March 15, 2008

You’re a Bargain

Filed under: Toon — Tags: , , , , — Volt @ 12:55 am

February 29, 2008

The Economist: John McCain’s Obstacles

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Volt @ 10:18 am


The Economist, February 29, 2008

John McCain, an enthusiastic gambler and inveterate collector of lucky charms, has the luck of the devil. For him to win the Republican nomination for president, Mike Huckabee had to beat Mitt Romney in Iowa, Rudy Giuliani had to pursue a deranged strategy, Fred Thompson had to contract narcolepsy, and the “surge” had to go well. Mr McCain has run the tables.

But will the senator’s luck outlast the primary season? The past week or so has produced some ominous signs. On January 21st the New York Times ran a story alleging that Mr McCain had a too-close-for-comfort relationship with a female lobbyist. Four days later the Democratic National Committee filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, suggesting the McCain campaign had violated the law on spending restraints.

The short-term damage has been limited. The New York Times poisoned its own story by nods and winks. The debate about Mr McCain’s campaign-finance behaviour is so convoluted that only lawyers understand it. The McCain campaign is now hoovering up more cash than ever, thanks to conservative rage at the “liberal media”.

Yet both stories point to a long-term problem: money, not sex. Mr McCain sells himself as a scourge of special interests and hammer of lobbyists. He also styles himself a hands-on reformer who has tried to fix America’s campaign-finance system. For a presidential candidate, this might prove the equivalent of attaching a sign to your behind saying “Kick me”.

Mr McCain is no stranger to the world of lobbyists. Several members of his staff, including his campaign manager, Rick Davis, are lobbyists. So are about 60 of the most generous contributors to his campaign. The senator is not averse to taking lifts on corporate jets. The public-finance system Mr McCain helped design is so unwieldy that even the man who invented it finds it a nightmare.

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February 23, 2008

What Woman?

Filed under: Toon — Tags: , , , — Volt @ 11:01 pm

Obama Goes After GrandPa McCain

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , , , — Volt @ 8:56 pm

David Espo, The Associated Press, February 23, 2008

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Sen. Barack Obama said Saturday that the Republican presidential nominee in waiting, Sen. John McCain, has lobbyists as top aides and “many of them have been running their business on the campaign bus while they’ve been helping him.”

The Democratic presidential hopeful also said McCain’s health care plans reflect “the agenda of the drug and insurance lobbyists, who back his campaign and use money and influence to block real health care reform.”

Jill Hazelbaker, a spokeswoman for McCain, said the Arizona senator “has been an agent for change for his entire career – he is the greatest change agent in our party – and we plan to highlight that record in this election.”

Obama has criticized McCain increasingly in recent weeks, while running off 11 straight primary and caucus victories over his Democratic rival, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Polls taken during the primary season show that independent voters are drawn in large numbers to both Obama and McCain, suggesting the two men would compete intensively for their support if they wind up opposing each other in the general election this fall.

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