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2008 Opposition Research: John McCain [List Edits]

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Open Edit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-24-06 01:07 PM
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2008 Opposition Research: John McCain
Edited on Thu Aug-07-08 12:48 AM by Gabi Hayes
Senator John McCain (R.-AZ) is considered a possible Presidential candidate in 2008. This thread is for memorializing any material about him that DU members might find useful during the campaign. Please include sources.

Wiki Resources
* Demopedia:
* dKosopedia:
* SourceWatch:
* Wikipedia:
* SourceWatch: New Citizenship Project, precursor of PNAC, McCain was president.

Policy Positions

Ethical Issues

Embarrassing Remarks

* On January 22, 2006, McCain, appearing on Fox News Sunday, used the term "wackos" in referring to (democratically elected) Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and his administration. ...
June 11th 2003 Major conflict is over

April 19th 2007 Bomb bomb bomb - Iran

August 18th 2007 I was a critic of the war

From 2008

Jan 3rd "100 years in Iraq"
and again

March 13th "I didn't love America. . "

March 21st Iranian training of al Qaeda
same issue different setting

March 30th General Patreas walks around Baghdad

April 21st Credit C**t

May 2nd Iraq war = oil
and again

May 11th Misspeaks on emminent domain

June 4th Hot Water for Dehydrated Babies

June 4th Drawing Troop Levels Down

June 4th McCain accused Obama missing Patreas misses himself

June 4th McCain violates rules using Patreas photo in fundraising letter

June 10th Vetoing Earmarked Beer

June 13th Won't privatize Soc Sec - yes I will


McCain hypocrisy: /

The Bushification of John McCain

By Ari Melber, AlterNet. Posted November 15, 2005.

The bad blood between the two men has been infamous since 2000, when Bush's campaign lied about McCain's family and war service, and McCain told Bush to "get out of the gutter."

But during Bush's reelection in 2004, McCain strained to embrace his former rival -- literally. In their first joint appearance, they hugged dramatically before 6,000 soldiers at a Fort Lewis rally. Those events made for great campaign visuals. Yet while most Americans saw McCain's big heart, Republican leaders saw hungry ambition.

Rich Lowry, editor of the conservative magazine National Review, recently described that campaign bear hug as nothing but proof of "the senator's presidential ambitions." Lowry argues it's just part of McCain's scheme to get "the Right to stop loathing him." In targeted moves since the election, McCain has continued his Bushification by changing positions on conservative priorities like creationism, gay marriage and tax cuts.

As the costs of Hurricane Katrina mounted, McCain went on national television and told Chris Mathews the Bush tax cuts must be maintained. But McCain voted against those tax cuts.

In fact, he was one of only two Republicans to oppose Bush's signature 2001 tax cut. Given the surging costs of Katrina, Iraq and Medicare, there is no policy rationale for reversing his position now. The only rationale is political pandering. And that's exactly how some influential conservatives see it. Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, recently said that although McCain has "flip-flopped on a number of issues," he is still "anti-taxpayer" because "he's voted against every tax cut."

Yet the mainstream media is so attached to McCain's maverick image, most journalists didn't cover the tax reversal.

Ari Melber served as a national staff member of the John Kerry presidential campaign and as a legislative aide in the U.S. Senate.

add - more hypocrisy (re: against torture)

John McCain is Chairman of International Republican Institute


The International Republican Institute, or IRI, is a Washington, DC-based political organization in the United States. The IRI is loosely affiliated with the Republican Party and works closely with other rightist think tanks and foreign policy groups, as well as the National Endowment for Democracy. The majority of its funding comes from the United States federal government.

IRI's stated mission is to "support the growth of political and economic freedom, good governance and human rights around the world by educating people, parties and governments on the values and practices of democracy." However, it has also been linked to efforts to foment a violent coup d'état in Haiti (See 2004 Haiti rebellion).

IRI maintains offices around the world, including in Africa (Abuja, Luanda and Nairobi), Asia (Dili, Jakarta, Phnom Penh and Ulaanbaatar), Latin America (Caracas, Guatemala City and Lima), Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans (Belgrade, Bratislava, Bucharest, Istanbul, Skopje, Sofia, Tirana and Zagreb) and the former Soviet Union (Almaty, Baku, Belarus, Kyiv, Moscow, Tashkent and Tbilisi).

The staff and board of directors of the IRI include many prominent Republicans, most of whom are involved in various capacities in foreign policy or international business.


Tuesday, July 20th, 2004
Did the Bush Administration Allow a Network of Right-Wing Republicans to Foment a Violent Coup in Haiti?


AMY GOODMAN: We turn now to Max Blumenthal, a contributor to, author of the new piece, "The Other Regime Change: Did The Bush Administration Allow a Network of Right Wing Republicans to Foment a Violent Coup in Haiti?” Welcome to DemocracyNow!, Max Blumenthal.

MAX BLUMENTHAL: It's good to be here.

AMY GOODMAN: Good to have you with us. Why don't you start out in the same way that you began your piece, "The Other Regime Change." Talk about Stanley Lucas, who he is, and what kind of support those that were involved in toppling the democratically elected president Aristide, came to power?

MAX BLUMENTHAL: Well, to tell you about Stanley Lucas, and he is the program officer for the International Republican Institute, or I.R.I.'s Haiti program. I.R.I. is active in 50 countries worldwide on a mission to “promote democracy”. In many of their programs, through their means, what they have demonstrated is something quite different. They have demonstrated -- I.R.I has demonstrated a penchant for backing opponents in regimes deemed hostile to the U.S. and specifically to conservative interests, and I.R.I.'s program in Haiti has been probably its most bellicose thanks to Stanley Lucas. In Haiti there's two sectors of Haitian society that are the traditional obstructionists to progressive change. Number one, that's the industrial sector of the mulatto elite who run the sweatshops and lead the civil society wing of Aristide's opposition. And two, there's the military, which guarantees the conditions by which the elite can operate their sweatshops. Aristide disbanded the military in 1995, so, you know, the military hates him. Stanley Lucas is a bridge between these two sectors. He was schooled in Haiti's finest schools with members of the mulatto elite. At the same time, he comes from a wealthy land owning family close to the Duvalier regime, which ruled Haiti with an iron fist for decades. His family is close to the military. Two of Stanley Lucas's cousins massacred -- organized a massacre of 250 peasants, in 1987, who were protesting for land reform after the Duvalier regime crumbled. The massacre -- it was a terrible massacre documented by Amnesty International and described to me by someone who witnessed it firsthand. You would think that someone from this background wouldn't be able to get a position at a group like the International Republican Institute that promotes democracy. However, Stanley Lucas is a valuable asset to them. He is a judo master who allegedly trained the military in counter insurgency tactics after the Duvalier regime collapsed. He was hired in 1992, but I don't know why he was hired. When I asked I.R.I.'s communications director why he was hired, he refused to tell me why, or what his duties consisted of between 1992 and 1998. A lot of people I spoke to suspect that Stanley Lucas is a CIA asset, including former ambassador -- former U.S. Ambassador in the region. So, when Stanley Lucas was hired in 1992, the country was controlled by a military junta called FRAPP, which had ousted Aristide in 1990 -- in the first coup in that country. Frappe was busy massacring thousands of Aristide supporters. One off the recorded sources, who lived with Lucas, working with Lucas, in Haiti, told me he saw documents indicating that while Lucas was working for I.R.I., he was being paid by Michelle Francois, who was a notorious FRAPP leader. Stanley Lucas is an impeccable dresser, a smooth operater and a lady's man with a broad smile and childlike demeanor that will put his enemies at ease. You have behind that facade an evil man who has been given way too much power. In my piece, I compared him to Achmed Chalabi, because Stanley Lucas is a card-carrying Republican who managed to ingratiate himself with powerful Republicans in Washington. He lobbied for the opposition to Aristide and managed to tie quite a bit of funding to them and introduced a number of Aristide’s most virulent opponents to powerful Republicans in Washington. When I.R.I.'s campaign to destabilize Haiti began in earnest in 1998 with a $2 million grant in mostly taxpayer money from the U.S. Agency for International Development, Lucas hosted some of Aristide's most virulent opponents in political training sessions. What he did was he merged all of these disparate groups into one big party called the Democratic Convergence. Now, the Democratic Convergence is not a traditional political party, it's more like the political wing of a coup, because the strategy that it took was to forego the democratic process entirely. Boycott elections and initiate what seemed like an endless sequence of provocative protests. Between 2000 and 2002, the Democratic Convergence rejected over 20 internationally sanctioned power sharing agreements which heightened the tension and provoked more violence. At the time, the U.S. Ambassador, who was named Brian Dean Curran, a Clinton appointee, who was a highly respected career diplomat, uncovered evidence that Stanley Lucas was the one encouraging the Democratic Convergence to reject the compromises and to stay out of the democratic process. When he presented this evidence to the U.S. Agency for International Development, and he asked them to block Stanley Lucas from the program, Bush's Assistant Secretary for the Western Hemisphere, Roger Noriega, apparently stepped in, and within four months—Lucas was barred for four months, but after four months, he was back. So, when he -- when Lucas returned to the program, he retaliated against Ambassador Curran. What he did was he spread salacious rumors in Port-au-Prince in -- and in Washington about Curran's personal life. If I repeated these rumors, it would make Dick Cheney look like Ward Cleaver. It's unheard of for someone like Lucas to actually sabotage a U.S. Ambassador. Lucas threatened two embassy officials and told them they would be fired once the real -- “Real” U.S. policy was implemented. In 2003, Curran was forced to resign in disgust because of Lucas's activities and the fact that Bush administration seemed to give Lucas their tacit approval. A number of embassy officials I spoke to were removed from Haiti by Roger Noriega for opposing what Stanley Lucas was doing in part. So this whole sad episode that led up to the coup was allowed to occur because of Bush's policy of studied neglect in South America.

and more on IRI with relation to Venezuela


Haiti is not unique. In Venezuela, Cambodia, and other nations, IRI—unlike other government-funded democratization groups—has increasingly focused on training opposition parties intent on toppling elected governments. The institute is one of several democracy-promotion groups financed by USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED); others include the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the AFL-CIO’s international wing. Under their bylaws, the groups are supposed to work with actors across the political spectrum in democracies. In Haiti, for example, NDI, which is controlled by Democrats, worked with members of Aristide’s party as well as opposition parties, and was lauded for its grassroots efforts.

IRI, by contrast, has increasingly come under attack for choosing sides. In Venezuela, the institute dramatically expanded its presence in 2001 and 2002 as President Hugo Chavez ratcheted up his anti-U.S. rhetoric. IRI’s Latin America program was led by Georges Fauriol, who had previously worked at a conservative Washington think tank alongside Otto Reich, who has been Bush’s closest adviser on Latin America policy. Reich, who according to Congress’ Government Accountability Office conducted “prohibited covert propaganda” on behalf of the Nicaraguan Contras in the 1980s, is a former ambassador to Venezuela who had frequently denounced Chavez.

In Venezuela, IRI staffed its program with Bush allies and campaign supporters; in turn, in 2001 the administration increased funding for IRI’s activities in Venezuela sixfold, from $50,000 to $300,000 -- the largest grant any of NED’s democracy-promotion organizations received that year.

At the time, all the major U.S. democracy-promotion groups were active in Venezuela, including both IRI and NDI. But documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act show that while NDI worked with parties across the political spectrum, IRI staffers spent much of their time cultivating the opposition. IRI worked closely with Acción Democrática, a group that, IRI’s own documents acknowledge, “refused to recognize the legitimacy of the Chavez presidency.” IRI also tutored opposition figures, including Caracas mayor Alfredo Peña, an outspoken Chavez critic, on how to create a political party. And despite a warning from the National Endowment for Democracy not to take sides in Venezuela, IRI also used its own money to bring opposition figures to Washington, where they met with top U.S. officials.

In April 2002, a group of military officers launched a coup against Chavez, and leaders of several parties trained by IRI joined the junta. When news of the coup emerged, democracy-promotion groups in Venezuela were holding a meeting to discuss ways of working together to avoid political violence; IRI representatives didn’t attend, saying that they were drafting a statement on Chavez’s overthrow. On April 12, the institute’s Venezuela office released a statement praising the “bravery” of the junta and “commending the patriotism of the Venezuelan military.”

The Talk Box is for comments. Please include your username.

The two-faces of John McCain:

For Immediate Release
Thursday, Apr 18, 2002


Opening the refuge could only meet about 2 to 5 percent of the nation's oil needs, at best. Even some oil company executives have expressed doubts about drilling in ANWR, as stated by one: "Big oil companies go where there are substantial fields and where they can produce oil economically...does ANWR have that? Who knows?"

And, let me also say that the answer to threats posed by the regime of Saddam Hussein is not to drill in ANWR but to end his regime sooner rather than later. Drilling in ANWR will not remove the clear and present danger posed by Hussein and will not stop in any way whatsoever his weapons of mass destruction program or for that matter his "inspiring and financing a culture of political murder and suicide bombing,"as Defense Secretary Rumsfeld so aptly described his lawless and murderous behavior.

I also wish to comment briefly about the second degree amendment offered to the underlying ANWR amendment to divert a majority of revenues derived from oil and gas development to retirement and other benefits for the steel industry.

Mr. President, I'm not against our steel workers. They helped build our nation and are among the hardest working people in America. But to underwrite their retirement in a transparent effort to attract more votes is very bad policy. What do we say to all the other workers who are also suffering during economic hard times? Are we going to say, "sorry, but giving royalties to folks in your industry won't get us the votes we need to pass our bill"?

Mr. President, miners, teachers, construction laborers, and many other hard-working Americans have seen their jobs, benefits, and pensions endangered by the recent hard economic times. Yet, they would not benefit from this proposal. Nor would our veterans, who undoubtably could use more help paying for their medical bills. These last-minute tactics are not a credit to this deliberative body and only serve to increase the public's skepticism of government.

Mr. President, America will need oil for the foreseeable future. What gives this generation the right to deplete this vital resource when we have the opportunity to preserve it for the benefit of future generations? At the end of our day, we still have prudent alternatives to ANWR to meet our energy demands and we should aggressively pursue them. A more acute energy need than our own in the future may require development, where assurances of improved technology may better protect the environment. With other viable energy options available to us today, to approve ANWR drilling would be a dereliction of our duty to posterity.

Teddy Roosevelt, the champion of conservation, once said: "Conservation means development as much as it does protection. I recognize the right and duty of this generation to develop and use the natural resources of our land; but I do not recognize the right to waste them, or rob, by wasteful use, the generations that come after us."

Mr. President, I have thought long and hard about this debate and the vote that I will cast. I still hope we can achieve a more balanced national energy strategy, but I am not convinced that a key component of that policy should be to drill in ANWR. I will vote against the motions to invoke cloture on these amendments.

The Real McCain:

Straight Talk Distress (By Eric Alterman)

McCain is lying two-faced hypocrite (hampering lobby reform)

McCain’s PAC man draws fire

DNC: The Un-Sweet Sixteen: Breaking Down the Brackets (March Madness)

McCain on winning the war in Iraq (Nov. 2005)

McCain flip flops on ANWR

McCain speaks on port deal

McCain: I trust the president of the United States

DNC nails McCain on Bush and port deal

Straight Talk on South Dakota? (Does McCain see two faces when he looks in the mirror?)

Keep these facts on hand and keep media honest for a change. We can take this guy down.

Keep the list - this is our enemy.

Audio Recording of McCain's Political Endorser John Hagee Preaching Jews Are Cursed and Subhuman
By Bruce Wilson

Yesterday I discovered an astonishing audio recording of a sermon, by controversial McCain endorser Pastor John Hagee, in which Hagee elaborates on his view that Hitler and the Nazis were divine agents sent by God to (with gruesome inefficiency it would seem) chase Europe's Jews towards Palestine. In his 2006 book "Jerusalem Countdown", Hagee proposed that anti-Semitism, and thus the Holocaust, was the fault of Jews themselves - the result of an age old divine curse incurred by the ancient Hebrews through worshiping idols and passed, down the ages, to all Jews now alive. In the sermon Hagee also clarifies a point, on his theological views, that has long concerned me.

New Citizenship Project

New Citizenship Project (also New Citizenship Project, Inc.) is a non-profit organization funded by large right-wing foundations. Founded in 1994, NCP initiated the Project for the New American Century, one of the key behind-the-scenes architects of the Bush administration's foreign policy. According to his senate biography, John McCain served as a president of NCP, "an organization created to promote greater civic participation in our national life."<1>

NCP shares the same address and suite as PNAC. According to NCP's listing in The Right Guide, NCP and the Philanthropy Roundtable share the same phone number. The Philanthropy Roundtable's office is on the same floor of the same office building as PNAC and NCP.
more at link.

The wife U.S. Republican John McCain callously left behind

She was the woman McCain dreamed of during his long incarceration and torture in Vietnam’s infamous “Hanoi Hilton“ prison and the woman who faithfully stayed at home looking after the children and waiting anxiously for news.

But when McCain returned to America in 1973 to a fanfare of publicity and a handshake from Richard Nixon, he discovered his wife had been disfigured in a terrible car crash three years earlier. Her car had skidded on icy roads into a telegraph pole on Christmas Eve, 1969. Her pelvis and one arm were shattered by the impact and she suffered massive internal injuries.

When Carol was discharged from hospital after six months of life-saving surgery, the prognosis was bleak. In order to save her legs, surgeons had been forced to cut away huge sections of shattered bone, taking with it her tall, willowy figure. She was confined to a wheelchair and was forced to use a catheter.

“My marriage ended because John McCain didn’t want to be 40, he wanted to be 25. You know that just does. “
Some of McCain’s acquaintances are less forgiving, however. They portray the politician as a self-centred womanizer who effectively abandoned his crippled wife to “play the field“. They accuse him of finally settling on Cindy, a former rodeo beauty queen, for financial reasons.

McCain was then earning little more than 25,000 pounds a year as a naval officer, while his new father-in-law, Jim Hensley, was a multi-millionaire who had impeccable political connections.

Friends say privately he was “appalled“ by the change in her (Carol McCain’s) appearance. At first, though, he was kind, assuring her: “I don’t look so good myself. It’s fine. “

He bought her a bungalow near the sea in Florida and another former POW helped him to build a railing so she could pull herself over the dunes to the water.

“I thought, of course, we would live happily ever after, “ says Carol. But as a war hero, McCain was moving in ever-more elevated circles.

But already the McCains’ marriage had begun to fray. “John started carousing and running around with women, “ said Robert Timberg.

McCain has acknowledged that he had girlfriends during this time, without going into details. Some friends blame his dissatisfaction with Carol, but others give some credence to her theory of a mid-life crisis.

In 1979, while still married to Carol, he met Cindy at a cocktail party in Hawaii. Over the next six months he pursued her, flying around the country to see her. Then he began to push to end his marriage.

Carol and her children were devastated. “It was a complete surprise, “ says Nancy Reynolds, a former Reagan aide.
“They never displayed any difficulties between themselves. I know the Reagans were quite shocked because they loved and respected both Carol and John. “

Another friend added: “Carol didn’t fight him. She felt her infirmity made her an impediment to him. She justified his actions because of all he had gone through. She used to say, “He just wants to make up for lost time. “

Ted Sampley, who fought with US Special Forces in Vietnam and is now a leading campaigner for veterans’ rights, said: “I have been following John McCain’s career for nearly 20 years. I know him personally. There is something wrong with this guy and let me tell you what it is, deceit.

“When he came home and saw that Carol was not the beauty he left behind, he started running around on her almost right away. Everybody around him knew it.

“Eventually he met Cindy and she was young and beautiful and very wealthy. At that point McCain just dumped Carol for something he thought was better.

“This is a guy who makes such a big deal about his character. He has no character. He is a fake. If there was any character in that first marriage, it all belonged to Carol.“

McCain's top ten blow-ups

1. John McCain voted against establishing a national holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Now he says his position has "evolved," yet he's continued to oppose key civil rights laws.1

2. According to Bloomberg News, McCain is more hawkish than Bush on Iraq, Russia and China. Conservative columnist Pat Buchanan says McCain "will make Cheney look like Gandhi."2

3. His reputation is built on his opposition to torture, but McCain voted against a bill to ban waterboarding, and then applauded President Bush for vetoing that ban.3

4. McCain opposes a woman's right to choose. He said, "I do not support Roe versus Wade. It should be overturned."4

5. The Children's Defense Fund rated McCain as the worst senator in Congress for children. He voted against the children's health care bill last year, then defended Bush's veto of the bill.5

6. He's one of the richest people in a Senate filled with millionaires. The Associated Press reports he and his wife own at least eight homes! Yet McCain says the solution to the housing crisis is for people facing foreclosure to get a "second job" and skip their vacations.6

7. Many of McCain's fellow Republican senators say he's too reckless to be commander in chief. One Republican senator said: "The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He's erratic. He's hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me."7

8. McCain talks a lot about taking on special interests, but his campaign manager and top advisers are actually lobbyists. The government watchdog group Public Citizen says McCain has 59 lobbyists raising money for his campaign, more than any of the other presidential candidates.8

9. McCain has sought closer ties to the extreme religious right in recent years. The pastor McCain calls his "spiritual guide," Rod Parsley, believes America's founding mission is to destroy Islam, which he calls a "false religion." McCain sought the political support of right-wing preacher John Hagee, who believes Hurricane Katrina was God's punishment for gay rights and called the Catholic Church "the Antichrist" and a "false cult."9

10. He positions himself as pro-environment, but he scored a 0—yes, zero—from the League of Conservation Voters last year.10


McCain's Flourishing Flop-Flop List

image courtesy of bartcop

* McCain supported the drilling moratorium; now he’s against it. ...

* McCain strongly opposes a windfall-tax on oil company profits. Three weeks earlier, he was perfectly comfortable with the idea. ...

* McCain thought Bush’s warrantless-wiretap program circumvented the law; now he believes the opposite. ...

* McCain defended “privatizing” Social Security. Now he says he’s against privatization (though he actually still supports it.) ...

* McCain wanted to change the Republican Party platform to protect abortion rights in cases of rape and incest. Now he doesn’t. ...

* McCain thought the estate tax was perfectly fair. Now he believes the opposite. ...

* He opposed indefinite detention of terrorist suspects. When the Supreme Court reached the same conclusion,he called it “one of the worst decisions in the history of this country.” ...

* McCain said he would “not impose a litmus test on any nominee.” He used to promise the opposite. ...

* McCain believes the telecoms should be forced to explain their role in the administration’s warrantless surveillance program as a condition for retroactive immunity. He used to believe the opposite. ...

* McCain supported storing spent nuclear fuel at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. Now he believes the opposite. ... /

* McCain supported moving “towards normalization of relations” with Cuba. Now he believes the opposite. ...

* McCain believed the U.S. should engage in diplomacy with Hamas. Now he believes the opposite. ...

* McCain believed the U.S. should engage in diplomacy with Syria. Now he believes the opposite. ...

* He argued the NRA should not have a role in the Republican Party’s policy making. Now he believes the opposite. ...

* McCain supported his own lobbying-reform legislation from 1997. Now he doesn’t. ...

* He wanted political support from radical televangelists like John Hagee and Rod Parsley. Now he doesn’t. ...

* McCain supported the Lieberman/Warner legislation to combat global warming. Now he doesn’t. ...

*McCain pledged in February 2008 that he would not, under any circumstances, raise taxes. Specifically, McCain was asked if he is a“‘read my lips’ candidate, no new taxes, no matter what?” referring to George H.W. Bush’s 1988 pledge. “No new taxes,” McCain responded.Two weeks later, McCain said, “I’m not making a ‘read my lips’ statement, in that I will not raise taxes.” ...

* McCain is both for and against a “rogue state rollback” as a focus of his foreign policy vision. -...

* McCain says he considered and did not consider joining John Kerry’s Democratic ticket in 2004. ...

*In 1998, he championed raising cigarette taxes to fund programs to cut underage smoking, insisting that it would prevent illnesses and provide resources for public health programs. Now, McCain opposes a $0.61-per-pack tax increase, won’t commit to supporting a regulation bill he’s co-sponsoring, and has hired Philip Morris’ former lobbyist as his senior campaign adviser. ...

* McCain has changed his economic worldview on multiple occasions. ...

* McCain has changed his mind about a long-term U.S. military presence in Iraq on multiple occasions. ...

* McCain is both for and against attacking Barack Obama over his former pastor at his former church. ...

* McCain believes Americans are both better and worse off than they were before Bush took office. ... /

* McCain is both for and against earmarks for Arizona. /

* McCain believes his endorsement from radical televangelist John Hagee was both a good and bad idea. /

*McCain’s first mortgage plan was premised on the notion that homeowners facing foreclosure shouldn’t be “rewarded” for acting“irresponsibly.”His second mortgage plan took largely the opposite position. ...

* McCain vowed, if elected, to balance the federal budget by the end of his first term. Soon after, he decided he would no longer even try to reach that goal. ....

* In February 2008, McCain reversed course on prohibiting waterboarding. ...

* McCain used to champion the Law of the Sea convention, even volunteering to testify on the treaty’s behalf before a Senate committee. Now he opposes it. -... /

* McCain was a co-sponsor of the DREAM Act, which would grant legal status to illegal immigrants’ kids who graduate from high school. Now he’s against it. -... /

* On immigration policy in general, McCain announced in February 2008 that he would vote against his own legislation. ...

*In 2006, McCain sponsored legislation to require grassroots lobbying coalitions to reveal their financial donors. In 2007, after receiving“feedback” on the proposal, McCain told far-right activist groups that he opposes his own measure.

* McCain said before the war in Iraq, “We will win this conflict. We will win it easily.” Four years later, McCain said he knew all along that the war in Iraq war was “probably going to be long and hard and tough.” ...

*McCain said he was the “greatest critic” of Rumsfeld’s failed Iraq policy. In December 2003, McCain praised the same strategy as“a mission accomplished.” In March 2004, he said, “I’m confident we’re on the right course.”In December 2005, he said, “Overall, I think a year from now, we will have made a fair amount of progress if we stay the course.” ... /

* McCain went from saying he would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade to saying the exact opposite. /

* McCain went from saying gay marriage should be allowed, to saying gay marriage shouldn’t be allowed. ...

* McCain criticized TV preacher Jerry Falwell as “an agent of intolerance” in 2002, but then decided to cozy up to the man who said Americans “deserved” the 9/11 attacks.

* McCain used to oppose Bush’s tax cuts for the very wealthy, but he reversed course in February.

* On a related note, he said 2005 that he opposed the tax cuts because they were “too tilted to the wealthy.” By 2007, he denied ever having said this, and insisted he opposed the cuts because of increased government spending. ....

*In 2000, McCain accused Texas businessmen Sam and Charles Wyly of being corrupt, spending “dirty money” to help finance Bush’s presidential campaign. McCain not only filed a complaint against the Wylys for allegedly violating campaign finance law, he also lashed out at them publicly. In April, McCain reached out to the Wylys for support.

* McCain supported a major campaign-finance reform measure that bore his name. In June 2007, he abandoned his own legislation. ... /

* McCain opposed a holiday to honor Martin Luther King, Jr., before he supported it. ...

* McCain was against presidential candidates campaigning at Bob Jones University before he was for it.

* McCain was anti-ethanol. Now he’s pro-ethanol. /

* McCain was both for and against state promotion of the Confederate flag.

* McCain decided in2000 that he didn’t want anything to do with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, believing he “would taint the image of the‘Straight Talk Express.’” Kissinger is now the Honorary Co-Chair for his presidential campaign in New York. /

* McCain used to think that Grover Norquist was a crook and acorrupt shill for dictators. Then McCain got serious about running for president and began to reconcile with Norquist. /

* McCain took a firm line in opposition to torture, and then caved to White House demands. ...

* McCain gave up on his signature policy issue, campaign-finance reform, and won’t back the same provision he sponsored just a couple of years ago.

* And now he’s both for and against overturning Roe v. Wade. /

* McCain voted against the Everglades Restoration bill but now "claimshe only did it because of all the water projectsattached to it and really supports restoring the Everglades. His National Finance Co-Chair, Wayne Berman, and Florida Finance Chair, Brian Ballard, are lobbyists for the two big sugar companies here in Florida that actively oppose Everglades restoration. One of his bundlers in Florida, developer Al Hoffman, has fought the restoration of the Everglades.

Now is the time to begin characterizing McCain — accurately — as a man with no principle beliefs. Dems should not only criticize McCain’s constantly evolving opinions on nearly everything, they should openly mock him for it now, so that the storyline becomes second nature (like the GOP did with “serial exaggerator” Al Gore). First, McCain sells himself as a politician who never sways with the wind,and whose willingness to be consistent in the face of pressure is proof of his character. Second, Republicans have spent the last four years o rso making policy reversals the single most serious political crime in presidential politics. The dreaded “flip-flop” is, according to the GOP, the latest cardinal sin for someone seeking national office. And if we’re playing by Republican rules, McCain’s “evolutions” should be a fairly serious problem.

McCain gaffes and errors Interview about being a POW from US News and World Report

Roughs up Nicaraguan official

One of John McCain's Republican colleagues says he saw the presumed GOP presidential nominee roughly grab an associate of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and lift him out of his chair during a diplomatic mission to the Central American nation in 1987.

Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., said he saw McCain, who has a reputation for being hot tempered, rough up an Ortega associate during a trip to Nicaragua led by former Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kan.

"McCain was down at the end of the table and we were talking to the head of the guerrilla group here at this end of the table and I don't know what attracted my attention," Cochran said in an interview with the Sun Herald in Biloxi, Miss. "But I saw some kind of quick movement at the bottom of the table and I looked down there and John had reached over and grabbed this guy by the shirt collar and had snatched him up like he was throwing him up out of the chair to tell him what he thought about him or whatever ...

"I don't know what he was telling him but I thought, 'Good grief, everybody around here has got guns and we were there on a diplomatic mission.' I don't know what had happened to provoke John, but he obviously got mad at the guy ... and he just reached over there and snatched ... him."

McCain would eliminate Amtrak if he could--

For years, McCain, in the comfort of cheap gasoline for autos and airplanes, made Amtrak a personal whipping boy. Despite the fact that Western Europe and Asia zoomed far ahead of the United States by supporting high-speed trains to relieve congestion, promote tourism and now as we are coming to know, save the planet, McCain has spent considerable capital in denying the passenger rail system the capital to modernize.

In 2000, when he was chairman of the Senate Science, Commerce and Transportation committee, McCain killed $10 billion in capital funding for Amtrak. He denounced Amtrak as a symbol of government waste, claiming, "There's only two parts of the country that can support a viable rail system -- the Northeast and the far West."

He made these claims though Amtrak investment had the support of several notable Republicans. Sen. Trent Lott of Mississippi warned that Amtrak "is guaranteed and doomed to failure if we don't give it an opportunity to succeed. If you don't have modern equipment, if you don't have the new fast trains, if you don't have a rapid rail system, it will not work."

Tommy Thompson, the secretary of Health and Human Services during President Bush's first term, was Amtrak chairman when McCain blocked the funding. Thompson said, "The traveling public are sending a distress call to escape our nation's endless traffic jams and airport gridlock."

Although Thompson claimed "remarkable progress in turning Amtrak around," despite a past where "it was not run like a business," McCain ignored the distress call. In 2001, then-Amtrak president George Warrington said the funding of rail in America was so bad, it was comparable to similar funding in Estonia and Tunisia.

McCain said, "Amtrak needs to make more progress before any further funding schemes are enacted," while at the same time calling any money for progress a "multibillion-dollar blank check." In 2002, McCain declared that "Amtrak should be re

how mccain weaseled out of the Keating Five Scandal:
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