Once Again (Surprise!) McCain Doesn’t Get It

In a CBS interview with Katie Couric, John McCain responded to Joe Biden’s crack about McCain’s “seven kitchen tables” (emphasis mine):

Couric asked about McCain’s answer when Politico inquired about the number of homes he and his wife, Cindy, own. McCain referred the question to his staff, who said he had at least four. Records show the number could be twice that, depending on how you count the family’s properties.

“I am grateful for the fact that I have a wonderful life,” McCain said. “I spent some years without a kitchen table, without a chair, and I know what it’s like to be blessed by the opportunities of this great nation. Cindy’s father, who barely finished high school, went off and distinguished himself in World War II in a B-17 and came back with practically nothing and realized the American dream, and I am proud and grateful for that, and I think he is a role model to many young Americans who serve in the military and come back and succeed.

“So the fact is that we have homes, and I’m grateful for it. We spend our time primarily in Washington, D.C., where I have a condominium in Crystal City, [Va.]; here in this beautiful Sedona that I am blessed every moment that I can spend here; our condominium in Phoenix, Ariz.; and a place over in San Diego. The others are also for investment purposes.”

What is he “proud and grateful” for? That his wife’s father made a fortune and had a daughter who became the heiress to that fortune? That he, John McCain, happened to meet this fabulously wealthy heiress and marry her? He did nothing to earn that money so there’s really nothing for him to feel proud and grateful about (lucky, maybe).

And then there is the millionth gratuitous reference to having been a POW:

The McCain campaign appears to see that the Dem attacks on the houses gaffe risk being effective as character attacks, in that they are designed to portray him as out-of-touch and even pampered in a way that undercuts his down-to-earth war-hero bio and its intended contrast with Obama as an effete, untested celeb. Hence the frequent response invoking his war service.

But the “McCain-as-POW” currency the McCain camp is printing at such a furious rate — and throwing wads of at every controversy that comes along — is now losing value faster than the German Mark after World War I.

3 Responses to “Once Again (Surprise!) McCain Doesn’t Get It”

  1. matttbastard says:

    Cindy’s father, who barely finished high school, went off and distinguished himself in World War II in a B-17 and came back with practically nothing and realized the American dream, and I am proud and grateful for that, and I think he is a role model to many young Americans who serve in the military and come back and succeed.

    Yeah, about that “role model”:

    It was December 6, 1945. World War II had ended a few months earlier.

    Joseph F. Ratliff was just about to wrap up another day as office manager at United Distributors Company when two of his bosses, Eugene and James Hensley [Cindy McCain’s father], paid a visit to Ratliff at the company’s Tucson liquor distribution warehouse around 5 p.m.

    The Hensley brothers were partners with a powerful Phoenix businessman named Kemper Marley, who had cornered a large share of Arizona’s wholesale liquor business after Prohibition was lifted in 1933.

    Ratliff had gone to work for United Distributors in September 1944. His job was to oversee shipments of whiskey into and out of the United Distributors’ warehouse by keeping track of invoices, filing tax and sales reports with the federal government and monitoring cash flow.

    During and after World War II, the sale of whiskey was tightly regulated by the federal government. Demand for whiskey was high, particularly on the black market, where prices were more than double the regulated market price.

    “‘Well,’ Gene Hensley says, ‘It is five o’clock, why don’t you go home? It is time to close,'” Ratliff told Assistant United States Attorney E.R. Thurman in sworn testimony in March 1948.

    Ratliff went home.

    Upon his return to the warehouse the next morning, Ratliff found a disturbing sight.

    “When the warehouse man came down and opened the warehouse, I started out through the warehouse to go to the men’s room, and I noticed there was two rows of whiskey there the night before that wasn’t on the floor that morning. So I went back to the office. I thought we had been robbed.”

    In his office, Ratliff found another surprise.

    “There was a bunch of invoices in my desk that had been made out after I had left the office, apparently,” Ratliff testified.

    The invoices appeared to be related to the whiskey — about 50 cases — that had disappeared from the warehouse overnight.

    Ratliff went outside to empty some trash and noticed “a pile of empty whiskey cases out there.” Tangled up in the pile of boxes were federal tax serial labels that were supposed to remain with the liquor when sold to a retailer.

    Ratliff recognized the handwriting on the invoices as belonging to then-25-year-old James Hensley, who had become general manager of the Tucson operation in June 1945 after a three-year stint in the military. James Hensley had served as a bombardier on a B-17 and was shot down over the English Channel on his 13th mission.

    Ratliff wasn’t sure what was going on until later that day, when James Hensley returned to his office.

    “He came in and paid me for those invoices,” Ratliff testified. “Cash sales.”

    Ratliff dutifully marked the invoices as paid.

    The seven invoices prepared by James Hensley — after the warehouse was closed — indicated the liquor had been sold and delivered to seven establishments in southern Arizona. The Manhattan Club in Tucson supposedly got eight cases of Seagram’s and Walker Imperial. Nu-Way Grocery in the Lowell district of Bisbee was credited with receiving 10 cases, while James Hensley showed the Merchants Cafe in Douglas to have received eight cases. The Blue Room in Douglas was credited with buying 10 cases; Lee Hop Grocery in Tucson got two. The Ar-Jay Store in Tucson, six cases. The Old Tumacacori Bar in Nogales, seven.

    In fact, none of the liquor went to the retailers named in the invoices prepared by James Hensley. Nobody but James Hensley knows where it really went, and he never told authorities. He declined repeated requests to be interviewed for this story [published prior to his death].

    What is certain is that what occurred that December day was standard operating procedure for the Hensley brothers between April 1945 and January 1947. During this period, a 1948 federal criminal indictment charged, the Hensleys made approximately 1,284 false entries related to the sale of thousands of cases of liquor by their two companies — United Sales Company in Phoenix and United Distributors in Tucson.

    Ratliff’s testimony eventually led to James and Eugene Hensley’s conviction on federal conspiracy charges “with the intent and design to hide and conceal from the United States of America, the names and addresses of the person or persons to whom the said distilled spirits were sent, and the prices obtained from the sale thereof.”

    A federal jury in U.S. District Court of Arizona in March 1948 convicted James Hensley on seven counts of filing false liquor records in addition to the conspiracy charge. Eugene was convicted on 23 counts of filing false statements and the conspiracy count. Eugene was sentenced to one year in prison, and James to six months.

    Yep, a success story as American as mom, apple pie and bootlegged whiskey.

    POW!

  2. Stefan says:

    Guess I’ll add to that.

    ===============================

    He comes across as being sympathetic to veterans who are being denied healthcare, who have to pay for their own meals at military hospitals while they recover from getting their arms and legs blown off, and how they have to wait for eons to get their benefits.. But is McCain really speaking from his heart or a script? He has made it perfectly clear he isn’t against torture, when he voted against a bill to ban it, as reported by the NY Times: “The leading Republican presidential candidate, Senator John McCain of Arizona, a former prisoner of war who steadfastly opposes the use of torture, voted against the bill. Mr. McCain said the ban would limit the C.I.A.’s ability to gather intelligence. “We always supported allowing the C.I.A. to use extra measures,” he said.” Sprinkling in some doublespeak, he says that he believes torture is illegal and should be banned. Voted for the Military Commissions Act, which we are told applies only to enemy combatants. It permits trials without the accused present, gives the Secretary of Defense the power to appoint judges, allows evidence gotten without warrants, and makes it so lawyers cannot see their clients without government monitoring. Former Attorney General Gonzales has said that the president can strip Americans of their citizenship, turning them into enemy combatants, which makes it applicable to American citizens. Voted no to establishing mandatory rest periods for the troops between deployments, which would be a great help in reducing post traumatic stress disorder. Speaking of PTSD, McCain voted against a bill that would have provided $500 million for veterans mental health services like rehab and counseling. These are the actions of someone who hates veterans, not one who sympathizes with them.

    http://warofillusions.wordpress.com/2008/07/18/selection-08-buyer-beware-v2/

  3. radical_Moderate says:

    Yes, McCain has a poor record indeed when it comes to helping Vets. His opposition to the Web GI Bill was disgraceful. Yet the MSM lets him get away with his “I love Veterans” schtick, and then his campaign has the gall to complain about “media bias” vis a vis Obama.

    If the MSM was really doing its job they would be exposing McCain as the hypocrite that he is, and they would be investigating some of the more controversial actions Senator McCain has taken recently including the suspicious facilitation of a sweet-heart land swap between his big Donor, Donald Diamond, and the State of Arizona in which Diamond got a $23 Million parcel in exchange for a remote parcel worth a mere $5 Million.

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