Tallahassee Democrat senior writer Stephen Price on Friday was singled out and asked to leave a media area at the Panama City rally of presidential candidate Sen. John McCain.

Price was among at least three other reporters, and the only black reporter, surrounding McCain’s campaign bus – Gov. Charlie Crist and his fiancee, Carole Rome, were already aboard – when a member of the Arizona senator’s security detail asked the reporter to identify himself. Price had shown his media credentials to enter the area.

Price showed his employee identification as well as his credentials for the Friday event.

“I explained I was with the state press, but the Secret Service man said that didn’t matter and that I would have to go,” Price said.

When another reporter asked why Price was being removed, she too was led out of the area. Other state reporters remained. . . .

☞ The McCain campaign explained it was just a coincidence that the one reporter targeted for ejection was also the one reporter who was black.

As it happens, this incident took place just hours after McCain campaign manager Rick Davis said on the Today Show, ‘John McCain has fought his entire life for equal rights for everyone’ (not including people like me and Charles, whose equal rights, as noted Friday, he fights to suppress).


Because – advocating a third term for Bush’s tax policy – he is all wet on taxes (wetter still in proposing to cut the gasoline tax); but it’s rare to find a McCain backer who will make the case publicly, as Ben Stein does for the New York Times here:

. . . Mr. McCain wants to extend many of President Bush’s income tax cuts and to reduce taxes on corporations. But the facts of life are that we have a large budget deficit . . . [and] every category of federal spending is likely to grow. . . .

The question is simply this: Do we want to step up to the plate like responsible people – I hate to say this, but the last responsible people who actually did this were named Bill and Bob (Clinton and Rubin) – and shoulder our responsibilities? Or do we just kick the can down the road a bit and leave the mess for our children and their children?

And if we do raise taxes, should people who are barely getting by pay them or should people who are getting by very nicely pay them?

I don’t like taxing rich people or anyone I like. But our government – run by the people we elected – needs the revenue. Do we pay it or do we make our children pay it? Dwight D. Eisenhower – and Bill Clinton – knew the answer: You behave responsibly and balance the budget except in rare circumstances.

Somehow, Republicans (and I am a Republican) have forgotten this basic lesson of adulthood. . . .


I agree with a lot of what Ben Stein writes and admire the way he writes it. (And who didn’t love Ferris Bueller? Anyone? Anyone?) So, as I argue in the Harvard Business School Alumni Bulletin, people like Ben Stein may only think they’re Republicans. They are welcome on our side any time.

(One place I disagree with Stein: you don’t need to balance the budget, you just need to have our National Debt grow slower, in most years, than the economy as a whole. The borrow-and-spend Republicans seem not to get this. When Reagan/Bush took over, the Debt was a manageable 30% of our GDP. When this Bush leaves office, it will be a scary 75% – and headed higher. They have taken us trillions into hock . . . not to make investments that cry out to be made (like repairing our bridges or encouraging alternative energy research) but, rather, to give the rich a massive tax cut and to invade Iraq. There was no crying need to give the rich a tax cut. There was no crying need to invade Iraq. But we borrowed trillions to do both anyway.)


Jason T.: ‘Please stop the political onslaught. I’m losing enthusiasm for someone who beats me over the head constantly with their politics.’

☞ I’m sick of it, too. But with only 13% of the country thinking we’re on the right track, it seems to me it’s worth our doing all we can to get back on the RIGHT track.

After 5 billion years of evolution, this miracle we call humankind faces its make-or-break century. I think we owe it to the thousands of generations preceding us, who had it far less easy . . . and to the generations we hope will follow and thrive . . . to be informed and make good choices.

Citizenship is hard work.

I know this sounds corny or sanctimonious or melodramatic or preachy or just way too serious. But too much is at stake not to participate.

Tomorrow: Why We Might Lose Anyway


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