John McCain

The Worst Republican Senator

Featured image There really ought to be a statute of limitations on how long John McCain can play the tortured war hero card. His war hero status was exhausted with me a decade ago over a single instance. Brad Smith, who as chairman of the Federal Election Commission and law professor dared to criticize the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law on constitutional grounds (later vindicated in several Supreme Court cases culminating in the »

McCain’s sweet nothings

Featured image The Star Tribune covers Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar in the manner of a public relations firm promoting a client. Thus the Star Tribune follows up on yesterday’s early hours defeat of Obamacare repeal in the Senate. Senator John McCain theatrically cast the decisive vote against repeal with this bombshell, courtesy of Senator Klobuchar herself: Just before he cast the deciding vote on the Senate’s latest health care repeal bill, Sen. »

Obamacare lives

Featured image Today is a day to be embarrassed to be a Republican, for Obamacare has survived every effort to repeal and replace it with the defection of Senator McCain in the last-ditch effort to keep the effort alive in the final vote on “skinny repeal” after midnight this morning. Robert Pear and Thomas Kaplan report the story for the New York Times here. The defeat of Obamacare repeal efforts in the »

Faith of his fathers

Featured image Despite whatever political disagreements I have had with Senator McCain over the years, I am deeply saddened by the news that he is contending with an aggressive form of brain cancer. I found the occasions on which I have spent time in his company to be a personal highlight. He is an American original. We extend prayers on behalf of him and his family. In 2008 when Senator McCain was »

Getting to “50” if Justice Kennedy retires

Featured image Yesterday, I noted the intense speculation over whether Justice Kennedy will retire at the end of this year’s Supreme Court term. Today, CNN reports that “friends and associates believe Kennedy is seriously considering retirement.” If Kennedy doesn’t step down this year, I think there’s a very good chance he will do so next year. With the judicial filibuster now eliminated, it will only take 50 votes to confirm a successor. »

Anti-Trump Europeans decline to be reassured by Mike Pence

Featured image As I discussed yesterday, President Trump sent his “A Team” to Europe to demonstrate America’s commitment to NATO. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, and Vice President Mike Pence all traveled to a major conference in Munich for that purpose. Kelly, Mattis, and Pence said the right things. Pence, who told the conference he was sending a message of reassurance directly from President Trump, stated that the »

McCain Drives Into the Ditch

Featured image John McCain suggests on Meet the Press that President Trump is “suppressing” the free press, which is “the first thing that dictators do.” “If you want to preserve — I’m very serious now — if you want to preserve democracy as we know it, you have to have a free and many times adversarial press,” McCain said in the interview. “And without it, I am afraid that we would lose »

Marco Rubio and John McCain prevail

Featured image As expected, Marco Rubio and John McCain won their respective primaries tonight. Rubio collected 72 percent of the vote. His closest rival won only 18.5 percent. McCain faced stronger opposition in Kelli Ward, a Tea Party style candidate. However, he prevailed by a 54-36 margin. Rubio will face Rep. Patrick Murphy. He crushed the loathsome Alan Grayson 59-18. Murphy, age 33, is a pretty strong candidate, I think. He tries »

McCain Tees Off on Obama

Featured image Today John McCain told reporters that Barack Obama is “directly responsible” for Omar Mateen’s terrorist attack in Orlando: “Barack Obama is directly responsible for it, because when he pulled everybody out of Iraq, al-Qaida went to Syria, became ISIS, and ISIS is what it is today thanks to Barack Obama’s failures, utter failures, by pulling everybody out of Iraq,” a visibly angry McCain told reporters in the Capitol as the »

Washington Post agrees with Power Line: Cruz crushed Code Pink

Featured image Last week, John wrote that Ted Cruz “crushed Code Pink” in an impromptu debate with its leader Medea Benjamin regarding Iran. He provided video of the confrontation so that readers could judge for themselves. Code Pink had tried to shout Cruz down during a campaign event. Cruz engaged them and decisively out-debated Benjamin. A few days later, Dave Weigel of the Washington Post decided to judge the debate. He scored »

When politics imitates pro wrestling

Featured image Donald Trump is providing plenty of entertainment as he seeks the Republican presidential nomination. Unfortunately, the entertainment resembles that supplied by the TV wrestlers of my youth during “intermission interviews.” Just about everything was fair game during these “interviews” which I enjoyed far more than the actual matches. The more personal the taunting, the better. I can’t say that the taunts hurled by the wrestling villains of the early 1960s »

Rand Paul and Ted Cruz move to the left of Lindsey Graham on terrorist rights

Featured image Earlier this week, the Senate passed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that limits the entire U.S. government to only the interrogation and detention techniques outlined in the Army Field Manual. The vote was 78-21. The Army Field Manual does not permit physical contact with detainees, not even a slap. The harshest method it permits the “Fear-Up (Harsh).” In this approach, “the interrogator behaves in an overpowering »

John McCain and those newly released Lois Lerner emails

Featured image According to Judicial Watch, documents it has released show that top staffers from the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee met with Lois Lerner and others in a “marathon” meeting to discuss concerns raised by Senators John McCain and Carl Levin that IRS was not reining in political advocacy groups in response to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. The meeting took place 11 days prior to Lerner’s admission at an ABA »

John McCain’s cynical attempt to portray Chuck Hagel as a victim

Featured image It’s normal, I suppose, for conservatives to be sympathetic towards any public official who runs afoul of President Obama. But it’s abnormal to do a 180 degree turn about the merits of such an official. John McCain, though, has executed a full 180 with respect to Chuck Hagel. Today, McCain defended the ousted Secretary of Defense. In response to White House leaks that Hagel was performing poorly, stated, “Believe me, »

McCain kicks his sidekick’s rear

Featured image Lindsey Graham is often wrong, but never in doubt. For example, Graham agrees with the Obama administration that the U.S. needs to work with Iran to help Iraq stem the tide against the current Islamist blitzkrieg. Graham told CNN, “The Iranians can provide some assets to make sure Baghdad doesn’t fall; we need to coordinate with the Iranians.” He added, however, that there will have to be “some red lines.” »

Hasn’t McCain Worn Out His Welcome?

Featured image There was a time when I liked and admired John McCain.  True, I still had hair on my head, and the calendar year began with a “1” rather than a “2.”  And I’m glad McCain gave us Sarah Palin, even though I’m afraid she wasn’t quite ready for prime time, and may have actually ruined her long term political prospects. Still, to borrow Dick Cheney’s phrase about the Clintonistas in »

The incoherence of John McCain

Featured image The Senate has confirmed Tom Perez as Secretary of Labor on a straight party line vote. The key vote occurred earlier in the week when cloture was invoked by a vote of 60-40. This, of course, was not a straight party line vote. The Democrats needed six Republicans to vote with them. The Democrats found those votes, mostly (but not entirely) among the usual suspects. Voting for cloture were: Susan »