Moving the Goalposts

May 15th, 2008

Today, John McCain laid out his vision for America under his administration. On the most burning question occupying the minds of Americans, he said:

“By January 2013, America has welcomed home most of the servicemen and women who have sacrificed terribly so that America might be secure in her freedom.  The Iraq war has been won.”

At this point, it should be clear McCain has no idea what he’s talking about when it comes to Iraq. Over the last five years, McCain has said the war is almost over, the war will last 100 years, and everything in between. Here’s the timeline, in his own words:

April 9th, 2003 on ABC:

“It’s clear that the end is very much in sight…”

(putting the end of the war within months)

February 25th, 2004 on MSNBC:

“Listen, my friend, we’re going to have to be there for five or six years.”

(putting the end of the war in 2009 or 2010)

February 5th, 2005 on CBS:

“I would think that it’s going to be another year to a year and a half.”

(putting the end of the war in 2006 or 2007)

June 19th, 2005 on NBC:

“I think we should tell people it’s not going to be short - I’d rather say two or three years.”

(putting the end of the war in 2007 or 2008)

December 4th, 2005 on NBC:

“I think that it’s very possible within the next year or two…”

(putting the end of the war in 2006 or 2007)

March 13th, 2007 on NBC:

“I don’t have a date.”

(giving no ideas on when the war will end)

January 3rd, 2008 at a town hall meeting in Concord, NH:

“Make it a hundred.  We’ve been in South Korea, we’ve been in Japan for 60 years, we’ve been in South Korea for 50 years or so.  That’d be fine with me as long as Americans are not being injured, or harmed, or wounded, or killed.  That’s fine with me, I hope it would be fine with you.”

(putting the end of the war in 2108)

January 26th, 2008 at a town hall meeting in Sun City, FL:

“I’ve got to tell you that we’re going to be in this struggle for the rest of the century…”

(putting the end of the war in 2100)

Clearly, John McCain has no idea when this war will end. He changes his predictions based on the headlines and the political winds at the time.

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John McCain, fire the lobbyists!

May 13th, 2008

Campaign Money Watch has a new petition up:

John McCain’s campaign relies on well-heeled Washington lobbyists to run and raise money for his White House bid. In fact, he’s relying on at least 112 lobbyists as staff or fundraisers, including at least ten who represent brutal dictators, human rights abusers, and other unsavory foreign interests.

They are calling on John McCain to fire three lobbyists in particular: Charlie Black (McCain’s senior counsel and spokesman), Tom Loeffler (McCain’s national co-chairman), and Peter Madigan (a leading fundraiser).

Senator McCain has previously stated, “I will demand that people serve their country first and the special interests second.” Yet, the three lobbyists listed above together have taken in a whopping $16 million to advocate on behalf of foreign governments, often from dictators like Philippines’ Ferdinand Marcos, Mobuto Sese Seko of Zaire, Nigeria’ Ibrahim Babangida, and Angolan rebel and “classical terrorist” Jonas Savimbi. They have also worked for the repressive regimes of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. 

There is no separation between campaign work and lobbying in McCain’s world. Charlie Black has made lobbying calls from onboard John McCain’s campaign bus, the Straight Talk Express. Tom Loeffler, who set up high level meetings between Saudi Arabia and White House officials like Karl Rove and George Bush, has said he will continue to handle “all the work” for the lobbying firm he founded while working on the McCain campaign. Saudi Arabia has played a key role in fostering Islamic terrorism and has received over $40 billion in U.S. weapons over the last few years.

All this begs the question: Who do the people who run the McCain campaign really serve - the United States of America or their foreign paymasters?

John McCain must fire the lobbyists working for his campaign to assure the American people he will fight for their interests above all others, not for the interests of the highest bidder.

If you agree, sign the petition and ask McCain to fire the lobbyists!

McCain’s Spiritual Advisors Are Un-American

May 8th, 2008

Have a quick look at Senator John McCain’s spiritual guide, Rod Parsley:

Islam is a “false religion?” America “was founded with the intention of seeing this false religion destroyed?”

The first European settlers in America came driven by a search for religious freedom. They were fleeing religious persecution - fleeing those who would have seen their religion destroyed. The first phrase of the first line of the first amendment to the Constitution specifically enshrines religious freedom as arguably the top American freedom to be upheld and protected at all costs.

The religious liberty granted by the power of the Constitution is what America is all about. And yet, John McCain, a politician who consistently hypes his “courageous service” to a country he supposedly holds dear, has chosen this man, Rod Parsley, as a “spiritual guide.”

It’s hard to agree that Senator John McCain’s commitment to this country is as strong as he makes it out to be when he openly courts and accepts the guidance of an un-American religious leader like Rod Parsely. 

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John McCain on Judges - More of the same…

May 7th, 2008

Today at Wake Forest University, John McCain laid out his theory on Supreme Court Justice appointments:

I will look for accomplished men and women with a proven record of excellence in the law, and a proven commitment to judicial restraint. I will look for people in the cast of John Roberts, Samuel Alito, and my friend the late William Rehnquist — jurists of the highest caliber who know their own minds, and know the law, and know the difference. My nominees will understand that there are clear limits to the scope of judicial power, and clear limits to the scope of federal power.

McCain has said he will do more than just appoint judges “in the cast of” Roberts and Alito, he has said he wants to appoint “clones of Alito and Roberts.” 

Continuing on, McCain uttered something many may find familiar:

Federal courts are charged with applying the Constitution and laws of our country to each case at hand. There is great honor in this responsibility, and honor is the first thing to go when courts abuse their power. The moral authority of our judiciary depends on judicial self-restraint, but this authority quickly vanishes when a court presumes to make law instead of apply it. A court is hardly competent to check the abuses of other branches of government when it cannot even control itself.

Why familiar? In a presidential debate in 2000, George Bush said something remarkably similar:

“I’m the only one on the stage who’s appointed judges,” Bush said. ”And my judges strictly interpret the Constitution. And that’s what I hope all of us would do when we appoint judges, to put people on the bench that strictly interpret the Constitution and do not use the bench as a place from which to legislate.”

John McCain’s supports the Bush appointed justices Roberts and Alito, he wants to appoint “clones” of Roberts and Alito, and he has the same theory about “activist” judges that Bush holds.

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John McCain and His Missing Records

May 5th, 2008

The New York Times laid into John McCain this Sunday for failing to release almost any relevant information about his health or his wealth:

Senator John McCain is 71 years old, a survivor of an aggressive form of skin cancer. If elected, he would be the oldest man to become president.

These factors are not disqualifying, but they impose on Mr. McCain a larger duty than usual to provide detailed, timely disclosure about his health. So far, he has failed to meet this obligation to voters.

The Times goes on to end their editorial with the line, “The extent of a candidate’s candor is a good measure of how candid he or she will be in the White House.”

They have a point.

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Daily McCain - The Bush Economy and Mission Accomplished

May 2nd, 2008

This is the first in a daily series keeping track of prominent threads in the media coverage of John McCain. Each post will try and focus on the topics that are most likely to be featured highly in that day’s media coverage. Comments and links to other news sources are welcome!

The economy that President Bush helped fashion continues to free fall, with 20,000 jobs lost in April. Combined with the news of sluggish GDP growth and the continuing mortgage crisis, it’s clear that the outlook for Americans heading into the summer is troubling.

How will John McCain help our economy? His answer isn’t really clear. While McCain has proposed a huge swath of tax cuts, it is unclear how he would pay for them:

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Welcome to Progressive Media USA

April 28th, 2008

Welcome to Progressive Media USA, your home for pushback against the right-wing media machine!

For too long, right-wing messages have gotten a free ride in America’s media landscape. The press consistently fails to ask hard questions about failing conservative policies and leaders, often showing little regard for balance, fairness, accuracy, or truth. Progressive Media USA exists to combat this troubling trend.

Progressive Media USA is a new non-profit working to inform you about the risks of conservative policies and leaders by ensuring that progressive voices are heard in the public debate. We will work tirelessly to make sure you know the truth, fact-checking conservative policies and accusations, reporting and researching progressive ideas, and providing a platform for prominent progressive voices to be heard loudly and clearly.

Working with folks like you, we will ensure progressive ideas are heard throughout America.

I invite you to take a look around. In the coming weeks, more of our work will be showing up online right here, but in the meantime, you can check out our latest television advertisement tying together John McCain and George Bush’s economic policies.

Or you can watch our one of our web ads, “Pop-Up DoubleTalk” which we just released last week!

After you’ve taken a moment to get comfortable, leave us a comment and let us know what you’d like to see from Progressive Media USA in the coming months.

P.S. Please take a moment to sign up for our email list so we can keep you informed as to what we’re doing!