Tuesday, July 8, 2008

McCain Campaign Tramples Free Speech – Here’s A Legal Way To Fight Back

Update At Bottom of Post

It’s time to start harassing the McCain campaign, which has no interest in free speech and harasses people who try exercising it.

A 61-year-old librarian was ejected from what was billed as a public McCain campaign event at the Denver Center of Performing Arts in Denver on July 7. The reason? She she was brandishing a deadly weapon: A hand-lettered sign that read "McCain=Bush."

Carol Kreck was standing outside the building, which is located on city property. When she was asked to either discard the sign or get out, Ms. Kreck objected, saying she was standing on city property. Check the video at YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lyaMrS0hzk

She was led away by police officers and ticketed for trespassing. As she was being removed, Kreck asked if was being arrested. The officer answered, "Yes."

There is a way around this, if we organize.

One approach is to have a T-shirt printed with McCain=Bush and wear it under a shirt to enter the event. Once McCain is on-stage, remove your sport shirt to reveal the sign. Yellow letters on a dark blue background show up best.

A second, more direct, approach is to come prepared with questions for the “town hall” gathering. When McCain asks for questions, stand up and ask him a question about contradictions in his stand about Iraq, taxes, the environment, health care, the middle class. But a warning: Do your homework and come prepared because McCain will simply deny saying it. Use the back-up in framing your question because you won’t get a chance to ask a follow-up.

“Sen. McCain, on Feb.1, 2008, you said this. Then on March 20, 2008 you said just the opposite. Yesterday you said a third thing. If you don’t remember saying these things, I can tell you where to find them on YouTube. So what is your position today?”

If a number of your friends invade the McCain campaign town halls with their Q&A’s, the local press will report it and, eventually, the travelling press corps will begin to notice and cover McCain’s reaction. A possible bonus: One of us might set off his hair-trigger temper in public.

Be assertive, demand an answer but be polite.
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July 10, 2008 -- Yesterday, a Viet Nam vet confronted McCain at a Town Hall meeting in Denver to ask why he has voted against improving veterans benefits. McCain didn't answer the question but talked instead about old approval ratings from the VFW. The questioner came right back offering to list the specific pieces of Veterans legislation McCain voted against. Turning angry, McCain replied, "I'll look into why your version of what I did runs counter to mine" and moved on to a friendlier question.

Iraq Preparing For US Withdrawal

The White House is scrambling to spin the truth, a major occupation of Bush’s minions. On Sunday, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said he wants a hard date for withdrawal of US troops from the country. So, yesterday, the White House insisted that talks on a Status of Forces Agreement does not mention such a timeline.

So with 65% of Americans and from 60% to 70% of Iraqi’s wanting US troops out, it seems the only people who want to keep American soldiers in Iraq are George Bush, Dick Cheney and John McCain.

Al-Maliki is under pressure from cleric Sayyid Muqtada al-Sadr to seek such a timetable. Thousands of Iraqis demonstrated Friday against the SOFA negotiations on the grounds that they surrendered too much of Iraq's sovereignty.

Meanwhile, the Baghdad newspaper al-Hayat reports that Sadrist aide Liwa' Sumaisim praised al-Maliki's statement as a "positive development" and said that the Sadr Movement was ready to support it. Moreover, Iraqi MP Jalal al-Din Saghir said that the latest proposed draft of the SOFA from the American side left a great deal to be desired.

A highly placed Iraqi source told al-Hayat that a study had been completed a month ago on a US withdrawal from Iraq. He said that the American negotiators had not forbidden it and that they were aware that Barack Obama might win the presidency. Obama has pledged to withdraw troops from Iraq.

Here's a question for you: If Iraq is a sovereign nation, why would its government need US permission to conduct a study?

So much for the surge’s so-called “success,” and every day McClatchy carries reports of violence all around the country. Yesterday, the US media overlooked Sunni Arab guerrillas launching a violent campaign in provincial Iraq. They fired mortars at the mansion of the governor in Mosul. They wounded the mayor of Kirkuk. There were also several attacks on members of the Awakening Councils formed under the auspices of the US.

Yesterday alone, there were 11 separate acts of violence across Iraq, according to McClatchy, killing 16 civilians and wounding another 42. Oh, yeah. The surge is really helping.

Tell McCain To Stop Lying.

It shouldn't come as a surprise, I suppose. After all, the McCain campaign has used misstatements, half-truths and outright lies throughout its campaign. Yesterday, for example, McCain gave a speech in which he repeated the misleading attack that “Senator Obama will raise your taxes.”

“We need to keep the IRS from taking more of your income and making life harder for small business. If you believe you should pay more taxes, I am the wrong candidate for you. Senator Obama is your man. The choice in this election is stark and simple. Senator Obama will raise your taxes. I won't. I will cut them where I can. Jobs are the most important thing our economy creates. When you raise taxes in a bad economy you eliminate jobs. I'm not going to let that happen. Senator Obama's tax increases will hurt the economy even more, and destroy jobs across this country.”

In reality, Senator Obama’s plan will not raise taxes and will provide a bigger break for middle class Americans than McCain’s plan. As numerous outside observers agree, McCain’s claims that Obama will raise taxes are “wrong,” “false” and “misleading.”

According to the non partisan Tax Policy Center’s computations, “under Mr. Obama’s plan, the middle of the middle class, or those earning $37,595 to $66,354, would see taxes cut by $1,042 a year. Under Mr. McCain’s plan, taxes for people in that category would also fall, but by $319; the largest chunk of the benefits would go to those making $2.8 million a year or more.” [New York Times, 6/13/08]

Washington Post Fact Checker: McCain Campaign Attacks on Obama Tax Plan “Overblown,” “Wrong” and “Greatly Exaggerated.” “The McCain camp is attempting to persuade Americans that their taxes will increase dramatically with Barack Obama as president. The presumptive Republican nominee has repeatedly said that Obama would enact ‘the largest tax increase since the Second World War.’ A surrogate, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, insists that Obama has not proposed ‘a single tax cut’ and wants to ‘raise every tax in the book.’ The claim that Obama will ‘enact’ the largest tax increase since World War II is also overblown. The Bush tax cuts will expire automatically at the end of 2010, so it is hardly a question of ‘enacting’ a new tax increase. ... Carly Fiorina is wrong to claim that Obama has proposed no tax cuts and wants to raise ‘every tax in the book.’” [Washington Post, 6/11/08]

Politifact: McCain’s Statement That Obama’s Tax Plan Would Raise Taxes Is “False.” Politifact reported, “So calling it a tax increase might not be considered fair. There's no disputing that taxes will rise, but the question of who's responsible for that tax increase is another matter entirely. At PolitiFact, we've concluded, as have others, that it's unfair to call Obama's plan a tax increase merely because it doesn't change existing tax law to keep rates low. We think about it this way: The reason taxes will increase is because of tax policy signed into law not by Obama, but by somebody else… the more recent data — combined with the fact that Obama's proposal does not constitute a tax increase in the traditional sense, since some taxes would be lower under his plan than they would under current law — persuades us to classify McCain's statement as False.” [Politifact, 6/11/08]

FactCheck.Org: McCain's Largest Tax Increase Charge Wrong and Misleading. According to the Annenberg Public Policy Center’s Factcheck.org: “By the measure most economists prefer, McCain is wrong in his claim that Sen. Obama wants to implement "the single largest tax increase since the Second World War;"… At a more basic level, it's misleading to tag Clinton and Obama for something that was scheduled during the Bush administration – the expiration of the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts, which by law will occur at the end of 2010.” [Factcheck.org, 5/14/2008]

Meanwhile, there are still people who think that this knucklehead should be president. Oy.