Friday, January 29, 2010

The Tea Party Strike That Never Was; Tea Party Convention Here We Come!

I remember hearing about a Tea Party strike planned for Jan. 20, 2010. Back in late December and early January it received a great deal of media coverage.

So what the heck happened?

The great, sure-to-show-the-strength-of-the-Tea Party strike of 2010 never happened.

Welcome to the world of populist movements where many different talking heads try to pull the "movement" in different directions. Organization is difficult at best and long term sustainability rare. The Tea Party is already showing signs of being pulled in multiple, different directions.

I mention this only because the of the forthcoming Tea Party convention, Feb. 4-6. The Tea Party convention will restrict media coverage of their event. Way to go supressing the freedom of the press Tea Partiers! I wonder what other rights found in the Bill of Rights will be restricted at their convention. Maybe the Tea Partiers will search some convention goers without a warrant, detain others without probable cause and force other conventioneers to quarter troops while attending.

Scheduled to appear/speak include but, are not limited to, Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann.

Plus, the $500.00+ per ticket price tag to attend all the Tea Party convention events sure seems steep for a grassroots, every-person, working class movement. And that price doesn't include the travel and lodging for out-of-towners. How many "real Americans" can afford that I wonder?

That is if the convention actually happens. I mean, remember, the Jan. 20 Tea Party strike was going to happen too. So herd them cats away from the Jan. 20 Tea Party strike and toward the Feb. 4 Tea Party convention!

More on the Tea Party convention to come.

Update: Bachmann and one other Representative, Marsha Blackburn, have backed out on the Tea Partiers. And the convention is apparently having trouble selling tickets to Palin's keynote address.

OK, now that Bachmann has backed out will Palin actually show up? What wheels off moments will happen during the convention ? Please, comment below.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

State of the Speech

(the following was written during/after the State of the Union - text here)

Key, but not all, topics covered: recession, stimulus bill, bailout, budget, environment/green tech, jobs bill, health insurance reform, financial reform, super-majorities in the Senate, education, Supreme Court decision regarding corporate spending on campaigns, national security, the wars, veterans, loose nukes, Haiti, civil rights, don't ask don't tell.

I'll be honest, to me it seemed a bit partisan and almost too casual at the beginning. Too much joking around. Too many jabs at the GOP'ers and veiled blaming of the past administration for the mess we're in. Were the jabs and assertions regarding the past administration deserved and/or true? Yes. But, the State of the Union doesn't seem like the time or place. Maybe that's just me.

Of course during the speech I also didn't like the GOP'er's snickers and and passivity. I especially found annoying minority whip Eric Cantor smirking and shaking his head every time they showed him--it was incredibly annoying. He looked like a second grade smart-aleck in the back of the room making fun of the kid giving a speech at the front of the classroom. And GOP minority leader John Boehner was as orange-tan as ever. Boehner and Cantor next too each other looked like Tan-man & Grinnin', the boy blunder.

Towards the end of the speech the tone turned more serious. The President dished out and took some blame for where we are.

Overall impressions: Tense. But, these are tense, hyper-partisan times we live in. I've seen better and I've seen him do much better too. It seemed a little like a campaign stump speech, especially at the beginning. I want State of the Union speeches to be inspirational and forward looking. And President Obama's speech was inspirational and forward looking at times, especially towards the end.

Overall grade for the speech according to yours truly: B (maybe because I expect a lot from President Obama-of course I expect a lot out of the Congress generally and especially the Senate.)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Real Top Grossing Movies of All Time*

(*adjusted for inflation)

The asteric above and what it means are important, at least to me anyway. It's been getting on my nerves that Titanic is always declared the box office king year after year and now Avatar is number 2 on lists of the top grossing movies of all time. Lists that rank Titanic number 1 (and now Avatar has been declared to have over taken Titanic) neglect to adjust the box office receipts for ticket price inflation which of course makes a huge difference.

Comparing movies' receipts without adjusting for inflation is, for example, like equating a millionaire's buying power today with the buying power of a millionaire back in 1950. Sorry, it doesn't quite work that way. I'm not an economist or anything but, I'll go out on a limb and assert that a million dollars back in 1950 was worth just a little more than a million dollars today.

So, if you adjust ticket prices for inflation you get a ranking based of what each film made if each movies' tickets had been sold for an equal price. Or, in other words, you get a list reflective of the total number of actual tickets sold.

At least 2 different sites (click here or here) have a good list of the top grossing movies of all time adjusted for inflation. Guess where Titanic is. It's number 6 behind such movies as Gone With the Wind and Star Wars. Avatar is number 27.

Below is a good list of the top 10 movies adjusted for inflation:

Rank Title                                  Adjusted Gross                             Unadjusted Gross
1 Gone with the Wind                   $1,485,028,000                             $198,676,459 
2 Star Wars                                  $1,309,179,000                             $460,998,007 
3 The Sound of Music                   $1,046,753,000                            $158,671,368 
4 E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial          $1,042,629,400                            $435,110,554 
5 The Ten Commandments            $962,850,000                               $65,500,000 
6 Titanic                                        $943,342,300                                $600,788,188 
7 Jaws                                          $941,379,300                                $260,000,000 
8 Doctor Zhivago                          $912,395,600                                $111,721,910
9 The Exorcist                              $812,679,700                                 $232,671,011
10 Snow White and the...             $801,150,000                                 $184,925,486

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Campaign or Vacation

Unless you've been on a remote island with no means of communication then you've probably heard that Democratic candidate Martha Coakley lost the late Ted Kennedy's Senate seat to Republican candidate Scott Brown in a special election.

How could a Republican win in mega-blue state, ultra-Democratic Massachusetts?

In the political campaign play book I don't think going on a week long vacation within 1 month of election day is recommended. Who would GO ON VACATION with an election for a U.S. Senate seat, you're supposedly trying to win, literally only weeks away? Martha Coakley would and did go vacation. Oh by the way, Coakley had a double digit lead in the polls before the ill advised vacation.

Also not found in the political campaign play book is the strategy of bad mouthing an admired statewide sports figure. Who would say that Curt Schilling is a Yankees fan, even if it was intended as a joke? Martha Coakley would and did. Moreover, she also made the Schilling-Yankees joke less than a month before the election. That would be like Kay Bailey Hutchison joking about Roger Staubach being an Eagles fan.

Furthermore, it's probably not a good idea to make fun of your opponent because he decided it would be a good idea to shake hands with voters outside Fenway Park.

So after losing the election what does team Coakley do? What every losing campaign seems to do these days, start pointing fingers at others. In this case the Coakley campaign started blaming the D.C. Democrats and White House for not helping out enough and thus causing the predicted Coakley loss BEFORE ELECTION DAY!

So let me get this straight, candidate Coakley goes on vacation for a week right before the election, makes fun of a local sports hero and lost to a guy that posed nude. Then, her campaign tries to throw the blame for the loss on out-of-town/out-of-state Dems? One definition of vacation is as follows:

vacation : an act or instance of vacating.

Coakley vacated her responsibility as a candidate when she and her campaign believed their own press and looked at the poll numbers and decided that it would be OK for her to take a break from trying to win a seat in the U.S. Senate. Maybe those in glass vacation houses shouldn't throw stones at D.C.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Welcome to

Short Story: I will now be writing/cartooning/blogging/posting new stuff here at AfterThoughtsNow - ATN:

Long Story: OK, I swear this is not change just for change's sake. It has literally been grating on my nerves that my blog/site is called Political Thoughts Now - PTN but, not all the stuff I post there is related to politics. I mean I've posted videos about "Chad Vader", cartoons about Tiger Woods, written about Avatar, and just look at the last cartoon I posted about Conan vs. Leno below. Don't get me wrong, I'll still write, cartoon and generally post about politics. Heck, I'll probably post about politics more than anything else. But, it felt unstable to have a site/blog called Political Thoughts Now when all the content was not related to politics.

So this is my solution, I'll be writing/cartooning/blogging/posting here at from now on. Everything that was at PTN will now be here at ATN (including archived stuff from any old sites/blogs I used to have such as Our Pets from and Episode from Sorry for any confusion that this may cause. Fyi, this won't affect the twitter feed. If you have any questions or comments you can click on the "AFTERTHOUGHTS ABOUT THIS POST" link below or email me at

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

On My Reading List: Game Change

The book Game Change by New York magazine's John Heilemann and Time Magazine's Mark Halperin is out. I have not read it. Yet. It's on my reading list though. And other's have read it. Below are just some of the reported revelations in Game Change:

- the most reported revelation: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid privately said that America was ready for Obama to be a presidential candidate because he was a "light-skinned" African American "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one."

- Regarding McCain's vetting of Palin: No one from the McCain campaign travelled to Alaska to interview Palin's husband or any of her political oppenents prior to McCain picking her as his VP running. I wonder if McCain wishes his campaign had vetted her just a little more. Remember, some things about Palin came to light after McCain picked her as his running mate. Matt Lauer asked McCain about his campaign's poor vetting of Palin on the Today show, it got kinda testy:

- On John Edwards: More than a couple people, including an at times distraught Mrs. Edwards, knew about John Edward's extra-marital affair early on during the primaries. I wonder if some of them knew before Iowa. If so, I wonder if Hillary wishes those that knew about the affair had said something before the Iowa caucuses.

- Regarding the Clintons and Teddy Kennedy: Bill Clinton, in trying to persuade Ted Kennedy to support Hillary, told Kennedy that a couple of years ago Obama would have been getting them coffee, angering Kennedy.

- About Palin: Palin didn't know why there is a North and South Korea.

- About Bill Clinton: Looks like Slick Willy had another affair in 2006. Hillary's campaign braced for the affair to come to light but, as we all know, it never did.

Man oh man, there's so much more. I can't wait to read the book. I'm not even being sarcastic, I really, really want to read the book.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

What Does Goldman Sachs Do ?

Seriously. Product? Service? What, from Goldman Sachs, reaches every day schmoes like you and me? I'd feel better about our government giving corporations like Goldman Sachs money if, and only if, they could answer those questions. Could someone explain what they do and why they seem to make so much money? Or is it just another pyramid scheme. I'll call it. The emperor has no clothes.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Rudy Giuliani: We Had No Domestic Attacks Under [George W.] Bush

Yes, Giuliani really said that, seemingly forgetting about the whole 9/11/01 terrorist attacks including the attack on the city he was mayor of at the time and the shoe bomber that same year. Surprising given Giuliani's repeated non sequitur references to the 9/11 attacks in speeches for years after.

What color is the sky in Giuliani-land I wonder?

Here's Biden bagging on how Giuliani constructs a sentence:

And here's Rudy bringing it back to 9/11 when asked about Hillary Clinton getting choked up on the campaign trail during the 2008 primaries:

Other things that, according to Giuliani, probably happened or didn't happen during W. Bush's administration:
- There was a link between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda.
- The USA went to war in Iraq based on good intel.
- Colin Powell didn't lie to he UN about WMD's in Iraq.
- We found WMD's in Iraq.
- Giuliani won the GOP nomination in 2008 for president.
- We captured and/or killed Bin Laden.
- Cheney never shot anyone in the face.
- W. Bush took swift and effective action after Hurricane Katrina.
- The mission really was accomplished when W. Bush stood in front of the "Mission Accomplished" banner on that aircraft carrier.
- The economy didn't tank during W. Bush's administration.

And here's the thing, Giuliani isn't the first, and probably won't the last, GOP'er to claim there were no attacks during W.'s presidency. Remember, W.'s former White House press secretary Dana Perino and former Dick Cheney aide Mary Matlin have gone on record saying the same thing. Do they think if they say it often enough or loud enough or really, really really believe no attacks occurred during W.'s presidency then everyone will agree with them? They do know that people can remember and read, right?

Man oh man, I do love the smell of revisionist history in the morning.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Bristol Palin Opened Up a Public Relations Firm

I'm serious. I am not joking at all.

In case you didn't hear, Bristol Palin, daughter of ex-gov of Alaska and ex-GOP VP candidate Sarah Palin, opened up a PR firm. Bristol is currently an "ambassador" for the Candie's Foundation, a pro-abstinence group. That'd be like the organization the Partnership for a Drug Free America hiring Amy Winehouse as a spokesperson.

In other news that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, Meghan McCain opened up a gateway to an alternate universe where her father won the presidency and Liz Cheney opened up for the Rolling Stones.

Bristol working for a pro-abstinence group is like...[fill in the blank by adding a comment below].

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Surprise Surprise Surprise

Just kidding, I'm not surprised.

Tea Party activist Dale Robertson, who runs, was photographed carrying a racist sign at a rally. Of course he misspelled the racist word. The sign read, "Congress = slave owner; taxpayer = n[-word]." You know Robertson is having issues when other Tea Partiers are distancing from him. And of course Robertson is from Texas. Way to make the Lone Star State look great Robertson. Racist moron.

What, you might ask, is my problem with Tea Partiers? Here's my problem.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Some Examples of Why the Last Decade Was Maybe Not So Good

A comment to the cartoon/post on Jan. 1, 2010 read, "[I] don't get it why did the decade suck."

I hope/think maybe they were joking. I essentially responded, in a comment to that post, as follows:

You're joking right? What about:



Anthrax attacks


Osama Bin Laden is still alive

Bush took the White House in 2000 after probably losing Florida and losing the popular vote

We re-elected him in 2004

The snuggy was invented

I'm pretty sure 1980's "fashion" was coming back towards the end of the decade there

We owe China WAY, WAY, WAY too much money now.

The Steelers won another Super Bowl and now have more than the Cowboys


Wall Street collapse

We bailed out Wall Street and they laughed all the way to he bank

Bernie Madoff

Housing bubble

ARM mortgages

DC sniper

Perry has been governor of Texas THE WHOLE DECADE

swine flu

bird flu

Sarah Palin

Tea Parties/Partiers/Baggers

Tiger is human

WAY too much reality TV




That's all I can think of right now. If anyone can think of more add a comment.

Side Note: Someone may bring up the whole argument/discussion that a decade doesn't begin until year one (1). For example, we don't start counting with the number zero (0) we start counting with one (1). So you wouldn't start a decade, much less a millennium with number zero would you? Meaning the past decade would have started in 2001 not 2000. Also, meaning a decade would end with year ten (10), in this past decade's case the year 2010 would actually be the last year of the decade not 2009. Weird to consider at best, boring at worst. I thought it was worth noting.