A bit harsh?
Maybe, but not by much.
Here is Obama's latest ad running in 18 states (including New Hampshire):
Which promptly brought back a call of (pretty much) bullsh*t from the AP, the WaPo and Marc Ambinder.
The thing that we don't get (really, truly) is why Team Obama is even dipping their little toe in the "politics as usual" waters (of course, we didn't understand why they put the Obama brand in jeopardy by forgoing public financing for his campaign).
Maybe that's why the strategists on Team Obama get paid the big bucks.
But then again...
Monday, June 30, 2008
A bit harsh?
Sullivan digs up an old book about Iraq written by Bill Kristol and goes yard.
Our favorite graph:
It seems to me that we demand accountability from our politicians and we should demand accountability from our intellectuals. Not that they always get things right - but that they give a full accounting when they are wrong. Instead we reward and celebrate those who not only get things wrong - Kristol and Rove now have prominent columns in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal - but those who have never taken personal responsibility for their own mistakes. Until we purge all these tendencies from Washington, we will not learn from history and we will keep repeating it.Can. We. Get. An. Amen?!!??
Read the whole thing.
And where, oh where, is the New York Times/Wall Street Journal's self-respect?
With some many breathtakingly talented writers out there, who "goes" with Rove and Kristol?
Uh, news organizations who ponder why they have to struggle to maintain their relevance?
CW seems to be getting on the "Mitt Romney will be McCain's VP pick" train.
Does Mitt Romney really put Michigan in play for John McCain? Really?
Will the voters remember that the "I'm an economic genius" message which helped Mitt win the Michigan Primary (along with some plain old pandering) was Mitt 3.0 at least?
Will Charlie Black/Mark Salter/Rick Davis/Steve Schmidt remember that Mitt 1.0 (I'm the George Allen candidate) and Mitt 2.0 (I'm the change/anti Washington candidate) was soundly rejected by Republican primary voters (voters that Team McCain needs to get excited and turn out in November)?
Will the DNC rub its little hands together with glee at the ads it will get to run of things that John McCain said about/to Mitt Romney during the primary?
Will the American public view a guy who made hundreds of millions of dollars as a venture capitalist (which includes a lot of laying people off) as someone who understands the economic pain they feel right now?
Does the GOP want two white guys on the Republican ticket in 2008?
If Romney is put on the ticket by McCain, how long does Team Romney '12 continue to do what Rick Davis tells them to do if the election starts to get away from the Republicans in September/October?
"A New Direction In Iraq"
Does anyone else remember that Democratic campaign slogan from the '06 cycle?
The NewsHour's Kwame Holman sure does, and he did a piece on Friday's show about it (click on "War Funding" to hear the segment).
So ask yourself, what did President Bush not get in the latest war funding bill that he signs today.
Nothing. Because he got everything.
The Democratic House & Senate Leadership has broken the central promise of their 2006 campaign platform, again.
Absolutely shocking. Not.
FLASH!!! WaPo Reporting That Some Voters Won't Vote For Senator Obama Because He's Black And/Or Muslim!!!
Version #2,519 of this story.
Some people (of all colors, shapes, sizes and religions) are ignorant and racist. Always have been. Always will be.
Most people aren't. Never have been. Never will be.
Let's move on.
What a great year.
Happy Monday everyone.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Michael Cooper has details on the new plane here.
We understand that Team McCain is planning to release a web video starring Davis White and the new plane later in the week.
Unclear if Mark Braden will make a cameo.
Some guys have all the luck, a Governor?
The Gang of 500 should just get a room with Team Obama. It would be easier.
From yesterday's pool report:
7:48pm They arrive at the restaurant. Obama walks in a few feet ahead of Michelle who looks slammin’ in a black cocktail dress with a severe slit down the back. Her hair was up.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
The Union Leader's Drew Cline blogs all about it here (we should also note that we heard from other members of the NH press corp yesterday who were far more colorful in their description of the event than Mr. Cline in his blog post).
Cline's final two graphs:
Here’s why this matters. The campaign easily could have chosen to hold this event in Chicago or Manchester or in any place that could have accommodated a large crowd. But it chose Unity for the symbolism, knowing that the logistics were awful. Then it didn’t limit tickest to a number that could be trucked in and out in a timely manner should anything go wrong. So for the sake of symbolism, the Obama campaign knowingly inconvenienced thousands of people, putting the elderly and children at risk, and didn’t adequately plan for their removal from the site.Yikes.
This is a campaign that imagines it can achieve an effective, rapid withdrawal from Iraq, but it doesn’t even have a competent exit strategy for Unity, New Hampshire.
Neighbors organizing neighbors on behalf of a campaign - there is very little more important to a political campaign than this.
And Team Obama is absolutely no bullsh*t at helping facilitate those neighborly spirits.
Read yesterday's email from their campaign:
XXXX --Now click on this link to see how Team Obama organizes and markets Unite For Change events within 150 miles of Washington DC (our current location).
Attend a Unite for Change event this Saturday Tomorrow, Obama supporters all across the country will be hosting more than 4,000 Unite for Change events.
If you haven't signed up for an event yet, there's still time to find one near you:
The goal of Unite for Change is to bring together people who supported all of the Democratic candidates, as well as Independents and even some Republicans. Obama supporters like you are reaching out to anyone who is tired of the politics of the past and looking for new solutions to the challenges we're facing.
People have signed up to host more than 4,000 events tomorrow -- and they need your help to bring change to their communities.
Here's what some Unite for Change event hosts have told us about their events:
"We are so excited about what we have planned.... We are having the young generation spread the word through Facebook, while we spread the word through the Obama site, local newspapers, flyers, emails and good old word of mouth! This is so much fun and so exciting. Obama has really inspired my family and I to step up and take action with him to change this country."
-- Susan from Riverside, CT
"I'm co-hosting the event with my friend Charlie. We met while running the phone bank operation at a field office in Falls Church, Virginia during the primary election.... Our goal is for our neighbors, of all ages, careers, political affiliations and political interests to meet each other and learn how they can get involved locally. This should be a fantastic opportunity for people to get to know others in the community and to help Obama win in November!"
-- Matt from Arlington, VA
"This is giving us an opportunity for a real sense of community. When you work on this campaign, you experience that.... I love being around people who are working for the same goal. We all feel connected already - even people we don't know - we all feel connected in support of this man who is a true inspiration."
-- Sherry from Huntsville, AL
With more than 4,000 events planned in all 50 states, there's a Unite for Change house meeting near you. RSVP today:
These house meetings are a great way to get to know your fellow supporters and help build a united volunteer organization in neighborhoods all across the country. I hope you can make it.
National Field Director
Obama for America
...Anyway, here's why I am responding to this post: Do you know that the Obama houseparties are not new? We've been doing them (or something similar) for months and months. When I was doing field organizing during the primary, I used to host weekly meetings at my house. There was always wine and beer on hand, but that's just me. Sometimes we ordered pizza or I would put out chips and salsa. At any rate, it did not feel like a "wine and cheese" gathering for latte liberals, it was grassroots organizing. We held an event at a community college, targeted farmers markets, knocked on doors, made phone calls and went to our local neighborhood council meetings. It was unlike anything I've done before. We worked hard, but it was such a rewarding experience. I met some really terrific people.So noted.
As for the house parties, we asked our precinct captains to hold house parties before Feb. 5/Super Tuesday. It was a way for them to connect with their neighbors. I think that win or lose (and you know I hope win!), the Obama campaign has had an enormous impact on people who have not been involved in politics before, it has empowered people (do you know the campaign gave unprecedented access to voter info databases to volunteers) and it has brought a lot of people into the political process.
But we are still BLOWN AWAY by the grassroots sophistication of Team Obama. Even if they have been doing it this way for several months.
(UPDATED) (UPDATED) And the campaign begins closing this particular circle.
Friday, June 27, 2008
The Supreme Court ended its term yesterday.
And we'll better a dollar that that The Brethren have already hit the road for more pleasant summer destinations.
Leaving only the DC paper pushers.
Take it away Alice!
You small-minded, arrogant little f*ck.
Your days as a GOP "player" are over, if they ever existed in the first place.
And anyone who thinks that this guy has suction with Team McCain has rocks in their head.
David Brooks thinks so too (as do a lot of people).
Which is the great silver lining of the current GOP train wreck - If you have fresh, good ideas (and smart, sharp elbows) you too can play ball.
Especially if you're young.
The future is wide open.
Setting aside (again) our opposition to more domestic drilling (and that the voice used in this commercial sounds like our grandfather telling us that McCain's ideas are good), John McCain should get a big, wet kiss from every Republican who has aspirations of running in 2010.
This is far from a huge deal.
But it sounds like "Unity" is currently choking on Clinton's debt.
Where did (will) all that money go?
This situation has to make Obama donors in the know want to puke.
The Union Leader UNLOADS On Barack Obama In Advance Of His Trip To Unity, NH Today With Senator Clinton (UPDATED)
New Hampshire isn't quite as blue as everyone thinks that it is (it's more of a purplish, reddish, bluish mess).
But, if there is one newspaper in the state that can still really deliver votes at the polling booth and drive the conversation, it's the (still mostly conservative) Union Leader.
The paper can swing close elections.
And the Union Leader is all in with The American Hero in 2008. They have been since the NH Primary.
Just ask Mitt Romney.
This morning the Union Leader published two anti-Obama editorials. Just in time for about 6 zillion press people to read on their way to Unity.
Publisher Joe McQuaid did one (key line: "Imagine having this inexperienced, opportunistic Obama in the White House with an anti-American, Islamist extremist state holding nuclear weapons.")
While his editorial team (Drew Cline?) takes Obama apart for not accepting McCain's town hall offer.
Welcome back to New Hampshire Senator Obama.
(UPDATED) Our email box blew up over our Drew Cline typo above (initially we used a "k"). We've corrected it. Apologies to Mr. Cline.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
We're not rule makers. We're not even game players.
And so we will withhold operational criticism of those in the Republican Party who believe that today's SCOTUS gun decision is one of the strongest cards that they have to play against Obama in November.
The Republicans might be right. They might be wrong. Time will tell.
But no matter what happens some 100 days from now, does it strike anyone else as pathetic that the best that the highest levels of the Republican Party can do in 2008, with everything going on in the world today, is pick a fight over handguns?
Talk about not inspirational.
Talk about same old sh*t different day.
Talk about lousy brand management.
Who are these people and what have they done with our Party of Lincoln, TR, Eisenhower & Reagan?
And before anyone snarls, "Out there winning elections you arrogant little sh*t!", we might remind people of what happened in 2006.
And what's shaping up to happen again downballot (at least) in 2008.
We're just saying.
In the past few days...
Barack Obama reversed himself on the FISA legislation, ticking off the liberal netroots.
Barack Obama reversed himself on public financing, ticking off Democratic elites & the "Good Government" folks.
And Barack Obama reversed himself on DC's handgun ban, which will tick off every limousine liberal from here to Timbuktu.
First, it's harder than it looks to be the "most liberal member of the U.S. Senate" and run in a presidential general election.
Second, maybe "Senator Obama" would make a good "President Obama". Maybe not. It's not like there's much of a Senator Obama record (state or U.S.) to look at.
But one thing is crystal clear from his record: Whatever Senator Obama had promised the "Democratic wing of the Democratic Party" in order to win the Democratic Primary, those "promises" better help General Election Candidate/President Obama acquire and use power.
Because if they don't...
Now what about Obama's promises on Iraq?
Brace yourself, surge opponents. Brace yourselves.
Change we can believe in our foot.
Rove is up with another missive in the WSJ: It's All About Obama.
Actually, we disagree. We think it's all about high gas prices, mortgage problems, health care, job security, high food prices and Iraq.
But that's just us.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
"You guys are just big babies. You gots a lot of growin up to do."
But we'll see everyone downtown tonight to party nonetheless.
Noted: If we're celebrating someone else's birthday, do they buy the drinks?
Look, we get it.
When Johnny Mac was coming from (waaaaaaaay) behind to get it done in the Republican Primary, most of what is now referred to as "Team McCain" was "somewhere else".
So here's a little piece of advice to the newbies from a blog who was there - ignore the polls.
You can't win talking about them. It's all just process and bullsh*t.
Embrace the underdog label. Love on it.
The party elites, the activists, the media, they've already made up their minds anyway.
Every minute you spend wasting your time with some chickensh*t pissing & whining contest is a minute that you could have spent drilling down on message/ground game in the battleground states.
And take a wild guess which of those two different types of minutes are better spent helping an American Hero get elected president.
We're just saying.
As Team McCain Continues To Drive The Energy Conversation In '08, Smart GOP Operatives Will Look Here To Find A 2010 Agenda
Johnny Mac continues to do his energy thing, bless him.
Meanwhile, we suggest that wannabe GOP strategists pick-up a copy of Worldchanging: A User's Guide To The 21st Century.
Noted: Yes, yes, Al Gore writes the introduction. Feel free to ignore it.
The book is jammed with PRACTICAL ideas for good GREEN governance that will work at the LOCAL/STATE/FEDERAL level.
Hey, 2010 is right around the corner.
And nobody believes that the GOP likes minority party status, right?
From the Publishers Weekly review:
This 600-page companion to the eco-friendly website of the same name (www.worldchanging.com) is chock-a-block with information about what is going on right now to create an environmentally and economically sustainable future-and what stands in opposition. Along the way, editor Steffen and his team make the stakes perfectly clear: "Oil company experts debate whether we will effectively run out of oil in twenty years or fifty, but the essential point remains: if you're under thirty, you can expect to see a post-oil civilization in your lifetime." The organization of the hefty volume mimics that of the website, divided into sections on Stuff, Shelter, Cities, Community, Business, Politics and Planet. Typical readers will be introduced to new concepts such as harvesting rainwater, zero-energy houses, South-South science and the use of flowers to detect land mines in entries on everything from "Knowing What's Green" to "Demanding Human Rights." Each entry is brief but comprehensive; for example, the passage on "Better Food Everywhere" focuses on "Where it Matters Most," "Better Restaurants," "Community Gardens," and "Urban Farming." All entries wrap up with reviews of pertinent resources-including books, websites and moves-where readers can get more detailed information. With color photos on nearly every page, and written by a small army of contributors living and working around the world (with biographies almost as fascinating as their contributions), it's hard to imagine a more complete resource for those hoping to live in a future that is, as editor Steffen puts it, "bright, green, free and tough."
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
The Politico's Ben Smith is promoting a story by his colleague Daniel Libit about "make-believe political strategists on TV".
So don't blame us for feeling obligated to dig out this post we did 4 months ago on the exact same topic.
Along with an accompanying YouTube clip of "Republican strategist" Katie Levinson trying to sort it all out:
And brings a little smile to our face every time we see it.
A reader, responding to our earlier post, sends us the full clip of a back and forth between Obama and a voter.
Here is the question:
Here is Obama's answer:
Our reader comments:
He sure has worked for noble causes (all for jobs he never really was at long enough to actually get anything done) but he didn't mention actually accomplishing anything at any of the positions he held in the past 20 years (I'm sure he's gotten something done--maybe you could shed some light on that). Then he talks about how great of a family man he is and that he is not running for president for the attention and then he talks about how great the attention is when you're running for president and then he says "John McCain" for no apparent reason and then he says that we need to cut our dependence on oil.
Great answer to a great question.
Oh, the Obama camp wants a policy debate?
Sure they do.
That's why they're doing all those town halls with John McCain.
We've said it before, we'll say it again: The national Republican Party will soon get down on its knees and thank God that Johnny Mac led on this issue.
In the interest of national and economic security of course.
Noted: We're setting aside our dislike of clean coal and offshore drilling for the moment. Policy details, policy details.
David Brooks has a column up on The Bush Paradox.
Our favorite graphs:
The whole episode [Bush making "right" call on troop surge in Iraq] is a reminder that history is a complicated thing. The traits that lead to disaster in certain circumstances are the very ones that come in handy in others. The people who seem so smart at some moments seem incredibly foolish in others.Amen.
The cocksure war supporters learned this humbling lesson during the dark days of 2006. And now the cocksure surge opponents, drunk on their own vindication, will get to enjoy their season of humility. They have already gone through the stages of intellectual denial. First, they simply disbelieved that the surge and the Petraeus strategy was doing any good. Then they accused people who noticed progress in Iraq of duplicity and derangement. Then they acknowledged military, but not political, progress. Lately they have skipped over to the argument that Iraq is progressing so well that the U.S. forces can quickly come home.
But before long, the more honest among the surge opponents will concede that Bush, that supposed dolt, actually got one right. Some brave souls might even concede that if the U.S. had withdrawn in the depths of the chaos, the world would be in worse shape today.
Life is complicated. The reason we have democracy is that no one side is right all the time. The only people who are dangerous are those who can’t admit, even to themselves, that obvious fact.
Noted: Bush's presidency has been an disaster. But his (and John McCain's) surge is starting to work. Thank God.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Everyone seems to be "just asking" these days (we think Ambinder started it, but we really have no idea), so why not us?
Just asking: What the f*ck happened to the usually smart, always on and always disciplined GOP message machine?
See today's two-fer here and here.
The RNC is shopping this YouTube clip:
It's a great question.
But "someone/something" chopped out Obama's answer. So the partial clip means nothing.
If anyone has video of Obama's answer, we'd love to see it.
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama will appear together for the first time in Unity, New Hampshire on Friday.
Team McCain is (finally) swinging around to the good stuff in its energy plan (adios offshore drilling?).
Saudi Arabia's Royal Family continues to play an enormous role in our national and economic security.
This isn't a "drill more at home" post. If that non-starter was such a good idea to bring down the cost of oil (five years from now), wouldn't the Saudis drilling more (right now) also bring down the price of oil?
Uh. Not according to Bloomberg.
Noted: What say you Phil Gramm & Doug Holtz-Eakin?
In any event, this is a "it's past time for a Apollo-type crash program to get us off fossil fuels entirely" post. Per GMP1 usual.
Flying up the pop charts: Kate kissed a girl. She liked it. She hopes that her boyfriend don't mind it.
(he probably doesn't)
And the only constant is change.
Happy Monday everyone.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
So jokes Chris Rock, ripping on the pharmaceutical industry:
What do you think someone with Rock's talent could do with API's latest lipstick on a pig attempt?
Noted: Surprise, you really do own an oil company! We all do! Sorta. So shut your mouth, pay $4+/gallon and for God's sakes don't rock the boat!
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
In the 21st century's 24/7 media cycle (where candidates are marketed like boxes of cereal) maybe this plays.
And Team Obama gets points for thinking outside the box.
But that doesn't mean that it's not pathetic.
And way - waaaaaaay - all hat and no cattle.
It's quitting time.
Happy happy hour everyone!
7+ pounds of all American beef rib.
Cue the dry rub, a Weber Kettle, some natural charcoal briquettes, the "indirect" cooking method, a sun drenched backyard and some really smart people trying to help us sound "sorta" smart.
We're going to be here all day.
After we run to the store to buy enough gin, tonic and fresh lime to power an army.
Sigh, somebody's got to do it.
The Palisade's Salon is officially open for the summer.
Cue the "Oh Clacker." And the little shake of the head.
Happy Friday Everyone!
Thursday, June 19, 2008
We Love Common Cause. We Love What They Stand For. But Obama's Actions Today Should Serve As A Big, Shiny Red Warning Sign To Them.
Barack Obama gets a "demerit" from Common Cause over his decision to opt out of public funding in the general election. Right before they use the same statement to sing Obama's praises.
Sigh. It's not just the Gang of 500 who have caught the 'Mania.
We humbly suggest that Bob Edgar read Ben Smith's story about today's affair.
And then get down on his knees and pray that Common Cause's '09 agenda helps President Obama acquire and use power. Because if it doesn't...
From the One Blog:
“Friends, we have some good news. McCain confirmed he will add his name as a cosponsor of the Biden-Lugar bill, perhaps as early as today. This should help “unstick” the bill. Great collective effort, particularly from Porter Delaney here in DC and Matthew Bartlett in NH.
So just this week, we have both Obama and McCain added as cosponsors.
All the best.
Food for your brain.
Especially if you want to really understand where each candidate stands on the energy issue.
From last night's NewsHour:
JEFFREY BROWN: With gas prices up more than a dollar since this time last year, solving the country's energy needs has become a hot topic on the presidential campaign.
One of the sharpest differences is over off-shore drilling, the issue President Bush waded into today.
Yesterday, John McCain said he favored lifting a 26-year-old federal ban on off-shore drilling in the U.S.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), Arizona: We have proven oil reserves of at least 21 billion barrels in the United States, but a broad federal moratorium stands in the way of energy exploration and production. And I believe it is time for the federal government to lift these restrictions and to put our own reserves to use.
JEFFREY BROWN: Barack Obama responded quickly, noting that the Arizona senator had supported the drilling ban when he ran for president eight years ago.
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), Illinois: This is yet another reversal by John McCain, in terms of his earlier positions. And I think we could set up an interesting debate between John McCain 2000 and John McCain 2008.
It seems like a classic Washington political solution, which is to go out there and make a statement without any clear evidence that this would result in strengthening the U.S. economy or providing relief to consumers.
JEFFREY BROWN: The ban on drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf was first enacted by Congress in 1982. It protects nearly all of the Atlantic and Pacific coastlines and parts of the Gulf of Mexico.
Yesterday, McCain sought to allay concerns that opening the shelf to drilling would damage the environment and tourism industries of some states.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN: We can do this in ways that are consistent with sensible standards of environmental protection. And in states that choose to permit exploration, there must be an appropriate sharing of benefits between federal and state governments.
But as a matter of fairness to the American people and a matter of duty for our government, we must deal with the here and now and assure affordable fuel for America by increasing domestic production.
JEFFREY BROWN: In recent weeks, the candidates have had several other sharp disagreements, over a summer holiday from the federal gas tax -- McCain is for it, Obama opposed -- whether to tax the windfall profits of oil companies -- Obama has pushed this, McCain is opposed -- and subsidizing corn-based ethanol production -- Obama supports this, McCain is against. On nuclear power, McCain supports subsidies for new plants; Obama has said it can be part of the overall energy mix.
Obama spoke about his approach on Monday in Michigan.
SEN. BARACK OBAMA: We will invest in research and development of every form of alternative energy -- solar, wind, and biofuels -- as well as technologies that can make coal burn cleanly and nuclear power safe.
We will provide incentives to businesses and consumers to save energy and make buildings more efficient. That's how we're going to create jobs that pay well and can't be outsourced. That's how we're going to win back control of our destiny from oil-rich dictators.
JEFFREY BROWN: With surveys showing nearly 80 percent of Americans saying they're being financially affected by rising fuel prices, the issue is likely to remain a focus of the campaign.
Debating off-shore drilling
JEFFREY BROWN: And for a closer look at the candidates' different approaches, we're joined by senior policy advisers from the two campaigns.
Jason Grumet is with Barack Obama. Douglas Holtz-Eakin is with John McCain. He joins us from campaign headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.
Well, Mr. Holtz-Eakin, in now calling for an end to the ban on off-shore drilling, does Senator McCain believe that would have a quick impact on oil prices?
DOUG HOLTZ-EAKIN, Domestic Policy Adviser to John McCain: The impact would come in two forms. The first and most substantial would be increased production. Expanding global supply is part and parcel of any reasonable energy strategy, but it would take five years or so for dramatic amounts of new production to take place.
The more immediate impact would come from changing expectations, changing the behavior of participants in the energy futures markets that we've seen run up so sharply in recent months.
JEFFREY BROWN: Jason Grumet, what is the basis for Senator Obama's opposition?
JASON GRUMET, Senior Adviser to Barack Obama: Well, Jeff, Senator Obama just has a totally different vision for the future of energy policy and the future of our economy than that which Senator McCain and President Bush have laid out over the last couple of days.
It's time that we have a real, authentic discussion with the American people about the structural challenges we face. We are not going to get the job done with gimmicks, like the gas tax holiday...
JEFFREY BROWN: But off-shore drilling, you're calling that a gimmick?
JASON GRUMET: No, I'm calling that a false hope. The Department of Energy indicates that we're not going to get a drop of oil, even if we opened the entire off-shore, for at least a decade.
And by 2030, even if we drill all around the coast of this country, we will not have a meaningful impact on production or prices. And that's because we have a global energy market.
Three-quarters of every barrel we produce in this country goes to benefit somebody else. The only way we're going to regain any control of our own destiny, if we stop having this kind of silly debate about, "It's foreign oil versus domestic oil," and recognize we have to get off of oil.
Until we diversify our energy so that we are not dependent for 97 percent out of our transportation system on oil, we will be at the mercy of people who don't hold our interests at heart. Our economy will be vulnerable; our national security will be vulnerable.
And, you know, even Senator McCain three weeks ago acknowledged that drilling off the coast was just a kind of temporary salve with no real significance.
So we're not sure why he's going back to that old playbook, because we've been there for a long time. We've been on an energy policy holiday for 30 years, and I think it's time to get off.
JEFFREY BROWN: Well, Mr. Holtz-Eakin, respond to that. How does this fit into a much larger picture that he just raised?
DOUG HOLTZ-EAKIN: Senator McCain has pledged to have a real change in leadership in Washington. No one would run for president and say we need to be increasing reliant on especially the foreign sources of oil. They constitute a national security threat, an economic threat, and an environmental threat.
Senator McCain has been a leader in the attempts to move us to a different kind of energy approach. In three successive congresses, he worked across the aisle, worked against even the interests of his own party at times, to produce climate change, cap-and-trade legislation that would fundamentally alter the incentives to produce oil in the United States and around the globe and to use it in the United States.
But any realistic, honest discussion with the American people includes oil over the near term. The commission that Jason led came to the same conclusion.
And so it's important in being honest with the American people to provide real leadership with real solutions. And that includes expanding, where possible, in an environmentally safe way, and Senator McCain is insistent that states get to say where it's appropriate to explore, that we take advantage of the ability to relieve pressure in the world oil markets.
Changing gas prices now
JEFFREY BROWN: Jason Grumet, stay in the near term for a moment. Does Senator Obama think that anything can be done to affect oil and gas prices or do Americans now have to get used to these high levels?
JASON GRUMET: Well, until we fundamentally grapple with our oil dependence and we make more efficient choices in our economy and come up with alternatives, we are going to be struggling with a system that's out of our control.
In the near term, there's really one thing that we can focus on, and that is to address the speculation in the oil markets. Senator Obama has sponsored legislation to get the CFTC to take a harder look at what...
JEFFREY BROWN: That's the commodities...
JASON GRUMET: Commodity Futures Trading Commission. He has supported legislative efforts that would try to address that kind of speculation.
But short of trying to address people profiteering during the suffering, we have to have a much more honest conversation -- and I think -- I guess Doug and I may have different views of honesty -- you know, telling the American people, as Senator McCain did in his speech that you ran, that we have to assure affordable fuel by increasing domestic production is not having an honest conversation with the American people.
We do not have the resources in this country to assure fuel prices through domestic production. We have 3 percent of the globe's energy resources. We simply do not have the ability to turn the crank here and make ourselves safe and secure.
And it's that kind of return to those failed policies that we think is misdirecting the American people from the real conversation we need to have, and that's about investing in efficiency and investing in alternatives.
JEFFREY BROWN: Let me just turn to a few specifics here, Mr. Holtz-Eakin. ANWR, another drilling issue, Senator McCain in the past has opposed drilling there. Does he still?
DOUG HOLTZ-EAKIN: He still opposes drilling in ANWR. It is named a national refuge for a reason. It is an ecologically special place, and he has always felt it should be at the back of the line for any domestic exploration.
JEFFREY BROWN: Is this an area of agreement?
JASON GRUMET: Well, there's an area of agreement there, but I guess there's a question of consistency, because the coast of this country, the great national parks of this country, the places where the moratoria are in place are also special and fragile places.
And I think we have a misconception. This is not a choice about whether America needs to play a role in the energy market. We're the third-largest energy-producing country in the world.
Two-thirds of all the oil wells ever drilled in the world have been drilled here in the U.S. Eighty percent of the recoverable resources on the Outer Continental Shelf are presently accessible.
So, you know, the issue is, in our mind, that this is just not fessing up to the real challenges. We fundamentally have to have not just tinkering around the edges. We have to have a fundamental course correction in our approach to energy policy, and we're not going to get there by hoping to get a little bit more oil in 15 years from the Outer Continental Shelf.
Is nuclear power possible?
JEFFREY BROWN: All right, another issue is nuclear power. Both candidates have talked about some role here. Senator McCain has talked about subsidies for building new plants, Doug Holtz-Eakin. Why? And what future does he see for nuclear power?
DOUG HOLTZ-EAKIN: Well, John McCain actually puts action instead of just words on this issue. As I said, he's led on climate change. Nuclear power is zero emissions, available technology, powers 20 percent of our electricity today.
In the second of his addresses to the American people about the importance of fundamentally changing the way we do business, he said that we should aim for 45 additional nuclear power plants by 2030, moving us north of that 20 percent, ultimately building 100.
He talked about not a lobbyist's dream of handouts for tax credits on solar and wind power, but instead a rational system of sustained credits that bring those alternatives to the market and allow us to produce electricity cleanly.
And he made the commitment to be able to use our coal cleanly and to capture the carbon.
If you are going to be effective in changing the dynamic of global climate change discussions, we must be able to use our coal. We have a quarter of the world's supply, and China must be able to use it.
We can build the technologies, sell them to China, alter the landscape of the United States and around the globe. That's conversation he's having with American people, specific proposals, not saying, "America can't do this, America can't do that," provide the leadership, give the solutions, real reform to have prosperity and some change.
JEFFREY BROWN: On nuclear power, Senator Obama has talked about it being part of the mix, but not specific, from what I've heard.
JASON GRUMET: Senator Obama believes that we have a real crisis when it comes to the Earth's climate and believes that nuclear power is one of the most significant opportunities to bring non-carbon energy into the future.
It's 70 percent of our non-carbon energy right now. And Senator Obama believes that we need to do everything we can to create an opportunity for a future for the nuclear industry because of the concerns we have about climate change.
At the same time, he recognizes that there are serious questions about costs. There are concerns in the public's eye about safety. And we have real issues with waste storage and proliferation.
Rather than just coming up with a random number, kind of pointing for the fence and saying, "I want 100 new plants," Senator Obama believes we have to kind of grapple with those very real problems.
And, you know, the Energy Act provided very significant taxpayer supports already for nuclear power. We have insurance for the risks of accidents. We have taxpayer-supported insurance if we have delays in permitting.
What we don't understand is, beyond saying, "I'd like to have 100 new nuclear power plants," what is it that the McCain campaign is suggesting the taxpayers do for nuclear power that we're not doing already?
Government's role in new energy
JEFFREY BROWN: We're not going to be able to walk through all of the issues here this time, and I promise you we'll come back during the campaign.
But for a final question, a kind of philosophical question, the role of government in affecting our energy future. I'll start with you, Jason Grumet. How does Senator Obama think the government should -- how aggressive should the government be in pushing alternative energy or whatever the policy is?
JASON GRUMET: The challenges that we face right now in energy dependence and climate change are different in scope and in character than almost anything that we've really confronted as a country before.
And we need a different kind of leadership that's going to bring coalitions together to solve real problems, but that's also going to have an honest conversation with the American people.
This is not just about, you know, fancy new ideas. It's going to require a sense of shared commitment among the politics to actually move new solutions forward. We're going to actually have to acknowledge that we are in this together and that we're going to actually have to take real actions as a people, not just try to point to some hope for a future.
So I think that the concern that Senator Obama has of the energy policy is critical to our domestic security; it's critical to our economic security; it's critical to our national security. And he'll make it a real priority in the Obama White House.
JEFFREY BROWN: Doug Holtz-Eakin, the role of government?
DOUG HOLTZ-EAKIN: Senator McCain believes deeply that this is an important challenge that faces America, but the American people have always been the source of greatness that overcomes challenges.
He believes that an effective government will put in place those policies that unite corporate planners and environmentalists, bring venture capitalists together with those who want to use coal, and find the technologies and the innovations that will allow America to free itself of the threat that oil places us in a national security basis, an economic basis, an environmental basis.
He's going to put in place incentives for the private sector, turn it loose, and America can have reforms that make us cleaner, reforms that lead to prosperity, and rid ourselves of the threats that we face at this moment.
JEFFREY BROWN: All right. And we will come back to any number of these issues over the next few months. Douglas Holtz-Eakin and Jason Grumet, thank you very much.
JASON GRUMET: Thanks.
DOUG HOLTZ-EAKIN: Thank you.
We just don't have the willpower to go wading into the fight over Barack Obama's decision to break his SIGNED promise to accept public financing for his campaign.
Noted: The good news is that all you need to know about the back and forth you can find here.
Hey, when the going gets tough, the weak opt out.
Which should make Mrs. Edwards think a bit about Obama's promises on health care. Which should make the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party think a bit about Obama's promises on the War in Iraq. Which should make the Common Cause people think a bit about Obama's promises on transparency in government. Which should make the environmentally conscious independent voters think a bit about Obama's promises on alternative energy.
Senator Obama's actual record is razor thin. He's made a LOT of lofty promises. And today, when he had a chance to deliver on his rhetoric, he folded.
Think about it.
Look Karl, we get it.
You don't work at the White House anymore. The guy you backed in the Republican Primary didn't make it. The Republican Party you managed for the last 8 years is currently just a touch more popular than genital herpes. Scott McClellan's book hurt. And Team McCain is about as interested in taking your advice as they are in taking the political advice of the guy who cleans McCain's pool (does he even have a pool?).
So what does a "has-been" like you do Karl?
You bitch and moan about the people who took your place in the new pecking order using the one tool that a Washington has-been always has left - a newspaper column!
And your column in today's Wall Street Journal is a beaut Karl. Even for you.
You really bring the "tsk-tsk" to Senator Obama and Senator McCain for letting politics and a close election interfere with their economic policies.
You column is so "Senior Adviser to The President" like. So Washington Wise Man.
And such absolute total bullshit.
For 7 years Karl, you and the President cut taxes AND increased government spending. Which is politically a hell of a lot of fun in the short term. But absolutely disastrous in the medium and long term.
Just ask David Walker, a real Washington Wise Man.
When the next President takes over he will inherit about $10 trillion dollars in government debt. Debt that will ultimately end up increasing our taxes and decreasing our benefits. And a very good chunk of that debt is the direct result of your advice Mr. Rove.
So Karl, we don't think that you should be giving anyone economic advice. Let alone the next President of the United States.
We suggest that you simply shut your yap and fade away like a good little has-been.
We're just saying.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
"She shops at Target, loved Sex and the City and never misses the girls' recitals."
Now look, we're agnostic on Michelle Obama (as we are on most candidate spouses), but are we the only ones who smell a Team Obama rep just "hovering" over whoever wrote the US Weekly cover?
Or, to put it another way, do suburban women voters shop at Target, watch Sex and the City and go to their children's recitals?
The Cowboy Governor is jumping in with McCain to try and end the offshore drilling ban.
And it looks like there is going to be a statement from the Rose Garden at 10:30? Great!!!
Hopefully The Big Dick will weigh in over the next 24 hours and really seal the deal. Maybe he can bring his secret energy advisers along for the ride.
But let's set aside the snark for a moment and get serious.
Ending the ban on offshore drilling is "shitty" policy because it won't do anything to affect gas prices (those aren't Obama talking points, that's reality).
And ending the ban on offshore drilling is "shitty" politics because it not only puts the candidate in jeopardy in coast states like Florida (we don't have data, but we can't believe that swing voters in FL support lifting the ban, even with $4/gallon gas), and it further ties McCain to Bush/Cheney/and all those fat and happy oil execs down in Houston who hooted and hollered like children when McCain announced he was in favor of lifting the ban.
Think Team Obama has video footage of that?
We humbly suggest that Team McCain move on to the next piece of its energy plan as quickly as possible.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Statesmen who wish to sell "Going Green Forever" to the American public better be damn sure they know what they're getting into. Because if they don't, those who would sit on their hands and do nothing about the energy mess we're currently in will eat their lunch.
So before forward thinking statesmen (and their political staff) start plotting the future, they might try taking a look back.
And read what NYT's reporter John Noble Wilford wrote about the early days of our space program.
So that they may learn how a government run crash program spanning (and including) an entire continent managed to couple America's Biggest Dreams (and fears) with the intense willpower, manpower, money and organization necessary to allow the boys in the picture above a shot at getting the job done.
And well worth every dreamer's time.
Forbes's Mark Mills has a must-read on the coming electricity crisis.
The scariest graphs:
Recall the summers of electric discontent for California in 2000 and 2001? Wholesale electricity prices skyrocketed, reflecting tight supply conditions (conditions that were exploited, but not created, by traders at Enron). The consequences were a bankruptcy filing by the state's biggest utility, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (amex: PCG.PR.A - news - people ), and the early departure of a governor.That sure doesn't sound like a party.
Multiply by dozens of states. Add in brownouts. Buy candles.
Example #1,492 of why America needs to fire up an Apollo type crash program to "create" a cheap, renewable and clean burning energy source.
And then share it with the whole world. For free.
...but the AP sees good progress in Iraq.
We broke it. And now we're buying it.
And this purchase is rarely pretty.
But at least there are now more than glimmers of hope.
Shameless. And not even accurate.
Aka, "Un mal doble."
There are good (and smart) people who work (volunteer) for MoveOn.org. Unfortunately, those people ain't running the show.
The "crazier than a shithouse rat in August" folks are. And that's why MoveOn is (and probably always will remain) easily dismissible.
We're just saying.
By 2010 the national Republican Party will be on its knees thanking God that Johnny Mac came out on this issue as early and as forcibly as he did.
Until then, the independents in the swing states are going to love this:
Step 1: Take public transportation to Harry's Bar at 436 11th Street.
Step 2: Settle into the bar area no later than 5:45pm.
Step 3: Order a pitcher of YingLing and a shot of Makers. Keep them coming.
Step 4: At 7:15pm, leave Harry's and walk three block to the National Museum of Natural History's Constitution Avenue entrance. Go inside.
Step 5: Take the escalator to the IMAX theatre on the second floor.
Step 6: Buy two tickets to U2 3D. Accept your 3D glasses from sales clerk.
Step 7: Walk into the IMAX theatre. Sit up near the back.
Step 8: It's now about 7:44pm. Take a deep breath.
Step 9: Take another deep breath.
Step 10: At 7:45 watch closely as four guys & a couple of musical instruments sort it all out for 80 minutes in front of 100,000 people in a soccer stadium in South America. In 3D. On a IMAX screen. For the bargain basement price of twelve bucks.
Don't forget to clap your hands and stomp your feet.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Patti Solis Doyle, the former Clinton campaign manager fired for her incompetence, is being hired by Team Obama.
And when we see silliness, we like to tweak its nose.
Oil hits record near $140 a barrel on dollar, fire
Monday June 16, 10:12 am ET
By John Wilen, AP Business Writer
Oil futures shoot to a record near $140 a barrel on falling dollar, North Sea fire
NEW YORK (AP) -- Crude oil futures hit a record near $140 a barrel Monday as investors shrugged off Saudi Arabia's promise to boost production and instead focused on a weaker dollar. Retail gas prices rose to a record $4.08 a gallon.
Light, sweet crude for July delivery soared to a trading record of $139.89 before retreating to trade up $3.33 at $138.19 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Many investors buy commodities such as oil as a hedge against inflation when the dollar falls. Also, a weaker dollar makes oil less expensive to investors dealing in other currencies. Many analysts believe the dollar's protracted decline is a major factor behind oil's doubling in price over the past year.
The euro bought $1.5502, a sizable increase from $1.5354 late Friday in New York. The British pound rose to $1.9668 versus $1.9469 in New York.
Also supporting prices was an overnight fire at a StatoilHydro ASA drilling rig in the North Sea, which could affect as much as 150,000 barrels of daily oil production, said Addison Armstrong, director of market research at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Conn.
But prices of North Sea-produced Brent crude oil, while higher, were lagging Nymex crude's advance, suggesting to analysts that the dollar was the main driver of Monday's rally. In London, August Brent crude futures rose $3.01 to $138.12 a barrel.
"We have a weaker U.S. dollar, and the buyers are out in force right now," said James Cordier, president of Tampa, Fla.-based trading firms Liberty Trading Group and OptionSellers.com.
Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil producer, told U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon over the weekend that it would boost output by 200,000 barrels a day, or by 2 percent, from June to July. In May, the kingdom raised production by 300,000 barrels a day.
The latest promise of a production increase by the kingdom was largely ignored by traders Monday amid strong global demand and falling production elsewhere.
Cordier said Saudi Arabia has "to increase by north of 1 million barrels per day" to have an impact on prices, "and the market doesn't think they have it."
At the pump, meanwhile, the national average price of a gallon of gas rose 0.3 cent overnight to its latest milestone, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service. Gas prices are following crude prices higher, and likely have several more cents to rise before catching up with oil's latest advance.
If oil prices pass $140 and head even higher, the pain consumers are feeling at the pump will intensify.
Diesel fuel prices held steady Monday at a record $4.797 a gallon. High prices for diesel, used to transport most of the world's food, are pushing food prices higher, putting even more pressure on consumers.
In other Nymex trading, July gasoline futures rose 7.26 cents to $3.5352 a gallon, while July heating oil futures rose 9.6 cents to $3.9328 a gallon.
July natural gas futures rose 25.2 cents to $12.877 per 1,000 cubic feet.
Anadarko Petroleum Corp. said Monday that natural gas production from a project in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico has been restored, hitting a gross rate of about 900 million cubic feet per day. Output from the Independence Hub was halted April 8 after a pipeline leak was found.
AP Business Writer John Porretto, in Houston, and Associated Press writers George Jahn in Vienna, Austria, and Eileen Ng in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, contributed to this report.
Contact us at greenmountainpolitics1 at gmail.com
See everyone in court?
What a morning!
Not only did we get to promote Elliott (like folks who have "access" the AP wire need promoting), but we get to wish our good buddy Matt Bartlett a happy birthday.
What more important reason is there to have a blog than to love on your friends?
Barack Obama's campaign envisions a path to the presidency that could include Virginia, Georgia and several Rocky Mountain states, but not necessarily the pair of battlegrounds that decided the last two elections — Florida and Ohio.
In a private pitch late last week to donors and former supporters of Hillary Rodham Clinton, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe outlined several alternatives to reaching the 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House that runs counter to the conventional wisdom of recent elections.
At a fundraiser held at a Washington brewery Friday, Plouffe told a largely young crowd that the electoral map would be fundamentally different from the one in 2004. Wins in Ohio and Florida would guarantee Obama the presidency if he holds onto the states won by Democrat John Kerry, Plouffe said, but those two battlegrounds aren't required for victory.