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Friday, September 24, 2010

Good News: Underworld 4 Is Set

Kate Beckinsale will be back and she will be back to kill the bad vampires though she herself is a vampire.  Kind of like Karl Rove attacking Republicans though he is one himself.  But I digress.

For movie buffs (particularly male), the Underworld series was a good one, coupling great CG with a great cast of characters, the most prominent being Kate Beckinsale.  The petite Beckinsale, clad in her form-fitting leather/something outfit with all types of firearms and wicked vampire-killing ammo is splendid.

It's really the way the Twilight series should have ended - with Kate showing up on the scene making short work of Edward and whatever that creepy other dude's name is.

Coming to theaters whenever they find a director for the film, it will be the fourth of the series.

Read more here.

3 Card Monte From the Fallin Campaign

I have written blogs that went after candidates in the past and one campaign in particular has asked me to contact them if there were any questions before I published.  So, I did.  I had a question of the Fallin campaign and before I wrote a word, I received a response.

In truth, what I received was a game of 3 Card Monte with the truth.

In a story that actually broke on Demookie.com, an Askins staffer was asked to leave an event sponsored by the Regents for Higher Education because if he didn't leave, Congresswoman Fallin would not take the podium.  Who was this staffer for Askins?

A former State Senate leader, Mike Morgan.

This is what was written on the Demookie.com website:
Fallin Wont Take the Podium Until Opposition is Removed from the Room

Yesterday the Jim Thorpe Museum was host to the annual President’s Forum, a gathering of University and College Presidents, the Board of Regents, and a handful of other dignitaries and invited guests. Speaking before this distinguished audience were the two candidates for governor, Lieutenant Governor Jari Askins, and Congresswoman Mary Fallin. The format for the event was that Fallin would first deliver remarks, then take questions, and then Askins would do the same.

However, just before she was to begin, Fallin made a strange request of the event organizers; she didn’t want the Lieutenant Governor in the room while she spoke. Nor did she want any of Jari’s staff in the room. In fact, she even scanned the crowd for faces that might be unfriendly, to see who else she could have ejected. Apparently she didn’t like the look on State Senator Mike Morgan’s face, because she told the event organizers she would not take the podium until he had left the room.

Senator Morgan was a guest of the event. He was seated at a table enjoying his lunch, until he was unceremoniously asked to gather up his things and leave the room until it became Jari’s turn to address the crowed, at which point he was welcome to re-take his seat.

This kind of behavior, from a candidate for governor no less, is both paranoid and more than a little ridiculous. As a public official she’s going to have to get used to being in a room full of people who agree and those who disagree with her. To petulantly refuse to take the podium until everyone who might be unfriendly to her way of thinking has been ejected from the event isn’t the kind of behavior this blogger is willing to accept from an elected official. This isn’t Soviet Russia, it’s Oklahoma.

As a side note, if memory serves, one of the issues Fallin primary opponent Randy Brogdon was most passionate about was transparency in government. Hopefully his supporters have noticed that Fallin is no fan of transparency, going so far as to have people thrown out of a forum because they might not like what it is she has to say. For shame!

When the story broke on the Democratic forum, I sent Alex Weintz, spokesperson from the Fallin campaign, an email asking one simple question:  Is this true?

His response on September 22, 2010, 2:25pm...  "That is absolutely not true.  Who wrote this?"

This is the story in the Tulsa World (Here) (emphasis, mine): 

Askins staffer asked to leave lunch

by: BARBARA HOBEROCK World Capitol Bureau
Friday, September 24, 2010
9/24/2010 7:10:12 AM

OKLAHOMA CITY - Former state Senate leader Mike Morgan said Thursday that he was embarrassed after being prodded to leave an event at which U.S. Rep. Mary Fallin was scheduled to speak.

Morgan, a Democrat from Stillwater, said he was attending an event sponsored by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education on Tuesday in Oklahoma City. The event included a lunch at which gubernatorial candidates Fallin, a Republican, and Lt. Gov. Jari Askins, a Democrat, were speaking.

Morgan said he was scheduled to participate on a panel after the lunch.

Morgan, who is affiliated with the Askins campaign and has spoken on her behalf, said he was approached by a member of the regents staff and told that there was an agreement between the two candidates that no staff members from Askins' campaign would be present when Fallin was speaking and vice versa.

Morgan said he was told that Fallin would not speak if he was in the room.

"I took my sandwich and went to the lobby," he said. "I was embarrassed. I complied because I didn't want to make a scene."

Regents spokesman Ben Hardcastle said, "We simply advised him of what we were told was the agreement between the two campaigns."

Askins' campaign manger, Sid Hudson, said there was no agreement regarding opposing staff members' attendance. Hudson used to work for Morgan in the Senate.

Fallin spokesman Alex Weintz said someone with the Fallin campaign brought the issue to the attention of the regents' staff.

"We went there thinking an agreement had been made with the regents and the Askins campaign," he said. "If there wasn't, then it was a misunderstanding."

Weintz said the issue had nothing to do with the fact that Morgan might disagree with Fallin.

"We don't always have agreements like that," he said. "Sometimes, when you know you are going to speak to a group, you can address their issues and speak candidly."
Feeling as though I have been bamboozled, hoodwinked and flim-flammed, I contacted the young man from the Fallin campaign and this was Alex sent me:

You asked me earlier this week if a blog post bashing Mary was true. I obviously disagree with the spin and the interpretation of events that were conveyed in that post and I still do. 
After the Tulsa World and the Oklahoman contacted me yesterday I circled back around and tried to get all the facts straight (I was not actually at this event). I conveyed those facts to their reporters as accurately as I could and this is the first contact I've had with you since then. I did not lie to you, never have and never will.
Spin.  He didn't like the spin so his initial response was, "That is absolutely not true." He "circled back around" to get the facts straight after the mainstream media contacted him about the stories that were sourced, more than likely, from the Demookie website.  Classic establishment Republican responses from people who want us to believe the hype their candidate is pushing down our necks.

To me, this kind of crap is what was expected from the Gene Stipe-era Democrats, not from this new, bold and beautiful Republican establishment posing as Constitutional conservatives.

So, you tell ME.  Did Alex lie to me or not? 

How did the story change so significantly in the last 24 hours?  I know I'm just a former talk show host, blogger and all around annoying guy...and I probably don't deserve the truth from a spokesperson from the Fallin campaign.  I'm just a regular guy like you.  I don't work for the Oklahoman nor do I work for the Tulsa World. 

But if Alex is willing to put some serious spin on a story like this, imagine what the campaign will do when the rest of us regular Joe's ask some questions...

But, I suppose this is what statewide campaigns have come down to, haven't they? 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Askins A-Million

News Radio 1000, KTOK, is reporting that Jari Askins has loaned herself $1 million for her gubernatorial bid.  Some politicos are finding it a point of contention.  I find it to be laudable.

The fact that Jari Askins has that kind of money to loan her campaign shows that she is self-made, has made wise investments and after all, isn't that what we "conservatives" really desire?  Aren't we all trying to reach that financial brass ring on the carousel of life? 

Contrasted with Congresswoman Fallin, Jari Askins is exceptionally wealthy.  Which would explain, in part, why the attacks against Askins have been so aggressive.

Non-Politics: American Idol Off The Radar

Simon Cowell was the lifeblood of American Idol.  His grumblings, his back-and-forth with Paula, his witty retorts...all made American Idol the show that it was for the last few seasons.  This year, Simon Cowell is replaced with Steven Tyler from Aerosmith and Paula Abdul is replaced with Jennifer Lopez.

While Lopez is certainly easier on the eyes than Paula and arguably more talented, there is no way in hell Tyler will be more catty and delightfully annoying than Cowell.  And you can lie to yourself all you want - we all watched AI to see and hear Cowell take someones face off.

Randy Jackson will be there this season, providing us with his insight and the ridiculously annoying "Yo, dawg," commentary but it will hardly be enough to save the show. 

American Idol has produced some amazing talent, including the likes of Oklahoma's very own Carrie Underwood...who is a vegetarian and supports PETA (sorry to burst your Underwood bubble, guys). 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Hell's Kitchen Tonight

Tonight marks the beginning of the 8th season of my favorite show on television.  Hell's Kitchen.  It has humor, intensity and of course, Chef Ramsay.  This new season looks more intense than ever and yes, the Gorilla will be plopped down to watch.  Join me on FB to share thoughts about the season premier - aired locally on Fox 25.

Coyle Gets Switzer/Henry To Host Fundraiser

Billy Coyle is the Democratic candidate for Oklahoma's 5th Congressional District where he faces Republican James Lankford and Independent Libertarian Clark Duffe.  And Billy Coyle has pulled out a couple of the big guns to help with his campaign in Governor Brad Henry and Coach Barry Switzer.

Hosting a fundraiser this very evening in the backyard of country club Republicans (Nichols Hills), Coyle looks to walk away from the fundraiser with a ton of cash and photo opportunities that will make his campaign team giddy with excitement.  Unfortunately, thus far, the only people who really know about Coyle are the Democrats who are pinning their desperate hopes on a guy who is probably one of the best candidates the Democrats have put forth in years.  Coyle is running at the wrong time - a time when the anger and ire against Washington Democrats.  We have already seen the GOP fire shots at Jari Askins in the gubernatorial race, comparing her to President Obama. 

I think that was in the Republican campaign talking points memo that went out nationwide because that's what all the campaigns are doing.

And Coyle's opponents are tough.  Clark Duffe, the Libertarian, is wickedly intelligent and knows the "red meat" issues better than anyone in the race.  He is a perpetual candidate, true, but he is a bright fellow.  But electing a Libertarian in pro-life, anti-drug Central Oklahoma is about as likely as Matt Pinnell hosting a fundraiser for Al Franken.

Which leads us to the Republican boy-wonder, James Lankford.

Lankford is the red-haired "New Moses" of the Republican Party, a Baptist camp program director who will lead the 5th District Republicans into the promised land of milk, honey and s'mores.  Lankford's popularity  in Central Oklahoma rivals only that of Hannah Montana, only without the singing.  Lankford came from nowhere to defeat the armies of Pharaoh (establishment Republicans) and is poised to be the first-ever Baptist camp counselor to serve in Congress.  Oklahoma truly is a trend-setting state.

Will Switzer be able to help Coyle increase his name identification?  It's hard to say.  Switzer helped pull off an upset for Jari Askins against Drew Edmondson, but this is decidedly a higher mountain to climb.  And in Central Oklahoma, Brad Henry might as well be Barbara Boxer.  He did, however, voice his opposition to SQ744 which shocked many in the conservative universe.  Coyle is going to have to get up on media quickly because he sure as hell is losing the battle on the Internet and on social networking sites.

Lankford's site.

Coyle's site.

Duffe's site.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

McCarville Lays Out The Gubernatorial Gunk

Mike McCarville has an excellent expose' on his blog today about some of the negative websites dedicated to the two gubernatorial candidates and he paints a very unflattering picture.  As is the case every election cycle, some nerdlingers with far more time on their hands than sense come out with websites that take shots at various candidates.  Some of the sites are funded, some are not.

Read Mike's story here.  It's worth the time.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Kudos to Oklahoma State University

For any of you who have frequented this blog (and there are more and more of you every day - thank you), you know that I am a veteran and have supported veteran's causes for a long time. Whether it be the Mid-America Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America or the Hugs Project, I believe we could all do more to support our men and women in uniform.

And you also know, I am not a Burns Hargis fan.  But now, Oklahoma State University has given us a reason to cheer them on beyond just their football team.

According to this outstanding article in the Oklahoman (here), OSU has teamed up with Pepsi and Waste Management to put together a recycling program that will provide revenues for a boot camp program for veterans with disabilities.

Read the whole article here.  Please.

Between A Rock and Hard Place

The McCarville Report simply dominates the blogosphere right now and he is to be commended for running his story about the RGA/Fallin connections.

This part of the story says it all:
Goeas, an Oklahoma native, is the primary consultant to Fallin's campaign. Goeas also is the primary consultant to the RGA's chairman, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, and counts the RGA itself as a client.
Game, set and match.  If you're part of the Askins campaign, you know that you have been handed a gem that could potentially end the Fallin campaign, IF used properly.

But again, this is Oklahoma politics...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

OMG! Seriously? Like, No Way, Dude!

Wait staff are critical to the success of any restaurant.  Service needs to be prompt, courteous, knowledgeable and enjoyable.  I know many people who have made a good living working as a waiter or waitress, so what you're about to read is in no way a discredit to those in the service industry.  But this really happened.

Decided to make a call to the local Buffalo Wild Wings locale in Edmond (not known for their prompt OR courteous service) to see if my Seattle Seahawks game or the Washington Redskins game would be broadcast on their big screens.  The conversation kind of went like this:

BWWW (Buffalo Wild Wings Waitress):  Buffalo Wild Wings.
Me:  Hey there.  I was wondering if you would be airing either the Seattle Seahawks against the Denver Broncos or the Washington Redskins against the Houston Texans this afternoon.

BWWW:  What?
Me:  Will you be showing the Seahawks or Redskins on your widescreens this afternoon?

BWWW:  Right now we have Cincinnati on and I think Dallas or something.
Me:  I meant later this afternoon.

BWWW:  What teams?  
Me:  Seattle Seahawks playing the Denver Broncos or Washington Redskins playing the Houston Texans.

BWWW:  Is that football?
Me:  Um, yes.

[At this point, my wife is laughing, asks for my cell phone.]

Wife:  Can I talk to a manager, please?
BWWW:  Sure!

BWW Manager:  This is _____ can I help you?
Wife:  Yes, will you be airing either the Seahawks or the Redskins this afternoon.

BWW Manager:  Absolutely.
Wife:  Thank you!

What a day.

Speaking of Sunday...

Seahawks.  My beloved Seattle Seahawks take on the Denver Broncos...should be an interesting game and the hope is that they will be victorious.  I remember growing up in Seattle, watching the games with unbelievable enthusiasm because they were OUR team.  I miss that atmosphere.

Fallin/Askins Flap.  This gubernatorial race has been exceptional to watch.  The RGA launches against Askins, Askins responds appropriately - calling for Mary to denounce the ads, Mary goes on the attack and blames Askins for going negative.  THEN, Mary's campaign says how they are running a positive campaign and will continue to run a positive campaign - at the very time that their consultants are putting together a negative ad to air.  When the Fallinistas are asked about how they feel regarding their fearless leader going back on their word...they follow the talking points memo to a fault and say, "But Mary didn't have anything to do with the RGA ad."  Classic avoidance.  This is only going to get better.  Jari Askins won't put up with the double-talk for very long and for the first time in her political career, she is facing a general election opponent who is well liked and has the money to get out her message.  Jari beat Drew Edmondson in a tough race, Mary needs to be very, very careful or that whistle stop train ride she's on will land her in the caboose.

Good Lobbyist/Bad Lobbyist.  I heard some talking head nutjob on Fox News the other evening talking about how bad lobbyists are and really, it's easy to hate lobbyists.  But there are two sides of the coin.  The NRA, for example, has lobbyists on the payroll.  The National Right to Life operation has a lobbying arm.  Even former governor Frank Keating is a lobbyist for the insurance industry and lest we forget, gubernatorial candidate and Congresswoman Mary Fallin's daughter is now a lobbyist - and her mom is quite proud of that fact.  Lobbyists are what they are and ultimately, we get to be lobbyists too.  Every time we head to the polling place, we get to decide which candidate will be wined and dined by lobbyists.  Exciting, isn't it?

Wronged Man.  Watched a very poorly produced film about a horrific story down in Louisiana where an African-American man (Calvin Willis) was arrested for allegedly raping a 10 year-old girl and spent 20 years in prison, only to be found innocent after the Innocence Project conducted DNA testing.  It reminded me of the Jeffrey Todd Pierce case here in Oklahoma and I often wonder why there isn't prosecution of those who knowingly sent to trial and convicted a man who clearly was not guilty.  How does that happen in this culture and society?  Jeffrey Todd Pierce's story is much like others and frankly, underscores why I am no longer a fan of the death penalty in the state of Oklahoma.  If we put to death one innocent man, it's one too many.  Jeffrey Todd Pierce received a settlement from the city of Oklahoma City, but how can we realistically think that money will cover the loss of family, loss of dignity, loss of career and God knows what kind of brutality he experienced in prison?  Based on what I know and have seen, Bob Macy and Joyce Gilchrist should be in prison themselves.   But I digress.

More Sunday thoughts later...