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post #31 of 43 (permalink) Old 02-21-2008, 03:20 PM
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I just read in the NYT that McCain paid for those botox injections
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post #32 of 43 (permalink) Old 02-21-2008, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Zeitgeist View Post
I just read in the NYT that McCain paid for those botox injections
What you didn't read was whether he gave her the hot beef injection.


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post #33 of 43 (permalink) Old 02-21-2008, 04:40 PM
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You're crazy, she looks like she is melting from some radiation or something ewwww
Jayhawk, you fail at identifying milfs worth looking at
And you are some kind of expert on milfs who stuff $1 bills down your g-string??? Well that should allow everyone to assess your credibility on this critical issue!

Don't believe everything you think
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post #34 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 11:12 AM
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The NYT's at it again...

March 12, 2008
McCain Advisers Lobbied for Europeans to Win Air Force Tanker Deal
By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN

WASHINGTON — A co-chairman of Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign and other top campaign advisers and supporters were lobbyists for the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company, part of a group that beat out Boeing for a $35 billion contract to build aerial refueling tankers for the Air Force.

Boeing, which has filed an appeal with the Government Accountability Office, is expected to focus at least in part on Mr. McCain’s role in the deal, including letters that he sent urging the Defense Department, in evaluating the tanker bids, not to consider the potential effects of a separate United States-Airbus trade dispute.

That contract was won by the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company, known as EADS, the corporate parent of Airbus, and Northrop Grumman, the military contractor based in Los Angeles.

Mr. McCain has long expressed pride at having a central part in scuttling an earlier Air Force plan to lease the tankers from Boeing. That deal collapsed in 2004 in a major corruption scandal that sent two Boeing executives to prison.

But given Mr. McCain’s relentless efforts to portray himself as an opponent of influence peddling in Washington, his close ties to lobbyists are certain to be a continuing issue through the presidential campaign. Democrats have begun to try to turn the tanker contract against him, suggesting Mr. McCain unfairly swayed the decision and caused American jobs to be lost overseas.

Responding to questions on the campaign trail, Mr. McCain has said that he wrote letters urging the Air Force to conduct fair and competitive bidding for the tanker contract but that his role ended after the Air Force requested formal plans from bidders.

“I had nothing to do with the contract except to insist in writing on several occasions as this process went forward that it be fair and open and transparent,” he said at Tuesday at a public forum in St. Louis.

Although Mr. McCain says he moved to the sidelines, some of his top supporters were heavily involved in lobbying for EADS. The tanker deal could grow to $100 billion, making it one of the biggest Pentagon purchases ever, and the jousting for it involved extremely intensive and expensive industry lobbying on both sides.

Mr. McCain’s campaign co-chairman, former Representative Thomas Loeffler, a Texas Republican, also runs a lobbying firm, the Loeffler Group, which earned $220,000 working for EADS in 2007. Mr. Loeffler was the McCain campaign national finance chairman when his firm was hired to lobby for EADS.

Two other Loeffler executives who were registered to lobby for EADS are now top campaign advisers for Mr. McCain: Susan Nelson, the finance director, and William L. Ball III, the former Navy secretary. Ms. Nelson and Mr. Ball left the lobbying firm to join the campaign.

Another major money raiser for Mr. McCain, Wayne Berman, who was named vice chairman of the campaign last year, also worked for EADS through another lobbying firm, Ogilvy Government Relations, where he is a partner. Ogilvy earned $240,000 from EADS in 2007.

Also supporting Mr. McCain and lobbying on behalf of EADS was Kirk Blalock, a national chairman of Young Professionals for McCain and a former aide to President Bush. Mr. Blalock’s lobbying firm, Fierce, Isakowitz & Blalock, earned $320,000 from EADS in 2007, according to disclosure forms required by Congress.

Some of the ties between Mr. McCain’s aides and lobbying for EADS were first reported on Tuesday by The Associated Press.

Campaign officials and a spokesman for EADS said any ties between the campaign and its lobbyists were coincidental.

Mr. Blalock said that his firm was hired by EADS before he was involved in the McCain campaign and that his decision to support Mr. McCain stemmed from his longtime work in the Republican Party.

A spokeswoman for the campaign, Jill Hazelbaker, expressed disbelief that anyone would question Mr. McCain’s role, given the clear evidence that he had helped root out corruption.

A spokesman for Boeing, William A. Barksdale, said it focused on proving why its tanker was the right plane for the job.

“We’re going to stay out of the politics,” he said. “We’re going to focus on the protest and why we feel the process was not fair in our minds.”

But Boeing supporters on Capitol Hill are not likely to lose focus on the politics. The tanker decision has set off a furor in Congress. Some lawmakers insist that a foreign company should not handle a critical military program. Some Democrats, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have questioned Mr. McCain’s involvement.

On Tuesday, Senator Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana, gave a speech on the Senate floor urging an investigation into the subsidies that Airbus has received from European governments. The subsidies are the subject of a complaint that the United States filed with the World Trade Organization in 2004.

That complaint said European governments provided illegal subsidies to design and develop aircraft, including preferential loans, debt relief and loans and research and development grants.

The Europeans countersued, saying the United States had granted indirect subsidies to Boeing, including tax breaks. Experts at the W.T.O. are examining the two cases jointly. Rulings on both are expected this year.

In its appeal, Boeing was expected to include copies of two letters sent by Mr. McCain to Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England in September 2006 urging that the Air Force not proceed with a plan to consider the trade dispute in evaluating tanker bids.

“I am concerned that if the Air Force proceeds down its chosen path regarding the W.T.O. issue, the Air Force will risk eliminating competition before bids are submitted,” Mr. McCain wrote. “I respectfully suggest that Air Force remove any W.T.O. element from its procurement evaluation.”

The Pentagon released a letter on Tuesday to Mr. McCain from Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates dated Jan. 26, 2007, in which Mr. Gates assures the senator that his concerns had been taken into account.

“Thanks for bringing your concern to my attention,” Mr. Gates wrote. “I agree that the competition for this important program must be conducted in a full, open and transparent manner.”

Mr. McCain, at his campaign stop on Tuesday in St. Louis, again took credit for breaking up the previous tanker deal, a $20 billion sole-source arrangement for Boeing to lease tankers to the Air Force.

“Several years ago, there was a contract that was going to be entered into with Boeing which, because of my knowledge and background and experience, was going to cost the taxpayers — not according to me, but according to the Government Accountability Office — an additional $6.2 billion,” Mr. McCain said. “I fought against that contract because I thought it was wrong. It ended up, two Boeing executives ended up in federal prison. It was a scandal of great proportions.”

Mr. McCain added that he would be glad to see a review of the decision to award the new contract to EADS and Northrop Grumman.

Democrats were not waiting for the outcome of Boeing’s appeal to criticize Mr. McCain. In an e-mail message on Tuesday evening, the Democratic National Committee wrote: “John McCain’s campaign is defending their candidate, claiming he was ‘a neutral watchdog’ in the Air Force tanker contract deal. Truth is, McCain played a far greater role than that, going to great lengths to tilt the deal toward EADS.”

Michael Cooper and Steven R. Weisman contributed reporting. Kitty Bennett contributed research.
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post #35 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-12-2008, 12:15 PM Thread Starter
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I think McCain could really skate on this one, be the good guy for showing the bidding corruption from the original Boeing/AF issue IF it were not for half his campaign staff being lobbyists for the opposing bidders. That certainly puts a different spin on it.

His spokesperson [with whom surprise has been a problem before - see post #19] says: "A spokeswoman for the campaign, Jill Hazelbaker, expressed disbelief that anyone would question Mr. McCain’s role, given the clear evidence that he had helped root out corruption."

That might be rephrased to read "root out corruption on the competition".

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post #36 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-24-2008, 04:09 PM
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2 divergent McCain moments, rarely mentioned
By Elisabeth Bumiller
Monday, March 24, 2008

WASHINGTON: Senator John McCain never fails to call himself a conservative Republican as he campaigns as his party's presumptive presidential nominee. He often adds that he was a "foot soldier" in the Reagan revolution and that he believes in the bedrock conservative principles of small government, low taxes and the rights of the unborn.

What McCain almost never mentions are two extraordinary moments in his political past that are at odds with the candidate of the present: His discussions in 2001 with Democrats about leaving the Republican Party, and his conversations in 2004 with Senator John Kerry about becoming Kerry's running mate on the Democratic presidential ticket.

There are wildly divergent versions of both episodes, depending on whether Democrats or McCain and his advisers are telling the story. The Democrats, including Kerry, say that not only did McCain express interest but that it was his camp that initially reached out to them. McCain and his aides counter that in both cases the Democrats were the suitors and McCain the unwilling bride.

Either way, the episodes shed light on a bitter period in McCain's life after the 2000 presidential election, when he was, at least in policy terms, drifting away from his own party. They also offer a glimpse into his psychological makeup and the difficulties in putting a label on his political ideology over many years in the Senate.

"There were times when he rose to the occasion and showed himself to be a real pragmatist," said Tom Daschle, the former Senate Democratic leader who was one of those who met with McCain in 2001 about switching parties and who is now supporting Senator Barack Obama. "There were other times when he was motivated by political goals and agendas that led him to be much more of a political ideologue."

Such swings are common in politics, but for McCain, Daschle said, "those swings have been far more pronounced and far more frequent."

In the spring of 2001, McCain was by most accounts still angry about the smear campaign that had been run against him when he was campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination in the South Carolina primary the previous year. He had long blamed the Bush campaign for spreading rumors in the state that he had fathered a black child out of wedlock, which Bush aides denied. McCain was also upset that the new White House had shut the door on hiring so many of his aides.

"Very few, if any, of John's people made it into the administration," Daschle later wrote in his book "Like No Other Time." "John didn't think that was right, that his staff should be penalized like that."

McCain had begun to ally himself with the Democrats on a number of issues, and had told Daschle that he planned to vote against the Bush tax cuts, a centerpiece of the new president's domestic agenda. McCain often made "disparaging comments" about Bush on the floor of the Senate, Daschle recalled.

Still, Democrats were stunned one Saturday in late March when, by their account, John Weaver, McCain's longtime political strategist, reached out to Thomas Downey, a former Democratic congressman from Long Island who had become a lobbyist with powerful connections on Capitol Hill. In Downey's telling, Weaver posed a question to him over lunch that left him stunned.

"He says, 'John McCain is wondering why nobody's ever approached him about switching parties, or becoming an independent and allying himself with the Democrats,' " Downey said in a recent interview. "My reaction was, 'When I leave this lunch, your boss will be called by anybody you want him to be called by in the United States Senate.' "

Weaver recalls the conversation differently. He said that Downey had told him that Democrats, eager to find a Republican who would switch sides and give them control of the evenly divided Senate, had approached some Republican senators about making the jump. "I stated they couldn't be so desperate as they hadn't reached out to McCain," Weaver said in an e-mail message last week.

Whatever transpired, Downey raced home and immediately called Daschle. It was the first step in what became weeks of conversations that April between McCain and the leading Democrats, among them Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts and John Edwards, then a senator from North Carolina, about the possibility of McCain's leaving his party. One factor driving McCain, Downey said, was his bad relations with the Republican caucus.

"They had booed him once when he came in," Downey said. "It was bad stuff in the caucus. He didn't see his future with these guys."

Mark Salter, one of McCain's closest advisers, said that McCain, although flattered, never took the idea of leaving the party seriously. The topic was in any case overtaken in May when Senator James Jeffords of Vermont abandoned the Republicans and changed the balance of power. By June, when Daschle spent a long-planned weekend with McCain at McCain's Arizona ranch, the question of changing parties was moot.

But less than three years later, McCain was once again in talks with the Democrats, this time over whether he would be Kerry's running mate. In an interview with a blog last year, Kerry said that the initial idea had come from McCain's side, as had happened in 2001.

Kerry, reacting to reports in The Hill newspaper last year about Weaver's 2001 approach to Downey, said he saw a pattern. "It doesn't surprise me completely because his people similarly approached me to engage in a discussion about his potentially being on the ticket as vice president," Kerry told Jonathan Singer of MyDD.com, a prominent liberal blog, in remarks that are available in an audio version online and that Kerry's staff said last week were accurate. "So his people were active — let's put it that way."

Two former Kerry strategists said last week that Weaver went to Kerry's house in Georgetown a short time after Kerry won the Democratic nomination in March and asked that Kerry consider McCain as his running mate. ( Weaver said in his e-mail message that the idea had come from Kerry.) Whatever the case, both sides say that Kerry was so enthusiastic about the notion that he relentlessly pursued McCain, even to the point of offering him a large part of the president's national security responsibilities.

McCain, who has rarely spoken publicly of his talks with Kerry, said last month that he had dismissed the vice-presidential offer out of hand. "He is, as he describes himself, a liberal Democrat," McCain said of Kerry when he was asked about the episode by a participant at a public forum in Atlanta. "I am a conservative Republican. So when I was approached, when we had that conversation back in 2004, that's why I never even considered such a thing."

Kerry declined last week to discuss his conversations with McCain, but three former Kerry strategists said that McCain had not immediately dismissed the notion of sharing the Democratic ticket. "McCain did not flat-out say no, regardless of what he's saying now," said one strategist who asked not to be named. "He was interested in this discussion."

But however McCain reacted, he ultimately decided, Salter said, that the idea would never work. At one point McCain told Kerry, Salter recalled, "What if something happens to you? Your party's going to be pretty surprised about the kind of president they're going to have."

Still, that did not stop a number of Kerry strategists from thinking that McCain might have helped propel the Democrats to the White House in 2004. "It was a way to extend the reach of the candidacy," said Mike Donilon, who was one of Kerry's media advisers and had been a college roommate of Salter's. "I thought it could have been a very strong ticket."
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post #37 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-24-2008, 04:21 PM
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If (McCain, Obama, Clinton) is the best that the parties have to offer, God help us all.

The biggest problems we are facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all and thats what I intend to reverse.

~ Senator Barack H. Obama
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post #38 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-24-2008, 04:23 PM
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Considering how high GW raised the bar, you knew there had to be a letdown...

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
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post #39 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-24-2008, 05:27 PM
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If (McCain, Obama, Clinton) is the best that the parties have to offer, God help us all.

Don't believe everything you think
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post #40 of 43 (permalink) Old 03-24-2008, 05:28 PM
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Considering how high GW raised the bar, you knew there had to be a letdown...

Don't believe everything you think
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