McCain Hearts the Unitary Executive and Sarah Palin

Laura Rozen writing at MJ might be a good read for those that think there isn’t much difference between McCain and Senator Obama when it comes to privacy issues and civil liberties, Why CIA Veterans Are Scared of McCain

These critics point especially to the McCain campaign’s top national security adviser Randy Scheunemann—who ran a front group promoting war with Iraq and the fabrications of controversial Iraqi exile politician Ahmad Chalabi, the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, and who has lobbied for aggressive NATO expansion. Scheunemann’s record, they argue, encapsulates everything wrong with the past eight years of Bush leadership on intelligence issues, from a penchant for foreign policy freelancing and secret contacts with unreliable fabricators, to neoconservatives’ disdain for the perceived bureaucratic timidity of the CIA and State Department, to their avowed hostility for diplomacy with adversaries. If McCain wins, “the military has won,” says one former senior CIA officer. “We will no longer have a civilian intelligence arm. Yes, we will have analysts. But we won’t have any real civilian intelligence capability.”

One of Rozen’s sources say that while there are neocons advising Johnny, there are also some traditional Conservative pragmatists. Which way is the so-called maverick leaning. We’re reminded that McCain wanted to kick Russia out of the group of 8 well before the Georgia upheaval. If you couldn’t imagine the 4th Amendment being further eroded imagine most of the intelligence community being run with even less Congressional oversight. This has been a large facet of the Bushies, putting as much of the government’s intelligence operations under the president through the military – the unitary executive theory of misgovernance. Much easier to yell national security to cover any wrong doing. This is one of those absurd ironies as one looks through comments on political stories about Senator Obama on the net where right-wing trolls claim that an Obama presidency would be “fascist”. Bush and the neocons theory of the “unitary executive” has already pushed us to what some observers have called soft fascism.

Autumn Woods by Albert Bierstadt 1886

Cindy McCain’s Half Sister: “I’m Voting for Barack Obama”

Dems Pounce On McCain Pick

Barack Obama Campaign Spokesman Bill Burton responds to John McCain’s choice of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate:

“Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency. Governor Palin shares John McCain’s commitment to overturning Roe v. Wade, the agenda of Big Oil and continuing George Bush’s failed economic policies — that’s not the change we need, it’s just more of the same.”

While McCain did graduate from the bottom of his class at Annapolis he is not so dumb that there hasn’t been some reasoning behind his selection. It generates buzz. I thought about not posting about Palin at all since she is all over the news and blogs. The Democratic Convention was a huge success. The Palin selection moved the national conversation on to a new topic with Republicans at the front. Whether that turns out to be a good thing for Johnny is another matter. To be obvious she’s a woman. McCain’s thinking is clear enough. he has tried to pass himself off as a moderate to women voters and Clinton supporters in particular. Fact is that while the visitors here and at other blogs probably keep up with he news and issues more then the average person, many voters will base their vote on sound bites from the evening news. McCain takes the stage with a woman and presto, he seems moderate enough for swing voters. Unfornate, but true. The last three presidential elections have been about peeling off that thin margin of swing and independent voters. The tide has certainly turned pro Democrat,but McCain and company seem to be betting that the basic game hasn’t changed. They’re going after the murky middle. Thy really don’t have much choice as the Democratic base is obviously pretty fired up with their ticket. McCain is selling her as a reformer. If you’re a voter that doesn’t do their homework you might buy that since she is an unknown. She appears to be up to her neck in scandals, Chief Fired by Palin Speaks Out

Monegan, 57, a respected former chief of the Anchorage Police Department, said in an interview with The Washington Post’s James V. Grimaldi on Friday that the governor repeatedly brought up the topic of her ex-brother-in-law, Michael Wooten, after Monegan became the state’s commissioner of public safety in December 2006. Palin’s husband, Todd, met with Monegan and presented a dossier of information about Wooten, who was going through a bitter custody battle with Palin’s sister, Molly. Monegan also said Sarah Palin sent him e-mails on the subject, but Monegan declined to disclose them, saying he planned to give them to a legislative investigator looking into the matter.

Palin initially denied that she or anyone in her administration had ever pressured Monegan to fire the trooper, but this summer acknowledged more than a half a dozen contacts over the matter, including one phone call from a Palin administration official to a state police lieutenant.

So much for her ethics. In an MTV interview she called Republican anti-war candidate Ron Paul “cool”. She also seems to think that Alaska has so much oil that drilling in Alaska alone could free the U.S. from reliance on imports. She is pro forced motherhood even in the case of rape or incest and for some odd reason seems to hate wolfs, bears and the Alaska salmon industry. She has also been a hard Right supporter of cultural neandethal Pat Buchanan. She seems to have a groupie mentality when it comes to politics, mostly hard Right, but of the personality cult of school of politics. Given McCain’s age (72) and the statistical fact that the average life expectancy of a white male in the U.S. is 75, Palin could be the next president. Yet she didn’t know what the duties of a vice-president were. She also appears to have been a last minute choice, as the McCain camp had her on its vep list, but they didn’t seriously vet her until this past week.

A Storm in the Rocky Mountains by Albert Bierstadt

Western Kansas by Albert Bierstadt 1875

Conservative Mona Charen at the National Review and her e-mail pals like Palin,

She’s a hit, Friday, August 29, 2008

I’m getting tons of mail like this:

Sarah is real!!! What a fabulous contrast with Obama, who is not real. Sarah is from America. Obama is not.

Sarah gives me hope for America, because of who she is, not because of any group she “represents.”

More valuable than pearls is a woman who likes to fish and hunt.

So her readers don’t think Hawaii is part of the U.S. The Republican embrace of eliminationism covers all, but four or five states at this point. Please don’t tell them Johnny was born in Panama it would just break their tiny hearts.


Positive, negative and those uppity columns

McCain ad floats “HANG” over Obama’s head, regardless of whether it was an accident or malicious toward the end of the ad ( video at link) it shows this great upward profile of Senator Obama. He looks strong and inspiring. Followed next with a upward profile of McCain who looks drained and tired. So I wonder if this particular ad is going to be all that effective for Johnny. If this is the best McCain’s got, the symbolic comparison of and a choice between a new invigorated America or a tired running in place America, then maybe its time for some staff changes at John’s media circus.

Another Republican for Obama. We’ve had Republican Jim Leach from Iowa and now former Republican President Dwight Eisenhower’s  granddaughter Susan Eisenhower switch to Independent and endorse Senator Obama. Republicans have moved Conservatism so far to the Right that Dwight would probably considered a liberal today. He once said “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.”

Carter: McCain ‘milking’ POW time

Former president Jimmy Carter called Republican presidential candidate John McCain a “distinguished naval officer,” but he said the Arizona senator has been “milking every possible drop of advantage” from his time served as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

Notice that every time a Democrat mentions McCain exploiting his POW days that also include a salute to his service. Compare that to Republican attacks on a genuine war hero, Senator John Kerry (D) in 2004 – Republican-funded Group Attacks Kerry’s War Record. Let’s say that McCain honestly believes that his experiences are unique among American in terms of suffering. That the experiences of others who have fought in wars, been stricken by cancer, had a an accident that has left them permanently disabled or a multitude of other tragedies that befall thousands of Americans every day, doesn’t that suggest the inability to empathize with others and have a little humility. There’s a point were one lists such experiences as part of one’s resume and then there’s a point where they’re exploitative. McCain has not only crossed that line, but plans on doing more.

Just beacuse of a comment over at the Carter story. Yes, the Reverend, Nobel Peace prize winner and former president Jimmy Carter graduated from the Naval Academy and served as an officer in the U.S. Navy. One could debate his presidency endlessly, but he has probably been our best post-President.

McCain’s communication director was on the morning news claiming, I kid you not, that Senator Obama was too negative. I hope that Democrats don’t do one for one negative ads, but Republicans are past due for some pay back, What’s missing from the Democratic convention? in which Glennzilla reminds of us the 2004 Republican Convention. Before anyone gets upset at Glenn, in one update he notes that Obama rightfully went after the radicalism of the Right. I thought Obama’s speech was a good balance of positive message with a few counter punches thrown in. If he keeps up that balance of positive with going after the extremism that has gone too far for too long he and the American people just might come out the winner.

This post by Hunter at DK was funny, Uppity… Pillars? What The Hell? – “Gawd. So they’re really going with this, eh? Their attack is going to be that the elitist Barack Obama is using… ETHNIC ARCHITECTURE?” There is a picture of Johnny leaning on one of the Capitol columns. Politico has some pics of Bush speaking in a stage set of…..Roman columns.

U.S. Capitol Building. Note the uppity columns. Much of the Capitol was built by slaves. Thomas jefferson and many of the other intellectuals of the day were well versed in Greek and Roman history. Jefferson’s plans for the University of Virginia look much like a rendering of a section of ancient Rome.

The U.S. Supreme Court Building. Both of the pics are about wallpaper size if you’re into history or architecture. These columns look like they are of the Corinthian order. The capitals, those pieces at the top of the column were the most ornate of the three classical orders. Fitting since the ancient Greeks, known to be uppity, are generally credited for inventing democracy. The word Democracy is derived from the Greek dimokratia, meaning “popular government”.

Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle

Remember Scott Beauchamp, The New Republic and the Right (including The National Review) insistence that Beauchamp’s stories written from the point of view of someone actually serving on the front lines in Iraq were bunk. Scott’s stories were never proven untrue or accurate to every detail. To me and many others the story simply died because of lack of proof, the military shut down Scott, The New Republic printed something like a partial retraction and a Sgt. John E. Hatley wrote a right-leaning blogger swearing that the episodes Beauchamp described could not have possibly happened. After reading this story in the NYT, U.S. Soldiers Executed Iraqis, Statements Say, blogger Moon of Alabama noticed Hatley’s name was mentioned,

The accounts of and confessions to the killings, by Sgt. First Class Joseph P. Mayo, the platoon sergeant, and Sgt. Michael P. Leahy Jr., Company D’s senior medic and an acting squad leader, were made in January in signed statements to Army investigators in Schweinfurt, Germany.

In their statements, Sergeants Mayo and Leahy each described killing at least one of the Iraqi detainees on instructions from First Sgt. John E. Hatley, who the soldiers said killed two of the detainees with pistol shots to the back of their heads. Sergeant Hatley’s civilian lawyer in Germany, David Court, did not respond to phone calls and e-mail messages Tuesday.

Moon of Alabama writes, First Sgt. Hatley and the Beauchamp TNR Affair

A few month after Hatley ordered and took part in the murdering of prisoners he denied some relative harmless though brutal behavior Beauchamp described, “this by no means reflects the truth of what is happening here.” Indeed, what was really happening was much worse.

Beauchamp/Hatley’s Brigade was renamed, which M.A. accounts for and it does appear to he the same Hatley that wrote the original denial of illegal behavior. Now the question is, has The New Republic been so intimidated by the Right will they be afraid to revisit Scott’s story.

Rove Versus Lieberman: Rove Tried To Kill Lieberman As VP Pick

Republican strategist Karl Rove called Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) late last week and urged him to contact Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to withdraw his name from vice presidential consideration, according to three sources familiar with the conversation.

Lieberman dismissed the request, these sources agreed.

That would be such a great ticket. Think of the ink they could save on bumper stickers running as the Armageddon Twins.

McCain campaign notes part 2

Rep. Schakowsky On McCain’s Women’s Rights Record: ‘He’s Not With Us’

Schakowsky told ThinkProgress that McCain would “absolutely” continue the “anti-women” policies of President Bush:

He’s always been against reproductive rights for women. He’s not for equal pay, he did not support Lilly Ledbetter and the work that we’re trying to do to get equal pay. He never supported the Family and Medical Leave Act in Congress. So there’s no evidence. … He’s not with us.

McCain actually skipped the vote on the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in April, which would have made it easier for “women and other workers to pursue pay discrimination claims.” He said that if he had been there, he would have voted against it because he believes women simply need more “education and training.”

McCain knows that women just need more “education and training” because a guy that hooked up with a millionaire heiress, can’t keep track of all his houses and thinks $250 grand a year is the average for the middle-class is so in touch with reality.

Obama makes history as Democratic nominee

On a historic night for America, Barack Obama secured the Democratic Party’s nomination for president and emerged for the first time on stage in Denver with running mate Sen. Joe Biden.

Obama on Wednesday officially became the first African American to lead a major party ticket.

Despite some  differences on I’ve had with the Senator on one piece of legislation in particular, for right now I’m just trying to kind of catch my breath. A truly amazing moment in our history.

Black and White raindrops II another one here.

Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

The American Issues Project

Romney: McCain earned his homes; Obama didn’t

Speaking to reporters at a lunch sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, Romney said that while McCain deserved his houses because of the “hard work” of himself and his family, “Barack Obama got a special deal from a convicted felon.”

Romney like so many Republicans has so much unearned wealth that he’s never learned basic math. Either that or he is proving that he fits in with so many of today’s Republicans, low on integrity and high on propaganda. Probably a little of both. McCain came from a privileged family. Dumped the starter wife and married a woman who got her millions simply by the act of being born. That makes McCain’s wealth unearned by a factor of two – you dear reader are paying for his health-care. Obama never got a deal from Rezko who had not been charged with anything, much less convicted when the Obama’s bought the house with money they worked for. Romney and the Gigolo Johnny’s supporters probably think the word work is French, so just look it up in Websters. Jesse Taylor helps with the definitions, Speak On It, Blake Chinwag!

There’s apparently a new definition of “earning” that means “someone else doing the work and you getting the fruits when they die”.

Andrew Sullivan also wonders what Mitt’s been smoking, “Hard Work”

And so it was rather bizarre to hear him say that John McCain deserves all his houses/mansions/compounds because of the “hard work” of McCain and his wife. McCain, to my knowledge, has never had a private sector job – unless you count working for his father-in-law…

Sullivan gives Romney credit for earning his money. New Math Mitt came from a wealthy family. While most Americans have to work their asses off to earn even a 20th of Mitt’s fortune all he did was move money around and use a spread sheet. Hardly work. It doesn’t even take much brain power as Mitt so obviously proves.

Conservative Astroturf American Issues Project Attacks Obama

A former aide to Mr. McCain’s campaign, Ed Failor Jr., is a leader of the group; Mr. McCain’s campaign has said it has nothing do with the group. It is being backed by a $2.9 million donation from the billionaire investor Harold Simmons, who was also a major funder of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the group that in 2004 ran a disputed campaign questioning Senator John Kerry’s record as a Swift Boat commander in Vietnam. Mr. Simmons is also a major fundraiser for Mr. McCain.

They’re trying to connect Senator Obama to former Weatherman Bill Ayers. Bill did whatever dirty deeds he did when Obama was eight years old. Obama and some Republicans ended up working on the same anti-poverty project. Obama has every right to try and stop the ads being run by the quixotically named American Issues Project. Label and slander are not considered free speech. Simmons and this piece of political astroturf are nothing more then modern Joseph Goebbels using money to exploit fear and buy public opinion. Its a all part of the the modern Con game. No rational informed person is going to be convinced by all the myths, distortions and outright lies about Senator Obama. I don’t drink the Con-aid so I can only guess that they’re constantly betting on the rabid zealousness of their base and the voter that votes by the loudness and repetition of the most salacious sound bite.

American Issues Project full size

Obama’s Response Ad Reflects Lessons of 2004

The counter ad is only part of the Obama team’s response. Bauer has written legal letters to television stations, asserting that the Ayers ad is illegal and false, and that its airing is subject to a Federal Election Commission penalty.

[  ]…Efforts to stop the Ayers ad have not come only from the Obama campaign. A film company in Berkeley, Calif., that made an Oscar-nominated documentary in 2004 on the Weather Underground group has issued a cease-and-desist letter to the American Issues Project, saying that it illegally appropriated copyright images from the film for the ad. Brook Dooley, an attorney for the Free History Project, said shots of Ayers speaking into a camera in an interview and the aftermath of a Weather Underground bombing were copyrighted. The group has informed about 150 stations in Ohio and Michigan of its objection, but Dooley said no decisions have been made about legal action.

Senator Obama has no ties to Ayers. Mccain’s ties to convicted felon Jim Hensley are thin, but they’re cloer then Obama’s to Ayers. Which I think is the point William was making in this post, John McCain must explain his ties to felon Jim Hensley. The trolls over there don’t seem to get the point. If its a contest to see who is the most corrupt; Republicans would be a small minority party if they couldn’t buy and smear thier way into office. Cons are the pigs at the trough, to borrow a term. Democrats by comparison are nibblers. Abramoff’s Law Firm Won Praise from McCain After Hiring McCain Advisor to Lobby on Its Behalf.

Obama versus McCain, Wisdom versus Experience

Experience hasn’t suddenly become an issue this election cycle. If you were following the 2000 elections it was a big factor for one of the candidates, George W. Bush. What did Bush bring to the table in terms of experience. He was a graduate of Yale and Harvards School of Business. He ducked ito Guard service to avoid the regular military and going to Vietnam. Then he proceed to run two businesses into the ground. Because of his family name and connections he finally locked into an easy dollar as one of the co-owners of the Texas Rangers baseball team. He served two terms as governor of Texas. A state that has an inherently weak governorship. The First Gore-Bush Presidential Debate

BUSH: Yes. I take him for his word. Look, I fully recognize I’m not of Washington. I’m from Texas. And he’s got a lot of experience, but so do I. And I’ve been the chief executive officer of the second biggest state in the union.

Even when running for governor Bush tried to make his lack of experience a asset, “Bush, however, proudly touted his lack of public experience, saying it gave him “the freedom to think differently,”

As “chief executive” Bush’s record was shameful. The lack of experience didn’t stop Conservatives from claiming he was the best candidate. Senator McCain didn’t have any, at least public, doubts about supporting him, MCCAIN ‘PROUD TO BE PART’ OF BUSH CRUSADE ARIZ. SENATOR TEAMS WITH FORMER RIVAL TO TOUT CAMPAIGN

George W. Bush and the man he beat for the GOP presidential nomination joined campaign forces yesterday with John McCain declaring himself “proud to be part of this crusade.” The Arizona senator urged his independent supporters to look at Bush now…

Not all that curious in terms of Bush or McCain’s well known two faced approach to politicking. Bush’s complete inexperience at federal level governance and foreign policy didn’t matter at all just eight years ago. Now all the sudden Obama, according to McCain, can’t do the job that McCain said Bush could, even though Senator Obama’s Senate experience and educational background (A graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School. Currently a member of the U.S. Senate and Chairman, Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on European Affairs. Bush ran for Congress and lost before becoming governor) make him a better canidate then Bush Jr was in 2000.

What did Bush Jr. do to fill in his experience gap. He picked a running mate with experience, Cheney brings experience, loyalty to Bush ticket

As a former defense secretary and congressman, Dick Cheney provides a wealth of international policy and political experience to the Republican presidential ticket — as well as loyalty to two generations of the Bush family.

Now we’re stuck in two quagmires that besides the losses in life are costing nearly a trillion dollars. So much for Cheney’s experience. Maybe if he had bought less experience, less right-wing zealotry and more wisdom and respect for American values we’d be better off. Bush made a point of surrounding himself with familiar names and faces to lessen those concerns about his lack of experience, Bush Says U.S. Should Reduce Nuclear Arms

Mr. Bush’s lack of experience in foreign policy is one of his biggest political vulnerabilities, and he has been making a concerted drive in recent days to speak out on national security issues.

[   ]…To give himself added authority, Mr. Bush spoke while flanked by five prominent experts in national security: Henry A. Kissinger, George P. Shultz, Brent Scowcroft, Colin L. Powell and Donald H. Rumsfeld, several of whom voiced support of Mr. Bush’s ideas. The result was some strange political symbolism as Mr. Bush called for new thinking for a new post-cold-war era, surrounded by some of the architects of the nation’s cold-war arms control treaties.

The New York Times was kind enough to remind voters that they were not just electing Bush. They were electing the team that would help guide his decisions, including Condi Rice, G.W. Bush’s International Policy Team

Among the Vulcans, Ms. Rice is closest by far to Mr. Bush, whom she is leading in a grand global tutorial as she tries to convince others that what he lacks in international knowledge and experience he makes up for in what she calls “good instincts.” (emphasis mine)

Laughable now, but between spin like that and a Supreme Court that didn’t want to be bothered with recounts, the guy with “good intincts” became president. Ceratinly considering the wisdom and centrism displayed in his speech’s and papers Obama coulldn’t do worse then an administration that McCain has voted with the majority of the time, A new series from the Council on Foreign Relations profiles the main foreign policy advisers for Barack Obama

Like other presidential campaigns, Obama’s draws on a long list of advisers on foreign policy matters. The most senior include several ranking Clinton administration officials, the Brookings Institution’s Susan E. Rice, former National Security Adviser Anthony Lake, and former Navy Secretary Richard Danzig.

“This is a team that’s very reflective of Obama, who has made it pretty clear in his speeches and statements during the campaign that he believes that diplomacy has been undervalued over the past few years and that the United States shouldn’t fear to negotiate,” says Derek Chollet, a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security

Obama, McCain, Bush, Age, Experience, and Wisdom

On several earlier occasions, Obama indicated that he valued wisdom.  In March 2008, when asked what qualities he thought were important in a Supreme Court justice, he referred to former Chief Justice Earl Warren as an example of the type of person he would like to see on the highest court.  Obama said that Warren “had the wisdom to recognize that segregation was wrong less because of precise sociological effects and more so because it was immoral and stigmatized blacks.” Shortly before Obama’s July trip to the Middle East he stated that “Senator Hagel and Senator Reed may be coming with us. Look, they are both experts on foreign policy. They reflect, I think, a traditional bipartisan wisdom when it comes to foreign policy.  Neither of them are ideologues but try to get the facts right and make a determination about what’s best for U.S. interests.”

McCain was in the Senate during Bush’s first term when most Americans had begun to see what a disastrous presidency Bush was. That didn’t stop McCain, the guy that knows how to win wars and capture Osama Been Forgotten from campaigning for him, ”I believe that the president of the United States, since Sept. 11, has led this nation with great strength and clarity, and I believe that he should be re-elected, and I’m confident that he will do so.” So in 2004 with the experience of seeing the nation governed by G.W., McCain’s careful considered reflection was, hey you’re do’n a heck of a job. Like so many issues and the multiple positions he’s taken, McCain’s views on experience are about as useful as a hole in a lifeboat.

Tumacacori National Park wallpaper. The official site for the park located in Arizona.

Houston at Night Cityscape wallpaper, What’s the Answer to Every Question

Houston at Night Cityscape

McCain defends his taste in music with former POW status,

The Senator has even brought his military record into discussion of his music tastes. Explaining that his favorite song was “Dancing Queen” by ABBA, he offered that his knowledge of music “stopped evolving when his plane intercepted a surface-to-air missile.” Dancing Queen, however, was produced in 1975, eight years after McCain’s plane was shot down.

Preceding this election, there was a fairly wide-ranging belief that McCain was hesitant to use his POW experience in a political context. The Senator himself, during the 2004 election, said he was “sick and tired of re-fighting” the Vietnam War.

“It’s offensive to me, and it’s angering to me that we’re doing this,” he said. “It’s time to move on.”

The Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell a Bush ally slams McCain over personal life, infidelity. That’s Ok because McCain has one answer for every question,

“Well, I don’t know a lot about John McCain’s family history, I do know, however, that as recently as last week I think it was, the Senator made a comment in South Dakota regarding his wife entering some Buffalo Chips contest which is this topless deal and if she were to enter she would probably win it and my personal opinion and based on my understanding of the Christian faith, that’s not not, N-O-T, not the type of expression that a presidential candidate, or anyone for that matter who is a follower of the Christian faith, ought to make,” said the Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell. “I don’t know if that is a perfect case in point, but it surely does help to juxtapose the DNA of Senator Obama, if you would, versus the DNA of Senator McCain.” […]

Caldwell said that McCain’s Buffalo Chips comment stood in stark contrast with Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., whom Caldwell sees as a good family man supporting pro-family policies.

On hearing what Reverend Caldwell said a McCain spokesperson replied, “know that John McCain’s faith and character were tested and forged in ways few can fathom.” POW status trumps McCain’s infidelity. I wonder if the entirety of America’s POWs from all wars know that it works like a get out of jail free card.  McCain says that he’s tired “sick and tired of re-fighting” Vietnam, but when backed into a corner on questions of integrity he can’t seem to articulate any moral jstification for his actions, but he was in a war. The senator is a aware that millions of Americans, no not millions of Americans, almost every American eventually suffers some terrible tragedy. Its part and parcel of the human condition. It is not the partisans on the Democratic side who are cheapening McCain’s experiences. It is McCain himself by using it as a cover-all excuse for his all too human failings since then.

McCain Invokes POW Days to Repel Attacks

When Elizabeth Edwards, wife of former Senator John Edwards, rebuked McCain’s medical-care proposal and noted that he’d always enjoyed government health benefits, McCain responded that he knows what it’s like to get inadequate care — “from another government.”

While this episode was particularly weired. It also points up McCain’s view of himself. Of all the suffering and tragedy that so many Americans have gone through in war and in their personal lives McCain’s is worse. His hardship beats everyone elses. These is also an element of irony here as when McCain was released his medical care was courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer. By and large an expense we were and still are happy to pay. Does it require the Senator, who’s service we all honor, too much humility to acknowledge America’s help with his recovery and his current health-care benefits.

Senator Joesph Biden is bound to face some smears and tough criticism as we head into the final months of the election, Biden’s long career filled with triumphs and tragedies

And that was not the worst of his shattering episodes – not even close. On Dec. 18, 1972, five weeks after Biden was elected to the Senate, his wife Neilia, infant daughter Naomi and sons Beau and Hunt were out in the family station wagon getting a Christmas tree when a tractor-trailer broadsided them.

Neilia and Naomi died in the crash. The boys were critically injured.

Biden devoted himself to the care of his sons and was sworn in at the bedside of one of them before they both recovered fully, growing up to become lawyers.

Would the press let Senator Biden answer every question with a reference to his own tragedy. That accident is part of Bidens history just as McCain’s aviator experience is of his. Both are bound to come up in the course of the campaign. So far it seems that McCain is the one more then willing to cross the line from recounting painful experiences into clear exploitation.

* Biden has a son who as of this writing is set to deploy to Iraq in October 2008.

Lessons in McCain speak. Not ironically has McCain answered for his clueless gaffe on how many houses he owns with the patented McCain-speak, McCain Himself Invokes POW Past To Deflect Criticism Of Houses Gaffe

“I am grateful for the fact that I have a wonderful life,” McCain said. “I spent some years without a kitchen table, without a chair, and I know what it’s like to be blessed by the opportunities of this great nation…So the fact is that we have homes, and I’m grateful for it.”

He grew up as an admiral’s kid.

John McCain Lives In Subsidized Housing

According to recent reports, John and Cindy McCain own at least 10 houses in Arizona, California, and Virgina worth an estimated total $13.8 million. These include two beachfront condos in Coronado, California, a condo in La Jolla, California, a two-unit condominium complex in Phoenix, Arizona, three ranch houses outside of Sedona, Arizona, a high-rise condo in Arlington, Virginia, a rental loft, and a loft they bought for their daughter.

Last year, according to a report (pdf) by the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, homeowner tax breaks cost the federal government $119 billion. (Economists call these “tax expenditures”). These include $73.7 billion in mortgage interest deductions, $16.8 billion in property tax deductions, and $28.5 billion in exclusion from capital gains taxes when homes are sold.

This would be OK if the tax breaks helped most middle- and working-class people, who need the cash. But they don’t. Half of all homeowners, mostly those on the bottom-half of the income ladder, don’t claim deductions at all. Among homeowners who itemize deductions, most get only a few hundred dollars a year in tax breaks. Renters, of course, don’t even qualify.

At least two thirds of our miseries…

Robert Dreyfuss writes There’s a lot less than meets the eye in the rumored US-Iraq accord. As of today anyway, how much longer will U.S. troops be in Iraq. Not the 100 years that John McCain would like and not the 16 months that Senator Obama is aiming for. The end of 2011. Because the Bush administration had wanted something like McCain’s indefinite stay ( he has since filp-flopped on that straight talk) this is something approaching good news. Prime Minister Maliki has apparently repeated himself enough times that the Bushies have realized language that sounded like an open ended stay was likely to ratchet up the violence again. Iraq, like us and mst nations has its staunch nationalists and they want us out as a matter of principle. The Kurds still want Kirkuk as part of Kurdistan. The Shiites still don’t like the Sunnis. The Sunnis still want their share of power and oil revenues.

Myths and falsehoods regarding Obama’s votes on “born alive” bills. Ann Coulter displays that Republian sense of humor once again,

while right-wing pundit Ann Coulter said that Obama “wants the doctors … chasing it through the delivery room to make sure it gets killed.”

Post-traumatic stress disorder and brain truma haunt some Iraq vets,

He was also diagnosed with a mild traumatic brain injury, the medical term for concussion. Only there’s nothing mild about it. His experience left him with constant headaches, nausea, garbled hearing, insomnia and alarming memory lapses.

Jerome Corsi: How a Racist, Conspiratorial Crank Became a Top GOP Anti-Obama Point Man

Corsi’s success represents the apotheosis of a long, strange trip from the furthest shores of the right into the national spotlight. During George W. Bush’s first term, Corsi was a little-known financial services marketing specialist. In 1995, according to the Boston Globe, he coaxed twenty people into a shadowy investment venture in Poland that ultimately lost them a total of $1.2 million. “It ruined my career in the brokerage business, and it was a sad story for a lot of people,” said Bradley Amundson, one of those enlisted into Corsi’s bungled scheme. The FBI opened an investigation but never filed any charges.

So much for Conservatives being the go-to people on financial matters. Not that the battered economy that BushCo is leaving isn’t proof enough. Well McCain and long time pal Phil “foreclosure” Gramm think its great.

First Autumn wallpaper

McCain says U.S. lives ‘wasted’ in Iraq; Democrats pounce – 3/1/2007

“Americans are very frustrated, and they have every right to be,” McCain said Wednesday on CBS television’s “Late Show With David Letterman.” “We’ve wasted a lot of our most precious treasure, which is American lives.”

At least two thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity, idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious or political idols. – Aldous Huxley

Just a gigolo – “He lives off the money made by other men and left to their daughters or wives.”

Glenn Greenwald brings up some history that has come back to haunt the Right, The right and men who live off their second wives’ inherited wealth

What’s most notable about John McCain’s confusion over the number of homes he owns isn’t merely that it demonstrates that, after running his campaign based on depicting Barack Obama as an out-of-touch elitist and himself as the all-American Everyman, McCain lives a life that is about as far removed from the Average American as one can get, and has done so for decades. What’s notable is how McCain was able to live that way. McCain himself isn’t actually rich. He just lives off the inherited wealth of his much younger former mistress and now-second-wife….

of the two contenders for the presidency who would these quotes most accurately describe,

“Which begs the question: If his own wife doesn’t trust him with her money, why should we trust him with ours?” – World Net Daily

“He worked his way up from a blue blood to a platinum American Express card, and it doesn’t have his name on it.” –  Rush Limbaugh

“a kept man. He lives off the money made by other men and left to their daughters or wives.” – Ann Coulter

“The dictionary defines “gigolo” as a man supported by a woman in return for his sexual attentions and companionship.” – American Conservative

John McCain a child and man of privilege. Here’s a guy that that thinks oh about a net worth of $5 million would make someone actually wealthy and didn’t recall how many homes he owned. The issue isn’t just about wealth. Throughout our history there have been political leaders with wealth, with some of them having a sense of humility and responsibility that should go with it. All wealth is made possible through labor. No matter how hard someone might work or how great the idea that creates that wealth there has to be workers that provide the product or service. Republicans as a rule always seem to think that their wealth is something that the stork delivers, some thing comes from the mere magic of being a Conservative. McCain was born into a privileged family and later married into great wealth. In multiple gaffes he’s shown that  he’s a typical modern post-Eisenhower Republican, wealth and privileged are seen as his birthright. He’ll do what he can to let some of it trickle down to the peasants.

John McCain – “Just a gigolo, everywhere you go, People know the part you’re playing.” from the lyrics by Irving Caesar

The Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations released a report on Bush’s presidential signing statements,

While presidents have issued signing statements for quite some time, this President has issued a significantly larger percentage of signing statements challenging or objecting to various provisions of the law. The Congressional Research Service has reviewed the last 15 years of National Defense Authorization Acts and determined that every one has been accompanied by a signing statement expressing constitutional concerns, whether signed into law by President Clinton or President Bush. However, when reviewing all signing statements issued in the past 15 years, 78 percent of President Bush’s more than 150 signing statements have raised constitutional or legal objections, compared with only 18% of all of President Clinton’s. In fact, more than 1,000 distinct provisions of law have been called into question in the Bush Administration’s signing statements for a variety of reasons.

So far the NYT, AP and CNN are reporting that Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) has been chosen as Senator Obama’s running mate. Biden takes aim at McCain’s foreign policy

“John McCain remains wedded to the Bush Administration’s myopic view of a world defined by terrorism,” Biden will say according to prepared remarks obtained by Politico.

[  ]…“This administration has focused to the point of obsession on the so-called “war on terrorism.” It has made fear the main driver of our foreign policy. It has turned a deadly serious but manageable threat – a small number of radical groups that hate America – into a ten-foot tall existential monster that dictates nearly every move we make.

This analogy has been made before, but I’ll make it again. If you had cancer rather then the careful and thoughtful regimen of treatment that concentrated on removing the malignancy the doctors just started hacking off this or that organ or body part. The latter has been Bush’s approach to terrorism and MCCain promises it will be his approach too. These are not the guys to handle terrorism, they’re slashing and burning when their way through two countries while rattling their sabers at others. To some it appears, according to the body count they’re doing something, but they’re just making the cancer grow.

If McCain picks Romney as his running mate it will probably be because of his ability to “clarify” the foot Mccain puts in his mouth every other day, Romney: McCain Doesn’t Speak For McCain When He Suggests Renegotiating The Colorado River Compact

Dallas Billionaire, McCain bundler, is anti-Obama group’s backer

The spokesman for the American Issues Project, the independent group whose ad is the most negative of the cycle and links Obama to terrorism, says the group just filed a report naming its sole donor.

The donor, spokesman Christian Pinkston said, is Dallas billionaire Harold Simmons, who made his first fortune in chain pharmacies and is now listed as the 73rd richest person in the world, with a net worth estimated by Forbes at $2.1 billion.

Again, this just can’t be true. All Republicans roll up their sleeves everyday and do an honest day’s work for an honest dollar so we’re told. Harold has been officially recognized as a McCain money bundler having raised $50 thousand and $100 thousand for poor Johnny.

McCain felt that casting Mother Theresa as a kind of surrogate cheerleader would be good for his campaign so he lied about her roll in an adoption he and his wife made. That adoption seemed like a nice thing. Why ruin it with lies and embellishments.

Johnny Hothead and His Priorities

McCain the reckless hothead

Most of us are aware at this point most Republicans can’t tell the difference between encouragng the spread of democracy and spreading death and destruction, but McCain obviously can’t tell the difference between taking a strong stand and over reacting. A Pundit Not a President

The big concern with a McCain presidency – a concern which I am surprised has not been vocalized more fully – is that the U.S. will lurch from crisis to crisis, confrontation to confrontation, whether it be with Iran, North Korea, Russia, Syria, Saudi Arabia, etc. The danger is that McCain’s pundit-like rhetoric will entrap the U.S. in descending spiral of foreign policy brinksmanship. Just think about the very likely scenario of McCain giving Iran/Russia a rhetorical ultimatum and Iran/Russia ignoring it. Now we are stuck – either we lose face by not following through on our threats or we follow through and go to war.  We can’t afford such a reckless approach after the last eight years. For the next eight we need a president not a pundit.

Obama campaign has also noticed a pattern to McCain’s blusterous over the top outbursts, Obama Campaign: McCain Is A Reckless Hothead

On a conference call with reporters just now, senior Obama foreign policy adviser Susan Rice argued that there is “a pattern here of recklessness” when it comes to McCain’s approach to various national security issues. She pointed out that McCain reacted too quickly with “aggressive and bellicose” rhetoric on the Russia-Georgia crisis, and contrasted that with Obama’s measured response to the dust-up.

“There’s something to be said for letting facts drive judgment,” Rice said, also referring to McCain’s desire to target Iraq right after 9/11.

Maybe what Johnny really means when he makes the patently ridiculous claim that he knows how to “win wars” is that he knows how to start them, but not how to stop them.

I’m one of those liberals that thinks a couple years of public service after high school is a great idea. Either in the military or something like the Freedom Corps. McCain doesn’t think it should be voluntary according to these remarks, John McCain Agrees: “If we don’t reenact the draft I don’t think we will have anyone to chase Bin Laden” If he plans on invading Russia and Iran among others, he will need some people to do the fighting while he’s vacationing in one of the family’s eight mansions. McCain isn’t sure how many homes he and his wife own – I’m continually impressed by how in touch Cons are with the average American.

About those overseas donors. Obama to see money gets returned. Mccain not so much, US OVERSEAS DONORS

John McCain’s campaign says it’s impractical to follow all the government’s instructions for keeping prohibited foreign money out of the U.S. election.

Let’s do the math. Invading’countries at the slightest provocation must somehow be pratical to McCain. Keeping track of money on the other hand, he can’t be bothered with. Experience is supposed to lead one to have a more prudent cautious world view. If McCain’s experience is what forms this take on wars and money it doesn’t reflect all that well on experience as a virtue. At least not in McCain’s case.

Except for those pink bunny slipper wearing chicken-hawks we’re all glad to hear serious withdrawl/redeploymeny talk about Iraq IRAQ WITHDRAWAL THOUGHTS.

This is very good news for Democrats. It means that our eventual withdrawal from Iraq will not only be a bipartisan action, it will have been the creation of a Republican president. This is going to make it almost impossible for conservatives to ramp up any kind of serious stab-in-the-back narrative against anti-war liberals.

Basic Obama spin: “I’m glad to see that President Bush has finally come around to my view etc. etc.” This ought to be a big win for him: he visits Iraq, meets with Nouri al-Maliki, gets Maliki’s endorsement for a near-term troop withdrawal, and then gets to applaud as President Bush signs on.

All sounds good, but the fragile semi-peace that Iraq has now could come apart if some political issues within Iraq are not resolved, Key U.S. Iraq strategy in danger of collapse

A key pillar of the U.S. strategy to pacify Iraq is in danger of collapsing because the Iraqi government is failing to absorb tens of thousands of former Sunni Muslim insurgents who’d joined U.S.-allied militia groups into the country’s security forces.

[  ]…The conflict over the militias underscores how little has changed in Iraq in the past year despite the drop in violence, which American politicians often attribute to the temporary increase of U.S. troops in Iraq that ended in July.

American military officials here have always said that the creation of the Sunni militias was at least as important to the precipitous drop in violence as the presence of 30,000 more U.S. troops, and that incorporating them into the security forces would go a long way toward bringing about the sort of reconciliation needed for long-term stability.

The majority Shiia government doesn’t trust them. Since its difficult to even get Secretary of State Rice to shorten her vacation to talk to the Russians this administration and hothead McSame don’t exactly inspire confidence in their ability to deal with political crisis. if you want to create a political crisis then the neocons are definitely the go to people.