Sunday, July 6, 2008

Still intact.

Hooray for having Sunday off! It's going to be my last one in a few weeks, as next week is our annual Garlic Dinner, and the week after is another one of Madison's Restaurant Weeks. So I'm attempting to enjoy it while I can.
So, I had a good Fourth of July. It was pretty low key, but fun nonetheless. Sam, Craig, and I headed to some stand in a parking lot to stock up - we showed admirable restraint, spending only $100 between the three of us on fireworks:


I love fireworks - partly because I think of them as badly written action movies. Sure, they try to put a plot or theme in there, but at the end, it's all about the explosions, isn't it?
For example, RoboDog:


Or Noah's Ark:


So we came back to my place and sat in the backyard for a while, noted the irony in drinking Newcastle (a British beer, for those of you who are a bit slow on the uptake) while celebrating our nation's independence, lit off a few firecrackers and bottle rockets from the backyard, befriended a homeless guy named Larry who came around the corner and joined us...headed to a friend of Sam's house where we lit off the roman candles, the remaining bottle rockets, and the aforementioned RoboDog, headed down to Lake Mendota and sent Noah's Ark to Valhalla (mixed metaphor?) was a decent Fourth of July. And to continue the celebration, a buddy of mine had a bunch of mortars (the class A fireworks that cities buy for their official celebrations) last night at Harvest, so we lit those off from the parking lot after dinner service. Good times, indeed, and I'm lucky I still have all of my digits.

In politics this week...George W Bush has taken the
"terrorist fist jab" over to the Republican side of the circus. Of course, now that Bush has done it, it's quickly being rebranded as "Super Heroic American Freedom Democratic Bump" (thank you, Fark).

According to reports, John McCain became "visibly angry" the other day when asked if his military experience prepared him to be president. This whole "military service" debate is really being blown out of proportion - especially when McCain's camp begins to blame the Obama side for the alleged "smears" on his military record.

Apparently McCain doesn't realize that no one in their right mind is denigrating his service (well, maybe he does realize it, he's just attempting to destroy the truth and hope that no one actually looks for the facts - classic Republican move, there!). The actual story is that McCain has nothing else to run on besides his military record - and while the vast majority of Americans respect and honor our veterans, we still say that simply having served in the military isn't enough to qualify one for president. And I'm still waiting for someone to ask Senator McCain how, after his supposedly agonizing imprisonment and torture in Vietnam, how he can support the United States' use of torture. Seems a little hypocritical to me.

Lastly, the GOP is claiming that Obama has now reversed his position on Iraq. Read the linked article - it's another vicious distortion of the facts. McCain spends so much time trying to label Obama as a "flip-flopper" - I almost feel like we're back in 2004! But if we're going to play that game, Senator McCain, let's play. Let's take a look at McCain's record (from Countdown:

John McCain has flip-flopped on so many subjects that he would feel quite at home in my toddler’s tumbling class. Keith Olbermann recounts McCain’s flip-floppery on Political reform, Immigration, Gay marriage, Abortion, Nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, Military actions against rogue states, Negotiating with Kim Jong Il, Negotiating with Castro, Negotiating with terrorists (acceptable in 2002 when Powell went to Syria. In 2006, McCain said sooner or later we’ll talk to Hamas, not appropriate now), Unilateral action against suspected terrorists in Pakistan (Confused leadership with Obama, not with Bush) Warrantless wiretapping, Torturing Detainees, Indefinitely holding detainees, Iraq War, Tax cuts for the rich, Estate tax, Privatizing Social Security, Balanced budget, Windfall profits tax, Offshore drilling, Bush fundraisers, Jerry Falwell, Pastor John Hagee, MLK Jr. holiday, South Africa divestment, the confederate flag, and alternatives to evolution being taught at school.

Feeling dizzy yet?

This weekend, Senator John McCain said, quote, “This election is about trust and trusting people’s word. And unfortunately, apparently on several items Senator Obama’s word cannot be trusted.”

In our third story tonight, judging candidates based on their consistency.

You see where I’m going with this.

The signing of the GI Bill, not the only time Senator McCain was against something, before he was for it — or vice versa — or both.

You may want to get pencil and paper and write all these down.

On political reform, McCain last January opposed a grassroots-lobbying bill he once supported. In 2006 the New York Sun reported that his presidential ambitions led McCain to reverse his support of a campaign-finance bill… called McCain-Feingold.

Last October, he said he would vote against the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act… that he co-sponsored. Then he said he would vote against an immigration bill that he introduced.

In 2006, he said on Hardball, quote, “I think that gay marriage should be allowed.” Then, after the commercial break, he added, “I do not believe that gay marriages should be legal.”

On abortion… 1999, publicly supporting Roe v. Wade… privately opposing it, in a letter to the National Right to Life Committee. The 2000 debates… he would change the GOP platform to permit exceptions for rape, incest, the life of the mother. May, 2008… no, he won’t, reports.

Storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain? Flip.

Military action against rogue states? Flip.

Negotiating with Kim Jong Il… not acceptable, until President Bush did it.

With Fidel Castro, acceptable in 2000… not 2008.

With terrorists? Appropriate when Colin Powell went to Syria… and in 2006, when McCain said “sooner or later” we’ll talk to Hamas. Not appropriate now.

Unilateral action against suspected terrorists in Pakistan? “Confused leadership” when Obama suggested it… not when Bush did it.

Warrantless wiretaps? Six months ago, presidents had to obey the law. Not any more.

Torture detainees? No way… except for the CIA.

Hold them indefinitely? Wrong in 2003. Right in 2008.

The Iraq War? “The right course,” 2004. “Stay the course,” 2005. Today, McCain’s always been a Rumsfeld critic.

Tax cuts for the rich? In 2001 he could not “in good conscience” support them. Now he can.

The estate tax? 2006: “I agree with President Roosevelt”–who created it. 2008: “most unfair.”

This month, not for privatizing Social Security, never has been. 2004, doesn’t see how benefits will last without it.

In February, promised a balanced budget in four years. By April… make it eight years.

In May, “glad to look…at the windfall profits tax.” By June, “that was Jimmy Carter’s big idea.”
2000, no new off-shore drilling. Last month, “would take years to develop.” This month, “very helpful in the short term.”

The Bush fund-raisers McCain called “coyotes,” breaking the law in 2000… by 2006 were co-chairing McCain fundraisers.

Buddy Jerry Falwell… an “agent of intolerance” in 2000.

The Reverend Hagee… In, then out, in this year alone.

In 1983, opposed Martin Luther King Day. Today, not so much.

1986, opposed South African divestment. This month praised it.

And in 2000, defended South Carolina’s Confederate Flag… “a symbol of heritage.” Two years later, McCain calling it, quote, “an act of political cowardice” not to say the flag should come down. Quote: “Everybody said, ‘Oh, look out, you can’t win in South Carolina if you say that.’”

McCain’s campaign says his positions evolve.

Ironically, in 2005, McCain said alternatives to evolution should be taught in school… Evolving the opposite position he took in 2000.

Sorry about the extended copy-and-paste. Follow the link if you want to see the video, and see examples of McCain's "changing positions" on each one of these issues listed.

So, that's it out of me. Happy Sunday!

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