• Category Archives John McCain
  • On The Right, Hateful Words Are Fired Like Bullets

    Read this commentary, please, from the Washington Post.

    After today’s horribly tragic events in Tucson, Arizona, read:

    The governor of Ohio, James Rhodes, demonized the war protesters. They were "worse than the Brownshirts and the communist element. . . . We will use whatever force necessary to drive them out of Kent."

    That was the language of that time. And now it is the language of our time. It is the language of Glenn Beck, who fetishizes about liberals and calls Barack Obama a racist. It is the language of rage that fuels too much of the Tea Party and is the sum total of gubernatorial hopeful Carl Paladino’s campaign message in New York. It is all this talk about "taking back America" (from whom?) and this inchoate fury at immigrants and, of course, this raw anger at Muslims, stoked by politicians such as Newt Gingrich and Rick Lazio, the latter having lost the GOP primary to Paladino for, among other things, not being sufficiently angry. "I’m going to take them out," Paladino vowed at a Tea Party rally in Ithaca, N.Y.

    Back in the Vietnam War era, the left also used ugly language and resorted to violence. But the right, as is its wont, stripped the antiwar movement of its citizenship. It turned dissent into treason, which, in a way, was the worst treason of all. It made dissidents into the storied "other" who had nothing in common with the rest of us. They were not opponents; they were the enemy: Fire!

    Yes, that Washington Post.

    Read the full commentary.


  • Sarah Palin Burped Last Week, And CNN Was There

    Sarah Palin in a bikini

    Why does the media flock around a failed pol? I really don’t get it at all. I can see Fox News or Glenn Beck, but CNN?

    CNN has officially become the media’s official gossip station.

    Some recent news flash items from CNN. Sorry, I removed the links back to CNN. It’s not worth the trip. Really.

    Here they are:

    McCain compares Palin to Reagan

    Rove calls Palin move ‘smart’ 

    Palin delivers a gaffe-filled message

    Palin hits back at Barbara Bush

    Obama doesn’t think about Palin

    Palin kicks off book tour amid fresh speculation of a White House bid

    If Palin runs for president, should she agree to Couric interview?

    Obama doesn’t think about Palin? Oh no! Will Palin sit down with Katie Couric for another winning interview? Will she pardon a turkey?

    Years ago, when I was a child, CNN used to do news.

    I remember.


  • ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Is Now History

    This today from the United States Department of Defense:

    Openly gay men and lesbian women now can apply to join the military, Defense Department officials said today.

    The department issued guidance Oct. 15 to process paperwork for openly gay men or lesbian applicants. The instructions come from a California federal judge’s decision that the so-called “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law is unconstitutional.

    On Oct. 12, U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips enjoined DOD “immediately to suspend and discontinue any investigation, or discharge, separation or other proceeding that may have commenced under the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Act or its implementing regulations.”

    Pentagon officials said the department will abide by the judge’s order, and that part of that compliance is allowing openly gay people to apply to join the military. But citing uncertainty over final disposition of the matter in the courts and on Capitol Hill, a DOD spokeswoman said potential applicants must be aware that the situation may change.

    “Recruiters are reminded to set the applicants’ expectations by informing them that a reversal in the court’s decision of the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law/policy may occur,” Cynthia Smith said.

    Phillips said yesterday that she is leaning against granting the government’s request for a stay of her order. The Justice Department has indicated it will appeal her decision declaring the law unconstitutional to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

    The Defense Department wants a deliberative, long-range look at any changes in the law, said Pentagon spokesman Marine Corps Col. Dave Lapan. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates set up a working group to examine the ramifications of a possible repeal of the law that bars gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military. The group is scheduled to submit its report Dec. 1.

    “The review that is going on would look at all the far-ranging impacts of what changing the law would mean,” Lapan said.

    A long-range plan for changing the law would include a period of transition to conduct training, to ensure that everybody was informed about new policies and procedures, Lapan explained.

    “In the current environment with the stay, you don’t have the time to go through all these processes and make sure you determine what effect this has on housing, benefits, training on individuals across the board,” he said.

    The legislative remedy would allow that work to move forward, Lapan said, as the department would have “the chance to study the impacts, to get the input from the force and to make adjustments and changes before an abrupt change in the law occurs.”

    Lapan said it is too early to draw any conclusions about Phillips’ stay and what is happening in the force.

    “I would caution against conclusions made from just a few days of having a stay in place,” he said. “A repeal of the law will have far-reaching effects. Now we are sort of in a holding pattern on discharges and proceedings related to enforcing the current law.”

    Nod to ENEWSPF.


  • Greenspan Turns Left: Calls for Repeal of All the Bush Tax Cuts

    Alan Greenspan

    Former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan has officially moved to the left of President Obama on taxes. And that’s something, coming from a self-described lifelong Republican libertarian.

    From the New York Times:

    It was not enough, it seems, for Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve chairman and a self-described lifelong Republican libertarian, to call for stringent government regulation of giant banks, as he did a few months ago.

    Now Mr. Greenspan is wading into the most fierce economic policy debate in Washington — what to do with the tax cuts adopted, in large part because of his implicit backing, under President George W. Bush — with a position not only contrary to Republican orthodoxy, but decidedly to the left of President Obama.

    Rather than keeping tax rates steady for all but the wealthiest Americans, as the White House wants, Mr. Greenspan is calling for the complete repeal of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, brushing aside the arguments of Republicans and even a few Democrats that doing so could threaten the already shaky economic recovery.

    “I’m in favor of tax cuts, but not with borrowed money,” Mr. Greenspan, 84, said Friday in a telephone interview. “Our choices right now are not between good and better; they’re between bad and worse. The problem we now face is the most extraordinary financial crisis that I have ever seen or read about.”

    Mr. Greenspan, who led the Fed for 18 years until he retired in 2006, warns that without drastic action to increase federal revenue and reduce the long-term growth in health care costs, bond investors could make a run on Treasury securities, driving up the nation’s borrowing costs and leading to another global economic crisis. This is not the first time Mr. Greenspan has urged fiscal restraint; he warned in 2008 that the country could not afford the tax cuts proposed by Senator John McCain, the Republican presidential candidate. But his sweeping call for rescinding the Bush tax cuts, which he has articulated in a recent appearance on “Meet the Press” and an interview with The Financial Times, among other settings, has rankled former colleagues.

    I never understood Trickle-Down Economics. Cutting government revenue never results in economic growth. Instead, the richest of the rich buy bigger yachts, and the national debt increases, often exponentially. Republicans never had the discipline to cut spending. Democrats fund projects that offend the G.O.P. and libertarians, but also balance budgets, repairing damage done by the G.O.P.

    I’m with Harry Truman and Bill Clinton: "If you want to live like a Republican, VOTE FOR DEMOCRATS."

    Sometimes, it’s that simple.

    Thanks, Alan.


  • Ebert Reviews 9500 Liberty: Big Thumbs Up

    I had the opportunity to see a preview of 9500 Liberty about a year ago. Met Eric Byler and Annabel Parker. Liked them both.

    Roger Ebert just published a review of the film, not yet released in Chicago, although it should be, soon.

    Here’s the question to ask yourself: What if all the illegal aliens just left? What if they all left Arizona right now?

    Prince William County has been there, and went back. The results were disastrous for the local economy, quality of life. Turns out illegal-aliens were not responsible for more crime in Prince William County. In fact, as the number of illegals grew, crime went down. And when they left, there went the tax base, and legal residents of Prince William County found themselves facing 25% increases in taxes.

    So it goes.

    From Roger Ebert:

    When Prince William experienced a major building boom in the 1990s, a shortage of labor created a demand for workers, which led to an increase in the Latino population. Some of the newcomers were legal immigrants. Some were not. A blogger named Greg Letiecq began to write about his unhappiness with hearing Spanish spoken in public places. Finding an audience, he fomented about rising crime rates, rising taxes to pay for services for the newcomers, overcrowded dwellings, music played too loud, fast driving, and so on. He included Latino crime reports from the local police blotter. He even claimed armed members of the Mexican revolutionary group Zapatistas were moving to Prince William County.

    His organization, “Help Save Manassas,” issued saucer-sized red lapel stickers, and soon they were seen around the town. He and Board of Supervisors president Corey A. Stewart created a law that would require local police to stop people for "probable cause" and ask them to show their proof of citizenship. At the time, this measure seemed to have popular support, and there was resentment against a Mexican-American citizen who erected a large sign on his property (at 9500 Liberty St.) to object to it.

    About this time, filmmakers Eric Byler and Annabel Park (a Chinese-American and a Korean-American) began to post videos on YouTube that weren’t so much political as the raw material for a documentary. They showed discussions and arguments among local residents, testimony before the county board, Stewart, Letiecq and other pro-law figures and ordinary citizens. As the videos went viral, they inspired another local blog to counter Letiecq and a growing community discussion about the law.

    Among the law’s opponents was Charlie T. Deane, the long-serving, widely respected local police chief, who testified the law would cost about $14 million over five years to enforce, who said his officers had more important things to do and who said (along with the county attorney) that without video cameras in every police car, the officers and the county would be open to lawsuits. Cameras would cost another $3.1 million.

    Ironically,the law was partly to blame for a tax rate increase of 25% a year. There was another problem. Latinos began to move out of Prince William County or take their business to nearby friendlier areas. There was a retail slump, badly timed to coincide with the collapse of the housing market. As tax-paying “legals” left, the county tax base dropped. Restaurants and shops closed. Prince William County and Virginia have sales taxes, income taxes and other taxes that even non-citizens pay.

    Read Ebert’s full review here.

    And if you are among those clammoring for laws to protect us from illegals, be carefu what you wish for, my friend.


  • City Councilman Steve Blair Fired By KYCA Because Of Comments Re: Mural on Miller Valley School

    I wrote about the mural controversy in Arizona just a few minutes ago. City Councilman Steve Blair was fired by the radio station he worked for due to his remarks, according to reports.

    From prescott enews:

    Steve Blair has been fired by KYCA, due to his comments regarding the new mural on Miller Valley School at the corner of Whipple Street and Miller Valley Road.

    Besides being a City Councilman, Steve Blair is also a well-known afternoon talk show host for radio station KYCA. Well, make that "was" because he has been removed from his radio talk show as of today, due to a controversy over the mural painted on Miller Valley School.

    The discussion about the mural has been controversial ever since the paint began being brushed on the wall. Now it’s a full blown controversy, with statewide and even national media paying attention. Right now, the spotlight is on Blair, who made comments that some interpreted as being racist.

    Blair is not backing down, saying that the mural “defaces” the public building.
    He says he "doesn’t get it," that the picture looks like a "big old black guy," and maybe that has something to do with the "guy that’s in the White House."

    The picture actually depicts one of the children who goes to the school, according to reports.

    Here’s Blair in his own words:

    And the mural in question:


  • Best Unintentionally Sexual Right-Wing Headline Evah: ‘Congress bows to gay agenda…’

    Kudos to Eric Smith for catching this headline from the American Family Association:

    Congress bows to gay agenda, repeals ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’

    Congress has given in to pressure from gay activists and the White House and voted to repeal the "don’t ask, don’t tell" ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military…

    And I’m just amazed the variety of categories I was able apply to put this tiny blog post.

    Yup.


  • Health Care Battle Tipping In Obama’s Favor As Vote Nears

    President Obama

    What a nice headline to read in the Sun-Times: "Health care battle tipping in Obama’s favor as vote nears."

    Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeet.

    From the Chicago Sun-Times:

    One by one, House Democratic fence-sitters began choosing sides Friday, and the long, turbulent struggle over landmark health care legislation tilted unmistakably in President Barack Obama’s direction.

    In full campaign mode, his voice rising, the president all but claimed victory, declaring to a cheering audience in Virginia, "We are going to fix health care in America."

    With the showdown vote set for Sunday in the House, Obama decided to make one final, personal appeal to rank-and-file Democrats, arranging a Saturday visit to the Capitol. Republicans, unanimous in opposition to the bill, complained anew about its cost and reach.

    Under a complex — and controversial — procedure the Democrats have devised, a single vote probably will be held to send one bill to Obama for his signature and to ship a second, fix-it measure to the Senate for final passage in the next several days.

    Democratic leaders and Obama focused last-minute lobbying efforts on two groups of Democrats, 37 who voted against an earlier bill in the House and 40 who voted for it only after first makingL sure it would include strict abortion limits that now have been modified.

    Democratic leaders worked late Friday attempting to resolve the dispute over abortion. Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., who succeeded last November in inserting strict anti-abortion language into the House bill, hopes to do so again. That prospect angered lawmakers who support abortion rights.

    "We’re not going to vote for a bill that restricts a woman’s right to choose beyond current law," said Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., as she left an evening meeting with Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Abortion opponents are divided over whether restrictions on taxpayer funding currently in the bill go far enough.

    Reps. John Boccieri of Ohio, Scott Murphy of New York and Allen Boyd and Suzanne Kosmas of Florida became the latest Democrats to announce support for the bill after voting against an earlier version that passed, bringing the number of switches in favor of the bill to seven.

    This is sweet, and it’s history in the making.

    This vote will be historic. Fitting that it should come on a Sunday.

    To all members currently serving in the United States Congress: Vote YES on this bill. Be a part of history-in-the-making.

    FYI: the picture above, in XHTML language, is aligned to the CENTER. That’s where this bill really comes from: the CENTER.

    Vote for it with confidence. Vote for AMERICA. Vote, that all "… might have life, and might have it abundantly."


  • Joe the Plumber Says He’s Done with John McCain and Sarah Palin

    Joe the Plumber

    Joe "the Plumber" Wurzelbacher lashed out at Senator John McCain Saturday at a campaign rally Saturday in Pennsylvania for long shot gubernatorial candidate Sam Rohrer.

    From CNN:

    "John McCain is no public servant," Wurzelbacher said at a campaign rally Saturday in Pennsylvania for long shot gubernatorial candidate Sam Rohrer. Later, in an interview with Pennsylvania Public Radio, he dismissed the suggestion that he owes his fame to McCain.

    "I don’t owe him s-," Wurzelbacher said. "He really screwed my life up, is how I look at it."

    "McCain was trying to use me," he said. "I happened to be the face of middle Americans. It was a ploy."

    Wurzelbacher is apparently finished with Sarah Palin as well since she is backing John McCain’s re-election bid in Arizona.

    Apparently the Democrats aren’t the only ones turning on each other. The G.O.P. circular firing squad is in place.

    Perhaps Wurzelbacher is trying to put together his own reactionary, right-wing, ultra-Libertarian campaign for some office somewhere? What party would have him?