Saturday, February 23, 2008



When I woke up this morning and turned on CNN, the first thing I saw was a drawn and haggard John McCain telling media in Indianapolis-- with more than a little bit of an edge in his voice-- that he's answered "all the questions" pertaining to his character and he won't take any more. He's always been a "my way or the highway" kind of guy-- just like the jerk we have in the White House now-- and he is eager to get back to the day when reporters just lobbed him softballs about his PR spin, almost all of which turns out to have been well-manufactured lies and half-truths meant to mislead. But the toothpaste is out of the tube and McCain and his lobbyist team may be good but they're not that good; they're not going to be able to avoid talking about the real issues of his character. And the real issue isn't and never was for one second whether or not he runs around with younger women he isn't married to-- no one knows better than his current wife, who he met and started an affair with when he was still married to his former wife and who is considerably younger than he is (though not nearly as young as the lobbyist gal from the NY Times story), that he always has. The issue is his character, his inability and unwillingness to tell the truth, and the criminal mentality that pervades, at the very minimum, his team of what he insists are men of honor.

McCain's discomfiture stems from the fact that he is so used to the Big Lie, and so used to his bullshit being unchallenged by the media, that he speaks in deceptive generalities that do not stand up to scrutiny. Yesterday Newsweek made mincemeat out of his claim and quickly followed that up with a meta article on how he's gotten a free ride from the press which has acted like cheerleaders for his entire disgraceful career, built on univestigated lie after uninvestigated lie. The news isn't going to get any better by him refusing to answer legitimate questions from the press.

Today's Washington Post reports that the head of Paxson Media, a Vicki Iseman client, on whose behalf she lobbied McCain, contradicts McCain's account of  what went down between them. Lowell Paxson has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to political candidates, mostly Republicans but also to the kind of reactionary Democrats who tend, like Republicans, to favor Big Business over consumers and workers; no one can claim he is anything but a political conservative. His specifics laid the lie to McCain's sweeping-- and untruthful-- generalities. McCain says he never met with Paxson or his lobbyists regarding the two unethical letters he sent to pressure the FCC on Paxson's befalf. But he did.
Paxson said he talked with McCain in his Washington office several weeks before the Arizona Republican wrote the letters in 1999 to the FCC urging a rapid decision on Paxson's quest to acquire a Pittsburgh television station.

Paxson also recalled that his lobbyist, Vicki Iseman, likely attended the meeting in McCain's office and that Iseman helped arrange the meeting. "Was Vicki there? Probably," Paxson said in an interview with The Washington Post yesterday. "The woman was a professional. She was good. She could get us meetings."

The recollection of the now-retired Paxson conflicted with the account provided by the McCain campaign about the two letters at the center of a controversy about the senator's ties to Iseman, a partner at the lobbying firm of Alcalde & Fay.

The McCain campaign said Thursday that the senator had not met with Paxson or Iseman on the matter. "No representative of Paxson or Alcalde and Fay personally asked Senator McCain to send a letter to the FCC regarding this proceeding," the campaign said in a statement.

But Paxson said yesterday, "I remember going there to meet with him." He recalled that he told McCain: "You're head of the Commerce Committee. The FCC is not doing its job. I would love for you to write a letter."

I don't know how many instances of these contradictions the media has lined up to dump on McCain. But I suspect they have tons of them. Today's revelation in the NY Times is not nearly so splashy and sexy as the Vicki Iseman scandal but if voters were paying attention to things that don't relate to dirty old married men chasing younger women, this would be a much bigger piece of news. Again, it's about the bullying letters McCain sent to the FCC-- warning them that he would destroy the agency if it closed a loophole his contributors wanted.
The letter, and two later ones signed by Mr. McCain, then chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, urged the commission to abandon plans to close a loophole vitally important to Glencairn Ltd., a client of Vicki Iseman, a lobbyist. The provision enabled one of the nation’s largest broadcasting companies, [the right wing propagandists] Sinclair, to use a marketing agreement with Glencairn, a far smaller broadcaster, to get around a restriction barring single ownership of two television stations in the same city.

...On Glencairn, the campaign said Mr. McCain’s efforts to retain the loophole were not done at Ms. Iseman’s request. It said Mr. McCain was merely directing the commission to “not act in a manner contradictory to Congressional intent.” Mr. McCain wrote in the letters that a 1996 law, the telecommunications act, required the loophole; a legal opinion by the staff of the commission took the opposite view.

A review of the record, including agency records now at the National Archives and interviews with participants, shows that Mr. McCain, Republican of Arizona, played a significant role in killing the plan to eliminate the loophole. His actions followed requests by Ms. Iseman and lobbyists at other broadcasting companies, according to lobbying records and Congressional aides.

McCain's partner in this sordid venture (the threatening letter) was none other than Conrad Burns (R-MT), Jack Abramoff's most favored senator-- one who McCain later protected from scrutiny when he was investigating covering up Congress' role in the Culture of Corruption that came to light when GOP lobbyist Abramoff was caught bribing dozens of Republican senators and congressmen, not one of whom McCain's committeee even questioned.


America's most respected historian, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr just had his diary published by Penguin and in a 1998 entry (on page 833) he had made an interesting and prescient notation about McCain's reputation as a man who was less than faithful to his wives.
McCain is a loose cannon. He has commendably defied his party on campaign finance, but he is also capable of bizarre behavior. Recently, speaking at a Republican dinner, he told the following so-called joke: why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly? Because she is the illegitimate child of Hillary Clinton and Janet Reno. This plus his reputedly wayward sex life will surely destroy his evident presidential aspirations.

Interesting last sentence there, huh?

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At 8:47 PM, Blogger Karen said...

Great photoshop!

Gonna have to steal it with kudos to you!! :o)

At 11:16 AM, Blogger Gort said...

I stole it.

At 5:48 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

McCain is a dirty old man. What is up with McCain and Younger Women? Cindy...Vicky Isman...Now Sara... Good family values.


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