Thursday, July 31, 2008

This Is NOT The American Hero We Know & Love

This is the type of ad that some wannabe dogcatcher runs at the start of a congressional primary.

This is not the type of ad that a genuine American Hero runs 96 days out from a presidential election.

And no, we don't think that this ad will be effective in convincing true undecided voters in the battleground states to support John McCain.

Which means that this ad ain't good for anything.

Except blowback.

Noted: By the way, how did GOP messages like this do in 2006?


Revisiting Reverend Wright

Just asking:

If Obama really did shop for a church to help him raise money and his community profile for an eventual run for elected office as Ryan Lizza recently wrote...
Obama seems to have been meticulous about constructing a political identity for himself. He visited churches on the South Side, considered the politics and reputations of each one, and received advice from older pastors. Before deciding on Trinity United Church of Christ, he asked the Reverend Wright about critics who complained that the church was too “upwardly mobile,” a place for buppies.
On issue after issue, Preckwinkle presented Obama as someone who thrived in the world of Chicago politics. She suggested that Obama joined Jeremiah Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ for political reasons. “It’s a church that would provide you with lots of social connections and prominent parishioners,” she said. “It’s a good place for a politician to be a member.”
...then isn't Obama responsible for the repercussions of his purchase?

The same way that a politician who joins an exclusive country club to have access to the club members should be responsible for racist/anti-Semitic jokes told at club functions that the politician regularly attended?

So wouldn't a political ad that was nothing more than 30 seconds of Reverend Wright video be absolutely fair game to put on the air?

We certainly think so.

And now we think we know why Team Obama threw Lizza off the plane.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggidy-Jig!

GMP1 is back in DC and will be up on the grid tomorrow with lots to clack about.

Until then, we are going to focus on last night's last meal in Vermont - a BBQ'd Vermont chicken stuffed with lemon wedges, garden garlic, carrots and celery.

Sometimes we manage to impress even ourselves.


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Barack Obama Is For Us & Against Them!

The WaPo's Richard Cohen has a piece up today tittled Obama the Unknown.

It's worth a read.

As is what Marc Ambinder's readership had to say when they were asked to respond to the Cohen piece and describe what they "admire" about Barack Obama (hint: lotta volume, not much content).

Rarely has a candidate come so far standing for so little as has Barack Obama.

And we plan on driving this narrative just as hard as we can over the next 90+ days to our "friends" in the Gang of 500.

Because a little "working the referees" by GMP1 never hurt anyone except the guilty.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Tom Coburn Might Be A Serious Pain In The Ass...

...but the U.S. Senator known as "Dr. No" is on the side of angels.

Or at least the side of the U.S. taxpayer.

So "get stuffed" Harry Reid.

And here is to hoping that Dr. No soon has a new senatorial crime fighting partner known as Dr. Transparency.

Now that's hope we can believe in.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

You Say You Want A Revolution

Noted: We're still on vacation through Thursday. But a well-built soapbox waits for no man, so...

Bill Moyers is one of the best in the media business. Without question.

And this transcript of Moyers and The Nation's William Greider discussing the current state of the U.S. economy is fascinating. Even though we don't agree with everything that they say.

One highlight:

BILL MOYERS: Do you think Washington really knows what's going on [with the current economic crisis]? Do you think they really understand what's happening out there in Cleveland and places like that all over the country?

WILLIAM GREIDER: The short answer is, no, I've been in Washington as a citizen andresident for 40 years. And I'm still occasionally shocked by its ignorance of the rest of the country. And some of that is willful, of course. But some of it is just, it's a very nice life in Washington. You get used to certain protective qualities.

We saw that recently with these political players, who got good mortgages. How do they do that? Well, we know how they did it. And in any case, Washington doesn't yet see the depth of the problem.

If you ask me, well, who's figured this out? Who understands, at least in general terms, where we are? The guys in Washington? The politicians and their governing policy advisors? Or the dimwitted public? I would say the public. And I think there's a lot of evidence in that. You know, they keep seeing these polls where the public expresses doubt about this, about-

BILL MOYERS: Eighty-one percent of the people in the most recent polls say we're heading in the wrong direction.

WILLIAM GREIDER: I call that an extreme consensus. Why do the newspapers not celebrate that? They're always looking for consensus politics. Here's the American public, they've got an eighty-- you know, that's extraordinary.

WILLIAM GREIDER: We have an opening in this crisis for, this is really going to sound grandiose. We have an opening in this crisis for a deep transformation in American politics. I don't say it happens this year, next year, or it's going to take a number of years. But we are in the shock of reality. And people get it everywhere and see the blood in the streets. And you tell them how this worked and who did what to whom, and that's a basis for a new politics.

But it requires people - this is the hard part - to get out of their sort of passive resignation to, "Well, we follow the Democrats" or "we follow the Republicans" or "we let this group or that group tell us how to think" and engage among themselves in a much more serious role as citizens. And when, as they do that, they have to be willing to punish the political powers, in smart ways or crude ways, however they can, first, to get a place in the debate. But, secondly, to force the changing values of the system.

And I, this may be wishful, but I think in the next year, two years, five years, you're going to see both political parties floundering. What do we believe about all this stuff? We've told folks this, you know, lovely story for 20, 25 years about the magic of the marketplace. Do we still want to kind of prop that up? That's where they are now. They're still trying to prop up the marketplace vision and make it work again. It's over.

I think events will demonstrate that. So if they're not willing to change then we need to change the politicians. And that's all a bloody process and doesn't happen quickly. But that's why I'm optimistic.
Or, to put it another way:

Thursday, July 24, 2008

How We Know We're STILL On Vacation Until Next Wednesday

At 3:30 on a Thursday afternoon we already have a cocktail in our hand after catching the noon (!!!) showing of the new Batman movie with our 12-year-old sister.

We have absolutely no idea what's clacking at The Page/The Note/First Read/Swampland/Real Clear Politics/Ambinder/Martin/Smith/on the wire/or in our email box.

And Tina Turner and Rod Stewart are wailing on the jukebox as the rain pours down on the Green Mountains.

Rip it.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Barest Whisper Of What's To Come If Romney Is McCain's VP Pick

Compliments of the Michigan Democratic Party.

Via Ambinder:

We'll say it one more time: Mitt Romney doesn't deliver Michigan in the general election.

And Mitt Romney delivering Michigan is the only reason why you would even contemplate having a conversation about putting Mitt-Flop on the ballot as Johnny Mac's running mate in 2008.

Get it?

"I Didn't Know I Hit Him!"

So said Bob Novak after driving over a 66-year-old pedestrian with his car in midtown DC this morning.

The self-described Prince of Darkness then tried to leave the scene of the accident, but was stopped by a good Samaritan bicyclist who kept Novak at the scene until the cops arrived.

Which led Mr. Novak to blurt out this post's title quote, "I didn't know I hit him."

So, Mr. Novak, when you claim that you didn't realize that you had bounced a senior citizen off the windshield of your Mustang, one of two things is certainly true:

1. You are telling the truth when you say you didn't know you hit anyone, but you are clearly too careless a driver to keep your license.

2. You actually do know that you hit someone and were forced to lie about it when you were caught fleeing the scene of your accident.

Take your pick.

Hmm, We Wonder What Michelle Obama Was Doing In '94...

...because Cindy McCain was in Rwanda with Doctors Without Borders actually getting it done.

Via a Gerson Op-Ed in today's WaPo:

KIGALI, Rwanda -- Cindy McCain's first visit to this country, in 1994, was during the high season of roadblocks and machetes and shallow graves.

Following a call for help from Doctors Without Borders, McCain had assembled a medical team with the intention of setting up a mobile hospital in Rwanda. Arriving by private plane in mid-April, a couple of weeks into the massacres, she realized that the chaos made deploying her team impossible. At the airport, she paid for the use of a truck and set out for Goma in then-Zaire, where hundreds of thousands of refugees were also headed.

"I never saw anyone harmed," McCain recalls, "but I saw the bodies along the roadside." Checkpoints were manned by 12- and 13-year-olds with AK-47s. "The kids were drinking -- bottles of Guinness, I remember. They would point their guns at you. They wanted money. We paid." Along the way, she picked up several abandoned young people, later turned over to the care of an Irish charity.

"You could see the chaos, hear the shots, hear the screaming. You could smell it." What, I asked her, could you smell? "The smell of death," she replied.

Arriving across the border in Goma, in what is now Congo, McCain found cholera victims stacked beside the road "like highway barriers." "I remember having to step over the decomposing body of an infant, covered with white powder, lime I guess, to get into one building." The field hospital covered four acres. McCain's team provided primary care for sick and frightened refugees, many of them suffering from dehydration. For nearly a month, McCain organized deliveries of food and water for the operation, collecting supplies at the Goma airport.

"I have never seen anything like it before," she says, "and never since. . . . When I came home, I couldn't put it into words for my husband."

The rushing return of these memories came on Cindy McCain's first visit to Rwanda since the genocide. In the shadow of Barack Obama's world tour, McCain joined a bipartisan delegation -- including former Senate majority leaders Bill Frist and Tom Daschle -- organized by the ONE Campaign, a group that advocates for the fight against global poverty and disease. (I am also involved in the efforts of ONE.)

McCain came back to a very different Rwanda -- peaceful, well governed, and making, with American help, some of the most rapid progress in the history of public health. "What has struck me," says McCain, "is that most people are reconciling. A woman I met was gang-raped [during the genocide], her throat was slit, she lost her whole family, but was willing to forgive. The reason this will be a successful country is the women -- some of the strongest, most inspiring women I have ever met."

Given her history of humanitarianism, these adjectives might be associated with McCain herself. The election of her husband would also bring to the White House an adventurous, traveled, intriguingly fearless first lady. Over the years, McCain has taken medical services to a Sandinista stronghold after Nicaragua's civil war; set up a mobile hospital near Kuwait City while the oil wells still burned from the Persian Gulf War; helped in Bangladesh after a cyclone. And while in that country in 1991 she found her daughter Bridget in an orphanage -- "She really picked me," McCain insists. Sometimes the desire to save every child is properly concentrated on a single child.

Like most of Cindy McCain's life, these stories are generally hidden behind a wall of well-tailored reticence. She values the privacy of her family and resents the intrusiveness of the media. None of her relief work has been done for political consumption or Washington prominence. On the contrary, it has been an alternative life to the culture of the capital -- the rejection of the normal progress of a senator's wife. "It is not about me -- it never has been. I felt it was important -- that I had to do it. I never took government money. It was my own, and I am not ashamed of it."

But all this would have political consequences in a McCain administration. Even if a first lady is not intrusively political, the whole White House responds to her priorities. Cindy McCain has had decades of personal contact with the suffering of the developing world. And in some future crisis or genocide, it might matter greatly to have a first lady who knows the smell of death.
The November election may or may not turn on "experience" (obviously, the McCains hope yes, the Obamas no).

But we argue that no matter what happens in November experience does matter.

A lot.

Just ask the people who have lived under George W. Bush for the last 8 years.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

McCain, The One Campaign & Poverty Being A National Security Issue

The One Campaign and the American hero continue to see eye to eye.

From today's Rochester town hall:

Mr. & Mrs. New Hampshire, Coming Soon To Documentary Screen Near You?

We believe that the young lady in the white shirt is a well known documentary filmmaker.

We know for a fact that she was filming people outside the McCain town hall in Rochester, NH this afternoon.

Here's hoping that her third film is every bit as good as the first two.

Clacker To Join Team McCain In NH Today, Unclear If His "Fast Mouth" Will Be Able To Talk Him Through Latest Security Bubble

The above pic was taken on March 16, 2007 (FOREVER ago).

We've ridden on the Straight Talk Express with Johnny Mac 6 times in the last 19 months (and we enjoyed our first "full access" look at Team McCain '08 back in the spring of '06).

We're like a bad penny.

But every experience has been an absolute blast.

He's a genuine American hero. And how many Clackers get a chance to sit and talk with genuine American heroes?

Besides, we've grown to really like many in McCain World (some gone, some still there).

So on to the Rochester town hall!

Where only the good Lord knows what we'll find.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Developing: NYT To Run 4 Part Series On How Team Obama Keeps "The One" On Regular Bowel Movement Schedule

Of course we're only kidding. Sorta.

But the Union Leader's Joe McQuaid isn't laughing about the bias of the MSM toward Barack Obama. The UL Publisher has written a front-page, above-the-fold editorial this morning titled "Obama Orgy" (we're not making the title up).

Per Mr. McQuaid:

The blatant bias of the major national news media toward Barack Obama is now so overwhelming that it would not be worth noting, except that the election of a President of the United States is involved. It is a propaganda blitz that would make the Kremlin blush.

By election day, we fully expect John McCain to be vilified as a Vietnam-era war criminal and worse. But that is only if the networks and other major media can tear themselves away from their Obama orgy.

A recent report found that since June the nightly newscasts of NBC, CBS, and ABC combined have spent 114 minutes covering Obama. McCain got 48 minutes.

But that was before this week.

The three major television networks are all scheduled to send their nightly news star "anchors'' to follow Obama on his trip to Iraq and the Middle East.

When was the last time you saw ANY of the networks do this with Sen. McCain?

If you can't recall, it is because it hasn't happened. McCain, who knows and understands and is intimately familiar with Iraq and Mideast issues, has been there many times, with little fanfare. It is because he understands these issues that he was able to argue so effectively for the surge that has dramatically improved the Iraqi situation.

The outrageous imbalance in the major media's coverage of the candidates means that the American people are going to have to work doubly hard to make the right choice in these perilous times.

To which the MSM will respond to that troublemaker McQuaid (via a MoDo column) "Don't mess with our Messiah!"


Beware false Prophets.

Rock & Roll Monday (The "On Vacation" Edition)

Rascal Flatts who?

We prefer the original.

Happy Monday everyone.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Lakeside In Freedom, NH With Legs, Literature & Libation

Happy CONTINUING summer vacation everyone.

Noted: Those aren't our legs. Not really.

And after spending the last few days dockside with Robert Massie's Peter the Great biography, we feel the need to take a short break, hop back on the grid and highlight a couple of stories that have caught our eye recently.

Because a few of our loyal readers are getting ornery and have started the threatening emails. You know who you are.


Time's Andrea Sachs reviews businessman Felix Dennis's How to Get Rich: One of the World's Greatest Entrepreneurs Shares His Secrets.

The Journal's Amy Schatz explores the GOP's lack of online politicking abilities. Maybe it's just us, but if the same three Republican "Internet strategists" weren't quoted in every single article on this topic maybe we would see some forward movement on the fresh ideas front?

The Journal's Kimberley Strassel explores the hatred that GOP reformers face from within their own party. Great, GMP1 loves a good fight!

The NYT's John Broder loves all over Al Gore's plan to wean the nation's entire electricity grid to carbon-free energy in 10 years. We love Gore's idea too. $3 trillion seems a small price to pay to tell the Saudis/Iranians/Russians/Venezuelans to go "stuff themselves" while at the same time helping secure our children's financial/environmental future.

Marc Ambinder tracks the GOP car wreck that is Iraqi PM Malicki's comments to the German MSM publication Spiegel. While Team McCain's Tucker Bounds is absolutely correct with this statement about the (significant) blow-up, GMP1 just does not see how Iraq is not a loser for the Republicans in 2008.

And Jon Martin has Johnny Mac on Conan.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Driving The Next Two Weeks

We're taking a little summer breather.

And heading back to the home state.

So posting will be light over the next two weeks.

We're quite sure that everyone will understand.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

32 Campbell's Soup Cans For A New Media World?

Citigroup Revisits Asian Financial Crisis Levels

h/t Aaron.

Unsung Heroes

There are other campaign staffers who played an important role in assisting Senator McCain clinch the Republican nomination, but a solid chunk of the American Hero's key Republican Primary staffers are in this picture.

And if you didn't know that - or you don't understand - you haven't been paying attention.

Taken right before the New Hampshire Primary.

Salad days for us all.

In "Discussion" On Age, MSNBC Anchor Just Compared John McCain To Her Grandmother Saying Crazy Things At Thanksgiving Dinner


Then her guest (who is a comedian) made a joke comparing McCain to one of the Golden Girls.

Check the tape (between 9-9:45 am, MSNBC, 7/15/08).

Unclear if MSNBC plans to open next segment with, "Barack Obama is so black that..."

Monday, July 14, 2008

DC Mayor Fenty's Shakedown Operation?

Tonight, at 7:26pm on the east side of the 200 block of D Street NE, DC parking enforcement officer J. Harley (badge # 00323 in Department 15) decided that he was going to write a parking ticket for a parked car with out-of-state plates.

A $50 dollar ticket for not properly displaying a parking pass "on the sidewalk side" dashboard of the parked car.

"These hick tourists will never know what hit them," officer Harley probably thought as he typed the ticket into his little computer. He might have even let out a little giggle, spraying donut crumbs everywhere.

Except this hick blogger does know what hit us - a shakedown.

And some fast and loose bullsh*t that tarnishes much of what the DC government does.

Take a look at the picture we took - our permit is displayed prominently and it is displayed correctly. It's not even close.

And while we are not stupid enough (or arrogant enough) to believe our little post will have any real impact on anything, if we can get Fenty's PR people to bring down a sh*tstorm on parking enforcement officer Harley well, the 5 minutes we spent on this post will be time well spent.

Which is probably what officer Harley thought while he was writing us a bogus parking ticket.

Can You Smell That?

That's PANIC.

And it's always darkest right before it's pitch black.

Meanwhile, both political parties in Washington are talking absolute economic nonsense (aka talking points dug out of the 20th century).


Albert Gore/We Campaign To Discuss Climate Change In DC Thursday

Be still our beating swing voter heart.

Per the Glover Park Group managed press release:

Gore to Lay Out Unprecedented Challenge on Energy and Climate

Address Will Set National Goal for Clean Energy Future

Washington, DC – Former Vice President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore will outline his bold vision for the future of America’s energy needs at D.A.R. Constitution Hall this Thursday, July 17. The speech will be hosted by the “We” Campaign, a fast-growing organization focused on solutions to the climate crisis.

The speech will offer a new way of thinking about our energy production and consumption and a new sense of what is possible when we choose to work together. It will propose a means of tapping America’s innovative skills to build a more secure energy future.

Who: Former Vice President Al Gore

What: A discussion on the future of America’s energy needs

Where: D.A.R. Constitution Hall – 1776 D St., NW, Washington, DC

When: Thursday, July 17 at 12:00 p.m. EDT:

David Walker Is Blogging (among other things)


Rarely Does Someone Who Has Accomplished So Little Rise So Far

All questions of strategy and process aside, we challenge anyone to read this Nagourney column about Obama ducking the McCain proposed town halls and not think that Senator Obama is anything but an "inexperienced pussy".

Yeah, we said it. 

P-U-S-S-Y (gender neutral folks, to be clear). 

Just pathetic.

A different kind of politics our foot.

Too Cocky?

So asks Andrew Sullivan in a much-discussed blog post from last Thursday.

To which we answer, "Duh!"

Team Obama has got "too cocky" written all over it.

They have since the very beginning.

Remember, this is the campaign that launched in Chicago (a gazillion months ago) to the U2 song, City of Blinding Light:

The more you see the less you know
The less you find out as you go
I knew much more then than I do now

Neon heart day-glow eyes
A city lit by fireflies
They're advertising in the skies
For people like us

And I miss you when you're not around
I'm getting ready to leave the ground

Oh you look so beautiful tonight
In the city of blinding lights

Don't look before you laugh
Look ugly in a photograph
Flash bulbs purple irises
The camera can't see

I've seen you walk unafraid
I've seen you in the clothes you made
Can you see the beauty inside of me?
What happened to the beauty I had inside of me?


And I miss you when you're not around
I'm getting ready to leave the ground

Oh you look so beautiful tonight
In the city of blinding lights

Won't leave me as I am
But time won't take the boy out of this man

Oh you look so beautiful tonight
Oh you look so beautiful tonight
Oh you look so beautiful tonight
In the city of blinding lights

The more you know the less you feel
Some pray for others steal
Blessings are not just for the ones who kneel... luckily
"Oh you look so beautiful tonight"...

"The more you know the less you feel"...

"The more you see the less you know"...

"Can you see the beauty inside of me"...

Team Obama really knew what they were doing when they picked this song.

And we're not snarking.

Rock & Roll Monday (The "We Wish It Was Still Saturday Late-Late-Night" Edition)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Privacy Is Dead! Long Live Whatever Is Next!

The barest whisper of what's to come.

Not In Good Taste & Not Even "Smart", A Double Whammy

Politico's Mike 'kicking ass and taking names at 7pm on a Sunday night in July' Allen has the details here.

The New Yorker, it seems, has a tin ear (at least this week).

And a magazine cover that is nowhere near smart enough to be relevant (at least this week).

Obama = Bush (Part 2)

David Broder has a tough Obama column up calling the Senator from Illinios an "enigma" and "opaque".

Which makes, according to Broder, the GOP's job of going after Obama more difficult. 

Probably so. 

So we're going to throw our brief two cents into this conversation (again).

Last February, we wrote a post arguing that Obama '08 = Bush '00. But not in a good way.

A few days after we wrote that post Team Clinton went after Barack Obama by comparing Obama's inexperience with Bush's.

We think this is a potentially devastating line of attack against Senator Obama. A line of attack that could wreck havoc on Obama's swing vote support in battleground states. A line of attack that was never fully explored by Team Clinton.

We'd like to see the GOP/McCain take their own shot. 

If they have the stones to cross what's left of the Bushies.

"He Had Such An Opportunity, But All This ‘Audacity Of Hope’ Stuff, It’s Blah, Blah, Blah."

So says Martha Shade, a former Barack Obama supporter who lives in Portland, Oregon in (another) NYT's story about Senator Obama's trip to the political center.

From where we're sitting, it is at best "unclear" whether Obama's sprint away from a whole host of positions he took during the Democratic Primary will hurt him in the general election. 

We believe that it is far more likely that a hatred of Bush/desire to win will keep most of the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party in line over the next 4 months.

But if Senator Obama does win the White House (and we know that the Democrats will pick-up substantial majorities in both chambers of Congress) it will be very interesting to see exactly what President Obama and the Democrats do without George W. Bush and the Republicans to kick around anymore.

Governing is far different than campaigning. 

The Democrats have yet to show us that they know the difference. 

Even though they already control - totally - one branch of government. And have for 20 months.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Cooper Prepares For Tonight's Dinner Party By Brushing Up On American History

This afternoon.

Ten pounds of "fairly dumb" alley cat sound asleep under a model of the U.S.S. Houston (SSN713), which was built by Newport News Shipbuilding and launched on March 21, 1981.

And yeah, we love our cat.

Driving Mid-July Conversations In The Hamptons/White Mountains/Martha's Vineyard/Eastern Shore...

...Bryan Burrough's "Bringing Down Bear Sterns" in the latest issue of Vanity Fair.

Worth a beach read.

For a more serious study of how speculation, greed, lies and an interconnected global financial system can move huge (!!!) sums of money in and out of countries/businesses with the click of a mouse key (aka you bleed out so fast that you don't even know you're dead), we recommend The Chastening by Paul Blustein. 

Or you can just ask us what it was like to be on the ground in Buenos Aires for two weeks in late October 2001 when the Argentine government defaulted on a whole bunch of debt.

Friday, July 11, 2008

5:16 On A Friday Afternoon? Hell, It's Quitting Time!

Humor and (sorta) music? We couldn't resist!

Happy happy hour everyone!


A good friend of ours caught this at Sundance and called it "stunning".

He's now thinking of shorting the U.S. dollar.

And he's one of the smartest people we know, which makes us really sad. And scared.

h/t the boys and girls at the Peterson Foundation.

Dow 10,000!

Remember in the late 1990s when Dow 10,000! was all anyone could talk about (when our mouth wasn't jammed with lobster tail and champagne)?

Well, we all might get another chance here again shortly (when our mouth isn't choking on dust and squandered opportunities).

The back of the envelope calculation is really quite simple:

$10 trillion in national debt is a b*tch for a country's currency to carry on its back. Throw in the growing wealth gap, the trade gap, our addiction to outdated energy technology, financial sector uncertainty (greed/stupidity), two wars, high interest consumer debt and upside down entitlement programs and well, we laugh out loud when the "eggheads" tell us that the underlying fundamentals of our economy are sound at the present time.

Or that people aren't hurting.

Phil Gramm's recent comments do not reflect the thinking of economic conservatives who want to be taken seriously in 2008.

And believing that doesn't mean that we're a New York Times worshiping Communist.

Or Chicken Little.

Or that we don't think that America is the greatest f*cking country on the planet.

It just means that we believe that these guys are the smartest folks in the room.

Not some GOP dinosaur who hasn't had a good new thought in 15 years.

We Think That This Is A Pretty Good Republican Energy Plan From 2006

Why do we think it's pretty good?

Well, we wrote it. For a targeted '06 U.S. House race in Vermont. With help from several energy experts from across the political spectrum.

And with the price of a barrel of oil hitting another record today, we thought now would be the prefect time to dust our plan off.

We know, we know, cue the calls from some quarters of "Plagiarist!" and "Burn him at the stake!"

But we'll let our readers make up their own mind as to whether we lifted this energy proposal from Hillary Clinton.

And we might even dare hope that forward thinking GOP political operatives find parts of this plan useful in their ongoing '08 races.

For Immediate Release
Thursday July 27, 2006

Rainville Unveils National Energy Plan
Calls American energy stability “vital for national security”
Outlines short and long-term steps to protect the environment

WILLISTON, Vt. — U.S. House Candidate Martha Rainville today unveiled a comprehensive plan to address America’s energy future. Rainville’s plan includes short- and long-term steps to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil, protect the environment and ultimately help move the world away from the use of fossil fuels entirely.

“Now is the time to act. A growing American economy needs energy to maintain its strength and to enhance our quality of life,” Rainville said. “My plan will help protect our national security, protect our pocketbooks and protect our environment.”

The plan recognizes that world economic growth — notably in China and India — is bidding up the demand for and thus the price of energy. Rising energy prices mean that energy will claim a larger portion of Vermonters’ income — for transportation, home heating, business and industry, governments and schools.

The plan also takes into account that the world’s dependence on ‘traditional’ forms of energy has had an adverse effect on the environment, especially strip mining for coal, air pollution from fossil fuel burning and the serious problem of nuclear waste disposal. Congress must begin the process that moves the world away from fossil fuels as an energy source and Rainville’s long-term energy plan starts that conversation.

“When I graduated from high school, more than 30 years ago, the keynote speech was on alternative energy. We cannot afford to wait another 30 years,” said Rainville.

“My energy plan acknowledges short-term realities while planning a long-term solution,” she added.

In the short term, Rainville’s plan has four goals for immediate action, which will have long-range effects:

1. Increased conservation and home energy production.
2. Increase supply of alternative fuels by repealing import duties and support for development of cellulosic ethanol and biodiesel production.
3. Mandate government fleet vehicles be flex-fuel or hybrid.
4. Increase domestic offshore production of oil and natural gas.

Rainville’s plan also sets out two long-range goals:

1. Support programs to get American students interested in studying math, science and engineering
2. The creation of a far-sighted International Advanced Research Projects Agency on Energy

“My short-term plan will lessen America’s dependence on foreign sources of oil from unstable regimes by increasing domestic production, promoting ethanol use and enhancing commonsense conservation,” said Rainville. “My long-range plan might be far reaching but I believe it is important for elected officials to have vision and goals for the future.”

Increased conservation and home energy production.

Rainville’s plan will curb America’s energy demand by encouraging household energy conservation through “green construction” and Energy Star homes. The plan encourages individual household electric generation through small scale wind power generation, rooftop solar photovoltaic cells and mini-hydroelectric projects. The plan also calls for increased funding for public transportation and car pooling support programs.

“These are commonsense steps that Vermonters can take in our own back yards and must be encouraged,” Rainville said. “It’s amazing to me how many of the world’s problems can be solved locally.”

“In my own house, when my incandescent light bulbs burn out, I make sure to replace the bulbs with compact fluorescent lighting, which reduces my household electricity use,” she added.

Increase supply of ethanol by repealing import duties and increased support for development of cellulosic ethanol and biodiesel production.

“We cannot seriously address America’s oil consumption without talking about our transportation system,” said Rainville. “In addition to looking at ways to conserve gas, we also need to look at other sources of vehicle fuels.”

The plan would repeal the 54-cent per gallon import duty on Brazilian ethanol, made from sugar cane. It is one of the most efficient ethanol processes and requires less energy to produce than it generates.

Rainville’s plan calls for increased support for research on cellulosic ethanol production using biomass waste and switchgrass. This is preferable to subsidizing corn-based ethanol production, which arguably consumes more petroleum energy than the product yields.

Mandate government fleet vehicles be flex-fuel or hybrid.

“We need to promote not only the availability but the use of alternative fuels,” Rainville said. “Government can lead by example.”

The plan calls for a “Golden Carrot” program of targeted procurement of high mileage flex-fuel and hybrid vehicles with four year payback periods for government fleet use. Rainville credited the “Golden Carrot” idea to Amory Lovins, author of Winning the Oil End Game.

The plan would also assist domestic auto manufacturers in retooling for flex-fuel and hybrid vehicle production with a series of tax credits, which would apply to vehicles produced for the commercial market.

Increase domestic offshore production of oil and natural gas.

Rainville’s plan calls for increased oil and natural gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Florida, with federal royalty payments to affected states and sensible, 100-mile buffer zones to protect scenic costal property and public beaches.

Rainville’s plan would not permit drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

“The natural gas resources we could tap by exploring the outer continental shelf could make a difference in the way we use oil,” Rainville said. “By shifting power plants over to natural gas use we will make the oil currently used in the plants available for transportation and for heating homes in the winter.”

Increase student interest, confidence and achievement in science, math and technology

“Through the STARBASE Vermont program I’ve seen thousands of students get very excited about science and technology,” Rainville said. “We need more programs like this and we need to support those students when they go on to pursue higher education in math, science and engineering.”

STARBASE, which stands for Science and Technology Academies Reinforcing Basic Aviation and Space Exploration, is a program of summer activities for students in grades four through six. Its goals include getting students interested in science math and technology, supporting young women who get involved in those fields, and building teamwork, decision making skills and self esteem.

Rainville’s plan calls for more such programs nationally, because the energy future of the world will need America’s best and brightest minds in science.

The creation of a far-sighted International Advanced Research Projects Agency on Energy.

“I believe America should join with the world’s other big energy consumers, such as China and India, to coordinate our technology and manpower to end our dependence on fossil fuels. When all of humankind works toward a common goal, there is nothing we can’t achieve,” Rainville said.

The sole mission of the International Advanced Research Projects Agency on Energy (IARPA-E) would be to create a renewable, clean and affordable energy source for the world’s future.

Rainville’s plan calls for three global scientific headquarters for the agency, one in Asia, the second in India and the third in the United States. The IARPA-E would be the equivalent of Lockheed-Martin’s famous “Skunk Works” when it built the famed U-2 and SR-71 “Blackbird” reconnaissance planes.

IARPA-E would harness the intellectual capital of the finest minds around the world to discover a new, clean, renewable and affordable energy source.

“In the interest of our children and our children’s children we must inspire the world to find the answer to our energy future,” Rainville said. “There is no greater gift we can give to future generations.”

Rainville’s plan would fund America’s portion of the international project in two ways. First, she supports eliminating “royalty-relief” for oil companies drilling on public lands. Royalty-relief, started in 1995 by President Bill Clinton and expanded in 2001 by President George Bush, would cost the federal government $7 billion dollars over the next five years. Rainville believes that this money will be better spent funding the IARPA-E.

She also supports a “windfall profit tax” of 50 percent for any profit oil companies make for oil sold above $40 a barrel, which should generate between $3 billion and $4 billion per year.

Paid for by Martha Rainville for Congress

Nancy Jacobson Proves That You Can't Buy Class But You Can Paint It Purple

This article at the HuffPost on Democratic fundraiser Nancy Jacobson (Mark Penn's wife) is worth a very quick read.

Especially these three paragraphs:

Jacobson has raised eyebrows in Democratic circles by starting a new profit-making venture capitalizing on all the rich folks who will be wandering around Denver for the four day convention with little or nothing to do while waiting for official activities at the Pepsi Center, and a swirl of parties across the city, to begin.

Penn's wife, a professional fundraiser, is trying to round up as many as 75 people willing to fork over $10,000 each for a Monday-through-Thursday "convention summit" at the Ritz Carlton in late August where they can meet and greet the powerful, the wealthy, and such Democratic "thought leaders" as Drew Westen, author of the The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation.

"This is not your typical sort of thing," Jacobson said in an interview. Instead, it will provide a kind of exclusive home-base for the affluent. "It's really a private thing I am doing."
"It will provide a kind of exclusive home-base for the affluent..."

Who says that? Seriously.

In the dictionary under "place lacking self-respect" it says "see that home-base".

Anyway, it warms our heart to know that the Democratic Party is just as screwed up as the Republican Party. And we look forward to watching those chickens come home to roost when George Bush finally hits the road for the last time.

Bringing The Friday Funny (The "Summer Blockbuster" Edition)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Washing The Sh*t Out Of The Augean Stables With Laughter (UPDATED)

It's been quite a day.

Now everyone needs to kick back with a stiff drink and have a laugh.

And we can think of nothing better to bring the "ha-ha" than re-watching Tom DeLay on yesterday's Hardball.

Classic. Bumbling. Impotence.

Crib Notes: Iran, George Bush on a scale of 1 to 10 & DeLay being "through pointing fingers".

h/t Our little friend in New York City.

(UPDATED) The joke, it seems, is on us. We got so excited to post this YouTube that we neglected to watch it and realize that the audio "stinks" and that it doesn't even get the whole interview.

Our apologies.

We are currently looking for video from yesterday but have not found it yet. 

We understand that MSNBC didn't clip the interview, which is why we have to rely on YouTube.

Phil Gramm: "Thank God The Economy Is Not As Bad As You Read In The Newspaper Every Day." (UPDATED)(UPDATED)

So says the massively overcompensated, massively out-of-touch rich white guy. 

The very day that Gramm's boss - Senator John McCain - is out on the campaign trail trying to connect with voters and feel their (very real) economic pain.

You couldn't make this sh*t up if you tried. 

(UPDATED) Team Obama goes yard on this (and who else believes Team Obama is cutting a battleground state TV commercial starring Phil Gramm right now?).

Meanwhile, the McCain campaign claims that Gramm's views do not reflect McCain's thinking. 

We absolutely believe them.

Just as we absolutely believe that they need to kick Senator Gramm's ass off the Straight Talk Express.
(UPDATED, UPDATED) This just gets better and better.

Senator Gramm, in NYC to represent John McCain's economic politicies before the WSJ editorial board, is standing by his initial comments.

And dragging the entire country of Mexico into his shit storm of a party:
"If you listen to our leaders, we can't compete against Mexico, for God's sake," Gramm continued. "If they don't think we can compete against Mexico who can we compete against?"
Hey, why stop a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the face at the water's edge? Let's insult our neighbor while we're on a roll!

All snarking aside - Cut. This. Guy. Loose.

A Little Slice Of American History On A Lazy July Morning

Cleaning out our desk we found these impeachment tickets.

They bring back vivid memories of watching Team Bill Clinton spin and dance on the floor of the U.S. Senate 9+ years ago.

And of a certain judge signing these tickets 22 months later on November 7, 2000 at his home in a Virginia suburb. 

As Tom Brokaw tried to sort out Florida on the television set. 

Noted: Eventually we'd like to witness history at this level based on our own merit, not because the right people love us.

We're working on it.

Overheard Last Night In New York City

What Obama said last night at the NYC fundraiser with Clinton:

"Me, me, me, Hillary, Hope, Hope, me, Hillary, you, Hillary, you, me, me, Hope, Hope, 3rd Bush term, me, you, 3rd Bush term, me, me, me, Hope, me, me, 3rd Bush term, Hillary, me, me, thank you and good night!"

Exit stage right.

Whispering offstage... Senator Obama comes dashing back on stage...

"Hillary's debt, Please god, Hillary's debt, don't think of it as going to Mark Penn, Hope, you, me, Hillary's debt, thank you and good night!"

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Lion Returns

Ted Kennedy is one tough son of a gun.

Take that brain cancer.

Gotta love it.

FLASH: Pot To Meet Kettle Shortly On MSNBC's Hardball? (UPDATED)

We think (note the "think") that we just caught Chris Matthews telling his audience that Tom DeLay would be on his program today to talk about how President George Bush has wrecked the Republican brand.

We don't have much love for President Bush.

But we positively despise that crook Tom DeLay, who has done as much as anyone to put the Republican brand in the toilet.

We've got a stiff cocktail in hand and are looking forward to taking a ride on DeLay's Bullshit Express.


Tom DeLay was just on Hardball and we aren't nearly tipsy enough to do his 5 minute yap yap with Matthews justice.

Pull the transcript and read it for yourself.

Meanwhile, watch as the six or seven friends that DeLay still (kinda) had in the GOP run for cover.

Just as fast as their little legs can carry them.

Who puts this guy on TV?

"Less Stuff. More Pain"

Or, as our grandmother says, "Eat it today, wear it tomorrow." 

What we're saying (what we've been trying to say) is that America consumes too much and saves too little. Our out-of-control national debt is the greatest national security threat that this country currently faces. And don't even get us started on the entitlement programs. 

Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life. And sometimes people really do need a spanking.

Enter (again) Pete Peterson and David Walker, both financial geniuses of the highest order. 

And while the politics of deficits and debt "suck" (right up to the moment the Federal Treasury goes dark and stuff is on fire in downtown DC), Peterson and Walker are going to do their level best to save us from ourselves.

For that they deserve our thanks. 

And our support.

We look forward to watching PGPF work.

Congratulations Hynes Family!

New media guru/NH Republican activist Patrick Hynes is a proud father to a new son.

Declan William Fitzgerald Hynes was born at 3:11 AM on July 8th, 2008.

The good Irish lad measured 20-1/2 inches long and seven lbs, eleven oz at birth.

We understand that mom, baby and Patrick are all doing just great.

Congratulations all.


After several days of process stories and hundreds of campaign man hours wasted on idle internal speculation, Team McCain finds itself pretty much back where it has always been.

Sure, Mr. Schmidt will bring some much needed organization to McCain's ground/media operations. And, no question, that's important.

But the strategy-by-committee approach of Team McCain that was present before the ramp-up (or shake-up) will stay in place. 

Via Jon Martin and Mike Allen:
Instead, McCain will take a strategy-by-committee approach. The campaign’s theme will be largely shaped by Steve Schmidt, the operative installed last week as day-to-day manager. But because of his daily tactical duties, Schmidt will hatch strategy in concert with Rick Davis, who is technically still campaign manager, and advisers Charlie Black, Mark Salter, Nicolle Wallace, Matt McDonald and communications director Jill Hazelbaker.
We love Johnny Mac. We really like, personally, two people on the above list.

But we remain extremely skeptical that the strategy-by-committee approach that wasn't working as of 10 days ago will start somehow working today.

We hope that our skepticism is ill-placed.

Which is exactly what Hillary Clinton's people were saying last December.


When You've Helped Run Candidates & Brands Into The Ground There Is Only One Place Left To Go...!

There's a sucker born every minute.

And Mr. Penn might happily concede that many of those suckers sit on corporate boards greenlighting his outrageous "consulting" fees.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


Noted: If you don't like fantasy baseball move along to the next post.

Rich Harden has been traded from the Oakland Athletics to the Chicago Cubs.

The move will likely increase the number of wins Harden notches this season while at the same time lowering his (already solid) ERA and WHIP.

Which means that the late round gamble we took on draft day back in February looks as though it might really pay off in our fantasy baseball leagues.

Fingers crossed.

The always injured Harden has broken our heart before. A couple of times.

Gorbachev, McCain & Why We Fight

Today former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev called on Barack Obama and John McCain to develop alternatives to the use of military power and blamed America's current economic downturn on our defense spending.

And, it should be noted, Mr Gorbachev does know quite a bit about runaway defense spending driving a country right off an economic cliff.

But, it should also be noted that Senator McCain has already spoken - extensively - about this issue on several occasions including in the award winning documentary Why We Fight.

Here is a larger taste, note the McCain interview:

And our favorite and very real (aka NOT A JOKE) clip from the movie:

We hope that Team McCain will use Gorbachev's comments to put their guy out there and tackle this very real issue head on.

Senator McCain is the only one of the two candidates who has the experience to do it.

And the independents would LOVE it.

What Are The Odds That...

...Team McCain helps keep the campaign process stories alive until 24 hours before the actual election?

We love you guys and girls but stuff like this is brutal. No matter if it's accurate or not.

Is U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill Anti-Semitic?

No, she couldn't be.

But, on the other hand, she did appear on Fox and Friends this morning.

Which means that some people might argue - convincingly - that she is giving at least tacit approval to this disgusting behavior:

Think about it.

Where is the OUTRAGE?

Noted: To be crystal clear, we have no reason whatsoever to believe that Senator McCaskill is anything but a decent and kind human being.

But we do humbly suggest that decent and kind human beings steer clear of Fox News until that network gets some things sorted out.

McCain/(waiting for) Obama Town Halls

Alright, so, we once compared New Hampshire's Union Leader newspaper to a crotchety old uncle who wanders around a basement apartment whacking things with his cane.

We take it back.

Joe McQuaid's latest on the McCain/Obama Town Halls:
NH town meeting for Obama, McCain

Now that Barack Obama has had his make-nice photo-op in Unity with Hillary Clinton, it is time he engage in the serious business of letting voters compare him up close and personal with John McCain. Sen. McCain has already suggested a series of joint town-hall meetings and we know just where and when they could begin.

Sen. McCain is due in New Hampshire two weeks from today. He is supposed to drop by this newspaper, but we would happily waive our time if he and Sen. Obama would agree to meet and take questions from New Hampshire voters.

Let's hear no excuses about negotiations and security and the need for months of planning. President Bill Clinton and House Speaker Newt Gingrich were both here the same week in 1995 and, within three days of it being suggested, they held a joint question-and-answer session in Claremont.

If Sen. Obama would meet the president of Iran without pre-conditions, he can surely find time to meet with Sen. McCain and New Hampshire voters.

Sen. McCain has even offered to fly with Obama to such an event. Makes sense, given fuel prices.

How about it, senators?

Anytime the rest of the Gang of 500 wants to sack-up and jump in there is alright with us.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Fox News Takes A Page From The Nazi Playbook

We have no idea what religion NYT's reporter Jacques Steinberg practices (if any).

And we don't care.

But anyone who doesn't believe that Fox News wasn't playing on anti-Semitic emotions when they altered Jacques Steinberg's picture has rocks in their head.


Fox News has officially taken a page from the Nazi propaganda playbook and almost no one has batted an eye.

And so we have to ask, when did media reporters become such PUSSIES?

Where is the OUTRAGE?

We get it - The Fox News PR department is big and scary!!!!

Ooohhh, better be good or Roger Ailes will come and take you away!!!!

Give us a break.

This whole thing is pathetic.

For everyone involved.

Campaign Chicks Dig Him

Jackson the Golden Retriever that is.

He's not ours, but that didn't stop him from tearing a branch off a shrub in our backyard and sorting it all out during our 4th of July BBQ this past weekend.

Oh to be a dog. If only for a day.

And In Other News, Barack Obama Finally Finds A Venue Big Enough To Hold His Ego


Invesco Field only holds 75,000 people after all.


Noted: But what's this about only allowing a pool report? Uh-oh.

Noted 2: We should point out that RCP's Tom Bevan got us thinking along this thread.

We Hope That This Is David Walker's Week

It's the economy stupid, all week long (and probably for the next 4 months).

But just so everyone is clear: If the candidate isn't talking real, specific and immediate entitlement reform, he's talking economic bullsh*t.

It sounds like Johnny Mac is stepping up to the plate with a little economic straight talk on the entitlement issue (though we would like to see more - a lot more - from a Senator who has been a strong fiscal conservative his whole career).

And we suggest that Team Obama, before they go yip-yip-yipping about McCain's ideas to tackle entitlement reform, tell us what their ideas are first.

While we wait:

The "Kids" Can Build The Republicans A MyBo 2.0 For 2010, But The GOP "Adults" Have To Buy In

The NYT has a piece up taking a look at Barack Obama's online grassroots organization (MyBo).

We've said it before and we'll say it again: Obama's organization is impressive.

And can absolutely be copied by the Republicans for their benefit by 2010.

But the Adults of the Party have to buy in.

Myron Ebell: "McCain Is Really Out Of Step With The Strong Majority Of His Party"

So says the director of energy and global warming policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (which is really a front for big tobacco and big oil pretending that it's a think tank) in a front page WaPo story examining McCain's relationship with "conservatives" (like Ebell) in the run-up to the GOP Convention.


Candidates "out of step with the strong majority of their party" don't usually win primaries, Mr Ebell.

We would argue that the one who is out of touch is Ebell, an inside-the-beltway, shouting at the rain, 29.3% dinosaur.

But that's just us.

Rock & Roll Monday (The "Across The Pond, South Of The Border & Right Here At Home" Edition)

Happy Monday everyone.

Sunday, July 06, 2008


Nadal defeats Federer 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-7 (8), 9-7 in the Wimbledon men's tennis finals.

We've never seen better.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

A Soft Launch Of A Soft Launch

It's time to get off the porch and run with the big dogs.

Much more to come in the near future.

Happy 4th of July everyone.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Welcome Back Mrs. Edwards, We've Missed You

The lady is back and healthy enough to keep kicking ass for a cause she believes in.

Well done.

Changes In McCain World (UPDATED)

According to Jon Martin, Steve Schmidt will take a larger role in the campaign.

But isn't this still a problem for Team McCain (from Martin's article):
Now, accounts diverge on the exact nature of the new chain of command. One top McCain source said that Schmidt "assumed full operational control of the campaign today" and described Davis as "a general manager"

But Charlie Black, another top adviser, said Davis was still in charge.

"Steve is going to function under Rick as a [Chief Operating Officer]," Black said. "Rick still has authority over all things. Steve works for Rick."

But Black made sure to not diminish Schmidt's elevated role in the campaign.

"He'll be the maestro who conducts the symphony," Black said of Schmidt's position in driving McCain's message.
Yes, this is still a problem.

A big problem.

Who is in charge, and responsible, in Crystal City?

(UPDATED) Chris Cillizza weighs in with a piece that also wonders who's in charge.

The Aspen Institute

Folks who write for The Atlantic really might get to have all the fun.

As Marc Ambinder is proving with his dispatches (make sure you read this one) from the in-progress Aspen Ideas Festival.

Think really smart people and dynamite food in a glorious location. And somebody else is picking up the tab.

What's not to like?

Yup, Campaigns Are (usually) F*cked Up Places To Work

Vanity Fair has a new old look at what happened in Hillaryland.

It ain't pretty.

But it's a fun read nonetheless.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

We Wear Our Opinions On Our Sleeve


Hey, Johnny Mac is an American Hero. Not perfect. But a proven Hero nonetheless.

Anyway, a damn good friend of ours gave us these tonight.

We love them.

So this one is for you buddy. The 24 month Odyssey you're on is almost over.


Yesterday's News

Running this Sunday in the Old Grey Lady.

Of course, it's 2008. Not 1998.

We're just saying.

h/t Halperin

Oh My Silly American Friends! You Are Merely Addicts While We Are Dealers Sitting On Much Of The World's Oil Supply! Who Do You Think Makes The Rules?

"Choke on it!" says the king.

And, we are. So long as we remain addicted to his product.

Noted: Again, this is not a "Time To Drill More" post.

This is a "Time To Start An Apollo Type Crash Program To Get Us Off Fossil Fuels Entirely" post.