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Tilting at Windmills

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February 22, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

McCAIN AND PAXSON....Prurient innuendo aside, Michael Isikoff points out that there's a problem with McCain's claim yesterday that he never did any favors for Paxson Communications:

But that flat claim seems to be contradicted by an impeccable source: McCain himself. "I was contacted by Mr. Paxson on this issue," McCain said in the Sept. 25, 2002, deposition obtained by Newsweek. "He wanted [FCC] approval very bad for purposes of his business. I believe that Mr. Paxson had a legitimate complaint."

While McCain said "I don't recall" if he ever directly spoke to the firm's lobbyist about the issue — an apparent reference to Iseman, though she is not named — "I'm sure I spoke to [Paxson]." McCain agreed that his letters on behalf of Paxson, a campaign contributor, could "possibly be an appearance of corruption" — even though McCain denied doing anything improper.

To be honest, it's genuinely not clear to me whether this really amounts to anything serious. It sounds more like a political misdemeanor than a felony to me. But he still shouldn't lie make misleading statements about it.

Kevin Drum 2:10 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (65)

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Comments

I can remember when the New York Times did have a reputation for being honest and careful in what they reported. This slander against John McCain shows that is no longer true. You have all these assertions and not on speck of proof. You have no sources that are willing to come forward and repeat what you are saying. You make sure we all know it was a "woman" McCain supposedly had this affair with. You sound more like a liberal tool than a reputable newspaper.

Posted by: Ray Barrosse on February 22, 2008 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, McCain's basic behavior as a politician is standard issue (sad to say), but he is supposed to be better. Of course any dalliance with this lady is the bigger news, and the NYT didn't make it better by their vague "innuendos" flapping around like loose ends. The righturds are following their usual primitive amygdalar psychology of supporting the guy they hated now that someone they hate more is ragging on him.

It makes me wonder, since the NYT is really run by corporations that usually don't like what Democrats do, there could be a double-cross of sympathy vote intended here. I don't blame that sort of thing on the reporters in the trenches. They probably mean to just tell a story they think ought to be, and it should be if true. BTW, it is libelous to accuse someone of libel if you don't know that the claim is false. Until you know, only skepticism is ethical.

Posted by: Neil B. on February 22, 2008 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

Just say "lie", Kevin... It's closer to the truth, and as a blogger, you don't have to adhere to absurd MSM conventions.

Posted by: sean on February 22, 2008 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

It makes sense to me that a man with the character to be an adulterer also would be able to diddle the system.

Imagine leaving a child in his care?

Posted by: John McCain is an Adulterer on February 22, 2008 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

All President McCain did was ask the FCC to act; according to the letter, he didn't even advocate a particular position. The 'scandal' the liberal MSM is trying to create here is essentially that a politician shouldn't intervene on behalf of a concerned citizen to encourage a regulatory agency to act, instead of burying any decision in mountains of red tape. The real scandal is that a Senator even had to get involved. Hopefully, McCain can use his experience to cut down on bureaucracy when he's elected.

Posted by: Al on February 22, 2008 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

You sound more like a liberal tool than a reputable newspaper.

Yep, and that was particularly the case when the NYT was printing front page stories by Judith Miller on WMDs in Iraq!

Or...

Posted by: JM on February 22, 2008 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, maybe you should re-read the article? McCain never denied he talked to Paxson or Alcalde & Fay once in his lifetime. What he denied was he talked to Paxson or Alcalde & Fay "about the matter." How do you know his contact with Paxson was "about the matter" at all? Perhaps he was talking about a difference subject altogether. So far, you have given no evidence.

Posted by: Al on February 22, 2008 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

EPU'ed from six threads previous, here is the Boston Globe's nicely-detailed 2000 piece on McCain's relationship with Paxson, and what constituted the pro quo for which McCain came as close as legally possible to delivering quid.

Posted by: joel hanes on February 22, 2008 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

It looks like McCain has a problem with the FEC as well, ironic that:

Link

Posted by: Neil B. on February 22, 2008 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

How do you know his contact with Paxson was "about the matter" at all?

I guess it depends upon what the definition of "the matter" is.

Posted by: Killjoy on February 22, 2008 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

The comment about McCain's contact with Paxson may, by itself, seem like an innocent mistake, but he has lied about his record with regard to the FCC for the last 24 hours. He claimed his letter to the FCC asking for them to act was nothing unusual, and that the FCC Chairman agreed.

That doesn't jive with the public record, though. The FCC Chair sent a letter back to McCain, calling his actions "unusual" and "improper". If you add all the little lies together, they become a wopper. One wonders what McCain is hiding?

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on February 22, 2008 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

To be honest, it's genuinely not clear to me whether this really amounts to anything serious. It sounds more like a political misdemeanor than a felony to me.

When you paint the words "The Straight Talk Express" on your campaign bus, people just expect that you'd be forthright, frank and honorable. But no - he was evasive and disingenuous with his carefully chosen words at his presser yesterday. McLame! For the "straight talker" - it was a political felony.


Posted by: Ms.Polk on February 22, 2008 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

"No representative of Paxson or Alcalde & Fay personally asked Senator McCain to send a letter to the FCC," the campaign said in a statement e-mailed to reporters.


But that flat claim seems to be contradicted by an impeccable source: McCain himself. "I was contacted by Mr. Paxson on this issue," McCain said in the Sept. 25, 2002, deposition obtained by NEWSWEEK. "He wanted their approval very bad for purposes of his business. I believe that Mr. Paxson had a legitimate complaint."


These two claims are not reasonably reconciled. The only reasonable conclusion is that the campaign made a false statement. Have they apologized for the error?

Posted by: Catch22 on February 22, 2008 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

So does Kevin believe that in an election season "political misdemeanors" that involve inaccurate statements from candidates should not be published?

Especially from "Straight Talk Express" candidates?

Posted by: JS on February 22, 2008 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

In addition to the conversation with Mr. Paxson, I seem to recall reading yesterday that Iseman herself had admitted providing McCain with draft language for one of McCain's two letters to the FCC on Paxson's behalf. Am I remembering wrong? I'm not turning this up in a too-quick search.

Posted by: shortstop on February 22, 2008 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

The original Times article said:

In late 1999, Ms. Iseman asked Mr. McCain’s staff to send a letter to the commission to help Paxson, now Ion Media Networks, on another matter. Mr. Paxson was impatient for F.C.C. approval of a television deal, and Ms. Iseman acknowledged in an e-mail message to The Times that she had sent to Mr. McCain’s staff information for drafting a letter urging a swift decision.

Mr. McCain complied. He sent two letters to the commission, drawing a rare rebuke for interference from its chairman.

Posted by: JS on February 22, 2008 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

He's lying, Kev, not "misleading," and not the only time in that conference. Don't be a squish.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on February 22, 2008 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

The original Times article also said:

“Our political messaging during that time period centered around taking on the special interests and placing the nation’s interests before either personal or special interest,” Mr. Weaver continued. “Ms. Iseman’s involvement in the campaign, it was felt by us, could undermine that effort.”

Mr. Weaver added that the brief conversation was only about “her conduct and what she allegedly had told people, which made its way back to us.” He declined to elaborate.

So...Ms. Iseman may have bragged. Hey witnesses! Come out, come out, wherever you are.

Posted by: Lucy on February 22, 2008 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

What's interesting about this story is not the substance or whether or not anyone lied; it's how this story pierces the "Media hearts McCain 4-eva" bubble. Even if the scandal itself doesn't amount to very much, we can expect to start seeing a lot more scrutiny of McCain.

Put more simply, Obama just won the election in November.

Posted by: Steve Simitzis on February 22, 2008 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks, JS.

Posted by: shortstop on February 22, 2008 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

Neil B wrote: "McCain's basic behavior as a politician is standard issue (sad to say), but he is supposed to be better. "

McCain is "supposed to be" better because McCain says that he is better, as in the November 2007 townhall in New Hampshire where McCain proclaimed "Everybody says that they’re against the special interests. I’m the only one the special interests don’t give any money to."

In fact McCain is one of the top recipients of special interest money in the Senate, including nearly $1.2 million in campaign contributions from the telephone utility and telecom service industries, more than any other Senator.

McCain is a deliberate and blatant liar, a phony and a fraud. He has been in bed with lobbyists throughout his entire legislative career, and his whole campaign organization is packed with and run by corporate lobbyists. He is the apotheosis of Bush-style crony-capitalism, and cash-and-carry corruption as his basic philosophy of government.

The real question is whether the corporate media will successfully bury this truth with a fake, phony, manufactured "controversy" about an unsubstantiated sex scandal, so that they can continue trumpeting McCain's disgusting lies to the American people and continue pimping one of the most corrupt politicians in the Congress as the "independent maverick" who stands up to "special interests".

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 22, 2008 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

So, straight talker is in bed with the lobbyists-possibly also in bed with a lobbyist. (in this I follow the Dick Cheney Doctrine--if there is a 2% chance of a story being true, then, by God, it is true.)

Not excusing the man, but isn't that the way our system works? When our founders steered the country between monarchy and democracy, didn't they come up with oligarchy--rule by the rich?

Isn't that what lobbyists facilitate? Middle men, in this case middle women, take money from
a rich corporation and give it to a politician so as to influence his vote.

This is the way it works, no?

ABSCAM Congressman Ozzie Myers famously remarked, “Money talks, bullshit walks.”; it ought to replace “E pluribus unum” on our currency.


Posted by: Fran, the eastside limosine liberal on February 22, 2008 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

Good radio piece on today's Democracy Now!
(www.democracynow.org)

McCain is as guilty as sin!

Posted by: Jeff in Clearwater on February 22, 2008 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

The real issue in any of these "appearance of a conflict of interest" cases is whether or not the influence sought by the constituent, in this case Mr. Paxson, was "undo."

Absent from any of these current discussions is a fair consideration of whether the policy changes Mr. Paxson sought through Mr. McCain were fair and reasonable. Mr. McCain has a responsibility to represent rich as well as poor people. Would the policies Mr. McCain sought to influence on Mr. Paxon's behalf have served the broader public good?

For example would they have preserved or grown jobs in Arizona? Would these changes have led to some other benefits, like broader access to the media, more choice or cheaper programming?

Remember, politicians are supposed to represent their constituents, even constituents we don't like. Having said that, these latest problems combined with Senator McCain's earlier problems as one of the implicated Senators in the Keating S&L scandal (that led to a multi-billion dollar government bailout of the Keating S&L) raises questions of character and whether the Senator learned as much from the Keating scandal as he says.

I could care less about Senator McCain's sex life, extra marital or otherwise, even if he lies about it.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on February 22, 2008 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

As I understand the story McCain's offense was to have engaged in ex parte communication with the FCC during a quasi-judicial proceeding.

Posted by: Chris Brown on February 22, 2008 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

Mr. Drum,

Did you notice that CBS is carrying your post?

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/02/22/politics/animal/main3866290.shtml

Posted by: Chris Brown on February 22, 2008 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

McCain's Renzi problem:

I don't see any MSM articles mentioning that Renzi was McCain's Arizona campaign co-chair. A bit troubling, considering the immediate MSM connecting of Rezko to Obama.

Also troubling: much of the coverage beats on the NYT story without mentioning the WaPo story at all.

Posted by: Broken on February 22, 2008 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

Boston Globe January 7, 2000
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2008/02/21/senators_niche_image_takes_a_hit/?page=2

"McCain has said, and he repeated yesterday, that his intent in urging the FCC vote was merely to spur an agency known to linger over regulatory decisions, and that he did not advocate a particular outcome in the case. Nevertheless, FCC officials have told the Globe that it seemed clear to them that McCain wanted the outcome that favored Paxson. And his demand in a Dec. 10 letter that the five FCC commissioners vote or explain to him why they would not prompted FCC chairman William E. Kennard to warn McCain that his request was inappropriate.

The Globe also reported that last May, McCain accused the FCC of bias against Ameritech and SBC Communications, two Baby Bells that were seeking approval of their merger. Just before his May letter, officials and lobbyists for the two companies helped him raise almost $120,000."

Posted by: Chris Brown on February 22, 2008 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist, a checkworthy rundown of McCain's weaknesses, with links etc. would be helpful. (And I don't mean I think you can't, I mean we really want to see it.)

Posted by: Neil B. on February 22, 2008 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

Paxson owns over fifty television stations across the nation. Since they are not affiliated with the national networks, they are hardly noticed. Their programming is mostly reruns of syndicated family fare and infomercials on the weekends. Expect a lot of anti-Democratic infomercials sponsored by Newsmax on these stations before the election.

Posted by: Brojo on February 22, 2008 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

McCain's Letter to F.C.C. and Excerpts From Replies

Posted by: Lucy on February 22, 2008 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

I got to admit, I don't really see what all the hubbub is about. Putting aside the moronic affair undertones, the story is: John McCain gets contribution from lobbyist. The lobbyist is also his friend. The lobbyist has a client who wants something. The lobbyist goes to friend/senator and asks for help. Senator gives help by writing letter. I'm sorry, but so what? People know each other and people trade on those relationships. If someone from AZ who was also a donor asked for the letter, it would be called "constituent service." Unless she said "Here's 20K if you write a letter", I don't see this any different than how Washington works and how it even raises to level of unusual, let alone unethical. Its being able to deliver this kind of Congressional assistance that gives lobbyists jobs in the first place. You may decry the money politics, but it is what it is.

As for leaning on the FCC or any other agency, depsite what Bill Kennard says it happens all the times. The Democrats are all over current chairman Kevin Martin too.

Posted by: do on February 22, 2008 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

Expect a lot of anti-Democratic infomercials sponsored by Newsmax on these stations before the election.

Plus a lot of reruns of Stolen Honor with Obama's face badly Photoshopped over stills of John Kerry.

Posted by: shortstop on February 22, 2008 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

This guy is a horrible person. It's unbelievable that he can't find a better-looking person to sleep with than Cindy McCain or Vicki Iseman.

Where's the injustice?

It's like the world isn't remaining that bad of a place.

Posted by: Swan on February 22, 2008 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

Wonder if the Obama, Larry Sinclair thing is being investigated. Barack needs to get that cleared up.

Sinclair says he will take a lie detector test.

Posted by: TruthPolitik on February 22, 2008 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

To judge both by your introduction and some of the comments in this thread, you should re-caption it with the title of Arthur Kopit's play, "The Day the Whores Came Out to Play Tennis."

Yes, pols hang out with lobbyists (and take their gifts); and yes, the people lobbyists represent are "constituents;" and yes, pols do the bidding of their lobbyists pals at bill-drafting time; and, yes, pols lean on regulators on behalf of their lobbyist pals; and yes, that's the way the system works, no big deal, a misdemeanor, not a felony, nothing to see, folks, move right along.

How compassionate. How forgiving. Why is that, I wonder? It must be because John McCain has such a pristine resume--let's face it, there's no history of hanky-panky with lobbyists, there's no history of hanky panky with younger women (the adultery that broke up his first marriage doesn't count because he dumped his wife and wed his mistress) and, of course, there's no history of lying, pandering, or swapping positions faster than a dealer of 3-card monte. How could there be--he's the motorman on the Straight-Talk Express.

No. More the like pianist in the cathouse.

Posted by: lupo on February 22, 2008 at 6:18 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin: "To be honest, it's genuinely not clear to me whether this really amounts to anything serious."

If I might paraphrase Lady Margaret Thatcher, former British Prime Minister -- don't go wobbly on us. The man lied. Period.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on February 22, 2008 at 6:37 PM | PERMALINK
Lady Margaret Thatcher

The Right Honorable The Baronness Thatcher, some string of initialized honors that I can't remember..., isn't it?

Posted by: cmdicely on February 22, 2008 at 6:47 PM | PERMALINK

TruthPolitik: "Wonder if the Obama, Larry Sinclair thing is being investigated. Barack needs to get that cleared up."

You're disgusting. I bet you probably wet your pants last night when Frank Luntz ask that totally gross focus-group question on FOX News. The only thing that needs to be "cleared up" is your propensity to peddle such political porn, you skanky perv.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on February 22, 2008 at 7:02 PM | PERMALINK

Imagine having to see John McCain and Vicki Iseman kiss? Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. I would pay to not have to see that.

Posted by: Swan on February 22, 2008 at 7:03 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely: "The Right Honorable The Baronness Thatcher, some string of initialized honors that I can't remember..., isn't it?"

I know a lot of people in Britain, left-wing Labor members all, who'd follow that up with a string of epithets.

But yeah, it's something like that, i.e., O.B.E. (Order of the British Empire), etc. And I also think that if you're correct that she's a baroness, the correct title for her would be "Dame Margaret Thatcher", and not "Lady" as I had supposed.

Does anyone out there know if that lady's really a dame?

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on February 22, 2008 at 7:11 PM | PERMALINK

shortstop: "Plus a lot of reruns of Stolen Honor with Obama's face badly Photoshopped over stills of John Kerry."

Plus a GOP-allied 527 commercial that airs down in the Deep South, using that scene in Blazing Saddles with Obama's face badly photoshopped over Cleavon Little's body, when he asks those Klansmen, "Hey, where the white women at?"

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on February 22, 2008 at 7:18 PM | PERMALINK

Donald from Hawaii wrote: "And I also think that if you're correct that she's a baroness, the correct title for her would be 'Dame Margaret Thatcher', and not 'Lady' as I had supposed."

According to Wikipedia:

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by King George V. The Order includes five classes in civil and military divisions; in decreasing order of seniority, these are:

  • Knight Grand Cross (GBE) or Dame Grand Cross (GBE)
  • Knight Commander (KBE) or Dame Commander (DBE)
  • Commander (CBE)
  • Officer (OBE)
  • Member (MBE)

Only the two highest ranks entail admission into knighthood, an honour allowing the recipient to use the title 'Sir' (male) or 'Dame' (female) before their name.

So, a woman who has been knighted has the title of Dame.

For example, British actress Diana Rigg, best known in the USA as Emma Peel in The Avengers TV series, was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1988 and a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 1994. So she is entitled to be called Dame Diana Rigg.

In contrast, I believe that "baroness" would be a hereditary title.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 22, 2008 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

"The real issue in any of these 'appearance of a conflict of interest' cases is whether or not the influence sought by the constituent, in this case Mr. Paxson, was 'undo.'"

Shouldn't that be "undue"?

And "More the like pianist in the cathouse."

I think they call them "piano players" in cathouses. Unless it's an upscale cathouse with classical music. But isn't "upscale cathouse" and oxymoron? Good movie, "Shoot the Piano Player."

As to the post, I'm shocked, shocked I tell you that one of the Keating Five has made phone calls to administrative panels on behalf of wealthy donors/"consituents."

Try getting a Senator to take action on your behalf in front of a regulatory agency if you've never given them a cent. See what happens.

Posted by: Pedant on February 22, 2008 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK

Donald, Donald, Donald

At least the accuser has identified himself and has agreed to take a polygraph test. I don't know if his accusations are true or not. We'll see what the polygraph says next week.

Posted by: TruthPolitik on February 22, 2008 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK

At least the accuser has identified himself and has agreed to take a polygraph test.

Let's hope he's also agreed to get some Polident and a few teeth to use it on.

Posted by: shortstop on February 22, 2008 at 8:08 PM | PERMALINK

On Thatcher...

Does anyone out there know if that lady's really a dame?

Okay, I looked around a little: She was created Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven in 1992, is a Lady of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, a Member of the Order of Merit, a Member of Her Royal Majesty's Privy Council, and a Fellow of the Royal Society, and so apparently The Right Honourable The Baronness Thatcher, LG, OM, PC, FRS.

In contrast, I believe that "baroness" would be a hereditary title.

It can be, though Baroness Thatcher holds a life peerage, not a hereditary one.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 22, 2008 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

By way of TPM, here's a great bit from today's Washington Post article about John McCain's relationship with lobbyists:

Of all the lobbyists involved in the McCain campaign, the most prominent is [Charlie] Black...even as Black provides a private voice and a public face for McCain, he also leads his lobbying firm, which offers corporate interests and foreign governments the promise of access to the most powerful lawmakers.

Some of those companies have interests before the Senate and, in particular, the Commerce Committee, of which McCain is a member. Black said he does a lot of his work by telephone from McCain's Straight Talk Express bus.

John McCain -- who publicly proclaims that "I’m the only one the special interests don’t give any money to" when he is, in fact, one of the top recipients of special interest money in the Senate, and his campaign organization is packed with and run by corporate lobbyists who actually conduct their business from his campaign bus -- is a deliberate, bald-faced liar.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 22, 2008 at 8:23 PM | PERMALINK

I thought McCain was gonna end up like Bob Dole in 1996 - a humiliated old turd who would crawl off into the sunset. Now I think McCain is gonna make Dole look like the conquering hero. How sad that old fucks like this coot don't know when to bow out gracefully. There has to be nothing worse that leaving the public stage as a disgraced, foolish, idealess buffoon.

However, I guess McCain can still get it up, judging from his relationship with Iseman, which is more than Bob Dole could say.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on February 22, 2008 at 8:34 PM | PERMALINK

Vicki Iseman looks like Michael Jackson with red lipstick and a blond wig. I think we could send her to Iraq and she would scare the Iraqis half-to-death- maybe that's what John McCain means by "fighting the war on terror"?

Here's something I found to help John McCain get through his trying time. Watch the embedded video!

Kuschel

Posted by: Swan on February 22, 2008 at 10:05 PM | PERMALINK

It appears that McCain is not the straight-talker he thinks he is. Oh my.

Perhaps that's why he acts like a guilty man, as you suggested in an earlier post. Not because he was diddling the lobbyist, but because he was doing her bidding.

Posted by: bob on February 22, 2008 at 10:46 PM | PERMALINK

Strait talk express, or Bi-polar Express.

Wait until his anger boils over.

He's being goaded.

Posted by: Bub on February 22, 2008 at 10:51 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe McCain's experience in war gave him a more unhinged-from-morality perspective of things.

Shit! I got that too! But I'm still sane...sort of. Here, let me tell you a story...

Remember that war movie with Michael J. Fox and Sean Penn? The first time I saw it was in early '90 after a particularly nasty winter three week field problem back in Germany. When the part came where they kidnapped that village girl(good god I will never forget this)just so the squad could rape her. Men I would die for cheered. I put a stop to it with one sentence..."You mother fuckers try that shit around me and I would not think twice..."

Then I got, "calm down elmo!" "Shit!"

Posted by: elmo on February 23, 2008 at 1:34 AM | PERMALINK

TruthPolitik: "At least the accuser has identified himself and has agreed to take a polygraph test."

shortstop: "Let's hope he's also agreed to get some Polident and a few teeth to use it on."

Touché! and ROTFL.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on February 23, 2008 at 2:23 AM | PERMALINK

Polygraph tests are worthless, convincing only to the credulous and to Scientologists. But I repeat myself.

You might as usefully ask Jeanne Dixon to weigh in on the issue.

Posted by: joel hanes on February 23, 2008 at 2:33 AM | PERMALINK

Well, now the McPoop has hit the fan.

WAPO is reporting Saturday morning that Paxson says he did speak directly with McCain about writing a letter to the FCC on Paxson's behalf just days before McCain actually wrote the letter. Paxson's complaint was the length of time the FCC was taking to decide whether Paxson could purchase a Pittsburgh TV station.

McCain's intervention at the time was considered by the FCC to be "contentious," "improper" and "offensive" but it was not illegal. Nonetheless, this directly contradicts what McCain has been saying he did for Paxson. And unfortunately for McCain, this also undermines his carefully crafted campaign reformer image. It makes all his work on the McCain-Feingold reforms in the 90s look like he was just blowing smoke, like it was all a big PR campaign to reform his image after the Keating S&L scandal.

According to WAPO, Paxson's Pittsburgh deal involved a complicated license swap where Paxson would acquire the commercial TV broadcast license of WQEX while a Christian broadcast network, Cornerstone TeleVision, would take over one of Pittsburgh's public TV stations, WQED. Although the FCC approved the deal it eventually fell through because Cornerstone would not agree to a prohibition against on-air proselytizing as one of the conditions for approval imposed by the FCC.

This deal could be viewed as a cynical attempt by McCain to establish his right-wing Christian bona fides. It raises questions about McCain's willingness to go to bat & take some heat for right-wing Christian interests.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on February 23, 2008 at 5:55 AM | PERMALINK

This is all part of a process of chipping away at his reputation for integrity and Straight Talk.

Posted by: bob h on February 23, 2008 at 7:04 AM | PERMALINK

Ohhh, Keven.

I can feel the love!

Posted by: fjschmitz on February 23, 2008 at 10:00 AM | PERMALINK

bob h

I don't think "Straight Talk's" reputation for integrity and StraightTalk has just been chipped during this mess. I think it has been blown to pieces.

There might be a couple of media types who still think McCain is something better than the standard issue favor mongering Republican Senator but aside from Tweetie and the folks on Fox Noise I think his days of getting a free media pass are over.

Posted by: corpus juris on February 23, 2008 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

I remember the CalPundit, before he sold out to become Lamest. Blogger. Ever.

Posted by: notanumber on February 23, 2008 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

"Straight-talking moderate maverick" John McCain is a lying sack of shit, as well as a far right-wing extremist whose "maverick" policies slavishly adhere to the agenda of his ultra-rich corporate cronies and financial backers.

"Straight-talking moderate maverick" John McCain says that he is "the only one" that the special interests "don't give any money to" when in fact he is one of the top recipients of special interest money in the Senate, and his campaign organization is packed with and run by corporate lobbyists.

The worst aspect of the Cheney/Bush administration has not been their right-wing extremist, corporate imperialist, neo-fascist ideology, as hideous as it is.

The worst aspect of the Cheney/Bush administration has been their blatant corruption and criminality.

John McCain not only embraces the right-wing extremist ideology of Cheney/Bush, which would be bad enough -- he is, if anything, even more of a corrupt, lying, corporate criminal than they are.

Eight years of gangsters and thieves running the Executive Branch is enough.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 23, 2008 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK


For the bumper:


McCAIN--JUST ANOTHER REPUBLICAN

Posted by: Jim on February 23, 2008 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

We'll see what the polygraph says next week.

Um ... you do understand that a polygraph is not reliable, right?

Posted by: PaulB on February 23, 2008 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

"Barack needs to get that cleared up."

Yeah, just like Bush needed to get that matter of the woman claiming he raped her cleared up. Ooh, and she actually gave a deposition, too!

Give it a rest. A nutcase makes a claim and we're supposed to care?

Posted by: PaulB on February 23, 2008 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

What's hilarious about the McCain story is that it's McCain himself who's keeping the story going with his clumsy and obvious lies. The various reporters are smelling blood and figuring he wouldn't be so blatantly lying if there weren't something to cover up. Who is advising McCain? Because he's violating what's pretty much the first rule of politics.

Posted by: PaulB on February 23, 2008 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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