"Why we fight" director chronicles Straight Talk Train Wreck

Eugene Jarecki has detailed his experiences with; and assessment of - dealing with John McCain on the Huffington Post today. He is the director of "Why We Fight", a film that I posted already on this blog.  I highly recommend watching it, if you have not already done so.

Mr. Jarecki was granted an interview on camera with Sen. McCain for his opinions on Defense spending and corruption.  In an all-too-familiar fashion, Sen. McCain spoke of the need for accountability, then his staff scrambled to retract his words for fear of upsetting lobbyists.

(Cross-posted at The National Gadfly.

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Maverick DIVA Goes Rogue! Palin vs McCain UPDATED

drip, drip, drip...  

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It seems the "Team of Mavericks" is having more than a little trouble back in the stables.  As reported by Ben Smith, with lots of juicy not-for-attribution quotes in today's Politico, mini-maverick Sarah Palin has "lost confidence in most of the people in the plane and has begin to go rogue"  This, it appears, is what you get when you do not vet.

Full text at http://www.politico.com/news/stories/100 8/14929.html Here are a few lowlights:

Four Republicans close to Palin said she will disregard the advice of the former Bush aides who handle her

Even as John McCain and Sarah Palin scramble to close the gap in the final days of the 2008 election, stirrings of a Palin insurgency are complicating the campaign's already-tense internal dynamics.

Four Republicans close to Palin said she has decided increasingly to disregard the advice of the former Bush aides tasked to handle her, creating occasionally tense situations as she travels the country with them. Those Palin supporters, inside the campaign and out, said Palin blames her handlers for a botched rollout and a tarnished public image -- even as others in McCain's camp blame the pick of the relatively inexperienced Alaska governor, and her public performance, for McCain's decline.

"She's lost confidence in most of the people on the plane," said a senior Republican who speaks to Palin, referring to her campaign jet. He said Palin had begun to "go rogue" in some of her public pronouncements and decisions.

"I think she'd like to go more rogue,"he said.

- snip -

"These people are going to try and shred her after the campaign to divert blame from themselves," a McCain insider said, referring to McCain's chief strategist, Steve Schmidt, and to Nicolle Wallace, a former Bush aide who has taken a lead role in Palin's campaign. Palin's partisans blame Wallace, in particular, for Palin's avoiding of the media for days and then giving a high-stakes interview to CBS News' Katie Couric, whose sometimes painful content the campaign allowed to be parceled out over a week.

More agony after the bump.

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McCain / Palin ruined the 'Maverick' brand

Maverick used to mean finding a novel way to solve a problem.  Now, it means ignoring the law, abandoning ethics and screwing everyone to get your way.

I have reached the point now, where if I ever hear someone use the word 'maverick' again, I may resort to uncontrolled sobbing or projectile vomiting.

( Cross-posted at The National Gadfly )

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John McCain, Maverick or Marauder?

John McCain, Maverick or Marauder?
                                                                                                                                  63,000 Jobs Lost in a Month `Not Terrible'.  On 63,000 jobs slashed from payrolls in February, McCain said the "unemployment figures are...not terrible." According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the United States lost 260,000 jobs in 2008 as of April. (McCain Town Hall, Atlanta, 3/7/08; The Employment Situation: April 2008, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 5/2/08)      Impostor: One who deceives under an assumed identity.

' We Are Better Off Than Eight Years Ago'. While President Bush has been in office, "there's been great progress economically," McCain said. ("Money & Politics," Bloomberg, 4/17/08)
The Truth: For the first time in history of data going back to 1947, middle-income families were left no better off at the end of this business cycle in 2007 than they were in 2000. The State of Working America 2008/2009 report  

Top 1 percent of U.S. Households have a minimum net worth of 15 million. 2004, year  most recent data available
30 percent of U.S. Households have a net worth less than $10,000.
16-1/2 percent  to 17% have zero or negative net worth.

' McCain on Children's Healthcare'.  
The Truth:  McCain voted against bills to improve children's healthcare as recent as October 31, 2007.
McCain Voted To Cut, Eliminate, Restrict Health Insurance Coverage for Low Income Children and Pregnant Mothers At Least SIX Times.
McCain Opposed Extending Coverage To Uninsured Children. . The motion passed 62-33. [H.R. 3963, Vote #401, 10/31/07]
McCain Opposed Reauthorizing SCHIP And Providing Insurance For Millions Of Uninsured Children.  [H.R. 976, Vote #307, 8/2/07; Knight Ridder, 8/2/07]

'McCain on Healthcare for the Poor, the Handicapped, Seniors'.
The Truth: At least 25 times as a senator, John McCain has voted against bills intended to help Americans that are under-insured,  handicapped, as well as Medicare and Medicaid recipients.

'Mc Cain on Energy and Oil'.  
The Truth:
Voted NO on reducing oil usage by 40% by 2025. The amendment seeks to reduce usage by 7.6 million barrels of oil a day, out of a total usage of 20 million barrels of oil a day. [Energy Policy Act of 2005; Bill S.Amdt. 784 to H.R. 6 ; vote number 2005-140 on Jun 16, 2005; Source: ontheissues.org]

MISSED vote repealing tax breaks for oil companies. In 2007, McCain was the ONLY senator to miss a vote on the energy bill repealing tax subsidies for oil companies. [H.R. 6, Vote #425, 12/13/07; Source: aflcio.org]

Voted NO to impose a windfall profits tax for oil companies and a tax rebate for working families. Amendment would impose a temporary windfall profits tax on oil companies and use the proceeds to provide nonrefundable tax credits to working families. [S.Amdt. 2635, Vote# 341, 11/17/05; S.Amdt. 2587, Vote #331, 11/17/05; Source: aflcio.org]

Voted NO to elminate tax breaks for oil and natural gas companies. Amendment would eliminate tax breaks for oil and natural gas companies related to depletion and drilling costs. [S.Amdt. 2782/HR. 776, Vote #159, 7/29/92; Source: aflcio.org]
'McCain on Deregulation.'
 The Truth:
Ten years ago, McCain  strongly supported legislation to deregulate the banking and insurance industries.

McCain now says:  "Regulation is certainly needed to end the "reckless conduct, corruption and unbridled greed" on Wall Street.of the American International Group (AIG), the nation's largest insurance company, and stabilize a tumultuous Wall Street
McCain, additionally says: "Government has a clear responsibility to act in defense of the public interest, and that's exactly what I intend to do.  In my administration, we're going to hold people on Wall Street responsible. And we're going to enact and enforce reforms to make sure that these outrages never happen in the first place."
 In 1989, McCain vigorously supported Sen. Phil Gramm of  Texas in passing the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act aimed to make our financial institutions more competitive by removing the Depression-era protections between banking, investment and insurance companies.
Today, former Senator Phil Gramm is an economic adviser to McCain's campaign.

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Must-Read: How McCain Lost Me - Elizabeth Drew

McCain's recent conduct of his campaign - his willingness to lie repeatedly (including in his acceptance speech) and to play Russian roulette with the vice-presidency, in order to fulfill his long-held ambition - has reinforced my earlier, and growing, sense that John McCain is not a principled man.

In fact, it's not clear who he is.

That's the takeaway from the biting essay by Elizabeth Drew, author of the pro-McCain book, Citizen McCain (Simon & Schuster, 2002)

From HOW JOHN McCAIN LOST MEhttp://www.politico.com/news/stories/090 8/13541.html

Now let's take a look Drew's painful journey of discovery.  It begins with the familiar tale of the honorable and principled man we knew of - if only by way of legend. Bear with me as we briefly revisit the hoary old myth of John McCain:

I have been a longtime admirer of John McCain. During the 2000 Republican presidential primaries I publicly defended McCain against the pro-Bush Republicans' whisper campaign that he was too unstable to be president (aware though I was that he had a temper). Two years later I published a positive book about him, "Citizen McCain."

I admired John McCain as a man of principle and honor. He had become emblematic of someone who spoke his mind, voted his conscience, and demonstrated courage in bucking his own party and fighting for what he believed in. He gained a well-deserved reputation as a maverick. He was seen as taking principled positions on such issues as tax equity (opposing the newly elected Bush's tax cut), fighting political corruption, and, later, taking on the Bush administration on torture. He came off as a man of decency. He took political risks.

Having emerged, ironically, from his bitter 2000 primary fight against Bush as an immensely popular figure, he set out to be a new force in American politics. He decided to form and lead a centrist movement, believing that that was where the country was and needed leadership. He went against the grain of his party on the environment, patients' bill of rights, and, of course, campaign finance reform.

The tide turns after the bump.

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