Friday, February 29, 2008

6pm On A Friday? Shoot, It's Party Time!

Ready the movable feasts!

We'll see everyone on Monday (if not before).

Angelina Jolie Sees Benefits Of U.S. Surge In Iraq, Other Hollywood A-Listers Aghast! "But We Thought She Was One Of Us!?!!??" Cries Sean Penn

We're usually not big on Angelina Jolie. Or Hollywood.

Noted: It's not the "liberal thing" it's the "celebrity thing".

But Jolie, a UN Goodwill Ambassador/actress, penned a fairly substantive piece in the Washington Post yesterday about the success of the U.S. troop surge in Iraq as viewed through the prism of the Iraqi humanitarian crisis.

It's worth a second look.

And Now For Something Completely Tasteless

Yes, this is a real anti-smoking print ad (make sure you click the picture to see the text).

H/T Copyranter.

Obama Backs McCain (Sort Of)

Barack Obama might be untested, inexperienced and far left, but the Senator from Illinois has got class.

And a very shrewd political team.

Noted: Although we haven't strayed from our initial position that this whole issue was much ado about less than nothing.

H/T The Trail for the photo.

JSM. Set To Pink Floyd.

According to Marc Ambinder, this clip is making the rounds on conservative blogs today.

H/T to Marc for being able to wade through some of those blogs. We can't.

Anyway, the simple truth of the matter is that John McCain is a conservative Republican (life/spending/ntl security). Always has been. Always will be.

The other simple truth is that John McCain has been very willing to tell the Republican Party to go f*ck itself when the Republican Party, frankly, should be told to go f*ck itself (the issue of global warming jumps quickly to mind).

So while this tongue slip by JSM down in Texas gets some of the mouth breathers oh so fired up (oh boy oh boy, I knew it! I KNEW IT!!! Rush was RIGHT!), at the end of the day it means nothing.

Nice Pink Floyd background music however.

Austin, Texas Food Tips For The Gang of 500

A good chunk of the Gang of 500 is down in Texas this weekend setting up for the primary.

Including Jon Martin, who is trolling for food tips on his blog.

Since GMP1 lived in Austin for three years (just absolutely ripping it), we have three humble food tips for you reporter types.

First, check out the Whole Foods flagship store in downtown Austin. It's the size of an airport and has to be seen to be believed.

Second, there is nothing that can compare to the Salt Lick's BBQ.

And third, our favorite Mexican joint in the continental United States bar none, Juan In A Million. Get the Don Juan breakfast burrito. It's amazing. How amazing? Well, the owner of Juan In A Million drives a brand new Porsche. And how many breakfast burritos do you think you need to sell in order to buy a Porsche?

The Republican Dream Scenario?

This is (probably) possible, but not likely.


What if both Senator Clinton and Senator Obama each manage to find a way to make it to the convention with about the same amount of delegates? After spending the next several weeks snarling and clawing at one another?

What if at the convention both the Florida delegation and the Michigan delegation end up not being seated (which immediately depresses the Democratic base in each state for the general)?

And what if, even without Florida and Michigan, Harold Ickes/Bill Clinton are able to use their long knives in the convention's smoky back room and swing enough super delegates to Team Clinton's side so that she ends up with the nomination?

Well then, that would be interesting.

Would there be rioting in the street? Probably not.

But close.

And then hello President McCain!

Since Her Eyeglasses Are On, You KNOW It Must Be Serious

Going up on TV shortly.

Snarking aside, it's a good ad.

Which should have been run 3 months ago.

A Note About Our Photographs

We received a nice email last night from a news photographer who told us that he loves our blog but asking us to please take down a McCain photograph that he had taken and that we were using without his permission.

Of course we immediately complied.

This is the 2nd request to take down a photo that we've gotten from a photographer in the 16 months that we've been at this.

A lot of folks ask us, "where do you get your photographs?"

Well, we post a lot of pictures that we've taken ourselves (a rule of thumb is that if the photo "sucks" we probably took it).

We also occasionally post photos that have been sent to us by readers/professional photographers who are looking to get eyeballs on their work. Obviously we credit the source of those pictures.

But we get the bulk of our photos from Google Images. We try to come up with keywords that fit with the post that we just wrote, we plug those words into Google's magic box and off we go.

We have always tried to give credit where credit is due. But it is often impossible to know who took the photograph in the first place. And, since we have not and will not make one dime off of this blog, we have never felt as though we were cheating anyone out of their "cut".

But all that doesn't change the fact that photographers should get credit for their work. And they most certainly have the right to demand that GMP1 pull down any of their photos used without permission.

So to all you shutterbugs out there, if you see one of your photos up here and you want it off our site (or for us to credit you), just drop us an email and we'll be happy to comply.

And that, as they say, is that.

Bringing The Friday Funny (again)

Mr. Colbert is pretty much the funniest guy on television:

On the "Seattle Saudis":

Or talking with former Press Secretary Tony Snow about "things that we as Americans deserve not to know":

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The White Guy Criticizes The White Guy For Being White

Seriously, does anybody take this guy seriously?

Howard Dean is pure silliness.

And so far to the left that he makes us look conservative (which ain't easy to do).

John McCain Goes Home

Back to where it all started.

To say "Thank-you".

Johnny B, The Man In Charge, To Endorse McCain

James Baker will endorse John McCain today.

Our favorite memory of Mr. Baker is when Baker stepped off the plane in Florida for the 2000 recount, glanced leisurely at the superheated environment and then coolly stated, "I will bend time, space and the national press corps to my will before the day is out."

And then Mr. Baker did precisely that.

Noted: Not a direct Baker quote. But you all get the picture.

Pulling The Trigger

Well, we finally did it and jumped -

Right into the greatest electronic dog collar the world has ever known.

Dance monkey.

"Blab, Blab, Blab - I'll Have A Tall Skinny Vanilla Latte - Blab, Blab, Blab"

Ah the MacArthur Blvd. Starbucks.

It's quite a place between 6 - 8 in the morning.

And it's absolutely amazing what many bit/medium/big Washington "players" will blab, loudly, into their cell phones as they wait for their morning joe.

We're not big on "gotcha" posting.

But sometimes it would be so easy...

Team McCain Addresses The "Undisciplined Messaging" Folks With A Simple Message

Team McCain/RNC sums up today's Tennessee incident, which is: Think before you say something stupid and/or borderline racist.

And that's that.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Mark Penn Is Responding & Explaining

Campaign 101 states that if you're responding and explaining, you're losing.

And with quotes like these...

“I always tell people—win and we all win. Lose and we all lose,” he said. “I believe she can win, and she would by far be the best candidate in the general election for the Democrats. So I appreciate people are trying to write their story lines in advance—mostly out of their own self-interest. If we lose, I will take my share of the responsibility. I have won about 70 major elections around the world, including many presidents, and I devised the simple message for Tony Blair in his last successful campaign: ‘Forward, Not Back.’

“In the last 30 years there have been only three successful Democratic presidential campaigns, and I am pleased to have done one of them. Anyone who knows me knows I will keep fighting for what I believe in.”
Mr. Penn must be losing.

But don't worry, even though "large teams of people" from Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates were involved in the Clinton campaign (hence the $10 million the firm billed to the campaign), we are quite sure that Mr. Penn made off like a bandit.

Or at least enough so that his new underground garage in Georgetown will soon be in tip-top shape.

Oh those silly Democrats.


William F. Buckley Jr., "The Scourge Of Liberalism", Is Dead At 82

The New York Times has the obituary.

He was a Giant.

Our sympathies to his family and friends.

Bill Cunningham, Captain In The Mouth Breather Army (UPDATED)

Not only is this ignorant, it's not effective (Duuuuuuuuh!).

Just ask Karl Rove.

Noted: Why is this so hard for the far right wing of the Republican Party to understand?

(UPDATED) The stupidity (and undisciplined messaging) is catching.

Now the Tennessee Republican Party is getting in on the action.

Whoever is responsible for this should be fired. Publicly and immediately. Period.

Is the Republican Party really this stupid?

Does anyone smart think that you can fight Hope with fear mongering and race baiting?

Raise your hand if you think that the GOP can survive into the the 21st Century being the party of white, old men.

Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.

We'll say it again.

Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.

It Ain't What It Used To Be (But What Ever Is?)

Economists are generally about as smart and independent minded as political hacks.

Noted: Ahhhhh. Ummmmm. Gee whiz. Huh?

But the U.S. Dollar is in trouble. For a variety of reasons.

Not the least of which is that this country will be carrying $10 TRILLION in debt by the time a new President takes over at the beginning of next year.

And what person/country in their right mind wants to hold currency issued by a entity DROWNING in red ink?

Time to go long on the Dong?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Well Hello There Mr. Drudge!

Matt Drudge was mentioned within the first 30 minutes of tonight's Dem debate in Ohio.

Drudge... The guy who runs a website news aggregator.

Simply. Incredible.

And example #4,593,408,988 of "It's A Brave New World".

God Bless Our Global Village

Meet Yael Naim.

Is she Israeli? French? Something else?

We still aren't clear. But it makes no difference to us.

She's great.

h/t Steve Jobs for blasting her onto our consciousness.

12 Team 5x5 Rotisserie Drafted 2.19.08

98% of you will think that this post is terribly lame.

The other 2% well, you know who you are. And this is for you.

1. (1) Álex Rodríguez 3B
2. (24) Derek Jeter SS
3. (25) Mark Teixeira 1B
4. (48) Chone Figgins 2B,3B,OF
5. (49) Jason Bay OF
6. (72) Francisco Rodríguez RP
7. (73) Vernon Wells OF
8. (96) Johnny Damon OF
9. (97) Trevor Hoffman RP
10. (120) A.J. Burnett SP
11. (121) Jarrod Saltalamacchia C,1B
12. (144) Carlos Delgado 1B
13. (145) Dontrelle Willis SP
14. (168) Joe Blanton SP
15. (169) Dave Bush SP
16. (192) Jonathan Broxton RP
17. (193) Joel Zumaya RP
18. (216) Scot Shields RP
19. (217) Jon Garland SP
20. (240) Zack Greinke SP,RP
21. (241) J.D. Drew OF

Senator Larry Craig Looking For Interns Who Are Not "Bad" Or "Naughty" Or "Nasty"

Craig's Senate office is offering a "behind the scenes look" for Idaho college students who wish to intern in Craig's office.

Honestly, the jokes write themselves.

Even though the whole affair is just terribly sad.

With All That Money In The Valley Why Should The Democrats Get To Have All The Fun?

Unsustainable Affection

Inexperienced. Untested. Far left.

252 days to go. A lifetime.

h/t The Page for the photo.

Ohio's Rob Portman To Join Team McCain Flotilla

Rob Portman will endorse John McCain today.

It's a nice pick-up for Team McCain. Portman is well respected in Ohio (and national) political circles.

Full Disclosure Watch: We once worked as an intern for then Congressman Portman on the Hill about 75 million years ago. It was about as much fun as we've ever had doing a "job".

Hey, What's A Little FBI Probe Among Friends?

Well, it's about as much fun as a colonoscopy except it's done in public, hurts more and at the end of it there is a good chance that someone(s) is going to jail.

Which is why the NRCC isn't a very fun place to be right now ("This is the FBI! Everybody drop your pants and grab your ankles!")

Of course, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

And the Republicans should have cleaned out the Aegean Stables a long time ago.

So now they have help.

John McCain Is A Pain In The Ass... For The Lobbyists

David Brooks has a piece up this morning debunking the idea that John McCain gives special treatment to lobbyists.

In fact, Brooks uses his column to lay out just what a pain-in-the-ass Johnny Mac has been to the special interests over the years.

So read the column.

Chris Dodd Will Endorse Obama Today

A nice pick-up for Barack Obama.

What's next for the Senator from Connecticut? "Senate Majority Leader Chris Dodd"?

Could be.

Absolutely could be.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Deterrence By Disgust: Canada's Public Service Announcements


Obviously safe for work, but not for the squeamish.

h/t Periscope in this week's dead tree Newsweek.

The Barest Whisper Of What's To Come

Via First Read: has a Web video hitting McCain on Iraq and tries to tie it to the economy...

The group says it will run on Washington, DC-area cable. But this is part of a larger effort by a consortium of liberal groups, joined today in a conference call with reporters by John and Elizabeth Edwards, against not just McCain but also targeted Republicans.

Leaders of the group -- consisting of the Center for American Progress, USAction,, the SEIU, and Americans United for Change -- say it will pour in more than $20 million -- for ads and on-the-ground organization -- to draw links between Iraq and a struggling U.S. economy between now and November...

"There is great concern, anxiety, and angst about economic security," Edwards said on the call. "All of these things are made worse by the war in Iraq." He added that while he was on the trail, he found that "People don’t understand why we’re spending $500 billion and counting at the same time we have 47 million without healthcare, 37 million living in poverty…. It doesn’t make sense to them…. John McCain has made it very clear; he intends to go along with the same exact policy as George Bush."

Elizabeth Edwards had this message for voters. "If the economy is your No. 1 issue, then the war is your No. 1 issue."

She also lamented the role the press has played in not drawing more connections between issues like the war and the economy.

The Edwards's talking points jive with what we've heard from mid-level Democratic staffers recently.

In a nutshell: Yeah, the Democrats in Congress might have their problems, but the cost of the war in Iraq is adversely affecting everything that we do. And Pelosi and Reid don't have the balls, or the where-with-all, to take the President on directly over things that they promised the voters in '06.

Actually, strike that.

The first nutshell sentence is a Congressional Dem talking point.

The second nutshell sentence is all us.

Noted: This post represents the first "Bush 3rd Term" label.

Clinton Uses Inexperience To Link Obama With Bush? (UPDATED)

In her foreign policy speech today, Hillary Clinton seemed to draw a comparison between Obama's '08 inexperience and Bush's '00 inexperience.

"America has already taken that chance, one time too many," she said.

Maybe Team Clinton read our post?

UPDATED: Marc Ambinder has a better quote from the speech:

“We’ve seen the tragic results of having a president who didn’t have neither the experience nor the wisdom to manage our foreign policy and safeguard our national security. We can’t let that happen again.”

Too Much Sneaky

The Politico's Ben Smith has a post up this morning on some anonymous, pro-Clinton websites that have popped up on the Internet in the last couple of days.

At the end of his post, Smith links back to a story that he did in December on the anonymous web.

One graph from Smith's December story caught our eye. It refers to Politico trying to determine the identity of the anonymous author of a pro-Hillary site:

The author has gone to some lengths to disguise his or her identity.

The website is hosted by a service that offers anonymity. It accepts payment for goods through PayPal. And the author didn't bite on an attempt by Politico to crack the case by sending an email with an embedded image and checking to see who downloaded the image – a relatively common method in the field of Internet forensics.

But aren't we talking about a privately owned and operated, completely legal website whose "attacks stick to the realm of acceptable Washington politics – they don't veer into the darker realms of attacks on Obama's race or religion"?


We think that Ben Smith is a good reporter and a decent guy. But Politico sending out forensic emails in an attempt to "out" a private citizen who is not breaking any law rubbed us the wrong way.

Big time.

Pssst, Did You Hear That Barack Obama Is Black?

This is about the dumbest thing that we've ever heard of.

What is Team Clinton's message behind the release of this picture?

Obama is open-minded when it comes to other cultures? (not racist, but a stupid message)

Obama is black? (racist, and a stupid message)

Obama is sympathetic to Muslims? (Islamophobic, and a stupid message)

Obama is a Muslim? (Islamophobic, and ignorant)

And, none of these messages work in a Democratic Primary except (maybe) on the margins.

Smooth work Team Clinton.


Rock & Roll Monday

Dedicated to Burlington, Vermont's very own Naughty Girl Crew.

Here's looking at you NGC. Them boys never had a chance. And they never will.

Happy Monday everyone.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Disappearing Buzz: CBS Ratchets Up Anxiety Levels In Palo Alto (and elsewhere)

60 Minutes just re-ran their honeybee story from the fall.

As if one of our best friends in the world needed his bee anxiety level pushed any higher.

But the story is still worth a look.

The ONE Campaign Wants You To Help Send The Next President To Africa

On the heels of President Bush's recent trip to Africa, The ONE Campaign is asking its members to sign a petition asking all the presidential candidates (those still in the race) to pledge to visit Africa during their first term.

The ONE petition states:

As a voter in the 2008 Presidential election, I'm asking you to pledge to visit Africa during your first term in office. It is my hope that your trip will increase U.S.-African cooperation, save lives and help build a better, more secure future for millions of the world's poorest people.
Smart. Good. Sense.

And, with 100,317 signers so far, The ONE campaign should find Teams McCain/Obama/Clinton to be quite receptive to their pledge.

Huckabee '12 (or '16)

He's great.

From last night's SNL.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Year Old Sources

The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder reports on the timeline of McCain's New York Times piece and finds that it "beggars belief" to believe that John Weaver had anything to do with instigating the story.

Which is exactly how we feel.

So what about the identify of those original and confirming sources?

Well, one thing a John McCain Presidency would be able to boast of is a totally transparent federal budget with zero earmarks.

Now what sort of person do you think that idea scares the piss out of?

Friday, February 22, 2008

Bringing The Friday Funny (again)

Well, our Prada (Gucci) label from January '07 seems to have stuck.

But we're moving beyond all that.

Because we have a new question: What does one do after being a senior member of a campaign team who took a 12 month front-runner, 40 million dollars and ended up with exactly no delegates?

Why go on TV of course!

As a "Republican Strategist".

"Strategist" - the Friday Funny word of the day.

Happy Friday everyone.

Hillary Clinton's Expenses

The NYT has a story up on how Hillary Clinton's donors are ripped at the money Team Clinton has spent on consultants (read: Mark Penn).

Rolling Stone Magazine saw this coming 11 months ago.

So re-read the Rolling Stone piece.

And then take a second look at Howard Wolfson's quote in today's NYT's piece:

“Fees and payments are in line with industry standards,” Mr. Wolfson said. “Spending priorities have been consistent with overall strategic goals.”
That's industry speak for Oink. Oink. Oink.

All the way down the golden toilet.

Per usual, it seems, for many in the Democratic Party (and yes, many in the GOP as well).

Melanie Sloan? Oh, You Mean The Former Conyers/Schumer/Biden Staffer! (UPDATED)

Look, we're all about "sunlight" in Washington DC.

Transparency is the only way to break the hammerlock that Big Money has on this town - appropriations that can withstand rational public scrutiny stay. Those that can't, go.

So while we are fairly certain that Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has it's heart in the right place (it's a great name anyway), when CREW's Executive Director Melanie Sloan starts questioning Johnny Mac's integrity on the front-page of the Washington Post we think it's only fair - in the interest of sunlight - to point out that Ms. Sloan has worked in the past for Democrat John Conyers, Democrat Chuck Schumer and Democrat Joe Biden.

And now Ms. Sloan wants to pass judgment on the Republican nominee for President as if her career sprang up in a vacuum? And the Washington Post wants to identify her only as the head of CREW?

That's doesn't sound very sunlight friendly to us.

But that might just be us.


Erick Erickson of Red State adds some very interesting detail to this story.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Let's Get Back To Things That Matter, Like Austin City Limits

Speaking of Austin, we understand that there is a debate there tonight.

Between someone named Hillary Clinton and someone named Barack Obama.

The Houston Chronicle has the score.

John Weaver

GMP1 is a very small fish in a very large '08 election pond.

But we still know a thing or two. We talk to a lot of people. And we're smart enough to know when to keep our mouth shut (9 times out of 10 anyway).

And it is our very humble opinion that anyone who believes that John Weaver would ever do anything to intentionally harm John McCain is either a moron, has their own destructive agenda, or both.

And that, as they say, is that.

Back In The 20016 Zip Code

We're heading back to Washington.

And we'll be traveling most of today.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

There Is No There, There

John McCain spent 4+ years in a jungle torture box (in a fucking torture box!) because of something called "honor" and because he believes in a "Code".

The guy is far from perfect.

We don't agree with a whole bunch of his policy positions.

And John McCain is most certainly mortal. With all the flaws that go along with being human.

But that man loves this country with all his heart and soul.

And this New York Times piece is bullshit.

Total. Fucking. Bullshit.

With absolutely no there, there.


Clacker Quotes Allen Quoting Halperin Talking To O'Reilly About How Michelle Obama's Recent Comments Hurt Her Husband

Smart. All the way around.

(Except you O'Reilly, we still think you're a jerk).

Fresh from this morning's Playbook:

1) Cable news continued to make hay with Michelle Obama’s remark on Monday in Milwaukee: “Let me tell you, for the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country. Not just because Barack is doing well, but I think people are hungry for change."

***Mark Halperin of TIME’s “The Page” told Bill O’Reilly: “The Republican, I think, against Obama, have one problem before they have to address all others and that is: Can the base of the party unite to get as angry and as fired up to stop Barack Obama as they would be to stop Hillary Clinton. And I think this one comment is the spear tip that could lead to that feeling.”

Governor Huckabee, Sir, It's Time To Drop Out

You've had one hell of a run, and we've enjoyed every minute that we've spent banging our drum on your bandwagon.

You've become a national figure Governor. And you're still young enough to take a second run at the presidency later on.

But now it's time to step aside and let Johnny Mac do what he needs to do - For the good of the Republican Party. For the good of McCain. And for the good of your future prospects.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Obama Wins Wisconsin, Clinton Campaign Officially On Life Support, Clacker Preparing To Eat Crow

NBC just called Wisconsin for Obama.

And this primary fight is (almost) all over.

When we make the right call, we crow about it. Publicly.

When we make the wrong call, we eat crow. Publicly.

And, if Barack Obama wins the Democratic nomination, we'll be eating crow. Because we truly thought, right up until we saw tonight's Wisconsin's exit polls, that Hillary Clinton would pull out the primary.

We bought Hillary's inevitability hook, line and sinker. And we did for the last 17 months.

But after reading tonight's exits - which we believe show that the only demographic Hillary Clinton carried in Wisconsin(!!!) was white woman over the age of 50 - well, get the salt and pepper ready.

Because we think we're about to be eating some bird.

"Eloquent But Empty Call For Change"

Johnny Mac wins Wisconsin.

And uses his victory speech to road test contrast language dinging Barack Obama.

$100.01 A Barrel

A record.

Of course, the price of oil will fluctuate over the coming weeks/months. It might even (probably will) come back down in price.

But does anyone else think it is incredibly stupid that the global economy is still tied to a finite, dirty energy source that is primarily buried in places hostile to Western-style democracy?

You. Betcha.

Time for Uncle Sam to lead the world's best and brightest and find out "what's next".

It's out there.

We have no doubt.

Obama = Bush?

File this under "If Mr. Obama is the Democratic nominee".

There has been a lot of talk in the last 48 hours about the RNC's plan to take on Barack Obama in a general election.

And, having taken a quick glance at the material, it looks fairly straightforward.

Barack Obama = inexperienced & untested & far left.

Which is absolutely fair game.

But there is an interesting twist on the "Obama = inexperienced & untested" message that the RNC (and other official Republican organs) won't go anywhere near.

A messaging twist that presents a potential opportunity for outside-the-box thinking Republican independent expenditures.

That is: Barack Obama = inexperienced & untested = George Bush 1999 = We all know how that turned out.

Crazy? Maybe, but...

The general election is only about electoral math. Period.

We are assuming (trying not to make an ass out of you or me) that there will be between 8 and 16 battleground states in the 2008 general.

We are also assuming that both Obama and McCain, when all is said and done, will be able to turn-out their base.

Which leaves the battleground state swing voters as pretty much the end all and be all (per usual).

Swing voters who haven't had a kind word to say about the current President since about 5 winters ago (but who are not, as of yet, totally sold on Obama).

Knowing this, the Democrats (official organs and independent expenditures) are going to do everything they can to label John McCain's candidacy "a 3rd Bush term".

The Democrats should be effective with this line of messaging.

However, Republicans may blunt this line of Democratic attack with swing voters in the battleground states if they can tie the inexperience of George Bush '00 to the inexperience of Barack Obama '08.

In other words, both sides get a taste of Bush.

It will take a dynamite independent expenditure program running a well targeted direct mail program, a lot of air cover (read: money) and no fear of ticking off the Bushies.

But that sale is possible. And should at least muddy up the waters enough so that the Democrats don't get a free first pass at the swing voters in the crucial battleground states.

Especially because swing voters are not going to be asked to couple Obama with Bush and then vote for a Romney or a Huckabee.

Swing voters are being asked to couple Obama with Bush and then vote for maverick (and mature) John McCain.

Who has one hell of a plan to combat global warming, have you heard?

Michelle Obama's Jackass Comment

It's not a huge deal (GMP1 has been known to make some jackass comments in our time).

But Mrs. Obama did say a jackass thing.

Which she should correct.

And soon.

Because some good things have happened in this country since 1988.

And she will be asked.

Monday, February 18, 2008

How Does Baseball Heal Itself?

Buster Olney knocks one out of the park (but not off rookie pitcher Babe Ruth, pictured above in 1915 as a world champion Boston Red Sox):

The players stroll onto the field for the first workout of spring. The sun is out, the warmest sun they will ever feel. The grass is the brightest green they will ever see.

They will lie across that grass to stretch. A teammate will make fun of another's ugly haircut; all of them will laugh. After stretching, they will all take a slow jog around the field, and some old pitcher will whine about the journey, exaggerating how winded he is. The youngest pitchers will run with their shoulders back, not quite at the front of the pack -- they don't want to be viewed as trying to show up anybody -- but close enough to let the pitching coach know they are in great shape.

They separate to play catch, to loosen up, half of them aligned along a foul line, the other half in the field of play, first 50 feet apart, then 60, the distance between the throwing partners increasing, throw by throw, until they are about 120 feet apart. The distance between the older pitchers increases a little more slowly than it does between the youngsters, who are aching to cut loose; the veterans pace themselves.

Pitchers' fielding practice will begin. A coach will top a bounder toward the mound, and the pitcher at the front of the line -- invariably a veteran -- will catch, step and throw.

Somebody will fumble a grounder, pick it up and fire at an awkward angle to first. Take it easy, a coach will yell. Another pitcher will field a short-hop smoothly, with the ball making a satisfying whump when it buries itself in the pocket of his glove, and this will draw a couple of hoots from teammates. Twenty pitchers or so stand in a line behind the mound, waiting for their turn, and in the interim, some of them will chat about their offseasons.

Then they will take turns covering first base, reminding themselves of the art of taking a throw while hitting the bag with their right foot, and it will be clear within a couple of minutes who are the best athletes, who labor to move, who struggle a little bit with the hand-eye thing. If a veteran pitcher drops a throw, a friendly pitching coach will tease him; if a young player drops an easy throw, an older coach will bark, Let's go.

The drill will end, and then in prescheduled groups of four or five, they will head to the bullpen mounds. Catchers will stand 61 feet away, behind plates embedded in the dirt, the brownest dirt you could ever see, dirt that is carved easily by their cleats.

Maybe the baseballs will be left at the rubber for each of the pitchers, or maybe the pitching coach will flip them the balls, but either way, they will be the whitest baseballs you could ever see. And then a coach will glance at his watch, and let everybody know when they should begin this first 10-minute throwing session of spring. The pitchers will set a foot on the edge of the rubber and stride forward easily and toss the ball, if you call throwing a ball 80-85 mph tossing it.

The catchers, now crouching, will turn their wrists slightly and the baseballs will hit their gloves with a sound that is distinct to baseball, a sound that cannot be replicated, a cross between a crack of a whip and the slamming of a door. And that is how the healing will begin.

A Mountain Out Of A Molehill

Team Clinton and Team Obama are going back and forth over who stole what language from whom.

They even released some YouTube videos to make their (respective) points:

Noted: The WaPo's Dana Milbank was about 16 trillion news cycles ahead on this one.

Noted 2: To the Clinton and Obama staff - don't do anything stupid and offer to resign because "that will make the chickensh*t story go away". It won't. And you'll be famous for a day. Sitting on top of your newly minted, self created mountain.

Former President Bush Endorses The Buck Toothed, Chunky Kid In The Blue & White Striped Towel??!!??

Unfortunately, no.

Former President Bush endorsed a genuine American hero in Texas today.

Not the little boy who grew up to be a blog pundit.

Oh well, there's always next cycle.

Rock & Roll Monday

It's a George HW Bush kind of day.

Back to the 80s!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Why Team McCain Loves Tim Pawlenty

The very able Jon Martin has a good story up this morning about why Minnesota Governor (and McCain national co-chair) Tim Pawlenty makes an attractive VP pick for the Senator from Arizona.

Keyword: Steadfast.

We covered an event that Governor Pawlenty did for Senator McCain in Fairlee, Vermont (on the NH border) on October 8th, 2007.

October 8th - dark days for Team McCain. Not a lot of phone calls being returned, not a lot of surrogates wanting to hit the campaign trail for him.

But there was Governor Pawlenty, flying into Manchester, NH to then make a four hour round-trip car ride to give a dinner speech in Vermont on behalf of Senator McCain to maybe 200 people.

That's dedication to a candidate. Big Time.

And the Fairlee trip is just one example of what Tim Pawlenty has done on behalf of Johnny Mac. Through thin and thick.

Which is one big reason why Team McCain loves the Governor from Minnesota.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Karl Rove Follows In Monday Morning Clacker's Footsteps. Literally.

Last Monday, Karl Rove spoke at Choate Rosemary Hall.

After a lot of (fairly silly) drama.

The Hartford Courant was the only media outlet granted access to the speech.

Worth a quick read.

If only because Rove spoke on the very stage where this writer raised all sorts of hell during school meetings a long, long time ago.

And seeing the pictures takes us back.

Salad. Days.

So He's Not Mr. Congeniality, So What?

The AP's Libby Quaid is up with a rehash of some old stories regarding Johnny Mac's temper.

Granted, calling someone an asshole usually isn't the best why to handle polite company.

Of course, a good chunk of "polite company" left DC a long time ago.

Leaving behind a lot of looters.

Who are assholes.

Chelsea Clinton Is Silent No Longer (to the voters)

The AP's Phil Elliott has the score.

And there is no question that Ms. Clinton is a very effective campaign surrogate for her mother.

Who will, sooner rather than later, have to start talking on-the-record to reporters.

David Brooks's Advice To The Clinton Campaign (And Maybe The McCain Campaign?)

David Brooks is one of the best (so is Jim Lehrer).

Which is why we stopped a Guitar Hero Party last night so that we could watch this.

Brooks's money quotes about how Clinton (McCain?) could deal with Obama:

So I would be a little more personal and say, "You've got Mr. Perfect over here. You know, he went to Harvard Law School, Columbia college, has a perfect career, perfect family, occasionally his loafers get soggy from walking on water. But, you know, I've lived an actual life. I've had some struggles like you. And I actually understand you a little better than this guy does...

Put the mask down. The second thing I'd try to do -- and this would be more difficult -- is make this ideological. Try to get from some center versus left. Say, "He's more liberal than I am. I admit it."

And I would particularly pick on some social issue or maybe fiscal discipline and try -- there has been no ideological definition between the two. I might try to establish something like that.

So that would be two quick things she could do, and she could go after his class. What's the point of being a Democrat if you can't play on social resentments?

I mean, the guy does every rally it seems at some college. He doesn't campaign outside of 50 yards of a provost's office. Maybe play on that a little. It's desperation, but I would do something like that." Unlocks A Treasure Trove Of Pictures

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, an unflattering picture is worth 2,000 words.

And Chicago's CBS affiliate has put together 26 of the most unflattering candidate pictures they could find of this cycle.

Meaning that they are probably the only MSM outlet to cause 5 different communication directors on 5 different presidential campaigns to all scream bloody murder at the same time.


Noted: Might we suggest that bloggers and oppo hell raisers download the pictures to their hard drive before CBS pulls them down?

We certainly did.

Yes, YOU Can (but not me, not now!)

Ken Vogel has an interesting story up about the (potential) public financing fight between John McCain and Barack Obama.

Well worth the read.

"DNC Has No Firm Strategy To End Standoff" - Well No Sh*t!

Brian Mooney of the Boston Globe has the score.

Our favorite line about the clusterf*ck that is Florida: "Chris Korge, cochairman of Clinton's national fund-raising committee, sent out an e-mail alleging that "Sen. Obama writes us off as irrelevant and [Democratic National Committee chairman] Howard Dean tries to avoid the issue."

Hey, it's Ho-Ho (as the VT press corp refers to the former Governor).

And, as David Broder said on Meet last week, "Howard Dean doesn't have the stature to broker this deal."

This whole thing is like a demolition derby. Only with slightly higher stakes.


Friday, February 15, 2008

Steve Novick's Very Clever Television Ads

We don't know a thing about Mr. Novick, or his U.S. Senate race in Oregon.

But his ad people are very clever.

Noted: Is it just us or does the Democratic Party seem to have a deeper pool of media talent to draw on than do the Republicans?

CPS Meets TR

We're spending the weekend appreciating a hero's hero.

Which is why we're reading The Rise Of Theodore Roosevelt, by Edmund Morris.

One of many money graphs:

"These men, in turn, had found him to be the leader they craved in that lawless land, a superior being, who, paradoxically, did not make them feel inferior. They loved him so much they would follow him anywhere, to death if necessary - as some eventually did. They and their kind, multiplied seven millionfold across the country, became his natural constituency."
Sound familiar?

Barack Obama Pro & Con

In 2000, Clinton fatigue gave way to the inexperience of George W. Bush.

In 2008, will Bush fatigue give way to the inexperience of Barack Obama?


The Economist Magazine sets the table for the (hopefully) forthcoming discussion of "what that might mean".

Their highlights pro:

His immediate effect on international relations could be dramatic: a black president, partly brought up in a Muslim country, would transform America's image. And his youthful optimism could work at home too. After the bitterness of the Bush years, America needs a dose of unity: Mr Obama has a rare ability to deliver it. And the power of charisma should not be underrated, especially in the context of the American presidency which is, constitutionally, quite a weak office. The best presidents are like magnets below a piece of paper, invisibly aligning iron filings into a new pattern of their making. Anyone can get experts to produce policy papers. The trick is to forge consensus to get those policies enacted.
And con:
But what policies exactly? Mr Obama's voting record in the Senate is one of the most left-wing of any Democrat. Even if he never voted for the Iraq war, his policy for dealing with that country now seems to amount to little more than pulling out quickly, convening a peace conference, inviting the Iranians and the Syrians along and hoping for the best. On the economy, his plans are more thought out, but he often tells people only that they deserve more money and more opportunities. If one lesson from the wasted Bush years is that needless division is bad, another is that incompetence is perhaps even worse. A man who has never run any public body of any note is a risk, even if his campaign has been a model of discipline.

Bringing The Friday Funny (again)

One of our best friends, a movie buff, wrote us with his review of the new Rambo movie:

If you guys get the chance, go see the new Rambo movie. It is AMAZING. The entire script for the movie is maybe 4 pages long, and the violence in the movie is incredible. Picture a combination of Braveheart and Saving Private Ryan, but MORE violent. The most fun I have had in a movie this year.
"is maybe 4 pages long."


But we think we'll skip it.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Of Course, The Real Joke Is On The Taxpayer

Mitt Romney's Finest Hour (UPDATED)

Mitt Romney endorsed John McCain in Boston this afternoon.

Noted: Anyone who thinks that Mitt Romney will be on a McCain VP list has rocks in their head.

We're just saying.

(UPDATED) CNN has a more complete story of today's endorsement than the story we linked to above, including details of the role that John Weaver - McCain's former top political strategist - played in today's festivities.

Worthless Hilarity

You don't learn how to navigate (survive) the political microwave in a classroom.

You learn how to navigate (survive) the political microwave by strapping on a helmet and diving in head first.

And yeah, you're going to get your teeth kicked in a couple of times.

Everyone does.

So get in the pit and try to love someone.