McCain Gets His Send-Off: We Shall Not See His Like Again… If We’re Lucky

Among us Celts, it’s not a real funeral until the various sub-clans start brangling over decorum and bringing up decades-old grievances, lightly coded for ‘civility’. You think ol’ John was the only dude kept an updated list of who wasn’t invited to his final planting?

I personally suspect McCain’s only quibble would be that Rep. Waters didn’t salute him, too… or that nobody even set fire to his casket.

177 replies
  1. 1
    Mike in NC says:

    Kissinger is 95. More proof that the good die young.

  2. 2
    Yutsano says:

    @Mike in NC: Shaytan doesn’t want the competition in Hades.

  3. 3
    The Dangerman says:

    In the list of people least likely to be at McCain’s funeral (didn’t watch at all), Trump clearly was at the top of the “do not let in door” list; I would have thought Kissinger would be close to the top (bottom?), too. Maybe he rushed the place.

    Then again, given how the speeches were surely gonna go, maybe Trump should have been invited; course, he probably would have got up and walked out.

  4. 4
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Pretty sure I’m in the extreme minority here (and spare me your righteous flaming, please), but I watched every minute of the service. Kind of a sucker for good eulogy and good choral music, and McCain’s funeral delivered both with a vengeance.

  5. 5

    Is the McCain week, finally over?

  6. 6
    Yutsano says:

    @The Dangerman: I think they had some kind of previous relationship, although I have no idea what it was. One would think McCain would be pissed at the man who extended the Vietnam war. But time does make things odd.

  7. 7
    raven says:

    See here how everything
    Lead up to this day
    And it’s just like
    Any other day
    That’s ever been
    Sun goin up
    And then the
    Sun it goin down
    Shine through my window and
    My friends they come around
    Come around

  8. 8
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    From Charlie Pierce

    So I asked him if there was someone he couldn’t forgive, or at least talk to, about that awful time. He got all quiet and took a long time to answer.
    “McNamara,” he finally said. “That’s the worst to me—to know you’ve made a mistake and to do nothing to correct it while, year after year, people are dying and to do nothing to stop it, to know what your public duty is and to ignore it. I don’t think any conversation we could have would be helpful now.”

    But he wanted Kissinger to speak at his funeral. Shrug emoji

    Pierce, no moony-eyed believer in the good manners and intentions of The Establishment, thinks today was the start of something. I hope he’s right.

    Charles P. Pierce @ CharlesPPierce
    McCain’s Funeral Was a Council of War—Just as He Meant It to Be
    “Something inexorable began this weekend, and that’s what John McCain had in mind all along”

  9. 9
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  11. 11
    raven says:

    The Kissinger Fellowship upholds the core values of the McCain Institute’s character-driven leadership programs. It focuses on developing the strategic skills of future foreign policy and national security leaders with the kind of principles that are the hallmark of Dr. Henry A. Kissinger’s career.

    In May 2015, Arizona State University hosted an event honoring Dr. Henry A. Kissinger and introduced the Kissinger Fellowship at the McCain Institute. In conversation with Senator John McCain, Dr. Kissinger shared his insights and perspectives on today’s global challenges, based on his personal knowledge and involvement in so many historical events over the past decades.

    Senator McCain has relied on Dr. Kissinger’s brilliant strategic mind and wise counsel for many years, since they first met in 1973.

  12. 12

    @Mike in NC:

    This is only because in Hell, like everywhere else, it takes time to get complicated one off infrastructure in place, tested, and ready for use.

  13. 13
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    By the way, I haven’t seen any mention either in comments here or any of the news coverage, but Tricia Nixon Cox was in the house, big as life.

    Also, did you see Bob and Liddy Dole, both looking slightly resurrected-from-the-crypt but seemingly in good spirits.

  14. 14
    raven says:

    If you can forgive the dudes who tortured you. . .

  15. 15
    Jay says:

    “One of the reasons McCain’s death was so deeply enjoyed by the pro-establishment Russians is that they don’t see a worthy replacement for the anti-Trump, anti-Putin elements anywhere within the Republican party. Karen Shakhnazarov, a prominent film director who is a regular on Russian state TV, summed up that perspective on the political opinion show 60 Minutes: “Global empires like the United States are destroyed from within… The U.S. is deteriorating. They won’t find other fighters like McCain. There won’t be any others like him. This process is irreversible.”

  16. 16
    waratah says:

    I liked what Cheryl said, not every thing is about Trump. He thinks it is.

  17. 17
    lollipopguild says:

    @The Dangerman: Trump thinks/believes that EVERYTHING is really about him. I have a brother-in-law who is the same way. When his father(2000) and mother(2007) passed all he wanted to talk about was himself.

  18. 18
    jl says:

    ‘If we are lucky’, but compared to what? Our luck as been running worse than the very mixed and ambiguous McCain recently.

    Right now Trump is tweeting that, apparently, one of the grievances we have against Canada is that we give them ‘Free Military Protection’. Capitalized, because, why not?

    If the symbolism of the McCain funeral, his final public act through his careful planning, does some good, then I won’t complain.
    As commenters above have pointed out, Kissinger is still consulting and able to do damage. Kissinger has, and may continue to, pop into Trump’s new digs and plot some kind of lethal nonsense, that Trump could make into something unimaginably worse.

  19. 19
    Aleta says:

    Ivanka and Jared had to go, out of fear that the possibility of a Trump-free DC would start to look plausible. They recognize we may be getting close to a tipping point in the calculations of certain Republicans. Graham and Mitch chose Trump last week over Sessions, so Ivanka was on camera today hugging Graham, greeting Mitch, trying to model a show of strength, but looking weak.

  20. 20
    Baud says:


    Yes. But I’m looking forward to MSNBC’s five-day documentary next week on the Funeral of John McCain.

  21. 21
    jl says:

    @Baud: Don’t start giving them any ideas, OK?

  22. 22
    Platonailedit says:


    This funeral was all about totus, only it was all anti-totus. The deceased man made sure of it.

  23. 23
    Tim in SF says:

    How the hell does Kissinger get time at the mic at McCain’s funeral? How many years did that bastard add on to the war?

  24. 24
    Shana says:

    @Yutsano: Charlie Pierce over at Esquire has a post up about the service today where he recounts a conversation he had with McCain several years ago. Charlie asked McCain if there was anyone left that he just couldn’t forgive at this (then) late date. He thought for a minute and said McNamara.

  25. 25
    Jeffro says:


    Ivanka and Jared had to go, out of fear that the possibility of a Trump-free DC would start to look plausible. They recognize we may be getting close to a tipping point in the calculations of certain Republicans. Graham and Mitch chose Trump last week over Sessions, so Ivanka was on camera today hugging Graham, greeting Mitch, trying to model a show of strength, but looking weak.

  26. 26
    Jeffro says:

    @Jeffro: whoops, forgot the rest of the comment, Aleta…yours was a very, very good observation. We are definitely coming to a day of reckoning.

  27. 27
    raven says:

    @Tim in SF: I guess I need to post this twice in 10 minutes huh?

    The Kissinger Fellowship upholds the core values of the McCain Institute’s character-driven leadership programs. It focuses on developing the strategic skills of future foreign policy and national security leaders with the kind of principles that are the hallmark of Dr. Henry A. Kissinger’s career.

    In May 2015, Arizona State University hosted an event honoring Dr. Henry A. Kissinger and introduced the Kissinger Fellowship at the McCain Institute. In conversation with Senator John McCain, Dr. Kissinger shared his insights and perspectives on today’s global challenges, based on his personal knowledge and involvement in so many historical events over the past decades.

    Senator McCain has relied on Dr. Kissinger’s brilliant strategic mind and wise counsel for many years, since they first met in 1973.

  28. 28
    Shana says:

    @Yutsano: Charlie Pierce has a post up that answers that question. He recounts a conversation with McCain several years ago where McCain says the only person he really couldn’t forgive was McNamara.

  29. 29
    Ken says:

    @Baud: Followed by a riveting six-part series, “Covering the Funeral of John McCain: The Reporters’ Stories”.

  30. 30
    Chetan Murthy says:

    Oh, that picture of Rep. Waters! She’s so great! And not some old fuddy-duddy! Love it!

  31. 31
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Whatever his faults, and he had many, McCain loathed trump. And even if he had never gotten brain cancer, he would have been vociferously relentless in his disgust of trump.

    That has to count for something.

  32. 32

    @Baud: I don’t watch MSNBC, I would be happy if Balloon Juice FP reverts back to non-McCain programming.

  33. 33

    @raven: raven, i did not have you pegged as a fan/follower/Dead Head.

    And its just like any other day.

  34. 34
    Aleta says:

    @raven: Stay ugly Henry you manipulative shepherd of deceit.

  35. 35
    raven says:

    @BruceFromOhio: Saw em at the Sky River Rock Festival and Lighter Than Air Fair near Snohomish, WA in 68, Fox in St Louis in 72, multiple times in Atlanta in the 90’s and my last show was Charlotte just before Jerry Dies.

  36. 36
    Ken says:

    @Michael Bersin: According to Dante, Evil Counselors are in the eighth Circle bolgia of the Eighth Circle of Hell. That’s the part of Lower Hell where all forms of fraud and deception are punished. The Ninth is for treason, and it doesn’t go any lower than that.

  37. 37

    @OzarkHillbilly: His foisting of Sarah Palin in national spotlight made T’s ascent easier. That was not a noble decision.

  38. 38
    Gravenstone says:

    @The Dangerman: Yeah, going through the thread below about Obama’s eulogy for McCain it occurred to me that having Trump there in person during all the verbal digs slung his direction would have been like the WHCD on steroids. His petulance and vindictiveness would have been completely off the charts afterwards.

  39. 39
    raven says:

    There is not one fucking thing about McCain that hasn’t been beaten to death on this blog.

  40. 40
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Dole coming out as a MAGAt was a surprise to me. I knew he was an angry old coot, I never thought he was that hateful.

    Cheney was there also. I thought there was a history of animosity between him and McCain– then again, at some point, everybody in politics seems to have at least some history of animosity with both. And did anyone see Colin Powell? He’s been notable by his silence recently, and I was surprised to see when I googled him to see if he’d spoken up that he’s over 80. Made me wonder about his health.

  41. 41
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I repeat,

    Whatever his faults, and he had many, McCain loathed trump. And even if he had never gotten brain cancer, he would have been vociferously relentless in his disgust of trump.

    That has to count for something.

  42. 42


    We are definitely coming to a day of reckoning.

    November 6, 2018.

  43. 43
    Ken says:

    @Shana: Pierce’s article also has this:

    Rod Rosenstein… walked by the assembled members of the House of Representatives, and he winked at someone among them.

    I no there’s no chance Trump will see this – it’s way down at the end of a printed page – but I’d like to think word might get back to him. Well, “like” isn’t quite right, because let’s face it he’d go into a paranoid rant…

  44. 44
    Jeffro says:

    I love this article, not for its title or anything meaningful…

    A Rural Virginia School System Looks To Arm Teachers

    …but for the genuine folk wisdom granted within. Behold!

    In 2013, Virginia lawmakers considered legislation to require at least one person — a school employee or volunteer — to carry a firearm on school grounds. William Pelfrey Jr., chair of the homeland security and emergency preparedness program at Virginia Commonwealth University, reviewed the proposal and found significant dangers, including the potential for an accidental shooting or escalating a “non-critical” encounter into a deadly situation.

    “Schools are just not good places for people to be shooting guns because of the high risk of collateral damage,” Pelfrey said.

    Jack Dearry, a father of 7- and 8-year-old boys at Dryden, is ambivalent about arming teachers at his sons’ school.

    “It should be like it was back in the day, when I went to school. If you had a problem with somebody, just fight it out and get over it,” the 43-year-old dressed in camouflage said. “Times have changed so much now, as far as society and the way we deal with children.”

    “If it helps, it helps,” he said. “If it doesn’t, it’ll cause a problem just like anything else.”

    What does that even mean? Times have changed in society…how? The way we deal with children now is…what/how? ‘If it doesn’t [help], it’ll cause a problem’…what problem, exactly, good sir? How many body bags might that problem require? And how does that equate to ‘just like anything else’?

    Why is Jerkwad T. Cornpone getting a few lines in a Post story without any follow up questions that show just how fucking dumb this idea is, or at least how lazy his thinking is? It’s irritating.

  45. 45
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @schrodingers_cat: he reveled in the blocking of Garland and vowed to block all of President HRC’s nominees as well. He lied about Benghazi– it wouldn’t surprise me if he came to believe his own lie– to justify not endorsing Clinton, IIRC in ’08 he trolled nominee Obama by talking about what a great campaign it would have been if he had run against his good friend Hilary.
    Rick Wilson said on a podcast that McCain had torched his ass about that infamous ad that showed Max Cleland morphing into Saddam Hussien, Wilson made that for Saxby Chambliss, but IIRC in real time McCain made excuses for Chambliss. He was very disappointed in all the rhetoric. Georgians, do you remember that better than I?

  46. 46
  47. 47

    @raven: My roommate in college would buy a bale of white cotton t-shirts for a hundred dollars, then spend every night for weeks airbrushing them using an air compressor that made the lights blink in our old rental. He’d take old doilies and put them down on the front of the shirt, then spray spirals of color out and around. He’d pack them up and take them to the Dead when they came through town, and sell them for $5 apiece. The bales typically held about 200 shirts, so he’d clear a nice payday and a Dead show, plus some crazy stories about the tripping peoples. And he always sold out.

  48. 48
    eemom says:


    Always liked that song. Haunting.

  49. 49
    raven says:

    @BruceFromOhio: A miracle! I had a buddy in Champaign who printed up hundreds of “Farm Ade” t-shirts for that show. He got so fucked up he didn’t sell ONE! When I went to the Who’s Last (it wasn’t) show in Atlanta dudes were throwing duffel bags of boot tshirt over the wall at Lakewood and co-conspirators on the inside would take out and run through the crowd selling them. Them was the days.

  50. 50
    raven says:

    @eemom: And reminded me of “Today is only one day in all the days that will ever be. But what will happen in all the other days that ever come can depend on what you do today.”

  51. 51
    jl says:

    They’re selling memorial t-shirts at the McCain funeral? Damn. That is bad ass. Iconoclastic old coot, he was.

  52. 52
    J R in WV says:


    Yes, I agree!!

    I’ve been holding myself back HARD, but McCain was very much not my favorite person in Congress. Not the worst… in Congress I mean, but in that part of the class, just like he was at the Naval Academy, 4th from the bottom or something like that. Out of hundreds of Midshipmen.

  53. 53
    Matt McIrvin says:


    What does that even mean? Times have changed in society…how?

    These days the schools don’t actively encourage bullying, like they did when I was a kid.

  54. 54

    @OzarkHillbilly: He saved the ACA with his no vote, and I give him credit for that. What other action did he take against the current R President as a powerful R senator? Talk is cheap.

  55. 55
    raven says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Also, as we fawn over Obama’s eulogy, remember he also said that stupid shit about how badly Nam vets were treated and how that would never happen again.

  56. 56

    Did McCain vote for Gorsuch?

  57. 57

    @raven: Obama said that? I had no idea. That’s a right wing canard isn’t it? Even I know that..

  58. 58
    eemom says:


    But I’m looking forward to MSNBC’s five-day documentary next week on the Funeral of John McCain.

    Sigh. Here I was thinking I’d just STFU and watch the sheepsters here have their last delusional McCain-fellating hurrah — cuz it is, after all, the LAST time — and then ya gotta go and spring that on me.

  59. 59
    raven says:


    ”You were often blamed for a war you didn’t start, when you should have been commended for serving your country with valor. You were sometimes blamed for misdeeds of a few, when the honorable service of the many should have been praised. You came home and sometimes were denigrated, when you should have been celebrated,” Obama said. “It was a national shame, a disgrace that should have never happened. And that’s why here today we resolve that it will not happen again. And so a central part of this 50th anniversary will be to tell your story as it should have been told all along.

  60. 60
    Gin & Tonic says:


    He saved the ACA with his no vote

    Lisa Murkowski gets zero credit on that one?

  61. 61
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Donald J. Trump
    “There is no possible way the Trump Tower meeting between Don Trump jr and a couple of Russians, who have very deep connections to both the Clintons & Fusion GPS, & where no information on the Clintons was exchanged, is a crime. Dems are blinded by their hatred of Trump.” Bongino

    David Frum @ davidfrum
    It never happened =>
    It happened, but we didn’t seek stolen info =>
    We sought stolen info, but didn’t get any =>
    Anybody would have done it =>
    Ok, but it’s not a crime.

  62. 62
    Mary G says:

    I didn’t watch it, I started to run the CSPAN coverage and enjoyed the lady bishop and the fleece robes on the priests, got to Kissenger and had to turn it off.

    In O/T news, the troubled teens finished their second week of 10th grade – week one started badly with them ditching the entire second day, being tardy a bunch of times, and zeros on a lot of homework. We staged an intervention last weekend and this week the boy has two As, a B and a B+ and the girl has straight As. Don’t know exactly what got through, but glad something did. Maybe they decided it wasn’t worth sitting through the lectures again.

  63. 63

    @Baud: I’m so excited, I can hardly wait.

  64. 64
    zhena gogolia says:


    It was an important event because in the National Cathedral, at the funeral of a Republican U.S. Senator, the deceased’s daughter and two former presidents leveled pointed accusations and unambiguous repudiations of the sitting president. It deserves some serious discussion among all people who loathe Twitler.

  65. 65
    West of the Rockies says:

    Who will speak at Trump’s funeral?

    Guiliani will slobber all over the mix, maybe short-circuit it… Chachi will utter some profound nonsense. Hannity will try desperately to appear serious and regal (and fail miserably).

  66. 66
    Gin & Tonic says:


    Here I was thinking I’d just STFU

    That makes two of us.

  67. 67
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I did some volunteer work for that Cleland campaign. Goddamn right I remember all that.

  68. 68
    Steeplejack says:


    Well, McCain’s disgust with Trump doesn’t count as much as the fact that he voted the Trump line 83% of the time (FiveThirtyEight). About the same as Lisa Murkowski and more than Mike Lee, Susan Collins or Rand Paul.

  69. 69
    eemom says:


    Did McCain vote for Gorsuch?

    You betcha. And he would have voted for Kavanaugh too.

  70. 70
    eemom says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Aw c’mon, you didn’t really think that.

  71. 71
    Mary G says:

    Good twitter thread in progress re this situation isn’t on Trump; he’s a symptom, not a cause of the rot:

    10. The message of the funeral was "The American establishment has a bipartisan contempt for Trump." What was missing was any sense of responsibility by that establishment for creating Trump.— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) September 2, 2018

  72. 72
    jl says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Obama brought Kissinger into the WH as an adviser, though Kissinger was pissed off that it wasn’t more often (as if HK has some right to a minimum number of consultations and a quota of policy decisions that he advocates). And Obama gave Kissinger some kind of BS Distinguished Service Award.

    Most politicians who want approval of the establishment powers, even brilliant ones who have some aspirations to do better than we have in the past, feel that they have to pay tribute to some pretty ugly stuff to keep the CW club satisfied.
    I don’t understand it. We need some variations on the saying ‘Hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue’ to capture it.

  73. 73
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Steve in the ATL: I meant specifically McCain’s mealy-mouthed excuse-making for it. He had fairly recently, i.e. on 9/11, gone back to being a committed Republican after his flirtations with independence and the Dems (there are rumors that he was talking about switching parties when Jeffords stole his thunder), and people were expecting him to come out guns blazing at that ad– IIRC, it was a long time ago.

  74. 74
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @eemom: More like hoping.

  75. 75
    Ken says:


    “Today is only one day in all the days that will ever be. But what will happen in all the other days that ever come can depend on what you do today.”

    Wait, I thought that was from Plan 9 From Outer Space?

  76. 76

    @Gin & Tonic: Yes she does as does Collins.

  77. 77
    eemom says:

    I’m gonna say it again. McCain did exactly three good things that I know of.

    1. Silenced the crazy “Obama is an Arab” twat back in 2008.

    2. Gave a gracious concession speech, also in 2008.

    3. Voted against the destruction of Obamacare last year.

    The rest of this is bullshit.

  78. 78
    B.B.A. says:

    As Sam Goldwyn said about Louis Mayer, “The reason so many people turned up at his funeral is that they wanted to make sure he was dead.”

  79. 79
    eemom says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Tough titties.

  80. 80
    Steeplejack says:


    McCain’s voting record for/​against Trump at the link above.

  81. 81
    NotMax says:

    Is it too early to say good riddance?

    (checks conscience) Nope, it’s not.

  82. 82
    jl says:

    @Mary G: Thanks. I’ll check it out. I hope it is not more both-sides-do-it-ism.
    I think in some was we are in the end of an era. Both parties have failed the country in keeping economic progress and wellbeing (in a real, sustainable and equitable sense, not just big bucks churning through the stock market and GDP numbers).
    Some aspects of our two major parties are tired and out of touch with the mood of the country.

    But that happened despite the Democratic Party’s best efforts, and it happened because of the GOP’s best efforts but worst intentions.
    There is a huge difference there.

  83. 83
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    dww44 says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: As did I and my husband, who watched the Aretha Memorial yesterday and all of the McCain funeral today. He opined afterwards, “Well, if I can spend all day with Aretha’s Memorial, then I can spend a half a day with McCain’s.” It was good to see all of those faces, aging though they are, from the last 50 years. Seeing Tricia Nixon Cox made me wonder why one never sees or hears from Julie Nixon Eisenhower and her husband David? Hadn’t thought about Powell not being there.
    @raven: I endorse your comment. Nevertheless, this place is not nearly so unforgiving of those on the right and particularly of Southerners of most persuasions. There’s lots of moderates here;there don’t seem to be any there.

  85. 85
    tobie says:

    Has anyone here watched the new documentary Active Measures regarding Putin’s aims, Trump’s longstanding relationship with him and Russian involvement in the 2016 election? I just saw it and thought it was good, but way too rushed. A three part series would have worked better for me since it would have given me some chance to keep track of all the threads in this incredibly complication conspiracy. I didn’t know how many test runs Putin conducted in Estonia and Georgia before turning to the West. His chosen candidate to replace Sakashvilli was saying things like, “I think it would be good to have a better relationship with Russia,” which is the exact same sentiment I’ve heard from Trump and Sessions.

  86. 86

    @Steeplejack: Thanks. So mavericky. He did not walk the talk, then. Chose party over country.

  87. 87
    Steeplejack says:

    @Mary G:

    Thanks for that link. Very interesting.

  88. 88
    NotMax says:


    There is not one fucking thing about McCain that hasn’t been beaten to death on this blog.

    That he had a Roman numeral III after his name?

  89. 89
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @West of the Rockies:

    Trump’s funeral

    I will tune in for that, beginning to end, minute by minute, nonstop, if only to laugh and point. And may it be sooner than later. Amen.

  90. 90
    B.B.A. says:

    @NotMax: I’m not glad he’s dead, but… wait, actually I am.

  91. 91
    Platonailedit says:

    @NotMax: +1. Conscience or not.

  92. 92
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    I have a vague memory that Tricia and Julie had a major falling-out several years ago.

    Or maybe that was Lynda and Luci Johnson. But I think it was the Nixon girls.

    I might google it later on, if I feel so moved.

    Or not.

  93. 93
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    I get it. You all want to beat up on somebody who was less than perfect in your eyes. Yeah he fucked up, many times and in many ways. I make no excuses for those mistakes. But every now and again he did something right. Yeah he graduated 894 of 899. I hate to think of where I graduated (out of HS where I was so bored I only went to class on test days and never even bothered to study). But he did in fact graduate from the naval academy, which is more than I ever did. Who here has managed the same? And yeah, he was more than a bit of an over testosteroned hotdog as a pilot, but who here could land an A-4 on an aircraft carrier? Shit. You want to know how many times I screwed up driving a car? I had 3 wrecks in my first year behind the wheel. And the only landing I ever attempted was a ’68 Ford station wagon over a 6′ high embankment at 45 mph. (I nailed it, as in I totaled that mf’er) Sure he got some breaks because Daddy was an admiral. I got a few breaks too, merely because of the shade of my skin, and I knew it at the time and I turned not one of them down. I needed a job.

    I could go on but it would not matter. Yes the coverage of McCain the past week has been more than a little over the top. Here, yes but folks this ain’t nothing compared to all the other major news outlets. And yes they have smoothed out more than a few of his rough edges, but hell, haven’t any of you ever been to a funeral before? I mean, really? What did you expect?

    At this point I just revel in the fact that McCain loathed trump. That this whole week has been a sharp stick in trump’s eye. That the whole farcical aquatic ceremony has been orchestrated as a specific rebuke to trump and all his isms by a man who is dead and therefor beyond harm. And trump is utterly and completely emasculated. There is a beauty in it that I would think all jackals could appreciate.

    I’ll never manage to do the same when my time comes. When I die, I’ll just be dead.

    And with that, I’m off to bed. If you want to beat me up, you’ll just have to wait until morning.

  94. 94
    B.B.A. says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Only the good die young. Trump will live forever.

  95. 95
    Jay says:

    Nobody in the Beltway understands what has happened.

    Newt’s program has come to it’s end conclusion.

    Bipartizanship is dead. Good governance is dead. It’s all downhill for America from here.

    There’s 3 America’s now, the cray-cray, those who care, and the uninvolved.

  96. 96
    Platonailedit says:


    4. Some sorta poke in the eye at the totus thug.

    The end.

  97. 97
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Yeah, Trump and Cheney.

  98. 98
    eemom says:

    So, “loathing” trump — while voting FOR every horrific thing he’s done or tried to do since taking office, except one — is enough to redeem every other horrific thing McCain himself did or voted for in his many years of public “service”??

    What’s that tag line, “I can’t believe we’re losing to these people”? Here’s your answer right here. “We” are a bunch of gullible idiots.

  99. 99
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I agree with you. And earlier this week, I was excoriating him, just to get it out of my system. Today, I can be silent, b/c hell, he did vote to delay the destruction of the ACA (which is all it was — his replacement will probably change that). And sure, he arranged his funeral as a rebuke to Twitler. It would have been better if he’d used his position in life as one of the one-hundred-something most powerful people in America to stop Twitler, but hey, we can’t ask for everything from GrOPers. It would have been better if he’d rebuked Twitler as a threat to our dfemocracy, instead of as part of a personal spate/bunfight. But again, we can’t expect principles from GrOPers. We should be glad we got as much as we did.

    So yeah, For Today, I can stay silent.

  100. 100
    Aleta says:

    @Mary G: Welcoming each other into an agreement that they and McCain are not like Trump. It was both a positive turn and repelling. If they could use the occasion of a funeral, surely they could have broken protocol in public before now.

  101. 101
    Amir Khalid says:

    Idle thought: Do members of the Three Sticks Club have a clubhouse? Does the Club issue statements like “We note with sadness the passing of brother so-and-so”?

  102. 102
    NotMax says:


    Among the very first things the Nazis did when they came to power was to pass the strictest and most wide-ranging anti-cruelty to animals laws on the planet.

    Doesn’t give them a pass on the other stuff.

  103. 103
    sukabi says:

    @Jeffro: just a thought, it might not be the interviewee that can’t put together a thought, it might be the reporter either didn’t ask relevant follow up questions or failed to put the info in the article / or it was edited out.

  104. 104
    dww44 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Thank you. Maybe we can let McCain rest in peace and move on to arguing about which TV pundit was the most over the top. I’m having a hard time deciding if it was Chris Matthews or Dana Bash, with Gloria Borger closing in for the prize, if only because she’s long irritated my political sensibilities.

  105. 105

    @Amir Khalid:

    Do members of the Three Sticks Club have a clubhouse?

    Yes, but the first rule of the Three Sticks Club is we don’t talk about the Three Sticks Club.

    Does the Club issue statements like “We note with sadness the passing of brother so-and-so”?

    Yes, see above.

    I’ve said too much already.

    BillinGlendaleCA, a proud member of the Three Sticks Club.

  106. 106
    rikyrah says:

    When I found out that it was Senator Pittypat who invited Jarvanka, it put Meghan’s speech in a whole other view.

  107. 107
    Shalimar says:

    Kissinger’s role in killing the 1968 peace negotiations only became known a few years ago from the release of documents from Johnson’s presidential library. McCain met his fellow warmonger after his release from captivity 45 years ago. It is possible he never read the news about Kissinger’s treason, or at least wasn’t willing to hold it against someone who had been a friend for so long.

  108. 108
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @dww44: Huh, I haven’t seen/read her in years since I pretty much gave up on CNN, and I don’t even know who she writes for anymore, but I always liked Gloria Borger

    as to Dana Bash, she does weather reports now, apparently

    Dana Bash @ DanaBashCNN
    The angels were crying. Here at CNN – just a few blocks away – no rain. Just there.

    @ dick_nixon Richard M. Nixon Retweeted Dana Bash
    What an embarrassment. Get hold of yourselves.

    McCain and I were not close but my God, even he’d find that ridiculous.

  109. 109
    Mary G says:


    Somebody lock the doors at McCain's funeral and just start a war crimes tribunal.— Jeremy au Barca (@ProgDownTicket) September 1, 2018

  110. 110
    Doug R says:


    But I’m looking forward to MSNBC’s five-day documentary next week on the Funeral of John McCain.

    Part 1: McCain-the Tim Russert years.

  111. 111
    rikyrah says:

    4. He brought the Christopher Steele dossier in and put it on the front burner.

  112. 112
    Jay says:


    Hitler also doesn’t grt enough credit for being the guy who killed Hitler.

    But a nation that worships war heros,

    Is always going to need wars.

  113. 113
  114. 114
  115. 115
    Platonailedit says:

    McCain lies in state.
    Mueller lies in wait.
    Trump just lies.
    — Tea Pain (@TeaPainUSA) September 1, 2018

  116. 116
  117. 117
    rikyrah says:


    More thoughts on those who want Dolt45 to ‘fight back’

    They also mad because of all the shots against Dolt45 from Aretha’s funeral. They wanted to purse their lips and talk about those ” uncouth” Nigras don’t know what is supposed to be done at a funeral… But, then ,how to explain the continuous insults against Dolt45 from the McCain funeral.

    Believe me…they are PISSED about the insults at Aretha’s funeral.

  118. 118
    Jeffro says:

    @sukabi: Yeah, or maybe the simplest explanation is best?

  119. 119
    Platonailedit says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Gnat’s life.

  120. 120
    jl says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Sorry, but ‘BillinGlendale three sticks’ doesn’t have much of a ring to it.
    But ‘Billy three sticks’? That would be OK. Has a beat, you can dance to it.

  121. 121
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I don’t even know who she writes for anymore, but I always liked Gloria Borger

    Back in the day, and by “day” I mean 20-25 years ago, she was a regular panelist on Washington Week in Review. Always liked her on that program; thought she was sharp and insightful. But at some point, not sure when, she’s turned into an annoying both-sider-what-aboutist. Can’t abide her now.

  122. 122
    jl says:

    @rikyrah: OK, that will be great. What are they going to do? Send a bunch of loons out around the country to protest a guy who just died? Or send a bunch of rude hacks on TV to attack a guy who just died? Fine, let them. Will just make them look like toxic jackasses to the country, and let them do it right before the midterms too.

    General comments not aimed at you:

    The McCain legacy is very mixed. To further balance his horrible stuff, he did help produce McCain-Feingold, that last establishment gasp at real, which may have misfired in reducing accontability of major parties in elections, but was at least an honest attempt. That whole effort was shot to smithereens by a corrupt SCOTUS so quickly might not be able to evaluate it well, since the whole idea was killed off.

    In terms of mechanics of government, he was willing to jump in to help negotiate some good, actual bipartisan budget bills when the rest of the GOP Senate caucus was unable incompetent or unwilling.

    Other commenters have gone over the horrible stuff. Some of which he backed because he sincerely believed horrible stuff. Which is slightly better than not believing anything, but dong horrible stuff just to gain power for the sake of power and spoils.

    Future history, should we have one, will judge McCain. Right now, he did the country a solid with how he arranged his funeral, and I am willing to use that to help improve the situation as much as possible.

  123. 123
    jl says:

    @jl: “real” means “real campaign finance reform”

  124. 124
    gene108 says:


    I am a years older than Jack Dearry and fighting it out and getting it over with was not acceptable. I got into a fight o my the school bus, in the sixth grade, on the way home from school and I was sent to the assistant principal’s first thing in the morning.

    And I was in NC, at the time.

  125. 125
    Suzanne says:

    @rikyrah: It is beyond bizarre to me that Lindsey Graham invited a plus one (actually plus two) to a funeral…. especially knowing the politics of the situation. That is a terrible thing to do to the McCains, as there is really no gracious way to decline at that point.

  126. 126

    @jl: No, just no. In reality, I am a Three Sticks, my father and grandfather had the same name.

  127. 127
    jl says:

    @Suzanne: Lindsay Graham is beyond bizarre, so that news fits.

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: OK, I am impressed. Carry on with your mission, whatever it is.

  128. 128
    lgerard says:


    Newt’s program has come to it’s end conclusion.

    Speaking of Newt, he had a puff piece online at Fox the other day congratulating himself on his close relationship with McCain.
    He claimed he and Callista had grown close to Meghan. I’m sure that was news to her, as she characterized his 2012 presidential campaign as delusional and referred to Callista as “The Mistress”.

    He can give trump a run at shamelessness.

  129. 129

    @jl: Remember, the Turtle was the plaintiff in the suit to overturn McCain-Feingold.

  130. 130

    @jl: My full name sounds very impressive, I however am not.

  131. 131
    sukabi says:

    @Jeffro: well it takes 2 for the interview, if the interviewer doesn’t ask questions to get a full answer that’s their failure.

    I went and read the article, the passage you referenced is a result of poor editing . it’s just stuck in there because she felt she needed a comment from a local.

  132. 132
    Ruckus says:

    He thinks everything is about him.
    Actually that’s the one thing the shitgibbon knows. Everything is about him. It’s easier for him, so any time, any where, any who, any what which isn’t about him is therefore wrong and an abomination.
    He knows everything is about him. He’s the supreme narcissist.
    Now of course, considering that his only constant is that he is wrong about everything, he’s wrong about the entire world being about him as well.

  133. 133
    Ken says:

    @rikyrah: Counterattack? As in, “McCain’s funeral made Trump look like a horrible person, so he needs to attack a dead man”? With allies like that, Trump doesn’t need enemies.

  134. 134
    chopper says:

    say, did any of you guys hear that mccain was a POW?

  135. 135

    @chopper: He didn’t like to talk about it.

  136. 136
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    spite gossip

    The Giulianis Break Up And Rudy breaks down? How Judi diagnoses her ex’s new “dissembling” condition.
    For a variety of reasons that I know as a spouse and a nurse,” she seals it, “he has become a different man.”
    “Nurse” feels like a clue, as does her repeated use of the word “enablers” to describe his posse. Rumors abound as to his drinking and he denied them.
    It’s tricky. Even for the individual involved, it’s very hard to tell an alcoholic from a problem drinker from someone who’s simply going through a patch of overdoing it. There seems little doubt that Rudy has been known to overdo it. “I’ve seen him drink more in the past two years than I’d seen him drink in the past twenty,” a friend of Rudy’s told me

  137. 137
    eemom says:

    McCain Feingold is #4? Really?

  138. 138
    Ruckus says:

    Nope, not too early at all.
    He had his day, his day is done.

  139. 139
    sukabi says:

    @rikyrah: ha. The “allies” named were Katrina “I wear my bullets as a necklace, and no I’m not crazy” Pierson and Sam “I like to drink and go on cable news shows” Nunberg.

  140. 140
    Redshift says:

    @gene108: One of the weirdest things about conservatives’ toxic nostalgia is their compulsion to insist things that happened generations ago were actually “when I was young.”

  141. 141
    Ruckus says:

    I stood up for him here on this blog on the day of his death. You said it better than I did. I understand why people couldn’t see that one day. We all die, we all get two days. All of us here have had the first day, the day we were born. We get one more day, that’s special, the day we cease to breathe. Before and after those two days we can do no good, nor harm. What we actually do with the inbetween is not always be a good person but at least we should try. Sometimes some of us get that inbetween wrong far more than we do right. And some will only do the entire time fucked up. But mostly we deserve those two days.
    Now when it’s shitgibbon’s day all fucking bets are off as far as I’m concerned. If anyone wonders why I’ll ask one question. What in the ever loving fuck has the shitgibbon ever done right in his miserable life? McCain did somethings right, he did somethings right as he saw them, and he did a bunch wrong. He was not the worst human to be born, nor was he anywhere near the best. I’ll give him a D-.

  142. 142
    Kay says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    That sounds like rationalization, though. All these people have to explain why they thought he was so wonderful so they have to insist he’s “changed” but he was probably always this horrible- they admired a bad person.

    They’re poor judges of character. It’s them.

  143. 143
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Ruckus: what’s frustrating about McCain, besides the media histrionics and the varying hypocrisies of his fellow Republicans, is that he came so close to being the man they’re saying he was, and it would have been easy for him to put huge hurdles in front of trump.

    @Kay: yeah, like I said it was spite on my part, the article is way too long, and does address some of Rudi’s odious past, but mostly from his personal life, not his terrible political career

  144. 144
    Ruckus says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    If he had placed hurdles for the shitgibbon, he wouldn’t have been the man he was.
    He has been a conservative his entire life. He seemingly understood little of the concept of country first even as he served, as a cadet and as a pilot. What made his service what it was, was the stay in the HH. And he milked that for politics. How many others did that? It’s obvious that they could have, he did.
    I’ve given him the benefit of having a modicum of humanity, of occasionally recognizing that there is a limit to the meaning of reasonable. That’s far more than a lot of his conservative buddies have ever done.

  145. 145
  146. 146
    Ruckus says:

    Must be nice to be a rich asshole that can afford that. Little Johnnie or Joanie probably won’t have to work very hard to get into one of those colleges, as long as mommy and daddy have the scratch. I know a lot of people who don’t have that kind of scratch in their retirement fund, or don’t even have a retirement fund at all.

  147. 147
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ruckus: He was a patriot. He got a lot of shit wrong, but he was a patriot. Too me, it matters.

  148. 148

    As an alternative to beating a dead horse Senator…how about a nice Milky Way panorama?

  149. 149
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Kay: Have you never had a flawed friend? That is who everyone talked about except his daughter (who I think we should give a pass this time

  150. 150
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: )

    New phone….

  151. 151
    sukabi says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: think Kay was talking about Giuliani…she or someone linked to an interview with his ex wife who claims he changed after his cancer / and the last 2 years of trumpfluffing.

  152. 152
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @sukabi: Thanks. My bad. Spending much of today with news about McCain had a bad effect.

  153. 153
    sukabi says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: ☺ no problem. It gets to be a bit much after a bit. Been keeping my head down and mouth shut, the next best thing to if you don’t have anything nice to say yada yada yada.

  154. 154
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    What phone did you get?

  155. 155
    Kathleen says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Here’s a link to Time Magazine article which discusses that. Evidently they disagreed on how money for Nixon Foundation should be handled which resulted in the falling out. They resolved their differences years ago.

  156. 156
    zhena gogolia says:


    I agree with you.

  157. 157

    @rikyrah: I’m incredulous that actual people choose to “ally” with Trump. They do things like join his golf clubs and are happy to be in a selfie with him. They must be dead inside.

  158. 158
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    And I’m with Pierce — he staged a public repudiation of Trump by two former presidents and a former vice president on national television.

  159. 159
    zhena gogolia says:

    @zhena gogolia:

    And the target audience was not BJ readers but low-information voters who bought the standard line on McCain and would take the rebuke seriously. They don’t know or care whether he voted for Gorsuch, but they saw Trump being excoriated and rejected at his funeral, and that has to have an effect. I give him credit for orchestrating that. And who knows what else he’s tried to orchestrate from beyond the grave. We’ll see.

  160. 160
    cmorenc says:

    It may be hard to find anyone who will speak at Trump’s funeral, but there will be no shortage of people willing to dance at Trump’s funeral.

  161. 161
    Jeff says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Yes, now back to our regularly scheduled moron.

  162. 162
    rp says:

    Propping up McCain is good politics, no more, no less.

  163. 163
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @rp: In the short term, as a reaction to Trumpism, yes. What does it do to us the next time the Non-Trumpist For Sure Republicans take over the government? Is this just giving the neocons the upper hand again? 2025, President Charlie Baker: “We have to invade Iran now, the bipartisan spirit of John McCain compels us”…

  164. 164
    debbie says:


    If no one else has said it yet, McCain stood firmly and loudly against torture.

  165. 165
    rp says:

    @Matt McIrvin: you’re overthinking it. Dealing with the immediate problem is far more important, and lauding McCain at his funeral is going to have that much of an impact long term.

  166. 166
    Cowboy Diva says:


    I don’t care if it was the Dead, the StL Fox in 1972 must have been a trip in itself.

  167. 167
    debbie says:


    Nope, no mention. To me, it should be at #1.

  168. 168
    Glidwrith says:

    @debbie: I may be mistaken, but he made a speech against torture in the Bush years then promptly turned around and voted for ‘enhanced interrogation techniques ‘. It was yet another example of him talking but failing the walk.

  169. 169
    debbie says:


    Googling tells me you’re right and I misremembered. Thanks.

  170. 170
    zhena gogolia says:


    Yeah, that was my big disappointment with him (I had drunk the Kool-Aid when he made that speech). But I still agree with Charlie Pierce — he did us a service with this funeral. And he brought the Steele dossier — we wouldn’t have Mueller without him.

  171. 171
    Miss Bianca says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: @Ruckus:l am with all y’all on this one. I despised the man most of the time, but unlike most of his Republican colleagues, he did occasionally do the right thing. And I am loving it that he invited President Obama to eulogize him. That takes at least some greatness of spirit. And if his funeral provides the catalyst for some establishment Washington pushback on the odious Trumpocracy – *finally* – I may even end up remembering the old codger almost fondly. Yeah, I am ok with a funeral salute to an almost-great.

  172. 172
    LAC says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: bravo! This the first post that isn’t a snark filled “pat myself on the back for being cynical” post . The impact of this week should not be overly mocked. However little McCain did against Trump, he was head and shoulders above the craven cowards of his party. At least he spoke out. A deeply flawed man but his send off was proper and had a strong rebuke against trump and what he stands for that was needed.

  173. 173
    James E Powell says:

    And if his funeral provides the catalyst for some establishment Washington pushback on the odious Trumpocracy – *finally* – I may even end up remembering the old codger almost fondly.

    It’s the expectation of this happening that has Charles Pierce declaring that this week is a moment of some kind. My expectations of the Village remain the same. It will have to be the voters who produce change.

  174. 174
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    @West of the Rockies: Who will speak? Ted Nugent, Mike Tyson, Kanye West, Rosanne Barr, and Ted Cruz in an ultimate act of degradation.

  175. 175
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    That is why I wrote what I did last week.
    It does matter.

  176. 176
    Ruckus says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:

    They must be dead inside.

    I think it’s actually worse than if they were just dead inside. They are actually evil inside. I can not imagine meeting this ass without knowing/figuring out he’s a racist. And if that doesn’t matter…… Then there is all the lying and self aggrandizing, about that pile of shit? So, not dead, evil. You know, just like him, possibly not on the same scale, but still.

  177. 177
    BroD says:

    “That has to count for something.”

Comments are closed.