Friday, February 24, 2012

More from CPAC 2012

PPPS (Washington) Several readers have written asking for more information about CPAC 2012. So here is a collection of small reports and personal stories written by various Pundit Pete Press Service staff who attended the conservative conference in Washington, DC, February 9-11.

Pedestrian Pete meets Jesse Watters from Fox News

During the CPAC 2012 conference, Pedestrian Pete, the "man-on-the-street" correspondent for the Pundit Pete Press Service, was most often occupied with interviews of Occupy DC protesters on the street outside the conference hotel.

However, during a break in the action, Pete met one of his heroes, Jesse Watters of Fox News and O'Reilly Factor fame in the hotel lobby. Pete was so overwhelmed and at a loss for words, that he forgot all of his interviewing skills, but he was at least able to snag a photograph. Pete said Jesse didn't say much either, no doubt because he was equally overwhelmed to meet Pedestrian Pete.

Political Beat Pete and Bret Baier Discuss the State of Journalism

Stacy on the Right photo, 2012
In a brief moment of professional camaraderie, Political Beat Pete, Chief White House Correspondent for the Pundit Pete Press Service, and Bret Baier, former Chief White House Correspondent for Fox News, and current anchor for the popular Fox News Channel show Special Report with Bret Baier, discussed the declining state of professional journalism.  Both agreed that Fox News and the Pundit Pete Press Service were among the stalwarts maintaining a fair, balanced and professional approach to covering the news.

Pete then went on to compliment Baier for being one of the only truly professional journalists on TV today and thanked him for his great show. Baier, who said he thought he remembered meeting Pete once in the back of the White House press room, returned a similar compliment. During the meeting, Pete was accompanied by Stacy on the Right, one of the classiest bloggers you are ever going to meet, who snapped the historic photo.

Keep Checking Back - More Stories to Come

As Pundit Pete, Eiditor-in-Chief of the Pundit Pete Press Service, is fond of saying "Good journalism sometimes takes time, which can be a problem in this world of constant deadlines and 24-hour news cycles. However, for some truly important stories, a journalist needs to allow time for the imagination to kick in, so that he can properly embellish a story to meet the standards our readers have come to expect." 

So have patience, dear readers, there is more to come.

Update:  For some great CPAC photos, check out freelance photographer Mark Taylor's Flickr site.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Obama Demonstrates Remarkable Understanding of Economics

PPPS (Littleton) President Obama, in an email letter to supporters yesterday, demonstrated a remarkable understanding of economics and the relationship between demand and price.

Here is the email that one of our readers, Citizen Pete, received from the President.

Peter --

Tomorrow night, we'll pick the first of four supporters who will sit down with me for dinner.

I'm hoping you'll take me up on the invitation.

Donate $2 or whatever you can today to be automatically entered for the chance to be my first dinner guest.

These meals are one simple thing that sets this campaign apart. The seats at our table don't belong to any Washington lobbyist or powerful interest.

These seats are yours.

Donate $2 or more today and be automatically entered to win:

Hope to see you,


Just last summer, dinner with the President was being offered for a minimum donation of $5. Then, in the fall, when Citizen Pete responded to the President's personal email, the minimum donation was set at $3. Now we see that the price has been dropped to $2.

When there is only a limited demand for something, you drop the price to stimulate more demand. What a brilliant strategy the President is employing here. With such advanced economic thinking at the top, there is reason for optimism.

One note of caution: according to Citizen Pete, "the price for dinner with the President will have to drop a ways below $2 before it reaches my price point."

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Tea Party Group Posts Controversial Message on Bridge

PPPS (Littleton) A Tea Party group in Colorado has posted a controversial message on a pedestrian bridge, highlighting local government waste and national policy decisions which impede economic recovery and job creation.

At least that's what the Bridge to Nowhere Tea Party spokesman, Citizen Pete, claims their puzzling message "Will trade bridge for pipeline" implied. Our own correspondent Protester Pete covered the event disguised as a disinterested exercise enthusiast, who happened to be carrying a hidden video cam.

Research of the Pundit Pete Press Service archives indicates this is not the first time Citizen Pete and the Bridge to Nowhere Tea Party have posted their radical messages on this bridge.

However, this is the first time we have been able to secretly capture the elusive Pete on video, including his lengthy, yet implausible, rant claiming government interference in the economy. Here is the raw, unedited video that Protester Pete, under great personal danger, was able to obtain. 

We should note that a search of the internet also revealed a remarkably similar video of Citizen Pete posted  by another one of the Tea Party activists.

During our observation of the Bridge to Nowhere Tea Party event, we encountered an individual, accompanied by his wife and two daughters, who took offense at the message on the bridge. One of the Tea Party activists, Regan Benson, recorded the confrontation.

As Citizen Pete discussed afterwords,  "Exercising our right of free speech through thought-provoking, creative, and sometimes humorous messages on a bridge seems to illicit the most rude and aggressive behavior from those on the left who disagree with us. I mean we are Tea Party folks, the nicest people you'd ever like to meet. People who love and care about this country enough to try and save it. And on top of that, we never leave a mess. So, what gives these people, including many of our leaders in DC and so called "journalists" at major news organizations, the right to call us nasty names? Something is wrong with this picture."

Other PPPS posts about the Bridge to Nowhere Tea Party:

Interesting Press Release About Tea Party Protest in Colorado

Merry Christmas

Protest Groups to Reimburse County for Costs of Black Friday Bridge to Nowhere Event

Citizen Pete Sends Us Something Priceless

Tea Party Finds Use for $3 Million Bridge to Nowhere

 Tea Party Not Dead - Rumor of Tea Party Protest In Colorado

9 News Stories:  

Group protests 'Bridge to Nowhere'

Protesters Take Stance on Bridge to Nowhere

Update February 22 - Clarification on Keystone Pipeline from White House:

Carney: Obama Didn't Turn Down The Keystone Pipeline

Interesting Press Release About Tea Party Protest in Colorado

PPPS (Littleton) We received this interesting press release this morning about a potential Tea Party protest here in Colorado, dispelling the myth that the Tea Party is dead. We'll be sending Protester Pete to cover the event.

Protest to Shine Light on Rising Gas Prices and On Government Decisions Affecting Citizens

Individuals in Jefferson County will draw attention to rising gas prices and government decision making when they assemble peacefully on the pedestrian bridge over Wadsworth Boulevard on Saturday, February 18, 2012, at 1–3 P.M.  

Littleton, CO—February 18, 2012—Citizens of Jefferson County, Colorado, will gather on the pedestrian bridge at Southwest Plaza today (Saturday) to point out rising gas prices. They will also highlight the impact of government on their lives. 

Organizers plan to post a “Flash Card Message” on the bridge; it is a fairly inexpensive means of communicating, which can be duplicated by citizens in other communities. In the message today they will juxtapose a decision by local government and a decision by federal government, in order to get people thinking about how government is working, or not working, today.  

“The poor decisions made by our government officials locally and nationally impact us all in higher gas prices and a dampened economy,” said Peter Boddie, organizer of the event, who is also a blogger and Tea Party activist. “Government needs to stop preventing American citizens from working and really stepping on the gas to spur this economy.”

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

"Cut Deficit in Half" Still Goal for New White House Budget

PPPS (Washington) In a surprising discovery this morning, a loyal reader named Citizen Pete, wrote us to point out that despite the criticism the President's new budget has received,  it is comforting to know that the  goal is still to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term.

And how did Pete know you may ask?

Why he went to the source: the White House web site. There under the issues section for Fiscal Responsibility, the President proudly outlines his goals.

  • Cut the deficit in half by the end of the President’s first term.
  •  Review the budget line-by-line for waste.
  •  Return to honest budgeting.

On Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace raised the issue with White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew, as though it were a broken promise from 2009, little realizing that it was still the goal of this White House.

But we are confident in the President's sincerity and his determination to achieve the goals he sets out. We are looking forward to pouring over his new budget for the clues to cutting the deficit in half by the end of this year, for some of those blank lines where waste has been removed, and of, course, for the return to honest budgeting.

It is now incunbent upon Congress to quickly pass the Presdent's budget so that we can all find out what's in it. A unanimous vote, like the President received in the Senate last year for his 2011 budget proposal, would go a long way towards showing our citizens and the world that we are serious about reducing our deficit. Plus, such a timely vote would go far in removing the stigma of a "do-nothing Congress."

Note to Readers & Other Bloggers: As you check out the White House web site, please make a time-stamped copy of what you find. We are curious as to just how long they leave up the President's "goals" for all to see. This post filed at 8:44 AM MST.

Update February 17: related story by Philip Klein in the Washington Examiner White House Still Touting Pledge to Halve Deficit

Update February 21:  One week after the story was first posted here at PPPS, "Cut deficit in half" goal still up on White House web site.

Update February 24: White House web site story link posted on HotAir today. Thanks Ed. 
Update February 28:  Still up there. They must not follow Pundit Pete. Go figure.
Update March 14: One month later, still up there. Mmmm..... how long can this go?
Update April 9: Still up there. How's that line-by-line thing working out? GSA anyone? 
Update May 1:  Still up there. We're sure that those cuts are coming soon.

Update May 18: Up there for last time. You can see the page as recorded on the internet archive Wayback Machine. The page was changed on May 19 as a follow up to the formal launch of the President's 2012 campaign which occurred on May 5. It seems that when starting a new campaign, it is important to have a whole new set of promises, and to obliterate any record of the many previous promises that you did not meet. 

Udate September, 2013: For nostalgia sake, as we head into this year's round of debt ceiling debates, here is the original video announcement from 2009. Enjoy!  

Saturday, February 11, 2012

President Obama Makes Surprise Visit to Conservative Conference

PPPS (Washington) Conservatives gathered in Washington, DC for CPAC 2012, the "super bowl" of  right-wing politics, were astonished to find a last-minute substitution on the morning speaker schedule. After the announcement had circulated throughout the Marriott conference center, the conference ballroom was packed to the rafters when President Obama strode onto the stage.

The President's well-known wit and charm were on full display as he quickly won over what arguably could be described as  a skeptical, if not hostile, crowd with his opening line.

"Ya know, I always wanted to give a speech from the same podium Rush Limbaugh once used."

The President then proceeded with what many are saying is a new-found conservatism, perhaps mirroring his most recent "Catholic conversion". The President peppered his speech with many new, and some not-so-new, proposals to return fiscal sanity to government.

Chief among them was a bold statement that he would "cut the deficit in half by the end of my first term." A few thought this sounded vaguely similar to a claim that had once appeared on the White House web site back in 2009, but must have long ago been purged in the face of over $4 trillion in new debt during the subsequent three years. A few others were made more uncomfortable by the reference to a "first term", as if there were a possibility for a second.

The President added other bold initiatives like which might have been lifted directly from the speeches given the previous day by presidential hopefuls Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, or Newt Gingrich. For example he said he would "review the budget line by line for waste."

One promise, to "return to honest budgeting" and not use war funding gimmicks, must have warmed the heart of Representative Paul Ryan, sitting between Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in the front row.

Still, there were some in the audience who remained skeptical. Even they lost all resistance to applauding when, in the middle of his speech, the President appeared confused and at a loss for words.

Then, after a long pause,  he delivered up this one liner with a smile, "Do ya think maybe you could get the teleprompter to work properly? It seems to have developed a glitch or two, including a few words I’m pretty sure I didn’t write.”

The President then went on to document a long list of cost-cutting measures and accomplishments, which when totaled up at the end of 2015 (at a similar point in his second term) will have resulted in over $5 billion in savings.

When the President concluded his speech with a promise to remove all obstacles to his relentless pursuit of deficit cutting measures, such as a do-nothing Congress and the Constitution, the crowd was buzzing with energy. We interviewed several attendees as they filed out of the main ballroom.

Some, including several in the Santorum camp, and the one Gingrich supporter we were able to find, expressed considerable doubt about the sincerity of the President's new conservative credentials.

Citizen Pete, an attendee from Colorado sporting a fresh Santorum sticker, put it this way. "Look, I'll bet this new conservative thing will have worn off by the time he passes through the Occupy protesters outside the hotel, on the way to his next fundraising event."

Many of the Romney supporters we interviewed, however, seemed willing to take the President at his word, and were at least hopeful that the President's shift to the right would hold.

The President's surprise appearance has added a little excitement and some controversy to what would otherwise have been described as a pretty dull event, as most conservative gatherings are presumed to be.

Everyone is now looking forward to what the closing speaker, former Governor Sarah Palin, will have to say.

Friday, February 10, 2012

CPAC 2012 - Day 2

PPPS (Washington) Survived BlogBash - more on that later.
Confronted this guy at the party for making liberals unconfortable. Then I told him my David Axelrod story. He liked it. Now, if I could just remember his name.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Random Thoughts from CPAC 2012

PPPS (Washington) WOW!

Great, crisp, sunny, Colorado morning here in DC to welcome the out-of-town contingent from the Pundit Pete Press Service.

After a short trip on the Metro, we arrived at the conference center, the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel - the one with the Cain's Solutions bus parked in front.

Citizen Pete, who came along as the winner of our Loyal Reader Award for 2012, was thrilled!

Pundit Pete, while in line to obtain press credentials for the organization, got to meet another Pete, Peter Foster, U.S. editor for the London Daily Telegraph.  (Not saying whether a job offer was made.)

Stacy on the Right photo
They really take care of the press here at CPAC. Food, beverages, and free internet!

Meeting lots of fellow bloggers. Stacy on the Right (literally) and to my left is Tom White of Virginia Right!

Jim DeMint just got done outlining the conservative case for changing America back, one Senate at a time. Check out his SenateConservatives web site.

UPDATE - Marco Rubio gives rousing speech.

"We don't have a national energy policy, we have energy politics."

"We have candidates who fight over who is more like Ronald Regan. Do the Democrats fight over who is more like Carter?'

"The President looks like he's a really good father, and a really good husband........but he's a terrible president!"

"Being an American is a blessing, and it's also a responsibility."

"The greatest thing we can do for the world is, to be America."

Marco Rubio gave an awesome speech. He could go far.

UPDATE: A certain governor from Texas came by Blogger's ROW. He's now speak'n at the podium.

When Governor Perry entered the room, everyone rushed over to meet him. By the time I figured out what was going on, the line was too long, so I went back to my table to blog. When I next looked up, there was the governor, extending his hand to meet me. I shook his hand and gave him my card, then took this pic. He seemed pretty nice, and promised to check out Pundit Pete.

From his speech. "If it's half-time in America, I fear for what will happen if we let this president start as our quarterback in the second half."

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Caucus Results in Colorado - An Indicator of Change?

PPPS ( Littleton) A loyal reader, Citizen Pete reports that Rick Santorum carried the evening in his local GOP precinct near Littleton, Colorado. Pete said that in 2010, only 5 citizens showed up at his precinct caucus, but there were 39 there tonight, indicative of a still active GOP race and some enthusiasm for replacing the current occupant of the White House.

The official vote tally:
  • Rick Santorum      23 votes  or 59 %
  • Mitt Romney         10 votes  or 26 %
  • Ron Paul                5 votes or 13 %
  • Newt Gingrich        1 vote or 2 %
Pete indicated with a smile that his rousing 30-second speech for Santorum probably had no influence on the result.

For his three-precinct district, the vote was slightly different, but Santorum still came out on top.

  • Santorum 47 %
  • Romney   35 %
  • Paul         13 %
  • Gingrich     5 %