Friday, December 30, 2011

Friday Favorites #12

Hello, my dears!  I hope the week since we've been together has been full of fun, family and food - I know mine was.  Our families enjoyed getting together to celebrate old traditions and create some new ones.  And I learned a few things, too.  Namely, don't play nice in a white elephant gift exchange with my sisters.

So let's hop right in with:

HOW TO WASH YOUR CAR WITH ONE BUCKET OF WATER - It's amazing what one bucket of water will do for a car.  Or to it.

BOX OFFICE STATS HIT 16 YEAR LOW - I can't afford the movies anymore, so this doesn't surprise me.  There are so many movies I want to see now, too, like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Muppets, Hugo; I'm even making an exception to my "No Tom Cruise Movies Ever Again" rule and thinking about seeing the new Mission Impossible movie.  But unlike other forms of entertainment, movie theatres don't seem to be very price sensitive.  Even a matinee rate is pretty steep nowadays.

Of course, one reason people are skipping the movies might be 15 BIGGEST BOX-OFFICE FLOPS OF 2011- Admit it - even Harrison Ford teaming up with Daniel Craig couldn't draw you in. Nor could Jack Black in a film with Steve Martin.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING NEW YEAR'S EVE - Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt have more than just acting in their repertoire - they sing too!

OUR CHRISTMAS ELVES TRADITION - Why Christmas was a little difficult this year.

10 MOST ANNOYING MANAGEMENT TERMS OF 2011- Via The Mister - YES, you should internalize the ideation within the stakeholder community and reach out with the results to them.  Gaaaaaah, this is why I would fail in a real job job.  I don't speak this clearly.

LEFTOVER CHRISTMAS FAIL - I love, love, love reading Failblog, and the holiday fails (and wins) abound, like THIS HEARTWARMING FAMILY MESSAGE or THIS SENTIMENTAL CHRISTMAS STORY.   But for every one of those, there's THIS KIND OF WIN that makes up for it all.  But wait!  There's more!

PARENTING FAIL - nothing makes me feel more successful as a parent than seeing something like this, and realizing that my daughters won't have this to add to their therapy list.

SNOWED-IN WIN - Power go out in your blizzard?  At least your adult beverages will be taken care of in style with a little bit of clever.  But don't let the kitties get into your booze, or THIS COULD HAPPEN.

For your New Year's resolutions, you might consider:

GRAMMAR MATTERS - Learn it, please, for mankind's sake.  

GET ORGANIZED - Well, this is one way to do it, but you'll never find anything ever again.

LOSE WEIGHT - But maybe steer clear of these products.

But there's political holiday news as well...

CHRISTMAS DAY MASSACRE WAS AN HONOR KILLING? - Apparently that little nugget hasn't made much of a stir in the news.

TSA TO EXPAND AUTHORITY TO TRAIN STATIONS - Via Pat Dollard, your friendly TSA Groper Agent is now going to be hanging out in train stations as well!  Happy travelling!

BLACK VOTERS MUST BE ABLE TO KNOW WHICH CANDIDATES ARE DEMOCRATS - Also via Pat Dollard, who really ought to be on your "Read Every Day' list, a Federal judge has ruled that North Carolina's nonpartisan races are a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1965.  Could we live in more insane times?

BROADBAND IS A BASIC HUMAN RIGHT - Apparently, no, we cannot live in more insane times.

JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT YOU HAD HEARD THE LAST OF WEINER - Former congressman Anthony Weiner and his scandals just never go away.

ART LAFFER ENDORSES NEWT - I'm not too surprised by this - Laffer was one of the economists working for Reagan in the 80s.  His endorsement is worth at least a listen.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY BILLS MAY NOT WORK AS INTENDED - First, when did ANYTHING Congress passed work as intended?  Secondly, I had a nearly three hour conversation with an Occupy leader recently, and one "aha moment" he seemed to have in our discussion was the lack of "next step" thinking in politics.  When we're in "crisis mode" long-term thinking goes out the window, and we lurch from one quick fix to another.  The Russell Kirk definition of conservatism includes that one needs to examine possible consequences.  We just don't do that anymore.

CONGRESS GETS RICHER - Via Joe Pags, who's surprised here?  Damned crooks.

BARNEY FRANK RETIRES, WITH 7 BONUS DEMS! - Via Sean Murphy, at least 8 Democrat veteran congressvarmints are retiring ahead of the 2012 election.  Hmmmmm...

OCCUPY TICKS OFF IOWA DEMOCRATS - Go figure.  The 99% meme doesn't seem to be playing so well anymore.

RICH ARE UNRELIABLE TAXPAYERS - And not just because they seek out tax shelters.  Turns out the rich have more volatile income, AND their income is more portable.  So yeah, let's base funding massive entitlement projects on autopilot using just the wealthiest 1%.  That sounds like a winning strategy.

This week in PEOPLE I ADORE, I want to highlight JENNY ERIKSON AND ASHLEY SEWELL who host TOP 7 every week, with the top 7 news stories just in time for the Friday office parties and family get-togethers.  Their motto is "You can get your think on, before you get your drink on."  How could you not love that?  Catch Jenny and Ashley on Twitter too.  You won't find better, funnier, smarter, or lovelier babes in the conservative movement.

And on the READING LIST this week, I'm working through the Zombie Survival Guide.  Because, you just never know.

So that's it for this week, and I'll see you next week with another batch of fun, fail, and frivolity!  

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Elves

My earliest Christmas memories are of Santa's elves.  Each year, these four-inch-high figurines would appear sometime after Thanksgiving, in various places around the house.  Our first real sign that Christmas was near would be the initial appearance of the first elf, and the admonition from Mom and Dad that the elves had come from the North Pole to record our behavior for Santa.  We were never to touch the elves, or they'd leave and report us for bad behavior; and we were always to remember that Santa, via these elves, was watching.  Each day after the first elf appeared, additional ones would show up until there were five or six deputized to monitor us.

Every night, as we slept, the elves changed position.  One would hide in the refrigerator, to make sure we didn't sneak mouthfuls of spray whipped cream that was supposed to be for the pies.  One might sit in the bathroom, making sure we cleaned the counters after washing our hands, or making sure we brushed our teeth before bed.  Another might nestle in a wall hanging in the den, checking that we didn't fight over the television channels or forget to pick up our messes after playing.  Yet another might sit in the hall and listen to us play with each other or our friends, making sure we remembered our manners.  Still another might sit on a bedroom bookshelf, to see whether we stayed up too late past bedtime, or forgot to pick up our clothes.  

And each morning, we'd race around the house to find out where the elves had moved, what new posts they'd assumed.  And on Christmas day, not a trace of the elves would be found, all having decamped and returned to the North Pole with Santa.

The elves were the most magical part of Christmas for us.  We knew Santa took a personal interest in us and our doings, and that he really did care whether we were naughty or nice.  The elves reminded us, at least during the Christmas season, that our good behavior was important, and that temptation could be resisted if we were thoughtful.

When we got older and the grandchildren came, it was a joy to see the elves resume their appearances, albeit with a force reduced by one, and with considerable battle-scars from many years of service.  Each grandchild would hunt for elves when visiting Nan and Pop's house, and the elves always found the most interesting places to hide: within the Christmas tree branches, in the light fixtures, in the manger scene.  

After forty-something years of elves monitoring the house and only leaving upon Santa's visit, we found all the elves in attendance still on Christmas morning this year.  Had they gotten lazy?  Did they believe there was impending bad behavior among the grandchildren for which they needed to be on the scene?  Did they miss their ride?  Decide to take a later sleigh?

Any of these things could be true, but my own theory is that with this year being our first Christmas without Poppy, the elves stayed to remind us of him, and to comfort us in those moments when we missed him most.

Merry Christmas, Poppy; I miss you.  It wasn't the same without you, but we did our best.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Friday Favorites #11

OK, OK, I know.  I said "Trust me" at the end of my last post.  I promised to have a huge quantity of goodies to suck your entire weekend away.  I lied.  I failed.  Not one week, but twice.  I'm covered in shame and chocolate and peanut butter.  I spent almost two weeks working on filling nineteen tins of chocolate goodness for the family (and also for a few people who would have murdered me and hidden the body too well to ever be found if I hadn't included them) for the holiday season.  That's my only excuse.  Well, that, and doing show prep for a guest hosting spot on the radio, working on my nascent business, trying to shop for Christmas, working on the Saddle Up Texas Straw Poll and about eleventy other things.  Clone me. Please.

So let's jump right in to the links you're begging for:

Speaking of the straw poll, did you know the Saddle Up Texas Straw Poll has a THEME SONG?  Karl Brunig and his awesome band have recorded one, and you can DOWNLOAD IT ON iTUNES!   Check out his other music too, and support local artists like Karl and all his generous friends who helped make this possible.  Hit him up on Facebook, too, and thank him for his hard work!  

DARYL HALL & JOHN OATES GO VIRAL - @Snarky_Basterd alerted me to this story, which is a little ridiculous actually, because there's LIVE FROM DARYL'S HOUSE which has been out for years, and which you knew about already if you've read this blog with any regularity. 

INTERNET MEME MARRIAGE PROPOSAL - This has to be one of the cutest things I've seen in a while - a bashful guy in Kuala Lampur proposing to his honey in the internet age.  You won't be sorry you watched it, even if you're an old fogey who doesn't get internet memes, or even know what they are.  Though that does make it funnier.

WORST CHRISTMAS GIFTS EVER - Oh, admit it, you all have received one that has made it into your family stories.  ESQUIRE has even more of them.  Now you can compare your horror stories with other people's and feel better.  Or worse.  Or something.

BEST CHRISTMAS FEUD EVER - A true, heartwarming story about a twenty-five year "feud" over creative gift-giving.

ROMNEY HOLIDAY GIFT TAGS - to put on those Worst Christmas Gifts you plan to give this year, I guess.

MEDIA BIAS 101 - Gingrich tells a gay man in a conversation that he really ought to just vote for Obama,... or DID HE?  Via Larry O'Connor.

HAWAII 5-0 CREW DISSES VETERANS ON PEARL HARBOR DAY - Just read it.  If your eyes are still in their sockets, you aren't angry enough.

SAVE US CHUCK WOOLERY - I am officially in love with the former Love Connection host for THIS, and for THIS, and ESPECIALLY THIS.

THE NEWEST CHRISTMAS CLASSIC - Remy at Reason TV has recorded an instant classic with "Grandma Got Indefinitely Detained" for the holiday season.  Enjoy, and spread it around and share the Very TSA Christmas!

MICKEY MOUSE WANTS TO RECALL GOVERNOR WALKER - The poor, embattled Wisconsin governor is not only under fire from unions, but apparently Mickey Mouse and Adolph Hitler want him gone too.

50 ECONOMIC NUMBERS YOU WON'T BELIEVE - I don't believe some of them either, and I'll be looking into them further, but really, even if half are true, shouldn't we be seeing some of this in political campaigns pretty soon?

POLITIFACT'S LIE OF THE YEAR FOR 2011 - You have to check this out.  Then start asking why the conservative side usually sucks at messaging.  Because even though it's a PANTS ON FIRE type of lie, IT WORKS.

BECK CALLS TEA PARTY RACIST - It went down like this - Glenn was talking to Judge Napolitano, and he... well, watch the video.

BREITBART CALLS BECK OUT - Andrew Breitbart isn't standing for Beck's outrageous claim about tea party and racism.  And he's got a whole lot of anger about Beck's poaching.  Remember ATTACK WATCH?  Beck totally ripped it off, without credit.  That's just the tip of the iceberg.  

POACHERMAN - Gary Eaton's response to Beck- you gotta hear it!

UNICEF BASHES SANTA - Speaking of Breitbart, look what the crack team at Breitbart TV uncovered.  I bet you didn't know Santa was a freaking One Percenter.

GALLUP: REPUBLICANS GAIN GROUND IN SWING STATES - Don't get cocky, but there are some interesting stats.  The election is still eleven months away.  Again, don't get cocky.

DEMOCRATS LOSING VOTERS - Again, use this as momentum to work harder.  DON'T GET COCKY... Because...

HOUSE CAVES ON PAYROLL TAX CUT - You knew they would.  I always feel like Charlie Brown with  Lucy and that Damned football.

UNEMPLOYMENT RATES FOR METRO AREAS - Find yours, compare with your friends!  

MORE BAD NEWS FOR DEMOCRATS - Don't make me say it again, because ...

NAACP WARNS OF VOTER ID LAWS = VOTER SUPPRESSION - And people, that sells.  And it makes people angry and ready to fight.  And it makes them less likely to care about the truth.  We have got to have an answer to this that hits home.  Not just confronting it, but turning those communities into supporters for Voter ID.  

SMALLER GOVERNMENT = RACISM - I called this months ago.  I KNEW it would happen as soon as the Bigger Government Advocates figured out the fact that the government worker population has a higher percentage of minorities in employment than the general population.  

HOMELAND SECURITY SNOW CONES - I'm not kidding.  If they were using them to raise money for Homeland Security, maybe I could see this.  I mean, didn't we have all those bake sales in the '90s?  Am I the only one who remembers those?

This week in PEOPLE I ADORE, I bring you THE SMALL "g" GAY - Small g hosts a Blogtalk Radio show a couple of times a week, and he and his guests bring some of the best political commentary out there on the presidential horse race.  You can also follow him on Twitter, which I highly recommend.  Small g is nothing like what you'd think; a "homocon" who's not happy with the Gay Lobby pushing the Gay Agenda.  Open your mind and listen to a show or two - you'll be glad you did.

And on the READING LIST this week, I just finished HARD TIMES by Dickens and picked up DELIVER US FROM EVIL by David Baldacci.  Baldacci is the guy who wrote the book that led to the Clint Eastwood movie "Absolute Power" and has a large collection of really good whiplash-inducing action novels.  This one is about rounding up war criminals - not for the faint of heart.

So with all of that said, let me leave you with a few of my Christmas Favorites to reward you for slogging through all the crappy news above:



OH SANTA! - Veggie Tales



Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy New Year; and may all of the things you might celebrate be filled with joy, fun, love, peace, and chocolate.  Unless you're allergic or something.  In which case, you're on your own.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Friday Favorites #10

Hello, hello, hello, Friday Friends!  It's already December - how did THAT happen?  Ah, well, that means 22 shopping days until Christmas, so better get busy!

THINK GEEK - If you haven't browsed through their site, do it!  Gifts for the geek in your life.  And make sure to get on the catalog list.  Where else can you find THIS?  Or THIS?

MASSIVE WATER BALLOON BURST - This is cool in slow motion.  My sister found it and said "You never need be bored."

HOW TO GREET PEOPLE - I just discovered this You Tube channel by Ev.  Ev's hilarious.  And a little naughty.  But where else will you find out How to Survive a Nuclear Blast or How to Cross the Street?

MALL SANTA MUSICAL - Yeah, this.  Merry Christmas!

ACTUAL COLLEGE COURSES THAT WILL MAKE YOU #HEADDESK - So THIS is what all those student loans are funding!  Glad we got that straight.

KIDS + FLOUR = FUN! - Until Mom catches them.

PEANUT BUTTER PRETZEL BALLS - Yeah, I'm making these next week.  If they're good, I'll put them in the goodie tins for the family.  If they're great, I'll be recovering at Fat Camp.

MINI MAC & CHEESE MUFFINS - Oh my stars, I can't wait to try this.  See you after Fat Camp.  Seriously.

STEVEN CROWDER ON FALLON & MILEY CYRUS - Steven talks about engaging in the culture war.  Guess where he wants the troops to come from - your kids.  And you know, I think he's right.

UNEMPLOYMENT DOWN - Or is it?  I don't trust ANY change that large without really digging into the numbers.

SOMEBODY NEEDS TO PAY FOR ALL MY CHILDREN - If you missed this, I want the address of the rock you live under.  This is unreal.  Spread it far and wide, people.


TEA PARTY V. OCCUPY - Now in Video format with Bill Whittle!


This week's READING LIST includes WORLD WAR Z, which I found fascinating.  Pretend there's a worldwide infestation of zombies.  Then pretend there's a government official collecting personal stories about the survivors.  That's pretty much it.  But it's written so interestingly, I couldn't put it down.  Apparently it will be a MOVIE next year as well.

That's all I got - it's too late to add more, but believe me, next week I'll have enough time-sucking material to steal your whole weekend.  Trust me.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Friday Favorites #9

Happy Black Friday!  Or something.  Did you have a great Thanksgiving?  Did you brave those crowds in search of great deals?  I can tell you, I think I'm about over Black Fridays forever.  It just never works out for me.  I'm sure it's my lack of a system, or a particular deficiency in my genetic makeup or whatever.  But I'm glad I missed this:

PEPPER SPRAY AT WAL-MART BLACK FRIDAY - Yeah, so this happened.  People are crazy.  In other news, water is wet.

BLACK FRIDAY RAP SHEET - CBS News has quite an impressive list of consumer insanity.

OCCUPY BLACK FRIDAY FIZZLES - But you knew it would, didn't you?  Seriously, it is becoming more and more obvious that the Occupiers aren't the sharpest tools in the shed.

OK, enough Black Friday mess.  You have more important things to think about.  Like:

WELCOME HOME FROM THE POOCHES - This actually had me laughing and crying at the same time.

CHERRY COKE FLOAT CUPCAKES - What is a Friday Favorites without amazing food?

AMAZING PHYSICAL ABILITY - This guy has kinetic talent like you won't believe.  Just watch.

CHUCK NORRIS - WORLD OF WARCRAFT - All I have to say about this is "AHAHAAHAAHAHA!" 

HOW THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE WAS DEVELOPED - An interesting video that explains in about ten minutes how our jacked-up, beautiful language actually picked up so much from elsewhere.

NEWS 92 FM DEBUTS IN HOUSTON - This week the long-awaited return of Houston radio news icons Lana Hughes and JP Pritchard finally occurred on their new station, along with many other familiar names, such as Brent Clanton and Mike Barajas.  You can hear their first hour ever from Monday here.

COMPARING SNL SKITS - An interesting read about the presidential candidates treatment at the hands of the SNL writers

And now, in Corruption Watch this week:

BAD BUDGETING IN MICHIGAN - Although that isn't all that's wrong with this Wayne County executive, it's where you start.  This guy is unbelievable.  What they did to Meals on Wheels should be criminal.

SEIU TAKING UNION DUES FROM MEDICAID - Stop whatever you're doing on click on this story now.  I'll wait.  OK, you back?  Did that just piss you off?  It should.  While we're seeing a lot of arguing over bait issues on the conservative side, this stuff quietly happens, and we aren't watching.  

OCCUPY COSTING CITIES OVER $20 MILLION - Gateway Pundit has the breakdown.  I'd like to see how much Tea Parties cost the cities.  Oh, wait, we paid our own way...

SUPERCOMMITTEE FAILS TO REACH AGREEMENT - In other news, the sky is blue.

TEXAS REDISTRICTING MAPS - Texas gets the shaft - AGAIN - from the Civil Rights Act.  Even when you win, you lose.

MORE ON SOPA - STOP ONLINE PIRACY ACT - The main thing you need to know about any legislation from Washington DC is that whatever the name of the act is, it will do nothing that you think it will, and have a ton of "unintended" consequences that are all bad.

THE LITTLE RED HEN - My take on an old children's story, retold for the Age of Occupy

I almost forgot - SADDLE UP TEXAS VIP TICKETS - The VIP Dinner tickets (sold separately from admission tickets) are on sale now!  Buy the admission tickets here - they're going up in price in a few days!

And finally, in this week's PEOPLE I ADORE, meet JOHN NOLTE - Editor-in-Chief of BIG HOLLYWOOD.  He watches all the dreck in Hollywood so we don't have to.  And he cheerfully takes on the Left whenever he can, and mocks the media for their skewed coverage.  You need to keep up with Nolte.  Follow him on Twitter too.

And on this week's READING LIST, I'm working my way through THE END OF PROSPERITY from Arthur Laffer, Stephen Moore and Peter Tanous.  Written right before the 2008 election, it's uncanny how much of the subsequent events they predicted.  So much smart in one book is bound to be an education.  Heed the warnings, people; these guys know what they're about.

So that's what's up this week - remember tomorrow is Small Business Saturday, and Monday brings on Cyber Monday, so today isn't the end-all of shopping. Hang out with the family instead!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Favorites #8

Hello, my pretties!  What a week it's been!  This post may have to hold you over a couple of weeks, in case my planned Turkey Coma extends into next Friday.  So let's hop into the yummy goodness with:

ALTON BROWN'S TURKEY (BAKED) - Yeah, cinnamon?  Really?    

BLACKENED TURKEY - Do this if you have no life and like to impress people with how much time it took you to do this.  

PAULA DEEN'S DEEP-FRIED TURKEY - Well, I'd watch Alton Brown's SAFER method before ever trying this.  Somehow it's more fun for me to watch people do this than actually do it myself.

And when you're looking for things to do with turkey leftovers:

PIONEER WOMAN'S TURKEY TETRAZZINI - Warning, food porn alert!

TASTE OF HOME'S TOP TEN - There's bound to be something here that won't be difficult to fix.  The problem with most leftover recipes is they take almost as much work as the original turkey, or they're too simple to be anything but leftovers that taste like Thanksgiving dinner.

BEST 50 THANKSGIVING SIDES - in case you were looking for something new to try.  I tell you, my mom's buttery sliced potatoes and corn pudding never seem to make it to the table at the holidays; I'll have to change that. 

And for dessert...

THAT PIE ON THE COVER OF PARADE MAGAZINE - You know it looked so pretty.  You didn't know it was this easy!

CHOCOLATE HOT MESS - OK, it's really called Chocolate Mess Cake, but since it's made in the crockpot, I like my name for it better.  Set it and forget it until it's time to eat.  

AWKWARD HOLIDAY PHOTOS - No comment.  You haven't see mine.

"SODA" V. "POP" MAP - This is stranger, and probably more defined, than the Mason-Dixon line.

AWESOME STREET ART - You can hardly believe some of these.

OK, time to check in with OCCUPY!!!

OCCUPY MOM GETS ARRESTED - Remember that FL mom who abandoned her family to go to Occupy Wall Street?  Yes.

OCCUPY SOME TRUTH - The Army You Have's great song in response to OCCUPY

QUESTIONS YOU DON'T HAVE TO ASK TEA PARTY - Watch this, and ponder the mysteries of the movements.

BEN SHAPIRO WALKS THROUGH OCCUPY LA - The photo essay says a lot about the Occupiers, and not what they probably want said.

OCCUPY AIN'T NO TEA PARTY - There. I said it.

In other news:

ICYMI - 60 MINUTES ON CONGRESSIONAL INSIDER TRADING - Yeah.  These are the people who write the laws.  We're doomed.

BACKLASH AGAINST THE BOOMERS - Great analysis of what those hippies did to our country.

SOPA PRIMER - The next threat to internet freedom?  Here's where to start looking for information on the Stop Online Piracy Act.

WHEN "I QUIT" WASN'T ENOUGH - Check out this statement from a commodities broker about why she is getting out of the business.

THINGS TO START HOARDING NOW - Angel suggests some things you probably didn't think of, whether preparing for bad weather, power outages or random zombie apocalypses.  You never know.

Oh!  I almost forgot!  

PEOPLE I ADORE - This week I want to tell you about PAT DOLLARD - Pat writes for the BIG sites; Big Government, Big Peace, Big Hollywood.  Pat also has a Twitter account which you should follow if you want to keep up with, oh, just about anything.

And this week's READING LIST features Charles Dickens' BLEAK HOUSE, which is excruciating only because I have to keep referring to the notes for terminology.  Essentially, I'm almost halfway through, and the book is exploring how a whole bunch of unconnected people get caught up in this horribly twisted legal mess of a case.  Yeah, seems kind of timely, actually.

On a very serious note, in our family this year, we've suffered the loss of both my father and father-in-law within four months.  This will be our first Thanksgiving, Christmas etc without them.  I just wanted to say, make your memories count.  Whatever fuss you might have with someone, think about whether that is where you want to put your energy with your precious amount of time together.  OK, have a Happy Thanksgiving, be sweet to each other and enjoy the holiday.  

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Texas Straw Poll

I remember in 2007 the Texas GOP held a straw poll in Fort Worth.  I snagged an invite to it by virtue of participating in past convention cycles, and made the trip.  But by some strange series of events I got there too late to participate and was locked out.  This certainly didn't leave a good impression.

This year the Republican Party of Texas debated repeating the event, and decided against it.  That's probably a good thing, too, because in 2007 the poll was restricted to "party insiders" like me, and not at all representative of Republican primary voters.  That's a problem, because you know who won the Texas straw poll in 2007?  Duncan Hunter.  Yeah, I know, I feel the same way.

Texas always gets the shaft.  Think about it - Texas doesn't get to vote until Super Tuesday on March 6.  By that time, several of the candidates will have left the race and Texans will get to choose from the leftovers remaining candidates.  What kind of choice does that really amount to?  

Like I said, Iowa, New Hampshire and a host of other states vote in caucuses or primaries before Texas does, and some candidates will likely drop out if they think their results in those states can't keep campaign money coming in.  By the first week of February 2008, for instance, Mitt Romney was already out of the race.  Now, I won't make any of the obvious snarky comments about that, but really; each candidate that drops out early in the race means fewer choices for states not named Iowa and New Hampshire.

But what can we do?


Several groups have banded together to put on a Texas Straw Poll that is open to more than just the "insiders."  The goal is not to steer people towards one candidate or another, or promote only the Texas candidates Perry and Paul, or to promote a "tea party" candidate; but to host a poll that more likely reflects the actual Republican primary voters.  

The event is scheduled for January 12-14, just DAYS after the Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire primary.  Candidates who might be short on cash after those races won't necessarily have to quit the race after those two states anymore.  A good showing in a Texas straw poll could breathe new life into a campaign that has been demoralized by trying to court voters who live in a very small portion of the country.  

In addition, for the first time, Texans could have a significant impact on the presidential race.  Texans deserve this; what state has a stronger economy than Texas?  What state has created more jobs?  What state gained more electoral votes after the 2010 Census?  Texas leads the nation in so many ways.  Why shouldn't Texans be leading politically as well?  Not necessarily Texas politicians, but Texas VOTERS?

Texans deserve a voice, and we want to help them have it.

There are no huge sponsors behind Saddle Up Texas.  No Koch funding, no GOP mega-fundraisers, no massive checkbooks.  It's just conservative folks looking to give Texans an opportunity they've never had - a chance to make a difference.

Join us - check out our WEBSITE, LIKE it on FACEBOOK, FOLLOW it on TWITTER, get your tickets (only $45 until Dec 10, which includes admission to all three days) spread the word and make your plans to help us make Texas history!

Friday Favorites #7

Another week, another Friday, and admit it, a Friday on 11-11-11 and Veteran's Day just makes it even more special.  So let's see what's happening this week in the interwebs:

FOXFIRE BOOKS - I know I obsess about zombies a lot, but really; in a zombie apocalypse, wouldn't you want to know how to do all the things you need to do to get food and shelter and generally stay alive?  Or, say, if the economy goes in the tank, wouldn't you like to have skills to get along until some order returns?  This is where you need to start.  The Foxfire books were written as to document the lifestyle and skills of Appalachia, and almost everything in the books can be done today with a little study.  Plus, it's just interesting, reading the stories of the old-timers.  You never know when you'll need to know how to make moonshine, or dress a hog or something.

BLACK FRIDAY ADS - Whether or not I go insane and join the Black Friday mob really depends on two things: having money and getting past the turkey coma.  Until then, I plan to check out the ads and see if there's anything worth staying up for, or saving up for.  Anything look good to you?

THAT KID FROM JERRY McGUIRE - I care ZERO about celebrities, but these pictures of Jonathan Lipniki, now 21, just sucked me right in.  Check him out - you probably won't believe it.

LANA & JP BACK ON THE AIR - Lana Hughes and JP Pritchard return to Houston's airwaves on a new all-news station, KROI 92.1 FM!  This is wonderful news to all who listened to them for over 25 years in Houston and trusted them for all the news.  I cannot tell you how glad I am that they're returning!  I have missed them so!

I TOLD MY KIDS I ATE THEIR CANDY - Jimmy Kimmel is a sick, sick bastard, and the results are kinda funny.

CENTER FOR AMERICA - John Ratzenberger (Cliff Claven from Cheers) tries to help people get back to work.  Check it out.

ANOTHER HERMAN CAIN ACCUSER - But this time, it's one who you'll want to support.

BAD LIP READING - This time they take on Michelle Bachmann.  I swear, I don't know how they do this, but it's hilarious and I want more.

THE CAIN-GINGRICH DEBATE - CSPAN put it on their site, and you can see it (or rewatch it) here.  Not a debate, from what I'm hearing, but a far cry from what passes for a debate these days.

Speaking of debates, RICK PERRY's LETTERMAN TOP TEN APPEARANCE - where Perry gives the Top Ten Excuses for his brain freeze in the debate this week.  Hi-larious, and a good example of what our side has to learn to do to win in the mass culture.

And in Occupy news this week:

SHOOTINGS - Yeah, I remember how difficult it was to keep the body count down during tea parties, and dealing with all the drugs.  Sigh. 

BANK PROBLEMS - Evil, evil banks, will you please hold our money?  We need it for bail for getting arrested while protesting you.  Or something.  

THE RAP SHEET - John Nolte is keeping track, so you don't have to.  

WE ARE THE 1% - The best response yet to the OCCUPY phenomenon.

In this week's PEOPLE I ADORE, I want to feature one of the best Twitter follows you can have - KEVIN EDER.  Kevin is prolific, engaging, clever, and isn't afraid to speak out on anything that's bugging him.  He also boosts others frequently, sharing his influence to help people with a smaller reach.  He's good people, and you can also catch him on Facebook.

And finally, the Reading List this week features another Terri Blackstock book DAWN'S LIGHT.  This is a series about EMPs shutting down power all over the world, and now people cope.  It focuses on a Christian family's journey through the most difficult challenges they've ever faced, but the leap of imagination needed to think about the situations detailed isn't a large one.  I always come away with "What would I do in this scenario?" questions, and will be thinking about it for a long time after I finish it.

So there it is, your Friday goodness.  Happy 11-11-11, Happy Veteran's Day, Happy November, and check out the Saddle Up Texas Straw Poll this week - tickets should be going on sale today!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Shocking Election Results

Ehhh, not really.  What, did you think things were actually CHANGING or something?

Silly you.

For the record, before the rant, unofficial election results found here:

     City of Houston

     Texas Ballot Propositions

If you know me at all, you know I've worked for years to educate voters on issues as well as on the elections process.  I've developed and hosted dozens of training classes, given scores of speeches, written innumerable articles and blog pieces, answered tens of thousands of phone calls and e-mails, and submitted thousands more informative articles to my sphere of influence over Facebook and Twitter and other platforms.  

I'm not your average bear.

What I am is passionate - passionate about helping people navigate the political system and understand how to change things where they are.  It's what I've done for years, long before there was a tea party.  I know most people aren't into politics the way I am, and that's okay - there's more to life than politics.  But I've always believed that on some fundamental level, people get the government they deserve; and a disengaged electorate is certainly begging for an intrusive, bloated, out-of-control government.

Congratulations, people.  You've still got it.  Here are some facts to peruse.  No casting of blame yet, just reporting the facts.

  • Only 13% of Houston's registered voters cast a ballot in the mayor's race
  • District C had the highest turnout, with over 18%
  • A 1% increase in turnout in most races would have been able to change the outcome of that race if focused on one candidate
  • Out of 18 city races, only 4 will go to a runoff
  • Statewide, no ballot proposition received even 5 1/2% of turnout

I lost a family member last week, and another earlier this year, each of whom had worn this country's uniform to defend our rights, each of whom had an abiding interest in politics and the success of this country.  I can't believe their service receives this kind of turnout in the way of thanks.  That isn't thanks; it's an upraised middle finger.

More later; I'm just too angry to be civil right now.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday Favorites #6

Friday's back, is it?  I hope you had enough with last week's installment to keep you busy.  This is a week when I could use a good laugh, so let's jump right in, shall we?

ZOMBIE UNIVERSITY - If Halloween doesn't last long enough for you, and it takes too long between episodes of The Walking Dead, you can study your zombie theory here.  Bonus: PUPPETS!

FATHER/BRIDE DANCE - You've seen all the boring ones; get a load of this clever bride and her fabulous father.

FORGOTTEN PUNCTUATION - My sister found this one.  Grammarian that I am, I did not know these punctuation marks.

OPTICAL ILLUSION WATERFALL - This guy is waaaaaay clever.  I'm still trying to figure out how this was done.

EDIBLE BOOKS - I'll have to spend more time perusing this site, because this?  Totally rocks.

SPEAKING OF FOOD - More funny food pictures.  Caution: some aren't exactly, um, clean.

STILL MORE FOOD - Hee!  Google-eyed pickles, even.

AS SEEN ON TV - I admit it - I've always been a sucker for commercials.  Infomercials just made it worse.  At least now I can still see what the latest thing is without having to sit through crappy television shows anymore.

And the best news in OCCUPY WHATEVER this week:

THE JOB FAIR AT OCCUPY DC - This is hilarious, trust me.  Accuracy In Media scores big with this one.

OCCUPY OAKLAND VANDALIZED WHOLE FOODS - Yeah, crunchy businesses?  You're just praying the crocodile eats you last.  Whole Foods at least was standing up against the Obamacare mess.  Watch out, Men's Warehouse - this truce won't last.

PROTESTING LIKE EUROPE DOES - If the left wants us to become like Europe, at least the Occupy protesters are making an effort to lead.

OCCUPY IOWA CAUCUSES - I swear, anyone taking these people seriously as a movement for positive change needs to lose my number, and fast.

TEST YOUR POLITICAL IQ - 11/11 right here.  What did you get?

In this week's PEOPLE I ADORE, well, it isn't really one person, it truly is PEOPLE.  I bring you MISFIT POLITICS!  They just launched their website this week, and it's full of goodness like THIS, and also THIS.  I mentioned them for Friday Favorites #2, but now their website can start getting the attention it deserves! 

And on the READING LIST this week, I'm reading Call of the Wild with the Little Critter.  She's reading it for school, and I read everything that she does.  It's still a good story.

See you next week, and in the meantime, be good.  It's getting near the holiday time, and you know who else makes lists... I'm just sayin'.