Friday, September 05, 2008

McCain's Mutiny

Credit to John McCain for trashing George W. Bush and saying reasonably decent things about Barack Obama. But he is still an unrepentant puppet of right-wing ideology who would deny women pay equity, involve the government he hates in medical decisions and lead us closer to war.

Let me as briefly as I can get between the lines of his acceptance speech, in which the biggest applause came for his shout-out to Her Royal Embarrassment, Sarah Palin.

We believe in … personal responsibility, the rule of law, and judges who dispense justice impartially and don't legislate from the bench. We believe in the values of families, neighborhoods and communities.

Likw adultery, divorce, drug-addicted wife, Supreme Court justices who believe Americans should “get over it” when they examine the worst legal decision in the history of the court, when a Republican majority handed the 2000 election to the worst president in history.

We believe in a government that unleashes the creativity and initiative of Americans. Government that doesn't make your choices for you, but works to make sure you have more choices to make for yourself.

Like a woman’s right to choose to terminate a pregnancy?

I will keep taxes low and cut them where I can. My opponent will raise them. I will open new markets to our goods and services. My opponent will close them. I will cut government spending. He will increase it.

His pants are on fire. McCain opposed Bush’s tax cuts in 2001 and he is lying about Obama, who would raise taxes only on the very thin sliver of Americans who earn over a quarter of a million a year, reducing taxes for everyone else.

My health care plan will make it easier for more Americans to find and keep good health care insurance. His plan will force small businesses to cut jobs, reduce wages, and force families into a government run health care system where a bureaucrat stands between you and your doctor.

McCain’s health care plan, if you can even call it a plan, relies on the same system we have now of relying on private insurance companies who cherry pick the healthiest patients and foist the rest of them onto Medicaid rolls or into the street. In the current system, a bureaucrat stands between you and your doctor, but instead of a publicly accountable government official, that bureaucrat works for an insurance company. If McCain’s proposal is so good, why does most of the insurance and health care industry support universal coverage, which he opposes?

Doubling the child tax exemption from $3500 to $7000 will improve the lives of millions of American families. Reducing government spending and getting rid of failed programs will let you keep more of your own money to save, spend and invest as you see fit.

Who is going to pay for doubling the child tax exemption? Reducing government spending is promised by every Republican in my lifetime and has never occurred. Federal employment has grown exponentially under the last three Republican presidents. The fact is, you cannot cut government spending, though you might cut the rate of growth. You can barely even do that given that almost all federal spending goes to the military, Social Security and paying off the national debt.

Education is the civil rights issue of this century.

A theft from George W. Bush’s campaign, and an insult to everyone who ever fought for civil rights.

We need to shake up failed school bureaucracies with competition, empower parents with choice, remove barriers to qualified instructors, attract and reward good teachers, and help bad teachers find another line of work.

Psst, education is a state and local function. Always has been and will be, unless the Republicans suddenly plan to impose national curricula.

When a public school fails to meet its obligations to students, parents deserve a choice in the education of their children. And I intend to give it to them. Some may choose a better public school. Some may choose a private one. Many will choose a charter school. But they will have that choice and their children will have that opportunity.

They no more deserve a choice than they deserve to determine their garbage pickup day. Where a child goes to school at public expense is and ought to be a primary function of local government. “Choice,” which they oppose in everything else, means further deterioration of public schools – perhaps the greatest force for universal education and equality of opportunity than any other in the history of Western Civilization. As with health insurance, private and charter schools -- using public funds as McCain supports -- would take only those children who would guarantee a desired statistical outcome.

We are going to stop sending $700 billion a year to countries that don't like us very much.

This is not only based on a lie, it is downright dangerous. The $700 billion is not foreign aid, as he would have you believe, but the annual Pentagon budget. Some aid! Actual foreign aid is $40 billion, about 1.5 percent of the budget. Cutting foreign aid to countries that “don’t like us” would reduce foreign aid to zero. Which will mean spread of poverty and disease, and since disease knows no borders, McCain would literally sicken us all. The one decent thing George W. Bush did, expanding the AIDS program for Africa, would be cut by this logic.

We will build more nuclear power plants.

Good idea. But the only reason no plants have been built for 30 years is that Wall Street would not issue bonds for them, and major energy companies would not take the risk of investing in them. Betcha the first new nuclear plants will be built with government subsidies.

I know how to secure the peace.

John S. McCain III, the son and grandson of four-star admirals, loves war. He would be nowhere without it; the biography that catapulted him to this station in life is the result of war. War is in his genes, as he has one son in the Navy and one in the Marines. He flew 23 missions of bombing North Vietnamese civilians and before that was denied Top Gun school admission because of his lack of skill and a lousy attitude. He lost five planes that you paid for, four of them his fault. He supported the two most stinking un-American wars in history. McCain has never worked a day in his life for anyone other than the U.S. government or, for one year, his father-in-law.

A few weeks ago he sounded off on Russia’s invasion of Georgia with words and proposals that if brought to fruition would have U.S. troops fighting the Russian army. By his own admission, McCain was a hothead, a bully and a carouser. He is a belligerent, shoot from the lip little boy who got into politics after he was assigned as the Navy liaison to the Senate, where on foreign missions, the Washington Post has suggested, he provided alcohol and women for his liaisees in countries where such things are not allowed.

Since the end of the Vietnam War, about 5,200 U.S. service people have died in military action when Republicans were in office and 60 while Democrats were in office. (And the first person who tries to attribute the 9/11 dead to one party or another will be referred to the official Report of the 9/11 Commission and the text of the national security briefing Bush ignored on Aug. 6, 2001, stating directly that Bin Laden had plans to commit terrorist attacks in the United States.)

But hey, that McCain guy is sure a nice fella and isn't too crazy for a guy who was imprisoned and tortured for five and a half years -- and going out to dinner on it ever since.

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