A blog about Politics, Texas, and Academia

Archive for June, 2008|Monthly archive page

Reagan Girl – Tribute to the 80’s

In GOP, Humor, Music, Political Humor, Ronald Reagan on June 27, 2008 at 12:59 pm

This reminds me of how bad some of the music was in the 80’s.

REAGAN GIRL (Parody to Debbie Gibson’s SHAKE YOUR LOVE):

The real song:


Will Smith as Barack Obama?

In Barack Obama, Entertainment, Movies, MTV on June 25, 2008 at 2:04 pm

Known for playing prominent biographical characters such as Muhamad Ali and Malcolm X, Will Smith says that he would be more than happy to add the role of Sen. Barack Obama to his list of credits.

In an article on MTV.com today, Smith says that he won’t be doing any political stumping for Obama, but would rather keep all political action up on the big screen. Additionally, Smith would wait to take on Obama’s persona (and ears) ‘as soon as he [Obama] writes the end of the story.’

Smith has another July 4th blockbuster getting ready to open. He’ll play a grumpy, alcoholic superhero in the film “Hancock.” His past summer slamdunks include “Men in Black” and “Independence Day.”

“Hancock” opens July 2nd:


McCain v. The Secret Service

In Election 2008, Humor, John McCain, Political Humor, Politics on June 25, 2008 at 1:15 pm

Couldn’t help but picture McCain as Rambo in this parody from The Onion. 😀


Get Smart is Here

In Commercials, Fun Stuff, Humor, Movies on June 20, 2008 at 10:04 pm

This weekend’s movie pick: Get Smart – now in theaters

As the trailers are shown before the movie, you might see some familar political pundits in a Coca Cola commerical:

Houston Air Traffic Controllers Are Recently Hired with Little Training

In Airlines and Air Travel, Houston, Military on June 18, 2008 at 11:05 am

I’m already nervous enough when I fly, but this morning’s story from the Associated Press has now confirmed my need to drink when I’m soaring above the skyline.

From the AP:

Feds: Many of Hobby’s air traffic controllers have little training

 10:09 AM CDT on Wednesday, June 18, 2008


FORT WORTH, Texas — Two big airports in Texas have among the least-experienced staffs of air traffic controllers in the country, according to congressional researchers.

Many of the controllers who guide flights in and out of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and Houston’s William P. Hobby Airport are recent hires with little training, the Government Accountability Office said in a report issued last week.

Hobby ranked last in the percentage of fully certified controllers, at 56 percent, although officials for the Federal Aviation Administration say the airport has since added more certified controllers.

Hobby was followed by LaGuardia Airport in New York, with 61 percent of its controllers being fully certified, then DFW at 62 percent.

Five airports had at least 90 percent of their controllers fully certified.

Controllers are hired by the FAA, not the airports. The agency is facing a tidal wave of retirements in the next few years — 15,000 by 2017. That’s because many current workers were hired soon after President Reagan fired more than 11,500 striking controllers in 1981.

The article also points out that some of Houston’s air traffic controllers are too busy monitoring trainees; therefore, stress and fatigue levels are rising. One of the contributing factors to the FAA’s decrease in the number of air traffic controllers being hired is the smaller recruiting pool from the military. With larger re-enlistment bonuses being offered, trained and certified controllers are staying with military career and not merging into the civilian workforce.

The average salary for air traffic controllers ranges from $45,000 – $104,000, depending on experience. More information about employment can be obtained from the U.S. Department of Labor.

This weekend’s DVD rental pick:  Pushing Tin (1999) starring John Cusack and Billy Bob Thornton. Comedy/Drama.

from IMDB:

Nick “The Zone” Falzone (Cusack) is an air traffic controller at New York TRACON, where it’s busy 24 hours a day. He’s acknowledged as the best, until a quiet guy Russell Bell (Thornton) arrives on the scene from the Southwest somewhere. Russell and his wife Mary don’t quite fit into the close-knit community of controllers and their wives, and a rivalry soon builds.

Grad Student Humor: What Do You Do?

In Academia, College, Humor on June 17, 2008 at 11:23 am

From June 16th’s PhD Comics:

Al Gore to Endorse Barack Obama Tonight

In Barack Obama, Democracy, Democrats, Election 2008, John McCain, Politics on June 16, 2008 at 2:41 pm

Jeff Zeleny of the The NY Times’ The Caucus just posted this announcement:

Former Vice President Al Gore will appear in Detroit tonight for his debut campaign appearance with Senator Barack Obama, extending an endorsement and urging all Democrats to rally behind the party’s fall ticket.

“A few hours from now I will step on stage in Detroit, Michigan to announce my support for Senator Barack Obama,” Mr. Gore said in an e-mail sent to his supporters. “From now through Election Day, I intend to do whatever I can to make sure he is elected President of the United States.”

“I’ve never asked members of AlGore.comto contribute to a political campaign before, but this moment and this election are too important to let pass without taking action,” Mr. Gore said. He added, “Over the past 18 months, Barack Obama has united a movement. He knows change does not come from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue or Capitol Hill. It begins when people stand up and take action.”

The decision to stage the appearance in Michigan underscores the importance of the state for Mr. Obama. It was also in Michigan where former Senator John Edwards unveiled his endorsement of Mr. Obama in a surprise setting.

“Over the next four years, we are going to face many difficult challenges — including bringing our troops home from Iraq, fixing our economy, and solving the climate crisis,” Mr. Gore said. “Barack Obama is clearly the candidate best able to solve these problems and bring change to America.”

Not that this is very surprising. His endorsement list keeps growing as McCain’s…ummm… how long is McCain’s list? Sponsor’s such as Depends, Geritol, Centrum Silver, and pharmaceutical companies for ED medications do not count. 😉

Walk of No Shame – AMP Energy

In Commercials, Humor, Television on June 16, 2008 at 2:05 pm

How many of you woke up Sunday morning singing this???  😉


Happy Father’s Day! Take Dad to a Movie

In Fun Stuff, Movies on June 15, 2008 at 11:42 am

Maybe take Dad to lunch or dinner, but definately take him to a movie today! Here is a list of what’s playing:

The Incredible Hulk

The Happening

Kung Fu Panda

You Don’t Mess With the Zohan

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Iron Man

Remembering Tim Russert

In Media, news, Political News, Politics, Television on June 15, 2008 at 11:17 am

As the moderator’s chair was left empty this morning, colleagues and friends of Tim Russert gathered in front of his desk, remembering a great contributor to journalism and the media. Tim Brokaw hosted the remeberence on the set of Meet The Press, while James Carvell, Mary Matalin, Mike Barnicle, Betsy Fischer, Doris Kearns Goodwin, and Gwen Ifill shared similar stories and tears about Russert’s career and life. Maria Shriver was there via satellite.   

Everyone agreed (even Matalin who wept every now and then and at a few points, held hands with her husband) that Russert was not only hard, but fair. Stories about his love for Buffalo, sports, family, music, work, and his Irish Catholic background were accompanied with video and photo images. Flags are even being flown at half-mast in Buffalo today.

As I look around the Web this am and see the various blogs and opinion pieces that are being posted, I have read many that are surprisingly crude and disrespectful. Some have said that there has been too much coverage about Russert’s death and that enough was enough. Others see him as being nothing but a “muppet to the media.” I think what these bloggers and web journalist are forgetting is the fact that with Russert’s discussions and coverage on Sunday mornings, he set the agenda for the remaining week for political banter, including banter from us. Best example? The ton of posts that have been written about him since Friday. 😉 

Russert set the example of a good journalist. He had said that it was the responsibility of the journalist to study and know his guests, then take the opposite side to get to the heart of what the public needs to know. James Carville said that one of the things Russert hated most was when his guests showed up unprepared. To Russert, this was not only an insult but a reflection of how that guest’s lack of preparation inferred that they did not take his show seriously.

Russert has said that Sunday mornings were like a “town hall” where people could gather around their television sets and hear the answers to questions that politicians reluctantly answered. Maria Shriver said that she saw firsthand the fear that guests would exhibit, citing examples of her conservative husband and liberal uncle as they too prepared to appear on Russert’s show. They understood the importance of being on Meet The Press.

So as you go about your daily Sunday activities, hopefully getting ready to celebrate Father’s Day, remember that Russert was a father too – not only to his own son, Luke, but also to all of those he mentored in the studio, in the relationships he made, and to all of us in front of the television screen.



As to my point above about Russert leading the political discussion for the week, we can see that even in death, he has accomplished this. Thank you Tim Russert.