Mike's Election Guide 2008

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In his first book in five years, Michael Moore brings us the definitive guide to the 2008 election.

After a diastrous war, the failure to catch bin Laden, millions of families who have lost their homes, the Katrina debacle, soaring gas prices feeding record oil company profits, and the largest national debt caused by the biggest spending and borrowing administration in American history, the country has had it with conservatives, right-wingers ...

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Overview

In his first book in five years, Michael Moore brings us the definitive guide to the 2008 election.

After a diastrous war, the failure to catch bin Laden, millions of families who have lost their homes, the Katrina debacle, soaring gas prices feeding record oil company profits, and the largest national debt caused by the biggest spending and borrowing administration in American history, the country has had it with conservatives, right-wingers and Republicans. A thrilling election season is now upon us. Obama vs. McCain. One candidate has promised a presidency different from any other, one that will take us forward to embrace the hope of the 21st century. The other candidate says he has no idea how to use a computer.

Welcome to MIKE'S ELECTION GUIDE — Michael Moore's effort to make sense of the this fall's race for the White House and Congress. In it, Moore answers the nation's most pressing questions: "Why is John McCain so angry?," "Do the Democrats Still Drink from a Sippy Cup and Sleep with the Light On?," Can I get into the Electoral College with only a 2.0 gpa?" and "How many Democrats does it take to lose the most winnable election in American history?"

It's a great year to be an American and a voter. Don't miss out on all the fun! And don't miss out on MIKE'S ELECTION GUIDE — it's the indispensable book that belongs in every American's back pocket this season.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Undoubtedly, Moore is at his best challenging the status quo or exposing the hypocrisy of the political system, which he certainly utilizes in this short "guide" for the 2008 election. However, we also get the worst of Moore in his own self-aggrandizing proclamations. While certainly filled with relevant material every American should be considering in the upcoming election, it also repeats too much from his earlier documentary and text-based works. Moore proves particularly animated as a narrator, more so than in many of his films. His jovial and excited tone can certainly keep listeners' attention throughout this brief production. Moore's distinct personality enhances his material, offering a reading filled with all the sarcasm, excitement and purposeful naïveté that he loads into some of his questions and propositions. A Grand Central paperback (reviewed online). (Sept.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446546270
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 8/15/2008
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 4.30 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Moore
With his controversial and probing documentaries like Fahrenheit 9/11 and Bowling for Columbine, and books like Dude, Where’s My Country?, Michael Moore insistently pokes at the powerful in corporate and political America. His dress sloppy, his beard scraggly and a baseball cap almost permanently affixed to his head, Moore has set himself up as an Average Joe with a camera, an ax to grind and a hope to force change in the country.

Biography

Michael Moore -- filmmaker, author, on-camera pest to those in corporate power -- has filmed two of the most successful film documentaries of all-time and wrote the top nonfiction bestseller for 2002. But his most famous act on camera may be one that he didn't film himself.

Even those who weren't watching the Oscar telecast in the spring of 2003 must have heard about it during the aftermath. Moore, collecting his best documentary Oscar for Bowling for Columbine and joined by his fellow nominees onstage, proclaimed his dedication to nonfiction in his work and took aim at the fiction he said he saw all around him.

"We like nonfiction, and we live in fictitious times," he said to a mix of boos and cheers. "We live in the time where we have fictitious election results that elect a fictitious president. We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons. Whether it's the fiction of duct tape or fiction of orange alerts we are against this war, Mr. Bush. Shame on you, Mr. Bush, shame on you. And any time you got the Pope and the Dixie Chicks against you, your time is up."

At least it was short.

Moore has been telling truth to power -- or, to his critics, his version of the truth -- long before his groundbreaking 1994 documentary Roger & Me attempted to corner the General Motors chairman Roger Smith on why his company closed its plant in Flint, Mich., in favor of 11 new plants in Mexico.

He founded the alternative newspaper The Flint Voice in the 1970s, started a weekly radio show in Flint, and became the youngest school board member in the country when he ran for office in 1972. He was fired from the liberal magazine Mother Jones, reportedly for liberal activism.

But it was Roger & Me that made him something of an icon for the left. Heavy, sloppily dressed, almost always sporting a scruffy beard and a baseball cap, Moore is an everyman with a camera crew. And he has bones to pick with so many in power: General Motors, Kmart, the National Rifle Association, the Republican Party.

New York Times columnist Frank Rich looks hopefully to Moore as the left's rallying counterpoint to the likes of Rush Limbaugh, a welcome gust of humor from the deadly earnestness of the liberal movement.

"Like Mr. Limbaugh at his least grandiose best," Rich wrote in 2003, "Mr. Moore's persona is more funny than angry, more everyman than show-biz. He is not, as he puts it, ''a didactic, wimpy kind of liberal' -- one of those whiners that makes audiences reach for the remote faster than you can say ‘Phil Donahue.' Mr. Moore may not be subtle as a filmmaker or a polemicist, but the grandstanding glee of his broad strokes is precisely what makes him succeed as a showman."

Anyone familiar with Moore's tone on camera – from Roger & Me to Bowling for Columbine to his short-lived television program TV Nation, sort of an extended, edgy Candid Camera-style prank afflicted on the rich – will recognize him in print as well.

"As someone with a penchant for demagoguery, someone who thinks that the present political structure needs ‘to be brought down and removed and replaced with a whole new system that we control,' Mr. Moore plays to the camera even when he's doing it on the page," Janet Maslin wrote in The New York Times in 2003, reviewing his book Dude, Where's My Country?

In his first book, Downsize This he jabbed at downsizing-happy corporate executives and other piñatas favored by the left. He followed that up with Stupid White Men he examined the new century after the bust of the New Economy and prayed for Jesse Helms to get kissed by a man. And, in 2003, he released Dude, Where's My Country? calling for a regime change in Washington. (One tidbit: The Internal Revenue Service actually has a specific form for tax refunds of $1 million or more. Perhaps some of you have seen it.)

With his first two books, Moore was something of a lone liberal voice on the best sellers lists. By the time his third was released, he had to muscle his way through people like Al Franken and Molly Ivins to get to his audience.

"When Stupid White Men appeared, its brand of name-calling was more of a novelty on the best-seller list. Now it is luxuriantly in flower," Maslin noted in her Times piece. "Mr. Moore will no doubt share a readership with Al Franken's Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them (which is funnier), Molly Ivins and Lou Dubose's Bushwhacked (which is better informed) and Joe Conason's Big Lies (also better informed), if not with Bill O'Reilly's Who's Looking Out for You? (politically opposite, but no less self-serving). But Mr. Moore, through real conviction along with showboating personality, does make himself the most galvanizing and accessible of the lot."

Liberals rub their hands with glee for equal time against Rush Limbaugh (who termed his own radio program "equal time.") But for some, Moore's brand of rhetoric is good news for the conservatives, not liberals.

"If this book is what passes for a political manifesto, then Tom Paine is truly dead," Alan Wolfe wrote of Stupid in The New Republic 2002. "Moore peppers his book with factoids, weird memos, open letters, bizarre lists, LOTS OF SENTENCES IN CAPITAL LETTERS, and name-dropping accounts of how he happens to know some members of the Bush family personally. It is meant to be satire, I suppose; but the only person skewered is Moore, who proves himself to be the only stupid white man around. Anyone bent on redistributing income in favor of the rich could not get a luckier break than having a critic like Michael Moore."

Good To Know

Moore is a card-carrying member of the National Rifle Association.

He is an enormous success in Germany. Publishers Weekly in 2003 reported that his book Stupid White Men sold 1.1 million copies during its first year in print in Germany, more than double than in the United States. Even the English version made the Spiegel bestseller list, the only book outside the Harry Potter series to do so.

Moore tangled with his publisher over the content of Stupid. HarperCollins had demanded changes in "offensive" material in the wake of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, but, with help from angry e-mails from librarians, the book was released unchanged.

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    1. Date of Birth:
      April 23, 1954
    2. Place of Birth:
      Davison, Michigan
    1. Education:
      Attended University of Michigan, Flint

Read an Excerpt

Mike's Election Guide

By Michael Moore
Grand Central Publishing
Copyright © 2008

Michael Moore
All right reserved.


ISBN: 978-0-446-54627-0



Chapter One "Ask Mike!"

Michael Moore answers questions on the street from the American people about voting, the 2008 presidential candidates, and the issues facing the nation.

Seven years ago, in order to defeat the terrorists, I took the president's advice and went shopping. I have now rung up about $30,000 of debt on my credit cards, and the monthly payment on my adjustable rate mortgage has doubled. Have the terrorists won? Jules Crandall Ft. Lauderdale, FL

ANSWER: No they haven't! You won. We won. We won because YOU went shopping. You, the American public, decided to let the terrorists have it. You went to the mall, I went to Best Buy, she hit Sam's Club, he went to the Hummer dealer, we all went to the bank to take out another mortgage, and everyone went to Disney World and Disneyland! You shopped but you never dropped. You spent money you never had just like our brave President who spent money he didn't have. Now you, we, are in debt up to our eyelashes-and the terrorists are on the run.

Thanks to this newfound patriotism, Americans are now carrying more personal debt than at any time in our history. And because you, my fellow citizens, have been so willing to wage this war on terror, the credit card industry has seen profits rise from $27.4 billion in 2003 to $40.7 billion in 2007. And when you help American industries like this do well, that means you will do well. Because the next time you want a loan, they will have the money-your money-to lend back to you at a higher interest rate. That, my friends, is the beauty of Capitalism, and don't you ever forget it.

Ah, how great it feels to be winning the War on Terror, one strip mall at a time. Now, of course, no war is without its casualties. Unfortunately, during all this shopping, some people have gone under. Ten times as many bankruptcies are being filed today than during the Great Depression. Thirty million people have had their credit ratings ruined because they said "charge it" one too many times. And analysts predict that nearly 1.4 million homes will be foreclosed on in 2008 alone, a number unlike anything we've ever seen.

But what war doesn't have some collateral damage? So a million homes are snatched from hard-working Americans! THAT'S A SMALL PRICE TO PAY FOR FREEDOM!! If you want to be free from terrorist bombings, then you have to be willing to sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice! Sacrifice in order to defeat the enemy. And the enemy, my fellow Americans, is not the banks or MasterCard or Countrywide Financial. These companies are there to hand you the weapons you need to shop and buy. Unfortunately, not all soldiers in the fight against the terrorists know how to use their weapons. So we experience some fratricide. Stuff happens.

The important thing to remember here is that the terrorists have lost! OUR WAY OF LIFE has won! Yes, we will gladly strip naked at the airport if we have to. Yes, we will pay whatever the pump tells us to pay. Yes, you can listen in on my phone calls and read my private emails-hell, you can put a friggin' drill in my head and insert a thought-control chip on my frontal lobe-just as long as you promise me that I will be safe and the terrorists will be defeated! Wait, wait-is that a 100-inch plasma screen TV I see over there in the window? I have to have it! I must protect America and kill more terrorists!!

Oh God, PLEASE ... do you take Discover?

I'm doing my best to support the troops, but I just can't make up my mind: Should I buy a magnetic yellow ribbon for the back of my car, or should I simply fly a big American flag on the back of my Dodge Ram? Gladys Siple Gatlinberg, TN

ANSWER: The big magnetic yellow ribbon with the imprint, "Support Our Troops," seems to be the popular choice. Although there are reports that on lesser-model Pontiacs the paint under the decals tends to bubble up and explode, most consumer Americans have been quite satisfied with them. It gives them a certain "patriotic" feeling. But even more, it allows the consumer American to do something that contributes significantly to the war effort-and nothing says "I Sacrificed!" like a big magnetic yellow ribbon on the back of your kick-ass SUV. The great thing about the magnetic sticker is that you don't have to permanently affix it to your nice new car. Why risk having to spend 20 bucks on some touch-up paint when you try to peel a real sticker from it? I mean, we love America and all, but 20 bucks is 20 bucks! Plus, with all the shopping we've done to defeat the terrorists, why make this whole sticker thing more trouble than it needs to be? I'm worn out just thinking about it. This patriotism business can be exhausting.

But we do it anyway. We do it because we know how good it makes our troops feel. Riding around in Baghdad, though they may not be fully protected with the armor we promised, at least the soldiers know that the America they are protecting is full of people on their way to the outlet mall with big yellow magnetized shoutouts next to their "Bite Me, I'm Yours" bumper stickers.

True, those with the yellow ribbons may oppose paying the necessary taxes to fund the war and thus leave this debt for their grandchildren, but, heck, that's what grandchildren are for! And what quadriplegic vet doesn't get all misty-eyed when he looks out the window of his rat-infested room in the Walter Reed annex and sees a patriotic decal on the back of a Mercedes as it whizzes by on its way to Chevy Chase? It almost makes him want to re-up for Uncle Sam.

And while 400,000 vets wait in line for their disability claims from this war, they can at least take some comfort from the sea of ribbons flowing down the street. Sure, these vets are finding it hard to get a job-and thousands have come back to find their boss handing them a pink slip-but I'm sure many of them have a real sense of satisfaction knowing that the country they went to fight for has sent their jobs-including the job of making magnetic yellow ribbon decals-to China.

(Some vets have this suggestion for a 2009 version of the magnetic yellow ribbon: Have it read, "Support Our Troops" on one part of the ribbon and "Bring Them Home" on the other loop.)

If Iran has weapons of mass destruction, we should invade, right? Chuck Thompson Greenwich, CT

ANSWER: Excuuuuuse me? Did you say the words, "weapons of mass destruction"? Take it back. I SAID TAKE IT BACK! I swear to God if I hear those words once more in my lifetime I'm going to punch somebody-and I'm a pacifist!

No greater lie was ever spoken to the American people than the lie that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. That whopper bamboozled the country into war, a war that has brought death and injury to countless Iraqis and Americans. The vast majority of Americans initially supported the war and gave Bush an approval rating of 70 percent. That's how good of a lie it was.

So, here's my new policy: If any president or general or cable news pundit (are you listening, Wolfie?) says that "Country X has weapons of mass destruction," or is "building them," or is "thinking" of getting them, or is seen shopping at the Weapons of Mass Destruction Mall, I am going to say, plain and simple, "You are lying." My automatic assumption will be that not only am I being lied to, I'm being played big time so that Uncle Sam's hand can dig into my pocket and grab my money to pay off the latest batch of military contractors. I will not care how many speeches you make, how many cartoon drawings you show to the members of the United Nations, how much evidence you claim to have, or how many network reporters you've snookered. I will never, ever believe you.

On the outside chance there may be a legitimate threat to the United States, I will not be convinced of such threat until I actually see it with my own two eyes. So you can claim Iran has a "nuclear weapons program" all you want, but I will not believe it. For me to believe it, that Ahmadinejad guy would literally have to walk onto the stage of American Idol WITH THE VERY BOMB ITSELF IN HIS HANDS. Seriously, I will have to see the actual friggin' bomb, and THEN I want him to show me that he knows how to use it. (Of course, I don't want him to actually detonate the thing-at least not before they announce who's being cut this week from the show.)

Then and only then will I believe. But belief alone won't be enough to get me to do anything about it. Why should I? Nine other nations have the bomb and we've done nothing about that. We've let all the old Soviet missiles be scattered over who knows where, so why start to pretend that now we give a hoot?

A wise man (I.F. Stone) once said, "Every government is run by liars and nothing they say should be believed." Our lazy, useless, gullible media starts with the assumption the government is telling them the truth, and only when someone from outside the mainstream presents the evidence that a lie has been told do journalists get off their butts and investigate anything. After 8 years of a lying administration, you'd think the media would start with the assumption that their chain is getting jerked again.

Will I ever live to see the day when just one reporter at a White House press conference stands up and says the following: "Based on what you just said, Mr. President, we're going to assume you're a lying sack of sound bites. Would you please prove to us that what you said is not one more in a pile of lies we've had shoveled down our throats since you took office?"

Scott McClellan, Bush's former press secretary, could not believe how EASY it was to play the gullible press. Says McClellan: "If anything, the national press corps was probably too deferential to the White House and to the administration in regard to ... the choice over whether to go to war in Iraq." The so-called, "'liberal media,'" he continued, "didn't live up to its reputation. If it had, the country would have been better served." And when asked whether the early critics of the Iraq war had been right, he responded, "... certainly on the buildup to the Iraqi war, we should have been listening some more to what they were saying, the American people should have been listening a little bit closer to some of what was being said." (Thanks, Scott. Now you say it. Wasn't that you booing me off the stage at the Oscars?)

So, no, Iran has no "nuclear program" or "weapons of mass destruction." That's the position we should all take and not budge from it until we see the mushroom cloud over Boise. Which, my fans in Boise, I can assure you, will be NEVER.

But didn't the Ayatollah have something do with 9/11? Marilyn Wolcott Midland, TX

ANSWER: God#@&*$@!!!! DIDN'T YOU HEAR WHAT I JUST SAID?! No!! Nobody had anything to do with 9/11 other than the bastards who killed all those people. Oh, and the very, very smart people who trained them and funded them. Who were THEY? Yeah, just a bunch of guys running around in a desert and living in a cave. Hey, I bet they have WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION, TOO! HAHAHAHAHAA!! ME LOVE A GOOD LAUGH!!!

Okay, sorry. To answer your question, no, neither the Ayatollah nor the Iranians had anything to do with 9/11. No Iranians were on any of the planes. They were mostly Saudis (our friends who sell us the $150-a-barrel oil). But if Bush and McCain want us to go to war against Iran, then I fully expect to hear a 9/11 connection before this modest tome even hits the bookstores.

Remember the rule: THEY ARE ALWAYS LYING. MAKE THEM PROVE IT. How would they prove this one to satisfy me? I might accept independently-shot videotape of the Ayatollah at his travel agent's office buying 19 one-way first class tickets.

Let's leave Iran alone. The Iranian people want to be free and they will take care of their freedom by themselves. Just like we did in 1776. Just like the French did a few years later. Just like Nelson Mandela did. Just like the Sandinistas did. Just like the Spanish after Franco, and the Italians after Mussolini. Freedom isn't something you dispense like a Happy Meal. It has to be wanted by those being oppressed-and then they have to fight for it themselves. The French could (and did) lend us a hand in 1776, but they couldn't have just handed us our independence by ousting the British themselves. We had to be willing to risk our own lives in order for independence to work.

The Iraqis (as we see from their daily bombings and killings) clearly had it in them to wreak havoc on Saddam-but didn't. That was their choice. We went in there and overthrew him for them. That doesn't work. I'm sure they hated Saddam, but I'm also sure they liked going to the movies every week, having a drink every night, and I'm certain women liked wearing whatever they wanted and going wherever they damn well pleased.

Now most of the movie theaters have been shuttered and the bars driven underground. At least 40 Christian churches have been bombed or otherwise attacked, as has the only Jewish synagogue (Baghdad was one of only a few Arab capitals with a protected and open synagogue under Saddam). And since 2000 the life expectancy for an Iraqi male has dropped from 65 to 48 years. If the Iraqis had wanted Saddam gone, there's one thing history has proven-he would have been gone. People desperate to be free will stop at no lengths to be free.

But they don't get freedom from the barrel of a gun. All that brings is chaos, death, and $5-agallon gas.

Which presidential candidate do I want to have a beer with? Billy McKenzie Zanesville, OH

ANSWER: You are asking the wrong question. Because more people wanted to have a beer with George W. Bush than John Kerry, they elected Bush president. But if the guy you want to go drinking with is not allowed to drive you home, should you even be near him? Let alone put him in charge of the Free World?

They say we Americans don't want to elect someone smarter than we are. They say we'd rather elect someone who is shitfaced and dumb. Why? So we can feel superior? So we can laugh at the idiot? Is that a nice thing to do? Do you think it was fair to put so much responsibility in W's hands when he clearly wasn't able to touch his nose with his finger or count backwards from 10? Looking back on it all now, it seems quite cruel of us, doesn't it?

The point of electing someone more sober and brilliant than we are is to make sure the country moves forward under a president who seeks to create a better world. Open up new worlds with new ideas. Find the cure for cancer. Make sure everyone has a home and a job and a great education. Make friends with our neighbors in the world. Believe that the earth is round and that it has an ozone layer as thin as a piece of dental floss.

When Hillary Clinton said that she didn't realize that Bush was lying to her about the weapons of mass destruction, she was essentially saying, "I'm dumber than the dumb guy who is trying to get one over on me. And therefore that makes me not as smart as the 100 million Americans who were against the war from the beginning, the third of the country who knew Bush was lying." It simply doesn't work if 100 million Americans are smarter than the President.

Hillary then went campaigning around the country, pounding back brewskies in bars and honkytonks in the hopes of getting the "Who Would I Like to Have a Beer With" vote.

John McCain, too, is going for the same "Real Men Drink Bud and Fight Wars for 100 Years" crowd. His entire M.O. is that folksy, gee whiz, "Listen, my friends," demeanor. It's "my friends" this and "my friends" that. McCain proposed that he and Obama hold a series of down-home town hall meetings so that he could continue his have-a-beer-with-me persona. The idea of a real debate with tough questions where he would have to give hard facts is simply something he can't do when he's buying everyone in the town hall a round.

Fortunately, it seems that the American people (or at least those voting in the Democratic primaries in 2008) have wised up. After having the crap kicked out of the country for eight years by a dry drunk at the wheel, the last thing anyone wants is someone who can drink them under the table.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Mike's Election Guide by Michael Moore
Copyright © 2008 by Michael Moore. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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