Video: Scott Walker blasts Obama in WI gubernatorial ad

posted at 10:12 am on August 16, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

It’s pretty easy to see what Scott Walker’s campaign strategy will be in Wisconsin to win back the governor’s office for the GOP — and it won’t be Charlie Crist-like bandwagoning for Barack Obama.  In this new ad, Walker blasts Obama for spending almost a billion dollars in transportation funds for a high-speed rail line between Madison and Milwaukee rather than on repairs of crumbling roads that Wisconsin voters have to use every day. And how many permanent jobs will be created by this boondoggle? Er …:

I am drawing a line in the sand Mr. President: No matter how much money you and Governor Doyle try to spend before the end of the year, I will put a stop to this boondoggle the day I take office.

It’s outrageous for Secretary La Hood to suggest that your administration can force Wisconsin to continue building a train it doesn’t want and cannot afford. Almost as outrageous as the fact that the decision to saddle Wisconsin taxpayers with untold millions in operating and maintenance costs, forever, was never debated or voted on by the Wisconsin legislature. If it had been, this letter would not be necessary.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, my opponent in the race to replace Governor Doyle, has made the Milwaukee to Madison train the centerpiece of his economic development plan for Wisconsin. The Mayor tells us that spending $810 million on high-speed rail will create thousands of new Wisconsin jobs, but according to the federal government’s own estimate, the total number of permanent jobs created will be 55. That’s $14.5 million per job, not including any hidden costs!

Only fifty-five permanent jobs?  Wisconsin shouldn’t be the only state demanding an explanation of this boondoggle.  And we thought that spending $300K or more for every claimed job “saved or created” was bad.  Porkulus looks like bargain basement in comparison.

The ad itself, though, is worth a watch, and pay attention to Walker’s attack on Obama’s repetitive speech crutches: “Let me be clear,” “Yes, we can,” and the especially risible “It’s not about me.”  Two years ago, few would have imagined that a Republican in a swing state could ridicule Obama in an ad and expect to remain competitive.  It’s a measure of how far Obama has fallen that Walker thinks this will play to his advantage in a state that voted for Obama by a significant margin — and that Walker’s probably right in making that call.


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The ad itself, though, is worth a watch, and pay attention to Walker’s attack on Obama’s repetitive speech crutches: “Let me be clear,” “Yes, we can,” and the especially risible “It’s not about me.” Two years ago, few would have imagined that a Republican in a swing state could ridicule Obama in an ad and expect to remain competitive. It’s a measure of how far Obama has fallen that Walker thinks this will play to his advantage in a state that voted for Obama by a significant margin — and that Walker’s probably right in making that call.

I wish I could watch it at work. Damn YouTube! But c’mon, we’ve been making fun of Obama’s catchphrases for 2 years now. I’m glad the GOP finally caught up with the rest of us.

Doughboy on August 16, 2010 at 10:15 AM

It’s outrageous for Secretary La Hood to suggest that your administration can force Wisconsin to continue building a train it doesn’t want and cannot afford.

and the administration has already issued a response via youtube…./

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_Zi-YSW3aQ

ted c on August 16, 2010 at 10:16 AM

What is it with Democrats and high speed rail? We don’t lose enough money on Amtrak? In Florida, the citizens voted against it and it has popped up yet again. I’m surprised it has been taken before a judge and deemed unconstitutional.

Cindy Munford on August 16, 2010 at 10:17 AM

He’s doing a Chris Christie and it will be effective.

Everyone except total losers who don’t ever want to work and birdbrained elitist academics are jumping off of sinking ship of Obama.

NoDonkey on August 16, 2010 at 10:17 AM

Oh, I think the Dems in WI are in a bit of trouble.

I’ve made the drive between Madison and Milwaukee a few times recently. On I-94 right around Johnson Creek and Lake Mills there are a few of those billboards “How’s that hope and change working out for you?” and another one I didn’t quite catch.

They’re multiplying though. It started out with just one and I think I saw 3 of them my last drive through.

Vancomycin on August 16, 2010 at 10:18 AM

ted c on August 16, 2010 at 10:16 AM

Now that was funny!

Cindy Munford on August 16, 2010 at 10:18 AM

BREAKING: Tom DeLay won’t face criminal charges, after the Obama Justice Department ended the six-year investigation.

amerpundit on August 16, 2010 at 10:18 AM

I don’t think the president has the character to stand up to this kind of criticism until election day. Outright mockery is going to cause him to lose it.

myrenovations on August 16, 2010 at 10:18 AM

A.W.S.O.M.E.

..blame Bush in reverse only more effective and..oh yes..the truth!

The War Planner on August 16, 2010 at 10:19 AM

What is it with Democrats and high speed rail? We don’t lose enough money on Amtrak? In Florida, the citizens voted against it and it has popped up yet again. I’m surprised it has been taken before a judge and deemed unconstitutional.

Cindy Munford on August 16, 2010 at 10:17 AM

it’s about collectivism and control. They want to “coerce Americans out of their automobiles” said SEC Lahood. That way, we will collect in communes around railheads, enter the tubes every day, get shuttled to the Ministry of Truth, Victory Gin factory, or some other Animal Farm job in the urban area and then turn around at 4:00pm and head back to our little flat that we should be thanking them for. It’s all about “urban planning”—there are people that actually major in that at universities…..they are planning your life for you. Welcome to 1984.

ted c on August 16, 2010 at 10:21 AM

The regime has forced a lot of states and We the People to accept and build a lot of things that we don’t really want or need. Florida is getting a bullet train that the people have voted against for years.

Kissmygrits on August 16, 2010 at 10:22 AM

Great ad. It’s time for some common sense. I think we are going to pick up quite a few Governorships.Unfortunately, it looks like Colorado isn’t gonna bee one of them. Thanks Tancredo/s

sandee on August 16, 2010 at 10:22 AM

Madison to Milwaukee: 79 miles…90 minutes

High-speed rail line…WTF?!!?

Lockstein13 on August 16, 2010 at 10:22 AM

YESSSS !!
Let’s have more of these in every race,
all OVER the country !!
I can see November from my house ! YAY !

pambi on August 16, 2010 at 10:22 AM

I’m gonna take a stab at this one and say someone in Tom Barrett’s family or circle of friends owns a construction company. Thats how these things work. 55 jobs for 810 million is math even the dumbest liberal can figure out.

tflst5 on August 16, 2010 at 10:25 AM

the administration wants those roads looking crappy so that the proles in WI would naturally want to gravitate toward their crappy train.

“we have to coerce them out of their cars….”

ted c on August 16, 2010 at 10:25 AM

55 jobs for 810 million is math even the dumbest liberal can figure out.

tflst5 on August 16, 2010 at 10:25 AM

no need to be redundant….

ted c on August 16, 2010 at 10:26 AM

What is it with Democrats and high speed rail?

Cindy Munford on August 16, 2010 at 10:17 AM

In the bowels of every environmental wacko policy paper is the idea of increasing mass transit and getting people supposedly out of cars. It isn’t a coherent vision, for example no one is going to take a train between 2 Wisconsin cities to NOT have a car when they get to the other end. Like most central planning it isn’t a public need that finds funding, it is a political goal of scoring higher on the environemental voter scorecard that just GETS funded. Not a way to run a government and the democrats do it ALL over the place in different areas.

Conan on August 16, 2010 at 10:27 AM

I loved the shoulder shrug.

Said it all.

Jaynie59 on August 16, 2010 at 10:28 AM

What is it with Democrats and high speed rail?

Cindy Munford on August 16, 2010 at 10:17 AM

Dems have this vision that they want to turn every area into a place where they can grab a latte’, stroll to the station, flip open the Times, straggle on into work with other self-righteous and smug mo frackers, and then expect all of the rest of us to enjoy the same kind of lifestyle.

we should be thanking them.

ted c on August 16, 2010 at 10:29 AM

His tie is too long.

/amifocusingonthewrongthings?

Abby Adams on August 16, 2010 at 10:29 AM

they are planning your life for you. Welcome to 1984.

ted c on August 16, 2010 at 10:21 AM

Thanks that is more of what I wanted to say about central planners to the poster’s question of what’s up with light rail.

Conan on August 16, 2010 at 10:29 AM

His tie is too long.

/amifocusingonthewrongthings?

Abby Adams on August 16, 2010 at 10:29 AM

nahh, if it were a female, we’d be joking about her boob implants.
/palin attackers.

ted c on August 16, 2010 at 10:30 AM

We have two strong conservative candidates running here in Wisconsin for Governor. It is a hard choice for my family.

Grayzel on August 16, 2010 at 10:30 AM

Walker is going to kill this fall. The brown bag movement was so smart. It actually shows us he relates with the every day man instead of just preaching he does while he munches on arugula.

sammypants on August 16, 2010 at 10:31 AM

ted c on August 16, 2010 at 10:29 AM

I’m still not getting their vision in connection to high speed between Orlando and Tampa. Does that seem like an employment commute to anyone? I am sure I am just being obtuse.

Cindy Munford on August 16, 2010 at 10:31 AM

there are people that actually major in that at universities…..they are planning your life for you. Welcome to 1984.

ted c on August 16, 2010 at 10:21 AM

So is that like this Farmville stuff my husband is always complaining about?

Cindy Munford on August 16, 2010 at 10:33 AM

I hope he does it.

WisCon on August 16, 2010 at 10:33 AM

Dems have this vision that they want to turn every area into a place where they can grab a latte’, stroll to the station, flip open the Times, straggle on into work with other self-righteous and smug mo frackers, and then expect all of the rest of us to enjoy the same kind of lifestyle.

we should be thanking them.

ted c on August 16, 2010 at 10:29 AM

And these people are not going to use the rail. The chief of police in madison is already worried about the increase in crime the rail could bring. We don’t need another way for the gangs to enter our city.

sammypants on August 16, 2010 at 10:33 AM

You should be grateful. What’s a billion dollars compared to 55 union jobs?

OldEnglish on August 16, 2010 at 10:33 AM

Like most central planning it isn’t a public need that finds funding, it is a political goal of scoring higher on the environemental voter scorecard that just GETS funded. Not a way to run a government and the democrats do it ALL over the place in different areas.

Conan on August 16, 2010 at 10:27 AM

right. Not only is it a political goal, but the Dem politicians, their staffers, their planners, their media mouthpieces, and the academics are all similarly aligned toward the same thing and that is:

crappy apartment with CFL bulbs and a mattress–>coffee shop–>train station–>30 min ride to crappy gov’t job–>8 hours of memory holing at the Ministry of Truth–>back to crappy apartment and nonexistent life that you love and would always vote for The Party.

Oh, I forgot the daily 2 Minutes Hate against GWB and the Republicans and how bad they are.

Welcome to your life, citizen.

ted c on August 16, 2010 at 10:34 AM

I’m still not getting their vision in connection to high speed between Orlando and Tampa. Does that seem like an employment commute to anyone? I am sure I am just being obtuse.

Cindy Munford on August 16, 2010 at 10:31 AM

get people out of their cars (check)
create gov’t jobs (check)
tout green initiative (check)
discuss all of wetlands preserved with green initiative (check)
lie about how Orlandoans can visit coast and Tampans can visit Disney in 30 min or less (check)
convince Disney to allow a stop near monorail (check)

what am I missing?

ted c on August 16, 2010 at 10:37 AM

GREAT AD!! Every Rep. gov candidate should mimic it..

reshas1 on August 16, 2010 at 10:38 AM

Wisconsin loves it pork with a side of greezy cheeze!

abobo on August 16, 2010 at 10:38 AM

and the administration has already issued a response via youtube…./

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_Zi-YSW3aQ

ted c on August 16, 2010 at 10:16 AM

That was great :-)

nwpammy on August 16, 2010 at 10:39 AM

What is it with Democrats and high speed rail? We don’t lose enough money on Amtrak? In Florida, the citizens voted against it and it has popped up yet again. I’m surprised it has been taken before a judge and deemed unconstitutional.

Cindy Munford on August 16, 2010 at 10:17 AM

The citizens also voted for it in 2000 as a state constitutional amendment. Jeb Bush vetoed funding and then put weight behind a repeal of the amendment that succeeded. So you can have this both ways, we voted before it before we voted against it.

When has it been deemed unconstitutional? That’s news to me and doesn’t make any sense.

jonknee on August 16, 2010 at 10:40 AM

what am I missing?

ted c on August 16, 2010 at 10:37 AM

Other than it’s stupid? Nothing. I’m a little surprised the Left hasn’t made everyone move out of Florida altogether, the entire state is “wetlands”.

Cindy Munford on August 16, 2010 at 10:41 AM

I don’t think the president has the character to stand up to this kind of criticism until election day. Outright mockery is going to cause him to lose it.

myrenovations on August 16, 2010 at 10:18 AM

I totally agree . Libtards mistake Barry’s detachment for composure. He is actually a powder keg of resentments waiting to blow. Keep running ads like this and I am certain Barry will unleash his inner Jeremiah Wright. Once the mask is removed his presidency will end.

DeweyWins on August 16, 2010 at 10:41 AM

“Let me be clear”, “Make no mistake”, “It is not about me” or his other quaint sayings are the new “Trust me”…

right2bright on August 16, 2010 at 10:42 AM

All FASCISTS , are famous for making the trains run on time .
We shouldn’t blame Obama for wanting high speed trains , after all he is using his term as POTUS as a stepping stone and campaign platform for PRESIDENT OF THE UNTIED NATIONS .
Should we expect ANYTHING OTHER than the ZERO taking the Terrorist position on building a training camp in Manhattan ?
Should anyone be surprised OBAMA corralled the press units in the HOTEL LOBBY in Panama City Beach while his child swam in the BAY ( not the GULF ) .
The good news is that he and Marie are headed to to MARTHA’S VINEYARD , and the reality of it is , the more he is on vacation the less he can push his radical agenda .
Seems to me he makes more goofs and blunders while on vacation.I would bet a RASSMUSSEN poll would show that 70% of Americans would pay higher taxes to put obama on a
8oo DAY VACATION , let him fiddle like NERO and it would be less destructive

ELMO Q on August 16, 2010 at 10:43 AM

jonknee on August 16, 2010 at 10:40 AM

The unconstitutional thing was a joke, judges overruling voters. I haven’t been in Florida forever so I didn’t know that voters were for it at one time. What was the selling point?

Cindy Munford on August 16, 2010 at 10:43 AM

The shoulder shrug was great. It said, “It’s up to you, voters.”

parteagirl on August 16, 2010 at 10:44 AM

Here in MN a light rail line was built for the low-low cost of only $1 billion, and it goes for hold on now … 12 miles. Not counting the debt load of the $1 billion the state taxpayers have to spend an additional $100 million/ per year supporting the operating losses it occurs each year.

Boondoggle >> yes we can.

$10 million in expenses/yr is just the tip of the iceberg.

Dasher on August 16, 2010 at 10:45 AM

http://iowntheworld.com/blog/?p=32417

Need a good laugh? Check out this photo of our glamorous first lady.

AZCoyote on August 16, 2010 at 10:46 AM

http://www.snopes.com/history/govern/trains.asp

More on fascism and trains

ted c on August 16, 2010 at 10:47 AM

http://iowntheworld.com/blog/?p=32417

Need a good laugh? Check out this photo of our glamorous first lady.

AZCoyote on August 16, 2010 at 10:46 AM

NICE!!!!

ted c on August 16, 2010 at 10:50 AM

Great ad. That Wisconsin road looks a lot like I84 in Pennsylvania near the New York border, which could have used some shovel ready stimulus bucks, but apparently got passed over in favor of turtles for tunnels, sidewalks to nowhere, and other faves on Planet Utopia.

Buy Danish on August 16, 2010 at 10:50 AM

The unconstitutional thing was a joke, judges overruling voters. I haven’t been in Florida forever so I didn’t know that voters were for it at one time. What was the selling point?

Cindy Munford on August 16, 2010 at 10:43 AM

No one likes driving between the large metros and with the large number of tourists there is a built-in base for high speed connections between them. That’s about what I remember for the pitch, but 2000 was a while ago. The 2004 repeal was about money.

I’m for it personally, but for it to succeed both Tampa Bay and Orlando need to get their local rail systems going.

jonknee on August 16, 2010 at 10:51 AM

crappy apartment with CFL bulbs and a mattress–>coffee shop–>train station–>30 min ride to crappy gov’t job–>8 hours of memory holing at the Ministry of Truth–>back to crappy

apartment and nonexistent life that you love and would always vote for The Party.

Oh, I forgot the daily 2 Minutes Hate against GWB and the Republicans and how bad they are.

Welcome to your life, citizen.

ted c on August 16, 2010 at 10:34 AM

I met my wife while trying to teach financial forecasting to Russians (they grew up with a planned economy)and you really get the “1984″ scenario of how your life is designed if you go there and pay attention to the layout the Soviets put in place. It’s f*ing scary that all leftists think the same. I wish people understood their vision for American Life!

Conan on August 16, 2010 at 10:53 AM

I’m all for high-speed rail, but where it is economically likely to become self-supporting, e.g. on the Northeast Corridor or between LA and SF. And private companies should run it, just as government subsidizes highway and airway infrastructure, but private firms provide the services.

Milwaukee to Madison? That does sound like a boondoggle, a political favor. It would be cheaper to loop the east-west Amtrak service down to Madison, which would be popular with the college crowd (Madison currently has no rail service–closest stops are Wisconsin Dells or Columbus). With enough demand you could add a Chicago-Milwaukee-Madison local to the daily Chicago-Seattle Empire Builder.

So while I hate hearing anti-rail rhetoric, I love hearing political straight talk. Does this guy have a chance?

MrLynn on August 16, 2010 at 10:55 AM

Dasher on August 16, 2010 at 10:45 AM

In Jacksonville they built a short rail system for folks commuting downtown, almost always empty. They have been planning one in Norfolk, VA to the Naval base, which is the largest area employer, which seems like a good idea, it’s struggling to get started.

Cindy Munford on August 16, 2010 at 10:56 AM

Need a good laugh? Check out this photo of our glamorous first lady.

AZCoyote on August 16, 2010 at 10:46 AM

OMG the comments were hilarious! Especially the ones about the “Rock of Gibraltar”!

Dark-Star on August 16, 2010 at 10:57 AM

I wish people understood their vision for American Life!

Conan on August 16, 2010 at 10:53 AM

make them understand, teach them. tell her story, tell your story.

ted c on August 16, 2010 at 10:58 AM

jonknee on August 16, 2010 at 10:51 AM

While admitting to probably being to set in my ways, I can’t imagine using my limited vacation time waiting for scheduled transportation. Add that to the failure or required massive subsidization of past projects, I remain skeptical.

Cindy Munford on August 16, 2010 at 11:01 AM

I’m still not getting their vision in connection to high speed between Orlando and Tampa. Does that seem like an employment commute to anyone? I am sure I am just being obtuse.
Cindy Munford on August 16, 2010 at 10:31 AM

Hi, I live in Florida now, let me take a stab at this. The only benefit I see for a high speed rail between Orlando and Tampa is that folks who want to visit Disney can stay in Tampa instead of Orlando. Otherwise, this connection makes no sense.

joejm65 on August 16, 2010 at 11:03 AM

All but a handful of Republicans have a chance in this cycle. That doesn’t mean they’ll win, but virtually all seats and all governorships are in play for republicans. Even the worst candidates, if they play their cards right could win.

WashingtonsWake on August 16, 2010 at 11:05 AM

joejm65 on August 16, 2010 at 11:03 AM

Here’s a scary thought, let Disney, Universal and Busch Gardens pay for it. Is there any record of these things at least paying their own way? I think I could be more receptive if they could come up with some good examples.

Cindy Munford on August 16, 2010 at 11:08 AM

I’ve been wanting NSW govt to build a rail link from my suburb to the city for many years. It would leave the roads much less congested for me. =)

OldEnglish on August 16, 2010 at 11:14 AM

So while I hate hearing anti-rail rhetoric, I love hearing political straight talk. Does this guy have a chance?

I’m not entirely sure, but I believe he’s currently favored to win (if I had to bet money, I’d put it on him).

Vancomycin on August 16, 2010 at 11:16 AM

Hi, I live in Florida now, let me take a stab at this. The only benefit I see for a high speed rail between Orlando and Tampa is that folks who want to visit Disney can stay in Tampa instead of Orlando. Otherwise, this connection makes no sense.

joejm65 on August 16, 2010 at 11:03 AM

Or people from the Tampa metro area can access the Orlando airport. Or tourists could visit the beach / baseball game / board a cruise / etc. Or people living on the I-4 corridor could get to work in downtown.

Here’s a scary thought, let Disney, Universal and Busch Gardens pay for it. Is there any record of these things at least paying their own way? I think I could be more receptive if they could come up with some good examples.

Cindy Munford on August 16, 2010 at 11:08 AM

Disney would/will be paying for its stop. Transportation almost never pays its own way. Roads and airports are heavily subsidized for example, but that doesn’t stop people from seeing their value.

jonknee on August 16, 2010 at 11:19 AM

The streets are full of potholes in L.A. too. What is it about Democrats that they will not fix roads that already exist? Don’t unions run these job sites too?

PattyJ on August 16, 2010 at 11:20 AM

Scott Walker, please come to California: YOU ARE ARE ONLY HOPE!

Mutnodjmet on August 16, 2010 at 11:31 AM

Madison to Milwaukee: 79 miles…90 minutes

High-speed rail line…WTF?!!?

Lockstein13 on August 16, 2010 at 10:22 AM

Thanks for answering my question ahead of time. How many people go between the two cities on such a regular basis that a high speed public train is so much more efficient than private cars. 79 miles is nothing.

Now, in an area such as NYC it does make sense for suburban commuters to take a train from suburban stations into the city, as it is extremely dense, people-wise. But Wisconsin? If you live in Madison, you probably have a job in/nearby Madison. Same as with Milwaukee. Heck, even the carbon footprint of building the rail & the rail cars and operating it would vastly outweigh the carbon footprint of existing automobiles (not to mention that AGW is a fraud.)

rbj on August 16, 2010 at 11:33 AM

I’m Scatt, from Wiscansan. ;)

Tzetzes on August 16, 2010 at 11:35 AM

jonknee on August 16, 2010 at 11:19 AM

I hadn’t thought about the airport. In Jacksonville the airport is a hike. I think I am too much of a car person to give this a fair shake. I don’t go out much but I want it to be on my terms when I do.

Cindy Munford on August 16, 2010 at 11:39 AM

jonknee on August 16, 2010 at 11:19 AM

Oh, and did you see that Disney is hiking their one day pass to $85? Yikes!!!

Cindy Munford on August 16, 2010 at 11:41 AM

Not to mention traffic between Milwaukee and Madison isn’t enough to justify a third lane on I-94 west of Pewaukee (that would be just north of Waukesha, or 20 miles west of downtown Milwaukee, for those of you out-of-state). And yes, I’ve done the drive in under an hour (don’t tell the State Patrol though; they might crack down on that to pay for the $10 million annual operating cost that won’t be absorbed by either riders or Washington).

The funny thing is, there is a bus that goes from the UW-Madison campus (and pointedly not downtown Madison) to not just downtown Milwaukee, but Milwaukee’s airport (something the Barrett Boondoggle won’t do without a transfer). It takes less than 30% of what the very-inflexible train is supposed to take.

As for the road, I can’t quite identify the street Walker used, but I can tell you from personal experience that it represents the average city of Milwaukee street.

steveegg on August 16, 2010 at 12:49 PM

So while I hate hearing anti-rail rhetoric, I love hearing political straight talk. Does this guy have a chance?

MrLynn on August 16, 2010 at 10:55 AM

Polls have consistently given Walker at least a margin-of-error lead over Barrett. The latest Rasmussen poll had Walker up 49%-41%, or over twice the 4% MoE.

steveegg on August 16, 2010 at 12:50 PM

ted c on August 16, 2010 at 10:16 AM

I’ve been Rickrolled.

applebutter on August 16, 2010 at 2:04 PM

Oohh. Co-opting “yes we can.” Nice!

LASue on August 16, 2010 at 3:43 PM

Democrats in Wisconsin are already playing the race card over the inclusion by ted c of the video C’Mon Ride It (The Train) as an official response from the Obama Regime.

No kidding.

I’d post a link to the Mark Halperin post at Time’s The Page, but they’ve already pulled the post down.

The idiotic statement from the spokesjackass from the Wisconsin Democrat Party can be read here.

pdigaudio on August 16, 2010 at 5:06 PM

What is it with Democrats and high speed rail?

Cindy Munford on August 16, 2010 at 10:17 AM

Not to forget, also a nice gift to Big Union in the construction and operation. That means that in the end a significant part of that money comes right back to democratics in the form of payoffs, -oops, political contributions.

slickwillie2001 on August 16, 2010 at 6:17 PM