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The Lives of Riley

The Lives of Riley

By Mark Heisler

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Tag: John Mccain


Backlash Over Defense Budget Cuts Begins

Although some in Congress applauded Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ announcement that the Obama administration would be whittling down the defense budget for 2010, suffice it to say that not everyone is thrilled by this development—especially those whose districts will be directly impacted by the cuts.

Posted on Apr 7, 2009 READ MORE

Obama's defense team
AP photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Will Obama Stay the Course?

I do so want to believe that Barack Obama is on the right track. His brain is big, his style fresh, his pronouncements both logical and compelling, and it does feel good to have a president-elect elicit universal respect rather than make the world cringe.

Posted on Dec 2, 2008 READ MORE

Flickr/John Edwards 2008

John McCain Battles Jackson Browne in Court

This is the story of how Jackson Browne’s 30-year-old song “Running on Empty” became the unlikely catalyst for the singer’s lawsuit against Sen. John McCain—and what Yoko Ono has to do with McCain’s response.

Posted on Nov 20, 2008 READ MORE

Joe Lieberman

Lieberman to Keep Homeland Security Post

After weeks of deliberation about former Democrat-turned-independent Sen. Joe Lieberman, congressional leaders from his former party came to some conclusions Tuesday about his political future.

Posted on Nov 18, 2008 READ MORE


Palin Poised to Make Millions on Publishing Deal

Huh! So Sarah Palin’s White House bid didn’t pan out, but the story of her two-month sprint to Election Day with John McCain will likely translate into big bucks from an eager publishing house. But what should Palin’s tome be called?

Posted on Nov 17, 2008 READ MORE

Georgians for Obama
AP photo / Shakh Aivazov

Cold War Hawks Nesting With Obama

So, Vladimir Putin was right: It was Georgia that started the war with Russia, and once again it was President Bush who got caught in a lie. No surprise, but it is a reminder of just how eager some are for a new Cold War and how indifferent they are to the truth of the matter. Updated

Posted on Nov 11, 2008 READ MORE


Blowback Time for Lieberman

Robert Greenwald’s Brave New Films is making the case that, as the title of its “Lieberman Must Go” video clip suggests, Sen. Joe Lieberman should be taken down a few big notches by the Democratic Party for his actions and assertions during the presidential campaign.

Posted on Nov 11, 2008 READ MORE


Palin Talks Africa, ‘Wardrobe-Gate’ in Fox News Interview

Fox News’ Greta von Susteren spends a good portion of the first part of her lengthy interview with Sarah Palin asking about the clothes Palin and her family wore on the campaign trail, but the Alaska governor also addresses several other rumors and “oddities” that circulated before the election.

Posted on Nov 10, 2008 READ MORE


Will Obama Be a True Friend of Israel?

The U.S. presidential election was watched with interest, of course, by Israelis, some of whom favored John McCain because they believed he would have been a better “friend of Israel” than Barack Obama will be. Haaretz columnist Gideon Levy wonders if there aren’t some problems with this idea.

Posted on Nov 10, 2008 READ MORE

Mosaic election report

Election ‘08 as Seen From the Middle East

Which U.S. presidential candidate did Iranians hope would win? Do Palestinians think President-elect Barack Obama will understand the needs and challenges of their region better than President Bush has?

Posted on Nov 6, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / Susan Walsh

Lieberman Spanked by Power-Mad Democrats

All right, so we’re being a bit facetious with the headline here, but seriously, Sen. Joe Lieberman’s future vis-à-vis his former base at the Democratic Party is a tad uncertain at this time, to say the least.

Posted on Nov 6, 2008 READ MORE

Palin and McCain

Fox News Report: Palin Didn’t Know Africa Is a Continent

Sarah Palin didn’t endear herself to everyone in the McCain campaign, from the look of this Fox News report on Wednesday. Stories about Palin sourced to campaign staffers are a bit on the, um, career-demolishing side, let’s say.

Posted on Nov 5, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / Morry Gash

Morning Again in America

It’s time to gush! Later for the analysis of all the hard choices faced by our next president, Barack Obama, but for now, let’s just thrill, unabashedly, to the sound of those words.

Posted on Nov 4, 2008 READ MORE

Flickr / BohPhoto

Obama’s First Win: Dixville Notch, N.H.

All 21 eligible voters in Dixville Notch, N.H., became the first in the nation to vote at the polls just after midnight Monday, following a time-honored tradition, and the win went to Barack Obama with 15 votes over John McCain’s six.

Posted on Nov 4, 2008 READ MORE

bike race ad

Don’t Let This Happen to You

Regardless of whether or not Obama’s your man on Tuesday, this message from his campaign serves as a useful—and humorous—reminder that this election isn’t over until it’s over.

Posted on Nov 4, 2008 READ MORE

Silhouette City

‘Silhouette City’: Christian Nationalism on the Rise

Just how did we get the Christian right we have today? In his truly scary documentary “Silhouette City,” director Michael W. Wilson takes a close look at the key figures and ideologies that played some part in forming the apocalyptic mass movement that’s looking to influence American politics and culture.

Posted on Nov 3, 2008 READ MORE


FactCheck Presents the Biggest Whoppers of Campaign ‘08

Time to relive the magic that was the 2008 presidential campaign—one big, outrageous prevarication at a time. delivers the “Whoppers of 2008,” courtesy of both Team McCain and Obama HQ.

Posted on Nov 3, 2008 READ MORE


Palin Talks of Wars in ‘Iraq and Iran’

This weekend brought yet another startling installment from the Sarah Palin School of International Relations, in which she talks about “needing to really shore up the strategies that we need over in Iraq and Iran to win these wars” during the first 100 days of her time in the White House with John McCain.

Posted on Nov 1, 2008 READ MORE


Team McCain, GOP in Full Attack Mode

Wow. The Huffington Post rounded up all these new attacks on Barack Obama by the McCain campaign and various GOP operatives—but before reading them, be warned: Prolonged exposure to some of these messages (e.g. voting for Obama might lead to a “tragic outcome” for Jewish people) made us want to take a shower.

Posted on Nov 1, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / Evan Vucci

Obama Congratulates McCain on Cheney Endorsement

During a campaign stop in Pueblo, Colo., on Saturday, Barack Obama used the news that Vice President Dick Cheney had endorsed John McCain for president to further link McCain and the Bush administration. In retaliation, McCain campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds attempted to link Obama with Cheney. Hot potato!

Posted on Nov 1, 2008 READ MORE

Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’: The End Is (Hopefully) Near

Arianna Huffington was back on “Left, Right & Center” to have her say, along with Tony Blankley, Matt Miller and Truthdig’s own Robert Scheer, about the economy and the presidential and vice presidential candidates on the show’s last episode before the election.

Posted on Nov 1, 2008 READ MORE

Obama and McCain
Composite: Flickr: realjameso16/marcn/jeff kubina

Keeping the Supreme Court in Check

Neither McCain nor Obama would alter the prevailing jurisprudence in the Supreme Court or in subordinate tribunals. The unfortunate result will be a judiciary that is deferential to presidential powers and law enforcement in the name of fighting international terrorism.

Posted on Nov 1, 2008 READ MORE

McCain and Schwarzenegger
AP photo / Kiichiro Sato

Schwarzenegger Stumps for McCain in Columbus

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger put aside his appeals to post-partisan politics on Friday in favor of taking up John McCain’s party line during a campaign rally for McCain in Columbus, Ohio.

Posted on Oct 31, 2008 READ MORE

presidential seal
Composite: wikimedia/

More Evidence That Polling Is an Imprecise Enterprise

Polling mania continues! So, Thursday brought word of two newly hatched polls—one by The New York Times/CBS News and the other by Fox News—and their results are strikingly different. What whimsy!

Posted on Oct 30, 2008 READ MORE

Ashley Todd

Faux Attack ‘Victim’ Ordered to Undergo Counseling

Ashley Todd, the 20-year-old McCain campaign volunteer who admitted that she had made up her story about being mugged by a 6’ 4” black man who carved a “B” into her face on Oct. 22, has been released from jail under the condition that she undergo psychiatric treatment.

Posted on Oct 30, 2008 READ MORE

Sanchez and Goldfarb

CNN’s Sanchez Shuts Down McCain Spokesman

My goodness, those CNN anchors are getting feisty in these final days of the election season! Take Rick Sanchez here, who doesn’t give McCain aide Michael Goldfarb an inch when it comes to his claims about Obama’s alleged anti-Semite acquaintances.

Posted on Oct 30, 2008 READ MORE


Alec Baldwin on Sarah ‘Bible Spice’ Palin

After so many years on television, David Letterman knows a headline-worthy quote when he hears one, and he clearly thinks Alec Baldwin’s nickname for Sarah Palin, “Bible Spice,” makes the cut in this clip from Wednesday night’s “Late Show.”

Posted on Oct 30, 2008 READ MORE

voting sign

Bracing for the Ballot Battle

Next Tuesday, don’t be shocked if the Republicans roll out their familiar tactics of intimidating Democratic voters, challenging their eligibility and subjecting them to long lines at polling places. If the election is close, these shady maneuvers might pay off.

Posted on Oct 28, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / Gene J. Puskar

Just How Dumb Are White Males?

Let me now defend white males. We can’t possibly be as dumb as the polls showing we are John McCain’s most reliable voting base would indicate.

Posted on Oct 28, 2008 READ MORE

The Ugly America

“You really do hate America!” This was the parting shot from a man I had just debated on a television show shortly before the invasion of Iraq. Because he’s a notorious right-wing blowhard, I laughed it off as the raving of a crackpot in extremis

Posted on Oct 28, 2008 READ MORE

GOP California

Could California Go Red?

If there’s one state that most everyone would consider in the bank for Barack Obama, it might well be California—any more to the left and the state would be afloat in the Pacific (thus fulfilling the fantasies of many). So why are the early voting returns telling a different story?

Posted on Oct 28, 2008 READ MORE

Daily Show

‘Daily Show’: Crazy Scared Across America

John McCain’s supporters are plenty scared that a secret terrorist-loving Muslim could take over the White House. Meanwhile, Barack Obama’s supporters think there’s nothing scarier than Sarah Palin. At last, fear has brought both sides together.

Posted on Oct 28, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / Carolyn Kaster

John McCain in the Echo Chamber

October proved to be the cruelest month, for that was the time that Sen. McCain, he of the round, blank, Little Orphan Annie eyes, chose to try out a number of weird lies about Barack Obama ostensibly in the interest of a Republican Party long overdue for burial.

Posted on Oct 27, 2008 READ MORE

Alaska’s Biggest Paper Backs Obama

In a move that might suggest that Sarah Palin’s performance on the campaign trail has not been universally well received in her home state, the Anchorage Daily News, Alaska’s largest newspaper, came out in favor of Barack Obama on Sunday.

Posted on Oct 26, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / Nati Harnik

Palin ‘Going Rogue’

Is Sarah Palin’s recent drop in popularity due to the laws of political gravity, or are McCain-Palin campaign advisers to blame? Whatever the reason, Palin is said to be growing frustrated with certain aides and taking her own direction in her latest speeches, with her eye on the White House ... in 2012.

Posted on Oct 25, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / Madalyn Ruggiero

‘Joe the Plumber’ in 2010?

Life took an unexpected turn for Joe Wurzelbacher, or “Joe the Plumber,” when he became a kind of human talking point for John McCain and Barack Obama during their last debate, and now Wurzelbacher has apparently taken a shine to politics.

Posted on Oct 25, 2008 READ MORE

Flickr / BohPhoto

New York Times Endorses Barack Obama

This news isn’t going to make certain members of the Republican Party like the Gray Lady any more than they already do, which is not at all: The New York Times’ editorial board has officially endorsed Barack Obama for president.

Posted on Oct 23, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / Charles Dharapak

Study: Media Goes Negative on McCain

A study by the Project for Excellence in Journalism has found that media coverage of Republican presidential candidate John McCain has been over three times as negative as coverage of his Democratic rival, Barack Obama, since the two parties held their conventions.

Posted on Oct 23, 2008 READ MORE

AP photo / Matt Rourke

I Ran for Vice President and All I Got Was This $150K Wardrobe

Did the Republican National Committee splash out a staggering $150,000 since early September to get Sarah Palin all spiffed up for the campaign trail? And if she and John McCain don’t win the election, does Palin get to keep all those versatile and stylish career separates? Updated

Posted on Oct 22, 2008 READ MORE

Ohio seal

A Week in the ‘Real America’

What struck me during my week in Appalachian Ohio was how different this was from the America of the McCain-Palin campaign, a divided place where the Republicans pit one part of the country against another with vicious robocalls at the dinner hour.

Posted on Oct 21, 2008 READ MORE


Who’s Afraid of ACORN?

Who knew that “community organizing” and “ACORN” would become two of the most mischaracterized and maligned terms during this election season? Well, as a few key members point out in this must-see clip from Brave New Films, ACORN had some idea this might be coming.

Posted on Oct 21, 2008 READ MORE


Wrong Again, Bill Kristol

The New York Times’ conservative stalwart William Kristol should receive some kind of award for being wrong with such baffling consistency while still retaining his job. Not only has he been credited (if that’s the right word) with steering John McCain toward picking Sarah Palin and waving his proverbial pompoms for the Iraq invasion, but he has just let fly with another doozy in his latest column.

Posted on Oct 20, 2008 READ MORE


All’s Quiet at the Bush White House

Following his paradigm-shifting endorsement of Barack Obama on Sunday’s “Meet the Press,” which also inevitably represented a slap to the Bush administration he once served, Colin Powell’s announcement has (thus far) been met with resounding silence from his former White House colleagues.

Posted on Oct 20, 2008 READ MORE

Collage: AP photo / Mary Altaffer,

Fact-Checking the ACORN Flap

Not a moment too soon, here’s’s assessment of the recent hullabaloo over ACORN, the beleaguered community organization that has been yanked into the epicenter of the election battle since Team McCain seized upon it as a Campaign Talking Point™.

Posted on Oct 18, 2008 READ MORE


Bloom Is Off Palin’s Pose

So much of politics has to do with timing. Why, mere weeks ago it seemed as if the McCain campaign might pull off a wild-card win, riding high on the excitement generated when Sarah Palin burst onto the scene, ready for her close-up. Or was she?

Posted on Oct 18, 2008 READ MORE

McCain and Obama

McCain’s Oil-Talk Addiction

This week’s Mosaic Intelligence Reports investigates John “Drill, Baby, Drill!” McCain’s claims about “good” and “bad” oil, energy independence and whether he played a little fast and loose with the oil talk during the final presidential debate,

Posted on Oct 18, 2008 READ MORE

Obama in St. Louis
AP photo / Jeff Roberson

Obama Draws Record Crowd to St. Louis Rally

Barack Obama drew the largest crowd of his presidential campaign, 100,000 people, on Saturday at a rally in St. Louis. The Illinois senator had been behind in the race in Missouri until very recently.

Posted on Oct 18, 2008 READ MORE

voting booth

Team Obama Asks for Special Prosecutor to Investigate Voter Fraud

By way of a response to the McCain camp’s claims about Barack Obama’s ties to ACORN, Obama’s campaign has put in a request to Attorney General Michael Mukasey to “turn over any investigations of voter fraud or voter suppression to Special Prosecutor Nora Dannehy, the same special prosecutor recently appointed to investigate the U.S. attorney firing scandal,” according to CNN.

Posted on Oct 17, 2008 READ MORE

McCain and Letterman

McCain to Letterman: ‘I Screwed Up’

When Sen. John McCain finally appeared on “Late Night” on Thursday, David Letterman didn’t let him forget that he had stood Letterman up last month. Later, McCain joked, “I haven’t had so much fun since my last interrogation.”

Posted on Oct 16, 2008 READ MORE


Obama and McCain Roast Each Other With a Smile

After enduring many grueling weeks of campaigning and three tense debates, John McCain and Barack Obama turned up in tuxes for Thursday night’s Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York to cut loose and try out some lighter material on a crowd ready to laugh, and they laughed as well—at themselves and (especially) at each other.

Posted on Oct 16, 2008 READ MORE

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