In re: Make-Believe Maverick

On the grounds between the two brick colleges, the chitchat between the scion of four-star admirals and the son of a prizefighter turns to their academic travels; both colleges sponsor a trip abroad for young officers to network with military and political leaders in a distant corner of the globe.

“I’m going to the Middle East,” Dramesi says. “Turkey, Kuwait, Lebanon, Iran.”

“Why are you going to the Middle East?” McCain asks, dismissively.

“It’s a place we’re probably going to have some problems,” Dramesi says.

“Why? Where are you going to, John?”

“Oh, I’m going to Rio.”

“What the hell are you going to Rio for?”

McCain, a married father of three, shrugs.

“I got a better chance of getting laid.”

Dramesi, who went on to serve as chief war planner for U.S. Air Forces in Europe and commander of a wing of the Strategic Air Command, was not surprised. “McCain says his life changed while he was in Vietnam, and he is now a different man,” Dramesi says today. “But he’s still the undisciplined, spoiled brat that he was when he went in.”

from Make-Believe Maverick : Rolling Stone.

A very interesting article that paints a very different picture of John McCain from the so called ‘maverick’ that he is so often painted as, further the label of war hero is questioned in what I think is probably a bit of a slanted article, but still full of a lot of valuable information on McCain that I feel isn’t being talked about by a lot of folks.  Its a long article, but worth the read.  Tim Dickinson Make-Believe Maverick: A closer look at the life and career of John McCain reveals a disturbing record of recklessness and dishonesty in Rolling Stone  Available here


In re: Campaign suspension only a ploy?

There was no suspension of his campaign. His surrogates and ads remained on television. Huffington Post bloggers, working the phones, couldn’t find a single McCain campaign office that had gone on hiatus. This “suspension” ruse was an exact replay of McCain’s self-righteous “suspension” of the G.O.P. convention as Hurricane Gustav arrived on Labor Day. “We will put aside our political hats and put on our American hats,” he declared then, solemnly pledging that conventioneers would help those in need. But as anyone in the Twin Cities could see, the assembled put on their party hats instead, piling into the lobbyists’ bacchanals earlier than scheduled, albeit on the down-low.

Op-Ed Columnist – McCain’s Suspension Bridge to Nowhere – Op-Ed –

It appears that McCain’s concern over the economy and his insistence that he needed to stop campaigning and return to Washington to right the ship may have been showmanship and politics.  (I mean what could McCain seriously do about the economy, who is self professed as ignorant on most economic issues)  Despite all that and the fact many presidents have campaigned through much worse, including Lincoln in the Civil War and FDR in WWII McCain may have needed to try and stop the flood gates of a slipping campaign.  This is at least according to an Op-Ed (link following the opening quote above) in the NY Times that mentions that “As recently as Tuesday he had not yet even read the two-and-a-half-page bailout proposal first circulated by Hank Paulson last weekend. “I have not had a chance to see it in writing,” he explained.”

Either way, as someone who once really respected McCain (2000 election cycle) I am now amazed at the transformation he has undergone all in the name of getting elected.

In re: has McCain worked to hide POW information?

An interesting article in The Nation that follows John McCain’s efforts to keep information concerning POWs that were left behind in Vietnam from reaching the light of day.  The information concerns among other issues the fact that the US may have hundreds of POWs behind in Vietnam who were likely eventually executed as both the US and Vietnam chose to ignore the issue.  The article mentions many pieces of evidence of the alive POWs including the fact that the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) received more than 1,600 firsthand reports of sightings of live American prisoners and nearly 14,000 secondhand accounts following our exit from Vietnam.

John McCain, who has risen to political prominence on his image as a Vietnam POW war hero, has, inexplicably, worked very hard to hide from the public stunning information about American prisoners in Vietnam who, unlike him, didn’t return home. Throughout his Senate career, McCain has quietly sponsored and pushed into federal law a set of prohibitions that keep the most revealing information about these men buried as classified documents.

See the article in The Nation McCain and the POW Cover-up by Sydney H. Schanberg

In re: Jon Stewart on Sarah Palin’s backers in the media

Worth checking out… if only to hear Karl Roves insanity and Bill ‘Papa Bear’ Orielly act like a fool (again).

In re: McCain Retaliates Against CNN For Asking Tough Questions

I can’t say I really ever watch any of the cable news channels unless I am prepared with a trash can to catch my vomit.  Every now and then I do catch a good clip that breaks the mold of weak journalism that enforces the idea that we don’t really need 24 hour news channels.  One example of actual questioning and failure to buy into the bs answers was shown in an interview with a McCain rep by CNN’s Campbell Brown (some seem to think she was being unfair), but apparently she was ‘too tough’ and now McCain doesn’t want anything to do with CNN and is pulling out of an interview with the ultimate cupcake Larry King.

McCain Retaliates Against CNN For Asking Tough Questions

On a side note, I think that this Sarah Palin choice for VP is going to go down as a horrible decision, and the campaigns idea to defend her as having foreign policy experience and being a tough reformer and a great mom is going to be remembered as a great debacle, if somehow they win and she is a VP I am going to pretty fearful for our country if anything happens to McCain, not that I have anything per se against creationist believers who choose to keep their heads in the sand but I think that this person who chose to go back to work 3 days after she gave birth to a baby and decided that being a VP candidate while raising this baby was a good idea isn’t much for family values, nor is a mother who would put her unmarried pregnant 17 year old daughter through the pain of the national spotlight isn’t who I want running the show either.  Ugh…

In re: Finally a call re-examine the drinking age?

Two Ohio college presidents are among dozens nationwide who are asking lawmakers to consider whether the legal drinking age should be lowered from 21.

College presidents seek to re-examine drinking age – Cleveland Metro News – The Latest Breaking News, Photos and Stories from The Plain Dealer.

I have long thought our nations mandated 21 year old drinking age was wrong for a few reasons, one has to do with the method of implementing by withholding highway funds if states didn’t change to a 21 year old drinking age and also for the problems with binge drinking it creates.  Lastly the idea of having something illegal for people who are able to vote, serve in the military etc seems crazy to me.  Well apparently a push to rethink the 21 year old age is coming front and center as many prominent college presidents, including Gordon Gee here in Columbus have signed onto to the Amethyst Initative, that was just started:

Launched in July 2008, the Amethyst Initiative is made up of chancellors and presidents of universities and colleges across the United States.  These higher education leaders have signed their names to a public statement that the 21 year-old drinking age is not working, and, specifically, that it has created a culture of dangerous binge drinking on their campuses.

The Amethyst Initiative supports informed and unimpeded debate on the 21 year-old drinking age. Amethyst Initiative presidents and chancellors call upon elected officials to weigh all the consequences of current alcohol policies and to invite new ideas on how best to prepare young adults to make responsible decisions about alcohol use.

In re: Is Jon Stewart the Most Trusted Man in America?

“the best campaign team in the universe ever,” working out of “ ‘The Daily Show’ news-scraper: 117 stories, 73 situation rooms, 26 news tickers,” and promising to bring “you all the news stories — first … before it’s even true.” (Quoting the current ad campaign for the election coverage of the Daily Show)  Is Jon Stewart the Most Trusted Man in America? –

The NY Times answers the question in the title with a resounding yes.  A fairly long article in the NY Times about the the Daily Show (the articles author has nothing but praise for it, which I guess I would agree with).  While I got to admit I don’t watch it as much as the Colbert Report these days it is still amazing and I amazed I regretted the leaving of Craig Kilborne from the show (the original show pales in comparison to the show it has become).  Anyways, it’s an interesting article and I am not surpised nor do I think its a bad thing that Jon Stewart is ocnsidered one of the most trusted names in news.