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John McCain On The Issues

The War In Iraq
It was at a town hall meeting in Derry, New Hampshire back in January of 2008 that John McCain first uttered his willingness for the United States military to stay in Iraq for “maybe a hundred years” and that such a scenario “would be fine with me.” When asked to clarify his statement afterward by reporter David Corn, McCain not only repeated his comment but added that U.S. troops could stay in Iraq for “a thousand years” or “a million years,” as far as he was concerned, comparing the scenario with the presence of American troops in South Korea, Japan, Europe and elsewhere. Lest one think that these comments were taken out of context or in one of the Senator’s “senior moments”, it should be pointed out that Senator McCain was accompanied on the stage throughout this presentation by his coach and political sidekick, Senator Joseph Lieberman. No corrections were whispered into his ear.

Of course, all of this is elementary, since McCain later suggested, in a May 2008 town hall event in Colorado, that his administration’s energy policy will eliminate our dependence on foreign oil and make it unnecessary to ever invade the Middle East again. That’s right, he (perhaps accidentally) admitted that our sons and daughters were dying in Iraq because of oil. His words were, “My friends, I will have an energy policy that we will be talking about, which will eliminate our dependence on oil from the Middle East that will - that will then prevent us - that will prevent us from having ever to send our young men and women into conflict again in the Middle East.”

Later in the day, McCain clarified his comments with a reporter from the Associated Press. He said, “We didn’t want him (Saddam Hussein) to have control over the oil, and that part of the world is critical to us because of our dependency on foreign oil, and it’s more important than any other part of the world.” McCain continued, “By eliminating our dependency on foreign oil, we will not have to have our national security threatened by a cut off of that oil. Because we will be dependent, because we won’t be dependent, we will no longer be dependent on foreign oil.” All that said, McCain reiterated that he supported the War in Iraq because he “believed that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and he was going to use them.”

Why are we really in Iraq, Senator McCain? I guess this is what you call the “Straight Talk Express”.
On Foreign Policy & Diplomacy
In a statement made in Israel back in March, McCain said that said it was “common knowledge and has been reported in the media that al-Qaeda is going back into Iran and receiving training and are coming back into Iraq from Iran, that’s well known. And it’s unfortunate.” Luckily for McCain, his sidekick and foreign policy czar, Senator Joseph Lieberman, was on hand to correct McCain, whispering in McCain’s ear that it was Shiite extremists, not Sunni al-Qaeda, that was going to predominantly Shiite Iran. Never one to admit a mistake, in an official statement from the McCain campaign on the 5th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, McCain wrote: “Today in Iraq, America and our allies stand on the precipice of winning a major victory against radical Islamic extremism. The security gains over the past year have been dramatic and undeniable. Al Qaeda and Shia extremists -- with support from external powers such as Iran -- are on the run but not defeated.”

This is the same man who sings his “Bomb, bomb, bomb ... bomb, bomb Iran” policy to the tune of The Beach Boys’ “Barbara Ann”, and, in reference to Russian Prime Minister (and former President) Vladimir Putin, likes to say, “When I look into Putin’s eyes, I see only three things -- a K, a G and a B.”

”In the words of fellow Republican Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi, who has known Senator John McCain for more than three decades but who endorsed Mitt Romney for president during the 2008 primaries, “The thought of his (McCain’s) being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me.” Another Republican Senator, Charles Grassley of Iowa, said in an interview that he was so upset by a McCain tirade that he didn’t speak to him for two years. If McCain’s colleagues from within his own party question his temperament, how can we expect him to negotiate with world leaders with whom he does not agree?

Hopefully the American electorate will see John McCain as just a bit too trigger-happy for the twenty-first century.
On the Economy
John McCain said it best himself in an interview with the Wall Street Journal on November 25, 2005: “I’m going to be honest: I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues. I still need to be educated.” When later questioned about this statement on Meet the Press, McCain told the late Tim Russert, “Actually, I don't know where you got that quote from. I’m very well-versed in economics.” Then, on December 18, 2007, McCain told reporters, “The issue of economics is something that I’ve really never understood as well as I should. I understand the basics, the fundamentals, the vision, all that kind of stuff.” Perhaps the best summation of John McCain’s understanding of the economy is when he said, in April 2008, that “a lot of our [economic] problems are, as you know, psychological.”

Although one of the richest members of a Senate filled with millionaires, John McCain says the solution to the housing crisis is for people facing foreclosure to get a “second job” and skip their vacations. Easy for him to suggest. He can vacation at any of the 10 homes, ranches, condominiums, and lofts owned with wife, Cindy, at a total estimated value of a tidy $13,823,269.00. In fact, in an interview with Politico on August 20, 2008, McCain said that he “was uncertain how many houses (he) and (his) wife, Cindy, own.” In fact, Politico reports that the McCains increased their budget for household employees from $184,000 in 2006 to $273,000 in 2007, according to John McCain’s tax returns. No, that is not a misprint. John and Cindy McCain spend more on hired hands to maintain their houses than the current median home sales prices in 41 out of 50 (predominantly “red”) states. Isn’t that special for hard-working middle-class Americans who are struggling to make their mortgage payments?

Running mate Mitt Romney, on the other hand, is obviously a man of more “modest” means, only owning three homes. One is located in Belmont, MA (his door to elected office in Massachusetts); another on Lake Winnipesaukee in Wolfeboro, NH (his door to the New Hampshire primary); and the third a ski house in Deer Valley, UT (his door to both the Winter Olympics and Mormonism). Romney’s servants are less expensive than McCain’s, perhaps because he was more effective at hiring the least expensive illegal aliens.

In a meeting with reporters in Denver on August 26th, Romney stated, “Because John McCain and his wife own four homes that they use for their personal living quarters, that that somehow means he’s detached from America, is simply wrong and — I think — offensive.” Asked how many homes he owns, Romney avoided a direct answer to the question by saying, “I have one less than John Kerry has.” Let’s see what we’ve learned from Mitt: First, when counting the number of McCain homes, we should not include condominiums or properties that the McCains lease out to others or that house family members. Second, Mitt thinks that the current election has something to do with John Kerry. Third, Mitt is way too easily offended. Fourth, both John McCain and Mitt Romney are obviously just “regular guys”. (Regular guys in the Multimillionaires Club.)

Critics have pointed out that Senator McCain is obviously no more of a psychologist or human resources executive than he is an economist. Romney is simply shrewd.
On Energy and the Environment
John McCain, in a speech delivered in “the oil capital of America”, Houston, Texas, has called for an end to the 27-year ban on offshore oil drilling. He presented this pandering proposal as part of his solution for energy independence and to combat gasoline prices of over $4.00 per gallon by “breaking our strategic dependence on oil.” He added that it is time to exploit the “21 billion barrels of proven oil reserves” that are off the coast of America, even if lifting the ban would be in opposition to the positions of the Republican governors of the two states (California and Florida) that would be the most directly affected* … and even if the drilling ran the risk of environmental destruction and destroying the tourism industries in the two states. (After all, there will be no tourism industry if nobody can afford to drive or fly because of the high price of fuel.)

“It’s safe enough these days that not even Hurricanes Katrina and Rita could cause significant spillage from the battered rigs off the coasts of New Orleans and Houston,” said Mr. McCain. “Yet, for reasons that become less convincing with every rise in the price of foreign oil, the federal government discourages offshore production. I believe it is time to lift these restrictions and to put our own reserves to use.” McCain’s opponent, Senator Barack Obama responded, “His decision to completely change his position and tell a group of Houston oil executives exactly what they wanted to hear today was the same Washington politics that has prevented us from achieving energy independence for decades.”

The proposal is consistent with Senator McCain’s voting record, where he has missed votes on toughening fuel economy standards and has opposed tax breaks intended to encourage alternative energy. Although McCain likes to say that he opposes drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, he has even voted to support drilling in the ANWR as recently as in 2005. Like Bush, McCain favors the development of more nuclear power and has voted against taxes on windfall oil profits, but says that he is “angry at the oil companies” … very tough language to be used in reference to his friends and contributors. On June 18, 2008, McCain called for the construction of 45 new nuclear power plants in the United States by the year 2030. As a slight departure from Bush, at least McCain knows how to pronounce the word "nuclear", although he did refer to the plants as "planets" in his speech.

No, Senator McCain, drilling for more oil will feed, not break, our dependence. Would you present that same logic to drug addicts, suggesting that one more fix would cure their addictions?

Is it any surprise that the highly respected League of Conservation Voters gave John McCain a rating of zero for 2007’s First Session of the 110th Congress after he was absent for all 15 votes on critical environmental legislation.

* Update: On June 18, 2008, Florida Governor Bill Crist caved in to political pressure and is now in favor of drilling off the Gulf coast of Florida. Way to go, Bill!
The “Age” Issue
Let’s address the age issue. Many people express concern over John McCain’s age. This is utter nonsense. Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, both fine Republican presidents, were 93 years old at their times of death. Even Senator McCain’s economic role model (and another fine Republican president), Herbert Hoover, was 90 years old at his time of death. If those facts do not put to rest any concerns over John McCain’s age, keep in mind that all Republican candidates are divinely chosen (not just Mike Huckabee and George Bush). Moses did not receive the Ten Commandments and part the Red Sea until he embarked upon a new career at the age of 80 (8 years older than Senator McCain’s current age), and Moses lived until the age of 120 ... although the last 12 years were spent in a rest home in what is now Florida.

“Usually, people watch my performance to see if I need a drool cup, or stumble around, or anything like that,” McCain told a rally of seniors in Palm Beach, Florida. “Usually, people just come and watch me, and I try to show them the energy and vigor that I’m capable of.” Isn’t that reassuring?
... Usually Both Sides of the Issues!

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