Patterico's Pontifications


John McCain on Osama, Newspapers, and Wall Street

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 1:17 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

In what was apparently a wide-ranging discussion, Senator John McCain vowed to get Osama bin Laden and warned the media, especially the New York Times, to be careful with state secrets:

“Mr. McCain, Republicans’ presumed presidential nominee, also vowed to go after Osama bin Laden and “get him,” though he said it may take even more intelligence capabilities than the U.S. has right now.

With his audience of newspaper executives, Mr. McCain singled out the New York Times for criticism, saying it came “too close” to crossing the line to compromising U.S. security when it revealed the government engages in undocumented wiretaps of conversations between U.S. and overseas residents it suspects of involvement with terrorism.

“I understand completely why the government charged with defending our security would want to discourage that from happening and hold the people who disclosed that damaging information accountable for their action,” he said.”

McCain also discussed media transparency:

“Mr. McCain said he will support “shield law” legislation to help reporters protect their sources, saying it was a close balancing act but he trusted reporters “integrity and patriotism” enough to say the good outweighs the potential damage that could be done.

And he warned news executives they need to shape up their own operations, run corrections more prominently, and make their decisions more openly.

The workings of American newsrooms are some of the least transparent enterprises in the country, and it is easy to believe that the press has one set of standards for government, business, and other institutions, and entirely another for themselves,” the Arizona senator said.

“If you don’t mind a little constructive criticism from someone who respects you, I think that is an impression the press should work on correcting,” he said.”

Unfortunately, I have a sinking feeling that John McCain thinks government regulation is the answer to Wall Street greed:

“Sen. John McCain this morning said “greedy” Wall Street investors are partly to blame for what he said is probably an economic recession the nation is now suffering.

“There has to be a modification of the greedy behavior of some of these people,” he said, using the word “greedy” repeatedly in remarks to the Associated Press annual meeting at the Washington Convention Center today.”

I know that greed is one of the 7 deadly sins but I’d bet money that “excessive government regulation’ is the 8th.


20 Responses to “John McCain on Osama, Newspapers, and Wall Street”

  1. You know, every time that Hillary and Obama have just about forced me to reconsider and actually vote for McCain, he has to go start talking and remind me why it’s a really, really bad idea.

    The US will survive the occasional leftist President. One-party rule would be far worse. But liberal Republicans do far more damage because they reset the center.

    Skip (ba6438)

  2. Look, I think most of us can agree that McCain is relatively clueless in the economic sphere; he as much as admitted it during the debates.

    But look at the choices we have; a congenital liar who is pretty good at it; a not so closeted elitist Marxist; and a fellow who is pretty stubborn, self-centered and righteous. He’s also spun his “management experience”. He had an 0-5 job as “commander of the largest aviation squadron in the US Navy”. Unfortunately his 0-6 level boss commanded 14 such squadrons at once, including McCain’s. So I’m only mildly impressed. But at least McCain has managed something other than a political campaign and that puts him one up on Hillary and Barack.

    You hold your nose and vote for the best of some pretty awful choices.

    Mike Myers (31af82)

  3. The problem is how you define “best”. Right now my working definition of that is “the candidate who will do the smallest amount of long-term damage to the country.”

    Short-term there’s no question that Obama is more damaging than McCain, and to a lesser extent, Clinton is also more damaging. But long-term? SCOTUS/courts aren’t really a factor in that calculation, because the leftists are going to win occasionally, and if they didn’t, the right side would become so complacent and corrupt. The damage from one-party rule would be far worse than the damage from a core of leftist judges. Similar arguments can be made on the war. We’re going to be at war for probably the rest of my life at least. And it would be horrible for the country to endure one-party rule for that length of time. So sooner or later we’re going to have to deal with a Democratic administration on that.

    So if I start with the premise that the health of the country requires the Left to win a good fraction of the time, you have to convince me why when the Republicans are running a liberal isn’t the best time for that to happen.

    Obama has been doing his best to convince me that now isn’t the best time. McCain, on the other hand, is trying to convince me that it is.

    Skip (ba6438)

  4. Skip,

    I’ve struggled with the same thoughts as you and I know we all have to resolve them as best we can. For my part, I decided that whether or not I vote for McCain won’t help or prevent future conservative leaders from developing. That may have been true in the past but with today’s internet and media, conservative ideas are readily available. We no longer have to rely on one leader to shine the conservative light.

    In my view, McCain is a good example. He is not a stalwart conservative and yet he is running on a conservative platform. (For that matter, to a certain extent, so is Hillary.) McCain has already taken the no taxes pledge, a pledge he renounced for years, because conservative pressure on this issue is so strong. Everyday conservatives were also able to impact the debate on illegal immigration. Finally, I would vote for McCain because of Supreme Court judges alone. I don’t know who he’d nominate, but I know it would someone a lot better than Hillary or Obama.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  5. Various thoughts…
    McCain probably is the least damaging, short-term – and perhaps long-term too. We forget, that the best way to ensure the integrity of our system is to not let Left/Libs start any new programs that prove impossible to get rid of: Great Society, anyone?

    The retention of the Bush Tax Cuts is the most important economic question facing the government at this time. Allowing those cuts to expire will ensure that this economic down-turn will linger far longer than anyone can foresee (just as Smoot-Hawley turned the Crash of ’29, into the Great Depression of the ’30’s).

    “…“greedy” Wall Street investors …”
    My local paper inserts Parade magazine into the Sunday paper; and on the cover this week was the picture of a Wall Street hedge-fund manager who paid himself 3.5 BILLION DOLLARS in 2007:
    Do you think Senator McCain could have been talking about this fellow?
    And I thought Mike Milken and Carl Icahn were greedy?

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  6. One other aspect of this is that he is partly right. Greedy financial manipulators (who mostly vote D, by the way) were monetizing mortgages and allowing all these “liar loans” to go into portfolios. One good way to do what McCain is saying is to NOT bail those bastards out the next time they step on their dicks. Moral hazard is a lot of the problem. That doesn’t require regulation but just doing what Calvin Coolidge advised.

    ” I didn’t see the need to do things that didn’t need to be done. Sometimes matters just resolve themselves if you leave them alone long enough…Public administrators would get along better if they would restrain the impulse to butt in, or to be dragged into trouble. They should remain silent until an issue is reduced to its lowest terms, until it boils down into something like a moral issue.” “When you see ten troubles rolling down the road, if you don’t do anything, nine of them will roll into a ditch before they get to you.” “Four-fifths of all our troubles in this life would disappear if we would just sit down and keep still.” “When things are going all right, it is a good plan to let them alone.”

    He also said, “Most of the people who want to talk to me want something they shouldn’t have. If I keep perfectly quiet, eventually they will run out of things to say and go away. But if I say anything, anything at all, they will start up all over again.”

    Mike K (6d4fc3)

  7. Silence is very Golden.
    More and more, people are coming to the realization that Silent Cal was a very wise man.
    Or, he followed the advice that it is better to appear stupid, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  8. Who is silent Cal?

    davod (5bdbd3)

  9. Davod, Calvin Coolidge.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  10. Pardon me while I try my hand at that thing that the deadtree media interpreted as creating new sins….

    Excessive government regulation would have sloth, envy, pride, lust and wrath in its motivation.

    Sloth, because you don’t need to keep your eyes open for basic, reasonable risks– OSHA will keep you safe.
    Envy, because you want to be where the highest are, the easiest way to get there is to make a limit of how high they can get– maybe even require that some of theirs be given to you.
    Pride, thinking that the regulators are smarter than everyone else and will make the best choices– which everyone else will be forced to follow.
    Lust, because, like envy you lust for power, lust for money, lust for success.
    Wrath– for when the excessive regulation is born out of a desire to punish without reason those who you hate.

    Foxfier (74f1c8)

  11. Foxfier…
    That Works.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  12. he really has no concept of how the economy works. he’ll run it into the ground as badly as hill or obama. and he shows once more his complete comtempt for the 1st amendment. corrections and such are none of the govt’s business. printing national security secrets however should be pursued,

    chas (3fb29b)

  13. We have to get some real conservatives into Congress to counter this crap.

    davod (5bdbd3)

  14. when i read the part about mccain promising to get bin laden, i thought of elmer fudd and bugs bunny. the incumbent elmer fudd has had over six years to get that wascally wabbit who killed over 3000 people in new york, pennsylvania and washington d.c., but the wabbit has so far eluded our bumbling chief wabbithunter, while periodically mocking us with videos from his wabbithole. i say we nuke the wabbit or give up.

    assistant devil's advocate (c1c2e5)

  15. I’m not convinced that bin Laden is still alive. Far too many of his supposedly recent audiotapes contain vague, non-contemporary discussions and a videotape that came out a couple of years ago was blatantly faked.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  16. Foxfier,

    Don’t get me started on “basic, reasonable risks”. You know that is pure and unadulterated hogwash, right? Not every hazard is obvious – I could name ten non-obvious, but likely fatal hazards that OSHA rules prevent.

    Yeah, regulation can get out of control, but that doesn’t mean regulation itself is up there with the deadly sins.
    (I have admit you made me wonder how the psycho from se7en would act out excessive regulation – strangle an industrial hygienist in red tape?)

    OmegaPaladin (78ab96)

  17. OP– You’re talking to someone who had to put a warning label on PURIFIED WATER because the regulations said so; we were also supposed to treat any spill of this purified water as a hazmat incident.

    Please read the topic– EXCESSIVE regulation. We’re not talking putting up a sign that says “circuit is live,” we’re talking putting a sign on the side of coffee cups that says “caution, contents may be hot”– or the government deciding how much you’re allowed to be paid.

    Before you start getting all pissy– dare I say, “wrathful”?–at me, READ THE BLOODY TOPIC.

    Foxfier (74f1c8)

  18. We have to get some real conservatives into Congress to counter this crap.

    Maybe even Ron Paul would be a counter to this?

    davod (5bdbd3)

  19. Re: post # 6 — when I skimmed that post, I thought you were quoting John McCain, and for just a moment, I felt a bit of excitement that maybe, just maybe, McCain might be worth voting for after all.

    Then I re-read the post and realized who the real speaker was — unfortunately, not a candidate this election. Bleh :-(

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  20. I heard Obama said he didn’t need any economic advisers because he had a piggy bank when he was a kid. It kinda goes along with his foreign policy credentials I guess.

    daleyrocks (906622)

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