Retired General Says Senator McCain Met With Wrong Syrians, Knocks John Kerry

Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely, a retired Army officer many recognize as the senior military analyst who appeared so many times on Fox News Channel from 2000 to 2007, told viewers of “The Steve Malzberg Show” that Sen. John McCain met with the wrong people during a recent secret trip to Syria.  During the same interview, however, he reserved most of his criticism for Secretary of State John Kerry.

While not harshly critical of the Arizona Republican or his visit to the embattled Middle East nation, General Vallely pointed out that Senator McCain met with people who “really aren’t the ones who are the force behind the opposition.”

When asked whether he would call the meeting a “waste of time” or not, he said he thought it was good Senator McCain went over.  Then his criticism of the State Department began.

“We can’t count on our Secretary of State or our State Department to do (it),” General Vallely said.

If you agree with General Vallely’s take on Senator McCain’s efforts, you might also appreciate the findings of my recently-released second nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO.

Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely, U.S. Army (Ret.)

Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely, U.S. Army (Ret.)

On April 8, I published news of the general’s endorsement of the book as follows:

“Bob McCarty has uncovered a high-tech ‘turf war’ pitting those who want the best for our troops against others who seem to be focused on their own self-interests.  Sadly, it seems the wrong people are winning this war.  I highly recommend THE CLAPPER MEMO.”

The endorsement by General Vallely, who now serves as chair of two organizations, Stand Up America and Nemo Arms, Inc., stands as one of three heavyweight endorsements the book has received.

THE CLAPPER MEMO is available in paperback or ebook versions at Amazon.

Order Books Graphic LR 6-15-13

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Ten ‘Heistman Trophy’ Finalists Named

Today, one year after sharing a similar report in 2008, I share a new oversight report issued this week on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act by Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.).  Inside, it contains candidates for what an annual award I’ve decided to call “The Heistman Trophy.” Among those, descriptions of the 10 finalists appear below:

The Heistman Trophy1. Broadband Map That May be Obsolete by the Time it’s Complete ($350 million): $350 million was awarded to states from the Department of Commerce to build a map of its broadband Internet infrastructure, though it duplicates existing maps. Rather than spend $350 million on the project, one firm said it could map the whole nation for $3.5 million – one percent of the cost. Or, anyone with a computer could Google it – for free.

2. Empty Mall Gets Energy Award ($5 million): $5 million was awarded to the Oak Ridge Mall in Tennessee to provide geothermal heat – only the mall has few stores and customers.

3. Fossil Research in Argentina ($1.57 million): Researchers from Penn State will travel to Argentina to dig up plant fossils.

4. Anti-Capitalist Puppet Shows ($50,000): Puppet theaters with socialist, anti-capitalist messages were paid $50,000 to put on puppet shows.

5. Free Rides on Baltimore Water Taxi ($1.6 million): A program to offer free rides on the water taxi as a means of relieving road congestion got money despite it doing little to stop people from traveling in cars.

6. Digital Television Ad Campaign ($6 million): An ad agency was hired for $6 million one month before the switch to digital television—and reported creating three jobs with the money.

7. California Computer System ($60 million): In 2002, California got $66 million to upgrade its computers for the unemployment insurance program. It spent the money on other things and just got another $60 million in stimulus for the same project.

8. Non-Competitive Contracts ($7.8 billion): Half of all stimulus contracts awarded as of the fall were not subject to full competition.

9. Mice, Alcohol and Drugs ($38,000): Studying the impact of alcohol and methamphetamines on mice and rats.

10. Tourist Railroad ($2 million): The Virginia & Truckee tourist railroad in Nevada will get more than $2 million for an extension.

Cast your vote in an unscientific way via the comments section below.

‘Rebranding’ Leaves Conservatives in Vacuum

Roomba PathThe long-exposure photo at right, captured by Signaltheorist, shows the 30-minutes-long path of a Roomba® robotic vacuum cleaner.  Appearing to have chaos and disorganization at the core of its effort, it reminds this blogger of the recently-announced effort to rebrand the Republican Party.

Unless those efforts are altered immediately, conservative-first party members — including yours truly — are destined to feel as if they’ve been left in a political vacuum, without a party to call their own.

In a commentary today, John Armor helps me make this argument when he recalls from his long-ago days in the advertising business that “rebranding” once meant putting a new name and a new slogan on an old product that the people demonstrably did not want.

“If ‘rebranding’ is all that the Republicans do, it will be a fraud,” the contributing editor at FamilySecurityMatters.org, explained.  “It will fail. It will deserve to fail. And, the nation will be the worse for the lack of any competent opposition to present trends in the U.S. government.”

Armor didn’t say it, but I think he would agree that Sen. John McCain’s front-and-center involvement in this rebranding effort fits the description of “an old product that the people demonstrably did not want.”  Perhaps, it’s time we throw out the old “vacuum cleaner” that is Senator McCain.  After all, “my friends,” he’s been working hard for 27 years and, like most vacuum cleaners used that long, he is surely obsolete by now.

John McCain Must Be Feeling Re-Election Pressure

McCain for Senate Ad

Click to see screenshot of page on which ad appeared.

Challenged by Chris Simcox, co-founder of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps in Arizona and a man with more statewide name recognition than most of the senator’s previous primary opponents, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) must be feeling quite a bit of re-election pressure this time around.  As a result, he’s advertising already.

Today, I happened to stumble across a sign that Senator McCain is feeling quite a bit of pressure as he seeks to hold on to his seat following an abysmal performance as the 2008 Republican presidential nominee.

As I arrived at the Alltop.com’s “military news” page, prepared to check out military-related blog listings, my train of thought was derailed at the site of the “Help Re-Elect JOHN McCAIN to the United States Senate” ad (right) that appeared on the web site.

Giving money to Senator McCain will do about as much for the conservative cause as giving it to Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.).  In other words, nothing at all.

Oklahoma Election Returns Map Shows Wisdom

As a native Oklahoma now living in the Show-Me State, I often find myself visiting NewsOk.com, the web site of the state’s largest daily newspaper, for a more balanced view than one can find in the left-leaning St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  The summary below, which I wish applied to results in other states, describes what is clearly visible in the Oklahoma State Election Board map above:

By all measures, Sen. John McCain won handily in Oklahoma, taking every county and giving the Republican candidate his largest percentage total among U.S. states. In Oklahoma, McCain won 2,005 precincts. President-elect Barack Obama won 198 precincts statewide. The candidates tied in five precincts.

If you’re curious as to why Oklahoma, a state with a high percentage of registered Democrats who, voted for McCain, read my Nov. 11 post, Did Loose Election Process Produce Obama Win?

Just When I Thought I Had Seen It All…

Just when I thought I had seen everything possible related to merging politics and free enterprise, I stumbled upon a post, Obama Condoms vs. McCain Condoms, published yesterday at The Western Standard‘s The Shotgun Blog.

Highlighted in the post is an Associated Press article from June, Obama and McCain condoms – ‘for when you just need to switch your position’.

Full of tongue-in-cheek humor, the piece could be viewed as evidence that the newsgathering cartel was more interested in fluff than in substance (i.e., Barack Obama’s relationship with Bill Ayers, Tony Rezko et al) as it covered the 2008 presidential campaign.

‘Tuesday Evening Quarterback’ Critiques Election

Ronald Reagan -- A real player.

Ronald Reagan: Player.

Call me a “Tuesday Evening Quarterback,” but a review of tonight’s election results show the Republican Party team entered its most-important contest ever with little fan support, a poor game plan and the wrong signal caller lined up behind center.

Team GOP’s shortcomings began with the recruiting process.  When loyal fans on the right side of the field saw John McCain of Arizona selected as both their starting quarterback and defensive captain, they feigned excitement and ticket sales (i.e., campaign contributions) waned.

Deep down, fans of Team GOP wished their recruiters had passed on McCain and the other members of the 2008 recruiting class (i.e., Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee and Rudy Giuliani).  They wanted someone who played the game more like Ronald Reagan (right) — perhaps, Oklahoma’s Tom Coburn, a genuine player (i.e., U.S. senator) — to be their starting quarterback (i.e., the nominee).

The team’s woes continued when efforts to scout their chief rival (i.e., conduct opposition research) produced few weaknesses that could be exploited (i.e., allegations that could be proven true to the satisfaction of voters).

Once McCain began calling signals, the Republican offense failed to score both on the ground (i.e., they couldn’t get grassroots Republicans excited) and in the air (i.e., they failed to connect with voters at the receiving end of their campaign messages).  As a result, Team GOP’s defense stayed on the field too long, unable to stop the powerful offense of their more agile — and tech-savvy — opponent.

Only after a popular party girl from Alaska (i.e., Gov. Sarah Palin) joined the team (i.e., accepted the vice presidential nomination) in the fourth quarter did fans show excitement about the game.  Unfortunately, the gap left by poor execution and inept time management during the first three quarters of the game was too large to overcome and prevented Team GOP from defeating the upstart Democratic Party squad led by Barack Obama.

As the game clock winds down, it appears the McCain team’s only hope rests in the successful use of the challenge flag (i.e., lawsuit) to reverse the final score (i.e., vote tally).  Unfortunately for McCain, game officials are likely to be tired and ready to go home after being on the field for most of the past two years.