Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 221

On Politics
For those you think the Tea Party is dead because of its unsuccessful showing in Tuesday’s primary, think again because if nothing else, it has shifted the party to the right.

As Washington examines issues at the Veterans Administration (VA), comments by members of Congress demonstrate to me that they are more interested in political gain than solving the problem.

Speaker Boehner’s (R-OH) new conference came on the radio as I was listening today, and I changed the channel. Later, I returned to find Minority Leader Pelosi’s (D-CA) new conference, so I changed the channel again.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion

  • Congress reluctant to cut funding for tank that just spins around and self destructs
  • Revealing spring attire reminds man he’s nothing more than weak, hormonal ogre
  • High school student, teacher applying for same summer waitressing job
  • Paleontologists unearth earliest known dinosaur stickers
  • Experts recommend breaking down crushing defeats into smaller, more manageable failures
  • Ohio replaces lethal injection with human new head-ripping-off machine

Interesting Reads
Leadership lessons from Dancing with the Stars
Columnist Ruth Marcus on politics and money
Interesting interactive sorting state (US) data
Learn to love your doppelgänger
The real Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Interesting infographic on man-made structures
Nutella in America

On Potpourri
Meryl and Maks were very deserving champions of Dancing with the Stars. Although some complained about co-host Erin Andrews in her debut season, but I say bring her back.

Taken April 22, 2014

Taken April 22, 2014

I took this picture about a month ago after getting some gas.

Thanks for the wonderful music in Act 4 of Life: The Musical. I love getting different genres of music!

With Monday being a national holiday (Memorial Day) in the USA, I will not have a Saturday Morning Cartoon Classic post this weekend. I know … this pattern is too frequent, but I’m still digging out of my hole from the move.

Your weekend celebrations

  • (Weekend) Mudbug Madness, Polka Weekend, Old-Time Player Piano Weekend
  • (Fri) Taffy Day, Wig Out Day, Turtle Day, Don’t Fry Day, Crohn’s Disease and Colitis Day, Heat Awareness Day, Polka Day, Lucky Penny Day
  • (Sat) Military Appreciation Day, Brother’s Day, Jazz Day, Morse Code Day, Escargot Day, Scavenger Hunt Day, Mary had a Little Lamb Day
  • (Sun) Cookie Monster’s Birthday, Something Day, Wine Day, Tap Dance Day, Towel Day, Nerd Pride-Geek Pride Day

With Saturday being Lucky Penny Day, here’s a question to answer. If you see a penny on the ground with the tails side up, do you pick it up?

To send you into the weekend, let’s celebrate Morse Code Day (Saturday) with this hit from 1967 … Western Union by the Five Americans. (The song starts 1 minute in.) 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. 199

On Politics
Earlier this week I called my Congressional representative’s office and stated three easy-to-understand points: I’m not happy, get something done now, and he won’t be getting by vote in 2014. Then again, because I’m not a donor, he probably doesn’t care. In the end, he voted against reopening the government and extended the debt ceiling.

Now that the US government is open again for business, I wonder these two questions:

  • If it possible that Speaker Boehner (R-OH) purposely administered more rope to the far right?
  • Because the deal moves new deadlines to January and February (2014), will the recent situation replay in a few months?

I heard this interesting comment earlier in the week: I call upon all of you to wage a second American nonviolent revolution, to use civil disobedience to demand that this president leave town, to get up, to put the Quran down, to get up off his knees, and to figuratively come out with his hands up.

Two good truthful chuckles

  • Polls show that the people favor the Affordable Care Act over Obamacare – which (for my foreign audience) are the same thing
  • Interesting freshman roommates: Tea-Party advocate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Craig Mazin, co-screenwriter for the Hangover movies

The rollout of the government’s healthcare insurance site is pathetic.

With all the talk about the Washington Redskins changing their name, my shared this one with me: Redskins considering dropping Washington from their name

To help show the Washington discourse and the biased perspectives, see these real headlines:

  • Republicans need to Dump the Tea Party
  • Democrats Show Their Insincerity
  • The Republican Party’s Age of Unreason
  • Obama’s intransigence is a big bluff’
  • Democrats Waiting for GOP Surrender on Shutdown A Small President on a World Stage
  • Give Boehner a Break
  • In Nixing Weekend Deal, Dems Exposed
  • Republicans Will Pay for This
  • Obama Can’t Waste This Moment
  • Boehner is Speaker in Name Only
  • The Presidency is No Place for Amateurs

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion

  • Cereal commercial completely neglects showing numerous life problems character faces beyond breakfast
  • Internet rocks by blogger’s sarcastic sensibility
  • Chipmunk’s plan for future better crafted than 8 of 10 Americans
  • New Pumpkin Spice Channel offers fall-themed hardcore porn
  • Thursday’s cry moved up to Wednesday due to scheduling conflict
  • Heroic broken sewage pipe flood Congress

Interesting Reads
The American stalemate
Wow paintings from a Russian artist (Thank you Patti)
Both parties blundering columnist Michael Barone
A tribute to one of the original astronauts: Scott Carpenter
US, China, and Middle Eastern Oil
Five Misconceptions about Columbus
One Man’s Love for Math

On Potpourri
Look what made Smithsonian Magazine’s “20 Most Iconic Foods Across America!

Home decorating tips for Halloween from The Onion

Upcoming Celebrations Calendar

  • (Fri) Chocolate Cupcakes Day, No Beard Day, Alaska Day
  • (Sat) Menopause Day, Bridge Day, Evaluate Your Life Day, Sweetest Day, Seafood Bisque Day
  • (Sun) Toy Camera Day, Brandied Fruit Day

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame recently announced its 2014 nominees. NWA, The Replacements, Hall & Oates, LL Cool, and Link Wray are some of the nominees more worthy than the Moody Blues. At least Yes is on the ballot. Finally! Although this museum is a worthwhile visit, I continue to question its selection rationale and process.

A Saturday Morning Cartoon is next!

To send you into the weekend, a cheer to a rock classic, Roundabout by Yes – but as an acoustic version. 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. 197

On Politics
Interesting that Tuesday’s government shutdown coincided with Yosemite National Park’s 123rd anniversary.

As the shutdown neared and ever since, it is interesting to see politicians dodge answering questions more than usual.

A reminder to Congress: Whenever pointing a finger at someone, three are pointing at you.

I wonder if federal workers in Tea Party districts are standing with their representative?

I continue to say the shutdown is a battle between Republicans.

Republicans are offering Democrats an interesting choice: Defund health care or fund everything else.

“If this health care law is forced upon this country, the young men and women in this audience are the ones who are really going to pay the price, and that, I will suggest to you, reaches to the point of being a felony toward them and their future. That is a criminal act, from my perspective, to put that type of burden on them, to mortgage their future like that. America cannot stand that. America cannot accept that.” – Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX)

From http://dictionary.law.comfelony“1) a crime sufficiently serious to be punishable by death or a term in state or federal prison, as distinguished from a misdemeanor which is only punishable by confinement to county or local jail and/or a fine. 2) A crime carrying a minimum term of one year or more in state prison, since a year or less can be served in county jail. However, a sentence upon conviction for a felony may sometimes be less than one year at the discretion of the judge and within limits set by statute. Felonies are sometimes referred to as “high crimes” as described in the U.S. Constitution.”

“America was designed by geniuses so it could be run by idiots.” —Anonymous

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
US Government of the verge of full-scale government hoedown
Company more like family whose members are desperate to join better family
Student reporter hits it out of the park with five accurate sentences
Fantasized argument getting pretty intense
Disgusting shower liner has another three years left in it

Interesting Reads
Quinoa
A book review about Woodrow Wilson
Congress, border sheriffs, and immigration bills
Actual science controversies
From Nicholas Kristof (NY Times) on the shutdown
Madame Weebs takes a bite out of Congress (language alert)
The Onion explains how health insurance exchanges work 

On Potpourri
Ever wonder what tacos, smiles, flutes, noodles, balloons, vodka, and cinnamon rolls have in common?

Did you know that Julius, Leonard, Arthur, Milton, and Herbert were known as Groucho, Chico, Harpo, Gummo, and Zeppo?

For me, baseball season is officially over.

.
I saw this and immediately thought of El Guapo.

.
While in Quebec City, it was interesting to observe reactions when I asked locals about Le Clown. Some bowed, while others brought food, drink, and gifts. Some screamed as they ran away in terror while others simply laughed. smirked, and muttered “Le Clown” and something in French. (They must be the anarchists.)

Reasons to celebrate this weekend

  • (Weekend) Storytelling Weekend, Fallen Firefighters Weekend
  • (Friday) Improve Your Office Day, Taco Day, Ten-Four Day, Vodka Day, World Animal Day, Smile Day, Lee’s Denim Day, Cinnamon Roll Day, Balloons Around the World Day, Toot Your Own Flute Day
  • (Saturday) Card Making Day, Cephalopod Awareness Day, Smile Day, Do Something Nice Day, Apple  Betty Day
  • (Sunday) Change a Light Day, Mad Hatter Day, Diversity Day, Noodle Day

Catching up has been difficult, so if I can get it together, a Saturday morning cartoon feature returns on the next post.

To send you into the weekend, here’s a jazzy song from a rock band during my 70s college days. Enjoy Blue Collar by Bachman-Turner Overdrive. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Flashbacks: On Politics

Sports and politics are the main topics when I started this blog. As the sidebar shows, I broadened my posting interest since the early days – however, politics as maintained a presence. Enjoy, visit as many as you want, and I hope you comment on the post you visited.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 170

In the recent election, the Republicans lost their White House bid, lost more elections in the House than won, and were overwhelmingly thumped in the Senate races. Dear GOP: What do you mean when you say Americans have spoken or America wants?

With all the talk about the debt ceiling, it’s obvious that politicians value it more than economists.

As the House read the Constitution this past Tuesday morning, if wonder if they understood the part that Congress is responsible for spending and the federal government can operate at a deficit.

With many having received their first paycheck of the 2013, I’m amused by those blaming President Obama and his voters for more taxes withheld.

  • In 2011, President Obama proposed a temporary reduction in the withholding tax with hopes that people would increase spending. Congress passed the temporary suggestion, and the president signed the bill.
  • For 2012, Congress passed extending the temporary holiday, and the president signed the bill.
  • For 2013, Congress passed a bill allowing the tax holiday to expire, and the president signed the bill – thus taxes returned to 2011 levels prior to the president’s proposal. At least readers here know the events.

You may have heard the poll results comparing the favorability of the US Congress to cockroaches. Here are the study results to enjoy.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion

  • Gorilla sales skyrocket after latest gorilla attack
  • Area woman decides not to post Facebook status that would tip gun control debate
  • Air Force One pilot invites excited Obama into cockpit
  • Procrastinating surgeon putting off coronary bypass by cleaning entire hospital
  • Deadly virus found to be “real squiggly”
  • Only difficult pistachios left in bag
  • Hidden Valley Ranch bombed by balsamic extremist

Interesting Reads

On Potpourri
This is NOT from The Onion, but from the Call them Sherlock files: Taxpayer Advocate Says Taxes are Too Complicated

My week was a busier than normal, thus I didn’t get around as much as I normally do.

During the Freshly Pressed craze, I discovered Ray – an Australian radiologist and artist who transforms X-Rays into art. Check him out, and if you comment, tell him I sent you.

Ever since the Freshly Pressed stats rush, it has been interesting to watch the daily stair-step downward.

This is picture is awesome, so click here to see it.

Good news – Saturday will provide a classic cartoon post.

To send you into the weekend, here is (thanks to El Guapo) a wonderful explanation and humorous look at the European debt crisis – thus worth 3 minutes.

.

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

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 167

Celebrating the End of the World as if it is just another day … and before anyone says, “Oh crap – why didn’t I listen?”

On Politics
I’ve got the feeling that we will see the nomination of the first female for Secretary of Defense.

On the fiscal cliff: I really believe that if it was only up to Speaker Boehner (R-OH), he would reach a deal. Although I’m not convinced that Democrats get it, it is obvious that many Republican don’t – so in response, it may be time to consider selling all mutual funds with stocks.

In my opinion, passing an assault weapons ban would be slam-dunk for pragmatist of both sides of the aisle. Maybe I’ve given one reason why it won’t happen.

Hello? Is anyone home?

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
New desk chair is a boring dream come true
Mercury’s winter proves planet could support intergalactic space prison
Half-asleep man pauses 20 seconds between socks
Kim Jong-Un’s wife escapes North Korea in long-range missile
Relaxation tape can’t play any louder
Dream of walking around with no pants in supermarket finally comes true

Interesting Reads

On Potpourri
In light of the recent Connecticut shootings, here a collection of moments to restore faith in humanity

Interestingly, after last year’s unusual physical snafu, the Cincinnati-Xavier annual college basketball rivalry game was the feature sports article in Wednesday’s USA Today. ESPN also rolled into town to broadcast the game between the two schools separated by 3.5 miles – thus the hype was high – and all the nation got was what Cincinnatians expected – a hard-fought rivalry game that included good sportsmanship.

Don’t forget Friday’s the End-of-the World Party at Aqua Tom’s. Tell him I sent you.

In lieu of Monday Morning Entertainment, my Christmas Eve party will start around 8 pm on Sunday, 23 Dec, a special start for the Aussies; plus allowing early morning visits from Europe and the Mediterranean region.

I will have a Saturday post, but instead of a cartoon classic, it will be one of historical significance.

Here’s an interesting audio version (and not easy) of a handbell arrangement of a well-known Christmas song that we’re playing. (The angels, Hark and Harold)

To send you into the weekend, enjoy handbell video below is another one we’re playing for the season: Gloria Hodie (Glory Today). Many techniques going on in this one.

Have a good weekend! In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch – and hope to see you at the party!

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 163

On Politics
The Cincinnati Enquirer hosted a foreign reporter for 10 days regarding the election. During his time here, he attended local speeches by President Obama, Mitt Romney, and the First Lady. The article he wrote following the election is an interesting perspective. Because of where the reporter’s home and given the election results, the comments are also interesting.

Meanwhile, those suffering from Election Distraught Syndrome are signing petitions to get their state to secede, which is the conservative equivalent of a losing liberal saying they are moving to Canada. I’m still waiting on the person to exercise their promise of saying they were moving out of the country if Barack Obama won in 2008. Of course, the people do forget they have the individual right to secede, which means move AND denounce your citizenship.

On a similar theme, here’s an article about 6 bizarre election reactions.

Last week I wondered if winners would shy away from declaring mandates. Two days later, I read this quote from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY): We Republicans in the House and Senate think we have a voter mandate not to raise taxes. (Source)

Interesting, but to no surprise, Congressional Republican firm stance on no tax increases for the rich, which (to me) means they prefer to raise taxes on everyone. Although they are in a pickle, which could mean “It’s time to play Kick the Can.”

I like these words from conservative columnist Peggy Noonan: The Republicans worked hard but were less clear-eyed in their survey of the field. America has changed and is changing, culturally, ethnically—we all know this. Republican candidates and professionals will have to put aside their pride, lose their assumptions, and in the future work harder, better, go broader and deeper. (Source)

Gov. Romney’s recent account about blaming his loss serves as good evidence to support Peggy Noonan’s statement. Cheers to some as Gov. Jindal (R-LA) for  saying something sensible.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion

  • Needy Nation Breaks Down after First Full Week without being Pandered to by Politicians
  • Report: Majority of Americans Now Eating One Consecutive Meal a Day
  • 5-year-old Girl Feels like She Just Wasted Whole Carousel Ride Waving to Dad
  • Nation Horrified to Learn about War in Afghanistan While Reading Up on Petreaus Sex Scandal
  • Kim Jong-Un Named The Onion’s Sexiest Man Alive for 2012

Interesting Reads

On Potpourri
Thanksgiving is next week in America. My wine recommendations for the Thanksgiving meal are Pinot Noir, Riesling, and Gewürztraminer because the flavors from green beans, sweet potatoes, and cranberries screw up wine pairings for this feast.

Cheers to my alma mater for making The Onion this week.

For those noticing the nested dolls in the first St. Petersburg post, this one made me laugh – plus, it could be a potential holiday gift for the hard-to-buy-for person in your life.

Thank you Viveka for this award!

There will be a Saturday Morning Classic Cartoon post this weekend.

More Ginger Ale Reviews
Thomas Kemper Ginger Ale: Smooth; ginger tasting not overpowering, but enough to linger; not spicy; creamy quality with a hint of vanilla to me; honey is an ingredient – I like it!

Blenheim Ginger Ale: With the initial taste, I thought sweetness with low ginger. The ginger taste is delayed and with a touch of spice – and lingered. Another good one!

Here’s a touch of jazz to send you into the weekend. Well, handbells and chimes jazz with a light touch of drums. Believe it or not, it works! Have a good weekend! In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.