Tag Archives: Bush

Post Election Exclusive! McCain and Lindsey Graham late night phone call

Lindsey, are you there?

"Lindsey, are you there? I got a new ePhone."

According Newsweek’s just published special “How He Did It, 2008” disclosures re: the campaign  

On the Sunday night before the last debate, McCain’s core group of advisers—Steve Schmidt, Rick Davis, adman Fred Davis, strategist Greg Strimple, pollster Bill McInturff and strategy director Sarah Simmons—met to decide whether to tell McCain that the race was effectively over, that he no longer had a chance to win. The consensus in the room was no, not yet, not while he still had “a pulse.”


Here is an excerpt from a phone call made by John McCain three days later – the morning of the big day

When: October 15, 2:00 a.m.  John McCain unable to sleep before his final debate with Obama dials his good ol’ buddy Lindsey Graham, Republican Senator of South Carolina …

J.M.: Lindsey, hey sorry to call so late I couldn’t sleep …

L.G.: No problem buddy.  I’m just watching last season’s Dancin’ with the Stars on the ol’ TIVO.

J.M.: Did you figure out that VIVO thing yourself?  You are good with the ol’ techno my friend.  I’m going to make you my cyber czar.  Look, Cindy helped me go on the Google and she found this interesting clip from an Obama rally: this plumber guy asked Obama how he’d do under his economic plan …

L.G.: He’d do friggen great, what else is new …

J.M.: No – get this, when he asks Obama how’d he do if he earned more than $250K – chicken scratch for us and from the look of this guy, not gonna happen, but anyway – Obama tells this Joe the Plumber that he might pay higher taxes but that it was okay because if he makes more he should “spread the wealth around.”

L.G.: Makes sense.  We’ve supported that progressive tax stance since way before that asshole W. started on his tax cutting spree for those schmucks at Exxon and put the economy in the toilet.

J.M.: Yea, but don’t you see.  Obama said “spread the wealth.” We could use that.  I was thinking of dropping that on him at the debate:  “Senator, why would you want to spread the wealth, sounds like Socialism to me!”

L.G.: Wow!  That’s so cool – we’ve been looking for a way to get those corn pones in the “real America”  to vote against their own interests.  We lost guns, we’re losing on God even with Palin’s evident hotness, abortion is a wash.  Maybe we could use this Plumber guy.

J.M.: Hold on.  Let’s not make too big a deal about the guy, I’d rather focus on the words.  Besides, we don’t have time to vet him.  He could be a real nut job.

L.G.: Who cares?  He can’t be worse than anything else we got.  This Ayers thing has got no legs except among the racist wackos showing up at our puny events.  And they probably’ll be too drunk on election day to even cast a vote.

J.M.: You’re right.  I’m making the maverick decision. Let’s put this Joe character on every channel.  Let Sarah tongue kiss him on the stump.  Fuck it!  We got nothing to lose at this point.

L.G.: Damn straight, brother … hey John …

J.M.: Yea, Lin.

L.G.: Between this Palin pick, the racist taunts, the suspension of the campaign so you can go to D.C. with no real economic plan, and you looking like a ghost of your former centrist self  –  it looks like we’re gonna lose this thing aren’t we?

J.M.: Put the fork in it, my friend.  But, at least I got to piss off those Bush and Cheney assholes and sink his fuckin’ party into a shit hole that we probably won’t be able to crawl out of for at least 20 years.

L.G.: Ha! Revenge is sweet, my friend.  Especially when served cold – you ol’ maverick!  I haven’t had this much fun since I led the effort in Congress to impeach Clinton.

J.M.: Speaking of cold – is that Kristi Yamaguchi babe the hottest queen on ice or what!  Forget Palin.  Forget DWTS.  I’d let her skate over me in all 7 of my houses!  I’m gonna have a lot of time for entertaining once I get to cut loose again from the ol’ Cind-erella.



Filed under Barack Obama, John McCain, Sarah Palin

McCain’s Indecision 2008: Reject religious intolerance or continue to pander?

It took him awhile but John McCain finally came out to denounce and reject the endorsement of controversial preacher and well known Catholic hater John Hagee. 

Hagee, whose antisemitism is cloaked in the “but I love the state of Israel” rhetoric that is typical of evangelicals, just got too hot for McCain to handle after the public heard his remarks equating the Holocaust with God’s shortcut to leading the Jews into Zion (BTW, if God wanted to return the Jews to Israel couldn’t he have done it in a slightly more direct way, say, by not allowing 2 of every 5 Jews to perish in the process?).

While pundits are comparing McCain’s “preacher problem” to that of Obama’s relationship with Reverend Jeremiah Wright, the comparison isn’t really apt: McCain has taken a principled stand against people like Hagee in the past whereas Obama chose not to reject his preacher until forced into a corner.  That leads to the question as to why McCain has continued to embrace — and seek out the endorsement of — outspoken, right wing conservative preachers that he wouldn’t be caught dead associating himself with 8 years ago. 

Here is what the more centrist John McCain said back in 2000:

“Neither party should be defined by pandering to the outer reaches of American politics and the agents of intolerance, whether they be Louis Farrakhan or Al Sharpton on the left or Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell on the right,” 

Bravo!  But, Johnny why were you led astray?  The pandering (his word, not ours) seems to have started in earnest a few years ago when McCain began his most recent run for President. 

(McCain and Jerry Falwell make nice in ’06)

In May of 2006 he spoke at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University.  And ever since, his campaign has been courting some of the more infamous “intolerance agents” of the extreme religious right, including Hagee and Ohio’s Rod Parsley, who has called upon Christians to wage a “war” against the “false religion” of Islam with the aim of destroying it. 

The answer to McCain’s getting religion as it were lies in the after effects of the simultaneous rise of the New Religious Right and the Reagan “revolution.”  Back in 1980 Reagan recognized an important voting block by making alliances with more activist religious leaders like Falwell (who was just starting the Moral Majority) and others on the religious fringe who could be counted on to get out the vote.  While George Bush senior was able to keep these newly powerful religious leaders at arm’s length to win the presidency back in ’88, Bush II made them a centerpiece of his successful run for president in 2000.  This gave old guard bigots like James Dobson and Falwell unprecedented power in American politics and has helped them make inroads re: many of their pet issues including laws meant to restrict abortion and gay rights, and to promote “intelligent design,” and other means of breaking down the separation of Church and State.

But John McCain was never in that camp.  He was a Republican more along the lines of his conservative mentor and fellow Arizonian Barry Goldwater, who barely tolerated the religious wing of the New Right. In fact

When Sandra Day O’Connor was nominated to the Supreme Court in 1981, some Religious Right leaders suspected she might be too moderate on abortion and other social concerns.  Moral Majority founder Jerry Falwell told the news media that “every good Christian should be concerned.”  Replied Goldwater, “Every good Christian should line up and kick Jerry Falwell’s ass.”

So what’s a guy to do now?  Although we are no big fan of the man’s policies and think a McCain presidency is the wrong direction for the country, we have a suggestion that could help McCain retain some of his integrity on the issue and prove himself a true leader of his morally corrupt party: make a historic speech, similar to Obama’s, that demonstrates his true thoughts about religion and denounces intolerence of any kind.  McCain needs to go over the heads of these “agents of intolerance” and speak directly to those who embrace the Word of God;  publicly reject their message of hate and prejudice; and scorn their influence on the politics of distrust and division.  Talk instead about Jesus’ message of love for your fellow man and how we all need to appeal to the better angels in our souls.

McCain has an opportunity to turn around almost 30 years of political pandering to the “outer reaches” of America’s religious sphere and redefine his party’s approach re: the role of religion in politics.  With the ascendance of newer, more tolerent voices on the right like Rev. Richard Cizik of the National Association of Evangelicals, this message can truly resonate among the country’s 65 million conservative Christians.  He can make history by removing the shackles forced on his party by men (and they are all white men) not worthy of mainstream public attention, let alone a voice in our national government. 

The move may not win him the presidency, but it could make him a hero among the more forward-thinking members of his party for generations to come. 



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Filed under Barack Obama, John McCain, Politics, Wordpress Political Blogs

Gas Tax Holiday is Vapor: c’mon Hillary you know better

That’s the line being repeated by economists and other experts (those elitists!) this week.  We know that McCain already has questionable economic policy credentials and we covered his good politics/bad policy decision in a previous post.  But Hillary should know better. 

This gas tax holiday idea is a blatant pander to voters.  Now that the Democrats are divided on the issue, it’s on Barack Obama’s shoulders to explain why it’s a stupid idea.

The irony of this crazy “holiday” is that most voters are up in arms about the oil companies making record profits (Exxon Mobil up 17% this quarter).   Yet ..

Some economists say that suspending the tax will only promote greater consumption and drive prices up — sending more money to oil producers, not consumers.

That’s right.  Repealing the tax will just further line the pockets of oil companies and take money away from much needed infrastructure projects, despite what Hillary says.  And, it won’t do anything to help the long term issue of rising gas prices.

Hil’s other ideas sound great (pander, pander) but don’t have legs:
Additional tax on oil company profits. There is no way business leaders and the Congress will accept extra taxes for a particular industry. If oil companies, why not porn companies (bad moral values)? Why not McDonalds (too dangerous: they make food that causes obesity, resulting in higher medical bills)?  Why not Jewish or Black-owned businesses (too Jewish, too hip)?
Challenging OPEC : this is laughable. It’s like asking Saddam to give up his OMDs (oops!). On Bush’s recent trip to the Mideast he was kissing the rings of Saudi princes to no avail — and his Daddy is an employee!  OPEC is a monopoly because they don’t have to abide by the rules of our economy.  But they do have to abide by the rules of the market.  If demand is too great they can’t lower prices.  They wouldn’t be able to keep up production.
Price of oil won’t be based on the market “speculators”: okay, why not end speculative markets for corn, beef and other commodities?  Because that’s how commodities markets work.  Speculators read the market supply and demand and the price is adjusted accordingly.  The Enron analogy is a red herring used by Clinton to scare voters.  And, any government “watch dog” she may install will come from within the industry, making any true oversight benign.  C’mon.
Throwing a bone to truckers – her numbers on the $ savings for truckers are dependent on the price not going up as a result of increased demand.  Very misleading. 

Can this please stop. Now. Can’t anyone admit that it’s about demand, stupid? The $4 (maybe $5 this summer) gallon of gas is going to be here for awhile, so get used to it.

When will a leader step up and tell it like it is?  Certainly not our current president: Bush’s response to $4/gallon?  “Oh, yeah? That’s interesting. I hadn’t heard that,” Bush said at a news conference just a few days ago.  When asked about it again this week he repeatedly claimed that he didn’t have a “magic wand” to make prices go down but would surely use if he did (although his first wish might be more along the lines of getting his low approval numbers up). We as consumers have to start changing our habits.  And, yes, it’s going to be painful. 

And our leaders have to stop pandering on this issue.  That’s what true leadership means.  It’s easy to make false promises.  It’s tougher to get people behind a policy that may hurt in the short term but will reap rewards down the line. Europeans, who have been paying $6-7 per gallon for years, took the hit early on out of necessity and it’s helped them be a lot more efficient.

Our government needs a realistic energy policy that has not been created in back rooms by the oil oligopoly (Bush, Cheney and their cronies).  Provide more incentives and additional investment in non-agribusiness (i.e., non corn-based) fuel alternatives.  And, people and their elected leaders have to insist on stricter fuel efficiency standards for auto makers – at the risk of losing some votes in Michigan. 

I’m chipping in: this summer I’m rolling down the windows of my Jeep rather than use the AC.  It’s a start.

For more gas saving tips: http://autotechrepair.suite101.com/article.cfm/how_to_improve_gas_mileage

Tell Congress to get some backbone re mileage standards: https://secure.consumersunion.org/site/Advocacy?JServSessionIdr007=k4mc5gs4u6.app44a&cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=1499
(make sure to edit the personlized message by changing $3 to $4 in the part about gas prices.  Could be $5 by the time most people get around to sending it)


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Filed under Hillary Clinton, John McCain