World Map circa 1594, The Right at Center of Cross Story

Antique World map circa 1594

The Dirt In The Cross Story

So far, I’ve been unable to find any reference to McCain’s story about a Vietnamese guard drawing the sign of the cross in the dirt before 1999 when the anecdote appears in Mark Salter’s book, co-written with McCain, “Faith Of My Fathers.”

This story has developed an interesting twist. Former Watergate conspirator Charles Colson apparently started a story in the Rightie grape vine about Solzhenitsen and the cross. McCain and  Mark Salter apparently pick up on the story and in what appears to be some kind of right-wing urban myth blowback, adopt the cross story as their own. TPM checked with a Solzhenitsyn biographer who says the cross in the firt story never happened. So as the Right is want to do, theey start a fictional story about Russian novelist Alexander Solzhenitsyn and his ordeaal under the repressive and brutal former Soviet empire that appeals to conservative evangelicals ( actully is a good story, it just doesn’t appear to be true). It works its way into McCain’s otherwise honorable and courageous time as a POW. When he uses the story in 2005, a story that originated on the Right with Chuck Colson, the Republicans at The Free Republic ponce on McCain as a liar, one comment was “This guy is so full of $hit his eyes are brown. He is a sellout RINO. I would not believe a word he says.” Micheal Goldfarb currently writes on the Mccain site that all those liberal bloggers are attacking McCain. Milkie claims the “cross in the dirt” story did happen ( anyone know how many degrees of separation there are between Goldfarb and Colson),

The story Solzhenitsyn told was of a prisoner who drew a cross in the dirt in a Soviet Gulag. McCain’s story is of a guard who drew a cross in the dirt in a Vietnamese prisoner of war camp. – Goldfarb, 8-18-2008

Back to Sullivan who notes the dates and changing circumstances of the tale,

One more thing: McCain’s various stories only talk of one guard – “the only real human being that I ever met over there”. And yet the guard who loosened his ropes in May 1969 could not have been present the following Christmas, as McCain had been transferred to another location (unless the transfer occurred between Christmas and New Year of 1969 and unless the guard was transferred to exactly the same camp at the same time).

We know that Goldfarb is a lying lackey. McCain might be lying or at 72 he has accidentally, but never the less conveniently adopted a story that has a certain symbolic power for many Americans across the political spectrum. One account of Mccain’s time as a POW appeared U.S.News & World Report on May 14, 1973 John McCain, Prisoner of War: A First-Person Account. A moving story and told in great detail. There is no mention of a guard drawing any symbols in the dirt.

Mountain Cloudscape

Former Whitehouse press secretary Scott McClellan thinks it would be “very divisive” for a President Obama to investigate Bush administration crimes once in office. Yea we wouldn’t want to restore the rule of law or anything. To start thinking of presidents in general as just what they are, civil servants accountable to the people. One thing for sure is that a McCain presidency will let the rats go off to their nests collecting taxpayer provided benefits until they kick off.

Senator Obama has a few brillant wonks on staff. An interesting look at one of his ecnomists, Obama’s Geek Economist

He soon caught on, however. “When the Internet first appeared, this heated debate developed among economists,” he recalls. “One side said the Internet will make it easier for companies to price-­discriminate, and it’ll be fabulously profitable. The other side argued that the Internet will be the great equalizer–it’ll make markets close to perfectly competitive and people much more price-sensitive, and profits will be highly constrained. I’m probably the leading guy associated with that second position. Arguably, I got lucky, but what I wrote basically turned out to be correct.”

Goolsbee’s writings on this subject started bringing him “calls from all over the place, from policy makers and businesspeople–online merchants, particularly.” In the late 1990s, he published some highly influential papers that evaluated the depressive effects of taxation on Internet commerce.

No doubt a big disappointment to the Right who in typical Chicken-Little fashion claim anyone not a Republican is a pinko communists traitor that will fluoridate our drinking water and mess with our precious bodily fluids.

The Smear Gap – McCain’s attacks on Obama go too far. He knows better.

But when he resorts to these kinds of falsehoods, and casts such aspersions on his opponent’s patriotism, John McCain is no longer putting his country first. If he were, he would recognize that the interests of the nation require a relatively truthful campaign. To fulfill his image of himself, McCain should stop lying about his opponent. For a man with his claims to honor and integrity, that’s not too much to ask.

Lying is dishonorable, but if telling the truth and campaigning with some integrity will lose McCain the Whitehouse then he will continue to be dishonest. That is simply the way most Republicans think about politics, putting honor aside for them is the price to pay for winning, and they’re hapy to do so. Then as they seat back in their newly elected office they have a good laugh at those Democrats that try and run a reasoablily honorable campaign.

McCain and the Right versus McCain and the Right

Michael Goldfarb currently a water carrier for the McCain campaign and formerly a right-wing propagandist with the French champagne crowd at The Weekly Standard writes on Mccain’s web site,

Posted at 5:08 PM on 8/18/2008 by Michael Goldfarb
Smears the Left Can Fight For

In the least credible and most vicious corner of the internet, liberal bloggers at the Daily Kos are accusing John McCain of plagiarizing from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. The story Solzhenitsyn told was of a prisoner who drew a cross in the dirt in a Soviet Gulag. McCain’s story is of a guard who drew a cross in the dirt in a Vietnamese prisoner of war camp. (emphasis mine)

The problem with Mikey as usual is the absense of facts. As DailyKos has pointed out liberals didn’t start the questioning of McCain’s verasity of the “cross” story to sell himself to Evangelical voters, it was those good Republicans at The Free Republic,

In Part Four of his new book, “Character is Destiny,” McCain writes about his role as chaplain for Christmas service in his Vietnamese prison, and about a guard who snuck in at night to loosen the ropes that bound McCain, and then snuck in in the morning to tighten them before other guards could notice.

The guard said nothing while performing this kindness, but one time, in the yard, “I became aware of him as he walked near me and then, for a moment, stood very close to me. He did not speak or smile or look at me. He just stared at the ground and then, very casually, he used his foot to draw a cross in the dirt. We both stood looking at his work for a minute until he rubbed it out and walked away.”

The Free Republic comments on that passage included,

* Perhaps McCain is making obvious Christian statements to gain support for 2008.

* <sarcasm>What a great story. Christians should forget everything they know about him and vote for him.</sarcasm>

* This guy is so full of $hit his eyes are brown. He is a sellout RINO. I would not believe a word he says.

In another post about McCain  and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in 2005 the Free Republic Republicans had this to say,

He betrayed the POWs left behind in VN.

His blaming of the Christian Coalition for his loss in the primaries, and various other backstabbing of our President does not give him the high moral ground.

Maybe McCain has unconsciously, rather then maliciously adopted this cross story as his own. The problem is that McCain has a history of exaggerating, embellishing and lying. The Evidence That McCain Stole Solzhenitsyn’s Story

In a recent speech on Georgia, McCain plagiarized at least three passages from Wikipedia’s history of the country.
According to McCain’s 1973 retelling of his experience, there was only one guard who he considered human, and that guard befriended him in 1969. (kos diarist Calouste made this connection, which extends into the next two points.)
This means that McCain’s Christmas story would have taken place in 1969.
Between when he met that guard and Christmas of 1969, McCain changed prisons. Unless the guard followed him to the new prison, McCain’s story is not true.

update: It seems as though the “cross” story started with right-wing Watergate alumni Charles Colson who spun it into one of those Rightie urban myths. Attributing the story to Solzhenitsen. McCain appears to have heard the story and adopted it as his own.

Obsidian Wings notes that in a book written about some grauates of the Naval Academy includes accounts of the Christmases McCain spent in captivity written in 1995 and contains no mention of the cross incident. OW makes a good point. The least we should expect is the press to stand up and ask some questions about a story that doesn’t add up. McCain can always claim what some have called another “senior moment”, but then that undercuts his claim that he has the mental and physical capacity to be president. Maybe this is all another mission accomplished. Everyone is talking about the cross story rather then the fact that McCain cheated on the Saddleback Q&A.

McCain has been known to trash other former Vietnam POWs, POW mate calls McCain ‘liar’ over ‘turncoat’ charge

Former Orange County Supervisor Edison Miller is lashing out at John McCain, saying the presidential candidate falsely fingered him as a turncoat who was “actively aiding the enemy” while the two were imprisoned during the Vietnam War.

“He lied about me,” said the Irvine resident, who retired as a Marine Corps colonel shortly after the war. “The attacks on my character and integrity are totally without merit or justification. I did stand up and say the war was wrong. I would speak against the war, but I never spoke against my country. And I gave up no secrets.”

This former POW goes out of his way to respect McCain’s service, but thinks he’d be an awful president, Why I Will Not Vote for John McCain

Odd how McCain has had public health-care his most of his adult life. First through the military and then as a politician yet is so self-righteous about being against it for everyone else, McCain Embraces Government-Run Health Care  But Only For Veterans

– We’ve got to have incentives for people to make their own decisions about their own health care. Families should be making the decisions and not government. [Town Hall in Denver, 7/7/2008]

Republicans have become so mired in and comfortable with their constant stream of hypocrisy that what seems outrageous to normal folks is just another day at the office for them.

Something that could be said of Conservatives in general, McCain: Grow up!

Sen. McCain, on the 22nd of May, 2003, you said, of Iraq, on the Senate floor, “We won a massive victory in a few weeks, and we did so with very limited loss of American and allied lives. We were able to end aggression with minimum overall loss of life, and we were even able to greatly reduce the civilian casualties of Afghani and Iraqi citizens.”

Senator, you declared victory in Iraq, five years and nearly three months ago.

Today you say, “victory in Iraq is finally in sight?”

The victory you already proclaimed five years ago?

Are we going back in time Sir?

the invasion of Iraq was a “war” based on lies and fear which were in turn used purely for the promotion of the Right-wing Republican Party cannot be won or lost. They can only be disengaged from as soon as possible. In the mean time it would be real commander-and-chiefy of McCain to keep track of who is fighting who and that us mortals tend to travel exclusively forward in time.

The infallibility of Saint McCain

Back from his break Senator Obama points out McCain’s double back flip on off shore drilling ( which shouldn’t be an issue since oil companies aren’t even using their current leases – Just what are the companies doing with the tens of millions of acres they’re already leasing from the federal government?). Then points out there are few differences between Johnny McSame and George, No more hugs . Nothing startling here in terms of running for office and pointing up the other guy’s liabilities. Then Senator Obama demonstrates something extraordinary in modern American politics and shows in his defense of McCain why Obama should be the next president,

Even so, Obama stepped to McCain’s defense when a voter criticized his Vietnam era record. A Naval aviator, McCain spent 5- 1/2 years as a prisoner of war there after being shot down and badly wounded.

“Respectfully I’m going to disagree with you on McCain and his service,” Obama said. “I think his service was honorable. He deserves respect.”

Contrast that with McCain’s cheesy ad campaigns with its racial undertones. This little blog and a sea of liberal bloggers have all paid respects to McCain’s suffering. Yes hand in hand with severe criticism of McCain’s far right political policies. Then has been nothing like that reciprocity on the Right. The only politics they seem to know are sleaze, usually false attacks and manufactured outage. Now according to McCain’s campaign staff you can’t even point out Mccain’s lies,They Did It

Nicolle Wallace, a spokeswoman for Mr. McCain, said on Sunday night that Mr. McCain had not heard the broadcast of the event while in his motorcade and heard none of the questions.

“The insinuation from the Obama campaign that John McCain, a former prisoner of war, cheated is outrageous,” Ms. Wallace said.

Well ok then. The man is incapable of cheating because he was a POW. We shall hear no more about it.

McCain’s former experiences as a POW have magically bestowed upon him some kind of mortal infallibility. I don’t personally know any former Vietnam POWs, but I know quite a few vets from that war and most had some plenty horrible experinces including near fatal wounds, are they beyond criticism too. If they run for office is debate off the table because even the mere act of debate somehow impugns their service. Republican pundit Ann Coulter once said that a group of 9-11 widows as “self-obsessed” and enjoying their husbands’ deaths. Her complaint was that no one could dare argue with those widws becase they hide behind the deaths of their husbands. The Right of course defended Coulter. The issue wasn’t that Coulter should not be allowed to enjoy her free speech, but if she had issues with the widows to express those differences with some modicum of civility – the 9-11 widows only transgression seemed to be that they disagreed with some of his Royal Highness King George policies. Now we have a Republican campaign that says their candidate is such a saint that discussing his lies and flip flops is some kind of sacrilege. McCain’s attack ads, in light of this attitude would see to support those that claim McCain’s real message is that can’t vote for Senator Obama because he’s “uppity”. The infallible McCain living in a mental bubble, honestly believes that any challenge to him is uppity. Just what the doctor ordered another president with no humility.

McCain achieves sainthood according to his staff

Republicans among their many oft repeated self righteous claims is that they’re in touch with the average American and represent their values, Sunday morning at Saddleback Church

“We are one of those people that make over $250,000 a year, and I don’t agree that that makes us rich,” said Melinda Sacks, who runs her husband’s law office in San Clemente, referring to Obama’s answer at the forum that put her in the “wealthy” category. “Even with that kind of income, we struggle to pay everything we have gotten ourselves into.”

Talk about out of touch. Where are Michelle Malkin and the counter tops inspectors. People struggling on 250 grand a year. The median household income in the U.S. is about fifty thousand a year, which means that about 150 million Americans ( half the population) manages somehow on two hundred grand or more less then these folks. Talk about out of touch. Have they been reduced to buying their Mercedes and Cadillac Escalades slightly used.

I guess I’ll burn in hell for bringing up another issue about which McCain has taken a strong stand on both sides of the issue depending on how the tides were running, John McCain For, Against, Then For A Pro-Choice V.P.

He was for a pro-choice running mate before he was against it before he was for it.

That would be John McCain, who on a Wednesday morning campaign flight, told The Weekly Standard he’d consider a pro-choice running mate to share his ticket this fall. Which is odd, because just four months ago, he told Chris Matthews that it would be “difficult” to choose someone who is pro-choice. Which itself is odd because the last time he ran, McCain made clear that if nominated, he would indeed consider a pro-choice candidate. Which in turn is odd because for twenty years before that, McCain held a nearly perfect anti-choice voting record and firmly held anti-choice views.

What’s even odder is that the pro-choice candidate McCain praised in Wednesday’s Standard interview was Tom Ridge: “he happens to be pro-choice. And I don’t think that would necessarily rule Tom Ridge out.”

Ok that could be more mindless pandering then flip-flopping.

Black and White Rose wallpaper

Black and White Rose wallpaper

Why have some rabid bizarre opinions become a regular part of the media, The extreme-right way to make a buck

Corsi is frank about his motives for writing “The Obama Nation.” As he told the New York Times this week: “The goal is to defeat Obama. I don’t want Obama to be in office.”

That’s clear enough from the text. You can pretty well sum the whole thing up this way: The Democratic candidate is a deceitful jihadist drug addict who, if elected, plans to impose a black supremacist, socialist regime.

Obama’s campaign learned from Kerry’s experience, and you can go to its website to see a point-by-point, factual rebuttal of Corsi’s book. Other organizations — notably Media Matters — have posted similar analyses. It’s pretty convincing stuff, not least because Corsi so frequently refers to the Illinois senator’s own books and almost invariably gets it wrong.

Corsi seems to be popping up everywhere. If the media thinks that People like Corsi really have something valuable to contribute to the public debate then why not bring on the people that think they’re Jesus Christ. How about people that think that believe in the Geocentric model of the universe. if the battle of ideas or fair and balanced now includes people like Corsi that can’t tell the difference between their delusion insults and reality, then don’t we really need to get the ball rolling on giving every nutjob their time in the spotlight too. More here, Mainstreaming Crazy

[   ]…but the job of a book like this isn’t necessarily to get people to buy the book, but rather to legitimize some of these existent themes by having it be publicly discussed. It’s another way of getting out the word, that’s all. They don’t care if the media is refuting it or not — after all it’s the “liberal media.”

McCain trips up on net neutrality

McCain tech policy: crack down on piracy, fix patent mess

It is unclear what exactly determines when he will support regulation and when he will not. His policy paper claims that he supports regulation in cases where it is needed to protect consumers, but he explicitly opposes net neutrality despite clear evidence of abuses by major telecom companies.

McCain thinks corporate America will be swell and fair guardians of the net. Much like they’ve been good guardians of American jobs and the environment i guess. McCain also thinks Internet “piracy” is a global epidemic. That would be code for using our law enforcement resources to get those twelve year olds downloading the occasional mp3Piracy is one ill that is out there, but too low on the scale of priorities to get outraged about. Letting coporations choke off bandwidth where and when they like is something deserving of outrage.

Harbor Boats wallpaper. The developers of the plug-in I used to help create the effect call this brown black&white.

McCain and his mother don’t recall old lawsuits

In the 1990 lawsuit, John and Carol McCain jointly sought $1 million in punitive damages after a property management firm mistakenly threw out some McCain family treasures from a garage the McCains shared with an adjacent townhouse. The lost items included letters McCain wrote to his wife as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

In his e-mail, Bounds said McCain “had no knowledge of the suit: He did not authorize the suit or participate in its filing.”

But the lawyer who represented the McCains said she did indeed speak to McCain and get his permission to sue on his behalf.

In itself not that big an issue, but it shows a tendency shared by Bush and Cheney to lie in situations where the truth wouldn’t have hurt all that much with the general public. On the other hand maybe the McCain doesn’t want to rankle the right-wingers who think its a crime to sue someone for damages or to recover property.

Scary McCain and the Gutter Dwellers

H/T to Mark Kleiman at The RBC for this link  to, John McCain the presidential candidate some Arizonans know — and loathe It a fairly long piece in which Amy Goodman exposes McCain’s notorious temper, fundamentally seedy nature and strong tendencies to not let ethics get between him and what is politically expedient. A couple of major points from Mark’s summary,

1. McCain arranges for an extortion investigation against he guy who blew the whistle on his wife’s theft of medicine from the charity she ran.

4. A Republican governor is driven from office and replaced by a Democrat, Rose Mofford, who previously served as Secretary of State and has little knowledge of the Central Arizona Project, a huge piece of Federal pork. McCain helps Republican efforts to get her recalled by setting her up to be blindsided at a Senate hearing just eight days after she is sworn in. He gleefully brags about his role at lunch with a newspaper publisher — “I’ll embarrass a Democrat any time I get the chance” — then proceeds directly to tell a bunch of reporters “I’d never do anything like that.” He later calls the Governor and tells her “I didn’t have anything to do with that.”

Probably like many other bloggers I’m regretting ever taking up for McCain against attacks from Bush in 2000 and the right-wing Blogistan. McCain was attacked much in the same way that he has attacked others. What goes around comes around as they say.

Not Scary?

Remember Senator Obama’s recent tour to see the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. It included some goodwill stops introducing himself to a few western European heads of state. Dana Milbank at The Washington Post wrote,

Barack Obama has long been his party’s presumptive nominee. Now he’s becoming its presumptuous nominee.

Milbank skips over the fact that most modern presidential candidates have taken similar tours and had similar briefings. You know in case they’re elected they don’t start off completely flat footed. Yet we now have self appointed President McCain sending his emissaries to do what we don’t know. In terms of substantive negotiations, this seems like a mockery of diplomacy,  McCain’s hand maidens Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham have no authority to sign off on anything. What McCain is doing now is a possible violation of the Logan Act. While no one has ever been prosecuted under the Act it plainly states that unauthorized citizens cannot negotiate with foreign governments. Senators and Representatives can and do go on fact finding and good will missions, but the manner and bluster surrounding the genuinely presumptuous nominee makes it seem as though that is why they’re in Georgia. Exactly the impression McCain, with is history of public dog and pony shows wants to create.

“Rather fail with honor than succeed by fraud.”- Sophocles, Corsi’s previous appearance on “pro-White” radio show was streamed live on “White Nationalist”

Jerome Corsi’s appearance on the July 20 edition of The Political Cesspool Radio Show — during which he promoted The Obama Nation and criticized Sen. Barack Obama — was streamed “Live” on the self-described “White Nationalist” and “White Pride” website Prior to Corsi’s appearance on the July 20 broadcast, host James Edwards claimed that “most Jews … regard[] Jews and whites as two different races,” and co-host Winston Smith repeatedly referred to Obama as a “mulatto.”

Poor Corsi who’s political ideals live and die by the smear, lies and gross distortions, does as we can see have some odd friends. Republican blogger the Presto Pundit, Greg Ransom, on August 16, 2008 writes

has a handful of factual errors which any good editor would have excised. All these little errors are being use by the left to attack the reputation of Jerome Corsi and his book.  What it should damage instead is Mary Matlin’s reputation as a editor.  I have the book, and I’m impressed with the enormous amount of factual detail, all footnoted, and most all of it as accurate as available public.

PP must wear some pretty thick rose colored glasses with his blinders, Corsi fails to get the most basic of facts correct,


LIE: “The year 1995 was a banner one for Obama. He had just married Michelle and the couple bought a Hyde Park condo, the first home Obama ever owned.”[p 145]


10/3/92 Obama And Michelle Robinson Were Married. [Chicago Sun-Times, 10/3/07]

1993 Obama Bought a Condo for $277,550. [Chicago Sun-Times, 1/22/06]

Corsi didn’t bother with reading the policy papers that Obama published on his web site or did and decided to ignore them. He and his editor Conservative hack Mary Matalin should, assuming they see integrity as a virtue, not want to put out a book that is bizarre its so filled with inaccuracies, Publisher’s promotional materials for Corsi’s Obama Nation echo falsehood and baseless charge in book

If some people like Corsi, Stormfront and Presto don’t want to vote for Senator Obama, by all means don’t. What many Americans don’t understand is the gutter load of malicious disformation to try and sway them. One guesses that since it worked to enough of a degree against John Kerry to get Bush elected in 2004 it will work again. Maybe people will see that these fringe crazies are McCain supporters. If they support McCain what does that say about their candidate. Given the opportunity to denounce the book McCain declined.

Compass wallpaper II

Compass wallpaper II

In this post at pandagon Obama Haterade discussing the hate campaign against Senator Obama by the Right some trolls to lend their thoughts. Maybe the modrn Conservative mind really doesn’t get it. They equate disagreeing with McCain and goodness forbid, calling him things like McSame as the same thing as the hate e-mail like this. There is nothing comparable in the hateful smear department going on against John McCain on the popular Democratic blogs or magazine sites like The Nation or Alternet. Pointing out McCain multitude of hypocrisies, panderings and lies is not hateful, its politics. More often then not liberals tend toward satire or snark mixed with some genuine and usually justfied outrage.

As far as i know there is no liberal version of nuts like Jerome Corsi, Jerome Corsi: Obama Camp Fighting Swiftboat Attack

Marc Ambinder has more on how Barack Obama’s campaign is quietly pushing back:

Barack Obama’s campaign hasn’t said much publicly about Jerome Corsi’s 2008 polemic against Barack Obama, but don’t think for a minute that his aides aren’t paying attention, and don’t confuse the relative silence for a lack of action. Chastened by Sen. John Kerry’s 2004 refusal to respond quickly enough to Corsi and the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ads, the campaign is determined to discredit Corsi, quickly.

“We are aggressively attacking the factual errors in this book, and making sure that everyone knows about the deeply offensive things Corsi has said that will give readers of any political affiliation pause and ample reason to question the lies he’s written,” Tommy Vietor, an Obama spokesperson, said in a statement. …

The campaign is quietly shopping around research to anyone who wants it and is encouraging allies to look into Corsi’s background.

So far, it seems to be working. Last night, Larry King and his guests all assailed Corsi for his poor sourcing and unprofessional past. Even the Republican strategist on the air said, “I would strongly encourage Republicans not to use [the book]. I think going after someone’s religion is the lowest form of politics.” Joe Klein pummeled the book (and its backer Mary Matalin)

Corsi and the people that swallow the crazy swill he writes are haters. Thy could careless about actual issues and civil debate. Its all about eliminationism. if you’re not a paid up member of Wingnuttia then any kind of character assassination is allowed. The Corsis are all about the cult of fringe right conservatism, the very antithesis of an enlightened modern democracy.

Michelle Malkin is up to her usually low standards of accuracy in reporting. The Somali man found with sodium cyanide in his room was in typical knee jerk fashion declared to be a Muslim by Malkin and the right-wing blog echo. Tuns out he was probably a Christian, When wingnuts go looking for terrorists. Does that mean then that all Christians are bad because of this guy. Of course not. A ridiculous idea and one that goes both ways. If he had been a Jew or Hindu that would not in anyway constitute proof that those religions and every member of them is a bad person. This on going effort to use antedoctal evidence to paint millions of people as evil based on the actions of a few isn’t a  case of the Right knowing better and putting on an act. This is the way they think. The sky is constantly falling and the liberals, Muslims, women, African-Americans, ad nauseum are out to get you.

Who died and made John Mccain president, McCain’s Focus on Georgia Raises Question of Propriety

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili says he talks to McCain, a personal friend, several times a day. McCain’s top foreign policy adviser, Randy Scheunemann, was until recently a paid lobbyist for Georgia’s government.

[  ]…”We talk about how there’s only one president at a time, so the idea that you would send your own emissaries and really interfere with the process is remarkable,” said Lawrence Korb, a Reagan Defense Department official who now acts as an informal adviser to the Obama campaign. “It’s very risky and can send mixed messages to foreign governments. . . . They accused Obama of being presumptuous, but he didn’t do anything close to this.”

[  ]…”You know, I think he spends less time on his presidential campaign these days and lots of time on Georgia,” Saakashvili said. “And I really appreciate that, because Senator McCain has been fighting for freedom of Georgia for many, many years.”

He added a moment later: “And the same for Senator Obama.”

Taylor Marsh sums it up,

This is exactly what’s wrong with U.S. foreign policy wrapped up in one single   sentence. Our interests are absolutely not the same as the Georgians. By walking   into Saakashvili’s trap, McCain has not only been played, but he’s also arrogantly implied that the America’s interests are tied to Georgia. Playing president without the people’s vote is hubris at its most alarming level.

Joe Biden has it exactly correct. Russia has a lot to lose here, but instead, John   McCain is putting the emphasis on America’s solidarity with Georgia, ignoring   the implications of such a hinted promise that extends beyond humanitarian   aid, with some rearmament already hinted. The focus, again, must be on Russia and the repercussions financially….as well as the legitimate questions about Russia’s actions….

America cannot continue being the world’s policeman without collapsing in financial ruin. McCain’s no genius on economics, but his basic ignorance of our current challenges is frightening.

We all sympathize with Georgia even if they are partially to blame for the current state of affairs, Putin reminds me of a Russian Bush. Andrew Sullivan puts McCain’s bluster in historical context,

McCain is very, very comfortable in this situation. It speaks his language. A thoroughly twentieth-century figure, he lives and breathes war and conflict as a state of being. For him, it is always 1938 somewhere; America’s duty is to control, occupy or intervene wherever any rival seeks influence and any group does not share our alleged values.

The shorter version. McCain and that part of the Right cheering his completely inappropriate and possibly dangerous meddling is the inability to differentiate between spreading democracy and death and destruction.

The Konservative Komedy of That Wacky John McCain

That wacky John McCain

McCain does keep repeating the word experience as though it were a mantra. maybe experience has taught the media’s favorite maverick that the public’s attention span is short and the Mccainiacs drool over every thing he says anyway. In August 2008 McCain: ‘In the 21st century, nations don’t invade other nations.’, but just this past January McCain said he didn’t care whether Iraq had WMD or not he would have invaded anyway. Further adding what was the point of looking back. I don’t know maybe some people look back to learn from their mistakes. If day after day McCain refuses to learn from his mistakes then how can he continue to make the claim that experience is one of his great qualifications. If McCain had been president two days ago we might be at war with Russia right now. Since he wasn’t president he had a two day cooling off period to come to that bit of stellar wisdom about the 21st century. McCain sounds more like a candidate for craziest uncle then the president of the U.S.

McCain isn’t presumptuous at all?  Just because he appears to operating some kind of under the radar talks to Georgia through his political surrogates McCain Announces That Lieberman And Graham Are Going To Georgia

In the can you imagine game can we picture the volume of shrill outrage if Senator Obama sent some of his political surrogates to Georgia or Russia pretending to be able to take tangible action, diplomatic or otherwise.

Iraq minister: US combat troops to pull out in three years under new deal

American soldiers will withdraw from cities across Iraq next summer and all US combat troops will leave the country within three years, provided the violence remains low, under the terms of a draft agreement with the Iraqi Government.

In one of the most detailed insights yet into the content of the deal, Hoshyar Zebari, the Iraqi Foreign Minister, has also told The Times that the US military would be barred from unilaterally mounting attacks inside Iraq from next year.

The U.K.s Times has been off on this stuff before, but it does make sense that Bush would want to be aable to end his rule on a somewhat hopeful note. The media will no dought, in one unnified hog call say this helps Mccain. It would actually rob Mccain of one thing to talk like a puffed up school yard brat about.

Lake and Snow Capped Mountains Wp

Conservatism discards Prescription, shrinks from Principle, disavows Progress; having rejected all respect for antiquity, it offers no redress for the present, and makes no preparation for the future. – Benjamin Disraeli

Further Confirmation Bush Cooked Iraq Intel

Scott Ritter in a very long winded article doesn’t confirn Ron Suskind’s account of the Whitehouse falsifying information that was supposed to cofirm an operational link between Saddam and al Qaeda, and the continuation of a WMD program that had long been suspended. What he does do is explain that there were many front line Iraqi scientists and technicians that knew there was no active WMD program. Furthermore that Iraqi Intelligence, the Mukhabarat knew months in advance of the March 2003 invasion that the occupation of Iraq was a done deal regardless of what U.N. inspectors found or didn’t find. ‘Where Are the Weapons of Mass Destruction?’

In my extensive dealings with him, Mohammed has never lied to me or exaggerated about events he was personally involved in. His story establishes a pattern of behavior which shows how the Bush administration, especially when operating in the form of small, ideologically motivated teams functioning outside the norms and conventions of the mainstream, was able to consider (in Mohammed’s case) manufacturing data and circumstances to bolster its false case for invading Iraq, and (per author Ron Suskind) actually manufacture such data and circumstances. I trust Mohammed. And so I am willing to believe Suskind and his sources about similar cases of fraud, this time in the form of the CIA’s manufactured Mukhabarat document.

Even though I understand that Georgia made the first and clearly provocative move toward South Ossetia I still admit to a my bias in favor of a country that was steadily moving toward western style democracy. But I’m just a blogger. The media on the other hand is supposed to either be balanced or put their stories on the op-ed page. With that in mind one take on the implications of the Georgia-Russia conflict, The South Ossetian War: Some thoughts

Well, perhaps inside the NYT bubble things look like that. (“Harsh Russian aggressors! Poor, long-suffering Georgian victims!”) But in the rest of the world– and almost certainly within Russia itself — they probably look very different, or perhaps even the reverse of that. There have certainly been civilian victims of Georgian military power within South Ossetia, and Georgian civilian victims of Russian military power within Georgia.

The link is to another blog which in turn links to another blog. The first link-blogger flat out condemns the idea that any war can be considered a “humanitarian” intervention. While I can’t go quite that far this does seem a case where armed aggressive intervention would do more harm then good both in the immediate future and the broader implications of a large U.S. or NATO force battling with Russia. Are the proponents of such intervention, a repeat of Iraq, saying that another five years of fighting with something that looks a like like small scale genocide and a few million refugees is a humanitarian action. Then after five years, probably thousands more American causalities then Iraq we can have another surge and declare victory.

Good old Glenn Beck. He’s more fun then a five day old barrel of dead fish, CNN’s Beck inflated estimated ANWR oil production by nearly 7,000 percent

Glenn Beck falsely claimed that “drilling in ANWR alone would yield 100 million barrels a day.” In fact, according to Energy Department researchers, if the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is opened for drilling for oil in 2008, the estimated peak production would yield, at most, 1.45 million barrels a day in 2028.

Los Angeles Downtown Skyline wallpaper

R Stands for Free Pass – Georgia and the Neocon Mind

All life is politics and when you’re a Republican life is also magic. Republicans, the party of toe tapping Senator Larry Graig (R-Idaho), teen stalker Congressman Mark Foley(R-Fl) and general all-around dirtbag former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich weighed in on John Edwards like a pack of starving jackals. If puritanical hypocrisy is one of their favorite games then how has maverick McBush escaped the Right’s bone picking, P.O.W. to Power Broker, A Chapter Most Telling

He had always dreamed of doing something great, of imprinting his name on the history books, but at age 42 he found himself with a stuttering military career and no base from which to go into politics.

On top of that, his personal life was a mess: Although he was still living with his wife, he was aggressively courting a 25-year-old woman who was as beautiful as she was rich.

[  ]…For a candidate running on character and biography, it is also an awkward time to remember: Mr. McCain abandoned his wife, who had reared their three children while he was in Vietnamese prisons, and he then began his political career with the resources of his new wife’s family.

Yet although Mr. McCain’s children and some friends were angry and disappointed with him at the time, they rally around him today.

Its amazing what that capital R after your name can get you. Add to that McCain’s suffering as a POW and people, perhaps predictably are slower to pass harsh judgment. A perfect storm for Johnny. McCain, his personal life, and statements ‘that conflict with the public record’

Yes, McCain committed adultery — and then was far from truthful about it.

McCain did not sue his wife for divorce until Feb. 19, 1980, and he wrote in his court petition that he and his wife had “cohabited” until Jan. 7 of that year — or for the first nine months of his relationship with Hensley.

Although McCain suggested in his autobiography that months passed between his divorce and remarriage, the divorce was granted April 2, 1980, and he wed Hensley in a private ceremony five weeks later. McCain obtained an Arizona marriage license on March 6, 1980, while still legally married to his first wife.

Does it matter. According to a CBS poll done in December of 2007 a third of voters said they would not vote for a candidate that has been unfaithful. The issue also puts a spotlight on McCain’s “straight talk”.

Hell may have frozen over. The Wall Street Journal manages some faint praise for Senator Obama, Barack and the Buck

This ought to be a bigger story. In linking the dollar to oil prices, Mr. Obama is pointedly at odds with the Bush Administration and Federal Reserve, both of which blame high commodity prices on supply and demand, despite falling demand due to slower global growth.

That last bit is stretching things a bit and dragging the Senator along for the ride. Demand isn’t down solely due to “slower global growth”. Actually that assertion is so wrong its silly. Demand is down especially in the U.S. and western Europe because prices are so high. In July, a traditionally a month when Americans do a lot of car travel, travel by car was down 3.2% from last year. Good thing too, because that dropped in demand somewhat leveled off prices. Still for the WSJ to all but call Bush a liar and state that McCain needs to get up to speed on monetary policy is remarkable.

Georgia on My Mind

The Georgian leadership, and indeed a whole generation of Georgians, tethered their hopes to George W. Bush and the hollow promises of his administration. Now at the moment of truth, Bush will almost certainly let them down. He has overextended America’s military presence around the world, whittling down America’s uniformed professional military just as he has undertaken two simultaneous wars. The Pentagon is telling Bush that he has stretched the nation’s fighting force perilously close to the breaking point. A conflict involving a major military power, like Russia, is beyond the realm of contemplation. Vice President Cheney, whose bellicose rhetoric has done much to provoke the problems now bubbling in the Caucasus, says that the Russian acts of aggression in Georgia “must not go unanswered.” But thanks to the serial strategic misadventures that make up Bush-Cheney foreign policy, there is little prospect of Russia’s actions being answered by a flex of military muscle of the United States or of NATO. Putin’s calculation is that an America bogged down in two conflicts in the Middle East will let him give the Georgians a whipping. Putin is probably right.

Talk is cheap especially crazy talk like that coming from Cheney and McCain. Who put the U.S. in this position. While there are the real world considerations of a thinly spread military there was also the psychological aspect. Putin looks at all the pieces on the board and all the possible moves and thanks to the neocons including Mccain, Putin gets his check-mate. If Bush and the neocon zealots had focused on Afghanistan rather then rushing into Iraq we’d be holding a stronger hand. Then imagine if Georgia had been admitted to NATO with the U.S. fighting on two fronts how humiliating that would have been, not to come to a new member’s aid. U.S. knew Georgia trouble was coming, but couldn’t stop it

Bush administration officials, worried by what they saw as a series of provocative Russian actions, repeatedly warned Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili to avoid giving the Kremlin an excuse to intervene in his country militarily, U.S. officials said Monday.

Some experts, however, wondered whether the administration might have inadvertently sent Saakashvili mixed messages that would have led him to believe he could count on U.S. support if he got into trouble.

Bush lavished praise on the U.S.-educated Georgian leader as a “beacon of democracy.” He gave military training and equipment to Georgia, which supplied the third-largest contingent to the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq, and had promised NATO membership, they said. He visited the country in 2005 and addressed a huge crowd from the same podium as Saakashvili.

“The Russians have clearly overreacted but President Saakashvili . . . for some reason seems to think he has a hall pass from this administration,” said former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage.

U.S. officials had been warning of Russian actions designed to provoke Georgia for months.

I’m a little shocked at this post from Liberal Oasis where supposedly liberals are taking some kind of rhetorical beating. Bush is mumbling his way through. McCain and Cheney think Georgia is worth WW III and liberals are losing the rhetorical high ground? Sounds more like something I’d read at The Onion. Georgia has pushed and prodded before. If they gambled that now was a great time to mess with the staus quo that’s a comment about Georgia’s leadership and how BushCo managed expectations, not about Democrats and tasty sound bites. Remember that Bush is THE DECIDER GUY on foreign policy and McCain feels the same way. All liberals have to do is point to the wasteland that is neoconservative policy. They screwed over Georgia. Bush on Russia and Putin, Press Conference by President Bush and Russian Federation President Putin

I enjoyed the opportunity to meet President Putin in person for the first time. I am convinced that he and I can build a relationship of mutual respect and candor. And I’m convinced that it’s important for the world that we do so.

Putin is really showing the cowboy from Connecticut some respect. I’ll twist Fred Kaplan’s words just a bit, the Georgians didn’t know Bush like we know Bush, The Limits of Bluster

It’s heartbreaking, but even more infuriating, to read so many Georgians quoted in the New York Times—officials, soldiers, and citizens—wondering when the United States is coming to their rescue. It’s infuriating because it’s clear that Bush did everything to encourage them to believe that he would. When Bush (properly) pushed for Kosovo’s independence from Serbia, Putin warned that he would do the same for pro-Russian secessionists elsewhere, by which he could only have meant Georgia’s separatist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

As Matthew notes, if Iraq wasn’t the neocons hitting the wall on getting their way through “bluff-and-bluster” then Georgia certainly is. We not likely to see any humility in the next few days, McCain and surrogates will surely give many a red faced angry fist shake at Russia, all symbolizing their utter impotence and the impoverished world view that got us to this point.

Black and White Globe wallaper

Twilight in Manhattan New York wallpaper

The entire state of Hawaii, the hospital where Senator Obama was born, Harvard University, the state of Illinois and a dozen other official entities conspired about 46 years ago to create a fictional birth certificate and life story for Senator Obama – More Fun With the Dumbest People on the Internet. Before Obama ran for president these same people could be found at Flat Earth Society Meetings wearing their “I was kidnapped by an alien” t-shirts.