Local Gov’t Stories, Events
Ref. : Civic Events
Ref. : Arts & Education Events
Ref. : Public Service Notices
Books, Films, Arts & Education
Ref. : Letters to the editor
Health Care & Environment
07.16 Temer Signs Law That Could See Millions of Acres Lost in the Amazon [similar to Trump's privatization of US federal public/park land]
07.16 Trump regrets 'bizarre mistake' of Paris climate pullout, Branson claims [just hearsay? would a Republican ever dis the Koch brothers?]
07.15 The Uninhabitable Earth
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
07.20 What It Means to Be on the Left [what a shame that America denies such thoughtful discussion in mainstream media...]
07.20 H.R. 1628, Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act of 2017 [a pattern of willfull immoral conduct by Republicans in Congress: a small increase in taxing the very-rich or on burning fossil fuels would solved many problems more equitably]
07.20 No water for poor people: the nine Americans who risked jail to seek justice [a pattern of willfull immoral conduct in Gov. Rick Snyder's Michigan, where a small increase in taxing the very-rich or for gasoline would have solved many problems without hurting a desperately poor population]
07.18 The Real Voter Fraud
07.18 This Billionaire Mega-Donor Gets It: The Democrats Need Bernie Sanders [We need to catch-up with changes smarter & fairer countries did 70 years ago]
07.18 Decaying infrastructure taking a toll on America [can we outsource for better government?]
07.18 Senate will vote to repeal Obamacare without replacement, after new healthcare bill stumbles [unfair, illogical and immoral government fails again because of "traitors"]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
07.20 Asia's coal-fired power boom 'bankrolled by foreign governments and banks' [after being warned by the World Bank against building new coal burning coal power plants—as their use may soon become illegal, will the public be forced to pay-off such stupid loans?]
07.19 End of the 'rip-off': all charges for paying by card to be banned [a possiblity in the more corrupt U.S.?]
07.19 A despot in disguise: one man’s mission to rip up democracy [treason is much too kind a word for this]
07.17 JP Morgan chief blasts US dysfunction: 'It's almost an embarrassment being American' [enabled by the Citizens United Ruling, Birchers—founded and funded by the Koch bros. network—ruthlessly pursue personal profits, destroying America and its public as byproducts]
07.17 Trump's tax proposal would push US below Greece on inequality index [disgusting]
International & Futurism
07.20 Why Canada Is Able to Do Things Better [they avoid childish reasoning]
07.20 U.S. Lawmakers Seek to Criminally Outlaw Support for Boycott Campaign Against Israel [Israel is quilty of war crimes over decades against Palestinians, but let's just ignore that...]
07.20 Crime rise is biggest in a decade, ONS figures show [how does this correlate with rising inequality and poverty, we don't wonder]
07.18 The Burden of Taxation in the United States and Germany [interesting and clearly written]
FAVORITISM & MISLEADING THE PUBLIC:
McCain's 'Cone of Silence' Caper
August 18, 2008—Millions of Americans who watched Barack Obama and then John McCain respond to nearly identical questions from evangelical minister Rick Warren were surely impressed by McCain’s quick and sharp answers. Supposedly he had been in a “cone of silence” while Obama was getting grilled during the preceding hour.
However, as it turned out, TV viewers and other Americans were misled. McCain had not been in any “cone of silence” shielding him from hearing Warren’s questions and Obama’s answers.
On Saturday night as Obama was on stage, McCain was in his motorcade on the way to the church and thus would have had access through his staff to the questions and how Obama had answered them.
When McCain came on the set, he played along with the fiction about being in a “cone of silence,” joking that “I was trying to hear through the wall.”
McCain then proceeded to knock the questions out of the proverbial park, impressing not only the audience at Rev. Warren’s Saddleback Church in California, but the political pundits who spent the next two days praising McCain’s performance and judging him the clear winner over Obama.
For instance, New York Times columnist William Kristol declared that it was “McCain’s night” and marveled at how “McCain, who went second, was crisp by contrast [to Obama] and his anecdotes colorful.”
Kristol also mocked grousing from Obama’s aides that McCain may have had access to the questions beforehand. “There’s no evidence that McCain had any such advantage,” Kristol wrote in his Monday column.
However, in the same newspaper, New York Times reporters discovered that the assertion by Warren that McCain had been in some “cone of silence” wasn’t true.
“Members of the McCain campaign staff, who flew here Sunday from California, said Mr. McCain was in his motorcade on the way to the church as Mr. Obama was being interviewed,” wrote reporter Katharine Q. Seeyle.
Still, McCain’s staff bristled at suggestions that McCain listened to the broadcast while en route to the church.
“The insinuation from the Obama campaign that John McCain, a former prisoner of war, cheated is outrageous,” said McCain spokeswoman Nicolle Wallace. [NYT, Aug. 18, 2008]
What McCain’s Vietnam War-era POW status had to do with this wasn’t clear. But it was clear that Warren’s assurance that “we have safely placed Senator McCain in a cone of silence” wasn’t true, nor was McCain’s light-hearted remark about trying to hear through the wall.
If McCain did get pre-briefed on what questions to expect, it would be reminiscent of the presidential debate in 1980 when someone from Ronald Reagan’s campaign stole President Jimmy Carter’s debate briefing book and allegedly used it to coach Reagan’s responses.
Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, was written with two of his sons, Sam and Nat, and can be ordered at neckdeepbook.com. His two previous books, Secrecy & Privilege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq and Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth' are also available there. Or go to Amazon.com.
This article is republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.
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This story was published on August 19, 2008.