Saturday, April 05, 2008



McCain has a message for the victims of the mortgage meltdown

On the last day of March we looked at another warning signal that a McCain presidency would actually be even worse than a Bush presidency. The warning signal is the prominence in McCain's lobbyist driven campaign of one of the single most culpable villains in the current collapse of American economic stability. And that man is McCain's close friend and chief economic advisor, ex-Senator Phil Gramm.

Who cares about someone's chief economic advisor? In this case, everyone should. McCain has already admitted he doesn't know (care) anything about economic matters and that if he's elected president he'll get someone to do that part of the job for him. "That part of the job" is what is uppermost in most Americans' minds but just an impediment to McCain in his quest for... psychological revenge against everyone who conspired to lock him away in a cell during the Vietnam War when he could have been fighting but was instead... well... whatever he was doing in that cell, something we will never really know, despite his own claims of heroism and despite the claims of others that he was a treacherous stooge and a traitor to our country.

Today Shaun Mullen at the Moderate Voice makes the case that a McCain Administration would be as bad domestically as we already know it would be internationally-- and mostly because of the Gramm connection. Shaun calls Gramm a ticking time bomb inside the McCain campaign and points out that he's not just another one of the garden variety venal 66 lobbyists running the McCain campaign. Gramm, he points out, is the man most responsible "for the repeal of Depression-era banking regulations that have led directly and inextricably to much of today’s economic turmoil, and parlayed that classic example of legislative legerdemain into a lucrative lobbying career for the very people who scratched the smug Texan’s back-- as well as McCain’s-- on Capitol Hill."

Gramm was the brains-- and energy-- behind the passage of the misnamed Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999. Lobbyists paid $300 million in legalized bribes to members of Congress to get it through and get it signed by the DLC president at the time.
One of many consequences of the repeal was that a year later the Swiss bank UBS gobbled up brokerage house Paine Weber. A year after that, Gramm settled in as a vice chairman of UBS’s new investment banking arm and has since energetically lobbied Congress, the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department on banking and mortgage issues.

This has included rolling back state rules that sought to stem the rise of predatory tactics used by lenders and brokers that led directly to the subprime mortgage meltdown, which cost UBS more than $19 billion in writedowns this week and the prospect of massive job cuts.

McCain and Gramm go way back.

In 1992, the two worked closely as senators to defeat Hillary Clinton’s 1993 health care plan, and in 1996 McCain was national chairman of Gramm’s unsuccessful presidential run.

In 2002, as the full extent of the Enron scandal was emerging, the New York Times called Gramm “a demon for deregulation” as one of the chief engineers of the stealthy approval of a bill that exempted energy commodity trading from government regulation and public disclosure.

Meanwhile, Gramm’s wife Wendy was paid over $1 million in salary, stock options, dividends and other goodies from 1993 to 2001 as an Enron board member, but of course was deaf, dumb and blind to the energy company’s rampant cooking its books with the acquiescence of the late unlamented Arthur Andersen accounting company.

The result was economic ruin for thousands of families.

We can be certain that even more wrack and ruin will be in the offing with a McCain presidency. This includes more of the Rich Come First economic voodoo that the Bush administration has visited upon Main Street while Wall Street investment banks got fat and happy until their greed bit them in their collective ass and they had to come begging for taxpayer bailouts. Which of course they are getting, no (serious) questions asked.

Considering the pain and suffering that Gramm’s masterwork has caused ordinary Americans, it is not hyperbolic to say that he is a terrorist, he just doesn’t wear funny looking headgear and carry a Kalashikov.

McCain acknowledges that he’s “no expert” and “doesn’t understand” the economy. That is worrisome enough, but that he is relying on a terrorist in pinstripes to figure things out for him is... well, terrifying.

In the artwork above, Adam has used a 1926 Max Ernst masterpiece to illustrate John W. McCain's posture towards the victims of the subprime mortgage collapse, a collapse that would have been virtually impossible if McCain the rest of the laissez-fairies would have resisted the siren call of Phil Gramm and the K Street lobbyist brigade.

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At 8:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Adam, you Rock! Rye and magic mint now?

Are you working your way through the alphabet? or just hanging out at Ernst? Don't, Stop!

On topic? Big surprise, NO Mormon VP/President.

Have Ann Coulter AND Denny Hastert lost their MOJO?
Freaks will still hire Ann cause black dresses look good on bones but WHAT is gonna happen to the coach-teacher-speaker Hastert who hitched his wagon to the Good Ship Willard and bailed early from his Congressional Seat to make $$$...?
Back to Real Estate Dealz?

I think VERY Republican IL14 thinks Denny owes em a couple million for the special election AND haven't even begun to get the newly elected Democrat Bill Foster taste out of their mouth.

At 10:32 AM, Blogger tech98 said...

Gramm was also responsible for gutting effective monitoring of terrorist money transfers after 9/11. Nothing could be allowed to interfere with his cronies using tax havens.


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