John McCain

Posted at 9:45am on May 16, 2008 Can WaPo editors read?

By Soren Dayton

The Washington Post should either fire their editors or send them to remedial education. They should be ashamed that they let this garbage get printed.

Despite his reputation in the media as a charming maverick, McCain has shown that he is also happy to use Nixon-style dirty campaign tactics. By charging recently that Hamas is rooting for an Obama victory,

McCain isn't "charging". A senior Hamas leader said that "actually we like Mr. Obama. We hope he will (win) the election [...] and he has a vision to change America." Why isn't that the story, rather than a distortion of McCain's statement?

This clown James Rubin continues:

I asked: "Do you think that American diplomats should be operating the way they have in the past, working with the Palestinian government if Hamas is now in charge?"

McCain answered: "They're the government; sooner or later we are going to have to deal with them, one way or another, and I understand why this administration and previous administrations had such antipathy towards Hamas because of their dedication to violence and the things that they not only espouse but practice, so . . . but it's a new reality in the Middle East. I think the lesson is people want security and a decent life and decent future, that they want democracy. Fatah was not giving them that."

"Deal with" is not the same as "unconditional" talks at the level of heads of state. The President of Iran says that Israel should be destroyed and their weapons are being used to kill American soldiers. Indeed, yesterday on the blogger call McCain pointed out that Ryan Crocker regularly interacts with Iranians in Baghdad.

How could the Washington Post's editors let this garbage get printed in their paper? Are they illiterate or just biased beyond belief?

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Posted at 5:17pm on May 15, 2008 Think Progress fails history

By Soren Dayton

ThinkProgress notes a passage from John McCain's speech today in which McCain warns of the dangers of appeasement:

Yes, there have been appeasers in the past, and the president is exactly right, and one of them is Neville Chamberlain. I believe that it’s not an accident that our hostages came home from Iran when President Reagan was president of the United States. He didn’t sit down in a negotiation with the religious extremists in Iran, he made it very clear that those hostages were coming home.

Think Progress proceeds to fail history 101:

McCain’s praise of Ronald Reagan is wholly misplaced. To recap, during the Iran-Contra affair in the 1980s, hostages were not released because of Iran’s fear of Reagan, as McCain suggested. In reality, Iran released them after Reagan administration officials infamously sold arms to the country, which were transfered to Ayatollah Khomeini. As a result, 11 Reagan officials were convicted of crimes.

They are so laughably, ignorantly wrong. The hostages were released on Reagan's inauguration day. Recall that these guys recently accused McCain of plagiarism when someone had actually stolen the lines from him.

Hacks and clowns

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Posted at 3:06pm on May 15, 2008 May 15 McCain Blogger Conference Call

McCain Answers, Does Not Eat Waffle

By Dan McLaughlin

Senator McCain just finished a conference call with bloggers. Most of the call was dominated by discussion of Iraq and Iran, specifically Senator Obama's reaction to President Bush's remarks in Israel, Senator McCain's thoughts on negotiating with Iran and Senator McCain's thoughts on his announced goal to win the war in Iraq by 2013. Here are the highlights:

Senator McCain set out his definition of victory in Iraq, including control of the country by the Maliki government, the Iraqi military taking over responsibility and U.S. troops out of harms way and reducing U.S. troop presence, but he stressed that this does not mean we leave Iraq, or that there is not still "sporadic fighting." He again analogized a long-term presence in Iraq to those in Kuwait and Korea.

Senator McCain specifically stated that he looks forward to having with Sen. Obama or Clinton a "debate as to whether we are winning or not" in Iraq. He stressed repeatedly the importance of the "facts on the ground."

He emphasized that he is not announcing a date for withdrawal by setting a 2013 goal. When a questioner characterized his speech as a withdrawal date he was quite firm in telling her that "you either didn't read or didn't understand my speech" and said it "should be fairly apparent" that he picked 2013 because that would be the end of his first term and he's saying what he intends to accomplish.

Turning to Iran, Sen. McCain said he took Pres. Bush at his word that in his remarks on the dangers of appeasement he was not referring to Sen. Obama, but he did note "such a vociferous reaction" by Sen. Obama and characterized as the "highest degree of naivete and inexperience" to negotiate with Iran when the Iranian leadership refers to Israel as "a stinking corpse" and threatens to wipe Israel off the map and supports terrorism and the insurgency in Iraq, emphasizing that such talks would only lend prestige to the Iranian regime.

As Sen. McCain described Sen. Obama's proposal for such talks: "what is it that he wants to talk about?"

Sen. McCain then laid out his conditions for talking with Iran: renounce threats against Israel, renounce nuclear ambitions, stop supplying "lethal explosive devices" to insurgents in Iraq. He noted that he'd be willing to offer incentives to Iran but they would have to make those steps first. He also noted that U.S. Ambassador Crocker, in Iraq, has tried talking with the Iranian Ambassador there (despite the lack of formal diplomatic relations) but has met with nothing but intransigence.

A few more random points:

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Posted at 11:13am on May 15, 2008 McCain Looks Back At His First Term

By California Yankee

Senator John McCain gave a terrific speech today in which he took a look back at the accomplishments of his first term as president.

The McCain campaign also released the following ad focusing on what John McCain envisions achieving during his first term in the White House:

In the speech, McCain's vision of accomplishments includes the following:

Read on ...

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Posted at 4:00pm on May 14, 2008 Polluting the Message

Always Let the Right Hand Know What the Left Hand is Pandering

By Mark I

Sen. John McCain has called for a summer gas tax holiday to help consumers dealing with the rising cost of filling their tanks. Most observers, including this one, think that the temporary aspect of McCain’s suspension makes it nothing more than political pandering. But we’ll accept that because of the political strategy inherent in making this proposal. It’s a good suggestion inasmuch as it forces his Democratic rivals to go on record as for or against higher gas prices. Sen. Hillary!™ Clinton recognized the political strategy implicit in McCain’s call and quickly endorsed the idea, while the Senator from H.O.P.E.™, Barack Obama, did not. In the process Obama painted himself as more comfortable than McCain or Clinton with high gas prices. So far, so good.

But then Sen. McCain stole the thunder away from his own political jujitsu by coming out in favor of a cap and trade system for carbon emissions. Leaving aside the catastrophic economic implications such a policy would have, and sidestepping the question of whether man-made global warming is real and reversible; calling for this policy on the heels of proposing a gas tax suspension is both bad politics and poor message craft. The two proposals contradict one another and make the Democrats' message look coherent by comparison.

Read on…

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Posted at 3:04pm on May 14, 2008 Poppies in Iraq and Arabs in Afghanistan: Did Barack Obama “Pull a McCain” in his SpeechTuesday Night ?

No -- What he did was far worse.

By Jeff Emanuel

You could say that Barack Obama "pulled a John McCain" with his verbal gaffes regarding Iraq, Afghanistan, Arabic-speaking translators, and the War on Terror in his May 13 speech to supporters in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

You could say that -- but you would be wrong.

“Conflating” Sunni and Shi’a?

“With so many Arabic translators tied up in Iraq, Barack Obama must be concerned that none will be free to facilitate his meeting with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Two months ago, pundits and politicians alike descended upon Senator McCain with accusations of confusion, a lack of touch, and even outright dishonesty when the Republican presidential nominee said that al Qaeda fighters in Iraq have been receiving funding, training, and equipment from Iran during the last year-plus of the Iraq War.

Mr. McCain "conflated" Sunni and Shi'a organizations, which clearly "represent opposing sides in the Iraqi civil war[sic]" crowed the liberal web site ThinkProgress (an outlet with its own track record of mixing up historical events).

In an ABCNews blog post entitled "Err-Jordan," reporter Jake Tapper wrote that McCain "seemed to step in it" with his assertion that Sunni al Qaeda and Shi'a Iran were working together, asking if the Senator was suffering from "jet lag." (Tapper, who has been one of the most solid reporters of this campaign season, later posted an opposing viewpoint, if not an outright correction.)

Susan Rice, then still a senior foreign policy adviser to Barack Obama (she was later relieved of the position for undermining Mr. Obama's claims that he would initiate an immediate withdrawal from Iraq if elected, and for referring to Hillary Clinton as a "monster"), called McCain's assertion "very bizarre," saying that "there is no body of evidence to suggest Iran is aiding Al Qaeda in Iraq" and noting that Mr. McCain had "made the same statement three times in as many days. Surely he must know, as Senator Lieberman reminded him, that Iran is not engaged with Al Qaeda in Iraq. I don't know if he is confused, or is he cynically trying to conflate Al Qaeda and Iran as Cheney and Bush did Al Qaeda and Iraq in 2002 and 2003?"

Read on.

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Posted at 10:19pm on May 12, 2008 Open Season on Obama Advisers

Watch Your Own Backs, You’ve Got no Support from the Top

By Mark I

Moe Lane points to a Jake Tapper Piece detailing the numerous times Sen. Barack Obama has placed blame on his advisers for his radical policy positions. Less noticed is the growing tendency for Obama to drop those advisers like hot rocks the minute that their comments explaining Obama’s positions become known.

It all started with the case of Austan Goolsbee, the University of Chicago professor and Obama economics adviser who was caught telling Canadian officials, no doubt in English and French, that Sen. Obama didn’t really think that NAFTA needed to be renegotiated. It was all just campaign rhetoric, Goolsbee helpfully explained. The following week, Samantha Power, Harvard professor (Obama apparently collects university professors) and Obama campaign foreign policy adviser told the BBC that Obama had no intention of following the plan he had campaigned on for close to a year for getting U.S. troops out of Iraq. “He will, of course, not rely on some plan that he’s crafted as a presidential candidate or a U.S. Senator,” she said. But of course; and pardon me, but would you have any Grey Poupon?

Power resigned from the campaign, allegedly because in the same interview she referred to Sen. Hillary!™ Clinton as a “monster.” But Clinton’s negatives are so high that it would have been hard for most of America to find fault with that statement. No, the more damaging comments, and the ones she was kicked to the curb over, were the ones that exposed Obama’s real position on Iraq, and exposed him as a typical politician saying one thing to get elected while planning to do something else entirely.

Last week, another Obama adviser was unceremoniously dismissed for doing his job. Only this time, Sen. John McCain’s campaign deserves credit for forcing Obama to reduce his adviser corps by one. McCain pushed back hard on the question of Obama’s relationship with the Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, and forced Obama’s hand. The incident further revealed the thin-skinned nature of the Obama campaign, and provided a model that McCain should follow for the remainder of the election.

Read on…

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Posted at 1:40pm on May 12, 2008 Yes, Experience Matters

The Green Candidate

By Dan McLaughlin

Does Barack Obama's inexperience matter - and should it?

Who ya gonna call?

I. Experience Matters In The Presidency

The presidency is an enormous, complex and dangerous job. The president's first and foremost responsibility is as the Commander-in-Chief, with responsibility for reacting, sometimes without time to exhaustively gather and sift the best possible information and explore all the alternatives, and with the need at times to rally the nation to do difficult and painful things. The president is also the head of the vast, sprawling executive branch, the nation's chief law enforcement officer, the head of his or her party, the appointer of life-tenured federal judges and scores of influential bureaucrats, the submitter of budgets and proposer of legislation. No president comes to the job fully prepared for all its demands. But the more of those demands the president comes truly unprepared for, the more difficulty he or she will have in mastering them all at once.

While there are a variety of life experiences that are useful for a president to have, to my mind there are five types of experience that are particularly important:

Read On...

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Posted at 7:46am on May 12, 2008 Michigan Disenfranchised: Another day without a solution


Cross-posted on Right Michigan at

Did you hear the news over the weekend?  It turns out the race for the Democrat nomination is over.  Game, set and match.  Hillary Clinton hasn't gotten word just yet and neither, by all indications, has her BFF Jennifer Granholm but if you put any stock in what the mainstream media has to say than you know it's over.  All of it.  Mostly.  There's still one pesky issue the Dems haven't resolved and it's finally starting to garner a bit of the spotlight on the national stage.

Still no solution for seating Michigan and Florida.  

Two major battleground states that have approximately zero voice right now in the Democrats' nominating contest.  No say on who very well may become the next President of the United States of America.

But we might get a say.  Maybe.  Eventually.  Partially.  The regressisphere is abuzz with proposals and possible solutions, most of which focus on Florida getting a full delegation and Michigan being relegated to secondary-citizen status, being stripped of as many as half our delegates.  Others think we should just toss out the votes of hundreds of thousands of residents and split the delegates down the middle between Hillary and Barack... oh, but don't touch those super delegates.  They can do whatever they'd like.

The MSM, they're reporting dutifully on the left's heroic (/sarcasm) efforts to seat our delegates, conveniently ignoring the fact that it's the left that pulled the chair out from under us when we went to sit down.  (Even if Michigan gets to send a few delegates to Denver they'll be staying somewhere else in Colorado... the DNC months ago even released the State's hotel block.)

But while the national press bumbles their way to the most flattering possible coverage they can generate for the Barackstar, Detroit News columnist Daniel Howes provides a bit of a Michigan perspective.  And when you're realistically discussing Michigan AND Barack Obama it's bound to be an uncomfortable conversation.  The man hasn't exactly endeared himself to the State, what with his 300+ day absence and his constant verbal assaults on the troubled auto industry.  Which leads Howes, the columnist perhaps best respected on all things Big 3 and equipped to discuss the auto industry to deliver a bit of advice while doing something Obama, I'm sure, wishes he hadn't.

He compares the Senator to George W. Bush.

...To suggest that Japanese rivals aren't being pinched by sky-high gas prices is mistaken because, as Toyota Motor Corp. confirmed last week, they are. Also mistaken -- and unfair -- is suggesting that Detroit doesn't build fuel-efficient cars, just like when President Bush exhorted Detroit to build "relevant" cars and refused to meet with the CEOs of Detroit's Big Three.

You're right: America needs "truth telling" from its president -- especially one who grasps the facts and understands that truth can cut two ways.

It's actually a pretty scathing piece that takes the candidate to task for his ill-informed comments about the Big 3 and his penchant for piling on with non-constructive criticism.  It'd be easy to quote the whole thing but fair use and all that.  Suggested read.  

That is, of course, if you aren't entirely soured on all things Detroit after the latest revelation from the Hip Hop Mayor's office.  We knew he had a problem firing folks he shouldn't have been firing but hiring family members he shouldn't have been hiring?  

The Associated Press reports:

City records examined by the Detroit Free Press showed that at least 29 people with close ties to Kilpatrick have been appointed since he took office in 2002. Kilpatrick has cut more than 4,000 city jobs since then, including firefighters and nearly 1,000 police officers, mayoral spokeswoman Denise Tolliver said.

Tolliver defended the appointees, saying they not only are well-qualified but also are part of a tradition in Detroit...

Also a part of a tradition in Detroit...

Some Kilpatrick appointees have faced legal and ethical problems, including at least two relatives who remain on the city payroll despite falsifying their college credentials on their resumes, the Free Press said.

Political patronage.  Gotta love it.  At least it's a tradition.  Tradition makes everything OK.  Besides, Detroit's got one heck of a role model in Lansing.

The Ivory Tower follows up on that report with a quick look at term limited State House members and their next careers of choice along with those who might be replacing them.  There'll be a lot of familiar names on ballots this year, though they might not be where you're used to finding them.  

With legislators getting termed out many of them are looking for a taxpayer funded paycheck elsewhere in the State.  The bureaucratic mentality is, I think, best summed up as follows:

"I don't think anybody anticipated the consequences of a three-term career," said state Rep. Fred Miller, D-Mt. Clemens, who is caucus chairman for House Democrats and will face term limits in 2010.

"You spend your first term locking down your district, the second term trying to do some policy initiatives and your third term looking over your shoulder to see where you're going next."

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Posted at 9:58am on May 9, 2008 Economists Back McCain

By California Yankee

The Wall Street Journal's economics blog, Real Time Economics, reports Senator McCain was the clear favorite of those economists who responded to the question:

"Which of the three remaining presidential candidates offers the most responsible fiscal policy proposals in your view?"

Twenty-one economists, or 75% of the respondents, chose Senator McCain, the republican nominee to be. Obama came in second with the backing of six economists, or 21% of the respondents. Just one economist picked Hillary.

The question was asked as part of the Journal's latest forecasting survey.

In another interesting finding from the survey, 51% of the respondents said demand from China and India was the prime factor in soaring energy prices, and 41% said the demand was the chief contributor to rising food costs. Constraint in supply was cited second most often; Twenty percent blamed supply problems for higher food prices, and 15% for increasing energy prices. If these economist are right, there is little the U.S. can do to ease the pain of higher energy and food prices.

According to he survey, the price of crude is expected to fall to about $105 by the end of next month and to about $93 by the end of the year, overall inflation will continue, and gasoline prices are expected to stay high. Get use to it.

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Posted at 10:23pm on May 8, 2008 REDSTATE ROUNDTABLE #9: The McCain Veepstakes

By Jeff Emanuel

Once again, RedState presents a peek inside the minds of those who make up the site's Editorial staff. This week, the RS Contributors debate Sen. McCain's potential Vice Presidential selection.

The big question: who should McCain pick? And, to revisit a question we took on back in February, should McCain try to make his choice early, or should he wait until close to the September convention?

Dan McLaughlin: I have laid out my own rules for who I think McCain should rule out , and I'll just say here that if the choice was mine to make today, I think my preferences would be SC-GOV Mark Sanford, RI-GOV Don Carcieri, and MN-GOV Tim Pawlenty, in that order, although I'm actually leaning towards the idea that Carcieri might be electorally the best bet in helping McCain crack Pennsylvania and maybe even New Jersey.

Continued below the fold...

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Posted at 3:24pm on May 8, 2008 Senator McCain and Judicial Appointments

By Rep. Tom Feeney

Over the last half of this century, the United States Supreme Court has frequently elected to decide what the law should be rather than what the law actually is. Through routine applications of substantive due process and an expansive reading of the Commerce Clause, the Court has elected to form the contours of American law from the bench rather than deferring to Congress and the States.

While The Supreme Court must review legislation through the lens of constitutionality, the role of our courts is to say what the law is, not what it should be. If the Court feels that a piece of legislation does not pass constitutional muster, then it may require the originating legislative body to make a second effort to comply or render the law inoperable. The Court should not make determinations of policy or social issues that are properly left to the consideration of publicly elected officials.

When the Court strays from strictly interpreting the law and the Constitution, we are left with abortions at a whim, brutal murderers receiving reduced penalties, and private property being seized by state and local governments for private commercial gain.

Earlier this week, Senator John McCain pledged that his judicial appointments would have "a proven record of excellence in the law, and a proven commitment to judicial restraint." As we approach the coming election, we must have leaders that are dedicated to upholding the rule of law and finding judicial nominees that are able to exercise the kind of restraint that Senator McCain promotes.

Senator McCain recognizes that the real and desired activism in our country is democratic rather than judicial. As Senator McCain mentioned, "Real activists seek to make their case democratically – to win hearts, minds, and majorities to their cause." Americans have a duty to be involved in the political process, to make their opinions heard by their elected officials, and to vote for candidates that reflect their values.

If our next President nominates activist judges to force an agenda that could not otherwise garner the approval of the people, he will betray the trust and silence the voice of the very people who put him in office.

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Posted at 12:31am on May 7, 2008 If Pandering Is The Game . . .

By Pejman Yousefzadeh

It is generally agreed by those who are actually in the know when it comes to the specifics of trade policy and how free trade genuinely benefits America that both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are moving Heaven and Earth to pander to protectionists for votes. But as Daniel Ikenson points out, in the runup to tonight's primaries in Indiana and North Carolina, both pandering to free traders is the smart thing to do:

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Indiana's producers shipped $26 billion worth of goods to foreign customers in 2007 -- 14 percent more than the year before, and 80 percent more than in 2001. In fact, since 2001, the state's exports have grown at a rate one-third faster than U.S. exports overall. In North Carolina, producers shipped $23 billion worth of goods to foreign customers in 2007 -- 10 percent more than the year before, and 59 percent more than five years ago.

In 2007, exports accounted for 20 percent of U.S. manufacturers' total sales revenues -- the highest percentage in modern history. And nowhere in America is manufacturing more important to the economy than in Indiana, where the sector accounts for over 30 percent of the state's gross domestic product. Manufacturing is also more important to North Carolina's economy than it is to most other states, accounting for 22 percent of the state's gross domestic product, ranking it fifth among states in that measure.

In China, Canada, and Mexico -- the primary villains in the candidates' anti-trade narratives -- Indiana's producers are building relationships that are yielding extraordinary returns. Exports from Indiana to China increased by a whopping 36 percent between 2006 and 2007 -- twice the rate of total U.S. export growth to China, and nearly four times Indiana's exports to China in 2001.

Likewise, Indiana's exports to Canada and Mexico have grown 9 percent from 2006 and 67 percent from 2001, eclipsing overall U.S. export growth to the NAFTA countries in both periods. North Carolina's exports to NAFTA have grown 46 percent over the past five years -- to $7.4 billion.

Read on . . .

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Posted at 9:32am on May 5, 2008 In choosing between the evils of two lessers, I choose Hillary

How about a controversial statement for your Monday morning?

By Erick

I think, given the choice between Barack and Hillary, we should throw our support behind Hillary.

To be sure, Hillary is a threat to our freedom and would be a disaster as President. But when judging between the evils of two lessers, we must sometimes make tough choices.

I write from the premise that, regardless of what McCain does this Presidential season, the odds are still in favor of a Democrat in the White House. And from that vantage point, I think Obama has the potential to do more long term damage to this nation than Hillary Clinton.

Hillary has an iron fist that will first pound on the Democrats and media that opposed her. It'll be close to three years in the White House before she focuses on the rest of us. Obama, on the other hand, is both a piss poor manager and is a terrible judge of character.

While Hillary values loyalty, Obama is ready and willing to throw every one of his staffers under the bus so long as he does not have to throw one of his marxist friends under the bus. Obama really seems to buy into this "change" notion and the best I can tell, his version of "change" is to effect the proletariat revolution against evil capitalists. Imagine this dude's cabinet picks -- the friends he won't throw under the bus. He'd put people comparable to Bill Ayers and Reverend Wright and his wife into positions of power. He'd have no control over these people or would choose not to control these people. While the policy positions between Hillary and Obama are not far apart, the people Obama has chosen to surround himself with in public are far to the left of Hillary. How much further left are those he surrounds himself with in private — the ones we don't know about yet?

Put simply, Hillary Clinton knows she needs the right as a foil. Obama thinks, after the revolution is complete, the right will be irrelevant. He's Jimmy Carter and Woodrow Wilson wrapped up into one incompetent package with a ready willingness to let his friends on the far left run the ship of state.

Given the choice between Hillary and Obama, I'll take the one who, at the end of the day, is in it mostly for herself over the guy who is in it to see Marx's dream made real.

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