Category Archives: McCain

Pima County Republicans Cheer Kelli Ward, who Jeers McSally

This is part one of a two-part article on what the Republicans say behind closed doors. Part two is  GOP Legislative Candidate Marilyn Wiles has an Anti-Tucson Agenda

GOP Senate Candidate Kelli Ward

GOP Senate Candidate Kelli Ward

Republicans at this month’s Pima County GOP meeting gave rousing rounds of applause to tea party darling Kelli Ward, a primary candidate for US Senate, who gloated over her lead in recent polls, fawned over Ted Cruz and ripped into fellow Republicans Martha McSally and John McCain.

Republicans packed the meeting last Tuesday at the Murphy-Wilmot Library in Tucson, with a crowd of 75 to 100 people. Ward was repeated greeting with loud applause.

Asked how she differentiates herself from her rival, Congressman Martha McSally, Ward said:

“You all live in Martha’s district. You all know how she’s been as a congresswoman. In language that she can understand: she’s failed the check ride [a pilot’s exam — because McSally was a pilot].  We certainly don’t promote the people who failed the check ride, we promote people who get the job done. I have a 98 rating with the American Conservative Union, tied with Mike Pence.”

“Passion Points”

She called her platform “passion points” including the following:

  • Ejecting the UN from the United States. “I don’t think that they should be on United States soil. I don’t we should be investing so much money in the UN,” she said.

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Support Sen. John McCain’s opposition to Gina Haspel at CIA

For the past several days the media has been consumed by the story that White House communications special aide Kelly Sadler joked in a staff meeting about Sen. John McCain’s opposition to President Trump’s nominee for the CIA, Gina Haspel: “It doesn’t matter, he’s dying anyway.White House official mocked ‘dying’ McCain at internal meeting.

While Kelly Sadler has called the McCain family to apologize privately, she has not been terminated nor has she or the White House publicly apologized for her comment. The Trump White House crossed a new threshold for political debasement this week:

U. S. Senator John McCain

The White House probably thinks it cannot punish Kelly Sadler for her awful comment about John McCain because President Trump has also said nasty things about McCain. It may worry that showing her the door would set a troubling precedent for a president who may one day cross a very similar line.

Welcome to the ongoing degradation of our political discourse. Destination: No end in sight.

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What happened this week is worse than most anything we have seen — worse even, I would argue, than Trump questioning McCain’s war hero status. What’s more, the White House is trying to ignore it, which means the bulldozer is pressing forward.

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Either because the White House is afraid of setting a standard Trump cannot meet or because Trump is demanding it hold the line against the media’s outrage cycle, it is serving notice there are more important things than Sadler’s public accountability: things like confidentiality and politics.

Case in point, Trump blasts the White House leakers as ‘traitors and cowards’:

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Tea-Publicans are trying to change the vacancy in office law to protect Senator John McCain’s seat

Tea-Publicans in the Arizona legislature are trying to change the long-established law on vacancies occurring in office for U.S. Senate in the event that Senator John McCain steps down or dies early, triggering a special election for his Senate seat this year.

The Arizona Capitol Times reports Arizona Senate moves to change rules for replacing McCain:

The Republican-controlled Arizona Legislature is moving to ensure that ailing Sen. John McCain’s seat isn’t on the November ballot if he leaves office, but Democrats plan to block the effort.

The effort emerged Tuesday as the state Senate put an emergency clause on a bill, HB 2538, changing how members of Congress who die or resign are replaced.

U.S. Senate vacancies are filled by a governor’s appointee, with the seat on the next general election ballot. The secretary of state has interpreted that to mean that if McCain’s seat is vacated by May 31, it would be on the August primary and November general election ballot. The new proposal changes that to 150 days before the primary, or March 31 of this year. That takes McCain’s seat out of play.

McCain was diagnosed with brain cancer last summer and has been recovering in Arizona since before Christmas. He was hospitalized over the weekend for intestinal surgery needed to stem an infection and remains in a Phoenix hospital in stable condition.

The emergency clause requires a two-thirds vote, and Democratic Sen. Steve Farley said that won’t happen.

“They’re trying to make it really easy to appoint someone to two and a half years without an election to a U.S. Senate seat should the current holder of that Senate seat resign or no longer be able to hold office,” Farley said. “The thing is, we’re all going to vote against it as Democrats, so they won’t get their emergency. It’s silly for them to put it on and think we won’t notice.”

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WaPo: Speculation about John McCain’s senate seat

The Washington Post reports today that “Uncertainty about Sen. John McCain’s future has set off a flurry of hushed conversations and concern in the Republican Party about a possible vacancy that could make it harder for the GOP to hold its Senate majority.” Uncertainty about McCain’s future fuels GOP questions about Senate seat:

As the Arizona Republican battles brain cancer, party leaders are contemplating the unusual prospect of defending two Senate seats in the state this year — something they are already doing in Mississippi as they seek to improve on their 51-49 advantage in the midterm elections.

McCain’s health has been shrouded in secrecy, leading many Republicans to privately wonder if he will remain in office beyond May 30. If he doesn’t, there would probably be a special election for his seat in the fall.

Congress will return Monday from a two-week recess with no clear indication that McCain, 81, will be back. He has been absent since December, and his spokeswoman Julie Tarallo declined to comment on his condition or whether he plans to return.

In public, influential Republicans have been reluctant to speculate about McCain’s future in the context of electoral politics out of respect to the Senate titan, who is beloved by many in the party. But privately, they have engaged in talks about who might replace him or run for his seat.

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Senator McCain rips Putin’s puppet for congratulatory call

Donald Trump routinely attacks U.S. intelligence agencies and federal law enforcement agencies, because they are investigating his ties to Russia and Vladimir Putin. But Trump has not once ever said anything negative about his pal Putin — even as Russia is engaged in cyber warfare against the U.S., Russian mercenaries have attacked U.S. troops in Syria, and Russian agents are using illegal chemical weapons to kill Putin critics in Britain.

One thing no American president does is to congratulate the murderous dictator of a criminal kleptocracy who barred political opposition and rigged his election to secure another term.

Especially after this man-child president was specifically instructed not to do so by the s0-called adults in the room. Trump’s national security advisers warned him not to congratulate Putin. He did it anyway.

President Trump did not follow specific warnings from his national security advisers Tuesday when he congratulated Russian President Vladi­mir Putin on his reelection — including a section in his briefing materials in all-capital letters stating “DO NOT CONGRATULATE,” according to officials familiar with the call.

Trump also chose not to heed talking points from aides instructing him to condemn the recent poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain with a powerful nerve agent, a case that both the British and U.S. governments have blamed on Moscow.

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Jane Mayer’s in-depth report on Christopher Steele

Jane Mayer at the New Yorker has an in-depth lengthy narrative report on Christopher Steele, the former M.I.6 spy and Russia specialist. This is the most concise narrative report I have seen on this subject. Christopher Steele, the Man Behind the Trump Dossier (ecerpts):

Christopher Steele had spent more than twenty years in M.I.6, most of it focussing on Russia. For three years, in the nineties, he spied in Moscow under diplomatic cover. Between 2006 and 2009, he ran the service’s Russia desk, at its headquarters, in London. He was fluent in Russian, and widely considered to be an expert on the country. He’d also advised on nation-building in Iraq.

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Steele worked out of the British Embassy for M.I.6, under diplomatic cover. His years in Moscow, 1990 to 1993, were among the most dramatic in Russian history, a period that included the collapse of the Communist Party; nationalist uprisings in Ukraine, the Caucasus, and the Baltic states; and the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Boris Yeltsin gained ultimate power in Russia, and a moment of democratic promise faded as the K.G.B.—now called the F.S.B.—reasserted its influence, oligarchs snapped up state assets, and nationalist political forces began to emerge. Vladimir Putin, a K.G.B. operative returning from East Germany, reinvented himself in the shadowy world of St. Petersburg politics. By the time Steele left the country, optimism was souring, and a politics of resentment—against the oligarchs, against an increasing gap between rich and poor, and against the West—was taking hold.

After leaving Moscow, Steele was assigned an undercover posting with the British Embassy in Paris, but he and a hundred and sixteen other British spies had their cover blown by an anonymously published list. Steele came in from the cold and returned to London, and in 2006 he began running its Russia desk, growing increasingly pessimistic about the direction of the Russian Federation.

Steele’s already dim view of the Kremlin darkened in November, 2006, when Alexander Litvinenko, a former Russian K.G.B. officer and a Putin critic who had been recruited by M.I.6, suffered an agonizing death in a London hospital, after drinking a cup of tea poisoned with radioactive polonium-210. Moscow had evidently sanctioned a brazen murder in his own country. Steele was put in charge of M.I.6’s investigation. Authorities initially planned to indict one suspect in the murder, but Steele’s investigative work persuaded them to indict a second suspect as well. Nine years later, the U.K.’s official inquiry report was finally released, and it confirmed Steele’s view: the murder was an operation by the F.S.B., and it was “probably approved” by Vladimir Putin.

Steele has never commented on the case, or on any other aspect of his intelligence work, but Richard Dearlove, who led M.I.6 from 1999 to 2004, has described his reputation as “superb.” A former senior officer recalls him as “a Russia-area expert whose knowledge I and others respected—he was very careful, and very savvy.” Another former M.I.6 officer described him as having a “Marmite” personality—a reference to the salty British spread, which people either love or hate. He suggested that Steele didn’t appear to be “going places in the service,” noting that, after the Cold War, Russia had become a backwater at M.I.6. But he acknowledged that Steele “knew Russia well,” and that running the Russia desk was “a proper job that you don’t give to an idiot.”

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