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. 124

On Politics
Rick Perry’s candidacy ended several days before I thought it would.

With all the Republicans rage able President Obama’s rejection of the Keystone Pipeline, why is the Republican governor of Nebraska wanting a re-route for he would approve?

Very interesting that instead of losing the Iowa caucus by 8 votes, Rick Santorum won by 32 votes. Better yet, where as the Iowa Republican Party previously declared Mitt Romney the winner, the party now calls it a virtual tie. Ah yes … consider this an example that the power is not in the voters, but with the ones counting the votes.

Governor Romney changing from declaring victory to promoting a virtual tie is another example of fuzzy math. No wonder he is reluctant to release his tax returns.

Yippee … Congress is back in session!

Thursday morning I heard Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) explain (regarding SOPA) that the legislation will likely not proceed as quickly because “it is important for us to get it right.” Sorry Senator, that’s what I always expect and have no confidence in Capitol Hill to do that on any issue.

State of the Union is next week and a great chance for our senators and representatives to make asses of themselves on national television. Try sitting and listening for a change without partisan interruptions you jackwagons.

On Headlines from The Onion
Mischievous Raccoon Wreaks Havoc on International Space Station
Pervert Thinks You Seem Tense
Supreme Court Overturns Right v. Wrong
Poll Finds Americans Open to Third Type of Screwdriver
Local Woman Dies of Lost Cell Phone
Justin Timberlake Wins Golden Globe for Funniest Goofball at His Table

Special Edition: On Political Headlines from The Onion
President Obama Wonders Why He Always has to Initiate Phone Call with NCAA Champions
Minnesota Braces for Return of Bachmann’s Full Attention
Tentacle Quickly Smooths Romney’s Hair
Grover Norquist Admits Engaging in Week-Long Drug-Fueled Orgy with Corporate Income Taxes
Critics Slam Obama for “Just Standing There” during Photo Op
Congress Gets 12 Solid Hours of Gridlock before Calling it a Day

On Potpourri
We have our first nominee for 2012 Dolt of the Year – Costa Concordia Captain Francisco Schettino.

Last Monday, many commented that they still enjoy holding a book. In a similar thought, I still enjoy holding a newspaper. Unfortunately, many newspapers are a mere shell of their past. On the plus side, the Internet allows many news outlets to be a click away. Because I still have the urge to hold a good newspaper and with the Cincinnati Enquirer continually getting smaller and smaller, I have purchased the weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal.

The work project his hitting the fan, thus will be demanding many hours for a few months. So far, I’ve been able to keep up with posts, replying to comments has been slow, and visiting others has been minimal. Starting next week, I will cut back to three posts per week. Thanks for everyone’s patience and understanding.

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

On a Needed Laugh

No matter of ones political persuasion, many of us have been anxiously watching and waiting the debt ceiling situation. Depending on the individual’s perspective, emotions and opinions range from A to Z and then some.

As of this writing on Sunday evening, still no deal – although the Breaking News is saying a vote will be on tomorrow. The opening of the Japanese market is nearing, so that could deliver an important sign of things to come. Who knows what we will awaken to in the morning.

Meanwhile, readers here need their Monday Morning Entertainment. We need smile and/or a giggle to break our mood.To me, this one fits the situation more ways than one, so I will let you make your own take. Enjoy, and have a good week.

On an Early Take about the Court Nominee

Earlier this week, President Obama nominated US Solicitor General Elena Kagan as the next justice for the highest court in the land. One thing for sure, the process will again demonstrate the continual pathetic nature of our lawmakers and the dollars funding their respective parties.

Let’s start with the talking heads – the ones who speak for people who can’t think for themselves.

This is a great opportunity to find out about this woman’s mind. That’s what we need to find out, what is in her mind? And due to exhaustive research that I have personally conducted today on this, I think I can give you a pretty good idea what is in her mind. She is a pure academic elitist radical! She comes from the faculty lounge. She is a utopian theoretician! – Rush Limbaugh

Many Republicans will say she lacks judicial experience on the bench – but the same people did not/would not complain about Chief Justice William Rehnquist’s lack of experience prior to the court.

Many Republicans will complain about her lack of direct answers – just as the Democrats did in hearing during the Bush administration

Many Democrats will defend her lack of direct answers by focusing on her strengths – just as the Republicans did with Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito.

Many Republicans will vote against her nomination simply because a president from the other party was the nominator – just as many Democrats did to President Bush nominees.

I have already seen my first special interest TV ad favoring her nomination, thus await the negative ads from the other side. Both are as pathetic as the people they represent.

Let’s just hope, regardless of the nominee and eventual confirmed justice, that our Supreme Court Justices continue to have more integrity than the lawmakers. Did I just set too low bar? And the Washington establishment wonders why many have become jaded toward the party-first attitude of politicians.

On Sotomayor’s Delay

Republican senators have very interesting during the process of filling the Supreme Court vacancy. Many were against her within hours of the nomination, whereas some on the committee proclaimed being against her in their opening statements. They had a chance to ask questions, and now they are asking for a 1-week extension. In the words of Artie Johnson and Jackie Gleason, “Very interesting you numbskulls!

As some Republican senators claim rulings through bias, these partisans have yet to provide evidence of biased past rulings by Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. They seem to be hanging their hat on the overturning of the New Haven fire fighters case in which the nominee was 1 vote of 13 on the appellate court’s 7-6 vote. Maybe that’s why they wanted a 1-week extension. Gotta dig dig dig … you betcha.

Of course Senator Sessions (R-AL) definitely isn’t biased.

From Jeffrey Toobin

There was something distasteful about Sotomayor’s being lectured on civil rights by the likes of Senator Jeff Sessions, of Alabama, whose own retrograde views on race back in 1986 led to his being rejected for a federal judgeship by the very committee on which he now serves.

Or is Senator Sessions still bitterly biased because of the 1986 hearing?

From Kathleen Parker

Senators also hammered Sotomayor about her ethnic identification and whether she could rule fairly without undue influence from her gender or political preferences. Wait, let me guess, you’re White Guys! Are we to infer that males of European descent are never unduly influenced by their own ethnicity, gender or political preferences? Can anyone affirm this assertion with a straight face?

When your party looks like a Wonder Bread convention during flu season, picking on ethnic identity and sex seems an un-brilliant way to proceed. Yet, these same gentlemen don’t understand how Sotomayor could have expressed the thought that she, as a Latina, might be able to reach a wiser decision than a white male?

From the Hearing

Sen. John Kyl: Do you agree with him (President Obama) that the law only takes you the first 25 miles of the marathon and that that last mile has to be decided by what’s in the judge’s heart?

Sotomayor:
No, sir. That’s — I don’t — I wouldn’t approach the issue of judging in the way the president does. He has to explain what he meant by judging. I can only explain what I think judges should do, which is judges can’t rely on what’s in their heart. They don’t determine the law. Congress makes the laws. The job of a judge is to apply the law.

Of course Sen Kyl (R-AZ) is opposing Sotomayor because “I remain unconvinced that Judge Sotomayor believes judges should set aside biases, including those based on race and gender, and render the law impartially and neutrally.” Once again, he provides no judicial ruling to support his claim.

Senator Kyl goes on to say, “Her answers answered nothing.” Senator, I hate to tell you but nominees have been giving soft answers ever since Justice Bork – including those you support.

Why haven’t we heard concerns about another Roman Catholic justice, thus potentially creating a religious bias on the court? On no, if she doesn’t proceed to overturn Roe v Wade, the church will be threatening to withhold communion and possible excommunication. But certainly voting with preset religious conditions isn’t bias.

As I have said many times, there is a difference between agree v. disagree and right v. wrong. Just because one disagrees, doesn’t mean wrong. Translation into numbskull means, “You’ve done your job, move on and vote.