May 22, 2022 / by 


McCain: Is He Addled And Confused Or A Dishonorable Man?

It is becoming increasingly clear that it is really one or the other; either John McCain is addled and confused in the face of trying to keep up with all that he must as a candidate for the most powerful position in the world, or he is a dishonorable cad that will blithely pass out confidential information and place important people’s lives in danger to serve his own vain powerlust.

The last time there was an insinuation made that McCain was confused and couldn’t keep things straight, there was much consternation and soiling of undergarments by the McCain camp and across the board covering of his butt by the mainstream media. (See here and here). But these are not occasional incidents with McCain. Sunni or Shia? Sudan or Somalia? He is for immigration reform or against it? Does Czechoslovakia still exist or not (Um, no Senator, it ceased existence over 15 years ago, and you’ve been there since then more than once). And then there is this painful example of cognitive dysfunction.

Yesterday John McCain went all in with his chips of mental incompetence. From Reuters:

Republican presidential candidate John McCain commented on Friday on the unannounced timing of a high-security trip by Barack Obama to Iraq, saying he believed his Democratic rival was going this weekend.

"I believe that either today or tomorrow — and I’m not privy to his schedule — Sen. Obama will be landing in Iraq with some other senators" who make up a congressional delegation, McCain said at a Republican fund-raiser.

John McCain must have a far different definition of "high security" and "Senatorial courtesy" than has been known and understood throughout the history of this country. Apparently McCain not only doesn’t care about Obama’s safety, but has a similar disregard for the health and well being for the other fellow Congressional members with Obama on the trip, their staffers and the secret service personnel that have to protect all of them. As Teddy Partridge noted, this isn’t quite on the level of outing a covert CIA spy, but it is sure in the ballpark. For a comparison, consider how when Bush travels to Iraq they often don’t even tell the press, much less publicize the specific dates he will be going; pretty much the same for even lesser Bush Administration officials. McCain’s trips are kept secret as to most details for security reasons.

So just exactly how did McCain come to know the day schedule of Obama’s trip anyway? All that had been discussed prior to McCain’s shameful leak was that Obama would be traveling in the Middle East and might go to Iraq and Afghanistan. Who was foolish enough to tell McCain in the first place? Bush or Cheney? Administration underlings? Brown nosing members of McCain’s base, the press corps? Karl Rove?

We know that George Bush, Dick Cheney and their Administration consider the Presidency to be nothing more than their own personal permanent campaign tool, their own officials admit that. We also know that Bush and his Administration political bagmen and henchmen have been abusing their governmental power and privilege to affect the presidential election by leaning on the German Chancellor Angela Merkel to deny Obama his previously planned appearance and speech in front of the Brandenberg Gate.

So, is the Bush Administration using their power of office to play more political mischief and endanger Obama and his traveling companions? It should be noted that, in addition to the political advantage to McCain that they are desperate for, the Bush Administration has other reasons for wanting to squelch Obama’s trip to Iraq. It turns out that Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki agrees wholeheartedly with Obama’s proposed 16 month troop withdrawal timeline and is effectively endorsing Obama in the process. That is not a slap in the face to Bush and McCain, the permanent warmongers, it is a bash in the head with a Louisville Slugger.

Irrespective of McCain’s motivation for callously leaking the details of Obama’s trip into the war zone, or the leaking source of his information, it was a foolish, ignorant and pathetically selfish act. Is McCain such an addled septuagenarian that he can’t help but make these fundamental errors? Does McCain not have the mental faculties remaining after all these years to keep even the most basic things straight? Perhaps he is just no longer up to the task.

Because it is either that or he is such a dishonorable vindictive cad that he did this intentionally. Which one is it Senator McCain, the citizens of this country deserve an answer once and for all. Either way, he is patently unfit for the job he is applying for, President of the United States.

UPDATE: – From Marc Armbinder at The Atlantic, further evidence of just how catastrophic Nuri al-Maliki’s crystal clear adoption of Obama’s 16 month withdrawal timeline, and concurrent ratification of Obama’s military and foreign policy bonafides, really is.

This could be one of those unexpected events that forever changes the way the world perceives an issue. Iraq’s Prime Minister agrees with Obama, and there’s no wiggle room or fudge factor. This puts John McCain in an extremely precarious spot: what’s left to argue? to argue against Maliki would be to predicate that Iraqi sovereignty at this point means nothing. Obviously, our national interests aren’t equivalent to Iraq’s, but… Malik isn’t listening to the generals on the ground…but the "hasn’t been to Iraq" line doesn’t work here.

So how will the McCain campaign respond?

Boy, no kidding, how will McCain, that juggernaut of serious security and foreign policy experience and action, respond? Well, we don’t know yet, but Armbinder does provide a quote from a well known Republican strategist and part time McCain advisor:

"We’re fucked."

Indeed. This sure could explain why McCain would be compelled to abandon (and McCain is a professional at abandoning all pretext of honor; just consider his abandonment of his critically injured first wife after she had spent years waiting for him while he was injured and captive in Vietnam) any remnant of honor and duty that he had left in his tired and old body.

The only thing McCain has ever had, as weak as it is, is his bleating false claim to superiority on Iraq and foreign policy. That was a concept that was frail and hanging by a thread to start with. A thread that has now been incinerated completely by Nuri al-Maliki. Just the kind of thing that would cause an angry and addled dishonorable man to lash out. This is the Real McCain. The John McCain that Native Arizonans have seen since the moment he plopped his carpetbag down here. The John McCain that cares more about himself than anything else in the world; and he will do anything and say anything to advance that interest including, clearly, jeopardizing other people’s lives.

To Favre Or Not To Favre, That Is the EW Trash Talk Question

National Favre League – Marcy has been pimping me to do up a Favre post ever since the first rumors came out of his waffliness months ago. Who am I to deny the hostess with the mostess? I chalk it up to the fact that the only thing the Lions have done in the off season is give Kevin Jones (a good running back when healthy) to the Bears for nothing in free agency. But not to worry, Roidney is still pumped up and Tom is still sitting pretty for the Pats. And yes, I still think the Pats are the class of the league.

But, let’s face it, the only thing that is important in the NFL right now is Brett Favre. He is like Britney with no panties. I am not going to waste time with a bunch of links, you folks know the deal. My own take was totally on the Packer’s side initially, and still, on balance, probably is. But it is also clear that, irrespective of what has happened and who caused it, they really do not want him back. Given that, and that I do think they pressured him for an answer before he was ready this winter/spring (not that such was unreasonable necessarily, just a fact), and given that they do not want him, I think they do owe him to let him play somewhere else. Take him back and let him be Brett Favre or let him go; but get on with it. It is not just a business decision; no matter what, he has earned more than that. That is my opinion, what is yours? Chat up any and all other football, college or pro, that you got.

MLB – The second half of the season is upon us. What a killer All Star Game; for once. A fitting farewell to Yankee Stadium. I know you Sawx fans are prowling around, what say you? Personally, I still think, that as big of a giant jerk as he is, there is something about Schilling. He is gone, and I think the Sawx will be, at least for this year, too. They will go far, but no ring. My Diamondbacks started out like gangbusters, then just went bust. I think they are going to regroup, hang on in the west, and be there with either the Mets or Cubbies in a pick em for the NL crown. Prove me wrong. And trust me, that is not difficult.

The Circus – Well, who knew when I first tacked it on because, well, I could; but there are actually a few Formula One fans out there. Actually, it makes sense; you are high line intellects, and that is the general crowd, at least in the States North America, that follows F1. This weekend is the German Grand Prix in Hockenheim. Hockenheim isn’t Nurburgring, but it is a great circuit. The Driver’s Championship is really tight with Lewis Hamilton, Felipe Massa and Kimi Räikkönen all tied at 48 points. A McLaren and two Ferrari jocks all bunched at the top. Outstanding. Ferrari is 14 points up in the all important Constructor’s Trophy chase though. Who you got in this round of the circus, and, for Petrocelli, when will Porsche make it’s return to F1 and play with the big boys?

Well, that’s it for this trash talk thread, hoop it up. Today’s video is from Led Zeppelin and is Communication Breakdown (and a pretty cool, very old black and white video from an early Brit teevee appearance), because that is what Brett Favre and the Packers have going on – a communication breakdown. Not to mention that I just saw Robert Plant and Allyson Krauss, and have Zepp on the brain. I will be back with substantive material tomorrow, but I live on the West coast, so not overly early for most of you. You guys have been quiet for too long, trash the joint dammit!

The Post FISA Amendment Act Action Begins: ACLU Fires The First Salvo – A Working Thread

As all know by now, July 9, 2008 was a day that will live in infamy. It seems stark to use that historic phrase, but to a lot of us, it really feels that way. The video attached to this post has been so attached to several now, and is of Professor Jonathan Turley on Countdown with Rachel Maddow explaining the gut shot to the Fourth Amendment the FISA Amendment Act constitutes. Turley is exactly right, and as most here know, that is precisely what I have been saying is the real danger of this act for a long, long time.

The foregoing you all know. What many have been asking, and rightfully so, is where do we go from here. You have all dedicated so much passion, time, and effort to the cause of fighting this damnable act of Congress. Cold turkey leaves a void. Well, the next phase is just beginning. There is the Strange Bedfellows fund that can always use your love; and as Jane and Howie have advised, there has been some positive love given to some of the Democrats that actually stood tall for us. And on August 8, there will be a MoneyBombing.

But, by far, the biggest news you need to know about is the activity today by the ACLU. The ACLU has made two filings in response to the passage and signing of the FISA Amendments Act (FAA). The first is a new complaint(attn: large pdf) filed in the Southern District of New York (SDNY). The action is captioned Amnesty International USA et al. v. John M. McConnell et al.; there are several plaintiffs you will recognize, and DNI Mike McConnell, NSA Director Keith Alexander and Mukasey as defendants. The action is for declaratory judgment/injunctive relief which, I will be honest, is not the favorite form of action that Federal courts consider. This is similar to the tact taken in ACLU v. NSA, the 6th Circuit case that Judge Anna Taylor Diggs bounced just to give you an idea of what i mean. In fairness, the ACLU is already saying that the new case is distinguishable because the existence of surveillance, and potential for surveillance, is much more established here, and there is some truth to that. Whether there is enough in that regard or not will only be told by time; but it will be dicey. It should be noted that the plaintiffs here are not proceeding under "aggrieved person" status pursuant to FISA in their standing claim, rather they are asserting that their livelihood, work and income, as well as privacy, are being, and will be, chilled by the pervasive effects of the FAA provisions.

The second filing by the ACLU today was made to the FISA Court and is encaptioned Motion For Leave To Participate In FISC Proceedings Required By The Fisa Amendments Act Of 2008. (another pdf). The caption is fairly self explanatory, the motion basically seeks leave for the ACLU to participate in proceedings in the FISC that occur pursuant to section 702(i) of the FAA by filing of briefs, require the government to file public unclassified versions of government briefs and filings, and that the court issue unclassified versions of any decisions. It will be interesting to see how the FISC rules and responds to this application. I would have been very skeptical prior to this order in an earlier application the ACLU made to the FISC seeking certain sealed court records. Colleen Kollar-Kotelly may just be peeved enough at the whole surveillance mess wrought by the Bush Administration to agree to this intervention.

So, these are the two actions proffered by the ACLU, and we owe them a world of thanks for waging the battle for all of us. I think they are designed to bring leverage both legally and in the court of public opinion. Until the plaintiffs start filing responsive pleadings to the motions to dismiss in the various consolidated cases in front of Vaughn Walker in NDCA, this is where the legal action is going to be. Take a look at these pleadings and let’s unpack them together, discuss and see if we cannot find some additional ideas for moving forward.

Alright, one extra little bonus. I have been holding this back for quite a while now because I was literally loathe to have it in the public domain and be latched onto by people like Obama and the other folks selling out the Constitution and 4th Amendment, as well as those that would support them and rationalize their egregious sellout. Specifically, we have worked single mindedly under the assumption that, while many parts of the FAA might could be reversed or minimized through subsequent legislation with a new Congress, the retroactive immunity portion was irrevocable and final. That may, and I emphasize this is a tentative and weak may, not necessarily be the case.

It is feasible that, providing the repealing legislation was enacted prior to the final determination of the appeals that will be made from the dismissals of the 40 some odd cases in the consolidated litigation in NDCA currently in Vaughn Walker’s court, the cases could be returned to the posture they were in prior to the immunity grant. And the appeals, assuming they go all the way through the Supreme Court, which is a given, could not possibly be done before next spring. Given the weak Democratic leadership, I think this quite unlikely, but it is a possibility to consider. So please, keep up the pressure on your Congresspeople, and let them know your fury at what has transpired and that you expect them to correct it after the election and the new term starts. And it is not just me that thinks this, it is the belief of the litigators at the EFF I have spoken to as well. Back to the salt mines; it ain’t over till it’s over!

Emptywheel’s Famous Football Trash Talk Thread

Hello there sports fans and fanettes. You have probably been wondering what happens to the New England Patriots if Tom Brady is injured or out. The second string is a pretty severe step down; for those scoring at home, or even if you are alone (shameless rip off from Keith Olbermann), Brady’s backup is Matt Cassel, a perfectly fine chap, and by all accounts a good quarterback. But he is no Tom Brady.

Well, here at Emptywheel, we have the same phenomenon. My name is bmaz, and I am no Emptywheel. Most of you know me; and for those that don’t, well, please don’t be scared off. This will not be the only thread; there will be substantive thread as well, if, and as, called for. If you see breaking news that is important, or have something critical for discussion, please ante up. I have noticed in the past the absolutely incredible talent that frequents this site, and TNH before it, tends to dissipate when Marcy is away. The group I know and love, and that is all of you (crikey, even the house troll I suppose), is too good, and works too well together, for that to happen. I will do my best to at least be a marginally competent guest host, but its no good without all of you; so have at it.

With the pleasantries thus out of the way, lets get down to business. It is crunch time in the NFL:

Looks like the weather may be a bit dicey in the greater Beantown area. Are the the Pats going to need a work furlough crew of convict snow plow drivers; or is Belichek going to hang a 75 point runup on his ingrate student, Mangini?

Did you know there was a game tonight between the Bengals and 49ers on the NFL Network? Do you even get the NFL Network? For those answering yes to these two questions, hey Mr. and Mrs. Dilfer and hey Mr. and Mrs. Palmer.

Will Brett Favre make his 251st straight start against the Rams in St. Louis? Is this record more astounding than Cal Ripken’s streak of 2,632 games? My take – of course he will, and it just might be.

The best of the rest appears to me to be the Browns v. the Bills. These are both up and coming teams that are coming on at the right time of the year and look to be pretty solid for the future. It really was a brilliant move for the Bills to scoop up Willis MaGahee in the draft when everybody else was spooked by his collegiate injury. Where in the world did Derek Anderson come from for the Browns? (Hint: Beavers are involved). Did anybody know about this guy before this year?

Will Neil give us another of his pre-game pigskin prognostications that are literally so good they could be scripts for John Facenda of NFL Film lore?

What games are you interested in, who you got in them and what do you have to say? Don’t be shy, if you don’t know football, or don’t care about it, that is just fine; lob out anything you have and are interested in, whether it be other sporting events, getting punked on FISA (Is that like deja vu all over again, or what?) or, for that matter, nuclear physics (Hey, Schrodinger’s Cat made a recent appearance). The pub is open; step on in and trash the joint.

Update: BooRadley reminds that although the Bills did make a great draft selection in Willis MaGahee, but they shipped him out to the Ravens. The current Bills running back is Marshawn Lynch, drafted out of Cal, and who is also pretty darn good.

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