Republican Senator Chuck Hagel commenting on Senator McCain’s choice in Wednesday’s Omaha World-Herald:

‘She doesn’t have any foreign policy credentials. You get a passport for the first time in your life last year? I mean, I don’t know what you can say. You can’t say anything.’

“I think they ought to be just honest about it and stop the nonsense about, ‘I look out my window and I see Russia and so therefore I know something about Russia.’ That kind of thing is insulting to the American people.

‘I think it’s a stretch to, in any way, to say that she’s got the experience to be president of the United States.’


I don’t know how many of these people are kooks, but they do seem sincere. And one of them is a former Republican Senator who served as Vice-Chair of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs.


Peter Kaczowka: ‘When Bill D. mentioned the Keating Five Monday, you did not point out that John McCain was one of the Five. According to this overview, ‘By 1987, McCain campaigns had received $112,000 from Keating, his relatives, and his employees – the most received by any of the Keating Five. … After McCain’s election to the House in 1982, he and his family made at least nine trips at Keating’s expense, three of which were to Keating’s Bahamas retreat. McCain did not disclose the trips (as he was required to under House rules) until the scandal broke in 1989.’ ‘

☞ I didn’t mention it because it’s not clear whether he was guilty of anything more than poor judgment (and, well, not filing a slew of required reports). But since you raise it, I suppose even poor judgment may be relevant in choosing a President.


I refer here to the precarious world financial situation. We will almost surely get through it, because the government is doing what it needs to. But it’s hard to imagine we are anywhere close to home free. (Note that Obama’s tone throughout has been thoughtful and steady; not careening from one emphatic statement to a contradictory one in the course of the day.)

Remember how long it took to right the economy after the ‘guns and butter’ policies of the Vietnam era that led to inflation that led to steep recession and – because Vietnam just cost so much – pinched our prosperity? Well, it’s hard to see how this Iraq war . . . that we’ve put entirely on a credit card . . . won’t have similar, if not entirely predictable, effects.

It has weakened us – militarily, diplomatically, and, for sure, economically. With the right leadership and hard work, we will dig our way out: rebuilding our infrastructure, improving our balance sheets, regaining much of our lost stature in the world, and propelling our economic growth and quality of life through dazzling technological advances. All that is possible. And uniquely American. But it will not be quick or painless. And it is not guaranteed.

We have to make smart choices.


After a week like this, don’t we deserve a little? I’d tell you what it is, but it’s more fun if you don’t know what to expect. (It’s not political!) You may have seen shorter versions on TV; this one is only on YouTube.


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