Right Wing: Rove, Romney

Fox News contributor Karl Rove directed some unfriendly fire at the hosts of “Fox and Friends” this weekend when the show’s anchors decided to ask Rove to respond to protesters who disrupted the former top Bush adviser’s book tour.

Romney Struggles To Distance RomneyCare From ObamaCare: Was For it Before He Was Against It
Throughout the health care debate, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has had to do a delicate political dance. The legislation that Congress ultimately passed and that President Obama signed into law closely mirrors the health care reform measure Massachusetts passed when Mitt Romney was governor in 2006. Thus, Romney has had to embrace his plan while at the same time, attacking Obama’s in an effort to appease the GOP and the conservative base, who adamantly oppose it. However, the similarities between the bills Romney and Obama signed into law coupled with the current staunch GOP opposition are proving to be difficult gaps to bridge for the former governor.

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Statistics: World Warms to USA, Lowest Tax in 60 Years but Teabaggers Don’t Get It

Views of the US around the world have improved sharply over the past year, a BBC World Service poll suggests. For the first time since the annual poll began in 2005, America’s influence in the world is now seen as more positive than negative. The improved scores for the US coincided with Barack Obama becoming president, a BBC correspondent notes. As in 2009, Germany is viewed most favourably while Iran and Pakistan are seen as the most negative influences.

Taxes at lowest level in 60 years… so why are Tea Partiers angry?
Almost all Tea Party activists have seen their federal income taxes drop over the past few decades, thus Tea Party anger focused on the federal government is misplaced. The financial sector bailouts are also poorly understood by most (not just Tea Partiers). The bailouts imposed stringent requirements on recipients of government funds. The funds were also conditioned upon payment to the government of warrants or senior equity or debt securities (designed to help recoup government losses).

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Texans Battle Christian Fundamentalism in Education

Texas Freedom Network
A brave band of Texans battling the religious right’s incursion in to the world of education.

Join this group to express your concern at the right wing, Christian fundamentalist, conservative bias of the new social studies curriculum approved by the Texas School Board.
Here’s Jon Stewart’s take …
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Don’t Mess With Textbooks
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Reform

Revisionist History: Coming Up on Fox News (littlegreenfootballs.com)
Revisionist History: Coming Up on Fox News (trueslant.com)
Texas BOE Throws Thomas Jefferson Down the Memory Hole (littlegreenfootballs.com)
Texas BOE Throws Thomas Jefferson Down the Memory Hole (trueslant.com)

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The Stimulus Appears To Have Worked

Data Suggests The Stimulus Is Working
It was exactly one year ago today that Barack Obama signed the $787 billion economic stimulus package, officially known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, into law. With the unemployment rate hovering around 10 percent, the White House continues to battle public perception and Republican attacks that the stimulus plan has been ineffective in creating jobs, and it just released a report reiterating claims it made last month that 2 million jobs have been saved or created.

U.S. stimulus prevented another Depression: report (ctv.ca)
Obama Notes What Could Have Been Without Passing Stimulus (gloucestercitynews.net)
Obama hails stimulus plan success (news.bbc.co.uk)
Obama Says Stimulus Bill Saved Troubled Economy (abcnews.go.com)
The Rachel Maddow Show: Duality Bites (videocafe.crooksandliars.com)

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That’s So Obama, Twitter Brands, Duffel Coat, PI&C, Starbucks v Oprah, Obama v Atari, Shiner, Audi

New Slang
Each year ushers in a bevy of new words you might hear and may even want to use (though you may choose to do so sparingly). 2009 ushers in a vocabulary inspired by pop culture and technology, and here are a few of the favorites heard from the streets, our bloggers, and Gen Ys who know…

My top vote?

Obama/Not Obama
adj. London street reporters proclaim that our new President has become synonymous with “cool”
“Yeah, that is so Obama!”

obama-shark-oops-too-cool

40 of the Best Twitter Brands and the People Behind Them
Mashable highlights the 40 best brand accounts on Twitter — including Ford, Jet Blue, Hertz and Home Depot — and the people behind them. Well, behind 38 of them. The only two identities Mashable doesn’t get to the bottom of are of the people behind the Burger King and Popeyes Chicken accounts. That is, if the Popeyes Twitterer is indeed a person. The BK Twitterer goes by “King,” but as Popeyes VP-Communications and PR Alicia Thompson told Mashable’s Jennifer Van Grove, “The author of the Twitter character is too chicken to share his real identity.” She added that he or she (or it) sees Twitter, “as a way to stay abreast of what our consumers are up to, and to get a leg up on the competition.” Groan.

The Duffel Coat Crosses The Atlantic
Say it ain’t so! If you wore a duffel coat in my day complete strangers would come up and take the piss!

PI&C Collective Adds Wilmot
Senior creative Logan Wilmot has become a partner at Domenico Vitale’s new strategic and creative collective here known as People Ideas & Culture. Wilmot joins as co-founder and chief idea architect — the same titles that Vitale holds. He’ll be based in London and lead creative efforts at the new shop. “Logan’s unique experience, coupled with his leading our European presence, further proves our commitment to this new era in global communications,” said Vitale. PI&C will offer clients access to a pool of talent in advertising, fashion, music, content and Web creation, blogging, events and public relations. Some of it will be in-house, but PI&C will also tap outsiders when needed. PI&C will partner with New York design shop Bond to service clients. Bond, headed by director of design Joe Doucet, has taken a minority stake in PI&C and PI&C, led by chief idea architect Vitale, has taken a minority stake in Bond. The new operation opened this month.

Starbucks’ Volunteer Push Gets Boost From ‘Oprah Effect’
Starbucks’ campaign to promote volunteerism (and store traffic) got a huge bump today from no less than Oprah Winfrey — and by extension, Barack Obama. The talk-show host talked up the java giant’s “I’m In” campaign, which encourages consumers to pledge five hours of community service before the end of the year. Those who commit to doing so at Starbucks between now and Sunday will be rewarded with a free coffee.

Obama Staff Arrives to White House Stuck in Dark Ages of Technology
After running “the most technologically savvy presidential campaign in history,” President Obama’s staffers encountered “a jumble of disconnected phone lines, old computer software, and security regulations forbidding outside e-mail accounts” on their first day at their new jobs. “It is kind of like going from an Xbox to an Atari,” said Obama spokesman Bill Burton.

Shiner Beats Heinie
The idea came from McGarrah Jessee, Shiner Bock’s agency, which is in Austin, (near Shiner, home of the annual three-day Austin City Limits festival). The festival is sponsored by Heineken, and for those three days only Heineken and a few other are sold. “We were trying to think of inexpensive and cool ways to get into that arena,” says McGarrah’s Beau Hanson. What they came up with were koozies, or can coolers, and they produced 10,000 of them. The koozies looked exactly like cans of Shiner. So when a koozie was slipped over a can of another brand it would look as though that person was drinking a Shiner Bock. As patrons entered the festival, people from the agency were there handing them koozies. “People love koozies, especially when they’re free. They were gone in like four minutes, giant boxes, thousands. ” Standing back, looking at the entire crowd, it looked to the whole world like a lot of people were drinking Shiner Bock.

Audi Pre-Roll Ad has 70 Million Views
Audi, as the exclusive sponsor of the live webcast of Obama Inauguration CBSNews.com, MSNBC.com, ABCNews.com and the WashingtonPost.com, had expected 30 million views of its pre-roll advertisement titled “Progress.” Beet.TV has been told by a spokesperson for Audi USA that the pre-roll has been watched nearly 70 million times. Here’s the breakdown of views of the ad on the various sites provided by Audi: ABCNews.com, 15.9 million, CBSNews.com, 11.4 million; MSNBC.com, 16.3 million;The WashingtonPost, 14 million; Slate, 9 million and the Atlantic.com, 1.7 million.

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eCommerce: Joe The Plumber

Two unpleasant hangovers from the McCain campaign are the new Sarah Palin phenomenon and of course Joe The Plumber. Joe, as we know, is not really called Joe and neither is he a plumber.
His latest wheeze? A website (of course) on which Joe is keepin’ it real and charging a $14.95 annual fee. A blogger writes:
“YOU THE PEOPLE can now obtain a Freedom Membership from Joe the Plumber’s hastily-put-together-to-capitalize-on-his-media-celebrity-before-it-expires Web site, SecureOurDream.com. The Membership, like Freedom itself, ain’t free…but the $14.95 yearly fee practically pays for itself! With it, you’ll get:

1) Total Access to “Joe The Forum” where you may chat directly with Joe
2) Subscription to the “Joe The Blog” monthly newsletter
3) Free Shipping on all “Joe The Plumber” merchandise
4) Free Signed Copy of Joe’s forthcoming book “Joe The Plumber” – Fighting for the American Dream
5) Become an integral part of an American movement to restore our government to the people”
plumbers crack
Yah … don’t think I’ll be signing up…
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Election: Social Media Roundup

The 2008 contest for the White House may go down in history as the first social media election. How else to explain the unprecedented role the Web played in this year’s Presidential contest, an influence scarcely imaginable just four years ago? In 2004 many social networking sites were just getting off the blocks. YouTube, for example, was introduced early the following year. And microblogging sites like Twitter wouldn’t emerge until the 2008 Presidential campaign was getting under way.
brandobama_flexiblebrand_2
brandobama_actionbuttons_2

Obama Victory Speech Viewed More Than 7M Times on Web
More than 78 million people watched election night on U.S. TV networks, according to Nielsen. And still clips of the historic night are proving big hits on YouTube. YouTube accounted for 98% of the views of Mr. Obama’s speech of the 150-odd video-sharing sites Visible Measures keeps tabs on. President-elect Barack Obama‘s victory speech has been uploaded more than 500 times and viewed more than 7 million times on the web in the last 48 hours, according to web analytics firm Visible Measures. By comparison, Mr. Obama’s “A More Perfect Union” has been uploaded 100 times since May and recieved 7.33 million views.

But this link denotes every expenditure made by the Obama Campaign, including their media buys by item.
Here’s another analysis of the media spend by the Obama campaign showing how much was spent on social media. One of the largest beneficiaries was Facebook even though overall media spend was small.
Barack Obama launched the official government Web site for the presidential transition on Thursday, giving it a look and feel that suggests the new president will utilize the Internet to a much greater degree than his predecessor. The site is a slightly more formal-looking incarnation of Obama’s campaign web site that features a blue-shaded presidential seal and a countdown clock to the Inauguration on January 20. There are biographies not only of Obama and Joe Biden, but also the directors of his transition team: John Podesta, Valerie Jarrett and Pete Rouse. The web site outlines Obama’s policy agenda, on issues from Iraq to social security to urban policy.
The Obama campaign’s “New Media” experts created a computer program that would allow a “flusher”–the term for a volunteer who rounds up nonvoters on Election Day–to know exactly who had, and had not, voted in real time. They dubbed it Project Houdini, because of the way names disappear off the list instantly once people are identified as they wait in line at their local polling station.
If Barack Obama ran for president by calling for a heavier hand of government, he also won by running one of the most entrepreneurial campaigns in history.
Michael Shaw of the always insightful blog BagNewsNotes writes about Obama’s use of Flickr and how Obama informally “friends” us via the site. (Of course, this is arguably a false or projected sense of familiarity.) A commenter submits that this “takes the implied intimacy of the ‘fireside chat’ to a new level.”
The brouhaha is nearly over and there will be one winner. Actually, there will be two. The 2008 US presidential election, dubbed ‘the YouTube Election’ by pundits, has been a triumph for digital media. Both John McCain of the Republican Party and his Democratic challenger Barack Obama have used an array of online channels from email to video to the full. Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes joined Obama’s team last year, helping to create the first ever socially-networked presidential campaign.
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J. Crew v Michelle Obama

With a little bit of Gmail contextual wizardry, J. Crew is capitalizing on Obama and his wife Michelle with a google text ad that leads to a commerce-focused landing page. Its a smart move and I can almost forgive the copywriting, which reads, “All politics aside…this outfit gets our vote.”
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