Monday, March 31, 2008

"Work Hard, Play Hard" In Vail, New Jersey

Actually, there isn't a Vail, New Jersey.

Which is why this post by Chris Cillizza's on the upcoming New Jersey Senate race is a must-read.


Noted: A candidate knows he/she is in trouble when the WaPo isn't afraid to bring the snark.

Kathleen Rogers, President Of Earth Day Network: "The [Presidential] Candidates Are Not Being Asked About Climate Change."

So says Ms. Rogers of the Earth Day Network in this Washington Times article.

We have no idea if her statement is true or not.

We haven't (really) been out on the campaign trail since January. And trying to gauge what's really happening out on the trail through the filter of General Electric/Disney/News Corp/etc is like trying to jump rope with a blindfold over your eyes.

However, we do know that in the 15 months we spent on the trail in New Hampshire in the run-up to its primary we heard a lot about climate change. And a good deal of that interest was organic, unorganized by any interest group.

If Ms. Rogers and the (well funded? large membership?) Earth Day Network are concerned with a lack of candidate intercepts on the trail, we appreciate and share their concern. We want this country to get off of fossil fuels entirely. And as quickly as possible.

And holding McCain/Clinton/Obama's feet to the fire is the only way to do it.

But might we suggest that the Earth Day Network (and Google) spend their time and resources organizing a ground game in the battleground states rather than on some chickensh*t publicity stunt involving the Congressional phone bank?

Because the phone bank deliverable is a deliverable not even worth delivering.

And just because you're on the side of angles doesn't mean that you don't bring a gun to a knife fight.

We're just saying.

Hillary Might Hate It Or Love It, But That's The Game And 50 Cent (has switched)

Ben Smith has the details.

Team McCain Sees The DNC's "3rd Bush Term" And Raises It "One Genuine American Hero With A Story To Tell"

John Sununu's Good Day

Confirming what we've heard for weeks, it looks like honorary New Hampshire Governor John McCain will make a general election stand in the Granite State.

The McCain/Dennehy strategy?

Doing the exact same thing that they did all fall (and for the last 9 years).

Why mess with perfection? (UPDATED)'s first ad.

h/t Ambinder

Note to the communications team: We would like to get on your press release list. Please add us at greenmountainpolitics1 at Thanks.

(UPDATED) The boys over at know their stuff.

Because all we needed to do to get on their press list was sign-up on their website.

That was easy.

Exxon Mobile (aka The Buggy Whip Company) Is Having Another Bad Day

Al Gore's $300 million = Going In Whole Hog

Noted: Not that an Oscar and a Nobel Prize is anything to sneeze at.

We're guessing that 300 large is just the very tip of the iceberg when it comes to what the California/Texas/Oklahoma alternative energy VC money is willing to pony up to take on the fossil fuel companies over the next 10 years.

But back to Gore's project...

Pat Robertson and Al Sharpton?

Nancy Pelosi and Newt Gingrich?


That's pretty damn smart. And if Gore can couple those messengers with a solid ground game at the local and state levels well, it's going to get real interesting real quick.

And America's first "Green" President might very well be sharing his/her wing of the Smithsonian with the former next President of the United States.

Get The Money Upfront

Get the money upfront is the #1 rule of campaign vendors.

Noted: We learned this when we did a (very) brief stint at a direct mail firm in '01.

And while Team Clinton's actions do show a cash flow problem (no matter what their spin is), and Clinton's behavior is low rent (check out what Ben Smith found about one of the unpaid vendors), Team Clinton's actions aren't that unusual in the political world.

Sweet, huh?

Rock & Roll Monday

Happy Monday everyone.

Let's talk.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Well, He'll Always Have Whatever The Historians Decide To Write (as he's prone to point out)

Tonight's ceremonial first pitch at the brand new Washington stadium.

NYT's Magazine Profiles GOP Woes/Tom Cole

Certainly not earth shattering, but worth the read.

The Republican Party is f*cked in 2008. But, it's good for them. They earned it.

And the '10 cycle, for smart GOP operatives, will be a re-building/re-branding time. If only folks can remember that this is the 21st century. Not the 20th.

But until then, for '08 Republican operatives not connected to Team McCain, this is for you.

Why The Web 2.0/Facebook/My Space Business Model "Sucks"

When the cost of publishing anything on the web is zero dollars, why not just do the whole thing yourself?

And the technology involved is only getting simpler.

And that's a good thing. For everyone except the suits.

Truly revolutionary.

Easing Into Sunday Night

Senator Obama Is 100% Correct

Taxpayers shouldn't be bailing these morons (crooks?) out.

But neither should taxpayers be bailing out those homeowners who bought more home than they knew (or should have known) they could afford.

We're all for "sticking it to Wall Street".

But we're also for a little personal responsibility.

Unless our readership is interested in helping us dig our way out of credit card debt?

Didn't think so.

So why expect us to help you with your home/business?

Noted: Nice fake and bake, Angelo.

Hey Paul Krugman, Atlas Shrugged Just Called, It Wants Its Bad Guy Back

The NYT's Paul Krugman did the roundtable this morning on This Week (#1 topic: the economy) and made Robert Reich, another panelist, look (almost) conservative.

Good. Lord.

Noted: For a more mature take on what's going on between Wall Street & Washington, go here.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

March 29, 2008, The Day Hiz Honor's Numbers For A NY Governor's Run Hit The High Water Mark

The 3rd leg of the Rudy Giuliani Book Tour looks like it might be firing up.

Noted: We will drive Al-Qaeda from Albany, back across the boarder and into Canada!!!!

You heard it here first.


Ragin' Cajun: Go F*ck Yourselves Obama/Richardson

James Carville has himself an op-ed in this morning's WaPo.

It's worth a read.

Noted: When you've backed Clinton and your wife backed Fred Thompson well, it's going to (probably) be a fairly cold next four years in DC no matter what.

So why not throw the kitchen sink? Again.

Friday, March 28, 2008

5pm On A Friday? It's Quitting Time! (The "We Wish We Were Still 22 Years Old" Edition)

To Team Clinton, Team Obama and the press that covers you, our sympathies. Per usual.

To everyone else, let's party!

Saint Pat: "Wait, What Did I Say?!??!! I Didn't Mean THAT!!!"

Team Clinton knows where a lot of bodies are buried.

Now we have to suppose that they know about some bodies up in Vermont. In fact, they probably helped bury them.

Tsk-tsk Mr. Chairman.

Better watch yourself or you'll get burned.

McCain Just Can't Catch A Break On The Issue Of Life

John McCain is pro-life. Always has been. He's just never really felt the need to talk about it unless asked.

Back during the New Hampshire Primary we remember lots and lots and LOTS of conservative Republican voters who were shocked, SHOCKED, upon learning that McCain was pro-life. In fact, we would bet that a fair chunk of conservative Republican voters ended up voting against McCain during the Primary simply because they believed that the "maverick" was pro-choice.

Well, now it looks like McCain is going to take a hit from the other side of the field during the general.

Google's March Toward World Domination Continues

Wi-Fi 2.0

Good thing the Google boys and girls have expanded their DC lobbying shop.

They're going to need it.

Ready the shrimp cocktail and open bar!

Now where's our invitation?

The Politics Of Ambition, Er, We Mean Hope

The AP previews Obama's discussion about his former pastor Jeremiah Wright on The View today:

"Had the reverend not retired, and had he not acknowledged that what he had said had deeply offended people and were inappropriate and mischaracterized what I believe is the greatness of this country, for all its flaws, then I wouldn't have felt comfortable staying at the church," Obama said Thursday during a taping of the ABC talk show, "The View." The interview will be broadcast Friday.
"I wouldn't have felt comfortable staying at the church."


But why now?

Senator Obama has been a member of his church for years. He's probably seen hundreds of sermons, some of which, by Senator Obama's own admission, were inflammatory and outside the views held by most Americans. And he didn't quit his church or his Pastor over all that time.

But now he says he wouldn't feel comfortable staying if things hadn't changed?!??!!

We're calling bullsh*t on that one.

The Democrats Reap What They Sow

Our 11 year old sister has a better handle on this situation than does former Governor Dean.


But a hell of a lot of fun to watch.

Bringing The Friday Funny (again)

1200 meters of funny.

And just so everyone is clear, the cat and its crazy owner are doing fine.

Happy Friday everyone.

McCain's First General Election Ad "624787"

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Johnny Mac Loves His Bloggers

Team McCain has its 1,349 blogger conference call tomorrow.

Noted: That's not an exact number, but it sure feels like it. Love McCain or hate him, his campaign is about as full access as you can get at the Presidential level.

The purpose of the blogger call, hosted by Team McCain's Steve Schmidt and Jill 'Nails Hazelbaker, is to discuss McCain's upcoming biography tour.

And our hard hitting question is all ready to go - "We believe that Senator McCain is a 'Genuine American Hero', do you disagree?"

And we're not taking "no comment" for an answer.

Senator Dodd

Senator Dodd is getting antsy.

And we can't blame him. Dodd ran his campaign for President on issues and ideas. And then bowed out gracefully when the time came for him to do so.

The man should be the next Senate Majority Leader, if the Democratic Party had any self-respect left to pull the trigger.

Of course, that's someone else's problem.

But can anyone imagine the Obama/Clinton fight going on right now if Democratic leadership more competent than Howard Dean, Harry Reid and (probably) Nancy Pelosi were in charge?

We can't.

We wonder if, given the current situation, the Clintons thank their lucky stars that Howard Dean actually ended up becoming head of the Democratic Party over their strenuous objections a couple of years back?

Politics is a weird, weird business.

Bloomberg's Press Flaks Play The Media Like A Piano, Again

Here we go again with all this "Bloomberg on the national ticket" crazy talk.

And, we get it: Everybody who's anybody lives in Manhattan (not New York). Therefore, the king of everybody who's anybody must be perfect for a spot on a national ticket.


We watched as barrels and barrels and barrels of ink were spilled a few months back about Bloomberg and the #1 spot. That didn't happen, so now we're talking about Bloomberg's VP prospects.

We like Mr. Bloomberg. Anybody who can create, run and then sell a gazillion dollar business - which functioned under his watch to as close to a true meritocracy as one is likely to find in the business world - is no bullsh*t.

And, to be fair, Bloomberg would probably make a good VP. If he wanted it.

But he can't want the job. Why would he?

He's already the billionaire king of everybody who's anybody in Manhattan (which Bill Clinton claims is the second best job in the world). And there is nothing in the Naval Observatory in Washington, DC that puts Bloomberg any closer to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue than he already is.

Noted: And yes, we're aware of the old chestnut that Vice Presidents grow up to be Presidents.

But the King is staying right where he is thank you very much.

And the Gang of 500 is just going to have to get over it.

"McCain Democrats"

David Kuhn over at Politico has a story up on Johnny Mac's appeal to Democrats, which is stronger (in March of '08) than either Obama's or Clinton's appeal to Republicans.

This is a problem for the Democratic Party. And an advantage for McCain (duh!).

And at this point we would imagine that the GOP will take any advantage it can get in November.

So it's a good thing McCain didn't listen to Rush 'Fat Baby' Limbaugh or Ann 'I'm not hungry until I've passed out' Coulter when it came to issues like torture, global warming, immigration or budget transparency, right?


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

We Can't Stand Novak But We Love Portman, So...

We'll post a little pro-Portman gossip.

And gossip is all that it is.

Noted: It's Bob Novak talking about McCain world. Where are the grains of salt?

What California VC Money Gets Excited About In Oklahoma (other than wind)

Just make sure you don't miss the parade!

Noted: As we are originally from Vermont, we can appreciate this.

Smith Does Dowd And McKinnon At The Same Time

Texas Monthly's Evan Smith has an interesting write-up of the discussion he moderated between Mark McKinnon and Matt Dowd.

Well worth the read.

Not CBS Video. Pool Video.

Andrea Mitchell, hosting her new show on MSNBC this afternoon, made it clear to her viewers that she is not pleased that CBS is taking credit for the Hillary in Bosnia video everyone has been talking about.

"It's pool video. Not CBS video. We were all there. They just happened to shoot it," she said, before launching into something about it being human nature to embellish.

Noted: That's a rough quote.

But close enough for us to say "MEEEEEOOOOOOW!"

(Check out 1:20 on the counter)

The ONE Campaign & Johnny Mac In Danger Of "Needing To Get A Room"

John McCain is in the process of delivering a major address to the World Affairs Council in Los Angeles.

Check out this paragraph from his speech:
While Africa's problems -- poverty, corruption, disease, and instability -- are well known, we must refocus on the bright promise offered by many countries on that continent. We must strongly engage on a political, economic, and security level with friendly governments across Africa, but insist on improvements in transparency and the rule of law. Many African nations will not reach their true potential without external assistance to combat entrenched problems, such as HIV/AIDS, that afflict Africans disproportionately. I will establish the goal of eradicating malaria on the continent -- the number one killer of African children under the age of five. In addition to saving millions of lives in the world's poorest regions, such a campaign would do much to add luster to America's image in the world.
If you don't believe that the folks over at the One Campaign aren't hyper aware and thrilled by McCain's remarks, you have rocks in your head.

And, if you don't believe that the One Campaign isn't going to let its (fairly huge) membership know exactly where Johnny Mac stands on this issue, you have even more rocks in your head.

Of course, a good chunk of One's membership probably leans independent. And why would McCain be interested in talking to independent voters in swing states?


Nothing To See Here

Harry Reid has about as much a chance of playing a key role in any Hillary Clinton / Barack Obama mediation as Howard Dean does.

Which is less than zero.

Oakland's Rich Harden's First Start Of 2008

6 innings pitched. 3 hits. 1 run. 3 BB. 9 strike-outs.

Against the Red Sox.

Welcome back Mr. Harden.

And aren't we glad that we took a 10th round chance on you?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tuesday Night Tunes

Well Of Course, She's SPECTACULAR!

The GOP always wanted to run against Hillary Clinton in a general election.

But she might turn out to be more valuable to the Republicans in the role she's playing now.

Ain't politics a funny business?

Romney 2012?

We're hearing a lot of chatter regarding a Mitt Romney run for President in 2012.

Skeletal Team Romney '12 has three talking points.

First, 2012 will see another open Republican Primary no matter what. If McCain wins in November he will only be a one term President. McCain is too old for two terms.

Noted: What a great way for Team Romney to build bridges with Team McCain! Not.

Second, most Republicans fail the first time they run for President. So Mitt Romney is not a loser, he's historic!

Third, money. It always comes back to Mitt's money.

It's our understanding that a good chunk of Romney's former campaign staff is hunkering down in Romney Inc. friendly jobs, crossing their little fingers and hoping like crazy that 2012 is going to be their year.

"If only we had kicked Mitt of his addiction to polls," they moan. There is talk of hiring even more campaign staff the next time around.


All we want to know is whether Mitt-Flop '12 will be a candidate of his years as Governor of Massachusetts, the wanna-be George Allen candidate, the economic fix-it candidate or a candidate to be named later.

We're going with "a candidate to be named later".

Even though that bird is cooked before it even gets off the ground.

No snark.

Egg On My Face. I've Got Eeeeeeeeeg On My Face!


With no good answer any way you slice or dice it.

Extremely Clever

Jacques Barzun once wrote, "When people accept futility and the absurd as normal, the culture is decadent. And a decadent culture offers opportunities chiefly to the satirist."

Or, to put it another way, our Madlib Results:

Barack Obama's supporters lashed out today at the campaign Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, charging that Hillary Clinton has betrayed supporters by engaging in conference call despite hat to refrain.

"It is now up clear that Hillary Clinton has risen off of the high road and now clearly fall the low road," said a Barack Obama spokesperson. He continued: "Hillary Clinton's campaign hold on blue promises and green insults."

Barack Obama's campaign was responding to yellow comments made by a red-level surrogate. The surrogate told a blogger reporter from London that Barack Obama's Father "can't down believe that Hillary Clinton is not steadfast... Barack Obama needs to fast step down and let the country heal this hard head shot to our metaphorical finger."

"We are outraged by this kind of arrogance. Voters should know that this is the kind of heavy campaign the Hillary Clinton team is running,� Barack Obama's spokesman said. Mark Penn, a senior adviser to the campaign, said on a conference call earlier Monday that while he disagreed with the wording the surrogate used, the campaign does not believe that questioning the comedian of either candidate is appropriate in the race.

A very big Hat Tip to Ana Marie Cox for putting this together.

We are all so very decadent.

Driving The Day (and the next seven months)

Yeah, we started with a beer at about 6am.


Because of this.

Happy (sorta) opening day everyone!!!

And just so no one forgets:

Monday, March 24, 2008

Why We KNOW GreenMountainPolitics1 Is A Terrible Name For A Blog

First of all, our name is too long. And the only thing that this blog has to do with Vermont is that we grew up there.

Second, it's a Blogspot address, not even a "real" domain name.

Third, everyone forgets to add the "1" when they reference us.


So Friday, when the WaPo's Chris Cillizza gave us a nice shout-out on his blog, we weren't surprised to see ourselves referred to as GreenMountainPolitics.

Nor were we surprised when our good friend Phil Baruth at VermontDailyBriefing, referencing Cillizza's post, referred to us as GreenMountainPolitics.

And Phil has known us and our blog since the beginning.

The VERY beginning.

That's BAD branding on our part.

Because "at least they spelled your name right" doesn't even apply to us.


Where Is Our Shotgun? We're Going To Eat A Bullet!

This is not a rip on Mike Allen.

This is a rip on the absolutely mind numbing, teeth aching, ball twisting DUMB campaign stuff that all political reporters must cover day in and day out. And it's only getting (much, much) worse as the Democrats drag out their nomination.

Hillary Clinton this. Barack Obama that. Mark Penn went potty.

We! Get! It!

Is it November yet?


Time to eat a bullet.

The Guy Who Likes To Watch His Wife "Swing" With Strangers At Sex Parties Drops A Dime On The Guy Who Likes Prostitutes

Honestly, we're not even sure that we could make this up.

Even with our active imagination.

Noted: To be clear, we couldn't care less about Stone's swinging lifestyle or Spitzer's prostitutes.

What gets us is the hypocrisy. Of just about everyone involved.

A Cowgirl Joins The McCain Cowboys (if only for a little while) - A Special Rock & Roll Monday

At 6:45 this morning a very special cowgirl will fly to LA to join the McCain Cowboys.

You know, The Cowboys. McCain's advance team.

Who have been getting it done for Johnny Mac since long before the No Surrender Tour.

This Rock & Roll Monday is for them.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Hoyas Break Our Heart & Bust Our Bracket

Well, this is going to leave a mark.

We had Georgetown in the finals (but have Texas winning it all).

Our bracket is ugly.


Noted: As bad as we feel about Georgetown, this guy feels worse. Our condolences.

For The Long Ride Home After The Long Weekend

Many thanks to our hosts for the weekend.

We're sorry that we didn't get more time to talk about our trip to South America.


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Friday, March 21, 2008

DC - NYC Amtrak Corridor Here We Come!

We'll be in Manhattan all weekend. And we're taking the train up.

Does this mean that we're required to make fun of ourself?


Sigh, we already feel so out-of-touch.

But What About Little Johnny Edwards?

Did we miss something? Did John Edwards already endorse? Did he say that he wasn't going to?

George Stephanopoulos on TV this morning per The Page:

On ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Stephanopoulos said if motivations were not political, passport story will go away. Called Richardson endorsement “a really big deal” because he is “one of the most sought delegates out there.” Said Obama will “owe him big.” Said next big endorsements would be from Gore, Carter, Pelosi or Reid.
What has happened to John Edwards?

Bringing The Friday Funny (Again)

Never Scared.

We laugh because it's (mostly) true. And laughing is much more fun than crying.

Happy Friday everyone.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Israel's Shin Bet Gets Its Blog On


Hey, it's the internet.

And the times they are a changing.

Quite Possibly The Greatest Two Songs By The Greatest Modern Songwriter Of All Time

Well, You Can Always Cut Entitlements Instead

Republican Senator George Voinovich is speaking fiscal sense.

Even if it's politically radioactive, which it is.

But both political parties face the same choice: make deep cuts in the entitlement programs, or raise taxes.

The spending/borrowing status-quo in Washington is why the value of our dollar is in the toilet.

$10 trillion in federal debt doesn't just go away.

Time for both political parties to get serious.

Believe it.

Just ask David Walker:

Hey Old Grey Lady, You're Old! (UPDATED)

Boy, we'd really like to watch the NYT's web video of John Harwood interviewing Team McCain's Rick Davis.

Except we can't.

Well actually we probably could, if we were willing to sit through jerky video, slow loads, lost connections and unusually long pauses. But we didn't hang around to find out.

Noted: We're on a cable connection.

We don't know what's going on at the NYT's new headquarters, but may we suggest next time a little less show and a little more go?

Or something.

(UPDATED) Looks like they fixed the gremlins and NYT's video is now flowing fine.

Noted: Thank you to the reader who sent the heads up.

Two Hours & Counting! (UPDATED)

It's almost time to tip-off the 2nd greatest sporting event all year, March Madness.

Noted: Of course nothing beats October baseball.

But anyway.

Let's. Go. UT.

All the way baby!

(UPDATED) Yeah, we're idiots.

The first picture we posted was of the Tennessee basketball team.

Meanwhile, we have the University of Texas (UT) winning the whole thing.

So we've now posted a picture that's a little more correct for UT.

Hook'Em Horns!

Not Our Republican Party

One of the best strategists in Republican politics today is fond of saying, "The Republican Party cannot be a white, male cul-de-sac party and hope to survive."

And while we don't know what our friend thinks of this particular video, we know what we think of it - It's crap.

This video is of, by and for a white, male cul-de-sac party. Which is a lousy place to be politically in America in 2008.

Senator Obama is far left, untested and inexperienced. Which disqualifies him (from where we're sitting) from being President.

But we do not believe that Senator Obama is a "scary black man", which is the narrative that this video is pushing. No matter what Mr. Habeeb says.

The whole thing is just stupid. And made to appeal to a group of people whose time is quickly passing.

We're just saying.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

We Just Got An Email From Terry McAuliffe! We Just Got An Email From Terry McAuliffe!!!

We've officially hit the big time.

Terry's email to us:

Hillary is depending on you to help her win! Let's make sure our momentum -- and not Sen. Obama's fundraising advantage -- is what determines the victory in this race.

With Sen. Obama's campaign up on the air with ads in Pennsylvania, this is a critical moment for our campaign, and you are making a real difference.

We're seeing incredible energy and enthusiasm for Hillary across Pennsylvania, and your support is adding to our incredible momentum. Once again, you are stepping up when Hillary needs you.

Keep our momentum going with your contribution. Even $5 makes a difference.

Thank you for all you do!
Terry, we're touched. And, you're welcome.

We just sent Hillary - excuse us - we just sent Senator Clinton a check.

But one question. Isn't it Barack Obama's lead over Hillary Clinton in the popular vote/delegate count that's going to determine victory in this race?

Not Obama's "fundraising advantage"?

Oh well, tell Hillary we said hello!


How Do You Spell Party? F-I-N-L-A-N-D

The TimesOnline's Roger Boyes pens a candy-for-your-brain story about the Finnish Foreign Minister, two blond sisters and some naughty text messages.

The relevant paragraphs:

Another message, tapped out between political meetings, suggested a three-in-a-bed arrangement with Johanna, 29, and her sister, Julia, who has worked in the pornography industry. Conflict resolution has rarely been so racey or caused such a stir.

After the text messages appeared in the press, the live-in partners of both women threw them out. Johanna will continue, however, to work for the Dolls dance group, Julia will carry on working in the film sector - and Mr Kanerva will stay in office - thanks to the support offered by Matti Vanhanen, the Prime Minister.

Plainly the Prime Minister, 52, was able to sympathise with his Foreign Minister: Mr Vanhanen has just emerged from a courtroom run-in with his former mistress, Susan Kuronen. He ended their affair with an abrupt text message (on a Nokia), announcing: “It's over.”

His jilted girlfriend went on to publish a kiss-and-tell memoir detailing not only his romantic e-mails and text messages but also how he once, in a passionate clinch, compared her to an oven-baked potato, his other great love. Mr Vanhanen's popularity rose after this revelation. The Foreign Minister may be in for a similar boost (emphasis ours).

A Decent & Good Man

Huckabee may or may not get offered that TV gig (which Huck may or may not actually want).

But he is unquestionably a rising force in Republican politics.

Thank God.

A Compliant Press

On the 5-Year Anniversary of the Iraq Invasion let us try not to forget that as stupid, arrogant and addicted to the status quo as the Bush Administration was (still mostly is), that Team Bush had a lot of help.

Start with Part 1:

And watch the rest here.

Giuliani: You Can Always Go Home Again

The WSJ has the score.

While participants of Texas social gatherings brace themselves for this:

Jim Cramer On The Today Show

Matt Lauer gave Mad Money's Jim Cramer about 3 minutes on the Today Show this morning to sort out what's happening in the economy.

We have a clip:


Wrong clip. That's Cramer on March 11th (with the infamous W bird-flip spliced in at the end).

Pretty funny (in a sad sort of "we need to plug CNBC" way) that the Today Show would bring Cramer on after that helmet.

Of course, if Charles Krauthammer, Bill Kristol and Bill Safire are still on TV after the run they've had predicting Iraq well, anything is possible.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Issue Of Race Is Never Simple

And neither is how we feel about this speech.

But it's well worth every voter in America having a (full) look.

And we'll just leave it at that.

Since We're Bailing Citibank Out On April 15th...

Does that mean we don't have to pay our credit card bill this month?


We're more Ayn Rand than Karl Marx (though both are far from perfect), but Wall Street's double standard is APPALLING.

As the WaPo's E.J. Dionne so aptly puts it.

Noted: Look at the smirk on W's face from yesterday's "Big Financial Meeting". You'd think that his savings account was going to weather this latest storm just fine.

Wait. What's that?

It's going to?

Oh thank God!

McCain's Iraq Problem

Do we believe that John McCain is the candidate best qualified to end the Iraqi conflict as quickly and responsibly as possible? Yes.

Do we believe that ending the Iraqi conflict as quickly and responsibly as possible is one of the most important tasks facing the next President? Yes.

Do we think that the American "surge" in Iraq has worked on the security side? And do we think that American troops should remain in large number in Iraq until the Iraqi government has worked out the bulk of its political problems? Yes and we broke it, we bought it.

Do we believe that most truly undecided voters in most swing states feel about the same way about Iraq that we do? Yes. Kicking and screaming. But yes.

That's not John McCain's problem with Iraq.

John McCain's problem with Iraq is that as American casualties come down and most of the spectacular suicide attacks are stopped, the war is disappearing as an issue that undecideds will vote on.

That doesn't make the situation "right". It doesn't mean that people aren't still dying. It doesn't mean that the war is not still of huge importance. It simply means that the American public is starting to tune the conflict out.

Voters have limited bandwidth (everyone does), and right now their concern about the war is being replaced by their concerns about the economy/energy prices/health care.

Success in Iraq (and we know many will shudder at the term "success" after 4+ years of arrogant blundering) has political consequences back home (just as the arrogant blundering did).

McCain is fond of saying that he would rather "win a war and lose an election" than "lose a war and win an election". And we have zero doubt that there is no one happier than he (for all the right reasons) that America is finally making some good progress in Iraq.

But that doesn't mean that we wouldn't like to hear Senator McCain talk a lot more about his very good plans to balance the budget, bring more transparency to the federal government, tackle global warming and help fix the health care mess.

Because that's what people are starting to talk about around America's kitchen tables.

h/t Master Sgt. Andy Dunaway/U.S. Air Force for the pic

Hey, Who Doesn't Love An American Hero?

Well, 23% of voters.

Who are just sadly ill informed.

The Dollar & The Cost Of Oil (Part III)

Noted: This conversation started here. Then here.

Below is a email from a good friend.

The title of his email to us was "Just The Facts". And then this:

Attached above is the graph of $US versus the EUR for the past 5 years, as well as a graph of the Oklahoma WTI spot price since January 2006. Looking at January 1, 2006, the exchange rate was $1.2/EUR. Today the rate hit about $1.58/Euro, an all-time low.

The oil price today for WTI Cushing is at about $105.86/barrel.

Since Jan 2006, the $US has depreciated by about 31.66% against the euro (1.2 to 1.58), which would equate to a 31.66% increase in the price of oil if they were perfectly correlated. Oil in early January 2006 was at $65/barrel, so the dollar depreciation component would take the price up to approximately $85.58, which is basically a $20/barrel increase. Oil today is at $105, which is another $20/barrel increase. But that means that out of a $40/barrel increase in that period, roughly 50% is attributable to the declining value of the dollar, since global crude markets price all oil in $US. So is your reader correct in suggesting that there are a number of production-related, demand-side (China, etc.) and geopolitical reasons that have contributed to the recent run-up in oil prices? Certainly. But given that oil is a global commodity that is traded in dollars, the declining value of the dollar has necessarily increased the price, and all things being equal, has been responsible for approximately 50% of the overall change in the last two years.
Eat your heart out seven years of pretty foolish Bush Administration fiscal policies.

Monday, March 17, 2008

What They Don't Understand

We cannot understand why the 3 presidential candidates aren't focused more on the economy (all of this is mindless campaign speak).

Neither political party is wholly responsible for the mess we're in now, neither party has a monopoly on the answers and none of the three candidates is a standout on fiscal issues.

In other words, everybody is starting just about even. Which means that each candidate has absolutely everything to gain and absolutely everything to lose.

But instead of Team Clinton/Obama/McCain calling a high profile "halt" to their campaign activities in order to huddle with their respective economic teams and put forth some sort of plan/idea/cocktail napkin sketch to at least show the American public that they feel their economic pain and anxiety, McCain is in Iraq (and Europe), Clinton is talking about Iraq and Obama is talking about race and Clinton talking about Iraq.

It's the f*cking twilight zone out there on the campaign trail.

We might not have believed this 6 months ago, but the economy is going to be the #1 issue that people vote on in November. People are scared - about losing their job, their house, not being able to pay for gas, not being able to pay their credit card bill, feed their kids etc.

Whichever candidate can connect with and then calm that fear and anxiety is 85% of the way to the White House.

Before they even get out of bed.

Senator Obama To Do NewsHour Newsmaker Interview Tonight

Should be good.

Team Lehrer generally is.

A Reader Writes

Last week we expressed disgust with Dick Cheney's trip to the Middle East to convince "friendly" Arab countries to increase their oil production thereby lowering - according to the White House - America's oil costs.

We didn't buy it.

And raged at Bush/Cheney: It's the value of the dollar stupids, which you put in the toilet!

But a reader wrote us to say that he thought we had put too much emphasis on the devaluation of the U.S. dollar as a reason why oil prices have recently increased.

Here it is in the interest of full disclosure:

Regarding the oil situation, I don't think many in the industry blame the drop in the dollar for the current high price environment. There are a lot of factors, and there are those who say that as much as 40% of the current price is due to speculation over conflict areas, but tightness in supply is absolutely a key issue. The relative value of the dollar is a factor, but not an especially large one.
Iraq is one of the most unexplored regions of the Middle East, now it exports no more than 2 mb/d ... I doubt the official numbers reflect reality and believe much less is being produced there. Iran's production numbers are going down, and they are a key flash point. Venezuela's production numbers are going down, and they are a key flash point. China's demand is skyrocketing and India itself hopes to become another entrepot for oil product re-exports.
Anyways, not to bore you, but thought that you might want to know that most in the industry don't blame the value of the dollar for the price of oil.
Hmm. Sounds like we better do a little more digging. And we will.

But one point that we are correct about is that it is high time that we dumped fossil fuels entirely.

Period. End of discussion.

In The Long Run, We Will Also All Be Dead

Oh Mr. President.

Your Administration cuts taxes in wartime, exploded government spending (factoring out the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan) and increased the long-term obligations of our entitlement programs with Medicare Part D and now you act surprised that our economy is in the toilet?


Why is this guy still talking?