Saturday, May 24, 2008

John McCain's Lobbyist Woes

   You'd think that the " straight talker " would finally admit that he is in the pocket of those lobbyist who are volunteering in his campaign for president. But noooooooo...this old fuck is still trying to pull the wool over everyone's eyes even after having to fire or to force the resignations of a few of these creeps.

   If the American public can't see by now that McCain is nothing but a hypocrite and a constant liar, like his buddy Bush, then there is no hope for this country.

   But wait, there's more...


Charles R. Black Jr., the senior adviser to Republican John McCain whose work for foreign dictators has led Democrats to call for his ouster, is not the only lobbyist in the family volunteering on the senator from Arizona's presidential campaign.

His wife, Judy Black, is a national co-chair of the fundraising group "Women for McCain," and she has a vibrant lobbying practice that includes a foreign client and several companies with business before the Senate Commerce Committee, where McCain is a senior member.

Judy Black works at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, a firm that earned $12.9 million in lobbying fees last year. She is listed as an agent of Dubai Aerospace Enterprises, whose partners include the government of Dubai, according to forms filed under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Since 2004, she has also represented telecomunications companies AT&T and Global Crossing Ltd., which have matters before the Commerce Committee.

Question: Since McCain made a big deal in the past couple of weeks about booting lobbyists out of his campaign, how does the national co-chair of Women for McCain get a pass?

George Bush's " Appeasement " Comments

  Cross-posted from CommonDreams

Saturday, May 24, 2008 by Foreign Policy In Focus

Obama, McCain, and Munich

by Ira Chernus

George W. Bush made headlines when he celebrated Israel’s 60th anniversary by warning the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, against the “false comfort of appeasement.” The two words that sounded most loudly were the ones that Bush did not actually say: “Obama” and “Munich.”

The Washington Post’s Dan Balz summed up the general consensus: “More than anything said so far by John McCain, Bush’s comments … signaled what the principle Republican attack line will be in the campaign against Obama.” The White House officially denied the charge even as it privately confirmed the strategy. And when reporters asked McCain to respond, he replied “Yes, there have been appeasers in the past, and the president is exactly right.”

The Obama campaign must have been delighted. The last thing McCain needs now is to have the least popular president in living memory become his campaign spokesman. But the charge of “appeaser” won’t go away. So let’s look at some facts, starting with the other name that Bush put front and center without actually saying it: Munich.

The Nazis Are Coming

In case anyone missed the connection, McCain made it clear when he told reporters that there have been appeasers in the past “and one of them is Neville Chamberlain.” In 1938, British Prime Minister Chamberlain met with Hitler in Munich and agreed to let Germany annex the Sudetenland, the predominantly German part of Czechoslovakia, to gain what he called “peace for our time.” Chamberlain has been scorned ever since as the greatest of all appeasers. Or at least that’s the conventional wisdom.

In fact, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt heard the news of the Munich pact, he sent Chamberlain a telegram with just two words on it: “Good man.” Roosevelt told his ambassador to Italy, “I am not a bit upset over the final result.” His most trusted foreign policy adviser, Sumner Welles, predicted that the Munich accord might lead to a new world order based on justice and law. Half a year later, FDR still hoped to negotiate with Hitler by appealing to reason: “This situation must end in catastrophe,” the president wrote in a personal letter to the Fuhrer, “unless a more rational way of guiding events is found.”

The idea that Munich represented not merely a mistake but a moral catastrophe did not emerge until later, when it turned out the Nazis were intent on war no matter what concessions they received. Once he was in the war, FDR started negotiating with another leader viewed by many Americans as evil incarnate: Josef Stalin. FDR may have shared their view. He justified his alliance with Stalin as “holding hands with the devil.” But if that’s what it took to promote American interests, Roosevelt did not hesitate to do it.

Negotiating with the evil enemy became bipartisan policy under Dwight D. Eisenhower. Ike’s popularity rating soared when he met with Soviet leaders Khrushchev and Bulganin in Geneva in 1955. That set off an almost continuous round of disarmament talks, which continued when the Democrat John F. Kennedy became president. Kennedy also made sure that summitry with Soviet leaders became a bipartisan institution. Richard Nixon won wide praise for extending it to China, though he was criticized from the right for edging too close to appeasement. A few years later, most of those same right-wingers were praising their leader, Ronald Reagan, for his own summitry with the Soviets.

Even During War

The bipartisan policy of negotiating with enemies has extended to active wartime situations too. Harry Truman negotiated endlessly with the other side during the Korean War. His popularity sank not because he negotiated but because the talks brought no end to the war. In the Vietnam War era, Richard Nixon sent Henry Kissinger for talks with the North Vietnamese.

This is merely the record of public negotiations with enemies. There is also a rich record of secret back-channel talks. JFK defused the 1962 Cuban missile crisis not by “standing tough” and risking war but by secretly agreeing to take U.S. missiles out of Turkey if the Soviets withdrew their missiles from Cuba.

Then there’s the case of Iran. When McCain responded to Bush’s recent inflammatory speech, he said: “It’s not an accident that our hostages came home from Iran when President Reagan was president of the United States. He didn’t sit down in a negotiation with the religious extremists in Iran, he made it very clear that those hostages were coming home.”

McCain is off the mark. There were behind-the-scenes negotiations leading up to the hostages’ release at the very moment Reagan took the oath of office, and some charge the Reagan campaign was directing them. The new administration certainly did plenty of negotiating with the Iranians (with Israel in the middle), selling them missiles to raise money for illegal support of the contras in Nicaragua.

Bush’s memory of history is obviously fuzzy, too. After breaking off the negotiations Clinton had begun with North Korea and making that nation a charter member of the “axis of evil,” Bush himself resumed talking with Pyongyang because it was obviously in the best interests of the United States.

At least since FDR, then, presidents have regularly negotiated with leaders of nations they publicly decried as evil. So there is no historical basis for the charge that Obama is an “appeaser,” simply because he says it makes sense to talk with the leaders of Iran, Syria, or other nations that are supposedly our enemy.

History of Misrepresentation

Since these facts are so well-known, the corporate media and everyone else should have joined Senator Joe Biden in treating the Bush-McCain charge of “appeaser” as nonsense.

But the charge may well have legs because it fits a long-standing pattern. Presidents and other U.S. leaders who negotiated with supposed enemies have regularly (no matter how unfairly) been accused of appeasement. Democrats spent years fending off charges that Roosevelt had appeased Stalin at their Yalta summit (where Churchill did agree to give Stalin control of much of Eastern Europe, perhaps with FDR’s knowledge). In 1957, Eisenhower told his national security advisor that he was worried the Democrats would turn the tables and attack his disarmament negotiation plans as “our Munich.”

By then, though, the meaning of “appeasement” and “Munich” had changed. And that change holds the key to the importance of the “appeasement” charge in this year’s election.

“Appeasement” began as an accurate charge of miscalculation. In1938, the British wrongly thought that a grant of the Sudetenland would stop German aggression. So the opposite of “appeasement” was intelligence: an accurate calculation of enemy intentions and a well-crafted rational pursuit of one’s own national interest.

But Eisenhower meant something quite different when he told aides: “If you are imposing a moral program in this world, you have to stand behind it with strength … It would be unthinkable to be guilty of a Munich. It is likely that you do come to a place uncomfortably close to war, but you cannot retreat and retreat.” Ike said he was willing to risk nuclear war to stop the Chinese from shelling two tiny islands in the Straits of Formosa because “should the Reds eventually control Formosa, that would be a real Munich,” and “there was hardly a word which the people of this country feared more than the term ‘Munich.’”

By the 1950s, then, “appeasement” and “Munich” meant far more than mistaking the enemy’s intentions. Those words now meant doing anything that might allow the enemy to gain any advantage, or anything that might look like advantage, anywhere in the world. The opposite of “appeasement” became “softness,” or the appearance of “softness.” Anything less than an absolutely rigid unyielding resistance to every move of the opponent, no matter how rational or understandable that move might be, could now be tarred with the dreaded epithet “appeasement.”

This change in the meaning of the word flowed from a change in the concept of the enemy. FDR and Chamberlain saw Nazi Germany as evil because it was competing with, and threatening to harm, U.S. and British interests. When FDR wrote to Hitler urging “a more rational way of guiding events,” he said nothing about stopping persecution of Jews and others in Germany. He demanded only that Germany stop arming for war and start “opening up avenues of international trade.” The underlying picture was of nations in conflict because each was pursuing its own self-interest, as nations always do.

By Eisenhower’s time, the war was ideological. The fascists and communists were rashly lumped together as “totalitarians”: people who would settle for nothing less than total control of the entire world. The strong dose of realpolitik in the Soviet leaders’ foreign policy was ignored. They were not treated as rational beings like us. The Eisenhower consensus said that the only way to deal with them was to keep them penned up behind a wall of containment, a wall so highly fortified it would be impenetrable and immutable.  More Here...

Friday, May 23, 2008

Bush Opposes Military Pay Raise, Again!

  In case you did not know it, the Democrats are attempting to give our military a 3.9 percent pay raise, which is opposed by President Bush. This would be the second year in a row that Bush has not wanted to support our military with a pay raise. You would think that that ass-wipe would at least have the decency to give our fighting forces a little more cash since they are putting their lives on the line in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as other places, for Bush and his war-mongers.

  House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel had something to say about the Bush opposition to the raise.

The Gavel

Washington, D.C. – House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel issued the following statement after the White House announced that it “strongly opposes” Democratic efforts to provide troops with a 3.9 percent pay raise. This is the second year in a row that the White House has opposed Democrats’ efforts to provide a more substantial pay raise to our troops. Emanuel’s statement is below.

“One year later and nothing has changed: President Bush is still without a policy in Iraq and American troops are still without the full pay raise they deserve. The President says he supports the troops, but the resources don’t match his rhetoric.”

To read the complete Statement of Administration Policy visit

Rep. Patrick Murphy (PA-08), the only Iraq veteran serving in Congress, spoke on the issue last year:

Rep. Murphy: “And yet, two weeks ago, President Bush said and I quote, ‘America should do what it takes to support our troops.’ The president criticizes the spending priorities of this Congress but stands in the way of a pay increase for our troops. I say the president should do what it takes to support our troops. This pay raise is long overdue and it is necessary and President Bush’s opposition to it is simply unconscionable.”

   Bush will no doubt argue that the raise cannot be afforded, which is bullshit. Get rid of a few of the Blackwater employees and the money will be there very fast.

   I wonder how John McCain feels about a raise for the military?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

John McCain Rejects John Hagee's Endorsement

  It sure did take long enough for the old man to come to his senses and turn down Hagee's endorsement.

  It seems that McCain had to hear of an audio of Hagee saying that he believed the Nazis did God's will by chasing Jews from Europe. OUCH!

  I guess that if McCain wasn't so old he would have looked up some of Hagee's sermons on Youtube and then discovered that his religious endorser is nothing more than a common crook dressed up for television.

  McCain has been chasing after Hagee's endorsement since this past February which makes me wonder. Is McCain totally inept? If I were running for the office of President of the United States and I was seeking a powerful group leaders endorsement, I would want to make sure that that leader was not too controversial before I accepted the endorsement. Someone like Pastor Hagee is not all that complicated to look up. Someone should tell McCain that we have Internet now so getting info is pretty damned easy.


McCain, the presumed Republican nominee for November's presidential election, issued a statement after the Huffington Post website posted audio of the 1990s remarks by Hagee.

"Obviously, I find these remarks and others deeply offensive and indefensible, and I repudiate them," he said.

"I did not know of them before Reverend Hagee's endorsement, and I feel I must reject his endorsement as well."    Read More

Karl Rove Issued A Subpoena

  May 22nd, 2008 by Jesse Lee @ The Gavel

From the Judiciary Committee:

Conyers Subpoenas Karl Rove

(Washington, DC)- Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) issued a subpoena to former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove for testimony about the politicization of the Department of Justice (DOJ), including former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman’s case. Yesterday, Rove’s attorney, Robert Luskin, sent a letter to the Committee expressing that Rove would not agree to testify voluntarily, per the Committee’s previous requests.

“It is unfortunate that Mr. Rove has failed to cooperate with our requests,” Conyers said. “Although he does not seem the least bit hesitant to discuss these very issues weekly on cable television and in the print news media, Mr. Rove and his attorney have apparently concluded that a public hearing room would not be appropriate. Unfortunately, I have no choice today but to compel his testimony on these very important matters.”

Separately, Chairman Conyers recently received a letter from DOJ’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) indicating that the office has opened an investigation into allegations of selective prosecution of Siegelman and others.

  Now if Conyers would just grow the balls to have Rove and a few others arrested after they ignore the subpoena's, we'd be getting somewhere.

5 Children Dead, Mothers Sentenced

  and the sentence is a flat out joke!

    The two mothers were at a bar drinking and had left 5 children at home with two 8 year olds to watch over them when the house caught fire, killing the five. The mothers got one to two years plus five years probation.  Source

   The moms should have gotten more like 20 years plus, with no parole or probation. Justice is a joke in this country in this day and age.

Technorati Tags: ,,

John McCain's Transparency and His Same-Sex Marriage Views has a post called No Lobbyists Were Harmed in the Drafting of This Blog Post that's worth checking out...

In the New York Times, there was an interesting read about John McCain's army of lobbyist staffers and their sordid work histories. McCain's campaign manager Rick Davis is currently "on leave" from his firm, a firm that took to a...

  The man known as a straight talker seems to be developing quite a big fork in his tongue. The myth of McCain being a maverick and a straight-talker are being undone a little at a time and the really nice thing about it is that McCain is the one doing it to himself!

  While we are at it, it seems that Senator McCain thinks that it is okay for  same-sex couples to have agreements made up so that they can get insurance and other options which are available to married couples, but he still believes that marriage should only legally be between a man and a woman.  Source

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Farm Bill And Other Stories

  As you are aware, Congress just passed a new farm bill which will most certainly bode well for our sugar growers, especially those in the state of Minnesota, which happens to be our largest sugar producing area.

  This bill pretty much sucks ass so far as the sugar consumer is concerned.

   There is a provision in this bill which would have the government buy the sugar surpluses and then sell that extra to the ethanol producers just in case we happen to have an over-abundance of sugar from imports. Can you see our sugar prices rising? As if we do not pay more than enough for our cane already.

  Associated Press

   The legislation calls for a gradual 5.2 percent increase in the loan rate for sugar beet growers, or guaranteed minimum price, through 2011, and a 4.2 percent increase for cane. That would be the first increase since 1985.

President Bush has threatened to veto the bill, and the Bush administration has cited the sugar-to-ethanol provision as one of several elements to which it objected. But the Senate passed the farm bill last week by a veto-proof margin a day after the House did the same.

  Of course, all of the Senators from Minnesota ( R-Norm Coleman and D-Amy Klobuchar )  and North Dakota (D- Kent Conrad and  D-Byron Dorgan ) voted in favor of the bill.

The sugar-to-ethanol proposal has its critics. New Hampshire Sens. Judd Gregg and John Sununu, both Republicans, were among 15 senators to vote against the $290 billion farm bill.
The legislation would make small cuts to direct payments that are distributed to some farmers no matter how much they grow, and would eliminate some federal payments to individuals with more than $750,000 in annual farm income.
But Sununu said overall it would leave massive subsides in place even as food prices soar.
"At a time when farms are experiencing record profit, there is absolutely no reason to provide price supports for sugar and extend the ethanol tariff," he said. "The bill is a continuation of bad economic policy that taxpayers in New Hampshire and across the country do not deserve."

  This is just more of the " screw the consumer " crowd at it once again.



ATLANTA - In planning Jimmy Carter's climb to the White House, Hamilton Jordan pushed a strategy still popular with lesser-known candidates today: start campaigning years in advance and target early voting states to build support from early upsets.

Jordan, 63, died at his home in Atlanta about 7:30 p.m., said Gerald Rafshoon, who was Carter's chief of communications.

  Say what you will about the Carter administration, Jordan was a brilliant man and we could sure use more of him in the Democratic Party today.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Problem With Republicans

  You will not find any links in this post dealing with this subject as this comes straight from my own experiences with working for a few Republican business owners, both large and small.

  I work ( part-time ) for a die-hard Bush/GOP supporter who thinks that the Republicans can do no wrong. We do have some very intense discussions on politics at times. One thing that I have noticed during these talks is that my boss will throw out some fact or poll showing that the general population supports the conservative party and that the Democrats are going to lose not only the Presidential election in November, but also the House and the Senate. Talk about being in the state of denial! This man watches the evening FoxNews line-up every night and he just thinks that Mr. Bill and Hannity are the greatest folks on television, so you and I both know that he has to be pretty ignorant on the issues of the day and on were his beloved GOP is going.

  He'll spout off about some poll or another and when I look the poll up, as is usual, he only got part of it right. This man is a perfect " talking points memo " for the GOP. If he'd get past this Republican/conservative bullshit, he'd be a really smart man. In fact, he is very smart when it comes to most things, but he goes downhill when it come to reality and his Republican party. I do make it a point to tell him that he's living in the 51st state, the state of denial. As are most Republican supporters.

  My employers take on Universal health insurance

   Companies should not have to provide insurance for their workers. It should be the employees responsibility  to get their own coverage.

   Now, that would be fine with me if the employers would pay their hourly workers enough to be able to afford the high price premiums that the insurers charge these days. So we get past that, but, what about those employees with pre-existing conditions, of which I am one?  I am a 46 year old diabetic and have had the illness for 36 years and let me tell you that my premiums are through the roof. I put out over a grand a month for my coverage and the coverage is next to nothing. My employer pays me $10 an hour when I work for him. I couldn't afford the premiums if I worked for him full-time. much less anything else!

My employers take on workplace regulation

   Employers are over-regulated and those same employers should be left to regulate themselves. The government makes to many rules for business to follow. Unions have no place in the workplace

   Once again, it is not in those employees best interest if business is left to its own devices. We've seen more than enough examples during the Bush years to know that left alone, business will fuck anyone that they can,especially their own workers. I'm thinking of the mining industry, as one example.

   On the union subject. If it wasn't for the unions, most workers would have even less rights than they now have. Where the unions got off track was in demanding high pay for tasks that didn't warrant such pay and in paying union leadership more than they were worth. If it wasn't for OSHA and the Wage and Hour Division, many workers would be getting a royal fucking, not that they aren't already.

   I'll continue this in a later post, but right now I have to go and make my hourly wage for a few hours.

America's Oil Craving

  We all know that this country just loves its gas-guzzling SUV's and our other gas-hog toys and that we really do not want to have to give them up just because of a hike in the price of our gasoline.

  Here's a look at our situation from over-seas and what got the United States into this mess in the first place.

  TimesOnline  ( Edited )

The President and most of his dwindling band of Republican brothers (though not, it should be said, the party's presidential candidate John McCain) pursue a similarly silly tack.

They'd have us believe that if only the United States would open up the Arctic to more oil exploration, prices would drop like a stone. In an election, this is all very well. But time is getting on and it is becoming ever more urgent that whoever wins in November drops the populist rhetoric and gets to grips with a couple of basic realities.

The first is that higher energy costs are here to stay. You don't have to buy Goldman Sachs's headline-grabbing forecast this month that crude will reach $200 a barrel.

Oil is up by almost 30 per cent this year alone. That's not the fault of greedy energy companies, or that other current favourite, unscrupulous speculators. It is a simple fact of economic life in a world economy that is, in effect, experiencing a new industrial revolution among half its population.

It is a staple of all political debate in the US now that the American dependence on oil has led to staggeringly bad policy for decades towards the big oil producers. It has forced the US into bed with some unsavoury characters and has been the constant factor behind repeated and often baleful US interventions in the Middle East.

Now, in addition to the threats posed by an even more complicated Middle East, the US has to address the challenge of a rapidly enriching Russia, a country that shows every intention of rolling back democratic progress and using its energy wealth to create trouble for America and Western Europe wherever it can.

In the very near future, real, ingenious American leadership will be needed not to make pointless gestures towards the newly powerful energy producers but to ensure we don't turn our dependence on a scarce resource into political capitulation.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sunday Talk Show's Line-up

  We have quite a cast of characters making the rounds today from Sen. Jim Webb, John Boehner, to Peggy Noonan and Chris Dodd. Dodd will be appearing on Fox so that one should be interesting.

   The complete line-up from DailyKos:

Meet The Press:  Author and Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA).  Very Serious Discourse with failed senate candidate Harold Ford Jr. (DLC-TN), rapist paroler Mike Huckabee, GOP strategist Mike Murphy, and finally Bob "0-8" Shrum gives his expert and-he-should-know analysis on the failures of the Clinton presidential campaign.

Tweety:  Clarence Page, Norah O'Donnell, Gloria Berger, Andrew Sullivan.  
Quotes here.  Interesting Clarence Page quote there.

This Weak:  Joe Biden (D-BULLSHIT!!) and Worst House Minority Leader in History John Boehner (R-Effexor).  Matt Bai (who's book has just been made irrelevant by the Obama campaign), gop-trasher Peggy Noonan, Donna Brazile and George Will.

Face The Nation:  Missing-in-Action Gov. Charlie Crist (R-McSame), GOP strategist Ed Rollins, Ex-Gov. Mario Cuomo (D) and ex-CO Gov. Roy Romer (D).  Empty-Seat Charlie is without a doubt the laziest governor in the United States.

Faux News:  American Patriot Chris Dodd, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Karl Rove who is on Frog-March Watch.

Late Edition with Wolf:  Commerce Sec. Carlos Gutierrez and lobbyist Trent Lott (R-MS). John King, Jessica Yellin and Dana Bash talk about how anytime McSame links himself with Bush, it means he's winning.

  There are a few extra notable items on the line-up page which you will find somewhat funny and interesting, so by all means, please browse the page.