Archive for the ‘John McCain’ Category


Carol and I have never talked to Lydia about the Presidential campaign. Yet, because she’s been exposed to it from TV or her friends or whatnot, she knows that John McCain and Barack Obama are running for President. (She thinks that Hillary Clinton is still running, and I haven’t been able to dissuade her of that fact; I KNEW the primary season ran too long.)

Not only does she know this, but she can identify the three of them by sight, although she does sometimes confuse McCain with other gentlemen near his vintage, including Joe Biden.

She doesn’t know Sarah Palin, but I’ve heard her say to her stuffed animals/sisters, “I’m going to be governor of Alaska.” I have no idea what THAT’S about.

But there is one big disappointment: she supports McCain. I don’t know if it’s his avuncular look or what, but she’s glommed onto the GOP candidate. Just one more reason not to lower the age of voting to four years old.

I realize that we haven’t really talked to her about race. It was important for us to go to a mixed race church and for her to attend a mixed race day care, but we never talked about it overtly. I realized this when she referred to a woman in our church as a lady with “brown hair and brown skin.” (Which is why I’ve always had a difficult time believing that people don’t see race; it may not be important to them, but if a four-and-a-half year old picks up on it, as a matter of fact, then I suspect a universality to it.)


ROG

As you probably know, Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama for President. In his conversation with Tom Brokaw on Meet the Press, he noted that if he had just wanted to endorse the black candidate he could have endorsed Obama months ago. Powell’s a Republican and would have endorsed McCain but for his unfocused and nasty campaign and his choice of Sarah Palin. Naturally, commentators such as Rush Limbaugh and Pat Buchanan suggested that Powell endorsed Obama because they’re both black; my favorite resdponse to that.

1. Do political endorsements matter to you? If so, from whom?
It’s much more likely to matter to me in a local race where I don’t have enough of the facts.
2. Do you think political endorsements matter to the population at large?
I was struck by the number of newspapers that endorsed Bush in 2004 who are endorsing Obama in 2008.
3. Can this election be stolen?
Probably.
But I’m much less worried by ACORN than I am by polling stations with long lines (as has already happened in early voting in Florida) and/or with machines that don’t act as they should. This recent New Yorker column speaks to my concern:
“The idea that Democrats try to win elections by arranging for hordes of nonexistent people with improbable names to vote for them has long been a favorite theme of Rove-era Republicans. Now it’s become a desperate obsession.”
More cynical people than I believe that bringing up the Bradley effect is a screen for hiding voting machine manipulation and disenfranchisement strategies. Tell people to call their COUNTY board of election and make sure they’re registered and verify the voting location. (My voting location has changed, but it’s not reflected on the STATE Board of Elections site.)
4. Would you like to know more about the health of the four candidates for President and Vice-President on the major party ticket? This article suggests we don’t know enough about ANY of them, especially McCain and Biden, but also the status of Obama’s cessation of smoking. The mysterious circumstances around the birth of Sarah Palin’s last child is pretty much the ONLY info the press has on her health.

[Stolen from the Frog.
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STILL undecided?
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Oooh, the photo above? That's a shot of a lovely 8 by 10 color glossy that a relative of mine, a Republican but not a McPalin supporter, received from the RNC and gave to me, knowing just how much I would appreciate it. And I do, I really do. I obliterated the name so you can photoshop in the name of your favorite liberal and make him or her nuts.

Wait, what if someone did that [GULP] to ME?! And it must be a different Roger Green

ROG

I was commenting on Anthony’s thoughtful, as usual, essay, Are Americans Suspicious of Intellectuals?. My answer was a resounding “Yes.” The conversation went back and forth, somewhat heated at times, and I chimed in: “Ultimately, my primary reason NOT to vote for Palin/McCain can be summed up by the frenzy of hate they and their supporters have stirred up. My favorite example. Seems somehow antithetical to what the country needs right now.”

Someone named Kevin Benson responded: “Roger – Wow! Do you really feel that there is less hate on the left than on the right? If so, you have been doing some very selective listening. Unfortunately, ignorance, hatred, and prejudice are too prevalent across the political spectrum. If you are going to vote based on the ‘frenzy of hate’, you really should not vote for anyone.”

Anthony jumps in, and says, in part: “Kevin – I agree with you that there is equal disinformation and hateful rhetoric on both sides of the political divide, but I have seen more appeals to ‘not one of us’ rhetoric coming from the McCain/Palin camp during this election season. What I mean is that Palin particularly, and some of those at the McCain/Palin rallies have directly and indirectly presented Obama as ‘not a genuine American,’ a man who has other than American interests at heart. And, maybe it is just me, but among all the negative campaigning on both sides, this particularly gets to me.”

I respond: “Kevin – What Anthony said. Sure there have been attacks on McCain as old, out of touch, plus some legitimate health concerns. Even HE jokes about his ill temper. Palin is portrayed as not very with it, though not until her conversations with Gibson and Couric suggested that. Biden is a loose cannon who doesn’t always know when to shut up, he might acknowledge.
“But Obama’s been called a traitor, doesn’t love his country, an Arab (not that there’s anything wrong with that except it was used to evoke post 9/11 feelings and it’s not true), a Muslim (ditto), etc. I mean, what does “Who is Barack Obama REALLY?” supposed to suggest? Not Repudiated: Hate Talk Express-McCain/Palin Hate Every Day!“.

Apropos of that, the picture Colin Powell alluded to on Meet the Press during his endorsement of Barack Obama :

Painfully, some of the smearing works. A Democratic committeeperson in Albany County asked me just yesterday, “But what about Obama being sworn in on a Koran?” I could have screamed, but gently, rationally noted that the information was NOT true and that she ought to go to Snopes.

Oh, I hear LOTS of frenzied stuff on both sides, to frankly a tiresome degree. But some independent entity determined that while virtually all of McCain’s ads during a recent period were attack ads, only 1/3 of Obama’s were. And I dare say, most of those were responses to the McCain ads, such as one noting that the McCain ads were “not true”, lest he be swiftboated.

No, Kevin, I totally disagree that the “frenzy of hate” is caused equally by both sides. The “otherness” attack which may be code for race-baiting, and race is still the subtext, is hardly the equivalent to suggestions that Palin could be an extra in the movie “Fargo”. And heck, the abandonment by folks from the political right of the spectrum is certainly fueled at least in part by the realization that the McCain-Palin rhetoric is fundamentally flawed.

And while I’m noting things from other blogs, Nik wrote: “Obama has proven to be pretty masterful at projecting a cool, collected vibe, even if it sometimes is a bit stiff. But McCain has been all over the bloody show at all three debates, by turns hyperactive, frazzled, arrogant and insecure.” To which I wrote: “I’m convinced the “stiff”-ness you perceive (probably correctly) in Obama is his self-training in not being the ‘angry black man’.”

Amazingly, it was only then that the obvious parallel came to mind: Jackie Robinson. Jackie was a proud (and occasionally angry) black black man, who Branch Rickey told to suck it up, take the insults, and break baseball’s color line. I think that Barack may have learned to be preternaturally calm because he’s had to learn to straddle the color line virtually all his life.

The person sent me the picture above wrote, “What must it feel like? To carry the hopes and dreams of an entire race of people on your shoulders?” And I suppose that’s become true. Though less than a year ago, it was Hillary, not Barack , who was the choice of most black Americans. And most blacks would probably have voted for whatever candidate the Democrats put up, though I think Obama’s candidacy will spur a greater turnout.

Finally, Arthur and Jason had their post-debate podcast, and there was a discussion about polling. It’s my contention that polling will be “off” significantly, not just because the pollsters miss all of those mostly younger voters without landline phones, but also because many states allow for early voting without cause. (In New York, I would have to be out of town or in the hospital. Oooh, I’m not feeling so well. May I vote now? PLEASE?)
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How Muslims become racialized
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Ballotpedia wiki provides information concerning ballot initiatives in each state.
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Ted Nugent (yes, that Ted Nugent) on McCain-Palin “closing the deal”.

ROG

Apparently, Wayne John couldn’t come up with an actual post. I’m so cool with that that I stole the idea.

1. At dinner last week, my wife and I actually had as conversation about The Three Bears. To wit, if all of them went for a walk because the porridge was too hot, then why was the porridge in Mama Bear’s medium-sized bowl too cold, but Baby Bear’s small bowl “just right”? Was it that Mama Bear was on a diet and took only a small portion? Or was the construction of their individual bowls so different that they had such radically different cooling times?

2. Does anyone know which DVD of the Simpsons includes The Raven? My wife needs it for educational purposes. Really.

3. I’m obsessed with branches that have broken off from trees but that have not yet landed on the ground. I worry that a stiff wind will tumble those branches onto someone. Last week, I dislodged one by flinging my backpack over my head.

4. I think if Obama wins, it’ll be because people got their third quarter 401(k) reports and blanched. Mine went down 12% so far this year, with half of that just in the last quarter. So did my wife’s. And my daughter also has a little account that tanked.

5, Conversely, McCain may have lost when he had to explain to some audience member that Obama was not an Arab. BTW, are there ANY Arab-Americans out there supporting McCain? Or any American Muslims, for that matter? If so, they remind me of Log Cabin Republicans.

6. I got out of painting the front porch last week by taking three children to the playground for an hour and a half. I’m not sure I got the best end of the deal.

7. The are people who have signed up for my Twitter feeds and I have no idea how they got there. I don’t tweet enough; I do so hope I don’t disappoint.

8. Every time my daughter’s sick, I’m the one who takes the first day off from work. This means that I only have about 139 sick days left.

9. My wife has an unusual item on her Christmas list: to hire someone to evaluate our home for a possible design redo.

10. I wish more sites I read had RSS feeds.

11. I’ve had a book called Play Bridge in Four Hours for years. It’s on my reading list. For 2016.
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WONDER WOMAN DAY 2008
Every year, writer-editor Andy Mangels stages the Wonder Woman Day event to support women’s charities. Wonder Woman Day includes an auction of donated drawings from a wide assortment of artists. Every year, Wonder Woman Day gets bigger and raises more money, and from the looks of it, the 2008 event will be no exception. This year’s festivities will be held on October 26. If you’d like to see the selection of artwork that’s going up for sale and learn more about Wonder Woman Day, please go here.

ROG

I’m loath to bring this up, but others have done so before: should he win the election, I’m very worried about an assassination attempt on Barack Obama.

What prompted, or more correctly, re-prompted this thinking, was a piece Evanier linked to by “Frank Schaeffer, a longtime supporter of John McCain and vice-versa, [who] thinks McCain-Palin rallies are starting to resemble lynch mobs.” Schaeffer writes:
John McCain: If your campaign does not stop equating Sen. Barack Obama with terrorism, questioning his patriotism and portraying Mr. Obama as “not one of us,” I accuse you of deliberately feeding the most unhinged elements of our society the red meat of hate, and therefore of potentially instigating violence.

At a Sarah Palin rally, someone called out, “Kill him!” At one of your rallies, someone called out, “Terrorist!” Neither was answered or denounced by you or your running mate, as the crowd laughed and cheered….

John McCain, you are no fool, and you understand the depths of hatred that surround the issue of race in this country. You also know that, post-9/11, to call someone a friend of a terrorist is a very serious matter…

John McCain and Sarah Palin, you are playing with fire, and you know it. You are unleashing the monster of American hatred and prejudice, to the peril of all of us…

…stop stirring up the lunatic fringe of haters, or risk suffering the judgment of history and the loathing of the American people – forever.

We will hold you responsible.

I’m going to assume the fact that Rensselaer County, NY printed 300 of its 4000 absentee ballots with the name of the Democrat listed as ‘Barack Osama’ as a mistake, rather than deliberate sabotage, but I’m guessing that the constant barrage of smears may have an subconscious effect on whoever made the error.

Add to this, Sarah Palin’s relationship to the Alaskan Independence Party , a group with a distinct neo-Confederacy stance. As former AIP head Mark Chryson put it, “Yes. The War of Northern Aggression, or the Civil War, or the War Between the States — however you want to refer to it — was not about slavery, it was about states’ rights.” He added that the South should have been able to secede.

Now to be fair, I also worried about Ted Kennedy in 1980, but that was based more on actuarial tables (all three of his brothers dying violent deaths – Joe in WWII; the 20-year Presidential curse that ran from 1840 to 1960) than any perceived threat.

I don’t think we live in a post-racial America yet – whatever that means – and Obama’s recent rise in the polls makes me both hopeful and fearful.

ROG

Our next contestant I know personally:
Hey Roger!

I’ve been thinking about something for a couple of days now, and I thought you might be a good person to bounce this musing off of (perhaps you’ve already addressed the topic on your blog and a simple re-direct will do the trick!).

Recently, I’ve been mulling over the question of blogging vs letter writing. Naturally, they are not mutually exclusive activities and there is no reason one can’t do both. That said, there are only so many hours in the day.

Now, you are an amazingly consistent blogger. But I was wondering, how are you in the letter writing department? Has that changed a lot since you began blogging?

As you know, Socks and I started a modest blog to highlight some of our adventures as we relocated from NYC to Las Vegas. Recently, the blog has sort of morphed into “Las Vegas sites and curiosities” (as seen through our eyes). When we write the blog, we definitely have our friends back east in mind as the intended audience. (And as an aside, I keep a personal hand written journal in which I try to record the day’s events, even if only in list form. That’s for personal use). But I find that my letter writing has decreased significantly. And now, I am slowly realizing that I miss it. True, I would often find myself cutting and pasting portions of one letter to another. But I always tried to make sure that it was personalized.

Anyway, I was wondering your thoughts on the topic.

That aside, I also miss seeing you if only at the holidays (MidWinter, MidSummer, etc.). And I do miss being back east. Being in Nevada is strange. However I think this will be one of the first elections in which my vote in the presidential elections will actually mean something. Although there have been exceptions, New York has rarely gone Republican. Nevada is up for grabs.

Anyway, I just wanted to seize the moment and say HI!

I hope that all is well with you, Carol & Lydia.

Stay well.

Spryglet

Spryg-

Back in the 1970s and 1980s, I was a prolific letter writer. Influenced undoubtedly by some author’s letters, I even copied, using something called carbon paper, some of the letters I wrote. During the same period, I started keeping journals. Many got destroyed in the flooded basement of the apartment building I lived in a decade ago, but a few survived, which has allowed me to write some of that specific FantaCo stuff, as well as relive painful affairs of the heart.

My letter writing started to diminish a little in the 1990s, especially when I first got e-mail, and shrank even further upon the birth of my child. In fact, it is the blogs where most of my non-work writing takes place. But it hasn’t supplanted letter-writing, because my letter-writing was already on the wane.

I should also note that I’m jealous as hell of you. New York is a mortal lock for Obama. Frankly, I’m disturbed by the fact that polling has determined whether candidates even bother in some locations. McCain, though, has been running ads nationally on ABC’s World News.

My best to Socks.
ROG


One of the things that happens in my life is that after a while, the details get fuzzy. So, in light of the current Presidential campaign AND the current fiscal crisis, I wanted to find out just what did happen with John McCain and the Keating Five.

While one conservative commentator wrote recently that he was exonerated, this writer says that McCain was the “most reprehensible of the Keating Five”. Looking at this article from the Arizona Republic, part of a lengthy series on the senator, I’ve concluded that neither POV is accurate.

While it is true that by 1987, McCain had received about $112,000 in political contributions from Keating and his associates, McCain was hesitant about intervening on Keating’s behalf in the dealings with the Lincoln Savings and Loan. Indeed, McCain had previously refused his colleague, Democratic senator Dennis DeConcini’s request to meet with the Lincoln auditors themselves. In his book Worth the Fighting For, McCain wrote that he remained “a little troubled” at the prospect, “but since the chairman of the bank board didn’t seem to have a problem with the idea, maybe a discussion with the regulators wouldn’t be as problematic as I had earlier thought.”

The reprieve did not help Keating’s businesses, but tainted senators as “The Keating Five”, which became “synonymous for the kind of political influence that money can buy. As the S&L failure deepened, the sheer magnitude of the losses hit the press. Billions of dollars had been squandered. The five senators were linked as the gang who shilled for an S&L bandit.

“S&L ‘trading cards’ came out. The Keating Five card showed Charles Keating holding up his hand, with a senator’s head adorning each finger. McCain was on Keating’s pinkie…”

McCain, however, made a “critical error” when he “had adopted the blanket defense that Keating was a [mere] constituent and that he had every right to ask his senators for help.” But on “Oct. 8, 1989, The Arizona Republic revealed that McCain’s wife and her father had invested $359,100 in a Keating shopping center in April 1986, a year before McCain met with the regulators.”

The paper also reported that the McCains, sometimes accompanied by their daughter and baby-sitter, had made at least nine trips at Keating’s expense, sometimes aboard the American Continental jet. Three of the trips were made during vacations to Keating’s opulent Bahamas retreat at Cat Cay.

McCain also did not pay Keating for some of the trips until years after they were taken, after he learned that Keating was in trouble over Lincoln. Total cost: $13,433.

When the story broke, McCain did nothing to help himself.

“You’re a liar,” McCain said when a Republic reporter asked him about the business relationship between his wife and Keating.

“That’s the spouse’s involvement, you idiot,” McCain said later in the same conversation. “You do understand English, don’t you?”

He also belittled reporters when they asked about his wife’s ties to Keating.

“It’s up to you to find that out, kids.”

The paper ran the story.

In his 2002 book, McCain confesses to “ridiculously immature behavior” during that particular interview and adds that The Republic reporters’ “persistence in questioning me about the matter provoked me to rage.”

In the end, McCain received only a mild rebuke from the Ethics Committee for exercising “poor judgment” for intervening with the federal regulators on behalf of Keating. Still, he felt tarred by the affair.

“The appearance of it was wrong,” McCain said. “It’s a wrong appearance when a group of senators appear in a meeting with a group of regulators because it conveys the impression of undue and improper influence. And it was the wrong thing to do.”

So, it appears that while McCain was the most minor of players in the Keating Five, his legendary temper fueled his own difficulties.
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Last week, I discovered a website, ABC Wednesday, where every week, one submits a post based on a particular letter of the alphabet. I’ve already picked out my posts for L, M, N, O and Q, and they are far less political than this first contribution.
ROG

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