The first OpinionList of 2014. Here it is.


Christie’s Bridge-gate Explained: The story that everyone is now calling Bridge-gate is the most-talked about political news story of the moment with Governor Chris Christie right smack in the middle of it, whether he was part of the bridge-closing political vengeance scheme or not. I’m pretty sure you know about it so I won’t take up your time re-hashing it here. In the unlikely event that you don’t know what I’m talking about, click on the link at the start of this text. The Washington Post did a really good job of explaining it with The 10 Things You Need To Know About Bridge-gate. But if you want to laugh a bit, click on Buzzfeed’s The Chris Christie Bridge Scandal As Explained By Game  Of  Thrones. As to what I think about the whole thing, I think that it’s dirty politics but I’m not surprised. Republicans have lost all sense of what’s right and wrong. As for Christie, I think that he probably didn’t know about it. I don’t think that he would be so dumb as to be behind this and have his staff write emails about it. What was dumb, though, was his refusal to take the allegations seriously and to be so vocal against them. Then again, Christie is not known for keeping his mouth shut, a fact for which I was grateful when he praised President Obama for his response to Hurricane Sandy right before election time. Just for that, I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Time and a federal investigation will tell if I’m right in doing so.

[Tea] Party Like It’s 2014: Salon reports, “The Senate Conservatives Fund (SCF), an influential Tea Party activist organization run by a former aide to ex-senator and current Heritage Foundation head Jim DeMint, announced on Friday that it had already spent nearly $1 million in support of Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell’s GOP primary opponent, Matt Bevin.” I’m happy for anything or anyone that goes against Mitch McConnell. He’s the symbol of [almost] everything that is wrong with today’s GOP. I’ve been saying forever and a day Mitch McConnell must go. But, let me be clear, when it comes to the tea party, the enemy of my enemy is [still] my enemy.


When Hell Freezes Over: Ever heard that? What if I told you that it has? A town in Michigan called Hell is featuring a photo of the city’s sign with icicles hanging from it on its Facebook page. Before I go any further, I’d like to know who named the town hell, and why? NPR has two possible explanations, both very funny. Before you go there, though, know that the name of the Facebook page is called Go To Hell and there’s a site as well. As for me, I’ll never again use the phrase, “when hell freezes over,” because now I know it has.

Mega Relaxed: That’s what I’m calling Steve Tran, the Mega Millions winner of the $324 million jackpot (the second biggest in history). According to Tran, the winning ticket “was just sitting in my house, on top of my drawer.” I like his attitude. It’s much better than the story I heard (and which apparently was included in a book of lottery stories in France) about a guy who religiously played the same numbers. The one time that he didn’t, his numbers won, and so he killed himself. Leave it to the French to make a book about the lottery depressing.  But back to Mr. Mega Relaxed, according to ABC News, after he realized that he had won, “he called his boss and left the following voicemail message: ‘I’m really sorry boss. I hit the jackpot. I don’t think I’m going to come in today, tomorrow, or ever.’” Yeah, I really like this guy.


No Tikker For Me: The Atlantic reports, “A new watch called Tikker claims to have created a way to calculate approximately when, according to its creators, a person is likely to die, and then to input that date into a wristwatch. The idea is that being constantly reminded of his or her own mortality will nudge the wearer to live life to the fullest.” I don’t know about you but being constantly reminded of my mortality would probably throw me into a deep depression. As I like to say, “it’s not dying that scares me, it’s the being dead forever part that kills me.” The subtitle of the post reads “Seriously, who wouldn’t want this?”  I ask, seriously, who would?

Squat Diddly-Squat: According to The Daily Beast, squats are “The Absolutely Incredible Secret To Staying In Shape…Squats are absolutely incredible. They build full body strength as you use your core to stabilize and keep everything aligned. The glutes and hamstrings are very large muscles so by utilizing them you tend to burn a lot of fat. Squats invigorate your nervous system and help your stress response since the squat is a naturally defensive position. They can even help your digestion and the regularity of your bowel movements. This is essentially the swiss army knife of exercise.” Well, I guess I’ll stay out of shape, then. Not only am I horrible at squats, I refuse to do an exercise that makes me look like I’m doing #2.

Se Habla Español: Want to take a guess as to what is the most-widely spoken language (after Mandarin)? I guess that the link gave it away. Caramba!


Note: Original Publication Date: 1-10-14. Publication date has been changed for display purposes only.