Dr. Drei Brings the Smack


Jeff Flake’s quick response to last night’s speech:

I feel like I’ve just had a trip to the principal’s office…

State Democratic Chair Andrei Cherny’s response to Flake:

Maybe Congress should stop acting like children.

Cherny had an op-ed in yesterday’s Washington Post calling on Barack Obama to learn a few more lessons from Franklin Roosevelt.

What Is Up With Our Senate Delegation?

Jon Kyl has gotten what can be called “unwated attention” for his recent dismissive comments about women’s health care. Now, some have been scrutinizing his full record on women’s issues and he’s, well, a bit lacking.

Now comes news that John McCain is campaigning for Virginia gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell. Yeah, McCain campainging for Republicans doesn’t seem that new, but he has been notably scarce in those sorts of appearances lately. He’s making one of those rare appearances for the guy who famously called working women “detrimental” to society. This is the sort of guy he wants to stand next to?

I don’t think that either McCain or Kyl have some dislike of women, but I do have to wonder how often they listen to them.

The Same Service Would Be Available to Any Citizen That Asks, I’m Sure

Something that has bugged me for a while in the media’s characterization of John McCain’s home in the northern section of our great state. First off, they call it a “ranch.” What does he raise there? To the folks in the Boswash corridor, it seems any rural home is either a “ranch” or a “cabin.”

The other bit that I find a bit funny is that they say that this, um, “ranch” is in Sedona. I used to hear them say it is in Cottonwood. The names of both of these towns evoke the Southwest to people in the rest of the country, so it makes McCain into a rugged westerner or something. The, um, “ranch” is actually about equidistant from both towns. The town it is actually closest to is Cornville. A nice place, I’m sure, but the name doesn’t evoke cottonwoods and red rocks. Might have helped him out in that Iowa Caucus though.

Which brings me around to the real issue here: the lack of cellphone service at the, um, “ranch.” Cindy McCain, as reported by the Washington Post, was preturbed that the rural serenity of the, um, “ranch” wasn’t constantly disturbed by the ringing of her cell phone. So, Verizon did what any corporate behemoth would do for any humble customer: they built special temporary towers for the McCain, um, “ranch.”

McCain’s spokesman claimed that the tower was built at the request of the Secret Service. Yeah, I have every reason to believe that one. Check this out from the Atlantic:

What’s also clear from the public record is that Verizon knew full well whose non-sacred Indian land this ranch belonged to. Though the formal, bureaucratic name for the McCain’s ranch seems to be “AZ 2 Hidden Valley Ranch,” Verizon’s internal map, obtained by The Atlantic (it was part of a Verizon engineer’s report on the property), refers to it as “John McCain’s cabin.” So while Cindy McCain may indeed have requested the tower over the web like an ordinary millionaire rancher with spotty phone reception, Verizon was well aware that she was anything but that.

So, given how much work Verizon had to put into this with local permits, ecological reports and archaological studies, how is this any different than what VECO did for Ted Stevens? Also, why hasn’t there been more attention to this from our state’s media?

NB – The Washington Post has posted extensive documents about this on their site.

Initial Thoughts on the McCain Suspension

Okay, big news that you have already heard, I’m sure: John McCain says he is suspending his campaign to deal with the financial crisis. Already, folks are wondering if this has more to do with the meltdown in his polling numbers than with the meltdown in the credit market.

Even as an Barack Obama partisan that looks at every minor blip in the polling numbers with glee, I wonder why McCain would panic like this. He ain’t out of this by any stretch. Going straight to a desperation move because he’s a bit behind doesn’t speak well of his steadiness or leadership abilities in a crisis.

Bob Dole made a “Hail Mary” move like this in 1996 when his numbers were a heck of a lot worse. You may recall that he resigned both his leadership position and his senate seat to put his full energy into campaigning as “just a citizen.” It resulted in a bump in his numbers that evaporated like rubbing alcohol.

I also find it funny that he feels the need to go back to the senate to “work” on this. The man has had a dismal attendance record in the senate since his campaign, missing 109 of the last 110 votes. So, why this sudden interest in, you know, legislating? Small wonder that wags like me are so quick as to see this as a stunt more than anything else.

NB – Chris Cillizza has some details on the back and forth between the Obama and McCain campaigns that’s worth checking out.