Thursday, September 19, 2013

McCain vs Putin

After Vladimir Putin wrote an o-ed in the New York Times reaching out to the American people after their rejection of bombing Syria to teach President Assad a lesson, America’s ruling class was outraged.  In President Putin’s opinion piece, he warned of the danger in promoting the idea that a nation’s people are exceptional.

“My working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust. I appreciate this. I carefully studied his address to the nation on Tuesday. And I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.”

It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.

After, Putin’s Op-Ed, Senator John McCain R-Arizona appeared on Jake Tapper's "The Lead" and when asked what he thought about Putin's Op-Ed in the NY Times McCain stated he would like to write on op-ed for Pravda.  McCain who had been pushing for American intervention in the Syrian civil war, supports not only bombing Syria, but arming the rebels with heavy artillery to overthrow the Syrian government.

What really struck a chord with McCain was that Putin was able to write an op-ed to reach out directly to the American People in an American newspaper.

Shortly after McCain joked about writing an op-ed in Pravda which is one of the oldest Russian newspapers founded 1912, the editors of Pravda told a blog affiliated with Foreign Policy magazine they’d be happy to consider an op-ed submission by the senator. 

An op-ed article McCain has written was published in Pravda.RU which was founded in 1999.  Even though the website also bears the name Pravda, it is not connected to Pravda newspaper.

So, anyway let’s take a look at McCain’s op-ed.  While Putin’s op-ed centered on the American government’s foreign policy, McCain’s op-ed was a sophomoric attack on Putin personally, and talks down to the Russian people as if they are removed from events in the United States and the World.

Let’s look at the The Daily Beast’s Headline, McCain Blasts Putin in Pravda: He’s Made Russia a ‘Friend to Tyrants’. 

The title alone looks like something one would expect from a Pravda-esque newspaper, not an American Free Press newspaper.  Talk about cheerleading.

So let’s get into the nuts and bolts of McCain’s Op-Ed according to the Daily Beast. 

Sen. John McCain lambasts Russian President Vladimir Putin in an op-ed published on the Russian news site Pravda on Thursday, calling him a corrupt autocrat who suppresses democracy, political dissent, and economic progress to maintain his iron grip on power.

Sheesh, sounds like the Republican Party, "suppresses democracy, political dissent and economic progress to maintain his iron grip on power".  Just one example of Republican’s doing the same thing would be cutting food stamps for poor, working class, children and disabled veterans. 

In an appearance on “Morning Joe” the following statement was made by Senator Tom Vilsack D-Iowa with regard to SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program):

VILSACK: I should point out that when you talk about the SNAP program, or the food stamp program, you have to recognize that it's also an economic stimulus. Every dollar of SNAP benefits generates $1.84 in the economy in terms of economic activity. If people are able to buy a little bit more in the grocery store, then someone has got to stock it, shelve it, package it, process it, ship it. All of those are jobs. It's the most direct stimulus you can get into the economy during tough times. 

Well, head for the fainting couches, America’s Pravda, Fox News and affiliates were all in a tizzy.

From Glenn Beck:

Beck: The Administration Has The Ability To "Jedi Mind Trick" Almost Every American. On the August 17 broadcast of Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program, host Glenn Beck suggested that President Obama must be using a "Jedi mind trick" to convince Americans that food stamps stimulate the economy, referring to Vilsack's comment. 

As Don Imus calls it Fox and Fiends:

CARLSON: Let's talk about a new stimulus program that maybe you didn't know about. Did you know that the food stamp program in America is actually an economic stimulus? We have spent more on food stamp program [sic] in the last couple of years than ever before in American history. More and more people are, unfortunately, using this program. But the spin of this program now is that actually people who are on food stamps stimulate the economy because every dollar generates $1.84 into the economy. You buy more groceries if you're on food stamps. Do you buy that? Do you buy that as a stimulating part of the economy? Well, I know that the Secretary of Agriculture does, Tom Vilsack said this.
BRIAN KILMEADE (co-host): So if you give people money that they didn't earn, and you tell them to go spend it on stuff they normally couldn't afford, everyone is better off.

ERIC BOLLING (guest host): Can I say something very quickly? Jay Carney earlier this week or last week came out and said unemployment benefits are stimulus as well. This is -- this is an administration that just doesn't get it. It's really -- it's socialism. They're pointing right to being socialist. The more you give, the more you stimulate? No. Sorry. It's got to come from the private sector. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/17/11, via Media Matters]
Back to McCain’s Op-ed:

In the op-ed, titled "Russians deserve better than Putin," McCain claimed he's "more pro-Russian" than the country's own leaders.
"I make that claim because I respect your dignity and your right to self-determination," he wrote. "I believe you should live according to the dictates of your conscience, not your government. I believe you deserve the opportunity to improve your lives in an economy that is built to last and benefits the many, not just the powerful few."

The ranks of the world's billionaires have yet again reached all-time highs, both in terms of the number of billionaires (1,426) and record net worth ($5.4 trillion). The United States still has more billionaires than any other country, but once again the world's richest person comes from outside its borders.
“35% of U.S. households live on $35,000 or less.  The hope of making it into the middle class for this group is getting tougher and more financially challenging” 
“The international Gini index, found U.S. income inequality at its highest level since the Census Bureau began tracking household income in 1967. The U.S. also has the greatest disparity among Western industrialized nations.”

The most striking number in today’s U.S. Census Bureau report on poverty isn’t even about poverty. It’s about middle-class, working America. According to the Census Bureau, American men who work full-time, year-round earned less in real terms in 2012 than they did in 1973.

"(Putin) is not enhancing Russia's global reputation. He is destroying it. He has made her a friend to tyrants and an enemy to the oppressed, and untrusted by nations that seek to build a safer, more peaceful and prosperous world," wrote the senior senator from Arizona, who is also a leading Republican voice on military affairs.

“In public opinion polls conducted in 21 countries following the re-election of George W. Bush, majorities in 16 of the 21 countries view Bush's re-election as negative for world peace and security.

The most negative overall opinions were recorded in Western Europe, Latin America, and Islamic countries. Nearly half of those surveyed now view the U.S. influence in the world as mostly negative.”

McCain - "President Putin and his associates ... don't respect your dignity or accept your authority over them. They punish dissent and imprison opponents. They rig your elections. They control your media," McCain wrote.
2000 election:
In the early morning hours of November 8, Fox News Channel declared that the pivotal state of Florida had gone for George W. Bush. At 2:16 a.m. Fox announced that the Texas governor had won the state, thus securing the 271 electoral votes needed to win the presidential election. The other television networks followed suit in a matter of minutes. The call was subsequently withdrawn, and to date the Florida outcome remains undecided.
The individual responsible for recommending that Fox call Florida for Bush was John Ellis, who led the network's decision desk. Ellis was not a disinterested party in the presidential election, but the first cousin of the Republican candidate and his brother, Florida Governor Jeb Bush.
"It's not the people who vote that count. It's the people who count the votes." (Josef Stalin)

McCain - “To perpetuate their power they foster rampant corruption in your courts and your economy and terrorize and even assassinate journalists who try to expose their corruption."
U.S. courts:
The Supreme Court by a 5-4 vote allowed unlimited political spending by corporations, striking down much of the McCain-Feingold campaign reform act.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down a key part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Civil rights activists called the decision devastating, and a dissenting justice said it amounted to the “demolition” of the law, widely considered the most important piece of civil rights legislation in American history.

U.S. journalists:

According to The New York Times, the Obama administration has waged the most aggressive campaign against whistleblowers in U.S. history, responsible for six of the nine total indictments ever brought under the 1917 Espionage Act.

Reporters Without Borders condemned the act as a “grave violation” of press freedom and argued that the Justice Department’s overstep signals the need for a federal shield law to protect journalists and their sources from government interference.

McCain - "They write laws to codify bigotry against people whose sexual orientation they condemn. They throw the members of a punk rock band in jail for the crime of being provocative and vulgar and for having the audacity to protest President Putin's rule," he said.

The Supreme Court Justices denied the government's petition in Federal Communications Commission v. CBS to review a lower court's decision that the hefty penalty for the brief moment when cameras caught Jackson's accidentally exposed breast constituted an unlawfully arbitrary departure from the FCC's prior policy of looking the other way when network censors failed to catch fleeting expletives.
Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003),[1] is a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court. In the 6–3 ruling, the Court struck down the sodomy law in Texas and, by extension, invalidated sodomy laws in thirteen other states, making same-sex sexual activity legal in every U.S. state and territory. The Court overturned its previous ruling on the same issue in the 1986 case Bowers v. Hardwick, where it upheld a challenged Georgia statute and did not find a constitutional protection of sexual privacy.

In McCain's op-ed finishes with:

"We have to remember who Putin is," McCain said. "He's a KGB colonel apparatchik, who has never abandoned the Russian ambitions for an empire, and influence in the world."

Some day, maybe McCain will come out of his ivory tower and see the America we live in.

Well, for what it’s worth, a tit for a tat, Putin 1 McCain 0.

By Patricia Baeten

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