John McCain: Unfit to Print

The outrage d’jour in the wingnutosphere is over the NYT’s refusal to publish an op-ed by McCain. Having received a flunking grade from the Old Gray Lady, the McCain campaign immediately did what any right-winger that’s been “victimized” would — went running away balling like a little pantywaste, then desperately implored some higher authority to intercede on their behalf. In this case, McCain’s operatives went squealing to Matt Drudge shrieking “Help, help! I’m being repressed by liberal media bias!” From there it took but a matter of hours for the right’s mighty Wurlitzer to start broadcasting far and wide the iconic paper’s heinous calumny against John McCain. And lo, the broadcast airwaves and vast network of intertubes were soon filled with the indignant howls of outrage from hordes of incensed loons across the land.

Oh yawn. Go read the attack piece yourself. It’s a lame, whiny piece of blather that says absolutely nothing new that we haven’t time and again from McCain. Plus, it’s full of inaccuracies and outright falsehoods. Ah, but then so is the standard Bill Kristol editorial, you say. Quite so! Therefore, we can’t discount it on that basis alone. No, curiously enough, the reasons for the rejection are perhaps best outlined by an unlikely ally from across the pond in the form of Daniel Finkelstein, the Chief Leader Writer for The Times (not exactly a haven of liberals) who says the NYT may have been correct to reject the piece:

…political pieces by elected officials or candidates can often be very boring — safe, unrevealing and tediously partisan. In general I required such pieces to jump over a pretty high importance barrier before I ran them.

Obama’s piece vaulted that hurdle. It outlined his views, pretty much avoided point scoring, and dealt with the issue.

McCain’s piece, on the other hand, knocked the hurdle over. It wasn’t about Iraq. It was about Obama. If I received it I would have done exactly what the NYT did — send it back and ask them to redraft it so that it was about Iraq and was more, well, interesting.

That’s not going to placate the wingnuts of course. Oh no… They’ll rail about liberal media bias for days (weeks, months… years) over this, but perhaps as Libby at Newshoggers put it “their energy might be better spent in helping their candidate rewrite the witless prose to give it some relevancy to the issue, instead trying to sleaze through a free campaign ad.”

“Insurance Company Rules”

Check out this hilarious new spot from the folks at Health Care For America Now (HCAN) and the Public Service Administration (PSA).

And if you thought that “Insurance Company Rules” seem an awful lot like “Conservative Party of Canada Rules” you’re not alone!

Tories Playing Politics With Khadr

Responding to former prime minister Paul Martin’s call on Sunday’s edition of CTV’s Question Period that Canada should lobby to repatriate Omar Khadr, Stephen Harper’s new spokeshack, former CRFA lobbyist Kory Teneycke, had this to say:

“This is the process the Liberals chose, and we’re sticking with it,” Mr. Teneycke said in an interview Sunday. Accusing the opposition of ‘playing politics,’ he said recent public revelations about the Khadr file should have been known to the previous government. ‘This information was in their hands when they made these decisions,’ he said.”

Aside from the obvious fact that it’s Teneycke who’s actually “playing politics” here (for reasons clearly described by Impolitical), the assertion that “recent public revelations… should have been known” to the Liberals or that all the relevant facts surrounding Khadr’s case and the conditions of his detention were “in their hands” when the Liberals “chose” the process by which he will be tried before a military commission is nothing short of outright mendacity.

As pointed out by Canadian Cynic, revelations recently made public simply were not the sort of information that could possibly have been known to the previous government.

Regarding the “process” itself, the legal framework for the first military tribunal wasn’t formulated by the Bush administration until late 2005 and formal charges against Khadr weren’t even filed until November 2005 (one month before the election). It would be interesting to know how Teneycke thinks that the Liberal government should have known that the first tribunal process would eventually be struck down by the Supreme Court of the United States as being unconstitutional given this decision was made in June of 2006, six months after the Liberals were out of office. Despite what Teneycke would have people believe, the “legal process” now in effect at Guantanamo has absolutely nothing to do with the Liberals.

Dobson’s Emerging Flip-Flop

Statement from James Dobson read on the Laura Ingraham radio show, February 5, 2008:

Today the Associated Press reports, “Conservative Christian leader James Dobson has softened his stance against Republican presidential hopeful John McCain, saying he could reverse his position and endorse the Arizona senator despite serious misgivings. ‘I never thought I would hear myself saying this,’ Dobson said in a radio broadcast to air Monday. ‘… While I am not endorsing Senator John McCain, the possibility is there that I might.’”

McCain “Senior Moment” of the Day

Yes, yes… he just “misspoke” — again.

Appearing on Good Morning America earlier today, McCain was asked if he agrees that the situation in Afghanistan is precarious and urgent. To that, he said:

“Well I think it’s very serious…I don’t know the exact vocabulary, but it’s a serious situation, but there’s a lot of things we need to do. We have a lot of work to do and I’m afraid it’s a very hard struggle, particularly given the situation on the Iraq-Pakistan border.”

Of course, this isn’t the first time McCain — a so-called “expert” on the region — has made mistake when speaking about it, including confusing Sunni with Shia and on more than one occasion and stating incorrectly that Al Qaeda was getting help from Iran.

Links With Your Java

• The sanity of the wingnuts takes a kern for the worse… Apparently Obama was never actually born at all!

• The unconvincing statement by an aide to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki calling his remarks in Der Spiegel “misinterpreted and mistranslated” followed a call to the prime minister’s office from U.S. government officials in Iraq. Quelle surprise.

• Hey Jake, here’s a cracker-jack idea, instead of “just guessing” why don’t you actually ask Obama what his “8-10 years” remark meant? I hear that’s what journalists are supposed to do instead of floating silly notions about “the butterfly effect” or other such fatuous nonsense.

• I’m a little late picking this up, but here’s a bit of an oddity: a tribute to Tony Snow by, get this, Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull.

• An estimated 200,000 fans packed the historic Plains of Abraham last night to see Paul McCartney at a free outdoor concert in Quebec City (video below — Live and Let Die).