Remembering John McCain

A true American hero, rest in peace

Posted this on Facebook this morning: Here is how you unfriend Blaska. Slander the late John McCain as a traitor. Spread the provable lie that President Nixon pardoned him. Repeat the disproved urban myth that McCain caused the fatal fire aboard the U.S.S. Forrestal. I will unfriend you immediately or, if you feel compelled to libel the dead, pro-actively unfriend me now. Thank you.

You can disagree with his politics. This bloggeur was disappointed in Sen. McCain’s vote on ObamaCare. And the McCain-Feingold gag on free speech was deservedly gutted by the U.S. Supreme Court in its 2011 Citizens United v F.E.C. decision. But John McCain’s service to his country as a Navy aviator, as a tortured prisoner of war in the Hanoi Hilton (contemporaneously with the late Don Heiliger of Stoughton), his service in the U.S. Senate and as a candidate for the presidency mark the man as a true American hero (Donald Trump and his Trump bots notwithstanding).

Brian Schimming, currently COO at the WI Housing & Economic Development Authority (WHEDA), has served the Republican cause since his college days at Whitewater. Among those duties was staffing various governors and candidates. This is Brian’s remembrance of U.S. Sen. John McCain, who died Saturday 08-25-18. 

John McCain

By Brian Schimming

I didn’t know John McCain personally but I have a have a few McCain memories.

When he was running for president he did a town hall style rally at the EAA Museum, which at that time had a Navy plane in their collection. My recollection was that he had to land at Appleton and motorcade down because Oshkosh didn’t have plane de-icing equipment. He had secured the 2008 presidential nomination but have not accepted Secret Service protection yet. He arrived, we took him to the hold room.

While I certainly respect his service, I’d be less than candid if I didn’t say that in the three events I had some role, a little of John McCain could go a long, long way. He could be, let us say, fairly direct when he didn’t like something.

He was a little chippy when we pulled him out of the car and when we were in hold he was on the phone with whomever and he practiced just how direct he could be. I’m standing there thinking this might be the longest 1½ hours of my life.

Then, just as we were getting to take him out to the stage his 4-foot-nothing communications director turns to him and combs his hair. I remembered that it was a task he could no longer do himself thanks to being tied up and repeatedly beaten 40 years earlier at the Hanoi Hilton. I have to admit, whatever aggravation I felt with him the previous few minutes melted at that moment.

Several, about 10 as I recall, yellow tee-shirted AFSCME employees had come to the event to make themselves seen and were taking seats about 50 feet from the stage. An off-duty Winnebago County sheriff’s deputy came and checked with me whether that was okay, I said fine.

Town Hall event, about 600 people as I recall, went as expected. We brought him down off the stage and started working the rope line that went down the left side of the hall, again, with us doing crowd control and moving him towards the media staging in back to do a post-presser [ press conference ].

Right on the rope line were two of the yellow-jacketed AFSCME people, and I’m thinking, “This could be interesting.” As we get get to them working our way down, McCain says, “Where’s the rest of you? I saw you out there!” They point to the rest of the group about 20 feet behind them in the throng of people, McCain then turns and dives toward them in the crowd, with them suddenly looking a little nervous at the approaching war hero.

He says, “Let’s take a picture with the whole group!” with them clearly looking a little unnerved. He then makes his way back, I lifted up the rope for him to come under, and he turns and gives me a little “I-just-showed-those @!*!” wink. McCain 1, Protestors 0. I laughed out loud then and have since thinking about it.

We finally get back to the media platform for the then-ritual after-event press availability and he apologizes for being a little late to the event. He promptly blamed the delay on his 4-foot-nothing communications person because she didn’t get back to campaign hotel until early that morning, suggesting her walk-of-shame, lack of morals had something to do with the late arrival. That had the whole place roaring in laughter.

There’s a few other stories, nothing dramatic or earthshaking, but that’s one that I think about today.

Idiot watch

Walker sandbagged

Hey nut job, how about grabbing a shovel. Of course it’s a photo op! Scott Walker is the governor of the entire state, not a Guardsman. (You think Barack Obama filled bags during Hurricane Sandy?) You on the other hand, are a sad piece of work.

Speaking of slandering the dead: Kudos to The Capital Times for printing “Porter Butts and the persecution of a dead man.” 

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About David Blaska

Madison WI
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35 Responses to Remembering John McCain

  1. These words were too good not to share…

    “I have little doubt that if all elected officials had the approach to ethics that John McCain did and possessed the values that guided him, our politics would be cleaner and more trustworthy, and our nation and our culture would be better. Not perfect, for McCain was not perfect. But definitely better. The reason this is true is that McCain refused to be locked into ideologies and partisan cant. When he thought his party or its leadership was wrong, he was unusually willing to say so, and to act on his words.”, “No doubt about it, Senator McCain had more integrity than most members of Congress, perhaps more than any of them.”, “In the end, John McCain must be judged an essentially good man who believed that doing the right thing was his duty, and one who often showed courage by trying to do it.”, McCain had an excellent sense of humor, which served him well in keeping life in perspective, and over-all, the Senate, the government and our national scene is diminished by his loss.”

    Those sentences I selected are not mine but they are a wonderful tribute to the underlying character of Senator John McCain. I couldn’t have written a better tribute. I completely agree with the author.

    Godspeed John McCain.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is what the brainwashed idiot behind the governor with the climate change sign is doing…

    Ethical Flush

    Like

  3. Gary L. Kriewald says:

    Kudos to the Cap Times indeed! The writer blames a “regressive spirit” animating a tiny minority of fanatical ideologues for tarnishing the legacy of Porter Butts and causing grief to his family I call it McCarthyism pure and simple. McCarthy operated on the principle that the slightest brush with Communism–no matter how dubious or long ago–tainted one for life. The same is true today–only the target has shifted from Communism (real or imagined) to racism (real or imagined). The tactics of intimidation and innuendo are the same; the results–ruined reputations and blacklists (never was he term more appropriate) are the same. And, of course, McCarthy was aided and abetted by those who knew better but chose to remain silent. That role today is being played by the spineless administrators at UW-Madison, who know how to do only one thing when confronted by the demands, no matter how trivial or preposterous, of aggrieved minorities: bend over and spread their cheeks. Marx’s observation that history repeats itself first as tragedy, then as farce, was never more apt.

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  4. Sprocket says:

    It’s entirely possible for two things to be true at the same time. To wit; John McCain served his country with honor and distinction in uniform and in congress he was a run of the mill political grifter who’s influence was for sale. While his service to his country is deserves to be lauded, everyone falling over themselves to beatify the man is simply silly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gary L. Kriewald says:

      He’s being “beatified” by the MSM because of his feud with Trump (esp. his decision to bar the president from his memorial service). “He who is an enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

      Like

    • Sprocket wrote, “John McCain…in congress he was a run of the mill political grifter who’s influence was for sale.”

      John McCain’s influence was for sale? What?

      Be truthful, where to heck did you come up with that nonsense?

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      • Sprocket says:

        Aside from the Lincoln Savings and Loan debacle, McCain has pocketed over $1Million from the US Chamber of Commerce to further their illegal immigration advocacy.

        Like

        • Sprocket wrote, “McCain has pocketed over $1Million from the US Chamber of Commerce to further their illegal immigration advocacy.”

          Wait a minute, McCain was an illegal immigration advocate? What?

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        • AnonyBob says:

          Z, McCain was a longtime advocate for comprehensive immigration reform which included a foreign worker permit program, a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants already in the country, and strengthened border protection. The first two points drove the Freedom Caucus types nuts; “amnesty,” the nativists would froth.

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        • AnonyBob wrpte, “McCain was a longtime advocate for comprehensive immigration reform which included a foreign worker permit program, a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants already in the country, and strengthened border protection. The first two points drove the Freedom Caucus types nuts; “amnesty,” the nativists would froth.”

          Do you actually think that is equivalent to being an illegal immigration advocate?

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        • AnonyBob says:

          No, I don’t. I am saying the hard right sees any advocacy for undocumented individuals as advocating for illegal immigration. It’s their bugaboo, not mine.

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        • AnonyBob wrote, “I am saying the hard right sees any advocacy for undocumented individuals as advocating for illegal immigration.”

          Nope, you’re not going to get away with that one AnonyBob. Your hyperbole ain’t gonna work. A few wing nuts don’t speak for the whole, which just happens to be just like you don’t speak for all the political left.

          I have never, ever heard or read anyone stating that John McCain is an illegal immigration advocate. Submit any proof to the contrary.

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        • AnonyBob says:

          Geezuz, Z, what is the matter with you? Read. I never claimed it. I’m explaining to you why Sprocket claims it.

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        • AnonyBob wrote, “Z, what is the matter with you? Read.”

          I did read, then I quoted your claim and asked you to submit proof.

          AnonyBob wrote, “I never claimed it.”

          You made this claim…

          “I am saying the hard right sees any advocacy for undocumented individuals as advocating for illegal immigration.”

          Your claim is directly implying that the far right thinks that John McCain was an illegal immigration advocate because he was for immigration reform. Support your claim.

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        • Sprocket says:

          I think Bob made my point better than I could myself. McCain advocated for the interests foreigners over Americans at the behest of cheap labor industries in exchange for piles of cash. He chose this in spite of the social and economic costs the impose on American citizens. I believe at some point the man simply decided to sell his soul for money and power.

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        • Sprocket wrote, “McCain advocated for the interests foreigners over Americans at the behest of cheap labor industries in exchange for piles of cash.”

          That’s hyperbole.

          Sprocket wrote, “I believe at some point the man simply decided to sell his soul for money and power.”

          Nonsense. Bribing members of Congress is illegal to offer and illegal to accept. Members of Congress don’t sell their souls or anything else for cash, organizations and people choose to donate to the campaigns of members of Congress because they ideologically agree with the candidate.

          Like

        • AnonyBob says:

          “Members of Congress don’t sell their souls or anything else for cash, organizations and people choose to donate to the campaigns of members of Congress because they ideologically agree with the candidate.”

          Yeah, Big Pharma or the oil industry or any other powerful lobby just loves the “ideology” of the congress critters who carry their water. I salute you for your idealism, by which I mean you don’t know much about this, do you.

          Like

        • AnonyBob wrote, “I salute you for your idealism, by which I mean you don’t know much about this, do you.”

          Bite me.

          You still haven’t supported your claim.

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        • AnonyBob says:

          You. Are. Tiresome.

          Like

        • AnonyBob says:

          You “have never, ever heard or read anyone stating that John McCain is an illegal immigration advocate” because of his support for comprehension immigration reform? You’ve never heard of it, so it must not be true? Your ignorance is not my problem to fix, but since I’m a bigger man than you let me get you started in the right direction: look up The Gang of 8 and immigration reform in 2013.

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        • AnonyBob wrote, “look up The Gang of 8 and immigration reform in 2013.”

          I’m well familiar with the bill proposed by the Gang of 8 and to my recollection no one was calling the authors of that bill illegal immigration advocates they just didn’t like some of the contents of the bill.

          AnonyBob wrote, “You’ve never heard of it, so it must not be true?”

          It’s true that I haven’t heard your hyperbolic claim before but nope, AnonyBob, I’ve never claimed or even implied that it didn’t actually happen, in fact you ignorant fool I referred to the possibility of it happening when I stated “a few wing nuts don’t speak for the whole”. This argument of yours is false and it’s trolling.

          I’ve challenged you to support your hyperbolic claim and you still haven’t supported it, all you have is more of your typical Progressive foolishness.

          Like

        • AnonyBob says:

          Squeaks, what a piece of work you are.
          I’ll type this slowly so you can follow along. Anyone who supported the 2013 bill (including McCain) and supported comprehensive immigration reform has been derided by the hard right as being for amnesty and illegal immigration. See: Sprocket.
          Am I wrong? Prove YOUR case.

          Like

        • AnonyBob wrote, “Anyone who supported the 2013 bill (including McCain) and supported comprehensive immigration reform has been derided by the hard right as being for… illegal immigration.”

          There is the claim that you still haven’t supported again.

          AnonyBob wrote, “Prove YOUR case.”

          No you f’ing idiot; I haven’t made any claims to prove, you are the one making claims. You demanding that I prove a negative is what a f’ing political hack does. Bite me, asshole.

          You made this claim, “I am saying the hard right sees any advocacy for undocumented individuals as advocating for illegal immigration.”

          Advocate: a person who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy.

          You are claiming that the hard right (whatever or whoever that is) sees any advocacy for immigration reform as publicly supporting or recommending illegal immigration itself. I think your claim is not only hyperbole but literally false and “since I’m a bigger man than you” I’ve actually given you multiple opportunities to support your claim. You haven’t proven your claim.

          My point has been and still is that I have never heard John McCain ever advocate for illegal immigration and to my knowledge no one has ever claimed that the gang of 8 or John McCain or anyone that supports immigration reform were illegal immigration advocates. That statement is not saying that it hasn’t ever happened.

          It’s actually quite simple AnonyBob, the only thing you have to do to support your claim is provide one properly referenced quote from someone you honestly consider “hard right” stating exactly what you have claimed, that either John McCain, or the gang of 8, or anyone that supports immigration reform is an illegal immigration advocate.

          Here’s a little brain food so you know what a real illegal immigration advocate looks and sounds like; it’s someone that publicly supports or recommends sanctuary cities, open borders, the elimination of ICE, wants to strike any immigration rules/laws that make specific kinds of crossing the border or remaining in the USA illegal, etc, etc. That’s what real illegal immigration advocacy is all about. Get it AnonyBob?

          As ridiculous as it may sound to critically thinking people, I have been giving you every opportunity to be an adult and support one of your hyperbolic claims. If you can’t support it then be an adult, say you went off the rails, and apologize for your follow up nonsense trolling.

          These choices are yours.

          Like

        • AnonyBob says:

          Squeaks, I’ve been traveling this week so it’s been hard to keep up this discussion, but in the end there’s not much point in responding to someone so stubbornly stuck on twisting words, lazy linear literalness, and crude, obscene insults. You should get your anger issues under control before you get booted from this blog. Hey, anybody seen Gootch lately?

          Like

        • AnonyBob wrote, “Squeaks, I’ve been traveling this week so it’s been hard to keep up this discussion, but in the end there’s not much point in responding to someone so stubbornly stuck on twisting words, lazy linear literalness, and crude, obscene insults. You should get your anger issues under control before you get booted from this blog. Hey, anybody seen Gootch lately?”

          That’s typical AnonyBob trolling; when he’s confronted with real facts adn a challenge he turns around and offers completely irrelevant excuses, absolute misrepresentations, outright lies, unethical spin, false accusations, and a deflection.

          We get it Bob; you’re a Progressive, you’re an idiot, and you absolutely refuse to support any of your nonsense claims you make plus you will continue to intentionally misrepresent anyone that challenges you until hell freezes over. You’re a troll, you always have been and it’s likely that you always will be. At least we know what to expect from a troll like you – Communication Malpractice. Maybe I should just stop giving you opportunities to support your claims and just slam every claim you make as a lie right up front, but somehow I keep hoping that you’ll grow up and actually be able to properly support one of your claims – it’s futile.

          F.O.T.

          Like

        • AnonyBob says:

          Typical Squeaks response: tone deaf arrogance and childish insults. No surprise.

          Like

    • Sprocket,
      First you say that “…his service to his country is deserves to be lauded” then you say that “everyone falling over themselves to beatify the man is simply silly”; in a very real way you’re contradicting yourself?

      What the contradiction?

      Like

      • That was supposed to read “Why the contradiction?”

        Like

        • richard lesiak says:

          It’s pretty sad that it took every veterans group in the nation to pressure trump into lowering the flag. What a petty, little bone-spur twit we have in the WH.

          Like

        • richard lesiak wrote, “What a petty, little bone-spur twit we have in the WH.”

          I actually agree with you on this one Richard; if Trump is the one that prevented the flag from being flown at half staff it certainly was petty and foolish.

          Like

        • I read something similar to this this morning…

          Yes, the President should have treated McCain like prior departed leaders of his stature and duration on the national scene.

          Yes, Trump’s response was petty.

          Yes, Trump is petty, and yes, apparently Trump being Trump will perpetually be news.

          Yes, John McCain is dead, and his petty orders that the President of the United States isn’t welcome at his funeral still stand.

          Yes, the news media’s attitude is that Trump’s pettiness was not justifiable and McCain’s pettiness was justified, because any anti-Trump attitudes are per se virtuous and just, and Trump’s pettiness is just more proof that he should be impeached.

          Unfortunately as far as the political left is concerned the McCain legacy that will be trotted out in the media for months to come will be his disagreements with Trump.

          Like

        • Hope the flooding in the Dells area hasn’t directly effected you. Stay safe Richard.

          Liked by 1 person

    • old baldy says:

      McCain was far from “run of the mill”. And if you want to see a grifter and a Senator with a for sale sign on their chest, look no farther than out own RoJo. McCain had spine and you always knew where he stood, AND he was able to work with both sides of the aisle, something nobody wants to da anymore on either side..

      Like

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