Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Worse Than Watching The Stock Market

I've always enjoyed editorial cartoons. The old adage about a picture being worth a thousand words was never more true than with political cartoons.

McCain and the Confederate Battle Flag

I'll be honest. I don't really care what actual view McCain might have about the Confederate battle flag. I'm more interested in what he had to say afterwards when he was caught wanting it both ways. In a speech , McCain had this to say about the controversy about not giving an honest answer:

"As I admitted, I should have done this earlier, when an honest answer could have affected me personally. I did not do so for one reason alone. I feared that if I answered honestly, I could not win the South Carolina primary. So, I chose to compromise my principles. I broke my promise to always tell the truth. . . .

What do we learn from this?

1. McCain admits that he lies.

2. He'll compromise his principles.

3. He'll say whatever to get elected.

And that's the real McCain.

Monday, September 29, 2008

McCain Changing Tune on Regulation and Bailouts

You have to hand it to McCain. When everything's good, he's for deregulation. When it goes bad, he switches over to being for regulation. We used to call that opportunism, but since McCain is a straight talker, hell, it's still opportunism.

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Palin Quote Generator

For those of you who have had the wonderful opportunity to sit through one of Palin's whopping three interviews, you might find the Palin Quote Generator amusing. It's admittedly silly, but so was McCain for picking Palin to be his VP.
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The Keating 5

For those of us who can remember the last banking scandal, it's a bit amusing that McCain is at the center of much of it again. That deregulation debacle only cost the taxpayers about $125 billion. One of the things to come out of it though was the Keating 5 scandal. I should be clear that McCain was never convicted of any wrongdoing. Of course the key word is "convicted." However, "McCain was criticized by the {Senate}Committee for exercising "poor judgment" when he met with the federal regulators on Keating's behalf." You see, McCain attended private and secret meetings with the very people who were supposed to be regulating his friend Keating's industry, the Savings and Loan business. This was the same friend, who through his own and other's donations, had given McCain over $100,000 for his campaigns. He also had taken McCain on his private plane to the Bahamas. The trips, or rather McCain finally paying for them, also caused a controversy because although McCain has always maintained he intended to pay Keating back for them, it conveniently took him several years to do so and only after the scandal was starting to occur.

In the end, McCain had this to say:
"I was judged eventually, after three years, of using, quote, poor judgment, and I agree with that assessment."

Do you all get the feeling too that this wasn't the first and it probably won't be the last time that McCain used poor judgment.
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Sunday, September 28, 2008

McCain Ad on Debate

Please watch this and tell me what the heck point McCain is trying to make. Obama agrees with McCain that we need more responsibility, and that's his big "Gotcha" moment? The earmarks process has been abused? That's controversial? McCain is upset that Obama realizes that the process has flaws and could use some tweaking, and you criticize him for that? Obama recognizes that at least on paper (I'll leave the whole discussion about effective tax rate for another day) business taxes are high, and that's a bad thing? That's at least three straws McCain is grasping at, I wonder how many more there will be.

But the end of the commercial is what gets me. "Is Barack Obama ready to lead? No." I am just going to be charitable and assume that no one in the McCain campaign ever took a logics class. So if someone agree with you on three things, they aren't ready to lead? But if you agree on those same three things, doesn't that mean you McCain are not ready to lead either? Or is McCain trying to make that unless Obama disagrees with him on everything (no matter how inconsequential), then he can't be president? Guess what McCain, mature adults can agree on some things and disagree on other things, and it has nothing to do with capacity to lead. Only an immature child would think otherwise. Don't believe me? Play this stupid game. "Hey McCain, Hitler says the sun is hot, ice is cold, and we need air to breathe. What, you agree with Hitler?" I am being absurd because McCain is being absurd. I've been watching political ads for a good two decades now, and this one probably has to be near the bottom for its lack of logic.

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McCain Starts Debate Off With A Lie

I know, the title of this post doesn't shock you like I would hope. But it's worth pointing out anyways. Here's one of the first points McCain made in the debate:

SEN. MCCAIN: But there's also the issue of responsibility. You've mentioned President Dwight David Eisenhower. President Eisenhower, on the night before the Normandy invasion, went into his room, and he wrote out two letters. One of them was a letter congratulating the great members of the military and Allies that had conducted and succeeded in the greatest invasion in history -- still, to this day, and forever. And he wrote out another letter, and that was a letter of resignation from the United States Army for the failure of the landings at Normandy. Somehow we've lost that accountability.
I've been heavily criticized because I called for the resignation of the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Pretty impressive. Powerful imagery. Made for some good TV. Except for a couple of minor issues. First, McCain was not criticized for saying he would ask for the resignation of the SEC Chairman. He was criticized for saying he would FIRE the SEC chairman, a power that no president has. Geez McCain, why don' you listen to the moral of your own little story and take some responsibility by owning up to the fact that you either misspoke or don't know what powers the president has, but don't try to play the victim.
Second, thanks to the National Archives, we actually have a copy of Eisenhower's letter. And guess what, he never offers to resign if the operation was a failure. He does take responsibility for its failure, but he never offers to resign. What makes this so sad is that McCain obviously thought about this before the debate and this was going to be his great tug at the hearts showpiece at showing how great leaders take responsibility. Unfortunately, he got it wrong. Somehow I doubt he'll take the responsibility of admitting he was wrong.

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The Maverick on Earmarks

McCain makes a good bit of noise about being against earmarks. And if he truly believes they are wrong and stands against them on principle, well good for him. So what does a maverick who is fervently against earmarks do? Pick a vice presidential running mate who runs a state that leads the nation in receiving earmarks per capita. (Alaska received $506.34 per person) According to the Wall Street Journal (no liberal rag), in the two years that Palin has been governor, she asked for nearly half a billion dollars (that's a 5 with a bunch of zeros) in earmarks. And if you're thinking Alaska needed the money, think again. This year, every person (including children) got a check for $3200 due to Alaska's oil revenues. You would think that people who don't like the federal government and believe in local government wouldn't be asking for federal money and instead be using their own money to pay for projects in their state. But alas, that's asking for a consistency that they sorely lack. Just look at McCain's VP pick.
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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Retired Enlisted Association

Retired Enlisted Association sees it as their mission :

"To enhance the quality of life for uniformed services enlisted personnel, their families and survivors- including active components and all retirees; to stop the erosion of earned benefits through our legislative efforts, to maintain our esprit de corps, dedication and patriotism, and to continue our devotion and allegiance to God and Country."

In their latest rankings, they gave John McCain an 18 out of 100.
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Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America

The Mission of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America is:

"to ensure the enactment of policies that properly provide for our Troops & Veterans, keep our military strong, and guarantee our national security for the purpose of a stronger America. We uniquely empower Iraq & Afghanistan combat veterans to use their credibility and experiences to speak truth to power, shape public opinion, and place a priority on these issues."

In their latest rankings of members of Congress, they gave John McCain a D. They gave Obama a B+. Been awhile since I received a letter grade for a class, but I still remember that a B+ is much better than a D. So perhaps McCain does love veterans. They just don't love him in return.
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DAV and McCain

McCain spends a lot of time talking about his love of veterans. He made it a point to say as much in the debate this past week. As a veteran myself, this issue hits a little near the bone. My personal views have changed a little since I was in the Army, but I still respect those who were my fellow soldiers. I had thought I could say most of what I wanted to say on this issue in one post, but I realize now it will probably take several. So over the next few weeks, I will post about different aspects of McCain's treatment of Veterans.

Today, we will start with the Disabled American Veterans. This is a non-partisan group chartered by Congress. They rank members of Congress based on their support of issues that concern the DAV. One would think that McCain would be up there near the top in the latest rankings. Maybe even a 100 out of 100. He's not. He gets a whopping 20 out of 100 from this veterans organization. Obama? He received an 80 out of 100. So if nothing else, Disabled American Veterans seems to have some pretty big issues with McCain's support of veterans.
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Friday, September 26, 2008

Flag Lapel Pin

This is petty, but hey, most things about American politics are petty. We all know about the big stink that occurred because Obama wasn't wearing a flag lapel pin. Sean Hannity even said, “Why do we wear pins? Because our country is under attack!”

So when I get home tonight from work my wife already has the debate on. I don't particularly like debates because I don't find that much substantial comes out of them. But I sit down and watch for a bit anyways. What's the first thing I notice? Obama is wearing a flag lapel pin and McCain isn't. Since conservatives are so well known for their consistency, I can't wait to hear what they have to say about McCain's lack of patriotism.
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McCain And His Stunt This Week

This is what one of McCain's old advisers had to say about McCain's actions this week:

"It just proves his campaign is governed by tactics and not ideology," said Republican consultant Craig Shirley, who advised McCain earlier in this cycle. "In the end, he blinked and Obama did not. The 'steady hand in a storm' argument looks now to more favor Obama, not McCain."
Shirley added, "My guess is that plasma units are rushing to the McCain campaign as we speak to replace the blood flowing there from the fights among the staff."
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But What About My Taxes

McCain has repeatedly said that Obama will raise taxes, and Obama and fact checking organizations have repeatedly pointed out that this is not true for the majority of American. So if you vote based solely on whether your taxes will go up or down, then this website might interest you. You type in the numbers of your own situation (income, deductions, and the like) and it lets you know how you will fare under a McCain or Obama presidency.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Google In Quotes

Google has come out with this nifty little feature called "In Quotes." It allows you to pick a variety of subjects, anything from health care to social security, and see what Obama and McCain have had to say on the issue. If you really want to have fun, you can even choose other politicians to compare their quotes about the issues as well.

Campbell Brown On The Sexist Treatment Of Palin

Brown discussing the sexist treatment of Palin.

David Letterman on McCain

You may have heard about this already. McCain called up Letterman and said he was racing back to D.C to take care of the economic problems and so he couldn't be on the show. The problem being is that he wasn't and Letterman was not too happy about it when he saw McCain being interviewed by Katie Couric when he was supposed to be on Letterman's show. Sheesh, the guy even lies to Letterman.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Johnny Cash

There is a new documentary coming out and this is just a piece of it. Listening to it, I heard the names of many of my heroes. As a kid, I devoured books on American history. I later went on to get a graduate degree in American history. My political views, though a bit out of the mainstream, are uniquely American, and I see little difference in Eugene Debs leading the Pullman strikes and the Sons of Liberty dumping tea in the Boston Harbor. The Botto House in New Jersey sent as many shivers up my spine as when I visited Harper's Ferry and saw where John Brown led his raid. All of this is to say that we need to be careful about when we make statements about who is more patriotic or who loves their country the most. Johnny Cash was able to transcend so many of the divisions of America because he realized we were all uniquely American. My experience may not be the same as your experience but it doesn't make it any less part of the American experience. And reading the headlines, it looks like we are all going to be in the same boat together battling some rough seas. Pause for just a minute and enjoy the words of Cash.

Roy Zimmerman Explains The Bush Doctrine

This is a song by musical satirist Roy Zimmerman.

McCain Again Out Of Step With Average Americans

Today McCain announced that he would suspend his campaign to focus on the bailout crisis. (The bailout that Republicans are supposed to be against according to their own platform, see earlier post) Furthermore, he wants the debate scheduled for Friday night to be postponed. However, Americans don't agree with him. In polls taken today, only 10% thought the debate should be postponed. And only 14% thought the campaigns should be suspended.

It's somewhat amusing that the guy who has missed the most votes in this Congress due to his campaign now all of a sudden wants to suspend his campaign to do what we've been paying him to do all along. Guilty conscience for collecting a paycheck without showing up for work? Doubt it. Political ploy? You betcha.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Palin and Bush Doctrine

Conservatives are making this big stink about how there is no common understanding of what the Bush Doctrine is, and so it was unfair to ask Palin what it was in a recent interview. However, McCain knows very well what the Bush Doctrine is. From this snippet of a documentary called "Why We Fight" made in 2005, he even uses the term. Maybe McCain should brief his running mate on what's been happening in the country in the last few years.

McCain Campaign Doesn't Like Being Called Liars

So apparently some of McCain's campaign aides got together and had a little conference call because they didn't like being called liars. They said they wanted the press to look into some of Obama's problems and then provided some examples. The funny part? The statements made by the McCain strategist were not true.

"His (Biden) son is a lobbyist for the credit card and banking industry,” Schmidt said.

Biden's son is indeed a lobbyist, but not for the credit card and banking industry.

When this was pointed out a McCain aide said that the reporter was “quibbling with ridiculously small details when the basic things are completely right.”

Ridiculously small details? The whole sentence is a lie. But here's a tip to the McCain campaign. If you are going to have a conference call where you talk about not liking being called liars, try this out out: don't tell lies during the conference call.

Republicans vs. Republicans

"We do not support government bailouts of private institutions. Government interference in the markets exacerbates problems in the marketplace and causes the free market to take longer to correct itself."

You may be wondering where this little gem comes from. I am sure McCain can tell you. It's his party's platform that that was just passed at the very convention where he accepted the nomination to be the Republicans' presidential candidate. So the Republicans are on record as being opposed to government bailouts, but who is telling us that this bailout is absolutely necessary. You read the same papers I do, it's Bush and McCain.

Monday, September 22, 2008

George Will on John McCain

To show all of my conservative friends that I do listen to the other side, here's is a quote from this weekend from George Will.

"It is arguable that, because of his inexperience, Obama is not ready for the presidency. It is arguable that McCain, because of his boiling moralism and bottomless reservoir of certitudes, is not suited to the presidency. Unreadiness can be corrected, although perhaps at great cost, by experience. Can a dismaying temperament be fixed?"

Sunday, September 21, 2008

What's Good For Banking is Good For Healthcare

If you happen to subscribe to Contigencies, the magazine of the American Academy of Actuaries, you might want to open up your issue arriving now in the mail. If you don't subscribe to it, let me give you a snippet of it. Actual article can be found here.

"Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation."

I have made it a point to be intellectually honest and not to curse in this blog, but golly gee hit me upside the head with a WTF stick, I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried. So McCain is actually proposing that we do to the health care industry the exact same thing we have allowed to happen in the banking industry. I realize that the article was probably written months ago, but the timing is priceless. Which makes me wonder if the big guy upstairs is against McCain as well.

When "In Fact" Is Used To Start a Sentence That Has Few Facts In It

"I also know, if I might remind you, that she is commander of the Alaska National Guard. In fact, you may know that on Sept. 11 a large contingent of the Alaska Guard deployed to Iraq and her son happened to be one of them. So I think she understands our national security challenges..."
McCain said at a Town Hall meeting this week. What's funny is that Palin was by his side, and to the best of my knowledge, (meaning I have looked all over the Internet and can't find it) she didn't bother to correct him.

You see, Palin's son did deploy to Iraq on September 11, but he is in the regular Army and Palin has no authority over the regular Army. Let's hope that whatever understanding she has of national security challenges far exceeds McCain's lack of understanding regarding the structure of our military.

P.S. I was in the Army Reserves, and I can tell you that nothing would piss off someone more who is in the RA (Regular Army) than mistaking them for someone in the NG (National Guard, but NG in the Army also stands for "No Go," which is what you get when you fail a test.)

McCain Doesn't Regret Deregulation

McCain has supported more regulation and the government bailouts this week. On Thursday he said, "We need strong and effective regulation." He also said "These actions stem from failed regulation, reckless management, and a casino culture on Wall Street that has crippled one of the most important companies in America," in regards to the bailouts this week. However, when interviewed today, as you can see in the video, he said he doesn't regret the deregulation that led us to the situation we now find ourselves in.

A Fleet of Cars

We all know about how McCain had no clue about how many houses he owned. Suffice to say it made him look a bit like an out of touch with reality rich guy who probably doesn't know all that much about the common man and woman.

Now we have moved on to cars. According to this Newsweek article, Michelle and Barack Obama own one vehicle. And if you're into the whole green scene, you'll be glad to know it's a hybrid. John and Cindy McCain have a grand total of 13 vehicles. However, that's not what's making me mad. Instead, it's the is quote from McCain:

"I've bought American literally all my life and I'm proud," McCain said in the interview with Detroit's WXYZ-TV.

Except he hasn't. McCain and his wife own a Volkswagen and a Honda. And maybe a Toyota as there's a debate about who bought his daughter's car. And his wife's company car that she drives around is a Lexus. You see, McCain says one thing in public, and does another thing is his private life. I looked it up in the dictionary, and yep, that's called hypocrisy. I really could care less what kind of car he drives, but when panders to the American working class by saying how he buys American and doesn't, that just ain't right.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

McCain Likes Town Hall Style Debates....

...except when he doesn't. Or more precisely, when he knows it will make his campaign look bad. McCain was touting the benefits of the town hall debates as allowing people to be more involved in the process. There would be little moderation, the candidates would be allowed to respond to each other, blind questions from the audience would be allowed, etc.

"Commission members (Commission on Presidential Debates) wanted a relaxed format that included time for unpredictable questioning and challenges between the two vice-presidential candidates." Hey, that sounds just like what McCain wanted with his town hall style meetings.

So this article makes you wonder why McCain isn't so hip to the idea for Palin's debate with Biden. Don't fret though. I don't have to provide the analysis for you. The McCain campaign did it for us. Read on:

"At the insistence of the McCain campaign, the Oct. 2 debate between the Republican nominee for vice president, Gov. Sarah Palin, and her Democratic rival, Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., will have shorter question-and-answer segments than those for the presidential nominees, the advisers said. There will also be much less opportunity for free-wheeling, direct exchanges between the running mates.

McCain advisers said they had been concerned that a loose format could leave Ms. Palin, a relatively inexperienced debater, at a disadvantage and largely on the defensive."

If nothing else, I give the McCain campaign credit for admitting that their candidate is not up to the task. Probably not something I would admit to if I was running a political campaign, but you have to respect their honesty.

Cows Say Moo

One of the ways we can gauge the judgement of candidates is to look at who they may have appointed to positions in their administration in the past. It's not foolproof, but you get a good idea of how they think.

So when the job of of director of the State Department of Agriculture came up, Plain had to make a choice who to give the job to. She decided it should go to one of her childhood friends, Franci Havemeister. Nothing evil in and of itself in that, especially if Ms. Havemeister had the qualifications for the position. Except she didn't. She was a real estate agent. So what was touted as her qualifications, other than being a friend of Palin. According to an article I found:

"Franci was fascinated with farms and particularly milk cows as a young person. After moving to the valley with her folks, she was immersed in a community filled with many farm families. Not surprisingly her fascination with cows and farms eventually introduced her to her future husband, the son of dairy farmers. "

So, let's get this straight. First, she likes cows. I like soccer, but I don't think that makes me qualified to he head of FIFA. Second, she lived somewhere where there were farm families. I live on a block fulls of cops, am I qualified to be the chief of police? Last, she married the son of dairy farmer. I married the daughter of Mexican immigrants, can I be the head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement? Heck, I'm doubly qualified for that position, I also went through customs the last time I came back from visiting my wife's relatives in Mexico.

Hey wait a second. I shouldn't be talking all this smack about Palin. If McCain really does win, maybe she will get him to appoint me to head ICE since I am doubly qualified. Watch out D.C, I'm jumping on the gravy train.

Friday, September 19, 2008

McCain Wants To Fire the Head of the SEC

McCain said this week that if he were president, he would fire Chris Cox, the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, for the mess we have found ourselves in this last week. There's just one itsy bitsy problem....


"The regulators were asleep, my friends," McCain said. "The chairman of the SEC serves at the appointment of the president, and in my view, has betrayed the public trust. If I were president today, I would fire him."

While the president does indeed appoint the SEC chairman, he has no legal authority to fire him. The Supreme Court has even made a ruling that such a move would be unconstitutional. But since McCain fancies himself a maverick, maybe he'll just ignore the Constitution and do it anyways. But I just thought of something. The Bush administration ignores the Constitution all the time, so I guess it's not really all that maverick of a thing to do for a Republican president.

Racist Obama Money

This is the bill that was being sold by the Snohomish County Republicans at the Washington State Fair. I am not sure how many people really got to see it when the story first came out, but I thought it was pretty telling. I'll readily admit that I believe McCain had nothing to do with the bill. However, to the best of my knowledge, he also hasn't condemned the bill. When Obama brought up the notion that it might be brought up that he was Black during this election, the McCain campaign immediately said he was playing the race card. Well guess what McCain campaign, when members of a an official county branch of your party are selling this at a state fair, your supporters are engaging in racism. Let's call it what it is. Dressing Obama in Muslim headgear and using Ebonics on the bill is racist and bigoted. So surely when informed, the State Chair of the Washington Republican Party condemned these tactics, right? Here's what the article said:
State Republican Party Chairman Luke Esser knew nothing of the bills until called by a reporter.The state party does not provide or sell such an item to the county organizations, he said, and he does not endorse the party selling those types of items.He did not criticize Snoho­mish County Republicans for doing so."I don't want to micromanage," he said.
Don't want to micromanage by not telling members of your party not to engage in racism? Pretty much says it all up, doesn't it?

Palin and the Pedge of Allegiance

Question: Are you offended by the phrase "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance? Why or why not?

Palin: Not on your life. If it was good enough for the founding fathers, its good enough for me and I'll fight in defense of our Pledge of Allegiance.

This was Palin's response to a questionnaire that she answered when she ran for governor of Alaska in 2006. As many people who know me will tell you, I find the Pledge of Allegiance and conservatives' adoration of it nothing short of amusing. You see, the founding fathers never heard of the pledge. It was written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy. Bellamy was, and this is the best part, a socialist. And conservatives who say we have no right to change the pledge by removing the phrase "under god" are forgetting one tiny thing. That phrase was never in the original pledge, and it was conservatives who had no problem changing the pledge when it suited them by adding the phrase. Anyways, it appears McCain's pick for VP could use a history lesson.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Talks With Iran

As we all know, McCain has been saying some rather nasty things about Obama's willingness to perhaps sit down and have talks with Iran. In fact this is what he said:

"Such a statement betrays the depth of Senator Obama's inexperience and reckless judgment. Those are very serious deficiencies for an American president to possess."

Hmnn. So who might have experience and good judgement? Does Madeleine Albright have it? Does Colin Powell, who served under a Republican president, have it? Does Warren Christopher, who also served under a Republican president, does he have it? How about James A. Baker III? Finally, politics aside, does Henry A. Kissinger have experience and judgement? Well, guess what? All five former secretaries of state this week said we should be talking to Iran. I'll let you read the article yourself, but it seems like even Kissinger thinks Obama has it right.

Iraq and Pakistan

On July 28, in an interview with ABC News, McCain said:
"We have a lot of work to do. It's a very hard struggle, particularly given the situation on the Iraq-Pakistan border."
$100 (my money, not government bailout money) to the first person who can tell me where this border is that McCain is talking about.

A Joke

So this guy was going to work one day, and he passed by another guy on the sidewalk who was selling puppies. On the cardboard box which held the puppies, he had written "McCain puppies." The first guy thought to himself, "I guess that's some clever marketing or maybe he's just a proud Republican."

The next day, same thing. He passes by the guy and he's still selling his McCain puppies.

About a week goes by, and on this particular day, the guy notices something. The box no longer reads McCain puppies. It is now crossed out and it now reads Obama puppies. Thinking this was strange, he decided to ask the second guy what was going on.

"Oh nothing really, they've just finally opened their eyes."

Can Republicans Tell the Truth?

Someone said I was hard on Republicans and that I must think that nothing that comes out of their minds is the truth. Not true I said, and to prove it, I searched the Internet for a Republican who was being truthful.

And I found some comments by Sen. Chuck Hagel that demonstrate that Republicans can tell the truth. To be really fair and balanced, here's the link to the article from one other than Fox news. I can assure you that Hagel and myself rarely agree on anything, so it's not like I took the easy way out out here. Anyways, here's what Hagel said:

“She doesn’t have any foreign policy credentials. You get a passport for the first time in your life last year? I mean, I don’t know what you can say. You can’t say anything.”

“I think it’s a stretch to, in any way, to say that she’s got the experience to be president of the United States.”

“I think they ought to be just honest about it and stop the nonsense about, ‘I look out my window and I see Russia and so therefore I know something about Russia. That kind of thing is insulting to the American people.”

The last line is where he screams the truth from the mountain top: it is indeed insulting to the American people.

Who does the Military Support?

We all know that McCain is a war hero. It's the platform he is running on. This might lead one to believe that military personnel would overwhelmingly support McCain. But there's just one problem. They're not. Since we won't know how they will vote until election day, we can look at who they are donating to to figure out who they support. According to this article, about 57% of the money donated by military personnel to a presidential candidate has gone to Obama. Not an overwhelming figure, but still contradicts most of what we are told about the military being Republican supporters. But here's the bigger shocker. If we drill down a bit into the demographics and see where the donations were made, we find that those who gave the money while abroad (likely to perhaps be in Iraq or Afghanistan, or performing combat support in another country) preferred Obama over McCain by about a 6 to 1 margin. But just to add insult injury, it should be noted that McCain's own branch of service, the Navy, also prefers Obama over him. If the men and women who are currently wearing the uniform of our country can't support the guy, why should we believe him when he says he supports the troops?

How Bad Are McCain's Ads?

I am no fan of Karl Rove. I find him to be what is wrong with our political landscape. I don't say that because he is a Republican, I don't say that because he is conservative, and I don't say that because of any other political difference I might have with him. I despise him because he is a man who has no honor, and who believes the ends justifies the means. His campaign dirty tricks are notorious.

Which leads us to this. How bad do your campaign ads have to be for Rove find them inappropriate. Apparently, we don't have to look to far because they are coming from someone in Rove's own party. Rove stated:

"McCain has gone in some of his ads -- similarly gone one step too far," he told Fox News, "and sort of attributing to Obama things that are, you know, beyond the '100 percent truth' test."

I am not sure what I find more unbelievable: Rove has a conscience or that he is willing to admit that McCain is going over the line.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Palin to visit UN?

This Reuters article is suggesting that McCain is gearing up to take Palin to the UN so she can meet a few foreign leaders. but two more things are revealed in the article. One, Palin lied about having been to Iraq as she never actually made it into the country. And two, my new favorite quote:

One U.N. diplomat joked that a visit to the United Nations in New York would add one more trip outside the United States to Palin's resume -- a reference to the fact that the U.N. compound is technically not on U.S. territory.

An Honest McCain Supporter

McCain's campaign manager said, "This election is not about issues. This election is about a composite view of what people take away from these candidates."

Now I understand why the McCain campaign doesn't talk about the issues. We shouldn't vote for someone because of whether their policies will help or hurt the country. No, we should vote for them because they make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and because they were a POW. I guess we are are supposed to feel alright getting screwed by a guy as long as we like his personality.

Can McCain Type?

McCain defenders are claiming that Obama's new ad is wrong. They say that McCain doesn't use the Internet because of his war injuries. Yet he uses cell phones and Blackberries just fine, and those buttons are way smaller than the keys on your average size keyboard. In July, he said "I am learning to get online myself, and I will have that down fairly soon, getting on myself." In June his campaign manager said, "In fact, no reporter's Blackberry is safe from his prying eyes. He loves to tool around on the internet, he especially loves the videos that get produced that usually poke fun at him. I think that's his most entertaining part of the internet."

As a veteran myself, I am getting tired of McCain's military service being brought up as an excuse for everything. Face it, the guy can use a computer, he just doesn't want to. I get that, neither did my grandma, but don't try to make every little thing an excuse to remind us he was in a war.

McCain Helped Create The Blackberry?

Yep, that's what McCain's senior domestic policy adviser said today.

"Telecommunications of the United States, the premiere innovation in the past 15 years, comes right through the Commerce Committee. So you're looking at the miracle that John McCain helped create," said Douglas Holtz-Eakin as he was holding up a Blackberry.

I wish I could come up with something really clever to say, but this one leaves me pretty much speechless.

Thanks, but no thanks.

Palin is claiming that's what she said about the Bridge to Nowhere. However, maybe it was just because it cost a mere $400 million. But she "Yes, oh yes" to money to build another bridge that is estimated to cost $600 million, abridge that conveniently happens to go to her hometown of Wasilla. Where is the money coming from? An earmark of course. At the time McCain called the bill a "monstrosity" and that he wanted no part of it.

Is Palin Capable of Running the Country?

According to Carla Fiorina, one of John McCain's advisers, never mind the country, Palin is not even capable of running a company like Fiorina did.

"Do you think [Palin] has the experience to run a major company, like Hewlett Packard?" Fiorina was asked on a St. Louis radio show.

"No, I don't," Fiorina said without further explanation.

Now I'll admit that Hewlett Packard is a pretty big company, but I think helping to run the country might just be a bit more complex. But if one of McCain's closest advisers thinks Palin's not ready, maybe we ought to listen to her.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

McCain and Birth Control

I realize that for many women, access to birth control is an important issue. Here is McCain's opinion, or lack thereof, about birth control.

What does a V.P do?

In case you haven't seen it, here's the video of Palin discussing the possibility of her being the vice-president before McCain had selected her. Two things stick out:

1. She asks what the vice president does on a daily basis. While since she might be in that position shortly, it would be nice for her to tell us what she thinks the VP does since we'll be paying her.

2. She wants to be sure that the VP position would be fruitful for Alaskans? What? Newsflash, you would be vice president of the United States, not of Alaska. How about thinking about the rest of us, you know, the ones you are supposed to be representing.

McCain and On-The-Job Training

"I have had a strong and a long relationship on national security, I've been involved in every national crisis that this nation has faced since Beirut, I understand the issues, I understand and appreciate the enormity of the challenge we face from radical Islamic extremism," the Senator declared. "I am prepared. I am prepared. I need no on-the-job training. I wasn't a mayor for a short period of time. I wasn't a governor for a short period of time."

Watch McCain speak these very words as he accuses Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani of needing on-the-job training. Romney was Governor of Massachusetts (population a little north of 6 million) for 4 years. Giuliani was mayor of New York City (population a little bit over 8 million and coincidentally the largest city in the United States) for 8 years. I might add that Giuliani was the mayor during the attacks of September 11, and was consequently named by Time as "Person of the Year." However, McCain believe that they will need on-the-job training to be President.

Here's the punchline. McCain thinks Palin, who was mayor of a town of about 5,500 for 6 years, and governor of a state with about 700,000 for a year and a half, would be more ready to step in as president if anything should unfortunately happen to McCain. As I don't follow McCain logic, we'll need to ask him how this works.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Electoral College

Check out this website to see how close the election really is. I thought we would have learned from the 2000 elections that in the race for President the popular vote means nothing. Accordingly, national polls mean nothing and it's irresponsible for the media to report on them everyday as if they meant something. What matters in the US is the electoral college (at least until we come to our democratic senses and abolish this nonsense). So be informed and at least know what the race really looks like.

McCain Blames Obama For McCain's Negativity

Talk about playing the victim. McCain is now trying to say it is Obama's fault for McCain running a negative campaign. "I think the tone of this whole campaign would have been very different" McCain says, if Obama had only agreed to do town hall meetings with him. Maybe somewhere in the Constitution it does say that if your political opponent doesn't want to do things exactly your way, you can run negative campaign ads. Maybe it's the third amendment that says it's OK to allow your VP pick to mock the opponent for doing the very thing you extol the next night in your own speech. (McCain said "Feed a hungry child. Teach an illiterate adult to read. Comfort the afflicted. Defend the rights of the oppressed. Our country will be the better, and you will be the happier. " Hell, that sounds like something a community organizer might do) McCain chooses the ads that he is going to run. He should take responsibility for them like a grown man, and not act like a spoiled child.

Not Doing Your Job

Awhile back we heard all over the news how Obama had missed so many votes. It was interesting because they chose to only cover a certain period. Instead of being selective, I looked on the Internet to see who had missed the most votes in the current Congress (110th). Expecting it to be Obama, imagine my shock when I found out it was....................


According to the Washington Post who tracks these things, McCain has missed 63.8% of the votes in the current Congress. Ok, you say, surely Obama is second. Nope. In second place is Sen. Tim Johnson. What makes this tragic is that Johnson had a brain aneurysm and was unable to show up for work for several months. And that guy still showed up for more votes than McCain. If I remember correctly, as a taxpayer I am paying McCain's salary. It would be nice if he showed up for work once in awhile.

Community Organizers

"Of course I respect community organizers. Of course I respect people who serve their communities. Senator Obama's service in that area is outstanding."

Hard to believe that John McCain said that with a straight face, but he did. So any public repudiation of Palin's and Giuliani's speeches during the Republican convention? Nope.

Which Presidential Candidate Hates Women

A colleague of mine sent me an email which undoubtedly came from some right-wing political hack. He also prefaced the email by asking why Obama called Palin a pig. We (people who can follow a simple sentence) already know that Obama never called Palin a pig. Just smoke and mirrors from the Republicans. But the forwarded email attempted to do a Freudian analysis of Obama and concluded that Obama hated women because of his relationship with his mother. What was his proof? Not much really, just that his mother had abandoned him, and so Obama had to hate women because of it. But that got me thinking. Based on action and words, which candidate was most likely to harbor a hatred of women?

John McCain had done the following:
He likes to joke about a teenage girl's looks. (Asking why Chelsea Clinton is so ugly)

When a supporter asked, "How do we beat the bitch? (referring to Clinton)," McCain did not condemn the statement, but instead called it an "excellent question."

He makes jokes about women being raped by gorillas and liking it.

He called his wife a "cunt" in public.

Offered up his wife for a topless beauty contest at a biker rally.

As for Obama, I don't know. If you know of anything, please let me know.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Families Are Off Limits

We have heard much talk about families being off limits. Much of this is due to some of the issues surrounding Palin's family. Whether or not one can talk about Palin's daughter or not, I don't know. However, I believe the whole thing, as far as McCain is concerned, is a bit hypocritical. Is this the same McCain who famously said at a GOP fundraiser "Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly?" The punchline is that she is ugly because Janet Reno is her father. McCain said this back in 1998, about the sitting President's daughter. So ask a few questions about Palin's daughter (which may or may not reveal some of the character flaws of Palin herself) and we are told it is inappropriate. But attack a teenager's looks, and the Republicans think that's just good old wholesome fun.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

In McCain's Own Words

Here is a video in which McCain changes his opinion on a number of issues ranging from the Iraq War to gay marriage to Jerry Falwell.

Lipstick on a pig

Apparently when Obama used an old cliche "Putting lipstick on a pig" to describe what he perceives as the McCain campaign's lack of real change, it was "offensive and disgraceful" according to the McCain campaign. They are now demanding that Obama apologize to Palin. If it's really so offensive and disgraceful, was it also not so when McCain used the exact same phrase when attacking Hillary Clinton in October 2007? Or does the McCain campaign believe he should be held to one standard, and Obama to another? Just be sure no one tells the Republicans that the former Pentagon communications director for the Bush administration wrote a book called, you guessed it, "Lipstick On A Pig."

Obama's an elitist?

Apparently the Republicans are going to make Obama out to be an elitist. Interesting. Historically, the elite in the US has been made up of rich White guys. There's nothing particularly controversial in saying that, just part of our history. And who made up the Republican convention?

Net worth of delegates. Over 50% of the Republican delegates said they had a net worth of over $500,000. 34% say it is over $1,000,000. What's the US median net worth for a family? About $100,000. Not too many people from my block seem to have been in St. Paul.

94% of the delegates are non-Hispanic White, even though non-Hispanic Whites make up only 68% of the US population according to the Census Bureau. There was some controversy a little while ago because Dean said the Republicans were the White Party. Draw your own conclusions, but people of color were sorely lacking from the convention.

Women. 32% of the delegates were women at the Republican convention. I am sure you know that women are the majority in the US. I don't know why the Republicans would have twice as many men as women at their convention, but it would be interesting to ask them.

So the Republican convention is made of rich White men. And they want to say Obama is an elitist?

Only the McCains know about war

"No one knows what war is like other than my family. Period."

McCain's daughter actually said this on the Today Show. As a former soldier, I find this disgraceful. Surely Palin's family knows a thing or two about war as her son will soon be deployed. I am guessing that the families of the over 4000 who have died in Iraq know what war is like. Or the families of those who never came back from Vietnam. I realize that McCain wants to play up his whole military image, but this is a slap in the face to anyone who has ever worn the uniform of our country. Meghan probably had to hear the POW stories of her father so much that she actually believes her family is the only one who has suffered due to war. And that's a pity because it demonstrates yet again how out of touch the McCains are with the rest of America.

Monday, September 8, 2008


I expect over the course of the next few weeks to add my musings on John McCain. Conveniently, the postings will most likely stop when he is or isn't elected president. As I have stated elsewhere, I am not a Democrat or Republican, and I have no intention of voting for Obama in November. So for those who would just dismiss my words as partisan attacks, well, I'm sorry because that's not really what they are. I am indeed a student of politics, and I am very interested in the process, but I don't see politics as either/or, black/white, or Republican/Democrat. I just would like to see a more complete examination of the man who could possibly be our next leader.