This is our 1,824 post at GMP1.
And while CPS and Monday Morning Clacker will soldier on, GreenMountainPolitics1 will not.
We've said just about everything we have to say about the 2008 election, and we've had one hell of a good time saying it.
But now it's time to say goodnight.
We have a new business to focus on, and we could not be more excited or optimistic.
Run with the swift and all that.
So thank you everyone for reading these last two years, it has been our pleasure to write for you.
And we look forward to making smart people laugh in the future.
Just not the near future.
Thank you everyone.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
What a primary cycle.
What an incredible front row seat that we've been lucky enough to occupy these last 24 months.
Historic (the cycle, not the seat).
Something that we'll tell our grandchildren about.
And keep telling them about, long after they've started rolling their eyes.
So reports the Chicago Tribune's Jill Zuckman, who is as well sourced in McCain World as any reporter.
We don't know much about Governor Palin.
But what we seem to know so far, we like.
(note the Fred Barnes quote halfway through the article)
Hey, in a change election there ain't nothing wrong with two serious reform candidates.
The idle and ill-informed McCain VP speculation by the press continues into the new day.
Noted: Morning Joe is OUT OF CONTROL.
Dance, dance, dance little press monkeys!
Noted: Of course, we're dancing too.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Love him, hate him or fall somewhere in between, Barack Obama's speech tonight was one for the ages.
Obama's full remarks as prepared for delivery, with many unspoken thanks to George W. Bush's last eight years:
To Chairman Dean and my great friend Dick Durbin; and to all my fellow citizens of this great nation;
With profound gratitude and great humility, I accept your nomination for the presidency of the United States.
Let me express my thanks to the historic slate of candidates who accompanied me on this journey, and especially the one who traveled the farthest - a champion for working Americans and an inspiration to my daughters and to yours -- Hillary Rodham Clinton. To President Clinton, who last night made the case for change as only he can make it; to Ted Kennedy, who embodies the spirit of service; and to the next Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, I thank you. I am grateful to finish this journey with one of the finest statesmen of our time, a man at ease with everyone from world leaders to the conductors on the Amtrak train he still takes home every night.
To the love of my life, our next First Lady, Michelle Obama, and to Sasha and Malia - I love you so much, and I'm so proud of all of you.
Four years ago, I stood before you and told you my story - of the brief union between a young man from Kenya and a young woman from Kansas who weren't well-off or well-known, but shared a belief that in America, their son could achieve whatever he put his mind to.
It is that promise that has always set this country apart - that through hard work and sacrifice, each of us can pursue our individual dreams but still come together as one American family, to ensure that the next generation can pursue their dreams as well.
Story continues below
That's why I stand here tonight. Because for two hundred and thirty two years, at each moment when that promise was in jeopardy, ordinary men and women - students and soldiers, farmers and teachers, nurses and janitors -- found the courage to keep it alive.
We meet at one of those defining moments - a moment when our nation is at war, our economy is in turmoil, and the American promise has been threatened once more.
Tonight, more Americans are out of work and more are working harder for less. More of you have lost your homes and even more are watching your home values plummet. More of you have cars you can't afford to drive, credit card bills you can't afford to pay, and tuition that's beyond your reach.
These challenges are not all of government's making. But the failure to respond is a direct result of a broken politics in Washington and the failed policies of George W. Bush.
America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this.
This country is more decent than one where a woman in Ohio, on the brink of retirement, finds herself one illness away from disaster after a lifetime of hard work.
This country is more generous than one where a man in Indiana has to pack up the equipment he's worked on for twenty years and watch it shipped off to China, and then chokes up as he explains how he felt like a failure when he went home to tell his family the news.
We are more compassionate than a government that lets veterans sleep on our streets and families slide into poverty; that sits on its hands while a major American city drowns before our eyes.
Tonight, I say to the American people, to Democrats and Republicans and Independents across this great land - enough! This moment - this election - is our chance to keep, in the 21st century, the American promise alive. Because next week, in Minnesota, the same party that brought you two terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third. And we are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look like the last eight. On November 4th, we must stand up and say: "Eight is enough."
Now let there be no doubt. The Republican nominee, John McCain, has worn the uniform of our country with bravery and distinction, and for that we owe him our gratitude and respect. And next week, we'll also hear about those occasions when he's broken with his party as evidence that he can deliver the change that we need.
But the record's clear: John McCain has voted with George Bush ninety percent of the time. Senator McCain likes to talk about judgment, but really, what does it say about your judgment when you think George Bush has been right more than ninety percent of the time? I don't know about you, but I'm not ready to take a ten percent chance on change.
The truth is, on issue after issue that would make a difference in your lives - on health care and education and the economy - Senator McCain has been anything but independent. He said that our economy has made "great progress" under this President. He said that the fundamentals of the economy are strong. And when one of his chief advisors - the man who wrote his economic plan - was talking about the anxiety Americans are feeling, he said that we were just suffering from a "mental recession," and that we've become, and I quote, "a nation of whiners."
A nation of whiners? Tell that to the proud auto workers at a Michigan plant who, after they found out it was closing, kept showing up every day and working as hard as ever, because they knew there were people who counted on the brakes that they made. Tell that to the military families who shoulder their burdens silently as they watch their loved ones leave for their third or fourth or fifth tour of duty. These are not whiners. They work hard and give back and keep going without complaint. These are the Americans that I know.
Now, I don't believe that Senator McCain doesn't care what's going on in the lives of Americans. I just think he doesn't know. Why else would he define middle-class as someone making under five million dollars a year? How else could he propose hundreds of billions in tax breaks for big corporations and oil companies but not one penny of tax relief to more than one hundred million Americans? How else could he offer a health care plan that would actually tax people's benefits, or an education plan that would do nothing to help families pay for college, or a plan that would privatize Social Security and gamble your retirement?
It's not because John McCain doesn't care. It's because John McCain doesn't get it.
For over two decades, he's subscribed to that old, discredited Republican philosophy - give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else. In Washington, they call this the Ownership Society, but what it really means is - you're on your own. Out of work? Tough luck. No health care? The market will fix it. Born into poverty? Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps - even if you don't have boots. You're on your own.
Well it's time for them to own their failure. It's time for us to change America.
You see, we Democrats have a very different measure of what constitutes progress in this country.
We measure progress by how many people can find a job that pays the mortgage; whether you can put a little extra money away at the end of each month so you can someday watch your child receive her college diploma. We measure progress in the 23 million new jobs that were created when Bill Clinton was President - when the average American family saw its income go up $7,500 instead of down $2,000 like it has under George Bush.
We measure the strength of our economy not by the number of billionaires we have or the profits of the Fortune 500, but by whether someone with a good idea can take a risk and start a new business, or whether the waitress who lives on tips can take a day off to look after a sick kid without losing her job - an economy that honors the dignity of work.
The fundamentals we use to measure economic strength are whether we are living up to that fundamental promise that has made this country great - a promise that is the only reason I am standing here tonight.
Because in the faces of those young veterans who come back from Iraq and Afghanistan, I see my grandfather, who signed up after Pearl Harbor, marched in Patton's Army, and was rewarded by a grateful nation with the chance to go to college on the GI Bill.
In the face of that young student who sleeps just three hours before working the night shift, I think about my mom, who raised my sister and me on her own while she worked and earned her degree; who once turned to food stamps but was still able to send us to the best schools in the country with the help of student loans and scholarships.
When I listen to another worker tell me that his factory has shut down, I remember all those men and women on the South Side of Chicago who I stood by and fought for two decades ago after the local steel plant closed.
And when I hear a woman talk about the difficulties of starting her own business, I think about my grandmother, who worked her way up from the secretarial pool to middle-management, despite years of being passed over for promotions because she was a woman. She's the one who taught me about hard work. She's the one who put off buying a new car or a new dress for herself so that I could have a better life. She poured everything she had into me. And although she can no longer travel, I know that she's watching tonight, and that tonight is her night as well.
I don't know what kind of lives John McCain thinks that celebrities lead, but this has been mine. These are my heroes. Theirs are the stories that shaped me. And it is on their behalf that I intend to win this election and keep our promise alive as President of the United States.
What is that promise?
It's a promise that says each of us has the freedom to make of our own lives what we will, but that we also have the obligation to treat each other with dignity and respect.
It's a promise that says the market should reward drive and innovation and generate growth, but that businesses should live up to their responsibilities to create American jobs, look out for American workers, and play by the rules of the road.
Ours is a promise that says government cannot solve all our problems, but what it should do is that which we cannot do for ourselves - protect us from harm and provide every child a decent education; keep our water clean and our toys safe; invest in new schools and new roads and new science and technology.
Our government should work for us, not against us. It should help us, not hurt us. It should ensure opportunity not just for those with the most money and influence, but for every American who's willing to work.
That's the promise of America - the idea that we are responsible for ourselves, but that we also rise or fall as one nation; the fundamental belief that I am my brother's keeper; I am my sister's keeper.
That's the promise we need to keep. That's the change we need right now. So let me spell out exactly what that change would mean if I am President.
Change means a tax code that doesn't reward the lobbyists who wrote it, but the American workers and small businesses who deserve it.
Unlike John McCain, I will stop giving tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, and I will start giving them to companies that create good jobs right here in America.
I will eliminate capital gains taxes for the small businesses and the start-ups that will create the high-wage, high-tech jobs of tomorrow.
I will cut taxes - cut taxes - for 95% of all working families. Because in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle-class.
And for the sake of our economy, our security, and the future of our planet, I will set a clear goal as President: in ten years, we will finally end our dependence on oil from the Middle East.
Washington's been talking about our oil addiction for the last thirty years, and John McCain has been there for twenty-six of them. In that time, he's said no to higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars, no to investments in renewable energy, no to renewable fuels. And today, we import triple the amount of oil as the day that Senator McCain took office.
Now is the time to end this addiction, and to understand that drilling is a stop-gap measure, not a long-term solution. Not even close.
As President, I will tap our natural gas reserves, invest in clean coal technology, and find ways to safely harness nuclear power. I'll help our auto companies re-tool, so that the fuel-efficient cars of the future are built right here in America. I'll make it easier for the American people to afford these new cars. And I'll invest 150 billion dollars over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy - wind power and solar power and the next generation of biofuels; an investment that will lead to new industries and five million new jobs that pay well and can't ever be outsourced.
America, now is not the time for small plans.
Now is the time to finally meet our moral obligation to provide every child a world-class education, because it will take nothing less to compete in the global economy. Michelle and I are only here tonight because we were given a chance at an education. And I will not settle for an America where some kids don't have that chance. I'll invest in early childhood education. I'll recruit an army of new teachers, and pay them higher salaries and give them more support. And in exchange, I'll ask for higher standards and more accountability. And we will keep our promise to every young American - if you commit to serving your community or your country, we will make sure you can afford a college education.
Now is the time to finally keep the promise of affordable, accessible health care for every single American. If you have health care, my plan will lower your premiums. If you don't, you'll be able to get the same kind of coverage that members of Congress give themselves. And as someone who watched my mother argue with insurance companies while she lay in bed dying of cancer, I will make certain those companies stop discriminating against those who are sick and need care the most.
Now is the time to help families with paid sick days and better family leave, because nobody in America should have to choose between keeping their jobs and caring for a sick child or ailing parent.
Now is the time to change our bankruptcy laws, so that your pensions are protected ahead of CEO bonuses; and the time to protect Social Security for future generations.
And now is the time to keep the promise of equal pay for an equal day's work, because I want my daughters to have exactly the same opportunities as your sons.
Now, many of these plans will cost money, which is why I've laid out how I'll pay for every dime - by closing corporate loopholes and tax havens that don't help America grow. But I will also go through the federal budget, line by line, eliminating programs that no longer work and making the ones we do need work better and cost less - because we cannot meet twenty-first century challenges with a twentieth century bureaucracy.
And Democrats, we must also admit that fulfilling America's promise will require more than just money. It will require a renewed sense of responsibility from each of us to recover what John F. Kennedy called our "intellectual and moral strength." Yes, government must lead on energy independence, but each of us must do our part to make our homes and businesses more efficient. Yes, we must provide more ladders to success for young men who fall into lives of crime and despair. But we must also admit that programs alone can't replace parents; that government can't turn off the television and make a child do her homework; that fathers must take more responsibility for providing the love and guidance their children need.
Individual responsibility and mutual responsibility - that's the essence of America's promise.
And just as we keep our keep our promise to the next generation here at home, so must we keep America's promise abroad. If John McCain wants to have a debate about who has the temperament, and judgment, to serve as the next Commander-in-Chief, that's a debate I'm ready to have.
For while Senator McCain was turning his sights to Iraq just days after 9/11, I stood up and opposed this war, knowing that it would distract us from the real threats we face. When John McCain said we could just "muddle through" in Afghanistan, I argued for more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11, and made clear that we must take out Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights. John McCain likes to say that he'll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell - but he won't even go to the cave where he lives.
And today, as my call for a time frame to remove our troops from Iraq has been echoed by the Iraqi government and even the Bush Administration, even after we learned that Iraq has a $79 billion surplus while we're wallowing in deficits, John McCain stands alone in his stubborn refusal to end a misguided war.
That's not the judgment we need. That won't keep America safe. We need a President who can face the threats of the future, not keep grasping at the ideas of the past.
You don't defeat a terrorist network that operates in eighty countries by occupying Iraq. You don't protect Israel and deter Iran just by talking tough in Washington. You can't truly stand up for Georgia when you've strained our oldest alliances. If John McCain wants to follow George Bush with more tough talk and bad strategy, that is his choice - but it is not the change we need.
We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy. So don't tell me that Democrats won't defend this country. Don't tell me that Democrats won't keep us safe. The Bush-McCain foreign policy has squandered the legacy that generations of Americans -- Democrats and Republicans - have built, and we are here to restore that legacy.
As Commander-in-Chief, I will never hesitate to defend this nation, but I will only send our troops into harm's way with a clear mission and a sacred commitment to give them the equipment they need in battle and the care and benefits they deserve when they come home.
I will end this war in Iraq responsibly, and finish the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. I will rebuild our military to meet future conflicts. But I will also renew the tough, direct diplomacy that can prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and curb Russian aggression. I will build new partnerships to defeat the threats of the 21st century: terrorism and nuclear proliferation; poverty and genocide; climate change and disease. And I will restore our moral standing, so that America is once again that last, best hope for all who are called to the cause of freedom, who long for lives of peace, and who yearn for a better future.
These are the policies I will pursue. And in the weeks ahead, I look forward to debating them with John McCain.
But what I will not do is suggest that the Senator takes his positions for political purposes. Because one of the things that we have to change in our politics is the idea that people cannot disagree without challenging each other's character and patriotism.
The times are too serious, the stakes are too high for this same partisan playbook. So let us agree that patriotism has no party. I love this country, and so do you, and so does John McCain. The men and women who serve in our battlefields may be Democrats and Republicans and Independents, but they have fought together and bled together and some died together under the same proud flag. They have not served a Red America or a Blue America - they have served the United States of America.
So I've got news for you, John McCain. We all put our country first.
America, our work will not be easy. The challenges we face require tough choices, and Democrats as well as Republicans will need to cast off the worn-out ideas and politics of the past. For part of what has been lost these past eight years can't just be measured by lost wages or bigger trade deficits. What has also been lost is our sense of common purpose - our sense of higher purpose. And that's what we have to restore.
We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country. The reality of gun ownership may be different for hunters in rural Ohio than for those plagued by gang-violence in Cleveland, but don't tell me we can't uphold the Second Amendment while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals. I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination. Passions fly on immigration, but I don't know anyone who benefits when a mother is separated from her infant child or an employer undercuts American wages by hiring illegal workers. This too is part of America's promise - the promise of a democracy where we can find the strength and grace to bridge divides and unite in common effort.
I know there are those who dismiss such beliefs as happy talk. They claim that our insistence on something larger, something firmer and more honest in our public life is just a Trojan Horse for higher taxes and the abandonment of traditional values. And that's to be expected. Because if you don't have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare the voters. If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from.
You make a big election about small things.
And you know what - it's worked before. Because it feeds into the cynicism we all have about government. When Washington doesn't work, all its promises seem empty. If your hopes have been dashed again and again, then it's best to stop hoping, and settle for what you already know.
I get it. I realize that I am not the likeliest candidate for this office. I don't fit the typical pedigree, and I haven't spent my career in the halls of Washington.
But I stand before you tonight because all across America something is stirring. What the nay-sayers don't understand is that this election has never been about me. It's been about you.
For eighteen long months, you have stood up, one by one, and said enough to the politics of the past. You understand that in this election, the greatest risk we can take is to try the same old politics with the same old players and expect a different result. You have shown what history teaches us - that at defining moments like this one, the change we need doesn't come from Washington. Change comes to Washington. Change happens because the American people demand it - because they rise up and insist on new ideas and new leadership, a new politics for a new time.
America, this is one of those moments.
I believe that as hard as it will be, the change we need is coming. Because I've seen it. Because I've lived it. I've seen it in Illinois, when we provided health care to more children and moved more families from welfare to work. I've seen it in Washington, when we worked across party lines to open up government and hold lobbyists more accountable, to give better care for our veterans and keep nuclear weapons out of terrorist hands.
And I've seen it in this campaign. In the young people who voted for the first time, and in those who got involved again after a very long time. In the Republicans who never thought they'd pick up a Democratic ballot, but did. I've seen it in the workers who would rather cut their hours back a day than see their friends lose their jobs, in the soldiers who re-enlist after losing a limb, in the good neighbors who take a stranger in when a hurricane strikes and the floodwaters rise.
This country of ours has more wealth than any nation, but that's not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military on Earth, but that's not what makes us strong. Our universities and our culture are the envy of the world, but that's not what keeps the world coming to our shores.
Instead, it is that American spirit - that American promise - that pushes us forward even when the path is uncertain; that binds us together in spite of our differences; that makes us fix our eye not on what is seen, but what is unseen, that better place around the bend.
That promise is our greatest inheritance. It's a promise I make to my daughters when I tuck them in at night, and a promise that you make to yours - a promise that has led immigrants to cross oceans and pioneers to travel west; a promise that led workers to picket lines, and women to reach for the ballot.
And it is that promise that forty five years ago today, brought Americans from every corner of this land to stand together on a Mall in Washington, before Lincoln's Memorial, and hear a young preacher from Georgia speak of his dream.
The men and women who gathered there could've heard many things. They could've heard words of anger and discord. They could've been told to succumb to the fear and frustration of so many dreams deferred.
But what the people heard instead - people of every creed and color, from every walk of life - is that in America, our destiny is inextricably linked. That together, our dreams can be one.
"We cannot walk alone," the preacher cried. "And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back."
America, we cannot turn back. Not with so much work to be done. Not with so many children to educate, and so many veterans to care for. Not with an economy to fix and cities to rebuild and farms to save. Not with so many families to protect and so many lives to mend. America, we cannot turn back. We cannot walk alone. At this moment, in this election, we must pledge once more to march into the future. Let us keep that promise - that American promise - and in the words of Scripture hold firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess.
Thank you, God Bless you, and God Bless the United States of America.
And, on a much SMALLER scale, thank you Aaron Sorkin (not that there's anything wrong with that):
GOP pundit strategist Mike Murphy might be right: Team McCain might be "all tactics and no strategy."
But whatever Team McCain is or is not, you have to give the campaign credit because on this night - Of All Nights - they have managed to whip the Gang of 500 into an absolute frenzy over who McCain is going to select as his VP.
The idle and uninformed speculation among the press corps is INTENSE.
We're even getting emails asking, "So, who will McCain choose?"
And we don't know sh*t.
We can almost hear the clink of Crystal City scotch glasses to the toast, "Dance you press monkeys."
We are 98% certain that we just caught a brief glimpse of our good friend Phil Baruth in the crowd at Invesco Field.
Live on MSNBC
Watching Al Gore hold forth.
And there is enough "Good Democrat" in those three sentences to make FDR blush.
The day this little gem created by some former McCain ad men hit the air.
McCain ad men.
Of course, this would be the absolute barest whisper of what the DNC would throw at a McCain-Romney '08 ticket.
And Mitt-Flop don't even deliver Michigan.
Why is he a good pick again?
In October 2007, while John McCain was still HEMORRHAGING political support, Tim Pawlenty flew to Manchester, NH to do a political event on McCain's behalf in Fairlee, VT.
The state with negative electoral votes.
For a campaign event that took Governor Pawlenty well over 10 hours to complete if you include fly and drive time.
But, as Mr. Pawlenty was finally being dropped off at his hotel after a very looong day, he turned to Team McCain's Jim Barnett and said, "I'd like to do more, please let me know how I can do that."
That was in October of 2007.
When 3/4ths of the Republican Party was saying, "John? John Who?"
We know that this happened because we were in the car with the Governor on that trip.
Bottom line - Tim Pawlenty is qualified to be Vice President for any number of reasons.
As are most of the folks rumored to be on McCain's short list.
But we hope that Pawlenty's respect for, and loyalty to, John McCain puts the Minnesota Governor over the top in the Veepstakes.
(UPDATED) A longtime reader writes to remind us that Tim Pawlenty is the "clear" choice of McCain loyalists who have ridden the '08 campaign roller coaster from the beginning.
Don't we know it.
General Electric Spends Millions Of Dollars On MSNBC Salaries To Buy A Punchline (actually several punchlines)
According to Jacques Barzun, "when people accept futility and the absurd as normal, the culture is decadent".
So what sort of culture does MSNBC, The Daily Show & GMP1 thrive in?
Forget the "bark stripping" (most anyone can "bark strip").
What kitchen tables is Joe Biden talking to?
In what states?
And with what effectiveness?
(UPDATED) Ambinder makes a similar point.
McCain Has NOT Contacted GMP1 To Personally Inform Us Of His VP Choice, Therefore GMP1 Cannot Believe That The Choice Has Been Made
Unfortunately, it looks like we don't have as much juice with the American Hero as we thought we did.
In any event, we'd love to see a Tim Pawlenty pick.
Fighting Joe would be good too (although several Republicans we trust say that the pick would be a disaster).
Mitt Romney, now that WOULD be a disaster.
But what about "none of the above"?
We really have no idea.
But we bet we find out within 12 hours.
Right about when Obama hits the stage at Mile High.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Oh look, some overpampered, overpaid and oversexed TV "personalities" at MSNBC have gotten themselves into a public food fight about, well, about themselves.
It really is all about them.
And yet the media still gazes at its own navel and wonders why the public can't stand them?!!??
Look in the mirror.
Tomorrow's Obama Speech Forecast: Sunny, With A 85% Chance Of A McCain VP Competing Message Front Blowing In From Crystal City
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
(barring unforeseen weirdness)
1. Does Barack Obama go yard on what Clinton served up tonight and deliver in his speech on Thursday?
2. Who does the America Hero pick as his VP? And does it stomp all over Obama's speech on Thursday?
Let the ill informed chatter begin.
Where are we?
What is the boring man on TV saying? We think that he might be trying to saZZZZzzzzzzzz.
Wanna lose your dinner?
Noted: And we're voting Republican in 2008. Think about it.
Noted 2: Obama topper Plouffe has:
"This is someone who was a job-killing machine in business," Plouffe said. "He's someone who has been proficient at using tax havens in places like the Cayman Islands that Americans have become increasingly tired of.
"Will [naming Romney] help in Michigan? I don't know," Plouffe said. "But on things like outsourcing, there's almost an acceptance [by Romney] that it's OK to have all this job loss."
We think that the Obama-Clinton-Clinton rift is overblown by folks in the media looking to sell papers and by folks in the GOP looking to cause mischief.
We always have.
But this (keywords: "unfulfilled potential") and this (keyword: everything he says) has got to really piss the Obama people off.
Which leads us to ask, does HOPE have a blacklist?
Because if it does, we'd bet that Rendell and Carville are on it.
Michelle Rhee, head of the Washington, DC school system, is taking on the unions, firing bad teachers and paying good ones six-figure salaries(!!!) all in the name of saving DC's schools.
Newsweek has the story.
Well worth the read.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Good, but not great.
Mrs. Obama is a real woman. It's a real family. They love their kids.
We got it. Really.
But we don't care so much about all that (though we grant you that the indies in the swing states might).
From where we're sitting, anyway you slice it, the Obama's have a razor thin resume when it comes to occupying the White House.
And tonight that showed through.
In a variety of ways.
...is there enough liquor west of the Mississippi to make Senator Claire McCaskill's convention speech tolerable?
In the dictionary under "insincere and grating" it says see "tonight's McCaskill speech".
We don't have a screen grab (we're low tech here at GMP1), but Ms. Woodruff is wearing a wreath of flowers as she works the floor of the Denver Convention conducting man on the street interviews.
We can only imagine what Big Jim thinks.
And we couldn't make this up if we tried.
Just because GMP1 doesn't always believe that a political knife fight is appropriate doesn't mean that we don't always want a knife fighter on our side.
Or something like that.
And one would be hard pressed to find a better communications knife fighter working today on either side than RNC Comm Director Danny "$" Diaz.
Who is spending the week in Denver, tossing absolutely everything he can at the Democrats during their convention.
Which made us think that Danny and his war room team might enjoy the following song:
Happy Monday everyone.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Any guess as to who we think Johnny Mac should pick as his running mate?
The American Hero & The Accomplished Chief Executive, Fresh Face Member of Sam's Club.
It's a messaging winner.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
... is found right here.
Of course, if the GOP continues to go Britney-Paris on Obama-Biden well, this puppy is over.
Or wasn't the Republican Party watching what Joe Biden did with the 7 kitchen tables line in today's speech?
That's "Checkmate" for you politicos scoring at home.
So, is it time for the GOP to come up with another line of attack on Obama-Biden beyond the chickensh*t celebrity one?
FLASH - At 8:53pm Tonight GMP1 HAS Confirmed The Senator Joe Biden Will Be Barack Obama's VP Pick, Details As They Become Available
Friday, August 22, 2008
CW has hopped back on the "Mitt will be the VP" train.
We have no idea.
There are less than 5 people who really do, and they ain't talking to us (and, let's be honest, they're probably not talking to you either).
But we do know this.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
And the race to the bottom continues.
Team Obama jumps all over John McCain for something that has nothing to do with being an effective and decent Chief Executive...
...to which Team McCain responds with an oppo dump on Barack Obama that is equally chickensh*t and irrelevant.
“Does a guy who made more than $4 million last year, just got back from vacation on a private beach in Hawaii and bought his own million-dollar mansion with the help of a convicted felon really want to get into a debate about houses? Does a guy who worries about the price of arugula and thinks regular people “cling” to guns and religion in the face of economic hardship really want to have a debate about who’s in touch with regular Americans?Now where's our bourbon?
“The reality is that Barack Obama’s plans to raise taxes and opposition to producing more energy here at home as gas prices skyrocket show he’s completely out of touch with the concerns of average Americans.”
Because if the true swing voters in the battleground states aren't going to pay attention to this garbage, we sure as hell ain't.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
It looks like "at all costs" carried the day in Chicago.
Anti-Hope is running in Georgia.
Considering that John McCain led the fight in the Senate against Jack Abramoff.
Not the other way around as the ad alleges.
No matter, as we've argued before, in 2008 we think that the first campaign to the bottom, loses.
Now wouldn't that be something?
While we are quite sure that boys and girls of "Triple O" are quite pleased with what they see staring back at them in the mirror every morning, there is no doubt that they are really good at kicking new media ass.
And that their '08 campaign operation will be studied (and built upon) by strategists in both parties for cycles to come.
Via David Broder's latest column:
Plouffe [Obama's campaign manager] said that "turnout is the big variable," and the campaign is devoting an unusually large budget to register scads of new voters and bring them to the polls. "That's how we win the Floridas and Ohios," he said, mentioning two states that went narrowly for George W. Bush. "And that's how we get competitive in the Indianas and Virginias," two of six or seven states that long have been Republican -- but are targets this year.And Plouffe is putting his money where his mouth is (or not putting his money).
"That's why I pay more attention to the registration figures than to the polls I see at this time of year," Plouffe said. "The polls will change, but we know we need 200,000 new voters to be competitive in Georgia, and now is when we have to get them."
But meanwhile, David Brooks sees Unhappy Warrior McCain doing better right now then he thinks that Happy Warrior McCain would be doing.
We don't happen to believe this, but we recognize that we're in the minority opinion right now.
Campaign strategy is a funny thing. Months and months and months of set-up to lock in that final 14-day push and election day narrative.
Remember, many people thought that Rudy Giuliani's Florida strategy was great ("Hey, look at our national numbers! We're strong baby! Strong!").
Right up until the Florida Primary.
And by then it was far too late.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Our 11-year old sister confirmed it to us this afternoon.
Right before she told us that Colonel Mustard committed the murder in the library with the candlestick.
And right after she told us that Bono is "definitely not" overrated.
GMP1 understands that whoever breaks the VP pick story will forever be known by the Gang of 500 as the Gang of 500 member with the "most kick ass sources" within McCain/Obama world.
Or something like that.
And, we're sure that's important.
But, in the 24/7 Information Age that we all live in, "speed" really is cheap.
"Smart" much less so.
So don't worry Chris Cillizza, we're going to continue reading you whether you break "The Big News" or not.
And that's no snark.
Rush Limbaugh is shouting at the rain.
First, twelve months ago Rush was saying that if John McCain was the 2008 Republican nominee that it would be the death of the Republican Party. Now the problem is John McCain's pick for the VP slot?
Second, it's nice that Rush is so concerned about the future of the Republican Party, but where was the outrage when his corrupt DC buddies were flushing the party down the toilet with out-of-control spending and kickbacks?
El Fat Boy's radio show might still have 13 million listeners, but his 15 minutes are just about up.
Hard as that might be for some people to believe.
It sounds like the We Campaign might be about to bring a gun to a knife fight.
GMP1 just received this (mass) email from We Campaign communications director Giselle Barry:
I want to make sure you know about a new ad that started airing today. "Free Us" starts with the phrase 'To our leaders,' and will air during both upcoming political conventions. It completes an important shift in the We Campaign's messaging."From a request to a demand".
This new ad focuses specifically on the challenge to Repower America by generating 100% of our electricity from clean sources within 10 years. This was also true of our recently seen "Switch" ad (watch the "Switch" ad.) These ads, along with the T. Boone Pickens' media buy mean that millions of Americans are now hearing about big goals - with real targets and immediate timelines. The notion that the best way to rebuild our economy is to make a dramatic shift in our energy mix is now getting critical attention.
"Free Us" takes a different tone from our previous ads. While the first We Campaign ads offered a general invitation to the movement for climate solutions, this ad issues a direct challenge. While showing what a transformed economy looks like, the ad also hints at a transformation among the American people. It explicitly moves from a request to a demand.
But the We Campaign must remember that while national TV ads and op-eds in the Washington Post and big Al Gore speeches are lots of fun, it only really counts if you have an aggressive grassroots lobbying strategy to kick the living shit out of disagreeable politicians back in their home districts.
The energy "status-quo" is dug in tighter than a tick.
And changing it is going to take real fight.
And hey, there ain't nothing wrong with that.
So we look forward to Mr. Woodward's new book on the Bush Administration.
But that doesn't mean that we can't all agree that Woodward's "reporting" on the goings on of high-level Washington has a "fox guarding the hen house" feel to it.
Because every major source in a Woodward book has an agenda.
Monday, August 18, 2008
And Gang of 500.
It's a VP pick. Not the second coming of Christ.
Obama has to do it. And will. Sooner or later.
So get off of David Plouffe's tip.
Because that cat is playing you like a piano.
Here are the perfectly legitimate questions reporters should now, in my opinion, ask McCain:Whoa, whoa, whoa, Andrew.
why did you not mention this transcendent story in 1973? Why, in discussing three Christmases in captivity in Vietnam, was this story - far more powerful than any of the other anecdotes - omitted? How was it possible for the gun guard of May 1969 to be present at Christmas that year when McCain had been transferred to another camp? Is it possible that McCain's memory has faded with time and that he has simply fused his own memories with other stories - as Clinton did with Bosnia sniper fire and as Kerry did in remembering another Christmas he could not have actually witnessed where he said he did?
And why are we not allowed to ask these questions, when they relate to one of the most important questions anyone can ask about a president: the question of integrity?
No one's saying you can't ask these questions.
All GMP1 is saying is that you're not going to sound very bright doing it.
Pakistan's Pervez Musharraf has resigned.
The BBC has their story here.
The AP has their story here.
The Economist has their story here.
McCain's statement can be found here.
Obama's statement can be found here.
And what the White House has to say about the whole thing is fairly irrelevant.
The only thing that GMP1 would add, humbly, is that we hope to God that someone smarter, better trained and better armed than us is watching over Pakistan's nuclear technology/weaponry.
Because nothing spells P-A-N-I-C like a suitcase nuke going off in a Western city.
We argue - and have since the summer of '06 - that the current Democratic Party is just as bankrupt as the current Republican Party.
Both parties are hobbled by terrible leadership, bad spending priorities, few new ideas, graft, corruption and a dumbing down of the Congressional rank and file brought on by hyper redistricting.
The rot is just easier for the minority party Democrats to hide.
But the minority party Democrats (aka "we only control the Congress by a slim majority and not the White House, Wee! Wee! Wee!" Democrats) might shortly control everything about everything here in Washington.
And then it will be time to for them to govern.
Not campaign. Govern.
No place to hide and all that.
And then the only question will be is do the Democrats have the nuts (or, excuse us Ms. Pelosi, the ovaries) to do something about our national debt, which is the greatest national security threat that our country currently faces.
Maybe. Maybe not.
Remember, though this is a "change election", the current Democratic Congressional leadership has been in Washington since about 1743.
So, time will tell.
Until then, we direct our readership to the Dallas Morning News's write-up of the new documentary I.O.U.S.A.
To watch a preview of the documentary here:
And to watch David Walker on 60 Minutes last year:
And yeah, we're going to continue pushing this issue just as hard as we can.
1. Why should the 130 MILLION(ish) other American voters care what Lady de Rothschild thinks about anything having to do with the '08 presidential race?
2. Even though the Republicans will seize on the Rothschild quotes (with good reason, from where they're sitting) do people really think that any great number of Clinton primary voters (the "real primary voters" not the "can call Hill on her cell at anytime" primary voters) are going to end up going Republican? In this environment? Really?
A triple shot of pure class on this Monday morning in August.
Now where the heck is our tux?
Happy Monday everyone!
Sunday, August 17, 2008
We only have one real question about the rapidly approaching Republican Convention - What level of "dipshit" do you need to "hit" to decide to attend Tom DeLay's convention party at the Aqua Nightclub in Minneapolis?
Senator McCain made the following comment last night at the Rick Warren forum regarding Russia's invasion of Georgia:
"It's about energy. There's an oil pipeline that goes across Georgia that up till now had not been controlled by Russia. And energy, the Russians are using as a tremendous lever against the Europeans."h/t Ben Smith
Mr. Phelps won his eighth gold medal in Bejing on Sunday.
What Phelps accomplished over the last week is quite possibly the most legendary sporting performance that we will see in our lifetime.
And that's pretty incredible.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
But Matt Yglesias wants to know (tongue firmly in cheek) if Warner Bros. is manipulating the current situation in the Caucuses to make their Cold War era movie more relevant in 2008.
Good heavens we hope not.
h/t to Matt's new perch at Think Progress.
Friday, August 15, 2008
This SNL sketch was shot right after George W. won his first presidential election in 2000. We think that it's rather prescient.
In a whistling past the graveyard sort of way.
Happy Friday everyone!
We asked a smart friend of ours what her current take on the situation in Georgia is.
She wrote us:
I don't know if it's a smart take, but the whole thing is a shitfuck. The "mysterious" bombings in Abkhazia and killings in South Ossetia in June and July were eerily reminiscent of the mysterious apartment bombings in Moscow in 1999, which the Russians then used to justify re-invading (and then leveling) Chechnya.
If I were Georgia, I would be panicked. If I were Russia, I would be feeling very, very good about myself right now. If I were us...? It makes us look like a self-absorbed superpower who's happy to use the little guys when it suits us but happy to dump them when they become inconvenient.
Better intelligence and some back-channel diplomacy earlier this summer would have been ideal, but that was then and any given thing in this week's suite of responses is a lot less desirable.
Annoying, too, because our secretary of state is academically a Russianist.
The Europeans (And Americans) Are Finding That It's Pretty Hard To Tell Your Drug Dealer To "F*ck Off"
Ah, the old ways of doing business in the energy sector!
Ah, the way it drives the West's foreign policy!
What an absolute BITCH!
If you want to understand 9/10ths of Europe's underwhelming response to Russia's invasion and occupation of a sovereign state friendly with the EU and the USA, look no further than this quote on last night's NewsHour by The Heritage Foundation's Ariel Cohen:
Europe is already very dependent on Russian gas. One-third of European oil comes from Russia, 40 percent, in some cases, 99 percent of gas.Noted: The whole NewsHour segment is worth the long listen or read.
Hey, it's hard for an addict to stand up to their dealer.
Hey, it's hard for the Europeans to go after their energy pusher, even when that energy pusher has invaded and occupied a friendly sovereign state.
Well, at least we American know what that's like.
Right Saudi Arabia?
Is anyone else tired of this?
Does anyone else think it's time for a Apollo-type crash program to move us off of fossil fuels entirely?
American Nastia Liukin edges American Shawn Johnson by six-tenths of one point to win the all-around gymnastics gold.
Video may be found here (just remember you are selling your computer's soul to NBC/Microsoft).
In other Olympic news, Michael Phelps romped again last night, and is 6 for 6 with 2 events remaining in his quest for 8 Olympic gold medals.
And American female swimmer Rebecca Soni grabs her first gold medal in the 200m breast in what may very well be the upset in pool of this Olympics.
And we haven't really even begun Track and Field yet.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
1. George Stephanopoulos on "Good Morning America" said John McCain was "somewhat prescient" in his response to the Georgia crisis (we'd drop the 'somewhat', but why quibble).
2. Colin Powell telling ABC News that, "I do not have time to waste on Bill Kristol's musings."
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Nobody's perfect. Far from it.
But for our money, John Weaver is as good a political strategist as anyone we know/know of.
And we know/know of an awful lot of people.
So we direct budding Republican operatives to this piece on Weaver in the new issue of Texas Monthly.
In particular, these two graphs on the Republican Party:
Weaver’s flirtation with the Democrats was partly a reaction to the nasty turn Bush’s campaign took after McCain’s primary victory in New Hampshire, and he sees the Republican party’s current malaise as at least partly related to the divisive tone set by Bush and Rove in that election. “The chickens have come home to roost” is how he put it to me. “Their policies are all about politics. The government is out of step with the hopes and dreams of Americans. The party is at its nadir. The president has had Nixon numbers for three years. We can’t go on being the all-male, gated-community party. We now know who our twenty-seven percent is. Parties that oppose immigration end up on the dust heap of politics.”Straight. Talk.
Perhaps in all those years Weaver spent with McCain, the senator’s penchant for frankness rubbed off on his onetime strategist. Or perhaps it had always been Weaver driving the Straight Talk Express. Either way, his observations spared no one. “The party has lost its principles,” he told me. “We’ve had the DeLay and Mark Foley scandals. DeLay was a poster child for the hubris of our Republican leadership. He rewarded his K Street friends when the Republican party is supposed to be the party of Main Street. Spending is now the most since the Great Society, but without the heart. That’s a loser.” He shook his head. “We need to go through a wilderness. I have a bad sense we’ve just started.”
Those two paragraphs are a small but good example of why GMP1 thinks that John Weaver is the f*cking man.
And why we hope like crazy that he jumps back into the campaign side of things in 2010 (and beyond).
The Republican Party needs him.
Colin Powell is going to endorse Barack Obama! Colin Powell is going to endorse Barack Obama!
Holy sh*t! Holy sh*t!
But then again, maybe not.
Go beyond the inflammatory Fox headline and read story graphs 3, 4, 5 & 6:
“This is not an absolute done deal, but these people are very confident that Powell will endorse Obama,” Kristol said, adding that he thinks Powell, a Republican, still has “a high respect” for John McCain, Obama’s Republican rival.Hmm.
Powell spokeswoman Peggy Cifrino strongly denied the report.
“There’s absolutely no truth to it whatsoever,” Cifrino told FOXNews.com. “Colin Powell will not be at either convention. There’s absolutely no truth to this.”
Roll Call executive editor Mort Kondracke, also a FOX News contributor, said he personally has spoken with Powell, who denied the report and said he has made no endorsement decisions, according to Kondracke.
It looks to us like there is a 98% chance that Bill Kristol doesn't know what hell he is talking about.
And, if this rumor turns out not to be true, can somebody please explain to us why people still take Bill Kristol seriously?
Garrett Graff, Howard Dean's former webmaster, follows up on what we wrote yesterday about Team Obama's use of cell phone text messages to announce Obama's VP pick.
And yes, we're aware that Mr. Graff's message delivery system is the Op-Ed page of the New York Times while ours is simply Blogspot.