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July 10, 2008

Virginians Can Ask McCain Questions In Tele-Townhall Tonight At 7:00 PM

John McCain is having a townhall-by-telephone for Virginians tonight at 7:00 pm ET. Anyone with a Virginia area code—and maybe people with unidentified area codes—should be able to call in and possibly ask him a question. As far as I know questions aren't screened, and everyone has an equal chance of being called on.

Here's how it works:

Dial: 1-877-850-4146
Passcode: 84831

These are a few questions I'd try to ask if I were from Virginia:

1. Iraqi leaders are now saying they want a timeline for the withdrawal of US troops. If you become president, and the elected Iraqi government has decided it wants all US troops to leave by a certain date, will you commit here and now to following their wishes?

2. Phil Gramm, one of your top economic advisors and your close political friend, said yesterday we are having are “mental recession” and that we’ve become a “nation of whiners.” You've just said Mr. Gramm doesn't speak for you on this. If he doesn't speak for you on the economy, why is he one of your top economic advisors?

3. You've just said about Social Security that "it's terrible to ask people to pay in to a system that they won't receive benefits from." Do you know that, according to the Social Security Administration's projections, even if the trust fund is exhausted in forty years, recipients will STILL get higher benefits than retired people today get? [If YES: Then why are you claiming young people today will never get any benefits?] [If NO: Why are you talking about Social Security if you don't understand anything about how it works?]

4. You've said that you have a strategy to capture Osama bin Laden, but it's something that can only be done in secret by the president. Instead of waiting to be president yourself, why haven't you just told President Bush what your strategy is?

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at July 10, 2008 05:21 PM

Something like, say, actually going after Bin Laden. (It ain't huntin' if yer just sittin' on the couch sayin' yer huntin')(gotta shoot a lawyer or 2 to prove ya went, just ask Ole Deadeye)

Posted by: Mike Meyer at July 10, 2008 06:46 PM

Bin Laden is a CIA mole.

Posted by: donescobar at July 10, 2008 08:29 PM

donescobar: CIA, yes, of course and his close cadre, all trained, at YOUR expence, to fight the russians. YOU may be EVEN paying into some sort of pension fund for them.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at July 10, 2008 09:56 PM

I REALLY HAVE NO REASON TO ASK since I don't live in Virginia or participat in SS, BUT I think I would ask, "How much is the TRUST FUND worth, with INTEREST?" Then I would ask the hardest question of ALL, "Where's MY money???"

Posted by: Mike Meyer at July 10, 2008 10:14 PM

How about, "if you're so concerned about the future solvency of Social Security, why do you accept payments from the SS fund, in addition to your pretty handsome Senate salary, your military pension, and your wife being loaded? Shouldn't Social Security function primarily as a safety net for the disabled and indigent elderly, and not feather the nests of wealthy seniors like yourself?"

Possibly that's harsh.

Of course Jon Schwartz, being the most amazingly awesome blogger known to humankind since Sliced Bread, would undoubtedly know how to ask the same question with substantially more panache.

Posted by: Jonathan Versen at July 10, 2008 10:50 PM

Putting questions to our political candidates is pointless. Their answers are smarmy PR. They can be confronted with lies or inconsistencies, but even then their answers will be smarmy PR. That's the game they and our media play. It's about as close to democracy or even as Stephen King is to John Milton. Paradise ain't ever gonna be regained. Hell, not even Our Town.

Posted by: donescobar at July 11, 2008 09:41 AM

correction to above: or even politics...

Posted by: donescobar at July 11, 2008 09:42 AM

The other thing about Social Security is that it is not just a retirement fund. It takes care of people if they become disabled and it provides support to children whose parents have died.

Social Security is practically the only government program worth keeping.

Posted by: Seth at July 11, 2008 09:47 AM

Picking on McCain is just unfair and counterproductive. Pick. Pick. Pick.

Since the republicans/libertarians want to drag the "government" to the bathtub and drown it, we ought to let them.

Taxes is what we pay for civilization (I'd attribute that but I don't know where I heard it) -- if they think we can get civilization without taxes, then that's our best chance for the much anticipated "reset" event.

How about it Mike of Angle? Can I drag you out for that Jihad?

Posted by: Labiche at July 11, 2008 10:09 AM