Archive for the ‘John McCain’ tag
Bob Greene asks voters to say something nice about the man they’re not voting for in the presidential election. (This would have made a good video.)
This shouldn’t shock anyone, but Slate’s staff is overwhelmingly pro-Obama. Bob Barr is getting as many votes from them as John McCain. And four times more people can’t vote as are voting for either of those two.
I’d love to see more publications try this out. I’d like to know the score at Time or The Economist.
On the topic of equality in America… Ross Douthat, on the heels of McCain’s attacking Obama for trying to speard the wealth around, agrues that it’s silly for conservatives to oppose all redistribution.
In other words, a conservative welfare state would eliminate our current network of universal entitlement programs, and replace them with cheaper, means-tested programs that, well, spread the wealth - that spend your tax dollars to provide temporary assistance to the unemployed, underwrite health care costs for the aged and very poor, set an income floor underneath American seniors, and so forth, rather than taking money from the middle class with one hand and giving it back to them with the other.
Robert Frank points to new evidence he was right all along:
According to a new survey by Prince & Associates, voters worth $1 million to $10 million are favoring Sen. John McCain, while voters worth $30 million or more are favoring Sen. Barack Obama. …
The reason? Taxes.
1) Wall Street to Main Street. I know the financial crisis affects me and that bashing bankers wins you applause. What I’d rather hear? A solid explanation of how the bailout will work (or won’t), how it will be paid for, and how it will affect government spending in the next administration.
I think this chart gives the one mentioned here a run for it’s money. There’s nothing like a well-made graph to make reveal the utter silliness of many political issues.
An interesting bit of cocktail chatter, if nothing else:
Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party’s nominee for president, has filed a lawsuit in Texas demanding Senators John McCain and Barack Obama be removed from the ballot after they missed the official filing deadline.
“The seriousness of this issue is self-evident,” the lawsuit states. “The hubris of the major parties has risen to such a level that they do not believe that the election laws of the State of Texas apply to them.”
I was torn between linking to this post about what Passport bloggers are reading, which contains a number of interesting suggestions, and this very approachable article from Fareed Zakaria that one mention. Obviously Zakaria won the coin toss; a sample:
It’s also worth noting that ever since World War II, the United States has tended to make its strategic missteps by exaggerating dangers. During the 1950s, conservatives argued that Dwight Eisenhower was guilty of appeasement because he was willing to contain rather than roll back communism. The paranoia about communism helped fuel McCarthyism at home and support for dubious regimes abroad. John Kennedy chose to outflank Nixon on the right by arguing that there was a dangerous missile gap between the Soviets and the United States (when in fact the United States had almost 20,000 missiles and the Soviets had fewer than 2,000). The 1970s witnessed a frenzied argument that the Soviet Union was surpassing the United States militarily and was about to “Finlandize” Europe. The reality, of course, was that when neoconservatives were arguing that the U.S.S.R. was about to conquer the world, it was on the verge of total collapse.
I like the simplicity of this site, which simply aims to count all the times the US presidential candidates, their running mates, and their campaigns tell obvious lie. Like all and sundry, their is likely to be dispute of the political truth, but the sites definition of lies seems reasonable:
When a politician makes a point that can be clearly refuted with non-partisan sources, or even better their own words, we call that a lie. Given the claims each campaign has made regarding their own competence and ‘readiness’, we don’t believe there is room for ‘mistakes’ of speech either. So we mark any and all wrong statements as lies.
You’d have good reason to condemn this analysis as simplistic, silly, or absurd, but I think it’s just enough of all of those things to share. The real contrast: Obama’s site is written in PHP, McCain’s in ASP.
Questions for Palin
And, somewhat related, Kevin Drum is sick of the lies about Ms. Palin and the Bridge to Nowhere and thinks the fact that the McCain campaign is still able to talk about it is an indictment of the press.
Speaking of the senator, Daily Intel received a rather strange email from the people selling dolls that seems to imply the Democratic candidate is a monkey:
We at TheSockObama Co. are saddened that some individuals have chosen to misinterpret our plush toy. It is not, nor has it ever been our objective to hurt, dismay or anger anyone. We guess there is an element of naviete on our part, in that we don’t think in terms of myths, fables, fairy tales and folklore. We simply made a casual and affectionate observation one night, and a charming association between a candidate and a toy we had when we were little. We wonder now if this might be a great opportunity to take this moment to really try and transcend still existing racial biases. We think that if we can do this together, maybe it will behoove us a nation and maybe we’ll even begin to truly communicate with one another more tenderly, more real even.
This is only our introductory plush toy. If we choose to move forward with a Republican candidate, we’ll begin with an elongated and slightly lumpy, fuzzy Idaho potato. Had a different Democratic candidate won the nomination, we were prepared to move forward with the cutest, fluffiest 12” chestnut and golden-haired squirrel, with a short Farrah-like do in a brown pantsuit and call her Squirellary.
Because we hadn’t already heard it 1000 times. Also, I realize a lot of this is just noise, but — like Blake Houshnell — I’m wondering what Spain has against McCain.
Matt Bai has an artful examination of John McCain’s evolving view of American foreign policy in the forthcoming New York Times Magazine. His basic conclusion:
Undaunted, McCain soldiers on toward November and what could be his final campaign. When he ran in 2000, his philosophy of national greatness — the importance, as he always puts it, of “serving a cause greater than one’s self” — found its expression in ideas like national service and campaign reform, proposals that independents and even many liberals could embrace. For a time then, McCain, adrift within his own party, was almost certainly the most popular politician in America. This time, his theme of selflessness is bound up, irrevocably, with Bush’s unpopular war. Democrats, alarmed over their own disunity, can hardly wait to start pummeling McCain with Iraq. While I was working on this article, the Center for American Progress, the left’s leading policy center in Washington, took the liberty of sending over a 10-page litany of McCain’s selected comments on Iraq since 2002, delineated by helpful subheadings like “The War Begins — Rosy Outlook” and “The Critical Time Is Always Right Around the Corner.”
Also of note (and from the Times Magazine, tangentially related to Vietnam): an interesting/troubling examination of the charges of conspiracy the US is bringing against Hmong leader — and former US ally — Vang Pao.
I find this impossible to accept even if it’s been speculated about for a month. I think I’ll become a conspiracy theorist.
Drum roll, please: The creators of the McCain Girls turn out to be the comedy team behind 23/6, a five-month-old Web site owned by an affiliate of IAC/InterActiveCorp that parodies the news. The site, at 236.com, uses the motto “Some of the news, most of the time.”
Nothing in this piece is terribly surprising, but still I like to know how events in the United States are understood in other parts of the world. It would happen that though Hillary Clinton and John McCain are preferred by most Israelis, Mr. Obama is generally the favorite of Arabs. With one caveat:
Some Arabs are less smitten. Anti-Syrian politicians and activists in Lebanon may worry about Mr Obama’s willingness to start talks with Iran, fearing that they could result in America “selling out” Lebanon in exchange for a deal elsewhere in the region. But, for now, he seems to be the candidate of choice among Arabs.
The whole world seems to be expect massive and sweeping change when a new president takes office in 2009. The Economist, which has a large special report elaborating the point, doubts that’s what will happen.
There are several ways in which the next president can indeed act fast to restore America’s world standing. But the list is short. The mere fact of not being Bush will bring a dividend of goodwill. On top of this, he or she should send out an early message that on some issues the change of guard will mean a change of heart. An America that closed Guantánamo, imposed a clear ban on any sort of torture (by the CIA as well as the army) and shut the CIA’s secret prisons could once again claim to lead the free world by example and not just by military power. A new president should also say more forthrightly than Mr Bush ever dared that America means to co-operate in the fight against global warming, and will consider joining the International Criminal Court. Mr Bush’s cavalier rejection of the Kyoto protocol, and his hostility to the ICC, did much to antagonise the world even before the war in Iraq.
All these would be welcome changes of substance and symbolism. But even this short list will throw up difficulties. Closing Guantánamo may require America to try the suspected terrorists it can build a case against but let the others go free—free, if nobody else takes them, on American soil. And although it is easy for a president to promise international co-operation on climate change, it is hard to make Congress enact laws that trample on vested interests, threaten to hamper growth or price Americans out of their huge cars. The Senate would not have ratified Kyoto even if Mr Bush had asked it to.
Speaking of (things I’ve been ignoring+Slate)… Slate’s economics columnist Daniel Gross does his best to eviscerate McCain.
By virtue of his history as a deficit hawk, a foe of earmarks, and an opponent of the Bush tax cuts—not to mention the presence of reality-based advisers like Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office—McCain deserves some benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately, the brains behind the economic operation seems to be former Sen. Phil Gramm, the Texas A&M economist-turned-senator who confidently forecast in 1993 that the Clinton program of spending cuts and tax increases on the wealthy would be “a one-way ticket to recession.” And the sections on McCain’s Web site about domestic policy reveal, as Matt Yglesias noted, “a nearly astounding level of vacuity.”