Wednesday, July 09, 2008


I'm off to Thrillerfest at the Grand Hyatt in New York. If you're in the neighborhood drop by and look me up. I'll most likely be at the bar, trying to get the attention of the most serenely unconcerned bartenders in the world.

Monday, July 07, 2008

You're Not a Bad Person. You're a Terrific Person. But Sometimes...

Over at A Dark Planet, my good buddy David Terrenoire has kind words for SAFE AND SOUND.

Thanks, David! We'll miss you at Thrillerfest. Kim (aka the Force of Nature) has already asked after you....

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Questions for Senator McCain

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Call me naive, but I'm still surprised to find that there are some people who believe the myth that the national media are overwhelmingly "liberal."

It's like finding people who still believe that people roamed the Earth in the company of dinosaurs, like in "The Flintstones." Oh, wait; some people actually do believe that. Anyway ...

Look, folks, if the national media were even anywhere near balanced, much less "liberal," they wouldn't be compliantly handling John McCain with the kid gloves he seems to demand, lest he and his supporters have yet another hissy fit. Let me walk you through some of the questions really "fair and balanced" media would be asking. Imagine how Big John McCain would react to questions like these:

Recently, Gen. Wesley Clark asserted on Bob Schieffer's show "Face the Nation" that, while he honored your service, he didn't think that "having served as a fighter pilot ... prepare[s] you to be commander-in-chief in terms of dealing with the national strategic issues that are involved." When Schieffer stood up for you, Sen. McCain, and protested that Barack Obama had neither piloted a plane nor been shot down, Clark said, "I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president."

So let me ask, Sen. McCain: Do you think that riding in a fighter plane and being shot down, in and of itself, qualifies someone to be president? Should we elect you president and leader of the Free World for no other reason than your honorable service and the fact that you were a POW? And if so, isn't making honorable military service the centerpiece of your message the same mistake John Kerry made in his campaign?

Following up: After the comments by Clark, your campaign sent out an e-mail quoting retired Adm. Leighton "Snuffy" Smith as saying, "If Barack Obama wants to question John McCain's service to his country, he should have the guts to do it himself and not hide behind his campaign surrogates." Sen. McCain, wasn't Adm. Smith himself a surrogate? Does it take less guts or more guts to respond to an attack by an alleged surrogate by using a surrogate of your own?

Also, did you or any of your supporters make any kind of protest when President Bush's supporters mocked John Kerry's Purple Hearts by wearing Purple Band-Aids at the Republican convention? And if not, why not? If it's so far out of bounds to question whether one's military service makes you qualified to be commander-in-chief, why is mocking a former serviceman's war wounds appropriate?

Moving on: Sen. McCain, a recent story in Newsweek magazine reported that a trust fund overseen by your wife was $10,000 in arrears on property taxes on a beachfront condo in La Jolla, Calif., and that the San Diego County tax office had been trying to get the trust to pay this bill for four years. We understand that the bill has now been paid and that your campaign says that the matter had been "an oversight."

As you remember, the square-footage of candidate John Edwards' house became a major story in the primary and led to charges that Edwards was an elitist and a hypocrite. So here's the question: Considering that your wife oversees an extremely well-funded trust fund and that it apparently owns so much property that large tax bills can apparently slip through the cracks, would you describe you or your wife as an elitist or a hypocrite? Can you explain why it's not OK for Sen. Edwards to have one big house when your wife owns eight? And if you assert, Sen. McCain, that questions about your wife are out of bounds, are you also prepared to deplore attacks on Michelle Obama?

Let's talk about some recent policy shifts. In 2008, you advocated putting a nuclear waste repository in Yucca Mountain, Nev. In May 2008, when campaigning in that state, you advocated for an alternative that might make Yucca Mountain unnecessary. The Las Vegas Sun accused you of "taking the state for a bunch of rubes." Sen. McCain, do you regard the people of Nevada as a bunch of rubes, or do you just hope they have short memories?

In 2000, you told CNN that you'd "favor a road map towards normalization of relations" with Cuba like the one that led to normalized relations with Vietnam. Now you criticize Barack Obama for proposing that we hold negotiations with Cuba's leaders. Have you forgotten your prior position or do you hope we have?

I'm obviously not holding my breath in hopes any of these questions will ever be asked. But it sure would be entertaining. I don't think I've ever seen a presidential candidate's head explode.