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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

March 5, 2008


McCain: The Next Bush

"McCain... was headed for the White House Wednesday to have lunch with President Bush and get his endorsement. Bitter rivals in the 2000 presidential primaries, the two have forged an uneasy relationship during Bush's administration and have clashed on issues such as campaign finance, tax cuts, global warming and defining torture."
-The Associate Press

So without further adieu, let's ask the hard questions of Republican Presidential Nominee John McCain: "Just what are your differences on the issues with President Bush?"

Let's start with the four mentioned above.

Campaign Finance Reform:
BUSH (from Whitehouse.gov, March 15, 2001, in a letter to then-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott): President Bush believes democracy is first and foremost about the rights of individuals to express their views... updating the limits established more than two decades ago on individual giving to candidates and national parties.
MADMAN: Sounds to me like President bush wants to raise the limits which individuals can contribute to political campaigns. Why can't individuals speak without money doing the talking to political candidates? Well, for one think, then there would be no Republican Party as it exists today. In 2004, President Bush had raised much more money than his Democratic rival John Kerry even though many more people contributed to Kerry's campaign.
BUSH: Ban Corporate and Union Soft Money.
MADMAN: Of course that won't stop the very wealthy CEO's and other executives who benefit the most from programs such as the Bush tax cuts from contributing thousands of dollars to those very same political parties. Those with the big, personal fortunes can still give enormous amounts of soft money contributions to the favorite political party, with most choosing the GOP. Labor Unions, however, use their influence for their members and pool their money under the strictest of rules.
Unlike when a rich CEO gives his dollars to anyone he chooses, there is no vote to oust him by his employees. When Labor Union leaders do not do the will of their members, they can be voted out.
MCCAIN: (not listed)
MADMAN: There is no campaign finance reform section on John McCain's website. The co-author of the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform bill decided that reforming the system which so many of us see as corrupt, is not even worth talking about. And we know why he feels that way. McCain had this open-vault type of policy with Maryland-based Fidelity & Trust Bank. He borrowed money when cash-strapped and offered to repay it with federal funds had his campaign faltered. However, now that he is the nominee, McCain decided that he could do better on his own and not take federal funds. So, in an area they're calling "gray", McCain is now paying back a loan with money he no longer has.
And, lest we forget "The Maverick's" shady dealings as a charter member of the Keating Five and his questionable financial relationship with another lobbyist which only came to the forefront because there was a hint of sexual innuendo. Let's face it, McCain is the poster-boy for "Do as I say, not as I do" crowd.
If I were McCain, I wouldn't bring up campaign finance reform either.

Global Warming:
MADMAN: Well, I did a search on Whitehouse.gov and came up with nothing on Global Warming. But it wasn't until July 2005 that the Bush White House even admitted that humans have aided in the warming of our planet. Of course, that didn't stop him and his people from trying to water-down the Kyoto treaty. In fact, if one were to search Whitehouse.gov by issues, "Global Warming" or "Climate Change" wouldn't even come up as a general topic.
Similarly, John McCain's campaign web site offers nothing on global warming or climate change either. The closest issue to global warming mentioned is "The Environment", and it's only given lip service. Here's what4 JohnMcCain.com have to offer regarding the problem of global warming. Remember, I warned you:
MCCAIN: ...he has been a leader on the issue of global warming...
MADMAN: Yep, that's it.

Tax Cuts:
We all know by now that President Bush loves tax cuts, especially those geared to his ultra-rich "base of haves and have mores". What you may not know is that John McCain originally, and correctly, voted against the bush tax cuts citing the first time in US history a tax cut being given while we were waging war. McCain's new anti-tax. "I Love Global Corporations" stance is, today, quite different.
Keep Tax Rates Low: That certainly will make his new "base" happy. Those of us on the bottom rungs of the economic food-chain would only benefit slightly from another tax cut, while those at the top would gain, collectively, billions.
Cut The Corporate Tax Rate From 35 To 25 Percent: This, of course, wouldn't make a difference. Does anyone think that a former US corporation, now located overseas, is going to come back here just for the minimal savings?
Reward Saving, Investment and Risk-Taking: That's code for get rid of the only tax many in McCain's new "base of haves and have mores" pay today - the capital gains tax. McCain, like George Bush, sees investment income as untouchable while us, the middle class, have to pay fully on all of our real earned income.
And as far as rewarding "risk taking" goes, does that mean we're going to now insure investments? That really would be some reward.
Along with McCain's $700 billion per year health care rebate which won't offer anyone without insurance today coverage, just what will all of these cuts cost the US taxpayer in the short run and our children in the long run? Cut, cut, cut sounds nice, but without a way of making up the difference, it's just rhetoric. McCain has learned that well from President Bush.

Defining Torture:
We all know the White House's love of water-boarding, and whether they admit it or not, as they have already, alternatively done, water-boarding is torture. McCain, a victim of torture during his years at the "Hanoi Hilton" knows all too well what torture. McCain previously condemned the Bush administration for water-boarding. However he recently voted to allow the practice to continue.
Amazing, isn't it?

With every passing day, John McCain becomes a true follower of the Bush philosophy of the haves over the have-nots. His presidency will surely be Bush's third term, if we allow it.

-Noah Greenberg

In response to John McCain's VP Choices, Victoria Brownworth writes:

A name being touted repeatedly for VP choice for McCain is South Carolina governor Mark Sanford. He's young (47), he's southern, he's virile, he's relatively moderate, he's an Episcopalian, he's up-and-coming in the party.

Look for him.

As for Rudy--he's not going to be VP. Alas, he will be Secretary of State. Yikes.

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-Noah Greenberg