Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Barack Obama Is Right On The Gas Tax Pause, John McCain & Hillary Clinton Are Not

Here is Obama's ad on the gas tax pause proposal that he does not support (McCain & Clinton do):

Knife fighters on both Team McCain and Team Clinton will argue that they they're going to gut Obama on this issue - Obama doesn't feel your pain and wants to raise your taxes.


But we're not sold on that. Not with Obama. Not on this issue. Not in 2008.

Especially if, as many news organizations are reporting, Team Obama puts some serious points behind the above ad.

And especially if, as we believe, Obama is absolutely right on this issue and the voters see it and back him.

Time will most certainly tell.

About The Coolest Thing You're Likely To See Today

Gripping it and ripping it European football style.

h/t Guy Ritchie?

Iran Dumps U.S. Dollar For Oil Trades

CNN (and the AP) is reporting.

The first and twelfth story graphs are so "through the looking glass" we think that we might have been slipped some acid earlier in the day:

Iran, OPEC's second-largest producer, has stopped conducting oil transactions in U.S. dollars, a top Oil Ministry official said Wednesday, in a concerted attempt to reduce reliance on Washington at a time of tension over Tehran's nuclear program and suspected involvement in Iraq...
However, the U.S. has been wary of targeting Iran's oil industry directly, apparently worried that such a move could drive up crude prices that are already at record levels.
"Reduce reliance on Washington".


"the U.S. has been wary of targeting Iran's oil industry directly"

The Iranians are smart enough to reduce their reliance on us (and further reduce the demand for our currency), but what do we do? We fight over some chickensh*t gas tax while at the same time continuing to fill our gas guzzling cars and trucks at the gasoline pumps like the last 50 years never happened.

Isn't anyone else tired of our foreign/economic policy being hijacked by our addiction to an outdated technology?

Because the Iranians sure aren't.


Obama Move(s)On From The Usual Politics... To The Usual Politics

Marc Ambinder seems to think so.

And so do we.

The new ad:

You're Going To Need A Lot Of Money...

to break the Exxon Mobile/Saudi Arabia/incumbent bureaucracy's stranglehold on America's current (lack of a) energy policy.

Money to organize and communicate at the neighborhood level in key states across the United States. Money to operate through 2012 (maybe even the '14 midterms, maybe beyond). Money to snap up the best political talent in America and keep them happy and willing to throw political haymakers. Money to go to war with a century of entrenched interests. Money to fight people who built their empires literally by digging in forgotten places around the globe with their bare hands. Money for a crusade. Money to turn on the DC money spigot for the best and brightest scientists and engineers and keep it on for as long as they need.

In other words, you need political "F*ck You" money.

And you're going to need a ocean of it.

The good news? It's out there.

And then some.

All it's doing now is looking for political representation.

And the Smithsonian is holding a choice spot in its American History Museum for whoever that turns out to be.

Poet In The Sky

The WaPo's David Segal has a terrific story up on Philippe Petit, the Frenchman who in 1974 walked, danced and napped on a cable strung between the two World Trade Center towers.

Read the whole thing.

It will bring a smile to your face.

Rove To McCain: "Open Up", Clacker To Rove: "Shut-Up"

Rove. Is. Still. Talking.

But he is "The Architect"!

(of this)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The View From Our "Office" Front Door

DC in the springtime. Nothing better.

With apologies, again, to Andrew Sullivan's idea.

NH Sec State Bill Gardner Is Not Wasting Any Time

Bill Gardner is doing a little table setting for 2012. And it's only been about 5 minutes since the 2008 NH Primary.

Per our good friend Harry Levine at VictoryNH:

Secretary of State, Bill Gardner is hosting a special round table forum at
the The New Hampshire Institute of Politics at St. Anselm College on
Wednesday, April 30th at 1:00pm called...

Reforming the Presidential Primary Nominating Process: Secretary of State

This round table forum will feature...

Ralph Mollis, Secretary of State, Rhode Island

Michael Mauro, Secretary of State, Iowa

Ross Miller, Secretary of State, Nevada

Bill Gardner, Secretary of State, New Hamsphire

Matt St. John, Field Coordinator, Victory NH

In addition to a discussion of the current primary nominating process and
the proposed reforms for future cycles, there will be a special video
presentation given by Matt St. John, chronicling Victory NH's Primary
Defenders successful efforts in engaging support from the 2008 presidential
candidates for New Hampshire's First in the Nation Primary.

Morning Joe Does Law & Order. Or Law & Order Does Morning Joe. We're Not Sure.

This makes our head hurt. And should give students in journalism school plenty to talk about.

h/t Izzy F.

And the official preview:

We Don't Favor A Gas Tax "Pause", We Favor A Gas Tax "Increase"

To get the ball rolling on "what's next?" when it comes to our addiction to fossil fuels:

We favor a $1.00/gallon "Patriot Tax" (we believe that Tom Friedman had this idea before we did). The federal government would use the new revenue only to develop a clean, cheap and renewable energy source.

It will take the better part of 10 years and a couple of trillion dollars. The project would be organized by the military and managed by - guessing - 5,000 to 10,000 "best and brightest" scientists at the top.

Publicly ask the Indians and the Chinese (and anyone else who wanted in) to join us.

Make the entire project wholly transparent and involve America's schools through the use of the Internet (think the ISS).

Throw a ticker tape parade in NYC (and all over the world) when the project is successful and then gift the new energy source to every country in the world.

Stand back and let the free market take over. The Golden Age of Humanity has officially begun.

That's how you do it.

In the beginning, voters would scream bloody murder over the new tax. So would the unions. The grocery stores. The retailers. Just about everyone.

But so would the Saudis. The Russians. The Iranians. And the Venezuelans.

And the voters would adapt. They would learn to walk again, carpool and ride public transportation. And, for the things they really, truly needed a internal combustion engine for, they would fill up their gas tanks as before.

Hey, no pain no gain.

The only question is, is there anyone left in Washington with the raw ability to get this done?

We think yes.

But we sometimes wonder. Hard.

Hillary Clinton To Do O'Reilly Tonight, Unclear If They Will Discuss Loofah Mitts

Drudge reported it first.

We can hear the Daily Kos howls from here.

Driving (our) The Day

We didn't fight our way over Chain Bridge out to the Crystal City Target this morning at 9am for nothing.

Giddy Up.

Ageism & McCain (Part II)

Making the rounds.

And if you find yourself laughing at this you better damn well be prepared to laugh at a comedy sketch where the theme is, "Barack Obama, Sh*t that guy is Black!" or "Hillary Clinton, those are some big ass ovaries!"

Ageism is still an "Ism".

At least from where we're sitting.

Noted: Interestingly, several comments on the video's YouTube homepage seem to make the same point. Maybe there is hope after all.

McCain's New Health Care Ad Is Up - Size, Length & Location Of Buy Is Unclear (UPDATED)

Noted: Pretty average TV work.


(UPDATED) Mike Allen's Playbook is reporting that the buy is in Iowa.

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Media On The Media

It really is all about us.

Across the pond the Telegraph puts together the most influential US political pundits: 50-41.

The good news?

The Telegraph's complete list drips out all week.

We just hope that there is enough hand cream left after the White House Correspondents Dinner to prevent chafing.

What The Smart Money Folks Are Talking About Today...

The Fed's Bender on today's WSJ Editorial Page.

The 3 key graphs (from a presidential election standpoint):

The practical impact [of the Fed rate cuts] has been to send energy and food prices soaring. This is a direct tax on both the world's poor and America's middle class. Just when the U.S. economy needs a resilient consumer given the fall in housing prices, these price increases have eviscerated consumer pocketbooks. In its attempt to help Wall Street and the financial system, Fed policy is punishing average Americans. The public is frustrated and angry with these price increases, and it has a right to be. Inflation is the thief of the thrifty middle class.

The Fed's weak dollar policy has also done great harm to overall financial confidence, which is essential to any growth revival. A main source of the credit crisis is a lack of trust. Investors stop taking risks, bankers stop lending, and everyone flees to the safety of Treasurys or cash. But how can the Fed expect people to calm down and begin taking risks when it is clearly debasing the currency? Monetary easing itself also becomes less effective, because without confidence more liquidity is merely "pushing on a string," in the famous phrase.

The Fed's problem has been both political and intellectual. Politically, Mr. Bernanke has been unwilling to say no to Wall Street and the Beltway political class, which reflexively demand easier money in a crisis. This demand has become almost Pavlovian since Wall Street came to believe during the late 1990s in what was known, fairly or not, as the "Greenspan put." It takes character to resist this political pressure, but that is what Fed chairmen are supposed to have.

Read the whole thing.

And then, if you're a legitimate member of the political press corps, wipe the fog away from that jackass party you went to this weekend and ask one of the presidential candidates what they think about all this.

h/t Aaron Z for forwarding on the article.

Legal Brilliance From The Right

Love him, hate him or have no idea who he is, the President of the United States still calls him Mr. Justice and stands up when he walks into the room. As he does for all the Justices.

Noted: 60 Minutes has now done two interviews in a row with the Supreme Court's two most conservative Justices (Justice Thomas did a interview a couple of months ago when his new book came out).

And Justice Scalia's interview on last night's 60 Minutes is well worth a listen.

The "I'm Bitter & I'm Going To Prove It" Tour Rolls On

What are the chances that the boys and girls in Chicago are listening to this with their faces buried in their hands?

About 110%.

Noted: GMP1 once almost embarked on a "I'm Bitter & I'm Going To Prove It Tour" but someone far cooler, far smarter and far more politically savvy than us told us, "I love you. Now sit down and shut-up."

Where is Mrs. Wright?

Is The Old Grey Lady Hopping Off The Mania Train?

No, probably not.

But we have to wonder if some folks in the New York Times newsroom openly sobbed as this leans negative Obama story went to print.

Rock & Roll Monday (Rock The Cradle Edition)

This goes out to two very good friends of ours still back in Manch Vegas.

We understand that this could have been shot in their living room.


Happy Monday everyone.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

If The Concord Coalition Don't Like It, We Don't Like It

All 3 candidates had their financial plans hammered by very serious, nonpartisan smart guys (and gals) in today's New York Times.

It's a big problem.

For all three candidates. And the country.

The federal government (read: us) will owe $10 trillion (ish) by the time the next President takes office.

What don't people understand?

That's a huge chunk of financial cancer that adversely affects everything up and down the line. And the $10 trillion doesn't include what's coming down the pipeline with the entitlement programs.

You don't "grow" your way out of a debt that large. And you sure as hell don't spend your way out of it.

Borrow and spend Republicans are just as bad as tax and spend Democrats.

When you are in a hole stop digging.

All this is getting really tiresome.


Saturday, April 26, 2008

Saturday Night Beats From The Way Back Machine

What Do 2,648 People Practicing Mutual Masterbation At The Same Time Look Like? We'll Find Out Tonight!

2 wars ongoing.

A struggling economy.

A housing market still falling.

Energy prices still rising.

Outrageous government debts, deficits and ticking time bomb entitlement programs.

And global food riots.

But let them eat cake! And we'll still see you at tonight's "DC Prom"!

Because everyone is just so very important. All 2,648 of them.


Tony Snow On McCain's Katrina Comments: "Of Course He Doesn't Know A Lot About A Lot Of Things That Went On Behind The Scenes"

So said former White House Press Parrot Tony Snow on CNN's The Situation Room last night when asked about McCain's "never again" comments regarding the Bush Administration's handling of Katrina.

So Mr. Snow, what exactly was going on "behind the scenes" during the Bush Administration's handling of Katrina?

Actually, don't bother, we already know the answer - A. Whole. Lotta. Nothing.

Snow made his comments about McCain and Katrina right before he told Wolf Blitzer that it was "smart" for McCain to be "associated" with Dick Cheney during the 2008 election.


The former Parrot is a peach ladies and gentlemen. A obnoxious, self-interested, out-of-touch peach.

Like so many of the Bushies in early 2008.

Team McCain, and rising stars in the Republican Party, would be wise to remember that.

Friday, April 25, 2008

6:30 On A Friday? Shoot, It's Tubthumping Time!!!

Happy weekend everyone except for Team Clinton/Obama/traveling press corps.

A True American Hero & A True Compassionate Conservative Go For A Bus Ride

This photo, taken today, makes our little heart go pitter patter.

And the accompanying AP story ain't half bad either.

But the one day earned media hit ain't the best part.

The best part is that we have a sneaking suspicion that, if asked, Governor Huckabee will work his tail off for Johnny Mac in all sorts of social/cultural conservative strongholds around the U.S.

And that's a big general election slice of all right. Believe it.

Eat your heart out DC elites.

No, please.


Dick Cheney's Timing? Well, It's Impeccable. Impeccably Bad That Is.

Dick Cheney is going to be raising cash on Monday in North Carolina for the GOP.

The timing is horrible. And not just because there is no good time to put The Big Dick out on the campaign trail.

The timing is horrible because of this, which is slated to start running on Monday in North Carolina, the same day as Cheney's visit:

And we guarantee that at least 80% of the folks behind the ad (an ad that McCain & the national GOP oppose but for some reason can't get pulled down) are going to be dining with Mr. Cheney on Monday night.

And yucking it up.


But not for Howard Dean and the Democrats. This is a gift. A big, fat gift.

Obama Going Up On TV In Every State Remaining, Plans "Massive" 50 State Voter Registration Drive

The Page has the details here and here.

The nuts and bolts of Team Obama is impressive. And any Republican who thinks otherwise is a fool.

In any event, we have video of David Axelrod rallying Obama's shock troops in the face of Pickett's, sorry, we mean Hillary's, charge:

Now that's the "kitchen sink"!

Bringing The Friday Funny (again)

In honor of this.

It would make the head spin. If the Bushies hadn't made it spin so much already.

Who is in charge over there? Our 11 year old sister on a recess?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thursday Night Beats

The third cut goes out to Team Clinton.

Because while we thought we had worked on/seen up close some really f*cked up campaign environments, we now know we don't have any idea.

Noted: Even if only 1/3 of Cottle's article is true

So we look forward to buying some of you a beer (but not all, Mr. Penn) when this is over and hearing all about how not to run a presidential campaign.

Happy Thursday night everyone.

Very Amusing

h/t Ambinder

And Now From The All Hat & No Cattle Department

Politico is reporting that Reid, Pelosi and Dean might try to force the superdelegates to act before the Democratic Convention.

There are so many reasons why this won't work that we're not even going to bother talking about it.

Tim Pawlenty: "He Stressed Health Care, Energy, and the Environment"

At a Georgetown meet and greet last night.

But of course Governor Pawlenty did.

One, he's been talking those issues on the stump for the 10 months that he's been on our radar screen.

And two, he "gets" that it's 2008. Not 1988.

Noted: Not to worry all you national security GOPers. The Governor can work the security angle into both the energy issue and the environment issue, we've watched him do it.

The Guy Who Helped Bury His Client Under A Permanent Approval Rating In The Low 30s Is Still Out There Talking

Karl Rove & Co. helped win some big elections.

And it's not a stretch to say that Rove knew what he was doing in '00, '02 and '04.

But it's 2008.

And the '00, '02 & '04 elections are long gone. As the '06 election proved (and the current right track/wrong track numbers support).

The Republican Party that Mr. Rove ran with a political iron fist for six years is in shambles. A mess greatly exacerbated by the War In Iraq, but not caused by it. The Republican Party is disillusioned, dispirited and searching for a new way forward.

It's a Party looking to transition from the 20th century to the 21st century. If for no other reason than survival.

We don't believe that Karl Rove is a man who should play a meaningful role in that transition. Or, to put it another way, when a teenager drives the family car into the ground the parents take away his keys.

And we believe that folks should think very hard about that when they see Karl Rove & Co. on TV or in the newspaper talking about 2008 and what's "good" for the Republican Party. Or its nominee.

The New New Obama Press Coverage: "The More You See The Less You Know"

Obama Mania is under assault by a good chunk of the Gang of 500 this morning.

Noted: "Bandwagon wannabes", sniff the local Chicago press corps, Columbia Journalism Review, Harris/Vanderhei, Charlie Gibson, Ambinder, Halperin and Brooks.

In any event, all we can think about is the Obama rally last year where the Senator officially launched his campaign for President. And he took the stage to U2's City of Blinding Lights.

Noted: Yeah, that takes some big balls.

Anyway, the first line of that U2 song: "The more you see the less you know."


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Ageism: It Ain't Racism Or Sexism But It's Still An "ism"

Now, we can't see any legitimate (or even 1/4 legitimate) advocacy group hitting McCain on the issue of his age.

Noted: We pulled this YouTube off of Daily Kos. See our first sentence.

First, old people vote.

Second, any attack on McCain's age would only probably end up making the "I'm older than dirt" Senator smile. And provide Johnny Mac a nice, fat political home run ball to go yard on in the experience arena.

Noted: But then again, John Murtha didn't get our memo (but Obama seems to).

In any event, isn't ageism still an "ism"?


And it will be very interesting to see how McCain's age plays out in 500(ish) House, Senate and Governor's races this summer.

And how the more legitimate organs of the Democratic Party handle it.

There Are A Lot Of People In The "Informed Opinion Business" (ourselves included)...

but Mark Halperin has a brand all his own.

Making smart people laugh = not a bad place to be.

If we do say so ourself.

Put Mike Huckabee To Work

From where we're sitting, we can't understand why Mike Huckabee is not out on the '08 campaign trail stumping for McCain/Republican candidates.

Huckabee is catnip to rank and file social and cultural conservatives, he truly respects Johnny Mac, he's dynamite on the stump and he talks so convincingly about "swing issues" like global warming and health care that our squishy conservative heart swoons.

What's not to like?


And if Huckabee still makes some out-of-touch, soon to be gone Bushie elites in DC nervous (or skeletal Team Romney '12), well, that's their problem.

It's time to put the Huck back to work.

For the benefit of all outside-the-beltway Republicans.

We're just saying.

Amnesty International Takes On Waterboarding

Waterboarding has nothing to do with who they are.

But it does have everything to do with who we are.

Any questions?

Noted: The Guardian has the details of the ad here.

What Happens When An Unstoppable Force Meets An Immovable Object? We're Going To Find Out In Denver.

This will be over May 6th?

Or June 3rd?

After the exit polls that came out of Pennsylvania last night?

People are dreaming. D-R-E-A-M-I-N-G.

This thing is going all the way to the convention (and we handicap Clinton's chances there as 1 in 3).

Hillary Clinton is a hockey player, and she has returned.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Well, Our Pork Ribs Were Terrific!

And so was our whiskey.

And now we don't have the patience to watch what drips out of Pennsylvania over the next 12 hours.

Short answer: Clinton won.

Long answer: Ask us in the morning. Maybe later.

Goodnight everybody.

Take it away Jimi!

Waiting. Nothing To Do But Waiting.

We've got a cocktail in hand and some dry rub pork ribs slow cooking on the new (charcoal) Weber.

And sometime in the next 4 hours we should know a lot more about the state of the Democratic Primary than we do now.

So here's drinking to that. And to Frank:

Pennsylvania Prediction: She Is A Hockey Player, She Would Return

Hillary Clinton wins by 10+ points tonight (with not great exit polling for Obama) and this thing goes all the way to Denver.

And in Denver, Team Clinton has a 30% shot of pulling out the nomination on her "Obama can't win big states/working class Dems/Jews/Hispanics/Catholics so John McCain will win" argument.

Noted: And before the Republicans get all giddy at the thought of that, GMP1 is far from sold that in a general Barack Obama can't win those demographics, as we are far from sold that John McCain benefits from an extended fight between Clinton and Obama.

Unless Denver is an absolute circus. With tear gas.

And then...

Of course, we really have no idea at all. Nobody does. Which is what will make ten hours(ish) from now so exciting.


Record Oil Prices: "There's Clearly Some Geopolitical Tension In The Market"

So says some commodity "strategist" in Australia.

And thanks for the update pal.

But Mr. Commodity Strategist goes on to say that he thinks that geopolitical tensions in Nigeria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Iraq, Russia & Iran (to name a few of the places the Western World harvests its energy) will "die down".

Sure they will. Because those places have such a wonderful track record of stability over the last 50, 100 & 1000 years.

In any event, we think that it's just great that America's national security interests are heavily tied to some sh*thole oil pipeline in some sh*thole corner of Nigeria where some asshole with some dynamite has the ability to cause financial pain to millions and millions of Americans whose only crime in life is that they want to drive to work so they can pay their mortgage.

Sounds like a winning strategy to us.

Oh, and did we mention that fossil fuels are "dirty" and their supply is finite?



It's time to find/build/create a renewable, clean source of energy. It won't be easy and it won't always be pretty, but it will be better than what we have currently.

Just by getting out of bed.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Jeremiah Wright To Do Bill Moyers Show, The Right Wing Nut-O-Sphere To Go Absoutely Batsh*t!

We figure Limbaugh and O'Reilly will have this week and next week's yap-yap agenda wholly covered by this. Even before Moyers asks his first question.

And we've probably figured Wright. We mean right.

According To Carl Cameron, NH's Bob Smith Is Backtracking On WaPo Temper Story

It didn't take long for the use of Bob Smith as a source to catch-up with the WaPo (as we hinted might happen last night).

Per Fox News:

U.S. Special Forces In Afghanistan

We are privileged to have two good friends who are members of the U.S. Special Forces (one active, one retired).

They are without a doubt two of the finest individuals we know. And while they rarely talk about it, this is what their typical day has the very real possibility of turning into:

McCain's Time For Action Tour

Commendable, like most of what Johnny Mac does.

And, at this particular point in this particular time, politically smart.

Noted: We especially like the name "Time For Action Tour". Whoever came up with the name is one sharp cookie.

In any event, Mike Huckabee is into it:

Clinton's Pennsylvania GOTV Operation (UPDATED)

We don't know but one thing about it.

And that is that Nick Clemons is helping run it for the Senator.

You know, the guy who ran New Hampshire for Clinton.

And we all know why the New Hampshire Primary turned out the way that it did.

So is Nick Clemons a rising star? It certainly looks like it.

And tomorrow we find out if he's even more than that. When he goes toe-to-toe with the Obama juggernaut. Again.

(UPDATED) You pro-Obama folks are quick.

Yes, Team Clinton doesn't want for many resources, so it is fair to say that she is a mini-juggernaut.

But Team Obama is still the 500 pound resource gorilla in April of '08.

And yes, if you had asked us 12 months ago (hell, 6 months ago) if we would ever believe this could happen we would have laughed in your face.

What If...

Hillary Clinton wins by more than 10 points tomorrow?

And what if the exit polling shows Obama still has significant weakness with blue collar/Jewish/Catholic voters?

What could possibly force Team Clinton out of this race before the convention?

Not much.

Not much at all.

Now the very thought of this will make the Obama/Clinton traveling press corps throw-up.

But we think it's pretty legendary.

See you in Denver?!!???!!!

The Pennsylvania Primary Is TomorZzzzzzzzzzz

Huh? What?

Tomorrow is the 22nd?

Thank. God.

The only question for the next 36 hours is: What defines a Clinton win?

Our two cents: We think it will be tough for her to go on if she doesn't crack 10 points better than him (which she may certainly do or not do).

Of course, our take on this situation is hardly groundbreaking.

In any event, raise your hand if you need a nap.

Rock & Roll Monday (The Flaming Liberal Edition)

Alright, so Bruce Springsteen might be a flaming liberal. So what?

He's nicknamed "The Boss" for a reason. And that's because he can Rock and Roll. Which is about as "American" as it gets.

Noted: Who else could get away with writing a song about 9/11 and then jam it out to a bunch of NY/NJ natives (or crazy Spaniards)? Exactly.

Happy Monday everyone.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Front Page Washington Post Story About McCain That Quotes Former NH Senator Bob Smith? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Oh, we're sorry. But this is rich.

Just ask anyone from New Hampshire.

The WaPo's Mike Leahy might want to check his sources a little closer next time.

We're just saying.

Pick Your Pleasure Sunday Afternoon

It all depends on how the last 48 hours went.

Some readers will dig this (Monday? Shoot, Mondays are for losers!):

And some will dig this (Good Christ! Is it Sunday already?):

Baracky: The Movie

The Mania births another mash-up.

And it's fun Sunday afternoon viewing.

h/t Melissa W.

The Ground Game Team McCain Will Face Off Against If Barack Obama Is The Nominee


And absolutely cut your nuts off and feed them to you with chips no bullshit.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

U.S. Senator Bernard Sanders (I-VT) To Do The Colbert Report On Monday

Honestly, the jokes just write themselves.

And while our poor little Vermont might think that the Colbert audience will be laughing with us Monday night, they won't be. They'll be laughing at us.

h/t Tabby C. for the alert.

Clinton &

First, in 2008 (and forever more) if there are more than three people in a room, no candidate is ever not on-the-record. This goes double if the people in the room are "voters" who don't have an editor or a vested interest in making sure the candidate stays happy with them.

Welcome to the Digital Information Age everyone.

Second, yes, the Huffington Post article makes Clinton look like a panderer/hypocrite on the subject of And, Senator Clinton almost certainly is in this instance.

But what Hillary Clinton said about MoveOn at the fundraiser is no different than what we've heard serious policy/political Democratic staffers say to us on several occasions in the past (those same staffers have similar complaints about Daily Kos and Kos satellite websites).

That is, the Democratic Party helped empower certain activist groups and now those groups have become Frankenstein, pulling the Democratic Party too far to the left and out of the mainstream.

We agree. And we think the Republicans have a similar problem with talk radio.

Now, while we think that Republican talk radio/Daily Kos/MoveOn are powered (more than less) by absolute nuts who don't really represent anybody but the other nuts, those groups would argue that their politics represent a "purer" strain of Republican/Democrat values, which is why they seem to connect with lots of voters.

Maybe, but we doubt it.

In any event, Republican talk radio/Daily Kos/MoveOn are political forces (anger and partisanship writ large usually is), especially in primaries.

so are a lot of other things. And those "other things" don't carry the general election baggage that those other three almost certainly will.

Candidates might want to think about that moving forward.

Friday, April 18, 2008

5:30 On A Friday Afternoon?



Because we're going on a

Ari Fleischer Nails It (UPDATED)

Alexis Simendinger over at National Journal has a good piece up on the way that new media is changing political campaigns.

Noted: New Media is changing absolutely everything (think the invention of the movable type printing press on steroids), but that's another story.

But - and we can't stress this enough - beware false technology prophets who come to you at your campaign office (or business) and promise you the 21st century moon, no "content" needed.

Or, as Ari Fleischer says in the NJ piece:

"The wonderful thing about all these changes is that you can communicate better and faster, but the enduring factor is that you have to have something to communicate,” he cautioned. “You have to connect with the voters on something the voters care about. Substance and character come first, and speed comes second.”
Content talks and bullshit walks. Still.


(UPDATED) A reader writes in with this:
"content talks, bullshit walks." ??? remember the swift boat debacle? how about sen. max cleland ... yeah, that vet was surely a coward who wasn't serious about american security. how about, say, ethanol subsidies? the other day, bill maher complained something along the lines of "how did our scientists make such a horrible mistake?" ... um, the scientists warned on the question of arable land ... no one listened.
ari fliescher? an avocate of straight talk? c'mon ... and you accuse the obamatrons of being all fairy tale land?
To which we responded with this:

[Effective] content doesn't have to equal truth and fairness. All it has to equal is something people connect with. And if that's untruth and unfairness, well that [sometimes] works too.
We should have been more clear.

The WE Campaign's New Television Commercial

The second ad in the series (the first ad featured Al Sharpton and Pat Robertson).

Damn. Smart.

Tick-tock Exxon Mobile. Tick-tock.

Question: Why does Newt Gingrich (and McCain) "get" climate change while huge chunks of the Republican Party still doesn't?

Well Of Course There Is A LOT Of Ugly Campaign Sex Going On

And when we say "ugly", we're describing several different angles of this particular topic.

But that doesn't stop the Wall Street Journal from jumping in whole hog.

Noted 1: The Journal!!!

Noted 2: Who goes on the record for this story?

Bringing The Friday Funny (again)

Happy Friday everyone.

Thursday Night Beats

Tupac Shakur - musician, poet, actor, troublemaker.

About as smart and talented as they come.

Happy late Thursday night (early Friday morning) everyone.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

FLASH: George Stephanopoulos Once Worked For Bill Clinton!

We are also getting unconfirmed reports that Mr. Stephanopoulos once played himself in an Oscar winning documentary about his time on Clinton's '92 campaign. We have managed to get a clip of the documentary from our sources in the field:

At about 1:15 in, look at George leap to Bill's defense! Wow!

GMP1 can only wonder if there is another soul on this planet who is aware that George Stephanopoulos once worked for the Clintons?

And, if there was, why that person didn't raise any objections until after ABC started treating Barack Obama the same way that they treat all presidential frontrunners (hint: for better or worse, make the candidate dance like an asshole).


Hey Team Obama, suck it up.

You bunch of whiners:

Oh To Be 17 Again!

The latest installment of the famous (infamous) Grand Theft Auto video game series.

Set to be released April, 29, 2008.

So big (70 million games sold thus far) and so violent we can almost guarantee presidential candidate comment at some point in the near future.

Of course, we wouldn't dream of passing judgment on the game without trying it out for ourselves.

Ambinder, Halperin Also Failing To Catch The "Mania"

It seems Obama's Hope Mania ain't what it used to be.

By our own incomplete accounting (aka only what we read/watch), new passengers on the anti-mania train ("passengers" = MSM who don't really have a dog in the Obama/Clinton or Obama/McCain fight) have recently boarded like this:

Local Chicago Press ---> Columbia Journalism Review ---> Harris/Vanderhei ---> Charlie Gibson ---> Marc Ambinder & Mark Halperin.

Noted: And we're not even getting into all the stuff around Wright/bitter.

So, who's next?


Helping To Stop The Hunger Crisis aka The Boys & Girls At The ONE Campaign Must Sleep Pretty Damn Well At Night (UPDATED)

The ONE Campaign is at it again, this time focusing on the current hunger crisis.

They are petitioning President Bush to urge action by the G8 countries to help ease the crisis. From their petition:

President Bush,

The soaring cost of staple foods and the resulting hunger crisis has caused riots from Haiti to Bangladesh, threatens hundreds of thousands of people with starvation and could push one hundred million more people deeper into poverty. Please build on your recent commitment by taking immediate action to:

1. Prioritize issues of global poverty, including the world hunger crisis, on the agenda of the G8 Summit this July in Japan.

2. At the summit, secure commitments for additional resources for all types of food assistance and increased agricultural productivity in developing countries.
Now, as we've stated before, we're agnostic on the practical political value of petitions, even one that will get tens of thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of signatures as ONE's routinely do.

But, petitions certainly can't hurt.

And, if you couple a petition with well-connected White House/Congressional lobbyists and a smart local ground game to twist the arm of any elected official hold-outs (via local ed boards, air cover, mail etc) well, you're off to the races.

And it doesn't hurt when you're on the side of angles, as our friends down at ONE are.

(UPDATED) A reader writes to point out the success that ONE had moving the IMF ahead with debt relief for Liberia. ONE's secret? A simple email campaign.

Maybe we won't stay agnostic for long.

Is That A John McCain For President Sign In The British Embassy's Window?

This is pure rumor. We don't know the British Ambassador to the United States and we don't know anyone who works for him.


In the last ten days we've had two separate conversations with individuals who move in the British Embassy's orbit. Not "a private lunch with the Ambassador at noon" orbit, but fairly close.

And both individuals told us that a good chunk of the folks who work in the embassy are "terribly surprised" that the American election is as close as it is because the Brits think John McCain is much more qualified to be President than either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.

Is this bullsh*t? It certainly could be (but if we really thought it was we wouldn't post it).

And even if it's not bullsh*t, it is of no practical political value and remains nothing more than cocktail gossip.

But it's pro-McCain cocktail gossip. Our favorite kind.

And the British PM is meeting with all three candidates in Washington today.

So we'll post it. And let "legitimate" media organizations run it down if they like.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A Squeezable, Snuggly American Hero

The Vermont Teddy Bear Company gets it done. $99 bucks buys you 15 inches of fuzzy hero.

Noted: We're sorry if that sounds pornographic, but it's an accurate description.

From their website:

This courageous Bear is at your service. Wearing a business suit and tie and McCain 2008 campaign button, he makes a great gift for any McCain supporter.
There is also an Obama Bear and a Clinton Bear.

We couldn't make this up if we tried.

h/t Vermont Daily Briefing

Snarking "Elitism"

If one believes Team Clinton's current talking points, Clinton's War Room will get F*CKING PUMPED UP MOTHERF*CKER!!!! for tonight's debate in Philadelphia with this:

While Obama's War Room will get mildly piqued for tonight's debate with this:

75 Too Old To Be President But Not Too Old To Shovel Pork Like There's No Tomorrow

Oh John Murtha.

You silly little pork shoveler.

Your advanced age (75) hasn't stopped you from playing the the Congressional appropriations system like a violin.

So what's your age beef with McCain?

We guess we mean pork.

Because everyone knows (or should) that porkers like John Murtha don't like John McCain's plan to bring transparency to the federal budget process.

A plan that will bring enough sunlight to make even Murtha's waddle quiver.


Finally, A (probably) Newsworthy Event

Get your waders ready.

The spin room opens tonight.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


This is probably the best 3rd Bush term hit piece we've seen thus far. It's not going to go viral. But it's effective.

But it's only playing in DC so, so what?

Noted: For the record, George W. Bush couldn't carry Johnny Mac's jock.

Huck's New PAC Playing In New Hampshire

New Hampshire is almost certainly going to hold the first presidential primary the next time around and Mike Huckabee just told Willard Romney to "Eat my 2012 (or '16) shorts."

"Creation Care" (UPDATED)(UPDATED)

If this didn't tune-in the antennas over at the RNC/NRCC/NRSC, maybe this will.

Noted: We'll bet a dollar that Mike Huckabee spends the next 36 months making the Creation Care issue all his own.

We certainly would. What other issue could a Republican run on that secures his base while at the same time allowing him to flirt outrageously with the independents?

(UPDATED) Somehow we think that these (socially/culturally conservative) folks are just as serious as the Sierra Club, with almost the exact same goal.

Tick-tock Exxon Mobile. Tick-tock.

(UPDATED)(UPDATED) It's nice to know that we have a few readers among the Bushies.

Snark (sorta).

Noted: And we're not terribly hopeful about the Wednesday speech. But we are hopeful about the next generation of Republican leadership.

Alan Keyes "To Break With GOP", GOP Wonders "What Took So Long?"

From the Keyes press release:

HAZLETON, Penn. — Former Republican presidential candidate Alan Keyes has chosen April 15 to make a major announcement of his intentions, following indications he has broken with the GOP.
A life-long Republican who has increasingly cited the party's failure to match conservative rhetoric with actual performance in the political arena, Keyes said he will reveal his reasons for departing the GOP at a press conference scheduled for 8:30 pm ET, at the Best Western Genetti Inn in Hazleton, PA.
The event will be video-streamed live at Keyes' website,
Keyes added that he is looking to the Constitution Party as a possible home for his future efforts in politics, including a potential run for president in the 2008 general election.
"No other ‘third party' is as well-established as the Constitution Party," said Keyes. "They've been around since 1992, and have built a significant grassroots presence among patriotic, Constitution-minded citizens--with a registered membership of over 350,000. Conservatives have a home in the CP that they can find nowhere else, given the decline in the Republican Party's credibility as a voice and vehicle for conservatism."

Monday, April 14, 2008

Run With The Swift?

Just asking:

What would Dean Acheson, Averell Harriman, George Kennan, John McCloy Jr., Charles Bohlen, & Robert Lovett - Six Friends and The World They Made - think of the charge that Obama is "elitist" because of his California remarks?

And what would the 20th Century Wise Men think of the 21st Century, 24/7 media corps (of which GMP1 is a bit player in) who report every single detail (and then some) of today's leaders?

We don't know the answers any better than you do. And it makes us uneasy.

Not that it (really) matters.

Because the times they are a changing (and have changed).

So just hold on tight and try to do your best. Like always.

Mike Duncan, RNC Chairman, Does 10 & 1/2

Robert M. “Mike” Duncan, a 30-year political strategist and veteran of Republican politics, was elected the 60th Chairman of the Republican National Committee in January of 2007.

We would like to thank Chairman Duncan for taking time out of his schedule to answer our questions.

As always, our interview is run in its entirety, with no editing or additional commentary.

1. As Chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC) what are your day-to-day responsibilities?

Anything and everything that’s necessary to elect Republicans across the country. On any given day, you could find me meeting with staff to discuss our strategy, our message, and our fundraising; speaking to a blogger like yourself or appearing on cable news; or any number of other things designed to put Republicans in a position to win.

2. What do you think the most important quality of a good RNC Chairman is?

I’d say there are three, actually.

First, you have to be committed to the party and have a deep understanding of where we’ve come from and where we’re going. Abraham Lincoln, who was born in my state, was the first Republican president, and the principles he advocated 150 years ago remain the foundation for what Republicans believe today. As RNC Chairman, you’ve got to be committed to promoting those principles every day.

Second, you have to be good at bringing people together. Though the Republican Party is a big tent, there are certain basic values Republicans share, and to succeed as RNC Chairman, you need to be able to keep everyone focused on advancing ideas connected to those values.

Third, you need to be a multitasker — especially with the country getting ready to elect the next president.

3. Give us a snapshot of where you think the Republican Party is in April of 2008.

I think we’re in good shape. We have a presumptive nominee, John McCain, around whom the party is united. Barack Obama and Senator Clinton continue to fight it out for the Democratic nomination, and the longer that fight goes on, the more both candidates get dragged to the left. John McCain is talking about issues that matter to the people, and offering common sense solutions that have wide appeal across America. That’s one reason why he’s earning the support of many Democrats and Independents — he has the kind of crossover appeal that Barack Obama and Senator Clinton lack, and polling backs that up. Added to all of that, the RNC’s fundraising remains strong. We have about $31 million in cash on hand, the DNC by contrast has only about $4.5 million, and our state parties are showing comparative strength in fundraising as well. All in all, Republicans should feel good.

4. Why do you think 2006 was such a tough year for Republicans? And why do you have hope that 2008 will be better?

I’ve said before that in the run-up to the 2006 election, we focused more on the fact that we were in the majority instead of reminding people why we were, and what our basic principles were. Our brand was damaged, and we didn’t do a good enough job of explaining to the American people why they should vote for us.

This year, that won’t be the case, however. First of all, our candidate, John McCain, is talking about the issues that matter most to Americans — keeping government growth in check, the economy, health care, national security — and he’s outlining solutions based on clearly center-right principles that reflect Americans’ priorities. And as I said, the Democrats have been dragged so far to the left that we’re seeing a starker contrast than ever before in my lifetime between what the Democratic candidates are proposing, and what the Republican, John McCain, is proposing. The Democrats’ primary process has been so extended that they’ve been forced more and more towards the liberal fringe, and independents and conservative and moderate Democrats are seeing a lot to like in John McCain, especially when contrasted with Senator Clinton and Barack Obama.

5. What is one “truth” that you wish Republicans better understood?

Basic Republican principles really do have timeless appeal. What Lincoln talked about 150 years ago still reflects what voters care about today. Big dreams and smaller government, strength and unity, liberty and victory.

6. How will the Republican Party attract younger voters moving forward?

First of all, we’ve been making a major push on reaching younger voters, especially online. We have an RNC Facebook group, and it has over 8,000 members. Our eCampaign Director, Cyrus Krohn, who came to us from Yahoo and who launched Slate at Microsoft, is always working on strategies to reach out more and more to our youth. We’re also conscious that a lot of younger voters get their news and information about the presidential race online — probably a lot of your readers are under 30. So, we work very hard at blog outreach, as I’m sure you know, firsthand.

But also, we’re blessed with having a nominee, John McCain, who is focused on issues that young voters care about, like entitlement reform, and keeping spending in check and taxes low. McCain’s understanding of environmental issues and foreign policy also appeals to them.

7. Why is John McCain the candidate most qualified to be President?

Quite simply, John McCain has devoted his life to serving America, and his career first in the Navy and since in Congress has given him the breadth of knowledge and experience necessary to handle the toughest challenges facing this country. He’s the only candidate offering real solutions and forward-thinking policies where the economy, national security, and a whole host of other major, national issues are concerned. He also has a demonstrated and well-known track record of leadership, which is another essential characteristic voters are looking for.

8. Why are Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama not qualified to be President?

Barack Obama has served just three years in the U.S. Senate, and by his own admission, much of that time he has spent running for president, instead of doing the work of a senator. He has not managed in that period to convene one policy hearing as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on European Affairs — that’s the subcommittee which incidentally oversees NATO, which is engaged in Afghanistan. He has a generally thin record, including on issues like the economy. And he is the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate, and doesn’t have much of a record as a bridge builder, contrary to what he often suggests.

Senator Clinton, for her part, has succeeded in convincing the American people that she is thoroughly untrustworthy and will say literally anything to get elected. Over the course of this campaign, we’ve seen many examples of her changing her tone and policy proposals on everything from funding for our troops to driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants, and that’s not the kind of president Americans are looking for.

The bottom line with both of them, though, is that they represent a tired, tax-and-spend, government-as-the-solution, liberal special-interest-driven agenda that frankly would be more fitting to the 1970s than 21st century America.

9. What is one issue that the Republicans and Democrats must work together to solve in the next year?

Cutting wasteful spending in Washington, D.C., would be one. Despite the fact that we’re not hearing much out of Senator Clinton or Barack Obama on this front, Americans of all political stripes can and do agree that the government has a responsibility to use taxpayer dollars wisely and on genuine national priorities instead of pet projects and schemes benefiting special interests. I’d add that John McCain has an excellent record where that is concerned — he has never requested an earmark and has been crystal clear that he will veto bills containing pork-barrel projects. The same cannot be said of Senator Clinton or Barack Obama — they’ve both requested millions worth of them, and that’s something that doesn’t sit well even with some Democrats who resent the waste that earmarks can entail, and also the lack of transparency surrounding them.

10. When you are not working you are doing what?

Most likely I’m reading, and probably about history — in addition to being RNC Chairman, I’m also the President of the Executive Board of the Kentucky Historical Society.

10 & 1/2. In the interest of bipartisanship, say something nice about someone from the DNC.

I’ll give my counterpart, Chairman Dean, some credit for attempting to make even the most deeply red states competitive for Democrats. I will also say that I don’t envy his task, though. I simply don’t think states like Idaho or Oklahoma are going to be competitive for Democrats any time in the near future. By contrast, we’re seeing polling that shows John McCain is competitive across the country, including in some traditionally blue states, and that’s something we’re going to keep working hard to progress, all the way to November.

The View From Our (bathroom) Window, Part II

Washington, DC

2:48pm yesterday.

Bonus points to whoever can tell us which retired "chief campaign strategist's" house we would hit if we were to lob a water ballon over the pink blossoms.

Noted: April 1 (ish) - June 15(ish) there is no city in the world prettier than Washington.

Rock & Roll Monday

Just sing everyone.

And have a very Happy Monday.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Reality That K Street PR/Comm Firms (and everyone else) Is Quickly Waking-Up To

Wired Magazine has a good read on the competition between the two tech blog giants Gizmodo and Engadget, which explains a lot about the way that blogging ($0 cost of publishing) is turning (has turned) the business world upside down.

Some key graphs:

Engadget and Gizmodo are two of the most popular blogs in the world, pulling in an average 4.1 million and 3.4 million unique visitors a month, respectively, according to comScore. The sites routinely break news: Engadget scored the first photos of the Xbox 360, while Gizmodo gave its readers the first shots of Microsoft's second-generation Zune. And in less than six years, they have become two of the most authoritative voices in the gadget world. A Google search for "iPhone review" returns a three-part series by Engadget as the top result, two links ahead of CNET and eight ahead of The New York Times...

Last August, Engadget ran an open letter to Palm trashing the troubled company ("Frankly, you've taken a turn from being the respected underdog and innovator to repeat offender in stale gear") and suggesting steps for a turnaround; CEO Ed Colligan posted a response on the Palm blog, thanking Engadget for the advice and announcing that he would forward the ideas to his entire executive staff. Lam says that Steve Jobs once told him that he checks Gizmodo daily, and Bill Gates is on record as an Engadget fan...

As a Samsung spokesperson puts it: "Gadget blogs are the future of the world for us."
In the new media business universe you gotta kiss a lot of frogs before you find a prince.

But that doesn't mean you shouldn't have already started puckering up. Like yesterday.

It Seems Politico's Harris & Vandehei Have NOT Caught The "Mania" Either

Well, Politico just pushed into the public square what folks on both sides of the aisle have been saying for months behind closed doors.

Not that it means Politico's analysis is wholly correct.

But Harris and Vandehei's story about Obama's political weaknesses, and what Team Clinton thinks/is going to do about it, is well worth a read.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Boy, You Can Say That Again. Boy, You Can...

David Brooks on Jim Lehrer Friday night on the state of the Democratic race:

Frankly, not a lot is happening in the campaign. They keep going. They get more and more exhausted. It just goes on. And finally we'll get a news event in Pennsylvania. We haven't had a news event in quite a while.
And Brooks on Petraeus, Crocker & Iraq:
JIM LEHRER: Petraeus-Crocker, first of all?

DAVID BROOKS: Well, I think you did hear from the questions the increased concern about the cost from the Democrats, also from the Republicans.

But I think there was a crucial moment when Barack Obama was asking questions, and he made -- he said explicitly, "There will be no precipitous withdrawal." And I think people can also see the consequence of that withdrawal, whether they're Democrats and Republicans.

And what struck me was how different the hearings were and the private discussions from the campaign trail, where it's all about, "Let's get out quickly" or, you know, "Let's stay forever."

It is clear what's going to happen. The president will leave behind 100,000 troops. Gates said that he hoped to get it below that by the end of the year; he knows now that's not going to happen. That will allow the next president to reduce it, to some degree, but we'll still have a lot of troops there.

And if the conditions stay as they are in Iraq, I think the expectation is among serious Democratic foreign policy experts we're going to have a lot of troops there for a long time, because the costs of staying are high, the costs of leaving are prohibitive, and there will be a slow, gradual drawdown.

And to me, the temper, the timing of that drawdown will actually not be set in Washington. It will be set in Iraq. If all these truces that now obtain in Iraq continue, then we'll be there. If it blows up, it doesn't matter even if John McCain is president. We're out of there.

JIM LEHRER: How did you read Petraeus' conduct, and his words, and his presentation to the Congress, and of course to the American people?

DAVID BROOKS: Well, I think all of us who've covered him and Ryan Crocker, who equally -- they're the A Team. They're the best we have. And I think they're candid; they're straightforward; they don't over-promise; they get incredibly detail-oriented.

I was just in an interview with Crocker with a group of columnists. And you couldn't get the guy to make a generalization. It's about, "What are you going to do?" "Well, there's this, but then there's that problem. And then we're going to do this. We're going to have the provincial elections."

It's very detail-oriented. It's very execution-oriented, though they both fervently believe that, if we get out too soon, the war will not the end, the war will escalate, there will be genocide, they will be a terrorist state.
Mr. Brooks is far from perfect.

But our love affair with his thinking is in no danger of ending anytime soon.