Friday, August 15, 2008

Who is "off base" Mobile Press-Register?

The Mobile Press-Register opines today Democrats off base on tanker-related jobs relating to a Democratic National Committee advertisement they claimed "had disappeared from YouTube by mid-week." Obviously the above clip is there and going strong. "The spot was a misleading and cheap trick" claims the Mobile P-R. Here's the DNC's press release with the relevant portion following:

Earlier this year, reports revealed that McCain helped steer a $35 billion Air Force tanker deal away from Boeing and towards a European defense contractor that seven of the lobbyists running and raising money for his campaign lobbied on behalf of.

I doubt nobody beyond political junkies bothered with the Press Release so I expect for most people the ad stands alone. While there's some legitimacy behind the Mobile P-R's lamentations, I know they know that Alabama is out of play for this fall. While Virginia, where some EADS job will be located, might not be the best place for this ad to run, Washington State will likely, but not certainly, go to Senator Obama. The battleground state is Ohio. That where this ad is getting massive air time. This reality yields another argument for Electoral College reforms. Then again, the undeniable fact that TV spots are required to reach the average American "citizen" is another concern.

I'm not sure where the Mobile P-R is going with "Mobile - which, we feel compelled to point out yet again, is part of the United States of America. " It might be that they are following the right wing tendency to play the victim, like Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III for instance, but I'm no media mind reader.

The DNC has rightly been pointing out the McCain Myth for some time citing for instance the following:

John McCain says "[a]ccountability and transparency are the pillars of essential reform" and that he will fight to make government more transparent as president. But on the campaign trail, McCain refuses to answer questions about his own role in steering a $35 billion tanker deal to a European defense contractor--a deal that will outsource 44,000 American jobs to Europe. [, accessed 3/12/08]

According to reports, after the Pentagon started from scratch on a tanker contract process, McCain weighed in on behalf of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. (EADS) at key steps in the process. When EADS wanted the Pentagon to take extra features on its planes into account when awarding the contract, McCain asked for it. When EADS wanted the Pentagon to ignore unfair subsidies it was receiving from European governments, McCain asked for it. When EADS wanted the tanker deal to be awarded in a split contract, McCain asked for it. [Mobile Register, 1/16/2007; Inside the Airforce, 2/2/2007; Seattle Times, 6/10/2006; Aviation Weekly, 10/2/06; New York Times, 12/26/2006; Financial Times, 8/6/2007; Mobile Register, 10/2/2007]

Now we know that McCain's campaign is being run by at least two lobbyists who worked for EADS. A third lobbyist was raising millions for his campaign while working for EADS, while EADS executives were steering campaign cash to McCain when he needed it most. In response to concerns about the appearance that he weighed in on behalf of lobbyists and donors, McCain said it is "one of the more bizarre things that I have ever seen in my life." McCain has yet to explain why he sent two letters to the Pentagon making the same arguments EADS had about how to award the contract, if lobbyists or representatives for EADS discussed the tanker deal with his Senate staff, or why he is still using a four-year-old investigation of Boeing to cover his efforts to tilt the scale towards EADS. [CNN Live Feed (Exeter, NH), 3/12/08]

Keep reading for more. Ouch! The Economic Policy Institute's Bailing out on America: Air Force tanker decision will ground at least 14,000 U.S. jobs is also cited by the Mobile P-R.

I appreciate the Mobile P-R pointing out the following:

But the Democratic National Committee failed to note what EPI's briefing paper acknowledged: that Boeing Co. and a key union, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, provide "general research support" to the institute.

I've felt the same frustrations with commentators, columnists, hacks, operative ... not digging deep enough to see who might be paying for what. It's not like y'all would shill paid for research. Or allow Gary Palmer or Lawrence McQuillan or ... to do this in your paper. we know how fairly you've covered Don Siegelman's troubles. No Big Lies would ever appear in the Mobile P-R I'm sure.

Y'all even admit,

"The DNC's "Job Killing John" campaign video was a response to a leaked internal McCain campaign memo purporting that Sen. McCain would label Sen. Barack Obama as a "job-killing machine."

Poor Huggy Bear! The DNC fights back but they are the ones that dare "muddy" things up. It's hardly hardball politics and this is especially certain given the right wing smear machine. Will y'all be covering Jerome Corsi's latest work? How will you cover other ads this campaign?

I can accept that y'all are seriously part of the effort to bring that tanker contract back to Mobile. Papers out here in Washington State are likewise doing their part for Boeing. However, I truly think the Mobile Press-Register is mostly motivated by a desire to beat up on the Democratic Party and Senator Obama.

I'm no huge Obama supporter as he and his aren't clearly Progressive enough for my preferences yet I'm certain St. John would largely continue the same flawed and thus failed policies of "conservatism". John Gunn

No comments: