Friday, May 23, 2008

McCain's decade of mystery

(I was unable to find any X-rays of the candidate because he hasn't released them, so to illustrate this article I'm using this image of a patient that closely resembles him, identified only as a "Mr. H. Simpson")

For months, national Democrats and members of the media have been pressing for John Sidney McCain III to release his detailed medical records, as all presidential candidates regularly do.

In 1999, when running for President, McCain made 1,500 pages of his extensive medical history available for detailed perusal by the media. Since then, McCain was diagnosed with invasive melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, on his left temple. In his life, McCain has had four melanomas.

Not to mention that he's nearly a decade OLDER, and he has a family history of heart disease and other genetic ailments.

We need to keep in mind that this isn't some ghoulish or voyeuristic examination of McCain's personal information; it's a necessary investigation into the health and longevity potential of a presidential candidate. Based on the most commonly accepted actuarial data, if McCain is elected for two terms, the odds are very likely that his chosen Vice President will complete his term.

I'm sure many Republican contenders are aware of this fact, and are presently swarming to McCain's Arizona compound like overly ambitious locusts of doom to vie for the treasured nod.

So now it's 2008. McCain has balked for months at providing his medical information. Today, the day before the big holiday weekend (and we all know that when Republicans don't want to release bad news, they save it for the Friday news dump; when it's really AWFUL news, they wait until a holiday weekend), he finally makes this information available.

Sort of.

From CNN.Com:
The newer batch of records has strict security guidelines attached. Only certain news networks and newspapers will be permitted to enter the room, and they will have only three hours to examine the papers.

No cell phones or Internet access will be allowed in the room, located in a resort outside Phoenix, Arizona. Copying the records is also prohibited.

Anyone who leaves the room for any reason except the bathroom will not be allowed back.


Although the document-viewing window closes after three hours(!), the campaign plans to post some(?) details of McCain's medical history on the senator's Web site. (sarcastic emphasis mine)
And then McCain's people make a hilarious statement that I'm sure was written by a mole from "The Colbert Report's" writing staff:
McCain's campaign says the rules allow for a "thorough and substantive review" of McCain's medical history.

UPDATE: The AP is reporting that McCain is in generally good health. They arrived at this carefully considered medical assessment after being given no more than three hours to read and absorb well over 1,100 pages of detailed medical records of McCain (under an assumed name) in an undisclosed location without the ability to copy them or even make notes.

They did report that McCain had four spots of skin cancer removed on three separate occasions, including a very dangerous invasive melanoma; a butt-load of colon polyps removed; he suffers from bouts of dizziness; he has degenerative arthritis from war injuries that might require a future joint replacement; and while he spent nearly six years as a prisoner of war, including long stretches of torture and solitary confinement, there were no records available detailing any mental health evaluations he may have had in the last eight years. Not a one.

Obviously, his lengthy treatment under brutal conditions had no effect whatsoever on his psyche.

Gee, I wonder if we've ever had another presidential candidate with possibly incomplete or vanished records?

{cough} George Bush's military records! {cough}

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