realthog: (Default)

. . . he probably has difficulty knowing what honesty, truth and integrity actually are, mixing with the kind of people he mixes with. That would perhaps explain the incessant string of lies and smears concerning Barack Obama that has erupted from his mouth every time he's opened it during this campaign. I don't know that this excuses him, but it does at least explain why an elderly codger finds it hard to recognize why others place a certain value on honour.

Take this latest antic by McCain's buddy Rush Limbaugh, for example, as reported today by Media Matters for America. Their summary reads:

Rush Limbaugh played an audio clip "montage" from Charlie Rose's interview of Tom Brokaw, in which Limbaugh asserted that Rose and Brokaw were "trying to figure out who Obama is." In fact, Limbaugh heavily edited the clip, at one point falsely suggesting that Brokaw expressed the opinion that "there's a lot about him [Obama] that we don't know," when in fact Brokaw attributed that assertion to "conservative commentators."

There's lots more crookedness from Limbaugh in his distortion of the interview; the full Media Matters report on it is worth a read.

And I guess these are the standards McCain believes he's supposed to adhere to. No wonder he gets "the truth thing" wrong so repeatedly.

It can't help that he sees so much of Sarah Palin, either.

realthog: (Default)


Sarah Palin knows a scam when she sees one:

Where does a lot of that earmark money end up anyway? […] You've heard about some of these pet projects, they really don't make a whole lot of sense, and sometimes these dollars go to projects that have little or nothing to do with the public good. Things like fruit fly research in Paris, France. I kid you not.

Fruit flies? Gregor Mendel? Ring a bell, anyone?

I came across this new piece of Palin dimwittery at the blog Adaptive Complexity, which linked me to a 2005 paper in Science by Stanley Fields and Mark Johnston, "Whither Model Organism Research?" This starts:

Almost everything we know about the fundamental properties of living cells—how they grow and divide, how they express their genetic information, and how they use and store energy—has come from the study of model organisms. These simple creatures traditionally include the bacterium Escherichia coli and its bacteriophage viruses, bakers’ yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans, the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, and the mouse Mus musculus, each a representative of the diversity of life.

As one might expect. P.Z. Myers, that waspish champion of rationalism, has something piquant to say on the matter in his Pharyngula blog:

This idiot woman, this blind, shortsighted ignoramus, this pretentious clod, mocks basic research and the international research community. You damn well better believe that there is research going on in animal models — what does she expect, that scientists should mutagenize human mothers and chop up baby brains for this work? — and countries like France and Germany and England and Canada and China and India and others are all respected participants in these efforts.

Yes, scientists work on fruit flies. Some of the most powerful tools in genetics and molecular biology are available in fruit flies, and these are animals that are particularly amenable to experimentation. Molecular genetics has revealed that humans share key molecules, the basic developmental toolkit, with all other animals, thanks to our shared evolutionary heritage (something else the wackaloon from Wasilla denies), and that we can use these other organisms to probe the fundamental mechanisms that underlie core processes in the formation of the nervous system — precisely the phenomena Palin claims are so important.

This is where the Republican party has ended up: supporting an ignorant buffoon who believes in the End Times and speaking in tongues while deriding some of the best and most successful strategies for scientific research. In this next election, we've got to choose between the 21st century rationalism and Dark Age inanity. It ought to be an easy choice.

He's right: it ought to be . . . were it not for the fact that the baying mobs who cheer Palin's every last wink and flirt and call "Off with his head!" at mention of Obama's "Arab" name know even less about basic science than they do about common decency. As I noted elsewhere, McCain, clearly as ignorant as Palin (or dishonestly operating on the principle that his supporters are), is attacking Obama's vote for a "wasteful" $3 million earmark to pay for a planetarium projector. Of course, $3 million could pay for Sarah Palin's campaign wardrobe a whole whopping 20 times over . . . so you really have a choice between educating hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of children (and adults) or buying a mountain of clothing and accoutrements for a narcissist so lacking in said education that she believes humans and dinosaurs coexisted . . . and has obviously never heard of the humble fruit fly's role in the study of genetics.

Or perhaps you have the choice between the $3 million planetarium projector and a tiny fraction of 1 per cent of the cost of one of those stupid weapons of mass destruction McCain himself regards as a perfectly sensible expenditure: after all, who wouldn't think it essential to be able to wreak horrendous carnage on Third World civilian populations on whim?

Me, I'd like to vote for the planetarium, please . . . and the fruit fly research.


 


realthog: (Default)
 

Jamison Foser's weekly columns for Media Matters for America are almost without exception essential reading, to the point where I can't recall there ever having been a dud -- Fridays here at Snarl Towers would be significantly poorer without them -- but today's, called "Loose Ends" and (unusually) covering a multiplicity of media imbecilities related to the election campaign rather than just one, should be pinned up in every newsroom in the land.

I'd love to quote the whole thing, but obviously can't (and shouldn't). Here's the first segment, discussing one of the most astonishing hypocrisies of the campaign:

Finally, for the first time this year, a prominent media figure asked John McCain about his relationship with G. Gordon Liddy last night.

The lack of media attention to the Liddy-McCain relationship is one of the clearest double standards in recent political history. McCain and the news media have devoted an extraordinary amount of attention to Barack Obama's ties to Bill Ayers, yet until last night, McCain hadn't been asked a single question* about his ties to Liddy, a convicted felon who has instructed his listeners on how best to shoot law-enforcement agents. Liddy has held a fundraiser for McCain at his home and describes the Arizona senator as an "old friend"; McCain has said he is "proud" of Liddy.

Imagine for a moment that Barack Obama had said he was "proud" of an "old friend" who urged people to shoot law-enforcement agents in the head. Do you think maybe he would have been asked a question or three about it? Do you think maybe there would have been more than the occasional passing mention in the news of the relationship? Of course there would have been.

Yet McCain hasn't been questioned about Liddy. The media have largely ignored the relationship, even while working themselves into a frenzy about Obama and Ayers. McCain's relationship with Liddy is obviously newsworthy in its own right, but coupled with his attacks on Obama over Ayers, it's a textbook case of hypocrisy -- exactly the sort of thing that political reporters supposedly drool over. But not when it's John McCain. When it's John McCain, the nation's leading news organizations band together in what is, in effect, a blackout of information that could be damaging to their longtime favorite.

Until last night, when McCain was finally asked, point-blank, about his relationship to Liddy and the similarities between that relationship and the Obama-Ayers relationship he has attacked so harshly.

Who finally asked the question? The New York Times? The Washington Post? CNN's "best political team on television"?

Nope.

David Letterman asked McCain about Liddy, putting the nation's journalists to shame in the process.

For years, political professionals, academics, and media watchdogs have lamented the fact that some Americans get their news from late-night comedians and other entertainment. As it turns out, that might be a good thing.

Unfortunately, after Letterman broke the media's embargo on questioning McCain's relationship with Liddy, reporters quickly pretended it never happened -- or, if they did mention it, downplayed the significance of the relationship. Time's Mark Halperin described Letterman "hound[ing]" McCain over his Ayers attacks, adding, "The late-night host doesn't let up on where the former Weather Underground leader fits into the campaign." But, inexplicably, Halperin didn't so much as mention that Letterman confronted McCain about his relationship with Liddy. Several news reports that did mention the Liddy exchange described him as a Watergate felon -- omitting Liddy's much more recent statements about shooting law enforcement personnel.

But the worst was MSNBC. This morning, the cable channel played a clip of McCain on Letterman -- but not the Liddy exchange. Then, immediately after the clip, MSNBC anchor Tamron Hall referenced the McCain attacks on Ayers. At no point did Hall mention Liddy. 

* Or, if he has been asked, it hasn't been reported. Chicago Tribune columnist Steve Chapman did ask McCain's campaign about Liddy back in the spring, but despite what reporters always claim about how open McCain is, Chapman didn't get a response.
 


 

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The novelist Jon Talton (aka, in his blogging capacity, The Rogue Columnist) has produced an article so blasted good that it's difficult to know how on earth I can quote representative extracts rather than the whole damn' thing. But here's my best try:

Things that can't be said in presidential debates

[. . .] It will be interesting to see who this "Joe the Plumber" really is, (or really even a plumber) if it still matters. He seems to be a right-winger, if not an outright plant. Apparently he opposes Social Security, among other "socialist" outrages. If so, he fits a type of small-businessman or woman who is never envisioned as politicians sing their hosannas to small business. Ones like the woman in Phoenix, also owner of a very successful plumbing business, who testified before a sympathetic legislative committee of the Kookocracy. "Why should I pay taxes for schools?" was among her complaints.

The ugly small-business owner is one of the backbones of the conservative movement, believing he or she has no common obligations to society, but is a victim. Their grievances are legion. These owners rarely offer healthcare or decent wages to their employees. They employ illegal immigrants, even as they rage against the "brown hordes." They envy those who dodge taxes, if they're not doing it themselves. Why should we celebrate them? If you're making more than $250,000 a year, you owe the society that allowed you to do so. If you can't hack it, go out of business and get a job. See how all too many employees are treated in America governed by Republicans, the party that wrecked America.
 
Among the silly fixations of the corporate media is demanding that the presidential candidates say how they will pay for their programs. I'm reminded of a speech Bobby Kennedy gave. After hearing of Kennedy's plans, someone stood and asked, "Who's going to pay for all this, senator?" Replied Kennedy: "You are." Specifically, the rich need to pay higher taxes again. And corporations -- McCain used the right-wing talking point about "high" U.S. tax rates, but in fact with all the loopholes, most large corporations pay no U.S. taxes. Got that? But all Americans are going to have to pitch in. The elixir of tax cuts has been successful politics and disastrous policy, and it has bred a dangerous sense of entitlement in American voters. There's no free lunch. [. . .]

McCain was cute in saying he wasn't George W. Bush and Obama should have run four years ago. In fact, McCain fully embraces not only the policies but the philosophy of today's "conservatives." From deregulation, to tax cuts for the rich, to corporate oligarchy, to imperial wars -- McCain is with them. And as president he would bring in train all the Republican operatives, including his many lobbyists, that wrecked America. Chief among them is the odious Phil Gramm, but we would also get Carly Fiorina, the woman who nearly wrecked Hewlett-Packard before being fired (and walking away with a $45 million golden parachute). And the Supreme Court. [. . .']

Obama knows better than me, but I wish he would have needled McCain more about the total disaster that is [McCain's] home state, which could have used a little federal money to deal with urban transportation and indigent healthcare -- which McCain always refused to provide. Arizona has been the laboratory of McCainonomics, and it's a calamity of low incomes, poor educational outcomes, a huge gap between rich and poor, and complete inability to address pressing issues. It's a hotbed of nutcase extremists -- and they're elected officials like Joe Arpaio and the Legislature. The environment is shockingly bad and the state is marching off the cliff on water supplies. Its only major industry is building houses. Want that for America?

And his state's abysmal, shameful charter-school program, which is basically a giveaway for politically connected businessmen and religious groups. They get tax money that would otherwise go to real public schools -- and those schools, already funded 49th nationally, suffer as a result. [. . .]

So all this can be our little secret. No need to trouble the duhs and ignos with it, as long as the polls are tending Obama's way. Now we must get ready to play offense against Republican efforts to steal the election. Or gin up an international crisis. They are capable of anything. Their leaders aren't just looking at the prospect of losing power. Some are looking at the prospect of jail time.


 

realthog: (Default)

Under the headline Troopergate: Not Over Yet, Newsweek has the report of yet another GOP dubious trick backfiring. Here it is in part:

. . . there could be more land mines ahead. Some weeks ago, the McCain team devised a plan to have Palin file an ethics complaint against herself with the State Personnel Board, arguing that it alone was capable of conducting a fair, nonpartisan inquiry into whether she fired Monegan because he refused to fire Wooten . . . Some Democrats ridiculed the move, noting that the personnel board answered to Palin. But the board ended up hiring an aggressive Anchorage trial lawyer, Timothy Petumenos, as an independent counsel. McCain aides were chagrined to discover that Petumenos was a Democrat who had contributed to Palin's 2006 opponent for governor, Tony Knowles. Palin is now scheduled to be questioned next week, and the counsel's report could be released soon after. "We took a gamble when we went to the personnel board," said a McCain aide who asked not to be identified discussing strategy. While the McCain camp still insists Palin "has nothing to hide," it acknowledges a critical finding by Petumenos would be even harder to dismiss.

I wonder if Palin knows what a petard is . . .

realthog: (Default)

Already the usual rightist rentamouths are claiming that the "guilty of abuse of power" conclusion to the Troopergate report is merely a matter of partisan mudslinging geared to derailing Fido's presence on the McCain ticket. Indeed, the McCain campaign itself attempted to pre-empt this idiocy by releasing its own "report", which unsurprisingly found Palin purer than the driven snow and the victim of persecution at the hands of . . .

Damn. I forget who Palin was being persecuted by this time. Katie Couric, at a guess.

Fact: The investigation was instigated by the Alaskan Congress, which has a Republican majority.

Fact: "A violation of the public trust," says a committee of 10 Republicans and 4 Democrats.

Let's repeat that last for those who have difficulty hearing what they do not like to hear:

a committee of 10 Republicans and 4 Democrats

realthog: (Default)


. . . the concluding sentence of her NYT piece the other day about Sarah Palin's various homicidal attacks upon vocabulary, grammar and (in the larger sense) syntax deserves mention. It is a very simple observation that should be made more often:

True mavericks don’t brand themselves.

nuff said

Sep. 27th, 2008 08:44 pm
realthog: (leavingfortusa)

Todd Lockwood's been at play in Photoshop, and asks us to spread this far and wide:


palinocchio 

realthog: (leavingfortusa)

In light of the Repugs' fervent attempts to minimize the democratic vote (lower-case initial intentional) in so many states -- by, among other things, illegally expunging people from the electoral register (why in hell aren't these criminals in prison?) -- it's vital that everyone entitled to cast their ballots on November 4 do so . . . if for no other reason than that any party which attempts to betray democracy in such a vile fashion deserves to be doomed.

My pal Todd Lockwood sent me this useful information today:

If you have any doubts whether you are registered to vote, or fear you are the victim of a direct mail "vote caging" scheme, you can find your voter status at this non-partisan site. I checked. It works.

http://www.canivote.org
/

Of course, I myself can't actually check it to make sure it works, because although I'm allowed to pay full US taxes I'm not allowed to vote -- sort of like a felon, if you think about it, which I try as hard as I can not to -- but Todd assures me he's tried it and it's valid.

Todd's full of good stuff today, in fact. He also sent me the instructions whereby I can donate as little as $10 to Planned Parenthood and do so in Sarah Palin's name: https://secure.ga0.org/02/pp10000_inhonor has the details. Since the address of Gawd's Own Daughter isn't readily available (and of course shouldn't be), the suggested address to which you might request your "in Sarah Palin's honor" card be sent is:

McCain for President
1235 S. Clark Street, 1st Floor
Arlington, VA 22202


I think I may be spending $10 this evening . . .
realthog: (corrupted science)

. . . at least according to Senator John McCain, who today echoed the worst anti-scientific instincts of the Bush Adminstration. As
reported by AP, he said of Barack Obama's support for various federally funded projects:

"That's nearly a million every day, every working day he's been in Congress," McCain said. "And when you look at some of the planetariums and other foolishness that he asked for, he shouldn't be saying anything about Governor Palin."

Where do they dig up these Neanderthal attitudes? I find it, quite honestly, baffling. Recently my daughter and I spent a happy few hours exploring the Rose Center for Earth and Space/Hayden Planetarium at NYC's Museum of Natural History. The fact that about a billion schoolchildren were enjoying it with us meant that sometimes the noise was deafening, but it was impossible not to be amazed and delighted by how much many of the kids were obviously benefiting from the experience. Those were kids glowing with the joy of learning.

Which means, of course, they're likely to go on and lead happier and more productive lives, which is what civilized societies are supposed to be all about. They'll be happier; the rest of us are likely to gain, too, either because those might be tomorrow's innovators, educators and the like or, at the very least, because they'll be less likely to be earning a living as a mugger or a housebreaker or worse.

So for John McCain to describe the building of planetariums as "foolishness" is not just deeply offensive, not just a display of the profundity of his own complacent ignorance and stupidity, but also an indicator of the considerable contempt in which he holds average Americans.
 
Yes, some people did lack a silver spoon in their mouth at birth, and did fail to adulterously seduce and then marry someone with so much money it's a bit of a problem remembering how many houses they own. But that doesn't mean those people should be deprived of the educational opportunities you, Senator McCain, are patently too stupid even to desire.

realthog: (leavingfortusa)

Full marks to the Washington Post, who published yesterday
an op-ed by McCain financial advisor Donald Luskin telling us that we're all just a bunch of whingers and there's basically nothing at all wrong with the US economy:

Quit Doling Out That Bad-Economy Line

. . . A housing "slump," a housing "crisis"? A "severe" price decline? According to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors, the median price of an existing home is up 8.5 percent from the low of last February. And according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median price of a new home is up 1.3 percent from the low of last December. Home prices may not be at all-time highs -- and there are pockets of continuing decline in some urban areas -- but overall they've clearly stopped going down and have started to recover. So why keep proclaiming a "crisis" after it's over?

"Turmoil" in the debt markets? Sure, but we've seen plenty worse. . . .

McCain campaign adviser and former U.S. senator Phil Gramm was right in July when he said that our current state "is a mental recession." Maybe he was out of line when he added that the United States has become "a nation of whiners." But when it comes to the economy, we have surely become a nation of exaggerators.

Yet Gramm was pilloried for his remarks, and McCain had to distance himself from his adviser by joking that in a McCain administration, Gramm would be ambassador to Belarus. What does it say about our nation that it has become political suicide to state the good news that our economy is not in recession? . . .


A matter of mere hours later, of course, the Lehman Brothers bank filed for bankruptcy, and the talk now is of how many other US banks will go the same way before the end of the year. Yet according to Luskin everything in the economic garden is rosy. I suppose those thousands of people who've lost their homes are going to wake up tomorrow and discover it was all just a dreadful dreram.

And this is the quality of advice a President McCain would be getting?

(Aside, of course, from his veep telling him, in between demanding Pentagon funding for helicopter gunships to use on her wolf hunts, that anthropogenic global warming's a myth and that dinosaurs co-existed with cavemen.)
 

realthog: (leavingfortusa)

From Matthew Yglesias's blog:

McCain: Barack Made Me Lie!

Speaking last night at the national service forum, John McCain got asked a question about why his campaign keeps making false accusations. /;”First of all this is a tough business,” the Arizona senator said. “Second of all, I think the tone of this whole campaign would’ve been very different if Sen. Obama had accepted my request for us to appear at town hall meetings all over America.”

In other words — it’s Barack Obama’s fault, Obama is forcing him to lie by refusing to engage in a series of town hall debates.

As I've noted before, while it's possible this kind of dishonorable nonsense and dishonesty may get McCain elected, at the same time it's making it completely impossible for him to be a functional President. Foreign leaders are I'm absolutely certain watching this stuff with increasing incredulity, realizing McCain is someone they cannot trust one single iota.

realthog: (leavingfortusa)

Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] louismaistros  for this.

I never thought this day would come when I'd be able to say it, but the constant lies and slanders emitted by the McCain/Palin campaign have become so bad that even Bill O'Reilly has been moved to object.

realthog: (leavingfortusa)

I'm not the hugest fan of Andrew Sullivan (he's a US conservative, I'm a moderate progressive -- or a far leftist raving pinko loony, as the average US media pundit might describe me and Jesus Christ both), but every now and then he hits the nail right on the head. Here's the start of one of his most recent posts:

It's sad to be lectured constantly by the Republicans on morality. My marriage, for example, is a sin, according to Republicans. And if you squint hard enough somewhere in the Bible, you can find a couple of verses that will say so. But you don't have to squint hard at all to see the Ten Commandments. And one of them is pretty clear:

Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness

What we are seeing from the pious denizens of the Christianist right - once again - is not just their susceptibility to breaking this commandment, but their zeal and enthusiasm in doing so. They are obsessed with the sex lives of others but see nothing wrong with breaking one of the most fundamental moral instructions in the Bible themselves.

And so we have those "good Christians" McCain and Palin lying most egregiously -- more and more grossly than, I think, any US Presidential campaign has done before. But they're lyin' for Jesus, see?

Tell me. how would Jesus lie?

 

realthog: (leavingfortusa)


It'd seem a somewhat elementary principle when running a political campaign to avoid pissing off FactCheck.org, but it's one the McCain campaign has ignored in its latest whopper-packed ad. Here's from FactCheck.org itself:

McCain-Palin Distorts Our Finding

. . . With its latest ad, released Sept. 10, the McCain-Palin campaign has altered our message in a fashion we consider less than honest. The ad strives to convey the message that FactCheck.org said "completely false" attacks on Gov. Sarah Palin had come from Sen. Barack Obama. We said no such thing. We have yet to dispute any claim from the Obama campaign about Palin.

They call the ad "Fact Check." It says "the attacks on Gov. Palin have been called 'completely false' ... 'misleading.' " On screen is a still photo of a grim-faced Obama. Our words are accurately quoted, but they had nothing to do with Obama.

Our article, posted two days earlier, debunked a number of false or misleading claims that have circulated in chain e-mails and Internet postings regarding Palin. There is no evidence that the Obama campaign is behind any of the wild accusations that we critiqued.

It strikes me that John McCain has now gotten himself into a position where he can no longer legitimately run for the office of President of the United States. A large part of what Presidents have to do is negotiate with foreign leaders, allies or otherwise. An important component of all such activity is that the parties involved must have some confidence in the honesty and integrity of the people they're dealing with; you have to know that others will not say one thing and do another.

John McCain has over the past few weeks lied so frequently, so blatantly and so prolifically that it will be impossible for any foreign leader -- let alone people within the US -- to place the slightest degree of trust in him. He is therefore incompetent for the role of President, and, if he has a single shred of that patriotism he's constantly telling us he has galore, should stand down at once.

Oh, but of course he's probably lying about the patriotism too . . .

realthog: (Default)

There's a longish and very good article today by the excellent Robert Parry on his equally excellent site Consortium News. Here are a couple of brief excerpts:

But possibly a larger vulnerability for McCain is the fact that he was a leader in the neoconservative strategy to downplay the political-military challenges in Afghanistan in favor of exaggerating the strategic threat from Iraq.

In recent months, it’s become increasingly obvious that the diversion of U.S. military and financial resources to Iraq over the past five-plus years bought al-Qaeda and its Taliban allies time to regroup and reorganize inside Pakistan.

The United States and NATO forces in Afghanistan now are facing a deteriorating security situation that was highlighted by a brazen Taliban assault on a U.S. military base on July 13 that killed nine American soldiers.

From base camps inside Pakistan, al-Qaeda forces also are believed to be plotting new terrorist attacks against the United States. In addition, political strains inside Pakistan have renewed concerns about the possibility that the country’s nuclear weapons might fall into the hands of Islamic extremists.

Much of this predicament can be traced back to the hubris that infused McCain’s speech in Munich in February 2002. [. . .]

McCain then reprised what turned out to be the bogus case for invading Iraq.

”Almost everyone familiar with Saddam's record of biological weapons development over the past two decades agrees that he surely possesses such weapons. He also possesses vast stocks of chemical weapons and is known to have aggressively pursued, with some success, the development of nuclear weapons,” McCain said.

“Terrorist training camps exist on Iraqi soil, and Iraqi officials are known to have had a number of contacts with al-Qaeda. These were probably not courtesy calls,” McCain added in the smug, sarcastic tone common to that period.

As it turned out, the “vast stocks” of chemical weapons and the prospect of nuclear weapons were non-existent. The active “terrorist training camps” on Iraqi soil were hostile to Hussein’s secular regime and were located outside Baghdad’s control in areas protected by the U.S.-British-enforced “no-fly zone.”

Evidence collected after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003 revealed that Saddam Hussein rebuffed overtures from al-Qaeda, which he regarded as an enemy in the Arab world. Those contacts were not even “courtesy calls.” [For details, see our book, Neck Deep.]

However, in February 2002, at the crucial moment when al-Qaeda’s leaders were on the run and Afghanistan was in desperate need of rebuilding, McCain became a leading advocate for the neocon rush to war in Iraq.

McCain appears to have been “completely wrong” in that judgment, a strategy that has damaged U.S. standing in the world and has played into the deadly hands of Osama bin Laden.

(Complete article -- much recommended! -- is here.)

It's becoming increasingly evident that McCain's much-vaunted "expertise" on foreign policy is a complete chimera. A few weeks ago he was claiming, before his buddy Joe Lieberman managed to get him to briefly stop talking bilge, a bizarre alliance between Iran and al-Qaida. Within the past day or so he's talked about the dangers of the Iraq/Pakistan border, which border is unfortunately unknown to cartography. And, notoriously, he's been pushing a theoretically endless US occupation of Iraq only to find this is precisely what -- duh! -- the Iraqi people and government do not want.

Avoiding pratfalls like this last and the twaddle about Saddam's WMDs requires no special foreign-policy expertise: merely the ability to read non-US newspapers, which, unlike their US counterparts, have not gotten into the habit of happily regurgitating whatever crap Il Buce's Administration feeds them. As example, there was extensive coverage in the UK and Oz newspapers before the invasion of the reports Hans Blix and his team of UN investigators on the ground in Iraq were releasing to the effect that Saddam had indeed destroyed his stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons; these were the same investigators whom Il Buce later falsely stated, with only rare peeps of protest from the US "news" media, had been kept out of Iraq by the Saddam government.

Since McCain's supposed foreign-policy nous is the largest single plank in his platform -- indeed, almost the only plank (even though his campaign website apparently has no page on the topic) -- and since he's being repeatedly demonstrated to be a complete ignoramus on the subject, one wonders quite what his supporters think they're voting for.

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