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Cindy McCain's beer company owns a private jet.

Cindy McCain used her beer company's private jet to fly around the country doing fundraisers for John McCain's presidential campaign.

John McCain's presidential campaign never paid for the use of that jet, as required by law.

The Wall Street Journal article revealing this information does its best to give McCain the benefit of the doubt, but it's an uphill road:

Sen. John McCain's wife flew in her company's private jet last year from Phoenix to New York City, where she spent three hours of the two-day trip at a fund-raiser for her husband's presidential campaign. The rest of her visit was devoted to personal matters, according to the campaign.

The campaign didn't reimburse Cindy McCain for the March 7-9, 2007, trip, which included the event near Times Square that brought in an estimated $100,000. Should it have done so?

According to federal campaign finance rules, the answer is yes -- and no, depending on which portion of the code is applied.

Mrs. McCain's trip offers a good example of the complex and sometimes contradictory ways that post-Watergate regulations have evolved to dictate what is considered proper use of campaign funds. Sen. McCain is one of the leading champions of such rules, but critics charge his campaign has applied them liberally in a number of instances.

She used the jet on several trips last year that included campaign-related activity but never got campaign reimbursement, according to flight-tracking records and campaign-finance reports verified by the McCain campaign. At the New York fund-raiser, she spoke on stage, warming up the audience for her husband.

If the campaign had paid for Mrs. McCain's trip to New York and three others that appear to have included some campaign work, it would likely have cost a total of about $15,000, the equivalent of first-class fare for the trips combined.

Jan Baran, a Republican campaign lawyer, said the campaign should have paid. "I don't know why they want to fight it," he said. "The chutzpah is not that they're not paying for this trip, it's that they're using a corporate airplane at a highly discounted rate."

Cleta Mitchell, another Republican lawyer, said she would have advised her clients to pay for such a trip, but that the McCain campaign had a solid legal basis for not doing so. "That advisory opinion is something of an outlier," she said, "but I think it is probably appropriate that they are relying on that to say that, under the circumstances, it would have been inappropriate to pay for her air travel."

Here's the problem:

Jack Abramoff used to own luxury skyboxes at FedEx Field (where the Washington Redskins play), Camden Yards (where the Baltimore Orioles play) and at what's now the Verizon Center, but used to be the MCI Center (where the Washington Capitals, the Washington Wizards, and most concert tours play). He also used to own Signatures restaurant and Stackers Deli, and their attendant catering businesses.

Abramoff used to rent these out to Republican campaigns for use as fundraising venues, and then magically "forget" to bill the campaigns for their use, as required by law. These same campaigns, of course, magically "forgot" to pay, and usually "forgot" to report the transaction altogether.

Jack Abramoff is in jail for this.

Bob Ney went to jail for this.

Former Rep. Ernie Istook's chief of staff is going to jail for this.

John McCain... is running for president.

And what a thing to "forget" to pay for, Mr. McCain!

During Mr. McCain’s four years in the House, Mr. Keating, his family and his business associates contributed heavily to his political campaigns. The banker gave Mr. McCain free rides on his private jet, a violation of Congressional ethics rules (he later said it was an oversight and paid for the trips).

Boy, he sure forgets a lot of stuff. Or a lot of instances of the exact same unethical and illegal stuff, anyway.

Not that there's anything wrong with that! Don't wanna be "ageist" here.

It's just... weird. You know? Everybody goes to jail for this except Mr. Hero, who instead runs for president on the platform of his personal integrity.

That's not change you can mumble, grumble, mrrrraaaaah....

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 05:19 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Where's McCain going to get that kind of money? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    demkat620, shiobhan, Amber6541, PDX Joe

    He can't afford to pay for the use of his wife's jet...unless perchance she leaves her purse open on the kitchen counter (hint,hint)...

    Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by darthstar on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 05:22:11 PM PDT

  •  Hey, leave McCain's age out of this!!!! /snark (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    demkat620, shiobhan

    "It's weird that chairs even exist when you're not sitting in them"-Rogen E: -5.62 S: -5.13

    by demotarian on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 05:23:45 PM PDT

  •  I'm frankly getting very tired of (21+ / 0-)

    everyone giving McCain a pass because he was a POW and they believe he somehow speaks "straighter" than the average politician.  The guy is an indentity running for office, and a manufactured one, at that.

  •  ....and don't say he flip-flops either. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    demkat620

    ....He just gets confused sometimes, and only when it doesn't really matter.

    "I want to believe" The X-Files

    by dehrha02 on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 05:27:26 PM PDT

  •  don't say "he forgets a lot of stuff." That's (6+ / 0-)

    agist.

    Just say, "He's crooked."

    We drew our heavy revolvers (suddenly in the dream there were revolvers) and exultantly killed the gods. -- Jorge Luis Borges, Ragnarok

    by Hobbitfoot on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 05:27:40 PM PDT

  •  At some point democrats need to figure out (4+ / 0-)

    McCain isn't even as good as Bob Dole.  Everyday I am more convinced he ain't gonna be the nominee.

    They bought a myth and now everybody is starting to figure that out.

  •  Imagine the brouhaha on Fox if Obama was this (9+ / 0-)

    forgetful.  

    There is no Left Wing. Left is the truth.

    by BA BarackUS on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 05:29:05 PM PDT

    •  But that would be racist. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      I Push Pixels

      Dem negroes is always fo'gettin' stuff.

      /snark

      "Conservatism... is basically a public relations campaign aimed at persuading [people] to lay down their capacity for rational thought." -= Phil Agre

      by suburi on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 05:31:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah- or if Michelle (0+ / 0-)

      was a zillionaire who was using her jet for the campaign.  What kind of comments would we have to put up with about that?

      Candidates: BushCo did war crimes, corruption; & turned Agencies into arms of the Repub Party. Will you prosecute for RICO or ignore the offenses & let

      by NBachers on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 11:03:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yep. McCain has an Abramoff problem (5+ / 0-)

    And the shift-able ethics is just part of it.

    He also engaged in a massive cover-up of the Abramoff scandal. The latest Abramoff related guilty is plea is trouble for McCain as well.

    How bad is John McCain?

    Once Grover Norquist said the what Washington needed was "50 Jack Abramoffs."

    Now Grover tells us that what Washington needs is John McCain.

    What we need is a big broom to sweep the place clean and take out the trash like Norquist and McCain.

    Cheers

    Time to clean up DeLay's petri dish! Help CNMI guest workers find justice! Learn more at Unheard No More.

    by dengre on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 05:33:15 PM PDT

  •  He's a fake moderate and a fake war hero (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mike101, llywrch, ibonewits, wyvern, Lavocat

    But that means little. We've have fakers before.

    And even a crook can be a good leader.

    It's the ignorance of one who cannot distinguish between major players in a conflict where we have lost 4000 people already, and does not understand the significance of the difference that scares me more than anything else.

    894th in a class of 899 means something to me.

    This man does not have any degree, any college education after he barely graduated from the Naval Academy? His father was an Admiral, and still graduated in the bottom 1%?

    That part is just incredible. At least Bush graduated from Yale with a C average, with an MBA.

    At best McCain's an uneducated, coarse and vain man. Unlike George W Bush, who at least stands by what he believes, even when he's horribly wrong, John Sidney McCain the Third shows every sign of bending his story and his views to pander and get votes.

    He shows every sign of being worse than George W Bush.

    Worse.

    "If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." We need to go far, quickly.

    by shpilk on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 05:33:21 PM PDT

    •  W. is a faker too (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Spoc42, shiobhan, jayden

      He would not have been admitted to Yale and Harvard were it not for Daddy.  McCain and W. are cut from the same cloth in this regard.  Both are two dudes, who, if just average Joes w/o Daddy, would both be working as  mid-level  supervisors in WalMart or Target.

    •  I couldn't have said it better. (0+ / 0-)

      For all the fear mongering coming from the other side, McCain is by far the scariest candidate that could have emerged in this primary.

      Uneducated, coarse, and vain.

      If people can't see how dangerous a combination that cocktail is, then we're in serious trouble.

  •  looking forward to seeing Obama commercials on TV (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shiobhan

    ...sooner rather than later.

    "I want to believe" The X-Files

    by dehrha02 on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 05:33:22 PM PDT

  •  damn liberals! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shiobhan

    ...critics charge his campaign has applied them liberally in a number of instances.

  •  I don't understand the rules here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dogheaven

    If I volunteer for the Obama campaign, and (fly, drive) to some other state to campaign for him, is his campaign required to reimburse me for my travel costs?  Does it really work that way?  And if not, what's the distinction I'm missing?  I mean, if it's Cindy's own jet, surely she can travel wherever she wants on it and campaign for her husband while she's there, can't she?

    •  Depends on how her company is formed. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      True North, shiobhan

      If she's the sole owner, then it is in effect "her" plane. But if the company has any shareholders, "they" share the ownership of the plane as well.
      In the first example, campaign contributions would just be enriching the McCains (not cool). In the second, it would be a reimbursement to the share holders (appropriate and required).

      I belong to no organized political party, I'm a Democrat. -Will Rogers

      by geez53 on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 05:49:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Jet isn't the McCain family property (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mollyr

      it belongs to Hensley & Co. that Mrs.Cindy is the Chair of. The McCain Campaign has to reimburse the Corp. at first class rates by law.  If anyone in any occupation goes on a business trip, the employer pays.  If Hensley & Co is not reimbursed it is tantamount to a donation to the campaign which has $ amount limits that have been exceeded unless the McCain Campaign pays for usage.

      Swift Goat Pets For Truth

      by Amayupta yo on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:54:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  No big deal. He's old and he forgets. Get over it (0+ / 0-)

    Its not like he's going to call Putin on accident and start asking him about schnitzel.

  •  KO right, McCain wrong (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shiobhan

    Close the Enron loophole!

    McCain has an Enron problem too.

  •  Isn't this part of the same law... (4+ / 0-)

    ...that has McCain's name on it?

    what a thing to forget.

    If you can't stand the heat, don't play with matches.

    by DawnG on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 05:40:35 PM PDT

  •  Hey! You cannot attack Cindy through her plane! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TealVeal, BenGoshi, shiobhan

    What is freaking wrong with you! Leave Cindy Alone, the poor dear!  

    ``...Stand still. The forest knows
    Where you are. You must let it find you.''
    from `Lost' by David Wagoner

    by dlcox1958 on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 05:40:52 PM PDT

  •  Searing 'n Funny post , KX (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    newfie53523
  •  Gosh he forgets a lot of stuff...probably cuz... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shiobhan

    ...he's always spending so much time coming up with his brilliant offshore oil drillin' plans.  

    What would Lincoln do?

    by stevedubya on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 05:46:25 PM PDT

  •  The article in the WSJ... (2+ / 0-)

    that is part of this controversy ends with the update that "A vote on five new (FEC) commissioners may come as soon as this week.

    The hits just keep coming!
    http://online.wsj.com/...

    In the intelligence war, the Bush admin has no high value targets.

    by olo on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 05:46:52 PM PDT

  •  And his brilliant new-cular reactor proposal (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shiobhan

    He wants to build 45 new ones.  Just what we need.  

    "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." (Frederick Douglass, 1857)

    by dotalbon on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 05:47:18 PM PDT

  •  ain't gonna matter (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dogheaven

    This example of Republicanism won't sway one voter--it confirms what we, his "enemies," already know.  Time to become more pro Obama and more dismissive of McCain.  Remember--reality is on our side.  Sell it that way.

  •  Since 99-plus percent of Americans (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    newfie53523

    have never been on a private jet, much less broken the law is using one for free, this might be the kind of class warfare issue that the Dems or some 527 could do a powerful ad about.

    Just for kicks, the ad could reference how Bush used Enron jets to campaign in 2000 and help steal that election.

    The Republicans want to cut YOUR Social Security benefits.

    by devtob on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 05:48:00 PM PDT

  •  McCain above the law before he's President n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shiobhan
  •  THANK YOU! I was wondering when this was going (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shiobhan, timbuck

    to come out.  Thank you, Kagro.  Let's see if anyone else besides WSJ picks this upin the trad media.

    " ... or a baby's arm holding an apple!"

    by Lavocat on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 05:48:40 PM PDT

  •  I think attacking people's mode of private luxury (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TealVeal, shiobhan, olo, timbuck
    transportation is just over the top Kagro X.
  •  I'm sure he would like to reimburse Cindy (2+ / 2-)
    Recommended by:
    William S, kydoc
    Hidden by:
    Phil S 33, ibonewits

    But he cunt.

  •  mccain wants to build 45 new nuclear reactors (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ibonewits

    while also making the myth of "clean coal" a reality. just reported a few minutes ago.

    can we add mcbush's in- bed relationship with certain energy providers to his "abramoff problem"?

  •  F*** John McCain (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    timbuck

    I used to actually like this 2-bit lying scumbag. Between him and Hillary this makes 2 people I was totally wrong about.

    Big stinky war mongering domestic spy machines suck!

    by plok on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 05:51:50 PM PDT

  •  I am a bit confused. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    geez53

    Is it because they are married that this matters?  I mean if a rich woman wanted to fly to Chicago from LA to do a fundraiser for McCain, and she took her own personal plane to do it, does the campaign have to pay for her plane trip?  

    Call me crazy, but can't Cindy McCain use her plane when she wants to as long as hubby is not along for the ride?

  •  Boy, he sure forgets a lot of stuff. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    timbuck

    Isn't that code for he's older than dirt or something?

  •  Grrrr, whenever I forget to pay... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    True North, cookiesandmilk, shiobhan

    ...for my airfare,,,

    They don't let me on the plane.

    In the intelligence war, the Bush admin has no high value targets.

    by olo on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 05:54:00 PM PDT

  •  **When I first started reading this diary (6+ / 0-)

    it jogged my memory.  As you so rightly chronicled he did the same damn thing during the Keating scandal.  He's so much like Bush, it's scary.  These guys really believe that the rules should not apply to them.  Even knowing that the information is out there, they'll just assume that it'll never come out.  Idiots.  WE NEED A FUNCTIONING FEC!

    **Yeah, I'm mad! I've been paying attention.

    by greylox on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 05:58:41 PM PDT

  •  McCain could have avoided all of this (6+ / 0-)

    by flying the plane himself and using the hours towards his licence renewal.

    But then he'd probably have crashed it.  Never mind.

    I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man's reasoning powers are not above the monkey's. - Mark Twain

    by route66 on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 05:59:14 PM PDT

    •  Yeah, I was going to point out (0+ / 0-)

      that there is good reason for his wife to loan him her plane and presumably pilot. Last time he was trusted with a plane of his own, he crashed it.

      So three of the last four GOP nominees for president had problems flying planes in uniform? That seems to be a trend...

      Have you heard? The vice president's gone mad. - Bob Dylan, 1966

      by textus on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 11:01:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's change you can keep ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shiobhan, divineorder

    ... because it's so small.

    That's not change you can mumble, grumble, mrrrraaaaah....

    Not worth a red cent, actually ...

    First, oversight; second, investigations; third, impeachments; fourth, war crimes trials!

    by ibonewits on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 05:59:41 PM PDT

  •  Join the "Confused Talk Express". (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shiobhan, loveendures

    Plane rides are cheap so long as you're so senile you forget to pay the bill.

  •  It's really a lose-lose for McCain... (0+ / 0-)

    ...either he doesn't pay for transportation to campaign events (there were, if I'm reading correctly, other reasons for the trip, which is important but perhaps not completely exculpatory) or his campaign pays for transportation for an executive to do corporate business.

    In a lose-lose situation the only way to win is to have had the sense not to do the thing in the first place.

    I think that, actually, given the options, McCain did the "right" thing. His wife can go anywhere she wants on her dime, and if she chooses to speak out for her husband while there, I guess that's fine. But there shouldn't have been the situation in the first place.

    Especially not for a "reform-minded maverick."

    (-2.75, -4.92) | Hillary isn't the opponent anymore.

    by Addison on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 06:07:08 PM PDT

  •  McCain for indictment! Well at least it rhymes (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shiobhan, timbuck

    with President.  Snarking along until I choked. He should have been jailed over Keating boosheet back in the day.  Knows better. Where are we with the full staffing of the election commission?

    Are 'healing' and 'turning the page' while turning a blind eye to lawbreakers these days?  At least this is something the Democratic leadership seems to be doing.

    Hoping and working for change, me. Thanks Kagro, you.

  •  If this gains real traction... (0+ / 0-)

    ... Senator McCain may have his own "fuck jet".

  •  an "outlier" opinion and "solid legal basis" (0+ / 0-)

    are not the same thing; the latter is a position based on law and precedent with citations to real sources; the former is just bullshit!

    "The most common form of terrorism in the U.S.A. is that carried on by bulldozers and chain saws." Edward Abbey

    by timbuck on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 06:12:35 PM PDT

  •  This ageism business is ridiculous. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    llywrch, timbuck, Spruced Alien

    It is not sexist to point out that a woman is a woman.  It is not homophobic to point out that a gay man or lesbian is a gay man or lesbian, respectively.  It is not racist to say that an Asian person is Asian, a Latino is Latino, etc.

    Why is it "ageist" to point out that McCain is a senior citizen and that we have to consider what all goes along with being a senior citizen?

    I mean- is it racist to point out that Barack Obama is more than likely going to have to deal with issues that a white President would not have to deal with?  Is it sexist to say that Hillary would have had to have overcome specific gender-related obstacles if she had become the first woman President?

    No- it isn't.  It's honest.  Now- that by itself is probably by McCain doesn't want to be reminded of his advanced age.  They seem to run from honesty like vampires run from sunlight.  Slapping an ageist label on people who want to maturely and fully discuss McCain's liabilities is ridiculous and censorial.  

    /end rant

    "And we will remember this when we are old and ancient, though the specifics might be vague..."- The Decemberists, "July, July"

    by electricgrendel on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 06:12:53 PM PDT

    •  in the end he is a bitter old man n/t (0+ / 0-)

      "The most common form of terrorism in the U.S.A. is that carried on by bulldozers and chain saws." Edward Abbey

      by timbuck on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 06:20:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Age IS a reasonable factor to consider (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      electricgrendel

      whereas, race and gender are not.  Skin color and genitalia do not have any affect on intelligence, character, judgment or ability to lead.  

      Age can, and often does play a role in MANY peoples' abilities in terms of stamina and mental agility.  We as the citizens of this country have a right to discuss this possibility openly and candidly.  McCain himself conjectured that he'd be "too old" to be running for President at his current age, so I for one will continue to examine his performance for any evidence that age might be an issue.  Frankly, I think every voter should be doing likewise as their civic duty!

      A country without a memory is a country of madmen. -- George Santayana

      by bkamr on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 08:36:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I wasn't in Vietnam during the war... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    geez53

    So I can't really say much about McCain's service to the nation.  

    Who deserves more respect--a tortured life from a past war, or 3000+ lives lost over Iraq?  Probably a false dichotomy--respect means looking twice.  But will McCain "look twice" at the past 8 years?  

    The question is not whether or not we should respect McCain--that is a given.  It is whether or not McCain respects us!

    •  Agree, I respect his prior service, but it (0+ / 0-)

      doesn't give him a free pass for screwing up now.
      I'll buy him a beer for what he went through in Nam, but he pays for the rest of the rounds for being a Bushco puppet now. (Lucky for him i don't drink much anymore)

      I belong to no organized political party, I'm a Democrat. -Will Rogers

      by geez53 on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 06:36:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  likely--here's my free association on free pass (0+ / 0-)

        freedom ain't free
        a screwup is free to pass
        pass a screwup and you aren't free
        pass by all logic
        pass through all reason
        free yourself from reason
        free yourself from logic
        use logic to reason yourself out of freedom
        use freedom to reason yourself out of logic
        puppets aren't free
        but puppets speaking freedom like to say
        "freedom ain't free"
        So there goes the free in their pursuit of freedom
        Pursuit of happiness
        Hunt your happiness
        Shoot it (Eddie Izzard)
        Kill freedom
        And announce yourself free
        Even though you are a screwup.
        I am McBoth

  •  He Forgot BEFORE He Was Old! (0+ / 0-)

    Wow!  Go figure!

    Support the Netroots Candidates! A VETO-PROOF majority in 2008!!!

    by InquisitiveRaven on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 06:31:39 PM PDT

    •  He also did shady deals before he was old (0+ / 0-)

      such as the Keating 5.

      This isn't about old, it's about a willingness to promote an image as a straight-talker straight-shooter reformer, while living the life of a shady dealer -- another VIP who thinks rules are only for the little people.

  •  plausible deniability is what (0+ / 0-)

    corrupt pols like McCain, and their lawyers have used par excellence to rig the system, gaming it into windfall profits and exclusion of power to the people. Sure McCain can now say that he has been in favor of closing the Enron loophole but $5 gallon gas and greedy oil speculators make a killing off the backs of unknowing daily drivers while McCain still surrounds himself with the strongest supporters of the Enron loophole?

    Just as in using Keatings jets, he can come back later and say it was just an oversight of his.

    Most excellent diary Kagro X.

    "I have rarely come across more fervent supporters of the war on drugs." Misha Glenny (author of McMafia)referring to major Columbian and Canadian MJ exporters.

    by ebiker on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 06:35:49 PM PDT

  •  Hold on, nothing to see here (I think) (0+ / 0-)

    IIRC, riding on the private plane of a spouse is a legitimate exception -- written in to McCain-Feingold.

    At least that's the way how I remember it when reading it on another well-respected blog (perhaps TPM?)

  •  He has witnessed the cynical abuses of (0+ / 0-)

    the last seven years as well as what came before.  They are elite and above the law.  Why are you picking on them?  Don't you know that hypocracy is what it is all about?

    For example, remember the chorus singing "Rule of Law" during the Clinton impeachment?  Nothing really new in this one is there?  That is why we so desperately need resl chasnge!

    An idea is not responsible for who is carrying it. It stands or falls on its own merits.

    by don mikulecky on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 07:04:02 PM PDT

  •  I keep hearing that McCain is a hero. (0+ / 0-)

    Why does everyone keep calling John McCain a hero?  Yes, he was a POW during the Vietnam War, but does that make him a "hero?"  My Dad was a POW during WWII, and I asked him if he thought he was a hero.  He looked at me like I'd said something REALLY stupid.  So, I asked my brother-in-law who served in Vietnam and was badly wounded there if he thought he was a hero since he'd gotten hurt.  He was succinct, "F**k no. I was just young and stupid."

    So, other than having been a mistreated POW who got hurt in the Vietnam War, did John McCain do anything really brave during the war involving some effort to save someone else or that required a great deal of courage (like John Kerry did for instance)?

    I don't mean to be snarky, but everyone keeps going on and on about what an incredible war hero McCain is and how that almost entitles him to the Presidency, when Kerry was a war hero in the sense that I used to think the word meant. (And, we got Shrub Jr. instead.)  Add to it, that the men in my family who have had similar horrible experiences don't begin to consider themselves heroes, and I just end up shaking my head.

    Sure, McCain was a POW and it was a terrible experience, but is he really a "hero" and even if he was, why would that entitle him to the presidency?

    A country without a memory is a country of madmen. -- George Santayana

    by bkamr on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 08:23:33 PM PDT

    •  Wow...you seem to be uninformed (0+ / 0-)

      Here is the point you seem not to have gotten from John McCain's record.

      1. John McCain, himself, has never called himself a "hero". In fact, he comments on the basic incident as "having the bad luck to be shot down".  Exactly the same line of thinking as your dad and brother in law
      1. The actual incident happened something like this- (as obtained by the DNC in a freedom of information release of his war record). McCain was on a bombing mission over North Vietnam. While in his run, his aircraft was hit, Rather than aborting, he continued the run and dropped his bombs on the target. During his egress, his plane was so badly damaged, he could not recover from the dive, and ejected over the target he had just bombed.
      1. Did your dad ever call himself a hero? You indicate that he did not....but others certainly did, and do now. Your brother in law seems to be of the same type. I consider him a hero also- I am just a bit younger than Vietnam vets.
      1. The "actually doing anything brave" test you are looking for was this....after years of being tortured, the Vietnamese learned that McCain was the son of an Admiral. They offered him the ability to go home. He told the Vietnamese that he would go only if all the others were released too. They sent him to solitary confinement, and tortured him for years again. His fellow prisoners felt that McCain deserved the Congressional Medal of Honor for his leadership in the face of horror.
      1. John Kerry chose to rescue a man under his command, under enemy gunfire at extreme risk to his life. John Kerry would not describe his actions as heroic either- but many others do.

      People that do heroic things because it is the right thing to do, show the real essence of what the person truly is. Your dad has it. Your brother in law has it. John Kerry has it, and John McCain also has it as well. Those actions by themselves do not "entitle" anyone to be president- hence the history of John Kerry.

      Or....you could sell out your core belief, something you pledged to do many times over, even publicly signed a pledge, because it furthers your own ambition. When confronted with a choice of money, or your supposed conviction, you choose money. Not someone anyone could trust, when their life depends on it. Ask your dad, a true american hero, if he would trust someone like that with his life. Ask your brother in law (also a real hero) if the guys in his unit trusted him with their life. Then look at the current democratic nominee with an open mind. He chose money over his convictions. Not someone I could trust with my-or your-life. I have to believe that John Kerry deep down is appalled by this lack of true character.

      While this sounds like a pro McCain post (I was an adamant Kerry supporter), it actually is an attempt to make folks see the actual core character of the people you have mentioned. Please don't cloud the people with a label, Republican or Democrat. They are Americans first. Judge them on real facts- not rhetoric. Judge them on what they actually DO or DID, not what is said during a speech or campaign. Kerry is a strong and honorable person....with the strength of his convictions, and has shown what he will do when the "chips are down". Obama no longer can claim ANY convictions, and has now shown the world that he will absolutely sell his convictions to further his personal ambition.

      Think deeply about the quote you have chosen...A country without a memory is a country of madmen. -- George Santayana....which person does it more closely resemble...based on facts, not what you may think.

      Obama's talk of "change" has not been demonstrated by his actions- the opposite has now been shown to those who will look objectively. This action is more like "W", and we all know how that has worked out.

      Anyway- for whatever it's worth, please tell your dad and brother in law that they now have one more american out here that regards them as heros!

  •  I own a small business... (0+ / 0-)

    ...and my CPA says that you can't claim a deduction for travel expenses that do not relate to the business.

    I wonder if the "beer company" deducts those travel expenses on her taxes.  If it was legit - she would be "lobbying" McCain.  If it was personal - it was be tax fraud...right?

    And tax accountants out there?

  •  I think the WSJ is citing the wrong regs. (0+ / 0-)

    Any lawyers out there more familiar with this than me?  It seems like the applicable section is 11 CFR 100.93.

    I never thought there was anything more complex than tax regs (which I find surprisingly understandable but I admit I have a very strange brain).  But Title 11 of the CFR is just bizarre.

    "Enlightened statesmen will not always be at the helm." James Madison, Federalist No. 10.

    by Mike McL on Wed Jun 18, 2008 at 08:47:57 PM PDT

  •  ahem (0+ / 0-)

    The Hoyas play at the Verizon Center too, don't forget :)

  •  Do you know who put Abramoff in Jail? (0+ / 0-)

    While not intended to be a McCain post....just clearing up a fact here...
    John McCain was the driving force that placed Jack Abramoff in jail. Please, I know this will not be a popular statement...but it's true. Please judge either candidate by what they actually DID, and DO...not some idealistic narcissistic view that is carefully managed to project a media image.

    Way too much at stake...I was a Kerry supporter, so PLEASE...support the person who's actions follow their words. Remember who signed a pledge to take money out of politics, then abandoned his principles to allow himself to take advantage of the money he thinks will come. Again...judge the candidates on what they actually DID and DO....not what the campaigns "spin" for you.

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