A m e r i c a n P o s t – G a z e t t e
Distributed by C O M M O N S E N S E , in Arizona
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Arizona Politics, News, Commentary and Information with a Blatantly Conservative Worldview Presented by an Alliance of Writers, Activists, Consultants and Government Insiders.
A m e r i c a n P o s t – G a z e t t e
Distributed by C O M M O N S E N S E , in Arizona
Thursday, March 14, 2013
By Lisa Benson
Neoconservative backers of the Iraq War have long had issues with Chuck Hagel, President Barack Obama’s choice for Secretary of Defense (OSD). Of all the stories floating around about the nomination of Chuck Hagel, his involvement with the George Soros — Obama’s Boss — and the devil incarnate is the most insidious in my opinion.
Hagel has a long-standing feud with Lindsey Graham and John McCain over breaking away from supporting the Iraqi war. However, as much as I am reading that Obama’s choice for OSD is to exasperate a rift within the Republican establishment, I am inclined to believe that the purpose is broader, more sweeping and more serious than just what the mainstream media is reporting.
In my opinion, if we activists and national security/Pro-Israel policy hawks focus on the minutia of Hagel’s remarks regarding Israel, we will certainly lose any effort to thwart his appointment.
This appointment can only be stopped in its tracks if our elected officials get to the root of the problem: the overarching agenda of this administration and those who support it.
The “paymaster of the Democratic Party” is behind this nomination; the man who is responsible for many of the problems that beset the west. GEORGE SOROS
Much is written about Soros and his communist connections beginning when he fled Hungry in 1946. He made exits through major Soviet check points even when others could not. He traded currencies on the black market during Hitler’s occupation in Hungary and started a banking enterprise, worldwide. Much is written, spoken and debated about the Soros plan for a “one world order” and his communist connections.
The Obama “brain trust” includes the likes of George Soros, John Podesta (who managed the Obama transition team in 2008), Gary Hart, Mike Allen, Brent Scowcroft and Thomas Pickering.
This week we learned that the Obama “brain trust,” with the financial backing of George Soros, hired the brother of John Podesta – Tony Podesta – of the elite lobbying firm THE PODESTA GROUP, Washington, D.C. to take up the Hagel cause. In short order: the Podesta firm has been hired to influence defense contractors to finance, promote ads and back Chuck Hagel. By “influence” I mean “support or lose your government defense contracts” is the not so subtle innuendo. Financed lobbying effort by George Soros.
What IS very concerning to me is the involvement of notorious Communist, George Soros in the nomination of Chuck Hagel.
As someone said to me today, “Soros is as Jewish as Hitler was a Christian.”
Everything George Soros involves himself with is to promote a Progressive, Socialist, Communist reformist agenda, including his backing of Chuck Hagel.
…And What About the Deutsche Bank?
Hagel was appointed in 2009 to Deutsche Bank’s Americas Advisory Board. The PAID position placed him in close contact with the bank’s senior leadership.
Here is the clincher and a jaw dropping revelation:
Germany’s Deutsche Bank is reportedly being probed by U.S. authorities for VIOLATING the trade embargo on Iran’s oil and energy sector, which is believed to play a key role in Tehran’s nuclear enrichment program.
Much of this information regarding Deutsche Bank can be read in THE WASHTINGTON FREE BEACON. However, the George Soros promotion of Hagel is hardly spoken.
Most recently, and in my opinion, seriously concerning, is evidence of Hagel as an IRANIAN APOLOGIST, as an opponent of sanctions or strong policy against a nuclear Iran. His appointment continues the Obama administration’s weak, apologetic and appeasement diplomacy this administration is known for — weak and uninformed is the norm in the Situation Room. As witnessed by the horrific details emerging regarding Benghazi.
When the nomination for the United States Secretary of Defense merits a press release from the Iranian government, as happened yesterday, applauding the President of the United States for his choice for OSD, everyone needs to take notice — or should take notice.
Tony Podesta, THE PODESTA GROUP, tripled its staff three years ago, receives half a million dollars a year from General Dynamics, a military contractor. Brother John is a close ally of President Obama and headed up the Obama transition team in 2008.
We have a Socialist/Communist lead administration, funded by George Soros, making government contract deals with defense contractors. ??????
Some say that George Soros is a pawn for the Obama administration. I beg to differ. Soros is the boss and he is dangerously manifesting his “one world order” plan on the backs, and in contrast, to everything this Republic stands for.
“Bye Bye American Pie!”
The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) is the principal staff element of the Secretary of Defense in the exercise of policy development, planning, resource management, fiscal, and program evaluation responsibilities. OSD includes the immediate offices of the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense, Under Secretaries of Defense, Director of Defense Research and Engineering, Assistant Secretaries of Defense, General Counsel, Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, Assistants to the Secretary of Defense, Director of Administration and Management and such other staff offices as the Secretary establishes to assist in carrying out assigned responsibilities.
Hagel, as a “Soros Machine Puppet” will be responsible for every aspect of our nation’s defense, and apparently, George Soros has great influence on the Obama administration and on the policy and direction of the United States. This, actually makes me shudder.
It is obvious, after conducting this research that Chuck Hagel, if appointed, will be a pawn/ puppet and member of the Soros Machine ready, willing and able and positioned to lead the charge against strong national security policies. Israel will be hanging out there alone in the Iranian matter.
Finally, I would like to add, if we keep the heat on the Hagel nomination, don’t be so sure that Hagel himself won’t opt out of the appointment.
Tell the Chairman of the US Senate Committee on Armed Services “NO to Hagel.” Contact Chairman Levin today.
Lisa Benson is an nationally renowned expert on anti-Islamic national security issues. As the owner of Lisa Benson Consulting, LLC, she also works in fundraising community raising hundreds of millions of dollars for causes and campaigns. You can find out more about Lisa at her website: LisaBensonConsulting.com
Carmona’s abuse of travel and staff was at heart of disagreements
PHOENIX – In response to testimony from Dr. Cristina Beato, former Acting Assistant Secretary of Health at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Richard Carmona has lashed out and tried to discredit her.
Carmona claims: “I refused to politicize science, and that’s what the issue really is here” (KPNX, 10/11/12). But that’s not what the issue is.
On May 22, 2012 the Associated Press reported that “Emails that The Associated Press obtained through the Freedom of Information Act reinforce that there were tensions within HHS about where Carmona should go and what groups he should address. One email noted that Carmona made 19 trips in the first six months after taking office, 12 of them with stops inArizona, San Diego or both. ‘I think we have a real problem here,’ HHS employee Hal Thompson wrote.” Carmona owns homes in Arizona and San Diego.
Dr. Beato reiterated her testimony to Politico: “In the interview with POLITICO, Beato stood by her 2007 testimony. Beato said one of the issues that led to a midnight visit by Carmona involved his wish to visit the University of California, San Francisco, his alma mater, to receive an honorary degree. Beato alleged that Carmona wanted to pay for the trip using government funds, which she refused to allow.
“Not only does Richard Carmona not have the temperament to serve in the United States Senate, his refusal to be straight with voters raises serious questions about his honesty as well,” said Andrew Wilder, communications director for Flake for Senate.
On Thursday, the Flake campaign began airing an ad statewide on broadcast and cable featuring the personal testimony of Dr. Cristina Beato, who served as Acting Assistant Secretary of Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 2003 to 2005. Dr. Beato recounts the night that Dr. Carmona angrily slammed on herdoor in the middle of the night in a rage to continue an argument that he started earlier that day.
A Spanish-language version of the ad is airing on Telemundo and Univision. Click this link to view the Spanish version: http://youtu.be/asPwBdD4hxU.
Background on Richard Carmona’s History of Confrontation
Dr. Cristina Beato Testified To Congress In 2007 About An Incident In Which She Felt Threatened By Richard Carmona
During His Surgeon General Tenure, Carmona’s Boss, Cristina Beato, Alleged That He “Banged On Her Door And Yelled At Her In The Middle Of The Night.” “But behind the scenes, his former boss Cristina Beato — a onetime supporter turned bitter enemy — was painting a very different picture of Carmona for House investigators, alleging that an angry Carmona twice banged on her door and yelled at her in the middle of the night after workplace disputes.” (John Bresnahan and Manu Raju, “Richard Carmona Draws Fire From Another Former Boss,” Politico, 5/21/12)
Beato Alleged Carmona Was An “Extremely Angry” Person And A “Living Nightmare” To Work With. “Beato gave her testimony in secret in 2007, saying Carmona was an ‘extremely angry’ person, a ‘living nightmare’ to work with, had trouble working for a female supervisor and abused travel privileges by improperly billing taxpayers forsome personal expenses, according to the testimony. When POLITICO contactedBeato recently, she confirmed her testimony and reiterated her accusations on the record, five years after she originally gave them to the House committee.” (John Bresnahan and Manu Raju, “Richard Carmona Draws Fire From Another Former Boss,” Politico, 5/21/12)
Carmona Declined Interviews On The Matter. “Carmona declined several interview requests for this story, but campaign aides furiously denied the allegations.” (John Bresnahan and Manu Raju, “Richard Carmona Draws Fire From Another Former Boss,” Politico, 5/21/12)
Carmona Was Also Accused Of Being “Manipulative” And A “Liar”
Beato: “Dr. Carmona Is Not A Team Player. Dr. Carmona, Within 6 Or 8 Months, Had Burned Bridges Everywhere.” DR. CRISTINA BEATO: “The second thing is we had a very ambitious agenda, and I specifically wanted to work on the issues of disparities. Dr. Carmona is not a team player. Dr. Carmona, within 6 or 8 months, had burned bridges everywhere, and he did not have comradery within the Department or within other departments.” (Committee On Oversight And Government Reform, U.S. House Of Representatives, Testimony Of Cristina Beato, 11/2/07, Page 44)
Beato: “[B]ut Never Have I Dealt With Anyone Who Was A Liar As Much As Dr. Carmona Was.” DR. CRISTINA BEATO: “I was the Chief Medical Officer in a large academic center, and I have dealt with difficult personalities — chairs of neurosurgery, chairs of surgery — but never have I dealt with anyone who was a liar as much as Dr. Carmona was. He would tell me things about a trip that turned out not to be true. He would tell me things about officers that turned out not to be true.” (Committee On Oversight And Government Reform, U.S. House Of Representatives, Testimony Of Cristina Beato, 11/2/07, Page 46)
Beato: “Dr. Carmona Is Manipulative, And He’s A Liar.” DR. CRISTINA BEATO: “I had an extremely difficult time. And I have kept my mouth shut for years, because, first and foremost, I’m a physician, and I believe my professionalism will not allow that. But Dr. Carmona is manipulative, and he’s a liar.” (Committee On Oversight And Government Reform, U.S. House Of Representatives, Testimony Of Cristina Beato, 11/2/07, Page 46)
Dr. Cristina Beato: “Carmona Has A Strong Personality That’s Totally Dysfunctional And Not Professional And Certainly Not Ethical.” (Committee On Oversight And Government Reform, U.S. House Of Representatives, Testimony Of Cristina Beato, 11/2/07, Page 86)
Carmona Was Accused Of Having A Serious Problem With Women In The Workplace
Dr. Cristina Beato: “Dr. Carmona Also Had A Very Difficult Time Having A Female Hispanic Supervisor. He And I, Behind Closed Doors, Clashed Frequently. I Would Never Do This In Public, But He Insulted Me. He Tried To Belittle Me.” DR. CRISTINA BEATO: “Dr. Carmona was very, very brilliant, and he worked very hard. Dr. Carmona also had a very difficult time having a female Hispanic supervisor. He and I, behind closed doors, clashed frequently. I would never do this in public, but he insulted me. He tried to belittle me.” (Committee On Oversight And Government Reform, U.S. House Of Representatives, Testimony Of Cristina Beato, 11/2/07, Page 45)
Beato: “He Has Problems With Women, Serious Problems With Women.” CRISTINA BEATO: “And he has problems with women, serious problems with women. And he could not stand the fact that I was going to beASH. He tried to undermine my nomination several times, both on the Hill here — because I know my Senator that sponsored me — as well as in the White House. He’d try to go in — and people would tell me this, you know. It wastotally unprofessional, totally unprofessional.” (Committee On Oversight And Government Reform, U.S. House Of Representatives, Testimony Of Cristina Beato, 11/2/07, Page 48)
Beato: “It Was A Living Nightmare. It Was A Living Nightmare.” (Committee On Oversight And Government Reform, U.S. House Of Representatives, Testimony Of Cristina Beato, 11/2/07, Page 48)
Carmona Also Had A Confrontation With A Female Colleague When He Was Head Of The Pima County Health System
Campoy, A County Health Commissioner, Reported To The County Attorney That A Doctor Had A Drug Abuse Problem And Was Writing False Prescriptions; Carmona “Had Already Dealt With The Doctor On The Issue Two Years Before.” “His final battle there came in a dispute in May 1999 with county health commissioner Sylvia Campoy, who had reported to the county attorney allegations that a Kino doctor with a drug abuse problem had written false prescriptions to access drugs. Carmona had already dealt with the doctor on the issue two years before, and after an internal investigation, encouraged the doctor to report himself to the Board of Medical Examiners.” (Ann-Eve Pedersen and Megan Garvey, “Squaring Off Over Nominee,” Los Angeles Times, 7/8/02)
“After Campoy Reported The Allegations, Carmona Became Irate, Saying She Had Violated The Accused Doctor’s Confidentiality, an opinion shared by the Kino Community hospital board and the Pima County medical society.” (Ann-Eve Pedersen and Megan Garvey, “Squaring Off Over Nominee,” Los Angeles Times, 7/8/02)
“‘What I Got From Dr. Carmona [After Reporting The Case] Was Antagonism And . . . Threats,’ Campoy Later Told An Investigator From The Arizona Department Of Public Safety’s Prescription Fraud Unit, according to a state Board of Medical Examiners document obtained through Arizona’s public records law. ‘I was screamed at, I was yelled at. I was told it was none of my business. I was told that I had breached peer review.’” (Ann-Eve Pedersen and Megan Garvey, “Squaring Off Over Nominee,” Los Angeles Times, 7/8/02)
Carmona Bullied A Female Nurse When He Was A Director At The Tucson Medical Center
“Court And Hospital Records Show A History Of Conflicts Between Carmona And Other Doctors, Who Complained About His Lack Of Cooperation, ‘High Handedness,’ ‘Unwillingness To Communicate’ And ‘His Escalation Of Disagreements In An Effort To Prove He Was Right.’” (Ann-Eve Pederson and Megan Garvey, “Squaring Off Over Nominee,” Los Angeles Times, 7/8/02)
“In One Case, Hospital Administrators Cited His ‘Bullying’ Of A Nurse Who Said He Failed To Diagnose A Young Boy’s Skull Fracture In 1991.” (Ann-Eve Pederson and Megan Garvey, “Squaring Off Over Nominee,” Los Angeles Times, 7/8/02)
Carmona Retaliated By Demanding Angie Calvino’s Resignation Because She Complained About Him. “Carmona demanded Angie Calvino’s resignation after she complained to colleagues about his medical judgment, rather than reporting her concerns to the hospital’s confidential peer review committee, court records show.” (Ann-Eve Pederson and Megan Garvey, “Squaring Off Over Nominee,” Los Angeles Times, 7/8/02)
“In A Mediated Agreement, Calvino Agreed To A Demotion If Carmona Did Not Report Her To The State Nursing Board For Not Following Protocol, According To Those Familiar With The Case.” (Ann-Eve Pederson and Megan Garvey, “Squaring Off Over Nominee,” Los Angeles Times, 7/8/02)
“However, Court Records Show That A Few Months Later Carmona Did Report Her, And Calvino Remained Demoted.” (Ann-Eve Pederson and Megan Garvey, “Squaring Off Over Nominee,” Los Angeles Times, 7/8/02)
Despite Troubled Past With Tucson Medical, Kino Community Hospital Brought Carmona Aboard – Where He Immediately Clashed With The Longtime Chief Of Surgery Who Proceeded To Resign Because Of Carmona’s Management Style
“Two Years Later, Carmona Was Hired As Chief Executive Officer And Medical Director Of Kino Community Hospital In Tucson.” (Ann-Eve Pederson and Megan Garvey, “Squaring Off Over Nominee,” Los Angeles Times, 7/8/02)
“There He Clashed Repeatedly With The Hospital’s Longtime Chief Of Surgery, Eric Ramsay.” (Ann-Eve Pederson and Megan Garvey, “Squaring Off Over Nominee,” Los Angeles Times, 7/8/02)
“They Fought Over Staffing And The Residency Program.” (Ann-Eve Pederson and Megan Garvey, “Squaring Off Over Nominee,” Los Angeles Times, 7/8/02)
“Internal memos made available to The Times also show that Carmona chastised Ramsay for maintaining offices that were ‘dirty and unkempt without the slightest bit of an attempt to tidy’ them.” (Ann-Eve Pederson and Megan Garvey, “Squaring Off Over Nominee,” Los Angeles Times, 7/8/02)
“After Working Under Carmona For A Year Ramsay Resigned, Ending A 37-Year Association With The Hospital.” (Ann-Eve Pederson and Megan Garvey, “Squaring Off Over Nominee,” Los Angeles Times, 7/8/02)
Ramsay Blasted Carmona In His Letter Dated The Same Day He Quit:
Ramsay To Carmona: “Never in my entire medical career have I seen such gross interference by a hospital administrator without the slightest attempt to reach a cooperative understanding.” (Ann-Eve Pederson and Megan Garvey, “Squaring Off Over Nominee,” Los Angeles Times, 7/8/02)
Ramsay To Carmona: “Clearly you need a lot of help and instruction in how to manage your current position for which you have had no training or previous experience.” (Ann-Eve Pederson and Megan Garvey, “Squaring Off Over Nominee,” Los Angeles Times, 7/8/02)
For more information on Jeff Flake and why he’s running for the U.S. Senate, please visit his website at www.JeffFlake.com.
These allegations outlined the abuse of taxpayer dollars, including billing the government for personal travel, while Carmona was Surgeon General— an issue backed up by internal government emails received by the Associated Press, as well as the Carmona campaign’s own acknowledgement that he was forced to personally repay at least $3,500 back to the federal treasury.
But perhaps the most serious allegation that has emerged came from previously-held secret testimony to the House Government Reform Committee by a well-respected and accomplished former female supervisor of Richard Carmona. Politico reported that Dr. Christine Beato testified that she felt physically threatened by Carmona on at least two separate occasions when he showed up outside her home banging on her door in the middle of the night.
Carmona, however, refused to be interviewed by either Politico or the Associated Press for their reports and has yet to directly deny any of these serious allegations.
To that end, Mrs. Sharon Giese, Arizona’s National Committeewoman for the RNC is sending the following letter to Dr. Carmona this afternoon:
Dear Dr. Carmona:
I write in regard to your refusal to comment on the story that appeared in Politico Monday, and the allegations against you that it contains.
This story makes clear that your former supervisor, former Deputy Assistant Secretary and Acting Assistant Secretary of Health Dr. Cristina Beato, in 2007 testified to Congress that on two separate occasions, both in the middle of the night, you came to her house and were “banging on [her] door.”
Dr. Beato testified that she felt threatened by your actions. She testified that your aggressive behavior made her fear for the safety of her two children. Moreover, she testified that this behavior was part of a pattern – one that demonstrated you had clear anger management issues and “serious problems” with women and problems with having a Hispanic female supervisor.
In summary, in her words, working with you was “a living nightmare.” Reading testimony about such behavior, most Arizonans will no doubt agree, is chilling.
Yet, you have chosen to respond to Dr. Beato’s testimony through your political campaign manager, who has attempted to marginalize Dr. Beato’s testimony by calling it a lie and a partisan political attack aimed at undermining your campaign for U.S. Senate.
Dr. Beato, however, did not make her statements to the press, or in the context of a political campaign. She made them long before the current Senate campaign – and long before you had expressed any interest in running for public office. She made them in private, considered, testimony to a congressional committee. And as you may be aware, 18 U.S.C. § 1001 makes making knowingly false statements to Congress a federal crime, punishable by fines and imprisonment.
In short, your campaign manager is accusing Dr. Beato – a highly respected member of the medical profession – of lying to Congress and committing a federal crime. You yourself, however, have not denied Dr. Beato’s allegations. The distinction in those responses is neither subtle nor honorable.
It’s also noteworthy that Dr. Beato is far from the only former co-worker who has expressed serious concern with your temperament. As the Los Angeles Times reports on July 8, 2002, “[a] number of Carmona’s former co-worker and employees, however, describe a man whose instinct is to escalate hostilities rather than resolve them,” and that “court and hospital records show a history of conflicts between Carmona and other doctors.” In fact, the Times quoted another former female colleague Sylvia Campoy, the Pima County Health Care Commission Chairwoman, as recounting, “[w]hat I got from Dr. Carmona was antagonism and threats.”
But setting aside what appears to be a years-long pattern of abusive relationships with former co-workers, if you truly believe Dr. Beato to be lying, you should say so, and address the matter with the United States Department of Justice, which is charged with enforcing federal law. As a candidate for the U.S. Senate, you have a duty to inform law enforcement officials if a crime has been committed.
However if, as it appears by your responses to date, you do not deny Dr. Beato’s testimony that on two occasions you pounded on her door in the middle of the night making her fear for her and her children’s safety, then you should address the matter and explain your actions to the people of Arizona.
Not doing so, and continuing to hide behind your campaign while accusing a highly respected former Hispanic female supervisor of criminally lying, is only one more demonstration of the very pattern of hostile and sexist behavior exhibited by you toward women about which Dr. Beato testified.
Arizona Republican Party/RNC National Committeewoman
A m e r i c a n P o s t – G a z e t t e
Distributed by C O M M O N S E N S E , in Arizona
Saturday, April 21, 2012
A m e r i c a n P o s t – G a z e t t e
Distributed by C O M M O N S E N S E , in Arizona
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Talk about jumping the gun! Saturday, up in NW Arizona, in the Mohave County Republican Central Committee’s quarterly meeting, LD3 Representative Nancy McLain made a rather startling announcement. Nancy hastily announced her candidacy for the State Senate seat; one that will be vacated at the end of the current term, by incumbent Ron Gould, the conservative Republican from Lake Havasu City. Ron will be term limited, but not until after the second session of the 50th Legislature next year.
To confirm the verbal announcement, Ms. McLain sent out an e-mail from her legislative account early Tuesday afternoon. She wanted her constituents to receive the news directly from her. In fact Nancy’s words were, “I just wanted all of you to know that you will be seeing this announcement in the local papers but I wanted to get it out to you first.”
Along with describing her Saturday announcement, she stated that she didn’t expect the new boundaries to be formulated by the Redistricting Commission in time for the 2012 elections, and thus would be in the same LD3 district where she now resides; and expects to campaign in the communities she now represents.
The announcement isn’t a surprise that she was planning to run. No, it’s been no secret that since Ron was elected County Party Chairman last January Ms. McLain was planning to run for Ron’s seat. Nancy, who is rated one of the 5 or 6 most ‘liberal’ Republicans in the House by the Pachyderm Coalition, has harbored resentment towards the solidly conservative Senator Gould, apparently due to his unwillingness to support Ms. McLain’s various legislative efforts over the last several years. Ironically, Ms. McLain was telling constituents as late as last October that she would not be running for the Senate. Her one-sided feud with Senator Gould apparently could be the motivation for this very early announcement.
What REALLY makes this announcement surprising is the ‘timing’. State law requires that any candidate who announces his/her intent to run for another office, resign from their existing elected position, IF it is not in the last year of their term. Other candidates have followed this state law by resigning from their elected office. Accordingly, Nancy would be required to resign from her position EVEN before the end of the current legislative session! Is that what Nancy intended? Certainly she wouldn’t want to be ‘sitting on the sidelines’ for the next year, would she? Did Nancy realize the consequences of her announcement?
Apparently not; for late Tuesday afternoon, Representative McLain sent out another e-mail, a ‘correction’ of her earlier announcement. In THAT e-mail she denies making the announcement. In fact she states, “I’m interested in exploring that possibility, but it’s too early to say for certain at this time.”
She then cryptically adds, “The earlier announcement mistakenly stated that I am a candidate. That is not the case.”
WHAT!? Did Nancy announce her candidacy; or did she say in the quarterly meeting, that she was “…interested in exploring that possibility…”? Wow, What a flip-flop! One recalls John Kerry’s infamous quote, “I voted for funding the Iraq War before I voted against it.” So in one statement she announces her candidacy and confirms it in an e-mail; then immediately says, “…it’s too early to say for certain at this time.
It’s obvious that she did not know the law, and wanted to get the announcement out there for public consumption. She then realized the folly of her ways, and tries to ‘put the horse back into the barn’. So frankly, everyone has to wonder: Can she really undo her announcement? Does Nancy retain any credibility, should she re-announce in the future?
That is the major question for the residents of LD3, primarily Mohave County. Where more than a few residents would consider even Ron Gould and Russell Pearce, too liberal for their tastes! Inquiring minds really want to know the answers to these questions!
What right thinking individual could possibly support a GOP fossil like Ron Carmichael over Senate Majority Leader Scott Bundgaard for GOP Party Chairman, should the telegenic conservative make a last minute bid for the post?
Bundgaard is purportedly lining up a conservative constellation of stars
since Bruch Ash dropped out of the race.
Why not Ted Baxter instead? Or Jack Tripper? Or Potsy? Has Carmichael done anything since Richard Dawson anchored Family Feud? Mr. Furley would make more sense to represent Arizona Republicans than Mr. Carmichael.
Here’s a real simple idea. Have whatever candidates place their name in nomination debate prior the convention — before voting takes place.
This way, and perhaps only this way, can everyone witness how meaningful the differences are for our party between Bert Tollefson and, well, Scott Bundgaard. Or, on a national level, the difference between an archaic pretender like Arlen Specter and the real deal like an up and comer like John Thune.
Unite, don’t divide. Bundgaard can fundraise and articulate. Carmichael? Seriously? Republicans can do better than a warm up act at Vee Quiva as opposed to someone who is already headlining Jobing.com Arena.
John McCain, still at war.
By Joe Hagan
(reprinted from the New York Magazine)
In the end, it’s the middle-aged housewife who gets to him. On a blistering June day north of Phoenix, John McCain, short and sprightly in a baby-blue gingham button-down, has been harangued repeatedly by an antiwar demonstrator during his town-hall meeting. A couple of hours earlier, he’d had to stand red-faced while a transsexual woman made a speech about a nondiscrimination bill in Congress (“I’ll go back and review it again,” he said stiffly).
Then, during an event in a YMCA recreation facility in the suburb of Carefree, he can’t hold it together anymore. A woman takes a paper from her purse and begins reading McCain’s own concession speech from the 2008 election. After he was beaten by Barack Obama, the senator from Arizona promised “to find ways to come together to find the necessary compromises to bridge our differences.”
“That was your words,” says the woman. “I was very heartened when I heard these words, and my question is: ‘What happened?’ ”
Blinking rapidly, McCain develops an expression like a grenade about to detonate.
“Simple,” he snaps. “This administration has decided to govern from the far left without any consultations or negotiations or any compromises to be made with the other party!”
His supporters applaud, and McCain’s face twitches. “You know how many times I’ve been asked to go over to the White House to negotiate on any issue?” he asks, not waiting for an answer. “Zero,” he says with a huff. “Zero.”
McCain ends the exchange with a starkly disingenuous “Thanks very much,” the smirk on his face doing nothing to conceal his annoyance. “Next time,” he says, “please bring another speech.”
It has been a very strange season in the political career of John McCain. The former maverick who once fought his own party on everything from tax cuts to torture, who built a reputation as a prickly independent, now marches in lockstep with his party, from his objection to Sonia Sotomayor’s Supreme Court appointment to his support of a draconian new immigration law in Arizona that would have repulsed him three years ago. When Newsweek asked him whether a maverick would take such positions, he responded that he’d never considered himself a maverick. It all seemed to defy logic.
But did it really? For John McCain, being a maverick always meant following different and contradictory scripts, according to his whim and the political realities of the moment. Long dependent on advisers to harness and manage his political energies, McCain has never resolved an inherent contradiction in his brain trust, between Rick Davis, a veteran lobbyist who helped McCain win the Republican nomination, and Mark Salter, the speechwriter who single-handedly crafted the maverick image of McCain from the early aughts. Both represent distinct parts of McCain’s psyche, the former McCain’s instinctual need to survive and fight, the latter his need for honor and dignity in the Washington snakepit (it was Salter who wrote McCain’s concession speech). And both have served him well. But this year, as McCain has been gripped by fear of political mortality, one of the voices in his head is, increasingly, drowning out the other. In a sense, the campaign he’s running is a continuation of his presidential campaign, the same battle on different ground. And though for the nation the stakes are much lower, for one man—John McCain—they are even higher.
In the spring of 2009, Nevada senator Harry Reid approached John McCain with a message, ostensibly from President Barack Obama.
“If you put an immigration bill in, we’ll get behind it,” Reid told McCain, according to a person briefed on the conversation.
McCain, who’d failed to pass an immigration bill co-sponsored with Ted Kennedy in 2007, and was roundly whipped by his own party for the attempt, was infuriated by the offer. “Me, put a bill in and he’ll get behind it?” McCain asked. “Why doesn’t the president put a bill in and I’ll get behind it?”
In a world where the economy was in turmoil and populist anger was percolating, Obama’s suggestion looked to McCain more like an invitation to political self-immolation, especially in Arizona, where McCain faced a reelection campaign in 2010 with a volatile electorate sliding toward tea-party politics. The exchange stoked lingering feelings over all that had happened in 2008: the economic collapse that stole his thunder, the bickering in his campaign, the press’s abandoning him, how the choice of Sarah Palin threw his judgment into question. He sees Obama less as the leader of all the people than a man who beat him, with a few lucky breaks. “He’s angry at Obama, at former staff, at his family life, at his fellow Americans,” says a veteran Republican strategist who has worked closely with McCain. “He’s angry.”
From the first, there has been a sense of urgency in this campaign that was absent from his presidential run. McCain told friends early on that he didn’t want to “go out like Barry Goldwater,” his Arizona predecessor in the Senate, who barely eked out his last reelection bid. Though no credible candidate had yet appeared to challenge him, McCain harbored a healthy paranoia. In addition to hiring a campaign manager in Arizona to keep tabs on the ground game, he retained the core of his presidential-campaign team, including GOP consultants Rick Davis and Charlie Black and veteran aide and speechwriter Mark Salter.
McCain’s fears began to materialize in the form of J. D. Hayworth, the former Arizona congressman turned right-wing radio-talk-show host, who began hammering McCain for supporting the bank bailouts, exploiting growing populist anger in Arizona. Hayworth galled the senator by mocking McCain’s radio advertisements on the air and naming him “Weenie of the Week.” It had the intended effect: “I’m sick of him bashing me on the air,” McCain groused to a staffer.
This past November, a Rasmussen Reports poll appeared showing Hayworth within two percentage points of McCain in a virtual Senate race. McCain was “freaked out,” says a person close to him, and he convened a meeting of his advisers. “Everybody’s head was on fire,” says the person, describing McCain as “nervous and jumpy.” Sensing his boss’s anxiety, Davis promised they’d take out Hayworth early and fast.
When McCain gets nervous, he speed-dials friends for advice. And that fall, he even called his former top strategist, John Weaver, to ask his opinion. Weaver and McCain had had a bitter falling out in 2007, precipitating the near collapse of his presidential campaign, after which McCain put Davis in charge. Weaver warned McCain that he should ignore Hayworth, that he was training too much attention on a guy who had only 30,000 listeners and appealed to a segment that would never vote for McCain anyway, namely the hard-core anti-immigration wing.
Weaver’s advice was far from unique. Even one of McCain’s oldest and dearest friends, his POW bunkmate at the Hanoi Hilton, Orson Swindle, advised McCain to “just ignore him. That was my idea.”
But McCain needed to train his ire on someone. And though Hayworth hadn’t officially announced he was running, McCain’s people agitated for an FEC complaint over Hayworth’s alleged abuse of radio airwaves to promote a political run, hoping to intimidate him. Grant Woods, a lawyer and now senior adviser on McCain’s campaign, thought it was rash and advised McCain to wait and see if they could privately dissuade Hayworth from running instead.
“Many of us thought there would be some value in trying to explore at least some kind of détente, try to keep him out of the race in some way,” says Woods. “John was never of that opinion. He basically wanted to punch the guy in the face from day one. And nothing’s changed.”
Some of McCain’s friends questioned the advice he was getting from his D.C. advisers, Davis and Black. “He makes emotional decisions,” says a GOP strategist who has worked closely with McCain. “If he says, ‘I want to do X,’ they’re like, ‘Let’s go do X on steroids.’ It’s exactly what he does not need.”
But there was something more than just McCain’s pent-up anger at work. Many in Arizona point to another factor: McCain’s pent-up money, over $20 million left from his failed presidential bid. That account could be used to fund millions in TV and radio ads in Arizona and, depending on the arrangement, McCain’s advisers could also profit. J. D. Hayworth, a loudmouth who angered and disgusted their boss, was someone to spend it on.
By training his firepower at Hayworth, McCain gave him credibility he might not otherwise have had, which many see as a strategic blunder. When Hayworth announced he was leaving his radio show, McCain was so high-strung he couldn’t even listen, having an aide relay sound bites as they came over the radio. “Go back and listen,” he said, sitting alone and speed-dialing for advice.
By setting himself up against Hayworth, McCain was locked into a fight for the tea-party vote—essentially a race to the right, one in which McCain would be hobbled by his past positions. There was intense internal debate among McCain’s advisers in the fall of 2009 about whether McCain should even appear at a tea-party rally. McCain’s chief of staff, Mark Buse, was terrified of McCain getting booed off the stage and having the image go into cable-TV rotation. Until March, his advisers repeatedly refused to let McCain appear at one.
The most complicated decision McCain had to face involved his own political Frankenstein monster. Until the fall, McCain wasn’t sure Sarah Palin, his political creation and now a catalyst for the tea party, was going to be politically advantageous for him. When asked by an adviser to reach out to her last summer, McCain growled that “it’s not the right time.” And as her book, Going Rogue, was about to launch in November, it looked like it might be too late. When asked by advisers to recruit her in the fight against Hayworth, McCain complained, “She won’t even return my calls.”
That’s because a feud was boiling between Palin and McCain’s former advisers from his presidential campaign. In a conference call the week before the book hit stores, McCain urged former advisers like Steve Schmidt and Nicolle Wallace not to fight Palin in public, fearing a media spectacle would taint his chances. Davis said it would only help her sell more books. Salter, a close friend to Schmidt, urged McCain to show support for his former colleagues in the face of Palin’s allegations. McCain, convinced he needed Palin, was trying to avoid Salter’s calls four days before the book hit stores. “He’s going to yell at me,” he complained to aides.
Faced with a conflict between loyalty and strategy, the past and the present, McCain wasn’t just avoiding a media feud. He was about to finish dismantling the carefully constructed political identity Salter had been nurturing over the last decade.
An Iowa native with the brooding mien of a black-Irish poet and an abiding love for tragic literary heroes, Mark Salter began as a freelance speechwriter for McCain in the late eighties. Dubbed by politicos as McCain’s “alter ego,” he took a central role in McCain’s life when he co-wrote the 1999 McCain memoir, Faith of My Fathers.
In that book and the 2002 follow-up, Worth the Fighting For, Salter helped create a narrative arc from McCain’s patrimony as the son of Navy admirals, through his horrific POW internment during Vietnam, to his humiliating role in the Charles Keating savings-and-loan scandal and his phoenixlike resurrection, roping McCain’s haphazard life into a noble political profile.
His hallowed view of his boss, say friends, was rooted in Salter’s relationship to his own father, a veteran of both World War II and the Korean War. When a reporter once asked Salter about McCain’s modesty in how he discussed his POW years, Salter noted that it was “perfectly consistent with the way my father talked about his war experience.”
Salter was “almost like a son to John,” says Orson Swindle. “He’s very protective of John, perhaps to a fault. He’s extremely smart and obviously a good writer.”
But McCain didn’t necessarily see his own life the way Salter did. In fact, McCain’s writings from the seventies admitted to almost no personal change after his release from prison, as he appeared to repress emotional fallout and instead famously flew to Rio a year after his release because you “have a better chance of getting laid,” as he once told a fellow POW, later divorcing his wife to marry the wealthy blonde heiress Cindy Lou Hensley. A military psychologist, examining McCain after his five-and-a-half-year imprisonment, concluded that he had a “histrionic pattern of personality adjustment,” meaning he needed attention.
But Salter’s McCain was how McCain wanted voters to see him and how he needed to see himself: as dignified and honorable, a man worthy of his forefathers. The book transformed him into a kind of Washington contradiction: a politician for whom offhanded gaffes only improved his integrity, more barnacles on the romantic old battleship. McCain even seemed to get a pass on calling the Vietnamese “gooks” 25 years after Americans were evacuated from Saigon.
“For an extended period of time, he was the most popular politician in America,” says a former McCain adviser who admires Salter. “And the person, above all others, who was most responsible for it was Mark Salter, period.”
Salter worked hand in glove with McCain’s longtime strategist, John Weaver, a rangy Texan who encouraged McCain’s independent streak and built political strategy to fit Salter’s mythmaking. But in 2007, as McCain was preparing to run for president for the second time, Weaver became ensnared in an intense battle with a competing McCain adviser, Rick Davis. After a series of fights over the direction of the campaign (with Salter attempting to moderate on behalf of Weaver), Weaver lost a power struggle and left the campaign in disappointment, a major crack in McCain’s universe.
And Salter’s. It was the first time his idealized conception of McCain, a man for whom loyalty was supposedly a paramount virtue, was seriously tarnished. Salter wanted McCain to get out of the race gracefully, but McCain didn’t take his advice. Instead, McCain regrouped and appointed Davis, a man more interested in winning than in McCain’s soul, his new campaign manager. Though deeply rattled by the experience, Salter decided he’d come too far to quit.
“It was hard for me to leave,” says Weaver. “In hindsight, it was probably harder for Mark to stay. Mark chose a different path. I’m not going to judge it.”
Davis helped McCain win the Republican primary. When McCain’s advisers converged on Sarah Palin as a running mate, Salter opposed the choice, fearing she would tarnish McCain’s image. But McCain’s come-from-behind nomination had solidified his faith in Davis, and Salter’s idea (Tim Pawlenty) was overruled.
If the emotional fallout from the loss to Barack Obama was sublimated for McCain, it wasn’t so with Salter, who retreated to a cottage on the Maine coast and began a period of existential rumination over the direction of his life, say friends and associates. One Washington friend worried that he was falling “into this place of anger and sadness that he would not be able to get back from.”
After the chaos and dysfunction of the campaign, Salter made an important personal decision: He would continue to write speeches for McCain, and collect a check, but he would no longer fight McCain on political matters. He wanted to try his hand at writing fiction.
“There are fewer people who are willing to stand up and speak truth to power and tell McCain he’s being an asshole,” says an ex-staffer in McCain’s 2008 campaign. “And the chief person who did that is Mark Salter—and if you do that for long enough, you lose your capacity to fight. You’re totally exhausted by it.”
With Salter receding (and Schmidt and Weaver, both of whom had been committed to Salter’s vision of McCain, gone), McCain became a simpler creature. To a person, ex-advisers and staffers to John McCain describe the same man: Impulsive, emotional, dependent to a fault on the advice of others, but unwilling or unable to resolve infighting, he lets mismanagement corrupt his best intentions, winning elections and congressional victories almost despite himself.
“One thing McCain simply will not do is come down on one side or another when he’s got conflicts among staffers and advisers,” says a former adviser in Arizona. “That’s a bad problem.”
The presidential campaign had magnified these weaknesses, leaving a trail of wounded and disillusioned McCain aides who felt they’d seen the worst of American politics, the heart of McCain’s darkness. One former McCain insider says the election left a “cancer on their souls.”
The cycle of dysfunction continues even today: In May, McCain’s Arizona campaign manager, Shiree Verdone, left over internal disputes with Mark Buse, so irate that she refused for a time to take McCain’s phone calls. (Through a spokesperson, she declined to comment.)
“He’s angry at Obama, at former staff, at his fellow Americans,” says a strategist. “He’s angry.”
In the last three years, the one adviser who has survived, and even thrived, is Rick Davis. A veteran lobbyist and consultant known for jet-setting with his wealthy Russian and Middle East clientele, he is gregarious and sociable and easygoing, the opposite of Salter, the taciturn chain-smoker whose best friends are reporters. (Davis didn’t return calls.)
The choice of Palin as McCain’s vice-presidential nominee, encouraged and vetted by Davis, seemed to crystallize his influence, for better or worse. And as panic overtook McCain in early 2010, it would be Davis who channeled it into a tactical short game, advising him to co-opt Hayworth’s political turf by tacking into his positions, out-tea-partying Hayworth on immigration. Consequently, McCain’s Arizona tail wagged his Washington dog: McCain would soon reverse or greatly reel in his previous positions on torture, on cap and trade, on gays in the military, and, finally, crucially, on immigration. “Rick Davis carries the most influence with John,” says a McCain intimate. “Salter’s on the outside.”
Thus began the lurch to the right that has so captivated national media—the ones he used to call “my base”—and horrified the liberals who took McCain as an example of the right kind of conservative. But others defend him. “Does John McCain move around occasionally on issues?” asks Wes Gullett, a former McCain aide in Arizona and longtime supporter. “Yes. He’s fighting a fight. He’s a fighter. He goes to the sound of the battle.”
But McCain didn’t always like the sound he was hearing. An adviser in Arizona who knows McCain well says, “He doesn’t like doing what he’s doing.”
Which, for this person and several I spoke with, makes McCain’s transparent pandering all the more confusing: “If ever there was a political environment in which you want to be a maverick, this is it,” he says. “Why would he choose this time, with all the dynamics going on in the election, to deny what everyone knows is true? Sometimes he just checks out and you wonder what the hell is going on.”
McCain seemed to be wondering, too. When Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown won Ted Kennedy’s old seat and agreed to campaign for McCain in Arizona, McCain could hardly believe he needed a political neophyte from the Northeast to help him draw crowds in his own state, especially one who had declined McCain’s invitation to campaign for him in Massachusetts (fearing McCain’s Establishment taint). After a rally at Grand Canyon University, McCain was annoyed when Brown tried giving him campaign advice while they drove in a car together. Three nights later, Brown and McCain were scheduled to have dinner, but McCain canceled.
But the Republican Party was emboldened by the Brown win. And in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, minority leader from Kentucky, conscripted McCain as a lead voice in the Republicans’ “Party of No” stance toward the Obama administration. In January, Harry Reid articulated what many observers were thinking: “My amazement has been John McCain. I thought he’d turn out to be a statesman, work for things. He is against everything.”
Last February, some McCain allies became concerned. Senator Lindsey Graham, perhaps McCain’s closest compatriot in the Senate, worried that McCain was undermining his reputation as a deal-maker by following in lockstep with McConnell. Graham asked John Weaver if he and Mark Salter could talk to McCain, according to a person briefed on the conversation. Weaver called McCain, this person says, urging him to “stay away from every time there’s an anti-Obama movement on the floor and they drag you out like some prop.”
A couple of days later, McCain called Weaver back and told him his advisers wanted him to lead in opposing health care. And McCain did exactly that, acting as a lead critic during Obama’s televised health-care summit in late February, where Obama chided McCain that “the election is over.” (“I’m reminded of that every day” was McCain’s retort.)
The exchange fanned McCain’s grievances over his election loss, and his legendary temper would occasionally flare up during his campaigning. McCain spokesperson Brooke Buchanan, who shadows him everywhere and writes his Twitter feed, would have to temper his rage when he came off as too harsh or bitter. During one event last spring, she told him, “You can’t do that, you’ve got to stop it.”
“Was I really bad?” he asked.
“Yeah, you can’t be that way.”
Then, in March, an Arizona rancher named Robert Krentz was shot and killed, allegedly by Mexican drug smugglers, igniting the immigration debate. Senator Graham says he realized right away that McCain was in trouble. “I said, ‘Oh, shit,’ ” says Graham. “This is just gasoline on a fire.”
Hayworth pounced on the border issue and began going after McCain’s past advocacy for immigrant workers.
McCain dove to the right, countering with a TV advertisement featuring himself walking alongside a popular Arizona sheriff, evincing concern about securing the border with a giant fence. “Complete the danged fence!” growls McCain, looking uncomfortable.
The ad was a disaster. Everyone knew McCain had never been a strong advocate of a fence, and his own campaign staffers felt he came off looking phony. But when anyone questioned the campaign’s course, McCain defended his new guru. “Rick Davis, the guy who got me the presidential nomination, you know him?” he’d snap sarcastically. “He knows everything.”
McCain hardly had time to think about what any of this was doing to his reputation. Weekend after weekend, he was driving from town hall to parade to VFW, greeting sparse crowds of 40, 50, 60 people, like he was stumping for his political life. “I didn’t work this hard in the presidential race,” he told an aide. “I can’t believe how hard I’m working.”
Desperate to hold on to his base in Arizona, McCain seemed intent on proving that his maverick days were behind him. His best chance presented itself in April, when the governor of Arizona, Jan Brewer, signed the controversial Senate Bill 1070, which requires immigrants to carry papers showing their legal status and allows law enforcement to pull over suspected illegals. Salter was adamantly against it. In the past, when McCain came under pressure for his immigration stance, he told people he was a “big boy” and could “take it.” But with political heat rising, he reversed course. Blaming the federal government for lack of action, McCain embraced the law as the only thing left to do in fighting Mexican drug cartels run amok, even if statistics were showing that violent crime was down last year.
In May, Mark Salter left his home in suburban Virginia to spend the next five months—almost the entirety of John McCain’s campaign—holed up in a cottage in Castine, Maine, a quaint village on Penobscot Bay.
Salter rarely sees McCain anymore, as he readily admitted when I went to see him. While he once spent fourteen hours a day in McCain’s D.C. office as his chief of staff, he is no longer the last voice McCain hears before passing judgment on major issues, his input restricted to e-mails, conference calls, and the occasional phone conversations.
“I’m indebted to him,” says Salter. “I will be for the remainder of my life. Outside my marriage and the birth of my children, going to work for him was the most determinant of my life and the most beneficial. And nobody will ever accuse me of not being grateful.”
But Salter also seems to hang on out of financial inertia. He gets paid a $12,000 monthly retainer to write speeches and commencement addresses, something he can do in his sleep after twenty years, but it’s less than half of his income. As Salter well knows, McCain’s political life is winding down, and he’s already begun migrating away from McCain Inc. In addition to corporate speechwriting, he worked briefly with John Weaver on the gubernatorial campaign of Massachusetts independent Tim Cahill.
Friends of both Salter and McCain argue over whether Salter has entered his post-McCain life or McCain his post-Salter life. But nobody who knows him believes Salter is pleased with what’s happening. “He’s in a hard place now,” says a friend. “Because he knows what’s going on right now is not right.”
Salter, as a paid employee of John McCain for Senate, is obligated to disagree, and he does, strenuously at times. Though he admits that he and Davis are different, he says he hasn’t fought him. “I can’t think of any advice I’ve heard Rick give [McCain] that I have disagreed with,” he says.
“Does the John McCain I see yesterday seem to be a substantially different human being than I’ve known for 22 years?” he asks. “Nope.”
In defending the man he loves, Salter invariably blames the media: The press abandoned him as Obama shifted the entire political field to the left, making it look like McCain was a hardened partisan when, in fact, only his emphasis had changed, not his core positions.
“Nobody ever factors in the human dimension,” he complains. “[Politicians] are like everybody else: They try, they screw up a little, they’re lucky sometimes, they’re unlucky sometimes. They try again. Nobody takes it into account. There’s a motive to everything! Who lives their lives that way? It’s Hollywood.”
Salter, of course, invented a different Hollywood version of McCain, one in which McCain courageously resisted the tide when it wasn’t popular and bucked his own party on principle. And now that movie is over.
John McCain sits stock-still, eyes shadowed by his wiry eyebrows, hair combed down slick and straight, mouth turned down in grim resolve. On a stage in a high-school auditorium in Mesa, Arizona, against the backdrop of a 30-foot American flag, this is what a statue of Senator John Sidney McCain III might look like: Veteran. Hero. Maverick.
The problem is that he’s sitting next to Mitt Romney, who, at six foot two, towers over him like a tanned and gleaming giant. McCain looks like Ed McMahon to Romney’s Johnny Carson, quietly affirming whatever Romney says, nodding and mouthing the word “Beautiful” after Romney gives a soliloquy about the American spirit. McCain detested Romney in the 2008 primary, but now he needs his star power to draw the biggest crowd he’s had since Palin was in town. This is politics—this is how you win. But some have questions.
“There are two John McCains,” muses an old friend of the senator’s. “The one I love is a very big man, and he’s willing to take on big issues in a big way. Then there’s another side of John, he’ll admit, that is petty and angry and petulant and small, and that side has overtaken the other one.”
A former adviser, echoing the sentiment of a lot of McCain’s allies, feels Rick Davis has turned Mark Salter’s vision of McCain “into melted clay.” But advisers can only explain so much. In fact, there’s a case to be made that McCain hasn’t really changed at all—maybe saying he never considered himself a maverick is just another maverick move. And, for many reasons, losing is the most intolerable thing. In Faith of My Fathers, we learn that both John McCain’s grandfather and his father, John Sidney “Slew” McCain Sr. and John Sidney McCain Jr., did not fare well upon retirement. His grandfather expressed disappointment when told the Japanese had surrendered. “I feel lost,” he said. “I don’t know what to do. I don’t know whether I know how to relax or not. I’m in an awful letdown.”
He promptly dropped dead on the living-room floor the day after he returned home in 1945. McCain’s father, who retired from the Navy in 1972, descended into despair and illness and died at age 70.
Friends of McCain say that in the recesses of his brain is a mortal fear of retirement. Engaging in daily battles is all he’s ever known. “Torture for John McCain is putting him on the burner and not letting him do anything,” says Lindsey Graham.
People who have spent years with McCain say he has always been emotionally remote, virtually alone even while surrounded by staffers. When he calls his own mother, he announces, “Hi, Mother, this is John McCain.”
And McCain has also begun thinking about his legacy. He recognizes, says a person who has spoken with him about it, that political life is fleeting, that he could one day be forgotten. It scares him. At this point, losing to J. D. Hayworth would be too much for McCain to bear, especially after all he’s sacrificed to prevent it.
“That’s no way to go out,” says Grant Woods, a longtime friend of McCain’s. “You don’t live the life he’s lived and lose to a goof like J. D. Hayworth.”
Ironically, both McCain’s opponent and his own supporters agree on one thing: If he wins, he’ll probably morph yet again, a lame-duck senator with nothing to lose, tacking left to reclaim his old mantle as a thorn in his party’s side. It’s what friends like Graham envision for him.
“What I hope will happen is that he’ll be the force against excess and the person who can find that common ground we need to have as a nation. That’s what I hope will happen, and that’s what I expect will happen.”
“Here’s the question for John,” Graham adds. “If he’s asked to support comprehensive immigration reform, does he support it?”
That’s anybody’s guess. But if Worth the Fighting For, McCain’s 2002 book, is any guide, it’s easy enough to imagine what he might say after November should he win reelection. In that book, McCain admitted that in the 2000 presidential primary, he’d supported South Carolina’s right to fly the Confederate flag against his own belief that it was a symbol of racism.
“I didn’t want to do this,” he says. “But I could tell from the desperate looks of my staff that we had an enormous problem. And that it could come down to lying or losing. I chose lying.”
Thomas loses big time – but wins
by E.J. Montini
Everything about the decision rendered by Judge John Leonardo appears to be a legal smack down of Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas.
He dismisses charges against Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox. He chides Thomas for conflict of interest and for bullying. For using his office to go after political enemies.
Then, at the very end of his ruling, after slamming Thomas for roughly eight pages, he gives the county attorney EXACTLY what he wants.
The judge decides that he will not prevent Thomas from appointing a “new independent prosecutor.”
The judge writes, “The MCA may appoint a special independent prosecutor on the condition that the new prosecutor is not independently subject to disqualification, and that the MCAO and the MCA relinquish total control of the investigation and prosecution of Defendant to the special prosecutor and refrain from any further participation in these matters.”
A few days ago, perhaps sensing that such a ruling might be in the offing, Thomas’s assistant Barnett Lotstein told me that if the judge were to say that Thomas must appoint a special prosecutor that he would be giving Thomas “what we been asking for all along.”
It’s uncertain exactly how such a prosecutor can or would be appointed, given all the conflicts that everyone has. But it seems to suggest that the case hasn’t gone away.
It should. Thomas should drop it. He never should have pursued it in the first place. But doing the right thing hasn’t been much of a priority in the feud between the prosecutor and county supervisors.
Meaning, I guess, that today’s ruling was a complete loss for Thomas’s office … except for the part where they won.
E.J. Montini writes for the Arizona Republic
Clueless Grant Woods thinks he has the answer
(Reprinted from Common Sense)
For those of you who live in Rush Limbaugh’s Rio Linda, JD is former Congressman and current KFYI 550 AM conservative, radio talk-show host. Grant Woods is a washed up politician who formerly held the post of Arizona Attorney General.
You can always tell when a politician is beginning to panic. A leading indicator is a poll that shows them losing ground or trailing another candidate. Not too long ago, Senator John McCain was shown to be out of touch with Arizona and another poll showed him in a statistical dead heat with JD Hayworth, in a bid for the Senate in the 2010 election. This is rather remarkable in-as-much as Hayworth is not even in the race. In fact, his position does not differ dramatically from that of Charlie the mailman who serves the postal route in our neighborhood. Charlie also has not declared his candidacy for the Senate seat, and we doubt he will. However, JD might, and this is why McCain is showing signs of discomfort.
Many seasoned politicians keep a bag of dirty tricks in their closets, that they haul out when the season starts. In a cowardly attempt to ensure they maintain the aura of “Mr. Clean,” they get someone else to do the dirty work for them. Grant Woods is apparently eager to fill that role. He recently filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission in Washington, alleging that Mr. Hayworth and his employer, Clear Channel, the owner of KFYI, are violating federal law through in-kind contributions, in a bid to launch JD’s campaign for the US Senate.
It is the nature of talk shows that callers will phone in and suggest that the host ought to run for this office or that. Some of JD’s fans have talked to him about running for governor; others have suggested taking back his seat from Congressman Harry Mitchell, and of course, some believe that JD would make a fine US senator. John McCain has alienated a substantial portion of his natural base by drifting leftward, and no issue separates candidate McCain and non-candidate Hayworth more than illegal immigration. McCain is virtually an icon for immigration reform, (wink-wink) which is just another way of saying: Let’s keep the floodgates open so non-citizens
can destroy our country (McAmnesty). Hayworth has been very critical of McCain and others on this, and wants sealed borders along with strong measures to encourage illegals to pack up and move to their natural homes. This division makes McCain and Hayworth natural political rivals, and sets the stage for a potential battle.
Will JD declare himself a candidate? At this point nobody knows, including Hayworth himself. Political life is not a bed of roses. It exposes anyone who decides to swim in those murky waters to the seedy underside of human behavior. Anything goes, families become fair game, and even non-candidates who are suspected of posing a potential threat become targets. Frequently it is the American people who suffer the most, when the vanguards of special interests prevail. Maybe this time we will get lucky. Keep your fingers crossed and support the candidate who supports us, the little guys. One thing is sure. Whatever feud simmered between Grant Woods and John McCain for almost two decades has been put aside in their mutual political panic concerning the popularity of JD Hayworth with the Republican Base in Arizona.
That’s a small miracle at this special time of year-and in its own strange way, makes Hayworth a uniter, not a divider!
by Gayle Plato, M. Ed
( This entry is an ongoing exploration of the economic downturn we are facing)
Every other hour or so, some politician or activist is now shouting power grab. The regular guy like you and me is waking up; we are realizing that the monetary shift of power matters. While we get ready to mail in tea bag tags to Washington and complain about taxation without representation, it would be wise to reflect.
Writing about the AIG scandal afoot, I am literally reaching my knowledge limit as I read more and absorb the fiscal nightmare. To help explain, I first state that all you read is of a column by one person. I am speculating based on compiled information. Maybe we can go down the rabbit hole together.
Let’s jump into central banking shall we? World markets trade currency. The US dollar is a standard, and many fear it will be yanked. But the real issue is the currency that isn’t. Banks trade made up currencies- leveling notes of value- sort of like how we use checks that are intrinsically useless paper, representing money. Euro dollars are traded—this is not the Euro, nor is it a Dollar. It is a representation for calculated trade outside of the USA.
Eurodollars created by Russians using gold and other assets, and convertible currencies, deposited in British banks, created the concept of a euro-currency as a tradable item in the 1950s. To this day, London is the world center of currency trading. It’s where AIG made most of it’s mistakes, still coming to light. “Trading in Eurodollar futures is extensive, thus offering uniquely deep liquidity”. Prices are quite responsive to Fed policy, inflation, and other economic indicators. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurodollar)
Foreign countries trade in currencies all the time. Often, debt is not owed in their local currency. Iceland was trading debt denominated in foreign currency, and recently, the IMF had to bail out the entire country’s system. With that, the IMF placed policy restrictions on the political structure as it had Iceland in a forced hand. But up until the crisis, the people there could borrow cheaper a foreign currency and the exchange rate was favorable. Yet, in comes Gresham’s Law: “bad money drives out good.” It kills economies with currency losing value. This is a somewhat complicated truism that two or more currencies that trade are based on face-value. As value debases, one bad money will force out the money that is good- a currency that has an intrinsic value. Fiat currency is backed by faith in it and no gold or other precious metal. The US Dollar is fiat.
So in comes the IMF again as it is a global central banking structure. There are other central banks of all major European nations, Asia, and around the world. They trade currency, metals; they support each other and even loan out gold as a way to help keep good money in play. There are rules though. When any commodity like a precious metal is traded and interest rates paid, investment, or onward to retail purchase (think G. Gordon Liddy commercial on that gold stock purchase), there are rules of how much of the actual commodity is held or moved. There is a rule of 90% holding of say gold if you’re actually or even on paper futures, trading a commodity. It has to exist to be traded.
“The Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has ignored or misinterpreted the purpose of the 90% cover rule for a very long time. This regulatory failure has allowed the current free-for-all “casino-like” atmosphere that now prevails at futures exchanges.” (http://seekingalpha.com/article/129128-did-the-ecb-save-comex-from-gold-default)
So what does this rabbit hole economics lesson have to do with anything? There is a dark event horizon of fake trades of precious metals, with large sums of gold moving about Europe. This movement is highly unusual as it was oddly timed. The other element of it all is that when more or less real gold changes hands, currencies fluctuate and bad money drives out good. Our fiat dollars will go down. Nevermind that we injected 1 Trillion dollars we must print, into the IMF. All we need do is look to other foreign entities who are begging the IMF to step in. If the peso, the yen, ruble, and US dollar all need a bail-out, then the global control will become a reality that we cannot stop.
Now here is the real carrot of the rabbit’s desire:
The European Central Bank sold over 35 tons of actual gold on the day that at almost the very same moment that Deutsche Bank was giving notice of its deliveries, the ECB happened to have “sold” 35.5 tons, or a total of 1,141,351 ounces of gold, on March 31, 2009:
“On Tuesday, March 31st, Deutsche Bank (DB) amazed everyone even more, by delivering a massive 850,000 ounces, or 8500 contracts worth of the yellow metal. By the close of business, even after this massive delivery, about 15,050 April contracts, or 1.5 million ounces, still remained to be delivered. Most of these, of course, are unlikely to be the obligations of Deutsche Bank. But, the fact that this particular bank turned out to be one of the biggest short sellers of gold, is a surprise.” (http://seekingalpha.com/article/129128-did-the-ecb-save-comex-from-gold-default)
All of this gold is traveling back and forth, with little concern for the rules of ownership and holding of any commodity trading. There is a great deal of shifting gold out there and with that, a high risk for currencies in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and even the United States to be compromised by ponzi scheme trades. This is the element of the power grab: the short, or long, but always loose trading of money and metals that keeps nations at the beckon call of international funds. Heavy short selling of metals with little look-see of the actual product can cause instability of global proportions.
There are long standing fears of gold scams, and one of the most noted is of legend. Some few worry that our extensive gold supply, the Fort Knox worry, is not really there. Maybe there is a short of all gold and then nothing is real. If fiat currencies backed with faith, what does a nation do as the dollar collapses? See the history in this country as the Long Depression of the 1870s, Black Friday, and the U.S. Grant administration fraught with gold fraud, the Frist/Gould Scandal (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Friday_(1869))
History does unfortunately repeat itself.
Europeans have faced this more recently that us. This issue of mysterious naked trades matters. This is the essence of any ponzi scheme. Remember too, Europe is deeper in the red than we are in terms of the mortgage crises- Spain, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. There is growing unrest as the trust in the systems fails.
Asia and specifically China, has had a long standing history of hoarding gold. Hong Kong is a huge player in international commodity trade of gold, and I wonder where the next grab of power will be? Could the gold movement underscore a bigger desire? Are we seeing a fiscal structure grab through the gold itself? Is this all about the desire for currency powers beyond the dollar and a new world currency?
Oligarchy gets bantered around in all of this, but the concept is as old as money. A small number of people hold the money and the power as an oligarch by definition is a family or tribe. Mexico is basically run by about 20 large families with drug trafficking being the new industry. Mexico is also fiscally ‘owned’ by foreign investment upwards of 80% of is gross product.
After the Soviet Union fell, the economic teams including a one Larry Summers, went in and helped create free enterprise markets. They also looked the other way as oligarchic structure- much of it still of Chechnya- created extremely wealthy Russian power brokers. Yeltsin was ousted and Putin’s regime came in. What does Russia have today beside fiscal troubles? A lot of raw materials to sell. What Russia does not have is good manufacturing ability. Step in China or other Asian markets with cheap manufacturing and endless labor. India and Pakistan also have huge capacity to produce and process raw materials. Mexico and Russia, even Iran all sell oil.
What we also see is a huge rise in Muslim extremism. Asia, Middle East, Chechnya, and now we hear Mexico is also brewing with terrorist organization. One thing is certain, all study of political power grabs and religious zealots goes deeper into someone’s pocket. What do they say? FOLLOW THE MONEY.
All of this big Economics lesson gets so convoluted—I basically understand it and I am getting lost in the caves of war game and shells. Tribal is feudal and the lording of people is the fiscal Costa Nostra, and all control is a small gold ol’ boys club.
We deny it and cover it all with false prophets and figureheads. The rich men run banks and insurance companies. The JP Morgan types have financed industry and the financing has become bigger than the industry. FIRE- Finance, Insurance and Real Estate, have become the world, and it is blazing up.
It is all small owning large-Oligarchy. Companies that dominated the country and the world are disappearing–like General Motors– once an industrial, product producing entity. Lately, GMAC financing mortgages and loans made more for the big heads than the cars ever profited. Now it is all a government-run free fall as we blame the middle men and hug all the unions. America used to be about cars, top quality products, and steam. Now everybody wants to make money off of money and that just cannot be sustained. Our manufacturing base has gotten smaller. We are all service entities and a growing bureaucracy. Bureaucracy cannot save us. If we do not get back to those basics- make and create-we lose the American Dream. We cannot all be Kings. The financial snake keeps eating its tail. Sooner or later the snake cannot eat one more bite and just dies from gorging itself.
This is disturbing. The ACLU is calling on Congress to pass legislation prohibiting the Border Patrol from inspecting cars at checkpoints, unless they have a specific reason. No longer would Border Patrol agents be able to search a car they “thought” looked suspicious, like it could be hiding illegal immigrants or drugs. Does county attorney candidate and former ACLU attorney Tim Nelson agree with this? Most likely. Can you imagine him feuding with Sheriff Arpaio over the illegal immigration issue? He is incompatible as county attorney with Sheriff Arpaio, and Arizonans like Arpaio and want our illegal immigration laws enforced, not ignored or challenged by fringe ACLU attorneys. ACLU Tim still thinks he’s on the OTHER side, but he can’t be if he’s running for prosecutor.
Even the liberal journalists on Horizon thought it wasn’t surprising that former County Attorney and RINO Rick Romley endorsed Democrat ACLU Tim for County Attorney. Business Journal’s Mike Sunnucks explained that it was more about Romley’s dislike for Arpaio than anything else. When Romley was County Attorney, he did not get along with Arpaio, because Romley comes from the liberal wing of the Republican Party and sides with the ACLU when it comes to crime and punishment. Romley objected to Arpaio’s tough crackdowns on criminals. So it’s not surprising that Romley is endorsing a Democrat running for County Attorney who used to work for the ACLU.
Announcing several days in advance that he would be holding a press conference to announce his endorsement of a County Attorney candidate was rather silly, and a rather see-through effort to drum up media attention for himself. It backfired on him, since according to Horizon, it gave Thomas and Arpaio time to comment on it before he even made his announcement. Romley is desperately trying to stay relevant, and has figured out by dissing Republicans he can get press coverage.
Found this post on another blog, which is over a year old now but very prescient.
Rick Romley’s Bitter Retirement
The behavior of Rick Romley since stepping down as Maricopa County Attorney has become a sad postscript to his many years in public office.
When he left the County Attorney’s Office in 2004, Romley spoke of challenging Governor Janet Napolitano for reelection in 2006 or finding some other higher calling with which to fill his retirement years. Since then, except for short-term appointments to assist the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Pinal County Attorney’s Office on certain projects, he has struggled to find productive work. Instead, he has spent much of his time trying to undermine his successor, Andrew Thomas.
Romley’s criticisms of Thomas began a little over a week after Thomas took office in 2005. In an interview with the New Times, Romley criticized Thomas’ demotion of the head of the Sex Crimes Bureau of the County Attorney’s Office (Thomas had taken issue with the soft plea bargains coming from that bureau during his campaign).
Later in 2005, Romley criticized, to numerous media outlets, Thomas’ decision not to prosecute Army Sgt. Patrick Haab. Thomas concluded Haab had performed a lawful citizen’s arrest of seven illegal immigrants at a highway rest stop.
In March 2006, in an Arizona Republic profile of Thomas, Romley was the only person quoted, other than criminal defense attorneys, who was critical of Thomas. Romley claimed Thomas had “talked about immigration, but I haven’t seen any results.” Given Thomas’ prominent role in, among other things, prosecuting illegal immigrants on human smuggling charges, this was a ludicrous claim.
For more than a year after stepping down, Romley frequently called former secretaries and other employees at the County Attorney’s Office. These conversations, unsolicited and uncomfortable to employees, sometimes turned into private criticisms of Thomas and attempts to pump former subordinates for information about office happenings.
Most recently, Romley has been lobbying and asking allies to lobby on his behalf to become the next U.S. Attorney for Arizona. Inside sources have stated Romley has little chance of gaining the position. He would likely use the office as a beachhead from which to attack both Thomas and his old rival Sheriff Joe Arpaio (relations between the County Attorney’s Office and Sheriff’s Office warmed remarkably after Romley’s departure). Romley feuded with many prominent Republicans while in office (Fife Symington, Grant Woods, Arpaio). The Bush administration and Republican leaders would seem to have little incentive to reignite those embers.
Thomas has repealed many soft plea-bargaining policies he inherited in the County Attorney’s Office for violent criminals, sex offenders and repeat offenders. He also has ended the County Attorney’s Office’s indifference to the illegal immigration problem plaguing the county. It is unfortunate that Romley fails to recognize Thomas’s achievements.
After sixteen years in office, Romley undoubtedly has found it hard to let go of his old post. Still, his bitter behavior is a sad and odd ending for a once-prominent Valley politician.