Friday, August 22, 2008

Meet the Real John McCain

He is no Maverick.

Let's take a look at his long standing relationships with lobbyists.

McCain has claimed he is a reformer who is committed to diminishing the influence of lobbyists in Washington, and yet 59 lobbyists have or are donating to his campaign. More troubling is the fact that some of Washington’s most powerful lobbyists are directly advising or managing his campaign.

Folks may recall that Charlie Black had to resign from his role when the mainstream media disclosed that he was a key player in McCain's campaign. Take a look at a brief overview of Black’s sleazy resume. Black, by the way, did deals with Jack Abramoff when both represented the murderous butcher in Africa known as Jonas Savimbi.

John McCain has chosen super global lobbyist Randy Scheunemann to serve as his campaign’s foreign policy advisor.

Pat Buchanan, of all people, recently wrote a blistering and highly disturbing expose on Randy Scheunemann. In the World Net Daily he wrote:

Who is Randy Scheunemann?

He is the principal foreign policy adviser to John McCain and potential successor to Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski as national security adviser to the president of the United States.

But Randy Scheunemann has another identity, another role.
He is a dual loyalist, a foreign agent whose assignment is to get America committed to spilling the blood of her sons for client regimes who have made this moral mercenary a rich man.

From January 2007 to March 2008, the McCain campaign paid Scheunemann $70,000 – pocket change compared to the $290,000 his Orion Strategies banked in those same 15 months from the Georgian regime of Mikheil Saakashvili.

What were Mikheil's marching orders to Tbilisi's man in Washington? Get Georgia a NATO war guarantee. Get America committed to fight Russia, if necessary, on behalf of Georgia.

Scheunemann came close to succeeding.

Buchanan concludes:

Now Scheunemann is the neocon agent in place in McCain's camp.
The neocons got their war with Iraq. They are pushing for war on Iran. And they are now baiting the Russian Bear.

Is this what McCain has on offer? Endless war?

Why would McCain seek foreign policy counsel from the same discredited crowd that has all but destroyed the presidency of George Bush?

"Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence ... a free people ought to be constantly awake," Washington warned in his Farewell Address. Our Founding Father was warning against the Randy Scheunemanns among us, agents hired by foreign powers to deceive Americans into fighting their wars. And none dare call it treason.

Another unsavory neoconservative character and blast from the past, Jack Abramoff’s former side kick, Ralph Reed, is raising money for John McCain’s campaign.

McCain’s ties to lobbyists are disturbingly deep and far reaching.

In an article posted on The Huffington Post on August 13, McCain’s lobbyists raked in $1 Billion for U.S. Clients.

The Huffington Post’s Seth Colter Wall reports that according to a non-partisan group Campaign Money Watch:

"The McCain campaign relies on big money lobbyists, and they'll rely on him," said David Donnelly, director of Campaign Money Watch. "In the 'you-scratch-my-back, I'll-scratch-yours' world of Washington, $931 million gets the special interests the best government money can buy. But just think of the payday these lobbyists might expect in a McCain Administration."

The director of Campaign Money Watch has posted a web site:
McCain’s Lobbyists Website

And yet John McCain pretends that he is a “reformer.”

John McCain the Family Man:

John McCain on the economy:

McCain dodges a question about the economy and talks about Islamic terrorism instead. He also defaults to his experience as a POW.

John McCain the Homeowner:

John McCain: Continuing W.’s legacy: Fewer jobs, lost homes, lost jobs, whining home owners and more wars.

John McCain’s Secretary of Treasury Choice:

John McCain is no Maverick. Pat Buchanan said it all.

Change is possible. Hope is alive.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

John McCain Supports a Military Draft

I guess he has no choice. As with W. McCain has always believed war and force are major and viable options to face down an enemy, any enemy, really, whether real or imagined. Indeed, Pat Buchanan of all people said Dick Cheney seems like Ghandi when compared to where McCain stands on the use of force. This is a rather horrifying notion. Certainly the last thing the United States needs is another war monger President and reckless, perilous and irresponsible cowboy diplomacy.

Check out the chilling clip where Pat Buchanan made his alarming observation.

Endless wars will most certainly require a military draft.

According to a piece in Raw

An audience member at a McCain town hall meeting in Las Cruces, New Mexico on Wednesday indicted the VA's treatment of veterans and expressed worry that unless the draft was reinstituted, the United States wouldn't have the manpower to "chase bin Laden right to the gates of Hell and push him in."

The woman then went on to describe the deplorable conditions for veterans at the VA Hospital in Albuquerque, a four hour one way drive from Las Cruces. (Remember how Republican lawmakers just love to grandstand about how they support our troops.)

McCain’s response:

"Ma'am," the Senator responded, "let me say that I don't disagree with anything you said. Thank you, and I am grateful for your support of all of our veterans."

I wonder what Senator John Cornyn, the Yes Man-in-Chief for Neocon ideologues has to say about a military draft. Let’s hear it from big John.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

McCain's Huge Whoppers on Energy

According to a diary written by blogger Jerome รก Paris on Daily Kos
today that includes data provided by the Sierra Club, John McBush has told more than a few tall ones on his voting record on energy bills. In a recent interview Walter Issacson asked John McCain to respond to Thomas Friedman’s charge that the Senator did not support an extension of tax cuts for wind and solar energy companies.

Jerome’s Diary can be found here.

WALTER ISAACSON: [...] Tom Friedman's column mentioned that you haven't been there supporting the tax breaks that need to be extended for wind and solar. Do you support those breaks, and will you keep pushing for--will you push for it at some point?

JOHN MCCAIN: Yes, and I have, and I have a long record of that support of alternate energy. [...] I've always been for all of those and I have not missed any crucial vote. But my citizens in Arizona know that when I'm running for the President of the United States I have to be out campaigning. But I of course I am for renewable energy.

McCain talks a good talk but his talk is trash talking lies.
How McCain voted, or failed to show up.

McCain said he never missed a vote when in fact he missed every one of the votes on the 2007 energy bill. And between 1999 and 2006 he voted eight times against renewable electricity standards and clean energy. Nor has McCain supported tax incentives needed for wind, solar, geothermal, efficient appliances.

And the outcome of McCain’s failure to vote on extending wind and solar energy tax cuts? Hint: 116,000 hard working Americans in these industries will lose their jobs.

The incentives have yet to pass, despite more than a dozen votes in the House and Senate.

Projects are already being canceled as a result of these credits not being extended. An independent study estimates that failing to renew them will cost 116,000 hardoworking Americans in the wind and solar industries alone their jobs and we will forgo at least $19 billion in economic activity.

Full and gory details on McCain's voting (or lack thereof) patterns are found in Jerome a Paris’s diary
right here

Meanwhile, on the campaign trail, McBush continues to recite his latest litany of lies.

Drill, drill, drill, drill, drill Texas
Drill drill, drill, drill, drill Louisiana
Drill, drill, drill, drill California
Drill, drill, drill, drill, drill right here under my feet no matter where I am.
Drill, drill, drill, drill, drill b/c there is no environmental destruction.
Drill, drill, drill, drill, drill everywhere b/c it will lower gas prices a few pennies in ten years.
Drill, drill, drill, drill, drill so people believe drilling will save them from the oil devil.

McBush, like his soul mate W., obviously doesn't get the Internets and You Tube. The lies the lying liars tell have a way of leaking out to voters.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Are You Ready for A Bush Third Term?

No? Well, don't be duped into voting for John McCain because you think he is a "Maverick." He isn't.

Republicans in Congress who voted with W. most of the time are also yearning for a Bush third term. Think about it.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

John McCain says Nations don't invade other Nations

I guess Iraq wasn't a nation.

Military Contractors Charge U.S. Taxpayers $85 Billion

According to a piece written in The Huffington Post military contractors in Iraq have charged the American taxpayers $85. billion for their services.

It should come as no surprise to any informed person that these outsourced services were not less expensive than if they had been provided by our own military.

Worse, these military contractors are responsible for the accidental deaths and shootings of some of our U.S. military. Are these people typically incompetent Republican heckofajobs and buddies or are they just outright criminals? It is hard to tell the difference between the two under W. rule.

The Congressional Budget Office report comes on the heels of increased scrutiny of contractors in the last year, some of whom have been investigated in connection with shooting deaths of Iraqis and the accidental electrocutions of U.S. troops.

The United States has relied more heavily on contractors in Iraq than in any other war to provide services ranging from food service to guarding diplomats. About 20 percent of funding for operations in Iraq has gone to contractors, the report said.

According to a separate article in the New York Times written by James Risen:

The Pentagon's reliance on outside contractors in Iraq is proportionately far larger than in any previous conflict, and it has fueled charges that this outsourcing has led to overbilling, fraud and shoddy and unsafe work that has endangered and even killed American troops. The role of armed security contractors has also raised new legal and political questions about whether the United States has become too dependent on private armed forces on the 21st-century battlefield.

Fraud, shoddy and unsafe work, overbilling, the killing of American troops. What typical Republican criminal ineptitude.

I understand that some of my tax dollars are needed for our national security. I don’t have a problem with that. But I do have a problem when my tax dollars are paying the military at the same time the contractors are raiding our nation’s piggy bank, in the form of tax cuts and fraudulent overbillings.

According to the Huffington Post piece:

Currently, there are at least 190,000 contractors in Iraq and neighboring countries, a ratio of about one contractor per U.S. service member, the report says.

The study does not include monetary figures for 2008, so the total paid to contractors for work in the Iraq theater since the invasion of Iraq in 2003 is probably much higher. If spending for contractors continues at about the same rate, by the end of the year, an estimated $100 billion will have been paid to military contractors for operations in Iraq.

James Risen of the New York Times article writes:

Contractors in Iraq now employ at least 180,000 people in the country, forming what amounts to a second, private, army, larger than the United States military force, and one whose roles and missions and even casualties among its work force have largely been hidden from public view. The widespread use of these employees as bodyguards, translators, drivers, construction workers and cooks and bottle washers has allowed the administration to hold down the number of military personnel sent to Iraq, helping to avoid a draft.

…casualties among its work force have largely been hidden from public view…… How typical.

This is why McCain and the other Republican hawks are threatening the planet with their cowboy diplomacy and bullying force. They can intimidate the planet with endless wars because McCain & Co. as with W. & Co., can hire soldiers at will, thus ensuring their own private army.

What we are witnessing here, folks, is the Republican’s full throated use of the military/industrial machinery at its worse. A perpetual state of war that will guarantee perpetual profits for the corporate fat cats.

Mr. Risen continues:

In addition, the dependence on private companies to support the war effort has led to questions about whether political favoritism has played a role in the awarding of multibillion-dollar contracts. When the war began, for example, Kellogg, Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton, the company run by Dick Cheney before he was vice president, became the largest Pentagon contractor in Iraq. After years of criticism and scrutiny for its role in Iraq, Halliburton sold the unit, which is still the largest defense contractor in the war, and has 40,000 employees in Iraq.

The Huffington Post continues:

Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., chairman of the Budget Committee, which requested the CBO review, said the Bush administration's reliance on military contractors has set a dangerous precedent.

The use of contractors "restricts accountability and oversight; opens the door to corruption and abuse; and, in some instances, may significantly increase the cost to American taxpayers," Conrad said in a statement.

The death of a Green Beret from Pittsburgh, Sgt. Ryan Maseth, who was electrocuted in January while showering in Iraq, prompted a House committee oversight hearing last month into whether contractor KBR Inc. has properly handled the electrical work at bases it is tasked with maintaining. The military has also said that five other deaths were due to improperly installed or maintained electrical devices, according to a congressional report.

More on the heckajobs from the Huffington Post:

In a separate matter, a federal grand jury is investigating whether Blackwater Worldwide guards acted illegally when they opened fire in a busy Baghdad intersection last September. Seventeen Iraqis died and the shooting strained US-Iraqi relations.

With no accountability, apparently.

The CBO estimated Tuesday that $6 billion to $10 billion has been spent on security work, and that the prices paid are comparable to a U.S. military unit doing that work. It estimated that about 25,000-30,000 employees of security firms were in Iraq as of early 2008.

The report said the legal status of contractor personnel is uncertain, particularly for those who are armed. It also noted that military commanders have less direct authority over the actions of contractors than they would a subordinate because the contract is managed by a government contracting officer and not a military commander.

That's because that's how the government designed the relationship, said Alan Chvotkin, executive vice president and counsel for the Professional Services Council, which represents government contractors.

"There is accountability through the contract and to the contracting officer," Chvotkin said.

We know that this “accountability through the contract and to the contracting officer” means no accountability in W. world.

Those of us who earn less than $250K per year have shouldered the biggest tax burden to pay for this Republican fat cat stealing fest while the high rollers at Halliburton, KBR and Blackwater have not only received the lion’s share of W.s tax cuts, but they have reaped obscene profits by overbilling and fleecing our national piggy bank, too.

Back in the 1950’s, following WW2, President Eisenhower warned the American people about the clear and present dangers of a U.S. military/industrial complex. It seems we are living through the nightmare envisioned by President Eisenhower today. The military/industrial complex has obviously come to its full fruition during the W. years. McCain and his Republican hawks and soul mates fully intend to keep the machine humming along. According to Pat Buchanan, of all people, McCain’s goals for global war and U.S. hegemony make Cheney’s look like those of a middle school playground bully. Heaven help us all.

“Terrorism is the war of the poor, and war is the terrorism of the rich.” (Sir) Peter Ustinov.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Republican Rule

Suit up dudes and dudettes, because McCain will be looking for you to serve in his wars.