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The story about John McCain privatizing veteran health care, while at the same time rationing VA benefits to only combat related health concerns, won't seem to fade quietly into the night. Two days ago I wrote briefly about it.  I never even mentioned plastic cards or privatization, but I got the sentiment across at least.  The war hero who got shot down over Vietnam is a sell out to the ideology of "draft-dodging coward" George Bush.

Lots More Below

[Update] Note:  I support Elizabeth Edwards in every aspect of recent events.  I in no way intended to disrespect her.  Love makes people do many things.  My comments were only snark, and not meant to be offensive.

Yesterday in Las Vegas McCain attended an event for DAV, Disabled American Veterans.  He spent the time attacking Barack Obama instead of focusing on veterans issues.  Only 1 in 14 of the veterans interviewed after the event voiced full support for the Republican Presidential Candidate.  The words of Duke Hendershot, a former marine, a double amputee and an active combat Vietnam veteran, resonate soundly on the impression McCain gave a lot of the veterans in attendance.  Hendershot (condensed):

John just isn’t the same as he used to be. He’s not his own man.  A lot of that has to do with how he’s wanted this job so bad for so long that he’s tied himself to President Bush... a draft dodging coward... He should have been talking about veterans issues, not his opponent.

Ouch.  That can not bode well for the Arizona Senator.

That a former war hero whose entire political career started because of his military service could lose support with veterans paints a grim picture of just how far McCain has fallen from his days as a maverick.  Most, if not all, of McCain's speeches give the impression that he believes it is his God given right to be President of the United States.  He addresses every demographic he speaks to as though their support is simply understood.  He also uses every speaking engagement to deride his opponent, apparently thinking that every audience he addresses shares his love for mean spirited rants and his loathing of Barack Obama.

VetVoice discussed the event and McCain today.  There are far more veterans disenchanted with John McCain than I would have imagined.  As more and more veterans find out exactly where they stand in John McCain's world, his support among them is fading fast.  In the words of Tammy Duckworth:

John McCain has said that improving veterans' health care would be his top domestic priority as President, yet he has repeatedly voted against increased funding for veterans health care.  And now he offers up an plastic card option that will lead to privatization of veterans health care. No one knows how to help and heal veterans like veterans -- had I ended up in a regular hospital after returning from Iraq, I would lost my arm. McCain's plan will only hurt the VA and our veterans more than they are already hurting.

I will do my best to keep this story alive.  There are veterans who don't watch the news because it's just too depressing to learn what has been done to our nation and our constitution.  I can understand why some people would not want to know anymore.  Hopefully, for those people, there will be concerned friends and loved ones to tell them.  As long as the story doesn't go away, McCain will continue losing support from a group he definitely takes for granted.

Male Anatomy Non News

John Edwards had sex with somebody besides his wife.  This confirms the rumors that have been swirling around John Edwards for quite some time.  He is, in fact, a male, and not just a male but a man as well.  Some of us had high hopes that he would be proven a sexless eunuch, but he has fallen from grace with eunuchs everywhere.  "That depends on what the definition of is is," said an older man guilty of having similar genitalia in the past when asked, "Is it true that John Edwards has male parts?"

Over at Obsidian Wings, hilzoy presented some of the leaked memos from Hillary Clinton's campaign.  There is a memo about Rielle Hunter in the pile.  Excerpt:

(Rielle's) latest project was John Edwards. Edwards, she said, was an old soul who had barely tapped into any of his potential. The real John Edwards, she believed, was a brilliant, generous, giving man who was driven by competing impulses—to feed his ego and serve the world. If he could only tap into his heart more, and use his head less, he had the power to be a "transformational leader" on par with Gandhi and Martin Luther King. "He has the power to change the world," she said."

Easy, stomach.  As if hearing about old people having sex weren't bad enough, now there's going to be creepy little insights into the psychology of the affair coming to light all over the place.  At least nobody has discussed Rielle's new age philosophy.  Oh noes!  More of the same memo, with new age philosophy:

Her speech was peppered with New Age jargon--human beings were dragged down by "blockages" to their actual potential; history was the story of souls entering and escaping our field of consciousness. A seminal book for her had been Eckhart Tolle's "The Power of Now." Her purpose on this Earth, she said, was to help raise awareness about all this, to help the unenlightened become better reflections of their true, repressed selves.

Please make it stop.

A huge thanks to John Edwards for ruining my appetite with his stupidity.  The affair was wrong.  Running for president on the assumption no one would find out... well that's just f***ing stupid.  Poor Elizabeth must have been on some good meds when she bought into John's campaign, and supported him in silence.

And now I am done with the non news of this forever.

Trolls, Degenerates, Criminals

I have to admit that I sometimes can't keep up with all of the reading I like to do.  I just made it to Boing Boing for the first time in over a week.  During that time I missed a short blog on a New York Times' article on trolls.  Explaining to the uninitiated what "troll" means isn't that difficult.  It can be difficult to explain just how terrible some of these people really are.

Mattathias Schwartz peered into the twisted realm where some of the worst dregs of the troll culture reside.  These guys make political trolls seem kind and understanding.  At least political trolls have a good reason for their actions:  They write with conviction and to combat what they perceive as a threat to their lifestyle.  The brand of trolls Schwartz described only do it for the sadistic thrill.

It turns out there's some self-important clown on the Internet named Jason Fortuny.  He played a dirty trick on some people once.  It was not very impressive, but a dirty trick nonetheless.  The Boing Boing piece reiterated a good example of Jason Fortuny's psychopathic, antisocial and highly egotistical thought process.  Excerpt:

So, your only recourse is to just not be stupid and/or batnuts crazy on the Internets. If you can do that, everything will be just fine. However, just so I can be absolutely clear about this: if you escalate a war of words with a troll, you WILL lose. We know all the tricks. We have access to all the resources. We know all the laws. We're all friends with each other.

Deluded much?  I almost bought into some of what he had to say about dealing with trolls, until he got to the last point.  You can be very certain, Mr. Fortuny does not have a lot of friends, let alone in the back stabbing, amoral world of the Internet troll.  It's really kind of sad when you read between the lines of his statements.  He probably desperately craves attention and affection, and being unable to get the latter settles on being a sociopath.

I have another tactic for dealing with trolls that Mr. Fortuny didn't mention.  I don't bother to ever read comments.  Trolls mean less than nothing to a true writer.  A writer is too busy writing to pay attention to the childlike rants of pimply adolescents, and closet victims of childhood abuse.  I wish them all the best, though.  There may be hope left for some of them.  What's better than being a troll?  Having a life (girlfriend, job, independence, money... that sort of thing).


Originally posted to prestochango on Sun Aug 10, 2008 at 01:45 PM PDT.

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