Republicans Resort Again to Swiftboating

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Jul 252015
McCain on cot in Hanoi POW camp.

McCain on cot in Hanoi POW camp.

“Swift-boating” is a neologism used pejoratively to describe an unfair or untrue political attack. We started using it during the 2004 presidential campaign when an astro-turf group, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, set out to wreck John Kerry’s campaign based on their false claim that he hadn’t earned a purple heart he had received.

Now, Donald Trump has taken on the mantel of swift-boater (to go along with his birtherism) in attacking John McCain’s status as a Vietnam War Hero. In recent televised remarks Trump claimed that McCain was a hero only because he was captured, and Trump said he preferred people who were not captured.

So let’s give you a little background, in case you’ve lived under a rock. McCain served as an attack aircraft pilot flying off aircraft carriers during the Vietnam War. He was shot down, injured in the crash, and captured. He then endured five and a half years as a prisoner of war, including periods of torture. In 1968, he refused a North Vietnamese offer of early release, because it would have meant leaving before other prisoners who had been held longer.

Now there is very little from a policy perspective that I agree with now-Senator McCain on, but that does not mean I do not respect his service, nor appreciate his heroism. No one should be allowed to question those aspects of McCain’s history and character without being dismissed as a lunatic. Continue reading »

So Much for Republican Bipartisanship

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Jan 262009

That didn’t take long. John McCain is on TV this weekend saying he won’t vote for the stimulus package. Other leading Republicans are complaining about the package not having enough tax cuts…blah, blah, blah. Of course they’re also on all the Sunday morning talk shows complaining about the dangers of closing the Guantanamo Bay prison, and prattling on with the lies about all the released prisoners “returning” to the battlefield.

I’ve checked, and not single Republican in either house of Congress has a Nobel Prize in Economics, but Paul Krugman does, and he seems to know his way around an economy. In an Op-Ed in the New York Times, Krugman talks about the Republicans taking “obvious cheap shots:”

John Boehner, the House minority leader, has already made headlines with one such shot: looking at an $825 billion plan to rebuild infrastructure, sustain essential services and more, he derided a minor provision that would expand Medicaid family-planning services — and called it a plan to “spend hundreds of millions of dollars on contraceptives.”

Krugman goes after the on-going Republican argument against government spending and for tax cuts about how people are better at judging at how they spend their money than the government.

The point is that nobody really believes that a dollar of tax cuts is always better than a dollar of public spending. Meanwhile, it’s clear that when it comes to economic stimulus, public spending provides much more bang for the buck than tax cuts — and therefore costs less per job created (see the previous fraudulent argument) — because a large fraction of any tax cut will simply be saved.

And let us not forget that the Republicans were all in favor of the Wall Street bailout plan (TARP). I find it interesting how that stimulus package was so acceptable without tax cuts, but this plan, which helps average Americans get jobs, just won’t work.

Boehner was on the Meet The Press Sunday railing about dubious statistic of 61 of the released Gitmo detainees being back on the “battlefield.” Well, first, it should surprise no one if we snatch someone for no good reason, torture them and hold them illegally for 5 or more years, and then that person goes back and decides he hates enough to join the fight. However a study published by Seton Hall Law Professor Mark Denbeaux on Jan. 15 finds the Pentagon wrongly altered its figures on terrorist ‘recidivism’ 43 times, with the latest figure being “the most egregiously so.”

The Republicans seem to have always thought that bipartisanship means that everyone must agree with them. For some reason, the spineless Democratic leaders in the House and Senate have gone along with the bullies, thinking somehow the Repubs won’t be so mean to them, if they just give them everything they want.

I’m hoping that Obama is going to demand that Pelosi and Reid grow a spine. It sounds like maybe he has one. It’s been reported that Obama, during a White House meeting with Congressional leaders last week, said matter of factly, “I won.” That pretty much sums it up, and it is a message the Republicans need to understand, and Democrats need to use. Obama just needs to move his plan forward, and then let the Republicans vote against it, then go to the airwaves and exploit his 68% approval rating and tell the American people he’s doing all he can, but we’ll have to help him move some Congressional Republicans along.

The McCain Hate Talk Express Barrels Through North Carolina

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Oct 212008

The current political climate and the divisiveness of modern campaigns is an embarrassment to this country. The politicians have found they can just lie without remorse, because there seems to be no accountability. As someone once said, in a democracy, we get the government we deserve. We let this crap work, so it’s what we get. I for one, hereby today and forthwith take a stand to say NO…NO MORE…to this kind of bull shit.

U.S. Representative Robin Hayes (R, NC) made the following statement at a rally a few days ago, “Folks, there’s a real America. Liberals hate real Americans that work and achieve and believe in God.” Then had temerity to blatantly lie and say he never said…the recording of his comments notwithstanding. Democrat or Republican, please join me in demanding a stop to this divisive hate speech. Demand that any politician making such statements relinquish their office.

Here’s my letter to Mr. Hayes. If you’d like to join me, his Washington Office phone number is (202) 225-3715 and the fax number is (202) 225-4036.  Continue reading »

Canned Goods and Ammo

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Sep 292008

I’ve been joking with a co-worker this afternoon that, given what happened today with the economic bailout package, and Wall Street’s reaction, we need to get to the grocery store to buy canned goods and ammo. Unfortunately, that may not be too far from reality. Most of the Republicans, and enough Democrats voted against the bail out plan that it failed and the Dow Jones Industrial Average nose-dived over 777 points. That’s the largest one day drop ever.

So what will happen next? I’m not sure, but this can easily turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy resulting in a downward spiral. The Asian and European markets will most likely have huge drops over night, which could result in even more declines on Wall Street tomorrow when trading resumes. I’m sure the pundits and reporters, along with the analysts, are all wringing their hands and predicting the end of the world as we know it, and that could cause just that result as confidence tumbles.

I’ve been getting emails from some outfit called True Majority. They’ve been stirring the pot, along with other organizations, to get people to contact their representatives and oppose the bailout. They think this a good thing, and that now Congress can fix things by:

  • Putting real regulations back on runaway financial corporations, and taking an ownership stake in exchange for any taxpayer support
  • Providing mortgage relief so ordinary Americans stop losing their homes
  • Putting millions to work by investing in new green jobs and infrastructure
  • Investing in a health care plan to cover everyone

These are all certainly noble goals, and the whole Reaganomics idea that wealth trickles down has never worked. The wealthy get more wealthy only when the economy is producing jobs, and people have money to spend. This enriches those that own the means of production and the raw materials. Reaganomics shuts down the creation of additional wealth, and all the Bush Administration and the Republicans have done is enable a transfer of the existing wealth to a select few of their friends. Now it’s all been accumulated, and no additional wealth is being created.

The bullets above, published by this True Majority outfit, will result in the creation of new and additional wealth, and everyone can participate, so it’s a good thing, but these are long term fixes. If the economy completely crashes, none of the shit above means anything, as there won’t be the resources to accomplish it. Continue reading »

Sarah Palin and The Moose She Rode In On

 Corruption, Crime, Election, Featured, Politics, Presidency, Religion, Right Wingnuts, Society, War  Comments Off on Sarah Palin and The Moose She Rode In On
Sep 112008

I’ve been trying to see how (or if) the dust would settle around Sarah Palin prior to writing a post about my feelings on the subject. It doesn’t appear the dust is settling, as John McCain hides behind her skirt. So I’m going to offer up my two-cents on the nomination. (Did you think I’d do otherwise?)

I’ve been unable to discern Palin’s motivation for her move into politics, and her acceptance of this nomination, but I’m feeling like she’s a great fit on the Republican ticket. I really do not get the sense that Palin is truly interested in public service, but in having power and taking what she can from it. She has definitely shown herself to be pushy and arrogant when holding public office.

As Mayor of Wasilla, AK, Palin fired the popular town Librarian for refusing to ban books that Palin didn’t like. This clearly shows an abusive side, and anyone wanting to ban books based on their belief system is scary to me. I encourage every person to develop their own set of beliefs, and work to instill those in their children and family, but you’re not entitled, in America, to dictate to me.

Oh, but what was I thinking…that was not America, but Alaska, and Sarah Palin and her husband seemed to be affiliated with a political group advocating the secession of Alaska from the Union. This may be, in fact, one of the more disturbing things that’s been uncovered about Palin. She was a member, never was a member, her husband definitely was, (it’s all being clouded by the Republicans) but she definitely gave a talk, as Governor, welcoming the group to one of their meetings, and invited them to, “keep up the good work.” Now, do I believe that Sarah Palin wants Alaska to secede from the Union? Actually I don’t think so, but that just means her little welcome speech was so much bullshit, meaning she’s prepared to say whatever it takes to score political points.

Palin would never support Alaska pulling out of the Union, because she takes too much money from Washington, by way of earmarks. All this money to a state that has no income taxes, and rebates money to it’s citizens every year. Now some would say that’s how the system works, and a good governor tries to get all the money out of Washington he/she can. I’d say that’s true. The problem is the ad naseum repetition of a stump speech in which Palin claims to be an agent of change, of being against the system of Washington earmarks, and of how she told Congress “no thanks” on that bridge to nowhere. It is now indisputably established that Sarah Palin supported that project, and even campaigned on the issue two years ago. She turned against it only when the Congress was about to cancel the project…and she kept the money. In fact, one of the bridge approaches has been under construction the past two years, even though there are no plans to build the bridge. Again, a person prepared to say anything, even outright lie, for political gain. A good Republican candidate. Don’t lie and say you’re against a system that you so vociferously took advantage of.

Palin has billed the State over $16,000 dollars for food and lodging while she’s at home instead of in the State Capital. She’s charged the state over $43,000 for her daughters to travel between Juneau and her home.

Speaking of fiscal management, here is what a longtime resident of Wascilla who has watched Palin up close for years had to say about her:

During her 6 years as Mayor, she increased general government expenditures by over 33%. During those same 6 years the amount of taxes collected by the City increased by 38%. This was during a period of low inflation (1996-2002). She reduced progressive property taxes and increased a regressive sales tax which taxed even food. The tax cuts that she promoted benefited large corporate property owners way more than they benefited residents.

The huge increases in tax revenues during her mayoral administration weren’t enough to fund everything on her wish list though, borrowed money was needed, too. She inherited a city with zero debt, but left it with indebtedness of over $22 million.

Then there is troopergate. Strong evidence indicates that as part of a nasty divorce in her family, Palin ordered the head of the Alaska Highway Patrol to fire her (soon to be ex) brother-in-law. Just like as Mayor, when he refused to do her bidding, she fired him. Much is being made of this, and if we’re lucky, it has some legs.

The Republicans and pundits were all over Barack Obama for things said by his minister that appeared to negatively portray America. Barack wasn’t even at church that day, but Palin sat through a few Pentecostal sermons that were not very patriotic. Senior Pastor Ed Kalnin of Wasilla Assembly of God Church in Wasilla, Alaska, where Governor Palin was a member until 2002, made the following comments about John Kerry back during the 2002 election suggesting that voting for Kerry would result in a person going to hell. “I’m not going tell you who to vote for, but if you vote for this particular person [Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry], I question your salvation. I’m sorry.”

And for those Jewish people thinking they should vote for the McCain-Palin ticket, CNN online writes of her current church, Wasilla Bible Church:

David Brickner, the founder of Jews for Jesus, was a speaker. He told congregants that terrorist attacks on Israel were God’s “judgment” of Jews who haven’t embraced Christianity. Brickner said, “Judgment is very real and we see it played out on the pages of the newspapers and on the television. When a Palestinian from East Jerusalem took a bulldozer and went plowing through a score of cars, killing numbers of people. Judgment — you can’t miss it.”

Now, do I believe people should be held accountable for every idiotic thing that streams from the mouth of their preacher…God no! But that didn’t stop the Republicans from being all over Obama for things Jeremiah Wright said, so they set the standard. Where’s the outrage against Palin for these comments?   Continue reading »

Sarah Palin's Daughter

 Election, Politics, Religion, Right Wingnuts  Comments Off on Sarah Palin's Daughter
Sep 022008

I agree with Obama that, generally speaking, families should be off limits. I also agree that things don’t always work out in life like you expect or hope in families. Certainly that’s been true for me and my family in any number of ways. But Sarah Palin has had some things to say about Gay people, so if she’s going to put down my family, she makes her’s a target. So I’ll write this one post about the situation with Palin’s daughter, and then it’s over.

First, I can’t believe that the krazy kristian kooks are all over this applauding it as some kind of good thing because Bristol chose to “Keep” the baby and get married. Only in the world of red states is it a good thing when an underage unmarried 17 year old gets pregnant.

Of course, it’s a little of “like mother-like daughter.” It appears that the Palin’s eloped and were married on August 29, 1988. Seems their first child was born EIGHT months later. So Bristol had a great role model. One who is a staunch supporter of abstinence only sex education…so that didn’t work out so well, now did it.

They also seem to be making a big thing about the fact that Bristol is “choosing” to keep the baby. I thought Palin was an arch anti-choice/pro-life candidate. So what’s up with this thing of her daughter having “a choice” in the matter. Oh, right…this is Republican world…the rules apply to everyone but them.

From Politico:

“We’re proud of Bristol’s decision to have her baby,” she and her husband said in a statement. Unsaid in the statement is that Palin, based on her past views, would prefer that her daughter not be given a choice.

Ben Smith goes on to note, in the same article:

Democrats noted, before and after today’s announcement, that Palin took a hard line on a question in 2006 from the conservative Eagle Forum Alaska:

Q: Will you support funding for abstinence-until-marriage education instead of for explicit sex-education programs, school-based clinics, and the distribution of contraceptives in schools?

SP: Yes, the explicit sex-ed programs will not find my support.

So yes, I think families are generally off limits, but when you make “family values” a cornerstone of your political philosophy, then we get to take a good hard look at what your family values are, and Sarah, you’re a hypocrite. Don’t stick your nose in the family affairs of other people until you get your own house in order.

God Makes It Up to John McCain

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Sep 022008

Apparently some of the krazy kristian kooks had been praying for, and asking others to pray for, rain in Denver during Obama’s acceptance speech. Obviously it didn’t happen, and the Democrats had a perfect evening, so clearly our Republican God was asleep at the switch. But, just when the fundies were about to lose faith, God made it up to them and sent a hurricane to save the day.

Apparently, must to the relief of the McCain campaign, Gustav’s arrival on the Gulf Coast gave Bush and Cheney an excuse to not attend the Republican National Convention. What a world it’s become when it’s seen as a blessing when the sitting President won’t be attending his Party’s national convention.

The Dems brought Bill Clinton back for another if his outstanding speeches.

Of course the storm in Louisiana didn’t deter the Republicans from soaking up the hospitality of the Washington Lobbyists. Watch the report below.

The Price Paid for Power

 Election, Featured, Politics, Presidency, Religion, Right Wingnuts  Comments Off on The Price Paid for Power
Aug 212008

John McCain’s military service deserves the thanks and respect of the American people, especially given his time spent as a POW in Vietnam. However, the over-use of this status for political gain becomes laughable after a while, and erodes the respect with which it should be treated. It seems to be used by his surrogates to explain everything.

The other day McCain was asked about how many houses he owns (I plan to write more about this later), and he stumbled, and could not remember. As it turns out, it’s either seven or eight…no one else seems quite sure either.  It took less than 24 hours for for a McCain spokesperson to invoke the POW status to explain away the housing gaffe. Brian Rogers told the Washington Post, “This is a guy who lived in one house for five and a half years — in prison.”

Recently at the Saddleback interviews (where McCain received Rick Warren’s questions in advance), McCain told a story about his time as a POW when a guard came to him at Christmas time and quietly used his sandal to draw a cross on the dirt floor. It was certainly a moving story, but what exactly it says about McCain I can’t quite figure out. It seems to me to say more about that guard…but the krazy kristian kooks love it. Anyway, like some of Dick Cheney’s story, it might have been borrowed.

Let’s look at the timeline. McCain came back from Vietnam in 1973, and shortly after that wrote a 12,000 word story published in U.S. News and World Report, but never mentions this incident. In 1999, McCain writes about it as his story in his book, Faith of Our Fathers. But in 2000 he talks about the story, but says it was another prisoner.

OK, so just strike it up to his age (or his previous status as a POW). Except that story appeared in the book, The Gulag Archipelago, by recently deceased Alexandrja Solzhenitsyn and published in the west in 1973. Did the same thing happen to McCain? Certainly could have, but it could have also come from a distant memory in a ghost writer’s brain…especially since McCain attributed it to someone else himself.  Continue reading »

Aug 212008

It’s not all that uncommon for me to, as my grandfather might say, let my mouth overload my ass. By that he meant saying things I’d regret later on. While I seem to have a knack for it, James Dobson seems to have perfected the art. To wit, his comments about John McCain from 2000:

“The Senator,” Dobson said, “is being touted by the media as a man of principle, yet he was involved with other women while married to his first wife, and was implicated in the so-called Keating scandal with four other senators. He was eventually reprimanded by the Congress for the ‘appearance of impropriety.’ The Senator reportedly has a violent temper and can be extremely confrontational and profane when angry. These red flags about Senator McCain’s character are reminiscent of the man who now occupies the White House.”

And Just last year, Dobson had this to say:

“Speaking as a private individual, I would not vote for John McCain under any circumstances,” Focus on the Family founder James Dobson told the Christian radio show Jerry Johnson Live in January.

Of course, now with Obama as his only alternative, somehow the Bible seems to have miraculously softened it’s positions on marriage fidelity and ethics because Dobson is hinting he might be able to find it in his heart to support McCain.

Aug 102008

It seems that the tabloid National Enquirer has a knack for catching wandering politicians, and they’ve nabbed another now…my favorite recent presidential candidate, John Edwards. It appears that back in 2006 Edwards had an affair with Rielle Hunter, a lady hired to produce campaign films for the Edwards campaign.

The question is, what to make of this? I am certainly disappointed in this behavior. I am the first to admit that guys in general are pigs when it comes to sex, but what makes these guys all think they can be in the public limelight and get away with these affairs? I suppose if you have the balls to think you can run the country and solve all the issues we have, then you have the balls to think you can get away with anything. Obviously, based on the information on this website, it’s not all that uncommon for President’s and Vice Presidents to have their dalliance’s. It goes back to Washington.

I am certainly sorry for his family and the pain this brings to them…and especially since they have to deal with it in the public. That brings up the obvious question, what business is it of ours (the publics)? Edwards certainly is something of a public figure, but he is no longer a candidate for anything, and the affair was between consenting adults.

He did continue to deny the affair to the press for a while, but that’s a natural reaction. It appears he came clean to his wife and family some time back. Of course Fox News and some of the rest of the MSM has tried to tie Edwards to Obama. I’m not sure people are going to fall for that. McCain seems to continue to get a pass for running around on his first wife with his current wife before the divorce.

I guess my attitude is that there are more important things to report than an affair between adults, but if the media is going to insist on reporting on these issues, I just wish they’d report fairly, and call out everyone’s proclivities.