Tag Archives: John McCain

Obama’s lastest on Tehran Protests Makes Sense

Barack Obama latest comments on Iran’s street protests make a lot of sense. Indeed he has taken a couple days, made sense of events and now that he is speaking out, his words seem to be charting the right course, on politics, and as rachel Maddow says, on basic strategery, and on understanding recent history.  Further, he has explained things today in several media interviews in a very accessible way :

Briefly, here’s why the president has not come out supporting the street protesters.  these are the points:

1) Obama does not want war with Iran.

2) Obama does not want to impose American beliefs upon Iranians.

3) Were the US government to publicly support the protesters, it would be the kiss of death to the protest movement. As Obama said, there is not better way to discredit the protesters than to give credence to the charge that they are dupes of the US government.

Here’s what I like about these comments. 1) They are smart and likewise treat the American people and iranian protesters as smart.  2) they recognize the history of US imperialism in Iran: 1953 coup, and elevation to power and support of the shah of iran; 3) they seek to avoid war and the hysteria that is beginning to accompany Republican cries for regime change in iran; 4) they are responsive to the implicit requests of Mousavi and Iranian human rights leaders.

(consider it ample evidence of what Obma thinks, that the State Department has asked Twitter not to go off line today so as to give street protesters a much relied upon tool for communication.)

But common sense never stopped the republican opposition to exploit extremely delicate international affairs for short term sound bites and political gain.  Thanks to Republicans: (“bomb, bomb, bomb iran” Mccain, Pence, Rorbacher, Lieberman, a chorus is building to overtly support the protesters, threaten the iranian government with regime change,” and impose America’s will on the Iranian people. 

Makes me extremely glad I voted last November.


A Leader You Can Count On?

John McCain is in charge of what exactly? Not the Republican National Committee. Not Republicans in the House of Representatives, Not Republicans in Arizona.  Not right wing commentators and journalists. Not even of his own campaign. Never has there been such fractured leadership in a Republican Party on the eve of an election.  McCain himself has taken credit for the bailout, although it failed, and he failed to bring along his own state delegation in the House vote yesterday. They voted against the bailout.

As my two year old says, “scared.”  That’s how republicans ought to feel this week, with 35 days to go, losing by about 5% in the tracking polls, that is, unless they have already thrown in the towel this election year and are now looking forwarding to rebuilding during the next 4-8 years. 

Ask David Frum and George Will who are saying publicly that the repub ticket is unfit for office. They seem to be saying they wish the election were over already, so they could begin again. Look at it this way. Given the trainwreck that is McCain-Palin,  Frum and Will seem flat out embarassed by the sort of leadership being offered by the two heads of their Party.  

In addition to leading a failure of a campaign, Mccain-Palin also highlight the death of an ideology, which presents is greater challenge to the likes of Frum, Will, Brooks, and others, than merely casting about post election for a better candidate and campaign organization.  The credit crisis is providing more evidence than a rational voter ever needs that the republican party’s anachronistic deregulatory neo-liberalism is flat out responsible for the mess we are in.


McCain may not be the leader you can count on,  but he is the man who is likely to seal the demise of the Reagan Revolution. Not a bad tribute to his mentor in chief?

Whiners and the Banking Crisis: Bad Day for McCain

Another bad day for McCain.

Could it be the walls are closing in just a little bit more on John McCain?  The polls hint at it. The national polls show Obama once again barely taking a lead while the state polls lag a little.

First, the ready-to-be-commander-in-chief-on-day-one guy doesn’t know who the prime minister of spain is. Bad enough, but McCain hears the name Zapatero and thinks Emiliano Zapata, or else he imagines it’s some left wing latin american dictator and we are still in the 80s or something.  Anyway, he says he is not sure this Zapatero fella would be welcome in a McCain White House.

Next, is a video interview floating around the web with McCain being asked questions about the economy and looking scared and dumbfounded before pleading near absolute ignorance on the issues.  All the more reason to fear a McCain presidency during economic crises, and all the more reason to talk more about Phil Gramm, the guy lurking behind the candidate and likely his most trusted economic advisor and future secretary of treasury.

The key here is that Gramm is the one person, if ever there could be just one, who is responsible for this week’s banking crisis.  It was Gramm’s bill in 1999 that repealed the depression era banking regulation law that would have prevented this collapse.  Gramm wanted and got deregulation, deregulation and more deregulation and along with that, more mergers among the nation’s top investment houses.

anyone who didn’t like this was a whiner. 

Interesting point here is that the “whiner” narrative is tied to 1990s tort reform which prevented mainstream americans from filing grievances against banks and investment houses that lost their life savings.  McCain/Gramm thinking: regulation is bad and  lawyers who defend people screwed by the deregulated market are bad.

BTW, lawyers are good when they defend right wing neoliberal/ deregulator coups against democratic governance (such as elections in 2000 and sunshine laws in Alaska right now).

Bottom Line: McCain wants the rich and wealthy to have complete access to courts to defend their dishonest holds on power while denying ordinary americans a chance to recoup losses caused by the actions of McCain crony Gramm.  

Gramm’s nation of whiners today were the anti tort reformers of the 90’s, the same folks who will be denied their day in court when they endeavor to recover losses caused by the evil doing of the McCain economic team.

All this goes to make John McCain Wednesday a bad day for John McCain.

McCain-Palin’s Cynical Patriotism

Sarah Palin was an instinctual choice for John McCain. A consensus has emerged that she was not a rational choice. She was not vetted.  Regardless of what the McCain camp says, people who know Sarah Palin in Alaska say they were not contacted for info. by anyone in the McCain camp before the candidate named her as his veep pick. 

She has a scant record of achievement, and few facts support the narrative that has emerged over the past week that she is a maverick good government reformer, cut from the same mold as the old McCain maverick legend, which also does not and never did exist in fact.

McCain sold his soul to be Bush’ successor almost 8 years ago;  without a moment of public reflection he cloaked himself in the Bush record, Bush/Rove style politics and but for a couple minor diferences, he proposes more of the same. No kidding.

So when this man who easily sold his soul, sees a “soul mate” in Sarah Palin, what exactly is he saying. Well, the quickest analogy is to Bush’ comments of Vlad Putin when he too said he looked into Putin’s eyes and saw his soul.  Bush quickly aligned himself with this imperial soul.  

What Bush and now McCain saw in the eyes of their political colleagues was an unquenched thirst for raw power; a soullessness that enables them to lie with abandon, to create narratives of their own achievements and vision and market them to a public that has a hard time piercing the inner sanctum of these secretive leaders.

With Palin, McCain’s instincts are right. In Sarah Palin, McCain found someone who shares his habituated vision of country over law.  McCain’s vision comes from generations of McCain soldiers who mixed alcohol-induced recklessness and patriotism rather than law and constitution.

Law and rules have always gotten in the way of McCain’s love of country; same for Palin, only switch the word state for country.  Problem for both is that patriotism and love of country/state is an abstraction that leads careless and impetuous patriots to replace their own judgment for the country’s.  This process of projecting your own desires onto your country’s is dangerous when such patriots become leaders, because this is the way of tyranny, of the sovereign who replaces the rule of law (read “constitution”) with his/her own failed judgments, whims and decisions.

Love of country becomes a vehicle for personal ambition; It becomes a rationale for expediency, for instinctual and impetuous decisions that replace, research, careful vetting if you will and rational thought, discussion and deliberation. All you need to do after your own expedient decisions is to gloss the result within the narrative of mother country and patriotism. Hence anything i do is what the country would have done.  The deceit here is obvious.

Palin has showed such patterns as mayor of wasilla and as governor.  The most current example of this has both McCain and Palin working to sabotage the trooper-gate investigation in Alaska.  Many participants in this scandal who had agreed to cooperated with the investigation have sudenley reversed course; and the governor herself is now trying an “executive-privilege” like stunt of noncooperation. She and her partner McCain are not even in office, and yet they are already unveilling their utter contempt for the constitution and rule of law, replacing it with their own ambition. 

 What McCain saw in Palin was not her soul so much as a shared narcissism, where  is love of country is really love of self

Sarah Palin: Hockey Mom or Hockey Puck?

Who knew that Sarah Palin was Don Rickles in drag, and that John McCain would offer up “schtick” as an alternative to a credible vice president pick.  Last night’s Palin unveiling felt more like a Friars Roast than a VP acceptance speech. The dripping sarcasm and belittling of her opponents, the candidate walk on following “Rudy the impaler” and  Mike  Schecky Huckabee (no mention of Mitt here. He’s just not that funny) left republicans in the St. Paul Hall rolling in the aisles but the rest of america reaching for the remote.

every mention of joe and barack brought howls of canned laughter while at every mention of John McCain, (Noun– Verb– Country) everyone almost stood up and saluted, or cried at yet another redition of his 35 years old war injuries… 

Palin could have had a walk on role as one of those quirky characters in Fargo (she was born in Idaho, close enuf). but without a script, i do not think she could deliver lines like these talking to her good neighbor Vladamir in Russia, or anyone else on the world stage.

Regrettably, the use of humor last night covered up the party’s dripping desperation; her claims of reform covered her years of milking the system (she was for earmarks before she was against them; she was for ted stevens and ran his 527 before she was against him; she is for state more than country, and who knows what other serious abuses of power will be revealed in alaska before mccain cronies now up in Juneau shred the remaining evidence).

Let’s make no mistake, this is a serious moment, requiring serious thought and words about policy, something Palin seems incapable of providing.

McCain Veep Pick Palin Under Investigation

No sooner had John McCain made his Veep decision public than press accounts began to surface of an abuse of power investigation against his choice, Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska. Now Alaska is so full of corruption investigations at the moment, that the mere mention of another investigation sends Alaskans running for cover. Still, the last week of July, 2008, the Alaska legislative council voted unanimously formally to investigate the sitting governor for abuse of her power as governor.

Here’s the gist of what the press accounts suggest:

1) Palin’s husband and members of her administration made dozens of phone calls to Alaska Public safety Commissioner Walt Monegan to get him to fire Trooper Mike Wooten (Palin’s former bro-in law), who is going thru a messy divorce and custody battle with Palin’s sister.

2) Monegan refused to fire Wooten.

3) Palin dismissed Monegan.

4) The legislative council investigation will cost taxpayers an estimated $100,000.

Alaskans must have very mixed feelings this morning that their governor’s newfound celebrity will shed a great deal of light upon the state’s corruptions investigations and trials.  The Ted Stevens corruption charges and bribery and conspiracy trial may have to share the limelight with Governor Palin’s legal woes.


for more, see

TPM on Palin Scandal

McCain’s Glass Houses

When Ike was asked whether he supported his Veep Dick Nixon’s run for the White House in 1960, he said something like, “give me a while and I’ll get back to you.” Eisenhower’s tepid endorsement of Nixon reinforced popular opinion that Nixon was not much liked during the Ike Administration, and Nixon went on to lose the election to JFK. 

Fast forward 48 years to John McCain being asked how many houses he owns. He says something like, “give me a while and my staff’ll get back to you.”   I think McCain’s tepid knowledge of his own properties, might well lose him the election.

Here’s why. It reminds voters of the following:

1) McCain’s words belie McCain’s life.

2) he is a rich s-o-b, owns 8 or 9 properties, not a common man.

3) he is a hypocrite, portraying self as common man and opponent as the elitist. For the record Obama owns one very nice house in Chicago. McCain was raised a man of means in a privileged military upbringing. Obama was raised by a single mom and his grandmother.

4) He is an angry, crotchety candidate

5)  He has an eye for tactical campaign warfare but no strategic vision. McCain saw and opening a few weeks back to hit Obama as a celebrity elitist, and he went for it, with little sense of his own vulnerabilities. Tactically, McCain’s anti-Obama ads were a hit for a couple weeks and are likely responsible for Obama losing a few mid to late August polling points. problem is, McCain’s lack of strategic vision, makes him extremely vulnerable to the counterattack Obama is now waging against McCain. Witness today’s ad blasting McCain on his many houses.

Lesson: little angry old men in lots of glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.