Here are my observations on items in the news.
MY REVERSAL ON SEN. JOHN MCCAIN – In my post of July 29, 2017, “John McCain’s actions reminiscent of Barry Goldwater,” I criticized McCain for his vote that sunk the GOP effort to kill ObamaCare, but concluded with my sympathetic decision not to pile on the senator in the future as he faces critical treatment for brain cancer. However, the senator seems determined to go down fighting the President Trump and his agenda, leading me to reverse my earlier decision.
Appearing at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia on Monday to receive the Liberty Medal, McCain went into a full-frontal attack on those who “refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain ‘the last, best hope of earth’ for some half-baked, spurious nationalism.” Writing in The Washington Post, Paul Kane said, “He did not mention Trump by name, “but the implication was clear.”
The president has already appeared abroad several times with excellent reviews following speeches in Saudi Arabia, Poland, Germany and France, and a highly-acclaimed address to the United Nations. In addition, he has hosted leaders of many countries in the White House. Yet, a sour McCain, who obviously opposes the president’s America first goal, said, “We will not thrive in a world where our leadership and ideals are absent.”
When asked by Fox’s Peter Doocy if the president’s personal insults of him will be at play in his votes for the budget and the tax legislation, a gruff McCain responded with “that’s a stupid question,” yet there are many who believe he carries a grudge with the president.
“In McCain’s case,” wrote Roger L. Simon for PJ Media, his narcissistic craving for attention is exacerbated by a heavy dollop of Trump hatred. John can’t stand Donald and is unlikely to support any legislation that would bring credit to the president, regardless of its value.”
If I were in McCain’s shoes, I would want to go out on a high note with my party, a maverick at times, yes, but beloved. The sometime Republican McCain, however, seems determined to go out a bitter old man.
So, if the senator continues to play the ill-mannered curmudgeon, I will comment here as I see fit.
THE LEFT-LEANING ARIZONA REPUBLIC, a “news” paper that rarely had a kind word for Senator McCain over the years, devoted half of its Opinions page to gush over his Philadelphia speech. Separately, the headline over columnist Laurie Roberts piece read, “John McCain saves the best service to this country for last.”
“He becomes the model for many other Republicans who recognize now that before they take back their country they must take back their party,” the Republic editorial board snidely remarked.
“McCain claimed the high ground,” the editors opined. Wrong!
POLL REVEALS SOME SENATE DEMS ON THIN ICE – A poll by America First Policies reveals that a majority of likely voters in West Virginia are dissatisfied with the current federal tax code, with more than a third saying they would be less likely to vote for Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) if he opposed the administration’s effort to reform the tax code and provide tax relief, according to an article appearing in The Federalist. Sixty-eight percent of Independents who identify as conservative voters responded that they would be less likely to vote for Manchin if he opposed tax legislation that would cut taxes for the middle class.
A separate group, the Job Creators Network, funded by a number of local industry trade groups and chambers of commerce, announced that it planned to launch a multi-million ad campaign in West Virginia, North Dakota and Montana on the topic of tax reform support. In addition to Manchin, the ads will target Senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Jon Testor (D-MT).
REMEMER “TRUST BUT VERIFY?” – President Ronald Reagan cited it a number of times while in discussions of nuclear disarmament. “Amid the hand-wringing over President Trump’s decision to decertify the Iran nuclear deal … they seem to be rather certain that Iran is in compliance with the terms of the 2015 agreement,” wrote John Daniel Davidson in The Federalist.
While the media continues to repeat the International Atomic Energy Agency’s belief that Iran is in compliance, they fail to mention that Iran will not allow nuclear inspectors access to military sites. “That matters,” says Davidson,” because Iran has almost certainly used military bases for nuclear weapons-related testing in the past.”
Experts believe the Iranians tested nuclear explosives at Parchin, a military complex south of Tehran, in the early 2000s, but when IAEA inspectors requested access to the site in 2012, they were refused. Three years later, after buildings were bulldozed and large areas were paved-over, Iranians allowed inspectors into Parchin, where they found traces of manmade uranium consistent with nuclear weapons, according to Davidson.
Remember, when you hear the president denounce the Iran deal in the harshest terms, understand that the Obama administration and five other world powers agreed to this deal that requires all parties to take Iran’s word that it is adhering to designated limits.
“The deal requires us to overlook Iran’s long history of lying about its nuclear program, as well as its sponsorship of terrorism and blatant pursuit of ballistic missile technology, including missiles that might be capable of carrying a nuclear warhead,” stated Davidson.