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John McCain Tag

The entire country needs a lesson in parliamentary procedure. As I blogged yesterday, Senate Republicans, with the assist of Vice President Pence finally cobbled together enough votes to pass a motion to proceed (MTP), which simply allowed for debate on proposed Republican health care reform. To watch Democrats, progressives, and everyone under the impression that health insurance saves lives, John McCain was single-handedly responsible for killing off some 22 million people. Never mind the other 50 votes or the that Sen. McCain already said he'd support a MTP. And let's not even bother considering the CBO estimates of health insurance losses are due to an inordinate amount of people choosing to abstain from purchasing health insurance once the individual mandate ceases to be. In any case, in the minds of many, McCain became a veritable killing machine.

The Senate GOP's latest effort to fix Obamacare failed to garner support from the conservative wing of the party. The fractured caucus led Sen. Sasse (R-NE) to call for the complete repeal of Obamacare followed by a completely separate replacement. Sasse suggested leaving Obamacare intact as is for one year to protect its current consumers while the Senate hashes out a replacement.

President Trump has scored significant successes undoing the toxic eco-activist legacy of his predecessor, including the executive orders moving the signing of Keystone and Dakota Access Pipelines forward. However, it seems that he cannot rely on certain establishment Republicans to continue his efforts. Before reading this piece further, pause for a moment and ask yourself which 3 GOP Senators would, when given a chance to vote to repeal Obama's drilling rules, would just say "NO".

What in the actual... Yes, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) claimed on the Senate floor that Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) now works for Russian President Vladimir Putin because Paul voted against allowing Montenegro into NATO:
McCain tried to call up the treaty and warned that anyone blocking it would be helping Russia maintain its influence over the small country across the Adriatic Sea from Italy. "If there's objection, you are achieving the objectives of Vladimir Putin," McCain warned. "If they object, they are now carrying out the desires and ambitions of Vladimir Putin, and I do not say that lightly."

U.S. senators have traveled to NATO nations to perform their typical lip service, promising America stands behind the organization and the nations involved. NATO nations have grown concerned over America's role since Donald Trump won the election in November:
“I am convinced and certain that our relations, and the American relationship with NATO, will remain the same,” Mr. [John] McCain said at a news conference with Estonia’s new prime minister, Juri Ratas.

As DNC chair Donna Brazile contradicts Obama on Russian hacking and John McCain asserts that Obama has no idea what to do about the serious problem of Russian hacking that could "undermine our democracy," Henry Kissinger offers some much-needed perspective. ABC News reports on Brazile undercutting Obama's public statements:
Democratic National Committee Chair Donna Brazile said Russian hackers persisted in trying to break into the organization's computers "daily, hourly" until after the election -- contradicting President Obama's assertion that the hacking stopped in September after he warned Russian President Vladimir Putin to "cut it out."

I know, I know. You just were being patriotic. You just were honoring the fallen and the surviving heroes of the World Trade Center. You had good intentions. You didn't profit from it. Country first! That's what Sarah Palin or whoever runs her Facebook page likely was thinking when, on September 11, 2013, the following image was posted:

While I had hoped Dr. Kelli Ward would be the Republican candidate for Arizona's U.S. Senate seat, it looks like Senator John McCain is immune from "anti-incumbent fever" and handily won Tuesday's primary battle.
U.S. Sen. John McCain beat back a primary challenge Tuesday from a Republican tea party activist to win the right to seek a sixth Senate term in November, clearing an important hurdle in a race that was inundated with questions about GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump. The 2008 GOP presidential nominee easily defeated former state Sen. Kelli Ward and two other Republicans on the ballot. He faces a tough Democratic challenge in the November general election from U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick. She advanced Tuesday after facing only a write-in opponent in the primary.

Both Republican Vice Presidential Candidate Governor Mike Pence and Trump advisor Newt Gingrich broke ranks with Trump and announced they'd be endorsing Senator John McCain and Senator Kelly Ayotte in their re-election bids. Earlier reports suggested Pence was mirroring Trump's decision to withhold endorsing the Republican Senators, but his aids later clarified:

While Americans are justifiably focused on the fascinating presidential campaign, there is a U.S. Senate primary in Arizona coming up on August 30th that could use a bit of attention. Republican Senate primary voters are currently split between several candidates. One of the better positioned hopefuls, Alex Meluskey, has just dropped out of the primary. The biggest beneficiary of this development is a vibrant challenger, Dr. Kelli Ward.
A Public Policy Polling survey of the Republican Primary showed former State Senator Ward tied with McCain 41-41 head-to-head but trailing 39-26 when three other candidates were included in the poll. One of those three candidates, Scott McBean, failed to turn in enough signatures to make the ballot. With Meluskey’s campaign suspension, only perennial candidate Clair Van Steenwyk remains. Van Steenwyk polled last in the PPP survey with just 2 percent compared to Meluskey’s 4 percent and McBean’s 3 percent. Van Steenwyk isn’t expected to rise above low single digits.

Numerous news reports have covered the Navy's report on the capture of ten U.S. sailors in January by Iran, notably the Navy's decision to discipline nine officers and sailors over the incident. But the media buried a bigger part of the incident in the Navy's report. Here's Politico, quoting from Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson:
Richardson said a number of serious mistakes contributed to the sailors’ capture, but he reiterated they broke no international laws and “had every right to be where they were on that day” because the laws of the sea allow for what’s called innocent passage. “The investigation concluded that Iran violated international law by impeding the boats’ innocent passage transit. They violated sovereign immunity by boarding, searching and seizing the boats and by photographing and videotaping the crew,” Richardson said.

When it came to Donald Trump's comments on violence from illegal immigrants, I argued that it was possible to differentiate between the man (Trump) and the issue. Whether or not you liked the man, he raised a legitimate issue. Trump in an interview today made a comment about John McCain that is reverberating around the internet:
“He’s a war hero ’cause he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.”
https://youtu.be/qJ7JlUc82nA?t=1m40s Now there is no daylight between the man and the issue. It's ludicrous to argue that McCain is not worthy of hero status for his service just because he was captured. It's not like he was Bowe Bergdahl and deserted. McCain was shot down, and famously endured torture in North Vietnamese prison. He also refused release when the North Vietnamese learned he was the son of an Admiral, and sought to score political points. There were plenty of people just waiting to find an issue to go after Trump. Illegal immigrant violence wasn't the issue. This may be it. Is this the end, or at least the beginning of the end of Trump's rise? Will this be remembered as the moment the rise of Trump's campaign began to slow and the Republican Party began to heal? https://twitter.com/EWErickson/status/622446366657265664

Only in Washington D.C. would someone like Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Katherine Archuleta still have a job. In a hearing Thursday, Archueleta was questioned by an annoyed Sen. McCain over the agency's massive data breach, now believed to be much worse than originally reported. Fox News reported Thursday that the White House intentionally hid the extent of the OPM hack:
The Obama administration reportedly concealed the true amount of information compromised by a cyberattack on the federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM) for several days after the initial disclosure of the hack, according to a published report. The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that the day after the White House admitted that hackers had breached personnel files, OPM publicly denied that the security clearance forms had been compromised despite receiving information to the contrary from the FBI. The administration did not say that security clearance forms had likely been accessed by the intruders until more than a week had passed. A OPM spokeswoman denied the claims, telling the Journal the agency had been "completely consistent" in its reporting of the data breach.
Thursday, Senator McCain grilled Archuleta, attempting to get solid answer about the scope of the OPM data breach. Aruchuelta had few answers and often deferred to colleagues in other federal agencies. On the Sony hacking by China, Archuleta had no answer. On the issue of prescription and other health related data breaches, Archuleta also had no answer. It's almost like there's a theme here...

Every once in a while, John McCain does the exact right thing. This was one of those times. During a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing yesterday, leftist Code Pink activists disrupted the session to verbally assault Henry Kissinger who was there to testify on national security issues. John McCain was having none of it and even received applause for shutting the protesters down. Alexander Mallin of ABC News:
Senator John McCain Calls Out Protesters Who Swarmed Henry Kissinger Sen. John McCain earned some applause inside a Senate Armed Services hearing this morning after he erupted at protesters of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, calling them “low-life scum.” “I've been a member of this committee for many years, and I have never seen anything as disgraceful and outrageous and despicable as the last demonstration that just took place,” said McCain, R-AZ. Protesters from the group CodePink swarmed behind Kissinger as he arrived alongside two other former Secretaries of State, Madeleine Albright and George Shultz, for a hearing on U.S. national security strategy. They held up signs calling Kissinger a criminal and chanted “arrest Henry Kissinger for war crimes” -- citing some of his more controversial decisions during the Nixon and Ford administrations. “You know, you're going to have to shut up, or I'm going to have you arrested,” McCain said as Capitol Hill Police tried to remove the protesters. “Get out of here you low-life scum.”
CSPAN captured the entire exchange on video:

The NY Times ran an editorial on June 5, The Rush to Demonize Sgt. Bergdahl, excoriating Republicans for hypocrisy as to condemnation of the exchange of 5 top Taliban Gitmo detainees for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. There are many all-too-typical Times sleights of hand, such as referring to Bergdahl as:
... a free-spirited young man who asked many questions but gave no indication of being a deserter, let alone the turncoat that Mr. Obama’s opponents are now trying to create.
In condemning a rush to judgment as to Bergdahl by critics, The Times Editors rush to an alternative judgment. More important, the centerpiece of the Editorial, with which it begins, is a quote from John McCain (emphasis added):
Four months ago, Senator John McCain said he would support the exchange of five hard-core Taliban leaders for the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. “I would support,” he told CNN. “Obviously I’d have to know the details, but I would support ways of bringing him home and if exchange was one of them I think that would be something I think we should seriously consider.”
NY Times Rush to Demonize Sgt Bergdahl 6-6-2014 9 30 am I've underlined the words "Obviously I’d have to know the details" because those words were not in the original versions of the Editorial.  Rather, it was a late correction which significantly scales back the notion that McCain previously supported this exchange deal. I've tracked the changes in the Editorial through a very useful service, NewsDiff.  The NewsDiff archive history page for the Times Editorial reflects that the Editorial originally had a less aggressive title, and also did not include the part of McCain's quote I've highlighted.  In omitting that language from the quote, the Times made it seem as if McCain supported the same deal that Obama struck.  That supposed support was the foundation for the Editorial, but when the foundation shifted, the Times made like nothing changed. Here's the edit history of the intro paragraph via NewsDiff:
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