Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 295

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Regarding the return of the headstone in the post earlier this week. A grandson (in Columbus, OH) had it removed to add an engraving, but then decided to keep the stone. I discovered an obituary of a person in Columbus with that name who died last summer (June 25, 2015). Coincidence?

Last week I failed to mention the passing of Nancy Reagan. The longevity of recent First Ladies is amazing. WOW! Meanwhile, a tip of the cap to Nancy Reagan for demonstrating grace and love for her man.

Cincinnati is one of the regional locations for the final 16 in the college hockey tournament. Depending on the times, I may go. Meanwhile, college basketball’s March Madness is underway – Go ABK – Anybody But Kentucky!

Last weekend (and I think two weeks ahead of the rest of the world), we in the USA did our spring SkylineGreenforward into Daylight Savings Time … and the first week of is a struggle for many of us.

To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, I continued my tradition to Skyline Chili served with green spaghetti.

Act 5 of Colors: The Musical is next on the musical agenda, which will feature the color blue,

  • All song titles must have Blue in the title
  • No forms of the word as blues, bluest, etc
  • No shades of blue (such as cobalt, indigo, aqua, blue-green, etc)
  • No compound words of blue (such as blue-blood, bluebird, bluejay)
  • No duplicate songs

My wife had a wonderful birthday this week.

I will have an Explore post this weekend.

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I was about to scold President Obama for delaying his Supreme Court Justice nomination, but he did so this past Wednesday. Although Republican logic for delaying the confirmation is very flawed, it is good for their partisans who are clueless enough to agree with flawed rationale – therefore allowing elected officials to drag the nomination of a qualified, consensus candidate to the highest court of the land into the political sewer of selfishness. After all, to the partisans, the nominator is more important than the nominee – and that is true on both sides of the aisle. Here a past post with my thoughts about the vacancy.

Governor John Kasich (R-OH) wins the important Ohio primary, but even if he won all the remaining delegates, he would go to the convention short of the number needed for the nomination. I’ve heard Kasich supporters here say he should get out of the race, he should stay, and he’s simply positioning himself for the VP slot.

Despite Elyse’s final plea for me to either vote against Donald Trump (R-NY) or vote in the Democratic primary, I accepted an “Issues Only” ballot. Then again, I also told her that voting in the Democratic primary was equivalent to voting for The Bloviator because it wasn’t a vote against him – to which she didn’t agree.

Good bye Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) – and thanks for the poor showing in your home state. Hopefully a lesson learned – Don’t try to be who you aren’t.

Whether she meant it that way or not, Hillary Clinton’s (D-NY) comment regarding the coal industry will work against her.

Republicans explaining the current chaos in their party being President Obama’s fault got me thinking about other problems due to the current president – such as El Nino, Malaysian Air missing for two years, Oscar nominations, McDonald’s excluding McGriddles from their Breakfast Anytime Menu, latest flooding in Mississippi and Louisiana, Charo, the Cleveland Browns waiving Johnny Manziel, cost of airfare to Europe from Cincinnati, and my lactose intolerance.

Regarding the Republican chaos, I offer this possible explanation. Since President Obama took office, Republicans formed coalitions with other groups to oppose the president. However, this short-term coalition was unsustainable in the long run – so now they are paying the price.

A note for the political junkies. Not long after the 2008 election that put President Obama in the White House, I wrote this post about the Republican party. In light of the past 7 years and the current fractures with the GOP, readers may enjoy this look-back through the lens of what we know today.

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To lead you into your weekly dose of satire, The Onion explains how to reduce wasted food. 

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Nation reaffirms commitment to things they recognize
$4.75 cupcake scrutinized with jeweler’s eyepiece
Beautiful sunset wasted on a few schmaltzy bozos
First grader wants monkeypox
History sighs, repeats itself
Report: 83% of wise guys think they are really funny

Interesting Reads
Linking social skills and being bilingual (Thanks, Tim)
The island of no escape
The minaret of Allepo
Who was worse: Hitler or Stalin?
Death of the Stethoscope?
(Pictures) 10 beautiful ceilings

It’s been too long since I’ve sent you into the weekend with The Piano Guys. This video has beautiful scenery and is a unique rendition of a popular hit. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 61

On the Gulf Oil Spill
Although the Drill Baby Drill chant is still resonating in my head, let us not forget that human technology is prone to error. Each time I think of lowering the dome, I picture the bar game of trying to land a coin in a submerged shot glass.

On the Vatican and Abuse
As sexual abuse scandals continue to plague the Roman Catholic Church, now is the time for the best chance that Pope Benedict XVI has to deliver a much-needed maya copa and set a much-needed new direction for the church on this issue. To me, he just can’t seem to set up to the plate.

On Senate Math
We Cincinnatians are “lucky” to receive media blitz for politics in three states. With the approaching primary, GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has an ad endorsing a candidate to “help stop the Obama agenda.” Since this primary is for a position held by a retiring, conservative Republican, how can replacing one person with an ideological clone change the votes? Does the new person get two votes instead of one? Bottom line – Senator McConnell is a party-first senator – and is one of many examples of what is wrong in Washington.

On the Supreme Court Nominee
I am confident that numerous Republicans will say that court-nominee Kagan is not qualified. So to that group, the one who loves to thump their chest as standing up for the Constitution, I ask this question – What are the qualifications?

On a Weekend Civil Rights Event
For the second consecutive year, the Cincinnati Reds are hosting MLB Civil Rights Weekend. The passing of singing legend Lena Horne earlier this week is a big loss – besides, she was planning to attend. Here’s the story about the weekend.

On the Cincinnati Reds
My Reds have been playing well of late as both pitching and hitting are improving. The starting pitching’s last two starts (Cueto and Bailey) were unreal: 2 wins, 2 complete games, 2 shutouts, 0 walks, less than 193 pitches, 57 batters faced.

On Purging the Office
I have been going through many of my files and materials from aspects of my past or the sake of purging things I no longer need, it is interesting to come across notes and reflections that I wrote in the past. Who knows – maybe they will work their way to this site.

On a Classic Angle
Since many people love to complain about media bias, I wrote this post about the topic this past January – and it is still timely and will likely remain timeless.

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 the Upcoming Circus

Starting Today – Live under the Big Top – Senate Hearings on Sonia Sotomayor’s Supreme Court Nomination!

Although the legislative process starts in the House, the Senate chamber is the other ring under the Capitol Big Top. Before your very own eyes, watch Democrats soft-toss questions and watch Republicans ask irrelevant questions.

Tune in and watch the special interests of each party and individual grandstanding at work; and if you watch and listen very closely, you may hear a good judicially-based question that lacks political bias.

Let’s not forget the all-important camera time. Watch senators work to impress both their party and the home folks for continued support because they don’t want to lose the gravy train. You betcha – gotta look good and smart!

But wait … there’s more – the firefighters case! Republicans want to bring firefighter Frank Ricci to the hearing. Three cheers for more grandstanding! The Supreme Court overruled the appellate court; therefore she’s not a reliable jurist? So I wonder – is it possible that she ruled in accordance to the law and the high court changed or limited the law through the ruling? If so, I say this – Damn activist judges!

The confirmation process will confirm that the hearing is about special interests, arrogant pompous senators and the parties they represent – thus certainly not about public citizens or even the nominee’s judicial philosophy or ability. I’m not a fan of Justice Clarence Thomas, but nobody should have to go through that BS.

By the way, regardless of the political spin, she’s qualified. Besides, this country has more pressing issues on its plate. So to the committee members: Back to grandstanding, partisanship, fiddling, and don’t mind us burning.

On the Sensible GOP

After the election I described the Republican Party as an insect with two wings directing a small body. For many years I’ve been telling people that neither of these two wings (the ultra conservatives and the Christian Right) represents traditional Republicans as my father-in-law or my good friend Don.

Ever since the Sonia Sotomayor’s high court nomination, prominent Republican voices have attacked the nominee. Over the past several days, tempered and reasonable voices have stepped forward. Even on Sunday’s talk shows, Republican senators were either distancing themselves from divisive comments or at least tempering themselves. To go along with the previously-posted references, below are some of the quotes.

Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal columnist and author of Patriotic Grace (and this particular column is strong!)

Some, and they are idiots, look at Judge Sotomayor and say: attack, attack, kill. A conservative activist told the New York Times, “We need to brand her.” Another told me a fight is needed to excite the base.

Excite the base? How about excite a moderate, or interest an independent? How about gain the attention of people who aren’t already on your side?

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) on NPR

I think it’s terrible. This is not the kind of tone that any of us want to set when it comes to performing our constitutional responsibilities of advise and consent. Neither one of these men are elected Republican officials. I just don’t think it’s appropriate. I certainly don’t endorse it. I think it’s wrong.

Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) in the LA Times

I don’t agree with that (her being a racist). And, frankly, I think it’s a little premature and early, because she hasn’t had a chance to explain some of these comments that she’s made.

Manuel Miranda, chairman of the Third Branch Conference, a conservative group, and a former senior Senate GOP aide (AP Story)

These things just taint the debate because it causes (people) to become callous toward our message. It becomes a ‘cry wolf’ situation. They’re just out to bash the nominee. This isn’t about bashing the nominee; it’s about engaging on issues.

Professor Darren Lenard Hutchinson, teacher of Constitutional Law, Critical Race Theory, Law and Social Change, and Equal Protection Theory at the American University, Washington College of Law in his blog, Dissenting Justice

This blog has been very sympathetic to the GOP in order to foster open debate. I have written numerous articles criticizing liberals — even getting cited several times by Glenn Reynolds and many other conservatives. I have defended Michael Steele, George Bush, Sarah Palin, and even Rush Limbaugh from unfair criticism. But I have been unable to validate the “other side” in my response to Republican criticism of Sotomayor. Most of the popular conservative critiques of Sotomayor are inaccurate, deceitful, hypocritical, nasty, and politically suicidal.