Archive | December, 2009

He’s definitely going to miss Wapner

Please take a minute to ponder and appreciate the life and passing of Kim Peek, the man who inspired the movie “Rain Man.” Because you just never know who’s going to change somebody’s life, or the world, next.

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Ho ho huh?

You’ve probably seen this before, but it never gets old.

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In Texas, we like to break stuff

This is pretty cool. Recently on South Padre Island, they performed the second largest building implosion in U.S. history, tearing a big one down to make room for another big one. My friend Louie Sanchez was there with his camera to capture the action.

Incidentally, this is also what the Austin City Council intends to do with drivers who, after January 1st, are caught driving (or, more likely parked on IH-35 or MOPAC) while using their cell phones as a text messaging device, to read or write email, to surf the interwebz, as a GPS navigation tool, or as a personal lubricant.

Despite the clear dangers associated with city council members not listening carefully to testimony regarding public safety issues during council hearings, there’s no indication that text messaging from the council chambers was made illegal.

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And speaking of Sarah Palin…

Appparently, there isn’t ANYTHING she won’t quit early.

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Sarah Palin book tour update

Don’t worry, Palin protesters, avocados will work just fine too, plus they’re on sale this week.

However, I strongly advise against the coconuts – serious injury could result.

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Ho Ho Ho

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Fact-checking the candidates: Farouk Shami

Letters From Texas Worldwide Headquarters, Political Affairs Division, is strongly committed to keeping you, the crap-reading public, fully informed on what the candidates are saying, and whether they’re telling the truth.

Our first fact-check of the political season: Farouk Shami, who startled reporters yesterday with this stunning claim:

“I’m not a flip-flop. I ran for the governor. I’m running for the governor, and I will be the governor.”

Not so fast, bucko.

Our crack team (yes, our team is, unfortunately, on crack, so we’re in the market for a new team) quickly sprang into action to determine whether Mr. Shami’s claim that he is not a flip-flop is accurate.

Here are the facts. According to experts, this is a flip-flop:

On the other hand, our experts claim that this is Farouk Shami:

There you have it: Farouk Shami is clearly not a flip flop. Thus, this seemingly-outlandish claim by a politician turns out to be accurate. Further, it also appears that Mr. Shami has terrible taste in sports jackets.
Tune in next week, when we’ll will look into whether Bill White is actually a Q-Tip. The answer might surprise you.
This has been “Fact Checking the Candidates,” an exclusive service brought to you by Letters From Texas.
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so would it kill ya to smile?

I don’t know that this short film put me in the holiday spirit, but it certainly put me in good spirits. Cheesy, yes. But you won’t be able to resist it either.

(h/t to Reeve Hamilton!)

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No, I do NOT wish for you a Merry Christmas

…at least not a Merry Christmas like this Merry Christmas.

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FUBAR-Cam Update from Interstate 10

You just never know what you might find on the open road.

First, I spotted this LSU fan displaying his continued support for Tiger Woods:

But a little while later, I spotted these other people who might disagree:

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Disarming forces

As El Presidente Hopey McChangerson leaves town for an overseas trip for some purpose unclear to me, I find myself reflecting on an entire planet full of recently-improving attitudes about the U.S.

During the Bush administration, even our allies overseas began to see the United States as some dark and vaguely-threatening violent force – one to fret about, not be reasoned with. Fast forward almost a year into the Obama administration, and things are better.

An act of war has always been, and will always be, nothing more than the result of a failed diplomacy. As long as we remain in a state of war, we continue to highlight our failures as a nation, and as a planet. But at the same time, while we still have a long, long way to go, we’re coming around, so our allies’ comfort level grows that the U.S. will once again evolve into a voice for positive change, instead of a force which bullies, frightens, and destabilizes.

If only there was some international recognition – some prize, if you will – which could appropriately mark this crucial course change, one which backs the whole planet off the brink. But alas, I suppose there’s not such a thing. Drats.

Meanwhile, I’m leaving town for the weekend as well. For the record, this is not where I’m going.

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FUBAR in the News (AKA “desperate cries for help”)

A conversation with Texas Tribune Managing Editor Ross Ramsey before the Thanksgiving break resulted in him asked me to write an opinion piece for them, which appears in the Trib today. Jump over to read it, then jump back and let me know what you think.

Speaking of el Tribune de Tejas, Reeve Hamilton wrote a piece last week on the importance, or lack thereof, of candidate endorsements. I was included in the article, and everybody Reeve interviewed agreed that endorsements don’t mean squat. We all then returned to desperately trying to get more endorsements for our favorite candidates.

Meanwhile, on Sunday I appeared on “Inside Texas Politics” on WFAA-TV in Dallas. Here’s the tape of the show, which opens with a very good interview with Mayor Bill White. Fast forward down to the -6:35 mark for the beginning of the segment in which I appear.

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If she thinks email is bad, wait ’til somebody tells her about the Facebook and the Twitter

Meet Lucille Drain, who until last month was the oldest elected official in Texas. At the age of 96, she’s resigned her Newark City Council seat before the end of her term, after 26 years of service.

The main reason for her early resignation? Here’s what the Wise County Messenger reported, from her resignation letter:

“The main reason for resigning early before term ceases, I care not to work with new council members through computers with all the questions and answers cut and dried before meetings.”

Adding, “I don’t think the city can be run by computers,” she took it to the house.

You’re wise beyond your years, Lucille. Utterly charming. Thank you for your public service.

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Explained: Governor candidate musical chairs

Lots of movement in the race for Governor today. Houston Mayor Bill White made it official and announced his candidacy for Governor, while Hank Gilbert made it official and un-announced his.

Ok, that’s a bit confusing, so let me back up and explain in more detail.

Months ago, Hank told Tom Schieffer, who was running for Governor, that Hank would run for Agriculture Commissioner, but then Hank instead announced for Governor, which Tom was already running for. Now, Hank is miffed that Bill told Hank that Bill would run for U.S. Senate, before Tom endorsed Bill and Bill announced for Governor, which Hank was running for, but Tom suddenly wasn’t. So Hank is supporting Farouk for Governor, which Farouk is running for, but Hank isn’t. Now Hank’s running for Agriculture Commissioner, which is what he said he’d do in the first place.

I’m glad I could clear all that up for you. It’s so simple, really.

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Sarah Palin Book Tour Update

As Sarah Palin brings her book tour to Texas today, Letters From Texas thought this might be as good a time as any to remind you pesky commie pinko reporters about The Official Sarah Palin Book Tour Media Guidelines:

1. if you’re a foreign reporter, you’re not invited.

2. if you’re a reporter who doesn’t speak English, don’t bother showing up.

3. if you dare speak to Sarah Palin, you are commanded to address her as “Governor.”

4. on the above issue of speaking to Sarah Palin, you won’t be speaking to Sarah Palin. In the event that you want to try to speak to Sarah Palin anyway, your request for an interview must first go to her publicist.

5. if you’re recording audio…oh wait – you’re not allowed to record audio.

6. if you want to shoot video, you’re only allowed to shoot the first 10 minutes of the event, without audio.

You think I’m kidding don’t you? Guess again.

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