Sen. John McCain Always Willing To Look You In The Eye

Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham in Tampa at the USF downtown medical research building. I’m the journalist with the headphones and hair-bun to the left of McCain.

I’m not a national reporter – although I’ve reported stories that were broadcast nationwide – my sphere is considered local, regional and state news.

So, I”m one of thousands of such journalists Sen. John McCain must have talked with during his life. Yet he gave me and fellow reporters the same attention as he would the national press corps.

As you can see in the photo above, he looks directly at me to answer my question with an equally direct response. That was just one of his many rare qualities. But one that – as a journalist – I truly appreciated.

Thank you Sen. McCain for respecting me as a “local” reporter and for understanding the critical importance of the news media to your beloved nation. Just as you were a defender of the United States, we are defenders of the First Amendment and U.S. Constitution.

You, Sen. McCain, are a class act and will be missed.

Panetta: Automatic Budget Cuts Would Devastate Military

Leon E. Panetta testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee June 9, 2011. Photo courtesy of DoD Screen capture.

In a letter dated Monday, a day before his testimony to Congress, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta detailed what automatic budget cuts would do to the military:

  • U.S. ground forces would drop to 1940 levels
  • U.S. Navy ships would shrink in number to 1915 levels
  • U.S. Air Force would be the smallest in its history

Panetta wrote the letter to Sen. John McCain and Sen. Lindsey Graham, Republican members of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

According to the Associated Press story, Panetta, who has used apocalyptic terms such as “doomsday,” “hollow force” and “paper tiger” to describe the cuts, said the military would have to rethink its strategy.

You can read the full story HERE.

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