Sunday, February 04, 2007

Three Stories Caught My Eye Today

1) BuzzFlash posts New York Times Op/Ed writer Frank Rich’s articles on Sunday mornings, even though the NYT TimesSelect policy is to force readers to either buy the paper or pay through the nose to read their columnists. (Yay! BuzzFlash!) 2) Last Tuesday, President Bush went to the Sterling Family Restaurant, a diner in Peoria, Illinois to wow the locals. And no one gave a damn. The Prez was reduced to saying things like, “Sorry to interrupt you, ladies”, and “How’s the service?” to get attention. Diners kept reading their newspapers. 3) John McCain has hired the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth bunch (Stephens Reed Curcio & Potholm) to work on his 2008 presidential campaign. In 2004, McCain called the Swift Boat ads against John Kerry “dishonest and dishonorable.” No matter. He has hired the outfit that made those spots, and which also worked on his 2000 campaign, to work for him again. Of the three stories, the NYT article this morning by Jim Rutenberg about McCain, “McCain’s Advisers Once Made Ads That Drew His Ire”, interests me the most. I was so interested, in fact, that I dredged up McCain’s article from May 14, 1973 that ran in US News & World Report, “How the POW's Fought Back” by Lieut. Commander John S. McCain III, U.S. Navy. It was called an “inside story” at the time. And it is one riveting article. He tells it all. He tells about the torture and the beatings. He tells about tapping out the alphabet on the wall to get messages to his comrade Ernie Brace and how Brace kept sobbing. And he tells about Mike Christian making American flags so Christian could recite the Pledge of Allegiance. And even though Christian got beaten and the flags were destroyed, Christian would make another flag. And the article told about how McCain could understand Capt. Dick Stratton caving in and capitulating to the enemy but of course McCain never did. For five-and-a-half years in a POW camp, McCain was strong and true. Low-key and unassumingly strong and true, mind. But strong and true. What am I saying? Do I doubt McCain’s words from 1973? Not exactly. Well, sort of. What I am saying is that people do not change. People who will do anything to get what they want will do anything to get what they want. And people with the Do Anything gene do get what they want, whether it’s staying alive under dire circumstances, or campaigning time and again for president. People who will DO ANYTHING to get what they want, DO ANYTHING to get what they want. That’s all I’m saying. Um…not exactly all. I am also saying that I would not trust McCain to lead me safely out of a forest in the middle of the United States if…IF by leading me out he endangered his run for president. Oh, and I am also saying that McCain’s POW record should be checked-out. But how can it be checked out? The only records we’re likely to find are the records we’re likely to find. Okay. That’s all I’m saying.

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