of that two-thirds needs to be educated about the factors depending gas prices.

Does anyone think that the US Supreme Court Justices haven’t already made up their mind before hearing the presentations about the Affordable Care Act?

On Headlines from The Onion
Small Town Mayor Steps Down Amidst Scandal over Forged Coupon
Procrastinating Catholic 20 Rosaries Behind
Jeff Beck Lured into Dark Alley with Old-Guitar-Pick-on-a-String Trick
Boss’s Going Away Party a Little Too Jubilant
Man Died in Sleep During Terrible Nightmare
Closing of State Aviary Facilities Puts Hundred of Mentally Ill Birds on the Streets

Interesting Reads
John Avlon about the Right and the Mandate
The Foulness of the “Activist Judges” Cry
Michel Tomasky on the Freedom Fetish
Thomas Friedman about Mid-East Policy
Kathleen Parker on Moderation

On Sports
Baseball season is about to start. Ah yes, I remember the days when Major League Baseball respected and honored Cincinnati with the traditional opener. Meanwhile, there is nothing like Opening Day in Cincinnati, which is this April 5th.

In the spirit of college basketball’s Final Four weekend, I propose that college who recruit a player and then that player leaves after one year, the college loses that scholarship for 3 years (and a similar progression for year 2). Oh I forgot that NCAA leadership are eunuchs and at least as bad as, and possibly worse, than Congress.

On Potpourri

Jonas Salk tested his polio vaccine on himself and his own family. It’s fun imagining what the FDA might make of that today. But Salk’s selflessness was genuine. For one thing, neither he, nor Albert Sabin, who developed the oral version of the vaccine, ever even patented their inventions.

But Jonas Salk was not some absent-minded science nerd. He had originally gone to college to study law, and what he cared about most intensely was his fellow man. In a 1991 interview, four years before he died, Salk explained that as a young man he was never drawn to science, per se. “I was merely interested in things human, the human side of nature, if you like,” he said. “That’s what motivates me. And, in a way, it’s the human dimension that has intrigued me.” (Carl Cannon, Editor, Real Clear Politics)

The latest sensation from Britain’s Got Talent brought a tear to my eye.

Congratulations Starla for being the 9000th comment on this blog (earlier this week).

I will have a post on Saturday.

I think the video below will send you into the weekend with a smile. Have a good weekend everyone, and 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. 128

On Politics
I cannot recall a political graph looking like this one.


As we hear numerous leading Republicans mention the attack on religious freedoms, is it a Constitutional contradiction for Republicans in numerous state legislatures to introduce anti-Shariah Law legislation?

A conservative taking Rick Santorum to task.

Interestingly, as Rick Santorum links social issues to economic issues, his handling of past and current comments seems tentative (at best).

Here is last line from this column by conservative columnist George Will: “Neither Romney nor Santorum looks like a formidable candidate for November.”

Dolt of the Year nomination to Rep Bob Morris (R-IN) for attacking Girl Scouts in this letter to congressional colleagues.

On Headlines from The Onion
Smug New Mom Going to Start a Blog
Woman in Ninth Year of Letting Boyfriend Down Easy
Duck only Interested in Area Man’s Bread
Senate Session Interrupted by Wailing of Ted Kennedy’s Ghost
Scientist Create Lab-Grown Meat

Interesting Reads
From Common Ground, a sensible discussion between a conservative and a liberal

Republican economist Bruce Bartlett about President Obama’s manufacturing policy

What conservative Barry Goldwater said (around 50 years ago) about the religious right (thanks Mo)

Columnist David Ignatius on the Muslim Brotherhood

Andrew Sullivan about President Obama’s Chess Game

Video games in a Urinal (thanks Mags)

On Potpourri
The 50th anniversary of John Glenn’s historical space flight was earlier this week. He is an Ohioan, as is Neil Armstrong. Here’s an short, but well done editorial about John Glenn from USA Today.

According to Smart Money, the US tax code was about 30 pages in 1913 – but 5,296 pages in 2011.

Besides being an unnamed Dolt of the Year nominee, do we have a name yet of the decision maker for Qur’an burning on the USAF base in Afghanistan?

Kentucky High School Athletic Association sanctioned bass fishing as an official high school sport starting next school year (2012-2013).

During this past week, it was interesting to see pictures and reports of different Carnival celebrations throughout the world.

Woo hoo! It’s official – February 2012 is the most viewed month to date here. Thanks to all who visit this my humble little corner.

FYI: I am posting tomorrow (Saturday).

Many refer to Garrison Keillor as America’s Great Storyteller. Writer’s Almanac, his daily ten-minute show is a gem. To hear an episode, click here or see the link in my sidebar under Potpourri.

To send us into the weekend, watch this rare occurrence of an event at Yosemite National Park, which happened again recently. Have a good weekend everyone, and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On a GOP Primary Update

I remain bored with the Republican race for the nomination, yet I try to remain informed. Below are some random thoughts.

Michelle Bachmann is thankfully out, Huntsman (sadly) never caught on, and more will follow her after this Saturday’s South Carolina primary.

Here’s the reason Newt Gingrich didn’t make the ballot in his own state: He’s on a book tour! So, will he vote for Romney or Paul? Not voting is an option, as is voting and leaving that part of the ballot blank.

Although I still have not watched a GOP debate, I heard one interesting sound bite explains a lot. In responding to Gingrich’s accusation of an anti-Gingrich ad from a Romney Super PAC, Mitt Romney said he did not know what was in the ad, and then listed all the points in the ad. The toping on the cake is that none of the other candidates called him out on this.

This year’s race is bizarre. The nominee will face a beatable incumbent, yet the candidates vying for the nomination can’t defeat the beatable leader of the pack.

The Ohio primary is in early March, but I wonder if a race will still be in play at that time. I recently learned that Rick Santorum did not make all ballots in the state. In the end, odds are I will either leave that part of the ballot blank or vote for Jon Huntsman if he remains on the Ohio ballot. Then again, my wild hair side may vote for Santorum just to see the party get annihilated in the fall.

Forget the drama, Mitt Romney will be the nominee, leaving the major question as who will be is VP. Because the far right will not embrace Romney, he will pick someone further to the right so he can play the center – which the far right won’t like, but will ignore.

As for Mitt and my vote, he may have too much to overcome.

As for this independent moderate, being socially liberal and fiscally conservative these days is the Island of No Hope as both parties want my vote, but not my policies. Much can happened between now and November, but I will say this much – the thought of Republican over-reach scares me as I lived it in Ohio and watched it in Wisconsin.