Tag Archives: McCain

Getting Political with Kids

As my kids and I pulled into the local community center parking lot this morning, ready to cast a vote in the GOP primary, the past 10 years of voting sort of flashed before my eyes. I had visions of all the times my children have accompanied me to the ballot box, all the campaign events they’d already been to in their short years of life, and I was overcome with pride.

When my daughter was two, she rode alongside me to South Carolina and Florida, campaigning for the Bush-Cheney re-election. She had adopted cute little catch phrases along the way, which she recited daily, charming everyone from the Publix cashier to her preschool teachers: “Laura Bush is a cwassy wady!”; “John Kerry is a flip-flopper” (which made her giggle every time she said it); and “Vote for George ‘n Cheney!” Campaigning in Jacksonville on that warm November day in 2008, I feel sure that my daughter helped President George W. Bush bring it home in Florida.

Over the years, we’ve traveled to surrounding states to attend FairTax rallies, and worked on other campaigns – some not so successful – but what my kids are learning along the way is that it takes active citizenship to make a difference. They see other people sitting around complaining about their status in life, but I’m proud to say that my children know that action is the only solution to a problem.

This morning, I talked them through the entire voting experience yet again, explaining why we show our ID and voter’s registration card, why it’s necessary to still complete the form, why the “ballot” looks like a credit card, how to cast an electronic vote and so forth. At one point, my oldest looked up at me in that tween way and said, “Moooom, we know.” And I was rewarded.

We voted and were out of there, peach-covered “I’m a Georgia Voter” sticker on each of us, in less than 15 minutes. Much to their chagrin, I made them stop outside the precinct and pose for a picture next to the “Vote Here” sign. When I looked through the lens, though, I felt my eyes well up with tears. My kids were actually excited to be there with me. Like me, they see voting as an honor, not an obligation (though one day I’ll teach them that it is a little of both).

I know it will only be a few more years – just two more presidential elections – until my daughter will be voting for the very first time. Regardless of which way she ends up voting, I feel sure I have instilled in her the importance of active citizenship. I hope she takes me to the polls with her.

Shredding George – The Latest in Nanny State Government

Last December, I wrote an article about a bill lurking in the dark shadows of Congress that would begin production of a fourth dollar coin over the past three decades.  Harmless right?  I mean, so what if the Susan B. Anthony and Sacagawea coins were total busts.  I remember the biggest deal about the SBA coin was that kids kept jamming them into the quarter slots of the “Asteroids” game at my favorite arcade.  All I remember is that I didn’t get my Atari fix for the week.

 

Oh…. But did I mention that this one wouldn’t be optional?  Yep, that’s right folks, this time, it’s mandatory!!  Say goodbye to George on paper and say hello to the dollar coin, weighing us all down, just like all the other government regulations in our lives.  So much for choice.

 

In the latest chapter of the “we know what’s best for you” bible being written by our government, HR 2977 and its companion bill S. 2049 (co-sponsored by Tom Harkin and that conservative icon we all know and love…. John McCain) would call for the replacement of the dollar bill with a coin….. as a deficit reduction measure…. Yeah, I’ll wait for the literary double-take…. a deficit reduction measure.

 

Nevermind that the minting of these beauties will be three times the cost of the printing of bills….  Yes, yes, I can hear you…  “but, but, but…  they’ll last longer than the bills, therefore they’ll save us in the long run!”  Uh…. That might be true if someone other than the US Government was running the show.  Seriously, you are just going to take their words that this will save us money?  The same folks that overspend $47,000 per SECOND??!!!

 

Yet there is a bigger point to be made here.  WE DON’T WANT A COIN DOLLAR!!  I can say this with confidence due to the fact that there are vaults full of Anthonys, Sacagaweas and Presidential coins…. Wait… only half of the Presidents even made it on this last coin venture – they discontinued them after Chester Arthur..  NO COIN FOR YOU, CLEVELAND!! (channeling the Soup Nazi here).  So naturally, the proper thing for Congress to do, when the whole voluntary transition thing didn’t work would be to force it on us…. Sieg Heil!!

 

And have we stopped to consider the impact this may have on some of the small business owners who deal almost exclusively in cash, like laundromats, vending machines and coin recognition devices?  Pish-tosh!  They’re just the “little people” in fly-over country anyway… no biggie.  So they might have to shell out thousands to replace or retrofit equipment.  We’ll just extend their unemployment benefits after we kill off their business dreams…

 

Today, it’s the appearance of your currency, tomorrow it’s how you spend it.  The next day is how much you can keep and….. oh crap, I think we are already into next week….

 

As someone who has actually taken the 22 minutes it takes to read the Constitution, with amendments, I know that one of the few expressed powers our federal government has is to coin money.  Sure, how it looks and how much is in circulation is implicitly included in that mandate, but it should be mentioned that said government still is basically one big employee – and the American people are STILL the boss.

 

This is bigger than the folding versus jingling argument.  It is about whether we want this level of government intrusion in our lives.  Remember, in 1930’s Germany, it started with regulations on how to cook your lobster.  So you say, “Heck! That’ll never happen here in the good old USA!!”  You mean like some government employee taking a kid’s lunch away because they deemed it too “unhealthy”?

 

I guess you’re right…. That would NEVER happen here in the U.S…..

 

 

 

 

With Little Fanfare, The Iraq War Ends

Photograph: Ali Al-Saadi/AFP/Getty Images

Today, with just a simple ceremony conducted at Baghdad airport, marked the end of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Defense Secretary Panetta spoke at the ceremony praising the sacrifices made by the men and women of the armed forces.

“No words, no ceremony, can provide full tribute to the sacrifices that have brought this day to pass,” Panetta told the troops. “To be sure the cost was high — in blood and treasure for the United States, and for the Iraqi people. Those lives were not lost in vain. They gave birth to an independent, free and sovereign Iraq.”  Approximately 1.5 million Americans had served in Iraq. Nearly 4,500 had died and 30,000 had been wounded.

“You will leave with great pride — lasting pride,” Panetta said. “Secure in knowing that your sacrifice has helped the Iraqi people to begin a new chapter in history.”

Yesterday in a ceremony at Fort Bragg the President welcomed soldiers returning from Iraq. It was to mark the end of the war in Iraq fulfilling a campaign promise he made in 2008.  He  praised the the soldiers telling them they were “the finest fighting force in the history of the world“.

Even as the U.S. military continues to leave Iraq there are those in Washington who are not convinced that Iraq has the ability to sustain itself and fight of what some consider the inevitable influence from Iran. Many also fear the country could plunge back into sectarian violence.

Senator John McCain criticized Obama, taking note that he opposed the surge which was a major factor in controlling the violence in Iraq. He stated it was “a bit presumptuous” for Mr Obama to take credit for the conflict and referred to the President’s visit to Fort Bragg as his “victory lap“.

Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq told CNN that he was “shocked” to hear U.S. President Barack Obama greet al-Maliki at the White House on Monday as “the elected leader of a sovereign, self-reliant and democratic Iraq.” He said Washington is leaving Iraq “with a dictator” who has ignored a power-sharing agreement, kept control of the country’s security forces and rounded up hundreds of people in recent weeks.

 “America left Iraq with almost no infrastructure. The political process is going in a very wrong direction, going toward a dictatorship,” he said. “People are not going to accept that, and most likely they are going to ask for the division of the country. And this is going to be a disaster. Dividing the country isn’t going to be smooth, because dividing the country is going to be a war before that and a war after that.”

Senate Votes To Keep Indefinite Detention Provision In Military Bill

FILE - In this June 27, 2006 file photo, reviewed by a US Department of Defense official, U.S. military guards walk within Camp Delta military-run prison, at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base, Cuba. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

Earlier today the Senate voted to keep a provision in S.1253 National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 which would give the President authority, using the military, to indefinitely detain suspected terror suspects. This includes not only oversees, but in the United States, to include American citizens.  The provision’s sponsors are Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain and Michigan Democratic Sen. Carl Levin.

Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall proposes an amendment to the bill that was intended to remove the detainment provision. It was defeated by a vote of 61-37. In a column written for the Washington Post, Udall made the following argument:

“For example, the provisions would require the military to dedicate a significant number of personnel to capturing and holding terrorism suspects — in some cases indefinitely — even those apprehended on U.S. soil. And they authorize the military to do so regardless of an accused terrorist’s citizenship, even if he or she is an American captured in a U.S. city.”

It was reported that Senator Rand Paul (R. – KY.) and Senator John McCain had an exchange regarding the provision, in which Paul made the following comment: “Should we err today and remove some of the most important checks on state power in the name of fighting terrorism, well then the terrorists have won. [D]etaining American citizens without a court trial is not American.”. To which McCain responded with “Facts are stubborn things. If the senator from Kentucky wants to have a situation prevail where people who are released go back into the fight to kill Americans he is entitled to his opinion.”

The White House has threatened to veto the bill over the provision claiming it will hamper current efforts of “counter-terrorism professionals, including our military commanders, intelligence professionals, seasoned counter-terrorism prosecutors, or other operatives in the field” . In addition, FBI, Pentagon, and the Director of National Intelligence have all criticized the legislation.