The Mass GOP could learn a lot from Brazil’s Baseball Team

The World Baseball Classic has begun and we’ve had our first upset as the Netherlands shut out South Korea 5-0 today, however the more interesting game was Uber Underdog Brazil facing two time champion Japan.

Brazil was not expected to even make the tournament. It took two upset wins against Panama in Panama to get that slot.

Manager Barry Larkin’s team managed to take a lead at 3-2 lead against Champion Japan in Japan and was only 5 out away from an incredible upset when they came back with three in the 8th to win the game 5-3.

It highlights the fact you have to get those 27 outs to win in baseball, but it also emphasises that if you are going to beat a Champion, you can’t make basic mistakes.

And that brings us to the Mass GOP straw poll.

Today the Massachusetts GOP had a straw poll in Danvers won by State Rep. Daniel Winslow.

Any GOP candidate facing any democrat in a statewide election is a serious underdog in Massachusetts, considering said candidate is going to face a sitting congressman either Ed Markey or Stephen Lynch that is doubly so.

That means you can’t make stupid or rookie mistakes if you want to win such a race.

So can someone tell me why the GOP is holding their straw poll at a YACHT CLUB?

“America sent a message to the Republican party in November of 2012. And the message is we have to be inclusive, we have to be relevant to women, we have to be relevant to millennials, we have to be relevant to new Americans,” Winslow said. “So I think that the symbolism of being in a country club and requiring people to pay to vote is absolutely the wrong message to send.”

Now Straw Polls are usually fundraising devices so that’s not all that unusual but the following line from the GOP simply floored me.

“Well if they want to pay to host the event, they’re more than welcome to,” said Massachusetts Republican Party Chair Kirsten Hughes. She said the event was not a fundraiser and said the $10 per ballot was to cover the cost of the event — such as staffing and refreshments.

Basic math says that the 193 voters paid $1930 for the event. It what does it say that the Mass GOP found it necessary to charge admission to cover a $2000 bill? Both candidates for GOP Chairman in January boasted of their fundraising skills and reaching out to voters. Nothing says I’m a killer fundraiser like having to grab $10 a head to hold a straw poll (apparently they decided against a meat raffle because my local Knights of Columbus council had one yesterday). When you are facing connected insiders like Lynch & Markey, you want your candidate to run as a regular guy.

I don’t know who told the mass GOP “Nothing says regular guy to the voters like the words ‘Yacht Club'” but whoever did should stuffing envelopes from now on.

It’s only the top of the first so there is plenty of time, but you are an underdog playing the champs, you don’t have a margin of error for more of this.


Olimometer 2.52

This pay week has 5 hours to go and I am just under $200 shy.

10 people @ $20 gives me that gigantic $300 paycheck. Personally I think if the mass GOP invested $300 a week in the site they would have gotten better advice. Hold the event elsewhere, Find a donor to cover the cost and if you want to charge admission to make sure nobody stuffs the ballot box donate the money to the Jimmy Fund.

If that advice wasn’t worth $200 I’d like to know what is?

White House vs Woodward: Mission Accomplished

There is a lot of significance to the WhiteHouse vs Woodward fight. We get one aspect of it from the Anchoress:

I looked at some of the political headlines, particularly that staggering business of mediafolk eating their own to protect their presidential squeeze-toy, and wondered, what the history books would say about yesterday, too. Would they say this was the moment the U.S. Press vacated its right to a public trust, by disallowing any challenges to (or demands of accountability from) a presidential administration?

A friend replied: “No one will remember what happened in America today…” And that is probably right. But watching the on-going goings-on among the mainstream journalists, I wondered if we ought not mark the day of the Woodward take-down as we were marking Benedict’s. Perhaps yesterday was a day when butterflies flapped their wings, and fomented distant calamities.

Certainly the blowblack from the MSM against Woodward who had hitherto been treated as a demigod is not insignificant. There is no shortage of irony in the president proclaiming “I am not a dictator” at the end of the week when the White House cry was seemingly: ” “Will no one rid me of this turbulent reporter?”

While the Woodward affair might have a long term significance, either in terms of marking the day the press turns around or the day the press finally surrenders itself in submission there is one other aspect of the Woodward story that serves the long term goals of the president no matter how it ends.

Yesterday I wrote how the White House was going to play sequestration:

No Jobs? Sequestration’s fault. People can’t afford a house or car? Sequestration’s fault. Foodstamps on the rise? Sequestration. Long lines at an airport? Sequestration! Poor Education? Sequestration! Crime? Sequestration! Student Loans? Sequestration. Al Qaeda attacks? Sequestration! Iranian Bomb? Sequestration in Spades!

The entire business is vague enough that the White House can use this argument to explain away almost anything. It doesn’t have to work forever, just long enough to deflect the blame when the low information voter catches a sound bite here and there.

You might think the Woodward business, drawing so many stories and posts might destroy that plan, on the contrary, it serves it.

Remember this all started with a February 22nd Op ed by Woodward calling attention to the fact the White House is where sequestration came from:

The president and Lew had this wrong. My extensive reporting for my book “The Price of Politics” shows that the automatic spending cuts were initiated by the White House and were the brainchild of Lew and White House congressional relations chief Rob Nabors — probably the foremost experts on budget issues in the senior ranks of the federal government.

Obama personally approved of the plan for Lew and Nabors to propose the sequester to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). They did so at 2:30 p.m. July 27, 2011, according to interviews with two senior White House aides who were directly involved.

That was a bombshell that exploded on the press and the White House and had excellent potential to derail any hopes of blaming Sequestration (and through it the GOP) for any problem that might arise.

However The woodward fight has changed the narrative, look at these memeorandm headlines from Thursday and Friday

Dylan Byers / Politico:Press corps to Woodward: Really?

Paul Farhi / Washington Post: Woodward vs. White House: Washington at its weirdest

 Politico:Woodward at war

 Ron Fournier / Why Bob Woodward’s Fight With The White House Matters to You

Ben Smith / BuzzFeedEconomic Official Sperling Warned Woodward

WMALWMAL EXCLUSIVE: Woodward’s Not Alone – Fmr. Clinton Aide Davis Says He Received White House Threat


 CNNBob Woodward says he was threatened by White House

Brett LoGiurato / Business InsiderBOB WOODWARD: A ‘Very Senior’ White House Person Warned Me I’d ‘Regret’ What I’m Doing

All are big, all are loud and not a single one of them says: “White House source of Sequestration”.

As long as that narrative is not the story, the White House wins, Woodward called the White House out concerning this on Today:

“It’s been pointed out that this is a sideshow, which it is,” the Washington Post journalist told Matt Lauer on TODAY from Washington. “This is the old trick in the book of making the press, or some confrontation with the press, the issue, rather than what the White House has done here.”

Why cover the issue when the dogfight is more interesting?

“The president is running around the country saying it’s going to bring a human toll, that all sorts of people are going to lose their jobs,” Woodward told Lauer. “He’s the one who started it. He’s the one he proposed it. People need to know that, and that’s what the White House is trying to avoid discussion about, quite frankly.”

In six months everyone will remember the White House had a confrontation with Bob Woodward. But none of the low information voters that this plan is directed toward will remember what Woodward wrote that sparked it.

That result is all the White House is interested in.  If less powerful journalists are dissuaded from crossing them, that’s a bonus extra.


Olimometer 2.52

It’s the last day of the pay week and despite one soul doing a monthly kick in we are still under 25% toward this week’s paycheck.

I’m sure it’s sequestration’s fault and DaTipJar has not been visited by agents of Malaysia as some others have.

With No Soros, No Koch, No Unions, No Feds and No Malaysia It’s going to take you, I’m twelve $20 tip jar hitters from a full paycheck this week. Can I find a dirty dozen to keep the home fires burning?