Monday, March 31, 2008

Random Access: Gil Bernal - Strawberry Stomp

Strawberry Stomp
written by Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller
performed by Gil Bernal
issued in March 1954 on Spark 45x106

The band on this record is tenor saxman Gil Bernal, drummer Jesse Sailes, bassist Ralph Hamilton, guitarist Chuck Norris, and Mike Stoller on piano. Bernal is another one of my favoite "unknowns." He started out in Lionel Hampton's band but ended up a City Slicker with Spike Jones! When he wasn't with either during the 1950's he did a ton of session work! He is on almost every Spark label release, every Coasters session from 1956 and 1957, including classics like "Young Blood" and "Searchin'". He is also on Duane Eddy's Rebel Rouser. That is just to name a few! This is one of the two Spark sides that, to my knowledge, have not been reissued on CD. The other is "The Whip". If I get lucky, I'll share that scorcher with you :0)

The Golden Horseshoe Revue Honored Last Weekend

Last weekend a long gone, but long remembered show from Disneyland was honored and remembered, the Golden Horseshoe Revue during a special evening at a Sheraton Hotel near Disneyland. Especially honored was cast member and Disney legend Wally Boag. He was the star of the show. You may also recognize his voice as one of the birds in Disneyland's Enchanted Tiki Room. Alas I never was blessed to see this show in person but I remember seeing reruns of an episode of the Wonderful World of Color in which the state show was featured, on the Disney Channel.

My friend, Circarama over at MiceChat was blessed to be in attendance and shared his experience with the world. There are many great pictures and some videos. If you are a Disney fanatic, like me, you won't want to miss reading about it HERE.

My Radio Show is Back!

For those of you who have read my blog since the beginning will remember that I spoke of Radio Odyssey and that I'd be getting my radio show back on the air soon. This was back in July just before I signed on as a Mike Huckabee blogger and volunteer. Well, I have finally followed through on my promise and my radio show, Rock Around the Mouse is back on the air!

I have been doing Internet radio for the past seven years. I started all the way back in 2001 as a pioneer to the medium. This was back when Real Audio was the standard for audio on the Internet and hadn't been replaced by mp3s yet. My program was called "Live From The Bop SHOP" and featured DooWop and Rhythm & Blues from the 1950's. As time passed my musical tastes evolved and expanded as they typically with younger people. Thus my radio show has evolved as well.

What is Rock Around The mouse about anyway? Well it is the fusion of two passions for me, Disney, and muic that has a retro feel to it. I have loved anything Disney since I was born. My favorite childhood memory is my only trip to Disneyland when I was four back in 1986. I grew up with the glory days of the Disney Channel (before it became at basic cable sellout). As my musical tastes evolved I realized that the music of the first decade of Rock N' Roll has been the inspiration for popular music to this very day. It may not be the main focus of today's music, but every once in awhile someone will come along and use what I call "retro rock" styles.

Rock Around The Mouse was a record album released by Disney in the 1980's that featured the classic beloved Disney Characters and the music had a retro, 50's feel. The title track of the album (sung by the Jordanaires) serves as my theme song. So my show features Disney music (from movies, Television, and the Theme parks) along with classic Oldies and REtro-rock. I also spin requests as well from other genres of music as I like to please my listeners.

My radio show airs on Radio Odyssey at the following times:

Sundays 8-11 PM Eastern (5-8 PM Pacific) - Each new show "PremEARS" at this time
Wednesdays 9 PM-Midnight Eastern (6-9 PM Pacific)
Fridays 3-6 PM Eastern (Noon-3 PM Pacific)

Unlike in the past, my show are recorded for broadcast later. My computer is not currently fast enough to do a live show. Hopefully that will change in the future. The show is voicetracked by myself and produced by Dave the Swinger. He really makes me sound awesome!

I hope you'll be able to tune in one day and let me know what you think. As I said before requets are definitely welcome! Please E-mail them to me I'd love to Play what you say!

After Decompression I have returned

Good afternoon everyone!

I know I haven't even showed my face around here in several weeks. I needed to take a step back and smell the roses for an extended period of time. This was by far the longest I have been idle from this blog but now I feel refreshed and ready to get back to blogging for ya. Put yourself in my shoes for a moment. If you had spent 7-8 months of your life writing about one thing almost every day (and multiple times on most days) you'd need a break too once that became unnecessary.

I realize that i have yet to publish my "Huckabee Republican post" yet and that y'all are waiting for that. I apologize to you for not having that up by now. I will continue to work on it but it is not my priority at this moment in time. Please continue to be patient.

Anyways, I hope that you haven't missed me too much. I'm back now. So get ready for some more new content here.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Wow! This Video Is So Awesome!

You have not seen me in awhile. Well I have been hanging around here you just don't know it. I am working on a extensive post about what a "Huckabee Republican" is but I just have not had enough time to finish it. It's quite lengthy. I hope to have it ready by this weekend. In the meantime I wanted to share something really special with you.

Anyways I wanted to share something really special with y'all today. I frequesnt several Disney-centric boards (I call them Mice Clubs). g3311r, a member on one of them (MiceChat) was recently at Disneyland and filmed their current fireworks show, Remember Dreams Come True. The show debuted in 2005 and was created in honor of Disneyland's 50th Anniversary. The show pays tribute to the park and its many classic attractions both current and defunct (as it also pays special tribute to its creator and inspiration, Walt Disney). g3311r combined the footage from this year with other footage shot from last year, the soundtrack, some live ambient audio, and edited in some Disney magic to come up with this wonderful presentation! I'm no fireworks fan but the presentation is stunning and brought me to tears as it pulled and tugged at my heart strings throughout its entirety.

Way to Go! These videos are MUST SEE!!!

Friday, March 7, 2008

A FairTax Update

The following is a FairTax update:

Dear FairTax supporters,

It's time for me to "fess up".

I want to apologize for asking for funding--and for not doing even more than we have. Both rob my sleep. We achieved so much in the past year--but it cost us.

We dominated the Iowa race, held three big rallies in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, doubled our grassroots base, launched and kept the beautiful FairTax bus on the road, "guested" on more than 600 radio talk shows, convinced ABC's George Stephanopoulos to ask the FairTax question at GOP debates and moved the FairTax onto the national stage. And best, we saw one candidate, Gov. Mike Huckabee, not only embrace the FairTax but make it a center plank of his campaign. He continued to help us last week by signing our April 15th petition in Houston in front of a room full of reporters.

We've been "running the baselines" the way Pete Rose did--without fear and with every ounce of our hearts. We put people in the field, hired local organizers, "wrapped" the FairTax bus, funded rallies and media and gave away almost every T-shirt, cap, bumper sticker and membership brochure we had (about 250,000).

It worked.

But it meant that just after Iowa we laid off most of our staff to reduce operating expenses. We only kept the campaign elements that would allow us to capitalize on our momentum for the hardest work--expanding our membership base--and reluctantly said "thank you and good-bye" to a small group of talented young people who worked seven day weeks for more than a year to make our on-the-ground efforts so powerful.

We are now rebuilding the campaign infrastructure brick-by-brick. The Web site is better than it ever has been, the FairTax Groups (grassroots-managed sites) are growing, the FairTax bus continues to delight in hundreds of towns and cities, our media work continues and we continue to hector talk show hosts across the nation. Membership is growing and our operational tempo is again increasing. But no, admittedly, not fast enough.

We are just now turning the corner financially--because of your generosity and because our numbers are growing. We funded 100,000 memberships "tri-folds" in the new Boortz/Linder FairTax book (on the bestseller list again as one more reminder how powerfully popular is the FairTax), we launched our first direct mail effort in years, and our Internet strategies are dramatically growing the membership. In a little more than one week, we already have more than 40,000 signatures on our April 15th petition to Congress and Presidential candidates. We have just restocked our tri-fold supply with 100,000 new pieces and we have brought on long-time supporter, Jimmy Walby, to work closely with grassroots leaders nationally. We are making plans now for Congressional district level issue campaigns and are actively reaching out to national leaders for support. Still not enough.

We bought full-page newspaper ads before the Ohio and Texas primaries (thank you for making this happen!) and plan to place more ads in small to medium newspapers in states where we have large membership figures--and low co-sponsorship levels. Alone the ads are not enough, but they bring people to our Web site and help grow our base and excite newcomers about the FairTax.

I'll admit I blew my top a few weeks ago when one frustrated local leader wrote to ask why we were not "getting real" and buying TV ads across the country and putting organizers and billboards in every town and city. After talking with him at length is was clear that we both shared a common frustration that we have not been able to do more and do it faster. But we took some comfort in the fact that the FairTax has never had more Congressional co-sponsors or been better known nationally.

Our challenge now is make our campaign even more powerful and to shift our efforts from the early Presidential primary strategy that served us so well to direct pressure on Congress and the leading Presidential candidates for both parties. Both goals, and an increased operational tempo, require many more supporters and even more active measures now by the FairTax family. On the merits, we win. But being right is not enough, it takes organization, funding and political strength to overturn the self-interest of Congress and the ignorance of the national media.

For our grassroots leaders--I'm sorry we have not been able to work more closely with you and give you better tools and more materials. That is now changing. For our many contributors, I am sorry I keep asking for funding. But to all, please know that we are on the road to a stronger and self-sustaining national campaign that just keeps getting better and better. Our cause deserves much more, and we know it.

What can you do now? Here are five things (click on anything in blue):

1. Help us deliver 100,000 names by April 15th: Sign the petition now at

2. Get your friends and family to join our cause and sign the petition.

3. Write your Members of Congress (Here's a scorecard of current FairTax supporters).

4. Ask friendly online, print and radio media to feature our FairTax ads.

5. And yes, I am sorry to ask but please continue to help us fund the work.

Take pride in what we have accomplished together this last year and keep the faith because we are on the path to write history, change America and make good on our Founding Father's promise of a nation directed by its citizens.


Ken Hoagland

Communications Director If you would prefer sending a check or credit card contribution by mail, please download and print our contribution form here.

Mike Huckabee: "Delayed but Not Deterred"

The following was posted this morning by Mike Huckabee on his blog:

It seems as if winter is chasing me wherever I go! It's snowing hard in Little Rock today--in March, for heaven's sake! After spending the past few months mostly in Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and other "snow states," I thought we'd seen the last of winter. But NO--it snowed in Texas and now in Little Rock. I would head to South Florida, but would hate to cause a snowstorm in Miami.

I want to thank all of you for the incredible encouragement that you've been giving to Janet and me these past few days. We read the blogs daily and get such a lift from the thoughtful and gracious things people are sayinig. It really does overwhelm us with gratitude.

While many of our staff have left to find jobs and to head to wherever home is for a while, a few are still in the office trying to pack things up and go through the process of closing the doors. This will take a while--we weren't planning on this, but rather had planned on not closing until January of 2009.

We will keep the website active, although it may be updated on a more limited basis instead of hourly--we will communicate with you what's next. We are trying to formulate the plans for transitioning into an effort to work to help the cause in this year's elections and then to continue having an impact on policy and issues beyond.

One thing I'm convinced of--you have worked too hard and made too many sacrifices for us to just "quit." That's not an option for any of us. The reason we all worked so hard is to make a better future for coming generations--as I often said, this isn't about just the next election, but the next generation. That battle is far from over.

I've spent the past couple of days trying to find the bottom of my desk, make calls, and re-connect with our "boys" (the 3 dogs--Jet, Sonic, and Toby) who haven't seen much of us the past few months. We are trying to find some time to get away for a few days, but not sure when or where just yet. There's still a lot of things to get done right now.

One of my immediate concerns is for our incredible staff. Pray for them that they will all find good jobs soon. Many gave up very good careers to come to work for us at a fraction of their salaries. They have worked 20 hour days for months without rest or vacation. One of my priorities is to make sure they land on their feet. We have some amazing people with truly remarkable gifts.

I will keep in touch through the website and hope to be able to announce in the near future some plans that will hopefully keep us all connected for what the future might still hold. I do not for one moment believe that our mission has been accomplished--just started. I hope you feel the same. We may be delayed, but not deterred!

I appreciate you all more than I have the capacity to communicate. Have a great weekend. Janet and I will be in our own church for the first time in a long time and that will be great.

Now, it's time to get back to sorting through months of things that have been stacking up and watching the snow make me think I'm back in Iowa! God bless you all!

With deep love for all.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Mike Huckabee's Concessions Speech

the following video is Mike Huckabee's concession speech last night. He is truly the most eloquent of orators I have come across in my lifetime. I have full faith and trust that this is not the last time our nation hears from Governor Mike Huckabee. However this is his final speech on the 2008 campaign trial. It is as gracious and eloquent as ever. I didn't want to hear some of the words that had to come out of his mouth last night. I did not want to hear the words that it was over and that the race was finished. However those are the words that were said. I have said it before and I will say it again to anyone who will listen until I am blue in the face. What a wonderful man, full of grace and the most honest and trustworthy politician I have ever come across. I am truly proud to have supported him.

Ronnie I's Obituary & Final Arrangements

The following is the obituary and final arrangements for Ronnie Italiano "Ronnie I"

Ronald Italiano

ITALIANO Ronald, 67, of Clifton, NJ, formerly of East Rutherford NJ passed away on March 4, 2008. Born in Passaic NJ. Ronnie. I. was the president and founder of The United in Group Harmony Association. (U.G.H.A.) and considered a 50's Doo-Wop Icon. Beloved husband of Sandra. Devoted father of Ronald Jr. Doreen DeMartino. Tammi Porzl. Dear brother of Richard, Elaine Kling, and the late Anthony. Loving grandfather of Marissa, Jami, Kylie, Arianna, Aaron, Jason, Justin. Funeral from the Macagna Diffily Funeral Home 41 Ames Avenue Rutherford NJ on Saturday March 8 at 8:30 AM thence to St. Josephs R.C. Church East Rutherford NJ, where a funeral mass will be offered at 9:30 am. Internment to follow at St. Josephs Cemetery Lyndhurst, NJ Visitation Thursday 7-9 PM, Friday 2-4 and 7-9 PM. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to The Cancer Center at Hackensack Medical University Hospital. and or Make a wish foundation.
Published in The Record and Herald News on 3/5/2008.

So Now What?

There is a question that must be asked today. what? I started this blog with different intentions than what it became for the past seven months. Do I regret it? Heck No! Nor will I delete everything from that point in time. The blog entries about the Huckabee Campaign in 2008 will remain as a historical testament to the great effort that I was proud to be a small part of. However I will be removing most of the Huckabee content on the right side of the page. The Campaign is over so there is no need to display the banners and widgets anymore. However the blog roll will stay as I am sure Mike will not be deleting his. Both Huck's Army and Mike Huckabee's website will be kept going as of this post. There are no indications otherwise. Of course if any of that changes we'll burn that bridge when we get there.

Expect more general posts. I will get back to doing what I started with this blog and sharing with you content that I feel is important. Yes some of that will be political in nature. However, a lot of it won't. There will be posts about music, and sports, and videos and more cool stuff. I'll be getting my butt back on the Internet Airwaves this spring and will use this blog for those means as well.

In case you are interested back in January I started another blog of sorts. It's very different. I realized that while I was using this blog to campaign I needed a more appropriate place to share my thoughts, feelings, and emotions about my life in general. Yes a lot of them dealt with the campaign but some of them were not related to it at all. I started a Live Journal. You can go and view it HERE I'll be continuing to post there and I will add a link to the side panel as I am re-designing this blog as we go along this week. Well it is almost spring so it must be time for some Spring Cleaning. How appropriate!

Thank you for sticking around with me through this journey we've been on together with the Huckabee campaign. I've met many friends and I pray that we stick together and grow those friendships. However it is time to move on and move forward!

Morning After Reflections

I am sitting here this morning with a tall cup of coffee. It is a very special occasion so whipped cream was added. There is much to be proud of so my "Celebration Coffee" was in order. More on that in a minute.

I woke up this morning with a pain that I hadn't felt in years. However it is all-too-familiar. It's the same pain that I woke up with the morning after The Atlanta Braves lost the World Series in 1991, 1992, 1996, & 1999. However as familiar as it is the pain is somewhat different this morning. Sure those times I was just a fan sitting on the sidelines but this morning the pain is more personal. For good reason. Over the past seven months I was not a spectator but I was one of the men running around on the field of play. I got my shirt muddy and my face bloody and I gave it my all, however when the final gun sounded the scoreboard was not in my team's favor. It's very hard not to be possessive of your favorite sports team as their successes and failures become your own. This time I can more fairly be possessive.

When that final gun goes off and despite your hardest efforts the outcome is not the one you desired or worked towards it is very easy to hang your head and cry. I won't lie to you. I have cried many tears between last night and this morning. I have been emotionally tied to this effort for so long that I just could not help it as I am an emotional person. That's how I operate. Despite that did I hang my head? Not just no but HECK NO! There's too much to be proud of to do that. Did we achieve exactly what we wanted to in this effort? No. However there is a ton of things we accomplished together in the past seven months that not only should we be proud of but we must celebrate when the time is right.

When I got involved (and the subject of this blog changed overnight) Mike Huckabee was an asterisk. There was more dust in his campaign coffers than there was money. Yet deep in my heart I knew he was the right candidate to support. Did I think he would get this far and that I'd be typing this today? No, I did not. I knew right off the bat that Huckabee was not the favorite of the GOP establishment. If I did not know that I realized quickly after the Iowa Straw Poll. Mike's 2nd place finish should have vaulted him to the first tier of the pack and help him out money wise. It did not. However that did not stop me at all. Why? Cause I knew that I had backed the right man. I saw Mike Huckabee as I see him now, the next Ronald Reagan. Remember that Ronald Reagan went down in defeat in 1976 and it took a long time before he really caught on with the American people. I also saw the political landscape that was similar to 1976. "1980" will be coming soon in 2012. And today I find solace and inspiration in that fact.

As I said before there is much to be proud of and much to celebrate at the right time. Never before has a candidate gone so far with so little. As a team we worked hard and left it all on the playing field. As a group we never really got somewhat organized until November. We were more like a "Chinese fire drill" instead of a well-oiled machine but look how far we got with just that! Not only that but we were part of a positive campaign that operated in the black and that refused to stoop to lowe levels of some of our opponents. We should be very proud of the campaign we were a part of. I know I am.

We beat the expectations of the media, pollsters, an pundits time and time again (if you look at last night's results we beat the pollsters even though we lost) . Almost every goal we met and fought hard to do so. Mike was not the "One State Wonder" that the media wanted to label him. Iowa took a great effort but we didn't stop there. West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, Kansas, AND GEORGIA are victories we should all be proud of. However we worked hard as a team in each state and we fought for each vote and each delegate and fought for them hard. We made thousands of calls, wrote tons of E-mails, waved signs on freezing street corners, and did countless other things to help the campaign along mostly at our own expense!

Yes there is no doubt that we are disappointed today but as we trudge back to the locker room we must hold our heads up high and know that we accomplished a heck of a whole lot together! I don't know about you but I am very proud! Also let us not forget that while this battle is over our fight is not. There is still fight left in this dog. We must stand tall for the principles that we fought for. We must continue to build the Huckabee Republican Coalition, just as Reagan did in a similar effort between 1976 and his great victory in 1980. We are the start of something big. We are not just a bunch of like minded people...we are part of a movement and we must continue to march together!


Press Release: Mike Huckabee Crosses The Finsh Line

News Release: Mike Huckabee Crosses Finish Line In Presidential Run

March 05, 2008

Little Rock, AR – Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee concluded his 2008 bid for the Republican nomination for President tonight, calling upon his supporters to embrace the candidacy of U.S. Senator John McCain (AZ).

Huckabee, a champion of conservative values, said: “I extend my congratulations – and my commitment to John McCain and the Party – to do everything possible to unite our party and our nation, to be the best country we can be, not for ourselves, but for future generations. I am grateful that Senator McCain has led an honorable campaign because he is an honorable man.”

“It's now important that we turn our attention, not to what could have been or what we wanted to have been, but what to now must be, and that is a united party,” Huckabee stated in his speech to supporters gathered in Texas tonight.

Huckabee said, “Not only have we fought the good fight and finished the race but more importantly, we have kept the faith. I would rather lose an election than lose the principles that got me into politics in the first place.”

“While many in the establishment never really believed I belonged, there were many in the country that did,” he said. “Thanks to their sacrifices, I had a voice – and I only pray that I have been able to give them a voice.”

Huckabee said he represented average Americans who work two jobs to meet ends meet; conservatives who want less – but more efficient – government with less corruption; people who believe we should overhaul our tax system, implement the Fair Tax ad and get rid of the IRS; the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines, who keep us free; those who cherish life and those who have yet to be born.

Huckabee, who ran an extremely small but cost-effective campaign, concluded his remarks by stating, “Our battle was never about us. It was about our country and its liberty. Now, we join with Senator McCain in the rest of that battle, not for who gets elected, but for what we can do when we get elected.”

Huckabee finishes the race with delegates from his victory in eight primaries and caucuses. He won caucuses in Iowa, West Virginia, and Kansas. Huckabee also won primaries in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Louisiana, and his home state of Arkansas.

Mike Huckabee: "Thank You!"

Governor Mike Huckabee wrote the following on his blog this morning on behalf of himself, Janet, and the rest of the Huckabee family (NOTE THAT THIS HAS BEEN EDITED FROM ITS ORGINAL FORM AS HE GIVES US INSIGHT ON WHAT IS NEXT AND WHERE WE WILL BE GOING):

Dear Faithful Friends,

Last night was a tough one for all of us. While Janet and I stood on the stage, we felt as if we were surrounded by a much larger family than our immediate family. We have been surrounded throughout the process by a large and growing family of faithful friends whose efforts in the campaign have humbled and amazed us day after day. I regularly wept or choked back tears just reading comments on the blog when I realized the sacrifices that so many have made for the campaign.

We had held out hope that we would win enough delegates to keep the contest going, but had vowed that if Senator McCain actually got the 1191 delegates, we would accept the will of the voters. In the end, the relentless hammering of the media that we "couldn't win" influenced enough voters and while we campaigned long and hard in the final states, it simply wasn't enough. I congratulate Senator McCain and will do what I can to assist him and influence him to take strong stands for issues that we conservatives cherish.

I don't see the long journey having reached its destination, but merely taking a detour. As my Marine friend Clebe McLary says, "I didn't lose--it's just that the game ended before I got finished playing."

In the immediate days ahead, we will be transitioning from campaign mode. For 14 months, there have been a lot of things put on hold in our lives. We have to join the many incredible people on our staff to figure out "what's next?" But this much I can tell you---we want to stay in touch and start now building a platform to continue addressing issues that brought us together in the first place.

Throughout my life, I've found that there are sometimes three possible answers to our prayers--"Yes," "No," or "Not Now." I would like to think our prayers were answered with a "Not Now."

We will keep our website up and as we transition, will want to create a way to keep in touch and continue the battle for our families, our freedom, and our future. We will also focus on assisting conservative Senate and House candidates, in places where we know our investment of time and energy can make a real difference. You can expect us to be active online as we do this and to regularly solicit your opinions and support. Too many big issues are at stake for us to sit on the sidelines.

In the immediate time, we have to make sure that we pay all the bills of the campaign and end in the black, help our staff find ways to earn a living, and make sure that we don't lose the momentum of the past 14 months, but instead follow the plan:


I really welcome your input and thoughts during these coming days. Pray for us as we seek wisdom as to what steps we take now. Despite what some have thought, we really didn't have a "Plan B' in the wings--we always thought we'd be in this until the inauguration in January of 2009!

God has been so good to us! We can never fully express our gratitude for all you have done and how you have touched and blessed our lives. I truly hope I didn't let you down. I promise to you that I gave it all I had to the last minute and left it "all on the field." What is more amazing is how you were willing to be "poured out" to the point of empty in order to be with us all the way. I stand amazed by it all and overwhelmed with gratitude.

We will dust off, pick ourselves up off the canvas, and answer the bell for the next round, whatever that may be. We love you all, and trust that the journey has just begun!

With tired bodies and grateful hearts,

Mike and Janet Huckabee
No Mike, Thank you! I have learned a whole lot during these past seven months. I've never been involved in politics before. During this time I took one leap of faith after another while running this long marathon with you. Despite a bitter end I don't regret it at all. I'd do it again for you. You proved time and time again why you deserved my support and confirmed that I had chosen the right candidate to support. I have learned a lot about myself during this process and lessons that I will carry on for the rest of my life. I have also been inspired to improve my health and well-being.

God bless you Mike, your wife Janet, and your entire family. I look forward to continuing to fight the good fight with you.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

It Might As Well Rain Until September

It's been an emotionally downer of a day. There are times where I just can't convey my feelings and I have to use a musical analogy. Carol King, one of music's best writers definitely conveys my feelings almost perfectly tonight.

"It Might As Well Rain Until September"

End of the Road....For Now

As you have likely read by now McCain has been declared the winner in Texas and the Republican Nominee. Mike Huckabee has officially conceded. There are a flurry of emotions I have right now and I am no shape to convey them to you at this moment in time. I'm sad, angry, and proud all at once. I'll be back with you tomorrow morning when I can think and write in a more coherent matter. It's been an emotional day to say the least.

SUPER TUESDAY II - Everything Going As Expected so far

It's almost 8 PM and polls are closed in Vermont and Ohio. John McCain has been declared the winner in both as expected. Obama has been declared the winner in Vermont. It is too close to call in Ohio for the Democrats. But again that is also to be expected. We wait anxiously for Texas.

Farewell Ronnie I, UGHA founder & DooWop Ambassador!

I just received some very sad news. For those of you who don't know my musical tastes I am a big fan of DooWop (Rhythm & Blues based vocal Group Harmony from the 50's and 60's). the music has just lost one of its biggest fans and ambassadors in Ronnie Italiano "Ronnie I" last night as he lost his valiant battle with cancer. He was the founder and President of the United In Group Harmony Association (of which I was a proud card-carrying member) which was founded in 1976 in Clifton, New Jersey (where Ronnie owned a record store, Clifton Music). UGHA and Ronnie I (he is pictured in the middle between my adopted Uncle Andy on the left an me on the right at the UGHA Hall of Fame inductions in 2002) were responsible for keeping the music alive and I owe him a great debt for doing so because without people like him I would not have discovered the great DooWop sounds. In 2002, 2003, and 2005 I traveled up to New Jersey for a UGHA meeting/shows that the Internet DooWop clubs held weekends in conjunction with. I have great and fond memories of those times and it saddens me to hear of Ronnie I's passing.

My most sincere condolences go out to his wife, Sandy, the Italiano family, and the many friends, fans, DooWop groups, and singers who love him. Ronnie I will be definitely missed by many around the world. UGHA had members from all over the country and as far away as Europe and Japan.

Ronnie I, We will miss you. However I rejoice that you are reunited with the long list of UGHA members who have passed on before you in the Heavenly Choir. They now have their emcee and those legends will be singing for you tonight my friend! Thank you for all you did for our music. Rest In Peace! We will miss you Ronnie!

Thank You Texas Volunteers!

I'd like to take this time to say a special thank you to all the wonderful volunteers in Texas, and who traveled to Texas to help out the Huckabee campaign. Also I don't want to forget all the hundreds of rangers who made calls into the state and those who sent their leftover supplies and sent them off to Texas. Every vote and every delegate earned today down there is a testament to your hard work!


Monday, March 3, 2008

More OTS Updates

I have some more updates from Operation Texas Surge. Unlike the last few these are not my own. I am just passing them along. Our first update comes from Oliver, the Meetup organizer in College Station:

Things are going real well. I have a tendency to be a little pessimistic, but am constantly encouraged by other supporters in College Station. I'm giving away the last of the Huckabee signs tonight, and all the fliers are gone too. I know one woman is hitting up 8 polling places tonight, 1 guy hit up 5 yesterday and some along the major highway, another woman is getting about 6, so things are really going well. I guess we'll just have to see what happens on Tuesday! -Oliver
Next up is an update from the group handling operations in Lubbock:

Coming at you from the second most conservative city in the United States, according the Lubbock, Texas where OTS is out in full force!

Our team included two from Southern California and one from New Mexico. The two of us from Southern California flew into Albuquerque, New Mexico where we met up with the New Mexico Huckabee Meetup State Coordinator. Together, we drove into Lubbock.

The city of Lubbock has 200,000 people. According to, seventy five percent of it's population votes conservative and twenty five percent votes liberal.

According to the local Meetup coordinator, Andrew Vaughn, there has been very little media coverage prior to Mike's rally in the city on Friday. The locals selected a venue that held 100 people and at the last minute decided to move the rally outside to accomodate more people. Good thing, too! Three hunded people came!

The next day the rally was the lead story in the city's only newspaper on the front page with a full color photo of Huckabee playing his bass at the rally. Great press!

Saturday night we caught up with the Meetup to plan strategy for each day all the way through the day after the primary!

Here is what we did / are doing:

- Morning sign wave
- Voter guide distribution on car windshields at major chuches
- Afternoon sign wave

- Discover Huckabee Issues Roundtable - Invited

- Precinct coverage
- Watch party

- Gather materials and drive to New Mexico

This is just Lubbock! We also campaigned in Albuquerque before we left for Lubbock. More to come...
Here's an update from the folks from N. Florida who are on the ground in Houston:

Groggy report from the ground in Conroe/Houston. I did manage to stay awake during church. It was so heartening to hear the pastor their inform his church of who he would be voting for! Mike Huckabee!!! It was really nice to see a man of God take a public stand for the right candidate for a change. Mike spoke briefly as he introduced Tim LaHaye. We left the church and headed to the gun show in Pasadena. Only in Texas can you leave church and go shop for guns! LOL.

We got a really good response from the patrons there. Many had bought the theory of McCain's inevitability but we're eager to learn of the brokered convention's history. We gave away several signs, lots of buttons and bumper stickers and sold a few of bpassmore's shirts!

Then the menfolk headed off to put up the ginormous signs we brought. We took miracleshappen and her children and headed to Huntsville to visit the statue of Sam Houston. I will post pics tomorrow after I find a way to resize them! That is one big statue!

When we got home we were reminded that today is a very special day. Yes, it's my DH's birthday (thanks for letting me be away!), but it is also TEXAS INDEPENDENCE DAY!!!!!

If the Texans I met today are anything like their neighbors, we won't need to worry about those silly polls come Tuesday! There are a lot of enthusiastic Huck supporters here. I met several people that told me they were going to vote for him even though they believed he couldn't win! They are not going to continue to vote for the lesser of two evils and they aren't going to let a pundit tell them how to vote!

I'm nearing comatose levels now, so I'll post more tomorrow. Jerod and I are headed to San Antonio to help set up for the rally and then to work the polls on Tuesday. Erin will be taking a much needed mini-vacation with friends.

Remember San Jacinto, folks!

We have a lot of great people o nthe ground giving their all for Huckabee in Texas! Way to go!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Operation Texas Surge Updates

The following are updates I have been posting over at Huck's Army for Operation Texas Surge Team One: the first update was posted yesterday:

This is BDBopper Reporting for HNN....THE HUCKABEE NEWS NETWORK....and our live team coverage of Operation Texas Surge YEEE HAW!!! :D (Can you tell I am enjoying writing these reports?)

On to the update! When we last left our heroes, They were headed out of College Station and on to Houston. It took them much longer than they wanted because the traffic in H-Town is an absolute nightmare! That didn't stop them one bit and they arrived at the Passmore's at about 6 PM Friday evening. What a wonderful family and team of volunteers Brett has! After hugging and twenty minutes of verbally catching up (if allowed they really could have talked and spent time forever!) the trade was made. Brett & Co. got a bunch of bumper stickers while Shawn (Trox) and Jack were given over 300 signs. As I said they could have spent time together forever but it was time to saddle up and get a move on. Off to The Alamo! WESTWARD HO!!!

In About 4 hours (around 10 PM) our heroes arrived in San Antonio to meet with Chris (TexasAggie4Mike or something like that...can't remember off the top of my head) and his lovely wife. Shawn and Jack gladly dropped off 100 signs (after some hugs) with Chris for his meetup to use in sign waves and setting up near polling locations.

Our fearless twosome were hoping to get back into Waco at a decent hour but unfortunately it just wasn't going to happen So they made a decision. They got on the horn as they were leaving San Antonio, and talked with Jason West of the Austin Meetup group. Jason is currently serving in OTS in Abilene and doing one heck of a job over there! They asked Jason if his group could use some supplies and if there was someone that might be willing to meet them near the highway in Austin. Jason called back and our heroes met with a couple from the Austin group at a Austin McDonald's who were in desperate need of supplies at about 1 AM this morning (Saturday). The Austin Volunteers were really overjoyed and pumped to get these signs and some other materials!

Our weary travelers had some good news. They made it back to Home Base in Waco 45 minutes earlier than they did after yesterday's (Thursday's) operations. Not only that but they had no morning commitments so they were able to sleep in! Yippee!! :)

Shawn (Trox) & Jack (Whose pet peeve is whistling...yes they have spent to much time with each other to find that one out) enjoyed a well deserved night's sleep. They actually got to sleep in! After waking up they split off. Jack headed into Waco to join Blake (the Waco Meetup Organizer). Shawn headed up to Dallas.

Jack and Brent started off the day sign waving and hading out materials to the crowd gathering for the Baylor basketball game. Afterwards they placed about 100 signs in strategic places all around Waco. They have more signs for Blake's group to place around polling places on Tuesday.

Meanwhile Shawn headed to up to The Metroplex of Dallas-Ft.Worth and is there currently. He will be meeting with our wonderful Andysprite and Mike (from a group of Oklahoma volunteers). They will be placing 300-400 signs around Dallas and Fort Worth in strategic locales.

Speaking of Andysprite - For those of you who don't know - Her son, Carson fell and needed stitches yesterday. They were to go to the Fort Worth Stockyard rally to cheer on Mike and Carson was very excited to have the chance to meet Chuck Norris. Unfortunately this incident did not allow that meeting to occur. However there was a surprise resolution in store for our Airborne Ranger and her son. Andrea received a call from our awesome Governor Huckabee! AND GET THIS - Chuck Norris will be sending a personal card to Carson! WHAT CLASS AND GRACE WE HAVE IN OUR CANDIDATE!!! We should all be proud!

Hopefully our Heroes will make it back to Home Base at a more decent hour tonight. Tomorrow it is back to Dallas-Fort Worth. As for Andysprite she is off to Tyler to drop some supplies to Huckabeliever and her meetup group.

Y'all should be very proud. This is a total team effort. Out of all the supplies, only 10 percent were newly bought. That means that the vast majority of the supplies were donated by Huckabees all over the country. WE are all apart of this Team Effort. WAY TO GO!! WE are giving it all we've got...nothing will be left on the playing field when all is said and done!
And this is the update for tonight that I just posted:

HNN Reporter BDBopper with another OTS Update!

When we last left OTS Team One Jack was still in Waco with the Meetup group there and Shawn (Trox) was on his way to Dallas. Shawn made it to Dallas with about 400 signs that he needed to find places for (the signs were given to him by both Andrea and Mike of the Oklahoma group). In addition Mike Ford and his Oklahoma Meetup group had more signs. Luckily they found to dedicated volunteers, Kelsey and Scott (Husband and Wife) who knew exactly waht to do. So everyone (including Andrea) met at Huckabee HQ in Dallas for a confab to make plans for the next phase of operations. First was a sign wave at Prestonwood Baptist Church, and after that they marked out precinct locations and other strategic localses for signs to be placed.

After that it was back to Home Base in Waco for Shawn. He arrived back at 2:45 AM (30 minutes earlier than the day before!). Then it was back up to The Metroplex for Jack and Shawn. The locations to meet was outside of Prestonwood Baptist Church where a group of 15 volunteers ended up waving signs for about three hours. During that entire time there were nonstop horn honming and the reception was tremendous for Huckabee! VERY ENCOURAGING NEWS! Not only that but 250 bumper stickers were given out and placed on the bumpers of cars right on the spot! Jack and Shawn didn't arrive untl near the end of the sign waving but it was still amazing. After the end of the sign waving everyone went out to lunch. At this point the Oklahoma group had to head back home. After dropping some more materials and placing signs it was time for our Heroes to head home as well. However Jack decided to stick around in Texas for the next few days and take the bus home. So he'll still be around for the rally tomorrow and operations on Tuesday. Shawn is now headed back to Memphis very exhausted but looking forward to sleeping in his own bed!

There are more people involved with OTS than you even know. Almost miraculously a volunteer who had driven all the way from Georgia ran into Shawn this afternoon. That volunteer was trying to find out what to do and where that person's services were needed. Fortunately Shawn knew exactly what to do and got that volunteer in touch with Kelsey and Scott. That person will be helping out operations at the rally tomorrow and with Get Out the Vote on Tuesday! Shawn and Jack also met with other groups holding sign waves who were definitely pumped up when they found out about our operations.

Everyone should be very proud of our efforts. Everyone who has pledged to chip in and help has done so. Whether it be to donate signs and other materials, to all of our boots on the ground. All indications are that the Florida group in Houston and the Southern California group operating in Lubbock are also having successful missions! The locals are absolutely pumped gang! They are ecstatic to see troops from all over the country helping them out with their efforts. It's a total morale booster!

This will probably be my last report on OTS for HNN. Thanks for reading. I'm Out!

There are tons of pictures from Operation Texas Surge and you can find them HERE.

Dallas Morning News Stands by their Endorsement of Mike Huckabee!!

Wow! GO READ THIS!! the Dallas Morning News became the only major newspaper to endorse Mike Huckabee for President back in Decmeber and today's article should be applauded. Despite the very long odds they are standing by their endorsement! What integrity! You don't see that very often.


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