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The low-down on McCain's low-down voting record

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"Moderation in all things" - Terence [Publius Terentius Afer], c 190 – 159 bce

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"Those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on earth. And let me remind you, they are the very ones who always create the most hellish tyrannies. Absolute power does corrupt, and those who seek it must be suspect and must be opposed."_"I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!" _

- Barry M. Goldwater; Acceptance speech at 1964 Republican convention

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"Your McCain supporting, Republican brother-in-law is an ignorant, slime-ball schmuck. And, unless you disown him, that makes you one too."

- Ed Tubbs, 2008

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This past Sunday (May 4), I was seated next to the attractive, raven-haired, youngish wife of Barry Goldwater, Jr. at the Palm Springs Book Festival. Her husband was hawking the book, Pure Goldwater, which he collaborated on with John Dean. The book is an assemblage of Sr.'s diary entries from over his decades of service in both the US House and Senate.

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As one side note, and another that I'll introduce in a moment, goes directly to the heart of the matter, I found it extraordinarily eerie: how very much the physical appearance and nervous to be expected to sit still features of the 71-year-old son - from his lanky, standing proud and upright, look-you-honest-straight-in-the-eye, Southwestern carriage, jutting jaw and a tightlipped grimacing grin that seemed to expand larger than his face - resembled his dad.

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During the Q&A that followed Junior's presentation, it became sadly evident how few details, details that one would expect a son and assembler of a book on his father would immediately remember, that he was actually able to summon back. There were raised questions of the father's truly 'conservative' - in the original classic sense, not what it has been hijacked as today - quotes ("Don't have to be straight . . ." the "Extremism in defense of liberty . . ." ) and principled positions in re opposition to Eisenhower's interventionism around the globe, interventionism in Latin America and in the mid-East for which we are paying highly today, and the terrible McCarthy stain, and Barry Jr. had a most difficult time with all of them.

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Earlier I sat through Valerie Bertinelli's discourse on her most recent book, Getting My Life Back, One Pound at a Time. Three things I took from that presentation: 1.) She is a delightful, still looks great, woman; 2.) The book is a running ad for Jenny Craig; and 3.) Valerie didn't write the book.

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The second Stage-1 venue was the one I had looked forward to most: a discussion concerning the 2008 presidential prospects. As things unfolded, it became the one that disappointed me most. The first disappointment: John Dean, the highlighted member of the panel of political pundits, cancelled. Reportedly, his wife was running a 102-fever when they awoke that morning and John elected to stay by her side. The remaining members included conservative Hugh Hewitt (again, see above; not a Goldwater conservative; one of the modern hijackers of the mantle!), Matt Welch (author of McCain: The Myths of a Maverick; currently editor & blogger at Reason.com, and previously LA Times editor), liberal pundit Robert Scheer, and investigative journalist Greg Palast.

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An "Old Army Vet" and liberal, qua liberal, with a passion for open inquiry in a neverending quest for truth unpoisoned by religious superstitions. Per Voltaire: "He who can lead you to believe an absurdity can lead you to commit an atrocity."

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