Sunday, June 22, 2008



Earlier today we talked a little about Phil Gramm's slimy role in the Bush Economic Miracle and in the McCain campaign. My friend Hale reminded us that we didn't spend enough time discussing his relationship to UBS and that referring to them as a "shady Swiss investment firm" and to Gramm as a lobbyist for them doesn't get to the heart of the matter.

Hale: "For the last 5+ years, UBS has advised US clients on how to hide money from the IRS, usually using Liechtenstein because of their very tight bank secrecy laws. [This from a company in Switzerland with a history of hiding murdered Jews' gold teeth from their descendants.] This situation came to light from two different situations. First, an ex-Liechtenstein banking employee turned over a list of names to the German tax authority. Secondly, the IRS is prosecuting a Los Angeles real estate developer who is turning states evidence. As a result, UBS advised their employees to not travel to the US, largely because of fear of them (the employees) being arrested in the US." Hale isn't suggesting that Phil Gramm is likely to be arrested but he is a vice president of the company and until 2 months ago, when McCain asked him to clean up the ways things looked, was also a very well-paid registered lobbyist for them.

But it was the distaff side of the miraculous McCain economic team-- always promising to keep the Bush Economy going full blast-- that I meant to discuss in this post. And that means another rare individual who has benefited from the Bush Economic Miracle, the failed CEO of Hewlett Packard and Fox TV infotainment propagandist, Carly Fiorina. Even though she was unceremoniously ousted as chair of Hewlett-Packard due to exceptionally poor performance, she negotiated a $21 million severance package, which caused a shareholder lawsuit since it violated H-P's severance cap rules. Once they got rid of her and Patricia Dunn, Bob Wayman and Mark Hurd were able to clean up her mess, the company took off and prospered; of course she loudly claims the credit.

Fiorina has since washed up at the Double Talk Express and is another good old fashioned right-wing snake oil salesman and McCain economic advisor (like Gramm). She is best known as one of the harshest proponents of outsourcing American jobs and as the most anti-labor executive in America. If McCain wanted to show he could be even worse to American working families than Bush, he could replace Labor Secretary Elaine Chao with Fiorina. Right now she goes on TV and as a McCain surrogate and tries to defend his daily flip-flops on economic policies, the way she did today on Face the Nation, where she tried explaining away McCain's kowtowing to Big Oil.

Today she tried explaining why McCain now supports drilling for oil off the California and Florida beaches when he used to oppose that. She failed because even the Bush Regime admits-- when cornered-- that drilling in coastal waters will do nothing to reduce the price or gasoline, not even by a nickel, for decades. And while she was in full contortionist mode she tried explaining away McCain's abysmal record on renewable energy-- he's been against it for over two decades... until recent polling showed him that most voters are for it. (Just since 2002, the U.S. Senate-- and he is well-paid by Arizona citizens for serving in that body-- voted 20 times on renewable energy legislation. McCain missed 11 of the 20 votes and voted against renewable energy bills in five out of the 9 votes he bothered participating in. I guess Fiorina wasn't aware of her man's record because she told TV viewers today that "we must very much motivate investment in those new technologies." DNC Communications Director, Karen Finney, however, had paid attention to the discrepancies Fiorina tried glossing over and avoiding. "Carly Fiorina's misleading rhetoric can't hide the truth that John McCain's idea of a 'new' energy plan is recycling the failed and flawed Bush policies that cost American jobs, drive up energy prices, and do nothing to make America less dependent on foreign oil. Once again, on a critical issue facing America, Senator McCain has changed his position to advance his political agenda rather than offer the new ideas America needs." 

That should surprise no one, since it is certainly McCain's modus operandi when he's in vote huntin' mode. Fortunately, the DNC put out a fact sheet that delves into the details and inconsistencies Fiorina, Gramm, Rove and McCain would rather people not look at instead of their shiny new slogans, like the ones Rove designed for Bush in 2000. This one came from Forbes last week:
"Bush says he'll drop the executive order [issued by his father] if Congress first lifts its 26-year-old ban. But even if lawmakers acted tomorrow, it would be years before the infrastructure could be put in place to support additional drilling… What sounds so simple in theory-- opening offshore areas to increase oil production for the energy-price-shocked U.S. populace-- turns out to be incredibly complex. And to top it all off, the plan can't resolve the supply and demand problem that is at the core of the run-up in fuel prices. Anthony Cordesman, an energy expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a former national security assistant to McCain, says trying to solve the problem by focusing on supply or demand won't help the U.S. achieve energy independence. And it won't make oil cheap. 'It may just make it less expensive,' he says."

The League of Conservation Voters had a 7-way tie for the most anti-environmental senators. I think most people who follow politics would guess that Jim Inhofe (R-OK), John Cornyn (R-TX), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Kit Bond (R-MO), Pat Roberts (R-KS) and David Diapers Vitter (R-LA) would wind up on any list of the best friends of the Pollution Industry, but the zero that each of them scored was shared by one (and only one) other senator: John W. McCain. Before we look closer at McCain's record, let's recall what Fiorina said on TV today: "We cannot take control of our own energy future by only relying on these new technologies, although we must very much motivate investment in those new technologies."
McCain Repeatedly Voted Against Tax Credits For Renewable Energy Production. McCain voted against several amendments aimed at encouraging renewable energy production. [2006 Senate Vote #42, 3/14/2006; 2005 Senate Vote #158, 6/28/2005; 2001 Senate Vote #125, 5/21/2001]

McCain Says He Would Veto The Farm Bill-- $300 Million in Renewable Biofuels Funding. The farm bill "provides $300 million in mandatory funding for payments to support production of advanced biofuels including cellulosic ethanol and biodiesel." There is also "$250 million in grants and loan guarantees for renewable energy and energy efficiency systems for agriculture and rural small businesses." [McCain Prepared Remarks, 5/19/08; Reuters, 5/15/2008]

McCain Opposed $290 Million For R&D On Renewable Energy, Including Wind Power. McCain voted against an amendment to extend the renewable energy production tax credit and clean renewable energy bonds programs for four years including $290 Million for renewable energy R&D on Solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, hydropower. [2006 Senate Vote #42, 3/14/2006]

McCain Cast Deciding Vote to Cut Funding For the Rural Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Program From $23 Million To $3 Million. McCain voted for a motion to concur in the House amendment with the Senate amendment on the bill that made changes to programs for a net savings of $39.7 billion over five years.  [2005 Senate Vote #363, 12/21/2005]

McCain Missed Vote To Require Utilities To Produce 20 Percent Of Energy From Renewable Sources. McCain missed a vote on an amendment that would require utilities to produce 20 percent of their electricity from clean or renewable energy sources by 2020 in favor of an alternative amendment would require utilities to produce 15 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020. [2007 Senate Vote #211, 6/14/2007]

McCain Voted Repeatedly Against Establishing National Renewable Energy Standards. McCain voted against an amendment that would mandate that renewable energy sources must produce at least 10 percent of the electricity sold by electric utilities by 2020, a minimum of 2.5 percent must be produced beginning 2008 through 2011. [2005 Senate Vote #141, 6/16/2005; 2002 Senate Vote #50, 3/14/2002; 2002 Senate Vote #55, 3/21/2002; 2002 Senate Vote #59, 3/21/2002]

If it sounds like they are just trying to prove that a McCain presidency would be nothing but a third Bush term in substance, it also looks like it would be a third Bush term in style as well-- if you call deceiving the voters "style."

Labels: , , , , ,


At 9:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fiorina is such a liar. Glad you brought her out into the open. This little bit from youtube shows her lying straight into the camera.


Post a Comment

<< Home