Archive for category Lying by McCain

The War Power, The Sergeant, the Senator: Treason or Heroism

The Sergeant who some years ago left his post in that unnecessary and unwinnable war in
Afghanistan is either a hero, a traitor, or just a terribly young man in the wrong war at the wrong time. He spent terrible years of torture and probably said things he didn’t really mean.

Some years ago in Vietnam, Senator McCain was shot down over Vietnam, another unconstitutional war, and equally unwinnable war, confessed repeatedly to things he later recanted, once safely in the United States, and is, quite rightly regarded, despite his confessions to American war crimes, a hero. The two cases are not quite completely on all fours, as we say in the law. But the similarity is sufficient to compare with each other and with the undergirding of law.

Presidents, from George Washington to Barack Obama, who are visited by war, either their own or, like Obama, inherited from another (in Obama’s case two other) fools who preceded them, have always had this power. While not yet president, and without this act may well not have become president, Ronald Reagan communicated with Iran, telling them, in effect, just to refuse to deal with Carter on releasing our citizens from the U. S. Embassy in Iran, and await his presidency. Their deal (which killed Jimmie Carter’s hope for a second term and by the way was treason, meriting a firing squad.)

The 30, 60, 90 day notification of Congress is also unconstitutional, but not for the reasons the Republicans and Democrats alike, trumpet. Saint Paul, as I recall, said “this trumpet has an uncertain sound.” And I know he said that some leaders have “zeal without knowledge.” This is Republican and Democratic leaders on steroids, just like my former wife.

The reason the War Powers Act is unconstitutional is not what is now said by either Republicans or Democrats, as I told Joe Biden when he was both Minority Senior member of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate and when he was chair. I testified before his committee a few times, and he called me at the law school sometimes to chat about this. The reason is simple. Due to both a few but very senior Democrats and almost all Republicans, Congress forced the Demo’s to give the president 30, 60, or 90 days to play with Congress’ army while he picked his nose. War has not been officially declared since FDR did it in WW2. George Bush (the first) and Colin Powell, in my opinion, got it right, constitutionally, by voting 50-50 in the Senate, and then the Dark Lord, Vice President Cheney, broke the tie and we went to war in Iraq the right way by law; and they had the smarts to stop when their limited mission was accomplished. And until this time, the President, as Commander in Chief, has no constitutional power to use the United States armed forces, save self-defense.

In the Framers’ mind that means only when the United States of America, not our allies, are attacked. For Utahns, the reason J. Reuben Clark, my hero and a great patriot, a rock-ribbed Republican who served under many Republican presidents, served variously as chief legal adviser to the Department of State (then, as an deputy Attorney General on loan from Justice to State,,,,,,now called Legal Adviser to the State Department; and Vice Secretary of State, and Ambassador to Mexico; and advised many presidents between world wars one and two, on all arms control treaties between those to dreadful wars) opposed NATO was because it delegated the war power to a generation not yet born and for the defense of people, and nations, not yet born. Neither the United Nations (Korean War) nor NATO (Ukraine?) can declare war for the United States of America. This is the statement of law, the War Clause, that makes this beyond debate. Remember, that it is also the sole right of Congress: not the President of the United States, nor NATO, nor the United Nations, that decides what constitutes International law, as well. So, both Constitutional Law and International Law, save an attack on the United States, inform us that Congress, not the president or these international bodies, who determines for war or peace.

So screw the people and the Congress and president now living. When the president, any president, has this army to use, that army will never return to Congress’ care. This is unconstitutional because it is an illegal attempt to delegate to the President a plenary power, given exclusively, textually, to the Congress. Like the power over interstate commerce (the road by which most civil rights legislation is constitutional), along with the equal protection and due process of law clauses of the 5th and 14th amendments. It’s as if Congress were to say to Obama, “Say, friend, we’re so damned tired of life in Washington, despite the cherry blossoms, we will do what the Supreme Court does, and reconvene when good weather returns. We’re going to go to Balboa Island, California, where it’s nice and sunny, in ocean or on the beach, and pick our nose and scratch our butts. And better yet, we have one in eight chances not to pick both with the same finger. Even though we’ve proven, time out of mind, that we in Congress cannot chew gum and pick our nose, simultaneously (a great blessing). So, pres., you now have the taxing and the spending power, and we’ll sweeten the loaf by throwing into the pot, since you do have to stick around in this shitty weather, and give you the power also to fund and provide for the Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Navy. And don’t sweat it about financing things by the provision in the Constitution that spending bills begin in the House. Since you already have the taxing and spending power, do all this in the White House. P.S. please instruct the Treasury Department to deliver our checks, our salaries, and all the REALLY big bucks from the armaments industry and all those other lobbyists. We really have earned this right by selling our souls to the devil. Have a good life.

I say that both Senator and Soldier are bona fide heroes. Ed Firmage xoxox


Did Mitt Romney’s Religion Doom His Candidacy?

Did Romney lose the Republican primary because he is LDS?

I argued in an earlier post;

Romney was rejected for being a pompous, lying, flip-flopper. He changed lanes more than a NASCAR race. He promoted himself as the meanest of warmongers…”Double the size of Gitmo”?

Now, I’m having second thoughts. Consider that Republicans more today than ever, seem unconcerned with liars. After all, the re-elected one, and then tried to elect several more.

So I will concede Ken’s conclusion;

I saw how many of them, especially those that supported Mike Huckleberry simply because they did not want to see a Mormon be nominated. It was their hatred that handed John McCain the nomination

So what does it say about Republicans that they won’t elect a Mormon, but Democrats elected a BLACK MAN?

There is but one conclusion; The Republican Party is a tool of the intolerant, pathetic, frightened, racist, bigoted Christian Right.

The Republican Party is the party of economic collapse, unlimited government, lost and illegal wars, torture, unprecedented national debt, closeted homosexuals, and corrupt, sex-obsessed homophobes.

Oh yea, and ‘family values’ and ‘rugged individualism’ (except when it comes to Corporations).

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What’s all this about Rashid Khalidi?

The Wall Street Journal published a press release from the Republican National Committee, providing a run-down and bio information about Khalidi. The intent is clearly to make Obama look anti-Israel by his association with Khalidi.

However, to quote Rachel Maddow, this is the old ‘I’m rubber and you’re glue . . .’ dilemma. Turns out McCain himself has been very supportive of Khalidi in the past. With large sums of money and a relationship going back to 1993.

From Huffington Post:

During the 1990s, while he served as chairman of the International Republican Institute (IRI), McCain distributed several grants to the Palestinian research center co-founded by Khalidi, including one worth half a million dollars.

A 1998 tax filing for the McCain-led group shows a $448,873 grant to Khalidi’s Center for Palestine Research and Studies for work in the West Bank.

So what does it mean? Absolutely nothing.

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ACORN: Setting the Record Straight

From Open Left:

  • ACORN has implemented the most sophisticated quality-control system in the voter engagement field but in almost every state we are required to turn in ALL completed applications, even the ones we know to be problematic.
  • ACORN flags in writing incomplete, problem, or suspicious cards when we turn them in. Unfortunately, some of these same officials then come back weeks or months later and accuse us of deliberately turning in phony cards. In many cases, we can actually prove that these are the same cards we called to their attention.
  • Our canvassers are paid by the hour, not by the card. ACORN has a zero-tolerance policy for deliberately falsifying registrations, and in the cases where our internal quality controls have identified this happening we have fired the workers involved and turned them in to election officials and law-enforcement.
  • The rate of incomplete cards for the drive was 5 percent (about 65,000 cards) and the rate of “suspicious” cards was 1.5 percent (about 19,500 cards).
  • [snip]
    . . . in the past few weeks alone, ACORN staffers have received death threats in Ohio and Rhode Island, and offices have been vandalized in Washington and Massachusetts. Numerous threatening and racist phone calls have been made to ACORN offices across the country. As the Right’s actions have made plain, what’s at stake here is not simply what happens on November 4th, but whether or not American citizens will be able to exercise their most basic right: the right to vote.


    Not a Radical Group, and Ayers Didn’t Run It

    Wishing Ken Good Luck getting past his issues


    For most of the election, Sen. John McCain’s campaign has been somewhat subtle about trying to tie Sen. Barack Obama to the former ’60s radical William Ayers.

    No longer. A 90-second Web ad released Oct. 8, 2008, features sinister music, side-by-side photographs of Obama and Ayers, and a series of dubious allegations about their past connections, including this one:

    “Ayers and Obama ran a radical education foundation together.”

    Ayers was a founding member of the militant Vietnam-era anti-war group the Weathermen. He was investigated for his role in a series of domestic bombings, but the charges were dropped in 1974 due to prosecutorial misconduct. He is now an education professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and actively engaged in the city’s civic life.

    The McCain campaign said the “radical education foundation” to which they were referring is the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, a charity endowed by publishing magnate Walter Annenberg that funded public-school programs in Chicago from 1995 to 2001.

    We’ll look at whether the foundation was radical. But first we have to grapple with whether Obama and Ayers ran it.

    Obama served on the foundation’s volunteer board from its inception in 1995 through its dissolution in 2001, and was chair for the first four years. So an argument can be made that he ran it, though an executive director handled day-to-day operations.

    Ayers, who received his doctorate in education from Columbia University in 1987 and is now a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, was active in getting the foundation up and running. He and two other activists led the effort to secure the grant from Annenberg, and he worked without pay in the early months of 1995, prior to the board’s hiring of an executive director, to help the foundation get incorporated and formulate its bylaws, said Ken Rolling, who was the foundation’s only executive director. Ayers went on to become a member of the “collaborative,” an advisory group that advised the board of directors and the staff.

    Read the rest of this entry »


    Gayle Quinnell and McCain’s Big Problem

    Lately, McCain/Palin events have attracted lots of angry white racists. The reason for this probably has something to do with the fact that their campaign is spending almost its entire ad budget on dishonest attack ads, and the candidates themselves are questioning Barack Obama’s patriotism and accusing him of “palling around with terrorists.”

    McCain is now embarrassed because his extremist supporters are starting to attract media attention. At raucous rallies, they loudly call Obama a traitor and a terrorist, and shout “Kill him!” and “Off with his head.” At a town hall meeting Friday in Lakeville, Minnesota, the presidential candidate was booed by his own supporters as he tried to distance himself from right-wing lies being spread by McCain/Palin campaign workers.

    Late in the town hall meeting, Gayle Quinnell of Shakopee called Obama “an Arab.” Taken aback, McCain shook his head and, taking the microphone from her, said, “No, ma’am. He’s a decent family man, citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues.”

    After the rally, Quinnell was unrepentant. “You can’t trust Barack Hussein Obama because he is a Muslim and a terrorist,” she said.

    Via Talking Points Memo: has video of an interview with Gayle Quinnell just after the rally. She is a 75-year-old McCain volunteer, and she has sent out 400 copies of a letter accusing Obama of being an Arab terrorist.

    This is amazing. How many votes does McCain lose every time these people talk to the media?

    UPDATE: Today in the New York Times, McCain’s top adviser Mark Salter dismisses the senator’s supporters as “the occasional nut”, and says the campaign is not responsible for their outpourings of hate against Senator Obama.

    UPDATE: Time Magazine’s Karen Tumulty listened to Virginia state GOP Chairman Jeffrey M. Frederick give a pep talk to a group of McCain volunteers yesterday, comparing Senator Obama to Osama bin Laden.

    With so much at stake, and time running short, Frederick did not feel he had the luxury of subtlety. He climbed atop a folding chair to give 30 campaign volunteers who were about to go canvassing door to door their talking points — for instance, the connection between Barack Obama and Osama bin Laden: “Both have friends that bombed the Pentagon,” he said. “That is scary.” It is also not exactly true — though that distorted reference to Obama’s controversial association with William Ayers, a former 60s radical, was enough to get the volunteers stoked. “And he won’t salute the flag,” one woman added, repeating another myth about Obama. She was quickly topped by a man who called out, “We don’t even know where Senator Obama was really born.” Actually, we do; it’s Hawaii.

    In an interview with a Virginia TV station, Senator McCain appeared to defend Frederick’s comparison of Barack Obama and Osama bin Laden. TPM has the video.

    “I have to look at the context of his remarks. I have always repudiated any comments that have been made that were inappropriate about Senator Obama. The fact is that William Ayers was a terrorist and bomber and unrepentant. I don’t care about that. But, Sen. Obama ought be candid and truthful about his relationship with Mr. Ayers in whose living room Sen. Obama launched his campaign and Sen. Obama said he was just a guy in the neighborhood.”


    Can McCain/Palin Win By Smearing Obama?

    Desperate after seeing their precipitous drop in the polls, Senator John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin have decided to go relentlessly negative for the last month until Election Day. They are essentially conceding that their proposals to continue and extend the Bush administration’s policies are so unpopular that they can’t talk about them truthfully anymore. Instead, they’ll be telling lies about Senator Barack Obama.

    I just got through seeing a McCain campaign network TV ad accusing Obama of “putting lives at risk” by voting to cut off funding “for the troops.” Of course, in reality, prolonging the pointless occupation of Iraq puts lives at risk. A quick withdrawal would save many American and Iraqi lives. Congress never de-authorized the Iraq occupation or even put conditions on appropriations– they wrote one blank check after another for Bush, to the point where this fiasco is costing $10.2 billion a month. Some $560 billion has already been spent, with the total cost estimated at $3 trillion.

    The truth is, Senator McCain voted against Iraq appropriations at least once, and he’s arguably voted against “the troops” many times because he’s consistently opposed adequate funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    • On March 29, 2007, McCain voted against H.R. 1591, an emergency spending bill that would have funded the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and would have provided more than $1 billion in additional funds to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Obama voted for the bill.
    • On April 26, 2006, McCain voted against an amendment by Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-HI) that would have “provide[d] an additional $430,000,000 for the Department of Veteran Affairs for Medical Services for outpatient care and treatment for veterans.” Obama voted for it.
    • On March 14, 2006, McCain voted against “increas[ing] Veterans medical services funding by $1.5 billion in FY 2007 to be paid for by closing corporate tax loopholes.” Obama voted in favor.

    At a fundraiser in Denver today, Governor Palin attacked Senator Obama for “palling around with terrorists.” For those who don’t follow right-wing smears, that was a reference to Obama’s tenuous ties to 63-year-old former ’60s radical William Ayers. From MSNBC (emphasis added):

    “This is not a man who sees America as you see it and as I see America,” Palin said today. “We see America as the greatest force for good in this world. If we can be that beacon of light and hope for others who seek freedom and democracy and can live in a country that would allow intolerance in the equal rights that again our military men and women fight for and die for, for all of us.”

    She then continued, “Our opponent though is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect that he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country.”

    But as the New York Times reported today, Obama was never “palling around” with Ayers. “A review of records of the schools project and interviews with a dozen people who know both men, suggest that Mr. Obama, 47, has played down his contacts with Mr. Ayers, 63. But the two men do not appear to have been close. Nor has Mr. Obama ever expressed sympathy for the radical views and actions of Mr. Ayers, whom he has called ‘somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was 8.'”

    I’m sure we’ll get a reaction in the comments. I’d like to ask the question: As president, who is more likely to restore the reputation of the United States of America as the greatest force for good in the world, Barack Obama or John McCain?

    UPDATE: The Washington Post has more about the McCain campaign’s desperate plan to pour on the sleaze in the hope of distracting voters from the country’s rapidly imploding economy:

    “We’re going to get a little tougher,” a senior Republican operative said, indicating that a fresh batch of television ads is coming. “We’ve got to question this guy’s associations. Very soon. There’s no question that we have to change the subject here,” said the operative, who was not authorized to discuss strategy and spoke on the condition of anonymity.


    Carl Bernstein: The Palin Pick — The Devolution of McCain

    For the posterity of this blogs legacy, I reprint this article in full from Huffington Post

    This is one of the most honest reflections on what has happened to McCain. About how McCain went from someone a Democrat could vote for, to a sell-out to the right-wing.

    The Palin Pick — The Devolution of McCain
    by Carl Bernstein

    In one of our many conversations as we crisscrossed the country during his campaign for the 2000 Republican presidential nomination, John McCain said to me, "I’ve always tried to act on what I thought was the best for the country. And that has guided me…. The only thing I can do is assure people that I would act on principle."

    I traveled with McCain for weeks that political season, stayed in Arkansas with him, Cindy, and their children, and – for a Vanity Fair cover profile — filled dozens of notebooks and tapes with observations from and about a potentially heroic politician who seems far removed from the man running for president today.

    Three weeks after the 2008 Republican convention, on the cusp (maybe) of the first presidential debate, it is time to confront an awkward but profound question: whether in picking Sarah Palin as his running mate, John McCain has committed — by his own professed standards of duty and honor — a singularly unpatriotic act.

    "I would rather lose a political campaign than lose a war," he has said throughout this campaign. Yet, in choosing Palin, he has demonstrated — whatever his words — it may be permissible to imperil the country, conceivably even to "lose" it, in order to win the presidency. That would seem the deeper meaning of his choice of Palin.

    Indeed, no presidential nominee of either party in the last century has seemed so willing to endanger the country’s security as McCain in his reckless choice of a running mate. He is 72 years old; has had four melanomas, a particularly voracious form of cancer; refuses to release his complete medical records. Three of our last eleven presidents (and nine of all 43) have come to office unexpectedly in mid-term from the vice presidency: Truman, who within days of FDR’s death was confronted with the decision of whether to drop the atom bomb on Japan; Lyndon Johnson, who took the oath in Dallas after JFK’s assassination; Gerald Ford, sworn in following the resignation of Richard Nixon. A fourth vice president, George H.W. Bush, briefly exercised the powers of the presidency after the near-assassination of Ronald Reagan.

    Given that history, what does John McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin — the cavalier, last-minute process of her selection and careless vetting; and her over-briefed, fact-lite performance since — reveal about this military man who has attested to us for years that he is guided by his personal code of honor? "Two things I will never do," McCain told me, "are [to] lie to the American people, or put my electoral interests before the national interest" — an obvious precursor of "I would rather lose a political campaign than lose a war."

    Read the rest of this entry »


    McCain Caught Lying Again, Today

    Wow! Two lies in one day, and not a moment too soon. The media’s use of ‘L’-word (Lie, Liar, Lying) is now standard fair. There are more articles about lying today than yesterday.

    Perhaps now, some people won’t we quite so surprised when they are accused of lying. Steve Urughart watch out.

    I believe I will add the word as a new category. It shall serve as parent to my first an only sub category, ‘Proof Bush Lied’ which, I’m proud to say saw her inaugural use way back in March of 2007 with this first in a series Proof Bush Lied to Congress and America – Introduction.

    And now, I give you today’s McCain lie.

    McCain-Palin Crowd-Size Estimates Not Backed by Officials

    By Lorraine Woellert and Jeff Bliss

    Sept. 13 (Bloomberg) — Senator John McCain has drawn some of the biggest crowds of his presidential campaign since adding Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to his ticket on Aug. 29. Now officials say they can’t substantiate the figures McCain’s aides are claiming.

    McCain aide Kimmie Lipscomb told reporters on Sept. 10 that an outdoor rally in Fairfax City, Virginia, drew 23,000 people, attributing the crowd estimate to a fire marshal.

    Fairfax City Fire Marshal Andrew Wilson said his office did not supply that number to the campaign and could not confirm it. Wilson, in an interview, said the fire department does not monitor attendance at outdoor events.

    In recent days, journalists attending the rallies have been raising questions about the crowd estimates with the campaign. In a story on Sept. 11 about Palin’s attraction for some Virginia women voters, Washington Post reporter Marc Fisher estimated the crowd to be 8,000, not the 23,000 cited by the campaign.

    “The 23,000 figure was substantiated on the ground,” McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said. “The campaign is willing to stand by the fact that it was our biggest crowd to date.”

    “Since day one, this campaign has been consistent that we’re not going to win or lose based on crowd size but the substance of John McCain’s record,” Bounds said.

    Town Hall Meetings

    Until Palin, 44, joined him on the campaign trail, McCain, 72, had limited his political events to smaller town hall meetings and rallies of a few hundred people. His Democratic rival, Barack Obama, an Illinois senator, routinely draws thousands of people to his speeches, a phenomenon McCain has tried to use to his advantage by labeling Obama, 47, a celebrity.

    That changed on Aug. 30, at Palin’s first big public appearance after her nomination. The McCain campaign said 10,000 people showed up at the Consol Energy Arena in Washington, Pennsylvania, home of the Washington Wild Things baseball team.

    The campaign attributed that estimate, and several that followed, to U.S. Secret Service figures, based on the number of people who passed through magnetometers.

    “We didn’t provide any numbers to the campaign,” said Malcolm Wiley, a spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service. Wiley said he would not “confirm or dispute” the numbers the McCain campaign has given to reporters.

    To contact the reporters on this story: Lorraine Woellert in Washington at; Jeff Bliss in Washington at

    Last Updated: September 13, 2008 10:19 EDT


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