Friday, April 04, 2008

The Two Faces of A Deceiver

Enigma of Watergate Summer sent me this beautiful music. It will lift your spirits. Please check it out:


As Martin Luther King said, silence is betrayal. The greatest purveyor of violence in the world today is my own government... This way of settling differences is not just. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death. This madness must cease. I speak as one who loves America, to the leaders of our own nation, the initiative to stop this war must be ours.


On Tuesday April 8, 2008, Norman Solomon will be the guest on the Basham & Cornell Radio Show, heard weekday mornings at 8 a.m. on 1230 AM KLAV in Las Vegas.

Norman Solomon is the founder and executive director of the “Institute for Public Accuracy,” a national consortium of policy researchers and analysts. The latest collection of his columns won the 1999 George Orwell Award for Distinguished Contribution to Honesty and Clarity in Public Language. He has authored eleven books, including The Habits of Highly Deceptive Media and Target Iraq: What the Media Didn’t Tell You.

His book “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death” was published in 2005. It has recently been turned into a documentary film, narrated by actor Sean Penn.

The Los Angeles Times called “War Made Easy” "brutally persuasive" and "a must-read for those who would like greater context with their bitter morning coffee, or to arm themselves for the debates about Iraq that are still to come."

The film “War Made Easy” exposes a 50-year pattern of government deception and media spin that has dragged the United States into one war after another from Vietnam to Iraq. Narrated by actor and activist Sean Penn, the film exhumes remarkable archival footage of official distortion and exaggeration from LBJ to George W. Bush, revealing in stunning detail how the American news media have uncritically disseminated the pro-war messages of successive presidential administrations.

War Made Easy gives special attention to parallels between the Vietnam war and the war in Iraq. Guided by media critic Norman Solomon’s meticulous research and tough-minded analysis, the film presents disturbing examples of propaganda and media complicity from the present alongside rare footage of political leaders and leading journalists from the past.

The Basham and Cornell Show broadcasts weekday mornings at 8 am Pacific (11 a.m. Eastern). All shows are simulcast on the Internet (and archived) and can be listened to at www.BashamAndCornell.com


Republican Presidential candidate John McCain has been making his rounds across America getting the public “introduced” to John McCain. This tour is filled with stories of war, clips of violence and a continued emphasis on John McCain the “warrior.”

It was the “Straight Talk Express” as portrayed verbally by McCain and his comrades in the media who have seemed to enhance the image of glamour regarding McCain and his desire for war.

McCain has strangely embraced the policies of George W Bush who essentially gutted the candidate McCain in the 2000 primaries, thus ending his first saga of power and dominance of America.

McCain boasts of a legacy of service and war, having a father and grandfather who were supposedly admirals in the Navy. McCain grew up with the proverbial daddy getting him through life syndrome.

It was the angry McCain who needed his daddy’s help to get him into the naval academy, and it was with his daddy’s help that made sure he graduated since he was a less than stellar cadet.

McCain has constantly been called a hero for his prisoner of war status in Vietnam, when in reality he is said to have gave the enemy secrets and in return they gave him favorable treatment. McCain no longer was tortured and the enemy found a source of information.

McCain did vote against Reagan’s decision to deploy troops to Lebanon in 1983 in his first year of congress. McCain made other similar votes of opposition in the early years of his political career, hoping to be noticed by the media for something greater in the future.

McCain became an adulterer having an extended affair during his first marriage, with wealthy heiress Cindy Hensley, whose father was a wealthy Anheuser-Busch distributor.

In fact Cindy McCain is said to have a fortune exceeding $100 million and growing. The Hensley family virtually funded McCain’s early campaigns to the point McCain was forced by the Federal Election Commission to give part of it back.

Few know but in 1993, McCain blocked the release of classified documents relating to the Vietnam war in fear that the release, and subsequent revealing of his aiding the enemy would hurt his political ambitions, as his quest for power grew.

McCain is among the richest senators. A prenuptial agreement has kept assets in his wife's name. That arrangement served as a defense for McCain when the Senate ethics committee scrutinized a real estate deal involving his wife, her father and disgraced savings and loan owner Charles Keating Jr.

McCain escaped his fate through connections of power and wealth, and thus claimed the mantle of favoring campaign finance reform, when in reality McCain is one of the biggest abusers.

McCain openly supports the Iraq war, an attack on Iran and other acts of aggression that would bring the U.S into world dominance. He recently made the statement “there will be more wars, lots of wars.”

McCain like Bush opposed a bill to protect overtime rights of workers. McCain like Bush opposed an increase in unemployment benefits, and they oppose an increase in the minimum wage.

McCain voted to allow privatization and outsourcing of government jobs. McCain wants to tax your health care benefits and allow employers to eliminate benefits without the knowledge of the worker.

McCain like Bush supported NAFTA and CAFTA, fast track on all trade deals and the outsourcing of federal contracts overseas, eliminating unions for government employees and the elimination of worker rights in the workplace.

McCain supports the privatization of Social Security, raising Medicare age requirements, the raiding of the Social Security fund and he voted against protecting senior citizens from higher Medicare premiums.

McCain voted for Bush’s policies eighty-nine percent of the time, he supported the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest in America and he says the U.S will be in Iraq for at least one-hundred years.

John McCain has many faces. He has the face of an angry tyrant who cannot control his temper. He has the face of an adulterer, a philanderer, a money chaser. McCain has the face who opposes policies that will help the poor and elderly, while embracing policies that favor the rich.

Perhaps the “Two Faces of a Deceiver” that best describe John McCain is the face of a Traitor, and the Face of a Deranged War-monger. Thus another epic tale of the Deceiver John McCain.


You can find greater detail on the "Real John McCain" at the following sites:

Pissed on Politics

Also Listen to Lydia Cornell interview on this topic at:

Basham and Cornell Progressive Talk

208 comments:

  1. Want a Taste of the McCain Presidency? You've Already Had One

    By Arianna Huffington

    This is obviously why the right track/wrong track polling numbers are at such stunning extremes: 22 percent "satisfied" to 72 percent "dissatisfied" in the latest Pew poll, 19 percent/80 percent in Gallup.

    John McCain may not have a clue about what's going on in Iraq, but he's certainly seen those poll numbers. That's why he's suddenly running as fast as he can from the Bush presidency, telling ABC, "The point is, I'm not running on the Bush presidency, I'm running on my own service to the country, my own record in the House of Representatives and the United States Senate and my vision for the future."

    Well, he can run, but he can't hide because running on his own record isn't going to put much distance between him and Bush either. That's because it's the policies of McCain and those most closely associated with his campaign that got us into both our foreign and domestic disasters in the first place.

    Two important pieces explained the roles played by McCain and his advisors in creating our current foreign and domestic crises.

    In Politico, Lisa Lerer detailed how former Senator Phil Gramm, the general co-chair of McCain's campaign and one of his top financial advisors, was the primary force behind the banking deregulation bill in 1999 that helped pave the way for the current subprime meltdown.

    Two years after Gramm dutifully did the banks' bidding, he was rewarded, after a quick trip through the revolving door, with the title of vice chairman at UBS and, along with two others, with $750,000 in lobbying fees. UBS investors weren't as lucky as Phil: the bank has written off over $18 billion in subprime loans, while 8,000 UBS employees were laid off.

    And McCain has hinted that Gramm might be his Treasury Secretary.

    The new McCain has started backing away even from campaign finance reform, his signature maverick issue. And with his buddy Phil best-friend-the-banks-ever-had Gramm right behind him, the idea that McCain is some sort of financial reformer is absurd.

    But don't tell that to the media -- it would be like telling an 8 year-old there's no Santa Claus. They worked hard constructing their McCain narrative, and dammit, they're going to keep believing in it.

    It's much the same on the foreign policy front. In the great new site The Washington Independent, Spencer Ackerman has a dead-on analysis of Mccain's foreign policy. The money shot:

    "Since he began running for president, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has embraced President George W. Bush's foreign policy. He has done so for a simple and understandable reason: it was McCain's policy first."
    That's right -- the reason McCain will be a continuation of George Bush's foreign policy is because George Bush was following McCainism all along. Or, as Ackerman puts it: " McCain represents not a break from the Bush Doctrine, but rather its intensification."

    Here's John McCain circa 2000:

    "I'd institute a policy that I call 'rogue state rollback'...I would arm, train, equip, both from without and from within, forces that would eventually overthrow the governments and install free and democratically elected governments."
    Now over seventy percent of Americans believe that "rogue state rollback" has not worked out that well.

    McCain, of course, sees the same numbers. So he's careful to throw in a few qualifiers for the media -- the equivalent of dangling keys in front of them -- as he did in a foreign policy speech last week. Did it work? Sadly, all too well.

    As Ackerman notes, CNN's Dana Bash called it a world view "quite different from the president's." And Gail Collins in the New York Times said that McCain "broke dramatically with the administration."

    What was this "dramatic break?" That we should "listen to the views" of our allies.

    Yeah, sure, we should "listen" to them. And after they say they vehemently disagree with us, as they surely will (good luck getting a coalition together for that invasion of Iran), what then?

    Much was -- rightly -- made last week of McCain's "McCain Moment" which shone a spotlight on how clueless he is about the region. But given McCain's foreign policy views, it's hard to know whether we should be more afraid when he's confused and clueless or when he's thinking clearly and coherently.

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  2. The Top Ten Craziest Things John McCain Has Said While You Weren't Watching

    By Cliff Schecter

    John McCain has been saying a lot of downright nutty things lately. You've probably come across some of them, such as his admitted lack of knowledge about economics or his excitement at the prospect of remaining in Greater Mesopotamia for the next ten decades. Yet, alas, much of his craziness has been lost in the fog of the ongoing battle between Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination. So here's a recap of some nuggets of wisdom you may have missed -- from McCain's mouth to Bellevue's Ears.

    10. Responding to a student who criticized his remark about our staying in Iraq for 100 years, McCain quipped, "No American argues against our military presence in Korea or Japan or Germany or Kuwait or other places, or Turkey, because America is not receiving casualties."

    I guess Ron Paul isn't American. Or Dennis Kucinich. Or many others who have questioned the mindset behind keeping our troops abroad forever, which is what an empire does, not a republic. Although, perhaps more people don't argue "against our military presence" in the other spots he named, because, you know, those wars weren't based on 100 percent fabricated evidence and didn't make us less safe after they were done. Just a thought.

    9. John McCain is "very proud to have Pastor John Hagee's support."

    Just FYI, John Hagee makes Jeremiah Wright seem like Richard Simmons. Hagee has called the Catholic Church the "Great Whore," an "apostate church," the "Antichrist," and a "false cult system." And let's not even get into what he has said about Jews.

    8. "In the shorter term," said McCain, "if you somehow told American businesses and families, 'Look, you're not going to experience a tax increase in 2010,' I think that's a pretty good short-term measure."

    This is McCain's statement in suport of making permanent the tax cuts he voted and railed against in 2001 and 2003. Back then they were only a giveaway to the rich and "budget-busters." Now that we are much further along in borrowing our economy from the Chinese, and the rich have become even richer, they are a way to stimulate the economy by putting money in the hands of working Americans.

    7. "This is a Catholic Voter Alert. Governor George Bush has campaigned against Senator John McCain by seeking the support of Southern fundamentalists who have expressed anti-Catholic views. Several weeks ago, Governor Bush spoke at Bob Jones University in South Carolina. Bob Jones has made strong anti-Catholic statements, including calling the Pope the anti-Christ, the Catholic Church a satanic cult! John McCain, a pro-life senator, has strongly criticized this anti-Catholic bigotry, while Governor Bush has stayed silent while seeking the support of Bob Jones University. Because of this, one Catholic pro-life congressman has switched his support from Bush to McCain, and many Michigan Catholics support John McCain for president."

    This was a John McCain for president campaign robo-call in 2000. Today, as we pointed out, he hangs with the Rev. Hagee who thinks Catholicism is a "cult" and the "Antichrist." How romantic.

    6. "Everybody says that they're against the special interests. I'm the only one the special interests don't give any money to."

    Here are some examples of Sen. McCain's epic battle with special-interest money: According to the Center for Responsive Politics, McCain has taken nearly $1.2 million in campaign contributions from the telephone utility and telecom service industries, more than any other senator. McCain sides with the telecom companies on retroactive immunity.

    McCain is also the single largest recipient of campaign contributions from Ion Media Networks -- formerly Paxson Communication -- receiving $36,000 from the company and employees from 1997 to mid-year 2006.

    5. McCain listened intently, pausing a second before delivering what could be a defining answer. "The other one will do just fine."

    For what important reason was Sen. McCain interrupting an explanation to the press of his positions on Iraq and national security to take a cell phone from an aide? Why his wife needed to buy them a new barbecue grill.

    4. During a Nov. 28, 2007, Republican debate Sen. McCain angrily denounced torture and offered unmitigated support of the Army field manual's restrictions, saying they "are working, and working effectively."

    So naturally and quite logically, he voted against applying these same standards to the CIA. Apparently these rules won't work effectively for spooks, just the men and women on the front lines.

    3. McCain, while speaking at a town hall meeting in a suburb of Philadelphia, was asked if he had concerns that anti-American insurgents in Iraq might commit increased acts of violence in September or October with a plan in mind to tip the November election to the Democrats. "Yes, I worry about it," McCain said.

    How did he figure out what the insurgents -- which his policies in Iraq have helped create -- are up to? When they attacked us on 9/11, and the warning signs were all ignored by President Bush and his then National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, he was punished with winning a second term. So, of course, militants, who follow john McCain's campaign like Republicans do the signs of the Rapture, are closely planning their events because they know the exact opposite will be the result this time.

    2. Let's go back to the videotape: "I'm the only one the special interests don't give any money to."

    Not only have we proven this false, but perhaps many can't give money because they all work on his campaign. His campaign manager, Rick Davis, lobbyist. Top advisor, Charlie Black, lobbyist. The operative currently running his Senate office, Mark Buse, former lobbyist. And so it goes. Here is what one observer had to say. "It's an interesting dichotomy. On the one hand, he's presenting himself as the crusader against special interests and yet, on the other hand, he's surrounded himself with senior advisers that are lobbyists," said Sheila Krumholz of the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan, non-profit research group focused on money in politics.

    1. And finally, McCain's craziest, coolest, most unstoppable McCain Moment: The senator said, while in Jordan, that it was "common knowledge and has been reported in the media that al-Qaeda is going back into Iran and receiving training and are coming back into Iraq from Iran, that's well known. And it's unfortunate." A few moments later, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, admiringly gazing at McCain until that moment, stepped up and whispered something in the presidential candidate's ear. McCain then blurted out: "I'm sorry, the Iranians are training extremists, not al-Qaeda."

    Phew. Glad trusty Joe Lieberman was there to explain to the man of "experience," a man who wants to lead the free world, that Sunnis (Al Qaeda) and Shia (Iran) not only don't work together but are in direct conflict. We have only been at war there for five years, so I wouldn't expect Sen. McCain to concern himself with such trivial matters.

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  3. McCain: 'Surprised';
    Fighting Subsides in Baghdad, Basra;
    Analysts: Sadr Strengthened

    By Juan Cole

    John McCain said he was surprised that Nuri al-Maliki would abruptly launch an operation against Basra. It seems to me that there are only two possibilities here.

    Either McCain really did not know and did not anticipate the trouble in Basra, in which case he does not know much about Iraq and isn't better qualified to deal with it than anyone else.

    Or, he and Cheney helped put al-Maliki up to the whole thing while he was there, and now is petrified that someone will hang the fiasco around his neck.

    McClatchy reports that the security situation in Baghdad and Basra improved somewhat on Monday (see the video below) but that things were still unsettled. The Green Zone took mortar fire, and several Shiite neighborhoods in the capital remained surrounded by Iraqi and US troops. There appear also to be strong tensions in Basra, and a wariness on the Mahdi Army's part that the government will take advantage of any truce to arrest its commanders.

    Reuters concludes that the crisis strengthened al-Sadr and much weakened Prime Minister al-Maliki. One of the experts it interviews also warns that the fighting this past week is only a prelude to a big struggle among Shiite factions for control of the South.

    RFE /RL interviews veteran Iraq-watcher Joost Hiltermann about the clashes of the past week between Shiite factions:

    Hiltermann says the political nature of the power struggle quickly became apparent as the fighting began. The national army units involved were units from southern Iraq, where the recruiting has been heavily from the Supreme Council's Badr Organization.

    He says that the other major component of the Iraqi Army, recruits from the Kurdish militias in northern Iraq, "would not go down to the south to fight this kind of fight."

    As the clashes intensified, the 28,000 soldiers involved in the operation proved unable to quickly drive al-Sadr's Imam Al-Mahdi Army from the streets, despite U.S. air support. In the interim, Sadrists in other towns in the south, as well as in Baghdad's sprawling Al-Sadr City slum, tactically spread the fighting there. That escalated the stakes for al-Maliki's government to unacceptable levels as it raised fears of a general insurrection by al-Sadr's forces. . .

    So, what happens next? One player to watch is al-Maliki. The prime minister, who is from a Shi'ite religious party, Al-Da'wah, t has no strong militia, has had to ally himself at various times with al-Sadr or the Supreme Council. Al-Sadr's party helped him win his post as prime minister, but since then the Sadrists have distanced themselves from him as he has worked closely with the United States, which al-Sadr wants out of Iraq.

    Al-Maliki has worked hard to portray himself as a national figure able to restore security and suppress corruption in Iraq. His strong identification with the Supreme Council in leading a fight against al-Sadr, however, now may damage that image, handicapping him as a leader.'

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  4. George W Bush: from drunk to world leader

    By Catherine Elsworth

    Oliver Stone's biopic of President George W Bush is to show him as a hot-headed, once hard-drinking man whose relationship with his father influences much of his life, including an obsession with Iraq.

    According to an early screenplay obtained by ABC News, the film, entitled W, will chart the President's journey from troubled alcoholic to world leader.

    George W Bush, circled, during his hard-drinking days with fraternity brothers at Andover, Massachusetts

    It goes back to the President's drink-sodden misbehaviour at Yale, where at one point he loudly denies he plans to follow his father into politics.

    At one point he also insults his father as "Mr Perfect, Mr War Hero, Mr F------ God Almighty", after being urged to contact Alcoholics Anonymous.

    W, which shows how the younger Mr Bush gave up drinking after his 40th birthday and became a born-again Christian, also investigates what Stone sees as his determination to avenge Saddam Hussein's attempt to assassinate his father.

    When Donald Rumsfeld, then defence secretary, asks: "What's the big deal about Saddam? Bin Laden's the trained ape", Mr Bush responds: "You don't go after the Bushes and get to talk about it. Ya got me?"

    Stone, a polarising director who has described Mr Bush as "a synthetic person", could face more of the criticism he elicited for his takes on Richard Nixon and John F Kennedy, which some historians saw as full of inaccuracies.

    But the film, which may come out before November's presidential election, also seeks to capture Mr Bush's inner struggles.

    At one point he is shown telling the Rev Billy Graham that "there's this darkness that follows me. People say I was born with a silver spoon, but they don't know the burden that carries".

    George W and Pickles Bush: Two Drunks in Love With Themselves.

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  5. Here is a blog devoted to all things anti McCain.

    How Insane Is John McCain

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  6. Americans are more dissatisfied with the country's direction than at any time since the New York Times/CBS News poll began asking about the subject in the early 1990s, according to the latest poll.

    In the poll, 81 percent of respondents said they believed that "things have pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track," up from 69 percent a year ago and 35 percent in early 2003.

    And McCain wants to continue this Bush trend.

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  7. More than 1,000 Iraqi soldiers and policemen either refused to fight or simply abandoned their posts during the inconclusive assault against Shiite militias in Basra last week, a senior Iraqi government official said Thursday. Iraqi military officials said the group included dozens of officers, including at least two senior field commanders in the battle.

    The desertions in the heat of a major battle cast fresh doubt on the effectiveness of the American-trained Iraqi security forces.

    The Bush/McCain "surge" is working so well the Iraqi troops are deserting.

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  8. McCain’s elusive medical records

    In 1999, during John McCain’s first presidential campaign, the senator, then 63, couldn’t have been any more forthcoming when it came to his medical history. Months before a single vote was cast, McCain instructed his campaign to release 1,500 pages of medical and psychiatric records. What’s more, journalists with additional questions were given direct access to McCain’s personal physician.

    That was then; this is now. The NYT’s Lawrence Altman, a physician, reported a month ago:

    [T]his time around, Mr. McCain has yet to make his full medical records or his physicians available to reporters. At least three times since March 2007, campaign officials have told The New York Times that they would provide the detailed information about his current state of health, but they have not done so. The campaign now says it expects to release the information in April.

    That was the standard line in early March. McCain sat down for an interview with Scott Pelley on “60 Minutes,” and was asked about his health. McCain said it’s “excellent” (three times), and said his campaign would be “doing the medical records thing” soon. Pelley followed up, “There has been some criticism that you have not released your medical records. You’re saying in this interview that you’re about to do that.” McCain replied, “Oh, yeah, we’ll do it in the next month or so, yeah.”

    With this in mind, it came as a bit of a surprise when CNN reported yesterday, “The McCain campaign said Wednesday the Arizona senator’s medical records will no longer be released by April 15. They now say the new timetable is ’sometime in May.’”

    My hunch is that there’s probably nothing to this. If McCain had a serious medical problem that would interfere with his campaign or his ability to serve, it’d be insane for him to try to conceal it now.

    But why, then, play these games?

    It was just March 10 — a few weeks ago — when McCain had what he said was a routine doctor’s visit in Phoenix. He told reporters afterwards, “Everything’s fine, everything’s fine,” adding that he’d make a full disclosure on April 15.

    And now the date has been pushed back again. I wasn’t inclined to be suspicious about this issue until McCain started acting suspiciously.

    Reporters started asking for medical records months ago. First, McCain’s aides said they’d release the information in March. Then, without explanation, they changed the date to April. Then, again without explanation, they changed the date to May.

    For a candidate who has nothing to hide, he’s acting like he has something to hide. And given that McCain is running to be the oldest president ever elected, and he has a history of medical problems including melanoma, this is a little unsettling.

    If McCain had a history of secrecy, it’d be easier to just chalk this up to a character flaw. But his previous disclosures actually make the problem worse. He was an open book during his first campaign, and now he can’t even explain the delays in releasing his records.

    As I said, there’s probably nothing to this. But the campaign’s conduct on the issue raises questions, doesn’t it?

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  9. The Republican Party and its presumptive nominee Sen. John McCain are heading into a 2008 electoral buzzsaw with their continued support of the Iraq war, Sen. Chuck Hagel said in an interview with The Huffington Post on Thursday.

    The country is still very sour on the war, the Nebraska Republican pressed, and support for candidates who want to stay the course is simply not there.

    The old Deranged one just loves the stench of war.

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  10. Robert Lopez served 8 years in our military, fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan as a tank commander. He was told he'd get his whole education bill paid for when he got out of the service. Mr. Lopez has fought and sacrificed for our country but like so many others, Mr. Lopez has faced the bleak reality of a government that has turned its back on its veterans.

    That is why Senators Jim Webb and Chuck Hagel proposed a new GI Bill, which would bring back WWII-style standards of providing vets with full tuition, room and board. And that is why 51 senators have signed on, including 9 Republicans like John Warner, giving this GI Bill tremendous bi-partisan support.

    But it isn't enough. Faced with unprecedented filibusters, the only way to ensure Senate passage of the GI Bill is to get 60 cosponsors. So far, John McCain has refused. The same McCain who insists he supports our troops. The same McCain who is voting lockstep with the Bush administration (who have also resisted this bill). We need to get John McCain to do the right thing. We need him to sign now and signal to other Republican leaders that we should be strongly behind our vets.

    The original GI Bill transformed American history, providing education for returning soldiers. Not only was this our nation's moral duty for the unbelievable sacrifices of our World War II veterans, it helped create America's middle class and spurred decades of economic growth for our country.


    McCain like Bush just loves all things war, but hates the troops.

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  11. Larry - that is a great post, thank you!

    I LOVE the photo of Jekyll and Jekyll!!

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  12. .....testing 1....2....3.....


    :|

    ....is this thing on yet?

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  13. :\

    ....so anyway a nun, a proctologist and a mohel walk into a bar.....

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  14. McCain is worse than Bush! I didn't realize how bad until polishifter sent me a link and I read his post. He is bad! I sent shifters link everywhere I could. We have to get the truth out about him as he continues to reel people in daily with his lies.
    What stinks is as the phony replacement for the current phony if you try to speak the truth about him you will be labeled anti American and unpatriotic. They'll beat the truth again with the help of Bush and Rove so they can continue this nightmare.
    I heard McGoon apologizing to a black audience today for voting against MLK Day. It didn't go over well and good. He said he learned. Hell like the rest of them he learned lying pays!

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  15. Larry, first off thanks for the link.

    Second, an excellent post.

    McCain needs to be exposed for the self-serving egomaniac he is. He also fails to sign on to expanding and funding the GI Bill. That runs counter to his 'war hero' status.

    Lastly, my posts on McCain have moved further down the page....

    Here are the permalinks to them:

    John McCain Is No Patriot

    McCain Didn't Learn From His Experience

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  16. Oh, in case you haven't seen this....

    this is an animated cartoon Jim passed on to me. It explains the McCain position beautifully

    McCain Iraq 2008 by Mark Fiore

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  17. If Martin Luther King Jr was alive today, he would be giving a speech like this against the criminal war in Iraq;

    Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence

    By Rev. Martin Luther King

    4 April 1967


    I come to this magnificent house of worship tonight because my conscience leaves me no other choice. I join with you in this meeting because I am in deepest agreement with the aims and work of the organization which has brought us together: Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Vietnam. The recent statement of your executive committee are the sentiments of my own heart and I found myself in full accord when I read its opening lines: "A time comes when silence is betrayal." That time has come for us in relation to Vietnam.

    The truth of these words is beyond doubt but the mission to which they call us is a most difficult one. Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government's policy, especially in time of war. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one's own bosom and in the surrounding world. Moreover when the issues at hand seem as perplexed as they often do in the case of this dreadful conflict we are always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty; but we must move on.

    Some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak. And we must rejoice as well, for surely this is the first time in our nation's history that a significant number of its religious leaders have chosen to move beyond the prophesying of smooth patriotism to the high grounds of a firm dissent based upon the mandates of conscience and the reading of history. Perhaps a new spirit is rising among us. If it is, let us trace its movement well and pray that our own inner being may be sensitive to its guidance, for we are deeply in need of a new way beyond the darkness that seems so close around us.

    Over the past two years, as I have moved to break the betrayal of my own silences and to speak from the burnings of my own heart, as I have called for radical departures from the destruction of Vietnam, many persons have questioned me about the wisdom of my path. At the heart of their concerns this query has often loomed large and loud: Why are you speaking about war, Dr. King? Why are you joining the voices of dissent? Peace and civil rights don't mix, they say. Aren't you hurting the cause of your people, they ask? And when I hear them, though I often understand the source of their concern, I am nevertheless greatly saddened, for such questions mean that the inquirers have not really known me, my commitment or my calling. Indeed, their questions suggest that they do not know the world in which they live.

    In the light of such tragic misunderstandings, I deem it of signal importance to try to state clearly, and I trust concisely, why I believe that the path from Dexter Avenue Baptist Church -- the church in Montgomery, Alabama, where I began my pastorate -- leads clearly to this sanctuary tonight.

    I come to this platform tonight to make a passionate plea to my beloved nation. This speech is not addressed to Hanoi or to the National Liberation Front. It is not addressed to China or to Russia.

    Nor is it an attempt to overlook the ambiguity of the total situation and the need for a collective solution to the tragedy of Vietnam. Neither is it an attempt to make North Vietnam or the National Liberation Front paragons of virtue, nor to overlook the role they can play in a successful resolution of the problem. While they both may have justifiable reason to be suspicious of the good faith of the United States, life and history give eloquent testimony to the fact that conflicts are never resolved without trustful give and take on both sides.

    Tonight, however, I wish not to speak with Hanoi and the NLF, but rather to my fellow Americans, who, with me, bear the greatest responsibility in ending a conflict that has exacted a heavy price on both continents.

    The Importance of Vietnam
    Since I am a preacher by trade, I suppose it is not surprising that I have seven major reasons for bringing Vietnam into the field of my moral vision. There is at the outset a very obvious and almost facile connection between the war in Vietnam and the struggle I, and others, have been waging in America. A few years ago there was a shining moment in that struggle. It seemed as if there was a real promise of hope for the poor -- both black and white -- through the poverty program. There were experiments, hopes, new beginnings. Then came the buildup in Vietnam and I watched the program broken and eviscerated as if it were some idle political plaything of a society gone mad on war, and I knew that America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures like Vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic destructive suction tube. So I was increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor and to attack it as such.

    Perhaps the more tragic recognition of reality took place when it became clear to me that the war was doing far more than devastating the hopes of the poor at home. It was sending their sons and their brothers and their husbands to fight and to die in extraordinarily high proportions relative to the rest of the population. We were taking the black young men who had been crippled by our society and sending them eight thousand miles away to guarantee liberties in Southeast Asia which they had not found in southwest Georgia and East Harlem. So we have been repeatedly faced with the cruel irony of watching Negro and white boys on TV screens as they kill and die together for a nation that has been unable to seat them together in the same schools. So we watch them in brutal solidarity burning the huts of a poor village, but we realize that they would never live on the same block in Detroit. I could not be silent in the face of such cruel manipulation of the poor.

    My third reason moves to an even deeper level of awareness, for it grows out of my experience in the ghettoes of the North over the last three years -- especially the last three summers. As I have walked among the desperate, rejected and angry young men I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But they asked -- and rightly so -- what about Vietnam? They asked if our own nation wasn't using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today -- my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.

    For those who ask the question, "Aren't you a civil rights leader?" and thereby mean to exclude me from the movement for peace, I have this further answer. In 1957 when a group of us formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, we chose as our motto: "To save the soul of America." We were convinced that we could not limit our vision to certain rights for black people, but instead affirmed the conviction that America would never be free or saved from itself unless the descendants of its slaves were loosed completely from the shackles they still wear. In a way we were agreeing with Langston Hughes, that black bard of Harlem, who had written earlier:


    O, yes,
    I say it plain,
    America never was America to me,
    And yet I swear this oath--
    America will be!

    Now, it should be incandescently clear that no one who has any concern for the integrity and life of America today can ignore the present war. If America's soul becomes totally poisoned, part of the autopsy must read Vietnam. It can never be saved so long as it destroys the deepest hopes of men the world over. So it is that those of us who are yet determined that America will be are led down the path of protest and dissent, working for the health of our land.

    As if the weight of such a commitment to the life and health of America were not enough, another burden of responsibility was placed upon me in 1964; and I cannot forget that the Nobel Prize for Peace was also a commission -- a commission to work harder than I had ever worked before for "the brotherhood of man." This is a calling that takes me beyond national allegiances, but even if it were not present I would yet have to live with the meaning of my commitment to the ministry of Jesus Christ. To me the relationship of this ministry to the making of peace is so obvious that I sometimes marvel at those who ask me why I am speaking against the war. Could it be that they do not know that the good news was meant for all men -- for Communist and capitalist, for their children and ours, for black and for white, for revolutionary and conservative? Have they forgotten that my ministry is in obedience to the one who loved his enemies so fully that he died for them? What then can I say to the "Vietcong" or to Castro or to Mao as a faithful minister of this one? Can I threaten them with death or must I not share with them my life?

    Finally, as I try to delineate for you and for myself the road that leads from Montgomery to this place I would have offered all that was most valid if I simply said that I must be true to my conviction that I share with all men the calling to be a son of the living God. Beyond the calling of race or nation or creed is this vocation of sonship and brotherhood, and because I believe that the Father is deeply concerned especially for his suffering and helpless and outcast children, I come tonight to speak for them.

    This I believe to be the privilege and the burden of all of us who deem ourselves bound by allegiances and loyalties which are broader and deeper than nationalism and which go beyond our nation's self-defined goals and positions. We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy, for no document from human hands can make these humans any less our brothers.

    Strange Liberators
    And as I ponder the madness of Vietnam and search within myself for ways to understand and respond to compassion my mind goes constantly to the people of that peninsula. I speak now not of the soldiers of each side, not of the junta in Saigon, but simply of the people who have been living under the curse of war for almost three continuous decades now. I think of them too because it is clear to me that there will be no meaningful solution there until some attempt is made to know them and hear their broken cries.

    They must see Americans as strange liberators. The Vietnamese people proclaimed their own independence in 1945 after a combined French and Japanese occupation, and before the Communist revolution in China. They were led by Ho Chi Minh. Even though they quoted the American Declaration of Independence in their own document of freedom, we refused to recognize them. Instead, we decided to support France in its reconquest of her former colony.

    Our government felt then that the Vietnamese people were not "ready" for independence, and we again fell victim to the deadly Western arrogance that has poisoned the international atmosphere for so long. With that tragic decision we rejected a revolutionary government seeking self-determination, and a government that had been established not by China (for whom the Vietnamese have no great love) but by clearly indigenous forces that included some Communists. For the peasants this new government meant real land reform, one of the most important needs in their lives.

    For nine years following 1945 we denied the people of Vietnam the right of independence. For nine years we vigorously supported the French in their abortive effort to recolonize Vietnam.

    Before the end of the war we were meeting eighty percent of the French war costs. Even before the French were defeated at Dien Bien Phu, they began to despair of the reckless action, but we did not. We encouraged them with our huge financial and military supplies to continue the war even after they had lost the will. Soon we would be paying almost the full costs of this tragic attempt at recolonization.

    After the French were defeated it looked as if independence and land reform would come again through the Geneva agreements. But instead there came the United States, determined that Ho should not unify the temporarily divided nation, and the peasants watched again as we supported one of the most vicious modern dictators -- our chosen man, Premier Diem. The peasants watched and cringed as Diem ruthlessly routed out all opposition, supported their extortionist landlords and refused even to discuss reunification with the north. The peasants watched as all this was presided over by U.S. influence and then by increasing numbers of U.S. troops who came to help quell the insurgency that Diem's methods had aroused. When Diem was overthrown they may have been happy, but the long line of military dictatorships seemed to offer no real change -- especially in terms of their need for land and peace.

    The only change came from America as we increased our troop commitments in support of governments which were singularly corrupt, inept and without popular support. All the while the people read our leaflets and received regular promises of peace and democracy -- and land reform. Now they languish under our bombs and consider us -- not their fellow Vietnamese --the real enemy. They move sadly and apathetically as we herd them off the land of their fathers into concentration camps where minimal social needs are rarely met. They know they must move or be destroyed by our bombs. So they go -- primarily women and children and the aged.

    They watch as we poison their water, as we kill a million acres of their crops. They must weep as the bulldozers roar through their areas preparing to destroy the precious trees. They wander into the hospitals, with at least twenty casualties from American firepower for one "Vietcong"-inflicted injury. So far we may have killed a million of them -- mostly children. They wander into the towns and see thousands of the children, homeless, without clothes, running in packs on the streets like animals. They see the children, degraded by our soldiers as they beg for food. They see the children selling their sisters to our soldiers, soliciting for their mothers.

    What do the peasants think as we ally ourselves with the landlords and as we refuse to put any action into our many words concerning land reform? What do they think as we test our latest weapons on them, just as the Germans tested out new medicine and new tortures in the concentration camps of Europe? Where are the roots of the independent Vietnam we claim to be building? Is it among these voiceless ones?

    We have destroyed their two most cherished institutions: the family and the village. We have destroyed their land and their crops. We have cooperated in the crushing of the nation's only non-Communist revolutionary political force -- the unified Buddhist church. We have supported the enemies of the peasants of Saigon. We have corrupted their women and children and killed their men. What liberators?

    Now there is little left to build on -- save bitterness. Soon the only solid physical foundations remaining will be found at our military bases and in the concrete of the concentration camps we call fortified hamlets. The peasants may well wonder if we plan to build our new Vietnam on such grounds as these? Could we blame them for such thoughts? We must speak for them and raise the questions they cannot raise. These too are our brothers.

    Perhaps the more difficult but no less necessary task is to speak for those who have been designated as our enemies. What of the National Liberation Front -- that strangely anonymous group we call VC or Communists? What must they think of us in America when they realize that we permitted the repression and cruelty of Diem which helped to bring them into being as a resistance group in the south? What do they think of our condoning the violence which led to their own taking up of arms? How can they believe in our integrity when now we speak of "aggression from the north" as if there were nothing more essential to the war? How can they trust us when now we charge them with violence after the murderous reign of Diem and charge them with violence while we pour every new weapon of death into their land? Surely we must understand their feelings even if we do not condone their actions. Surely we must see that the men we supported pressed them to their violence. Surely we must see that our own computerized plans of destruction simply dwarf their greatest acts.

    How do they judge us when our officials know that their membership is less than twenty-five percent Communist and yet insist on giving them the blanket name? What must they be thinking when they know that we are aware of their control of major sections of Vietnam and yet we appear ready to allow national elections in which this highly organized political parallel government will have no part? They ask how we can speak of free elections when the Saigon press is censored and controlled by the military junta. And they are surely right to wonder what kind of new government we plan to help form without them -- the only party in real touch with the peasants. They question our political goals and they deny the reality of a peace settlement from which they will be excluded. Their questions are frighteningly relevant. Is our nation planning to build on political myth again and then shore it up with the power of new violence?

    Here is the true meaning and value of compassion and nonviolence when it helps us to see the enemy's point of view, to hear his questions, to know his assessment of ourselves. For from his view we may indeed see the basic weaknesses of our own condition, and if we are mature, we may learn and grow and profit from the wisdom of the brothers who are called the opposition.

    So, too, with Hanoi. In the north, where our bombs now pummel the land, and our mines endanger the waterways, we are met by a deep but understandable mistrust. To speak for them is to explain this lack of confidence in Western words, and especially their distrust of American intentions now. In Hanoi are the men who led the nation to independence against the Japanese and the French, the men who sought membership in the French commonwealth and were betrayed by the weakness of Paris and the willfulness of the colonial armies. It was they who led a second struggle against French domination at tremendous costs, and then were persuaded to give up the land they controlled between the thirteenth and seventeenth parallel as a temporary measure at Geneva. After 1954 they watched us conspire with Diem to prevent elections which would have surely brought Ho Chi Minh to power over a united Vietnam, and they realized they had been betrayed again.

    When we ask why they do not leap to negotiate, these things must be remembered. Also it must be clear that the leaders of Hanoi considered the presence of American troops in support of the Diem regime to have been the initial military breach of the Geneva agreements concerning foreign troops, and they remind us that they did not begin to send in any large number of supplies or men until American forces had moved into the tens of thousands.

    Hanoi remembers how our leaders refused to tell us the truth about the earlier North Vietnamese overtures for peace, how the president claimed that none existed when they had clearly been made. Ho Chi Minh has watched as America has spoken of peace and built up its forces, and now he has surely heard of the increasing international rumors of American plans for an invasion of the north. He knows the bombing and shelling and mining we are doing are part of traditional pre-invasion strategy. Perhaps only his sense of humor and of irony can save him when he hears the most powerful nation of the world speaking of aggression as it drops thousands of bombs on a poor weak nation more than eight thousand miles away from its shores.

    At this point I should make it clear that while I have tried in these last few minutes to give a voice to the voiceless on Vietnam and to understand the arguments of those who are called enemy, I am as deeply concerned about our troops there as anything else. For it occurs to me that what we are submitting them to in Vietnam is not simply the brutalizing process that goes on in any war where armies face each other and seek to destroy. We are adding cynicism to the process of death, for they must know after a short period there that none of the things we claim to be fighting for are really involved. Before long they must know that their government has sent them into a struggle among Vietnamese, and the more sophisticated surely realize that we are on the side of the wealthy and the secure while we create hell for the poor.

    This Madness Must Cease
    Somehow this madness must cease. We must stop now. I speak as a child of God and brother to the suffering poor of Vietnam. I speak for those whose land is being laid waste, whose homes are being destroyed, whose culture is being subverted. I speak for the poor of America who are paying the double price of smashed hopes at home and death and corruption in Vietnam. I speak as a citizen of the world, for the world as it stands aghast at the path we have taken. I speak as an American to the leaders of my own nation. The great initiative in this war is ours. The initiative to stop it must be ours.

    This is the message of the great Buddhist leaders of Vietnam. Recently one of them wrote these words:

    "Each day the war goes on the hatred increases in the heart of the Vietnamese and in the hearts of those of humanitarian instinct. The Americans are forcing even their friends into becoming their enemies. It is curious that the Americans, who calculate so carefully on the possibilities of military victory, do not realize that in the process they are incurring deep psychological and political defeat. The image of America will never again be the image of revolution, freedom and democracy, but the image of violence and militarism."

    If we continue, there will be no doubt in my mind and in the mind of the world that we have no honorable intentions in Vietnam. It will become clear that our minimal expectation is to occupy it as an American colony and men will not refrain from thinking that our maximum hope is to goad China into a war so that we may bomb her nuclear installations. If we do not stop our war against the people of Vietnam immediately the world will be left with no other alternative than to see this as some horribly clumsy and deadly game we have decided to play.

    The world now demands a maturity of America that we may not be able to achieve. It demands that we admit that we have been wrong from the beginning of our adventure in Vietnam, that we have been detrimental to the life of the Vietnamese people. The situation is one in which we must be ready to turn sharply from our present ways.

    In order to atone for our sins and errors in Vietnam, we should take the initiative in bringing a halt to this tragic war. I would like to suggest five concrete things that our government should do immediately to begin the long and difficult process of extricating ourselves from this nightmarish conflict:


    End all bombing in North and South Vietnam.
    Declare a unilateral cease-fire in the hope that such action will create the atmosphere for negotiation.
    Take immediate steps to prevent other battlegrounds in Southeast Asia by curtailing our military buildup in Thailand and our interference in Laos.
    Realistically accept the fact that the National Liberation Front has substantial support in South Vietnam and must thereby play a role in any meaningful negotiations and in any future Vietnam government.
    Set a date that we will remove all foreign troops from Vietnam in accordance with the 1954 Geneva agreement.

    Part of our ongoing commitment might well express itself in an offer to grant asylum to any Vietnamese who fears for his life under a new regime which included the Liberation Front. Then we must make what reparations we can for the damage we have done. We most provide the medical aid that is badly needed, making it available in this country if necessary.

    Protesting The War
    Meanwhile we in the churches and synagogues have a continuing task while we urge our government to disengage itself from a disgraceful commitment. We must continue to raise our voices if our nation persists in its perverse ways in Vietnam. We must be prepared to match actions with words by seeking out every creative means of protest possible.

    As we counsel young men concerning military service we must clarify for them our nation's role in Vietnam and challenge them with the alternative of conscientious objection. I am pleased to say that this is the path now being chosen by more than seventy students at my own alma mater, Morehouse College, and I recommend it to all who find the American course in Vietnam a dishonorable and unjust one. Moreover I would encourage all ministers of draft age to give up their ministerial exemptions and seek status as conscientious objectors. These are the times for real choices and not false ones. We are at the moment when our lives must be placed on the line if our nation is to survive its own folly. Every man of humane convictions must decide on the protest that best suits his convictions, but we must all protest.

    There is something seductively tempting about stopping there and sending us all off on what in some circles has become a popular crusade against the war in Vietnam. I say we must enter the struggle, but I wish to go on now to say something even more disturbing. The war in Vietnam is but a symptom of a far deeper malady within the American spirit, and if we ignore this sobering reality we will find ourselves organizing clergy- and laymen-concerned committees for the next generation. They will be concerned about Guatemala and Peru. They will be concerned about Thailand and Cambodia. They will be concerned about Mozambique and South Africa. We will be marching for these and a dozen other names and attending rallies without end unless there is a significant and profound change in American life and policy. Such thoughts take us beyond Vietnam, but not beyond our calling as sons of the living God.

    In 1957 a sensitive American official overseas said that it seemed to him that our nation was on the wrong side of a world revolution. During the past ten years we have seen emerge a pattern of suppression which now has justified the presence of U.S. military "advisors" in Venezuela. This need to maintain social stability for our investments accounts for the counter-revolutionary action of American forces in Guatemala. It tells why American helicopters are being used against guerrillas in Colombia and why American napalm and green beret forces have already been active against rebels in Peru. It is with such activity in mind that the words of the late John F. Kennedy come back to haunt us. Five years ago he said, "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."

    Increasingly, by choice or by accident, this is the role our nation has taken -- the role of those who make peaceful revolution impossible by refusing to give up the privileges and the pleasures that come from the immense profits of overseas investment.

    I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a "thing-oriented" society to a "person-oriented" society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

    A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. n the one hand we are called to play the good Samaritan on life's roadside; but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life's highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say: "This is not just." It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of Latin America and say: "This is not just." The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just. A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order and say of war: "This way of settling differences is not just." This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation's homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into veins of people normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.

    America, the richest and most powerful nation in the world, can well lead the way in this revolution of values. There is nothing, except a tragic death wish, to prevent us from reordering our priorities, so that the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war. There is nothing to keep us from molding a recalcitrant status quo with bruised hands until we have fashioned it into a brotherhood.

    This kind of positive revolution of values is our best defense against communism. War is not the answer. Communism will never be defeated by the use of atomic bombs or nuclear weapons. Let us not join those who shout war and through their misguided passions urge the United States to relinquish its participation in the United Nations. These are days which demand wise restraint and calm reasonableness. We must not call everyone a Communist or an appeaser who advocates the seating of Red China in the United Nations and who recognizes that hate and hysteria are not the final answers to the problem of these turbulent days. We must not engage in a negative anti-communism, but rather in a positive thrust for democracy, realizing that our greatest defense against communism is to take offensive action in behalf of justice. We must with positive action seek to remove thosse conditions of poverty, insecurity and injustice which are the fertile soil in which the seed of communism grows and develops.

    The People Are Important
    These are revolutionary times. All over the globe men are revolting against old systems of exploitation and oppression and out of the wombs of a frail world new systems of justice and equality are being born. The shirtless and barefoot people of the land are rising up as never before. "The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light." We in the West must support these revolutions. It is a sad fact that, because of comfort, complacency, a morbid fear of communism, and our proneness to adjust to injustice, the Western nations that initiated so much of the revolutionary spirit of the modern world have now become the arch anti-revolutionaries. This has driven many to feel that only Marxism has the revolutionary spirit. Therefore, communism is a judgement against our failure to make democracy real and follow through on the revolutions we initiated. Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism. With this powerful commitment we shall boldly challenge the status quo and unjust mores and thereby speed the day when "every valley shall be exalted, and every moutain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight and the rough places plain."

    A genuine revolution of values means in the final analysis that our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Every nation must now develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole in order to preserve the best in their individual societies.

    This call for a world-wide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one's tribe, race, class and nation is in reality a call for an all-embracing and unconditional love for all men. This oft misunderstood and misinterpreted concept -- so readily dismissed by the Nietzsches of the world as a weak and cowardly force -- has now become an absolute necessity for the survival of man. When I speak of love I am not speaking of some sentimental and weak response. I am speaking of that force which all of the great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle of life. Love is somehow the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality. This Hindu-Moslem-Christian-Jewish-Buddhist belief about ultimate reality is beautifully summed up in the first epistle of Saint John:

    Let us love one another; for love is God and everyone that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. If we love one another God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

    Let us hope that this spirit will become the order of the day. We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation. The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever-rising tides of hate. History is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursued this self-defeating path of hate. As Arnold Toynbee says : "Love is the ultimate force that makes for the saving choice of life and good against the damning choice of death and evil. Therefore the first hope in our inventory must be the hope that love is going to have the last word."

    We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked and dejected with a lost opportunity. The "tide in the affairs of men" does not remain at the flood; it ebbs. We may cry out deperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is deaf to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residue of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words: "Too late." There is an invisible book of life that faithfully records our vigilance or our neglect. "The moving finger writes, and having writ moves on..." We still have a choice today; nonviolent coexistence or violent co-annihilation.

    We must move past indecision to action. We must find new ways to speak for peace in Vietnam and justice throughout the developing world -- a world that borders on our doors. If we do not act we shall surely be dragged down the long dark and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.

    Now let us begin. Now let us rededicate ourselves to the long and bitter -- but beautiful -- struggle for a new world. This is the callling of the sons of God, and our brothers wait eagerly for our response. Shall we say the odds are too great? Shall we tell them the struggle is too hard? Will our message be that the forces of American life militate against their arrival as full men, and we send our deepest regrets? Or will there be another message, of longing, of hope, of solidarity with their yearnings, of commitment to their cause, whatever the cost? The choice is ours, and though we might prefer it otherwise we must choose in this crucial moment of human history.

    As that noble bard of yesterday, James Russell Lowell, eloquently stated:

    Once to every man and nation
    Comes the moment to decide,
    In the strife of truth and falsehood,
    For the good or evil side;
    Some great cause, God's new Messiah,
    Off'ring each the bloom or blight,
    And the choice goes by forever
    Twixt that darkness and that light.

    Though the cause of evil prosper,
    Yet 'tis truth alone is strong;
    Though her portion be the scaffold,
    And upon the throne be wrong:
    Yet that scaffold sways the future,
    And behind the dim unknown,
    Standeth God within the shadow
    Keeping watch above his own.


    And of course he would be right again.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Polishifter,

    Thanks for the kind words and people need to read your post on McCain as they are eye-opening.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Good cartoon Polishifter I had missed that one.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Is there a secret world government?

    BY Svetlana Kuzina

    Effedieffe

    A book written by former British intelligence officer John Coleman was recently released in Russia. Coleman details a conspiracy of the world's elite against mankind

    The Committee of Three Hundred

    Many people no longer believe that presidents, premier ministers and other "visible" officials rule their countries. Instead, they suspect that the real authority – one that is powerful, unwavering and secret – is concentrated in the hands of others. Like the masons for example. The truly paranoid have devised the so-called "International Conspiracy Theory," which tells how a handful of wealthy, highly positioned individuals rule the world. This group of decision-makers launches wars, invents deadly diseases and pumps the population full of narcotics, alcohol and pornography to get rid of the world's dead weight. Consequently, a population of 1 billion select individuals will someday remain. They will freely enjoy the blessings of nature – clean air, freshwater and natural food.

    It seems ludicrous, but recently a British intelligence officer from M16 has asserted that this secret international organization does exist in his book, "The Conspirators Hierarchy: The Committee of Three Hundred."
    "During my career as an officer in British intelligence," Coleman writes, "I received access to strictly confidential documents on numerous occasions. Their contents were unexpectedly straightforward. I learned that there are powers that control the governments of many nations. I was taken aback and decided to inform a world living in ignorance. Imagine a powerful group that doesn't recognize any national borders that is involved in the financial, insurance, coal-mining, pharmaceutical and oil industries -- whose members only answer to the group. This is the ‘Committee of Three Hundred,' an elite group that has ruled the world from 1897. Its backbone today is the world's 300 most influential people."

    Powerful conspirators

    Coleman writes that secret organizations and think tanks work for the Committee of Three Hundred. A list of these institutions follows.

    As of 1921, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) has consisted of the most influential individuals in the U.S. and Western world, ranging from current and previous presidents to CIA officials. The CFR was established by the American banker J.P. Morgan, and controls the U.S. Federal Reserve system, New York Stock Exchange and leading mass media.

    In 1954, the Bilderberg Group held its original conference uniting the American and European elite. (The organization was named after the Hotel de Bilderberg in Oosterbeek in the Netherlands where the meeting took place.)

    In 1973, a third influential structure came into being – the Trilateral Commission – consisting of representatives from the U.S., Europe and Japan. The organization's goal is to "create a mechanism of global planning and long-term repartition of resources."

    Since 1968, the Club of Rome has been one of the most important foreign affairs divisions of the Committee of Three Hundred. The organization unites scholars, globalists, futurists and internationalists of various suites. The organization has its own private intelligence agencies and "borrows" information from Interpol, the FSB and Mossad.

    The millionaire executive David Rockefeller controls the activities of these organizations.

    A short list of periphery organizations lending assistance to these four intelligence giants are: Round Table, David Millner Group, Order of St John, The German Marshall Fund of the United States, The China Fund, Inc., Fabian Society, Black Nobility, Mont Pelerin Society, Hellfire Club and the Masons.

    The mother of all international think thanks and research institutions is the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations, which is beginning to help the Stanford Research Institute.

    Coleman writes that past and present members of the Committee of Three Hundred include the Queen of England, the Queen of the Netherlands, the Queen of Denmark, European royal families, George Bush, Edward Carter, Houston Stewart Chamberlain, Winston Churchill, Francois Mitterrand, Jean Monet, Ernest Oppenheimer and his heir Henry.

    In the mid-1990s, Russia was invited to participate in establishing a single world state.

    "Boris Yeltsin adhered to the decrees of the Committee of Three Hundred in an experiment to bind Russia to the will of the ruling elite," writes Coleman.

    Heap of plans

    Coleman describes the new world order as seen by the Committee of Three Hundred.

    Leaders: There will be a single world state and monetary system ruled by unelected oligarchs and their royal lineage, who will appoint leaders from their own ranks in a feudal system as existed in the Middle Ages.

    Religion: Only one religion will be permitted in the form of a state church. The church has existed secretly since 1920. All Christian churches will be prohibited.

    Control: All individuals will have an identification number. The numbers will be entered into a composite file at NATO in Brussels together with details dossiers.

    Family: Marriages will be canceled. Children will be taken from their parents at an early age. They will be raised at special institutions like state property. Free sex will be compulsory.

    Children: If a woman gets pregnant after having two children, she will be immediately sent for an abortion and sterilization.

    Resources: Only members of the Committee of Three Hundred and select individuals will have the right to make use of natural resources. Agriculture will be completely controlled by the Committee of Three Hundred, and food processing will be strictly controlled.

    Social Policy: At least 4 billion "useless individuals" will be exterminated by 2050 as a result of territorial wars, organized deadly epidemics, quickly spreading diseases and hunger. Electrical energy, food and water will sufficiently provide for the white population of Western Europe and North America and only later different races. The populations of Canada, Western Europe and the U.S. will decrease more quickly than on other continents until the population reaches the controllable level of 1 billion. Of these individuals, 500 million will be Chinese and Japanese, who will be "chosen" as they have been subject to strict regulations and unquestioningly obeying authorities for centuries.

    Current situation

    Coleman asserts that individuals who are party to the single world state are strenuously brainwashing the population, rewriting history, creating ideal individuals and working to decrease the population.

    Profiling is a method developed in 1922 by an order of the Royal Institute of International Affairs. The method was based on principles similar to today's NLP, which helps to influence people's ideas and decisions. The method was used by Major John Riz, British military specialist, on 80,000 "guinea pigs" from the British Army and prisoners of war, who were subjected to many types of psychological testing. Later, a special brainwashing center for the civil population was established at the University of Sussex. This super-secret organization was called the Institute of Scientific Politics.

    The Rockefeller Fund subsidized scholarly work to create an ideal history after the end of World War II, when Anglo-American troops naturally came out the winners.

    The Rockefeller Fund is also sponsoring genetic maps of the qualities of the ideal human in closed laboratories on the basis of the genome to grow test-tube geniuses and docile invincible soldiers.

    A program regulating the growth of the population was approved at a conference of the world state. Its main goal is to ensure a low birth level in countries outside Western civilization. The program covers 100 countries and utilizes measures such as the forced sterilization of men and women.

    Military Officer's Opinion

    Vladimir Nikiforov, former KGB colonel, senior officer of the First Division of the Fifth Department of the Committee of Foreign Economic Relations, says the Masons have bought everything.
    "In the 1980s, I was a supervisor in Southeastern Asia. I worked in Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and China. Of course, I met with my colleagues from intelligence agencies and worked with the states of these nations. And on numerous occasions I was told about the existence of a world state in personal conversations. All presidents resist its dictatorship, but they know that they have long been puppets of this ruling system composing only 2 percent of the world's population – the richest individuals. I know for sure that the Queen of England and King of Spain and his wife are members. This so-called world state bought everything. They wage wars under the pretense of huge state interests and safety and invent artificial diseases such as the Bird Flu to control people and get rid of human dead weight. As a result, as I've been told, this secret world state will create a controllable mass. The center of the organization is in New York on Fifth Avenue in a large temple not far from where the twin towers were destroyed in 2001. They meet there from time to time."

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  21. US Lawmakers Have As Much As $196 Million Invested In "Defense" Companies

    By The Associated Press

    03/04/08 "AP" -- -- WASHINGTON: Members of the U.S.Congress have as much as $196 million (126.2 million) collectively invested in companies doing business with the Defense Department, earning millions since the start of the Iraq war, according to a new study by a nonpartisan research group.

    The review of lawmakers' 2006 financial disclosure statements, by the Washington-based Center for Responsive Politics, suggests that members' holdings could pose a conflict of interest as they decide the fate of Iraq war spending. Several members who earned the most from defense contractors have plum committee or leadership assignments, including Democratic Sen. John Kerry, independent Sen. Joseph Lieberman and House Republican Whip Roy Blunt.

    The study found that more Republicans than Democrats hold stock in defense companies, but that the Democrats who are invested had significantly more money at stake. In 2006, for example, Democrats held at least $3.7 million (€2.3 million) in military-related investments, compared to Republican investments of $577,500 (€372,000).

    Overall, 151 members hold investments worth $78.7 million (€50.6 million) to $195.5 million (€125.9 million) in companies that receive defense contracts that are worth at least $5 million (€3.2 million). These investments earned them anywhere between $15.8 million (€10.1 million) and $62 million (€39.9 million) between 2004 and 2006, the center concludes.

    It is unclear how many members still hold these investments and exactly how much money has been made. Disclosure reports for 2007 are not due until this May. Also, members are required to report only a general range of their holdings.

    According to the report, presidential hopefuls Barack Obama and John McCain did not report any defense-related holdings on their filings; Hillary Rodham Clinton did note holdings in such companies as Honeywell, Boeing and Raytheon, but sold the stock in May 2007. All three are members of the Senate.

    Not all the companies invested in by lawmakers are typical defense contractors. Corporations such as PepsiCo, IBM, Microsoft and Johnson & Johnson have at one point received defense-related contracts, the report notes.

    "So common are these companies, both as personal investments and as defense contractors, it would appear difficult to build a diverse blue-chip stock portfolio without at least some of them," wrote the center's Lindsay Renick Mayer.

    Still, earning dividends from companies tied to the military "could be problematic" for members that oversee defense policy and budgeting, Mayer adds.

    Kerry, a Democrat, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is identified as earning the most at least $2.6 million between 2004 and 2006 from investments worth up to $38.2 million (€24.6 million).

    Spokesman David Wade said Kerry, who staunchly opposes the war in Iraq, is one of many beneficiaries of family trusts which he doesn't control. Wade also noted that Kerry does not sit on the Appropriations Committee, which has direct control of the defense budget.

    "He has a 24-year Senate record of working and voting in the best interests of our men and women in the military, not of any defense contractors," Wade said.

    Lieberman, an independent and chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and a member of the Armed Services Committee, held a considerably smaller share at $51,000 (€32,850).

    A spokesman for Blunt, a senior member of House Republican, leadership who held at least $15,000 (€9,660) in Lockheed Martin stock in 2006, said the insinuation that lawmakers' votes might be affected by their portfolios is "offensive."

    "I don't pretend to speak for other offices, but I am fairly certain that no member would consider their personal finances when voting on issues as important as sending our men and women in uniform into harms way," said Nick Simpson.

    Lieberman and Blunt support continued operations in Iraq.

    Now you know why the Democrats refuse to end the war.

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  22. North American Military Agreement Signed by the U.S. and Canada

    By Jim Kouri

    While Americans are being bombarded with large doses of presidential primary news coverage, the US entered into an agreement with its northern neighbor that may have an impact on future internal military action.

    In a political move that received little if any attention by the American news media, the United States and Canada entered into a military agreement on February 14, 2008, allowing the armed forces from one nation to support the armed forces of the other nation during a domestic civil emergency, even one that does not involve a cross-border crisis, according to a police commander involved in homeland security planning and implementation.

    It is an initiative of the Bi-National Planning Group whose final report, issued in June 2006, called for the creation of a "Comprehensive Defense and Security Agreement," or a "continental approach" to Canada-US defense and security.

    The law enforcement executive told Newswithviews.com that the agreement -- defined as a Civil Assistance Plan -- was not submitted to Congress for debate and approval, nor did Congress pass any law or treaty specifically authorizing this military agreement to combine the operations of the armed forces of the United States and Canada in the event of domestic civil disturbances ranging from violent storms, to health epidemics, to civil riots or terrorist attacks.

    "This is a military plan that's designed to bypass the Posse Comitatus Act that traditionally prohibited the US military from operating within the borders of the United States. Not only will American soldiers be deployed at the discretion of whomever is sitting in the Oval Office, but foreign soldiers will also be deployed in American cities," warns Lt. Steven Rodgers, commander of the Nutley, NJ Police Department's detective bureau.

    In Canada the agreement paving the way for the militaries of the US and Canada to cross each other's borders to fight domestic emergencies was not announced either by Prime Minister Harper's administration or the Canadian military. The agreement met with protests and demonstrations by Canadians opposed to such treaties with the US.

    "It's kind of a trend when it comes to issues of Canada-US relations and contentious issues like military integration," claims Stuart Trew, a researcher with the Council of Canadians.

    "We see that this government is reluctant to disclose information to Canadians that is readily available on American and Mexican websites," he said in a press statement.

    The military Civil Assistance Plan is seen by critics as a further incremental step toward creating a North American armed forces available to be deployed in domestic North American emergency situations. According to the NORTHCOM press release, the plan "allows the military from one nation to support the armed forces of the other nation during a civil emergency."

    The agreement was signed at US Army North headquarters, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, by US Air Force General Gene Renuart, commander of NORAD and US Northern Command, or USNORTHCOM, and by Canadian Air Force Lt. General Marc Dumais, commander of Canada Command.

    "This document is a unique, bilateral military plan to align our respective national military plans to respond quickly to the other nation's requests for military support of civil authorities," Renuart said in a statement published on the USNORTHCOM website.

    Lt. Gen. Dumais seconded Renuart's sentiments, stating, "The signing of this plan is an important symbol of the already strong working relationship between Canada Command and U.S. Northern Command."

    "Our commands were created by our respective governments to respond to the defense and security challenges of the twenty-first century," he stressed, "and we both realize that these and other challenges are best met through cooperation between friends."

    "It's hard to believe that Americans and Canadians will go along with this agreement," opines conservative strategist Michael Baker.

    "That's why [there's] all this secrecy. Has anyone heard Clinton, Obama or McCain complain about this significant policy shift? All three of these presidential hopefuls are in the US Senate, yet not a peep from them about a foreign army being called to 'police' US neighborhoods under the guise of an 'emergency,'" he said.

    The statement on the USNORTHCOM website emphasized that the plan recognizes the role of each nation's lead federal agency for emergency preparedness, which in the United States is the Department of Homeland Security and in Canada is Public Safety Canada.

    The US Northern Command was established on October 1, 2002, as a military command tasked with anticipating and conducting homeland defense and civil support operations where US armed forces are used in domestic emergencies.

    Meanwhile, the Canada Command was established on February 1, 2006, to focus on domestic operations and offer a single point of contact for all domestic and continental defense and securities partners.

    In May 2007, President Bush took it upon himself to sign the National Security Presidential Directive 51 which is also known as Homeland Security Presidential Directive 20, authorizing the president to declare a national emergency and take over all functions of federal, state, local, territorial and tribal governments, without necessarily obtaining the approval of Congress to do so.

    While Americans are being kept in the dark about this treaty, Canadian citizens are being totally ignored by their government. The extent of military integration called for by the BNP is unprecedented and has received absolutely no public debate in the House of Commons. If they wish to read about the details of this military agreement, Canadians must go to the Northern Command website to see any evidence of the new agreement.

    "Once the Canadian people discover they can be [legally invaded] by US troops, they will take to the streets and protest and use the very effective weapon of civil disobedience. Canadians will not stand for occupation by a foreign army same as Americans won't," said conservative columnist and commentator Rachel Marsden.

    "I'm surprised that the Canadian people haven't already displayed their opposition to such a treaty. Economics is one thing, but military use of force is quite another. We have our own police, security and military forces, thank you. We don't been Americans coming into Canada with weapons," she said. "And Americans don't need Canadian soldiers.

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  23. polishifter, I like the part of the cartoon where they show 100 year old vets still in Iraq.

    McSame would keep the Bush fiascoes going and going, just like a insane reichwing energizer war bunny.

    Of course the senile old foole already admitted he don't know squat about the economy, which is probably why he keeps flip flopping on backing the insane Bush policies.

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  24. Looks like more straight talk about the dishonesty of McCain is coming out;

    Duped by Sen. John McCain

    I'll admit it: I used to admire John McCain.

    To paraphrase the UFO poster from "The X Files," I wanted to believe.

    Specifically, I wanted to believe the guy talking tough about campaign finance reform was committed to getting money out of politics. This was the Arizona senator who in 2002 taped a radio ad praising his state's "clean elections" system. It provides public money to candidates so they don't have to finance campaigns with corporate contributions - the kind given in exchange for legislative favors. McCain's support for clean elections, I thought, proved he wanted to end corruption.

    But by the time the senator showed up here in Colorado last week for a fundraiser at Denver's Petroleum Club, I knew I had been duped.

    As the Washington Post reports, McCain is now "assiduously courting both lobbyists and their wealthy clients, offering them private audiences as part of his fundraising." He has more lobbyists as fundraisers than any other White House contender, and he allows lobbyists to simultaneously work in his campaign and represent business clients. In fact, the Post reported that his chief adviser "said he does a lot of his [lobbying] work by telephone from McCain's Straight Talk Express bus."

    Such antics have run that "Straight Talk Express" into the ditch of hypocrisy. Just look at McCain's actions on two huge issues: energy and campaign-finance reform.

    While McCain prepared his presidential run in 2005, a bill came up to permit drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). McCain - the "maverick" who voted to prevent ANWR drilling in 2003 - sided with the oil industry and reversed his vote. He has since signed on more than a dozen staffers and fundraisers who have represented energy interests, while his presidential campaign has been rewarded with $393,000 from the oil and gas industry.

    Likewise, Democrats in 2006 authored legislation to implement a version of Arizona's clean elections system at the federal level. McCain, who previously told PBS the system could be a national model, "dismissed the proposal with a flat 'no,' " according to The Hill newspaper. As the nonpartisan Public Campaign Action Fund reports, McCain is the only current presidential candidate refusing to support public financing of elections.

    Then again, McCain's flip-flopping is likely the re-emergence of the real McCain - the longtime corporate crony.

    For example, before voting against Arctic drilling in 2003, McCain voted to support such drilling in 1995 (yes, the "straight talker" was first for it, then against it, then for it again).

    Additionally, McCain may have presented himself in 2000 as the crusader against corruption and in 2002 as a champion of clean elections, but he was originally a member of the Keating Five - the senators involved in an influence-peddling scheme during the savings and loan meltdown of the 1980s.

    Now, rushing to build a war chest, McCain is doing everything short of putting a For Sale sign on his forehead. During a nationwide fundraising tour, he was showered with big donations after defending the lobbyist-written trade policies that have driven down wages. He is sure to raise even more cash as he shows his Keating Five roots shilling for the financial industry. Last week, approaching the 21st anniversary of that scandal, McCain followed the advice of banking executive-turned-campaign-adviser Phil Gramm and demanded Congress oppose new Wall Street regulations in the wake of the credit crisis.

    Indeed, this reversion to form is McCain's catharsis of corruption, proving the senator is just another hired gun. In so publicly embracing Big Money, his message has become a series of embarrassing admissions - a campaign version of the book "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man." There is just one difference: This Arizona hit man expresses absolutely no remorse.


    Seems McSame is just another dishonest repugnant politician just like the Bush he wants to replace but follow all Bush's policies.

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  25. Will Bob Barr Be McCain's Very Own Ralph Nader in 2008?

    By Howie Klein, Down With Tyranny!

    How badly will another cranky old right-winger in the presidential race hurt McCain? Looks like we're about to find out. Far right extremist, Georgia ex-Congressman Bob Barr, has been muttering darkly of late about how the Insider GOP Establishment has abandoned conservative principles. He happens to think McCain has morphed into George Bush and agrees that a McCain presidency would basically just be a third term for Bush. He's been talking openly about running for president as an independent and this weekend he is expected to announce his candidacy at the Heartland Libertarian Conference in Kansas City, where he is scheduled to speak.

    "There's been a tremendous expressed to me both directly and indirectly on the Internet. I take that support very seriously, and I think it also reflects a great deal of dissatisfaction with the current candidates and the current two-party system. So it is something, to be honest with you, that I'm looking very seriously at... Ron Paul tapped into a great deal of that dissatisfaction and that awareness. Unfortunately, working through the Republican party structure, it became impossible for him to really move forward with his movement. But we have to have ....a rallying point out there to harness that energy, that freedom in this election cycle.

    "What we've fallen into in recent years-- not just since 9/11, but particularly since 9/11-- is this notion that, in order to protect ourselves, we have to preemptively go into and-- in the case of Iraq-- occupy another sovereign nation. Simply saying, 'Gee, it's better to fight over in this other nation and destroy another nation, so we're not potentially attacked here, is the height of arrogance."
    Today's Moonie Times speculates that a Barr bid could hurt McCain's already slim chances to slip into the White House. He would probably negate whatever benefit McCain would get from Nader's run, although progressives overwhelmingly blame Nader for all the damage Bush has caused and are unlikely to vote for him in any significant way. He's unlikely to break even 1% of the vote anywhere. Barr, an NRA board member and a hero to rabid Clinton-haters, would probably attract far more voters among Republicans than Nader would among Democrats. Most Democrats are happy with either Obama, the likely winner, or Clinton. Many Republicans, especially the dominant conservative wing, are still mistrustful of McCain.

    Republican campaign pros said a Barr bid could range from causing them some damage all the way to being the equivalent of Ross Perot's 1992 presidential bid, which many Republicans think split their party's voters, unseating then-President Bush and electing Democrat Bill Clinton.

    Gun rights fanatics don't like McCain and there are plenty of Republicans who have been schooled by extremists like Limbaugh to hate McCain for his "support" for campaign finance reform. The Moonies interviewed Michigan's crackpot Republican Party Chairman Saul Anuzis, who said Barr would do well in fascist-leaning states like Texas but it wouldn't matter because McCain would win by a big enough margin there to triumph anyway. Anuzis apparently hasn't been watching the demographic shifts in certain parts of the country. In any case, he acknowledges that where Barr would kill McCain's chances are in the swing states, GOP strategists are counting on-- Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

    Poor Deranged McCain: Another worn out old deranged warlover will compete for his spot.

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  26. McCain Is Heckled During MLK Speech
    By Cliff Schecter, Cliff Schecter's Blog
    Posted on April 4, 2008, Printed on April 4, 2008
    http://www.alternet.org/bloggers/http://agonist.org/schecter//81377/
    What a surprise. Who knew that would happen?

    And why would such hostility be foisted upon such a swell gent? Could it be his vote against making MLK Day a holiday in 1983? His dalliance with the Confederate Flag on the presidential trail in 2000? His friends in low places, such as racial progressives Trent Lott and Terry Nelson of those wonderful Harold Ford ads in 2006? His wish to send more Americans to Iraq who joined the National Guard to get an education and defend their country from REAL threats, not die to undermine our security (at no fault of their own, but due to leaders like McCain)? His willing ignorance on issues such as health care and mortgage foreclosures?

    Really, what does that crowd in Memphis have to dislike about McCain.? I don’t get it.

    Via Think Progress:

    Today, John McCain spoke to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Memphis to commemorate the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. As ThinkProgress has noted, as a congressman in 1983, McCain voted against legislation creating MLK Day.

    Most Republicans (including then-Rep. Dick Cheney) supported the bill, later signed by President Reagan. McCain complained it "cost too much money, that other presidents were not recognized." He eventually came around to supporting the holiday in a 1990 Arizona referendum that failed.

    In his speech today, McCain tried to explain his misguided vote by stating, “We can all be a little late sometimes in doing the right thing”:

    We can be slow as well to give greatness its due, a mistake I made myself long ago when I voted against a federal holiday in memory of Dr. King. I was wrong and eventually realized that, in time to give full support for a state holiday in Arizona. We can all be a little late sometimes in doing the right thing, and Dr. King understood this about his fellow Americans. But he knew as well that in the long term, confidence in the reasonability and good heart of America is always well placed.

    During these statements, some in the crowd said, “We forgive you,” but many others began loudly objecting to McCain’s comments. CNN reporter Soledad O’Brien called it “a little bit of heckling.”

    O’Brien also noted that when McCain first emerged and greeted the crowd, there were some cheers, but there were also “some loud boos.”

    Can't a Deranged Old Racist Flip Flop without getting caught.

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  27. McCain's Dismal MLK Record Proves He Didn't Believe in King's Dream or Civil Rights

    By Pam Spaulding,

    John McCain is going to appear in Memphis today, on the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination. That's worthy of a brass balls award as the Arizona senator has a long history of opposing civil rights legislation, including the federal MLK holiday, something he voted against as a Congressman in 1983. He now says he "evolved" and regrets that vote.

    In 1983, when I was brand-new in the Congress, I voted against the recognition of Dr. Martin Luther King. That was a mistake, OK? And later I had the chance to ... help fight for ... the recognition of Dr. Martin Luther King as a holiday in my state."

    The good folks at Color of Change have a fact sheet up on McCain's civil rights record. It's questionable whether his evolution is occurring at even a glacial pace. Decide for yourself as you read the items below.

    Arizona Governor Rescinded Martin Luther King Jr. Day. In 1987, One of newly elected Governor Evan Mecham's first acts in office was to rescind Arizona's recognition of the Martin Luther King Holiday. "Mecham strikes many voters as a simpleminded ideologue who is giving a bad name to the nation's second-fastest-growing state. After rescinding the Jan. 19 holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr., Mecham defended the use of the term "pickaninnies" for blacks." Time 11/9/87]

    McCain Said He Thought Governor Was Correct in His Decision According to the Huffington Post, "In 1983, McCain voted against passing a bill to designate the third Monday of every January as a federal holiday in honor of King. Four years later, then-Arizona Governor Evan Mecham rescinded Martin Luther King Day as a state holiday, saying it had been established through an illegal executive order by his Democratic predecessor. McCain said he thought Mecham was correct in his decision." [Sam Stein, Huffington Post, 4/1/08]

    McCain Consistently Voted Against The Civil Rights Act Of 1990. In 1990, McCain voted against a bill designed to address employer discrimination at least 4 times. According to the Washington Post, the "Civil Rights Act of 1990 is designed to overturn several recent Supreme Court rulings that made it much more difficult for individual employees to prove discrimination. The legislation, being fought by business, also would impose new penalties on employers convicted of job discrimination." [S 2104, Vote #304, 10/24/90; Vote #276, Vote #275, 10/16/90; Vote #161, 7/18/90; Washington Post, 7/9/90

    McCain Defended Controversial Spokesman Richard Quinn, McCain's who called the MLK Holiday "Vitriolic and Profane." Richard Quinn, was a South Carolina "strategist" for McCain in the 2000 campaign. In a Partisan View column, Richard Quinn wrote, "King Day should have been rejected because its purpose is vitriolic and profane. By celebrating King as the incarnation of all they admire, they [black leaders] have chosen to glorify the histrionic rather than the heroic and by inference they spurned the brightest and the best among their own race. Ignoring the real heroes in our nation's life, the blacks have chosen a man who represents not their emancipation, not their sacrifices and bravery in service to their country; rather, they have chosen a man whose role in history was to lead his people into a perpetual dependence on the welfare state, a terrible bondage of body and soul."

    Quinn has also advocated electing David Duke, and sold T-Shirts through his magazine celebrating Abraham Lincoln's assassination. [Partisan View, Southern Partisan, Fall, 1983; Partisan View, Southern Partisan, Winter, 1989, PFAW Release, 2/17/00] [Spartanburg Herald-Journal, 12/23/05; Vanity Fair, 11/04]

    McCain Defended Quinn as 'Respected' and a 'Fine Man." Despite Mr. Quinn's writings and history of racial insensitivity, McCain defended him as a 'respected' and 'fine man' and refused to fire him. [Associated Press, 2/18/00; New York Times, 2/8/00]

    The fact of the matter is that McCain brought this on himself, with his paper trail of cozying up to racists and his voting record. And to think it continues to this day as he courts religious (Hagee, Parsley) and homophobic bigots (the entire professional "Christian" set) for personal political gain.

    Thus goes the saga of the Typical Republican Racist: The Deranged John McCain.

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  28. Oops, it looks like most Americans don't like what Bush and the repugnants have done to this country;

    81% in Poll Say Nation Is Headed on Wrong Track

    Americans are more dissatisfied with the country’s direction than at any time since the New York Times/CBS News poll began asking about the subject in the early 1990s, according to the latest poll.

    In the poll, 81 percent of respondents said they believed “things have pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track,” up from 69 percent a year ago and 35 percent in early 2002.

    Although the public mood has been darkening since the early days of the war in Iraq, it has taken a new turn for the worse in the last few months, as the economy has seemed to slip into recession. There is now nearly a national consensus that the country faces significant problems.

    So much fur that Bush legacy eh dolty?

    A majority of nearly every demographic and political group — Democrats and Republicans, men and women, residents of cities and rural areas, college graduates and those who finished only high school — say the United States is headed in the wrong direction. Seventy-eight percent of respondents said the country was worse off than five years ago; just 4 percent said it was better off.


    compliments of G w bush and the rubber stamp congressional repugnants

    The dissatisfaction is especially striking because public opinion usually hits its low point only in the months and years after an economic downturn, not at the beginning of one. Today, however, Americans report being deeply worried about the country even though many say their own personal finances are still in fairly good shape.

    Only 21 percent of respondents said the overall economy was in good condition, the lowest such number since late 1992,

    when georgie's poppy got handed his pink slip from the American people

    when the recession that began in the summer of 1990 had already been over for more than a year. In the latest poll, two in three people said they believed the economy was in recession today.

    The unhappiness presents clear risks for Republicans in this year’s elections, given the continued unpopularity of President Bush. Twenty-eight percent of respondents said they approved of the job he was doing, a number that has barely changed since last summer. But Democrats, who have controlled the House and Senate since last year, also face the risk that unhappy voters will punish Congressional incumbents.

    Mr. Bush and leaders of both parties on Capitol Hill have moved in recent weeks to react to the economic slowdown, first by passing a stimulus bill that will send checks of up to $1,200 to many couples this spring. They are now negotiating over proposals to overhaul financial regulations, blunt the effects of a likely wave of home foreclosures and otherwise respond to the real estate slump and related crisis on Wall Street.

    The poll found that Americans blame government officials for the crisis more than banks or home buyers and other borrowers. Forty percent of respondents said regulators were mostly to blame, while 28 percent named lenders and 14 percent named borrowers.

    In assessing possible responses to the mortgage crisis, Americans displayed a populist streak, favoring help for individuals but not for financial institutions. A clear majority said they did not want the government to lend a hand to banks, even if the measures would help limit the depth of a recession.

    “What I learned from economics is that the market is not always going to be a happy place,” Sandi Heller, who works at the University of Colorado and is also studying for a master’s degree in business there, said in a follow-up interview. If the government steps in to help out, said Ms. Heller, 43, it could encourage banks to take more foolish risks.

    “There are a million and one better ways for the government to spend that money,” she said.

    Respondents were considerably more open to government help for home owners at risk of foreclosure. Fifty-three percent said they believed the government should help those whose interest rates were rising, while 41 percent said they opposed such a move.

    The nationwide telephone survey of 1,368 adults was conducted from March 28 to April 2. The margin of sampling error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.

    When the presidential campaign began last year, the war in Iraq and terrorism easily topped Americans’ list of concerns. Almost 30 percent of people in a December poll said that one of those issues was the country’s most pressing problem. About half as many named the economy or jobs.

    But the issues have switched places in just a few months’ time. In the latest poll, 17 percent named terrorism or the war, while 37 percent named the economy or the job market.

    Not good for the senile old foole

    When looking at the current state of their own finances, Americans remain relatively sanguine. More than 70 percent said their financial situation was fairly good or very good, a number that has dropped only modestly since 2006.

    Yet many say they are merely managing to stay in place, rather than get ahead. This view is consistent with the income statistics of the past five years, which suggest that median household income has still not returned to the inflation-adjusted peak it hit in 1999.


    when the Clenis was in office

    Since the Census Bureau began keeping records in the 1960s, there has never been an extended economic expansion that ended without setting a new record for household income.

    Economists cite a variety of factors for the sluggish income growth, including technology and globalization, and it clearly seems to have made Americans anxious about the future. Fewer than half of parents — 46 percent — said they expected their children to enjoy a better standard of living than they themselves do, down from 56 percent in 2005.

    Respondents were more pessimistic when asked in general terms about the next generation, with only a third saying it would live better than people do today. (Polls usually find people more upbeat about their personal situation than about the state of society, but the gap is now larger than usual.)

    Charles Parrish, a 56-year-old retired fireman in Evans, Ga., who now works a maintenance job for the local school system, said he was worried the country was not preparing children for the high-technology economy of the future. Instead, the government passed a stimulus package that simply sends checks to taxpayers and worsens the deficit in the process.

    “Who’s going to pay back the money?” Mr. Parrish, an independent, said. “We are. They are giving me money, except I’m going to have to pay interest on it.”

    Democrats have asserted recently that the lack of wage growth has made people more open to government intervention in the economy than in the past, and the poll found mixed results on this score.

    Fifty-eight percent of respondents said they would support raising taxes on households making more than $250,000 to pay for tax cuts or government programs for people making less than that amount. Only 38 percent called it a bad idea. Both Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Senator Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential candidates, have made proposals along these lines.

    More broadly, 43 percent of those surveyed said they would prefer a larger government that provided more services, which is tied for the highest such number since The Times and CBS News began asking the question in 1991. But an identical 43 percent said they wanted a smaller government that provided fewer services.

    And although both Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama have blamed trade with other countries for some of the economy’s problems, Americans say they continue to favor trade — if not quite as strongly as in the past. Fifty-eight percent called it good for the economy; 32 percent called it bad, up from 17 percent in 1996.

    At the same time, 68 percent said they favored trade restrictions to protect domestic industries, instead of allowing unrestrained trade. In early 1996, 55 percent favored such restrictions.


    Doesn't look good fur the reichwing enablers this time does it?

    I wonder why Baghdad Boenher said this;

    BREAKING: Baghdad Boehner Predicts Victory In November

    Methinks John Boehner has gone off his meds.

    House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) predicted Thursday that Republicans will pick up seats in the 2008 election despite a slew of GOP retirements and the Democrats' significant fundraising advantage. "We don't need as much money as [Democrats] have," he said. "We need enough to tell our story." He added, "I think we are going to gain seats this year. Period."

    Confident er Delusional er Hilarious words for a man who just a few weeks ago was pleading with his fellow Goopers to get off their "dead asses" and raise money because the GOP's fundraising "sucks."

    Money, schmoney. Boehner's right. There is that wonderful Republican story to be told of the housing crisis, the recession, two lost wars and generally what awesome shape the country's in. Because when voters hear that story, they'll swoon.

    It's just fabulous.


    Just one question, does Baghdad Boehner run off the Dubai like his intellectually ideologically challenged cousin Baghdad Bob did?

    Or does Baghdad Boehner think the economically collapsing Ohio is good enough to hide in?

    Cause no matter how much this delusional foole spouts repugnant lies, they ain't got a snow balls chance in hell of picking UP seats this time around.

    ReplyDelete
  29. John McCain is wrong about the Iraq War (the main reason I am voting against him). He is wrong about Iran. And, yes, his flip-flops on a number of issues (tax-cuts, immigration, embracing Falwell and company) have indeed become a troubling thing. But, really, the post I just read here is border-line character-assasination. What's your source that McCain gave up valuable information to the enemy? From what I know, the man could have left the prison earlier but didn't. He stayed with his comrades. And even if he did give up a bean or two, they broke his frigging arms repeatedly!!! I wonder, how long would it have taken Al Franken (who is funny, I admit) and Randi Rhodes to capitulate. Christ, they probably would have spilled the entire kettle of beans at the mere sight of an inquisitor. And you're criticizing John McCain for adultery? That is pretty ballsy, especially when you Bubba nad Jesse Jackson doing essentially the same and more!! Come on, why don't we just stay on the issues, huh?

    ReplyDelete
  30. John McCain Is No Patriot

    Posted by Polishifter at this fine blog:

    Pissed on Politics

    A serious fraud is being perpetuated on the American Public; the fraud of John McCain. The Senator casts himself in the light of a patriot, someone who is ‘duty-bound’ and ‘honor-bound’ to serve America. But a close look at McCain’s life reveals quite the opposite.

    John McCain is a self-serving glory hound who only cares about obtaining honor for his own satisfaction. His Grandfather was a Navy Admiral as was his Father. No doubt John felt a strong need to distinguish himself from the shadows cast by their long careers. John needed glory and honor early and often to help prove himself to his family.

    Reality is John was a problem child with a horrible temper. In school they called him ‘McNasty’. He never would have made it into the Naval Academy or graduated without the help of his father.

    Yes, McCain served in the Vietnam War which is more than we can say about George W Bush. Yes he was a POW and by most accounts was tortured. But at the same time he collaborated with the North Vietnamese in hopes of obtaining better treatment. He gave up military secrets and made pro-North Vietnamese broadcasts. When McCain was released from the Hanoi Hilton he would have been court-martialed for violating the UCMJ if his father had not intervened.

    McCain returned to military service after rehabilitation. His hope was to become an Admiral. By 1979 his military career had stalled. He wasn't going to get promoted any further thus he turned his ambition to politics.

    McCain cheated on his first wife with his current wife Cindy, who happens to be a wealthy heiress. With her money and connections McCain had enough backing to enter the political arena. She introduced him to Charles Keating. McCain’s mind turned to money and how to use his political office to benefit his own ambition.

    In 1993 McCain blocked the release of classified documents relating to MIA/POW’s of the Vietnam War. Once again McCain’s concern was for himself. He feared that records of his own POW experience, including documents relating to his collaboration with the North, would jeopardize his political career.

    By 1999 McCain had survived the S&L scandal as a member of the Keating Five and was able to tamp down protests by fellow Vietnam Vets and POW’s over his blocking of classified documents. McCain recast himself as ‘The Maverick’ and the ‘Straight Talker’ who was going to take Republicans and Democrats to task. He wasn’t going to bow down to special interests or the rabid evangelical right. He claimed to be more Independent than Republican and gained broad public appeal as well as love from an adoring media.

    In 2000 Bush and Rove tore McCain to shreds effectively stopping the straight talk express in its tracks. Disheveled and defeated McCain retreated. He did what no one thought he would ever do; he kissed Bush’s ring. He then went on to apologize to the evangelical right-wing Christian community. He gave speeches at Pat Robertson’s university hoping to make amends.

    Once again McCain put his own political career before his integrity. McCain put himself before country. That, my friends, is not a patriot but a traitor.

    Perhaps the worst transgressions committed by McCain would come during the Bush Presidency. McCain continued to support Bush lock-step on nearly ever issue. After fighting in the Vietnam War and seeing what a tragedy it was for the country, many expected McCain to come out against the invasion of Iraq. He had the experience, wisdom, and knowledge to know better. He had the political experience and public exposure to make a difference.

    Instead McCain sided with Bush. McCain became a cheerleader for the occupation of Iraq. McCain supported torture. McCain went on to support nearly everything Bush/Cheney said and did.

    If McCain were a true patriot he would have put America before his own political ambition. He didn’t. Instead he sold America out for his own chance to become President. McCain wants to be President not to ‘serve’ America. McCain wants to be President so he can finally climb out of the long shadows cast by his father and grandfather. McCain is still trying to prove himself. McCain still wants to obtain honor from war not for America but for himself to prove to his ancestors that he is worthy.

    McCain is still that ill-tempered nasty little boy trying to obtain the approval and affection of his father. Except now he substitutes the American People for his father. As usual when he doesn’t get the approval he so desires he lashes out and flashes that McNasty temper.

    McCain is no patriot. The pattern of his life is clear; McCain does what McCain thinks will help McCain. That’s not patriotic, that’s egomaniacal.

    Safety Valve: Letters from readers

    No hero

    After reading the letter from William Miller (The Safety Valve, March 26), I feel compelled to make a few observations.

    As a Vietnam veteran, I have taken some time to acquaint myself with the history of John McCain. My interest peaked during the Senate POW/MIA hearings during the early 1990s. The senator's outrageous behavior during those hearings convinced me that he was a despicable and dishonest character.

    In the senator's book, "Faith of My Fathers," McCain admitted that he had dishonored himself by giving military information to his interrogators. He was NOT, however, at all honest about what he actually did. John McCain was NOT tortured before he expressed a willingness to trade military information for medical treatment. At that point, his actions were motivated solely by self-interest. And while I can sympathize with McCain's situation at the time, his actions were clearly a violation of the Military Code of Conduct, actions which can hardly be considered "heroic."

    My main beef with the senator is his willingness to be portrayed as a heroic figure. He is not.

    Nowhere will you read anything about his collaboration with the North Vietnamese. And, make no mistake about it, more than 30 anti-war, anti-American propaganda broadcasts certainly qualify as collaboration. Had McCain not been the son and grandson of Navy admirals, it is likely he would have faced a court-martial upon his release.

    Readers should consider that McCain knew, full well, that he was being treated more leniently than the other prisoners in his compound. He states so, directly, in his book.

    Do not mistake my position. I certainly applaud John McCain for surviving his ordeal. As a Marine who served two tours in Vietnam, I often wondered how I would handle captivity. Fortunately, I never had to find out. I have no illusions concerning my ability to withstand prolonged, intense physical pain. However, I would never parade myself as a hero nor would I allow others to make that claim on my behalf.

    Richard Montgomery

    Palm Bay, Fla

    Resources:

    Vietnam Veterans Against John McCain

    THE U.S. VETERAN DISPATCH - Information on the REAL McCain

    John McCain Is No "Hero POW"

    Luck Of The Admiral's Son Not For "Grunts"

    Call to distribute film, Expose Traitor McCain

    Do your research and you will see just how phony the adulterous traitor John McCain really is.

    ReplyDelete
  31. How 'bout this for torture; make the terrorist watch re-runs of a cheesy 80s sitcom starry Ted Knight? I'd frigging give it up.

    ReplyDelete
  32. You're "swift-boating" John McCain? Wow, only in America. Great sources, by the way. Vietnam Veterans Against John McCain. The gold-standard.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Will, larry made the comments, and he had nothing to do with any sit-com in the 1980's but Lydia did.

    Hell you're just as bad as you accuse "larry" of being.

    You "attack" Lydia for "larry's" post.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Just finished watching BillMayer and I see he is still around.

    Since he says he won't vote for McCain but seems upset by my post, maybe he will like this blog better.

    How Insane Is John McCain

    ReplyDelete
  35. The people who think America is in bad shape (81%) should try to think back and understand why: 8 years of ruinous Republican economic policies, outsourcing of our labor, military iimperialism, and usurping the Constitution.

    Along with consolidation of the media and "trickle-down" Reganomics ...

    ReplyDelete
  36. John McCain's adultery (and opportunism by using his wealthy wife to put him in Congress) are offensive because it makes him a hypocrite. The right wing is supposed to be the party of "moral values.

    Why don't you ever get it? Why don't any of these right wingers understand that it's not the adultery, it's the hypocrisy of being a "moralist."

    ReplyDelete
  37. Silence is complicity.

    Pat Buchanan said, "John McCain makes Dick Cheney seem like Gandhi."

    Be very careful of McCain. He suffers from dementia and PTSD.

    And he proved torture doesn't work.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Great article...............McSame has essentially had a free pass from the Democrats thats why i'm hoping Obama knocks Shillery out of the race after NC so the party can unite and focus on McCrazy

    ReplyDelete
  39. McCrazy is pretending to be a moderate just like Bush............wonder if he'll buy a pig farm and pretend its a ranch so he can pretend to be a dead guy that repugs idolize.

    I find it amazing that Hillary and McCrazy both are dumb enough to mimick Bush and Rove and use the fear mongering and war mongering and antiamerican he hates his country..... fascist joe Mccarthy retarded BS rhetoric..........they are clearly to dumb to realize that Americans are sick and tired of that brainless manipulative nazi talk.

    ReplyDelete
  40. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Why The Republican Party is Bad for America - #13

    Ralph Reed, who as the first executive director of the Christian Coalition in the 1990s became the boyish face of a generation of Christian activists, ran for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor of Georgia in 2006. He lost the primary, however, largely as a result of being identified with casino gambling interests because of a $4 million contract he had with notorious lobbyist Jack Abramoff to represent Indian casino clients.

    Why The Republican Party is Bad for America - #12

    As Tom DeLay's troubles mounted in 2004, House Republicans rewrote party rules to benefit him. Among the changes: allowing those in leadership to retain their positions even if indicted, automatically dismissing ethics complaints unresolved after 45 days, and allowing one lawyer to represent both subject and witnesses in ethics inquiries. The new rules were withdrawn a few months later after a public outcry.

    Why The Republican Party is Bad for America - #11

    "In President Bush's first term, some of the most important decisions about US national security - including vital decisions about postwar Iraq - were made by a secretive, little-known cabal. It was made up of a very small group of people led by Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld....But the secret process was ultimately a failure. It produced a series of disasterous decisions and virtually ensured that the agencies charged with implementing them would not or could not execute them well."

    -Colin Powell's chief of staff Larry Wilkerson in the
    Los Angeles Times

    Why The Republican Party is Bad for America - #10

    Referring to Al Gore's movie on global warming, An Inconvenient Truth, Republican Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma, chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, said Gore was "full of crap," and "all of the recent science-it confirms that I was right on this thing. This thing is a hoax."

    Why The Republican Party is Bad for America - #9

    Unprepared for the insurgency, the US military sent its soldiers out to fight in Iraq primarily with unarmored Humvees that failed to protect their passengers from the roadside bombs and IEDs that were used throughout the country. Desperate soldiers used anything they could to fortify the vehicles. One officer was quoted by the New York Times: "It was pitiful. Everything was just slapped-on armor, just homemade, not armor that was given us through the normal logistical system." It was not until more than three years into the war that armored vehicles became the norm.

    Why The Republican Party is Bad for America - #8

    "We went back today and we could only find eight times that he ever used the term, the phrase 'stay the course.'"

    -White House spokesman Tony Snow shown on MSNBC's October 25, 2006, Countdown with Keith Olbermann; Olbermann then played video of 29 instances in which Bush used the phrase.

    Why The Republican Party is Bad for America - #7

    On May 5, 2005, the Bush administration rolled back rules promulgated by President Clinton protecting 32 million acres of US national forest from road building. Instead, state governors were given a primary role in deciding on the development of the land, opening it up for housing, timber cutting, and mining. The New York Times said environmental groups were outraged by the new rule, "which they variously characterized as emasculated, Kafkaesque and a sham." The official in charge of the Forest Service, meanwhile, stated, "Our approach will protect roadless values."

    Why The Republican Party is Bad for America - #6

    "There's a lot of money to pay for this that doesn't have to be US taxpayer money, and it starts with the assets of the Iraqi people....and on a rough recollection, the oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years....We're dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon."

    -Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, 3/27/03

    Why The Republican Party is Bad for America - #5

    In a radical change of policy, the EPA decided at the end of 2006 to effectively eliminate input from its Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee in setting standards for dangerous pollutants like lead, ozone, and soot. The independent panel which until then had provided key scientific recommendations early on in the standards review process, will now be allowed only to comment on proposed regulations after the public has been notified of them, in effect putting the scientific board on the same footing as industry lobbyists and other special interest groups.

    Why The Republican Party is Bad for America - #4

    A 2005 internal study - which the Interior Department refused to release for more than a year - concluded that billions of dollars of tax incentives provided to oil companies were essentially wasted money. Designed to get oil companies to drill n the Gulf of Mexico, the incentives simply allowed companies to avoid paying royalties to the government for oil they would have drilled anyway.

    Why The Republican Party is Bad for America - #3

    Huckabee *amend the Constitution to meet God's standards*

    Why The Republican Party is Bad for America - #2

    During Katie Couric’s debut week in September 2006 as anchor for CBS Evening News, she interviewed President Bush, who confided, “One of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror.”

    Why The Republican Party is Bad for America - #1

    During the 2006 dispute over the administration’s proposed bill to allow secret evidence in trials of prisoners at Guantanamo, Republican Senator Lindsay “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” Graham scornfully summed up the president’s position this way: “Trust us, you’re guilty, we’re going to execute you, but we can’t tell you why.”

    Then he voted for the bill anyway.


    The Good News Is - Conservatism Is Dying


    Modern conservatism is dying. There’s still an election to be held, but conservatism as we’ve known it since Ronald Reagan is failing—ground down in the desert of Iraq, drowned in the floods of Hurricane Katrina, foreclosed by the housing crisis and poisoned by toys imported from China.

    The American people are figuring this out. While conservatives repeat their time-worn slogans—“small government, low taxes, high security”—the American people are living the consequences.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Soros: U.S. Facing Depression, Bush Clueless

    A new book by billionaire investor George Soros warns that the U.S. is suffering the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression — and the Bush administration is in the dark about how to deal with it.

    In “The New Paradigm for Financial Markets: The Credit Crisis of 2008 and What It Means,” Soros — a major contributor to liberal causes — observes:

    “The United States is facing both a recession and a flight from the dollar. The decline in housing prices, the weight of accumulated household debt, and the losses and uncertainties in the banking system threaten to push the economy into a self-reinforcing decline…

    “We are in the midst of the worst financial crisis since the 1930s.”

    Measures to combat the financial decline increase the supply of dollars, while “at the same time, the flight from the dollar has set up inflationary pressures through higher energy, commodity, and food prices,” Soros writes.

    Soros also notes that the European Central Bank’s reluctance to lower interest rates is putting upward pressure on the euro, and changes in the economy in China will “increase prices at Wal-Mart and put additional pressure on the already beleaguered U.S. consumer.

    “Unfortunately this administration shows no understanding of the predicament in which it finds itself.”

    And McCain wants to continue the Bush economic model of driving the country into a depression.

    ReplyDelete
  43. The Hypocrisy Gospel: Get Rich for Jesus?
    By , Americans United for Separation of Church and State

    Researcher Sarah Posner has been following the Religious Right for several years and writes a blog called The FundamentaList for the American Prospect. Her new book, God's Profits: Faith, Fraud, and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters (PoliPointPress, 2008) examines the role advocates of the "prosperity gospel" play in the Religious Right.

    Posner talked recently with Church & State about her research and the status of the Religious Right today.

    Church & State: Many people think of the prosperity gospel as a movement that attempts to link Christianity to hypercapitalism and the collection of wealth. You assert these ministries play a political role as well. What role does the prosperity gospel play in the Religious Right?

    Posner: When George H.W. Bush was preparing to run for president in 1988, his evangelical advisor, Doug Wead, prepared a list of 1,000 "targets" -- religious leaders of influence worth courting for the votes of their followers. The list included a lot of names you'd expect -- Robertson, Falwell, and other household names, but also included some of the most prominent prosperity gospel evangelists, notably Kenneth Copeland and Paul Crouch, the head of the Trinity Broadcasting Network. The courting of these prosperity televangelists by politicians continues today, as we have seen Mike Huckabee touting his close relationship with Copeland, and John Hagee and Rod Parsley campaigning with John McCain. In tune with the Religious Right, they take ultraconservative positions on issues like abortion, gay marriage, separation of church and state, and other social issues, and actively encourage their followers to vote.

    In your new book, God's Profits, you discuss Ohio pastor Rod Parsley, who has labored to make an impact on statewide politics. Parsley's favored candidate for governor, Ken Blackwell, was soundly defeated in 2006. Does this mean Parsley has lost political influence? What are his goals, and what are the chances he could become a national figure as well-known as the late Jerry Falwell?

    It's certainly Parsley's goal to be a successor to Falwell. He proudly accepted an honorary doctorate from Liberty University last year. (Parsley doesn't even have an undergraduate degree, so this was quite an honor, to say the least). He has said he sees his Center for Moral Clarity, the political arm of his church, as the successor to Falwell's Moral Majority.

    Certainly many observers thought Parsley's influence was on the wane after Blackwell was trounced in the 2006 gubernatorial race. And although Blackwell's defeat could be chalked up to other factors -- particularly the raft of corruption scandals plaguing Ohio Republicans -- there was a group of prominent moderate Republicans who came out against Blackwell because of his religion-baiting.

    That said, Parsley's name is still on the tips of conservative tongues as a religious kingmaker in the race for the White House, and McCain campaigned with Parsley, whom he called a "spiritual guide," in Ohio in March.

    A spate of new books asserts that the Religious Right is a spent force politically. What is your view? Have we truly entered a "post-Religious Right" America?

    Many kingmakers on the Religious Right have seen their political influence wax and wane. Pat Robertson and James Dobson, for example, do not wield the cult of personality that they once did. Yet while the movement appears rudderless at the moment, literalist conservative Christianity runs very deep in our country. Although the public face of the movement is in transition, and many centrist evangelicals are striving to spread a less divisive message, the Religious Right's basic doctrine continues to resonate with a significant segment of the population. Because of the movement's organization, any new leaders who emerge over the next few years will have a formidable and well-funded political and media infrastructure to build on.

    The continued survival of the Religious Right depends on the cultivation of a new generation of activists. In your chapter titled "Generation Next," you discuss efforts by Religious Right leaders to raise up a new generation. How successful have these efforts been?

    Surely, polling data shows younger evangelicals less interested in focusing exclusively on gay marriage and abortion as hot button issues politically, and increasingly interested in combating global warming, alleviating poverty and ending the war in Iraq. Yet many of the Generation Next efforts among Religious Right organizations, such as Ron Luce's Teen Mania, focus on the Pentecostal/charismatic imperatives of personal purity and holiness, and getting tight with Jesus. It's hard to measure how many of the kids attending these events stick with it for the long term, but Luce often fills stadiums all over the country, and many charismatic churches (including prosperity gospel churches) dedicate many resources to youth outreach efforts.

    While writing the book, you traveled around the country and visited many large fundamentalist churches. What observations can you share with us about the average person who sits in the pews and listens to prosperity gospel rhetoric week after week?

    They believe in and are waiting for signs and wonders, hints they think God is giving them about the future and miracles they believe their faith can bring to them. They trust their preachers and teachers are anointed by God and that God speaks through them. They are remarkably credulous about the inerrancy of their preachers and teachers, about the force of their own faith to bring about miraculous healing and abundance. Interactions are viewed through the prism of "spiritual warfare" -- the idea that godly forces are perpetually in battle with satanic forces. As a result, the secular media's reporting on current events -- particularly when it is critical of their pastors -- is to be distrusted and disregarded.

    Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa is investigating allegations of financial misconduct at six large ministries affiliated with the prosperity gospel. Many of the ministries have refused to turn over information requested by Grassley. In your travels, what did you observe about the lifestyles of some of these preachers? Are they really building personal fortunes on the backs of nonprofit entities?

    Yes, and the real extent is unknown, because they are not legally required by the Internal Revenue Service to file tax returns. Whereas nonreligious tax-exempt organizations must file a tax return that is publicly available, churches are not required to do so. The lack of transparency and accountability is at the heart of Grassley's investigation -- not, as the televangelists contend, a disagreement about doctrine.

    In many cases, public records tell at least part of the story -- how big and valuable their houses are, what other real estate they own, how many for-profit companies they control, or whether they own a private jet, for example. But many details remain hidden, and that is why Grassley launched his probe.

    You write about the Texas pastor John Hagee. Hagee does not receive as much media attention as some other ministers on the right, yet he seems to have a good amount of political influence and even has the support of some Jewish organizations because of his backing of Israel. Hagee claims to be moderate. What are his views really like?

    Hagee was recently thrust into the spotlight after he endorsed John McCain for president. McCain came under criticism for embracing Hagee, particularly because of Hagee's anti-Catholic statements. But the picture of Hagee, who is extremely popular especially among Pentecostals/charismatics, as well as Christian Zionists, is bigger than that. He views the world through the prism of "spiritual warfare," preaches the prosperity message and believes the Bible foretells a series of events leading to the ultimate showdown at Armageddon and the Second Coming of Jesus. Connected with the neoconservative foreign policy establishment, his view of biblical prophecy informs his position that, for example, a military attack on Iran is prophesied in the bible and will lead to the apocalypse.

    Advocates of the prosperity gospel assert that the First Amendment gives them the right to believe whatever they want about Christianity. How do you respond to claims that the prosperity gospel is just another version of Christianity that is fully protected by the First Amendment?

    Well, sure, from a theological perspective, anyone is entitled to their beliefs and have constitutionally protected rights to free exercise of their religion and free speech. But when questions arise about whether these churches are exploiting their tax-exempt status for personal profit, that's a question for the Internal Revenue Service and congressional oversight of the IRS. That's not an intrusion on anyone's free-speech rights.

    Jerry Falwell and D. James Kennedy are dead. James Dobson and Pat Robertson aren't getting any younger. Who will lead the Religious Right in the coming years? We've talked about Parsley. Are there other contenders our readers should know about?

    Watch Mike Huckabee. His career is far from over.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Cindy McCain's Fortune Provides Senator With Private Jets, Vacation Homes

    SHARON THEIMER

    On a spring day at a speedway in the South, John McCain posed with his wife, Cindy, and racing star Dale Earnhardt Jr., highlighting the couple's political and business interests in a single snapshot.

    McCain served as honorary starter of the NASCAR race that weekend in Charlotte, N.C. Earnhardt drove the Budweiser car, painted military camouflage, rather than its trademark red, to honor the troops.

    Budweiser, then NASCAR's official beer, is brewed by Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc., whose products have made Cindy McCain and her family a fortune.

    The brewer sold toy replicas of its race car to aid the Special Operations Warrior Foundation and publicized its support for the group, on whose board John McCain served and whose chairman later endorsed him. The speedway appearance helped McCain court NASCAR voters, and his campaign circulated video of the event over the Internet.

    The McCains' marriage has mixed business and politics from the beginning, according to an expansive review by The Associated Press of thousands of pages of campaign, personal finance, real estate and property records nationwide. The paperwork chronicles the McCains' ascent from Arizona newlyweds to political power couple on the national stage.

    As heiress to her father's stake in Hensley & Co. of Phoenix, Cindy McCain is an executive whose worth may exceed $100 million. Her beer earnings have afforded the GOP presidential nominee a wealthy lifestyle with a private jet and vacation homes at his disposal, and her connections helped him launch his political career -- even if the millions remain in her name alone. Yet the arm's-length distance between McCain and his wife's assets also has helped shield him from conflict-of-interest problems.

    Nearly 30 years before John McCain became the Republican presidential nominee, he worked in public relations at his wife's family company.

    Within a few years of marrying Cindy Hensley, the daughter of a multimillionaire Anheuser-Busch distributor, John McCain won his first election. He was new to Arizona politics and fundraising in the 1982 House race, and his campaign quickly fell into debt. Personal money -- tens of thousands of dollars in loans to his campaign from McCain bank accounts -- helped him survive.

    Anheuser-Busch's political action committee was among McCain's earliest donors. Cindy McCain's father, James Hensley, and other Hensley & Co. executives gave so much the Federal Election Commission ordered McCain to give some of it back. McCain's campaign used Hensley office equipment such as computers and copiers, and Cindy McCain personally paid some of the campaign's bills.

    The campaign gradually reimbursed Hensley for use of its equipment and Cindy McCain for her expenses. The loans -- described initially by John McCain as coming from him and his wife -- caught the eye of the FEC, which repeatedly questioned him about them; spouses are held to the same donation limits as everyone else.

    McCain told the FEC the loaned money came from his share of joint accounts. At the time, McCain reported drawing a $25,067 salary and $25,000 bonus working for Hensley in public relations and receiving a Navy pension of $11,038 a year; his 1982 financial disclosure report showed bank interest but didn't say how much the bank accounts held.

    McCain's campaign debt grew to about $177,000 by the end of 1982. His 1984 House campaign repaid just under half the loans. McCain forgave about $93,000 in loans, a sizable personal donation to his inaugural campaign.

    McCain's fundraising base is now far broader than his family bank accounts and Hensley. Still, Hensley and Anheuser-Busch executives have been important and longtime supporters. Long before McCain became a sought-after speaker on the national stage, he gave several speeches at Anheuser-Busch's invitation in the 1980s and donated his fees to charity.

    Hensley executives are among the Arizona senator's top career givers. The Anheuser-Busch PAC has given McCain's campaigns at least $19,500 over the years. McCain's campaign fundraisers include Robert Delgado, Hensley's president and chief executive officer; Andrew McCain, the company's chief financial officer and John McCain's stepson from his first marriage, to Carol Shepp; and August Busch III, chairman of Anheuser-Busch's executive committee. Anheuser-Busch in 2006 gave $25,000 to the International Republican Institute, a pro-democracy group chaired by McCain.

    McCain's campaign still taps Hensley assets: His presidential campaign paid at least $227,000 last year to a limited liability company in which his wife and children are invested, King Aviation, for use of its private jet, according to campaign finance reports.

    Although Cindy McCain's business connections have benefited John McCain politically, they appear to have had little impact on his personal fortunes.

    McCain is routinely ranked among the richest senators. But a prenuptial agreement has kept most assets in his wife's name. That arrangement served as a defense for McCain when the Senate ethics committee scrutinized a real estate deal involving his wife, her father and disgraced savings and loan owner Charles Keating Jr. McCain said at the time the separation of assets helped prove the deal didn't benefit him.

    McCain himself reports little more wealth than when he started in politics. With his book royalties and radio-appearance fees donated to charity, McCain's Senate salary of $169,300 and Navy pension of about $56,000 are his only significant sources of income. He has accounts at two banks with his wife worth up to $15,000 each, according to his most recent financial disclosure report.

    In contrast, Cindy McCain is a millionaire many times over -- though the McCains haven't disclosed just how many times.

    In government records, McCain is permitted to describe his wife's salary at Hensley as simply "more than $1,000" and, when listing her major assets, say only that they are worth "more than $1 million."

    The reports show Cindy McCain has at least $9 million in assets on her own and at least $15 million with the McCain children. But those figures are virtually meaningless; her stake in Hensley & Co. alone almost certainly exceeds them by tens of millions of dollars.

    Beverage industry analysts estimate Hensley's value at more than $250 million and its annual sales at $300 million or more. Hensley describes itself as the third-largest Anheuser-Bush wholesaler in the United States. It sold more than 23 million cases of beer last year and is among the nation's biggest beer distributors regardless of brand.

    Still, don't expect Budweiser to be the beverage of choice at the White House if McCain is elected. "Senator McCain very rarely, if ever, drinks alcohol," campaign spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker said.

    Hensley is a prominent presence in Phoenix. Its sports sponsorships include the Phoenix International Raceway, and its foundation gives tens of thousands of dollars to local causes each year. McCain turns over most of his book and speaking proceeds to Hensley's foundation, which distributes them to charities. Hensley's philanthropy includes supporting a flatbed-truck service that transports intoxicated drivers and their vehicles.

    Cindy McCain is Hensley's chairwoman and holds at least a 20 percent stake in it, according to Arizona corporate records. She works mostly on strategic planning and corporate vision, said Hensley spokesman Douglas Yonko. The company is family owned, but Hensley won't say whether Cindy McCain is a majority shareholder.

    Within the industry, as heiress to her father, she is widely assumed to own a majority of the company. If so, that would make her net worth at least $100 million, if industry estimates of Hensley's value are accurate.

    Hensley distributes only Anheuser-Busch products, which makes it and the St. Louis-based brewer heavily dependent on each other, said Joe Thompson, president of the Independent Beverage Group, a research and consulting firm.

    "It is a very, very competitive business, and Phoenix is a very, very competitive market," Thompson said. Nationally, some Anheuser-Busch wholesalers are looking to end exclusive arrangements with the brewer, but Thompson does not believe Hensley is among them: "They've been very loyal to Anheuser-Busch, and Anheuser-Busch has been very loyal to them."

    Hensley's Web site includes links to Anheuser-Busch promotions and to the National Beer Wholesalers Association, a powerful trade group. Hensley's spokesman, Yonko, is the lobby's Arizona director, and Hensley executives gave enough to the group's political action committee to make its company honor roll.

    The PAC doles out millions of dollars to Democratic and Republican congressional candidates each election. John McCain's campaigns have received at least $26,000 from it over the years. An informal poll on the trade group's Web site asks visitors which presidential candidate they would most like to have a beer with (Democrat Barack Obama was way ahead in late March with 45 percent, McCain was second, with 23 percent).

    The association's priorities include drunken-driving laws; trucking and labor regulations; estate, fuel and alcoholic-beverage taxes; beer labeling and advertising rules; recycling programs and campaign finance restrictions. Many of those issues come under the purview of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, which McCain chaired from 1997-2001 and again from 2003-2005.

    McCain has long said he refrains from voting on beer industry-specific issues. Following that policy, McCain voted "present" when the Senate voted in March 1998 to withhold state highway funding from states that failed to adopt a .08 blood-alcohol standard for drunken driving.

    Two years later, McCain voted against the fiscal 2001 transportation appropriations bill, which set a national .08 standard. The National Beer Wholesalers Association opposed the legislation and told its members it had at least succeeded in "delaying and diluting the final version." McCain voted against the bill because he objected to "pork-barrel spending," Hazelbaker said.

    On some high-profile issues, McCain disagrees with his wife's industry.

    Beer wholesalers and other businesses tried unsuccessfully to block a campaign finance law that McCain co-sponsored banning corporate contributions to the national Democratic and Republican parties. On another top business issue, the estate tax, McCain has supported cuts but opposes permanent repeal. Beer wholesalers contend a repeal would help save family businesses like Hensley.

    Cindy McCain became chairwoman of Hensley in 2000 around the time of her father's death. She previously served as a vice president and director of the company.

    "She is regarded as a serious businesswoman," said Art Pearce, a Hensley competitor in Phoenix until he sold his family's Coors beer distributorship in 2004. Pearce said he worked with Cindy McCain on tax and recycling issues in Arizona. "We were major competitors, but she was open-minded and listened to issues, and I couldn't have asked for anybody better to deal with, really."

    Pearce said she scaled back her involvement in state beer issues after John McCain was elected to Congress.

    Still, Cindy McCain remained involved in Hensley as her husband began his presidential campaign. A company photo last year shows her posing with a shovel at a groundbreaking ceremony for a distribution facility in Chandler, Ariz. Hensley declined to say whether she will step down if she becomes first lady.

    Cindy McCain's assets go beyond the family beer company.

    She and her children own a minority stake in the Arizona Diamondbacks. The professional baseball team's chief executive, Jeff Moorad, and former majority owner Jerry Colangelo are McCain fundraisers. Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, a former Diamondback player, appeared in a New Hampshire campaign advertisement for McCain.

    Assets held by Cindy McCain alone or with her children also include Anheuser-Busch stock; two condominiums along the California coast worth a total of at least $3 million and Arizona investments in rental medical offices and a parking lot, according to property records and John McCain's latest financial disclosure reports.

    John McCain has seven ch1ildren: two stepsons and a daughter from his first marriage, and two sons, a daughter and an adopted daughter from his second. McCain's financial disclosure reports do not identify the children who share assets with Cindy McCain.

    Arizona is a community property state, so McCain may share possessions his wife didn't inherit, such as their primary home. Cindy McCain, through a family trust, sold the family mansion in Phoenix for $3.2 million and bought a $4.6 million Phoenix condo in 2006. The couple may also jointly own a condo in Arlington, Va., assessed at $847,800. McCain's campaign and Hensley declined to say whether the couple has communal property.

    John McCain held a barbecue recently for reporters at a two-story cabin near Sedona, Ariz., that sits on 15 acres owned by his wife's family trust and a real estate partnership in her name. The property includes four single-family homes and is worth nearly $1.8 million.

    It's clear the rustic retreat is considered family property. The cabin features artwork by the McCain children and editorial cartoons depicting McCain. A doormat reads: "GEEZER (formerly known as `Stud Muffin') Lives Here." The amenities include a soda fountain and, of course, a Budweiser beer tap.

    The Plastic Princess Living Off Daddy's Money.

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  45. He’s ‘McSame’ on Social Security, Too

    By Joe Conason

    The most puzzling aspect of John McCain’s political persona is his habitual attraction to George W. Bush’s bad ideas. Their shared enthusiasm for invading Iraq and then escalating the war is why “McSame” will soon become the new shorthand for the Arizona Republican, replacing “maverick”—but that isn’t the only reason. He doesn’t just endorse the disastrous foreign policy initiatives; he loves the failed domestic policy schemes, too.

    Specifically, McCain is a longtime supporter of President Bush’s Social Security privatization initiative, last seen descending into oblivion only months after its introduction in 2005. He played a cameo role in the promotion of that notion (which never became an actual plan or bill in Congress) when the White House trotted him in for one of the president’s staged public “conversations” on the subject. Back then his pleas for everyone to sit down and negotiate the surrender of Social Security to Wall Street were universally ignored, yet that scarcely seems to have discouraged him.

    Actually, McCain supported Social Security privatization before it was uncool, when he first ran for president eight years ago. The Wall Street Journal reported recently that a proposal to divert a portion of payroll taxes to finance private accounts, like the Bush scheme, was “a centerpiece of a McCain presidential bid in 2000.” Both he and Bush have wanted to dismantle Social Security for many years, in fact, and he has indicated that will be an important goal for a McCain presidency.

    Sensibly enough, however, his advisers are trying to mute such themes in his campaign, knowing that privatization is extremely unpopular. They may have noticed that $50 million worth of advertising and promotion didn’t work three years ago. They may also have noticed that their candidate is poorly equipped to discuss the issue. As he once confessed, “the issue of economics is not something I’ve understood as well as I should.”

    So, on the McCain campaign Web site, the section concerning Social Security merely suggests he would “supplement” the existing system with personal investment accounts—a suggestion that is entirely different from the more radical kind of privatization he has supported in the past.

    But when The Wall Street Journal inquired about the discrepancy between his Web site and his previous statements, the candidate declared that his own position has never changed.

    “I’m totally in favor of personal savings accounts,” he said. “As part of Social Security reform, I believe that private savings accounts are a part of it—along the lines that President Bush proposed.” (The other “parts” would include sharp benefit cuts, if the senator’s past votes and statements provide any guide to future policy.) “I’ll correct any policy paper that I’ve put out that might intimate that personal savings accounts are not a very important factor,” he vowed.

    Perhaps the old “straight talker” was simply saying what he thought would please powerful readers of the Journal, a newspaper whose editorial page avidly supports privatized accounts. But privatization is still not emphasized on the McCain Web site, to say the least. He doesn’t utter a word about private accounts in a video on the site titled “Social Security.”

    Instead, he pledges in that video to seek the same kind of solution achieved by President Ronald Reagan and the late House Speaker Tip O’Neill more than two decades ago. Following the advice of a commission headed by Alan Greenspan, who has since come and gone as Federal Reserve chairman, the president and the Democratic congressional leadership agreed to bolster the system with new revenues and minor benefit changes. Although Reagan and Greenspan both had long disparaged Social Security, they didn’t broach the topic of privatization.

    Invoking the once-magical names of Reagan and Greenspan may work well on YouTube, particularly among the more gullible segments of the voting public. Between his remarks to the Journal and his video statement, it isn’t easy to determine whether McCain means to preserve, reform or destroy Social Security, but the safest assumption is that he will pursue the same objectives President Bush was forced to abandon.

    As one of the wealthiest men in the Senate—thanks to the highly profitable liquor company bequeathed to him and his wife years ago—McCain faces no economic difficulty. He never has to worry about how he will afford retirement or the value of his assets, which is why risky schemes like privatization look so brilliant to him. But in the coming campaign, he may find that working families have no desire to turn Social Security over to the same companies now seeking bailouts from the federal government—or to the politicians who would enact that investment bankers’ daydream.

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  46. McCain’s Age Is No Joke

    By Ellen Goodman

    BOSTON—It was probably not wise for the 64-year-old Brit Hume to describe the 71-year-old John McCain as having a “senior moment.” A blip would have been better. Or a gaffe. Or even a dent in the candidate’s “experience” armor.

    But when the traveling senator confused Shiites and Sunnis, when he conflated al-Qaida with all extremists, the “senior moment” phrase uttered by the Fox newsman got velcroed to the story of The Man Who Would Be the Oldest President in American History.

    Age? Ageism? Or realism? We’ve been holding a heated conversation about race and gender all season. But age has been relegated to a late-night laugh line by the likes of David Letterman, 60, who described McCain as “the kind of guy who picks up his TV remote when the phone rings.”

    The candidate, no slouch in the self-deprecation business, refers to himself as “old as dirt,” although he travels with his 96-year-old mother as a genetic ambassador. And when a New Hampshire high schooler asked McCain whether he might die in office or get Alzheimer’s, he answered, “Thank you for the question, you little jerk.”

    Nevertheless, it’s worth assessing this senior’s moment in politics. The polls suggest that Americans are more reluctant to vote for a 70-year-old than for an African-American or a woman. Before you attribute this to prejudice, remember that only 24 percent of Americans under 35 think McCain is too old while 40 percent of those over 65 believe it. Do they know something we should know about a man who would be 72 on Inauguration Day and 80 at the end of two terms?

    The cheery cliché of the moment is that 70 is the new 60. In fact, mental fitness has increased along with physical fitness. But at the same time, a new study shows that one out of every three Americans over 70 has some cognitive decline.

    I’m willing to bet that McCain is in the lucky two-thirds of this population. And senior moments are not just for seniors. Did Hillary have a middle-aged moment about the sniper attack in Bosnia that never was? Did Barack have a junior moment when he wrote about reading a Life magazine article on a man who tried to lighten his black skin? An article that never ran.

    But we have grown to expect a thorough health report on candidates. We knew about John Kerry’s prostate cancer and Joe Biden’s brain aneurysms. We know about McCain’s war injuries and his melanoma, his cholesterol and his allergies. We expect full assessments from every doctor except, well, neurologists. If airline pilots, some judges and people in some other occupations are subject to cognitive tests, why not presidential candidates?

    The subject is as uncomfortable as talking to an aging parent about giving up the car keys. Even the feelings among the experts on the elderly are mixed. On one hand, Laura Carstensen, who heads Stanford’s Center on Longevity, offers the good news that as people get older, their knowledge generally increases, as does their ability to regulate emotions. Yet as a voter, she says, “I see better reason to know about someone’s cognitive health than medical health.”

    Robert Butler, the man who coined the word ageism, says we should think about individual function, not age. But he adds, “We do want to be sensible when entrusting the leadership of our country that they’re mentally as well as physically healthy.”

    Even the author of that study on the high rate of cognitive impairment talks about a “gray area.” Duke University’s Brenda Plassman warns that we can diagnose cancer or diabetes with great certainty, but “there’s no real biomarker for cognitive decline.” Nevertheless, isn’t there information that citizens want to have as politicians get their senior moment in the sun? At 60? 70? 80?

    I can name many wise elder statesmen, from Winston Churchill, prime minister at 80, to Nelson Mandela, who retired at 81. Yet my memory is still good enough to conjure up Ronald Reagan, whose Alzheimer’s disease may well have begun while he was in office.

    Information won’t always make decisions easier. How would we balance the incline of wisdom against the decline of, say, memory? How do we test stress? And if we ask for cognitive tests, what’s next? Genetic tests? But despite these limits, such information matters. More than a presidential cholesterol test.

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  47. McCain’s odd ad campaign

    The Carpetbagger Report - Reality-Based Commentary, Analysis, and Tirades on Politics in America

    If there’s one common thread tying all of John McCain’s campaign videos together, it’s that they tend to be a little odd.

    About a month ago, the campaign’s first general-election video made an odd connection between McCain and Churchill, while interspersing images from the Hubble telescope. As Sam Boyd put it, the video “gives you an idea of what it’d be like to be Norman Podhoretz on shrooms.

    The campaign’s second video touts McCain as the “son and grandson of admirals,” somehow making the awkward connection between his family heritage and his presidential campaign.

    The third is about his high school English teacher.

    My reaction was similar to that of Yglesias: “Everything about this John McCain ad is bizarre, from the headless, anonymous rock star to the wisps of smoke to the fact that it goes out of its way to mention that McCain’s middle name is ‘Sidney’ to the fact that the core of the ad is an anecdote about how McCain learned the importance of ratting out your friends at a tony boarding school.”

    Yeah, I don’t get it, either.

    Ross Douthat added a good take, as well:

    [I]t makes it seem like John McCain is running to be the headmaster of the school in Dead Poets Society, and while anything that sticks it to Robin Williams’ annoying and irresponsible Emerson-wannabe of an English teacher is catnip to me, I’m not sure that running as the guy who’ll clean up the local prep school is the best way for a seventysomething politician with a reputation for being, well, a little crabby to make his case for the American Presidency.

    Watching these videos, I’m reminded that most of the knocks against Barack Obama seem to apply far better to McCain. The complete absence of substance, dubious feel-good rhetoric, appeals based more on emotion than issues — McCain’s campaign keeps creating slick videos that don’t seem to actually say anything.

    It reminds me of movies that include stirring music to create emotional responses that should otherwise come from the plot.

    Update: And another thing. If two of McCain’s principal problems are that he’s too old and lacks a vision for the future, ads like these only make things worse. Far be it for me to offer McCain advice, but wouldn’t it make a lot more sense to show McCain as being active and energetic? Obama, if he’s the Democratic nominee, wants to make the campaign about the past vs. the future. Oddly enough, McCain seems to want to do the same thing.

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  48. Voodoo Health Economics

    By PAUL KRUGMAN

    Elizabeth Edwards has cancer. John McCain has had cancer in the past. Last weekend, Mrs. Edwards bluntly pointed out that neither of them would be able to get insurance under Mr. McCain’s health care plan.

    It’s about time someone said that and, more generally, made the case that Mr. McCain’s approach to health care is based on voodoo economics — not the supply-side voodoo that claims that cutting taxes increases revenues (though Mr. McCain says that, too), but the equally foolish claim, refuted by all available evidence, that the magic of the marketplace can produce cheap health care for everyone.

    As Mrs. Edwards pointed out, the McCain health plan would do nothing to prevent insurance companies from denying coverage to those, like her and Mr. McCain, who have pre-existing medical conditions.

    The McCain campaign’s response was condescending and dismissive — a statement that Mrs. Edwards doesn’t understand the comprehensive nature of the senator’s approach, which would harness “the power of competition to produce greater coverage for Americans,” reducing costs so that even people with pre-existing conditions could afford care.

    This is nonsense on multiple levels.

    For one thing, even if you buy the premise that competition would reduce health care costs, the idea that it could cut costs enough to make insurance affordable for Americans with a history of cancer or other major diseases is sheer fantasy.

    Beyond that, there’s no reason to believe in these alleged cost reductions. Insurance companies do try to hold down “medical losses” — the industry’s term for what happens when an insurer actually ends up having to honor its promises by paying a client’s medical bills. But they don’t do this by promoting cost-effective medical care.

    Instead, they hold down costs by only covering healthy people, screening out those who need coverage the most — which was exactly the point Mrs. Edwards was making. They also deny as many claims as possible, forcing doctors and hospitals to spend large sums fighting to get paid.

    And the international evidence on health care costs is overwhelming: the United States has the most privatized system, with the most market competition — and it also has by far the highest health care costs in the world.

    Yet the McCain health plan — actually a set of bullet points on the campaign’s Web site — is entirely based on blind faith that competition among private insurers will solve all problems.

    I’d like to single out one of these bullet points in particular — the first substantive proposal Mr. McCain offers (the preceding entries are nothing but feel-good boilerplate).

    As I’ve mentioned in past columns, the Veterans Health Administration is one of the few clear American success stories in the struggle to contain health care costs. Since it was reformed during the Clinton years, the V.A. has used the fact that it’s an integrated system — a system that takes long-term responsibility for its clients’ health — to deliver an impressive combination of high-quality care and low costs. It has also taken the lead in the use of information technology, which has both saved money and reduced medical errors.

    Sure enough, Mr. McCain wants to privatize and, in effect, dismantle the V.A. Naturally, this destructive agenda comes wrapped in the flag: “America’s veterans have fought for our freedom,” says the McCain Web site. “We should give them freedom to choose to carry their V.A. dollars to a provider that gives them the timely care at high quality and in the best location.”

    That’s a recipe for having healthy veterans drop out of the system, undermining its integrated nature and draining away resources.

    Mr. McCain, then, is offering a completely wrongheaded approach to health care. But the way the campaign for the Democratic nomination has unfolded raises questions about how effective his eventual opponent will be in making that point.

    Indeed, while Mrs. Edwards focused her criticism on Mr. McCain, she also made it clear that she prefers Hillary Clinton’s approach — “Sen. Clinton’s plan is a great plan” — to Barack Obama’s. The Clinton plan closely resembles the plan for universal coverage that John Edwards laid out more than a year ago. By contrast, Mr. Obama offers a watered-down plan that falls short of universality, and it would have higher costs per person covered.

    Still, health care ought to be a major issue in this campaign. I wonder if we’ll have time to discuss it after we deal with more important subjects, like bowling and basketball.

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  49. :|

    ....so the proctologist turns to the mohel and says...."ok, but just a little off the top".

    ReplyDelete
  50. ...tap tap... this thing on yet?

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  51. So, Lydia, you removed my comment. Big proponent of free speech, I see.

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  52. So, Lydia, you removed my comment. Big proponent of free speech, I see.

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  53. I never removed any comments.

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  54. I left one on your blog though. Unless people use hate speech I never remove comments.

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  55. Maybe my administrator did this?
    I don't have time to stay on the blog all day, but I have two others who work here.

    What was the comment?

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  56. You're quoting Pat Buchanan now? To use the analogous route, Pat Buchanan makes David Duke look like Sojourner Truth.

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  57. That ad-hoc rationalization of yours, Lydia; Republicans are hypocritical on moral-values, it might have had more oomph to it had the object of your vitriole been, say, Newt Gingrich, Tom Delay, Bill Bennett, or any of those moronic TV preachers. John McCain (again, who I am not voting for because I strongly disagree with his Iraq policy), for the vast bulk of his congressional career, has not been divisive (hell, he has more friends on the Democratic side of the aisle) or judgemental. Why don't you guys just admit it over there, you're a bunch of shrill partisans whose capacity to make reasoned discourse is marginal, at best. Admit it, just like Fox should admit that they're not what they claim to be.

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  58. "Comment deleted, 10:55 P.M.", that was mine. I'll try and remember what I said.

    ReplyDelete
  59. :|

    ..so the bartender turns to the proctologist and says "thats a bad habit you've got there"

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  60. Larry, don't forget that McConJob voted FOR torture and AGAINST increasing Vets' benefits.

    ReplyDelete
  61. "so how's the work?" asks the nun.

    The mohel replies "pretty good when its not too hard".

    ReplyDelete
  62. "and the tips are pretty good"

    ReplyDelete
  63. "...but talk about your clients pissin on you..."

    ReplyDelete
  64. "...and you have to cut a lot of corners"

    ReplyDelete
  65. "...course...you're always
    robbing "peter" to pay Paul...so to speak..."

    ReplyDelete

  66. ..."but I scrape by"

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  67. Then as the mohels leaving he turns back and says to the bartender, "you can keep the tip".

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  68. Just looking! I have to tell you, I am nonplussed every time I see that picture of mcCainin fawning over ang hugging the chief idiot!

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  69. That ad-hoc rationalization of yours, Lydia; Republicans are hypocritical on moral-values, it might have had more oomph to it had the object of your vitriole been, say, Newt Gingrich, Tom Delay, Bill Bennett, or any of those moronic TV preachers.

    You have missed the last two plus years of this blog, all of them have been brought to task for their transgressions against the US constitution and US people in the name of greed and repugnant party policies.

    John McCain (again, who I am not voting for because I strongly disagree with his Iraq policy),

    BTW just who the hell you trying to convince with this claim, you seem to go around the tubes attacking those who tell the truth about that senile old foole, but claim YOU don't want him for president.

    for the vast bulk of his congressional career, has not been divisive (hell, he has more friends on the Democratic side of the aisle) or judgemental.


    bullshit, pure unadulterated bullshit.

    McCain has been at least as divisive as any of the other repugnants but just a little sneakier about it.

    He played the race card in opposing the national MLK holiday in 1982.

    That is VERY divisive, even HE realizes how bad that was and is trying to flip flop on his 1982 position.

    He has run on very divisive issues in the past JUST top flip flop on all of them because he knows how bat shit crazy the repugnant party he belongs to is;

    McCain’s flourishing flip-flop list

    Just to follow-up briefly on Michael’s guest-post from yesterday, Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) new-found opposition to Roe v. Wade is rather remarkable, even for him.

    In 1999, McCain was in New Hampshire, campaigning for the GOP nomination as a moderate. He proclaimed himself a pro-life candidate, but told reporters that “in the short term, or even the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade.” He explained that overturning Roe would force “women in America to [undergo] illegal and dangerous operations.” Yesterday, campaigning for the GOP nomination as a conservative, McCain said the opposite.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me ask one question about abortion. Then I want to turn to Iraq. You’re for a constitutional amendment banning abortion, with some exceptions for life and rape and incest.

    MCCAIN: Rape, incest and the life of the mother. Yes.

    STEPHANOPOULOS: So is President Bush, yet that hasn’t advanced in the six years he’s been in office. What are you going to do to advance a constitutional amendment that President Bush hasn’t done?

    MCCAIN: I don’t think a constitutional amendment is probably going to take place, but I do believe that it’s very likely or possible that the Supreme Court should — could overturn Roe v. Wade, which would then return these decisions to the states, which I support…. Just as I believe that the issue of gay marriage should be decided by the states, so do I believe that we would be better off by having Roe v. Wade return to the states.

    The old McCain didn’t want an amendment and didn’t want Roe overturned. The new McCain completely disagrees with the old McCain.

    It’s worth noting that politicians’ opinions on abortion can, and often do, “evolve” over time. Dick Gephardt and Al Gore, for example, both opposed abortion rights before eventually becoming pro-choice. With this in mind, McCain’s unexpected shift may simply reflect yet another pol whose thinking has changed over time.

    Or, far more likely, McCain is once again abandoning any pretense of consistency and integrity, and is now willing to say literally anything to win.

    Let’s return, once again, to McCain’s flourishing flip-flop list, which is now a Top 11 list.

    * McCain criticized TV preacher Jerry Falwell as “an agent of intolerance” in 2002, but has since decided to cozy up to the man who said Americans “deserved” the 9/11 attacks. (Indeed, McCain has now hired Falwell’s debate coach.)

    * McCain used to oppose Bush’s tax cuts for the very wealthy, but he reversed course in February.

    * In 2000, McCain accused Texas businessmen Sam and Charles Wyly of being corrupt, spending “dirty money” to help finance Bush’s presidential campaign. McCain not only filed a complaint against the Wylys for allegedly violating campaign finance law, he also lashed out at them publicly. In April, McCain reached out to the Wylys for support.

    * McCain supported a major campaign-finance reform measure that bore his name. In June, he abandoned his own legislation.

    * McCain used to think that Grover Norquist was a crook and a corrupt shill for dictators. Then McCain got serious about running for president and began to reconcile with Norquist.

    * McCain took a firm line in opposition to torture, and then caved to White House demands.

    * McCain gave up on his signature policy issue, campaign-finance reform, and won’t back the same provision he sponsored just a couple of years ago.

    * McCain was against presidential candidates campaigning at Bob Jones University before he was for it.

    * McCain was anti-ethanol. Now he’s pro-ethanol.

    * McCain was both for and against state promotion of the Confederate flag.

    [BTW a flag which was used by TRAITORS to the United states and US constitution, which st johnny the delusional ONCE took an oath to defend, but considering his oath to his first wife to remain faithful, we all can see just how much stock the senile old foole puts in the oaths he takes]

    * And now he’s both for and against overturning Roe v. Wade.

    It’s not exactly a newsflash that McCain is veering ridiculously to the right in a rather shameless attempt to reinvent himself, but Dems should take advantage of the situation and help establish the narrative now. Despite his rather embarrassing record of late, we still have major media figures telling the public that “no one would accuse McCain of equivocating on anything.”

    [including the very uninformed Will blah blah blah Hart]

    Now is the time to begin characterizing McCain — accurately — as a man with no principle beliefs. Dems should not only criticize McCain’s constantly evolving opinions on nearly everything, they should openly mock him for it now, so that the storyline becomes second nature (like the GOP did with “serial exaggerator” Al Gore).

    The nation is seeing McCain 2.0, and we like the old one better.


    BTW that article is from way back in 2006, and St Johnny has piled up a whole bunch of new flip flops and stupid comments since then.

    Like these;

    McCain Flip Flops on "Recession" - 03/10/08

    McCain Flip Flops On 100 Years in Iraq Remark

    McCain flip flops on Social Security

    Why don't you guys just admit it over there, you're a bunch of shrill partisans whose capacity to make reasoned discourse is marginal, at best.

    The pot trying to call the kettle blck here methinks .........

    Admit it, just like Fox should admit that they're not what they claim to be.

    Neither are you son.

    McCain has a long history of anger and inter personnel problems, which even repugnants like Thad Cochran of Mississippi have commented on, which is one of the primary indicators for those who do not closely know somebody is a sign of PTSD ... but continue trolling the tubes defending st Johnny on this issue.

    He can't control his temper when confronted and there are quite a few publicly recorded instances of it.

    McCain's Temper May Become an Issue

    Vanity Fair Tiptoes Around McCain's Explosive Temper

    Townhall.com::McCain Admits Temper Problem::By Amanda Carpenter

    And this one;

    John McCain's top ten temper explosions

    1) Defending His Amnesty Bill, Sen. McCain Lost His Temper And “Screamed, ‘F*ck You!’ At Texas Sen. John Cornyn” (R-TX). “Presidential hopeful John McCain - who has been dogged for years by questions about his volcanic temper - erupted in an angry, profanity-laced tirade at a fellow Republican senator, sources told The Post yesterday. In a heated dispute over immigration-law overhaul, McCain screamed, ‘F— you!’ at Texas Sen. John Cornyn, who had been raising concerns about the legislation. ‘This is chickens—stuff,’ McCain snapped at Cornyn, according to several people in the room off the Senate floor Thursday. ‘You’ve always been against this bill, and you’re just trying to derail it.’” (Charles Hurt, “Raising McCain,” New York Post, 5/19/07)

    2) In 2000, Sen. McCain Ran An Attack Ad Comparing Then-Gov. George W. Bush To Bill Clinton. SEN. MCCAIN: “I guess it was bound to happen. Governor Bush’s campaign is getting desperate, with a negative ad about me. The fact is, I’ll use the surplus money to fix Social Security, cut your taxes and pay down the debt. Governor Bush uses all of the surplus for tax cuts, with not one new penny for Social Security or the debt. His ad twists the truth like Clinton. We’re all pretty tired of that. As president, I’ll be conservative and always tell you the truth. No matter what.” (McCain 2000, Campaign Ad, 2/9/00; www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHoXkCprdL4)

    3) Sen. McCain Repeatedly Called Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM) An “A**hole”, Causing A Fellow GOP Senator To Say, “I Didn’t Want This Guy Anywhere Near A Trigger.” “Why can’t McCain win the votes of his own colleagues? To explain, a Republican senator tells this story: at a GOP meeting last fall, McCain erupted out of the blue at the respected Budget Committee chairman, Pete Domenici, saying, ‘Only an a–hole would put together a budget like this.’ Offended, Domenici stood up and gave a dignified, restrained speech about how in all his years in the Senate, through many heated debates, no one had ever called him that. Another senator might have taken the moment to check his temper. But McCain went on: ‘I wouldn’t call you an a–hole unless you really were an a–hole.’ The Republican senator witnessing the scene had considered supporting McCain for president, but changed his mind. ‘I decided,’ the senator told Newsweek, ‘I didn’t want this guy anywhere near a trigger.’” (Evan Thomas, et al., “Senator Hothead,” Newsweek, 2/21/00)

    4) Sen. McCain Had A Heated Exchange With Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) And Called Him A “F*cking Jerk.” “Senators are not used to having their intelligence or integrity challenged by another senator. ‘Are you calling me stupid?’ Sen. Chuck Grassley once inquired during a debate with McCain over the fate of the Vietnam MIAs, according to a source who was present. ‘No,’ replied McCain, ‘I’m calling you a f—ing jerk!’ (Grassley and McCain had no comment.)” (Evan Thomas, et al., “Senator Hothead,” Newsweek, 2/21/00)

    5) In 1995, Sen. McCain Had A “Scuffle” With 92-Year-Old Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-SC) On The Senate Floor. “In January 1995, McCain was midway through an opening statement at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing when chairman Strom Thurmond asked, ‘Is the senator about through?’ McCain glared at Thurmond, thanked him for his ‘courtesy’ (translation: buzz off), and continued on. McCain later confronted Thurmond on the Senate floor. A scuffle ensued, and the two didn’t part friends.” (Harry Jaffe, “Senator Hothead,” The Washingtonian, 2/97)

    6) Sen. McCain Accused Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) Of The “Most Egregious Incident” Of Corruption He Had Seen In The Senate. “It escalated when McCain reiterated the charges Oct. 10 in a cross-examination, calling McConnell’s actions the ‘most egregious incident’ demonstrating the appearance of corruption he has ever seen in his Senate career.” (Amy Keller, “Attacks Escalate In Depositions,” Roll Call, 10/21/02)

    7) Sen. McCain Attacked Christian Leaders And Republicans In A Blistering Speech During The 2000 Campaign. MCCAIN: “Unfortunately, Governor Bush is a Pat Robertson Republican who will lose to Al Gore. … The political tactics of division and slander are not our values… They are corrupting influences on religion and politics, and those who practice them in the name of religion or in the name of the Republican Party or in the name of America shame our faith, our party and our country. Neither party should be defined by pandering to the outer reaches of American politics and the agents of intolerance, whether they be Louis Farrakhan or Al Sharpton on the left, or Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell on the right.” (Sen. John McCain, Remarks, Virginia Beach, VA, 2/28/00)

    8) Sen. McCain Attacked Vice President Cheney. MCCAIN: “The president listened too much to the Vice President . . . Of course, the president bears the ultimate responsibility, but he was very badly served by both the Vice President and, most of all, the Secretary of Defense.” (Roger Simon, “McCain Bashes Cheney Over Iraq Policy,” The Politico, 1/24/07)

    9) Celebrating His First Senate Election In 1986, Sen. McCain Screamed At And Harassed A Young Republican Volunteer. “It was election night 1986, and John McCain had just been elected to the U.S. Senate for the first time. Even so, he was not in a good mood. McCain was yelling at the top of his lungs and poking the chest of a young Republican volunteer who had set up a lectern that was too tall for the 5-foot-9 politician to be seen to advantage, according to a witness to the outburst. ‘Here this poor guy is thinking he has done a good job, and he gets a new butt ripped because McCain didn’t look good on television,’ Jon Hinz told a reporter Thursday. At the time, Hinz was executive director of the Arizona Republican Party. … Hinz said McCain’s treatment of the young campaign worker in 1986 troubled him for years. ‘There were an awful lot of people in the room,’ Hinz recalled. ‘You’d have to stick cotton in your ears not to hear it. He (McCain) was screaming at him, and he was red in the face. It wasn’t right, and I was very upset at him.’” (Kris Mayes and Charles Kelly, “Stories Surface On Senator’s Demeanor,” The Arizona Republic, 11/5/99)

    10) Sen. McCain “Publicly Abused” Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL). “[McCain] noted his propensity for passion but insisted that he doesn’t ‘insult anybody or fly off the handle or anything like that.’ This is, quite simply, hogwash. McCain often insults people and flies off the handle…. There have been the many times McCain has called reporters ‘liars’ and ‘idiots’ when they have had the audacity to ask him unpleasant, but pertinent, questions. McCain once… publicly abused Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama.” (Editorial, “There’s Something About McCain,” The Austin American-Statesman, 1/24/07)


    BTW, I was able to link to BOTH right wing and MSM articles to show just how bad poor johnny's temper tantrums are.

    Great comment from the College Conservative Movement website;

    It is not Mccains language that worries me the most. It is his inability to control his temper. At age 71 and he's never learned to school his temper. It appears my 4 year old has done better. We need someone as president that is able to control they temper and make sound judgments and them act not someone that acts out of anger and then has to deal with the results. Mccain seems to think that he is wiser than everyone. His anger worries me. All we need is his finger on the nuke button when our friends from Israel tell him he is going bald!

    And I haven't even really gotten to the core of why I disagree with the senile old foole being sitting in the Oval office,

    His ability to be truthful;

    He just isn't and hasn't been for most of his adult life.

    He cheated on his first wife with his second. that shows a great deal of dishonesty.

    He Shurked his culpability in the Keating Five scandal, he tried to pass off his responsibility to Dennis DeConcini.

    DeConcini depicts McCain as having backstabbed him and the other three senators during the investigation by leaking misleading and damaging information to the media.

    He also asserts that McCain gained leniency from the committee because of a close relationship with the lawyer heading the investigation.


    McCain had attended the Naval academy, which drills HONOR and Truthfulness into you, I know because I went to ROTC which does the very same thing, all Officer Candidates schools do, and sign of dishonesty and your gone.

    Well St Johnny seems not to have learned that lesson very well.

    He couldn't tell the truth to his supposedly closest family member, and cheating by a military officer is grounds for dismissal from the service and loss of security clearance, which shows just how the military thinks of his dishonesty.

    He couldn't tell the whole truth about his involvement in the Keating Five (see above)

    and;

    DeConcini, who took $85K from Keating and pals, realizes his involvement was a boo-boo, but lamely claims he was just trying to help one of the Zona's then-largest employers. The D-man bore the brunt of the criticism back then, mainly 'cause McCain was busy playing Richard III, stepping all over DeConcini and others so he'd come out smellin' like Ann Coulter's eau de cologne.


    That's pretty effin' ironic considering McCain made out like a bandito, scoring a whopping $112K from Keating's efforts. Indeed, McCain and the slimy S&L-er were thick as thieves. While serving in the House from 1983 to 1986, McCain flew with Keating to the latter's private retreat in the Bahamas aboard Keating corporate aircraft. And the senator's trophy wife, Cindy McCain, along with her pops, invested $359K in a Phoenix shopping mall developed by an offshoot of Keating's American Continental Corporation.

    McCain, DeConcini dryly notes, "on a number of occasions failed to report these things." Still, DeConcini caught more hell, and alleges this was because Republican bulldog Robert Bennett, who was leading the Senate's ethics investigation, steered it away from McCain, the scandal's sole Republican.


    Lets see since the lying senile old foole wasn't elected to the senate until Nov 1986, and took trips and played footsie under the table with Keating long before 1987 this means his slimy attempts to blame the other senators and claim he was just a baby as far as his senatorial career so he was soo innocent, is just plain repugnant hogwash, but normal for this serial liar.

    BTW HIS is how St Johnny treats the people he supposedly works for;

    McCain throws out Arizona constituent

    February 11, 2008 (note the date)

    The question asked of Senator John McCain at a town hall meeting in Arizona…

    “Whether or not there were any statistics related to the volume of crimes that were being committed by these illegals and also by the citizen offspring of these illegals, the ones that come across the border and have their baby and okay now they’ve got a US citizen maybe so… “

    When asked about illegal immigration at a town hall meeting in Prescott, Arizona, Senator McCain “refused to dignify the question with an answer.”

    When pressed for an answer by another attendee, Senator McCain attempted to have her thrown out of the hall.


    I disagree with McCains run because he can't tell the truth, has anger management issues at 72, can't be trusted to keep his word or positions straight, he seems to change as much as Romney ever did, but used dishonest statements and MSM man love media whores(like tweety matthews) to hide how slimy he really is.

    And internet trolls who pretend to be against him defending him all the time in a hell of a lot of places on the tubes.

    (With your ridiculous untrue handle your very easy to google son)

    Your claims everywhere NOT gonna vote fur him remind me of a shakesphere quote,

    The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

    Just as your NO progressive ...

    Otherwise you would have NEVER called the Vietnamese which suffered so much at the hands of US foreign policy starting during Eisenhowers Administration,

    BASTARDS.

    To quote;

    As for theories here, did the French leaving Vietnam cause those frigging bastards to "get along much easier? Come on.

    Well you just PROVED you do not know your history very well;

    In 1956 Eisenhower PREVENTED elections from occurring all over Vietnam in an effort to reunify the country, and meet the requirements of the Geneva accords of 1954, because;

    get this;

    Ho Chi Minh would have gotten 90%+ of the vote

    Do ya thunk 90% of the people agreeing on a candidate is as you so eloquently put it;

    frigging bastards to "get along

    I wouldn't call them bastards, but would think 90% of a vote is getting along very well;

    Only John Foster Dulles and Alan Dulles interference in Vietnam prevented that and started the US into the fiasco which we all call the Vietnam war;

    If ya don't believe me son.

    READ the Pentagons own history of that foreign policy fiasco, which THEY wrote as it went along;

    It is known as the Pentagon Papers, and it very clearly shows Vietnam would have recovered as a society and country quite well from French colonial rule EXCEPT for the US government of Eisenhower through actions of the Dulles brothers blocking it from happening.

    BTW, you can start protesting how much a progressive you REALLY REALLY are now boy. ( I for one will NEVER believe it).

    I think your just another slimy repugnant troll but with a new tactic to deceive people.

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  70. Bingo Clif, I have also noticed his dribble on several blogs today.

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  71. NBC: Secretive DC prayer group has worldwide reach

    Filed by Nick Langewis and David Edwards

    Who is Douglas Coe?

    "The most important religious leader you've never seen or heard," says NBC's Andrea Mitchell.

    Coe, leader of a group called The Fellowship, is a powerful, secretive and well-connected religious leader, widely known among senators across the aisles, and across faiths; but not by the general public. Coe's services have been attended by all three of the major 2008 presidential hopefuls: Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and Senator Barack Obama (D-IL).

    The Fellowship appears to be as much of a networking opportunity as it is a religious group, says Joshua Green, senior editor of The Atlantic Monthly.

    "I think, in part, through her involvement with The Fellowship's prayer group," Green says, "[Senator Hillary Clinton] was able to meet a lot of these conservative Republican senators, get to know them on a one-on-one basis..."

    Jeff Sharlet, author of The Family, was disturbed by Coe's teachings after spending time living among his followers.

    Sometimes referring to themselves in jest as the "Christian Mafia," Sharlet says, Fellowship members didn't seem to understand why he was concerned that Coe referenced such historical figures as Adolf Hitler, Vladimir Lenin and Chairman Mao in his teachings.

    "Hitler's genocide wasn't really an issue for them," says Sharlet. "It was the strength that he emulated."

    People close to Clinton say Coe is not Clinton's minister, she does not consider Coe to be a leading spiritual advisor, nor has she contributed to his group or ever been a member.

    Coe mostly talks about Jesus, and invokes Hitler only as an example of how small groups can cultivate power for good or bad, said a close friend to NBC. Coe declined to be interviewed for the segment.

    Those secret societies and the danger they yield.

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  72. McCain Drills for Cash at the Petroleum Club

    by: Wendy Norris

    Sen. John McCain will visit Denver on Thursday to do what many politicians have done before him -- ask for money. But the fundraising trip to the posh Petroleum Club in Denver tomorrow raises a central question of the 2008 campaign: would a McCain presidency simply reprise the oil-and-gas-friendly Bush Administration for another four years?

    The Arizona senator and presumptive Republican presidential nominee is a study in contrasts -- often exasperatingly so for political allies and opponents alike.

    An examination of McCain's campaign donors, voting record and public statements suggest his long-hewed persona as a political maverick coexists with his identity as consummate Washington insider with strong ties to corporate interests -- a politician who is as much a product of a money-bloated political system as his colleagues.

    As noted in the sidebar at right, McCain's legislative priorities on energy issues appear to change depending on his political ambitions. The senator's voting record on oil and gas drilling in protected public lands, corporate tax breaks, and CAFE standards are often inconsistent with his public comments on renewable energy, foreign oil independence and climate change. The statements are also at odds with an industry that has pumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into his campaign coffers. Compounding the squeamishness on McCain's views is an odd omission from his presidential Web site -- there's no energy policy except for a speech from April 23, 2007 buried in the news and media section.

    Striking black gold
    McCain has long enjoyed the support of the energy interests who have prospered in the Bush years.

    Over nearly three decades, McCain has accepted $551,962 from oil and gas interests to pump up his Senate re-election funds, two Presidential campaigns and the Straight Talk America leadership PAC, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a non-profit group that tracks political contributions.

    Since announcing his most recent bid for the White House last year, McCain has collected $232,000 from employees and political action committees of U.S. energy conglomerates in the last year -- or 42 percent of all the oil and gas money he's ever accepted over a 26-year political career. And more than double the haul from his entire 2000 presidential campaign.

    "While Senator McCain deserves credit for the leadership he has shown on the issue of global warming, he has a lifetime record of voting against the environment in three out of every four key votes. Last year, he missed every key environmental vote in the Senate," said Gene Karpinski, President of the League of Conservation Voters. Thus earning McCain an F rating on environmental issues from the organization.

    Political maverick or fossil fuel maven?
    The ties to the extractive energy sector don't end at McCain's own doorstep.

    More than a dozen of the senator's top campaign advisors and fundraisers have deep ties to the oil and gas industry. The Center for Responsive Politics finds that, as a group, McCain's team received more than $6.5 million in lobbying contracts with some of the world's largest oil conglomerates, such as Exxon-Mobil, Chevron, Texaco, Occidental International, and the trade group, American Petroleum Institute, among others.

    As the Washington Independent's Mike Lillis noted in a Feb. 21 story, McCain's former role as chair of the Senate Commerce Committee made him a target of lobbyist largesse.

    But, watchdog groups say, sticking to vows of political-favor celibacy is no easy task in a system bloated with special-interest dollars, particularly for a high-profile committee chairman. In this sense, McCain is not so much a corruptible figure as he is a product of his environment.
    "Candidates at this point basically owe their jobs to moneyed interests," said Deborah Goldberg, director of the Democracy program at New York University Law School's Brennan Center for Justice. "It takes a heroic effort to resist the temptations that are put into place."

    One likely reason for McCain's fundraising trip to Denver is to woo the state's wealthiest oil men on their home turf -- most of whom supported Mitt Romney. With the ex-Massachusetts governor now out of the race and the primary field cleared, McCain has some ring-kissing to do at the Petroleum Club.

    McCain needs the support of people like newly installed CU president and Republican 527 committee Trailhead's co-founder Bruce Benson and Alex Cranberg of Aspect Energy, both of whom also served as fundraising bundlers for Romney.

    According to the latest campaign finance reports, McCain has attracted about $20,000 from Colorado-based energy sector CEOs and employees, less than half of Romney's haul before he dropped out seven weeks ago. CBS 4 reported this morning that McCain's Colorado fundraising drought may be relieved in short order -- the event invitation purportedly requires attendees to bundle a minimum of $25,000 for the campaign.

    The Colorado visit highlights the way McCain's push for campaign finance and ethics reforms has put him in a political bind. The need for cash is all-consuming on the campaign trail but his
    persona of being above the money-grubbing fray doesn't pay the bills. Which may explain why the
    conservative Washington Times called McCain's fundraising "abysmal" in a Tuesday editorial.

    Yet the price of tickets to attend the Thursday evening Petroleum Club event range from $1,000 to $2,300 per person, the larger of which is just half the maximum allowable contribution. News reports of McCain's fundraising swing through California this week also report the same low-ball approach.

    The Washington Times argued that if the GOP wants to retain control of the White House, "President Bush, the most prolific money magnet in the history of the Republican Party, needs to add the duties of fund-raiser-in-chief to his commander-in chief-responsibilities between now and Election Day."

    Relying on Bush could play into the hands of Democratic political opponents who have taken to calling the Arizona senator "McSame," to foster the perception that McCain is a copy of the unpopular president.

    Deranged McCain: Keeping gas prices high while he rakes in that oil dough.

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  73. McCain's Finance Chair: Jew-Counter and Dog-Barbecuer

    By Kathy G, The G-Spot

    I was gratified to see that General J.C. Christian, patriot ("an 11 on the manly scale of absolute gender") has picked up on my earlier post which mentioned the Jew-counting exploits of McCain's finance chair, Fred Malek. The good general is worried that Malek's Jew-hunting proclivities might be cutting into his effectiveness as a fundraiser.

    While I'm surprised that Gen. Christian found his way onto a foul-mouthed fem blog such as this one, I suppose he takes his duty to monitor the enemy very seriously.

    In other Malek news, on that earlier thread commenter Lambert Strether writes, "I'll see the 'Jew counting,' and raise 'helping kill and barbecue a dog, while drunk, in college" and directs our attention to this charming story. I'll give you the highlight reel, in the form of a Washington Post report that is quoted in the link:

    On a Friday in August 1959, five men in their twenties were arrested about 2 a.m. and held in the county jail all day after sheriff's deputies found a blood-spattered, unoccupied car about 1:15 a.m. at the entrance to Vicary's Park on Kickapoo Creek Road near Peoria, Ill.

    Joined by Sheriff Harry P. Backes, two deputies had found two men walking toward the park entrance; the two men told the deputies that they had struck a dog and were going to bury it.

    Further investigation revealed three others hiding in some weeds, the sheriff said. Because the men's car was saturated with blood and they gave conflicting stories at the time of their arrest, Sheriff Backes thought there might have been a connection between the dog incident and a strong-arm robbery earlier in the evening.

    After checking the blood-spattered pants of one of the men at the state crime laboratory in Springfield, it was determined that the stains were animal and not human blood. Backes said the men then changed their story and said they had "caught a dog and were barbecuing it."

    Police then found the skinned animal on a spit in the park. The insides of the dog had been removed, and a bottle of liquor was found on a nearby park table. Backes said the men told him they had been drinking earlier in the evening at a West Bluff tavern.

    One of the men arrested in the incident, in which a dog was killed, skinned, gutted and barbecued on a spit, was Frederick V. Malek, 22, of Berwyn, Ill.

    Charges of cruelty to animals were later dismissed against Malek and three other men after Andrew P. O'Meara testified that he had struck and killed the dog with a piece of 2-by-4, and that he alone had skinned the animal and tried to cook it. O'Meara said he was trying to show Malek and the others something about living off the land.

    This account is based on two 1959 news articles, one on Aug. 8 and one on Aug. 11, in the Peoria Journal Star newspaper.

    Man. Words just fail.

    I had heard something about the dog barbecue story before, but I hadn't heard it tied to Malek by name. Nor did I know the details. I love animals and I find animal cruelty stories extremely distressing to read, so I tend to avoid them.

    As Atrios says, these are deeply broken people.

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  74. Strategic Manure

    by Charley Reese

    Sen. John McCain is already spreading the old "strategic interests" fertilizer along the presidential campaign trail while pretending to be an expert.

    Let's hope he really can explain what interests require us to maintain troops in Germany and Japan 63 years after the end of the war. What exactly is the purpose of those troops? Are we expecting the Mongols to descend on Japan? Does he expect the Cossacks will ride across the plains to attack Europe? Does he think that two of the greatest economic powers on Earth – Japan and Europe – are too poor to defend themselves? The old boy is living in the past.

    When American politicians talk about strategic interests, they are talking about just what I called it, manure. We have no strategic interests in the Middle East whatsoever. We wish to buy oil there. Last time I checked, those countries that produce oil were selling it to any country willing to buy it, whether that country had troops in the area or not. Since oil isn't edible, there's not a heck of a lot you can do with it if you don't sell it.

    What are all those Navy ships in the Persian Gulf doing? Do McCain and George Bush seriously believe that Iran would launch an invasion of Saudi Arabia? That's ridiculous. There might be some aspects of Iran's government we don't care for, and that's OK, because it is not our government and we don't have to live under it. Nobody in his right mind, however, has ever accused Iran of being an expansionist nation. All McCain has to do is read up on his history and ask the CIA to explain to him Iran's order of battle. Their forces are not equipped for invasions.

    As for the nuclear nonsense, both Iran and our own intelligence agencies say that the Iranians are not interested in developing nuclear weapons. But suppose they were. Who cares? I'm much more concerned about the nuclear weapons in Russia, China, India, Pakistan, France, Great Britain, the U.S. and Israel.

    Iran is one of the oldest civilizations on Earth, and its people are smart. They are not crazy. They know that one day their oil will run out, and they want to develop nuclear power. They signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. They have called repeatedly for a nuclear-free Middle East. To compete with the nuclear powers, they'd have to produce so many nuclear weapons and delivery systems, it would bankrupt them. They've decided that option would be foolish. Now if they can only convince our foolish politicians.

    I sometimes think our older politicians fell in love with the British Empire. I think many of them secretly long to sit on a veranda somewhere and be served drinks by humble servants. They love the idea of empire. The admirals and generals like to fly around to our 702 overseas bases, play a little golf, have a few drinks and fly home again.

    The reality is that we can no longer afford our overseas empire, no matter what strategic interests McCain and Bush like to fantasize about. We're about to go busted. It's pretty hard to maintain an empire on credit when you have borrowed money from the people you claim to be lording it over. The Philippines kicked us out of our bases there. I predict the Japanese will eventually do the same. Get a stable government in North Korea and the South Koreans will be showing us the door. We should leave on our own and devote those billions of dollars to domestic priorities.

    Bush is mad to push the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It should be disbanded, not expanded. It has no enemy. By expanding it, however, Bush seems to be trying to convince Russia that NATO is its enemy. That's not a smart thing to do. It's dumb. Talk about something that is not in our strategic interests, it's restarting the Cold War with Russia.

    Barnyard McCain has his own spreader.

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  75. The campaigns of Senators John McCain and Barack Obama sparred Saturday after Ed Schultz, a nationally syndicated radio talk show host who is known for his blunt criticisms of the Bush administration and the Republican Party, called Mr. McCain a “warmonger” at a fund-raiser.

    Mr. Schultz, a conservative Republican turned liberal Democrat, made the remarks on Friday while revving up a group of Obama supporters at a $100-a-head fundraiser at the North Dakota Democratic Party’s convention in Grand Forks. As soon as the Republican National Committee got word of the attack, it issued a statement criticizing Mr. Schultz and calling on Mr. Obama to repudiate the comments.

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  76. McCain preachers merit scrutiny, too

    Rocky Mountain News

    On March 28, RockyMountain News.com published an unedited Speakout piece by Evergreen resident Justin Dick, arguing that the media were racist because they covered the hateful statements made by Barack Obama's minister, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, but failed to cover the equally outrageous statements of pro-Republican ministers. The Op-Ed raises an important point, although not an original one.

    The point is not original, because almost all of Dick's piece is a verbatim copy of a March 19 article on the Huffington Post Web site by Cenk Uygur. An astute commenter on the Rocky's Web site pointed out Dick's plagiarism.

    So here's a tip for Op-Ed editors everywhere: For any Op-Ed being considered for publication, take a couple of sentences, and run each through an Internet search engine. The check should take less than a minute, and can save editors from wasting time on plagiarists.

    Uygur, besides writing for the Huffington Post, is an early-morning host for Air America, although his program isn't carried on 760 AM, Denver's Air America affiliate.

    To support the thesis that the media treat the misdeeds of white, pro-Republican religious figures differently from the way they treated Obama's Jeremiah Wright, Uygur writes that "Rudy Giuliani's priest" has been accused of child molestation. Actually, the man, Alan Placa, isn't really "Giuliani's priest" or anybody else's priest, since he was ordered by the Catholic Church to cease his performance of priestly functions. Before that, Placa did officiate at Giuliani's marriage to the second of his three wives. Notably, Giuliani did hire Placa to work for Giuliani Partners.

    In any case, the Placa-Giuliani relationship was detailed in an Oct. 23 report by ABC's Brian Ross. If the Giuliani campaign hadn't collapsed, the story would have merited further discussion in the mainstream media. But I wouldn't fault the Denver media for not covering the story. Given the increasingly severe space limits for national news, you can't fault the Denver papers for ignoring a peripheral story about an also-ran candidate.

    In contrast, readers should expect in-depth coverage of the candidates who might really become president. As with Giuliani, it was ABC's Ross who brought forward the story of Obama's association with a scurrilous man of the cloth.

    In March and April 2007, The New York Times published two articles about Obama's efforts to distance himself from his former mentor Wright. In the following 10 months, it would have been easy for a journalist to do what ABC's Ross finally did by March 2008: buy and report on the videos that Wright's church sells, containing Wright's many hateful diatribes. Any Colorado TV station, or even the Web site of one of the Colorado newspapers, could have reported a major national story that would have been important to many citizens, including Coloradans, who cast ballots in January and February, not knowing about Obama's decades-long close relationship with a radically anti-American extremist.

    The national political correspondents for the Denver papers were among the many journalists who failed to report a story that was important and easily reportable.

    Uygur wonders why the media have devoted so little attention to John McCain's association with mega-church leader Rev. James Hagee (who has made a variety of strongly anti-Catholic statements) and with the Rev. Rod Parsley, who believes that one of God's purposes in creating America was to fight a holy war against Islam. McCain had sought and received Hagee's endorsement, and had praised Parsley at one campaign event in Ohio.

    Yet the only mention of Hagee or Parsley in either the Rocky or the Post has been in letters to the editor (and in Dick's plagiarized Op-Ed).

    After the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights began a public campaign on the Hagee issue, McCain on March 10 stated: "I repudiate any comments that are made, including Pastor Hagee's, if they are anti-Catholic or offensive to Catholics." Catholic League President Bill Donohue responded: "Sen. McCain has done the right thing and we salute him for doing so. As far as the Catholic League is concerned, this case is closed."

    Uygur's March 19 article should have noted McCain's March 10 statement about Hagee. McCain has not issued a similar statement about Parsley.

    Hagee/McCain?Parsley - The Tri-Lateral Hate Commission.

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  77. A Vote From The Grave
    Drink a health to the wonders of the Western world, the pirates, preachers, poteen-makers. . . .

    John Millington Synge, The Playboy of the Western World

    John McCain has two advantages over Barack Obama. Whereas Barack has only one spiritual advisor, John has three - one of whom is dead and two of whom say nuttier things than Obama's pastor Jeremiah Wright. McCain's three advisors, are, however, supporting a Republican and thus, based on the silence from the right, one can only conclude their comments need no explanation. That may be because their sort of nuttiness is indigenous to a party whose biggest present to the United States in the 21st Century is George W. Bush.

    John Hagee is the most prominent supporter and where the Lord has led him was explored here earlier. John McCain's statement that he was "very proud to have pastor Hagee's support" tells you more about McCain than an 800-word column can. So does McCain's acceptance of Rod Parsley as his religious advisor.

    Rod is a bible-college drop out who began preaching to small crowds some 20 years ago. Today he is the chief pastor of the World Harvest Church of Columbus, an organization that has 12,000 members.

    One week before the Ohio primary, Senator McCain appeared with Rod Parsley at a campaign rally in Cincinnati in which Rod described McCain as a "strong, true, consistent conservative." Accepting the description and with Rod standing next to him the senator described Rod as a "spiritual guide." That occupation does not, however, enable Rod to live up to his full potential. Rod would make an excellent Secretary of State since he knows a fair amount about foreign policy as his writings show. Mother Jones writer David Corn describes some of the things Rod has written that lend weight to my suggestion.

    In his book 2005 Silent No More Rod describes the fact that there is a war between "Islam and Christian civilization." As quoted by Mr. Corn, Rod writes: "The fact is that America was founded, in part, with the intention of seeing this false religion destroyed and I believe September 11, 2001, was a generational call to arms that we can no longer ignore."

    Of course a Secretary of State has to understand history as well as current events in order to be effective, and Rod has the appropriate background for that as well. In his book, Rod says Columbus: "dreamed of defeating the armies of Islam with the armies of Europe made mighty by the wealth of the New World. It was this dream that, in part, began America."

    Rod's dislike of Muslims is not irrational. Rod has discovered, he says, that "Islam is responsible for more pain, more bloodshed, and more devastation than nearly any other force on earth at this moment." (Lest he appear naïve it should be observed that the book was written before Mr. Bush trumped Islam by invading Iraq.) Furthermore, Rod continues, Islam is not simply evil. It is actually the "anti-Christ religion." Muhammad "received revelations from demons and not from the true God. Allah was a 'demon spirit'."

    In his book Rod calls himself a "Christocrat", wants to prosecute folks who commit adultery (but probably not for past offenses since that would include Senator McCain if Bernard Shaw's uncontradicted statement to Mr. McCain during a 1999 CNN interview that the senator had an affair while married, is to be believed) and compares Planned Parenthood to Nazis. There are no reports that McCain has disavowed anything Rod has said.

    The third endorsement comes from a corpse and one is forced to rely on a blog called BuzzFlash for the report of that endorsement.

    According to the blog, shortly after the primary season voting started, the McCain campaign announced that the senator had been endorsed by Jerry Falwell. When a reporter asked how that news had been imparted since Jerry had gone on to his great reward some months earlier, the spokesman said the endorsement was a matter of controversy "you know, like global warming . . .. following Senator Brownback's lead, and indeed that of Gov. Huckabee, about what counts in life, we take the Falwell endorsement on faith."

    It's not surprising that the campaign welcomes the endorsement. A corpse is considerably less likely to say things publicly that embarrass John McCain than either of the two self-proclaimed representatives of the Lord he has adopted as spiritual advisors. Of course, John being elderly, may not even notice.

    Those McCain Spiritual Advisers Sure Hate Everything But War.

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  78. :|

    ...it really is a tough room.

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  79. ....I've gotta quit playing clubs

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  80. ...thank you ladies and gentlemen, you've been a fantastic crowd this evening.

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  81. drive safe and don't forget to tip your waitress.

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  82. Tet Happened, and No One Cared

    By Frank Rich

    REALLY, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton should be ashamed of themselves for libeling John McCain. As a growing chorus reiterates, their refrains that Mr. McCain is “willing to send our troops into another 100 years of war in Iraq” (as Mr. Obama said) or “willing to keep this war going for 100 years” (per Mrs. Clinton) are flat-out wrong.

    What Mr. McCain actually said in a New Hampshire town-hall meeting was that he could imagine a 100-year-long American role in Iraq like our long-term presence in South Korea and Japan, where “Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed.” See for yourself on YouTube.

    But Mr. McCain shouldn’t protest too much about the Democrats’ bogus attack. For him, this sideshow is a political lifeline, allowing him to skate away from his many other, far more worrying canards about Iraq. If anything, that misused quote may be one of his more benign fairy tales. How delightful to fantasize that staying the Bush-Petraeus course will transform Iraq into pacific postwar Japan. Iraq’s sects have remained at each other’s throats since their country was carved out of the Ottoman Empire after World War I. Perhaps magical thinking can bring peace to Israel and the Palestinians, too.

    Everything else Mr. McCain has to say about Iraq is more troubling, and I don’t mean just his recent serial gaffe conflating Shiite Iran and Sunni Qaeda. The sum total of his public record suggests that he could well prolong the war for another century — not because he’s the crazed militarist portrayed by Democrats, but through sheer inertia, bad judgment and blundering.

    So far his bizarre pronouncements have been drowned out by the Democrats’ din. They’ve also been underplayed by a press that coddles Ol’ Man Straight Talk and that rarely looks more deeply into the “surge is success” propaganda than it did into Mr. Bush’s announcement of the end of “major combat operations” five years ago. The electorate doesn’t want to hear much anyway about a war it long ago soundly rejected.

    For the majority of Americans who haven’t met any of the brave troops who’ve been cavalierly tossed into the quagmire, the war is out of sight and mind in a way Vietnam never was. Only 28 percent of Americans knew American casualties in Iraq were nearing 4,000 last month, according to the Pew Research Center. The Project for Excellence in Journalism found that by March 2008 the percentage of prominent news stories that were about Iraq had fallen to about one-fifth of what it was in January 2007. It’s a poignant commentary on the whole war that Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, the nonpartisan advocacy group, was reduced to protesting the lack of coverage.

    That’s why it’s no surprise that so few stopped to absorb the disastrous six-day battle of Basra that ended last week — a mini-Tet that belied the “success” of the surge. Even fewer noticed that the presumptive Republican nominee seemed at least as oblivious to what was going down as President Bush, no tiny feat.

    In Mr. Bush’s telling, Basra was a “defining moment in the history of a free Iraq.” He praised the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, and boasted repeatedly that the Iraqi forces were fighting “in the lead.” The Pentagon spokesman declared that this splendid engagement was “a byproduct of the success of the surge.”

    It was a defining moment all right. Mr. Maliki’s impulsive and ill-planned attempt to vanquish the militias in southern Iraq loyal to his Shiite rival, the cleric Moktada al-Sadr, was a failure that left Mr. Sadr more secure than before. Though some Iraqi armed forces were briefly in the lead, others mutinied. Eventually American and British forces and air power had to ride to the rescue in both Basra and Baghdad. Even then, the result was at best a standoff, with huge casualties. The battle ended only when Mr. Maliki’s own political minions sought a cease-fire.

    Mr. McCain was just as wrong about Basra as he was in 2003, when he said the war would be “brief” and be paid for by Iraqi oil revenues. Or as he was in the 1990s, when he championed extravagant State Department funding for the war instigator Ahmad Chalabi, who’d already been branded untrustworthy by the C.I.A. (The relationship between Mr. Chalabi and the former lobbyist Charles Black, now a chief McCain campaign strategist, is explored in a new book, “The Man Who Pushed America to War,” by Aram Roston.)

    As for Basra, Mr. McCain told Joe Klein of Time in January that it was “not a problem.” He told John King of CNN while in Baghdad last month that Mr. Sadr’s “influence has been on the wane for a long time.” When the battle ended last week, Mr. McCain said: “Apparently it was Sadr who asked for the cease-fire, declared a cease-fire. It wasn’t Maliki. Very rarely do I see the winning side declare a cease-fire.” At least the last of those sentences was accurate. It was indeed the losing side — Maliki’s — that pleaded for the cease-fire.

    Perhaps all these mistaken judgments can be attributed to the fog of war. But Mr. McCain’s bigger strategic picture, immutable no matter what happens on the ground, is foggier still. Like Mr. Bush, he keeps selling Iraq as the central front in the war on Al Qaeda. But Al Qaeda was not even a participant in the Basra battle, which was an eruption of a Shiite-vs.-Shiite civil war. (Al Qaeda is busy enough in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the actual central front in the war on terror.)

    Mr. McCain is also fond of portraying Mr. Maliki’s “democracy” in Iraq as an essential bulwark against Iran; his surrogate Lindsey Graham habitually refers to Mr. Sadr’s Mahdi Army as “Iranian-backed militias.” But the political coalition and militia propping up Mr. Maliki are even closer to Iran than the Sadrists. McClatchy Newspapers reported last week that the Maliki-Sadr cease-fire was not only brokered in Iran but by a general whose name is on the Treasury Department’s terrorist list: the commander of the Quds force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard.

    So this is where this latest defining moment in Iraq leaves us: with victories for Iran and Mr. Sadr, and with Iraqi forces that still can’t stand up (training cost to American taxpayers so far: $22 billion) so we can stand down. The Baghdad Green Zone, pummeled with lethal mortar fire, proved vulnerable once again. Basra remains so perilous that Britain has had to suddenly halt its planned troop withdrawals. Tony Blair had ordered the drawdown a year ago, after declaring that “the next chapter in Basra’s history will be written by the Iraqis.”

    The surge is a success in exactly one way: American forces, by putting their lives on the line and benefiting from a now-defunct Sadr cease-fire, have reduced violence in Baghdad (though only to early 2005 levels). But as the Middle East scholar Juan Cole has written, “the ‘surge’ was never meant to be the objective but rather the means.”

    None of the objectives have been met. Remember that “return on success” — as in returning troops — that Mr. Bush promised in January’s State of the Union? We will end 2008 with more Americans in Iraq than the 132,000 at the time the surge began. Even Gen. David Petraeus said last month that there has not been “sufficient progress” on the other most important objective, Iraqi political reconciliation. Mr. Maliki’s move against Mr. Sadr in Basra, done without even consulting Iraq’s “democratically elected” Parliament, was an attempt to take out his opponent by force rather than wait for the October provincial elections.

    Not that other metrics are any brighter. At last, oil production sometimes reaches prewar levels. But a third or more of the oil, as The New York Times reported, is siphoned off to the black market, where it finances the insurgency. The projected date for turning over security operations to the Iraqis — first set for the end of 2006 by Iraqi officials, then moved up to the end of 2007 and July 2008 by our own Defense Department — is omitted entirely in the latest Pentagon report.

    “We’re succeeding,” Mr. McCain said after his last trip to Iraq. “I don’t care what anybody says.” Again, it’s the last sentence that’s accurate. When General Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker testify before Congress again this week — against the backdrop of a million-Iraqi, anti-American protest called by Mr. Sadr — Mr. McCain will ram home all this “success” no matter the facts.

    The difference between the Democrats and Mr. McCain going forward is clear enough: They want to find a way out of the morass, however provisional and imperfect, and he equates staying the disastrous course with patriotism. Mr. McCain’s doomed promise of military “victory” in Iraq is akin to Wile E. Coyote’s perpetual pursuit of the Road Runner, with much higher carnage. This isn’t patriotism. As the old saying goes, doing the same thing over and over again and hoping you’ll get a different result is the definition of insanity.

    The Democrats should also stop repeating their 100-years-war calumny against Mr. McCain. There’s too much at stake for America for them to add their own petty distortions to an epic tragedy that only a long-overdue national reckoning with hard truths can bring to an end.

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  83. But then again leave it to Morgan Spurlock for this one.

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  84. Meet President McNasty

    John McCain's depressing tour of places where he used to be young has also reminded America of his high-school nickname, "McNasty." Even before he was a brain-damaged old psychopath, McCain was a mean, angry creep. Let's remember all the times Walnuts went nuts in public, so we can prepare for the inevitable campaign-trail explosion that will end his campaign to be America's Oldest President.

    McCain "often insults people and flies off the handle," the New York Times reported.

    The Arizona Republic was writing about his "volcanic temper" the last time he ran for president, in 1896 1999.

    His former colleague in the Senate, Republican Bob Smith, says McCain is a nutter: "I have witnessed incidents where he has used profanity at colleagues and exploded at colleagues ... He would disagree about something and then explode. It was incidents of irrational behavior. We've all had incidents where we have gotten angry, but I've never seen anyone act like that."

    Former Congressman John LeBoutillier, another Republican, says this: "I think he is mentally unstable and not fit to be president."

    Basically everyone on Capitol Hill has been the victim of McCain's sociopathic tirades, and many have the apology letters from McCain to prove it.

    "Nowhere is that sentiment stronger than in the Senate, where McCain has few friends or supporters. In fact, when McCain ran for the Republican nomination for president in 2000, only four Republican senators endorsed him," writes the conservative website NewsMax.

    When two Arizona medical doctors met with McCain to discuss a local endangered squirrel, "He slammed his fists on his desk, scattering papers across the room .... He jumped up and down, screaming obscenities at us for at least 10 minutes. He shook his fists as if he was going to slug us."

    Says another GOP colleague in the Senate, "I Didn't Want This Guy Anywhere Near A Trigger."

    A furious McCain regularly throws F-bombs at his colleagues for no apparent reason.

    In 1995, at the Capitol, McCain had a "scuffle" with 92-year-old Republican Senator Strom Thurmond. That's right, McCain tried to beat up the one person who was even older than McCain himself.

    "It was election night 1986, and John McCain had just been elected to the U.S. Senate for the first time. Even so, he was not in a good mood. McCain was yelling at the top of his lungs and poking the chest of a young Republican volunteer who had set up a lectern that was too tall for the 5-foot-9 politician to be seen to advantage, according to a witness to the outburst."

    "The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine," Republican Senator Thad Cochran said about McCain. "He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me."

    And The Angry Deranged One Craves Power.

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  85. Clif, I never said that McCain doesn't eqivocate. He does and it troubles me. My only issues here (and, please, go back to my original posting) is the character assination aspects to Lydia's post, "2 Faces to a Deceiver", where she calls hima traitor, etc. That, in my opinion, wes over the top. I am entitled to an opinion, correct?

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  86. Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

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  87. Hi Lydia and Guys!

    McBush doesn't seem to be able to remember anything about Iraq, does he?

    McCain Gets Facts Wrong On Iraq Again

    LOLMAO

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  88. P.S.

    I don't know why Andrew Sullivan didn't add Bush and Cheney into that indictment?

    ;)

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  89. I'm man enough to admit a mistake. I bought into that "Moderate" label and wrote Sen. McCain in 2000. Hey don't blame me for Bush, I was a Marylander then and that state stayed Blue.

    I don't think the Racketeers plan on McCain finishing his term. He'll have a Mcstroke and then they will install the VP. He'll/She'll most likely get in after Hillary finishes up destroying any chance of an Obama Presidency when she turns the Convention into a Mosh Pit. NeoCons/NeoLiberals, Same smell of Death and Decay about them.
    Peace.

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  90. Will take no prisoners Hart stated"That ad-hoc rationalization of yours, Lydia; Republicans are hypocritical on moral-values, it might have had more oomph to it had the object of your vitriole been, say, Newt Gingrich, Tom Delay, Bill Bennett, or any of those moronic TV preachers. John McCain (again, who I am not voting for because I strongly disagree with his Iraq policy), for the vast bulk of his congressional career, has not been divisive (hell, he has more friends on the Democratic side of the aisle) or judgemental. Why don't you guys just admit it over there, you're a bunch of shrill partisans whose capacity to make reasoned discourse is marginal, at best. Admit it, just like Fox should admit that they're not what they claim to be."

    Good afternoon, i had desired to craft a response to this dubious rubbish yesterday evening, however i was extremely knackered from my lengthy flight and from a fortnight abroad.

    Have no fear, as i shall certainly give it, its due, before persuing more pleasurable avenues such as disecting that old sod Freedom Fans dishonest illogical drivel.

    Now sir, shall we look at the facts here since you obviously seem so resolute and intent on avoiding and dodging them.

    First sir you come into a blog as a fresh faced new blogger and immediately proceed to hurl snide veiled and not so veiled insults and personal attacks at the blog owner and other regulars without so much as addressing a single fact in the post you are attacking. Those sir are the tactics of a ruffian, a scoundrel and dare i say a blog troll.

    Immediately after entering the blog sir instead of debating or refuting a single shred of the information Ms Cornell put out there on the main post you immediately proceeded with a snide childish personal afront to the blog owner demeaning her show and insinuating she lacks credibility. You then proceeded to label all the regulars who frequent this blog with a dishonest sweeping generalization or as you say rabid shrill partisans which might i add is less than truthful as many on this blog are independent, unregistered or even Conservative. Perhaps you need to read the book How To Win Friends and Influence People sir because quite clearly you are either a wretch, who lacks the social skills to interact positively with other individuals or your agenda is for your true intentions and positions to remain opaque for nefarious purposes , namely subterfuge, as it appears you intend to attempt to impugn the credibility of progressives putting out information and facts about candidate Mccain that are clearly relevant to this campaign, in order to silence them, so damaging information about the candidate you claim to not support but yet have done nothing but support the past two days with your daft and dodgy arguments that are nothing more than personal attacks completely bereft of facts and supporting evidence.

    Let me ask you sir, would you consider it reasonable and acceptable behavior to start insulting and attacking your coworkers or making dishonest sweeping generalizations when starting a new job or when at a family reunion or wedding and meeting new relatives and inlaws for the first time, would insulting people you know little to nothing about while refusing to address their arguments with factual evidence be your modus operandi, if so sir i find that irrational behavior quite bizarre and dubious. The logical conclusion would be as stated previously that you desire your true intentions and positions to remain opaque for nefarious purposes, in other words sir you are a ruffian and a plant whose heart is as black as coal and who attemps to stiffle reasoned discussion and free speech by branding others shrill partisans and implying they are not credible while refuting not a solitary thing they say with factual evidence, if you believe candidate mccain is being attacked unfairly then by all means prove it sir, in fact i challenge you to attempt such a or else resign your self to being exposed as a blog troll sir.

    You claim to oppose the war sir, and while i find that position commendable, however, after examining you words and tactics over the last two days, I am obliged to conclude that you are nothing more than a ruffian and a prat, and your dubious claim to oppose the war and be an unbiased moderate is nothing more than a facade or sham to silence the blogosphere from discusing information that is damaging to your candidate.

    Your charade grows tiresome sir, so in conclusion I say unto you sir if you are here for reasoned debate based on factual evidence then consider Thu at your service, however if you continue to play the sniping little plant pretending to be a moderate while insulting and assassinating the credibility of those exposing facts you dont like to the light then consider Thu your foil sir.

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  91. To summarize my rather lengthy post, mr will, i challenge you sir to refute any of the statements you feel are dubious or unfounded with factual evidence rather than throwing a tantrum like a 5 year old prat and saying you sods are shrill partisans you dont like my candidate while feigning to be an unbiased moderate and providing not a single shred of factual evidence to back your claim.

    Actually sir you lacked the gravitas to even bother to construct an argument no less back one up, all you did sir was fling insults, personal afronts and sweeping generalizations while claiming your opponents were lowering themselves to similar behavior when that was shall we say rather dishonest at best sir.

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  92. One further point sir, please refrain from calling the Vietnamese as you say bastards sir, i have family members there and in other various parts of Asia and Europe and would prefer more reasoned civil and shall we say fact based erudite discourse sir, i pray that is not too much to expect from the likes of you as clearly you are overmatched intellectually, and that is why you need to resort to derailing from fact based reasoned discussion with insults and personal afronts.

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  93. Time for afternoon tea, i shall return to disect Freedom Fan's drivel and address any response you may attempt sir.

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  94. Referring to McCain as a "senile old fool", that's not an attack, thu? As for the bastards comment, I call everybody bastards. Peruse my blog and you'll see it referenced to Bush and Cheney. That probably wouldn't bother you, though.

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  95. The vast majority of McCain's enemies in congress and the media are Republicans/conservatives. That's a FACT, thu. I love it. You're just like O'Reilly. You decry personal attacks while engaging in those of you own. Talk about hypocrisy. Those were facts I gave you, about L.B.J., the illegitimacy of communist elections, etc.. Oh, but, no, you'd rather get YOUR facts from some discredited organization called "Vienam Veterans Against McCain". Get real, for Christ!

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  96. Will stated"Referring to McCain as a "senile old fool", that's not an attack, thu? As for the bastards comment, I call everybody bastards. Peruse my blog and you'll see it referenced to Bush and Cheney. That probably wouldn't bother you, though."

    I challenge you sir to show were i ever stated Mccain was a senile old fool, in fact i fail to see this in Ms Cornell's blog article as well so please provide some facts to suppoty what you say, else they are merely the rantings of a dishonest ruffian sir.

    Further sir please enlighten me as to how refering to another as a bastard is different than refering to them as a senile old fool, once again, your hypocrisy is showing along with your intelectual dishonest sir.

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  97. Will stated"The vast majority of McCain's enemies in congress and the media are Republicans/conservatives. That's a FACT, thu. I love it. You're just like O'Reilly. You decry personal attacks while engaging in those of you own. Talk about hypocrisy. Those were facts I gave you, about L.B.J., the illegitimacy of communist elections, etc.. Oh, but, no, you'd rather get YOUR facts from some discredited organization called "Vienam Veterans Against McCain". Get real, for Christ!"

    Ahh there you go again with the pratish troll tactics sir, please refrain from contructing arguments for me that i never made and are clearly intellectualy dishonest sir, if you are unable to match wits with me sir please admit so, but do not assign me a phony position nor lie and say i suport lbj, or get my facts from organizations that i clearly do not the facts to support what I say are easily verifiable, while you still have not provided one fact to discredit the information Ms Cornell put out there yesterday.

    If you are unable to refute what Ms Cornell wrote with verifiable facts and are unable to refute what i wrote with facts please admit such or leave but please refrain from the derailment and lies.

    You sir state I am just like O'reaily yet as usual sir you provide no factual evudence to back up your outrageous lie that i am like this man, secondly sir you never gave me any facts about lbj because i was never discussing lbj with you to make such a claim is an outright lie and directly affects your credibilty.

    If you are refering to the post you wrote to another blogger named clif referecing lbj i in no way dispted what you stated about lbj or the Gulf of Tonkin sir so once again please refrain from resorting to lies and assigning me false positions sir or i will smite you so forcefully with facts you will be forced to admit you are overmatched and flee in humiliation as Freedom fan has done on several occasions.

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  98. You also failed to address my agruments sir, particularly the one asking if it was a normal and reasonable behavior to come into a new blog and start insulting and attacking people personally, making sweeping generalizations, lying and assigning false positions to people you dont even know while failing utterly to back up those claims with factual evidence.

    As I said sir I challenge you to refute anything i stated or that was stated in Ms Cornell's main article if you can not then you are nothing more than a blackhearted ruffian attempting to stiffle reasoned discussion and free speech and besmirch the integrity of the regulars of this blog as part of dodgy partisan charade.

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  99. :|

    This place used to be fun.

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  100. Will- LARRY is the author of the blog post. Larry is a contributing blogger here.

    Bartlebee -- HI! Love your posts and we're so glad to have you back. Tell us what's going on. Please bring some levity to the blog.

    Thu - great post, thank you. Glad you're back.

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  101. LydiaCornell said...
    Please bring some levity to the blog.


    Apparently I am not able.

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  102. Just remember, folks, it could always be worse ...

    I could not be as good looking as I am.

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  103. Just got back from visiting my parents at Rancho Oso in Santa Barbara where we took the kids and the dogs hiking. My sister got to teach her dog to herd sheep.

    This ranch is nestled in the Santa Ynez mountains -- on Chumash Indian burial grounds. There are horses and covered wagons and river. It's so beautiful.

    The Chumash died out (there are only 1,000 left of this tribe) when the Spanish came and brought Syphillis.

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  104. Stopped at the historic Stagecoach Inn, then Santa Claus Village (which is now a row of surf shops and beach cafes, and then we visited the Cliff House in Mussel Shoals.

    Drove home along Pacific Coast Highway past Pt. Mgu and Neptune's Net where all the bikers hang out.

    Lots of bikers and surfers out today. It was a gorgeous beach day.

    Then drove through Malibu where we saw the sign on the hill that says: 'Thanks to all the firefighters." The Malibu Pres. Church was burned in the last fire. But Malibu is buzzing and happy again. Drove past Pepperdine U, Malibu Colony, Kanaan Dune Road where we got married at Calamigos Ranch..
    and past Topanga Canyon...

    The best part of this 2-day trip is driving up to Santa Barbara through the mountains. When you reach a certain elevation all you see is blue sky and Paradise.

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  105. And so much greenery it takes your breath away.

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  106. I thought the surge worked?

    BBC: US soldiers killed in Green Zone

    Three US service personnel have been killed and 31 wounded by rocket attacks on the Green Zone and a base elsewhere in Baghdad...The rocket attack at 1530...on the Green Zone...killed two personnel and wounded at least 17.

    I guess not so much.

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  107. Lydia said "Drove home along Pacific Coast Highway past Pt. Mgu and Neptune's Net where all the bikers hang out."

    Hey, i've been to Pt Mgu, several times, thats by Malibu, isnt it , thats beautiful country the mountains and ocean views are spectacular.

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  108. oops sorry, i see you allready answered that question...........speaking of bikers i was out on the bikes all day today.......trying to teach my friends girlfriend to ride the dirt bike, unfortunately she crashed and wiped out like every other person i have let ride the bike........pulled a wheelie then the back tire slid out.

    everyone says my bikes are fire breathing beasts LOL.

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  109. Clif do you think Iraq and the failed surge will become an election issue again or will the economy dominate the news cycles.

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  110. Hmmm .. guess my attempt at levity failed.

    Oh well, it was worth a shot

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  111. Hey who is the new troll?

    BTW, will or whoever you are.........i've railed on Hillary Clinton and here fear mongering Mccarthy smear style politics just as much as i rail on McCain...........and for the record I am an independent who has never been registered as a Democrat and will nEVER vote for McCrazy or Clinton so labeling me as a some blindly loyal partisan hack borders on the riddiculous.

    While you certainly have a right to your opinion, i'm thinking you are an operative for McSame you seem way to eager to tar and feather people for pointing out things the MSM clearly isnt about that clown that cast him in an unfavorable light.........

    BTW if those posts are true that would constitute treason, just as cherrypicking intelligence and starting a war based on lies and defying the US Constitutioon does also.

    It appears you are the partisan saying Mcsame and Bush should be defended right or wrong whether they commit treason or not.........see pal, eitherr the statement is true and they are guilty of treason and need to be called on it or it isnt true.........I havent seen you disprove the statement in the past 2 days so i'll assume it is true since most people would disprove something rather than whine if they were able.

    .

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  112. mch - Hi!! Sorry I didn't see you. Much needed joke, thank you.

    Send us a picture or use your avatar as photo.

    Hi Mike!

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  113. Lydia Cornell said...

    The best part of this 2-day trip is driving up to Santa Barbara through the mountains. When you reach a certain elevation all you see is blue sky and Paradise.


    That sounds great. Theres nothing like a good road trip.

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  114. I could do that. WHo do I send the picture to?

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  115. Mike said...
    Hey who is the new troll?


    Most likely the old troll with a new name.

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  116. You're welcome will. It's sad that so few Americans actually do the research required to support their opinions.

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  117. will - I believe what Tomcat means is that maybe you are the one who has not done your research on John McCain.

    We have researched him thoroughly -- almost too thoroughly -- and his archaic, primitve ideas as in "Sorry to tell you this folks, but there will be more wars" is a senile and foolish statement. It is also a primitive and unChristian statement.

    And it sounds elitist. AND yes it does make McCain seem like a senile old fool, which Larry wrote in the blog.

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  118. Mike said... BTW, will or whoever you are.........i've railed on Hillary Clinton and here [sic]fear mongering McCarthy smear style politics just as much as i rail on McCain

    As someone who has been around some time, I can attest to what Mike said. In addition, as an undecided voter and former Edwards supporter, I have criticized both Clinton and Obama, both here and elsewhere whenever such criticism was warranted, in my opinion. I have been attacked here by the trolls, but never by the regulars, because they respect opinions, that are supported by factual information even when they disagree with them. They are less tolerant of people who come parroting wing-nuts like O'Lielly and Coulter.

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  119. Lydia said, will - I believe what Tomcat means is that maybe you are the one who has not done your research on John McCain.

    Lydia, while I was not referring specifically to either Will, it is my opinion that those who support McBoomBoom fall into two categories:

    ► 1. Those who have not done their research.
    ► 2. Those who have and and are sufficiently depraved to agree with his policies.

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  120. Tom Engelhardt, senator of the Republic of Letters on the failed Basra campaign:


    ' They came, they saw, they… deserted.

    That, in short form, is the story of the Iraqi government "offensive" in Basra (and Baghdad). It took a few days, but the headlines on stories out of Iraq ("Can Iraq's Soldiers Fight?") are now telling a grim tale and the information in them is worse yet. Stephen Farrell and James Glanz of the New York Times estimate that at least 1,000 Iraqi soldiers and policemen, or more than 4% of the force sent into Basra, "abandoned their posts" during the fighting, including "dozens of officers" and "at least two senior field commanders."

    Other pieces offer even more devastating numbers. For instance, Sudarsan Raghavan and Ernesto Londoño of the Washington Post suggest that perhaps 30% of government troops had "abandoned the fight before a cease-fire was reached." Tina Susman of the Los Angeles Times offers 50% as an estimate for police desertions in the midst of battle in Baghdad's vast Sadr City slum, a stronghold of cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia.

    In other words, after years of intensive training by American advisors and an investment of $22 billion dollars, U.S. military spokesmen are once again left trying to put the best face on a strategic disaster (from which they were rescued thanks to negotiations between Muqtada al-Sadr and advisors to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, brokered in Iran by General Qassem Suleimani, a man on the U.S. Treasury Department's terrorist watch list). Think irony. "From what we understand," goes the lame American explanation, "the bulk of these [deserters] were from fairly fresh troops who had only just gotten out of basic training and were probably pushed into the fight too soon." '


    Senator John McCain on the failed Basra campaign:


    ' Republican presidential hopeful John McCain said Sunday that Iraq's military performed "pretty well" in its recent Basra assault despite the "mixed" results of the battle. . . the presumed Republican nominee for president defended Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government as increasingly effective in managing the war-torn country. "Now, obviously, the results were mixed," McCain said on Fox News of the Basra attack against Shiite militia. "Obviously, there were problems and Maliki in my view should have waited until we had concluded the battle of Mosul," he said in the interview recorded on Friday. But, McCain said, "Overall, the Iraqi military performed pretty well. ... eight or nine months ago, it would have been unthinkable." '

    And ya wonder why I call him a senile old foole;

    He's either senile or lying, I'm just giving him the benefit of the doubt.

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  121. John McCain is clinically insane.

    ReplyDelete
  122. Someone make up some bumperstickers.

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  123. If McCain were to get elected (bawahahahahahhahaha) the whole world would probably nuke us.

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  124. The minute the words "McCain Wins" hits the ticker and kaboom.

    :|

    We'd look like Wile E. Coyote AFTER his ACME Abomb went off.

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  125. little birds tweeting around our heads... smoke coming out our ears.....

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  126. Orwell meets Vanunu and The Industrial Military Media Security/Surveillance Complex

    By Eileen Fleming

    Recently Senator John McCain erroneously claimed Iran is training and supplying al-Qaeda in Iraq. McCain corrected himself after Senator Joseph Lieberman [of whom it has been whispered holds dual USA and Israeli citizenship] whispered in his ear, “You said that the Iranians were training al-Qaeda. I think you meant they’re training in extremist terrorism.”

    McCain prefaced and ended with an apology “the Iranians are training extremists, not al-Qaeda, not al-Qaeda. I’m sorry.”

    Robert Dreyfuss, investigative reporter whose latest article in The Nation is entitled, “Hothead McCain” explains, “If you thought George Bush was bad when it comes to the use of military force, wait ’til you see John McCain.”

    McCain thinks that the Vietnam War could have been won if we had just stayed another five, ten or fifteen years, and he is gleefully prepared to do the same in Iraq, despite the fact that Iraqi journalist Ghaith Abdul-Ahad’s blows the doors off the US military surge by traveling into the belly of Baghdad: an open air prison which divides Sunni and Shia populations behind 12ft high walls.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2008/mar/17/baghdad.city.of.walls


    Those concrete walls in Baghdad are dwarfed by the 30ft high concrete ones in the ‘Holy’ Land; which is in pieces, Bantustans. Both builders of those walls claim to be democracies and that the walls are for Security. Both builders of those walls exhibit the schizophrenic discipline of thinking two contradictory truths at the same time. Coined by Orwell as doublethink, the Ministry of Peace wages war, the Ministry of Truth fabricates lies and the Ministry of Love tortures and kills any it deems threatening. Most threatening for Big Brother are those with independent thought.

    In 2007, Naomi Klein, in her book The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, argued that at the height of the 2003-07 economic boom, the military industrial complex was driving Israel’s tremendous economic growth, and Israel had the largest GDP growth of any Western country.

    Klein theorized that the source of Israel’s tremendous economic growth in the past five years cannot be attributed simply to its encouragement of high tech entrepreneurship and basic science. Its success must be understood, rather, as a product of its ability to use the occupation of Gaza and the West Bank as a laboratory for defense industry innovation — and to showcase their wares.

    “Young Israeli computer scientists and engineers gain their training in the military, and then go on to start the kind of technology companies that have proliferated wildly in Israel and whose products are much sought after abroad. The entire Israeli hi-tech sector and not just military technology per se, is thus an outgrowth of Israel’s hyper militarization. The Israeli economy’s tech sector grew by 20% in 2006 alone, and Israel is now the foreign country with the second most US stock exchange-listed companies. Klein’s point that Israel’s military-derived technologies are an economic growth-driver because they can be tested in situ is correct, but it is insufficient for describing the magnitude of the military’s tremendous penetration of the country’s economy. Palestinians under occupation can indeed be seen as human “guinea pigs” and not just merely military targets, as Klein claims, but the society’s militarization is far more profound than even she suggests.” [1]

    After the dot-com bubble burst in 2000, Israel’s economy was devastated, but then came 9/11, and “suddenly new profit vistas opened up for any company that claimed it could spot terrorists in crowds, seal borders from attack and extract confessions from closed-mouthed prisoners…Many of the country’s most successful entrepreneurs are using Israel’s status as a fortressed state, surrounded by furious enemies, as a kind of twenty-four-hour-a-day showroom–a living example of how to enjoy relative safety amid constant war…Israel now sends $1.2 billion in “defense” products to the United States—up dramatically from $270 million in 1999…That makes Israel the fourth-largest arms dealer in the world…Much of this growth has been in the so-called “homeland security” sector. Before 9/11 homeland security barely existed as an industry. By the end of this year, Israeli exports in the sector will reach $1.2 billion–an increase of 20 percent. The key products and services are …precisely the tools and technologies Israel has used to lock in the occupied territories. Israel has learned to turn endless war into a brand asset, pitching its uprooting, occupation and containment of the Palestinian people as a half-century head start in the “global war on terror… Israel’s policy of erecting walls and checkpoints to seal off the occupied territories are also “laboratories where the terrifying tools of our security states are being field-tested Palestinians–whether living in the West Bank or what the Israeli politicians are already calling “Hamasistan”–are no longer just targets. They are guinea pigs…” [2]

    ========================================================================

    Cyrano’s Journal Online and its semi-autonomous subsections (Thomas Paine’s Corner, The Greanville Journal, CJO Avenger, and VoxPop) would be delighted to periodically email you links to the most recent material and timeless classics available on our diverse and comprehensive site. If you would like to subscribe, type “CJO subscription” in the subject line and send your email to JMiller@bestcyrano.org

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    Poster-boy for Israel’s Industrial Security/Surveillance Complex is the Christian convert from Judaism, Mordechai Vanunu. Every email Vanunu has ever written, snail mail received, phone call conversation and walk he has ever taken through east Jerusalem, has potentially been monitored 24/7, since his release from an Israeli prison in 2004.

    During my first-of five-trips to east Jerusalem since June 2005, Vanunu told me that during the first two years of his 18 years in jail [most all in solitary confinement] a light shone above his head 24/7 in a tomb sized cell. When ever he closed his eyes a guard would come in and shine a brighter light into his face and say, “Just checking if you had committed suicide yet.”

    A few weeks ago, and thirty odd years from my first time, I reread Orwell’s 1984, that was published in 1949. I was struck at how much Vanunu reminded me of Winston Smith, Orwell’s man with an independent thought that Big Brother; The Party incarnate found so threatening they tortured him beyond his endurance in order to break him, brainwash him and strip him of his humanity.

    In 1987, in Ashkelon Prison, Vanunu wrote, I had “no choice. I’m a little man, a citizen, one of the people, but I’ll do what I have to. I’ve heard the voice of my conscience and there’s nowhere to hide…yes, it’s there all right. I’m all right. I do see the monster. I’m part of the system. I signed this form. Only now I am reading the rest of it. This bolt is part of a bomb. This bolt is me…Who else knows? Who has seen? Who has heard?” [3]

    “A working prophet, is able to see deeper than most of us into the human soul. Orwell in 1948 understood that despite the Axis defeat, the will to fascism had not gone away…the irresistible human addiction to power were already long in place…the means of surveillance in Winston Smith’s era…[are] primitive next to the wonders of computer technology…most notably the Internet.” [4]

    “Universal peace and justice are the goals of man, and the prophets have faith that in spite of all errors and sins…[and] although under the illusion of fighting for peace and democracy…all the fighting nations lost moral considerations…the unlimited destruction of civilian populations…atomic bombs…can human nature be changed so that man will forget his longing for freedom, dignity, integrity, love-can man forget that he is human?” [5]

    The “Fabric of Life Road” in occupied Palestine is in reality an apartheid road; separate and unequal. Palestinians must travel through sewage and tunnels, but Israelis ride on only well maintained contiguous highways. At the checkpoint from Jerusalem to the little town of Bethlehem in occupied territory, the Ministry of Tourism draped a thirty foot high doublespeak sign that proclaims: “Peace be with you” a loose translation of “War is Peace.”

    In Orwell’s epic, Winston Smith played the role of the archetype of all threats to Big Brother; an individual with an open and free mind, independent thought, memory of history, a voice of dissent and willing to take bold action. Orwell’s Big Brother tortured all threats in order to get inside their head and then to brainwash them into accepting doublethink as truth.

    The atomic bomb which was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a baby step compared to the 21st century slaughter that can be achieved by thermonuclear weapons with capacities to wipe out 100% of a country within minutes. The Industrial Military Complex cranks out new weapons about every five years and soon the minds driven mad with doublethink-”war is peace”- will create 100 or 1,000 megaton bombs.

    “Orwell demonstrates the illusion of the assumption that democracy can continue to exist in a world preparing for nuclear war…leaders…have only one aim, and that is power…and power means to inflict unlimited pain and suffering to another human being……how can a minority of one be right?…we spend a considerable part of our income and energy in building thermonuclear weapons, and close our minds to the fact that they might go off and destroy one third or one half of our population and that of the enemy…another example of doublethink-from a Christian standpoint” is the evil of killing any other. [Ibid]

    Vanunu threatens Israel in 2008, far more than he did in 2004.

    Vanunu has not only continued to speak out for a nuclear free Middle East, he has also become a spokesperson regarding the Christian Exodus from east Jerusalem [7], where he has lived these last four years.

    Over the last four years of house arrest, Vanunu has met thousands of tourists and pilgrims. Everyone of them understands that the only way Vanunu can harm Israel is with bad PR.

    If Israel had practiced justice and mercy, they would have let Vanunu go in 2004, and chances are, that by now Vanunu would have faded into a footnote in history, instead of keep making it.

    In Israel’s 60th anniversary year, Vanunu exposes how the Jewish state is a democracy in name only, for it continues to forbid him-an Israeli Christian the right to speak to a sister or brother in Christ if they happen to be from a foreign country.

    However, 21st century Big Brother: The Industrial Military Media Security/Surveillance Complex, has not yet found the way to stop the flow of independent thought streaming through the world wide web.

    Vanunu had been scheduled to return to court on Easter Sunday, fighting a six month jail sentence, handed down in July 2007 that was rendered because he spoke to professional foreign media in 2004. Vanunu was being punished for attempting to travel by cab the five miles into the little town of Bethlehem; occupied territory, on Christmas Eve 2004; but he ended up in a jail cell that night too.

    From emails Vanunu wrote to me, March 24-27, 2008:

    “Court hearing postponed to May 13, 2008-the appeal against 6 month prison sentence for speaking to foreign media. I found out about the change a few days before Easter, but not until Easter Day, did I learn about the day for the next hearing. My lawyer and prosecutor want to move it to different day.

    “……I think the hearing was postponed because, from the beginning of the trial until now, they really don’t know what they want. All was a game to try to put me under new pressure to see if they can gain something by holding me here…

    “All this means is that Israel just continues what they have done since my release in 2004, delaying and holding me here…instead of sending me for real freedom…they want me very poor and angry, but I am surviving…One thing is very clear: my case is over. They should let me go free…

    “…My lawyer is very busy with the trial of the previous president…Kasav. He was accused of rape and sexual harassment by many women in his office, while as a minister office many years ago, and again in his palace as president. But the turmoil here is that the prosecutor made a deal with him; no trial no prison sentence, just a symbolic punishment. So today he will go to court with my lawyer to get his deal and be totally free…

    “…There is a lot of suffering here…Israel wants to hide so much because it is not good for its image as a democracy and a friend of America…

    “1984, yes I read it many times and many years ago.1984 is here in 2008.”

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  127. 5 US Soldiers, 51 Iraqis Killed; 143 Iraqis Wounded

    Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki set aside any pretense of democracy by ordering the Mahdi army to disband or face banishment in upcoming elections. At least 51 Iraqis were killed and 143 more were wounded today. Also, five more American soldiers were killed.

    One American soldier was killed by an IED during a routine road clearing operation in Baghdad yesterday. A second soldier died in a previously reported attack in Diyala province. Another soldier had died in that attack and four soldiers were wounded as well. Today, two American soldiers were killed in Baghdad in a rocket-propelled grenade attack, while a third U.S. soldier was killed in an IED explosion.

    Prime Minister Al-Maliki has become increasing desperate to demolish the power base of political rival al-Sadr, who at first supported the minister. Two weeks ago al-Maliki imposed a security crackdown in Basra that many analysts believe was merely an attempt to destroy the Sadrist power base ahead of elections. The crackdown backfired on al-Maliki who was forced to accept a truce. The Mahdi army had been observing a seven-month-long ceasefire when al-Maliki ordered Iraqi security forces to target them.

    Now al-Maliki has ordered the Mahdi army, who are followers of al-Sadr, to disband or the Sadrists will be barred from these same elections. The Sadrists boycotted the last elections, but their participation this time could spell the end of the al-Maliki government. Al-Maliki will have to push special legislation through Parliament to prevent Sadrist participation. Earlier reports said that al-Sadr is seeking a ruling from Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani before proceeding further, but a spokesman later denied those reports.

    Meanwhile, the fighting continues in Baghdad where U.S. forces are trying to prevent more attacks on the international Green Zone. Overnight, nine people were killed and 60 others were wounded during sporadic gunfire and shelling. Hellfire missiles and other explosive devices were dropped from U.S. aircraft onto Sadr City and New Baghdad. A helicopter strike today killed four people and wounded five in Sadr City. Several mortars shells were lobbed at the Green Zone, but a pair which fell in Karrada instead injured two people.

    In other incidents, four dumped bodies were recovered. Mortars wounded two people at a sports club on Palestine Street. In New Baghdad, five people were wounded during a roadside bombing. Ten people were wounded in Zayouna after a roadside bombing there. Mortars wounded three people in Hay Ur. A missile strike killed nine and injured 30 in Amin. Also, one Iraqi security member was killed and 12 others were wounded during operations.

    In Basra, an explosion of unknown origin killed eight people. An Interior Ministry spokesman survived an assassination attempt that left four bodyguards wounded after a roadside bomb blast hit their convoy. Also, seven bodies were turned over to the morgue.

    In Mosul, a roadside bomb wounded two policemen and a girl. Two people were injured during a mortar attack.

    A drive-by shooting left a city council member dead in Samarra.

    In Duluiya, U.S. forces stormed a home with a masked man. After the man identifed a 65-year-old man and his son, they were supposedly shot to death.

    A roadside bomb in Buhriz killed one Iraqi Army officer and wounded five others.

    Thus the continuing saga of the Bush/McCain war for profit.

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  128. Bartlebee - thank you!

    Will - I interviewed Pat Buchanan and he is right about one thing: Bush and McCain are warmongers and in a fog.

    I used to like McCain, before he flip-flopped on every imporant issue and DOES NOT SUPPORT THE GI BILL.

    He votes like a crazy person, lets John Hagee support him (a fanatical Zionist for all the wrong reasons).. changed his vote on torture, and embraced Jerry Falwell!

    And remember in the early debate when he let out that sick grin after talking about "killing?"

    Now I see his ruthless "ambition at all costs" side coming out.. He'a a very scary man.

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  129. Secret US plan for military future in Iraq Document outlines powers but sets no time limit on troop presence

    The draft strategic framework agreement between the US and Iraqi governments, dated March 7 and marked "secret" and "sensitive", is intended to replace the existing UN mandate and authorises the US to "conduct military operations in Iraq and to detain individuals when necessary for imperative reasons of security" without time limit.

    The authorisation is described as "temporary" and the agreement says the US "does not desire permanent bases or a permanent military presence in Iraq". But the absence of a time limit or restrictions on the US and other coalition forces - including the British - in the country means it is likely to be strongly opposed in Iraq and the US.

    Iraqi critics point out that the agreement contains no limits on numbers of US forces, the weapons they are able to deploy, their legal status or powers over Iraqi citizens, going far beyond long-term US security agreements with other countries. The agreement is intended to govern the status of the US military and other members of the multinational force.

    Following recent clashes between Iraqi troops and Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi army in Basra, and threats by the Iraqi government to ban his supporters from regional elections in the autumn, anti-occupation Sadrists and Sunni parties are expected to mount strong opposition in parliament to the agreement, which the US wants to see finalised by the end of July. The UN mandate expires at the end of the year.

    One well-placed Iraqi Sunni political source said yesterday: "The feeling in Baghdad is that this agreement is going to be rejected in its current form, particularly after the events of the last couple of weeks. The government is more or less happy with it as it is, but parliament is a different matter."

    It is also likely to prove controversial in Washington, where it has been criticised by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who has accused the administration of seeking to tie the hands of the next president by committing to Iraq's protection by US forces.

    The defence secretary, Robert Gates, argued in February that the planned agreement would be similar to dozens of "status of forces" pacts the US has around the world and would not commit it to defend Iraq. But Democratic congress members, including Senator Edward Kennedy, a senior member of the armed services committee, have said it goes well beyond other such agreements and amounts to a treaty, which has to be ratified by the Senate under the constitution.

    Administration officials have conceded that if the agreement were to include security guarantees to Iraq, it would have to go before Congress. But the leaked draft only states that it is "in the mutual interest of the United States and Iraq that Iraq maintain its sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence and that external threats to Iraq be deterred. Accordingly, the US and Iraq are to consult immediately whenever the territorial integrity or political independence of Iraq is threatened."

    Significantly - given the tension between the US and Iran, and the latter's close relations with the Iraqi administration's Shia parties - the draft agreement specifies that the "US does not seek to use Iraq territory as a platform for offensive operations against other states".

    General David Petraeus, US commander in Iraq, is due to face questioning from all three presidential candidates on Capitol Hill today when he reports to the Senate on the results of his surge strategy, which increased US forces in Iraq by about 30,000 last year.

    Both Clinton and Democratic frontrunner Barack Obama are committed to beginning troop withdrawals from Iraq if elected, Obama within 16 months of taking office. Republican senator John McCain has pledged to maintain troop levels until the country is secure.

    Thus the continuing saga of the Bush/McCain war for profits.

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  130. The Vodka Chronicles

    By MAUREEN DOWD

    John McCain’s saucy mother says her boy was always a scamp and a hell-raiser. And one of the senator’s great charms is that he wore those appellations proudly.

    So it was quite disheartening Thursday to see a McCain spokeswoman telling The Associated Press, in a story about how Cindy McCain helped her husband’s political career bloom with her multimillion-dollar fortune from the family beer business, that the senator is a virtual teetotaler.

    “Senator McCain rarely, if ever, drinks alcohol,” Jill Hazelbaker averred.

    McCain’s pals know him as a man who enjoys libations of vodka with little green cocktail olives. Over the years, at dinners with reporters, I noted he had the habit of ordering one double vodka and sipping it slowly. And there was that famous Hillary-McCain Estonian drink-off in 2004, when Hillary instigated a vodka shot contest and McCain agreed with alacrity (even though he later offered a sketchy denial).

    Maybe now that he’s the presumptive Republican nominee, his campaign wants to put his vices in a vise and sanitize the wild side of the man whose nicknames in high school were “Punk,” “Nasty” and “McNasty.”

    Next they’ll deny he likes to gamble in Vegas (“I’ll put $50,000 on Bomb Iran, with 3-to-1 odds”), socialize with liberals and lash out at people who annoy him. (As a toddler, he had “tiny” rages. “I would go off in a mad frenzy and then, suddenly, crash to the floor unconscious,” he wrote. His parents would drop him into a bathtub of icy water.)

    If his campaign is bowdlerizing, let’s hope it stops before he’s a bland McNice.

    Americans, after all, don’t trust candidates without any vices. They got turned off by the picture-perfect Mitt Romney, whose khakis were never wrinkled and whose hair stayed eerily in place even while he was jogging in a campaign commercial.

    Do we really need McCain obfuscating on drinking, and Obama putting up a smoke screen on smoking?

    Ever since Chicago reporters followed the up-and-coming Obama and saw him flicking his ashes and butts out the windows of moving vehicles, the senator has had a testy relationship with the press about his addictions to cigarettes and littering. (Obama, wrote one reporter on his blog, was “one of those reprehensible nicotine addicts who seems to believe that the world is his ashtray.”)

    When Chris Matthews tried to pin down Obama on when he’d had his last cigarette, he radiated guilt, even though he dryly noted that “having your wife say on ‘60 Minutes’ that if you see Barack with a cigarette, let me know’ was a heck of a deterrent.

    “I fell off the wagon a couple times during the course of it and then was able to get back on,” the candidate admitted. “But it is a struggle like everything else.”

    In his book and last week’s bio-tour, McCain painted himself as a cool bad boy. He was a girl-loving, authority-defying, plane-crashing Top Gun.

    In his memoir, Obama played up his vices to depict himself as a cool bad boy, too, recalling that he had smoked pot and done “a little blow.”

    But now the two men are sticking to the straight and narrow. Everyone may imagine that Obama and his press corps spend all their time quaffing Champagne and celebrating the astonishment of his very being. But the candidate is boringly abstemious — and reporters traveling with him find him aloof. On a 2005 trip to Russia, he priggishly requested that his vodka shot glass be filled with water.

    Oddly, Hillary, a Tracy Flick Goodie Two Shoes growing up, is the only one who seems to be enjoying her vices — even beyond the delight she takes in the dark and costly Mark Penn, and the gusto with which she bedazzled her résumé and then bedazzled some more when she got caught bedazzling. Her campaign doesn’t deny that she likes to kick back, at the end of a long day, with a vodka on her plane.

    Bill Clinton is a cautionary tale about what happens if you surrender too many cherished vices. Curtailed from Burkling, international jet-setting, cholesterol-chowing and race-baiting, Bill has gotten raspy and lost his legendary charm. He blew up at a California superdelegate who objected that Bill Richardson, a former Clinton cabinet member, was being painted as Judas because he wasn’t willing to transfer his affections from Bill to Hillary — and no doubt one day to Chelsea. The ex-prez railed against the “political elite” and said it was a “bunch of bull” that there were calls for Hillary to leave the race. In Lawrenceburg, Ind., he dubbed himself a “rural hitman” for his wife.

    Churlish Bill doesn’t even follow his own advice. According to the Clinton tax returns, he gave only $1 million to charity out of the $6.3 million he made for his book “Giving” — even though his income has gone up 6,900 percent since his White House years.

    Let the Big Dog off his leash. There can be virtue in a little vice.

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  131. Book: McCain temper boiled over in '92 tirade, called wife a 'cunt'

    Filed by Nick Juliano

    John McCain's temper is well documented. He's called opponents and colleagues "shitheads," "assholes" and in at least one case "a fucking jerk."

    But a new book on the presumptive Republican nominee will air perhaps the most shocking angry exchange to date.

    The Real McCain by Cliff Schecter, which will arrive in bookstores next month, reports an angry exchange between McCain and his wife that happened in full view of aides and reporters during a 1992 campaign stop. An advance copy of the book was obtained by RAW STORY.

    Three reporters from Arizona, on the condition of anonymity, also let me in on another incident involving McCain's intemperateness. In his 1992 Senate bid, McCain was joined on the campaign trail by his wife, Cindy, as well as campaign aide Doug Cole and consultant Wes Gullett. At one point, Cindy playfully twirled McCain's hair and said, "You're getting a little thin up there." McCain's face reddened, and he responded, "At least I don't plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you cunt." McCain's excuse was that it had been a long day. If elected president of the United States, McCain would have many long days.
    The man who was known as "McNasty" in high school has erupted in foul-languaged tirades at political foes and congressional colleagues more-or-less throughout his career, and his quickness to anger has been an issue on the presidential campaign trail as evidence of his fury has surfaced.

    As Schecter notes, McCain's rage is not limited to the political spectrum, and even his family cannot be spared the brute force of his anger.

    Schecter, who also blogs at The Agonist, said in an interview the anecdote is "an early example of his uncontrollable temper." In the book he outlines several other examples of McCain losing his cool and raises the question of how that would affect a McCain presidency.

    What should voters make of this pattern? In February 2008 Tim Russert succinctly described McCain on MSNBC's Morning Joe. A devilish grin spread from ear to ear as Russert, no McCain hater, leaned forward and spoke in a whisper, "He likes to fight." Russert got it right. But the big question isn't whether McCain likes to fight: it's who, when, and how.
    The exchange between McCain and his wife was not reported anywhere when it happened, Schecter said (a LexisNexis database search confirms this). In 1992, McCain's mention in the national media revolved mostly around his involvement in the Keating Five scandal, and only local reporters closely followed his re-election bid.

    McCain is well known for his rapport with the national media covering his presidential bid (he's jokingly referred to the press as "my base"), but Schecter said this incident was buried not out of fealty to the Arizona senator. Rather, it was uneasiness about how to get such a coarse exchange into a family newspaper, and he didn't fault the local press for not covering the incident.

    "Members of the media are squeamish covering stuff like this so they let it go," Schecter told RAW STORY in an interview Monday. "Back in '92, when people use naughty words, [reporters] don't know as much what to do with it."

    Much has changed since then. President Bush's reference to a New York Times reporter as a "major league asshole" was reported in at least 47 newspapers during the 2000 campaign, when the off-color remark was overheard, according to a database search. And more than a dozen newspapers have reported Dick Cheney's recommendation that Sen. Patrick Leahy "fuck yourself."

    McCain and his aides have brushed off suggestions that his temper could impede his ability to perform the sometimes-delicate tasks asked of a president. The candidate was asked about his legendary temper last week on "Fox News Sunday," where he cited his ability to work "across the aisle" while in the Senate.

    "You can't scare people or intimidate them if you're going to reach agreement with your colleagues and your contemporaries And I've worked hard at that, and that's what the American people want," McCain said. " The second thing is if I lose my capacity for anger, then I shouldn't be president of the United States. ... When I see the waste and corruption in Washington, I get angry."

    McCain's campaign did not return a call from RAW STORY seeking comment Monday morning.

    Schecter says McCain's anger is much more than a passion for the issues. One can only imagine what would happen if McCain were to try to squeeze that temper into the tight confines of diplomacy.

    "The public certainly has to know what this guy might do as president," Schecter says. Examples like the ones in his book "should worry people, quite frankly."

    What a loving husband the senile old man has become.

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  132. The angry old man McSame is McInsane!

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  133. BTW, great article Larry!

    ReplyDelete
  134. Meditate on This: You Can Learn to Be More Compassionate
    A new study shows that meditation opens the gateway to compassion

    By David Biello

    Like athletes or musicians, people who practice meditation can enhance their ability to concentrate—or even lower their blood pressure. They can also cultivate compassion, according to a new study. Specifically, concentrating on the loving kindness one feels toward one's family (and expanding that to include strangers) physically affects brain regions that play a role in empathy.

    "There is such a thing as expertise when it comes to complex emotions or emotional skills, such as the one of cultivating benevolence," says Antoine Lutz, a neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin–Madison who led the study. "That raises the pos