Why the fuck is John McCain sending his wife to Georgia?

August 26, 2008

…and I mean the country not the state.

I remember a time, long ago (in political terms, in reality it was about two weeks ago). When Obama was acting “Too Presidential” for talking with foreign leaders on his trip.

Why the fuck is Cindy going to Georgia? What does she have to offer? Really? She’s an absentee chair and heiress of a Bud distributing company. What does she know about, care about or have the capability to contribute to an international situation? This is a serious question I’m asking.

Under the cover of the UN World Food program (which from a quick Google is the first time she’s been affiliated with them) She’s going to meet with some wounded. If she really wanted to visit some wounded soldiers, Walter Reid is probably closer, although I suppose the world is your back yard when you have your own jet. Random thought: where’s the wingnut outrage machine? I mean obviously Cindy is snubbing the soldiers at Walter Reid and around the globe to visit the wounded in Georgia. You know…foreign soldiers…not red blooded American soldiers. And why with the UN Food Program? Are the wounded in Georgia in danger of starving?

We also learn that she’s going to meet with Saakashvili, the Georgian president. Why?

Does he assitance planning a party?

Is he in need of a lift out of the country?

Is he planning a vacation an need the keys to one of the McCain’s houses?

Is he in need of fashion tips or recommendations on places to vacation?

There is no reason, other than campaign propaganda for Cindy McCain to be going to Georgia. Hell, while it wasn’t under sniper fire, at least Hillary had a clue about foreign affairs when she went to Bosnia. Cindy has nothing to contribute to the national conversation about foreign affairs, and sending her to Georgia, is just a bit “too presidential”.

Advertisements

…and the neocons fan the embers…

August 20, 2008

…in the Caucuses. Uber NeoCon and PNAC member Fred Kagan on the News Hour tonight.

And I also think that we recognize the necessity of providing Georgia with defensive weapons systems that will protect — I’m sorry, Poland — that will protect Poland itself from possible Russian attacks of the sort that we’ve seen in Georgia. So that’s why I think we threw in the Patriot missile batteries, as well.

Hell give some to Georgia too, and if you order now, we’ll throw in a battery of Patriot Missiles free as our gift to you for shopping at US Weapons-R-US.

John Issacs responds:

but it certainly also gives the lie to the Bush administration’s case that it’s making for many months, many years, that this missile defense system that we’re going to deploy in Poland was directed at Iran and certainly not at Russia.

Well, I think what Condoleezza Rice said today, the Polish leaders, some American politicians have made it clear, this missile defense system fuels the Russian fears of what they’ve been saying all along, that the missile defense system is really directed at them.

Pretty much a big o’ duh in my book. The only country that has the capabilities to shoot missiles as us is Russia. Oh but what about Iran? Issacs goes on to say:

They’ve been trying to develop long-range missiles, but they have — there is no yet — there’s not yet any Iranian missile that can hit very long distances.

Then we have this exchange:

FREDERICK KAGAN: No, because the agreement is to develop and deploy the system. And there is an Iranian threat. The Iranians have just recently been testing Shahab 3 missiles that have a range of 2,000 kilometers, which is far in excess of what they need…

JOHN ISAACS: Testing, but not successfully.

FREDERICK KAGAN: Well, good heavens, shall we wait until they’re actually landing in Europe? I mean, the problem with the defensive system, as we’ve repeatedly made clear, is that it takes time to build and develop a system. And the time to be doing that is before your enemy actually has the capability.

First we have wingnut argument #1 here. ZOMG!!! They MIGHT be able to do something BAD in the future, so we must over respond NOW. Second, even Kagan says the system doesn’t work, so why are we poking a stick in the eye of the Russians by signing this agreement now?

Kagan gets then gets all Sandbox Commando on us:

But the key thing here is that the notion that this system is somehow directed at Russia is absolutely laughable. The geometry is wrong. The U.S. missile defense program, which has been showing the Russians virtually the blueprints and diagrams of this system all along, has shown very clearly that interceptors launched from this spot will not be able to hit Russian ICBMs that are launched from Central Asia and that fly very close to the North Pole.

Note: dickweed, we have missiles that can launch from the US and hit Russia, I’m sure then that we can launch a missile from Poland and hit whatever we want in Russia. Of course even John McCain is skeptical of the system as Isaac’s points out:

In fact, the two Armed Services Committee, the Senate and the House Armed Services Committee, including the committee on which Senator John McCain, the Republican almost nominee, presumptive nominee serves, voted to cut money and prevent any actual construction of the missile, until it’s built first and it’s tested first.

Although I’m fairly confident McCain will flip flop on that vote at his earliest connivence. Isaac then cuts to the quick of of the issue

So we’re talking about tests two years away. There’s no reason to sign an agreement today, except we wanted to respond to what happened in Georgia and we wanted to ratchet up the rhetoric and the moves.

And I think it’s very dangerous from what Russia is saying, and it’s very dangerous what the U.S. has been doing.

Russia is obviously a key to dealing with among others, Iran. Kagan dismisses the importance of a relationship with Russia in favor of wracheting up tensions and in the same breath gets the facts of the Georgia conflict wrong:

So I’m not — I’m far from convinced that Russia has been a particularly useful partner to begin with, but I would point out that we were not the ones who began this.

The Russians started all of this with an absolutely illegal invasion of Georgia….

No…Georgia started this, Russia undoubtedly over reacted, but Georgia threw the first punch. Kagan ends with this peach:

Now, I think it’s entirely appropriate in that context for us to make it clear that we intend to defend our NATO allies.

With WHAT FUCKING ARMY??? You dolt, you personally, you directly have absolutely decimated our armed forces with your needless invasion of Iraq. You. Fucked. Us. And as this country continues to poke Russia in the eye with a stick, what are we going to do when they punch back? What are we going to do when they pull the stick out of our hand? Nothing. We will do nothing, because we can do nothing, and you are a directly are responsible for this situation.

And bringing it back to the election, you know what? John McCain shows ever indication of continuing this reckless shoot first and talk later type of foreign policy. The world is very unstable at this moment. We don’t need someone with a hair trigger and a mouth to match.


Hillary Deadenders.

August 15, 2008

I see the Hillary Deadenders are still going strong. All several dozen of them. Explaining themselves:

link

(note, since I’m hopelessly lame, and can’t figure out how to Embed MSNBC video in WordPress…click on the link above)

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA. These people are as delusional as any wingnut. I thought David Schuster was on their shit misogynist list for his “pimp” comment. Guess when it’s time to pimp yourself, standards…eh…who need’s em! Schuster and Maddow need their own shows.

Wonder how they’ll like McCain’s lower and middle class tax increase?


McCain’s health care tax.

August 15, 2008

Over at Benen‘s place I saw this piece he wrote about a WSJ article written by two economic policy advisors to Obama. In it, they state:

…Sen. McCain’s plan does include one new proposal that would result in higher taxes on the middle class. As even Sen. McCain’s advisers have acknowledged, his health-care plan would impose a $3.6 trillion tax increase over 10 years on workers.

Sen. McCain’s plan will count the health care you get from your employer as if it were taxable cash income. Even after accounting for Sen. McCain’s proposed health-care tax credits, this plan would eventually leave tens of millions of middle-class families paying higher taxes. In addition, as the Congressional Budget Office has shown, this kind of plan would push people into higher tax brackets and increase the taxes people pay as their compensation rises, raising marginal tax rates by even more than if we let the entire Bush tax-cut plan expire tomorrow.

I really couldn’t believe it. As someone who’s more radical than Bush on cutting taxes, I couldn’t believe McCain would actually be proposing this. Since the article was written by people from the Obama camp, I thought they must be distorting the truth. So I looked and sure enough, this is EXACTLY what he’s proposing. In fact he even clarified this in a press conference. McCain’s own words:

Afterward, McCain explained to reporters: “The employer tax deduction stays in place so the employer still has the incentive to provide health insurance to the employee, but the employee now loses the health tax incentive and it is replaced by the refundable tax credit.”

Are you kidding me? I mean I’m speechless, really. I am now going to have to pay taxes, each check, out of pocket, wait until my tax refund to get the money back…hopefully.

Under the plan, employees who have employer-provided health insurance would be taxed on the portion of their coverage that their employer pays. Aides say those costs would be offset by providing tax credits of $2,500 to individuals and $5,000 to families. They said low-income and middle-income people would benefit from the changes the most, while people in the top tax bracket and whose employers pay $15,000 or more of their health insurance costs would break even or pay higher taxes.

On top of this assinine tax increase on lower and middle income citizens, those who file a 1040EZ (the majority of lower income and middle income household, and a favorite of those who don’t need to itemize), this on who can file a 1040EZ:

You do not claim an education credit, retirement savings contributions credit, or a health coverage tax credit.

So either hire an accountant, itemize and file a 1040, or pay taxes on your health care. I’m sure most low income households have their accountant on speed dial for just such situations.

This is a ridiculous proposal. Wonder what all those anti-tax McCain supporters think about this policy!!


Obama vs. McCain.

August 2, 2008

This week McCain and his campaign have been the master of silly campaign ads. They run them in a few markets in the hopes that the traditional media will re-run them ad-nauseum…which they dutifully do. While McCain has been running around yelling “Celebrity” “Paris Hilton”, etc at the top of his lungs, Obama released a six page “emergency economic plan“:

The first part of Obama’s plan is an emergency energy rebate ($500 to individual workers, $1,000 to families) as soon as this fall.

“This rebate will be enough to offset the increased cost of gas for a working family over the next four months,” Obama said. “Or, if you live in a state where it gets very cold in the winter, it will be enough to cover the entire increase in your heating bills. Or you could use the rebate for any of your other bills or even to pay down debt

Separately, Obama’s plan includes a $50 billion stimulus package that his campaign claims would save more than 1 million jobs.

Half of the money would go to state governments, which are facing big budget shortfalls, and half would be used for national infrastructure, including replenishing the Highway Trust Fund, rebuilding roads and bridges, and repairing schools.

You can definitely disagree with what he is proposing, I my self and wary of windfall profit taxes, however…

What does McCain have? Asinine ads and gimmicks. More offshore drilling and a gas tax holiday that wouldn’t even give you a tank of gas. Of course, even the McCain campaign admits that more drilling wouldn’t bring down the price of gas. And oh yeah there’s that whole issue of acres and acres of land already leased to oil companies that are unused.

Nearly three-fourths of the 40 million acres of public land currently leased for oil and gas development in the continental United States outside Alaska isn’t producing any oil or gas, federal records show, even as the Bush administration pushes to open more environmentally sensitive public lands for oil and gas development.

So what are we dealing with here? What are the messages?

Obama has policy, which you can agree or disagree with.

McCain…well he thinks Obama is a celebrity, and asks is he fit to lead.

I ask, McCain, what do you offer besides shameless ads and gimmicks.


Obama’s FISA vote vs. John McCain

July 14, 2008

(cross posted at GOS)

Obama’s FISA vote was a flip-flop in the worst extreme. It betrayed a lot of what I thought Obama was about. However, he is a politician and according to the New Yorker, a calculating one at that. (Note: I haven’t read the piece, but I have watched the bobblehead shows enough to know that while the Cover is “newsworthly”, the actual “meat”…err…article; the revelation about Obama’s past is not as satisfying in media terms, which means that’s the interesting part).

I do note that MSNBC’s first read says:

Meanwhile, the New Yorker’s Hendrik Hertzberg examines all the attention Obama’s apparent flip-flops have received, and he argues that much of the coverage is trivial. “Obama, it turns out, is a politician. In this respect, he resembles the forty-three Presidents he hopes to succeed, from the Father of His Country to the wayward son, Alpha George to Omega George. Winning a Presidential election doesn’t require being all things to all of the people all of the time, but it does require being some things to most of the people some of the time. It doesn’t require saying one thing and also saying its opposite, but it does require saying more or less the same thing in ways that are understood in different ways.”

Hertzberg also breaks down the flip-flops. He calls the one on Iraq a “marginal tweak”; says the charge of flip-flopping on abortion is “nonexistent;” contends that his change on the Supreme Court’s 2nd Amendment decision is a “substantive tweak”; and notes that the FISA and campaign-finance U-turns are significant. He concludes: “Meanwhile, McCain has been busily reversing his views in highly consequential ways. He opposed the Bush tax cuts because they favored the rich; now he supports their eternal extension. He was against offshore oil drilling as not being worth the environmental damage it brings; now he’s for it, and damn the costs. He was against torture, period; now he’s against it unless the C.I.A. does it. He keeps flipping to the wrong flops.”

Sounds about right.

So where am I going with all of this?

Obama is a fucking politician. An inspirational one, granted, but a politician. He seeks to win power, period. He has beliefs, don’t get me wrong, but his goal, as is any politician, as was Jack’s, or FDR’s or Lincoln’s…and down the list…was to gain power and shape the world in their view. This is, by any measure, the ultimate power. As a President of the United States…you have that power.

Obama has always been someone that you can read into what you want. If you want to see him as a progressive you can, a conservative (traditional)? Yup!. Obama is not the savior of the progressive movement, far from it, he is a left of center politician who has said from day one that he will willingly work across the isle.

He is…a politician. One that voted for FISA and Amnesty. However he is heads and tails above John McCain. Who will you vote for when it comes to…I dunno say…like, putting America back together again, after 7 & 1/2 years of the Bush administration tearing this country apart, limb from limb? Who is better McCain or Obama? Who do you choose?

We still are #1, but we are Evel Knievel: #1 and on life support after making a spectacular jump. Who is gonna put us back together again? Make us stronger…faster…better (I grew up in the 70’s so sue me). McCain?

I agree with Kos, more and better democrats, but the GOP have stuck the political pendulum to the right and electing John McCain isn’t going to unstick it. In fact it’s going to stick it there longer. However Obama, progressive that he is not, will start to move the pendulum the other way. McCain…well we know what a GOPer and a spineless Dem Congress can do.

Long term. We have to think long term. The national tilt is still to the right. Look how the polls are working. Obama holds a slight lead, against McCain. McCain is running as Bush III…and holding a slight deficit? Seriously? Why? We’re not united and spreading the message. Media be damned. You can hem and haw about how Tweety or Gregory is not pimping our view…however less that a million people watch those shows. YOU are more influential than them. You and your friends can touch more than them.

Nobody says you can’t voice your opposition to the positions Obama stakes that you don’t like,

..but you gotta believe that McCain is more detrimental to this country than Obama’s FISA vote.

…if you don’t…if you won’t…if you hold back your financial and physical support, if you blow a once in a generation opportunity, to swing the pendulum our way, then you get what you deserve. YOU elect McCain.