Saturday, November 29, 2008

Surprise, Surprise. Monty Python is Ahead of the Curve

They were revolutionary for their comedy. Now they're demonstrating that they're way ahead of the internet/YouTube curve. Below is the YouTube video by Monty Python announcing the launch of their own YouTube channel, oh, by the way the video is funny:

Their YouTube channel can be found at:

They're ahead of the curve in doing this because, in my opinion, they're choosing the path of less resistance. They could go to court, sue, blah blah blah. Instead, they're putting up their own free site exposing their hilarious comedy (that still holds up) to new viewers. Plus, folks like me will still buy the DVD's for extras. And it's free advertising.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thirty Second Bunnies Movies

These crack me up. There are others too. The Exocist, Die Hard and Caddyshack to name a few. Here's "The Shining":

And here's "Titanic":

Monday, November 24, 2008

Our Pets #7: Who Did It?

Lieberman's Lucky the Dems Don't Operate Like the Corleone Family

Or alternate title, "I know it was you Fredo (Joe), you broke my heart."

Or second alternate title, "Tell Mike(Barrack) it was only business. I always liked him." (Tessio/Lieberman to Hagen/Biden)

Lieberman declared himself an "Independent" some years ago and defeated the Democratic nominee for Senate from his state. Then, he supported the Republican nominee for president this year. He not only endorsed McCain but campaigned for him. He not only campaigned for him but spoke at the Republican convention. He had promised to only be supportive of his friend McCain and not speak negatively about Obama. But, he ended up going negative on Obama. This is a former Democratic nominee for vice president that turned his back on his former party and its nominee this time.

So, what do the Democrats do to punish Lieberman for pulling a Benedict Arnold? What would Michael Corleone do? Well, we know what Michael did to Tessio and his own brother when they betrayed the family. I'm not saying the mafia and political parties operate the same way (they kind of do except without the violence/killing and it's legal) but, when a political figure goes against their party or their former party one would expect there to be some type of consequence, especially when the betrayed party just won both chambers of the Congress and the White House. What would Karl Rove do? But, the question that really matters is what did the Dems do in response to Lieberman jumping ship? Would they kick him out of their voting caucus? Take away his chairmanship and committee seats? Exile him to the wasteland of a Senator truly without a party?

Nope. The Dems did pretty much nothing. A slap on the wrist. They took away one committee seat and let him keep his chairmanship of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. That's all. And Obama led the charge to let bygones be bygones. Why? Maybe because the Dems are nice and really like Lieberman. No, that's not it. It may be because the Dems are so close to that magical 60 vote filibuster buster in the Senate they can taste it. So if they have to make nice with Lieberman to get closer to 60 they will and they did. The Dems did take away a committee seat to begin to satisfy those who wanted political blood. Now they just have to hope Franken pulls out a miracle in Minnesota or bank on turning some moderate Senate Republicans to their side on key votes to overcome any filibuster. For Lieberman though, he essentially got away with political murder because the situation allowed him to. Had the Dems only been at about 50-55 seats in the Senate he may have ended up taking a political swim with the fishes for betraying his former Democratic policitcal "family".

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Our Pets #5: Introductions

Letterman's Top 10 W. Moments Plus Some Other Stuff That Predates This Blog

All the stuff below predates the blog so I figured I'd put all under one post.

Letterman's top 10 W. moments:

Why would our president do this? W. gets his groove on:

W. gets his groove on, again:

Here's an old and rough political cartoon I did:
Who's going to play with Georgie Now That Tony's Mum Has Called Him Home?

Here's another rough political cartoon when Atty General Gonzales was called before Congress.
AG Gonzales Attempts to Channel Sammy Sosa:

Some more campaign videos:

And last but not least, a funny bit regarding W.'s speech preparation with his Speechalist:

Friday, November 21, 2008

More Palin

She went to a turkey farm to "pardon" one turkey. Then she gave an interview afterwards. Watch what's going on behind her. Was the news crew trying to make her look silly by setting up this shot with that going on in the background?

Kind of funny, but not so much for the turkeys(keep an eye out for what's going on behind Palin)...

I'm Sorry, But There's More Palin

She went to a turkey farm to "pardon" one turkey. Then she gave an interview afterwards. Watch what's going on behind her. Was the news crew trying to make her look silly by setting up this shot with that going on in the background?

Our Pets #4: The Arrival of a Man

Primo, Cindy, the Man

Our Pets #3: Dedication

3. Dedication

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Dark Toy Story 2

My Favorite Webcomics Are...

Basic Instructions
The Book of Biff

My Favorite Entertainment / Sports / SciFi / Comic Book / Comic Strip / Funny / Fun Sites I Check Out Sometimes (S.A. Spurs blog)
Antarctic Press
Armor Games
Avatar Press
Barking Carnival (UT sports blog)
Bleeding Cool
Boom Studios
Dark Horse
DC Comics
Entertainment Weekly
Failed Smile Shirts
IDW Publishing
Image Comics
Joke of the Day
Monty Python(on YouTube)
News of the Weird
Psychic Chimp
Rotten Tomatoes
SyFy Channel
Seth McFarlane's Cavalcade of Comedy(on YouTube)
Star Trek
Star Wars
The Comic Chronicles
The Oatmeal
The Onion
The Ticket
Top Cow
Valiant Comics
Zeus Comics

My Favorite Political Cartoonists I Check Out (After I Have Drawn My Own Cartoons)

Ben Sargent

My Favorite News / Politics Sites Are...
ABC politics page
Associated Press
Austin American Statesman
CBS politics page
CNN politics page
CQ Politics
Dallas Morning News
Dallas Observer
Dow Jones
El Paso Times
Financial Times
Fort Worth Star Telegram
Fox politics page
Houston Chronicle
Huffington Post politics page
L.A. Times
Margaret and Helen
Mother Jones
NBC politics page
New York Times
San Antonio Express News
Texas Courts Online
Texas Governor Online
Texas Legislature Online
The Nation
The National Review
The New Republic
The Weekly Standard
U.S. Courts Online
U.S. House of Representatives Online
U.S. News & World Report
U.S. President Online
U.S. Senate Online
Wall Street Journal
Washington Post
Who Represents You?

My Favorite Print/Traditional Comic Strips

These are strips that either I still follow or used to follow. Needless to say, I enjoy or have enjoyed these strips immensely. Also, all of these, with the exception of "The Far Side", can be found online.

"Garfield" - It was the first comic strip I started reading in the the newspaper at a fairly young age. I know some don't like it but, trust me, to me, as a kid just learning to read, it was simple and great.

"Pearls Before Swine" - It mixes anthropomorphic characters with funny and strange word play, funny. Talking animals that are are funny, so guess what, I like it.

"Non Sequitur" - A mix of weird, political and always funny. Plus it mixes formats from single panel to traditional with ongoing characters.

"Brewster Rockit" - It combines the comic strip medium with scifi satirical story lines. I like comic strips, scifi and satire, not surprisingly, I like it.

"Red Meat" - As far as I'm concerned this is the undisputed champion of the weekly-alternative-free-newspaper comic strips. Off the wall crazy. Greatness.

"Doonesberry" - The first, as far as I know, ongoing comic strip focusing on political and social issues exclusively. Still great.

"Boondocks" - Where Doonesberry couldn't/wouldn't go, it did. Sadly, its run was relatively short.

"Dilbert" - It's hard to believe no one had taken on the task of making fun of the mundane corporate life of cubicle dwellers. Well, this strip did it. And Dogbert is awesome.

"Get Fuzzy" - We have 2 cats and 2 dogs. The "hero" in this strip has 1 cat and 1 dog. So, I connect to it. As far as I'm concerned the best comic strip today.

"Peanuts" - I know some folks think it's old-fashioned and not relevant anymore. But, I think if you go back and read the strip sequentially back in its heyday from the 1950's till the 1980's (when strips inspired by Peanuts rivaled or surpassed it) you'll find it deft and socially relevant on many levels.

"The Far Side" - It's The Far Side. Nothing was quite like it before or after. One panel of absurd hilarity. Brilliant.

"Calvin & Hobbes" - For many this is their favorite strip. For me it's a close second. It reminded me that there are serious issues and things out there but you have keep them in perspective and remember to be silly.

"Bloom County" - My favorite hands down. It had everything, a talking penguin and his friends including a drugged out cat, a Vietnam vet, a politically aware kid and his friends and boatload of other characters. It was alternately socially relevant, weird, irreverent, political, immature and serious. I loved it. When the final incarnation of this strip "Opus" ended I was truly saddened.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Our Pets #1: Not That Long Ago In A Living Room Not That Far Away...

A Literal Version of the A-Ha Video

About Our Pets

Our Pets is a comic strip in blog format (webcomic) about, you guessed it, our pets. Our pets are our 2 cats, Cindy & Primo.  Primo is named after the first born brother in the movie Big Night, and Cindy is named in honor of another great cat, Cindy I who has passed on to the next plane); and there are our 2 dogs, Gilda & Gene.  Gene is a boy by the way. Gilda and Gene are named after and in honor of Gilda Radner and Gene Wilder. I hope you enjoy it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

W.'s biggest regrets

Or alternate title, "Let me outta here!"

So W. did an interview about, at least in part, his biggest regrets.
He mentioned the "Mission Accomplished" banner and the old west poster statement as regrets. Of course there are other things that could be brought up but, I'm not going to.

Believe it or not I have not seen the movie "W." however, I have read that W. is portrayed as almost a sympathetic figure defined by circumstances beyond his control. That may be true however, great figures are not defined by their circumstance, a great person changes and defines their circumstance. Perhaps that is the greatest lesson of the W. presidency, you get what you pay for. Folks wanted a president that they wouldn't mind having a beer with. That may seem like a great, down to earth criteria for selecting a president to some. When I heard that criteria going on 9 years ago I thought it was a terrible idea. And it still is. And so you have a president talking about the regrets of his presidency, while he's still in office, as if the circumstances of his presidency were beyond his control. Maybe, given these circumstances and this president, they were beyond his control.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Conservative Leader Blames "Moderates" For Loss

Or alternate title, would Reagan recognize this GOP?

Bizarrely, Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council and religious conservative Republican blamed the presidential and congressional losses on moderates.
Wow. This Republican is blaming moderates for not getting on board with social conservatives' agenda and wants to move the GOP farther right. Wow again.

Yes, some states passed amendments to ban same-sex marriage, or made English its official language or tried to ban affirmative action. Those types of issues are what Perkins is clinging to. Those issues work great for the GOP in state and local elections sometimes. And they help the GOP nationally when we're at peace and the economy is booming but not so much now or any time in the near future given our economic outlook and the fact that we're fighting two wars. The days of those "social" issues dominating the political landscape may be gone. The economy, taxes, foreign affairs, the issues that used to dominate elections, holds sway now.

For example, let's look at two of the religious conservative Republican's (I call them Pat Roberston Republicans, PRR's, as opposed to Barry Goldwater Republicans, BGR's) favorite red herrings in election years that they use to rally the base and scare the electorate generally, namely abortion and immigration. (see this blog post #22 for more on PRR's) Case in point, from 2000-2006 the GOP controlled the White House, and the Congress and arguably had a 5-4 majority in the Supreme Court but couldn't overturn Roe v. Wade. Furthermore, the GOP arguably doesn't try very hard to address the red herring issues they campaign about. How many test cases did the GOP get in front of the Supreme Court from 2000-2006 to try to overturn Roe v. Wade? They scare folks about immigration, but again from 2000-2006 didn't pass anything to punish employers that employ illegal immigrants, instead they talked about building a fence. A fence along the entire USA/Mexican border! And most of the Republicans, especially the PRR's, eat up these red herring campaign issues hook, line and sinker!

The fact of the matter is that McCain did pander to the GOP base, scaring them as best he could, at the expense of moderates, moderates that can be described as Reagan Democrats or Clinton Republicans. Moderates that don't see combating immigrants, abortion rights, gay rights, affirmative action, stem cell research ect., as the most important of the fights out there. I guess Perkins is frustrated that moderates weren't as easily scared as they were in 2004 by the bogeymen of a terrorist attack, the destruction of marriage, immigrants flooding across the boarder, ect, if a Democrat was elected. (Quick aside: does the state allowing same sex marriage mean that your individual church or faith has to allow it? No. Does it mean you have to attend every same sex wedding? No. Is the difference between a "civil union" and "marriage" semantics regarding a state providing a license for it? Yes.)

Perkins claims that he is attempting to go back to a Reagan-esque GOP. Really? Reagan advocated and passed the decriminalization of marijuana in California as governor. As president Reagan advocated and got passed the Earned Income Tax Credit for the poorest in our nation and amnesty to illegal immigrants in the USA who met certain criteria. I don't think Perkins really knows what Reagan stood for when it came to social issues. Reagan was arguably the most progressive on social issues of any president since LBJ, remember Clinton cut back on welfare when he "reformed" it. Reagan was actually consistent in advocating smaller government on economic issues as well as social issues. Reagan also balanced socially progressive stances by being a hawk.

So Perkins' solution to the GOP's poor performance in not only the presidential election but in congressional elections the last two cycles is to move farther to the right on social issues. Good luck with that. Dems, I'm sure, are quietly hoping the GOP follows Perkins' plan.


McCain versus Palin - McCain aides say that Palin, 1) didn't know what countries were parties to NAFTA, 2) didn't know Africa was a continent and not a country, 3) resisted coaching before the Couric interview.,0,5597211.story

Palin wanted to address the crowd before McCain's concession speech, McCain aides said no.

Crunching the Election's Numbers Nationwide & in Texas

Or, alternate title: I was under the impression there would be no math involved in tonight's debate

As is usually the case George Will wrote an excellent article about what warning signs the Republican Party should acknowledge in the aftermath of the presidential election.
If you look at the electoral college map coupled with what has occurred in the Congress, you have a party without any meaningful presence in the Northeast or West. Let's start by looking at the Northeast. Dems hold all 22 New England House seats now after Nov. 4 (New England not including NY). But NY doesn't get much better, out of 29 House seats Repubs hold only 3 and only one seat from an urban district. The House and Senate losses by the Repubs in the last two election cycles are the worst since 1930 and 1932.

And of course the far West (California, Oregon, Washington) is solid blue. What has to be troubling for the Repubs is that the Southwest, namely Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado went to Obama. Plus, Arizona has a Dem governor that may challenge McCain for his seat. Some are attributing Obama's success in the region to his draw of Hispanic voters:
While he did capture roughly two thirds of the Hispanic vote Obama and the Dems also did well in growing urban (code for big cities) areas and did especially well with not only Hispanics voters but voters across the board that live there.

Now what does that mean for Texans? Let look at some numbers in Texas generally and specifically in key counties:

Texas went for McCain by a large margin about 55% to 44% and 4.5 million versus 3.5 million.

Now lets look at some key counties:
Dallas: Obama 57% vs. McCain 42%

Bexar (San Antonio): Obama 52% vs. McCain 47%

Harris (Houston): Obama 50% vs. McCain 49%

Travis (Austin): Obama 64% vs. McCain 35%

Nueces (Corpus): Obama 47% vs. McCain 52%

Jefferson (Beaumont) Obama 51% vs. McCain 49%

Lubbock: Obama 31% vs. McCain 68%

Potter (Amarillo): Obama 30% vs. McCain 69%

Midland (Midland Odessa): Obama 21% vs. McCain 78%

El Paso: Obama 66% vs. McCain 33%

Laredo (Webb County): Obama 71% vs. McCain 28%

Cameron (Brownsville) Obama 64% vs. McCain 35%

Ok so that's a lot of numbers but, what do they mean? I'll tell you what I think the numbers mean. First, Texas has been a red state since 1980 but these numbers in big towns in 2008 have to be alarming to Repubs. Keep in mind that since 1980 a Bush has been on the Repub presidential ticket each time, except in 1996 and now in 2008, and let's face it, Texans are loyal to other Texans (even fake ones like H.W.). However, looking at the 2008 county numbers it is obvious that McCain won by picking up the smaller counties, albeit at a tremendous rate.

What about Texas counties with statistically significant minority populations generally and Hispanic populations specifically? First, keep in mind that generally such counties are also among the fastest growing in Texas.

The presidential election offers some insight into the changing landscape of Texas voters. McCain generally did not win in counties that are growing and/or have statistically significant minority populations. McCain's only win in a county of any size that has a statistically significant minority population is Nueces County (Corpus Christi). But, I think the large military presence there can account for his narrow victory in Nueces County. But, again it was a narrow victory. Contrast Nueces County with Bexar County (San Antonio) which has a statistically significant minority population especially when taking into account both the Hispanic and African American populations. San Antonio also has more military bases than most towns have McDonald's. But, Obama actually won Bexar County. McCain's loss in San Antonio has to be concerning not only to Repubs in Texas but on a national level.

Hispanic voters, in my experience, are very loyal to their chosen candidates whether they be Republican or Democrat. And I believe to some extent there is a generational gap in the Hispanic voting block. Certainly, there were Hispanics that voted for Reagan H.W. and W. that voted for Obama. However, the increase in Hispanic voters under 40 years old in Texas in the last 20 years cannot be underestimated and those Hispanic voters overwhelmingly voted for Obama.

As it stands, the Repubs couldn't defeat the openly gay, Hispanic, female Democratic Dallas County Sheriff. If you would have told me that even 10 years ago I would have thought you were crazy. All the above says something significant about where the Texas Repubs voting base is and isn't. The Repubs voting base appears to be in small, rural counties. The Repubs cannot take for granted winning in the growing, ethnically/racially diverse big cities in a statewide elections. But, McCain did demonstrate that in a statewide election if you win the smaller counties handily you can win statewide with a decent showing in the big, diverse counties. On the flip side, if, on a statewide level, the Dems can put forward a good/great candidate that is appealing, even somewhat, to rural white voters the Repubs could be in serious trouble.

Don't worry Repubs, Texas is still red. But, if the Texas Dems find a candidate for a statewide office that is appealing in the slightest to rural Texas voters Texas could elect a Dem to a statewide office for the first time in a long time. We'll have to wait and see if the Dems can find such a candidate.

demographics of Texas

Friday, November 7, 2008

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Terrible Campaign (for McCain)

Or, alternate title: Post Mortem

In 2000 I thought McCain was going to win the Republican nomination after New Hampshire. Then, McCain fell victim to Rove's, "dark arts," tactics (see this blog, post # 8) and lost the 2000 nomination to W. In 2008 he won the nomination and was leading in the polls immediately after his convention. But, after the economic crisis hit McCain and his camp never had an overall theme to his campaign or consistent talking points. Whereas, Senator Obama had his theme down, namely, "Change" and talking points such as "middle class tax cuts," "McCain equals Bush," "McCain is out of touch".

Why McCain lost can be summed up with the below talking points/attacks/missteps by McCain, Palin and Republicans generally, in no particular order. Keep in mind that all of these points/attacks/missteps were made after the Republican convention.
2) Ayers
3) Joe six-pack
4) Joe the Plumber
5) liberal
6) socialist
7) communist
8) inexperienced
9) we're for change
10) Bridge to Nowhere
11) Alaska Independence Party
12) reform
13) pork barrel spending
14) Barack Hussein Obama
15) country first
16) un-American
17) real America
18) Khalidi
19) national security
20) for the bailout
21) McCain got the first version of the bailout passed
22) the first version of the bailout is voted down
23) the bailout was a bad idea
24) maverick
25) fundamentals of the economy are strong
26) suspend the campaign
27) postpone the debate
28) economy in crisis
29) Obama will raise taxes
30) how many houses does McCain own
31) Palin/Couric interview
32) Gibson interview
33) Palin's clothes
34) the prank call
35) "that one"
36) air quotes regarding a mother's health
37) Reverend Wright
38) "my fellow prisoners"
40) at a rally McCain asks Joe the Plumber to stand up, Joe's not there
41) Palin is a "diva" (from a source in the McCain campaign)
42) Palin is a "whack job" (from a source in the McCain campaign)
43) Palin is going rouge
44) Palin 2012
45) Palin
46) Cheney endorsement the weekend before the election

That's alot. There are more but, that's all I could think of off the top of my head, please, let me know if you think of any others. A campaign cannot win with even a handful of the above much less all of them. Obama could essentially sit back and let McCain's campaign implode, each day was seemingly a different talking point/attack/misstep resulting in a disjointed, muddled and rudderless campaign.

Oh, and by the way, Obama ran an almost gaffe-less campaign after the Dem convention (with two big expceptions, Obama "spreading the wealth" and Biden's assurance of an "international crisis" to test Obama's mettle). And the economy (stupid) hurt McCain (especially the way he handled it) and helped Obama.

Sidenotes: Why didn't McCain learn from Hillary
How Hillary Clinton lost:
And McCain didn't learn from Hillary

What if McCain had hit hard on Wright?
McCain's pastors would have been talked about: