Category Archives: Patriot Act

In What Campaign Are Not Apples and Oranges Both Fruits?

Obamapoints
Obama Fingers The American People
THE VOTING HABITS OF THE AMERICAN PUBLIC are hardly static, but stunningly dynamic. They must be won like territory in a hot war, but through persuasion—through explanation, argument, rhetoric, reason, the parsing of life itself sometimes. One must fight for ground; one must be bold; one must penetrate into hostile territory, awe the opposition, and seize what he holds dear. The one thing one should not and can not do effectively is to fight from a holding position. That is, and has been the anemic strategy of the GOP leadership for decades.

As Sun Tzu put it, "If the enemy leaves a door open, you must rush in."

The constitutional side is far too busy trying to find ways to surrender. But it can not be that way; the once significant GOP of Ohio stalwart Robert Taft is philosophically distinct from the Obama/Alinsky nouveau socialists. We must give the America public a clear distinction between failed policies and wishful policies! Constitutional patriots and global Marxists and their sordid friends. And most of all, don't be ashamed of who you are, because ultimately, that steadfastness, that personal command of the tough but honest truth, is what will meaningfully rally people to your side. Are not apples and oranges both fruits? Fruits hanging from a family of trees, fruits falling like perfect guests of planet earth when ready for the harvest?

NEED A FIGHTING CONTRAST between Romney and Obama? The next time someone says that battle ready Mitt Romney is the same as Barack H. Obama...

* Ask them to produce a list of mad terrorists foreign and domestic that squeaky clean Mitt Romney has befriended (and no, Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld don't count, for rather obvious reasons).

If they can produce answers to all of those—we’ll procede to round 2. Having gotten that out of our system, we continue to shout, “We’re Impressed! Gingrich/West 2012!”
* Ask them to name an occasion where Mr. Romney has bowed to anyone in a foreign land as a Representative of the United States of America.

* Ask them to produce evidence that Mr. Barack H. Obama's business experience even after four years in the White House is comparable to Romney's.

* Ask them to produce proof that President Obama's charitable contributions are as significant as Governor Romney's.

* Ask them to name a radical anti-American Church or other religious establishment that Romney has attended for over 2 decades.

* Ask them to produce proof that Mitt Romney has illegally used cocaine and marijuana.

* Ask them to name an occasion that Mitt Romney criticized the proper actions of a police officer from high office.

* Ask them to name any associates of Mitt Romney that have been active practicing subversive members of the Communist Party.

* Ask them to produce the identities of any illegal alien Romney family member that he is protecting from deportation.

If they can produce answers to all of those—we'll procede to round 2.

Meanwhile, all earnest political junkies worth their stars and bars should grab up a Tasty Granny or a Juicy Navel and head over to American Thinker for some of the best American political writing and short commentary on the Internet.

Having gotten that out of our system, we continue to shout, "We're Impressed! Gingrich/West 2012!"

It is better to travel well than to arrive.
-Buddha

Congress Pushes Bill To Create Internet Kill Switch

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Joe Lieberman

ORWELL LIVES! EVEN AS EGYPT'S GOVERNMENT attempts to crackdown on street protests by shutting down internet and mobile phone services, the US is preparing to reintroduce a bill that could be used to shut down the Internet, a kill switch. The legislation, which would grant presidential powers to seize control of and even shut down the internet, would soon be reintroduced to a Senate committee, Wired.com reported. It was initially introduced last year but expired with a new Congress. The proposed legislation, introduced into the US Senate by independent senator Joe Lieberman, who is chairman of the US Homeland Security committee, seeks to grant the President broad emergency powers over the internet in times of national emergency.

Last year, Lieberman argued the bill was necessary to "preserve those networks and assets and our country and protect our people". He said that, for all its allure, the internet could also be a "dangerous place with electronic pipelines that run directly into everything from our personal bank accounts to key infrastructure to government and industrial secrets". US economic security, national security and public safety were now all at risk from new kinds of enemies, including "cyber warriors, cyber spies, cyber terrorists and cyber criminals". Although the bill was targetted at protecting the US, many have said it would also affect other nations.

According to Renesys, a US Internet monitoring company, Egypt's four main internet service providers cut off international access to their customers in a near simultaneous move at 2234 GMT on Thursday. Around 23 million Egyptians have either regular or occasional access to the internet, according to official figures, more than a quarter of the population.

One of Australia's top communications experts, University of Sydney associate professor Bjorn Landfeldt, had previously railed against the idea, saying shutting down the internet would "inflict an enormous damage on the entire world". He said it would be like giving a single country "the right to poison the atmosphere, or poison the ocean".

The scale of Egypt's crackdown on the internet and mobile phones amid deadly protests against the rule of President Hosni Mubarak is unprecedented in the history of the web, experts have said. US President Barack Obama, social networking sites and rights groups around the world all condemned the moves by Egyptian authorities to stop activists using mobile phones and cyber technology to organise rallies. "It's a first in the history of the internet," Rik Ferguson, an expert for Trend Micro, the world's third biggest computer security firm, said.

Julien Coulon, co-founder of Cedexis, a French internet performance monitoring and traffic management system, added: "In 24 hours we have lost 97 per cent of Egyptian internet traffic". Despite this, many Egyptians are finding ways to get access, some using international telephone numbers to gain access to dial-up internet. According to Renesys, a US Internet monitoring company, Egypt's four main internet service providers cut off international access to their customers in a near simultaneous move at 2234 GMT on Thursday. Around 23 million Egyptians have either regular or occasional access to the internet, according to official figures, more than a quarter of the population.

"In an action unprecedented in internet history, the Egyptian government appears to have ordered service providers to shut down all international connections to the internet," James Cowie of Renesys said in a blog post.

Read it all.

US Presidency As Accumulative Error

David Swanson, author of Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union has written a chilling piece of commentary on the state of the American presidency. In many ways it is the story of the US Presidency as accumulative error.

Below is an excerpt:

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US Presidency As Accumulative Error...

SECOND, I LOOKED AT THE POWER OF WAR. Our Constitution wisely placed it in Congress. It is now in the White House and growing ever stronger. President Obama has demanded and received a larger military budget than Bush ever had, plus a larger war budget on top of that, not to mention the secret budget for some of the spy agencies that engage in war. President Obama continues to insist on funding the wars off the books with so-called emergency supplementals. He's put bases into more nations. He's put more troops in the field. He's expanded the use of mercenaries and contractors. He's dramatically expanded the illegal use of drones to bomb Pakistan and other nations, resulting—among other forms of blowback—a man trying to set off a bomb in Times Square, a man whose father's job used to be guarding nuclear weapons. Obama's Pentagon is pushing hard to use drones in U.S. skies as well. Meanwhile, Obama has—in another badder than Bush innovation—formally authorized secret military action in dozens of nations. He's formally done away with habeas corpus and established the power to imprison people at Bagram and other sites completely outside any legal process. He's kept our death camp at Guantanamo open. President Obama has continued to assert the power to torture, and torture has continued. He's also continued to assert the power to kidnap or "rendition" people and send them to nations that torture. But, most disturbingly, Obama has largely replaced torture with murder. People we would have sought to capture two years ago, we now seek to murder instead. And Obama has claimed the power to assassinate anyone, including American citizens. And, needless to say, the warrantless spying programs and other violations of civil liberties roll on unquestioned, and Miranda rights may be at risk now too. And one reason to think things may be even worse than we know is that Obama has prosecuted more whistleblowers than any of his predecessors.

Read it all at Corrente: Obama Was Created By Our Failure to Impeach Bush

The Jihad Decade Cometh, Wait Wait

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Tawdry Enemies Of Israel
As news cycles come and go talking of the same old same old, it seems as if the gloves are still off as we barrel toward Campaign 2010 in full repetitive inconsequential fluff. From the always rock solid American Thinker:

AS WE LOOK BACK on the past ten years, it is clear that we are now entering a post-American decade. How did it all go so wrong so quickly?

The year 2000 kicked off with the Democrat ruse of a "stolen election"—this from the racketeering party wogs of ACORN—but thankfully, it was not stolen, after all. George W. Bush took the reins, but soon thereafter came the culmination of all the Islamic attacks on the U.S. during the Clinton years. Islam's fatwa on the West during the Clinton administration came home to New York and Washington on September 11th.

And while the Bush Doctrine (you are either with us or against us) was the right approach, the well dressed jihadists that Islamists like Grover Norquist ushered into the White House after 9/11 managed to sabotage the best strategy to fight Islamic jihad. The cowboy swagger set against the whole fantasy about the hijacking of Islam and the "religion of peace" nonsense was irreconcilable. It confused people. And it led to the marginalization and even dismissals of brave men and women who evaluated and exposed the jihadist ideology in our government agencies.

Who can forget the case of counter-jihad expert Steve Coughlin, the Pentagon's most knowledgeable specialist on Islamic Law and jihad terrorism? The Pentagon ended the career of its most effective analyst at the behest of a Muslim aide, Hesham Islam, within the office of Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England. Islam scholar Andrew Bostom observed that Couglin's firing was symptomatic "of the intellectual and moral rot plaguing our efforts to combat global jihadism."

In February 2009, former Bush administration official Douglas Feith told me that that kind of rot is systemic. He recalled that an Office of Strategic Influence was created within his Pentagon office to fight the ideological war—but then "somebody leaked—well, leaked, no. No, somebody lied to the New York Times and gave a report saying that this Office of Strategic Influence was intending to lie to foreign journalists. And the New York Times ran a front-page story saying that. It caused a big imbroglio that resulted in the shutting down of this office.

I pray that America examines the Left decade and takes stock. It was the appeasement of the Left that destroyed the foundations of this country. We must rebuild them. The advancement of Islam would never have been possible—could never have happened—without our surrender to the Left. The real war is against the Leftist/Islamic alliance.
I don't think the U.S. government has recovered to this day from that fiasco, because every time anyone suggested creating an office to really deal with jihadist ideology in a systematic or strategic way at the Pentagon, people would say, oh, no, we are not going to have another Office of Strategic Influence problem."

And so the drip, drip, drip of jihad continued through the last decade. We became more paralyzed, impotent, and deceived. Meanwhile, the Leftist/Islamic alliance, a deadly marriage between the Democratic Party and their propaganda handmaidens in the mainstream media, engaged in daily beatings of Bush and his administration.

Removing Saddam Hussein was good. There is no way around that powerful truth. But why stop there? Removing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as well would have been even better. But Bush lost his mojo in 2006. The relentless pounding by the Left, Israel's halfhearted performance in the war with Hezb'allah in the summer of 2006, and the loss of the House and the Senate in November 2006 all contributed to the rout.

But what really led to the downfall of Bush's leadership was the falsity of his premise. He wanted to believe, like Condi and Powell and the soft diplomacy crowd, that Islam would negotiate with the West. Islam cannot negotiate. Yet still the West continues its pursuit of the impossible, despite great risk. This is a function of the Western mind. These people think it inconceivable that talk can't solve anything and everything, that war is an indelible part of the human condition. But it is. War is as much in the makeup of man as sex, food, art, love, all of it.

And wars must be fought. They will not disappear, but we will.

Bush’s premise was false, but Bush was a patriot. Bush loved America, and he protected America, even if he refused to see the enemy for who and what it was.
Of course, we know this. But the Left, our in-house enemy, demonizes any war that America chooses to fight. The egregious, horrible crimes of Mao, Stalin, bin Laden, Che, Lenin, Pol Pot, Ahmadinejad, et al, which are so heinous and so enormous, are in their terrible minds a historical footnote. They become cultural icons for the "radical chic." Cold-blooded monsters have co-opted our country.

And so successful was the Left at infiltrating our government, schools, and institutions that eight years after the most heinous attack on American soil, we elected an icon of our mortal enemy. A Kenyan, Indonesian, third-worldish boulevardier with as much understanding of the American experience as any foreign national. Don't call me a racist for calling him what he is—I am not interested in the color of his skin, but in the content of his character. His lack of experience in all relevant areas to the office of the president is breathtaking. And his bowing to Islam and our enemies worldwide is disastrous.

Bush's premise was false, but Bush was a patriot. Bush loved America, and he protected America, even if he refused to see the enemy for who and what it was. It was no accident that America was safe for eight years post-9/11. Eight years of safety is cracking apart now under a weak and pro-Islamic president. The jihadi attacks on America in 2009 were staggering. And it has only just begun. Dismantling the Bush protections against jihad and launching attacks on Americans, bloggers, tea partiers, town hallers, patriots, and vets is incomprehensible—and if I hadn't lived through it, I wouldn't believe it possible.

I pray that America examines the Left decade and takes stock. It was the appeasement of the Left that destroyed the foundations of this country. We must rebuild them. The advancement of Islam would never have been possible—could never have happened—without our surrender to the Left. The real war is against the Leftist/Islamic alliance.

This is a fighting year.

Pamela Geller is the editor and publisher of the Atlas Shrugs website and is former associate publisher of the New York Observer. She is the author (with Robert Spencer) of the forthcoming book The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration's War on America (Simon and Schuster).

Free Speech In Distress

"The refusal of the Western elite class to protect their nations from jihadist infiltration is the biggest betrayal in history."

—Serge Trifkovic

Muslim Ire
Muslim Ire
ANOTHER AMBITIOUS article at the American Thinker today analyzes yesterday's conference entitled "The Fall of Capitalism and the Rise of Islam" that took place as scheduled at the Hilton Hotel in Oak Lawn, Illinois, a Chicago suburb. There, in the heartland of a post 9/11 America, Hizb-ut Tahrir, an international organization outlawed as a terrorist group in several European and Middle East countries, sponsored sessions focusing on strategies to end free enterprise and replace it with Shari'ah law.

Hizb-ut Tahrir is no academic think-tank simply examining public issues. It is an international group reported to have over a million members, including cells in more than 40 countries. It supports the Taliban and Hamas, sanctions suicide bombing and has called for the killing of nonbelievers. It has spawned terrorists for Al Qaeda, Hamas and Jemaa Islamiya; subscribes to the mantra that "jihad has to continue till the Day of Judgment;" and endeavors to replace existing governments with a worldwide Khilafah (Caliphate) or Islamic government under Shari'ah law.

It is remarkable enough that a conference of this nature by a group that advocates the overthrow of the U.S. government actually took place in an American city. Perhaps even more disturbing is the growing number of cancellations of events and conferences that feature the opposite point of view with material and speakers that seek to educate the public about the threat of radical Islam. Increasingly, our country's prized right to freedom of speech seems to operate in only one direction, providing plenty of opportunities for our enemies to speak openly against us, yet, placing a gag over any discussion about the radical Islam threat.

Here are some disturbing recent examples.

New English Review Symposium

In December 2008, the New English Review, a non-profit organization dedicated to the defense of Western values, had scheduled and signed a contract to conduct a symposium, "Understanding the Jihad in Israel, Europe and America" at the Loew's Vanderbilt Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. Three days before the symposium was to begin, the hotel manager cancelled the event citing concerns about "the safety, welfare and security of hotel guests and employees." Subsequent investigation disclosed that the manager summarily disagreed with the politics of the event and responded to pressure from prominent Muslims and Leftists in the community. A local paper went so far as to refer to the conference speakers as "agents of intolerance."

American Library Association Panel

Just this week, the American Library Association cancelled a panel, "Perspectives on Islam: Beyond the Stereotyping," at the behest of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and CAIR sympathizers who objected to the participation of Islamic scholar and author Robert Spencer.

Spencer has studied Islamic doctrine for close to 30 years and quotes directly from traditional Islamic sources in his efforts to shed light on the myriad facets of the global jihad. He has led seminars on Islam and jihad for the United States Central Command, the FBI, the Joint Terrorism Task Force, the U.S. intelligence community and other government organizations. Spencer is the author of eight books on Islam and the jihad and has appeared on CNN, BBC, FoxNews, PBS, MSNBC and other networks.

CAIR, which presents itself as a benign civil rights organization for American Muslims, is an unindicted co-conspirator in the successful prosecution of Muslim charity founders who illegally funneled millions of dollars to the Palestinian militant group Hamas. CAIR officials are known to have terrorist ties and the organization has actively fought to repeal the Patriot Act, eliminate military tribunals and even defended convicted terrorists. The group is well known for its pursuit of individuals who expose its links to terrorist funding and support activities. In 1994, one of CAIR's co-founders, Nihad Awad, publicly asserted that he was a Hamas supporter.

In 1998, co-founder Omar Ahmad declared, "Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant." He added, "The Koran should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth."

People's Truth Forum

In 2005, The Georgetown Marriott refused to host a symposium on counterterrorism sponsored by America's Truth Forum (ATF), formerly known as People's Truth Forum, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating Americans about national security threats. The ATF hosts a website featuring articles from mainstream media sources and had planned a series of panels featuring top experts in the field of counterterrorism. ATF's conference was rejected by the Georgetown Marriott Conference Center on the grounds that the organization was too controversial, the venue was inappropriate for the topic and heightened security would be necessary to protect hotel guests. The following statement was issued by Marriott's corporate office: "Due to the high density of Muslim students on campus, we're afraid of the potential for violent protests, injured employees and damage to the facility."

Shortly thereafter, CAIR hosted its 11th Annual Banquet at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia. Not only have several CAIR officials been convicted and deported by the United States for terrorist activity, but a 2005 invited speaker, Siraj Wahhaj, is an unindicted co-conspirator in the first World Trade Center bombing of 1993. Apparently, a group with established connections to terrorism is a non-controversial organization for the Marriott Corporation.

Conclusions

It is unconscionable in 2009 that an acceptable forum in America today is a conference entitled, "The Fall of Capitalism and the Rise of Islam," with a goal of strategizing the demise of the bedrock of our democracy—the free enterprise system—and the replacement of our constitution with a theo-political-legal system that subjugates women, murders homosexuals, confers non-person status on non-Muslims, permits slavery and kills apostates. At the same time, attempts to discuss Islamic doctrine and educate the American public about this very threat are increasingly verboten. In many recent instances, accurate speech is being deemed inflammatory due to fear of retaliation by those who want to silence critics of Islam who engage in legitimate discussion of a serious threat to our nation.

How this threat plays out in everyday life can be illustrated by the city of Nashville, Tennessee, which provides an interesting example of the exercise of one-way free speech and the accompanying extreme accommodation of those with whom we disagree. Thanks to the largesse of the State department's Refugee Resettlement Program, which offers housing, jobs, welfare and an abundance of social services for program recipients, at least 50% of whom are Muslim, Nashville has over 20,000 Muslims from Iraq, Somalia and the Sudan. Six known mosques exist in Nashville, a doses a Muslim graveyard, a madrassa, a Muslim Boy Scout troop and chapters of the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Muslim Student Association and Muslim American Society. According to a local psychiatrist, the Nashville Muslim community has evidenced polygamy, child marriage, female genital mutilation and wife beating. Crimes such as drug-dealing, money-laundering, murder, rape and Medicare and grant fraud are occurring at alarming rates. Many of these behaviors are grounded in value systems that are contrary to our own, yet anyone pointing this out would be subject to accusations of "intolerance."

In this and other ways, attempts to curtail the speech and assembly of critics of Islam portends a grave threat to the First Amendment protections that are vital to preserving our cherished liberty and freedom and safeguarding us from totalitarianism and tyranny. If we are unable to speak freely and openly about the radical Islamic threat presently confronting our country while Islamists are given the freedom to gather and plot the overthrow of our system of government and spout hateful rhetoric and propaganda, an Islamic government under Shari'ah law will surely be our fate.

Read it all.

Cheney Cautions Nation On Obama

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Former VP Dick Cheney

STOKING THE FIRES of American political intrigue, we have a new interview of former Vice President Dick Cheney speaking of the Obama camp to gnaw. Oddly, the words of Mr. Cheney sound very much like the words of the man now occupying his former suite at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. Yes. Who can forget Joltin' Joe Biden's dire warning on the campaign trail just as things were heating up?

The incoming administration's controversial new policies on Guantanamo Bay prison and the treatment of detainees makes it more likely a terrorist attack against the United States will succeed, according to Cheney. In an interview with Politico, the former vice president issued a stringent defense of the Bush administration's record on the war on terror, and said he worries the President Obama has already made the country more vulnerable.

“When we get people who are more concerned about reading the rights to an Al Qaeda terrorist than they are with protecting the United States against people who are absolutely committed to do anything they can to kill Americans, then I worry,” Cheney said in the interview published Wednesday.

Cheney also predicted the Obama administration is likely to backtrack on its pledge to end coercive interrogation techniques, since the protection of the United States from terrorists is a "tough, mean, dirty, nasty business.”

"These are evil people. And we’re not going to win this fight by turning the other cheek," he said.

The blunt comments come two weeks after President Obama issued executive orders that will close Guantanamo Bay within a year, and shut down secret CIA prisons abroad. Obama also signed an executive order calling on U.S. personnel to follow the Army Field Manual's guidelines when it comes to interrogation. In the interview, Cheney suggested Obama was irresponsibly adhering to “campaign rhetoric,” and called Guantanamo Bay a “first-class program.”

Hold on tight. This is to be a rough ride.

Next point. Much has been made of the US ties to Saudi Arabia, even in this column, but I am willing to concede ever so cautiously the tightrope the US must walk in combatting this vicious enemy. While my contempt for Saudi Arabia is robust, and I am particularly outraged by the intensity at which they finance their Wahabbi madrassas within this country and elsewhere without so much as a speed bump thrown out by the State Department, let's be very clear about the prosecution of today's global war. I would now argue that for VP Cheney to have condemned the Saudis in the first years after the attacks on September 11, would have been similar to the difficulty of FDR reading the riot act to the Soviet Union during WWII.

Just as Joe Stalin was villainous and stoking the fires of Marxist discontent in the West even while we were allies with the bastard, so it is with the House of Saud in this present war against yet another totalitarianism. Cheney is fully three-dimensional. It's a shame geopolitics has to be this complicated but it is.

But we've got to readdress this issue. For years, proponents of Western, especially US, backing for Muslims in Bosnia and Kosovo have been assuring us that we would be acting as midwife for the ever-elusive peaceful, tolerant, democratic, et cetera Islam. As now-Vice President Joe Biden once put it, US support for an independent Kosovo was to have been a “much-needed example of a successful US-Muslim partnership.”

The predicate of such “partnership” was of course the absence of the radical, violent jihad ideology found—well, pretty much everywhere else in the Islamic world. Now comes one of the premier apologists for Balkan Islam, Stephen Schwartz, confirming in The Weekly Standard that—big surprise!—Kosovo and Bosnia, not to mention nearby areas of southern Serbia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, are threatened by “Saudi-financed, ultrafundamentalist Wahhabi” agitation.

That, plus all the Saudi wings for Islamic Studies now financed and housed within nearly every major campus of higher learning on American soil, leads me to say, "Washington, we have a problem!"

And to quote the indefatigable Hugh Fitzgerald once again...

"There is no end to this. And it will not come to an end if India hands over Kashmir to Muslim rule, if all Serbs are booted out of Kosovo, if Israel is squeezed back into the 1949 Armistice Lines (the "llines of Auschwitz"), if Afghanistan becomes the private preserve of the Taliban, if China gives up Xinjiang, if Thailand gives up southern Thailand, if the Philippines gives up the Moro islands, if Father Zakaria is permanently silenced and the Copts permanently terrorized, if the Maronites all flee Lebanon for Montreal, if Christians living as quietly as they can inIraq are killed or expelled, if every single Christian or other non-Muslim living in Dar al-Islam is expelled—no, there is no end to this."

Unless the rest of the world finally resolves to fight for its culture, its history, its very life. Unfortunately, there remains a strong stupifaction to ignore the obvious in place across America, Europe, and elsewhere. Abandoned to our own lusts and shame, may God deliver us all...

John McCain Is Not George W. Bush

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Two boobs, Similar but different.

HERE ARE JUST A FEW reasons why John Sidney McCain is not and will never be the carbon copy of the current Bush by any measure (thanks to WMCB at the Confluence). That shaky train has left, folks. Get over it, and study these few more pressing facts:

In 2001, he was one of only two Republican Senators to vote against Bush’s tax cuts.

In 2003 he voted against Bush’s second round of tax cuts, calling it “unwise in a time of war”.

He stood up to his party on the torture issue, getting his Detainee Amendment into the appropriations bill despite howls of protest and threats of veto by Bush.

The McCain-Feingold bill, considered McCain’s finest legislative achievement, is one of the strongest campaign finance reform bills in US history.

He defended John Kerry’s war record from the floor of the Republican National Convention in 2004. Word is Bush was pissed at that.

He tried to get the Climate Stewardship Act passed in 2003, and while he failed, he was one of the only Republicans pushing to address the issue at all. He has angered many in his party by his openness to listen to the facts rather than toe the party line on climate change.

He defended a fellow Republican Senator Jim Jeffords, when he switched to Independent and threw senate control to the Dems. Jeffords was being eviscerated for it, and McCain testily called them “self-appointed enforcerrs of party loyalty”, defending Jeffords.

He has worked his tail off for practical, comprehensive immigration reform, addressing security concerns while staying far away from the xenophobic posturing of some on the right.

He helped expose and bring down Jack Abramoff.

He angered his party by leading the “Gang of 14″ to reach a compromise on filibusters.

He was considered to be a favorite for John Kerry’s running mate in 2004. Biden said so. Others said so. If he is such a hard-core conservative as the Left is now trying to paint him, why did many Dems want him on the ticket 4 years ago?

Is McCain everything I want in a president? Not by a long shot. But he is NOT the Bush clone that the Democrats are so suddenly trying to claim he is. It’s baloney.

Now while I realize that a McCain vote is probably not a vote for the GPE (Greatest President Ever), it is a vote however that I can stomach. Baloney (balogna) has never been a favorite of mine, but I do happen to know what it and other processed meat (can you say SPAM?) tastes like. It's called growing up poor...