The Two Faces of Senator John McCain

Is He a Traitor to America?

John McCain News


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Senator John Barrasso

Presented by: The Religious Freedom Coalition of the SouthEast

Senator John Barrasso

Bush and Wicca and Doreen Valiente

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Bush and Wicca and Doreen Valiente Go to for a treat!!!

Question:  "Separation between Church and State."  Who coined the Phrase?  Give up?  Answer:   Thomas Jefferson - one of the founding fathers of this great Nation and a creator of the U.S. Constitution and the First Amendment to that same Constitution.  Thomas Jefferson, in 1802, wrote a Letter to the Dansbury Baptist Convention, referring to the First Amendment to the US Constitution.  In it he said:

"Believing that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their Legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church and State."


Extremist (Tea Party) Republicans are selfish, power hungry, hateful of the poor, disloyal to the nation and its people, dishonest, avaricious, scornful of the nation's history, the dignity of its institutions, its standards of political morality, and its vision of advancement for all the people. The Republicans love war as long as they and theirs do not have to put on helmets and carry guns into the fighting. They use lies to start wars that kill hundreds of thousands of innocents and thousands of our own military service people. They love massive war-time profits, unavailable to their rich masters if war is absent.

Those Extremist Republicans hate the rest of us, which they must, in order to pass away from themselves and onto us, the financial burdens and losses their crimes, schemes and thefts cause. They are prolific, incessant, and destructive liars. They are blasphemers for they insist that their hateful and destructive deeds are the work of God. They are apostates for they gleefully attack the poor, the immigrants, the old and the sick, of whom God has commanded all of us to be mindful.

There is no reasoning with them, for all their logic is built on false premises. There is no appealing to them for honor's sake for they have lost all sense of shame and have no honor, there is no appealing to them for the nation's sake for that it what they hate the most.

Extremist (Tea Party) Republicans are the enemy.




Flash: is McCains Campaign/Lobbiest staff involved in the latest Big Oil/Bush sex scandal?

Update: McCain's Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae connections

FLASH! 15 Major Points that separate McCain/Palin/Bush from the rest of America!

FLASH! Why Did Sen McCain pick Sarah Palin as a VP candidate? Click Here to find out!

Flash: Sarah Palins Earmark Scandal.

Flash Sarah Palin's Baby Gate Scandal.

Flash: Sarah Palins Trooper Gate Scandal.

UPDATE: Who is responsible for the Some of the Republican Smears!!!

UPDATE: McCain Campaign lies about Mother Teresa!!!

UPDATE: McCain doesn't know how many houses he has!!!

UPDATE: McCain cannot even write a speech without Plagiarizing from Wikipedia!!!

UPDATE: Oil Companies gave HUGH donations to John McCain's Campaign and his Oil Lobby Staff!!!

UPDATE: McCain votes against Veterans and then expects them to support him!!!

1.  John McCain Political Celebrity Status

2.  McCains Default on Home Taxes

3.  McCain Sees Benefit for him of Terrorist Attack

4.  Is John McCain as Honest as he Says?

4.   Why Doesn't Senator John McCain Love America?

5.    Senator John McCain's First Twenty Seven Flip Flops - It should really be Called the "Flip Flop Express."

6.    What kind of sexual escapades have Sen. John McCain and Lobbyist Vicki Iseman been up to?

7.    Does Senator John McCain have a Conflict of Interest?

8.    "How to Shop around for a vicious Conservative Minister who will give you the Christian Right Vote" by Senator John McCain

9.    Did you know that Senator McCain was a Founding Member of the Keating Five?

10.    What are Senator McCain's Mafia ties?

11.    Senator McCain's Family Problems

12.    Quotes by and about John McCain

13.  See the Senator McCain-Lobbyist Connection

14. See Senator John McCain's REAL Iraq Surge

15. Ten Things you should know about Senator John McCain

16. How in the World Can Senator McCain actually accuse Obama of being an Elitist when he owns Eight Houses and as little as a week ago effectively told those who were losing their Houses to go out and get a second job and that they were just unlucky and made bad decisions, but he also supported the bail out of Bear of the architects of the Housing Crash!!!!!!!!!!

17.  Is Senator John McCain Mentally Defective?  Why doesn't he know how the military works in Iraq and Afghanistan.  He is giving all the indications of being too old.  His memory is obviously deficient.

18.  What is Senator John McCain's Position on Taxes?

19.  Does John McCain think that threatening Shites and Sunies will somehow put a stop to violence in the MidEast?

20.  What about the dishonest "Fact Finding Trips to Iraq" where manufactured evidence is presented to the news media to prove the The Surge is Working".

21. John McCain's Health Care Plan Helps Corporate America and We Pay For It!!!!!

22. John McCain wants to spend 4 Trillion Dollars on 700 Nuclear Power Plants and stick you with the bill.

23.  Did John McCain call his Wife a C__nt and a Trollop in front of reporters and aides!!!?

24.  What is John McCain lying about Today?!!!

25.  John McCain's 10 Out-Of-Touch Moments!

26.  John McCain Wants War Against Any Religion but Christianity.

27.  How John McCain Has Gotten a Free Ride From The News Media.

28.  Senator John McCain Did Not Vote For Bush!!!!!! - That's His Only Redeeming feature!!!!!!!

29.  John McCain wants to Talk to Hamas or has he changed his mind again!!!!!  Flip Flop Express rides again!!!

30.  The Questionable and Shady Ethics of Senator John McCain.

31.  The Secret McCain Military Files

32.    Sources

We will leave it up to the reader to determine whether John McCain has made serious errors in in judgment.  John has supported a Conservative Far Right Christian position especially when it comes to Church and State issues.  It is apparent from the data collected, that the first amendment may be in danger from his past and future actions as well as other constitutional sections.  He has supported deregulation of banks and the SEC causing the current economic Depression.

John McCain's office stated that his position is that Certain Religions aren't   "Real" religions.  What is a real religion, Mr. McCain?  What you have been practicing?  He says on the one hand that only certain Christian denominations are valid.  Read the following and remember: "By their Works may they be known."  This is a summary of information collected from several sources about Dick Armey.

(Remember it is best to investigate on your own when looking at allegations about anyone.     Don't believe us, think for yourself and investigate for yourself!  And remember, the First Amendment Coalition and Religious Freedom Coalition of the South East do not represent any political party nor do we recommend any political candidate, nor are we involving ourselves in the political process.)

John McCain and the Republican Party Supports Rape!!!

Jackson Franken
I think that all homo sapiens can understand how the mere thought of an organization that receives government money through contract mechanisms being tangentially involved in setting up a fake tax shelter for a fake pimp and his fake prostitution ring of fake prostitutes can justifiably lead to lawmakers going absolutely cross-eyed with white-hot, impotent rage. But what happens when a similarly taxpayer-endowed contractor attempts to cover up employee-on-employee gang rape by locking up the victim in a shipping container without food and water and threatening her with reprisals if she report the incident? Somehow, it doesn't engender the same level of anger!

Credit new Senator Al Franken however, for introducing an amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill that would punish contractors if they "restrict their employees from taking workplace sexual assault, battery and discrimination cases to court." You'd think that this would be a no-brainer, actually, but that didn't stop Jeff Sessions from labeling Franken's effort a "political attack directed at Halliburton." Franken, of course, pointed out that his amendment would apply broadly, to all contractors, because otherwise, 'twould be a bill of attainder, right? Right?

Franken's amendment ended up passing, 68-30. Here's a list of the Senators who showed broad support for Roman Polanski by voting against it:

Alexander (R-TN)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Bond (R-MO)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Graham (R-SC)
Gregg (R-NH)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Kyl (R-AZ)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Wicker (R-MS)

ADDENDUM: It's been pointed out to me that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce lobbied against the Franken amendment as well:

Republicans point out that the amendment was opposed by a host of business interests, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and applies to a wide range of companies, including IBM and Boeing.

I guess we must cover up crimes like rape in order to save capitalism.

Franken Wins Bipartisan Support For Legislation Reining In KBR's Treatment Of Rape [ThinkProgress]

Franken Gets His First Amendment Passed By Roll Call Vote

Read more at:

Multiple Oil Company Executives Gave Huge Contributions To John   McCain's Campaign Just Days After Offshore Drilling Reversal

There was a huge spike in donations to John McCain from Texas oil executives following a June 16 speech in which he reversed his longstanding opposition to offshore drilling.

In fact, no fewer than 85 Texas-based donors connected to the oil and gas industries gave $1,214,100.00 to McCain in June, with 73 percent of those donations occurring in the second half of the month. But it wasn't just Texas oil donors getting into gear. A new report, It's A Gusher, released today by Campaign Money Watch, reveals that oil executives from around the nation cheered McCain's policy reversal by opening their checkbooks.

The most egregious example? Within about a week of McCain's reversal on offshore drilling, ten Hess executives or family members from New York and New Jersey maxed out to the RNC by writing identical $28,500 checks, for a total of $285,000.

Ten senior Hess Corporation executives and/or members of the Hess family each gave $28,500 to the joint RNC-McCain fundraising committee, just days after McCain reversed himself to favor offshore drilling, according to Federal Election Commission reports.

Nine of these contributions, seven from Hess executives and two from members of the Hess family, came on the same day, June 24th, the records show. The total collected in the wake of McCain's reversal for the fund, called McCain Victory 2008, from Hess execs and family is $285,000.

We were alerted to the contributions by Campaign Money Watch, a non-partisan group that tracks campaign contributions. The contributions were given a quick mention deep in a report the group issued late last week, but with no names or other details provided. The Hess contributions are clearly newsworthy on their own.

The Washington Post reported last week that campaign contributions from oil industry execs rose in a big way in the last half of June, after McCain drew a huge amount of attention by reversing his opposition on June 16th to the federal ban on offshore drilling.

These Hess contributions, however, hadn't been reported until now, and they will give more ammo to those arguing that McCain is being rewarded by campaign contributions in exchange for pro-industry positions. Here's a table detailing the contributions:

J. Barclay Collins Hess Corp. Attorney $28,500 19-Jun
John B. Hess Hess Corp. Executive $28,500 24-Jun
Susan K. Hess Homemaker Homemaker $28,500 24-Jun
Norma W. Hess Retired Retired $28,500 24-Jun
John J. O'Connor Hess Corp. Executive $28,500 24-Jun
Lawrence Ornstein Hess Corp. Senior VP $28,500 24-Jun
John Reilly Hess Corp. Executive $28,500 24-Jun
Alice Rocchio Hess Corp. Office Manager $28,500 24-Jun
John Scelfo Hess Corp. Senior VP of Finance $28,500 24-Jun
F. Borden Walker Hess Corp. Businessman $28,500 24-Jun

Norma W. Hess is the widow of oil magnate and company founder Leon Hess, and Susan K. Hess is the wife of Hess chairman and CEO John Hess.

Neither a spokesperson for Hess nor the McCain campaign immediately responded to requests for comment. More on this in a bit.

Late Update: It turns out that $28,500 is the maximum that can be given to the RNC, but because this particular victory fund collects money via various channels, an individual donor can actually give more than that to it. I've edited out "maximum" from the headline. Obviously this doesn't change the story in any way.

Late Late Update: A Hess office manager and her husband, an Amtrak worker, each chipped in $28,000 apiece, too.!!  But the Hess money was only the tip of the iceberg.

The oil money gushed in from coast to coast, with donations to McCain's victory fund from:

? Gary and Carolyn Chouest ($100,000) from Louisiana. Gary Chouest is CEO of Edison Chouest Offshore
? Stephen Chazen ($5,000) from California, who works for Occidental Petroleum
? Frederic Hamilton ($39,300) from Colorado, the CEO of Hamilton Oil Company
? Onajite Okoloko ($30,000) from Florida, the CEO of Ocean and Oil Services
? Rich and Ann Calhoon ($71,600) from Mississippi. Rich Calhoon is CEO of Pruet Oil.

These increasingly cozy ties between McCain and big oil should come as no surprise, since the Straight Talk Express is full of oil lobbyists.

Campaign Money Watch found that 33 staffers or fundraisers on the McCain campaign have earned $19.3 million in lobbying fees from at least 30 oil and gas industry corporations and associations. Just four top lobbyists for McCain -- Wayne Berman, Charlie Black, John Green, and Steve Phillips -- account for $11.5 million of that total.

Exxon Mobil, which set a record today for the largest quarterly profit by any U.S. corporation, has paid $1.26 million to lobbyists currently working on the McCain campaign.

While economists agree that offshore drilling will have no effect on gas prices for years -- McCain admitted in June that any effect would be primarily psychological -- it is an easy way to boost the already outrageous profits of these oil companies and their executives.

The long and short of it is this:

John McCain's position won't reduce gas prices anytime soon, but it will increase the oil companies' profits. These lobbyists and the donors from Big Oil may want you to believe they think John McCain is the best candidate for the country, but what is really happening is that their financial future is at stake. He's the best candidate for Big Oil. That's why the checkbooks are out.

John McCain - The Political Celebrity

John McCain helped define the phrase Political Celebrity.

He emerged as the most popular Republican in Hollywood following his 2000 presidential primary defeat, winning more screen time than the rest of Congress combined. McCain made cameos in ?Wedding Crashers? and ?24,? saw his memoir turned into a popular biopic on A&E, and appeared more than 30 times on late night comedy shows.

So this week, when McCain cast Obama?s celebrity as a disqualifier, it seemed like a curious turn.

Just one day before McCain released an advertisement interspersing pictures of Paris Hilton and Britney Spears with footage of Obama addressing 200,000 people in Berlin, actor Jon Voight told Variety that McCain had ?many great, intelligent, talented Academy-winning actors standing by, awaiting a major press conference to show their support.?

?[The ad] is a bit ironic given that McCain has been the most pop-culture savvy Republican candidate in quite some time,? said Ted Johnson, managing editor of Variety and editor of the blog Wilshire and Washington, which monitors the intersection of celebrity and politics.

[A liberal blog noted this week that the McCain campaign had scrubbed its website of an Associated Press story from last year that described him as a ?political celebrity.?

Dismissing claims circulating in the liberal blogosphere, McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said the article was removed as part of routine housecleaning of the website several weeks ago.

The McCain campaign continued to hammer at Obama on Friday with the release of a very sarcastic Web ad that at one point cuts to an image of Charlton Heston as Moses parting the Red Sea before posing the question: ?Barack Obama may be The One, but is he ready to lead??

The Spears-Hilton ad hits a similar note, describing Obama as ?the biggest celebrity in the world.?   The Republican National Committee piled on, launching a Web site Friday called Who Said It? Celebrity Edition that features a multiple-choice quiz in which people must identify whether Obama or a celebrity made certain, often vacuous, statements.

It?s a striking line of attack for McCain, who?s accepted without complaint the ?celebrity? epithet from journalists for four decades.

?John?s been a celebrity ever since he was shot down,? former McCain strategist John Weaver told The Atlantic earlier this week, ?whatever that means.?

Yet, like the way fresh starlets push aside aging actors, political hot shots from years past (think former President Bill Clinton, often described as a ?rock star? in his day) have been overshadowed by the newest crop of talent in this election year. This sort of churning is typical during presidential campaigns, said Matt Bennett, communications director for Gen. Wesley Clark?s 2004 presidential campaign and co-founder of Third Way, a progressive policy group.

?McCain was famous for a politician,? Bennett said. ?Obama has almost transcended that, and has become famous as a famous person which is why they are comparing him to Paris Hilton.?

Since 2000, Bennett went on, McCain has enjoyed ?enough fame and authority and celebrity? to aid candidates and organizations with ads that simply involve him speaking into a camera.

McCain started on the public stage with the pedigree of a family whose name graces a naval ship and a Mississippi National Guard training center.

With his father serving as a top admiral, John McCain first became a household name when he was captured in Vietnam, and even more of one upon his release five years later. The New York Times featured him on its front page. He wrote an acclaimed 12,000-word, first person account for U.S. News and World Report. President Richard Nixon feted him.

Hollywood warmed to him in 2000 as he ran against one of its least favorite people, George W. Bush. He endeared himself with liberals, including Warren Beatty, by taking unconventional stances for a Republican presidential candidate, such as favoring campaign finance reform and challenging the Christian right. His open-door approach with journalists made him the darling of the media elite.

?You can definitely makes the case that McCain stands out among Republicans for his associations with Hollywood and his celebrity status,? Johnson said. ?The fact that he was in ?Wedding Crashers,? it underscores the fact that he does have a lot of friends in the entertainment industry that Bush can?t claim.?

In the years that followed, he became a near-regular on the late-night comedy circuit, appearing eight times on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," 12 times on the "Late Show with David Letterman," 10 times on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," and three times on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien," according to

He hosted "Saturday Night Live" in 2002. "Faith of My Fathers" pulled in 3.7 million viewers on A&E in 2005, making it the network?s most popular program in over a year. He appeared on ?24? in 2006.

And he made a brief cameo in ?Wedding Crashers,? offering congratulations to the father of the bride, a senator played by Christopher Walken.

As a then-likely Republican presidential candidate, McCain?s appearance in the film stirred a mini-controversy when the Drudge Report labeled it a ?boob raunch fest.? But McCain laughed it off - during a visit on Leno?s show.

?In Washington, I work with boobs every day,? McCain joked.

McCain has received support this year from boldfaced names such as SNL creator Lorne Michaels and producer Jerry Bruckheimer. But the Republican's circle is far smaller than the one around Obama, and less robust than 2000, when lifelong Democrats including Harrison Ford and Michael Douglas signed checks for McCain.

So far, Obama has raised $4.7 million from the movie, television and music industry, while McCain has received $815,000, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan campaign finance group.

A liberal blog noted this week that the McCain campaign had scrubbed its website of an Associated Press story from last year that described him as a ?political celebrity.?

Dismissing claims circulating in the liberal blogosphere, McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said the article was removed as part of routine housecleaning of the website several weeks ago.

But Rogers skirted the question Friday of whether he considered his candidate a political celebrity.

?John McCain is a widely respected and admired political leader in our country and the world,? Rogers said, adding that Obama is in a ?different stratosphere.?

?Who else could get 200,000 people in Berlin? Those aren?t voters. Those are fans.?

The campaign, he added, was not attempting to make ?celebrity? a pejorative term. ?It is not a dirty word,? he said of the spot that juxtaposes Obama with Britney and Paris, calls him ?the biggest celebrity in the world? and then asks, ?but is he ready to lead??

?We are celebrating his fame,? Rogers went on, ?and the reality that this guy has entered Tom Cruise-type of fame.?

Bennett said the heightened sensitivity around "celebrity" was unlikely to cause a full-scale pull back from the entertainment industry by either candidate.

Indeed, on Friday night in Panama City, Fla., McCain basked in the glow of Nashville - not Hollywood - as country singer John Rich of the duo Big and Rich hosted a "Country First" concert for the presumptive nominee and debuted a new song: "Raising McCain."

Obama?s star even shines in Nashville, though - last year ?Big? Kenny Alphin, the other half of the act, contributed $2300 to the Obama campaign.


Newsweek: McCains Default On Home Taxes For Four Years, Face Penalties!!!!!!!!

29 Jun 2008

And this man is asking us to trust him with our economy?

Newsweek:When you?re poor, it can be hard to pay the bills. When you?re rich, it?s hard to keep track of all the bills that need paying. It?s a lesson Cindy McCain learned the hard way when NEWSWEEK raised questions about an overdue property-tax bill on a La Jolla, Calif., property owned by a trust that she oversees. Mrs. McCain is a beer heiress with an estimated $100 million fortune and, along with her husband, she owns at least seven properties, including condos in California and Arizona.

Officials, it turns out, have been sending out tax notices on the La Jolla property, an oceanfront condo, for four years without receiving a response. County records show the bills, which were mailed to a Phoenix address associated with Mrs. McCain?s trust, were returned by the post office. According to a McCain campaign aide, who requested anonymity when discussing a private matter, an elderly aunt of Mrs. McCain?s lives in the condo, and the bank that manages the trust has not been receiving tax bills on the property. Shortly after NEWSWEEK inquired about the matter, the McCain aide e-mailed a receipt dated Friday, June 27, confirming payment by the trust to San Diego County in the amount of $6,744.42. County officials say the trust still owes an additional $1,742 for this year, an amount that is overdue and will go into default July 1. Told of the outstanding $1,742, the aide said: ?The trust has paid all bills shown owing as of today and will pay all other bills due.? Read on?

This situation has nothing to do with the ongoing mortgage foreclosure crisis brought on by 8 years of Republican rule and deregulation, this is about a real failure of personal responsibility on the part of the McCains. I realize that they live an elite life of luxury and privilege and have more money and assets than 99% of Americans will ever know in their lifetime, but this is ridiculous. They didn?t pay the taxes on this home for four years. Don?t they pay people to pay their bills for them? Is this representative of the way John McCain will run OUR budgets? No matter how much cash they have or how many vacation homes they have to keep track of, it pales in comparison to running the U.S. economy. 

FLASH!!! McCain Fundraiser's Firm Pleaded Guilty To Funding Terrorist Group In Colombia!!!

FLASH!!!  McCain Campaign Sees Benefits of Terrorist Attack

In an interview with Fortune magazine, Sen. John McCain's chief strategist, Charlie Black, concedes with "startling candor" that another terrorist attack on U.S. soil would be a big benefit for the Arizona senator's campaign.

Said Black: "Certainly it would be a big advantage to him."

This is the kind of remark the Kark Rove was famous for.   It was also similar to the remark that George W. Bush made after the 9/11 event: "I just hit the Trifecta" refering to the two towers in the World Trade Center and the Pentagon attack. (A trifecta is when you hold the winning ticket for the first three horses crossing the finish line in the Kentucky Derby.)

Is John McCain as Honest as He Claims?

We will leave it up to the reader to determine whether Sen. John McCain has made serious errors in veracity and judgment.  Sen. McCain has seemed to support a Moderate Christian position especially when it comes to Church and State issues.  It is apparent from the data collected though, that Ethical Values and the first amendment may be in danger from his past and future actions.

John McCain's office like others we called, stated that his position is that no religion but Christianity is a "Real" religion."  Are you pandering to the Christian Right Senator McCain?  What is a real religion, Mr. McCain?  What you have been practicing?  Then it should be made illegal.   Read the following and remember: "By their Works may they be known."  This is a summary of information collected from several sources about  Sen. John McCain.

John McCain is a maverick senator, Vietnam veteran and former prisoner of war for 5 years in North Vietnam. In 2000, he nearly beat George W. Bush by being an outspoken, even honest politician, which stunned everybody. He also is known for crafting bipartisan approaches to issues such as smoking and campaign reform.

This time around though, at 71, he apparently decided "now or never" and seems to have sold his soul, suddenly adopting a bunch of boilerplate conservative positions he was brave enough to resist 8 years ago. Now, conveniently, he's even claiming to be a Baptist instead of an Episcopalian.

It didn't look like anyone was buying it for a while there, but danged if he hasn't come back and pretty much sewed up the Republican nomination. McCain went from front runner to 3rd or 4th in various polls, spent all of his huge pile of cash and lost most of his staff, and worked his way back into a dominant position.

(Remember it is best to investigate on your own when looking at allegations about anyone.     Don't believe us, think for yourself and investigate for yourself!  And remember, the Religious Freedom Coalition does not represent any political party nor do we recommend any political candidate, nor are we involving ourselves in the political process.  This information is only for students of  Sen. John McCain)

The Many Faces of John McCain

Excerpted from an Article in the Huffington Post, by Jayne Lyn Stahl

April 30, 2008

While Barack Obama is said to be outraged about the latest sound bites coming from his former minister, Reverend Jeremiah Wright, where is our outrage at all the nonstop coverage of this nonsense, and the egregious efforts to abort the First Amendment guarantee of separation between church and state?

Now that we know everything we ever wanted to know about Reverend Jeremiah Wright, and more that we didn't, now that ballistics test show the efficacy of weapons of mass distraction when it comes to news delivery vehicles, maybe it's time some chickens come home to roost for those who have gotten a free ride from the mainstream media. Forget about how many people can name even one Supreme Court justice. How about -- how many people can name John McCain's position on abstinence-only HIV/AIDS funding? Roe v. Wade? Gun control? Iran?

Who cares, after all, anyway? Why interrupt a politcal lynching to interject substance into an otherwise vacuous campaign. After all, who can forget when the senator from Arizona numbly repeated "We do not torture" while on a recent visit to Europe. I'd like to ask Senator McCain if the Justice Department will look any different under him than under his predecessor, George W. Bush, or if we may expect to see the FBI look the other way when the CIA engages in interrogation techniques that violate Geneva, and the Eighth Amendment proscription against cruel and unusual punishment. But, why challenge him when nobody else is.

Why, after all, would anyone question the current dangerous liaision between Hillary and McCain -- both claiming that Obama is out of touch with "ordinary Americans" while benefiting from millions raked in by their significant others, both pushing for a reprieve from the pump.. Oh, and excuse me, but does anyone really believe that the Clintons earned over $100 million, over the past seven years, from book sales and lectures? But, who cares the truth when fiction is so compelling.

Like the truth that both Hillary Clinton and John McCain want to move us from supply side economics to "bandaid "economics, to a place where we'll be happy with the meager 18 cent saving on gas tax while the capital gains tax continues to be reduced, and corporate America gets to gorge itself on even more tax credits and tax write-offs. Who cares if, as Obama suggests, reducing the cost of gas, for the summer, is only a "short-term, quick-fix,", and doesn't solve the problem. Who wants to solve the problem anyway? What for? After all, isn't that what a second term is for?

And, who cares about credibility? So what if John McCain has more faces than the legendary Greek goddess, Janus, all sharing one common denominator -- they aim to please. So, if you don't like this side of McCain, he's got another, and yet another. John McCain has more sides than your average garden variety cineplex, but nobody in the mainstream media is going to let his many inconguities interfere with their insatiable urge to vomit sound byte invectives from the mouth of Obama's retired minister. Rather sinister the treatment the Arizona senator gets from those whose job it is not merely to cover, but to uncover, the news; almost as sinister as a one size fits all nightmare.

How can we resist photo-ops from the presumptive Republican presidential nominee? Shots of McCain retracing the footsteps of another president, Lyndon Johnson, in Kentucky, talking about how he plans to help those who suffer through no fault of their own. And, oh, how he likes to help those who suffer effortlessly -- like those who lost their homes, as long as they didn't buy those homes for investment purposes, and those who are jobless because they are looking for work, but can't find it. Can it be that his Party is setting it up so that only those in the upper one percent have the opportunity to see profit from anything they do? And, where are the sound bytes for that one!

Yes, watch Johnny venture forth into New Orleans where he assures us that, like his compassionate conservative brothers, he will never allow another "failure in leadership" like Katrina while, at the same time, virtually guaranteeing a projected budget shortfall of $400 billion. Indeed, this is responsible leadership with a capital "R" -- as in "recession."

Oh, and all this noise about suspending the tax on gasoline, for the summer, so that people can not only drive more, and vacation, but spend more of those tax rebates that are in the mail. Gas tax relief is not unlike the Bush rebate -- yes, folks, both shining examples of bandaid economics. Neither Clinton nor McCain is atttacking the gaping hole that lurks in America's driveway -- the one that threatens to consume us all while making the oil barons richer, with their spend until you mend ethos. Oh, and let's not increase the corporate gains tax, people, let's decrease corporate income tax, and enhance the list of things businesses get to write off while one in five children in America goes to bed hungry

Remember, too, McCain announced Tuesday a proposed $5,000 tax credit for health insurance, and his so-called free market approach to health care. How remarkably like Bush's approach to social security reform. So close, we won't feel a thing after the inauguration. In fact, we may not feel a thing for years to come. The idea of privatizing social services, and leaving it up to the individual to find their way out of hardship, especially at a time when 40 million Americans are uninsured, is not merely reckless, it's downright neanderthal.

So, who is the Republican nominee-in-waiting trying to kid when he says he wants to fight a war on poverty. Isn't that kind of like a war on terror -- except it costs a lot less? Just how many of the millions of those without health insurance will benefit from the tax credit to choose your own health care provider McCain proposes? You can bet many more who go to his country club will benefit from his suppport for capital gains cuts, and tax breaks for the wealthy. And yet the mainstream media so fixated on the hyperbole of Reverend Wright? Are we witnessing, yet again, media complicity in a campaign of distortion and disinformation in the name of boosting corporate revenue?

Yes, and what about that very public face McCain put forward in Kentucky when he said that Barack Obama is out of touch with America's poor? How can anyone claim to care about poverty and hunger while, at the same time, striving to ease the tax burden on those who least suffer from tax burdens?

Let's not forget, too, the side of Senator McCain that just voted against a Senate bill which would ensure gender equity with respect to wages.

Irony of ironies: the John McCain we saw in New Orleans is the same one who didn't think Martin Luther King's birthday should be a national holiday, and the same McCain whose parody "Bomb Iran" exploded all over the world wide web; yes, the same one who suffered painful, lifelong injuries at the hands of his captors while a prisoner of war, and who wants to send our sons and daughters back for another hundred years all in the name of bigger profits for Halliburton and friends.

Yet, with all this focus pocus on the excesses of one Democratic candidate's former Baptist preacher, John McCain remains largely impregnable. He 's getting away with not not talking about his stand on Roe v. Wade, gun control, stem cell research, withdrawal of troops from Iraq, how it is that the oil companies are making record profits when, by his own admission, his tax proposals will cost taxpayers close to $200 billion annually. He's getting away with economic policies that virtually guarantee college, and cars, are possible only for the very rich.

Not only can we not look forward to an exit strategy with respect to Iraq from the Republicans. It's clear they have no exit strategy for recession, either.

Information is often the first casualty of arbitrary power, and there is nothing more tenacious than arbitrary power. In a culture of rabid narcissism, how refreshing to see a candidate take time out to split himself into as many parts as necessary to make sure that he wins as big a chunk of the election pie as humanly possible. The question isn't so much who is pulling McCain's strings as who has been in bed with him throughout the process, as well as who is helping the Republicans "politicize" Reverend Wright to sabotage a candidate who has been consistently ahead in pledged delegates, and popular votes. If the phenomenon that is Barack Obama is larger than Obama, the McCain factor is larger than anything McCain himself could ever have imagined.

For all the coverage this week about John McCain's background, there are some important things you won't learn about him from the TV networks. His carefully crafted positive image relies on people not knowing this stuff?and you might be surprised by some of it.

Please check out the list below, and then forward it to your friends, family, and coworkers. We can't rely on the media to tell folks about the real John McCain?but if we all pass this along, we can reach as many people as CNN Headline News does on a good night.

Click here to tell us how many people you can pass it on to?and to see our progress nationally:

10 things you should know about John McCain (but probably don't):

  1. John McCain voted against establishing a national holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Now he says his position has "evolved," yet he's continued to oppose key civil rights laws.1
  2. According to Bloomberg News, McCain is more hawkish than Bush on Iraq, Russia and China. Conservative columnist Pat Buchanan says McCain "will make Cheney look like Gandhi."2
  3. His reputation is built on his opposition to torture, but McCain voted against a bill to ban waterboarding, and then applauded President Bush for vetoing that ban.3
  4. McCain opposes a woman's right to choose. He said, "I do not support Roe versus Wade. It should be overturned."4
  5. The Children's Defense Fund rated McCain as the worst senator in Congress for children. He voted against the children's health care bill last year, then defended Bush's veto of the bill.5
  6. He's one of the richest people in a Senate filled with millionaires. The Associated Press reports he and his wife own at least eight homes! Yet McCain says the solution to the housing crisis is for people facing foreclosure to get a "second job" and skip their vacations.6
  7. Many of McCain's fellow Republican senators say he's too reckless to be commander in chief. One Republican senator said: "The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He's erratic. He's hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me."7
  8. McCain talks a lot about taking on special interests, but his campaign manager and top advisers are actually lobbyists. The government watchdog group Public Citizen says McCain has 59 lobbyists raising money for his campaign, more than any of the other presidential candidates.8
  9. McCain has sought closer ties to the extreme religious right in recent years. The pastor McCain calls his "spiritual guide," Rod Parsley, believes America's founding mission is to destroy Islam, which he calls a "false religion." McCain sought the political support of right-wing preacher John Hagee, who believes Hurricane Katrina was God's punishment for gay rights and called the Catholic Church "the Antichrist" and a "false cult."9
  10. He positions himself as pro-environment, but he scored a 0?yes, zero?from the League of Conservation Voters last year.10

John McCain is not who the Washington press corps make him out to be. Please help get the word out?forward this email to your personal network. And if you want us to keep you posted on MoveOn's work to get the truth out about John McCain, sign up here:

1. "The Complicated History of John McCain and MLK Day," ABC News, April 3, 2008

"McCain Facts,", April 4, 2008

2. "McCain More Hawkish Than Bush on Russia, China, Iraq," Bloomberg News, March 12, 2008

"Buchanan: John McCain 'Will Make Cheney Look Like Gandhi,'" ThinkProgress, February 6, 2008

3. "McCain Sides With Bush On Torture Again, Supports Veto Of Anti-Waterboarding Bill," ThinkProgress, February 20, 2008

4. "McCain says Roe v. Wade should be overturned," MSNBC, February 18, 2007

5. "2007 Children's Defense Fund Action CouncilĀ® Nonpartisan Congressional Scorecard," February 2008

"McCain: Bush right to veto kids health insurance expansion," CNN, October 3, 2007

6. "Beer Executive Could Be Next First Lady," Associated Press, April 3, 2008

"McCain Says Bank Bailout Should End `Systemic Risk,'" Bloomberg News, March 25, 2008

7. "Will McCain's Temper Be a Liability?," Associated Press, February 16, 2008

"Famed McCain temper is tamed," Boston Globe, January 27, 2008

8. "Black Claims McCain's Campaign Is Above Lobbyist Influence: 'I Don't Know What The Criticism Is,'" ThinkProgress, April 2, 2008

"McCain's Lobbyist Friends Rally 'Round Their Man," ABC News, January 29, 2008

9. "McCain's Spiritual Guide: Destroy Islam," Mother Jones Magazine, March 12, 2008

"Will McCain Specifically 'Repudiate' Hagee's Anti-Gay Comments?," ThinkProgress, March 12, 2008

"McCain 'Very Honored' By Support Of Pastor Preaching 'End-Time Confrontation With Iran,'" ThinkProgress, February 28, 2008

10. "John McCain Gets a Zero Rating for His Environmental Record," Sierra Club, February 28, 2008


John McCain's Misstatements About The Iran/al Qaeda Connection

3-21-2008  Bill Maher?s New Rules went hard after John McCain for his repeated misstatements on the Iran/al Qaeda connection on Friday?s episode of Real Time:

New Rule: Old soldiers never die, they get young soldiers killed. This week John McCain said for the third time in two days, that Iran, a Shi?ite stronghold was training al Qaeda a militant Sunni organization.  That the Hatfields of the Muslim world would be working with the McCoys is so not true even Dick Cheney hasn?t said it. Now the press, which loves McCain because he feeds them BBQ, dismissed this as just one of those senior moments. Not to worry, he?s only going to have his finger on the nuclear trigger.  But it?s not just a ?gaffe,? it?s what McCain really thinks. And therein lies the paradox of this campaign: McCain?s strength is really his weakness. He?s a warrior who?s dumb about war.   Whoever read The Art of War, chapter three of The Art of War says, ?Know thy enemy.?  And John McCain plainly doesn?t.  He thinks the solution is our presence in the Middle East.  No, the problem is our presence in the Middle East.   That?s why I don?t care if John McCain is better than Bush on global warming or torture or campaign finance, because he?s exactly the same as Bush on the war.  They both don?t get the same thing.  As long as we?re setting up shop in the heart of the Arab world, we?re not keeping America safer.  Bin Laden goes ballistic over cartoons in Danish newspapers, and Goober and Grandpa want to put up a Hooters in Fallujah. They don?t ?hate us for our freedom,? they hate us for our fiefdom.  Winning the War on Terror comes down to this: what will make us safer from pissed off Arab teenagers who are willing to die?  There are a number of good answers to that question, but occupying their land for the next 100 years is not one of them.

Some people look at McCain and see a tough guy who is going to protect us from the ?Islamofascists.?  I look at him and see a walking Tom Clancy action figure who is going to get us all killed.  And yet a new poll shows that a majority of Americans believe John McCain is the candidate best qualified to answer when that red phone rings at 3:00 a.m., because he?d be up anyway, trying to pee.  Yes, 55% of Americans think it?s McCain who should answer that phone, because they know John McCain is a warrior.  He will not waver or hesitate.  He will answer that phone and give the order that sends men to die and it will turn out to be a recording asking him if he?s happy with his mortgage.  

Big Mac's Blazing Saddle Diplomacy

March 27, 2008 

John McCain went before the Los Angeles World Affairs Council yesterday morning to showcase his foreign policy credentials and convince Americans that he is the only candidate experienced enough to take that 3am telephone call. While Clinton and Obama are distracted by a pre-Pennsylvania primary food fight, McCain's address constituted a dress rehearsal for a future national security agenda that, at its very core, resembles nothing more than discredited cowboy diplomacy. It is essentially fermented old failed warrior wine in new bottles...camouflaged unilateralism gussied up in a Potemkin village of storefront global engagement.

See: Mccain Foreign Policy

See: McCain Iraq

See: McCain Iraq 100 Years

Democrats should not ignore the content of McCain's speech while our internal bout continues, or remain passive at the free ride McCain will enjoy from a fawning media lauding the speech's "presidential" character and its perceived break with Bush/Cheney/Rice foreign policy catastrophes.

To remain impervious to McCain's attempted act at presidential statesmanship risks cementing in the minds of voters a dangerous perception that McCain will chart a new, more responsible and appealing foreign policy course that represents a break with neoconservatism orthodoxy.

Caveat Emptor: read between the lines!

First and foremost, McCain reasserts his ominous commitment to an endless engagement in Iraq. He justifies his bottomless pit commitment by arguing that a "premature" withdrawal will lead to a wider Middle East war because Al Qaeda will be able to turn Iraq into a cauldron of sectarian strife. This, he argues, will ultimately embolden Iran to confront Sunni Arab states and Israel, and lead to a regional war that will surely force the United States back into a wider conflict that it will have to wage against adversaries far stronger than they are today. In other words, the domino theory of Middle East extremism lies at the core of McCain's endless summer in Iraq.

McCain would like to convince voters they face the choice of accepting his Churchillian "never surrender" approach, or a dangerous Democratic "cut and run" alternative. In other words, leave Iraq and America will be in more danger and have to fight a more bloody and costly war later on many Middle East fronts, or stay the course in Iraq (courtesy of McCain's surge policy) and vanquish Al Qaeda and quell the sectarian tensions between Sunni and Shiites and we will be marginalize the threats arrayed against us throughout the region.

The trouble with this set up is that McCain's core premise is dead wrong. By our own senior commanders' accounts, Al Qaeda is but a minor player in Iraq, and there is no way the U.S. presence, surge or not, that will keep a lid on sectarian tensions. Just look at what is going on in Iraq at the very tragic milestone of 4,000 Americans killed: the worst sectarian violence in months has broken out with hundreds of lives lost despite a McCain's surge that he continues to tout as the fire extinguisher that will stop sectarian strife from igniting once again.

How inconvenient timing just when McCain keeps claiming that the surge has succeeded.

McCain's black and white version of the Middle East is what I find so troublesome. There is absolutely no redemption possible for adversaries such as Iran and Syria and no room for creative diplomacy other than his beloved surge strategy. In a nutshell, we must stay in Iraq to contain regional threats or risk engaging in a fool's errand by resorting to defeatist diplomacy.

I just don't buy that equation, and neither should the American people.

Moreover, McCain claims that an unending presence in Iraq can be legitimated by a new "League of Democracies" (a.k.a. a new Coalition of the Willing) that would conveniently marginalize those pesky international institutions such as the United Nations that seem to always stand in the way of American unilateralism or the McCain version "semi-unilateralism."

Creating parallel international organizations composed solely of "acceptable" democratic states would create a 21st century version of a new bi-polar world: A U.S./European Union plus India, Israel, Japan and other democracies lined up against Russia and other authoritarian governments. Democracies banding together to set a new global course has that soft, sweet appeal to our patriotic virtuosity, with every other undemocratic nation outside the McCain's democratic tent left to create their own mischief from the stage of the UN General Assembly, or create their own "anti-democratic" alliances and competing anti-democratic groupings.

What is so strikingly and inherently wrong with McCain's world vision is that America's global leadership will not be restored by ignoring adversaries that, left to their own devices, may further challenge and undermine America's national security.

Democrats should not permit McCain to gain further traction by falsely asserting he is charting a new foreign policy course that will restore America's image, global leadership, and reduce the threat posed by Al Qaeda and its spinoff terror groups. Despite McCain's assertion that he no warrior at heart, he is no prince of peace either. Any national security policy that, at its core, leaves America stranded in Iraq with hundreds of thousands of troops fighting whatever enemy we can conveniently label is a calling card for extremists and ultimately risks creating stronger adversaries. It is nothing more than a continuation of the failed Bush/Cheney/Rice status quo. The surge that McCain is so proud of will, by most impartial assessments, fail to stop the very civil strife that it is designed to prevent.

Sadly, there is nothing in McCain's speech that will convincingly steer our ship of state back on a truly righteous course that will undo the damage that the past seven years of failed national security policies have wrought. McCain is offering America nothing more than more of the same, and more of the same is what got America into this mess in the first place.

New York Times Breaks Long-Rumored Story on Alleged Relationship Between Sen. John McCain and Lobbyist Vicki Iseman.

In December of last year, Matt Drudge reported that John McCain -- who was then in the midst of a surprising comeback in the Republican presidential race -- was desperately trying to convince the New York Times to kill a story about "charges of giving special treatment to a lobbyist," and that McCain had hired a prominent attorney to work on his behalf. For the Arizona senator, who has built a good part of his reputation as a straight talker on his efforts toward campaign finance reform and cleaning up the lobbying culture in Washington, D.C., such a story could theoretically prove quite damaging.

Well, apparently we'll see just what kind of harm the story will do to McCain's campaign, as on Wednesday evening the Times published the article on its Web site. The Times piece, written by a team of reporters, suggests not just special treatment for the lobbyist in question -- Vicki Iseman, 40 -- but the possibility of a romantic relationship between the two, beginning in 1999.

"Convinced the relationship had become romantic, some of [McCain's] top advisers intervened to protect the candidate from himself -- instructing staff members to block [Iseman's] access, privately warning her away and repeatedly confronting him, several people involved in the campaign said on the condition of anonymity," the Times reports.

Both McCain and Iseman deny that their relationship was romantic. But the Times describes McCain's campaign at the time as being very worried about appearances when it came to the two.  In February of 1999, the Times says, Mr. McCain and Ms. Iseman attended a small fund-raising dinner with several clients at the Miami-area home of a cruise-line executive and then flew back to Washington along with a campaign aide on the corporate jet of one of her clients, Paxson Communications.  By then, according to two former McCain associates, some of the senator's advisers had grown so concerned that the relationship had become romantic that they took steps to intervene.

A former campaign adviser described being instructed to keep Ms. Iseman away from the senator at public events, while a Senate aide recalled plans to limit Ms. Iseman's access to his offices.

In interviews, the two former associates said they joined in a series of confrontations with Mr. McCain, warning him that he was risking his campaign and career.  Both said Mr. McCain acknowledged behaving inappropriately and pledged to keep his distance from Ms. Iseman.  The two associates, who said they had become disillusioned with the senator, spoke independently of each other and provided details that were corroborated by others.

The Times also reports on a meeting at D.C.'s Penn Station between Iseman and a former top strategist for McCain, John Weaver.  Weaver told the Times that the conversation between himself and Iseman was about "her conduct and what she allegedly had told people, which made its way back to us," but did not provide further details.  The Times says Iseman confirmed she met with Weaver, but disputed his account of what was said during it.

The Times' report is about more than just romance -- it also raises ethical questions. "In late 1999, Ms. Iseman asked Mr. McCain's staff to send a letter to the commission to help Paxson ... Mr. McCain complied.  He sent two letters to the commission, drawing a rare rebuke for interference from its chairman," the Times says.

Unrelated to Iseman, the letters provoked a small controversy at the time, leading McCain's campaign to disclose four flights McCain had taken on jets owned by Paxson -- but not the flight he'd taken with Iseman.

As for Drudge, as might be expected for the conservative media guru, he's questioning the Times' timing; his banner headline on the article reads in his characteristic all caps manner, "NOW THAT HE'S SECURED NOMINATION: NYT DOWNLOADS ON MCCAIN."

Update: McCain's campaign has responded to the story.   Communications Director Jill Hazelbaker issued a statement that reads:

It is a shame that the New York Times has lowered its standards to engage in a hit and run smear campaign. John McCain has a 24-year record of serving our country with honor and integrity. He has never violated the public trust, never done favors for special interests or lobbyists, and he will not allow a smear campaign to distract from the issues at stake in this election.

Americans are sick and tired of this kind of gutter politics, and there is nothing in this story to suggest that John McCain has ever violated the principles that have guided his career.

Is John McCain Secretly in the pockets of Lobbyists, and What about His Ethics and His Conflict of Interest?

If John McCain and Vicki Iseman were having sex, I say "bully for them." If more consenting adults would have more sex, the world would be a better place. But it's none of our business and does not belong on the front page of The New York Times, regardless of timing. What's more, the sex gets in the way of what is really important about McCain's behavior and why, in so many ways, the man is a complete fraud, however much the MSM may love every last wrinkle on his impressively active seven-decade-old body. For instance, we learn (as summarized by the AP):

In late 1999, McCain twice wrote letters to the Federal Communications Commission on behalf of Florida-based Paxson Communications -- which had paid Iseman as its lobbyist -- urging quick consideration of a proposal to buy a television station license in Pittsburgh. At the time, Paxson's chief executive, Lowell W. "Bud" Paxson, also was a major contributor to McCain's 2000 presidential campaign.

McCain did not urge the FCC commissioners to approve the proposal, but he asked for speedy consideration of the deal, which was pending from two years earlier. In an unusual response, then-FCC Chairman William Kennard complained that McCain's request "comes at a sensitive time in the deliberative process" and "could have procedural and substantive impacts on the commission's deliberations and, thus, on the due process rights of the parties."

McCain wrote the letters after he received more than $20,000 in contributions from Paxson executives and lobbyists. Paxson also lent McCain his company's jet at least four times during 1999 for campaign travel.

From the Times:

Mr. McCain promised, for example, never to fly directly from Washington to Phoenix, his hometown, to avoid the impression of self-interest because he sponsored a law that opened the route nearly a decade ago. But like other lawmakers, he often flew on the corporate jets of business executives seeking his support, including the media moguls Rupert Murdoch, Michael R. Bloomberg and Lowell W. Paxson, Ms. Iseman's client. (Last year he voted to end the practice.)

If you read Robert Bennett and Charlie Black's comments, as well as Drudge, it's clear that the unproved sex allegations will allow McCain to avoid the conflicts-of-interest stories that really ought to be at the heart of this issue. They will also use the Times' misleading reputation as a "liberal newspaper" to give them cover, as will most of the media's never-ending love affair with McCain, which is smartly documented in Ryan Lizza's terrific report here.

In the meantime, ask yourself: Why are these corporations spending hundreds of thousands of dollars of their shareholders' money to ferry McCain around the world? And does McCain think he's entitled to these trips without giving something in return. (And what would the children say about this?)

That New Time Religion- Or Religious Shopping!!!

John McCain grew up Episcopalian. He went to an Episcopalian high school. For at least 15 years, he has been listed as an Episcopalian in authoritative directories such as the Almanac of American Politics and Congressional Quarterly's Politics in America 2008. He told a reporter from McClatchy News Service in June 2007 that he was an Episcopalian.

Suddenly, in September 2007, he's campaigning in South Carolina, the heavily Baptist state where George W. Bush barely managed to stop McCain's presidential campaign 8 years ago. And guess what? McCain tells a reporter "By the way, I'm not Episcopalian. I'm Baptist."

When pressed, he said he's attended the North Phoenix Baptist Church in Arizona for more than 15 years, though he has never been baptized in that church. Now see, that's exactly the problem. Baptism is kind of a big thing in the Baptist Church. (That's how they got the name.) No baptism, not Baptist.

Anyway, details aside, this is one very clear indication of how McCain has changed. Now, he's just another hungry politician, happy to pander if it helps him win. Which eliminates the very reason people were excited about him in 2000 -- his honesty.

McCain "Proud" of Endorsement From John Hagee Who Calls Catholics "The Great Whore."

February 29, 2008 | 02:14 PM (EST)

Tim Russert, in front of millions of Americans on Tuesday night, was quick to force Barack Obama to denounce Louis Farrakahn repeatedly until he worded it to Russert's satisfaction (evidently "unacceptable and reprehensible" didn't quite get the job done). Despite the fact that Obama never sought Farrakhan's endorsement, Russert felt this line of questioning was appropriate given Farrakhan's intolerant remarks about Jews in the past.

Okay, fair enough. But if that's the case, then why isn't he pressing John McCain about radical religious extremist uber-nut John Hagee?

Mr. McCain, who has been on a steady search for support among conservative and evangelical leaders who have long distrusted him, said he was "very honored'' by Mr. Hagee's endorsement. Asked about Mr. Hagee's extensive writings on Armageddon and about what one questioner said was Mr. Hagee's belief that the anti-Christ will be the head of the European Union, Mr. McCain responded that "all I can tell you is that I am very proud to have Pastor John Hagee's support.''

Notice the "been on a steady search" part. If Obama had actively sought Farrakhan's endorsement, his campaign would be over. McCain is downright proud of this Hagee endorsement.

Hagee was, if you'll remember, the guy who said that Hurricaine Katrina was God's revenge for a gay pride parade. He thinks war with Iran is essential so as to bring about Armageddon (when you can say bye-bye to the Jews). But as Glenn Greenwald says, he's a white Christian evangelical bigot, and therefore entitled to respect from the pundit class:

White evangelical Ministers are free to advocate American wars based on Biblical mandates, rant hatefully against Islam, and argue that natural disasters occur because God hates gay people. They are still fit for good company, an important and cherished part of our mainstream American political system. The entire GOP establishment is permitted actively to lavish them with praise and court their support without the slightest backlash or controversy. Both George Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert sent formal greetings to the 2006 gathering of Hagee's group.

By contrast, black Muslim ministers like Farrakhan, or even black Christian ministers like Rev. Jeremiah Wright, are held with deep suspicion, even contempt. McCain is free to hug and praise the Rev. Hagees of the world, but Obama is required to prove over and over and over and over that he does not share the more extreme views of black Ministers.

How come Tim Russert -- in all the times he sits and chats with Lieberman, McCain and various high Bush officials -- never reads all of the inflammatory, disgusting, crazed "Rapture-is-Coming/ All-Jews-will-Burn/ Kill-All-Muslims/ Hurricanes-are-Punishment-against-Gays" pronouncements from John Hagee and James Dobson and Pat Robertson and demand that John McCain and George Bush and Joe Lieberman "denounce" those views and "reject" their support? What's the difference, exactly?

Enter...Bill Donahue.

Yes, Mr. Catholic League/Chocolate Jesus himself, who is (justifiably) miffed that Hagee refers to Catholics as "'The Great Whore,' an 'apostate church,' the 'anti-Christ,' and a 'false cult system.' Glenn Greenwald interviewed him yesterday:

Donohue was particularly insistent that McCain's behavior would severely harm his standing with Catholic voters -- the group of voters which Karl Rove maintains is the key group for enabling the GOP to win: "This thing seems to be to be blowing up in his face. McCain has stepped in it big time."

It's significant that this is not a partisan issue, both sides of the political spectrum are in agreement that McCain should be forced to account for this. Even the National Review is applauding Glenn Greenwald's efforts on this front.

It's going to be hard for Russert to garner an audience to address this matter that is quite as big as he did in a Presidential debate, so I'm going to make a suggestion here that I never thought I would...

(*sharp intake of breath*)

...he needs to have Bill Donohue on Meet the Press.

Fair is fair, right?

Founding Member of the Keating Five

Back in the old days, defendants in famous trials got numbers -- the Chicago Eight, the Gang of Four, the Dave Clark Five, the Daytona 500. McCain was one of the "Keating Five," congressmen investigated on ethics charges for strenuously helping convicted racketeer Charles Keating after he gave them large campaign contributions and vacation trips.

Charles Keating was convicted of racketeering and fraud in both state and federal court after his Lincoln Savings & Loan collapsed, costing the taxpayers $3.4 billion. His convictions were overturned on technicalities; for example, the federal conviction was overturned because jurors had heard about his state conviction, and his state charges because Judge Lance Ito (yes, that judge) screwed up jury instructions. Neither court cleared him, and he faces new trials in both courts.)

Though he was not convicted of anything, McCain intervened on behalf of Charles Keating after Keating gave McCain at least $112,00 in contributions. In the mid-1980s, McCain made at least 9 trips on Keating's airplanes, and 3 of those were to Keating's luxurious retreat in the Bahamas. McCain's wife and father-in-law also were the largest investors (at $350,000) in a Keating shopping center; the Phoenix New Times called it a "sweetheart deal."

Mafia ties:

In 1995, McCain sent birthday regards, and regrets for not attending, to Joseph "Joe Bananas" Bonano, the head of the New York Bonano crime family, who had retired to Arizona. Another politician to send regrets was Governor Fife Symington, who has since been kicked out of office and convicted of 7 felonies relating to fraud and extortion.

Family Problems

McCain has a reputation as a politician who has difficulty keeping his pants zipped, according to Republican sources. He acknowledges that his adultery broke up his first marriage. His second wife Cindy, the daughter of a wealthy Budweiser beer distributor, was addicted to prescription narcotics and even stole hard drugs from a medical charity that she ran. McCain acknowledges that she didn't want him to run, and only agreed once he promised that she doesn't have to go to New Hampshire or Iowa.


- Leonardo DiCaprio is "an androgynous wimp." -- McCain.

- "The thought of [McCain] being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me." -- Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi, who has known McCain for 35 years.


"McCain Says He's Been Baptist For Years", by Bruce Smith, The Associated Press, September 12, 2007

"Candidates invite questions about their faith", by Stephen Dinan, Washington Times, September 18, 2007

"The Pampered Politician", by Amy Silverman, The Phoenix New Times, May 15, 1997

"See John Run Off at the Mouth", Phoenix New Times, October 1, 1998

"Opiate for the Mrs.", Phoenix New Times, September 8, 1994

"Flashes: What's Up, Murdoch?", Phoenix New Times, September 17, 1998

the US Veteran's Dispatch web site.

"Symington Gets Slammer", Phoenix New Times, February 2, 1998

Election 98: Arizona Governor, Fox News web site, 1998 coverage (no longer on web)

"Keating Gets New Trial", CNNfn Web Site, December 2, 1996

"No More Wagging,", (editorial) by Maureen Dowd, The New York Times, January 3, 1999

"John McCain, rock-and-roll dad", by Andrew Essex, The New Yorker Magazine, December 6, 1999 p52

"Unmasking Darth McCain", by William Cleeland, The Daily Illini, March 9, 2001

"Famed McCain Temper is Tamed", By Michael Kranish Boston Globe, January 27, 2008


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