San Diego Professor Criticizes Those Wishing “War Criminal” John McCain Sympathy Over His Cancer

downloadAnother controversy over free speech was triggered this week on social media by an academic expressing hateful views.  Various people have called for San Diego State University Political Science Professor Jonathan Graubart to be fired after denouncing those wishing Sen. John McCain best wishes for his recovery.  Graubart called McCain a “war criminal” and said that he was “annoyed” by all of the expressions of sympathy for his dire cancer prognosis.  Others at the school supported and shared his views.

Graubart went on Facebook to declare “I find myself annoyed at the groundswell of good wishes for John McCain after his diagnosis of glioblastoma and have been thinking through why.” Professor Jonathan Graubart recently posted on Facebook about the Arizona Republican.  He added:


“McCain is a war criminal and, more to the point someone who as a politician has championed horrifying actions and been lousy on state commitment to public health. So dying or not, he’s a risible public figure (I have no idea what he is like on the personal level and don’t care).  But ultimately what troubles me is the urge to send such well wishes to an utter stranger as it reinforces the notion that some lives are more important than others. There are lots of people with glioblastoma and who have died from it (including my mother twenty years ago).”

Graubart’s comments are hurtful and hateful.  It is a reflection of the incivility that has taken hold of our social and political dialogue.  It is always sad to see a fellow academic rush to the bottom of our national discourse.  However, we have free speech and academic freedom to protect unpopular, not popular, speech.  Popular speech does not need protection.  Graubart is expressing his deep political and social viewpoint on social media. He should be able to do that just as his critics have a right to denounce his views.

The San Diego State University spokesperson said the university “does not have a social media policy for faculty and staff.” It added that “As a public institution, we do not and cannot regulate the private speech of students, faculty or staff. However, that should not imply the university’s endorsement of any particular viewpoint.”  That is precisely the position to take and, if the university applies its consistently regardless of the content of the speech, it would be an important act of restraint in favor of free speech.

Jonathan Graubart is an attorney who practiced before becoming a political science professor.  He received his Ph.D. in political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2002 and his JD from UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall in 1989.

I am “troubled” by Graubart’s statement that “ultimately what troubles me is the urge to send such well wishes to an utter stranger as it reinforces the notion that some lives are more important than others.”  Few people would view such expressions of sympathy in that way.  Moreover, Graubart makes clear that his political and policy disagreements with McCain is a core reason why he is so “annoyed” by those expressing basic humanity and concern over the news.  Politicians often become personifications for movements and groups even in their illnesses or deaths.  The coverage often brings needed attention to illnesses like glioblastoma for groups like the American Cancer Association.  However, the main reason for expressing sympathy is that he is a human being who is suffering.  Graubart’s historical reference to the Nazis only highlights the amorality of his views.  The answer to hatred is for people to transcend their differences and learn to embrace people as human beings — to identify with their suffering despite their differences.

Here is the whole statement:

I find myself annoyed at the groundswell of good wishes for John McCain after his diagnosis of glioblastoma and have been thinking through why. A great line from Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem comes to mind regarding the valuing of elite lives over ordinary lives:
“There are more than a few people, especially among the cultural elite, who still publicly regret the fact that Germany sent Einstein packing, without realizing that it was a much greater crime to kill little Hans Cohn from around the corner, even though he was no genius.”

This analogy should not be interpreted too strictly. McCain is certainly no Einstein and I don’t mean just on brains. Einstein had very appealing humanist instincts, as a socialist, antiwar, anti-imperialist, and anti-statist Zionist. McCain is a war criminal and, more to the point. someone who as a politician has championed horrifying actions and been lousy on state commitment to public health. So dying or not, he’s a risible public figure (I have no idea what he is like on the personal level and don’t care).

But ultimately what troubles me is the urge to send such well wishes to an utter stranger as it reinforces the notion that some lives are more important than others. There are lots of people with glioblastoma and who have died from it (including my mother twenty years ago). I would much rather read random good wishes to contemporary little Hans Cohns than to politicians.

250 thoughts on “San Diego Professor Criticizes Those Wishing “War Criminal” John McCain Sympathy Over His Cancer”

  1. McCain is indeed a war criminal–but so are Obama, both Bushes, Cheney, Rumsfeld, both Clintons, every Congresscritter who voted for the Iraq War, and military officer who carried it out, everyone involved in bombing Libya, all those involved in the drone strike program, and anyone in the American media who cheerleaded any of the above atrocities. Let’s not limit ourselves here.

  2. So the job of an illustrious college “professor” should be protected from the dangers of embarrassing social media posts, but the colleges themselves see no difficulty in refusing to admit students on the basis of their social media posts? What sense does that make? Also, Gen. Stanley McChrystal can be fired for what he says in his own private life – despite the public’s need for candor on the part of our military – but we value college profs voices so much that they can never be fired for words they’ve spoken? This is absurd!

    1. “Also, Gen. Stanley McChrystal can be fired for what he says in his own private life – …”
      You should reconsider. Statements made by the general to his subordinates that demonstrated distrust and ridicule of the President of the United States and encouraged a culture among those subordinate officers to share his feelings cannot, should not, be considered things he says “in his own private life”.

    2. Debbie, learn something about the concept of academic freedom. Military officers do not possess such.

  3. Jonathan Graubart has a fine response down below. Too bad it is buried under a long stream of off topic comments.

  4. Brooklin Bridge,..
    I just scanned 40-50 articles trying to answer your previous question about where I got the 30-40 fold increase.
    These articles tend limited in the details and history of per capita MC spending.
    I had worked out these numbers before, but I had to sort through a ton of material to retrieve the info.
    The 1967 federal budget was $805 Billion. 4 % is listed as “Medicare and general healthcare spending, which comes out to $3.2 Billion.
    There were about 20,000,000 enrollees in 1967, so the 1967 per capita cost comes to c. $160 per beneficiary.
    That $3.2 Billion MC budget is now $650Billion + .
    The percapita costs of $160 in 1967 are now c. $ 11,800.
    The ration is more like an 80 fold increase, not the 30-40 fold per capita increase I had thought.
    You can check graph for the figures that I used….there are other sources for the 1967 budget, but it can be nearly impossible to find the specific breakdown/ information being sought.

  5. B. bridge,…
    You didn’t explain a damn thing… tried to deflect from the fact that the Medicare system, our single payer system, has seen its PER CAPITA costs rise by a factor of 30-50 times over a couple of generations.
    That is not an impressive record.
    You said that’d because the cost of treating older patients is higher….who in the hell do you think MediCare covered 50 years ago?.
    The PER CAPITA costs of THAT SAME COVERED GROUP has increased 30-40 times….it’s not like Medicare subsequently initiated coverage of the elderly as the program went along.
    You are evidently so impressed with these huge price increases in this program that you think it will magically become price efficient by turning all of healthcare over to them.
    Stick with your BerniePablum and don’t look at “tiresome” things like history or budgetary considerations.

    1. B. Bridge,…
      Not that it would have an, impact on your cherished beliefs, but if you don’t find it to “tiring”, read:
      The Bernie-Bullsh*t about the $3500-5000 annual savings per family with “Medicare for All” is closer to what you want to hear, and would not “tire you”, so stick with that.

    2. Did they have MRI’s 50 years ago? Fifty years ago, did people die of cancer sooner? Did they have shingles vaccines 5 decades ago? Are there specialized orthopedic surgeons now achieving better outcomes than the general surgeons of the 1950’s and 60’s?…..
      If you can find enough people willing to refuse advances in medical care, returning to the care received in 1950, research could find a meaningful comparative per capita measurement.

      1. Linda,….
        There have been advances in medical technology in the 1967-2017 time span.
        There were also advances in medical technology in the previous 50 year period (1917-1967).
        Health care costs averaged about 5% of GDP during that earlier 50 year period…..on the 1967-2017 period, they’ve risen from 5% of GDP to about 18% of GDP.
        CAT Scans and MRIs were significant advances.
        They are very widely utilized and very heavily subsidized.
        And if a referring MD has a financial interest in the CAT/MRI facility, you are SEVEN TIMES as likely to be sent for that imaging than you are if the doctor has no financial interest in the facility.
        But since it’s “covered” by insurance in most cases, who cares?

        1. Socialized medicine has worked in other industrialized nations- not a perfect answer but, 18% of GDP isn’t an endorsement for the current system either. Most of the costs are incurred in the last two years of life.
          We can check on you in those two final years and see if, being in a buyer beware situation characterized by the necessity to be a savvy consumer, is what you recommend.

          1. Linda,
            ..I think that most of the other developed counties with single payer systems have had those systems in place for at least as long as the U.S. has had MediCare (51 years).
            I think I pointed this out the B. Bridge, but these systems did not start with the high embedded cost structure that we have.
            They instituted cost controls with the indroduction of their single payer systems.
            Our per capita health care costs have skyrocketed since the MediCare and MediCaid programs were introduced.
            That reality is going to make any major reform, going forward, a huge challenge.
            My primary objection to the “MediCare for All” proponents is that they fail to take an honest look the likely benefits AND COSTS.
            These programs are “sold” by exaggerating the benefits and understating the costs; that’s what I’m observing in the current MC for all “debate”.
            If it’s going to take an across the board 70-100% tax hike to implement MC for all, recognize and discuss that cost upfront.

            1. Linda,..
              Without reviewing an extensive history of MediCare, the MAXIMUM Medicare payroll tax for an employee in 1966 was $23 a year.
              It is now unlimited, and the employee tax rate has gone from .35% to 1.45% currently.
              The Part B premiums for beneficiaries was $3 a month in 1966…it is now over $100.
              General revenues…tax dollars…fund 41% of the Medicare program,so the payroll tax hikes and the PartB premium increases come nowhere close to self-fumding the program.
              These are important considerations if people are to take a realistic look at what’s likely to happen in a MC for all system.

              1. tnash, your credibility wouldn’t be questioned if you consistently used inflation-adjusted numbers.

                When the carried interest loophole is closed, when corporations return their offshore accounts for taxation, when a progressive tax system is reimposed so that wealth that is created by labor isn’t redistributed to the rich, when length of patent protection, particularly on the tech industry, is shortened, and when estate taxes are increased, the public will see that a fair system is the goal. Absent that, the narrow fixation on the one area that the middle class and poor benefit from, appears as nothing more than the further concentration of wealth among the richest 0.1%. And, I hope that your arguments, similar to Pete Peterson’s, who has spent 1/2 bil. to destroy Social Security, fall on deaf ears.

                BTW- what do you think about the Arnold Foundation and Pew Trusts’ attacks on pensions and their partnership “to research and enhance community supervision systems and electronic monitoring”?

                1. Linda,
                  It’s not that difficult to see that a $3 Part B premium in 1967 is far lower than the current $100+ Part B premium, even in inflation adjusted dollars.
                  And I did mention a 600% increase in the CPI over that 50 year period.
                  If it helps, I’ll do the math for you.$3 in 1967 dollars would be the equivilant of $21 today.

                  1. “Top 70 Healthcare CEO’s raked in $9.8 bil. in 2010”. What amount did they take in last year?

                    1. Linda,
                      You wrote, in quotation marks, “TOP 70 HEALTHCARE CEOs RAKED IN $9.8 Billion in 2010”.
                      First of all, I’d like to see a sourse for that claim.
                      I think that comes out to an average of c. $170 million for each of the 70 top health care CEOs in 2010.
                      I’d be damn interseed to see if you or anyone else can substantiate that caim.
                      As for your question, “how much did they take in last year”, I haven”t looked it up.
                      Why don’t you make up another number to answer that question?
                      You seem to have no qualms aboout inventong facts.

                    2. Correction- 6 years from 2010-2016, Second, “in” should have been “since” (source: Jake Johnson, published in lengthy article corroborated with detailed data charts at Truthout).

          2. On the “final two years of life” expenses….it is easier for a country like the U.K. to put tens of thousands of patients on “deaths quiet pathways”, without consulting the patient or family about possible treatment options.
            The “coverage dictates the treatment”, and it was a major cost saver for the British NHS.
            If Medicare for all ( or a similar government funded single payer system) is instituted here, you will have increased governmental say on what is covered, and when.

            1. The hypocrisy of Sarah Palin’s “death panels” rhetoric is an example of why Republicans can’t be trusted to engage in a reasoned discussion about health care.
              tnash, do you work for Pete Peterson or a similar plutocrat?

              1. You might want to check with Charlie Gard’s parents about “death panels”.

              2. Linda,..
                No, I don’t.
                You can research the British NHS program to put older patients on “death’s quiet pathways”….I think the number was 60,000 patients.
                Sorry if you think it’s “unreasonable” to bring it up.
                I did learn from you that only Democrats can be trusted to engage in a reasoned debate about health care.
                That statement alone indicates to me that you are an,arrogant, ignorant fool.

                1. tnash
                  You misquoted me twice in a single paragraph. Makes me question whatever you claim are “facts”. But then, Republicans at the highest level coined the term alternative facts.

                  1. Where did I misquote you?

                    Read the comment you made that I replied to….you’re words that “ONLY DEMOCRATS CAN BE TRUSD TOO ENGAGE IN A REASONED DEBATE ABOUT HEALTHCARE” make your meaning clear enough.

                    1. “Republicans (politicians implied) can’t be trusted…” Since the political system is completely corrupted by big money (see Princeton Prof. Gilens’ documented research), citizens should vote for the health care system they want.
                      I did not express an opinion about “patients..pathways”. However, I’ll add a comment at this point. It is a sin of omission to ignore the number who lose lives as a result of an inability to pay for medical care. It’s a cost that “reasonable” researchers include in a discussion of national health care.

              3. The unconstitutionality of Obongocare taking over an entire industry of American free enterprise should have ended the discussion at the Supreme Court but that corrupted body is packed with subjective political extremists, many of whom should have been impeached for usurpation and treason long ago, rather than objective jurists.

                The Constitution provides the right to private property. Private property takes many forms. Money and businesses are private property. Government cannot take private property from one indivdual to give that private property to another individual. James Madison defined “private property” as “that dominion which one man claims and exercises over the external things of the world, in exclusion of every other individual.”


                Do you know you are in America under the dominion of the Preamble, Constitution and Bill of Rights?

                Government has no constitutional authority to subsume the healthcare industry. Government has no authority to dictate to free individuals or their endeavors of free enterprise. Who taught you what in school? Did you attend the University of Karl Marx? Clearly, competition in free markets produces the highest quality product for the lowest price. There should be affordable GEICO healthcare insurance commercials all over the media, not governmental dictatorship.

                You simply have a psychosis which compels you to dictate and control rather than apply logic and rationality. If you are so concerned with healthcare insurance, go open a healthcare insurance business. Under the Constitution, you are free to do that. Alternatively, you could go open a charity enterprise in the free markets of the private sector. No, you’d rather dictate and force other people to do your will.

                Thanks, Karl. We’ve had enough.

    3. Can you read, Tnash? I said, “Health care costs have far outstripped the cost of living for over 40 years.” Would you like me to break that down word by word for you?

      I can understand your frustration. Your claim was nothing less than embarrassing:

      The overall cost of living over that period [the last 50 years] has increased c. 600%, so had Medicare per capita costs tracked the CPI, we’d be looking at per capita costs of c. $2,000-$2500, not the $12,000 + cost we actually pay.

      Any one who has ever been to a doctor or the emergency room (for an emergency) can attest to the fact that health care costs, ALL Health Care costs in the US, have risen much faster than price of living. The increase in cost of non generic drugs has recently been even worse. It just doesn’t take a genius. So your claim that Medicare should track overall cost of living increases, or that this increase says something about Medicare in particular rather than about the health care industry as a whole is risible.

      Your implication that medicare is some sort of single payer system all by itself (your words: “… the fact that the Medicare system, our single payer system”…) is also simply embarrassing. And that was my next sentence that you obviously conflated with the one preceding it. I said, “Medicare is for the elderly so unit costs are naturally much much higher than if it were an actual single payer system for the whole population.” I did not say that had anything to do with cost increases over time. It is a constant.

      Any valid analysis of any single payer system will examine an entirely single payer system. Not a single payer program within another, diametrically opposite system – where the former is highly dependent on high costs of the latter. Such claims are rife with apples to oranges comparisons that have little basis in fact.

      Finally, you have remained silent on the fact that almost all post industrial nations have single payer or similar highly controlled public/private systems and that these are costing them far less per unit of care than our system including the costs for the elderly.

        1. This chart actually points out the general health care costs have risen much faster than those of Medicare.

          Sometimes it takes just a couple of numbers to clarify a huge, complex issue–In this case, what to do about Medicare. Medicare costs are up 400% since 1969–scary, right? But private health insurance premiums in the same period are up 700%–nearly twice as scary.

          1. Brookline Bridge,..
            WordMess may or may not post my replies, so I’m not going to try again to type out an extended reply to all of your claims.
            Let’s take one of your crazier comments, abour MediCare costs only increasing 400% since 1969.
            If the per capita cost per Medicare beneficiary is 30-35 times higher over that period,the COSTS have increased by that amount.
            I doubt if Medicare insurance premiums have only increases 400% since 1969….Even IF that is true, it ignores that fact that MC payroll taxes have skyrocketed over that period, and that MediCare is ADDITIONALLY SUBSIDIZED by general tax revenues.
            Without checking, I think about one third of the MC program comes from general tax revenues.
            This is known as cost shifting, not cost control.
            It’s not like there is some kind of financial alchemy at work here; those exploding costs of the program can and are paid for, if not directly by the beneficiary.

    4. Medicare Has Controlled Costs Better Than Private Insurance

      According to CMS, for common benefits, Medicare spending rose by an average of 4.3 percent each year between 1997 and 2009, while private insurance premiums grew at a rate of 6.5 percent per year. (See Table 13)
      According to a calculation by the National Academy for Social Insurance, if spending on Medicare rose at the same rate as private insurance premiums during that period, Medicare would have cost an additional $114 billion (or 31.7 percent).
      The CBO explicitly stated that its data on relative cost growth should not be used to make the argument that Goodman and Saving make, writing that the relatively low growth rate of all health care expenditures other than Medicare and Medicaid “should not be interpreted as meaning that Medicare or Medicaid is less able to control spending than private insurers.” Goodman and Saving mistakenly suggest that the growth rate of private insurance is the same as the growth rate of all health care expenditures other than Medicare and Medicaid; however, as CBO points out, the growth rate of all health care expenditures other than Medicare and Medicaid includes not just spending by private insurers, but also government programs and out-of-pocket costs paid by the uninsured.
      The CBO has predicted that the rising cost of private insurance will continue to outstrip Medicare for the next 30 years. The private insurance equivalent of Medicare would cost almost 40 percent more in 2022 for a typical 65-year old.

      Medicare Has Lower Administrative Costs Than Private Plans.

      According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, administrative costs in Medicare are only about 2 percent of operating expenditures. Defenders of the insurance industry estimate administrative costs as 17 percent of revenue.
      Insurance industry-funded studies exclude private plans’ marketing costs and profits from their calculation of administrative costs. Even so, Medicare’s overhead is dramatically lower.
      Medicare administrative cost figures include the collection of Medicare taxes, fraud and abuse controls, and building costs.

      So-called “competition” in the private health care market has driven costs up.

      In most local markets, providers have monopoly power. Consequently, private insurers lack the bargaining power to contain prices.
      In most areas, two or three dominant insurers dominate the regional market, limit competition and make it extremely difficult if not impossible for new insurers to enter the marketplace and stimulate price competition.
      Medicare Advantage, which enrolls seniors in private health plans, has failed to deliver care more efficiently than traditional fee-for-service Medicare. Both the CBO and the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), the commission which advises congress on Medicare’s finances, have calculated that Medicare Advantage plans covering the same care as traditional Medicare cost 12 percent more.
      Karen Ignagni, who heads America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the insurance industry’s trade association, has admitted that private plans cannot bargain down provider costs and has asked Washington to intervene.

      1. This report makes a very credible case that Medicare costs remain now and will for at least another 30 years at about 31% less than equivalent care provided by private health care insurers.

        Of particular note:
        Insurance industry-funded studies exclude private plans’ marketing costs and profits from their calculation of administrative costs. Even so, Medicare’s overhead is dramatically lower.
        Medicare administrative cost figures include the collection of Medicare taxes, fraud and abuse controls, and building costs.

      2. OK,…. I know people who believe that their insurance premiums have dropped 70-80% due to ObamaCare.
        In all liklihood, the premiums for their insurance are the same, or higher.
        THEIR SHARE of what they pay of the premiums may well be much lowered, but the cost shifting….general revenues, higher premiums for others, etc… is paying the rest of the tab for them.
        This cost shifting smoke and mirrors games playing can artificially convince some that “Wow, look at how much insurance premiums have dropped”.
        That is not the case at all, an any honest evaluation of fiscal realities proves that.

        1. Brookline B.,
          While WordMess is still posting my comments, the Urban Institute is a non-profit, non-partisan organization established in the 1960s.
          Over half of their revenue comes from federal government contracts, and 30% or so from contritutions from private foundations.
          You mentioned Pfizer and Cigna as “major contributors”.
          The Urban Institute is hardly in the pocket of Pfizer or Cigna.
          If GM or Ford also contributed to the Urban Institute, I suppose somebody else could make the phony claim that they are “major contributors” and influence evaluation of public transportation.
          Exaggerating or inventing the influence of a company or industry on the Urban Institute doesn’t fly.

        2. Obviously any study that doesn’t coddle your neoliberal, market ideology must be false and you are now doing exactly what you accused me of doing. I was quite aware that providing documentation to someone like you would be just as pointless as simply pointing out your misleading figures and bogus assumptions.

          1. If you had a grasp of facts, there could be a productive exchange.
            You throw out distortion after distortion, then deflect and evade when you’re called on it.
            If Jonathan Gruber is recalled to promote the MediCare for all push, he can rely on your characteristics to get it done.

            1. Another example of your misleading claims is :

              The Urban Institute estimates that Medicare for all would increase government spending by $32 Trillion over the next ten years.

              Your words.

              The actual analysis is on Bernie Sanders proposal for Medicare and Sander’s proposal is far more extensive, includes coverage for far more items than currently exist and is therefore, duhh, far more costly than simply expanding Medicare as it currently exists to cover all US citizens which is what your as usual misleading claim implies. You don’t say, Berniecare, or Bernie’s proposal for Medicare for All. You say, and I quote (again), “Medicare for all.” Typical

              But you get a lot more under Sander’s program as well and The Urban Institute’s study does not anywhere take into account what the equivalent would cost from private insurance companies.

              Calling the studies I used, “cherry picking” simply because they challenge your profit driven conceptual limitations goes a long way to explaining the one way street you really mean by “productive exchange”, and is the main reasons I lost interest in the discussion.

              1. Brookline B.

                I think I referenced the Washington Post Jan. 18, 2017 article on the high price tag of single payer.
                The Urban Institute is cited in that article.
                Given the experience of “Green Mountain Care” in Danders’ home state, the real cost of shifted to single payer universal coverage needs to be examined beyond exahgerated claims of “savings” and benefits.
                If you think that Sanders’ Pollyannish projections are halfway credible, I’m not going to waste time trying to convince you otherwise.
                There is a false assumption that adodting MediCare for all will somehow meet our goal of universal coverage, and (over time) bring our per capita health care costs closer to that of other countries.
                Those cointries did not start their single payer plans with the huge embedded costs we already have in our system.
                There may ne some administrative savings
                …I think it’s likely to be minor…but the core problem is that our high costs are entrenched in our system, and there is no easy or fast way to bring those costs down 40-50-60% to the level of the other countries.
                Over the foreseeable future, massive tax hikes will be required to sustain a MediCare for all program.
                The efficiency of a system..
                even a single system…with 100,000 pages of rules and regulations is debatable.
                If if there is a minor reduction of administrative costs, providers are not going to “pull back” the costs of medical services by 40-50% to put us in line with other countries’ health care costs.
                If it were that simple, we could just pass a law mandating that all medical service providers drop their charges by 40% or so.
                Medicare has spurred, not contained, the cost of healthcare.
                Even those who believe that Medicare has somehow contained costs can not explain how the Medicare for all plan will reduce reimbursements to health care providers.
                That has not been the history of MediCare, and a “MCfor all” system isn’t likely rein in costs going forward.

                  1. They were major contributors in 2010, but I misread that and assumed it was ongoing contributors. Source: They are not currently listed from 2012 – 2015 that I can see on their own anual report however. My mistake.

                    That said, the contributors that are listed, particularly for 2015, are a veritable roll call of many of the most neoliberal institutions and foundations that exist in the country.

                    Here is an opposing view that you will undoubtedly call Cherry Picking because it’s opposing view but which I call an opposing view because it’s an opposing view.


                    The Urban Institute, generally a reputable source of policy analysis, has published what is definitively the worst-ever study of single payer healthcare, and it is unfortunately making national news.

                    The study arrives at this election’s most absurd conclusion: that Bernie Sanders’s single-payer plan would increase total healthcare spending in the United States by almost 17% in its first year and over the next ten years.

                    Prior to this election cycle, over 40 single-payer studies have been conducted by government agencies (Congressional Budget Office, Government Accountability Office), prestigious actuarial firms and think tanks (LECG, Mathematica, the Lewin Group, Economic Policy Institute), and economists. Every single study has found that single-payer healthcare reduces healthcare costs while offering universal coverage.

                    There is nothing surprising about the findings of these previous analyses: every country with a single-payer healthcare system spends less than the United States on healthcare, often half or even a third as much per person. The reasons are well understood: universal healthcare reduces administrative waste, allows negotiation of lower prices for drugs and medical devices, and slows the growth of costs by budgeting healthcare spending.

                    The Urban Institute’s findings contradict all previous research and international experience with single-payer healthcare through sloppy research: they leave out the largest sources of savings under a single-payer system, such as lower administrative waste for hospitals and physicians; they estimate other savings, like the impact on cost growth and prescription drug costs, based on arbitrary guesses instead of existing evidence; and they project a massive rush on healthcare services that has not been observed in any country that has switched to single payer.

                    Please join us in asking the Urban Institute to retract their study on “The Sanders Single-Payer Health Care Plan.”

                    1. B. Bridge,…The architechs and advocates of governmental programs have consistently understated the costs of federal programs…usually, by a very wide margin.
                      That isn’t the only reason I look at a variety of estimates re federal programs
                      …the current budget mess on MediCare is another, and I don’t thinl it will be resolved by expanding the program.

                    2. is a for profit petition gathering site.
                      They will make blantantly false statements like “every major study” shows savings with Medicare for all. It is essentially a “hired gun”advovate for whoever pays it to get names on,petitions.

                1. I think I referenced the Washington Post Jan. 18, 2017 article on the high price tag of single payer. Yes, if you dig down and follow a link to a link, you will find the actual report but your statement hardly made that clear and most people won’t dig down – which is why I called your claim misleading. above.

                  1. B. Bridge…I’m not ignoring your links….sometimes they don’t post on my device, so I may not be getting all of them.

              2. Brookline Bridge,..
                You should try to look at the history of Medicare, the initial tax rates for the program, the wildly optimistic cost projections, and the current sources of revenue to maintain that system.
                Those historical trends and concrete budgetary issues may not hold your interest, but they are too important to gloss over.

                1. Blather. There are all manner of reputable studies that go point by point into why Medicare is one of the most wildly successful and efficient programs ever undertaken by the US government.

                  The main stream media hates Medicare. The main stream hates Medicare. Wall Street hates Medicare Politicians hate Medicare (big chunks of their slush funds come from the Insurance Industry). The public, of all political stripes, overwhelmingly approve of Medicare.


                  If that doesn’t tell you something, nothing will.

                  1. B. Bridge,…There are plenty of supporter for the current MC system, and advocates for MC for all. Your “hate list” of those opposing MC for all, or who object to the way the system has been managed, exaggerates the clout of the oppositin.
                    I think that a program that has seen a 30-40 fold per capita price increase in its 50 year history has some real problems.
                    A program that has to be propped up ( 41%) by genearal,tax dollars, in addition to massive payroll tax increases, is a flawed program.
                    And a debate which largely ignores the actual real costs of a proposed program is an unhealthy way of evaluating the merits of a program.
                    The debate will be what it is, and I think there’s about a 50/ 50 chance that we’ll see a single payer system within 5-10 years.
                    The past pattern of overstating the benefits and unstating the costs will be a key part of the debate, the dominant argaent floated out there for public consumption.

                    1. Where do you get the 30-40 fold per capita increase? Source?

                      I find the following:

                      Historical and Recent Trends in Medicare Spending

                      On a historical basis, Medicare spending per enrollee grew at an average annual rate of 7.5% between 1969 and 2013, slower than the 9.1% average annual growth rate in private health insurance spending per enrollee [emphasis mine], according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of the Actuary (OACT).5 This comparison includes benefits commonly covered by Medicare and private health insurance over this period, including hospital services, physician and clinical services, and other professional services, and durable medical products.

                      I’m not sure it negates your 30-40 fold per capita figure, (hopefully you will rectify that with a source) but it certainly puts it in context.

                      As to your 50/50 guess on Medicare expansion for all, you underestimate the enormous profits currently extracted from the public every year by the health care industry, never mind the pharmaceutical industry. There will have to be a full blown revolution before they or their puppets in Congress allow single payer to change that.

                  2. The mainstream media probably has as many “pro” as “con” articles abouy MediCare.
                    Politicians rarely criticize the MC program, so if “politicians hate Medicare”, they conceal it well.

                    1. B. Bridge,…
                      I got the link on Medicare costs; it’s one of about 100 articles I’ve read about Medicare.
                      As with most articles, it does not go back very far, nor does it clearly state per capita costs.
                      Ii focused on RATES of increase.
                      I mention these things because most articles are like this one, in that they don’t go into per capita costs by year.
                      I can give you part of my calculations now, and will fill in the other part later.
                      We currently spend c.$ 650 Billion per year on Medicare. There are c. 55,000,000 Medicare enrolees. Divide the $650 Billion by the 55 Million- that should be about $11,800 per capita.
                      It would be a lot easier to track the historic per capita MC costs if more articles would present these figures, but I find that it isually takes a lot of digging, and divsion, to get the information.

                      I only filled in one end (the c
                      $ 11,800 current figure)….it will take a bit more digging to review the other (1967) end of the per capita costs.
                      If those costs are in the $300-$400 range, as I stated previously, the 30-40 fold per capita increase is accurate

                      If I over or underestimated 1967 per capita costs, the 30-40 fold increase is not correct.
                      Either way, I’ll get back to,you on the 1967 nbers

                    2. Even assuming your back of the napkin calculation is correct, and that’s a huge if, you have not taken the costs of private insurance health care into account as did the formal study I referenced above with source.

                      That study points out that while Medicare has increased by an average of 7.5% (until recently when it’s increase has actually slowed to 4%) while private insurance costs for the same period and coverage have increased by 9.1%

                      One thing is sure. Regardless of your own use of data without context, the big guns will be doing far worse and they will be spending litterally billions in the effort.

                      Let’s see what happens if they can get poor Senator McCain back into Congress for a last ditch effort to kill off millions from the already abysmal health care plans plunged into our backs by Obamacare..


              3. The Urban Institute (IMO, think tank for hire) has a pension project funded by the anti-pension Arnold Foundation.
                The board includes Mitch Daniels, former Republican Gov. of Indiana, a school privatizing former mayor of D.C.,
                the wife of TIAA’s CEO. TIAA is a financial organization that has worked against public pensions. TIAA is very friendly with Pete Peterson.

      3. There are wildly divergent claims re the administrative costs of MediCare v. private insurance.
        You can research this online…..cherry picking the study which shows a huge gap in those costs can be countered by other studies disputing the alleged administrative savings of MC.
        I’ve gone over this debate here before with another advovate of the single payer system, and won’t rehash that entire debate here.
        One point I made was that MediCare contracts out their billing to PRIVATE INSURANCE COMPANIES…the ones with the supposedly higher administrative costs.
        The collection costs of MediCard premiums is absorbed by the Treasury, not Medicare.
        That’s another way of understating, or farming out, MediCare administrative costs.

  6. The professor was questioning “why”. I see nothing wrong with that. And then the topic is about “wet-start Johnny”, a hot shot jet pilot who caused a major fire on the Forrestal, resulting in the death and injury of several shipmates. “wet-start Johnny” was helicoptered off because it would not have been good for the son of an Admiral to be court-martialed, or with justice being meted out by his shipmates.

  7. As the professor under attack (Jonathan Graubart), readers may find the comments I prepared of interest:

    As you might imagine, this has been a very difficult experience for me. My facebook post was on my personal page and had nothing to do with my role as professor. Many of us write off-the-cuff statements on our own fb page, to vent to our small community. I have 90 fb friends in total. This one happened to be shared in another student’s post, who had many more fb friends. From what I could see, a few students who had previously disliked some public positions I took regarding Israel-Palestine, including my receptivity to BDS decided to rally support against me, alerting sympathetic media to my fb post.

    Especially troubling now is the deluge of not just angry emails, fb commentary, and voicemail messages but the numerous threats of violence, the wishing that I will die a painful slow death, even attacks on my late mother (who I had mentioned in passing in my post, keep in mind again that the post was a personal one on my own fb page). The voicemails have been especially chilly. Almost half have warned of violence, one taunting me by pointing out my exact address. Because of the threats, I was advised by SDSU Public Safety not to show up on campus for a while.

    My department chair and colleagues have been very supportive as has Dean Bouchard. I am somewhat disappointed that the administration has to date indicated no regard for the attacks I’ve received. I hope that changes.

    Below is a statement I’ve prepared that I sent to other media people seeking comment. One thing to add is that in the midst of all the emails I’ve received, one that touched me was the following. His father had fought in Vietnam and apparently lost his life there and he noted that my reference to the war and use of the term “war crime” reignited old wounds of the pain he and his family suffered. I am certainly sorry about that. I had just meant the post to be for a limited circle of fb friends and a few others so I was not looking to provoke. If I had known this post would go viral, I would not have used those words.

    Here’s the statement (I assume you have the original post, if not I can send it):

    Here’s what I wrote in response to an SDSU student’s inquiry to my post:

    “I’ll ignore the insult part and address the serious question. As I tried to articulate — but was perhaps unsuccessful — my primary concern was a more general one: of giving enhanced attention to the tragedies and misfortunes of notables. Reread my quoted part from Arendt on Hans Cohn v. Einstein (the later being the notable who I actually do admire but still agree that it is wrong to value his life over Hans Cohn).

    So in the US context, I have the same view about the late Senator Ted Kennedy who also contracted glioblastoma in 2008. Now I did add the secondary part of personally being all the more troubled by McCain as a political figure — as opposed to his personal life, which I know nothing about. It might have been simpler to leave that part out. My logic for including commentary on McCain’s public record was to bring home the point that whatever tragedies, misfortunes and so forth, befall them our relationship with political figures is how they act as politicians. If I could go back in time to 2008 when Ted Kennedy was diagnosed, I would include criticisms of his political record; though to be sure, I am further apart politically from McCain. Yet I wouldn’t begrudge someone well on the right who maintained that however sad it was for anyone to have glioblastoma, their view of Kennedy’s political record remained quite harsh.

    The war criminal part requires a longer explanation of the US war on Vietnam and delving through the various studies and unofficial hearings, some of them initiated by returning US vets. As this was still a fb post as opposed to a scholarly article or even a formal op-ed, I did not attempt to explicate my reasoning for those charges. I do teach international law and have published on the politics of war crimes so I do think through the issues. I hope that’s of some use. Note, that I’m trying to keep this on a constructive, civic note, adding no insults of you.”

    Here is a follow-up to the student’s follow-up:

    “I appreciate the respectful reply. I suggest it comes down to two main distinctions. The first, which is of primary concern is I remain bothered by giving more regard to the tragedies and misfortunes of notables. Many more had heard of Einstein and I believe he deserved great praise both for his scientific accomplishments and his periodic interjections into public issues. Yet, I agree with Arendt, that one has to be wary of an attitude that the Nazi regime’s treatment of Jews needs to be illustrated by what it did to prominent Jews. Hans Cohn is every bit as important.

    I see your point that going back to the US setting, whether it is Ted Kennedy or John McCain, it is simply that they are better known figures, which is why there are more expressions of regard for them than for contemporary Hans Cohns. Yet I think it’s more than that. I long had that view back when so much attention was paid to the Kennedys, starting with JFK (my parents and their friends followed closely the woes of their family and even as a kid I had some rebellious sense in me of why the personal sadness over someone you don’t know). So, leaving McCain out of it and just thinking of the general dispute on why more attention is bestowed to notables, we hold different interpretations.

    On the second point on McCain, we disagree on both his record as a politician and on the war he took part in. That’s a longer conversation but we’ve reached the candid point that we’re far apart on that. So thanks for inviting the clarification.”

    Here was my reply to a question asking about my basis for calling Senator McCain a war criminal:

    “thank you for your respectful reply and engagement. I have long been interested in both the legal question of war crimes and the politicization of them (who gets tried for them, how are trials used for broader political points — that has been the topic of several of my publications as you probably saw). You are certainly correct that any individualized public charge of war crimes warrants a lengthy explanation and that I did not do so. So I accept the rebuke. In my defense, this was a side point in an off-the-cuff post on my own facebook page that typically has very few readers; even when I make the posts public, like this one. I’ve never had something go viral before and bizarrely become a news item in itself.

    At this point, any comment I make just triggers a new round of vicious insults, either on fb, email, or voicemail. So this has been transformed from anything educational. Rather I’m faced with now over a hundred messages or emails calling me an ass, disgusting, slime, demanding my termination from SDSU, even wishing I was never born. I’m reluctant to comment further in such a charged atmosphere where more attention just gets a new round of vicious personal attacks.

    I appreciate, however, your effort for serious discussion. For now, I’ll just give a peek at my logic. Senator McCain took part in the Operation Rolling Thunder massive bombings as a combat pilot. This was an operation where I think the expected and actual civilian costs far exceeded the military gain. I take your point that it then becomes difficult on how far down the line you charge individuals with war crimes for what was official policy. You know the issue of when following orders is not an accepted excuse (though it is in practice generally treated as a significant mitigating factor). Perhaps we can both agree to encourage others to read up on what Rolling Thunder was and what are the legal issues and controversies surrounding it. I think we can also agree the operation was highly controversial and raised allegations of war crimes from leading experts on the topic, including Telford Taylor, who was a prosecutor at Nuremberg and successor war trials. best wishes.”

    1. Jonathan Graubart – I am no friend of John McCain’s however I see him neither as a war hero or as a war criminal. Still, I hope you have learned your lesson about FB.

    2. The importance of the distinction between being a soldier who did the work he was charged to do and a war hero was made clear in narrative form in the book, The Greatest Generation. The soldiers and officers returning from WW II understood that hailing them, individually, as victorious warriors, ignored those, who were similar to them, fighting on the other side.
      The hyper patriotism that we see in the public now fits with Trump’s statement, “to the victor goes the spoils”. The nation rejected that cruelty based on the humble origins of most of its settlers and builders, the leadership of men like Eisenhower and Marshall and, the sense of fair play at the heart of a meritocracy.
      Concentrated wealth has led the nation to a place that is frightening in the desperation of the 99% to feel better about a situation in which they are powerless. They send threatening e-mails. They construct barriers between themselves and those they consider below them. They embrace ALEC’s “stand your ground” proof of dominance. They harden positions, vilify and, search for the like-minded. They prepare bunkers…
      The nation has lost the economic opportunity that made its people strive to advance to build a better nation.

    3. You have a vastly inflated sense of anyone’s interest in reading your words.

      The verbal chaff is a distraction. No amount of distraction can obscure what you did. You resent it when people offer courtesies and good wishes to a dying man. You resent it because you’re a lousy piece of work.

      1. DSS:

        “You resent it because you’re a lousy piece of work.”
        I’d change that last word to the one we all thought you were leading up to. It’s much more honest and descriptive.

    4. Thank you for your clarification.

      You have made clear that your fb post was not intended to go viral and your intention is clearly not to revel in someone else’s suffering.

      It is fair to ask if the truth can ever be hateful or if being hurtful is a good enough reason to avoid the truth when it concerns the lives of so many.

      There is nevertheless, something to be said for convention in these matters, if only by the almost evolutionary nature of its origins, no matter that it can be unfair in who it protects.

    5. Your FB “friends” include current and former students. Therefore, your expressions on FB are, indeed, within the purview of the college. Your “criticism” is of those who merely express human empathy with the man in question. You indict all who express that empathy as complicit in “war crimes.” The post was infantile and reveals you to be a slightly unhinged adolescent who has found a “safe space” at this college to rant. That college undoubtedly reviews FB posts of its admissions candidates to determine their “fitness” for admission. Your FB post has revealed your unfitness for teaching. You abuse your position to advocate the death of rational discourse, You should be fired! At the very least, you should be ashamed of yourself! P.S. There is no such thing as “international law.”

  8. The professor’s little essay could use some rewriting but I don’t see anything actually objectionable about it. Turley is being hyper critical.

    1. In my readings concerning “Generation Z”, I anticipate this generation will something to be proud of.

    2. A person who was 18 in 1941 is 94 today. Only 0.5% of people live to the age of 95.

        1. Perhaps I should have said, his most recent comment was on the 13th.

        2. Darren – I have his email somewhere. I will check on him. Thanks.

      1. me too Paul – Nick was always the most welcoming person on this blog for women as well as putting out his insightful POV on the topics.

        1. spiked – I sent him an email. We will just have to wait and see.

  9. Academia is becoming increasingly hostile to conservatives and Jews. The Left is growing in anti-Semitism and intolerance for other political views, while the rest of the country sits idly by.

    I have been following the rise of anti-semitism in our college campuses for a few years now. When I learned about the Holocaust, I remember naively thinking, well, at least this was so egregious and savage that the world has well and truly learned its lesson. Never again. Well, Progressives are becoming exponentially anti-Semitic. Even though there are still Jewish Progressives, there is no denying that the BDS and anti-semitism in general is the increasing trend.

    We’ve really got to check this fascism and political extremism of the Left, or we’ll just become another dictatorship that used to be a beacon of freedom. Greece’s greatness lies in ruins. Rome used to be the center of the world and now it’s just an interesting tourist destination of crumbling architecture. When has France turned out the art like its heyday. Constantinople. Mesopotamia. The Triple Alliance of the Aztec Empire. Heck, even Stone Henge and all the other Henges are monuments to greatness long forgotten. Maybe our culture will crumble and our descendants will tell fairy tales of what it was like to be free.

    It is true that the best remedy for bad speech is good speech. It is also true that many of the academics who teach our young adults are openly hostile to conservatives/capitalism, and use universities to indoctrinate politics, often through taxpayer dollars.

    1. The 1st Mrs. McCain is quite fond of her former husband and has said so in public many times.

  10. The professor, among opinions, opines, “… Graubart’s comments are hurtful and hateful.  It is a reflection of the incivility that has taken hold of our social and political dialogue.  It is always sad to see a fellow academic rush to the bottom of our national discourse.”

    The “Tonkin Gulf incident” did not happen.
    The United States of America did not declare war against North Vietnam.
    The United States of America in Vietnam, Iraq, Syria and Libya, to name but a tiny few countries, has bombed, invaded and occupied countries in violation of the Constitution and in violation of the Nuremberg Principals, which were written primarily, if not exclusively, by the United States of America ( please see, nay, read Chief United States Prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials of Nazi war criminals following so-called World War 11 and author of The Nürnberg Case ).
    Senator McCain violated each and every one of the seven ( 7 ) Nuremberg Principles in each of the above referenced wars of aggression and others not mentioned and others the senator agitated for but did not or have not been started yet! ( please see General Wesley Clark’s “We’re Going To Take Out 7 Countries In 5 Years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan & Iran..”
    Mission Accomplished!, well almost, but we are making “progress!”
    The professor and the senator are members of the power elite and oligarchy.
    Like the professor and senator well are now all “Good Germans,” I mean “Good Americans!, Patriotic Americans!”

    1. Senator McCain violated each and every one of the seven ( 7 ) Nuremberg Principles in each of the above referenced wars of aggression

      Somewhere in the wacky world of websites is a nut’s source document for our talking point recyclers.

      1. Every time you read hard evidence that contradicts your philosophy, your post above is the very best you have in reply, and it’s significance is zero. You make a simpleton’s charge against the person, and never can post any evidence worth consideration, because why? Because you are full of crap, and on the wrong side of the argument.

      2. Let me put this more succinctly: thank you Susan, for confirming and agreeing with every single charge made by Dennis Hanna. Certainly and positively, you have not contradicted any of it, so by default, you definitely confirm and agree with it.

        1. Joseph Jones – Susan just may have ignored it. None of your contentions are valid.

          1. PS,
            Proposing an alternate theory is the usual way that you respond to issues that you either don’t understand , or simply can’t refute.

            The way honest people contest ideas and theories is that YOU must first provide evidence that refutes the assertion/theory that was put forth. THEN you are entitled to assert your own theory.

            Thus far you (and Susan) have failed to refute the claims about McCain that have been put forth.

            You seem keen to show off your ignorance and inability to refute positions of those with whom you disagree.

            1. billmcwilliams – no one has refuted my contentions about McCain.

    2. I think the good professor feels slightly ashamed that someone in his profession holds such vulgar viewpoints.

  11. Oh Professor! Professor! Tell me who you voted for in 1964? LBJ or Goldwater? Huh? Too young to have voted then? Ok. Who did you vote for in the last election? Hillary or Trump? Neither? Then who?


    Notorious incident: In 1967 the spy ship USS Liberty was attacked by Israeli fighter jets and torpedo boats in international waters during the Six-Day War. Thirty-four sailors were killed and more than 170 wounded, many critically. Israel claimed mistaken identity, which a U.S. naval court of inquiry confirmed, but that explanation is contradicted by the facts of the case.

    • Based on new revelations: James Scott has interviewed Liberty survivors, senior U.S. political and intelligence officials, and examined newly declassified documents in Israel and the United States to write this comprehensive, dramatic account. He reveals that officers in Israel’s chain of command were aware of the Liberty’ s identity and shows how events in Vietnam prompted the American government to deemphasize the attack despite widespread disbelief of Israel’s story.

    • The son of an attack survivor: Scott’s father, John, was an officer and engineer aboard the Liberty who was awarded the Silver Star for helping to save the ship from sinking.

    1. I’m fascinated to know which palaeodweeb / anti-semite site links to Turley.

      1. Recognizing Isreal’s misdeeds does not make one an anti-Semite just as finding fault in the U.S. behavior does not make you unpatriotic as you well know. Try to do better.

        1. Ynot—Perhaps you should learn how to spell Israel before you post. It would make you more credible. “Try to do better”!

      2. Anti-Semite definition by James Sobran: “Not someone who hates Jews, but rather someone hated by certain Jews.”

        Nothing stops the debate and frees the accuser of defending their position as well as tossing the “anti-semite” bomb.

        If there IS such thing as an anti-semite, then by default there must be such thing as an anti-gentile.

        1. Sobran professed to be a litterateur with scant interest in day-to-day political questions. Yet, much of his commentary concerned Israel and the domestic Jewish population, niche topics with which he was not particularly familiar. From 1986 to 1993 he caused escalating irritation to his employers by revisiting that topic again and again in his columns (starting with a bizarre appreciation he wrote of a tiny-circulation quasi-Nazi publication called Instauration). He was finally told by Wm. Buckley that he was damaging National Review‘s brand and had best address other topics in his syndicated column if he wanted to continue to be employed at NR. He responded by writing a column about how Buckley had been buffaloed by Jewish schemers. (Norman Podhoretz had recommend to Buckley that he fire Sobran). He was begging for a letter of dismissal and he got it. What he hadn’t anticipated was that his syndication and his position in radio were effectively contingent on his association with NR. When Buckley cut him loose, CBS and his syndicate did likewise. He wasn’t an adaptable man (and career changes at age 46 are difficult anyway). He undertook a misbegotten 15 year effort to work freelance with the aid of a small mom-and-pop publishing firm. Diabetes caught up with him in 2008 and he was admitted to a NoVa nursing home where he died two years later.

          Sobran’s guises and poses were transparent (pretending that neither he nor anyone else knew the meaning of ‘anti-semite) and pretending that associating oneself with characters like Wilmot Robertson and Mark Weber said nothing about one’s likes and dislikes. It’s doubtful that Norman Podhoretz ever ‘hated’ him (rather than thinking him a distasteful presence in American commentary). And, of course, Podhoretz didn’t hypnotize Buckley, a man with exceptional energy and a lively intellect.

          Sobran was never a practical man, and what’s known to the public of his personal and domestic biography suggests he was an undisciplined person who could not make a good decision to save his life. One bad decision he made was to wreck his career out of a stubborn insistence on trafficking in petty inter-ethnic spite. Pity. He was a fine stylist and had an occasional flair for observation.

        2. If there IS such thing as an anti-semite, then by default there must be such thing as an anti-gentile.

          So what? Jews account for 10% of the population in greater New York City and 1.3% of the population in the rest of the country. If Matthew Yglesias’ grandmother believes stupid s*** about bluebloods (and she does), very few people will ever be injured by it. Social networking will keep you out of some jobs in the Diamond District, in bond trading, and in entertainment and broadcasting. Regrettable, but very few people work in those trades.

      3. DSS, your relentless defense of McCain is curious. Why so zealous for him?

        1. I’m not zealous on any topic.

          1. Paul Schulte has an impressionistic assessment of McCain as a purveyor of public policy. The American Conservative Union which tracks McCain’s voting record says it isn’t so. More broadly, there are a mess of Republican sectaries in loci like this who are in a continual low-grade fury at McCain (and Lindsey Graham in re which they make tasteless personal remarks). I do not think that draws on anything these men did do or did not do. They are sometime adversaries, not enemies. I’d have told (had he asked me) to retire in 2004 or 2010 and I cannot figure why he did not. If he wanted to continue working, his wife’s business contacts in Arizona likely could have found a position for him. As for Graham, he’ll be 65 as his term is coming to a close and he’ll have 32 years of federal employment in his past, so his pension should be satisfactory. I’d vote against both in a primary, as there likely would be a better candidate. There are a run of Republican members of Congress who stoke my disgust much more readily than McCain, starting with the crooked-waste-of-space Majority Leader, Lisa Murkowski (R – Her Daddy), Kelly Ayotte (shifty lawyer whom New Hampshire voters have had the sense to eject), and Rob Portman (who lets his post-adolescent son jerk his chain).

          2. The use of the term ‘war criminal’ (which was applied to a mess of Nazi officials) to apply to any politician who presides over a war and any military or naval officers who has seek combat is just disgusting, and says something about the progtrash and palaeotrash characters who play these games. None of it has a thing to do with a principled position re the conduct of war, and you know that because they have nothing critical to say about this country’s enemies (or Israel’s enemies). Authentic pacifists are found among the Mennonites and Amish and Bruderhof who you never hear from except at the farmer’s market; a scatter of others are sentimentalists found in Brethren and Quaker congregations (the authentic Brethren and Quakers, not the sectaries pretending they’re Quakers). The would of discourse is awash in ersatz pacifists (Chris Hedges, I’m looking at you). Almost anyone striking these sorts of attitudes in these fora is an intellectual and moral fraud. There are several who are regulars here, and not one manifests and ounce of integrity.

          3. It’s a grossly amusing whack-a-mole game here. There’s been a flood of unsubstantiated and debunked nonsense posted here. It’s all bizarre, but it’s attractive to some people because they haven’t much guiding them but their animus. One participant managed to conjoin McCain hate to the USS Liberty, a sort of harmonic convergence of stupid. (McCain’s father was briefly in the Liberty’s chain-of-command).

    2. Hey spiked! Why are you resurrecting an unfortunate historic event that occurred 50 years ago? An event for which Israel apologized and made reparations. An event that has NOTHING to do with Turley’s article about McCain. Of course one would have to question your underlying motive!

    1. spiked – I would not doubt it. The VA Hospital in Phx is an older hospital and would be prone to cockroaches. We also have a sewer roach here that is bigger and more annoying.

  13. I don’t much like McCain, but I don’t fault him for killing commies during the Vietnam War. That is what soldiers do, kill people on the other side until the other side decides they want to quit fighting and surrender.

    I do fault him for his current warmongering towards Russia and Syria, but I don’t hate him so much that I am glad he is dying or anything. That being said, honesty requires me to admit that there are many people who I would be secretly doing the Happy Snoopy Dance inside if I heard they were about to croak.

    Sooo, while I think the San Diego professor is sort of a nut who is going way overboard on McCain, I can not fault the very human emotion of being happy when you find out some destructive people are about to bite the dust, or have already died and gone to Hell.

    But that is sort of like running around buck naked. You may have a secret desire to do it, but a sense of decency keeps you from either doing it, or admitting to wanting to do it.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. He doesn’t sound “happy” about it. Frustrated but not happy. But good comment anyway!

    2. Squeeky – you have to run around buck naked at least once in your life. 🙂 Mine was during a rainstorm. It was very freeing. 🙂

      1. I did that during a rainstorm also. I was in college at the time (of course). I still remember how wonderful it felt.

    3. SF – intentionally killing and maiming innocent civilians is a war crime. You don’t seem to know anything about the War ON Vietnam.

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