October 25, 2007

McCain Blogger Conference Call: 'Make 'Em Famous'

John McCain conducted another of his blogger outreach conference calls this morning, and the main topics were the DREAM Act and sanctions on Iranian Quds force. McCain had returned to the Senate to help confirm Judge Leslie Southwick to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. He derided the opposition's position that Southwick "had the appearance of intolerance." McCain said he would have opposed the DREAM Act, and that he got the message on the last round of immigration reform. He will not proceed with any other reforms until the borders are secured.

On Iran, McCain says that we need other nations engaged. He saluted the French for their action in pressuring Iran, but we need a "league of democracies" to get around the Russians and the Chinese. We need Western Europe on board.

He's calling from Iowa, where McCain and Mike Huckabee will engage in an AARP debate on health care. None of the rest of the candidates are there.


* League of Democracies -- How do you implement this -- as a NATO-plus, or just an ad-hoc organization? -- More like an ASEAN, a separate organization. No force structures associated with it, but some degree of formality to it. The UN has not effectively addressed the global conflicts, and McCain points to Lebanon and UNIFIL. He would stay in NATO and the UN, and try to reform the latter if possible.

* Clinate change; what about the allegations of White House interference in the CDC report on global warming and health issues? Is this a pattern with this administration? -- McCain says he is very disappointed in the administration for their political pressure on these issues, especially given the lack of talent and expertise from those who did it. McCain thinks that the Bush administration will not be judged well for not pushing market-based solutions to climate change.

* Judicial nominations -- how can we speed them up, and how would he insist on quick consideration for nominees as President? --- McCain voted for Ginsburg because elections have consequences. Congress has slowed the process to a halt, hoping that they elect a Democrat wins the White House. He says that this shows the wisdom of the Gang of 14 in getting at least some judges through. How many qualified people will go through the kind of experience Southwick had to endure? McCain says the only way to fight this is "Make 'em famous."

* S-CHIP - When you explain that the entitlement programs are going broke, that S-CHIP raises taxes and doesn't pay for itself, people understand the scam that S-CHIP is. McCain says that he's not even sure he supports the $5 billion expansion. McCain hopes the President vetoes the new bill and keep an unfunded liability on future generations. He likes Senator Coburn's approach, where politicians have to give up earmarks to fund the program -- and he likes the result.

* Scott Beauchamp - McCain has not really followed the story. He's shocked, shocked! to find gambling in that casino ...

* Is waterboarding torture, and what about the World Series? -- The BoSox was his boyhood team, but he's going to support the NL West, being from Arizona. McCain says that waterboarding is opposed by most of the retired military generals, and he considers it torture. It's a matter of keeping the moral high ground and understanding what kind of country we have. Pain will force people to say just about anything; torture is useless. This war is an ideological struggle, and it damages our position.

* What about the Law of the Sea Treaty? -- McCain opposes the current proposal, but wants a LOST treaty that protects American sovereignty and international order. The Arctic will be a key issue in the future.

* The decline of casualties in Iraq -- "I hope Harry Reid pays attention to it, who declared the war lost." The Anbar Awakening model is spreading throughout the nation. The Maliki government is still a worry, as is a corrupt national police, but we are making a great deal of progress.


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Comments (17)

Posted by mrlynn | October 25, 2007 10:53 AM

I am so damned tired of the kneejerk acceptance by candidates, elected officials, and the press, of the myth that 'climate change' (the new euphemism for 'global warming') is a problem, that humans have anything to do with it, and that we must invent 'solutions', all of which will cost us tons of money and productivity.

McCain is just one of this mindless crowd.

Will someone please tell me which presidential candidate has not been suckered into the 'global warming'/'climate change' hoax? I'll vote for him.

/Mr Lynn

Posted by Otter | October 25, 2007 10:54 AM

Just passing through quickly... we could end torture today, make a Huge stink about not using torture from now on- and it won't stop Every Other Country on the face of the Earth from continuing to use it. Especially those future enemies who manage to get hold of any of our troops.

Posted by Otter | October 25, 2007 10:56 AM

mrlynn - write in candidate who disagrees on global warming: Nunov Diabov.

Posted by Anthony (Los Angeles) | October 25, 2007 11:09 AM

There's torture and then there's torture. Waterboarding does no physical damage, lasting or short-term, but it is very effective. I wouldn't advocate its use in all cases, but there are limited circumstances (the "lit fuse" scenario, for example), where it's not only reasonable to "torture," but morally required. (cf. Krauthammer's article in The Weekly Standard from, I think, 2005)

And the senator is wrong when he says it isn't effective. Like any interrogation technique, one verifies the information through independent sources. And it was through waterboarding that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed spilled a lot of valuable information to us.

No one's saying that we should break out the rack or that waterboarding should be a common tool, but, if we ban coercive interrogation altogether and tie our hands with "Marquess of Queensberry" rules, we're only handing the enemy one more advantage.

Posted by Anthony (Los Angeles) | October 25, 2007 11:15 AM

BTW, I meant to say that McCain recently has been rehabilitating himself in my eyes, our disagreement over interrogation techniques notwithstanding. Now, if he'd only repudiate McCain-Feingold, I'd be thrilled.

Posted by LuckyBogey | October 25, 2007 11:17 AM

"He says that this shows the wisdom of the Gang of 14 in getting at least some judges through."

I really don't care what McCain has to say and blame anymore. His act has grown old and he has pandered to the libs and made backroom deals with his friends on the left.

He says that "he now gets it" about immigration. Sure, we really believe you!

Mr McCain, we get it too, the conservative base doesn't want you and would you please take your RINO gang of friends with you!

Oh, one last request: Could you please take one Sunday off from the talk shows.

Posted by hnav | October 25, 2007 11:28 AM

The Senator should get out of the race...

Step aside gracefully.

How could he vote against making the tax cuts permanent?

A Beltway Insider, who is now part of the problem.

Posted by McCain Hater | October 25, 2007 12:06 PM

I wouldn't trust McCain as far as I could throw him. So he's learned his lesson on shamnesty? Bull crap. He was in bed with Kennedy and would dive right back under the covers at the first opportunity.

Posted by Angry Dumbo | October 25, 2007 12:11 PM

Are Republicans taking a page out of the Hillary handbook and triangulating?

Rudy, Huck, and McCain wrong on core conservative
principles. Rudy - guns and abortion, Huck - free trade and immigration, and McCain - immigration and tax cuts.

If conservatism wins every time it is tried, why are Rudy, Huck or McCain standing by their liberal principles and not at least giving lip service to conservative principles ala Mitt and Fred?

Posted by Ray in Mpls | October 25, 2007 12:34 PM

Angry Dumbo,

Free trade and [legal] immigration are "core conservative

Posted by skeptic | October 25, 2007 12:42 PM

What is the deal with this proposed League of Democracies? What do we get out of it? What prevents it from turning into another UN? We need to extricate ourselves from these institutions, not create more of them.

Posted by Angry Dumbo | October 25, 2007 1:07 PM

Ray - point well taken. : )

Immigration, in the conservative context, assumes legality. Then again, I guess, we cannot assume much anymore.

I'm just not at all comfortable with Rudy, Huck, or McCain on the issues. Thankfully, it sounds like I am not alone.

Posted by Brad Marston | October 25, 2007 1:43 PM


You had the best comment on the call. I am sorry we were all muted when you cracked about being in your recliner and not on the couch.

Posted by Carol Herman | October 25, 2007 2:12 PM

Perhaps, it's still too soon to tell? But Drudge has up a headline that Hillary and Romney are ahead, in New Hampshire.

So, over on the 50 yard line, Hillary is a shoo-in. And, the republicans are tearing each other up for recognition "among the base."

Bonkey side? Osama got national coverage. The "base" wasn't really split. Hillary held her own. No ammunition, at all, was wasted. And, illary advances, looking like the winning horse. While Obama began to fade. Goodbye. Good luck.

Can Hillary win? YES. At the 50 yard line.

Sounds divisive.

But isn't that pretty typical, now? Point to an election that was a blowout?

Oh. And, whose "more better" at the 50/50 divide? Where state-by-state votes go up for grabs.

Winner takes all.

(Well? Florida's 200 win for Dubya was 537 votes more than Gore. You don't think Hillary can do better?

Why is there a belief that you win by name-caling? Or laughing at your oponent? I'm just curious. Because in this country real popularity doesn't belong to either party.

Even a "third party" threat. How does that hurt Hillary; more than the republican candidate?

Bluster doesn't translate to confidence.

You know, my son lives in San Diego, going on 8 years now. On Tuesday, he told me these fires were worse than what he remembers in 2003. Because the fire jumped the 15-freeway. Then he explained to me, how freeways worked in 2003. The fires didn't jump. But got contained.

Politics can be like fire. You're winning, as long as some issue doesn't come along and just break through your walls. "Jumping the freeway." Picking up steam.

We could'a found a better partner in Irak, than the saud's.

Posted by sherlock | October 25, 2007 6:37 PM

McCain thinks that the Bush administration will not be judged well for not pushing market-based solutions to climate change.

Let me explain, John. The Bush administration will not be judged by history on anything you mentioned... it will be judged for inciting a democracy revolution in the heart of the most fanatical part of the world, at a time when their lust to kill the non-believer could no longer be laughed off as far away or feeble.

You will be remembered for... squandering an honorable and courageous career as a military officer, by becoming in office a scold and a loose cannon.

Posted by mariner | October 26, 2007 8:27 AM

McCain and the Gang of 14 made an agreement that included a commitment not to filibusters appeals court nominees.

Then Democrats filibustered Southwick, an appeals court nominee.

And this demonstrates the *wisdom* of the Gang of 14?

Not to me. It illustrates why we shouldn't trust John McCain to be dogcatcher, let alone President.

Posted by LEJ | October 26, 2007 2:55 PM

Writes Otter,

"mrlynn - write in candidate who disagrees on global warming: Nunov Diabov."

Maybe there's another. I emailed Brett Farley, listed as the Campaign Manger for Duncan Hunter, about Congressman Hunter's stand on 'global warming'.

Mr Farley replies:

"In short, Mr. Hunter believes it's a non-issue."

That's short on specifics, but a whole lot better than calling a real issue. So maybe there's one besides Nunov Diabov.

/Mr Lynn

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