Showing posts with label Senator John McCain. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Senator John McCain. Show all posts

Saturday, June 1, 2019

White House wanted to keep McCain away from POTUS...the ship that is

update Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said on the Sunday TV talk shows that a junior staffer made the request to the military to hide the destroyer McCain from President Donald Trump's view "That's not an unreasonable thing to ask" that the president be spared having to see a warship with late Sen. John McCain's name on it, given the enmity between them, both personally and politically, Mulvaney said on NBC-TV's "Meet The Press" program. read more here


Navy acknowledges request was made to hide USS John S. McCain during Trump visit

NBC News
By Max Burman and Courtney Kube
June 1, 2019

The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that it had reviewed an email to Navy and Air Force officials dated May 15 that included the direction "USS John McCain needs to be out of sight" for Trump's Japan visit. CNBC has also obtained the email. NBC News has not reviewed the email.
The USS John S. McCain, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, operates off the Korean Peninsula during exercises on March 2013.Declan Barnes / U.S. Navy via AFP - Getty Images file

The U.S. Navy has acknowledged that a request was made to hide the USS John S. McCain during President Donald Trump's recent state visit to Japan.

"A request was made to the U.S. Navy to minimize the visibility of USS John S. McCain, however, all ships remained in their normal configuration during the President's visit," Rear Admiral Charlie Brown, chief of information, said in a statement to NBC News.

"There were also no intentional efforts to explicitly exclude Sailors assigned to USS John S. McCain," the statement said.

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said Friday he’d asked his chief of staff to “look into” the reported request from the White House to move the ship "out of sight" during Trump's visit.

“Our business is to run military operations and not become politicized,” Shanahan told reporters during a news conference in Singapore. “I would not have moved the ship," he added.
read more here

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Help us heal our Nation and honor those who have served and sacrificed.

VVA to President Trump:Help us Heal our Nation

Vietnam Veterans of America

March 21, 2019
Statement by Vietnam Veterans of America National President John Rowan:
On the eve of Vietnam Veterans Day, March 29, we are chagrined by the President’s inability to let a fellow Vietnam veteran rest in peace.

Every day we live our founding principle, “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another.”

We have succeeded in teaching our fellow Americans that warriors don’t make policy.

They have learned to separate the war from the warrior.

The era of spurning veterans is past. We have made sure of it.

Our experience has taught us how fear and hatred corrode the soul and imprison the spirit.

We have forgiven those who have condemned us for answering our country’s call.

We have forgiven those who received educational and medical deferments from serving in the war.

We have forgiven Hollywood for its negative portrayal of veterans. We are proud of the warmth, respect, and honor that our newest veterans receive today.

And we are greatly saddened by the President’s inability to let a Vietnam War hero rest in peace.

Mr. Trump, it’s time to move on. Help us heal our Nation and honor those who have served and sacrificed.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Senator John McCain Wants Veterans To Go Away--From VA?

You could hear the echo inside the brain of John McCain when he came up with his latest attempt to send veterans away from the care and services this nation was supposed to deliver to veterans within the VA.  After all is said and not done to fix the VA, McCain's answer has always been the same.  Complain about it not working then do every possible to prove he's right so he can just kill it off.

Has it ever dawned on this man that as a career politician he is responsible for all the decades of leaving veterans to suffer? Bet it has but he, like all the others, won't admit it.  He'd have to be pretty damn stupid to not know that.

As usual McCain has a plan to take care of veterans, or so he says, however veterans noticed what he isn't saying.  Sending veterans into the for profit healthcare has been his plan all along.  He used to be ashamed of saying that.

This is from 2008 when McCain ran for the Presidency and continued to run away from his record of failing veterans.
Yesterday, Sen. John McCain promoted his veterans private health care “plastic card” in a speech to the American Legion. Though he insisted the “card is not intended to either replace the VA or privatize veterans’ health care,” veterans groups aren’t buying it. AMVETS, Disabled American Veterans, Paralyzed Veterans of America, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars all argue McCain’s scheme may undermine the VA.
Today ThinkProgress spoke to Paul Rieckhoff, Executive Director and Founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, at the Democratic National Convention. When we asked him what he thought of McCain’s private health card plan, Rieckhoff slammed McCain for blocking funding for the VA:
Basically every major veterans group is opposed to it so far, so I think that pretty much says it all. We’ve got to come up with a comprehensive solution to VA health care, and that starts with VA funding. Sen. McCain has consistently voted against expansion of VA funding. So if he says the VA’s not working, it’s in part because he hasn’t funded it properly. … A lot of vets groups are going to push back against the card because it may be on the path toward privatization. So we’ve got to really make the VA as strong as it can be, and that should be our priority.
You can also read the bills for veterans McCain voted against on the above link. Just more in a series of efforts to kill off the VA instead of fixing what veterans have suffered with and all too well knowingly recorded within the brains of all veterans and families as we wait for someone with a brain to fix the VA because they care about veterans instead of trying to kill it because they only care about themselves.

Veterans could go anywhere for health care under McCain bill
The Republic
William V Theobald
April 27, 2016

WASHINGTON — Arizona Sen. John McCain proposed legislation Wednesday to expand and make permanent a program allowing veterans to go anywhere for health care.

McCain’s bill, borne of frustration over the slow pace of improvements in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' system, would remove the current restriction that veterans must wait more than 30 days or live more than 40 miles from a VA facility in order to go outside the VA system for care.

His bill also would:

Allow veterans to go to walk-in clinics for minor illnesses. The VA would be required to contract with a national chain of clinics to provide the service.
Expand operating hours of VA clinics and pharmacies.
Expand telemedicine to allow VA health-care providers in one state to treat veterans in other states.
read more here

Here's a message for John McCain and all other politicians out there!
Oh you're so condescending
Your goal is never ending
We don't want nothin', not a thing from you
Your life is trite and jaded
Boring and confiscated
If that's your best, your best won't do (Twisted Sister)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Republicans let the veterans down and they noticed

This is a picture of Senator Jim Webb. He used to be a Republican but switched to the Democratic party. He is the one who started the new GI Bill that McCain not only refused to support, but voted against. Why? Because he said it was too generous. All this time we've heard about what a hero McCain is supposed to be, but here is something that not many talk about when it comes to a Vietnam Veteran who does in fact support the troops and the veterans. This is Jim Webb.

Military service
After graduating from Annapolis, Webb was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps. As a first lieutenant during the Vietnam War he served as a platoon commander with Delta Company, 1st Battalion 5th Marines. He earned a Navy Cross, the second highest decoration in the Navy and Marine Corps for heroism in Vietnam. Webb also earned the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, and two Purple Hearts.

Webb received the Navy Cross for actions on July 10, 1969. The citation read:

“ The Navy Cross is presented to James H. Webb, Jr., First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as a Platoon Commander with Company D, First Battalion, Fifth Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), Fleet Marine Force, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 10 July 1969, while participating in a company-sized search and destroy operation deep in hostile territory, First Lieutenant Webb's platoon discovered a well-camouflaged bunker complex that appeared to be unoccupied. Deploying his men into defensive positions, First Lieutenant Webb was advancing to the first bunker when three enemy soldiers armed with hand grenades jumped out. Reacting instantly, he grabbed the closest man and, brandishing his .45 caliber pistol at the others, apprehended all three of the soldiers. Accompanied by one of his men, he then approached the second bunker and called for the enemy to surrender. When the hostile soldiers failed to answer him and threw a grenade that detonated dangerously close to him, First Lieutenant Webb detonated a claymore mine in the bunker aperture, accounting for two enemy casualties and disclosing the entrance to a tunnel. Despite the smoke and debris from the explosion and the possibility of enemy soldiers hiding in the tunnel, he then conducted a thorough search that yielded several items of equipment and numerous documents containing valuable intelligence data. Continuing the assault, he approached a third bunker and was preparing to fire into it when the enemy threw another grenade. Observing the grenade land dangerously close to his companion, First Lieutenant Webb simultaneously fired his weapon at the enemy, pushed the Marine away from the grenade, and shielded him from the explosion with his own body. Although sustaining painful fragmentation wounds from the explosion, he managed to throw a grenade into the aperture and completely destroy the remaining bunker. By his courage, aggressive leadership, and selfless devotion to duty, First Lieutenant Webb upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.[7]

James Henry "Jim" Webb, Jr. (born February 9, 1946) is the junior Senator from Virginia. He is also an author and a former Secretary of the Navy under President Ronald Reagan. He is a member of the Democratic Party.

A 1968 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Webb served as a Marine Corps infantry officer until 1972, and is a highly decorated Vietnam War combat veteran. During his four years with the Reagan administration, Webb served as the first Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, then as Secretary of the Navy.

Webb won the Democratic nomination for the 2006 Virginia Senate race by defeating Harris Miller in the primary, then won the general election by defeating the Republican incumbent George Allen. Webb's thin margin in the general election (less than 0.5%) kept the outcome uncertain for nearly two days after polls closed on November 7, 2006, and provided the final seat that tilted the Senate to Democratic control.

Jim is also an author of many books, stating that "I've written for a living all my life, so writing is as much a part of me as working out."[1]

In 2009, upon the planned retirement of John Warner, Webb will become Virginia's senior Senator.

Most of the fighting going on in Washington for the last couple of years, has been Democrats pushing for the veterans to be taken care of better than they had been. The difference is the GOP no longer controlled the committees. While they tried to make changes for the sake of the troops when the GOP had control, they beat down most of the things the Democrats wanted to do. These are not just my claims. If you look at the rankings the service organizations give to Republicans, you can see their failures in votes, but what you can't see is the words they used to defend their positions. CSPAN has been covering all of this for years now and has done a fantastic job of just showing who says what and when in real time. CSPAN has also covered hearings the Democrats were forced to hold away from the spotlight of the media in basement hearing rooms. If you really want to know, go to YouTube and see some of the hearings that have been uploaded and know for sure that what I'm saying is true.

I have friends and some family members who have always been Republicans. These are not some of the nuts you see on TV but they are stunned to find out how bad the GOP has been when it really comes to supporting the troops and the veterans. What ends up happening is they finally see that while the GOP has increased military spending, it has not been on the troops, but on the contractors who make a bundle off the Congress. The Democrats have been voting for things like body armor and uploaded Humvees, longer dwell time at home between deployments, better care on medical from the DOD and the VA along with everything else the troops need when they become veterans. The GOP has fought against all of it for the most part, but there are several in the GOP who have actually supported the troops and veterans when it mattered instead of paying lip service to their faces but voting against them behind their backs.

This is one thing McCain has been very successful with. Had he been good for veterans, the veterans groups would not have ranked him as terribly as they have. It's as simple as that. He can come up with any excuse he wants, just as they all can, but the record of what happened when the GOP controlled it all speaks for itself. They didn't care enough to act to fix it. Most of the major spending bills and changes in the DOD and VA medical, especially mental health and TBI research has come in the last two years. Gee what a surprise!

It's not that the problems just made it to the ears of the elected. We had a new elected in charge and they took control for the sake of those who serve. When it comes to who does what, it boils down to the GOP are about business and the Democrats are all about people. The troops noticed and more and more veterans are noticing that they have been voting against their best interests for far too long. kc

"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of early wars were treated and appreciated by our nation."

- George Washington

Veterans issues remain potent in congressional races
Minneapolis Star Tribune - Minneapolis,MN,USA

Last update: October 30, 2008

Everything may be overshadowed by the economy in this election, but veterans benefits and military policy can be deciding factors.

Several retired Marine Corps officers responded to the poll expressing anger at Republicans, the degree of their dissatisfaction surprising pollsters.

"If Republicans are going to have a core constituency, what is it if not that?" said Christopher Parker, an assistant professor of political science at the University of Washington, which conducted the poll. "The military is about good order and discipline and taking care of their own. Republicans are being seen as having failed miserably at all three."

When it comes to military donors, Iraq war critic Obama has held his own with the more hawkish McCain. Until August, Obama had received nearly six times as much money from troops deployed overseas at the time of their contribution as McCain had, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. While Obama continued to lead in military donors with overseas addresses, McCain surged in the final months of the campaign to take the lead among military donors overall, fueled largely by employees of the Department of Defense.
click link for more

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Military Times poll: Troops backing McCain,,,BUT

Military Times poll: Troops backing McCain

By Brendan McGarry - Staff writer
Posted : Sunday Oct 5, 2008 9:46:06 EDT

Sen. John McCain enjoys overwhelming support from the military’s professional core, though race appears to be a decisive factor for career-oriented black service members, a Military Times survey of nearly 4,300 readers indicates.

McCain, R-Ariz., handily defeated Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., 68 percent to 23 percent in a voluntary survey of 4,293 active-duty, National Guard and reserve subscribers and former subscribers to Army Times, Navy Times, Marine Corps Times and Air Force Times.

The results of the Military Times 2008 Election Poll are not representative of the opinions of the military as a whole. The group surveyed is older, more senior in rank and less ethnically diverse than the overall armed services.

But as a snapshot of careerists, the results suggest Democrats have gained little ground in their attempts to appeal to a traditionally Republican voting bloc in campaign messages and legislative initiatives, such as the recent expansion of GI Bill benefits, experts said.
go here for more

Just a reminder:

Obama, an Illinois senator, brought in more donations from this group than any White House contender from either party. The Democrat announced Wednesday his plan to withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of 2008.

Paul, a Texas congressman and the only GOP presidential hopeful who supports an immediate troop withdrawal, comes in second.

"Paul and Obama are talking straight to soldiers, and what they are saying is resonating," said Larnell Exum, a retired Army lieutenant colonel, who gave $500 to Obama. Exum, who works for the Army as a congressional liaison, is a Democrat but voted for George Bush in 1992.

The center tallied money from donors who list the Air Force, Army, Marines, Navy and National Guard as an employer. Overall, these donations are miniscule: Obama got 44 contributions worth about $27,000 and Paul 23 for about $19,300. Republican John McCain, an Iraq war supporter and Vietnam prisoner of war, was third with about $18,500 from 32 donors.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

McCain claims to not match voting record

McCain claims do not match voting record
by Kathie Costos

The biggest problem McCain has, is McCain. He can say whatever he wants and hope all he wants the American people have not been paying attention to what is real and what is manufactured, scripted to portray him as supporting the troops and veterans, but the record is clear. It shows in his votes and his speeches. Here are just some of those votes with links for more eye openers.

McCain was against the GI bill because he said it was "too generous" and then we have this

Referring to Iraq in his closing comments Monday, McCain said he recognized Americans have grown tired of the war and the mistakes made, "but we cannot react to those mistakes by embracing a course of action that will be an even greater mistake, a mistake of colossal historical proportions."

McCain, Military Oppose Expanding GI Bill
Presidential Hopeful Believes Legislation Would Hurt Military
By Z. Byron Wolf April 14, 2008
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, seemed to give a thumbs down to bipartisan legislation that would greatly expand educational benefits for members of the military returning from Iraq and Afghanistan under the GI Bill.

McCain indicated he would offer some sort of alternative to the legislation to address concerns that expanding the GI Bill could lead more members of the military to get out of the service.

Both Democratic presidential candidates — Sens. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., — have signed on as co-sponsors, and the bill has gained bipartisan support from 54 senators on Capitol Hill in addition to Webb. A vote on the proposal is expected before the summer.

But the bill, which would dramatically increase educational compensation for American troops, has run into some unexpected resistance, both at the Pentagon and now from McCain, who has remained silent on the issue, saying he had not studied the bill close enough.
But when it came time to vote for it, McCain didn't bother to show up.

McCain misses vote on a new GI Bill, scorns criticism from Obama

May 23, 2008
Support for the troops returned as an issue to the presidential campaign yesterday with harsh words from both sides.

The Democratic National Committee accused John McCain of being AWOL from the Senate vote yesterday for a new GI Bill to provide better education benefits for returning veterans. McCain was in California on a campaign and fund-raising trip, while both Democratic contenders, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, left the campaign trail to vote for the bill, which passed by a veto-proof 75-to-22 majority.

On the Senate floor, Obama questioned why McCain opposed the bill. "I can't believe why he believes it is too generous to our veterans," Obama said. "There are many issues that lend themselves to partisan posturing, but giving our veterans the chance to go to college should not be one of them."

McCain, a Vietnam War hero, didn't take the criticism lightly - and while Obama is careful to honor McCain's military service, he mentioned Obama's lack of it.

"I will not accept from Senator Obama, who did not feel it was his responsibility to serve our country in uniform, any lectures on my regard for those who did," McCain said in a statement. "Perhaps, if Senator Obama would take the time and trouble to understand this issue he would learn to debate an honest disagreement respectfully. But, as he always does, he prefers impugning the motives of his opponent, and exploiting a thoughtful difference of opinion to advance his own ambitions. If that is how he would behave as president, the country would regret his election."

The bill, which President Bush has threatened to veto, would pay tuition and other expenses at a four-year public university for anyone who has served at least three years since the 2001 terrorist attacks. McCain is a cosponsor of a different version of the bill that would require soldiers to have more time in the service to get full benefits and to encourage them to stay in the military as a career.

But when the bill was passed with so many votes a veto was not possible, this is what the American people were told by Bush and McCain.

Bush Wrongly Credits McCain For 'Working Hard' On G.I. Bill
Jun 30, 2008 ... Good on the Congress and the Vets for passage of the GI Bill! They absolutely deserve it, no matter what Bush and McCain think!

BUSH: The bill is a result of close collaboration between my administration and members of both parties on Capitol Hill. I appreciate the hard work of my cabinet, especially the leaders of Defense and State and Veterans' Affairs and Office of National Drug Control Policy, as well as OMB. I want to thank House and Senate leadership and leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees. I am particularly grateful to Congressmen Boehner, Hoyer, Obey and Lewis.

I want to thank members who worked hard for the G.I. Bill expansion, especially Senators Webb and Warner, Graham, Byrd, and McCain. This bill shows the American people that even in an election year, Republicans and Democrats can come together to stand behind our troops and their families.

click above for more

McCain put out a commercial that claims he has not been part of the problem in Washington, but this shows how much he has been tied to the problems the American people face everyday.

Voting with Party
John McCain has voted with a majority of his Republican colleagues 88.3% of the time during the current Congress
. This percentage does not include votes in which McCain did not vote.
See a list of his votes against his party since 1991, a list of all Senators in the 110th Congress with a similar score, or a full list of party voters.

McCain wants us to see him as a maverick, but sometimes it is not a good thing to be one. Look at these votes to see what being a "maverick" has meant to McCain. There have been times when McCain got it right and voted Democrats against the GOP but those times are few.

GAO Report Points to Pentagon Waste (
GAO Report Points to Pentagon Waste. Defense Department Home to 8 of 25 Federal Programs Labeled 'High-Risk'.

Military waste under fire / $1 trillion missing -- Bush plan...
GAO's Kutz said Rumsfeld has "showed a commitment" to cutting waste and asked Pentagon officials to save 5 percent of the defense budget,
Tom Abate, Chronicle Staff Writer

Sunday, May 18, 2003

The Department of Defense, already infamous for spending $640 for a toilet seat, once again finds itself under intense scrutiny, only this time because it couldn't account for more than a trillion dollars in financial transactions, not to mention dozens of tanks, missiles and planes.

The Pentagon's unenviable reputation for waste will top the congressional agenda this week, when the House and Senate are expected to begin floor debate on a Bush administration proposal to make sweeping changes in how the Pentagon spends money, manages contracts and treats civilian employees.

The Bush proposal, called the Defense Transformation for the 21st Century Act, arrives at a time when the nonpartisan General Accounting Office has raised the volume of its perennial complaints about the financial woes at Defense, which recently failed its seventh audit in as many years.

"Overhauling DOD's financial management operations represent a challenge that goes far beyond financial accounting to the very fiber of (its) . . . business operations and culture," GAO chief David Walker told lawmakers in March.


Though Defense has long been notorious for waste, recent government reports suggest the Pentagon's money management woes have reached astronomical proportions. A study by the Defense Department's inspector general found that the Pentagon couldn't properly account for more than a trillion dollars in monies spent. A GAO report found Defense inventory systems so lax that the U.S.

Army lost track of 56 airplanes, 32 tanks, and 36 Javelin missile command launch-units.
click above for more

Voted against bill to stop waste by DOD
Vote 253: H R 2863: Motion to Table Coburn Amdt. No. 2005; To curtail waste under the Department of Defense web-based travel system.
McCain voted No
GOP voted Yes
Democrats voted Yes

Voted against cutting waste in bill
Vote 260: H R 3058: Motion To Table Coburn Amdt. No. 2093 As Modified; To prohibit any funds under the Act from being used for a parking facility as part of the Joslyn Art Museum Master Plan, in Omaha, Nebraska.
McCain voted No
GOP voted Yes
Democrats voted Yes

More bills McCain voted out of majority
Vote 282: H R 2744: H.R. 2744 Conference Report; Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2006
McCain No
GOP voted Yes
Democrats voted Yes

Vote 289: S 1932: Wyden Amdt. No. 2362; To enhance the energy security of the United States by prohibiting the exportation of oil and gas produced under leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
McCain voted No
GOP voted Yes
Democrats voted Yes

Vote 317: S 1042: Talent Amdt. No. 2477; To modify the multiyear procurement authority for C-17 aircraft.
McCain voted No
GOP voted Yes
Democrats voted Yes

Vote 323: S 1042: Warner Amdt. No. 2518; To clarify and recommend changes to the policy of the United States on Iraq and to require reports on certain matters relating to Iraq.
McCain voted No
GOP voted Yes
Democrats voted Yes

Vote 349: On the Motion: Specter Motion to Instruct Conferees Re: H.R. 3010; Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2006
McCain voted No
GOP voted Yes
Democrats voted Yes

Vote 354: On the Motion: Dewine Motion to Instruct Conferees on S. 1932; Medicaid Reconciliation Act of 2005
McCain voted No
GOP voted Yes
Democrats voted Yes

Vote 9: H R 4297: Menendez Amdt. No. 2705; To express the sense of the Senate that protecting middle-class families from the alternative minimum tax should be a higher priority for Congress in 2006 than extending a tax cut that does not expire until the end of 2008.
McCain voted No
GOP voted Yes
Democrats voted Yes

Vote 33: On the Cloture Motion: Motion to Invoke Cloture on S. 2320; A bill to make available funds included in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program for fiscal year 2006, and for other purposes.
McCain voted No
GOP voted Yes
Democrats voted Yes

Vote 48: S CON RES 83: Grassley Amdt. No. 3073; To establish a reserve fund to allow for deficit-neutral legislation that would provide for an extension of the Medicare part D enrollment period.
McCain voted No
Democrats voted Yes

Vote 58: S CON RES 83: Specter Amdt No. 3048; To increase the advance appropriations allowance in order to fund health, education and training, and low-income programs.
McCain voted No
GOP voted Yes
Democrats voted Yes

Vote 79: On the Cloture Motion: Upon Reconsideration, Motion to Invoke Cloture on S.2349; Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act of 2006
McCain voted No
GOP voted Yes
Democrats voted Yes

Vote 82: S 2349: As Amended; Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act of 2006
McCain voted No
GOP voted Yes
Democrats voted Yes

Vote 81: S 2349: Ensign Amdt. No. 2980; To include Federal entities in the definition of earmarks.
McCain voted No
GOP voted Yes
Democrats voted Yes

Vote 98: H R 4939: Akaka Amdt. No. 3642 as Amended; To provide an additional $430,000,000 for the Department of Veteran Affairs for Medical Services for outpatient care and treatment for veterans.
McCain voted No
GOP voted Yes
Democrats voted Yes

Vote 97: H R 4939: Motion to Table Ensign Motion to Recommit H.R.4939 to the Committee on Appropriations; Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Hurricane Recovery, 2006
McCain voted No
GOP voted Yes
Democrats voted Yes

Vote 96: H R 4939: Motion to Table Thomas Amdt. No. 3515; To return the bill to the President's proposal.
McCain voted No
GOP voted Yes
Democrats voted Yes

Vote 112: H R 4939: H.R. 4939, As Amended; Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Hurricane Recovery, 2006
McCain voted No
GOP voted Yes
Democrats voted Yes

Vote 124: S 2611: Motion to Table Bingaman Amdt. No. 3981; To reduce the number of H-2C nonimmigrants to 200,000 during any fiscal year.
McCain voted Yes
GOP voted No
Democrats voted No

Vote 146: S 2611: Byrd Amdt. No. 4127; To fund improvements in border and interior security by assessing a $500 supplemental fee under title VI.
McCain voted No
GOP voted Yes
Democrats voted Yes

Voted agains bill that would have stopped Iraq from granting amnesty to people who were killing our troops
Vote 178: S 2766: Nelson (FL) Amdt. No. 4265; To express the sense of Congress that the Government of Iraq should not grant amnesty to persons known to have attacked, killed, or wounded members of the Armed Forces of the United States.
McCain voted No
GOP voted Yes
Democrats voted Yes

Vote 184: S 2766: Chambliss Amdt. No. 4261; To authorize multiyear procurement of F-22A fighter aircraft and F-119 engines.
McCain voted No
GOP voted Yes
Democrats voted Yes

Vote 198: H R 5441: Menendez Amdt. No. 4634; To provide that appropriations under this Act may not be used for the purpose of providing certain grants, unless all such grants meet certain conditions for allocation.
McCain voted Yes
GOP voted No
Democrats voted No

Vote 210: S 728: McCain Amdt. No. 4684; To provide for a water resources construction project prioritization report.
McCain voted Yes
GOP voted no
Democrats voted No

Vote 7: On the Motion: Motion to Instruct Sgt. at Arms; A bill to provide greater transparency in the legislative process.
McCain voted No
GOP voted Yes
Democrats voted Yes

Vote 18: S 1: Lieberman Amdt No. 30; To establish a Senate Office of Public Integrity.
McCain voted Yes
GOP voted No
Democrats voted No

Voted against Gen. George Casey
Vote 45: On the Nomination: Confirmation Gen. George W. Casey to be Chief of Staff, U.S. Army
McCain voted No
GOP voted Yes
Democrats voted Yes

Vote 61: S 4: Motion to Table Feinstein Amdt. No. 335; To improve the allocation of grants through the Department of Homeland Security, and for other purposes.
McCain voted No
GOP voted Yes
Democrats voted Yes

Vote 272: H R 2669: H.R. 2669 as Amended; College Cost Reduction Act of 2007
McCain voted No
GOP voted Yes
Democrats voted Yes

Vote 294: On the Motion: Motion to Concur in the Amendment of the House to S.1; A bill to provide greater transparency in the legislative process.
McCain voted No
GOP voted Yes
Democrats voted Yes

Vote 293: On the Cloture Motion: Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Motion to Concur in the Amendment of the House to S.1; A bill to provide greater transparency in the legislative process.
McCain voted No
GOP voted Yes
Democrats voted Yes

Vote 303: H R 976: Hutchison Amdt No. 2620; To increase access to health insurance for low-income children based on actual need, as adjusted for cost-of-living.
McCain voted Yes
GOP voted No
Democrats voted No

Vote 372: H R 3093: H.R. 3093, As Amended; Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2008
McCain voted No
GOP voted Yes
Democrats voted Yes

Vote 367: H R 3093: Motion to Table Ensign Amdt. No.3295; To increase funding for the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program and offset the increase by reducing NASA funding.
McCain voted No
GOP voted Yes
Democrats voted Yes

Vote 75: On the Motion: Motion to Waive C.B.A. DeMint Amdt No. 4347; To establish an earmark moratorium for fiscal year 2009.
McCain voted Yes
GOP voted No
Democrats voted No

Missed Votes
John McCain has missed 408 votes (63.8%) during the current Congress.
See a list of his missed votes since 1991 or see a full list of vote missers.

Key Votes
See how John McCain voted on key votes -- the most important bills, nominations and resolutions that have come before Congress, as determined by

The biggest problem with McCain is on the record. He is not just a Vietnam veteran and ex-POW, he's a disabled veteran, who has voted against other disabled veterans. He was not only educated by the tax payers, he voted against other members of the military having the same ability. We should expect more out of him because of what he felt he earned as a veteran. It has been said that we should honor his service to the nation, but that does not include continuing to vote for him when he has not earned that as well. McCain keeps voting against all he wants to be acknowledged for being.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Whistleblower breaks 15-year silence to allege McCain hid wife's drug abuse

Why now? Didn't the people of Arizona deserve to know what kind of person they were sending back to Washington to represent them year after year? If this was such an important story, then why be silent for 15 years? The only thing revealing this now does is show McCain as a man with a problem on his hands who didn't have a clue what to do about it. There are a lot of people across the nation facing the same problem with a family member addicted to drugs, legal or otherwise.

I make no secret of the fact I think McCain would be bad for this nation as President because of his voting record and the fact after he approved of all Bush did in office, he is now pretending he had nothing to do with any of it. Covering up, lying about his record along with Palin's record, that should be enough to alert the voters of what kind of damage he can do should he be elected. Telling blatant lies with a straight face effortlessly is not a good sign of the things he is capable of. To come out after all these years to say that he was fully aware of his wife's drug addiction is not hurtful to him, it is hurtful to his wife. She is not running for office, he is.

While this shows what went on behind what we already knew is valuable to gossip magazines, it serves no purpose to the nation. It will not take care of the veterans or the other problems this nation has. It will not stop the suffering of the poor and middle class. It just hurts someone who was hurting enough to be addicted to prescription drugs and the family.

There are a lot of families across this country doing the suffering with this issue. It would have been great if McCain had become a champion in substance abuse programs and Cindy had become an advocate for others suffering but they made the choice to not do it.

McCain has been a public figure since Vietnam and most of us are fully aware of his story, factual and otherwise. Palin, well she's new to the public's attention and her history needs to be known but Cindy, she's been in the spotlight far too long to drag all this back up now.

Whistleblower breaks 15-year silence to allege McCain hid wife's drug abuse
Nick Juliano
Published: Thursday September 11, 2008

Cindy McCain's addiction to prescription painkillers emerged into public view 14 years ago with a well-orchestrated PR campaign designed to preserve her husband's political future.

Aside from a lengthy contemporary investigation from Phoenix's alternative weekly and occasional mentions since then, the addiction back-story -- including ample questions about what John McCain knew, when he knew it and questions over whether he was complicit in the cover-up -- has gone largely untold. Until now.

Tom Gosinski, a former employee of the medical-aid charity Cindy McCain used as personal supplier of Percocet and Vicodin, is speaking out publicly for the first time.

On Wednesday, Gosinski sat down with RAW STORY and other outlets to tell his story and distribute copies of his personal journal from his time with the American Voluntary Medical Team in the last half of 1992, where he voiced ever more acute concerns and frustrations over McCain's drug use and its impact on her mood and job performance.

"My journal wasn't to trash Cindy or anything," he says. "My journal was kept b/c I came in contact w/ so many people. It was a way of keeping an ongoing biography of all the people I met, so I could refer back to it."

He says he can't buy the official McCain camp line that Cindy's drug abuse was kept from her husband, he saw and heard too much for any of their stories to make sense -- like the time Cindy was allegedly taken to the hospital after an overdose and John rushed in to berate the doctors and nurses there before moving Cindy to their secluded Sedona ranch. Then there were the Hensley family interventions and the fact that Cindy's drug abuse came to be something of an open secret among employees of the charity.

"I have always wondered why John McCain has done nothing to fix the problem," Gosinski wrote on July 27, 1992. "He must either not see that a problem exists or does not choose to do anything about it."
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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

McCain speech to VMI proved he hasn't a clue

This is the video McCain put on his website. Problem is a lot of the speech was cut out.

This is the transcript from Washington Post. This is from April of 2007.

I just returned from my fifth visit to Iraq. Unlike the veterans here today, I risked nothing more threatening -- nothing more threatening than a hostile press corps, and my only mission was to inform my opinions with facts.

We still face many difficult challenges in Iraq. That is undeniable. But we've also made in recent weeks memorable progress and measurable progress in establishing security in Baghdad and fighting Al Qaida in Anbar province.
April 2007 104 US lives lost
May 2007 126 US lives lost
June 2007 101 US lives lost

2007 highest death count for US forces 904

MCCAIN: To deny the difficulties and uncertainties ahead is an egregious disservice to the public. But as General Petraeus implements his plan to correct the flawed strategy we followed in the past and attempts to spare the United States and the world the catastrophe of an American defeat, it is an equal disservice to dismiss early signs of progress.

And now, we confront a choice as historically important as any we have faced in a long while: Will this nation's elected leaders make the politically hard but strategically vital decision to give General Petraeus our full support and do what is necessary to succeed in Iraq?

Or will we decide to take advantage of the public's frustration, accept defeat, and hope that whatever the cost to our security, the politics of defeat will work out better for us than our opponents?

For my part -- for my part -- I would rather lose a campaign than a war.

However it ends, the war in Iraq will have a profound influence on the future of the Middle East, global stability and the security of the United States, which will remain for the foreseeable future directly affected by events in that dangerous part of the world.

The war is part of a broader struggle in the Arab and Muslim world, the struggle between violence extremists and the force of modernity and moderation.

In the early days after 9/11 our country was united in a single purpose, to find the terrorists bent on our destruction and eliminate the threat they posed to us.

In the intervening years, we've learned the complexity of the struggle against radical Islamic ideology. The extremists, a tiny percentage of the hundreds of millions of peaceful Muslims, are flexible, intelligent, determined and unconstrained by international borders.

No mention of the increased death count in Afghanistan. The death rates had gone up every year. Would have been a good time to mention Afghanistan unless, that just did't fit into the time he was willing to pay attention.

MCCAIN: They wish to return the world to the seventh century, and they will use any means, no matter how inhumane, to eliminate anyone who stands in their way.

But the vast majority of Muslims are trying to modernize their societies to meet the challenges of the 21st century. While Al Qaida seeks to destroy, millions of Muslims attempt to build the same elements of a good life that all of us want: security, opportunity, peace and hope.

The war on terror, the war for the future of the Middle East and the struggle for the soul of Islam, of which the war in Iraq constitutes a key element, are bound together. Progress in one requires progress in all.

The many complex challenges we face require more than a military response. This is a contest of ideas and values as much as it is one of bullets and bombs. We must gain the active support of modernizers across the Muslim world who want to share in the benefits of the global system and its economic success and who aspire to the political freedom that is, I truly believe, the natural desire of the human heart.

No matter how much attention their ruthless tactics receive, terrorists are not the true face of Islam. Devout Muslims in Lebanon, Indonesia, Pakistan, Egypt, Morocco, Bahrain and in Iraq aspire to progress for their societies in which basic human needs are met for more than the privileged few and basic human rights are respected.

The United States needs stronger alliances, coalitions and partnerships worldwide to engage this long and multidimensional struggle. We need to pay careful attention to America's image and moral credibility. And in this broad effort the outcome of the war in Iraq will pay a pivotal role.

Stronger alliance would have been great had he listened to NATO screaming for more troops, more helicopters, more equipment. He just never listened. Bush didn't either. Afghanistan was forgotten again.

MCCAIN: On my trip, I traveled to Baghdad, Ramadi and Tikrit, and met with Iraqi cabinet officers, our top military leadership, including Generals Petraeus and Odierno, and with embassy officials, including our new ambassador, Ryan Crocker.

I also had the privilege of spending time with our soldiers, from generals to privates. Their courage and resolve in this frustrating war is an inspiration, and serves as a reminder of our obligations to avoid the expediency of easy but empty answers, or the allure of political advantage, to choose the path in Iraq that best honors their sacrifices.

We're going to need their courage more than ever. The divisions in Iraqi society are deep, and the need for greater security critical. Innocent Iraqis are still being murdered, and our soldiers are braving dangers no less threatening than in the past. Every day we read about or watch on television the latest car bombing, IED explosion or sniper attack.

But something else is happening, too. There are the first glimmers of progress, under General Petraeus' political military strategy. While these glimmers are no guarantee of success, and though they come early in the implementation of the new strategy, I believe they are cause for cautious optimism.

For the first time in my visits to Iraq, our delegation was able to drive, not fly by helicopter, from the airport to downtown Baghdad. For the first time we met with Sunni tribal leaders of Anbar province, who is working with American and Iraqi forces to fight Al Qaida. Sixteen of the 14 Sunni tribal leaders in Anbar are now working with us.

We visited Iraqi and American forces deployed together in Baghdad, an integral part of the new security plan, where they maintain a presence in a neighborhood cleared of militias and terrorists, and hold the ground they have retaken rather than return to base, after which the enemy returns to impose its will again on a defenseless population.

The government of Prime Minister Maliki is delivering in its promise to deploy Iraqi brigades to Baghdad. A plan to share oil revenues equitably among all Iraqis has been approved by Iraqi ministers and is pending approval by the parliament.

No, this didn't happen. al-Maliki is still trying to hammer out a deal all will be happy with. As for his walk down memory lane, looks like he left a lot out there too. The security around him was heavy. Top that off with he talked about how to honor the troops but yet again, when he had the chance to push for the wounded to be taken care of, for the troops to have proper time at home, to make sure the National Guards families and Reservists families were not left on their own to just deal with the loss of income and their loss of jobs, he didn't bother.

After an important visit by Prime Minister Maliki to Ramadi, in Sunni-dominated Anbar, he promised a new policy to allay Sunni fears that they will be excluded from sharing in the political future of the country.

An important result of the new security plan is the cooperation we are receiving from the Iraqi people, who are beginning to provide us with actionable intelligence about the whereabouts and plans of the enemy.

These welcome developments have occurred even though only three of the five additional brigades have arrived.

These and other indicators of progress are encouraging, but they are not determinative.

MCCAIN: I understand, and you understand, the damage false optimism does to public patience and support.

I learned long ago to be skeptical of official reports that are long on wishful thinking and short on substance.

As we make progress in some areas, the enemy strikes where we do not have as great a presence. But security in the capital is indispensable to a greater level of security throughout the country
, so that political and economic progress can occur.

And in Baghdad, we are making progress. We have a long way to go. But for the first time in four years, we have a strategy that deals with how things really are in Iraq and not how we wish to them to be.

Again, this was a time when no one agreed the surge was even close to working except McCain.

After my first visit to Iraq in 2003, I argued for more troops. I took issue with the statements characterizing the insurgency as a few dead-enders or being in its last throes.

I criticized the search-and-destroy strategy and argued for a counterinsurgency approach that separated the reconcilable population from the irreconcilable population.

That is the course now followed by General Petraeus and the brave Americans and the coalition of troops he has the honor to command.

It is the right strategy.

General Petraeus literally wrote the book on counterinsurgency. He is a determined, resourceful and bold commander.

Again, as we see clearly today, it was not the surge that worked but the fact some commanders decided to do it on their own and hire the "insurgents" on, pay they to stop killing the troops and go after the trouble makers. It was not the increase in troops that did it. That was the only thing McCain was pushing for and when he was claiming it was working, it wasn't.

Our troops, many of whom have served multiple tours in Iraq, are performing with great skill and bravery. But the hour is late and despite the developments I just described, we should have no illusion that success is certain.

But having been a critic of the way this war was fought and a proponent of the very strategy now being followed, it is my obligation to encourage Americans to give it a chance to succeed. To do otherwise would be contrary to the interests of my country, and dishonorable.

Many in Washington have called for an end to our involvement in Iraq, yet they offer no opinion about the consequences of this course of action, beyond a vague assurance that all will be well if the Iraqis are left to work out their differences themselves.

It is obviously true that no military solution is capable of doing what the Iraqis won't do politically.

The troops, well, they didn't matter. He voted against giving them dwell time. He voted against the VA increases in funding. He voted against timetables, when now, after he made fun of the fact it was needed to force the Iraqi government to step up and take care of their own country, he was against any push at all. Time has proven him wrong.

MCCAIN: But, my friends, no political solution has a chance to succeed when Al Qaida is free to foment civil war and Iraqis remain dependent on sectarian militias to protect their children from being murdered.

America -- America has a vital interest in preventing the emergence of Iraq as a Wild West for terrorists, similar to Afghanistan before 9/11.

By leaving Iraq before there is a stable Iraqi governing authority we risk precisely this. And the potential consequence of allowing terrorists sanctuary in Iraq is another 911 or worse.

Afghanistan was again, the highest death count for NATO forces and the highest death count for US forces. NATO commanders were screaming for more troops and it was all over The Independent and The Guardian, but McCain, well, he must have just not had time to read any of the reports to understand any of the facts. Again, 9-11 had to do with Afghanistan and not Iraq but McCain refused to deal with that fact. How could he? After all, he was pushing to invade Iraq right after 9-11.
In Iraq today, terrorists have resorted to levels of barbarism that shocked the world, and we should not be so naive as to believe their intentions are limited solely to the borders of that country. We Americans are their primary enemy, and we Americans are their ultimate target.

A power vacuum in Iraq would invite further interference from Iran at a time when Tehran already falsely emboldened, feels emboldened enough to develop nuclear weapons, threaten Israel and America, and kidnap British sailors.

The "power vacuum" happened when no one took the warnings after the Gulf War that taking over Iraq would help Iran find a friend and cost too many lives. Read the words of all involved after the Gulf War. From the general to Cheney himself. They can be found on PBS and on CSPAN.

If the government collapses in Iraq -- which it surely will if we leave prematurely -- Iraq's neighbors, from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Turkey and Egypt, will feel pressure to intervene on the side of their favorite factions. This uncertain swirl of events could cause the region to explode and foreclose the opportunity for millions of Muslims and their children to achieve freedom.

Which it did right after it was invaded with no plans for what to do after.

We could face a terrible choice -- a terrible choice: watch the region burn, the price of oil escalate dramatically and our economy decline, watch the terrorists establish new base camps, or send American troops back to Iraq, with the odds against our success much worse than they are today.

To enumerate the strategic interests at stake in Iraq does not address our moral obligation to a people we liberated from Saddam Hussein's tyranny.

I suspect many in this audience and most members of Congress look back at America's failure to act to prevent genocide in Rwanda with shame.

MCCAIN: I know I do.

But I fear the potential for genocide and ethnic cleansing in Iraq is even worse. The sectarian violence, the social divisions, the armaments, the weakened security apparatus of the state -- all the ingredients are there. Unless we fight to prevent it, our withdrawal will be coupled with a genocide in which we are complicit.

Genocide was already happening and ethnic cleansing along with Christians being hunted down.

Given our security interests and our moral investment in Iraq, so long as we have a chance to prevail, we must try to prevail.

As General Petraeus has repeatedly stated, it will be several months or more before we know with any confidence whether we can turn this war around.

Elements of the new civil military strategy are still being drafted. Almost half the additional troops have yet to arrive. And many of the new civilians have yet to take up their posts. We are off to a good start, but significant results will take time.

What struck me upon my return from Baghdad is the enormous gulf between the harsh but hopeful realities in Iraq, where politics is for many a matter of life and death, and the fanciful and self-interested debates about Iraq that substitutes for statesmanship in Washington.

You're on your own from this part on. All the facts prove McCain hasn't a clue what he was talking about and what is more harmful is that he didn't care either.

In Iraq, American and Iraqi soldiers risk everything to hold the country together, to prevent it from becoming a terrorist sanctuary and the region from descending into the dangerous chaos of a widening war.

In Washington, where political calculation seems to trump all other considerations, Democrats in Congress and their leading candidates for president, heedless of the terrible consequences of our failure, unanimously confirmed our new commander and then insisted he be prevented from taking the action he believes necessary to safeguard our country's interests.

In Iraq, hope is a fragile thing, but all the more admirable for the courage and sacrifice necessary to nurture it.

MCCAIN: In Washington, cynicism appears to be the quality most prized by those who accept defeat, but not the responsibility for its consequences.

Before I left for Iraq, I watched with regret as the House of Representatives voted to deny our troops the support necessary to carry out their new mission. Democratic leaders smiled and cheered as the last votes were counted.

What were they celebrating? Defeat? Surrender?

In Iraq, only our enemies were cheering. A defeat for the United States is a cause for mourning, not celebrating. And determining how the United States can avert such a disaster should encourage the most sober, public-spirited reasoning among our elected leaders, not the giddy anticipation of the next election.

Democrats who voted to authorize this war and criticize the failed strategy that has led us to this perilous moment have the same responsibility I do: to offer support when that failure is recognized, and the right strategy is proposed and the right commanders take the field to implement it, or at the least to offer an alternative strategy that has some relationship to reality.

Democrats argue we should redirect Americans' resources to the real war on terror, of which Iraq is just a sideshow. But whether or not Al Qaida terrorists were a present danger in Iraq before the war, there is no disputing they are there now and their leaders recognize Iraq as the main battleground in the war on terror.

Today Al Qaida terrorists are the ones preparing the car bombs, firing the Katyusha rockets, planting the IEDs. They maneuver in the midst of Iraq's sectarian conflict, sparking and fueling the horrendous violence, destroying efforts at political reconciliation, killing innocents on both sides in the hope of creating a conflagration that will cause Americans to lose heart and leave so they can return to their primary mission: planning and executing attacks on the United States and destabilizing America's allies.

MCCAIN: It is impossible to separate sectarian violence from the war against Al Qaida. Al Qaida is following an explicit strategy to foment civil war in Iraq.

The only way to reduce and finally end sectarian violence is to provide greater security to the population than we have in the past, as we are doing now in Baghdad, to encourage Iraqis to abandon their reliance on local militias, and to destroy Al Qaida and the irreconcilable enemies of the United States and the Iraqi people.

Our defeat in Iraq would constitute a defeat in the war against terror and extremism that would make the world a much more dangerous place.

The enemies we face there harbor the same depraved indifference to human life as those who killed 3,000 innocent Americans on a September morning in 2001.

A couple of days before I arrived in Baghdad, a suicide car bomb destroyed a large, busy marketplace. It was a bit unusual, because now new U.S. and Iraqi security measures in Baghdad have reduced the numbers of car bomb attacks.

But this time, the terrorist had a new tactic. They drove their car to a security checkpoint and were waved through because there were two small children in the back seat. The terrorists then walked away from the car, leaving the children inside it, and triggered the explosion.

If the terrorists are willing to do this terrible thing to Iraqi children, what are they willing to do to our children?

Some argue the war in Iraq no longer has anything to do with us; that it is a hopelessly complicated mess of tribal warfare and sectarian conflict. The situation is complex and very difficult.

Yet, from one perspective, it is quite simple: We are engaged in a basic struggle, a struggle between humanity and inhumanity, between builders and destroyers. If fighting these people and preventing the export of their brand of radicalism and terror is not intrinsic to the national security and most cherished values of the United States, I don't know what is.

Consider our other strategic challenges in the region: preventing Iran from going nuclear, stabilizing Afghanistan against a resurgent Taliban, the battle for the future of Pakistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and others, protecting Israel's security, the struggle for Lebanon's independence.

Does any honest observer believe those challenges will be easier to confront at a lesser cost in American blood and treasure if the United States accepts defeat in Iraq?

MCCAIN: We all agree a military solution alone will not solve the problems of Iraq. There must be political agreement among Iraqis that allows all groups to participate in the building of their nation, to share in its resources, and to live in peace with one another.

But without greater security imposed by the United States military and the Iraqi army, there can be no political solution.

As Americans and Iraqis sacrifice to provide that security, Iraqis' leaders must do the hard work of political reconciliation. We can help them get there, but we cannot assume their responsibilities. Unless they accept their own obligations to all Iraqis, we will all fail, and America, Iraq and the world will have to live with the terrible consequences.

We are giving Iraqis' leaders and people the chance to have a better future, but they must seize it.

In the many mistakes we have made in this war, a few lessons have become clear.

America should never undertake a war unless we are prepared to do everything necessary to succeed and unless we have a realistic and comprehensive plan for success. We did not meet this responsibility initially. We're were trying to do so now.

Responsible political leaders, statesmen, do not add to the burdens our troop carry. That is what Democrats, intentionally or not, have done by failing to provide them with the resources necessary to succeed in their mission. Every day that passes without the necessary funds appropriated to sustain our troops, our chances of success in Iraq dwindle and our military readiness declines further.

We have sent the best Americans among us to fight in Iraq, and at least -- at least we must give them the tools they need to do their job.

When the president vetoes, as he should, the bill that refuses to support General Petraeus' new plan, I hope Democrats in Congress will heed the advice of one of their leading candidates for president, Senator Obama, and immediately pass a new bill to provide support to our troops in Iraq without substituting their partisan interests for those of our troops and our country.

MCCAIN: I know the pain war causes. I understand the frustration caused by our mistakes in this war. I sympathize with the fatigue of the American people. And I regret sincerely the additional sacrifices imposed on the brave Americans who defend us.

But I also know the toll a lost war takes on an army and a country.

We who are willing to support this new strategy, and give General Petraeus the time and support he needs, have chosen a hard road. But it is the right road. It is necessary and just.

Democrats who deny our soldiers the means to prevent an American defeat have chosen another road. It may appear to be the easier course of action, but it is a much more reckless one. And it does them no credit, even if it gives them an advantage in the next election.

This is a historic choice, with ramifications for Americans not even born yet.

Let's put aside, for a moment, the small politics of the day. The judgment of history should be the approval we seek, not the temporary favor of the latest public opinion poll.

We all respect the sacrifices made by our soldiers. We all mourn the losses they have suffered in the war. But let us honor them by doing all we can to ensure their sacrifices were not made in vain.

Let us show an appropriate humility by recognizing that so little is asked of us, compared to the burdens we imposed on them.

And let us show just a small but significant measure of their courage, resolve and patriotism by putting our country's interests before every personal or political consideration.

In closing, I'd like to bring to your attention the gallantry and patriotism of one American who served with distinction in Iraq, a Navy SEAL who refuses to quit his mission and let the country he loves so well suffer the terrible harm our defeat would entail.

Just a few days ago, Petty Officer First Class Mark Robbins' unit was ambushed outside Baghdad.

MCCAIN: During the ensuing firefight, he spotted an insurgent with an RPG and immediately stepped out from cover and exposed himself to enemy fire to take out the terrorist before he could fire.

He saved the lives of his comrades, but was gravely wounded as he did so. He was shot in the eye by another insurgent with an AK-47. The bullet exited the back of his head about three inches behind his ear.

He was initially knocked unconscious but came to, continued to fight. And then, despite the severity of his wound, walked to the evacuation helicopter.

He was eventually taken to Landstuhl military hospital in Germany. As is the custom of Navy SEALs, he was accompanied by one of his comrades, Petty Officer 2nd Class McLean Swink.

On our way home from Iraq, our delegation stopped in Germany for refueling and crew rest and I had the privilege of visiting some of our wounded at Landstuhl. I briefly stopped in Mark Robbins' room, but he was sedated and unable then to communicate. I spent a few moments there and talked to his buddy before I went to visit other wounded soldiers.

Not too long after I had left Mark's room, Petty Officer Swink found me and told me Mark was awake, and had asked to see me. So I returned.

When I entered his room and approached his bedside, he struggled with great difficulty to sit up, stiffened his body as if he were trying to stand at attention, grasped my hand tightly and wouldn't let go. And then he whispered to me not to worry, "We can win this fight. We can win this fight."

Mark, as another person observed, looks like the toughest kid on the high school football team. He's tough and brave and very young. But more than that, he's an inspiration to those who are only called upon to subordinate a temporary political advantage to the security of our good and great nation.

Petty Officer Mark Robbins, an American hero, believes we can still win this fight. I'll take his word for it, and accept my responsibility to help the cause he sacrificed so much to defend.

Thank you.



Source: CQ Transcriptions

McCain wrong on troop surge, it was a spending splurge

Just one more piece of proof that the surge in troops was not what worked the way McCain wanted. His answer was to send in more troops but wiser heads won the day and found a way to calm things down. They paid the enemy off and got them to kill off the bad guys. McCain was wrong on the need to invade Iraq after 9-11 when he said it on camera, wrong on not wanting any accountability, wrong on not demanding plans for the sake of the troops and the people of Iraq, wrong about never talking about what was happening in Afghanistan when NATO was screaming for more troops, wrong on VA funding, wrong on the GI Bill and for a man who claims he knows what to do, he's failed across the boards. The American people and the troops can't afford any more deception.

Secret killing program is key in Iraq, Woodward says
Story Highlights
Program likened to WWII-era Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb

Author discloses the existence of secret operational capabilities in latest book

National security advisor disputes Woodward's conclusion about the Iraq surge

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The dramatic drop in violence in Iraq is due in large part to a secret program the U.S. military has used to kill terrorists, according to a new book by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bob Woodward.

Bob Woodward's book, "The War Within: Secret White House History 2006-2008," came out Monday.

The program -- which Woodward compares to the World War II era Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb -- must remain secret for now or it would "get people killed," Woodward said Monday on CNN's Larry King Live.

"It is a wonderful example of American ingenuity solving a problem in war, as we often have," Woodward said.

In "The War Within: Secret White House History 2006-2008," Woodward disclosed the existence of secret operational capabilities developed by the military to locate, target and kill leaders of al Qaeda in Iraq and other insurgent leaders.

National security adviser Stephen Hadley, in a written statement reacting to Woodward's book, acknowledged the new strategy. Yet he disputed Woodward's conclusion that the "surge" of 30,000 U.S. troops into Iraq was not the primary reason for the decline in violent attacks.

"It was the surge that provided more resources and a security context to support newly developed techniques and operations," Hadley wrote.

Woodward, associate editor of the Washington Post, wrote that along with the surge and the new covert tactics, two other factors helped reduce the violence. Watch Bob Woodward explain the strategy »
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This is being posted on both blogs.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Dereliction of Duty McCain’s record on veterans’ issues

Dereliction of Duty
McCain’s record on veterans’ issues is shocking and awful
By Cliff Schecter
Features > September 1, 2008
Dereliction of Duty
McCain’s record on veterans’ issues is shocking and awful
By Cliff Schecter
Presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) talks to World War II veteran George Dusdenbury on Jan. 18, in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
McCain's record on veterans' issues paints a picture of a man who has been willfully negligent when it comes to providing for his former brothers and sisters in arms.

At a town hall meeting in Denver in early July, a Vietnam veteran asked presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) why he had opposed increasing healthcare for veterans whenever Congress had taken up the issue over the past six years. McCain virtually ignored the man’s question, dissembling his opposition to an updated GI Bill for veterans. After the questioner challenged McCain’s response, the senator reacted as he usually does when queried beyond his comfort level: He got visibly angry.

Because McCain is running for president almost solely on his biography as a war hero, he can’t — and won’t — allow the slightest doubt to linger about his dedication to soldiers both past and present. It didn’t matter that the vet simply wanted to know how McCain — himself a former soldier and prisoner of war — could oppose important healthcare legislation for veterans. In fact, he didn’t even ask McCain about the GI Bill that he opposed, which had been supported by a bipartisan group of 75 senators, including Republican veterans Chuck Hagel (Neb.) and John Warner (Va.).

Most notably, McCain also testily responded to his inquisitor that he had “received every award from every vets organization.”

The problem is, not only is that assertion not true, but McCain’s record on veterans’ issues paints a picture of a man who has been willfully negligent when it comes to providing for his former brothers and sisters in arms.

As Iraq War veteran and former Democratic congressional candidate Paul Hackett says, “Here is a guy who touts himself as a friend of veterans, but his history shows just the opposite. How can someone who cares about our men and women in the armed services vote against the GI Bill or veterans’ healthcare?”
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What makes all of this worse is the fact McCain enjoys the very thing he does not want all other veterans to have. Doesn't matter to him at all as long as he gets his "share" and all he feels he earned. After all, he was a POW and the rest, well they did not suffer as much as he did, so they should be on their own. This is proven when he says he wants the non-combat veterans treated by civilain doctors with "health care cards" instead of the VA.

For all the veterans still supporting him just because "he's one of them" they need to understand that he is far from one of them when he uses them instead of fights for them.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Texas' Chet Edwards tells veterans: McCain is no friend to you

Texas' Chet Edwards tells veterans: McCain is no friend to you

07:07 AM CDT on Thursday, August 28, 2008
By ROBERT T. GARRETT / The Dallas Morning News

DENVER – Waco congressman Chet Edwards assailed John McCain as no friend of veterans Wednesday, while hailing Barack Obama as the champion that veterans and military families need.

Capping seven days that most politicians can only dream of, Mr. Edwards snagged a prime-time speaking slot at the Democrats' convention.

With a video montage of the Alamo as his backdrop, he got four minutes to tout Mr. Obama's record on veterans' health and education benefits.

Mr. Edwards said he has "the greatest respect for the military service and sacrifice of John McCain in the Vietnam War."

But he said the Arizona senator "has received failing grades from some of our nation's most respected veterans' organizations. He has repeatedly voted against health care funding and benefits for his fellow veterans. And if elected, his plan could lead to the rationing of veterans' health care."
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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

John "but I was a POW" McCain is bad for veterans

Reading this first thing in the morning made me want to scream!

Military credentials

The older, military veteran audience - in McCain's home state, no less - seemed a good match for the older, Vietnam-veteran McCain. Time and again, when asked their thoughts on the presidential race Tuesday, American Legion members pointed to McCain's military credentials, wondered about Obama's experience, and openly questioned the Democratic nominee's patriotism.

"Obama's not a veteran. He's not a veteran. Why should I trust him?" asked Ed Rocha, 68, a Democrat and Navy veteran from Williams.

Donna Ray, 63, a Republican from Cincinnati, called McCain "an idol," and said the patriotism factor looms large in her presidential choice. She noted Obama's reluctance to wear an American flag lapel pin on the campaign stump earlier this year. When told that he regularly appears with the flag pin now, she was dubious: "Why? Because he's running for president."

If elected, McCain pledged to fight for better health care for service members and improved Veterans Affairs programs. He called poor living conditions uncovered at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in 2007 "a disgrace unworthy of this nation" and vowed to ensure that "nothing like it is ever repeated."

McCain also said his administration would create a Veterans Care Access Card to improve health services for veterans who are eligible for care but unable to receive it due to their distance from VA facilities, lengthy wait times or the absence of needed specialty services. Use of the card would be voluntary, and participating veterans would pay no additional fees.

Said McCain, "My reform will improve care, reduce risks and broaden access all at the same time."

Promises to veterans during campaign season are nothing new, noted WWII veteran C.R. Stephens, 81. But the Republican from Cedar Falls, Iowa, said he has more faith in McCain delivering than Obama.

"Look at him," Stephens said of Obama. "What's he know? A one-term senator. Not a veteran."
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Is McCain a veteran? Yes. Was he a POW? Yes. Both put him on equal ground with every other veteran and POW. Neither raises him above any of the others and it's time for some honesty from all the veterans, POW's and their families. It's time to stop regarding what he had to do to survive what he went through as an excuse for what he's done against veterans. Some are giving him a free pass at their own expense. The service organizations giving McCain failing grades when it comes to taking care of veterans should not be taken lightly by any voters regarding any politician. To dismiss his deplorable record just because he's one of us, is stupid. The assumption that he'll take care of any of us is not proven by what he's done since he got back from Vietnam. This is evidence of what McCain thinks of veterans at the same time he wants to use being one in order to do what it takes to get to where he wants to be and the veterans, well, they and their families are just a stepping stone to get there.

August 2001: McCain voted against increasing the amount available for medical care for veterans by $650,000,000. To his credit, he also voted against the 2001 Bush tax cuts, which he now supports making permanent, despite the dire financial condition this country is in, and despite the fact that he indicated in 2001 that these tax cuts unfairly benefited the very wealthy at the expense of the middle class.

April 2003: McCain urged other Senate members to table a vote (which never passed) to provide more than $1 billion for National Guard and Reserve equipment in Iraq related to a shortage of helmets, tents, bullet-proof inserts, and tactical vests.

October 2003: McCain voted to table an amendment by Senator Dodd that called for an additional $322,000,000 for safety equipment for United States forces in Iraq and to reduce the amount provided for reconstruction in Iraq by $322,000,000.

March 2004: McCain once again voted for abusive tax loopholes over veterans when he voted against creating a reserve fund to allow for an increase in Veterans' medical care by $1.8 billion by eliminating abusive tax loopholes. Jeez, McCain really loves those tax loopholes for corporations, since he voted for them over our veterans' needs.

March 2006: McCain voted against increasing Veterans medical services funding by $1.5 billion in FY 2007 to be paid for by closing corporate tax loopholes.

April 2006: McCain was one of only 13 Senators to vote against $430,000,000 for the Department of Veteran Affairs for Medical Services for outpatient care and treatment for veterans.

May 2006: McCain voted against an amendment that would provide $20 million to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for health care facilities.

September 2007: McCain voted against the Webb amendment calling for adequate troop rest between deployments. At the time, nearly 65% of people polled in a CNN poll indicted that "things are going either moderately badly or very badly in Iraq.

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I could overlook the fact that his character core is one of a husband that returns to his wife after she waited for him all the years he was gone, all the years she had to worry about him being alive or dead, all the years of praying for his return, only to be dumped because she was in an accident for Cindy. I could overlook the fact that after 2000 when Bush destroyed him politically in their primary campaign for the nomination, McCain changed and then sucked up to Bush voting with him 95% of the time. I could overlook the fact that McCain can't even remember how many homes he has at the same time he wants to continue the process that cost the rest of us our homes with the Graham ploy that let the banks do what they wanted and sucked in so many looking for the American dream. I could overlook the part that McCain wants to continue to do what has cost this nation the blood of our troops when evidence proves there was no need to invade Iraq and jeopardized the operation in Afghanistan, began the obliteration of the National Guard forces needed to respond to national emergencies along with the rest of what the operations in Iraq have cost this nation.

There is a lot I could overlook, because he's a veteran after all but the maverick title he was anointed with by the media became a lap dog after the hell he was put through by Bush, but I cannot overlook the way he regards veterans. In his eyes, we are just not worth fighting for. In his eyes, there are too many things that are just too good for us instead of the obligation this nation has to us.

McCain can rant all he wants about the fact he's a veteran. He can point out that Obama isn't. But what he can't do is put his votes up against Obama. The service organizations give Obama high marks on his support of them. That's what really counts. It's time for the veterans in this country to take a good look at what McCain has done since Vietnam against veterans when he should have been held to a higher standard as one of us voting against us. By the way, the flag pin thing, well anyone can stick a pin to their jacket but it's what they have inside of them that really matters. If McCain gets elected, we'll all be stuck with the suffering of veterans and their families who need someone fighting for us instead of using us.

Senior Chaplain Kathie Costos
"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of early wars were treated and appreciated by our nation." - George Washington