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Archive for the ‘McCain’ Category

So I’ve read a couple of things about McCain volunteers in Colorado. Here’s one from CNN today. Usa Today says that Aurora, the place I’m working out of for Obama, is the new bell weather for the election.

Aurora is a suburb of Denver. On my first day we were visiting Obama supporters making sure they have all the information they need to vote. Many of the supporters we visit have already taken advantage of early voting. We tick them off the list so that we don’t visit them again. It’s hard to compare our ground game to the McCain supporters. We haven’t run in to any of them yet despite seeing them on a local news program. I have come across a few McCain flyers, but there is definately more material out there for Obama. As I said earlier we initially targeted Obama-leaning or Obama supporters. We’ve been so effective at getting them out to vote that we actually had to open up our territory to persuadable voters meaning people who could be supporting McCain.

Yesterday I woke up a man who told me he’d already voted for McCain. He told me he couldn’t wait until the election was over. I said many of us feel the same way. Today we’re driving a few people to the DMV to turn in their mail-in ballots, and we’ll probably be driving a few in to the polls tomorrow.

My only complaint about this trip — the  guys I’m working with don’t really seem to know how to have fun. It’s really hard to find out when/if people are going out. There doesn’t seem to be any consensus on what we’re doing on Tuesday night either. I tell you I’m dreaming about all the pubs on Capitol Hill in Seattle having election night drinking binges. Maybe I should try and crash a Republican party. Maybe Seattleites are just alcoholics. Maybe I’m just an alcoholic, but come on guys, all work and no play does not make Jack happy. Or whatever the quote is.

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I saw the enlightening film Why We Fight when it came out a few years ago. In this article filmmaker Eugene Jarecki describes his unsettling experience with McCain. The whole article including video from the film is worth a look.

John McCain was featured prominently in my documentary film Why We Fight, which premiered at Sundance in 2005. In pre-screenings of the film across the country before its theatrical release, John McCain wowed audiences with his outspoken words onscreen. On the subject of misguided U.S. foreign policy, he said “Where the debate and controversy begins is how far does the United States go and when does it go from a force for good to a force of imperialism?” About defense industry corruption, he declared, “President Eisenhower’s concern about the military-industrial complex — his words have unfortunately come true.” In specific, McCain criticized not only the Bush Doctrine of preemptive war but even the contracting and billing practices of Halliburton.

Later when Jarecki talked to McCain’s advisor:

When next I heard from Salter, panic had grown to fury. He said the Senator’s critical comments
about the dangers of preemption and of American imperialism could give the mistaken impression McCain was opposed to the Iraq war and the Bush Administration broadly. But the moment in the film that was his greatest concern was when, responding to a question about the controversial awarding of no-bid contracts to Halliburton, McCain concedes, “It looks bad. It looks bad. And apparently, Halliburton more than once has overcharged the federal government. That’s wrong.” When pressed on how he would tackle this problem, McCain boldly declares, “I would have a public investigation of what they’ve done.”

At that moment in the film, a phone rings off-screen and Senator McCain is advised by a staffer
that Vice-President Cheney is calling. With a nervous laugh, the Senator excuses himself. “The
vice-president’s on the phone,” he stammers, rising and scrambling off-screen, leaving the
camera rolling on his empty chair. Different people see this scene differently. Some see McCain’s sudden departure as perfectly normal. He’s a high-ranking Senator, and the Vice-President is calling. Others see McCain’s departure as evidence of a too-close relationship with Cheney. They note a certain embarrassment in McCain’s body language. To yet a smaller, third group, McCain’s reaction underscores Dick Cheney’s omnipotence in Washington. Given the Administration’s penchant for wiretapping, one viewer laughingly told me he thought perhaps “Cheney had decided the interview had gone on long enough.”

Jokes aside, when McCain’s office voiced their concern about this moment, I expected, if
anything, they might fear the suggestion of uncomfortably close ties between McCain and Cheney. When Salter instead declared to me that I was “making it look like John McCain was critical of the Vice-President,” and that “Vice-President Cheney has nothing to do with Halliburton,” I realized that what he was objecting to was not that McCain might appeared too close to Cheney but rather not close enough. Mr. Salter demanded that I send him a transcript of the Senator’s interview, not just the parts that appear in the film. Since none of the film’s more than twenty other interviewees had been provided such a thing, and since I valued the film’s independence from political pressure, I told Mr. Salter I would seek advice from other journalists and get back to him.

Salter next resorted to threats, saying that, unless I complied, he would smear my name in the
media and exert pressure on the film’s principal funder never to work with me again. I said I
thought the BBC would be unlikely to welcome such pressure from an irate chief of staff to a
senator. Salter then changed gears, appealing to my sense of fairness. “When Senator McCain
sat down to talk to you,” he explained, “he thought he was talking to a television crew from the
BBC.” I said that that was true, but that the film had then gone on to win Sundance and secure a
theatrical release. But then something troubling about his remark dawned on me.

“If you don’t mind my asking,” I said, “are you suggesting there are things Senator McCain will
say to a British audience that he isn’t comfortable saying to the American people?”Needless to say, this didn’t help matters. But I wasn’t trying to be snide. My question was just the logical extension of what Salter had intimated. But it clearly touched a nerve. He became enraged and, after hanging up, sought to make good on his threat to tarnish my name and career.

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McCain supporters ask this question to the guy giving out Obama/Islam bumper stickers.

The strategy is not working guys. You’re going to have to talk about the issues.

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I had to laugh at this:

He is the Alpha Male on this stage, and McCain the bristling teen – aged 72. No wonder women seem to be so disproportionately pro-Obama.

Yeah, women don’t care anything about issues.

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And now the Conservative pundits are jumping ship. There’s no question that McCain is responsible for his lackluster campaign. There’s no question that a seventy-two-year-old man should have selected a more viable vice-presidential candidate. A McCain presidency scares the begeezus out of me.

Yet let’s be honest here. What was McCain given to work with? How is it that these guys are assigning the blame to McCain when the most powerful message Obama has given is that John McCain will be a continuation of the last four years. Who is responsible for the economic collapse? Who has increased our national debt? Who supported a unilateral war with no clear plan or goal? These are the things that preoccupy the American psyche, and John McCain’s support of each of these issues will determine his downfall.

But let’s not forget where the responsibility really lies: George W. Bush.

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Rep. John Lewis Responds To Increasing Hostility Of McCain-Palin Campaign10/11/2008
“As one who was a victim of violence and hate during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, I am deeply disturbed by the negative tone of the McCain-Palin campaign. What I am seeing today reminds me too much of another destructive period in American history. Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are sowing the seeds of hatred and division, and there is no need for this hostility in our political discourse.

“During another period, in the not too distant past, there was a governor of the state of Alabama named George Wallace who also became a presidential candidate. George Wallace never threw a bomb. He never fired a gun, but he created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans who only desired to exercise their constitutional rights. Because of this atmosphere of hate, four little girls were killed one Sunday morning when a church was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama.

“As public figures with the power to influence and persuade, Sen. McCain and Governor Palin are playing with fire, and if they are not careful, that fire will consume us all. They are playing a very dangerous game that disregards the value of the political process and cheapens our entire democracy. We can do better. The American people deserve better.”

To deny the validity and truth of this statement as McCain and Palin are doing is beyond ridiculous. Lewis is right.

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Getting rid of your Vice Presidential candidate was never so easy.

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As with the trains, this is via DailyKos.

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Via DailyKos.

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He makes Dick Cheney look quite cheerful.

Via Americablog.

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I’ve always assumed that the reason why the Republican base didn’t like John McCain was because of his so-called maverick tendencies, but then the last eight years have shown McCain not to be a maverick at all and as this election wears on I’m more inclined to call it pure folklore.

But what if that was never the reason at all? What if they knew him to be self-centered, unreliable, capricious, impulsive, temperamental, manic, a crazy nut case, and finally the type of person who runs when the going gets tough.

We the American people who’ve never met this guy didn’t really get it. Now I can see why the base was so desperate to see Mitt Romney get the nod.

He also dodged a debate in 2000:

“Clearly, this is more double-talk from the McCain campaign,” said Alixe Mattingly, a spokeswoman for Bush. “Pulling out of this debate at the last minute is an indication that they’re pulling out of California, where McCain’s antagonistic message clearly isn’t working.’

Could the Republicans have also had their hands tied by McCain’s national hero label?

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Glenn Greenwald changes his opinion on Sarah Palin:

But Sarah Palin’s performance in the tiny vignettes of unscripted dialogue in which we’ve been allowed to see her has been nothing short of frightening — really, as I said, pity-inducing. And I say that as someone who has thought from the start that the criticisms of her abilities — as opposed to her ideology — were much too extreme. One of two things is absolutely clear at this point: she is either (a) completely ignorant about the most basic political issues — a vacant, ill-informed, incurious know-nothing, or (b) aggressively concealing her actual beliefs about these matters because she’s petrified of deviating from the simple-minded campaign talking points she’s been fed and/or because her actual beliefs are so politically unpalatable, even when taking into account the right-wing extremism that is permitted, even rewarded, in our mainstream. I’m not really sure which is worse, but it doesn’t really matter, because with 40 days left before the election, both options are heinous.

I too am perplexed with her performance. I may be giving her too much credit, but I’m having trouble believing she would be this bad if left to her own devices. I cannot conceive of a state electing a person to its highest office someone who when contradicted repeats word for word their previous answer as if they were a record player. Her handling reminds me of the assistance Katie Holmes received in her early days of Scientology.

Everyone is asking: how bad can the real Sarah Palin actually be? Without seeing it we are left to think it is even worse than what we are seeing. That scares me. You can watch some clips of the interview at balloon-juice.

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Everyone’s posting it so why not me?

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Call me juvenile but I found this fake caught-on-tape interview with John McCain rather funny.

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Spain schmain

Can a man running for president of the United States really not know that Spain is in Europe? I mean prior to the Madrid attacks, they were an ally in the “war on terror”.

This conversation reminds me of the many conversations I’ve had with people when I tell them I’m from Thailand. Oh, you’re Taiwanese, they say. I had a junior high school teacher who really believed Thailand was part of Burma.

Via Americablog.

QUESTION: Senator, finally, let’s talk about Spain. If you’re elected president, would you be willing to invite President Jose Luiz Rodriguez Zapatero to the White House to meet with you?

MCCAIN: I would be willing meet, uh, with those leaders who our friends [sic] and want to work with us in a cooperative fashion, and by the way, President Calderon of Mexico is fighting a very very tough fight against the drug cartels. I’m glad we are now working in cooperation with the Mexican government on the Merida plan. I intend to move forward with relations, and invite as many of them as I can, those leaders, to the White House.

QUESTION: Would that invitation be extended to the Zapatero government, to the president itself?

MCCAIN: I don’t, you know, honestly I have to look at relations and the situations and the priorities, but I can assure you I will establish closer relations with our friends and I will stand up to those who want to do harm to the United States of America.

QUESTION: So you have to wait and see if he’s willing to meet with you, or you’ll be able to do it in the White House?

MCCAIN: Well again I don’t, all I can tell you is that I have a clear record of working with leaders in the hemisphere that are friends with us, and standing up to those who are not, and that’s judged on the basis of the importance of our relationship with Latin America, and the entire region.

QUESTION: Okay… what about you, I’m talking about the President of Spain?

MCCAIN: What about me what?

QUESTION: Okay… are you willing to meet with him if you are elected president?

MCCAIN: I am willing to meet with any leader who is dedicated to the same principles and philosophy that we are for human rights, democracy and freedom, and I will stand up to those that do not.

Scary.

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Jill Greenberg was hired by The Atlantic to photograph John McCain for a publication of the magazine. She did produce a photograph which The Atlantic will use; however, she also took photographs from the shoot for her own artistic exhibition which she shows on her web site.

I was interested in this wordpress blog which approaches this topic from standpoint of professional photographers. I have to admit, it never occured to me to think of the industry. It’s a good read.

Can a photographer be both an “artist” and a “commercial photographer”, simultaneously? Can they toe the line between the two disciplines?

Greenberg’s site is here.

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In America, local news is pretty unreliable when talking about any “controversial” issues. What constitutes a controversial issue? Well I can tell you it’s not a fire, crime or a weather story (unless climate change is involved.)  And certainly not something that portrays any one political party in a bad light. Yet here an Alaskan local news channel seems perplexed by Sarah Palin’s lies.

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So let me first get this out of the way: I apologize for referencing Britney Spears in this post. Now that that is done…

Lynne Spears has just written a tell-book that reveals that Britney Spears lost her virginity at age 13 to some high school football player. Why do I care? Because from 1997 when Britney Spears first became popular until 2003 when Justin Timberlake revealed she was not a virgin, Spears and her handlers were perpetrating the myth that she believed in waiting to have sex before marriage. Many people ate that narrative up though Christian conservatives still had a problem with her videos, magazine covers and the like. Lynne Spears says:

She admits she allowed her then 16-year-old daughter to sleep with Timberlake, her Mickey Mouse Club co-star, and went along with the hoax that Britney was a virgin.

Timberlake had shattered the fair-maiden myth in 2003, blabbing to reporters, “She lost her virginity a while ago – and I should know.” He also told Barbara Walters that he gave Britney her first kiss.

Lynne Spears reveals Timberlake was misled and that Britney lost her virginity to a Kentwood, La., high school football player.

Again, why am talking about Britney Spears. I guess to point out how narratives created by marketing experts really don’t tell you anything about a person. Those Christian conservatives who objected to Spears actions rather than her words were actually more right than the ones who held Britney Spears up as a values conservative.

John McCain’s war service creates a powerful narrative as does Sarah Palin’s narrative as a hockey mom. And let’s be honest, Barack Obama perhaps has the most powerful and current narrative of them all. He is the symbol of the American narrative as a melting pot. Bush’s narrative of the cowboy who clears brush has now been shattered since he is now moving out of Crawford, Texas. So with all this marketing directed at us, how should we vote?

Look to actions. Look at the issues that matter to you and how the candidates voted on those issues. Look at what is true and not what you want to be true. I nearly voted for Bob Dole in 1996 because of his narrative when a friend asked me a series of questions about what I believed in. It turned out Bob and I agreed on nothing. I voted for Clinton. Perhaps for you it will mean voting for McCain in 2008. Perhaps not. I just point out that narratives are misleading.

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Sure sounds like Mitt Romney was a bit miffed about being passed over for Vice President since he’s already talking about his own presidential run should McCain fail.

“I saw my dad serve in the Cabinet, and I learned something from that experience,” the former Massachusetts governor said Tuesday. “He felt he was kind of soldiered (manhandled) by the young folks in the White House, and then there’s the big bureaucracy that you try and move. It’s hard to do that. I just don’t have any interest in a Cabinet position.”

Since ending his own bid for the Republican presidential nomination in February, Romney has done everything asked of him to advance McCain’s candidacy.

He played attack dog in media interviews arranged by the McCain staff, enduring hoots and hollers last week as he visited news sets on the floor of the Democratic National Convention in Denver. He recommended one of his best advisers, former eBay chief executive Meg Whitman, to McCain. And he and his team raised more than $20 million for his once cash-strapped rival, all of which prompted McCain’s top advisers to chat up the possibility that Romney might become the Arizona senator‘s running mate.

Yet last Thursday, as Romney traveled the California coast urging supporters to give McCain’s campaign more money, McCain offered the vice presidential nomination to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. McCain told Romney his decision Friday, the day Palin’s selection was announced.

In one sense, it was a crushing blow. But in another, it was liberating.

While Romney wished McCain and Palin well, his friends and advisers say if they fail in the general election, Romney is primed — even anxious — to mount a second bid for the White House.

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The GOP is so much better at capitalizing on gaffes like this. I’ll admit; I don’t like it. On the other hand, does it take a gaffe like this for people to realize that this is not the guy you would be having beers with in the bar?

Photo via DailyKos.

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Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili on Wednesday called for John McCain and other American leaders to do more for Georgia in their response to the conflict in his country.

“Yesterday, I heard Sen. McCain say, ‘We are all Georgians now,’” Saakashvili said on CNN’s American Morning. “Well, very nice, you know, very cheering for us to hear that, but OK, it’s time to pass from this. From words to deeds.”

Chest thumping just doesn’t have the same affect these days.

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Via TalkingPointsMemo I found this piece from the Financial Times:

Joe Lieberman, the former Democratic vice-presidential nominee who has endorsed John McCain, is being vetted as a potential running mate for the Republican presidential hopeful, according to an adviser to Mr McCain’s ­campaign.

Mr Lieberman, who has campaigned for the Arizona senator, has long been ­considered an unconventional but plausible choice for Mr McCain.

I wouldn’t be surprised at all if McCain chose Lieberman for VP. In fact, I would be more surprised if he didn’t. But what does this say about Republican politicians?

Lieberman is clearly the brains of the operation. He knows the difference between Sunni and Shiite. He knows that there is no Iraq Pakistan border. He knows that Czechoslovakia is no more and let’s be honest, he has an ideology of the Middle East, a region which I doubt I-don’t-know-much-about-foreign-policy-John-McCain has ever been interested in.

Does it not seem that Joe Lieberman whispering in John McCain’s ear is exactly like Dick Cheney lurking in the bushes?

The point I’m trying to make is that the Republican party has transformed themselves into the party of lazy frat boy talking heads. They select a figurehead of average intelligence who really has no interest in politics as anything more than a career where they can get a lot of admiration without a lot of work. If John McCain had any interest in foreign policy it would show in that he would know basic facts about foreign lands.

George W. cared so little about being President that he had no problem giving the reigns to his Vice President. He probably thought let’s get someone else to do all the work for me so he could still keep track of baseball.

Now, John McCain would seem to be doing the same. You would think that after going through all the hassle of getting elected President (the most powerful position in the world) that either of this men would actually want to be in charge. You would think wrong.

I guess we should expect that this is future of the office of Vice President when a Republican is in office. From now on the Vice President will be the most powerful position in the world — the man (and we’re talking Republicans here so it will be a man) behind the puppet.

Or, we could try to elect someone who actually wants to be President — someone with the smarts and desire to lead.

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I was watching Verdict last night on msnbc when I caught this absolutely disturbing Saturday Night Live skit with John McCain. I guess the really disturbing part is that he is quite good as stalker. I always thought Bill Clinton was quite a thespian, but John McCain has one on him. McCain’s performance is a little too good to enjoy. Apologies for the adverts.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “John McCain on SNL“, posted with vodpod

Update: Not having luck with the add-on vodpod, but you can click on the link to see the video here.

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I really don’t get McCain these days. To him the following statement is playing the race card.

“So nobody really thinks that Bush or McCain have a real answer for the challenges we face, so what they’re going to try to do is make you scared of me,” he told voters in Springfield. “You know, he’s not patriotic enough. He’s got a funny name. You know, he doesn’t look like all those other Presidents on those dollar bills, you know. He’s risky. That’s essentially the argument they’re making.”

The first time I remember ever hearing about the so-called race card was during the O.J. Simpson trial where defense attorney Johnny Cochran took advantage of the inclinations of a mostly-black jury to acquit O.J. In that case, Cochran played off the fears and distrust of the police that he assumed the jury members shared. It seemed to work. Despite the wealth of evidence against him, the jurors did not trust any evidence that the police collected and therefore had no problem acquitting the man.

What’s interesting is that Obama has not used fear in his campaign but McCain most certainly has. Let’s be honest, McCain’s message is you can’t trust this guy. He’s untested. You don’t know anything about him. I know you’re not happy with me or my party. I know you don’t agree with most of the things I believe, but you have to be careful. He could be a whole lot worst.

Even if I was a Republican, this would never work with me. Given the choice between a known bad and an unknown, I would take the risk and go for the unknown. What do I have to lose?

With Kerry it was the same way. Don’t trust this guy; we’re already in a war, you don’t know what this guy will do. He won’t be able to protect you. It may not be a “race” card, but it’s a manipulation nonetheless.

As I’ve said before, choosing a Republican because you are scared…how’s that working for you?

Photo via sneakerobsession.com

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