The Meaning of Change

Barrack Obama is facing the temptation of big money politics and Barrack is buckling. Obama wrote, “If I am the Democratic nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election.” John McCain agreed and recently reaffirmed that he would keep his word. Obama’s words seem clear, but his spokesman Bill Burton said, “No, there is no pledge.” I guess words are just easier than deeds.

Obama reminds us of one of those old Bill Murray routines. When tempted to go back on his word, he simply says, “Well, it really is more a guideline than a rule.”

I have mixed feelings about public funding for elections, but it is something that both McCain and Obama have repeatedly and unequivocally endorsed. It would be interesting to try to see if it could work and it would be refreshing if BOTH candidates would keep their words.

John McCain said what he meant and means what he said. But that is how John McCain behaves. Now it is up to Obama. Will he step up or fall down? Making change is harder than talking about making changes. This is a test of Obama’s bona-fides. I hope he passes. Make no mistake. I will work against his election and do my best to ridicule his policies, but I will do it openly and honestly. I like to think opponents will be tough and crafty, but also honest and open.

On a related issue, the Dems are showing themselves as the party of smear as they plan to smear John McCain preemptively. Fact Check.org has some good commentary on Democratic deceit.

The Dems are dishonest about this aspect of their characters, or maybe they just are blind to it. They complain about Republican attacks, but they are the first to jump into the mud pit to slime their opponents. Dems felt a bit of the sting themselves when Clinton attacked Obama. This time it was impossible to blame Republicans and the Democrat powers reigned in Hillary and gagged Bill in an effort to avoid internecine warfare. Of course they have no such constraints attacking John McCain. Read the www.factcheck.org to learn more about their lies, deceptions & distortions and remember that we are still only in the preseason.

Why don’t we try to run a cleaner campaign this time? McCain is a man of integrity. It seems like Obama is too, despite his temptation mentioned above. Of course we can and should point to our side’s strengths. We also need to call attention to the other side’s weaknesses. The campaign should be tough, but let’s try to be honest.

Or is it too audacious to hope for that sort of change? "Plus ca change, plus c'est pareil."

Posted by Jack at February 16, 2008 5:19 AM
Comments
Comment #245466

Let me predict the Democratic response to this conundrum, Jack.

(crickets chirping)

Posted by: Duane-o at February 16, 2008 6:17 AM
Comment #245469

Jack

My view is that Obama is a good man but vastly under-prepared to lead the most powerful nation in the history of the world.

He is also all style and no substance…none whatsoever.

He taught Con. Law and was a state senator…hardly adequate preparation for the job.

Most importantly, he has screwed up trhe curve for the Dems…Hiliary was the annointed one last year and now teeth it is going to be a potential catastrophe over seating on Florida and Michigan.

That tent may need bleachers.

I decided to support McCain because of one issue and one issue only: the war.

Things are about to let go again in the Mid-East and I think that soon it will once again be front page stuff.

The message that has to be driven home is that Muslims simply cannot make “peace” with the infidel. A central tenant of the Holy Koran. At best, only a “truce” can be negotiated with the infidel.

Thus, the central issue should be: Who among the Muslim world is willing to make a truce, and most importantly…for how long?

My two cents anyway

Posted by: sicilian eagle at February 16, 2008 8:39 AM
Comment #245482

Jack,

I always knew you were a closet Frenchophile:)

Is there such a thing as honest ridicule, as opposed to dishonest ridicule?

Was McCain a man of integrity before or after the Keating affair?

I have no idea how we can take money out of elections, short of forcing public TV funding and outlawing paid TV. That probably will change things around, but won’t stop the influence of money. McCain has waffled a bit on this, why aren’t you looking to him for answers? I believe you railed against McCain Feingold.

Sic Eagle,

Waaay overpriced. Onward Christian Soldier, it’s why he’ll lose.

Posted by: googlumpugus at February 16, 2008 11:46 AM
Comment #245485

Have I blundered onto the wrong site??? No, this Is Repubs and Cons, after all. Hmmm…

I thought Cons, Repubs especially, considered money flowing into politics the same as speech, or in other words, my right to spend millions of dollars supporting a candidate for office is the same as anyone’s 1st amendment constitutional right to speak and be heard, is that no longer correct? Apparently not.

C’mon, Jack, what are you afraid of? If Obama out-raises and out-spends McCain, so what? Someone still has to win the election.

Maybe you’re afraid because you know that at this rate, whether he’s the better man for the job or not, McCain’s goose is cooked before the Dem candidate is decided. That’s kind of an hysterical reaction if you ask me.

Posted by: spongeworthy at February 16, 2008 12:41 PM
Comment #245487

Ridicule is honest when it plays off of real events or traits and it does so in a reasonably logical trajectory so that an unbiased observer might actually find it funny or amusing. It still might be very pointed or even cruel, but it is honest.

So, you might be able to ridicule me for being sometimes verbose or make fun of my positions on the carbon tax etc. That would be honest and if it was done cleverly, I would smile and try to give back as well as I got. Dishonest ridicule would attribute to me positions or actions I have not taken or things I have not done.

In the case of John McCain, for example, the Dems saying that he turned a blind eye to Jack Abrahoff is just a lie. If you made a joke connecting them, it would be dishonest ridicule. On the other hand, if you riffed off his long-term support for the surge, you would be honest in your ridicule (although mistaken in your politics).

Re the French – I like the French. I think Paris is a delightful city and the French have always treated me well. I like to make fun of the French for some of their national traits as they make fun of us for ours. BTW – the French generate 78% of their electricity from nuclear power. I only wish we were as advanced as the French in this regard.

Re McCain-Feingold – I think it is a bad idea and will eventually be declared unconstitutional. It was an experiment. Nothing wrong with that. It failed. We learn by experiments. BUT both McCain and Obama disagree with my opinion on this. McCain is acting in accordance with his stated beliefs. It remains to be seen if Obama will be equally honest.

Re Keating – the Dems in the Senate just needed to round out the “Keating four”, who were all Dems with a Republican. Of the Keating 5, the Senate Committee concluded that Cranston, DeConcini, and Riegle’s conduct constituted substantial interference with the FHLBB’s enforcement efforts and that they had done so at the behest of Charles Keating. McCain and John Glen had exercised questionable in their friends. Bill Clinton didn’t think that even the greater involvement of DeConcini was a problem, since he appointed him to the Board of Directors of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation.
This case is about the same as Obama’s ties with his Resko. A bad choice of friends.

SE

Welcome back.

Posted by: Jack at February 16, 2008 12:51 PM
Comment #245490

As to your “pre-emptive” smear comment, at least they’re getting ready to attack him on his record and his rhetoric. Man, it would be a shame if McCain gets the equivalent of the Swiftboat treatment, a damn shame. As ye sow, so shall ye reap. It’s in the Bible.

Posted by: spongeworthy at February 16, 2008 1:06 PM
Comment #245491

Sponge

Read the factcheck.org article. They are NOT attacking his record. They are attacking a record they have made up. It is very much like the swiftboating, but with even less basis.

The things mentioned in the Dem ad are either twisting the truth or outright lies. It is an amazingly mendacious letter, even for Howard Dean.

Re reaping what you sow, do you recall how John McCain reacted to the swiftboat charges? I suggest you look it up and perhaps reconsider your metaphore. The Bible, as I recall, also has a section about bearing false witness.

Posted by: Jack at February 16, 2008 1:13 PM
Comment #245496

I think Obama would truly like to have a publicly financed election, but it would probably be very unwise for him to do so.
Why do I think that?
Well, because McCain has taken money from both Albert Huddleston and Harold Simmons, who together gave 3.1 million to fund The Swiftboaters. Also, fellow Swiftboat financiers and brothers Sam and Charles Wyly (guilty of tax evasion in the amount of 300 million), who ran ads against McCain in 2000 and who at the time he called “sleazy” and “disgraceful”, are now members of the host committee that has been raising money for McCain in Dallas, Texas.

Republicans have proven that they simply can’t be trusted to keep a campaign clean and free of well financed, unwarranted attacks and smears.
Obama will no doubt need every cent of money he can raise in order to combat whatever low-down swiftboat attack that the GOP is presently cooking up for him.


As for McCain’s relationship with Keating:

McCain defended his attendance at the meetings by saying Keating was a constituent and that Keating’s development company, American Continental Corporation, was a major Arizona employer. McCain said he wanted to know only whether Keating was being treated fairly and that he had not tried to influence the regulators. At the second meeting, McCain told the regulators, “I wouldn’t want any special favors for them,” and “I don’t want any part of our conversation to be improper.”

But Keating was more than a constituent to McCain—he was a longtime friend and associate. McCain met Keating in 1981 at a Navy League dinner in Arizona where McCain was the speaker. Keating was a former naval aviator himself, and the two men became friends. Keating raised money for McCain’s two congressional campaigns in 1982 and 1984, and for McCain’s 1986 Senate bid. By 1987, McCain campaigns had received $112,000 from Keating, his relatives, and his employees—the most received by any of the Keating Five. (Keating raised a total of $300,000 for the five senators.)

After McCain’s election to the House in 1982, he and his family made at least nine trips at Keating’s expense, three of which were to Keating’s Bahamas retreat. McCain did not disclose the trips (as he was required to under House rules) until the scandal broke in 1989. At that point, he paid Keating $13,433 for the flights.

And in April 1986, one year before the meeting with the regulators, McCain’s wife, Cindy, and her father invested $359,100 in a Keating strip mall.

Posted by: veritas vincit at February 16, 2008 1:30 PM
Comment #245499

Jack, aren’t we forgetting something? Barack Obama’s not the nominee yet. Hold your horses for a little bit.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 16, 2008 1:52 PM
Comment #245500

Oh, and while I’m at it, should I mention that Obama has not accepted PAC money, but McCain has? I think it’s rather hypocritical of McCain to hold himself up as some paragon of campaign finance virtue given that fact.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 16, 2008 1:57 PM
Comment #245505

Veritas

Yes. Unwise choice of friends. Like Obama & Rezko. Politicans have contact with all sorts. The Dem controlled Senate didn’t think it was important enough to censure and it evidently was one reason John McCain came to believe in the need for campaign finance reform.

Re Obama taking the money - it is simple. If he keeps his word, both he and John McCain will have a publicly funded election. All the rest is commentary. If he feels it necessary to have a bigger pile of money to enhance his campaign, he is saying that public finance doesn’t work and that he doesn’t need to follow the rules he supported for others.

Re swiftboating, as I told others, do check how McCain responded to the swiftboating allegations. You are sliming someone who did the right thing. The Dems are already “swiftboating” McCain and yet he keeps his promise.

This is what McCain said re swiftboats. How much clearer can he be? And he said this in the midst of the campaign.

If your man wants to go back on his word, that is his and your concern, but don’t pretend there is some higher motive.

Stephen

Re Hillary Clinton – I still think she has a slightly better chance than Obama, but I harbor no illusions about her behavior. Obama may do the right thing. Hillary will do what it takes to win. No point in appealing to her better angels.

Posted by: Jack at February 16, 2008 2:53 PM
Comment #245508

Jack:

McCain is not a man of integrity. The only thing he has been consistent about is continuing the Iraq War. He wants to keep the war going for 100 years!

He flipped on campaign finance reform. He railed against the religious right and then tried to kiss up to them. He changed his position about immigration: he was with Bush’s approach before he switched to Tancredo’s approach.

Obama said he was for public financing of campaigns. He said he would negotiate with his Republican opponent if he won the nomination. Why are you complaining he refuses to do it now when it is uncertain that he will be the nominee?

More of Obama’s campaign money is coming from small donors than has ever happened before. He will try to change the money-talks system pushed by rich Republicans.

McCain may have had integrity before. But he lost it during his current bid for the presidency. And you’re talking about the temptation of Obama; of course there is temptation but has he submit himself to it?

Posted by: Paul Siegel at February 16, 2008 3:13 PM
Comment #245510

McCain has a NASTY, hair-trigger temper. Of course, he apologizes later, but do we really want someone with that quick a temper? JMHO

Posted by: womanmarine at February 16, 2008 3:46 PM
Comment #245530

Paul

In some dictionaries, when you look up the definition of “integrity” they have a picture of John McCain.

Re the Iraq war, please reread his actual words instead of the Howard Dean deception.

Re Obama not keeping his word about campaign finance. We shall see. He does not have to negotiate anything, since John McCain has already said and reaffirmed that he will keep his pledge.

If Obama is really interested in publicly financed elections, all he needs to do is say yes to John McCain. Obama is good with words. Surely he can utter that one word which will make him an honest man in this case.

As I wrote, I hope he does do the right thing. If he does, he will be a worthy opponent. If not, he will be revealed as a colossal liar on one of the key issues of his character. It is actually that simple.

Womanmarine

Remember Bill Clinton’s temper. He was usually less justified in his anger and he rarely apologized for losing it. George Washington’s temper was legendary. Harry Truman would threaten to punch people in the nose. Being angry is not the issue. It depends on why you are angry and what you do about it.

BTW – this anger thing was the old canard created by the Bush team in 2000. Democrats claim to despise the man. I wonder how much of his play book the will be using. Of course, the Dems leadership - guys like Howard Dean - will be doing it for their own good, so that will make it all right in their diminutive & ethically challenged minds.

Posted by: Jack at February 17, 2008 12:39 AM
Comment #245533

Jack
I do share your desire to see a publicly financed campaign.I doubt if we will see one. The way current laws are means that candidates would have no ability to answer third party ad blitzes.Expecting Obama,or McCain for that matter, to commit sepuku is not realistic.
Sort of on the subject:I caught an interesting commentary on the weakness of the “Obama lacks experience “arguement.Seems two of our most experienced presidents;governorships,vice-presidencies,long careers in congress,etc. presided over administrations that ,dispite achievments,ended badly. That would be Nixon and LBJ. We can probably agree that character trumps experience.

Posted by: bills at February 17, 2008 1:30 AM
Comment #245535

“Q: President Bush has talked about our staying in Iraq for 50 years — (cut off by McCain)
McCAIN: Make it a hundred.
Q: Is that … (cut off)
McCAIN: We’ve been in South Korea … we’ve been in Japan for 60 years. We’ve been in South Korea 50 years or so. That would be fine with me. As long as Americans …
Q: [tries to say something]
McCAIN: As long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed. That’s fine with me, I hope that would be fine with you, if we maintain a presence in a very volatile part of the world where Al Queada is training and equipping and recruiting and motivating people every single day.”
http://thinkprogress.org/2008/01/04/mccain-100-years/

So McCain makes it quite clear, the US invasion and occupation is a conquest which is intended to be permanent.

As for campaign finance- it seems pretty silly to be conducting this debate 9 months before a presidential election. At this point in the electoral cycle, positions on this issue are advocated as a way of gaining political advantage. Integrity has nothing to do with it, not for McCain, and not for Obama.

Let’s revisit the topic in 2009.

Posted by: phx8 at February 17, 2008 1:46 AM
Comment #245536

But what I really don’t get about McCain is this:

What’s the point?

What does he stand for? What does he bring to the table?

From what I can tell, he wants the US to stay in Iraq forever, and he advertises himself as a man of integrity.

Other than that, I couldn’t tell you what McCain is all about. He might be extremely conservative. He might be moderate. His political philosophy seems to fluctuate from week to week, depending on his audience. Generally speaking, he seems to favor a continuation of Bush administration policies.

So why bother? I mean, really, what’s the point? By any measure, somewhere around 2/3 of Americans want the US out of Iraq. About the same percentage disapprove of Bush administration policies. If all McCain stands for is staying in Iraq, and more Bush, then he will certainly lose in a big way.

Posted by: phx8 at February 17, 2008 2:08 AM
Comment #245538

phx8:

As for campaign finance- it seems pretty silly to be conducting this debate 9 months before a presidential election. At this point in the electoral cycle, positions on this issue are advocated as a way of gaining political advantage.

Yes, I thought it was strangely early for him to be making this an issue too, but then I read this piece in the American Prospect:

JOHN MCCAIN HAS AN EXIT STRATEGY.

Seems McCain might have locked himself into ONLY being able to use public financing when he was out of cash earlier in the race. So, of course now he and his supporters (such as Jack) are going try to spin this like it’s a desire which stems from his amazingly virtuous, “straight-talkin’” ways.

Obama on the other hand, never actually “made a pledge” to McCain about this, although earlier in his campaign he did look into the notion that he and his Republican opponent might use public financing as way to send a good message to the country.

If I was Obama, I’m not so sure I’d want to actually make that pledge now - especially since McCain may well be raising this issue in a totally underhanded manner, and quite possibly only to cover his own sorry behind.

Besides, I think Obama should be very proud of the way he has run such a tight ship of a campaign, and has raised the vast majority of his money in small amounts from average people. Why should he feel he has to give such squeaky clean donations all back? He’d only be shortchanging himself when he’s running against a candidate that has been in the public eye forever, while he was hardly known at all before this race began.

Posted by: veritas vincit at February 17, 2008 2:53 AM
Comment #245540

Phx8

We have troops in Germany, Japan, Korea, UK and many others. Are those permanent conquests?

Re campaign finance, why should we revisit it AFTER the election? Isn’t it supposed to be an election reform? All Obama needs to do is say “yes”. Did he mean what he said? Are Dems really concerned about this? Or did they just use it as a cynical tool to push their own personal power?

This one is really simple, no matter how complicated Democrats try to make it seem.

Re the polls on Iraq – watch how they develop. There is a lag time. Right now most people are sadly behind the curve on events in Iraq. You also have to ask the question more precisely. I am in favor or pulling out of Iraq, BUT it depends on the conditions.

There is also the question of leadership. If we pull out of Iraq before we finish the job, the bad guys will return and war will spill over all over us. I understand that many people are willing to condemn our friends in Iraq to horrible deaths if they themselves can stay safe, BUT they cannot. It will not end in Iraq. This is not like Vietnam where we can pull out and only the local people pay the price.

Vertitas

See above.

So Democrats like Obama are interesting in being honest only when it helps their cause? All this BS we heard about money in politics meant only Republican money? I suggest you all look up the definition of hypocrisy in the dictionary and see if there is a picture of a Democrat next to it.

BillS

That is a fallacy. It proves that experience is not sufficient, but not that it is not important. A surgeon may lack the necessary skills or make mistakes in a complicated operation, but it does not follow that someone who watches ER and Gray’s Anatomy on TV would be a better choice.

I believe character is very important. That was, frankly, the Bill Clinton failure. He was a superb politician with all the needed skills, but his character was flawed. Nixon and Johnson were earlier examples.

Experience w/o character is dangerous, but charater w/o experience is ineffective.

BTW - I hope Obama proves the content of his character by accepting John McCain’s agreement on campaign financing this year.

Posted by: Jack at February 17, 2008 4:20 AM
Comment #245541

>The Bible, as I recall, also has a section about
>bearing false witness.

OK, I don’t know who you’re calling a liar here but if I’m not mistaken that violates the rules of this site. I know because I was admonished for calling one of your fellow bloggers on it.

McCain absolutely said he has no problem with us being in Iraq for 100 years - not even he’s going to try to deny that. If you’re going to try to deny that, maybe you need to read the part of the Bible about bearing false witness. The rest of the stuff in the article you cite is McCain putting spin on what is absolutely a a ridiculous position for someone who aspires to the presidency.

Sure, we are and have been in places like Korea, Japan and Europe for a long time, not a hundred years but a long time nevertheless. But should we be? I think most voters excepting the few imperialists here and there would say no. If our energy supply depends on keeping military posts in Iraq for a hundred years, then I think the solution is to find another energy supply, not try to prop up the teetering one we now have that will never be secure given the political system in the Mideast. For McCain to say we ought to be in Iraq for a hundred years just goes to show how unqualified he is to be chief executive.

As for his relations to the swift boaters, just try googling “McCain swift boat” and learn where he’s getting campaign contributions today… I guess this is one of those typical Rep/Con flip-flops since he was against the swifties before he was for them.

Posted by: spongeworthy at February 17, 2008 4:47 AM
Comment #245542

Interesting how you tend to just dodge the many good points being made here rather than responding to them, like Bills’s about

>The way current laws are means that candidates
>would have no ability to answer third party ad
>blitzes. Expecting Obama,or McCain for that
>matter, to commit sepuku is not realistic.

How about that, Jack? Why would Barack open himself up to the smear and slander of the swiftboaters leaving himself no way to fight back? McCain’s at the disadvantage unless Barack decides to go along with public financing - that’s why you want him to go with public financing, not because of any “character” concerns.

Posted by: spongeworthy at February 17, 2008 4:55 AM
Comment #245543

Jack

What character flaws in Clinton are you referring too?If it is womanizing,adultry, McCain suffers the same defect. That weakness was the cause of his devorce.If that flaw was so grievous in Clinton why should Americans accept it in yet another president?A double standard for Reps? Personally I think its all a bunch of crap and none of the public’s business,with Clinton or McCain,but you brought it up and your party embarrassed and weakened our country in front of the whole world because of it.

Here is some info on great nuclear power is:http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/17/us/17nuke.html?_r=1&ei=5089&en=2d778ac75855fa8a&ex=1360990800&adxnnl=1&partner=rssyahoo&emc=rss&adxnnlx=1203244951-uqg086moIVp47H0EYopRPA&oref=slogin

Seems us taxpayers are likely to get stuck for 35 billion dollars involving nuclear waste disposal.This is after ratepayers already have paid for it.
Its true the French have about the best nuclear power program around with an impeccable safety record. Why? Partly because it is entirely socialist. If you would agree to that model then nuclear power starts making more sense.

Posted by: bills at February 17, 2008 6:41 AM
Comment #245544

Jack
We have troops in Germany, Japan, Korea, UK and many others. Are those permanent conquests?

Short answer:yes
Those countries are clearly members in the American” sphere of influence” in imperial terminolgy.The troops are there to gard the empire.

Posted by: bills at February 17, 2008 7:00 AM
Comment #245545

Okay. So you don’t believe in publicly funded campaigns, but Obama claimed he did.

If both McCain and Obama are under the same constraints, however, why would McCain be able to live with the restrictions of the law but Obama be exempt?

Re false witness – the DNC is lying. Howard Dean is lying. Read the fact check article.

Re staying in Iraq – please read what McCain said and forget about what Howard Dean spins.

Re energy – yes. Carbon tax is the way to go to get us free of this. No candidate (except the lamented Chris Dodd) has embraced this simple concept. McCain’s position is evolving faster than those of others. Realistically, the world economy will run on oil for the next generation. We may wish or hope it will be different, but it is unrealistic to base on plans on mere aspirations.

Re swiftboats - McCain stood strongly against the attacks when they were being made and when it counted - before the election. You cannot demand that he anathematize for all time anyone associated with it any more than we can demand that your candidates do the same for anyone associated with moveon.org, who have done much worse

Again I ask you to read what he said instead of the lies and distortions the slick Dem charlatans have concocted.

The other applicable Bible verse is “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.”

Re swiftboaters and Obama, I was unaware Obama had any military experience at all, so I fail to understand how his service could be called into quesion.

Posted by: Jack at February 17, 2008 7:34 AM
Comment #245548

Jack,

I looked at the FactCheck memo. It looks like standard campaign tactics. McCain did say, on tape, that he didn’t mind spending ten thousand years in Iraq. If he really expected Democrats to repeat all of his qualifiers when they used it against him, then he is shockingly naive. At least they used his actual words. Al Gore never said that he “invented he Internet”, but it was repeated endlessly. McCain should consider himself lucky.

As for the economics stuff, the pot calling the kettle black isn’t a lie. (And I suspect that Clinton and Obama got at least some economic training on the way to their law degrees.)

The part about Abrahamoff does appear to be deceptive. That’s one deception from the DNC. We’ll see how many the RNC comes up with.

If Obama made the pledge, then he should stick to it.

Posted by: Woody Mena at February 17, 2008 8:57 AM
Comment #245549

Here is what the DNC memo says:

On the economy, one of the issues that the American people care most about, McCain has said: “I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues. I still need to be educated.”

As long as they are quoting him accurately, I don’t see how anyone call that a lie. In fact, it is a lie to call it a lie.

Posted by: Woody Mena at February 17, 2008 9:10 AM
Comment #245554

Jack:

So Democrats like Obama are interesting in being honest only when it helps their cause?

The money Obama raised is nothing but honest. It’s come directly from the average citizen who is supporting him.
From the sounds of things, McCain is the one who has been gaming the public financing system here, so the question of honesty is really one the Republican’s should be asking themselves about.

As for helping the Democratic cause, the fact that the swiftboaters who McCain formerly called “sleazy and disgraceful” are now serving him so faithfully in this campaign should definitely be giving Democrats pause. Once again there doesn’t seem to be much that is “straight-talking” about McCain’s “unwise choice of friends.”

All this BS we heard about money in politics meant only Republican money?

This is funny. What Republican money? McCain has been using a bank in Bethesda like a cash register!

Anyway….
Obama speaking in Milwaukee:

“If I am the nominee, then I will make sure that our people talk to John McCain’s people to find out if we are willing to abide by the same rules and regulations in respect to the general election.” But, he added, “it would be presumptuous of me to start saying now that I’m locking myself into something when I don’t even know if the other side is going to agree to it, and I’m not the nominee.”


I suggest you all look up the definition of hypocrisy in the dictionary and see if there is a picture of a Democrat McCain next to it.

Posted by: veritas vincit at February 17, 2008 12:43 PM
Comment #245563

Jack said:

In some dictionaries, when you look up the definition of “integrity” they have a picture of John McCain.
Republican presidential candidate John McCain, who was tortured as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam, considers waterboarding a form of torture. McCain has been quoted as saying that waterboarding is “no different than holding a pistol to his head and firing a blank.
-CBS news, November 1, 2007
One of the evening’s most emotional exchanges came in response to a question from Andrew Jones, a college student from Seattle.

“Recently, Sen. McCain has come out strongly against using waterboarding as an instrument of interrogation,” Jones said.

“My question for the rest of you is, considering that Mr. McCain is the only one with any firsthand knowledge on the subject, how can those of you sharing the stage with him disagree with his position?” he said.

“I oppose torture,” Romney said. “I would not be in favor of torture in any way, shape or form.”

Prompted by the moderator as to whether waterboarding was torture, Romney said “as a presidential candidate, I don’t think it’s wise for us to describe specifically which measures we would and would not use.”

McCain’s response was passionate: “Well, governor, I’m astonished that you haven’t found out what waterboarding is.”

“I know what waterboarding is, Senator,” Romney said.

“Then I am astonished that you would think such a torture would be inflicted on anyone in our — who we held captive and anyone could believe that that’s not torture. It’s in violation of the Geneva Convention,” McCain said.
-NPR, November 29, 2007

The Senate voted to ban waterboarding and other harsh interrogation methods that have been used by the CIA against high-level terrorism suspects, setting up a confrontation with President George W. Bush, who has threatened to veto the bill.

The prohibition of coercive interrogation methods, part of a broader intelligence authorization bill, would limit all American interrogators to techniques permitted in the Army Field Manual, which bars the use of physical force. The Senate voted 51 to 45, with 5 Republicans joining 45 Democrats and 1 independent in favor of the ban.

The Senate action is the latest chapter in a long-running battle between congressional Democrats and the Bush administration over the treatment of terrorist detainees and the boundaries of executive privilege, two issues that are also certain to be hotly debated in the presidential election.

Senator John McCain, the leading Republican presidential candidate and former prisoner of war who opposes harsh interrogation tactics, voted against the bill. McCain said that the ban would limit the CIA’s ability to gather intelligence but that his vote was consistent with his firm stance against torture.

“We always supported allowing the CIA to use extra measures,” McCain said. “I believe waterboarding is illegal and should be banned.”
International Herald Tribune, February 14, 2008

That’s a heck of a definition of integrity there.

Posted by: Jarandhel at February 17, 2008 2:14 PM
Comment #245564

Veritas

You really do not see what you are doing? Yes, Obama’s money is good, so he can have as much of it as he wants. Public funding doesn’t apply to his money, because he is good and his money is all good.

Re swiftboaters, this is a diversion. Are Dems not taking money from people who support moveon.org or code pink because of the behavior of these groups in the past?

In any case, all candidates would presumably face similar challenges. Your idea that Obama deserves to have more money is purely partisan. Can’t you see that?

A good test of fairness is role reversal. Try this:

—- should be able to opt out of the public financing system because he is more honest and needs the money.

——refused to make good on his promise to work under public funding limits despite his opponent ——-agreeing to do so.

If you fill in Obama, Clinton, McCain or Bush it should not change your view of the statement. If it does, it fails the fairness test.

Posted by: Jack at February 17, 2008 2:17 PM
Comment #245566

>Re swiftboaters and Obama, I was unaware Obama
>had any military experience at all, so I fail to
>understand how his service could be called into
>quesion.

OK, I’m going to REALLY simplify it for you, Jack. I didn’t realize it would be so hard for you:

When I say “swiftboaters”, I’m using it in the slang sense to mean any 527 organization using private donations and money the same way the swift boat veterans did to Kerry to smear, slander and destroy the personal image of the candidate outside the constraints of public campaign financing laws, OK? No, Barack didn’t have any military experience, but how’s that going to stop the RNC/con 527 smear machine from making lies up about him a la the swiftboaters? Sure, he could respond in kind but I think Barack has a heckuva lot more class than to do like the swifties.

Here’s what I think will happen, unless of course (God forbid) Hillary becomes the Dem nominee: I think Barack will agree to public financing with the stipulation that ANY 527-financed activity is to be banned. Then we would be talking about a level playing field.

Also, when the DNC says McCain said he was fine with us being in Iraq for 100 years, they’e not lying; it’s a direct quote, not taken out of context. if he didn’t mean he’s fine with it she shouldn’t have said it.

Posted by: spongeworthy at February 17, 2008 2:29 PM
Comment #245568

>Re swiftboaters, this is a diversion. Are Dems not
>taking money from people who support moveon.org or
>code pink because of the behavior of these groups
>in the past?

No, Jack, not a diversion. McCain SUPPOSEDLY stood firm against the swifties back in 2003-2004, but now he’s taking their money: flip then flop. He was against him before he was for them.

Posted by: spongeworthy at February 17, 2008 2:33 PM
Comment #245569

Jack:

“You really do not see what you are doing?”

I see exactly what I’m doing. I am exposing McCain (and his supporters) lame attempt to use the public financing issue as a stick to beat Obama with, even though the man hasn’t even won the nomination yet, and even though he says he might be willing to work out some sort of an agreement with McCain’s campaign if he does win. I am also exposing how McCain’s honesty is actually the real question since he seems to be the one who has been working shady deals with the finances of his campaign, and has now quite possibly locked himself into having to use public financing, while Obama is not at all obligated to do likewise.

So, basically what I’m doing is calling bullsh*t on this issue — at least until we know more things for sure.

Posted by: veritas vincit at February 17, 2008 2:48 PM
Comment #245573

>So, basically what I’m doing is calling
>bullsh*t on this issue

Amen, brother.

Posted by: spongeworthy at February 17, 2008 5:20 PM
Comment #245577
Jack wrote: Barrack Obama is facing the temptation of big money politics and Barrack is buckling. Obama wrote, “If I am the Democratic nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election.” John McCain agreed and recently reaffirmed that he would keep his word. Obama’s words seem clear, but his spokesman Bill Burton said, “No, there is no pledge.”
But has McCain done it? Why should he wait for Barack Obama?
I have mixed feelings about public funding for elections, but it is something that both McCain and Obama have repeatedly and unequivocally endorsed.
And they BOTH should keep their word, without waiting for the other to do the same.
It would be interesting to try to see if it could work and it would be refreshing if BOTH candidates would keep their words.
Public funding makes more sense than what we have now: Government is FOR-SALE.

Public funding makes more sense, because 99.85% of all 200 million eligible American voters are currently VASTLY out-spent by a very tiny 0.15% of voters who make a whopping 83% of all federal campaign donations (of $200 or more).

Public funding makes more sense, not only because it is fair, but because it is also constitutional (i.e. funding of elections can not be eliminated, or limited, but it can be regulated).

Almost anything makes more sense the current system in which government is clearly influenced and controlled by a very few with vast wealth.
And why did John McCain vote NO on banning more types of Congressional gifts?
Perhaps he regrets that vote, as he regrets “looking the other way” (as he admitted to doing on an NPR interview in 2005).

John McCain said what he meant and means what he said. But that is how John McCain behaves.
And that is part of the problem. He thinks we need to occupy Iraq for how long? Why?

Where is the moral argument that justifies telling our U.S. troops to go risk life and limb to be the world police, while Congress gives itself 9 raises between 1997 and 2007, and our troops go without armor, medical care, and promised benefits? While Congress votes on pork-barrel, waste, and bridges to no where?

Now it is up to Obama. Will he step up or fall down? Making change is harder than talking about making changes. This is a test of Obama’s bona-fides. I hope he passes. Make no mistake. I will work against his election and do my best to ridicule his policies, but I will do it openly and honestly. I like to think opponents will be tough and crafty, but also honest and open.
BOTH of the them should do it, without waiting for the other. The first one to do it will prove they are serious.
On a related issue, the Dems are showing themselves as the party of smear as they plan to smear John McCain preemptively. The Dems are dishonest about this aspect of their characters, or maybe they just are blind to it. They complain about Republican attacks, but they are the first to jump into the mud pit to slime their opponents.
Ha! As if Republicans don’t resort to the same tactics?

Do you really believe EITHER party is better or worse than the other on that score?
Of course you do, but the fact is, Congress deserves those dismally low 11% to 18% approval ratings (www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSN1844140220070919), and most (if not all) Democrat and Republican politicians alike are to blame for it, and so are the majority of voters that repeatedly reward too many irresponsible incumbent politicians with 93%-to-99% re-election rates (the voters will have the government that they deserve).

Why don’t we try to run a cleaner campaign this time? … Or is it too audacious to hope for that sort of change?
Yes. As long as:
  • too many voters choose to wallow in the circular, time-wasting, distracting, divisive, manipulative partisan-warfare,
  • and too many politicians fuel the partisan-warfare.

On the issues, here’s a couple of serious problems for McCain:

  • John McCain supported the invasion of Iraq. So did Hillary Clinton. Barack Obama did not.

  • John McCain has a lousy voting record on illegal immigration (grades.betterimmigration.com/view_all.php3?Flag=GRADE). But so do Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

  • John McCain, when 77 hospitals in border states were going bankrupt (because they are being over-run by illegal aliens), Senator John McCain wrote a rider into the Medicaid Bill for $1.4 billion of your tax dollars. It passed (2003), and an estimated 28% to 36% of illegal aliens receive welfare. More hospitals have gone bankrupt since then. U.S. tax payers are being forced to foot the bills (estimated at $70 billion to $338 Billion per year). But Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama also choose to pit American citizens and illegal aliens against each other for profits from cheap labor and votes. All three of them need to read Article 4, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution. All three of them refuse to enforce existing laws and uphold the U.S. Constitution.

  • John McCain claims homeland security is important. So, why are the borders still wide-open, immigration laws still ignored, and thousands of Americans still being murdered annually by illegal aliens (www.victimsofillegalaliens.com)? More Americans have died at the hands of illegal aliens in less than two years, than the 3963 killed U.S. troops in Iraq, or the 2973 killed due to 11-Sep-2001 terrorist attacks.

  • John McCain admits to being weak on economic issues. That’s not good. Especially for someone whose been in Congress longer than the most politicians.

  • John McCain wants to continue the policies of Bush in Iraq and wants to remain in Iraq for quite some time. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama do not.

  • John McCain has a good record on pork-barrel (excluding that millions for the brown tree snake in Guam, and a rider for a Medicaid BILL for $1.4 Billion in which much of it goes to illegal aliens), but it is undone by all the spending required to keep troops all over the planet.
  • John McCain:

    • Recommended we send in a heavy wave of troops to Iraq to establish order.(Nov 2006){and stay there 100 years?, if necessary?}

    • John McCain said we may be in Iraq for 100 years (Feb 2008)

    • John McCain said the Iraqi war was necessary after years of failed diplomacy. (Aug 2004)

    • John McCain said the Iraqi war was necessary, achievable and noble. (Aug 2004)

    • John McCain said the cause of the Iraqi war was just. (Apr 2004) {never mind one little detail … uhhmmm, like no WMD ?}

    • John McCain said it is important to win (in Iraq), important for U.S. to be superpower. (Jun 1999) {does that logic really make any sense?}

    • Voted NO on redeploying troops out of Iraq by July 2007. (Jun 2006)

    • Voted NO on investigating contract awards in Iraq & Afghanistan. (Nov 2005)

    • Voted YES on authorizing use of military force against Iraq. (Oct 2002)

    • CIA assessments on Iraqi WMDs were all wrong. (Mar 2005) {OOPppppss!}

    • John McCain said we don’t have as much to fear as we had in the past. (Apr 2004)

    • Voted YES on recommending Constitutional ban on flag desecration. (Jun 2006)

    • Supports Amendment against flag-burning. (Apr 1999)

    • Voted YES on Amendment to prohibit flag burning. (Dec 1995)

    • Supports anti-flag desecration amendment. (Mar 2001) {He’s really serious about this flag burning nonsense isn’t he?}

    • Voted NO on repealing tax subsidy for companies which move US jobs offshore. (Mar 2005) {Of course not!}

    • Admitted about instances where he looked the other way too (on NPR in 2005)

    • Violence in media caused Littleton shootings. (Apr 1999)

    • Supports overthrowing “rogue” governments to keep Americans safe. (Feb 2000) {Iran perhaps?}

    • Voted NO on banning more types of Congressional gifts. (Jul 1995) {Of course. Cha-Ching! Hurray for McCain-Fiengold campaign finance!}

    • Supports term limits on Congress. (Jul 1998), but two years later …

    • No term limits; they throw away the good with the bad. (Jan 2000) {is that a flip flop? Throws away the good with the bad? With so much bad, that may be a good idea?}

    • Higher taxes on cigarettes. (Jan 2000) {but not McDonald’s Big Mac’s ?}

    • Matching funds for seniors citizens’ prescription drugs. (Dec 1999) {nothing like pandering for votes}

    • Voted NO on restricting business with entities linked to terrorism. (Jul 2005) {this is hard to understand?}

    • Make possible for immigrants to do a job Americans won’t do. (Oct 2004) (nothing like pitting American citizens and illegal aliens against each other for profits from cheap labor and votes)

    • Voted YES on establishing a Guest Worker program. (May 2006) (a.k.a. amnesty; more pitting American citizens and illegal aliens against each other for cheap labor.)

    • Voted YES on allowing illegal aliens to participate in Social Security. (May 2006) { one-simple-idea.com/VotingRecords1.htm }

    • Voted YES on allowing more foreign workers into the U.S. for farm work. (Jul 1998) (more pitting American citizens and illegal aliens against each other for cheap labor.)

    • Voted YES on visas for skilled workers. (May 1998) (not just jobs he claims Americans won’t do; more cheap skilled labor too)

    • Voted NO on raising the minimum wage to $7.25 rather than $6.25. (Mar 2005) (well, it doesn’t really matter when cheap labor is flooding across the borders by the millions, does it?)

    • Trust Fund is a ticking time bomb, set to go off in 2014. (Jan 2000) (Yet, Congress continues to spend the Social Security surpluses? Yet …)

    • John McCain voted YES on using the Social Security Surplus to fund tax reductions (Jul 1999) {yet …}

    • previously wanted to disallow using Trust Fund for “emergency” spending. (Jun 1999) , {and …}

    • Voted YES on Social Security Lockbox & limiting national debt. (Apr 1999)

    • Voted NO on across-the-board spending cuts. (Oct 1999)

    • more: ontheissues.org/John_McCain.htm
    At any rate, whoever the next president is, the nation’s pressing problems will continue to be ignored if the president is still saddled with the same corrupt, FOR-SALE, pork-happy incumbent politicians in the two-party duopoly in the do-nothing Congress that has enjoyed (on average) very cu$hy 96.5% re-election rates (on average) since year 1980?

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 17, 2008 5:52 PM
    Comment #245582

    Here ya go, Jack… The swiftboating has already begun

    You reps and cons ought to be ashamed, but I’m sure you’re not.

    Posted by: spongeworthy at February 17, 2008 10:54 PM
    Comment #245586

    McCain would lose in the Fall debates v. Obama, regardless of the source of funding for the campaigns:

    Dear John McCain,
    Any GOP candidate who wants to “consolidate” the party, and who refuses to
    use a nationally televised debate v. other GOP’ers to do so, is either:
    1. too weak and/or too lame
    2. giving lip service to the idea of “consolidating” the Party, and is so
    foolish that he actually believes he can win the National Elec. w/o
    consolidating it
    3. is lying when he says he will out-campaign, out-debate and out-perform
    the Dem’s - if you can’t do it in your own camp, you can’t do it against
    the opposition.

    “Good luck” with your continued attempts to pressure the thinking American
    public & smart Republicans into backing you without you doing the actual
    work. BTW, I’m not an evangelical, I’m more of a New Age spiritualist who
    disagrees w/Huckabee on his family values platform, so you’ve gotta ask
    yourself, “Why isn’t she voting for me?”

    Maybe you should give me the decency and respect of telling me why I
    should vote for you - in a debate v. your only true opponent - Huckabee -
    without the Romney static. In my eyes, along with all of my friends - who
    were former Rudy & Mitt supporters & who STILL don’t like you & yet
    believe Mike won’t make it - you never won any of the debates.

    John, if you fail in a Feb 08 GOP Debate, you sure as heck are going to
    fail in the Fall. So, you might as well debate now and reach a conclusion
    of:
    1. You’ve got to improve your debating skills
    OR
    2. You’ve got to withdraw because you’ll cause the Party to fail in Nov.

    Think of it this way: If Huckabee should drop out now because he won’t win
    in upcoming primaries, or he won’t win in a Contested RNC, then logically,
    you should drop out now because you won’t win in November - against either
    Dem candidate. Hillary will out-debate you on substance, and Obama will
    out-debate you as a communicator and inspirational speaker.

    With regard to your debate style & discussion of substance beyond the
    bullet points & national security - the line of “just ask my friend _____,
    he’ll tell you how tough I am on ____, ” - As Dr. Phil says, “How’s that
    workin’ for ya?”

    Not too well for you, John, not too well for either you or the Party.

    [And, woe to the “king” who is deluded by the “yes-men” with whom he
    surrounds himself.]

    Wishing the Great USA All the Best,
    Theresa Markham, Esq.
    [divorce atty]
    Hamburg, NJ


    —————————————


    BTW, in case you think John McCain would, in part, retort with the idea that he’s not asking Huckabee to withdraw, here’s a quote from an actual memo sent to his supporters on Feb. 12, 2008, from Rick Davis, his campaign manager, which, of course, is a blatant lie:

    “With only 774 delegates left on the table after tonight, Governor Huckabee cannot win the Republican nomination for president.”

    A very loud, public retraction, complete with a copy to all of his supporters, is in order.

    Posted by: Theresa M at February 18, 2008 3:08 AM
    Comment #245589

    It must be chastening to think about the financial advantage that Mr. McCain will have in the months leading up to the convention, when Mr. Obama and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.), his remaining Democratic opponent, may still be battling for the nomination while Mr. McCain is spending “primary” money to build the necessary architecture for the general election.

    washingtonpost.com Saturday, February 16, 2008; Page A20


    You must be slipping Jack, you chose to source an editorial that had the above paragraph in it. Couldn’t you have chosen a more biased editorial ? No wonder you want Obama to accept public funding. Anything to give McCain an advantage, he does have his image to overcome.

    Posted by: Cube at February 18, 2008 3:58 AM
    Comment #245591

    Sponng

    This is just silly. And why do you blame me? It is more likely a Hillary Clinton ploy than anything from my side and it is most likely just some weirdos. Anybody can make a video. If this is his excuse for going back on his word, his word is worthess.

    I still hope Obama will step up, BTW. You should be encouraging him.

    Teresa

    The silliness comment goes for that thing too. Not worth mentioning.

    Cube

    It is from the liberal Washington Post. I debate; I do not try to stack the deck. The argument in the WP is one reason why Obama might go back on his word. It makes me a little sad that you are the first to bring it up several days later. Good for you; bad for other liberals.

    I don’t think it is a good enough excuse, however. That is the other reason I had no fear of linking to it.

    Posted by: Jack at February 18, 2008 7:22 AM
    Comment #245592

    Jack-
    I’m sorry, but will you answer the concern I raised earlier? Barack Obama has gone through the primary only accepting individual donations, a lot of them online, from regular individuals. On the other hand, McCain has accepted money from special interests and PACs. If what the others here say is true, and he’s basically using his primary money to set up his general election campaign, then all this call is just political strategy at taxpayer expense, and he’s the one whose the hypocrite.

    It doesn’t help that McCain’s campaign actually got no such pledge from him, just an “I’ll think about it”. Given McCain’s behavior, it seems there’s plenty to give Obama pause about accepting McCain’s bargain.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 18, 2008 7:24 AM
    Comment #245605
    spongeworthy wrote: Here ya go, Jack… The swiftboating has already begun… You reps and cons ought to be ashamed, but I’m sure you’re not.
    Unless it is true, do you think Obama should sue that guy for slander? Even if Obama denies it, what does it prove? Unless that guy has proof, he will be ignored. Posted by: d.a.n at February 18, 2008 10:06 AM
    Comment #245614

    Stephen

    So Obama’s money is “good” money therefore he should be able to spend more of it? Publicly funded elections mean nothing if you can claim your money is for good? The people who contributed to Obama are better?

    Obama said he wanted to enter into a publicly funded campaign if he could get his Republican opponent to agree. He took the high ground with his words. McCain called his bluff.

    Now I am sure a clever Harvard lawyer like Obama can think up lots of reasons why he needs not keep his promise. And if he cannot do it alone, you all will help him out.

    The bottom line remains, if you believe in publicly funded elections, you have the opporunity to make it happen. Anything other than that indicates that you do not beleive in publicly funded elections. That is okay, but please stop the pretense. The rules of the publicly funded election are very clear. Obama will also be spending his money in the primary season. Will he not be saying good things about himself?

    The Obama, the Democratic, bluff is called. The cards are on the table. The truth is out. Spin it as you wish, but we all can see what happened.

    Yes, perhaps McCain would neutralize Obama’s fund raising advantage. Isn’t that what campaign finance reform was supposed to be about? I understand. Dems will do the right thing if it helps their cause. Otherwise they think it is just silly.

    Posted by: Jack at February 18, 2008 12:46 PM
    Comment #245617

    Jack-
    The whole point of the public financing argument is to argue that he isn’t beholden to special interests. Unfortunately for you, he funded his primaries, and will fund the basis of his general election campaign on that kind of money, from PACs and the light. Meanwhile, Obama kept himself clean of PAC Money and the like throughout his primary campaign.

    If Obama keeps his pattern of fundraising up, he will have won election entirely by individual contributors, some wealthy, some not so wealthy. He’ll have hundreds of thousands of people to be grateful to, not just the bunch of special interests McCain has already sold himself too. Is McCain suddenly pure because he’s talking about public funding now? No. That’s why this argument reeks of hypocrisy.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 18, 2008 1:21 PM
    Comment #245622

    Stephen

    Okay - scrap the pubic financing. Let’s just forget about it and call it an impossible dream, maybe a bit of a nightmare for Dems.

    In my wallet, I have some money. I really am unable to tell the good money from the bad money. The same is true of donors. They all have limits to the amount they can contribute. All the donors do so with the desire of influencing the votes of others.

    Money matters in its amounts, so just -

    follow the money

    Obama gets 26% from the smallest donors (>$200). McCain gets 22%. Not that different. Obama gets 10% from the biggest donors ($4600); McCain gets a little less – 9%. In fact, the breakdown of donors by their money levels of the two campaigns is almost identical. Hillary tends to draw in the fat cats, not McCain.

    The only difference between Obama’s Money and McCain’s money is that Obama has more of it. The public funding of campaigns was supposed to make money less important. Democrats are now indicating that they meant only to limit Republican money and Obama should keep his word.

    Posted by: Jack at February 18, 2008 2:14 PM
    Comment #245625

    Jack-
    He’s accepting PAC money on top of everything else, Obama’s not. That’s the difference. I don’t know why you keep on avoiding that crucial fact.

    You know, the better question would be, would McCain agree to campaign with only individual donor financing, because he’s already going to use his special interest financing to prop up the rest of his campaign. At this point, accepting public financing is just his way of washing clean all the special interest money he’s allowed to pour into this campaign. It’s deceptive.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 18, 2008 2:41 PM
    Comment #245637

    Barack Hussein Obama’s exact words BEFORE he became a fundraising juggernaut and BEFORE anyone would have dreamed that McCain would actually wind up being the nominee: “Senator John McCain has already pledged to accept this fundraising pledge. If I am the Democratic nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election.”

    And since he hasn’t had the “audacity” to speak on this issue lately, his spokesman’s words,AFTER:Obama spokesman Bill Burton on Thursday called public financing “an option that we wanted on the table,” but said “there is no pledge” to take the money and the spending limitations that come with it.

    Frome an “aggressive pursuit” to “an option we wanted on the table”.


    Posted by: Duane-o at February 18, 2008 4:37 PM
    Comment #245639

    Duane-o:
    I think we’ve confirmed it: the Far Right thinks it’s Barack Obama’s mother.

    Seriously, though, Barack said what he did in March of last year, long before McCain decided he would give in to the special interests and take PAC and special interest money. McCain might have had some real merit to his argument if he had stuck to public funding himself, but instead he fed at the trough. Should we reward his failure of integrity, his hypocrisy here?

    Meanwhile, Barack Obama’s done what McCain failed to do: subsist only on what individual donors would give, forgoing the PAC money, the huge payments from special interests. With this people-powered fundraising, Barack still has more money coming in, and best of all, the influence is spread over many hundreds of thousands of donors. I would argue at this point that if Barack Obama forgoes public financing, his integrity on fundraising still would outmatch McCain’s.

    Also, let me remind you of one fact: though it’s flattering that McCain is jumping the gun on this matter, Barack Obama is still not the Democratic Party Nominee, and that will not be clear for quite a few months.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 18, 2008 5:02 PM
    Comment #245645

    “McCain might have had some real merit to his argument if he had stuck to public funding himself, but instead he fed at the trough.”

    The public funding deal was for the general election, not the primaries.

    With regard to the “let’s not jump the gun” argument, why was Barack Hussein Obama able to say before what “it is too soon” to say now. Was he jumping the gun when he said it? The truth is, no one expected BHO to be able to raise the kind of money he has and no one expected McCain to be the nominee. BHO was simply trying to look more honest that his Dem rivals, then use his feigned hope of a publicly financed campaign as an integrity stick to beat his eventual Rep opponent with in the fall. Looks like his bluff is called.

    Posted by: Duane-o at February 18, 2008 5:52 PM
    Comment #245646

    All Barack Hussein Obama has to say is “If I am the nominee…….”

    Posted by: Duane-o at February 18, 2008 5:54 PM
    Comment #245648
    Jack wrote: Okay - scrap the pubic financing. Let’s just forget about it and call it an impossible dream, maybe a bit of a nightmare for Dems. In my wallet, I have some money. I really am unable to tell the good money from the bad money. The same is true of donors. They all have limits to the amount they can contribute. All the donors do so with the desire of influencing the votes of others. Money matters in its amounts, so just -
    99.85% of a all 200 million voters are wasting their money since they are vastly out-spent by a very tiny 0.15% of the wealthiest 200 million eligible voters making 83% of all federal campaign donations (of $200 or more).

    Federal Campaign Donations:

  • Candidate’s ___ # $200+ _ %Donors __ # $2,300+ _ %Donors _ # $4,600 _ %Donors

  • Name: ________ Donors __ upto $200 _ Donors ____ $2300+ __ Donors ___ $4,600

  • ________________ ________ ___________ __________ _________ ________ _______
  • Gravel, Mike _______ 196 ___ 68% _______ 4 ______ 3% _________ 0 _______ 0%

  • Paul, Ron _______ 22,842 ___ 54% ____ 1,402 _____ 12% ________ 8 _______ 0%

  • Keyes, Alan ________ 238 ___ 52% _______ 8 _____ 10% ________ 0 _______ 0%

  • Huckabee, Mike ___ 7,045 ___ 33% ____ 1,203 _____ 32% _______ 18 _______ 1%

  • Obama, Barack ___ 69,628 ___ 26% __ 16,259 _____ 43% _____ 1,964 ______ 10%

  • McCain, John ____ 27,205 ___ 22% ____ 6,183 _____ 45% ______ 731 _______ 9%

  • Clinton, Hillary ___ 57,975 ___ 12% ___ 19,949 _____ 63% _____ 7,411 ______ 33%
  • Jack wrote: Money matters in its amounts, so just - follow the money.
    So, why would any of the 99.85% of a all 200 million voters donate anything when they are vastly out-spent by a very tiny 0.15% of the wealthiest 200 million eligible voters that make 83% of all federal campaign donations (of $200 or more)?

    Look closely at the numbers above.

    Many more rich people are giving large donations to Hillary (7,411 $4,600 donaitons; far more $4,600 donors than all the other candidates combined!).

    90% of elections are won by the candidate that spends the most money, but what does it say about Hillary Clinton when she has by far the largest number of wealthy donors, but is barely tied with Barack Obama?

    While John McCain might get the Republican nomination, the numbers above don’t bode well for his odds of winning the election, since most wealthy people are giving to both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton (i.e. McCain is only receiving a tiny 7.8% of all $4,600 donations), and John McCain is not doing well with small donors either. Therefore, unless there is some something change of course, John McCain does not stand a chance against either Democrat candidate. Ron Paul is doing almost as well as John McCain with small donors, and even if John McCain had all of Ron Pauls donors, it wouldn’t be enough.

    But what is most despicable about all of the above is that 99.85% of all 200 million eligible voters are being vastly out-spent by a very tiny 0.15% of all voters that abuse vast wealth to influence and control government (making 83% of all federal campaign donations of $200 or more). Our government is FOR-SALE. And what does it say about the voters, when 90% of elections are won by the candidate that spends the most money?

    Regradless of who the next president is, the president won’t be able to accomplish much (if anything) if the voters saddle the next president with the same FOR-SALE, irresponsible, corrupt, Do-Nothing Congress. Perhaps enough voters will figure it out when enough voters are jobless, homeless, and hungry?

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 18, 2008 5:58 PM
    Comment #245651

    d.a.n.,
    Well said. The upward distribution of wealth did not start with the past Bush administration, and corrupt politicians have been around a long time; but what we have seen is the acceleration of upward redistribution, and an awful lot of corruption.

    This upward distribution of wealth shows itself in the numbers which you provide. A small number of donors provide a hugely disproportionate amount of campaign contributions, and Hillary is queen of the hill.

    I have no problem seeing publicly financed elections. In fact, I would welcome publicly financed elections.

    In historical terms, Repubicans and conservatives have always opposed public financing. Liberals and some Democrats favor it. Now, with the presidential election looming, we see the Republican candidate representing a party and philosophy so tarnished, no will give them money. Suddenly, in contravention to history and philosophy, Republicans want a publicly financed presidential election… presuming Osama is the Democratic nominee. I’m not sure what the position would be if Hillary wins the nomination.

    But given the disastrous consequences of Republicans implementing conservative philosophy, I would feel a lot more comfortable making sure the GOP is defeated so badly that conservative voices no longer matter.

    At that point we can institute public financing. At that point maybe the US can start catching up with Europe. At that point, we can prevent the upward distribution of wealth to the top 1% at the expense of the rest of the electorate. And at that point, maybe I’ll vote a straight Green ticket. Until then, let’s keep our eye on the ball. One step at a time.

    Posted by: phx8 at February 18, 2008 6:44 PM
    Comment #245654

    phx8, Yes, that is a pragmatic approach that has some merit.

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 18, 2008 7:01 PM
    Comment #245658

    Well, I’ve said that all Barack Hussein Obama has is nothing but rhetoric. I was wrong. Apparently, HE DOESN’T EVEN HAVE THAT!

    Posted by: Duane-o at February 18, 2008 8:57 PM
    Comment #245662

    Those claims if plagiarism are pretty weak.
    I wouldn’t make to much of that.
    Voters should look carefully at the candidates’ voting records.

    After all, it is obvious that some of the words were from speeches from several people (e.g. MLK, JFK, etc.).

    More importantly …
    John McCain’s voting record, statements, positions

    Hillary Clinton’s voting record, statements, positions

    Barack Obama’s voting record, statements, positions

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 18, 2008 9:07 PM
    Comment #245665

    Duane-O:
    So your basic argument is, taking special interest money is just fine if you only do it to get yourself in a position to be elected.

    But if you buy the argument that candidates will naturally gravitate towards those special interests who helped them get elected, a candidate like McCain certainly would be ungracious to forget those who helped him win the nomination.

    As for Public Financing? Well you folks had to dig that up. It wasn’t a big part of McCain or Obama’s ccampaign. The only reason to bring it up now is to score points at Obama’s expense. Otherwise, on the merits, it really doesn’t make McCain a better man on Campaign Finance, given how he had to sell his soul to get the nomination in his grasp.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 18, 2008 9:15 PM
    Comment #245666

    Duane-O:
    Tell me something: if you repeat his middle name enough, are you hoping to make us think he’s a terrorists, a Middle East dictator, or just a Dirty Arab or Muslim? Is that level of discourse you think is worthy of you? Scare tactics and racism?

    Oh, I know, you’re just arbitrarily repeating his middle name for biographical purposes, right? To demonstrate your knowledge of trivia? Because you’re secretly his mother and he’s been a naughty boy?

    On the subject of the supposed plagiarism, the supposed victim, Devan Patrick told reporters that he and Barack Obama share ideas and lines in speeches. So, essentially, you’re trying to smear Obama for sharing material with a friend.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 18, 2008 9:29 PM
    Comment #245667

    “But given the disastrous consequences of Republicans implementing conservative philosophy”

    that’s a joke, right? when? where? must have slept through it?

    what we’ve seen is the implementation of neocon philosophy, beholden to corporate interests… and your party shares that selfsame vice. i haven’t observed an overabundance of democrats jumping on the public financing bandwagon. ask hitllary for her position on that one and get back to me.

    before we start declaring conservatism a failed ideology, let’s first see it fail.

    Posted by: diogenes at February 18, 2008 9:30 PM
    Comment #245668

    Sorry for triple-posting, But you have got to read this.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 18, 2008 9:32 PM
    Comment #245669

    “Oh, I know, you’re just arbitrarily repeating his middle name for biographical purposes, right?”

    Of course. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Dwight David Eisenhower, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Barack Hussein Obama. ;)

    Posted by: Duane-o at February 18, 2008 9:54 PM
    Comment #245672

    Diogenes,
    We have seen seven years of conservative philosophy implemented by the Republican Party, with occasional help from some Democrats. In terms of the big picture, it’s very similar to what we saw during the Reagan/Bush #41 years. This is what conservatism looks like in action: tax cuts
    huge deficits
    runaway spending on defense
    cuts in domestic spending
    deregulation and privatization
    corruption in government, corporate scandals
    Redistribution of wealth from the poor and middle class, to the wealthy
    Iran/Contra, Iraq
    Fear
    Denial of science

    That’s conservatism in action. Some of conservatism’s goals conflict, but we see how those conflicts are resolved in practice.

    McCain will certainly mean more of the “conservatism” which we have seen for the past seven years. To be fair, he is a little more reasonable on scientific issues such as evolution and global warming than most conservatives, and he might be marginally better on corruption after his horrendous experience as one of the Keating Five. But for most of the conservative beliefs- tax cuts, deficits, cuts in social spending, runaway spending on defense, privatization and deregulation, followed by corruption and scandal, redistribution of wealth from the bottom and middle to the rich, followed by more corruption and scandal, and most of all, fear- on those accounts, McCain is a classic conservative.
    Oh. And Iraq.

    Posted by: phx8 at February 18, 2008 10:24 PM
    Comment #245673

    For those of you that did not bother to read SDs link,seems honest John used the possibility of public finance to secure a private bank loan of a million dollars.By doing so he may already have committed himself legally to public finance limitations,at least for the primaries.
    Isn’t it great to know that your money could help him out with his credit problems.
    Also means one or both Dems and the party can start running anti-McCain ads all over the country and he will have limited ability to run conter-ads until after the convention.Now that is the kind of brilliant strategist we need in the Whitehouse.

    Posted by: BillS at February 18, 2008 10:27 PM
    Comment #245674

    You guys on the right better not start with the names again. I’m sure most don’t remember the little told story of Vladimir “the bear” Smirnov. I was a big backer of his ‘84 presidential bid.
    Btw., I could be wrong, but isn’t Daniel Finkelstein the no. 2 man for AQ?

    Posted by: demie snooterton at February 18, 2008 10:38 PM
    Comment #245677

    “if you repeat his middle name enough, are you hoping to make us think he’s a terrorists, a Middle East dictator, or just a Dirty Arab or Muslim? ” Stephen, Duane-o is actually helping Obama by doing this and if I were a supporter of Obama I would start doing it now and I would do it often and everywhere. Barack Hussein Obama. The more the better. With the rumours about him and his middle name, the more its out there the more the rumours go away. I know Duane-o’s intentions arent good but to hide Hussein will hurt Obama more than help him.
    Recently my apolitical daughter mentioned to me that she heard Obama was a muslim and would try to overthrow the Country once he was elected. She “knew” this because his middle name is Hussein. Of course this came from the far right wing Dad of a friend of hers but thats the intent behind this. How do you overcome this? Publicity. Put his name out there until everyone knows the truth. So Heed Duane-o’s advice and use it a lot. You will thank him in the end.

    Posted by: j2t2 at February 18, 2008 11:16 PM
    Comment #245678
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: Sorry for triple-posting, But you have got to read this.
    While it may not be illegal, is it ethical?

    It’s amazing how rotten the system is by money, and all the ways they can find to work the system.

    McCain is toast anyway, since most wealthy people are giving vastly larger amounts to BOTH Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
    John McCain is doing terrible and only receiving a tiny 7.8% of all $4,600 donations), and he is not doing well with small donors either ($200 or less).

    Therefore, unless something changes drastically before 4-Nov-2008, John McCain does not stand a chance against EITHER Democrat candidate.

    After all, 90% of all elections are won by the candidate that spends the most money, and 83% of all federal campaign donations come from a very tiny 0.15% of all 200 million eligible voters … . and it looks like the rich people don’t like John McCain. Hell, lots of Republicans don’t even like John McCain.

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 18, 2008 11:23 PM
    Comment #245679

    But, I did see that John McCain got Mr. “Read My Lips” endorsement.

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 18, 2008 11:24 PM
    Comment #245684

    dan-
    Anybody who promises tax cuts or a lack of raised taxes in a time of huge structural deficits is selling a bill of goods.

    For me, it’s as simple as this: balance the books. Does it take a tax hike? Do it. If people complain, ask them what they want more, the service in question, or the savings in taxes. As long as you’re deficit spending, you can have your cake and eat it to. There has to be a conflict played out to get people to actually think responsibly. You have to chose what’s worth the sacrifice and what’s not.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 19, 2008 12:34 AM
    Comment #245685

    j2t2-
    At the end of the day, you have to call people on the bigotry. If all people hear are the lies, they will believe the lies, for want of better information.

    It’s not merely about Barack himself. It’s about those who use the fear of an Arab name and an exotic, foreign background as a means to distract voters about the important and true things about a candidate.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 19, 2008 12:40 AM
    Comment #245686

    Stephen Daugherty wrote:

    Sorry for triple-posting, But you have got to read this.

    Yes, I had posted a link earlier to the American Prospect’s blog where they were also talking about McCain’s shady dealing with his campaign finances.

    This man is a complete hypocrite. After all the PAC and special interest money he’s collected and after gaming the system the way he has with public finance money as described in your link (and mine), McCain can no longer claim any credibility on this issue AT ALL.
    The fact that he has used this issue to beat up on Obama before the Democratic nomination has even been settled ranks as nothing but the dirty trick of a hypocritical scumbag. And that is exactly why I called BS earlier.

    Perhaps you may also want to read this NYT article that I read earlier today:
    McCain Signs Up a Bush Fund-Raising Organizer

    Here’s some key quotes:

    Senator John McCain began tapping into President Bush’s prized political donor base on Tuesday as his campaign announced that Mercer Reynolds, who helped Mr. Bush raise a record $273 million for the 2004 re-election campaign, would be the national finance co-chairman for Mr. McCain.
    Mr. McCain’s advisers said that Mr. Reynolds, a wealthy Cincinnati executive and a former ambassador to Switzerland, would be of enormous help in reaching out to the president’s most valued contributors — the Bush campaign called them Rangers and Pioneers — on behalf of Mr. McCain.

    “He knows them all, and hopefully we’ll get them on board,” said Charles Black, a senior adviser to Mr. McCain.

    Mr. Reynolds, who declined to be interviewed for this article, is of critical importance to the McCain campaign not simply because of his wealth but also for his layers of contacts with other wealthy donors. Under campaign finance rules in large part created by Mr. McCain himself under the McCain-Feingold bill, individual contributions are limited to $2,300 each for the nominating contests and the general election every election cycle.

    The result is that highly connected, prosperous people like Mr. Reynolds are of huge value to a campaign because they can call on many other highly connected, prosperous people to write checks, which is particularly vital to Republicans in a year when Democrats have far outpaced them in fund-raising.

    In 2004, contributors to Mr. Bush who collected $100,000 in checks, otherwise known as bundlers, were called Pioneers. Those who collected $200,000 were called Rangers, after the Texas baseball team once partly owned by Mr. Bush.

    Mr. McCain’s advisers said that the senator’s campaign would also be bestowing titles on its most prolific fund-raisers under an “incentive system,” with privileges for those who raised the most money.

    Mr. McCain’s advisers said that the candidate, despite his signature legislative efforts to restrict the money spent on political campaigns, would not accept public financing and spending limits for this year’s general campaign.

    Yee Haw, and pass the sarsaparilla, what a “Maverick” that McCain is, roundin’ up all the “Rangers and Pioneers”!!!

    Posted by: veritas vincit at February 19, 2008 12:45 AM
    Comment #245688

    Stephen:

    It’s about those who use the fear of an Arab name and an exotic, foreign background as a means to distract voters about the important and true things about a candidate.

    Hmm… Could it be that all that exotic foreign flair is actually distracting THEM from what is important and true - and put THEM into such a state of heated titillation, that THEY simply can’t see anything else?
    Could this explain Duane-o’s constant use of Hussein-o?

    Just a thought.

    Posted by: veritas vincit at February 19, 2008 1:08 AM
    Comment #245691

    VV
    It is obvious that the Arab sounding name,Muslum background crowd are useing that crap as a smoke screen for rascism,plain and simple. Not really much point in talking to them.They would never vote for a black man that had any chance of winning even if they agreed entirely with his positions.

    Posted by: bills at February 19, 2008 1:44 AM
    Comment #245695

    bills:

    It is obvious that the Arab sounding name,Muslum background crowd are useing that crap as a smoke screen for rascism,plain and simple.

    That seems most likely, Bill. But what if it’s not always that simple? What if some of these trolls have got a little Larry Craig repression problem when it comes to Barack, and it’s actually ~BURNING LUST~ covered with a paper-thin veneer of xenophobia?!
    :^D

    Not really much point in talking to them.

    No. But it is always good to laugh.

    They would never vote for a black man that had any chance of winning even if they agreed entirely with his positions.

    GOP = Grand Old Prejudice? You’re probably right - even if some of these guys are indulging in secret fantasies about pulling that lever…
    ;^>

    Posted by: veritas vincit at February 19, 2008 3:22 AM
    Comment #245701

    what you refer to as tax cuts amounts to little more than corporate welfare. and you want me to believe that’s solely a republican idea? need i regurgitate the talking point concerning hillary’s financial backing? where is that tax return anyway?

    conservatives are for smaller gov’t and fiscal responsibility. show me where that has happened anywhere in the last seven years. the only thing worse than tax&spend is *borrow* and spend. that’s not conservative - that’s just good ‘ol fashioned dumb.

    huge deficits - conservatives believe in pursuing huge deficits? i don’t think anyone *wants* huge deficits. a result of incompetency, not conservative ideology.

    as regards the runaway spending on defense - another issue of incompetency - we can thank clinton for downsizing the military to such a degree as to be ill-prepared for an operation as ambitious (and ill-advised) as that which we witness occurring in iraq. a responsible conservative would have seen that mistake undone *before* sending our soldiers into the quagmire that is iraq. i’ll grant you, privatizing the military does smack of conservative ideology on its face, but i’d say this phenomena is more a perversion of conservative ideology. i think most conservatives would agree.

    cuts in domestic spending - not seeing much of this. bush increased the size of the federal gov’t, afterall. what’s conservative about that?

    “corruption in government, corporate scandals
    Redistribution of wealth from the poor and middle class, to the wealthy
    Iran/Contra, Iraq
    Fear
    Denial of science”

    please. i think you need to reexamine conservative ideology and tell me how any of these bear any relevance.

    and you can’t claim i’m just another ‘rightwing nutjob’ that’s turning the blame on bush cuz the ships going down. i’ve been watching the ship go down since he took office, and my unwavering finger has always been pointed squarely at him.

    don’t get me wrong, i’m not a huge fan of mccain right now. he’s lost a lot of integrity in my eyes, pandering to everyone who will listen. i never did see where the so called conservatives fault his conservative credentials, other than failing to march in lockstep with their agenda. blocking pork-laden legislation is conservative ideology at its best.

    at least i know he would do right by the military. and if hillary gets the dem nod, he’ll be my new bestest bud. hillary and bush are like two sides of the same coin. if you want to give the status quo another eight more years, vote clinton.

    Posted by: diogenes at February 19, 2008 9:16 AM
    Comment #245709

    Veritas-
    I think that may be true for some, but I think it’s got too much fictional content involved (like the madrassa education and supposed Islamic religion) to be some mere reaction to the name on the part of the sources of these talking points. It points to a deliberate attempt to use the fear of terrorists and the racist hatred of Arabs and Muslims to neutralize what they see as a political threat.

    Where I think they could go wrong on this is that Barack Obama quite familiar, and quite middle American in mannerism and speech. He doesn’t fit the stereotypes they’re trying to box him in with. The bigotry could really backfire, and serve to sour people on the folks employing it. The question is whether it’s allowed to be presented unchallenged. It becomes even worse for them if they’re presenting this bigotry not from self-assured confidence, but from nervous desperation.

    Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 19, 2008 11:14 AM
    Comment #245713
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- Anybody who promises tax cuts or a lack of raised taxes in a time of huge structural deficits is selling a bill of goods.
    “tax cuts” ?

    Is this reply based on the comment about “Mr. Read My Lips [, no new taxes]” giving McCain an endorsement?
    You’ll get no argument from me about false promises.

    I’m not interested in tax cuts (if any), but fair taxation first, because the current tax system is unfair and REGRESSIVE.
    At the very least, it should be NEUTRAL.
    But as you know, I prefer a tax system that is PROGRESSIVE-to-NEUTRAL (progressive at the low-income-level, and approaches a neutral 17% at the highest income levels), and a tax system that can still raise sufficient revenues (e.g. about $2.4 Trillion).
    But the current tax system is severely REGRESSIVE because Warren Buffet paid 17.7% income tax on $46 million (in 2006), while his secretary paid 30% income tax on $60K.
    Also, there is a lot of pork-barrel (one-simple-idea.com/Links1.htm), graft, corporate welfare, subsidies for the wealthy, and waste (hundreds of billions) that must be stopped.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: For me, it’s as simple as this: balance the books. Does it take a tax hike? Do it.
    Just raising taxes alone will make things worse.
    • STEP (1): The current tax system is REGRESSIVE. Stop that. Make it fair.
    • STEP (2): Stop the pork-barrel, corporate welfare, subsidies for the wealthy, and waste.
    • STEP (3): Fix the dishonest, usurious, pyramid-scheme monetary system that cheats the middle and low income groups; and address these other 10+ abuses cheating most Americans (which did not all come about by mere coincidence).
    • STEP (4): Then, as a last resort to avoid deficit spending, increase taxes (but that should not be necessary if other abuses, such as REGRESSIVE taxation are addressed first).
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: If people complain, ask them what they want more, the service in question, or the savings in taxes.
    People should be complaining at the top of their lungs about the unfair and REGRESSIVE nature of our tax system in which the wealthy are paying MUCH lower income tax rates, and these other 10+ abuses (one-simple-idea.com/DisparityTrend.htm) cheating most Americans.
    Stephen Daugherty wrote: As long as you’re deficit spending, you can have your cake and eat it to.
    Until we have no more capacity to withstand any more debt.

    Then what?
    Nation-wide debt is already over $48 Trillion (mwhodges.home.att.net/nat-debt/debt-nat.htm).
    That is almost half of the nation’s total net worth.
    Where will the money for the INTEREST on $48 Trillion come from? Much less the $48 Trillion for the PRINCIPAL (LOAN=PRINCIPAL + INTEREST).
    Where will the money come from when it does not yet exist, and the U.S. Dollar is already falling like a rock (one-simple-idea.com/USD_Falling.gif)?
    Where will the money come from when 2% of the U.S. population owns most of the wealth in the U.S., and 80% of Americans own only 17% of all wealth in the U.S.?

    With …

    • $9.2 Trillion National Debt,

    • $12.8 Trillion borrowed and spent from Social Security (leaving it pay-as-you-go with a 77 million baby-boomer bubble approaching),

    • $450 Billion PBGC pensions in the hole,

    • and hundred$ of billion$ of unfunded liabilities for Medicare and two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq,

    • state and local governmnets with $6 Trillion of debt,

    • a dishonest, usurious, pyramid-scheme monetary system,

    • $20 Trillion of personal nation-wide debt,

    • $48 Trillion nation-wide debt

    • the U.S. dollar falling like a rock (one-simple-idea.com/USD_Falling.gif)
    the deficit spending had better stop soon, or very few will be able to afford the flour for any cake, or the electricity to bake it. None of it is going to matter much when the economy tanks because decades of decay. That is not far fetched.

    Best case, these 10+ abuses (one-simple-idea.com/DisparityTrend.htm) of the last 30 years will continue to cheat most Americans, beat down their standard of living and incomes which have already been falling since year 1967, when you also factor in:

    • more workers per household,

    • more REGRESSIVE taxation,

    • more National Debt ($9.2 Trillion / 305 Million Americans = $30,164 per person),

    • more usurious debt and predatory lending,

    • incessant inflation since year 1956 (one-simple-idea.com/DebtAndMoney.htm#Inflation0),

    • more illegal immigration due to incumbent politicians that ignore existing laws and choose to despicably pit Americans and illegal aliens against each other, while shifting $70 Billion to $338 Billion per year in costs to lower and middle income groups, for profits and votes,

    • rising energy costs and energy vulnerability,

    • absurd health care costs, and 195,000 people being killed every year due to preventable medical mistakes, which is (since 1999) over 1.5 million people killed by preventable medical mistakes, which is more than all the U.S. troops killed in the the American Revolution (4,435), the War of 1812 (2,260), the Indian Wars (1,000), the Mexican War (1,733), the Civil War (462,000), the Spanish American War (385), WWI (53,402), WWII (291,557), Vietnam War (58,209), Korean War (36,574), the Iraq Gulf War (529), and the current Iraq war Mar-2003-present (3,963), combined!

    Stephen Daugherty wrote:
    There has to be a conflict played out to get people to actually think responsibly.

    Absolutely, and that very likely will be the painful consequences of so much fiscal and moral bankruptcy for the past 30 years.

    Pain is a good motivator.
    Pain finally trumps greed, laziness, complacency, misplaced and loyalties, and apathy.
    Pain can even motivate the insane and delusional.

    That “conflict” quite likely will be a continued economic decline that has already been in progress for the last 30 years.
    Some don’t believe it, but the 10+ abuses causing it are hard to disqualify.

    Stephen Daugherty wrote: You have to choose what’s worth the sacrifice and what’s not.
    No doubt.

    One very important issue this election which will most likely be over-looked is Congress.
    Regardless of who the next president is, how will the next president be able to resolve any of the nation’s serious problems if the new president is saddled with the same corrupt, do-nothing Congress, that gives itself a raise every year (9 of the last 10 years) while our troops risk life and limb, go without armor, medical care, and promised benefits?

    If the voters are so distracted by the presidential election alone, and ignore the much larger group of 535 incumbent politicians in do-nothing Congress, they next president might as well hang an anvil around his/her neck and try to swim upstream with it. It simply makes no sense for voters to give Do-Nothing Congress dismally low 11%-to-18% approval ratings, and then repeatedly reward incumbent politicians with 93%-to-99% re-election rates, and then wonder why Congress is dysfunctional.

    At any rate, the voters will have the government that the voters deserve.

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 19, 2008 11:59 AM
    Comment #245715

    diogenes
    W. Clinton is often attacked for “downsizing” the military. What he did was reduce the cost after a 40 year ridiculously expensive build up by curtailing the development of useless weapons systems and improving efficiency in force structure. We wound up with a mean,lean,fighting machine. It takes years to make substantial changes to the military. It takes years to bring innovative systems online.The Iraq invasion happened far too early in Bush’s administration for him to have had much influence on the military. The great success of the initial invasion was by the Clinton military. The systems like predator drones,j-dams(one tenth the cost of the smart bombs of GW1),night-vision for every soldier were procured and developed by the Clinton military.The command and control systems responsible for our rapid triumph were put in place by Clinton. Many of the officers and most of the soldiers were superbly trained by the Clinton military. If there was a failure it was in not designing a force structure with the capability to immediately assume the role of occupation in a hostile country. Who in their right mind would ever have expected that situation or, for that matter,ever be so incompetent as to put the military in that role?
    The often repeated notion that Clinton hurt the military is yet one more right wing lie. The MIC and those sucking off the public teat were none to happy about the changes but when W.Clinton left office he left us the best army in the world.

    Posted by: Bills at February 19, 2008 12:10 PM
    Comment #245728

    “The often repeated notion that Clinton hurt the military is yet one more right wing lie”

    Really BillS? Interesting. Tell us, what branch were you serving in under clinton? I spent 7 years in the USAF under him and I have to say that you make some pretty big claims that I did not witness.
    What did you think of patrolling in the 90s in a 1970s vehicle that had no heat or ac? Did you like using .22 ammo to qualify with your M16? Was that M203 and M60 qualifing a joke or what? Did you like it when you had to work 100+ hr weeks due to lack of manpower? How about when they cancelled your readiness excercises because of budget constraints? Lack of armor for auggies? Base education classes cut-back? Orders red-lined due to lack of manpower?

    I hate to break it to you, but clinton crapping on the military is hardly a “right wing lie.” He made our life hell, almost like he wanted us to fail, and deserves no kudos for anything military related.
    We are the greatest military in the world because we love our country and serving her is in our blood. Our military is the greatest because of them.

    Posted by: kctim at February 19, 2008 2:54 PM
    Comment #245729

    “They would never vote for a black man that had any chance of winning even if they agreed entirely with his positions.”

    I voted for J. Kenneth Blackwell for Ohio Governor and would support him for President, as I would Lynn Swann, Michael Steele, J.C. Watts and of course Clarence Thomas. So much for the racism charge. If BHO held conservative positions, I’d be getting the name thing out of the way as quickly as possible, although I’d be fighting your constant use of it.

    Posted by: Duane-o at February 19, 2008 2:57 PM
    Comment #245737

    kctim,
    Part of conservatism involves privatization and deregulation. In the name of privatization, the Bush administration has resorted to mercenaries, and outsourced many military functions to the private sector. Mercenaries. Doesn’t exactly tug the patriotic heartstrings, does it?

    McCain will pursue the same agenda.

    Do you really think a US soldier is better off today? Almost 4,000 young men and women have died under Bush. They died for a mistake. That doesn’t even begin to address the extended tours, the soldiers with brain damage that aren’t even counted among the 29,000 wounded, never mind over one million Iraqis dead as the result of a mistake. McCain intends to continue perpetuating the mistake. It is costing the US at least $275 million per day. I don’t recall
    Clinton treating the military like that. Why can’t conservatives support our troops?

    Diogenes,
    You write: “Conservatives are for smaller gov’t and fiscal responsibility.” Fair enough. But a consequence of this conservative philosphy is deregulation and privatization. With little concern for the public commons, conservatives allow business to intervene in government. Time and again, we see the same results from conservatism: corruption, scandal, growth of government without meaningful social engineering, and skyrocketing corporate welfare.

    I’m not a big fan of Hillary. I’m not a big fan of McCain. Both represent corporate interests, albeit it different interests. I suspect you and I agree on the need to prevent corporate welfare. But I don’t think we live in a world where small government is an option anymore. Efficient goverment? Sure. Effective government? Of course. And I suspect you and I agree on the need to preserve civil liberties from big government. But small government? We’re not a small country.

    Posted by: phx8 at February 19, 2008 4:08 PM
    Comment #245742

    Px8
    BillS gave false info to give credit where credit is not due and I gave facts based on actual experiences. I know the left hates to hear about actual experiences from those who know first hand, when it goes against what they want to believe, but that doesn’t mean we are wrong.
    I was not defending McCain’s positions, only pointing out that clinton sucked when it came to being CIC.

    And you are right, clinton did not treat the military like Bush is, but then again, our country was not at war under clinton was it. Well, he did send us to fight under a different flag against a country which posed no threat to the US, but he never led us in war. He outsourced the leading part out.

    Why can’t conservatives support our troops? I don’t know, ask them. Seems to me that ignoring the problem as we did in the 90s didn’t work and playing babysitter after we destroy a country doesn’t work either, so if you want someone who will support our troops, you’re not going to find in what is being offered today, especially in Obama or clinton2.

    Posted by: kctim at February 19, 2008 4:44 PM
    Comment #245760

    The Clinton administration’s use of force (or lack thereof) may be controversial, but the Clinton Pentagon oversaw the most successful defense drawdown in U.S. history — cutting military personnel by 15 percent more than the previous administration had planned while retaining a high state of readiness and a strong global deterrence posture. It enacted a prescient modernization program. And the military it helped produce achieved impressive successes in Bosnia and Kosovo and, more significant, in Afghanistan and Iraq. Although these victories were primarily due to the remarkable dedication and skill of U.S. troops, credit is also owed to Clinton’s defense policy.

    The Clinton defense team did not, however, do a good job of managing military morale, taking too long to figure out how to distribute a demanding workload fairly and sustainably across a smaller force. As a consequence, U.S. troops became overworked and demoralized, and many left the military or considered doing so. Although many of these problems were largely repaired by the end of the decade, they undoubtedly detract from Clinton’s military achievements. But they do not justify the overwhelmingly negative assessment of his defense record…

    Moreover, the Clinton Pentagon made good use of the scarce funds it had, purchasing key battlefield technologies and improving behind-the-scenes preparedness…

    — but unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVS), missile defense systems, satellite-guided weapons, and improved rapid-targeting and radar technology, developed chiefly during the Clinton years. The Predator UAV, for example, which was used to monitor key targets in Afghanistan and to attack fleeing terrorists, began as an experimental program in 1994. Global Hawk, a larger and higher-altitude UAV, was developed around the same time.

    The Clinton years also saw the development of the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missile defense system, a huge improvement over the primitive Patriot system that performed so poorly in Operation Desert Storm in 1991.

    Clinton’s Strong Defense Legacy
    Michael O’Hanlon
    From Foreign Affairs, November/December 2003


    Posted by: Cube at February 19, 2008 7:21 PM
    Comment #245836

    The CinC leads and budgets, he does not develop new technology. Giving clinton credit for such things is no different than giving Bush credit for DREAD, RGS, new bunker busters etc… and neither one of them deserves such credit.

    Posted by: kctim at February 20, 2008 9:34 AM
    Comment #245848

    Let’s analyze why a Republican (assumed, as this IS the Republican blog!) is voting for Obama…you can only do this in states with an open primary like Wisconsin, not in states with a closed primary (“presidential preference”) like Arizona…

    After all the panic and diatribes against Hillary in this same blog, I would also have to assume that Republicans are so frightened of what Hillary knows and what markers Hillary can pull in that, since it’s a foregone conclusion McCain will be the Republican candidate, Republicans take every chance they can to make sure McCain doesn’t have to face Hillary…

    Otherwise, why all the panic everytime Hillary’s name is brought up???

    Posted by: Rachel at February 20, 2008 11:37 AM
    Comment #245870

    Rachel, people dislike hillary because they do not like her positions on issues and the corruption associated with her.
    What you call panic, is actually concern about having the next 4-8 years being the same as the last 16.
    People will show up just to vote against hillary.

    McCain vs hillary? Millions show up to vote against her, its a close election and there is no telling who wins.
    Obama vs McCain? Millions of voters sit out and Obama wins.
    Take your pick.

    Posted by: kctim at February 20, 2008 4:02 PM
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