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The McCain Attacks on Obama:

The McCain campaign is unleashing attacks on Obama's judgment and trustworthiness, in particular by highlighting his ties to Bill Ayers. At first, voters aren't go to pay attention to this, because it seems like a silly distraction when we have an economic crisis on hand. On second thought... well, there's a comment on Ann Althouse's blog that reflects my thinking:

So the theory is "nobody cares about scurrilous charges against Obama" because they're too busy looking at their 401k's fall through the floor.

I don't know if I buy it. The voters want someone who they can trust to manage getting us out of this mess. That's a character question. Neither McCain nor Obama are financial market experts. It comes down to whose judgment do you trust more.

However, I'm not sure the answer isn't still "Obama," despite his fibbing about Ayers. Because I'm not so sure the erratic, impulsive and vindictive McCain wouldn't be worse.

Unfortunately, neither candidate strikes me as the obvious "steady hand in an economic crisis" candidate. Is it too late too start a write-in campaign for Warren Buffett?

John Armstrong (mail) (www):
It's far from too late. In fact, I heartily encourage you to write in Warren Buffett on your ballot.
10.10.2008 12:19am
Blar (mail) (www):
Warren Buffett heartily encourages you to cast your vote for Obama.
10.10.2008 12:22am
Mad Max:
Neither candidate has the first financial clue. If you asked Obama to explain the difference between a stock and a bond, he'd have to ask Franklin Raines. McCain would have to ask his wife's financial manager. The only thing either of them knows how to do is spend Other People's Money.

In short - we are hosed no matter who wins.
10.10.2008 12:24am
David Warner:
Obama saw a quick route to the power of Pappa Ayers and friends. He grabbed it. Obama passes for black. Ayers fils has a lifelong case of jungle fever. Questions?
10.10.2008 12:30am
Jerry F:
The reason the attacks are not going to work is that the media will cover for Obama as it has done for the past two years. Then again, the same can be said about anything that McCain comes up with, so he might as well concede the election. An underfunded campaign cannot defeat the media by itself.

Incidentally, it was found out this week that Obama used to be a member of an openly socialist party. I would venture to say that anyone who does't read conservative blogs like Powerline have not heard of this. If McCain used to be a member of, say, a feudalist, monarchist, or theocratic parties, can you imagine this not making front page news? (This is a rhetorical question; I am not aware of any right-wing party in the U.S. that is as far to the right as a socialist party is to the Left, even the Constitution Party is not that fringe).
10.10.2008 12:30am
Assistant Village Idiot (mail) (www):
Ouch. Okay Mad Max, which one is more likely to try to effect a Really Brilliant Idea that will hose us even more? I think Obama is more likely to be not only incompetent, but adventurous to boot, but I'd hate to put any money down on that opinion.

What am I saying? We've all already bet lots of money, because these are the only two left.
10.10.2008 12:31am
Chico's Bail Bonds (mail):
I agree with DB and Ann Althouse for once. The idea that nobody cares about the scurrilous charges against Obama because they're too busy looking at their 401k's fall through the floor doesn't make any sense at all. Nobody cares about the scurrilous charges because they are scurrilous.
10.10.2008 12:36am
BR (mail):
I'm ready to reconsider Ron Paul.

Regarding Obama, I think Rezko would be a more damaging acquaintance. Rezko donated a lot of money to Obama's campaigns very early in his career. I don't think it would be too tough for McCain to portray Obama as a Chicago-Democrat-Machine politician. Maybe not quite Clay Davis to Rezko's Stringer Bell, but Rezko's got a very interesting circle of friends that I haven't heard very much at all about from the press.
10.10.2008 12:37am
Sagar (mail):
Warren Buffet? The same guy who fully supports the death tax for others while donating his billions to Gates Fund? The guy who complains that taxes are too low, but doesn't volunteer to pay more?

If he were honest he would have explained that his Cap gains (income) is not same as his secretary's salary (income) instead of misleading people about the current income tax situation.

He is a sound money manager, but not an honest individual. Besides, we are not supposed to elect "old" guys, since they may not last 4 years:)
10.10.2008 12:39am
Anon Y. Mous:
One thing that struck me as a little odd in the second debate was McCain going out of his way to mention that Obama-supporter Buffet would make a good Treasury Secretary, and then Obama seeming to distance himself from the suggestion:

McCain: You know, that's a tough question and there's a lot of qualified Americans. But I think the first criteria, Tom, would have to be somebody who immediately Americans identify with, immediately say, we can trust that individual.

A supporter of Sen. Obama's is Warren Buffett [chairman of Berkshire Hathaway]. He has already weighed in and helped stabilize some of the difficulties in the markets and with companies and corporations, institutions today.
[...]

Brokaw: All right. Sen. McCain -- Sen. Obama, who do you have in mind for treasury secretary?

Obama: Well, Warren would be a pretty good choice -- Warren Buffett, and I'm pleased to have his support. But there are other folks out there. The key is making sure that the next treasury secretary understands that it's not enough just to help those at the top.
[...]


Although Buffet supports Obama, it would seems that McCain is a stronger supported of Buffet than Obama is.
10.10.2008 12:39am
David Warner:
Assistant Village Idiot,

a. you're no idiot.

"adventurous"

Are you serious? Obama makes Cliff Huxtable look like Bear Grylls.
10.10.2008 12:42am
Kelly (mail):
The Ayers stuff isn't going to work. If it had been pressed during the summer, maybe. The fact is there is no new information here. Everything that is being discussed has been known for months. So why is it so important now? If it really shows that Obama is not fit to be president, why did the McCain campaign ignore the issue for so long? To raise it now, when McCain is losing ground fast, just telegraphs desperation.

Plus, you now have Obama essentially daring McCain to bring it up in the debate next week. If he doesn't, he looks weak. But if he's not asked about it directly, he cannot bring the topic up on his own without looking like he doesn't want to address other issues.

I realize McCain doesn't have a lot of moves left, but I think this one is doomed to fail.
10.10.2008 12:42am
DavidBernstein (mail):
Sagar, I was being slightly facetious about Buffett, but he would certainly make a good treasury secretary. he understood there was a tech bubble, and then understood there was a credit bubble, unlike 99% of those working on Wall Street, and unlike Alan Greenspan.
10.10.2008 12:44am
BruceM (mail) (www):
WHy isn't Obama's campaign taking the equally low road and pointing out all the criminals and "bad people who hate America" that McCain has had relationships with, such as Charles Keating.

Additionally, why has Obama not pointed out that McCain gave support to the North Vietnamese during wartime, endangering the lives of our brave American soldiers? McCain assisted the North Vietnamese communists by speaking out against America to the delight of his captors. If OBAMA had been a POW who caved in under torture, you bet your ass the republicans would be calling him a wimpy coward who couldn't handle it, caved in, forgot his training, and acted to the detriment of America during a war.

McCain is no war hero. He's a coward.

Don't respond by asking me how long I'd last under torture. That's irrelevant - I'd cave in within 30 seconds and say whatever they wanted. But I'm not a soldier, I've never said I'm a war hero, and I've never claimed to be a brave warrior. There are many other people who were tortured by the Vietnamese Commies who did NOT wimp out and speak out against America and American troops. When a Republican is a wimpy POW he's a war hero, but if it had been a democrat, he'd be swift-boated. With respect to John Kerry, speaking out against a war is not the same thing as speaking out against America in aid and support of the enemy, though I realize that distinction is beyond the mental capacity of many if not most chickenhawks.

So why is Obama not fighting back against McCain? Obama starts off 5-7 percent behind McCain from the starting gate due to the color of is skin (that's the % of people according to polls who will actually admit that they'd "never vote for a black person for president"). The actual number of people who won't vote for a black person but won't admit it is much higher - as much as 15-20% of American voters. So Obama needs to fight as tough as possible and not sit idly by as McCain calls him an America-hating jerkoff because someone who lived in Obama's neighborhood was a criminal 40 years ago.
10.10.2008 12:50am
24AheadDotCom (mail) (www):
As seen in past elections, people are (oddly enough) forgetting the context. Let me supply that, with our choices being between:

1. BHO + a Dem Congress + an MSM victorious after helping BHO wage a smear campaign + all of BHO's far-left and Chicago associates, or

2. McCain + a Dem Congress + a defeated MSM + those defeated far-left/Chicago associates.

McCain will be kept in check by the Dems and also by members of his own party. There's no cheering section for McCain as there was for Bush. OTOH, if BHO becomes president, everything would be stacked his way and there's no telling what he and his Dem and far-left friends would do.

Considering the context, McCain is the far, far safer choice.

And, if you agree, here's how to defeat Barack Obama.
10.10.2008 12:52am
BR (mail):
Buffet also criticized the overuse of derivitives like CDS's back in 2003, which are going to bankrupt as many companies as investments in MBSs before this mess is over.
10.10.2008 12:55am
Charlie (Colorado) (mail):
BruceM, that would be the Keating affair in which McCain was exonerated (along with John Glenn) and the time in North Vietnam for which he got a medal?

And for which Bud Day, who's one of McCain's biggest supporters, got a Medal of Honor?
10.10.2008 1:00am
Jerry F:
"Obama starts off 5-7 percent behind McCain from the starting gate due to the color of is skin (that's the % of people according to polls who will actually admit that they'd "never vote for a black person for president")."

If it was not for his skin color, Obama would never have made it to the Senate, and it is preposterous to think that he would have been considered a credible candidate for winning the Democrat Primary.
10.10.2008 1:07am
sagar (mail):
DB,

Agreed! He would make a good Sec Treasury - even if he were to not stay on for 4 yrs, he can do wonders running the entity that has to buy the toxic assets, for a year or two.

I liked the fact that McCain names him first when asked in the debate, but Obama for some reason was not enthusiastic!
10.10.2008 1:08am
Francis Marion (mail):
Warren Buffet is overrated. He's getting hosed over his Goldman deal.
10.10.2008 1:10am
sagar (mail):
BruceM,

What evidence do you have that Keating "hated America"?

I am sure as a crook who made a lot of money he also paid a lot of taxes, and that makes him patriotic (at least in Biden's books).
10.10.2008 1:11am
Soma (mail):
Oh, those desperate, scumbag Volokh conservatives.

I'll be sure to swing by on Obama's inauguration day to laugh and laugh.....
10.10.2008 1:31am
TruthInAdvertising:
"Incidentally, it was found out this week that Obama used to be a member of an openly socialist party."

No, some bloggers are running around making claims because some socialist organization took credit for Obama getting elected to a state house seat. Considering that Obama ran as a Democrat and was a member of the Democratic party when he ran for that seat, the claim is likely nothing more than an attempt to take credit where none is due. In any case, no one has shown anything that shows that Obama was ever a member of that group. But that doesn't stop people like yourself from repeating the lie. Earlier this week, it was claimed that he was a member of the SDS. What's next? That he's the grandson of Joseph Stalin?
10.10.2008 1:32am
sagar (mail):
BruceM,

You seem like a "misguided youth" on so many levels (just based on the above post - so I can't be definitive)

Re: your claim that obama starts out 5 - 7% behind, please see the Gallup poll (Oct 9th) that said 9% people would vote for him due to his color, thus more than offsetting the "racists/bigots"

And who are you calling a criminal? Ayers? He is not a criminal - he was not convicted of any charges! So, he may be a radical or whatever but not a criminal.

You said there were many Americans who did not "wimp out" under torture. Right. So, why is McCain (who also did not wimp out) a coward and a wimpy POW?

Your statement that a Democrat is never honored as a war hero is just not true. Check out Sen. Webb of Virginia. If you want to consider Kerry a war hero, feel free - but not many would concur (don't want to regurgitate all the arguments from 4 years ago).

Obama campaign not taking the low road? Don't worry. They are taking the subterranean tunnels any time they need to.
10.10.2008 1:38am
freedomfighter (mail):
Bruce M,

You're a disgrace to this great country. Whether or not you like John McCain is a sorry excuse to question his time as a POW. Your comment is a slap in the face to every POW, MIA, veteran and current active military personnel who are at this moment fighting for your freedom and the Constitution. Your comments are a disgrace towards the American Flag and what it represents. You're so far to the left, I'm surprised you don't walk in circles. Do us all a favor and buy a one-way ticket to the communist country of your choice, you'll fit right in. While you're at it, take your small-minded friends with you. We like our freedom and a vote for Obama is a vote for socialism, radical government and loss of freedom.
10.10.2008 1:46am
deepthought:
Maybe McCain should follow this advice. From Washington Monthly's Political Animal:


One almost gets the sense that Barack Obama wants John McCain to confront him directly with some of these guilt-by-association attacks. ABC's Charlie Gibson sat down with Obama yesterday, and asked whether he was surprised that McCain didn't go in this direction during Tuesday's debate.

"Well, I am surprised that, you know, we've been seeing some pretty over-the-top attacks coming out of the McCain campaign over the last several days that he wasn't willing to say it to my face," Obama said. "But I guess we've got one last debate. So presumably, if he ends up feeling that he needs to, he will raise it during the debate."

Obama, in this sense, is almost daring McCain to make these attacks directly. He's practically questioning McCain's fortitude, calling him out for using sleazy tactics behind Obama's back, but not to his face.

I suspect Obama is baiting McCain for a reason -- he wants McCain to lose his cool, make personal attacks, and try to change the subject away from the economy. Obama isn't afraid of this scenario, he'd welcome this scenario.


Full transcript here.
10.10.2008 1:48am
first history:
How about an investigation into the links between McCain's father-in-law and the suspected mastermind in the murder of Don Bolles, an investigative reporter for the Arizona Republic in 1976?

From the NYT, 8/23/08:
"Back in Phoenix, he (James Hensley, McCain's father-in-law and father of Cindy McCain) and his brother, Eugene, went into the liquor business with Kemper Marley, a businessman who had cornered much of the market in Arizona after Prohibition ended.

In March 1948, a federal jury convicted both Hensleys of concealing sales of black-market liquor. Jim Hensley's six month sentence was suspended. A second indictment, in 1953 for falsifying records to evade taxes, was dismissed.

The Hensleys bought a New Mexico horse track in 1952. Eugene Hensley's role at the track led to lawsuits, tax-evasion charges and prison. In 1969, he sold out to a mob-connected company with close ties to Mr. Marley, according to published reports. (The Phoenix police named Mr. Marley as the man they believed ordered the 1976 assassination of Don Bolles, an investigative reporter for The Arizona Republic. Mr. Marley, who died in 1990, was never charged.)"


The relatonship between Jim Hensley and Marley has never been fully explored. In this case, someone actually died.
10.10.2008 2:05am
MS (mail):
Sagar,


"Warren Buffet . . . is a sound money manager"



You are dumb.
10.10.2008 2:09am
David Warner:
First hystory,

"The relatonship between Jim Hensley and Marley has never been fully explored. In this case, someone actually died."

Hmm, in Ayers' case, someone also died. Somethree in fact. Not the three he had in mind, I'd imagine.

In other news, Eve was a hussy. We're all screwed.
10.10.2008 2:26am
Ricardo (mail):
Obama probably doesn't know much about finance. Neither do most politicians or past presidents. However, Obama has first rate economic advisers who appear to be giving him sound advice.

With the exception of Douglas Holtz-Eakin (and given the quality of McCain's economic policy proposals, there are serious questions as to how much influence he has over the direction of McCain's proposals), McCain's other advisers are a bunch of hacks including the author of "Dow 36,000."

If McCain wants to have an adviser who cheered on while the tech bubble was under way and then cheered on again while the housing bubble was under way and now blames that bubble on Democrats, that kind of calls into question his fitness to lead during an economic crisis.
10.10.2008 2:45am
Psalm91 (mail):
Noun-verb-Bill Ayers Day 6. How long until someone is attacked at a McCain-Palin rally? Every day of Ayers and the stock market goes further down. Any causal connection there?
10.10.2008 2:52am
Isaac (www):
"that would be the Keating affair in which McCain was exonerated"

Cleared of legal charges, but criticized on the record for "poor judgement."

If we're using the determinations of adjudicating bodies as our standard, please provide a link to the official finding that Obama exercised poor judgement by once knowing Ayers.
10.10.2008 3:05am
first history:
David Warner:

There is much more of a connection between the Hensleys (and McCain by marriage)/Marley/the Mob than any connection between Ayers and Obama. In the former case, the Hensleys/Marley were business partners involved in businesses heavily influenced by the mob (liquor and gambling.) Indeed, there should also be a look at any connections between Hensley/McCain and the Bonanno crime family, since Joe Bonanno "retired" to Arizona.

In the latter case Obama/Ayers served on a non-profit board. Hardly the same deep web of connections.

There are many unanswered questions about the Hensleys, McCain, the mob, and the death of Don Bolles.
10.10.2008 3:06am
Wayne (mail):
The McCain campaign has now issued its own "investigative" report about Troopergate, the day before the oficial report is due. Big news, its amazing. They cleared Palin! What a surprise. I bet OJ is pissed he didn't think of clearing himself before the trial.

McCain's campaign is clown college. This sounds like a story from The Onion.
10.10.2008 3:11am
Mike G in Corvallis (mail):
Boy, am I going to be glad when this ingrown toenail of a presidential campaign is over. Even if the wrong lizard gets elected.
10.10.2008 3:28am
David Warner:
First History,

"In the latter case Obama/Ayers served on a non-profit board. Hardly the same deep web of connections."

I'm unclear here. Are you ill-informed, or do you imagine me to be?

As someone who's worked with more people who share Ayers' sophomoric views than I can count (unfortunate generation, that one), I'm not that worked up about Ayers' sponsorship of Obama. But the association was likely deep, if unlikely to be as mutually beneficial as Ayers imagines.

As for your efforts to comb McCain's family tree to the fourth generation, get a life.
10.10.2008 3:45am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
Obama used to be a member of an openly socialist party


Truth did a nice job of translating this bogus claim into English. Meanwhile, Palin has ties to an organization that openly promotes this belief:

I'm an Alaskan, not an American. I've got no use for America or her damned institutions.


A nice video on that subject is here.

Speaking of videos, Obama's Keating video now has 1.4 million views, even though it's only been out for a few days.
10.10.2008 3:48am
LM (mail):
BruceM,

That some Republicans stooped to smearing Kerry's service, and that they mostly still defend having done it, doesn't justify doing the same thing to McCain. For what he endured, he deserves our gratitude and respect. You may have good motives for making the argument, but you shouldn't go there anyway:

1. It's wrong. "If the shoe were on the other foot"-type justifications turn ethics into a dive for the lowest common denominator. We should aim higher.

2. It's unnecessary. Even if you're open to teleological justification, you still have to limit your tactics to what's least objectionable and necessary to accomplish the objective. Considering the current political climate and the extent of McCain's vulnerability, there's no need and thus no excuse for resorting to anything this objectionable.

3. It probably won't work, even assuming it's justified and necessary. Just because character attacks are generally effective doesn't mean they're all effective. McCain's war service isn't like Kerry's, which most people learned about during the 2004 campaign, making them susceptible to the demagogues' version. McCain's story has long been well enough known to be a big part of his "brand." There are so many people who identify positively with at least this aspect of his character (me, for example), that I'd bet attacking it has a better chance of helping than hurting him. I'm not saying there's no room for reasoned consideration of what McCain and his supporters say, including about his military service, but every bone in my body says a statement like, "McCain is no war hero. He's a coward." does more harm than good.
10.10.2008 4:10am
EIDE_Interface (mail):
I have to be asking myself why are certain people on this site working in overdrive to try to exonerate Obama's ties to Ayers and Rev Wright? Unless they have something at stake in his election. If they were totally objective and didn't care who won, they would be searching for the truth instead of just moaning about "right wing hacks" and saying that it's all scurrilous when it's not.
10.10.2008 4:19am
CB55 (mail):
Bruce M:

To sit here at the funeral rites of war hero, John McCain ...I feel like I'm dreaming. Somebody pinch me. You now what, I'm a pretty sound sleeper, that may not be enough...Somebody me a Homer doughnut. You buried a man that was already dead. I stand by his grave because he stood for things that no one has yet to figure it out. Not only for things, he stands on things. Things like dumping his wife for a young blond loaded with cash, and booze, and recently flooring a woman almost half his age. And that sends a strong message to lobby groups to send more cash. Some people will sell out for cash, but dear old John with sell out ethics and his family for higher office with perks. He knows no matter what happens to America she will always rebound with the most powerfully staged photo-ops in the world and a strong verbal defense.
10.10.2008 4:37am
BruceM (mail) (www):
sagar: I'm only commenting on the attacks that McCain (well, Palin on his behalf to be more precise) are making about Obama, saying he hates america because he associated with america-hating terrorist Ayers. *I* don't buy that crap for a second, my point is that Obama should fight back just as dirty. If McCain can lie about Obama, then Obama should lie about McCain.


freedomfighter: you're missing my point. I don't really think those things about McCain (I actually respect him far more than most politicians, though I respect the McCain of 8 years ago far more than the McCain of today). My point is saying those things is equally as absurd, cruel, hurtful, damaging, and twisted as the attacks McCain's campaign is hurling at Obama. Obama hates America because he knew thus guy Ayers? they were never friends, obama never spoke in support of anything Ayers ever did, obama never joined with Ayers to accomplish anything. They lived in the same neighborhood, and may have run into each other now and then.

Calling Obama a de facto terrorist due to the foregoing should be responded to by Obama calling McCain a traitor to America for "confessing" under torture while a POW. Obama knew someone who said bad things about America. McCain said bad things about America under extreme duress. In a civilized campaign neither of these things should be mentioned, let alone used as an attack on the opponent. But if McCain is going to go after Obama like this, then Obama should respond in kind.

That's my point.

I do consider McCain a hero. Not for being a POW. He had no choice in the matter, and getting shot down and captured is by definition a mission failure. I consider him a hero for not leaving when he was given the chance, as POWs captured before him were supposed to have been released first. That he refused to use his name (as Admiral McCain Senior's son) to get early release is what makes him a hero in my opinion.

But saying Obama hates America and should not be president because he may have shaken a particular person's hand several decades ago cancels out a lot of that heroism, IMHO.
10.10.2008 5:00am
Mike G in Corvallis (mail):
There are many unanswered questions about the Hensleys, McCain, the mob, and the death of Don Bolles.

Let's not forget the many unanswered questions attending the hologram-cloaked missiles of 9/11, and how Hillary Clinton personally offed Vince Foster because he Knew Too Much, and how Apollo 11 was faked, and ...
10.10.2008 5:10am
Public_Defender (mail):
With all of the conspiracy theories that McCain and Palin are spouting, maybe Obama supporters should start giving away tinfoil hats at McCain/Palin rallies.
10.10.2008 6:01am
Splunge:
24ahead nailed it, as far as I'm concerned. I wouldn't care if Obama was the second coming of Jesus Christ, the prospect of a Democratic House, a filibuster-proof Democratic Senate, a Democratic President too weak and too new to be anything other than a house-slave to the Clintonistas and Chicago machine politicians who would staff the Executive Branch, and an encouraged thoroughly corrupt MSM flush with its success in kingmaking, is a truly revolting prospect. Might as well send out for a Caesar right now, and roll up the Constitution. That kind of concentrated ideological power is -- and always has been -- a disaster for the Republic.

On the flip side, I don't much care if John McCain is a loony populist suffering from early Alzheimer's. He'll veto any evil national health care or Nazified National Youth Corp bill that makes it out of the nutty Democratic Congress, and they, in turn, will prevent McCain from doing much in the way of foreign adventurism other than winding up the Afghan and Iraq wars with honor. Furthermore, neither will succeed in any major restructing of the American economy, because they won't be able to agree on who gets the credit. So the Republic will trundle on, as it always has, and as it generally does quite well when those well-intentioned idiots in Washington are too busy fighting each other to turn their baleful influence on us.
10.10.2008 6:34am
Splunge:
Unfortunately, neither candidate strikes me as the obvious "steady hand in an economic crisis" candidate.

Christ, stop whimpering. Aren't you a steady hand at your own tiller? Can't you successfully navigate the flux and ups and downs of modern life? So credit is harder to get. Deal with it. Save more, spend less. Maybe jobs won't be so easy to get, either. Work harder.

My grandmother was orphaned at 15 in the middle of the Great Depression, and had to drop out of school and sew clothes 12 hours a day. My grandfather picked coal out of rich people's ash heaps to keep the family warm until he looked old enough to lie about his age and start at the steel mill. My partner's mother lived through the sack of Berlin by the Red Army in 1945, and would smear shit on herself when she had to go out at night to buy food on the black market, so she wouldn't be raped and murdered by Cossacks. I don't doubt that your ancestors fought their way through similar valleys of darkness, stuff a lot nastier than tougher loan origination rules, or even a foreclosure that makes you all sad, or a 401k that means you'll have to work into your 70s instead of merely your 60s. Stop embarassing them.

Not to mention all this crying out for a daddy, a master to tell us what to do, to have a firm grip on our leash and make us all safe and all, would make our Founders vomit.
10.10.2008 6:46am
Public_Defender (mail):
Biden had a good point after the second debate--John McCain and his surrogates make their tinfoil hat allegations from the stump, but McCain won't make them at the debates where Obama could respond immediately.

If you're going to make allegation like that, at least have the courage to make them face-to-face.
10.10.2008 6:52am
Federal Dog:
I want to know more about Iraqi statements that Obama secretly attempted to interfere with US foreign policy by delaying any agreement about troop presence in Iraq. That's not mere political machination. That's profound malfeasance.
10.10.2008 8:47am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
bruce:

That he refused to use his name (as Admiral McCain Senior's son) to get early release is what makes him a hero in my opinion.


Just to clear up a possible misconception: his captors knew who he was. He also said in his book that he thinks he was treated better then the others, because of his status as the son of an admiral. This corresponds to what he said in his RNC speech: "a lot of prisoners had it worse than I did."

This doesn't mean he wasn't tortured; he was. Just not by the Bush-Yoo definition, which is why Thompson didn't use the word "torture."
10.10.2008 9:32am
Fury:
jukeboxgrad writes:

"Meanwhile, Palin has ties to an organization that openly promotes this belief:

"I'm an Alaskan, not an American. I've got no use for America or her damned institutions"


Saying that she has "ties" to the organization without offering even a modicum of information concerning what you mean is, well, intellectually lazy.

What does "ties" mean? She attended a convention? People say she was a member of the AIP? What? That her husband was a member?

If you're going to continue to make this assertions, then please post your documentation. Just because you say she has ties to the AIP does not make it so.
10.10.2008 9:33am
pluribus:
Palin has charged that Obama "pals around" with terrorists. McCain smiles and winks and asks, "who is the real Obama?" Supporters have shouted out at McCain rallies that Obama is guilty of treason and should be killed. McCain smiles and winks. He doesn't condemn the shouts.

If Obama does indeed "pal around" with terrorists, I want to know about it--despite the fact that my 401k has tanked--and I don't want him to be my president. But the big question is: Is it true?

As far as I can tell, Ayers was a terrorist 40 years ago, when Obama was eight years old. Obama has condemned his terrorist activities, but Ayers has refused to repent. He is now a university professor in Chicago, active in educational reform efforts. Despite his past, he has achieved a measure of respectability. Leonore Annenberg, widow of Walter Annenberg, chose both Ayers and Obama to sit on the board of the Annenberg Challenge, a charitable foundation that works for educational reform. Obama and Ayers attended six meetings together. Ayers hosted a coffee for one of Obama's Illinois campaigns. Many others did the same. Ayers lives in the same Chicago neighborhood as the Obamas. The Annenbergs were close to both Nixon and Reagan. Walter Annenberg was Nixon's ambassador to Great Britiah. When Reagan was president, he and Nancy stayed at the Annenberg estate in Palms Springs every New Year's Eve. Walter Annenberg introduced Ronald Reagan to Margaret Thatcher. Mrs. Annenberg was chief of protocol for Reagan. She is now a supporter of and contributor to the McCain campaign.

Granted that Ayers' terrorist background is contemptible, how does the that rub off on Obama? Is it fair to associate him with Ayers but not the Annenbergs? If Obama is either a terrorist or a terrorist sympathizer, I don't want him to be my president. If he isn't, I don't want the folks who are now spreading lies and innuendos about him to be my president and vice president. It seems to me the first question is--what is the truth?

This reminds me of an old Lyndon Johnson story. He told a man who was running for sheriff in a Texas county to spread the word that his opponent screws pigs. Of course, the opponent didn't screw pigs. But Johnson said, "Aint't nopbody gonna be elected sheriff in that county denying that he screws pigs."

The point wasn't whether the opponent screwed pigs, but whether you could make the debate about whether he did.

Palin and McCain are now asking Obama to deny that he pals around with terrorists. Obama doesn't want to make the debate about that question. Lyndon Johnson was a smart politician.
10.10.2008 9:35am
paul lukasiak (mail):
one hopes that Palin gets out in front of this finally, with one of those "I'll answer questions until there are no more" press conferences....

and the opening statement should be about how the costs that average citizens who get involved in politics and take on the corrupt system find themselves victimized by that system with the active complicity of their friends in the media.
10.10.2008 9:38am
Rodger Lodger (mail):
I haven't been a fan of Obama but McCain has convinced me he has no ideas, his intelligence quotient has diminished with age, he is starting to dodder, my friends, the scuttlebutt about his extreme temper is well-supported by credible evidence, and he just scares me now. Elections are choices, not validations of candidates. I cannot vote for McCain, who may even be dying, so that leaves Obama, who is probably no magician, but he's all we've got.
10.10.2008 9:42am
Sam H (mail):
Splunge

Well said!
10.10.2008 9:44am
Angus:

That kind of concentrated ideological power is -- and always has been -- a disaster for the Republic.
I'm sure you were similarly horrified when Republicans had control of both the Presidency and Congress.
10.10.2008 9:46am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
fury:

Just because you say she has ties to the AIP does not make it so.


Maybe you can find someone who is willing to help you learn how to operate teh googles.

Todd was a member for years. Sarah warmly addressed their convention.
10.10.2008 10:04am
Sarcastro (www):
Confidential communication from an Orion employee (T. Immonen*) to an Orion outside counsel (G. Lennon*) providing legal information for the purpose of obtaining legal advice with respect to Columbian Patent No. 27991.

Boy, neither candidate thinks exactly like I do! We're screwed! A pox on everyone's house! Boy I wish we has someone as ideologically pure as Reagan. He did everything I wanted him to do and nothing I didn't. Sigh… memories…

Unless my ideas are implemented immediately, I throw my hands up and wash my hands of having anything to do with this country. Turn your back on the free market, and the free market turns its back to you, I always say!
10.10.2008 10:15am
LM (mail):
Pluribus,

Hear hear.
10.10.2008 10:21am
LM (mail):
Shorter Splunge:

I define "crisis" differently than you do.
10.10.2008 10:23am
JosephSlater (mail):
Fortunately, we have some objective evidence of the extent to which the Ayers talking point actually concerns most Americans -- recent polls. And recent polls are not good for McCain/Palin. Obama is keeping or increasing his lead, Palin's negatives are shooting up, the electoral map is looking tougher and tougher for McCain.

Indeed, www.fivethirtyeight.com this morning notes some evidence of a pro-Obama bounce in the last day or two, likely from the second Presidential debate.

Sure, the base loves hearing that their opponent coddles terrorists and hates America. But the evidence shows that moderates, independents, and swing voters really don't want to hear that right now.

McCain is in a box right now re the third debate. His base wants him to bring up Ayers, and McCain is way behind. But parts of him (and his strategists) must know that would likely blow up in his face as an electoral strategy.

In sum, while it's depressing how the McCain campaign has turned into a 24-7 non-substantive hate/slime fest, it's really very heartening to see that it's not working.
10.10.2008 10:26am
Just Dropping By (mail):
If it was not for his skin color, Obama would never have made it to the Senate,

Saved for the next time commenters here start announcing that Obama supporters are the only ones "playing the race card." (Unless you can actually prove that Alan Keyes would have won the 2004 senate race against every possible white candidate that the Democrats could have run.)
10.10.2008 10:26am
first history:
Who said this?

"My government is my worst enemy. I'm going to fight them with any means at hand."

Was it Barack Obama? William Ayers? No, it was Joe Vogler, founder of the Alaska Independence Party. In an article on Salon.com, the violent fantasies of the leader of the AIP, ending in his own murder, are detailed. This is the same party that Tod Palin has been a long-time member and to whom Sarah Palin has addressed at their convention.

Imagine the uproar if Michelle Obama was revealed to have joined a black nationalist party whose founder preached armed secession from the United States and who enlisted the government of Iran in his cause? The Obama campaign would probably not have survived such an explosive revelation. Particularly if Barack Obama himself was videotaped giving the anti-American secessionists his wholehearted support just months ago.

Where's the outrage, Sarah Palin has been asking this week, in her attacks on Obama's fuzzy ties to Ayers? The question is more appropriate when applied to her own disturbing associations.


Where, indeed, is the outrage?
10.10.2008 10:33am
Andy Freeman (mail):
The AIP is trying to secede via the ballot box. Obama's buddies killed Americans and are sorry that they didn't do more. And then there's the public money that he funneled to groups to do voter fraud.
10.10.2008 10:36am
Fury:
Maybe you can find someone who is willing to help you learn how to operate teh googles.

Indeed.

Let's refer to the video you linked to.

A video caption shows "1994: Sarah Palin attends Alaskan Independence Party Convention" with a source of New York Times, 9/3/08.

So I "operated" the "googles" and came up with a 9/3/08 New York Times article that states in part:

"The Palins attended the party's convention in their hometown, Wasilla, in 1994, according to party officials..."

the article also stated, in part:

"Alaskan Independence Party officials released a statement Monday saying that Ms. Palin had been a member for two years, from 1994 to 1996, information included in reports in The New York Times and other news outlets. In Internet videos of recent party meetings, other party officials can be seen boasting of Ms. Palin's past membership.

On Tuesday, though, the party's chairwoman, Lynette Clark, said the earlier statement was false. Ms. Clark said that she had based it on information another party member had given her, but that a review of the records showed only that Ms. Palin had attended the 1994 conference.


The initial assertion that Palin was a member of the AIP was not correct, and this information came from the same people that stated that Sarah Palin attended the 1994 AIP Convention.

Now let's turn to the 1994 AIP Convention. Here is a 09/02/08 CBS News article that indicates that the source of the initial assertion that Sarah Plain attended the 1994 AIP Convention was an AIP party leader, Mark Chyrson. Here is what CBS News reported:

"Chyrson said he did not remember seeing Sarah Palin at the 1994 convention: "I don't, no. I was working behind the scenes. Back then I was only vaguely familiar with her. I would not have recognized her. I had just met her. I probably would not have recognized her." He added that Sarah Palin did not play "an active role in the party" or to speak out for its causes."

So, the person who made the initial assertion that Sarah Palin was an AIP Member is not even sure she was at the 1994 AIP Convention.

Jake Tapper reports that Sarah Palin indicating she did not attend the 1994 AIP convention.

So, at the very least, there's a dispute if Sarah Palin attended the 1994 AIP Convention. She is reported as indicating she did not. The AIP party members have confusion among themselves if she attended. People can make up their own mind who they believe. But you posting a video link that has such a poor grasp of the facts at hand is (unfortunately) a sign (to me) of your intellectual laziness.
10.10.2008 10:49am
first history:
Salon.com continues:


An obscure figure outside of Alaska, [Mark] Chryson has been a political fixture in the hometown of the Republican vice-presidential nominee for over a decade. During the 1990s, when Chryson directed the AIP, he and another radical right-winger, Steve Stoll, played a quiet but pivotal role in electing Palin as mayor of Wasilla and shaping her political agenda afterward. Both Stoll and Chryson not only contributed to Palin's campaign financially, they played major behind-the-scenes roles in the Palin camp before, during and after her victory.

Palin backed Chryson as he successfully advanced a host of anti-tax, pro-gun initiatives, including one that altered the state Constitution's language to better facilitate the formation of anti-government militias. She joined in their vendetta against several local officials they disliked, and listened to their advice about hiring. She attempted to name Stoll, a John Birch Society activist known in the Mat-Su Valley as "Black Helicopter Steve," to an empty Wasilla City Council seat. "Every time I showed up her door was open," said Chryson. "And that policy continued when she became governor."

. . . In Wasilla, the AIP became powerful by proxy — because of Chryson and Stoll's alliance with Sarah Palin. . . . When I first met her," he said, "I thought she was extremely left. But I've watched her slowly as she's become more pronounced in her conservative ideology."

Palin was well aware of Chryson's views. "She knew my beliefs," Chryson said. "The entire state knew my beliefs. I wasn't afraid of being on the news, on camera speaking my views."
. . . .

After intense evangelizing by Chryson and his allies, they claimed Palin as a convert. "When she started taking her job seriously," Chryson said, "the people who put her in as the rubber stamp found out the hard way that she was not going to go their way." In 1994, Sarah Palin attended the AIP's statewide convention. In 1995, her husband, Todd, changed his voter registration to AIP. Except for an interruption of a few months, he would remain registered was an AIP member until 2002, when he changed his registration to undeclared.
. . . .

[After election as mayor,] Palin attempted to pay back her newfound pals during her first City Council meeting as mayor. In that meeting, on Oct. 14, 1996, she appointed Stoll to one of the City Council's two newly vacant seats. But Palin was blocked . . . . Stoll later demanded she fire Wasilla's museum director, John Cooper, a personal enemy he longed to sabotage. Palin obliged, eliminating Cooper's position in short order. . . . .


Sarah Palin and the McCain campaign have tried to whitewash and soft-pedal her associations with the AIP and other like-minded organizations. But the AIP has counted on her as "one of them" in spirit if not in fact. Electing McCain-Palin would be like electing a McCain-Jefferson Davis ticket.
10.10.2008 11:04am
JosephSlater (mail):
Palin appointing John Birchers to office? Yikes.
10.10.2008 11:17am
Fury:
First history, you would think that Salon.com would source their article's facts. For example, the assertion that the Alaska Constitution was changed to "better facilitate the formation of anti-government militias." Source? Anything?

It just goes to good reporting. Investigate rumors and report the facts, not report rumors. I'm disappointed in Salon.
10.10.2008 11:19am
Snaphappy:
So, only the vice-presidential candidate's husband hates America and wants to secede. I feel much better now.

Frankly, I don't see why there shouldn't be more federal control of Alaska. Didn't the U.S. government--the federal government--buy Alaska from Russia? All that oil money that Alaskans get should go to reducing all our taxes, not to line the pockets of crazy secessionist snowbillies.
10.10.2008 11:22am
Snaphappy:
I just now imagined for the first time Todd Palin as "first dude" of the United States, with Sarah Palin as President.

It's funny, but only in the way that you laugh because its so so sad and scary.
10.10.2008 11:26am
Thales (mail) (www):
Jerry F: "If McCain used to be a member of, say, a feudalist, monarchist, or theocratic parties, can you imagine this not making front page news?"

Since McCain actually is a member of a party, strong elements of which are objectively theocratic (Rick Santorum is on the wane, but he's certainly not the only one), this is not a terribly good argument. Let alone the utter lack of evidence for your assertion that Obama was a member of a socialist party. And of course, if the news media has been "covering" for Obama for two years, why was every outrageous sermon of Rev. Wright played on continuous loop for about a month last spring? I'm not just talking about on Fox, where Hannity has been trumpeting the outlandish Ayers association claims, stooping to inviting a moonbat anti-Semite on to establish his "proof." The media are not Obama's friends.
10.10.2008 11:37am
Waldensian (mail):
I keep wondering why anyone in Alaska would want to leave the union. It seems to me like they're on a taxpayer funded gravy train up there.
10.10.2008 11:45am
Observer:
first history: "Imagine the uproar if Michelle Obama was revealed to have joined a black nationalist party whose founder preached armed secession from the United States and who enlisted the government of Iran in his cause? The Obama campaign would probably not have survived such an explosive revelation."

I don't think that this works at all; in fact, things are quite the opposite. As reported on Powerline, Obama himself used to be a member of a socialist political party. This has not been reported by any mainstream media outlet. By contrast, Palin was reported by mainstream media outlets to have been a member of the Alaska Independence Party, even though she had not been.
10.10.2008 11:48am
Thales (mail) (www):
"As reported on Powerline, Obama himself used to be a member of a socialist political party. This has not been reported by any mainstream media outlet."

What is the proof of membership? Please provide.
10.10.2008 11:50am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
andy:

The AIP is trying to secede via the ballot box.


Sure they are. That's why the group's founder and hero was killed "in a plastic-explosives sale gone bad." Why is the founder of this group dealing in explosives? Why are Sarah and Todd Palin associating with this group of radical extremists?
10.10.2008 11:51am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
fury:

there's a dispute if Sarah Palin attended the 1994 AIP Convention


You're making a huge fuss about 1994. Forget 1994. That's a sideshow. There is no disputing the fact that Todd was a member for years. And there is no disputing that fact that Sarah Palin addressed their 2008 convention via video.

More golden words from their hero:

The fires of hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American government. ... And I won't be buried under their damn flag."
10.10.2008 11:51am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
observer:

As reported on Powerline


When you pretend that they are a reliable source, you only trash your own credibility. They are reliably unreliable. One of many examples can be found here.
10.10.2008 11:53am
Elliot123 (mail):
"That some Republicans stooped to smearing Kerry's service, and that they mostly still defend having done it, doesn't justify doing the same thing to McCain."

What was the specific smear against Kerry? For example, exactly which specific Swift Boat claim was false?

Did Kerry really spend Xmas eve in Cambodia? On numerous occasions he said the event was seared into his memory.
10.10.2008 11:55am
r.friedman (mail):
Bill Ayers' father has "jungle fever"? Excuse me, what is that supposed to mean? Something like "nigger lover"? That is a "verbage" too far. It's beyond the pale [of settlement, the border areas where Jews were allowed to live under the Russian empire].

How antediluvian are the wingnuts? Do we turn back the clock on Loving v. Virginia? Do we arrest black males for fornication and throw them into chain gangs in the Alabama coal mines? See Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II

"You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"
10.10.2008 11:58am
Observer:
jukeboxgrad: I am not aware of any news source that is 100% accurate 100% of the time, but Powerline certainly is a more reliable source than, say, the New York Times or most mainstream media outlets (at least as to political matters). Your link to the Powerline News Forum seems to reveal a mistake, but blogs have shown misrepresentations or inaccuracies (some would say lies) by the New York Times almost every single day of the current political campaign.

This is the post I was referring to if you want to judge for yourself:

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives2/2008/10/021724.php
10.10.2008 12:04pm
Fury:
jukeboxgrad writes:

"You're making a huge fuss about 1994. Forget 1994. That's a sideshow. There is no disputing the fact that Todd was a member for years. And there is no disputing that fact that Sarah Palin addressed their 2008 convention via video."

The issue concerning the 1994 AIP Convention was contained in a video that you have referred VC readers to here. I did research on just one of the claims for a video you are apparently holding up as a source of facts concerning Sarah Palin.

Yet you are now calling an assertion made in the video a "sideshow".

Which is it? A source of facts or a "sideshow", both or neither?
10.10.2008 12:05pm
LN (mail):

Bill Ayers' father has "jungle fever"?


You missed that Obama is too weak to be anything other than a "house-slave" to the Clintonistas!
(Of course he managed to beat them in the primaries but whatever.)
I smell fear and desperation.

I'd like to add the following quote, spoken in church in Sarah Palin's presence, by someone she described as "really bold" with a "very powerful" way of speaking.


The second area whereby God wants us, wants to penetrate in our society is in the economic area. The Bible says that the wealth of the wicked is stored up for the righteous. It's high time that we have top Christian businessmen, businesswomen, bankers, you know, who are men and women of integrity running the economics of our nations. That's what we are waiting for. That's part and parcel of transformation. If you look at the -- you know -- if you look at the Israelites, that's how they work. And that's how they are, even today.


Coupled with a husband who belonged to a secessionist party, and all I can say is:

USA! USA! USA!
10.10.2008 12:18pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
elliot:

exactly which specific Swift Boat claim was false?


Ask McCain. He said this:

I think the ad is dishonest


Then again, maybe McCain was being dishonest.
10.10.2008 12:27pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
observer:

Your link to the Powerline News Forum seems to reveal a mistake


It's only fair to call it a "mistake" until you notice that they have pointedly failed to correct it. It's also relevant to notice that this is a pattern for them. Another nice example is here. I could show you a very long list of other examples.
10.10.2008 12:27pm
JosephSlater (mail):
To get back to the point of whether Ayers is an "issue," there are even more polls this morning showing Obama increasing his lead. Obama is up to around 80% odds on intrade, www.fivethirtyeight.com (where you can also find links and references to the newest polls) gives Obama a better than 90% chance of winning.

Last night I heard Sean Hannity, even more hysterical than normal, insisting that Ayers was an issue "if we say it's an issue." That's wrong, at least in the most relevant way. Sure, anybody can decide what they, personally, think is an issue. But in terms of issues that are going to move the electorate? No. The frothing Republican "base" doesn't decide that. Thank goodness.

And DB, if you're reading down this far, what's your take on the Jewish vote, and Palin's effect on it, say, in Florida?
10.10.2008 12:27pm
Fury:
JosephSlater writes:

"Last night I heard Sean Hannity..."

Wow, you deserve credit. I've tried listening to him on several occasions and just have to turn the channel/dial after ~5 mins...
10.10.2008 12:36pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Were it not for Jeri Ryan's scruples--not to say blue-nosed Puritan hang-ups--we wouldn't be having this conversation.
That's scary.
10.10.2008 12:37pm
JosephSlater (mail):
Fury:

I didn't make it for five full minutes; I have the same reaction to him as you. I maybe heard two-three. But it was enough to get how incredibly frustrated he was with the fact the Ayers stuff isn't getting any traction.

Which again, is a good thing.
10.10.2008 12:40pm
JosephSlater (mail):
Aubrey:

If it weren't for a bunch of old Jews (and I say this semi-affectionately as a Jew myself) who couldn't figure out the butterfly ballot and voted accidentally for Buchanan instead of Gore in 2000. . . .
10.10.2008 12:41pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
I believe Ayers and similar issues will have two defenses:

1. "It didn't happen. I'll stake every shred of my credibility on that."

2. "It happened. So what?"

Followed by, "too late, chump."
10.10.2008 12:41pm
pluribus:
r.friedman (mail):

"You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"

An appropriate question. Unfortunately, the sad fact is that racism is lurking in this campaign not very far beneath the surface. There are lots of folks out there who don't want to vote for a "N-----." A few are bold enough to say so. Most don't want to say so, but are looking for an excuse to mask their real feelings. Give them a plausible excuse, and they will jump on it.

I heard on NPR the other day a man in Columbus, Ohio, explaining how he was going to vote. He said he is a lifelong Democrat. He has always voted for Democrats, but he has decided to this year to vote for McCain because when Obama came to Columbus he visited a rich neighborhood but not the part of town where the working people live. First of all, is that true? Second, if it is true what in the world does it prove? That Obama met with some fund raisers in the rich part of town? That he had a short schedule and couldn't spend the whole day in the city? That he plans to come back later and visit the poor folks? Or does it prove, as this man implied, that he has turned his back on his humble roots and now only hob-nobs with people who are as rich as John and Cindy McCain? No, of course, not any of that. It is just a convenient excuse to vote against a "N-----."

Before anybody here accuses me of injecting race into an otherwise race-free campaign, let's get real. Do you know anybody who is going to vote against John McCain because he is white? (I mean against McCain. Not for Obama because he is black--which is an entirely different motivation.) Do you know anybody who feels that no white should be elected to high office in the United States, particularly the presidency?

I believe the constant references to Ayers, terrorists, Barrack Hussein Obama, and McCain's winking questions, "Who is the real Senator Obama?" are all designed to give certain voters a cover for voting their underlying prejudices.

It's really, really sad that, in the year 2008, there are Americans who still vote their hatreds.
10.10.2008 12:42pm
LN (mail):
It didn't happen. Or it happened.

What I love is how you don't even have to say what "it" is.

SCARY!
10.10.2008 12:44pm
LN (mail):
10.10.2008 12:46pm
Anderson (mail):
Your comment is a slap in the face to every POW, MIA, veteran and current active military personnel who are at this moment fighting for your freedom and the Constitution.

The Rolling Stone article on McCain found an interesting comment on this topic, from a fellow POW who, unlike McCain, did *not* break under torture:

... John Dramesi, an Air Force lieutenant colonel [in 1974] who was also imprisoned and tortured in Vietnam [and] 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. "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."

....

Soon after McCain hit the ground in Hanoi, the code went out the window. "I'll give you military information if you will take me to the hospital," he later admitted pleading with his captors. McCain now insists the offer was a bluff, designed to fool the enemy into giving him medical treatment. In fact, his wounds were attended to only after the North Vietnamese discovered that his father was a Navy admiral. What has never been disclosed is the manner in which they found out: McCain told them. According to Dramesi, one of the few POWs who remained silent under years of torture, McCain tried to justify his behavior while they were still prisoners. "I had to tell them," he insisted to Dramesi, "or I would have died in bed."

Dramesi says he has no desire to dishonor McCain's service, but he believes that celebrating the downed pilot's behavior as heroic — "he wasn't exceptional one way or the other" — has a corrosive effect on military discipline. "This business of my country before my life?" Dramesi says. "Well, he had that opportunity and failed miserably. If it really were country first, John McCain would probably be walking around without one or two arms or legs — or he'd be dead."


Mee-YOW-zah, as they say.
10.10.2008 12:57pm
Anderson (mail):
Oh, and that post LN links is indeed great.
10.10.2008 12:57pm
David Warner:
r.Friedman,

"Bill Ayers' father has "jungle fever"? Excuse me, what is that supposed to mean? Something like "nigger lover"? That is a "verbage" too far."

Whoa, slow down there Freedom Rider! Don't think what you read there was a light in the Old North Church...

(a) fils is son, not father
(b) yes, son does have a thing for African-Americans. He shares this in common with many of his fellow citizens including this writer. He just is, how to say it, somewhat more intense in his feelings. Read the man's own writings, he'll tell you.

"You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"

Ironically enough, like 1988, I think the more decent man will likely lose this election, and we'll see how a President Obama plays out. I have some high hopes, long term.
10.10.2008 12:59pm
David Warner:
LM,

Pluribus' line might fly with the (relevant) electorate*, but it contains some bus-sized holes. For your own reference, you might want to check Diamond and Kurtz, err I mean Kurtz, so as not to be blindsided.

Ultimately, like the Palin stuff, it hinges mostly on speculation. However, also like Palin's case, that speculation might seem plausible to relevant segments of the population.

To me, Obama's working with Ayers was like Roosevelt/Churchill working with Stalin - brilliant improvisation.


* - judging by Reagan/the Clinton Impeachment, we like our R's being optimists, not prosecutors. I may be outdated.
10.10.2008 1:16pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
LN.

"it" could be any one of a number of things. The excuse sequence is generic and universally applicable. Poiht is, the excusers know in advance that what they deny in (1) is a lie.

Joseph Slater. Why is it a good thing that the Ayers stuff isn't getting any traction?

I don't think there's any race issue here at all.
Dems are not racists. Ask them. Never have been. It's always the republicans.
But since republicans aren't going to vote for Obama anyway on account of his policies and party, there are no racists here except those voting for Obama because he's black.
10.10.2008 1:23pm
LN (mail):
What is "it" in this instance, Richard Aubrey? Spell it out.
10.10.2008 1:35pm
LN (mail):
But since republicans aren't going to vote for Obama anyway on account of his policies and party, there are no racists here except those voting for Obama because he's black.

Of course. Because Democrats are only voting for the Democratic candidate because he's black. Only Republicans care about their political party and policies.
10.10.2008 1:38pm
r.friedman (mail):
Pardon my french. I don't care if it was referring to Bill Ayers' baseball team. I don't care if you're Norman Mailer or Eminem. That time is over.
10.10.2008 1:38pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Hanging with Ayers under the impression that terrorism is no biggy.
Hanging with Ayers and using the Annenberg organization to push a radical left wing view in public schools. Hanging with Ayers and pissing away at least $50 mill for nothing.
Screwing up a bunch of people in public housing.
Pushing subprime mortgages through ACORN and other organizations.
Faking distancing himself from Wright and Farrakhan.
Violating the Logan Act by trying to sabotage the administration's work with the Iraq government about withdrawals.

See?
10.10.2008 1:39pm
LN (mail):
And of course as the stock market collapses, and everyone's home value and 401k is going down the tubes, John McCain and Sarah Palin are spending most of their time making insinuations about Obama and some guy he served on a charity board with. This is being done to get votes from people who take policy very seriously.
10.10.2008 1:40pm
LN (mail):
Oh I'm sorry, did I say "serve on a charity board with"? I meant "hang with." That's a much better term because it's more specific.

How does Aubrey feel about John McCain hanging with a guy who pals around with terrorists?
10.10.2008 1:44pm
David Warner:
r.Friedman,

"That time is over."

Would be nice. Tell this guy. He pulls bigger audiences.

That time will be over when we're all multi-racial like Obama, I'm guessing. Or become aware that we already are.
10.10.2008 2:05pm
JosephSlater (mail):
Aubrey:

It's good that the Ayers stuff isn't sticking because it's a substanceless smear.

Unlike Palin's explicit support of a John Bircher. Does that concern you?
10.10.2008 2:25pm
deepthought:
Observer:
Powerline certainly is a more reliable source than, say, the New York Times or most mainstream media outlets (at least as to political matters).

Oh, please. Reliable? It's a blog and discussion forum, there is no original reporting, certainly not by any objective journalistic standards. Have you ever heard it being cited as a source, even on Fox News? It's only reliable if you drink its Kool-Aid. There is not enough room on the Internet to describe its failings.
10.10.2008 2:26pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
LN.
Gets the DO award of the day. "DO" stands for deliberately obtuse.
Dems vote for dems and they haven't a racist bone in their bodies, so they couldn't possibly vote for McCain anyway. They'll vote for Obama.
Republicans vote for republicans and, racist or not, they weren't going to vote for Obama because he's a dem.
The only group noticeably voting for or against Obama with references to race are blacks. Who are dems.
So that leaves out all the republicans.

Now, if you want to insist that opposing Obama is prima facie racist no matter the ostensible reason, go for it.
10.10.2008 2:27pm
JosephSlater (mail):
Specific poll evidence of how this negative campaigning is hurting McCain:

Obama has gained about 5 points in Zogby, Research 2000, Gallup, HOTLINE, and Battleground polls, all in the last 2 days.

As an Obama partisan, I almost want you guys to keep doing this.
10.10.2008 2:32pm
LN (mail):
Blacks are the most solid Democratic voters, Aubrey. Kerry and Gore and Clinton all got about 90%+ of the black vote.

You say "Dems vote for dems" but I guess blacks don't count as regular Dems. There's just something different about them, eh?
10.10.2008 2:32pm
JosephSlater (mail):
Buckley, Jr. endorses Obama . . . Obama up 7 in new Fox poll . . . yeah, that Ayers stuff is really working.
10.10.2008 2:40pm
pluribus:
Calm down, Richard Aubrey, I just cited the case of a self-declared Democrat who said he has always voted for Democrats but will vote for McCain this year because Obama wengt to the wrong part of Columbus, Ohio, on a recent visit. He seemed to think this was a good reason. Democrats do not always vote for Democrats. Some always vote for Democrats unless, like in 2008, the Democratic candidate is "not one of us--if you get my drift." Nobody can prove that the Ohioan I heard is a racist. Maybe he really thinks he should judge presidential candidates on which part of the city they go to when they visit. You will excuse me if I have my doubts.
10.10.2008 2:41pm
josh:
Dear David Bernstein:

Thank you for running these Obama/Ayers posts on a regular basis. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
10.10.2008 2:44pm
pluribus:
Richard Aubrey:

Now, if you want to insist that opposing Obama is prima facie racist no matter the ostensible reason, go for it.

Nonsense. Who makes such an assinine claim. I do not think Cindy McCain is a racist because she supports John McCain for president. Leonore Annenberg is not a racist because she supports McCain. Nor do I think Joe Lieberman is a racist because he supports McCain. There are racists, however, who have no other reason for opposing Obama than that he is "not one of us." Palin and McCain are making it easy for such voters to hold their heads high. And that is dusgusting.
10.10.2008 2:47pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
pluribus.
Good for you. See LN's insinuations. I think he thinks that's still Cool.

Didn't know that horse is dead.

But, to take him seriously for an instant or two, republicans vote republican, dems vote dems, including blacks. So there are no racists.

Sucks to be a race-baiter with no racists around. Maybe he could take up tieing cans to dogs' tails.
10.10.2008 3:20pm
BruceM (mail) (www):
jukeboxgrad: I know McCain's captors knew who McCain was... as was pointed out the ROlling Stone article cited by Anderson, McCain told them. I could have been more clear and said McCain did not rely on WHO he was, as the Admiral's Son, to get released before other POWs who had been there longer. The code among POWs is first in, first out. To break that code is dishonorable (according to McCain himself in a recent interview he gave on 60 Minutes).

Anderson: It's certainly politically incorrect to suggest a POW is something less than herioc, and Orin might delete my comment if I were to say it out right. But there is merit to what that Rolling Stone article suggests. Yeah all those soldiers who risk their lives in defense of America are heroic (whether the Vietnam war was "in defense of America is a separate issue that I won't get in to, ditto with the current war in Iraq). But is the soldier who cowers in a foxhole a hero? Is the soldier who isn't paying attention and unintentionally kills a fellow soldier with friendly fire a hero? Is the soldier who gets shot down, captured by the enemy, and caves in to their demands under torture to the detriment of America a hero?

I don't know. But to say the answer is an automatic "absolutely" solely due to their status as wartime soldiers seems quite simpleminded to me.

McCain could have been released before other POWs (who had been in captivity longer) which would have shown the whole world, in particular all the other American soldiers fighting and risking their lives in Vietnam, that who you are is all that matters in America - that the Admiral's son gets special treatment; that some lives are worth more than others. That the sons of the elite are worth more than all other American soldiers. McCain refused (and was tortured even more by the vietnamese for doing so). That's why I consider him heroic.

But that heroism does not negate all other bad, immoral, and irresponsible things he does or may do during the course of his life. If I were a judge sentencing him pursuant to the requisite 3553(a) factors i'd certainly take his actions as a POW into account as a mitigating factor (I'm not saying McCain is a criminal, just using it as an example).
10.10.2008 3:28pm
LN (mail):
See LN's insinuations. I think he thinks that's still Cool.

Oh come on you coward.
You said: "The only group noticeably voting for or against Obama with references to race are blacks."

And you also said: "there are no racists here except those voting for Obama because he's black."

But I'm making insinuations? Nice.
All I said was that blacks always vote Democrat, and I wondered why you didn't consider them like all the other Democrats who always vote Democrat.
10.10.2008 3:38pm
microgirl:
Oy.

Lotta crap in these comments.

Here's the deal:

Ayers/Obama references are not causing the traction that the McCain BratBabies want it to. Hannity (insHannity) cries foul! (Only when he's not blowing a wad regarding Sarah) Chaos ensues.

Of course, that "chaos" is at the recent McCain rallies where hate is being spewed towards Obama right and left. H-A-T-E. Read any media site, right or left, for confirmation/condemnation.

Is that the America you want? Is that *your* America?

John Kerry is/was much more of a patriot than McCain. And with regard to Veteran Affairs' issues...McCain has a sad, sorry record for a man who used to be a POW.

Shock and awe! people. The Rove ATTACK playbook is finally getting a little too old for Americans...we've had it the past 8 years.

It certainly doesn't work with a huge economic crisis in our faces, two wars we are fighting and our political capital in the world in the tanker.

People want to talk about ISSUES now...in light of their 401(k) statements, Ayers is just a name...

Of course, if we want to play the association game there is Liddy, Keating, Papa Hensley (et al), U.S. Council for World Freedom, Singlaub, Rick Davis ("Kremlin"/Putin ties), AIP, Stolls, Chryson, Vogler...

Shall I continue?

Now, McCain didn't get into politics until he had Papa Hensley connections. Sound familiar? GWB could not have gotten anywhere without Daddy/GrandpappyPreston connections...
10.10.2008 5:11pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
fury:

you are now calling an assertion made in the video a "sideshow"


Sorry, I guess I should have expressed myself more carefully. The "sideshow" is not that statement in the video about 1994. The "sideshow" is the big fuss you're making about that one statement, as if it's the only statement in the video, or the most important statement in the video. It's not.

What you're doing is called 'misdirection.'
10.10.2008 5:34pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
observer:

This is the post I was referring to if you want to judge for yourself


Imagine that I start a political party, and I call it the Nun Rapers. Or maybe I'll call it the Puppie Torturers. And then I put out some statements about all the cool people who belong to my party. Like, say, McCain, Hinderaker and Observer.

So that proves those folks are all members of my party, right?
10.10.2008 5:35pm
Fury:
jukeboxgrad writes:

Sorry, I guess I should have expressed myself more carefully. The "sideshow" is not that statement in the video about 1994. The "sideshow" is the big fuss you're making about that one statement, as if it's the only statement in the video, or the most important statement in the video. It's not.


I'm not the one that referred VC readers to the video. You did. I took the first assertion made by the video which was represented as fact and demonstrated (I believe) that the video has issues with making statements that are inaccurate. I did not address the other assertions in the video, but may if time permits.

What you're doing is called 'misdirection.'

LOL. No, just pointing out that a reference you pointed VC readers to has issues with accuracy of statements in regards to Sarah Palin.

;)
10.10.2008 6:18pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
fury:

the video has issues with making statements that are inaccurate


What you said before is this:

there's a dispute if Sarah Palin attended the 1994 AIP Convention


Exactly. One statement in the video is disputed. The others are not. The statement you're focusing on is relatively unimportant. Funny how that's the part you're choosing to make a fuss about.

I did not address the other assertions in the video, but may if time permits.


I suggest you wait until the thread gets nice and stale. Then there will be fewer people around to notice that you're not in a position to dispute the other statements in the video.
10.10.2008 6:30pm
Sagar (mail):
MS,

"You are dumb"

is that all of your argument, or are you saving the best parts for later?
10.10.2008 6:44pm
Shertaugh:

These insightful attacks on Obama would be hilarious if (i) many Americans hadn't lost almost 50 percent of their life's savings in the last year, not including home values, (ii) we weren't fighting a war in the wrong country, and (iii) we weren't imitating a banana republic.

Some seriously unhinged folks on this blog.
10.10.2008 6:51pm
geokstr:
"Were it not for Jeri Ryan's scruples--not to say blue-nosed Puritan hang-ups--we wouldn't be having this conversation."

Jerry Ryan's scruples had nothing to do with it. Obama got someone in the Chicago justice(!) system to leak legally sealed divorce records for not only Jack Ryan, but also the legally sealed divorce records of his democrat rival in the primaries. That's the only reason that Keyes' was tossed in at the last minute so Obama basically ran unoppoesed.

And for his state senate election, he had someone go through all the petitions for his 5 challengers, find enough signatures to disqualify all of them, many on technicalities, so that he could run unopposed.

The only time he ever ran against a candidate that he didn't manage to submarine, for the US congress, he lost.

Please stop twisting things to make Obama look better. He's a product of the sleaziest political machine in the country.
10.11.2008 1:23am
Fury:
jukeboxgrad writes:

and mentions disparity between me writing:

"the video has issues with making statements that are inaccurate"

and

"there's a dispute if Sarah Palin attended the 1994 AIP Convention"

100% correct, jukeboxgrad and I appreciate you pointing it out. I stand by my latter statement of:

"there's a dispute if Sarah Palin attended the 1994 AIP Convention"

and writes:

I suggest you wait until the thread gets nice and stale. Then there will be fewer people around to notice that you're not in a position to dispute the other statements in the video.

Sorry, I have to work for paying clients. I'll view the rest of the video when I have a more extended block of time to do so, but not on your schedule.
10.11.2008 12:08pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
LN. The black vote goes dem. This time, they're talking racial solidarity. Which makes them, and to a lesser extent the hispanics, the only group talking race.

Jeri Ryan woldn't have filed for divorce were it not for her scruples. Thus, no issue. No records to be unsealed at the appropriate time for The One's benefit.
10.11.2008 12:14pm