Liberty In Peril


                                                                                       The Llano Ledger

Tribute To Sen. John McCain                                ©2018 All Rights Reserved

In tribute to Arizona Sen. John McCain:  The United States has lost a true statesman, patriot, and maverick who always put duty, honor, country ahead of rabid partisanship.  NPR reports:

"Memorial and remembrance plans are taking shape for Arizona Sen. John McCain, a day after he died following a battle with brain cancer. He will lie in state at both the U.S and Arizona Capitols.  McCain will then be buried at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, Md., according to his office. The senator graduated from the Naval Academy and has said multiple times that he wanted to be laid to rest there.  "I want, when I leave, that the ceremony is at the Naval Academy, and we just have a couple of people and stand up and say 'This guy, he served his country,' " McCain said in an interview with 60 Minutes last year.

    "The Naval Academy is mourning the loss of one of our most distinguished graduates, Sen. John McCain (USNA ‘58). His life of service to our country is a legacy that will continue to be revered. #USNavy #usna #Military #midshipmen
    — U.S. Naval Academy (@NavalAcademy) August 26, 2018"

NPR reports:

"John McCain, a titan in the U.S. Senate, was a consistent conservative, though unafraid to buck Republican Party leadership on issues ranging from campaign finance reform to the GOP-led effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act.  He died Saturday at age 81.  While the Arizona senator and two-time presidential candidate will be remembered for his self-proclaimed "maverick" persona, it was his military bloodlines and 5 1/2 years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam that shaped much of McCain's legacy.  McCain was the son of an admiral and grew up on naval bases both in the United States and around the world. McCain's grandfather was also an admiral, making them the first father and son four-star admirals in history of the U.S. Navy.  McCain followed his father and grandfather into the family business. He was a member of the U.S. Naval Academy's Class of 1958. While at the academy, he developed a reputation as a rambunctious and insubordinate student who received more than his share of reprimands.  He also maintained another family tradition while there, earning mediocre grades in the classroom."

None of the above surprising, is it?  Especially, since he subsequently, incessantly went his own way as United States Senator.  Always did what he thought was right.  Determinedly marched to the beat of his own drum.

"My father was here and his father before him. Like me, their standing was closer to the bottom than the top of their class," McCain told a 2017 class of Naval Academy graduates.  McCain finished fifth from the bottom of his class."

... At least, he wasn't the 'goat.'  -- Cadet who finished last.  LOL.

"Despite his poor classroom performance, he was able to become a naval aviator. By the mid-1960s, the Vietnam War was raging and McCain's squadron was drawn into battle. At one point in 1967, McCain was almost killed after a wayward rocket from a nearby bomber hit his aircraft's fuel tank just before he was to take off from the USS Forrestal."

Nothing quite so dangerous as catapulting off an aircraft carrier, fully loaded with fuel, weaponry, at full afterburner, -- even if nothing goes terribly wrong.

"Explosions and fires from that incident killed more than 130 people aboard, but McCain managed to escape unscathed."

His luck was to run out:

"On Oct. 26, 1967, while on a bombing run over the North Vietnamese capital, Hanoi, his aircraft was struck by a Vietnamese ground based anti-aircraft missile.  "Just as I released the bombs and started to pull back on the stick, a surface-to-air missile took the right wing off my airplane. My airplane violently gyrated. I ejected," McCain recounted to C-SPAN in 2003.  The impact from the ejection knocked Lt. Cmdr. McCain unconscious, and he landed in the lake below."

Things were to get far worse:

"Both McCain's arms were broken, so was his shoulder, and his knee was shattered. He was pulled out of the water by a Vietnamese mob and was stabbed, beaten and taken to a prison commonly referred to as the "Hanoi Hilton."  Years later, as McCain reflected on this period, he said he held no ill will toward his captors.  "I don't blame them. We're in a war," McCain said in a separate interview with C-SPAN in 2017.  "I didn't like it, but at the same time when you are in a war and you are captured by the enemy, you can't expect to have tea," McCain said."

Younger readers are reminded the North was heavily bombed for years, many, many killed on the ground during these attacks.  When our pilots were shot down, they were tortured and severely abused by the enemy.

Uncommon Valor:

"Because of the prominence of McCain's family, his captors saw in him potential for propaganda and offered him early release. But McCain repeatedly refused the offer because his fellow POWs would not be released as well."

Paid quite a price for standing tall:

"He spoke about that shortly after his release in 1973.  "A number of times they were strong in their tactics trying to get me to possibly embarrass my father and our country," McCain said.  He spent most of his time in solitary confinement and endured incessant torture."

Remarkably, turned it to his advantage:

"His ordeal as a POW, however, helped fuel his political career. As a senator, he could speak with authority on military matters. Perhaps the most striking example was when he challenged the George W. Bush administration and its "enhanced interrogation" of terrorism suspects. McCain decried the practice as torture."

It was.  No question.  McCain did the right thing.  Held George "The Tush" Bush's feet figuratively to the fire.

Consider the remarkable resilience of the Senator:

"McCain has visited the prison where he had been a POW.  "I still despise those who inflicted pain unnecessarily on me and my fellow prisoners, but I hold no ill will toward the Vietnamese people, either North or South," he said.  The former prisoner then talked about his many friendships with many Vietnamese in the years since, adding that he always admired and respected the Vietnamese people."

Above quotes courtesy of two most gifted, insightful writers, Don Gonyea and Brakkton Booker.

The following is supremely indicative of the Senator's character.  One of his finest moments.  NPR reports:

"Just under a month before Election Day 2008, a woman stood up at a rally and told Republican nominee John McCain a major concern she had about his White House opponent.  "I can't trust [Barack] Obama. I have read about him and he's not, he's ... he's an Arab," the woman said of the Democratic presidential nominee.  McCain started shaking his head before she even finished her question, taking the microphone and pushing back emphatically on her incorrect statement.  "No ma'am," McCain said. "He's a decent family man, citizen, that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues, and that's what this campaign is all about. He's not."

Jesus Christ.  Where have we lost ourselves?  When was the last time you saw a politician rise to the occasion as did McCain at this town hall?

"The response was classic McCain — his trademark "straight talk" he honed on the campaign trail for nearly four decades, along with his willingness to often take the high road, even if it wasn't politically popular.  His positive comments about his opponent were met with boos by some in the audience, and perhaps signaled a shift within the GOP that McCain would criticize for the remainder of his life. The Arizona senator died Saturday at 81 from brain cancer.  Contrast McCain's approach with Donald Trump's fast rise in politics, which was driven, in part, by pushing the false narrative that Obama wasn't an American citizen and had forged his birth certificate. That narrative established Trump as one of the leading voices in the "birther" movement.  Trump would go on to become president by embracing that type of much more combative, confrontational tone that hinged on conspiracy theories and divisive rhetoric. McCain would never make it to the Oval Office, but in the final years of his life, he fully personified his "maverick" nickname by becoming one of the leading GOP voices against Trump as the two repeatedly clashed."

McCain stood tall, told the truth, admitted mistakes, took the high ground, remained rooted in reality.  Trump did not.  Contrast between both men could not have been more striking.

"The divergent personalities of McCain and Trump were on a collision course from the beginning. McCain represented the old guard of Washington, a lion of the Senate who evoked respect from both sides of the aisle and believed honor was everything. Trump ushered in a new — many would say corrosive — era of American politics, in which insults are hurled at the ready, tribalism is paramount and apologies should never be doled out."

While it will take historians decades to determine precisely what went wrong and why, strongly suspect growing staleness and consequent irrelevance of the two major parties lies at the root.

"John, again, was motivated by doing the right thing. And there were times where he said, 'This is going to cause me huge grief politically, but it's the right thing to do. I'll go for it.' I saw it over and over again," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer recalled to NPR's Michel Martin on Weekend All Things Considered."

Great truth to that.  Schumer and Pelosi would be well advised to do the same.  So would those at the helm of the GOP.  Sadly, partisans in both parties just don't think like that any longer.  No honor.  Rabid partisanship.  Principle?  What's that?  Return to office, -- prime directive.

"McCain's clash with Trump was boiling from the very beginning of the now-president's unlikely rise. After Trump kicked off his campaign in June 2015, McCain made it known he took issue with the reality TV star's characterization of Mexican immigrants as "rapists" who were bringing crime into the country."

Rightfully, so.  Other Republicans were too gutless to rise to the occasion.  Doing the right thing cost McCain dearly.  Was determined to put honor first, before and above all, -- especially after the Keating 5 debacle years earlier had left his reputation sullied, in shambles, despite the fact no criminal wrongdoing had been attributed to him.

"The biggest flashpoint in their feud happened the next month, at an event in Iowa. With tensions already simmering, Trump disparaged McCain's military service, saying that he was wasn't a war hero and that he preferred "people who weren't captured." Trump received multiple education deferments for Vietnam, and then a final one for bone spurs."

Above quote says it all, doesn't it?  Yet, Republicans backed our nazi fuhrer who behaves more like a Mafia don than president of the United States.  The feud between McCain and Trump went on and on as reported here and elsewhere until the Senator's death.

Above quotes are courtesy of a most gifted, insightful writer, Jessica Taylor.

Believe Trump has character?  Class?  Wake up.  The Washington Post reports:

"President Trump nixed issuing a statement that praised the heroism and life of Sen. John McCain, telling senior aides he preferred to issue a tweet before posting one Saturday night that did not include any kind words for the late Arizona Republican.  Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Chief of Staff John F. Kelly and other White House aides advocated for an official statement that gave the decorated Vietnam War POW plaudits for his military and Senate service and called him a “hero,” according to current and former White House aides, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive internal deliberations. The original statement was drafted before McCain died Saturday, and Sanders and others edited a final version this weekend that was ready for the president, the aides said."

Despite all ferocious criticism vis a vis Kelly and Sanders pointedly addressed here and elsewhere en masse, ad nauseum, have to give both officials great credit for doing the right thing regarding the McCain statement they courageously, rightfully stood behind.  Too bad Trump was too stupid, too ignorant to appreciate its forthrightness.  Abject necessity.  Too shortsighted to see and understand it was in his best long-term interests to embrace:

"But Trump told aides he wanted to post a brief tweet instead, and the statement praising McCain’s life was not released.   “My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain. Our hearts and prayers are with you!” Trump posted Saturday evening shortly after McCain’s death was announced."

Pitiful, isn't it?

"Sanders declined to comment Sunday afternoon."

Should have followed up and did the right thing, -- resigned in protest.  Not to be, however.

“It’s atrocious,” Mark Corallo, a former spokesman for Trump’s legal team and a longtime Republican strategist, said of Trump’s reaction to McCain’s death. “At a time like this, you would expect more of an American president when you’re talking about the passing of a true American hero.”

Not from a narcissistic, lunatic, nazi fuhrer.

Get worse.  Get this.  NBC reports:

"As the nation continued to mourn the death of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the White House returned its flag to full-staff on Monday, although past presidents have kept the flag lowered for longer after the deaths of other sitting senators. The Capitol flag remained at half staff."

Readers are reminded that the funeral had not not yet occurred at the time Trump ordered the Flag raised to full staff not even 48 hours after the Senator died.

The Washington Post reports:

"President Trump will not be attending the funeral or memorial services in Washington for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a McCain family spokesman said Monday.  Rick Davis, who was also McCain’s campaign manager and longtime adviser, said at a news conference in Phoenix that Vice President Pence will serve as the Trump administration designee at a ceremony honoring McCain on Friday at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.  “The president will not be, as far as we know, attending the funeral. That’s just a fact.” Davis said, declining to reiterate what has already been reported about the McCain family’s wishes."

Had the 'president' any honor, would have apologized to the McCain family, sought their forgiveness, humbly asked to attend services.

"Davis also read from a letter that contained McCain’s final words for the country.  “We weaken our greatness when we confuse our patriotism with tribal rivalries that have sown resentment and hatred and violence in all the corners of the globe,” McCain wrote in the letter. “We weaken it when we hide behind walls, rather than tear them down, when we doubt the power of our ideals, rather than trust them to be the great force for change they have always been.”  He added: “If only we remember that and give each other the benefit of the presumption that we all love our country, we will get through these challenging times. We will come through them stronger than before. We always do.”

The resolute toughness of the Senator was remarkable.  Had a 'take no prisoners' approach.

"Such questions and comments were typical of the Arizona Republican’s approach in the Senate, where he served as a member of the Armed Services Committee for more than three decades and since 2015 as chairman of the powerful committee overseeing the military.  The top military brass and civilian leaders at the Pentagon knew that McCain, who died Saturday at the age of 81, would be tough when they came to the chamber to testify. He often narrowed his eyes as they dissembled under his questioning.  McCain’s political career earned him a reputation as a hawkish advocate of military intervention and an impassioned supporter of the American armed services. Even so, the retired Navy captain and pilot hardly ever gave the Pentagon leadership a pass."

No one's perfect.   :)  The Senator certainly wasn't.  :)  Certainly, didn't believe a woman should have the right to do with HER uterus as she damn well pleased.  :)  His hawkishness certainly left a lot to be desired as well, -- especially after the debacles in Korea, Vietnam, and elsewhere.  Yet, his undying support of the military is second to none, admired, and absolutely necessary.  At some point, must not be forgotten, this country will again be faced with a threat as great as that of the Second World War.  The military must be ready.  Supported.

"Retired Adm. Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recalled McCain in a statement as “resolute in his beliefs, even pugnacious,” and praised him as a lion who was never too busy to consider the views of others and who “in the heat of fierce political debate never lost sight of what was the most important: our American experiment.”

Amazing, how easily that's been forgotten throughout both major political parties.

"The son and grandson of Navy admirals, and a prisoner of war for 5½ years in Vietnam, McCain earned the credibility to force even the most decorated American officials to explain themselves and their decisions to the public in front of the Senate. McCain took his oversight duties seriously and regularly tested his die-hard views against theirs in public exchanges, often prying loose uncomfortable truths the military would rather have kept under wraps."

Certainly, doesn't come as a surprise, does it?  :)  Forget?  The Senator's experience as a naval cadet.  :)  Most useful prelude to his oversight role as U.S. Senator.

"While some of his fellow lawmakers could be deferential to the Pentagon brass, McCain believed that military leaders had an even greater responsibility to explain themselves, because they were putting American lives at risk and representing the nation’s values overseas. While serving in Vietnam, McCain had become acutely aware of the military’s tendency to put a positive spin on uncomfortable truths when watching the press briefings that became known as the “Five O’Clock Follies.”

Can certainly remember utter lack of credibility during the Johnson and Nixon regimes.

“McCain just thought the stakes are so big,” said his former foreign policy adviser, Richard Fontaine. “Too much deference is not a good practice.”

That's right.  Authority must be questioned.  If not, human nature with all its failings presides.

"The senator had no problem crusading against military leaders for one reason or another, and even those he clashed with most sharply expressed respect for his intentions. Retired Gen. Martin Dempsey, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff whom McCain once derided as the “most disappointing chairman he had ever seen,” praised McCain as a leader.  “Senator McCain was particularly passionate about America’s roles and responsibilities in the world,” he wrote. “An astute student of history, he knew that ‘domestic policy can only defeat us; foreign policy can kill us’ (JFK). American foreign policy has lost its greatest champion.”

No narcissism in the General, is there?  :)  Like the Senator, the General prizes truth.  Makes no excuses.  Unlike the Trump nazi.

"Retired Gen. Michael Hayden, the former director of the CIA whom McCain accused in his recent book of misleading the White House and Congress about the effectiveness of the agency’s “enhanced interrogation techniques,” called the senator a hero.  “While I was at CIA, Senator JOHN McCain ripped me a new one on several occasions,” Hayden said in a tweet Sunday. “But not once did he think I shouldn’t have a security clearance. Go figure. RIP, American hero.”

Unlike the Trump nazi, these two Generals certainly knew a hero when they saw one.

"McCain’s combative approach was infectious for some. Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), his chief acolyte, in recent years has become known on the Armed Services Committee for his unforgiving interrogations of Pentagon leaders, often with yes-or-no questions."

Should be the approach in ALL Senate and House hearings.  Standard operating procedure.  Prosecutorial interrogation.  Get to the truth.  Don't give a damn whose feathers get ruffled.

"McCain could be brutal and crushing when top officers made mistakes but also stood by those he respected despite personal and sometimes high-profile public failings. He was effusive in his praise for the generals he liked, those who shared his view of American power and how it should be wielded.  He called Gen. David Petraeus “one of the great military leaders in American history,” and continued to praise him even after the retired Army general resigned from the CIA directorship over the improper handling of classified information during an extramarital affair.  “I think people make mistakes in life and you move on,” McCain said as he advocated for President Trump to choose Petraeus as secretary of state.  In an interview with ABC News this weekend, Petraeus said that “no one had the backs” of American service members more than McCain and that “no one did more to assure that they had what was needed to prevail on the battlefield.”

Above quotes courtesy of a most gifted, insightful writer,  Paul Sonne.

NPR reports:

"The beginning of the national memorial for Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has been marred by a fight over a sign of public respect, as President Trump initially avoided issuing a proclamation to lower flags to half-staff at all federal properties in McCain's honor.  Flags were lowered at government buildings across Washington and across the country Saturday evening after McCain died, as is standard practice for a sitting member of Congress.  But on Monday morning the flag atop the White House was back at full-staff, causing some to ask whether Trump's strained relationship with McCain had played into the decision to not keep it lowered. The lack of a proclamation was viewed by some as a disrespectful act reflecting the president's dislike for McCain, which Trump continued to express publicly, even as recently as last week."

Couldn't have been anything less than rampant boorishness on the part of the Trump nazi.

"Hours after reporters questioned the White House about the move and the president ignored multiple press attempts to ask his reaction to McCain's death, the White House flag was eventually lowered to half-staff Monday afternoon.  Trump said in a statement released shortly afterward: "Despite our differences on policy and politics, I respect Senator John McCain's service to our country and, in his honor, have signed a proclamation to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff until the day of his interment."

Too little.  Much too late.

"Later Monday evening at a dinner with evangelical leaders, Trump made his first public comments since the senator's death Saturday. "We very much appreciate everything that Senator McCain has done for our country," the president said."

Clearly, you don't, Mr. 'President.'

"Our hearts and prayers are going to the family," Trump also said, echoing his tweet. "There's going to be a lot of activity over the next number of days."

The following is precisely why all this has become an issue:

"The dust-up over the flag was viewed as particularly insulting by veterans. McCain was a retired captain in the Navy and the son and grandson of two four-star Navy admirals. He was held for 5 1/2 years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam after the attack aircraft he was piloting was shot down during a bombing raid over Hanoi. He was tortured but refused early release because it would have meant leaving ahead of other soldiers who had been captured before him."

Speaks volumes about the character of this man.  Service to this country.

"American Legion National Commander Denise Rohan issued a letter before Trump's late afternoon written statement, appealing to the president to follow the custom he had used in recent deaths of national figures.

    "Nat’l Cmdr Rohan letter to President Trump: “I strongly urge you to make an appropriate presidential proclamation noting Senator McCain’s death & legacy of service to our nation, & that our nation’s flag be half-staffed through his interment.” Statement:
    — The American Legion (@AmericanLegion) August 27, 2018

"The American Legion urges the White House to follow long-established protocol following the death of prominent government officials," she wrote. "Mr. President, just this year, you released presidential proclamations noting the deaths of Barbara Bush and Billy Graham. Senator John McCain was an American hero and cherished member of The American Legion."

The American Legion National Commander is right on target.  No one could have put it better.  Trump has again disgraced himself, his office, and the country he clearly does not serve.

"The veterans group AMVETS also issued a statement calling the president's actions since McCain's death deeply disappointing.  "It's outrageous that the White House would mark American hero John McCain's death with a two-sentence tweet, making no mention of his heroic and inspiring life," said AMVETS National Executive Director Joe Chenelly. "And by lowering flags for not one second more than the bare minimum required by law, despite a long-standing tradition of lowering flags until the funeral, the White House is openly showcasing its blatant disrespect for Senator McCain's many decades of service and sacrifice to our country as well as the service of all his fellow veterans."

Exactly right.  The Senator's politics are not the issue.  His selfless, life-long service to the country he loved is.

"And in what could be viewed as a subtle slap at Trump, the Canadian Embassy in Washington also posted a picture showing that it had lowered its flag to honor McCain.

    "Senator John McCain was a long-serving U.S. Senator, naval officer, strong advocate for NATO, and a good friend to Canada. The flag at the Embassy has been lowered to half-mast in his honour.
    — Embassy of Canada US (@CanEmbUSA) August 27, 2018

" Senator John McCain was a long-serving U.S. Senator, naval officer, strong advocate for NATO, and a good friend to Canada. The flag at the Embassy has been lowered to half-mast in his honour," the embassy tweeted."

Trump is a fool.  Has repeatedly taken a royal dump on one of our best long-term allies, -- the Canadians.  Canadians have stood by us.  Their soldiers have died alongside ours.

Above quotes are courtesy of two most gifted, insightful writers,  Kelsey Snell, Deirdre Walsh.

NPR reports:

"Former McCain campaign chairman Rick Davis outlined plans for five days of memorials to McCain, who died Saturday at age 81.

"Davis said McCain will lie in state at the Arizona State Capitol on Wednesday and be attended by some of his Republican colleagues from the Arizona congressional delegation, including former Sen. Jon Kyl, who will make remarks; former Rep. Jim Kolbe, who will lay a wreath; and current Sen. Jeff Flake, who will give a benediction.  The following day there will be a service at the North Phoenix Baptist Church, where former Vice President Joe Biden will give a tribute. Biden is "basically being treated as a member of the family, which of course the family believe he is," Davis said, adding, "for better or worse for his political career in the future."  McCain's body will then be flown to Maryland for "three days of celebration in Washington," Davis said.  McCain's body will lie in state at the U.S. Capitol on Friday. There, Pence, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer will all lay wreaths and, Davis said, members of the public "will be encouraged to view John.  On Saturday, McCain's body will be taken to the National Cathedral, after a stop at the Vietnam War Memorial, where his widow, Cindy, will place a wreath.  At the cathedral service, which Davis said will focus on McCain's "national and global leadership," former Presidents (and political opponents) George W. Bush and Barack Obama will speak, along with Sen. Lindsey Graham and former Sens. Joe Lieberman and Kelly Ayotte. Renee Fleming will sing "Danny Boy" at McCain's request.  On Sunday, McCain will be laid to rest after a private funeral at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. He will be buried next to his "close, good friend," Davis said, Adm. Chuck Larson."

The following is the Senator's farewell statement to the country:

    "My fellow Americans, whom I have gratefully served for sixty years, and especially my fellow Arizonans,

    "Thank you for the privilege of serving you and for the rewarding life that service in uniform and in public office has allowed me to lead. I have tried to serve our country honorably. I have made mistakes, but I hope my love for America will be weighed favorably against them.

    "I have often observed that I am the luckiest person on earth. I feel that way even now as I prepare for the end of my life. I have loved my life, all of it. I have had experiences, adventures and friendships enough for ten satisfying lives, and I am so thankful. Like most people, I have regrets. But I would not trade a day of my life, in good or bad times, for the best day of anyone else's.

    "I owe that satisfaction to the love of my family. No man ever had a more loving wife or children he was prouder of than I am of mine. And I owe it to America. To be connected to America's causes – liberty, equal justice, respect for the dignity of all people – brings happiness more sublime than life's fleeting pleasures. Our identities and sense of worth are not circumscribed but enlarged by serving good causes bigger than ourselves.

    " 'Fellow Americans' – that association has meant more to me than any other. I lived and died a proud American. We are citizens of the world's greatest republic, a nation of ideals, not blood and soil. We are blessed and are a blessing to humanity when we uphold and advance those ideals at home and in the world. We have helped liberate more people from tyranny and poverty than ever before in history. We have acquired great wealth and power in the process.

    "We weaken our greatness when we confuse our patriotism with tribal rivalries that have sown resentment and hatred and violence in all the corners of the globe. We weaken it when we hide behind walls, rather than tear them down, when we doubt the power of our ideals, rather than trust them to be the great force for change they have always been.

    "We are three-hundred-and-twenty-five million opinionated, vociferous individuals. We argue and compete and sometimes even vilify each other in our raucous public debates. But we have always had so much more in common with each other than in disagreement. If only we remember that and give each other the benefit of the presumption that we all love our country we will get through these challenging times. We will come through them stronger than before. We always do.

    "Ten years ago, I had the privilege to concede defeat in the election for president. I want to end my farewell to you with the heartfelt faith in Americans that I felt so powerfully that evening.

    "I feel it powerfully still.

    "Do not despair of our present difficulties but believe always in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here. Americans never quit. We never surrender. We never hide from history. We make history.

    "Farewell, fellow Americans. God bless you, and God bless America."

Sen. McCain's daughter, in the very best tradition of the Senator, courageously lets loose during tribute to her late father.  The Washington Post reports:

"Meghan McCain, in an emotional and deeply personal eulogy of her father, took a tacit swipe at President Trump several times during her remarks.  But the most pointed was when she said, “The America of John McCain has no need to be made great again, because America was always great” — a reference to Trump’s campaign slogan. Rare for such a solemn gathering, applause rippled through the cathedral for several long seconds, passing over an audience which included Trump’s daughter Ivanka and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who sat stone-faced."

Here, here, Ms. McCain.  Uncommon Valor.  In the very best tradition of your father, a national treasure and hero.

"Trump, a frequent antagonist of McCain, was not invited to the memorial service."

For damned good reason.

"Earlier in her speech, she also referenced her father’s “greatness,” saying his was the “real thing, not cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice he gave so willingly.”

No question.  Heroic of you, madam, to let it rip.  Truer words never spoken, certainly not from the Trump nazi.

"She listed all of her father’s many titles: “He was a sailor. He was an aviator. He was a husband. He was a warrior. He was a prisoner. He was a hero. He was a congressman. He was a senator. He was a nominee for president of the United States.”  “The best of John McCain, the greatest of his titles and the most important of his roles, was as a father,” she said.  She recalled the softer side of her father, known in politics for his temper and quick wit, telling stories of them singing, “Singing in the Rain” together and his encouraging her when she fell off a horse and was scared to get back on.  “Nothing is going to break you,” he told her."

Indeed.  Hat's off, Ms. McCain.  Uncommon Valor.  Your father will be sorely missed.  Bet he's looking down, extremely proud of his courageous, loving daughter.

Tim Chorney, Publisher
Liberty In Peril

Tim Chorney, Publisher
Liberty In Peril
The Llano Ledger