McCain's experience based on lies and poor judgement

John McCain's worse faults are his lack of judgement and inability to tell the truth. Right now, while our economy is hurting from our worst financial meltdown since the Great Depression, unashamed, unapologetic and unremorseful, McCain is unwilling to admit to his own mistakes nor take ownership of his past voting record. Paul Kiesel's brilliant article which appeared on June 24th in www.InjuryBoard.com highlights the current crisis and is a  a "must read."

Simply stated, a politician should be defined by his or her selection of a political party. Once elected to Office, a politician is expected to serve his or her constituents while supporting the party's  basic philosophy and principles .Generally speaking and where there have been no human rights' or Constitutional violations, politicians are expected to support the issues put forth by their party leadership. How can John McCain be taken seriously when he strongly supported deregulation in the banking and investment industry as late as the 1990's and now wants us to believe that he is a reformer and the person to clean up the financial mess and Washington's abuses?

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The Subprime Mess and Phil Gramm: An Experiment in Deregulation
Posted by Paul Kiesel
Tuesday, June 24, 2008 4:12 PM EST

In 1933, a few years following the stock market crash, Congress passes the Glass-Steagall Act, in hopes that regulating banks will help prevent market instability, particularly amongst Wall Street banks. The purpose of the act is to separate commercial banks that focus on consumers from investment banks, which deal with speculative trading and mergers.
The Glass-Steagall Act provided the proper oversight and entity separation that would prohibit banks and other financial companies from merging into giant trusts (conflict of interests) -- giant trusts or corporations being more powerful, naturally, and having the seemingly limitless capital to lobby their corporate interests, however, with a very myopic scope (particularly when it comes to factoring in potential losses -- most banks, as seen in contemporary times, chose not to anticipate losses in the mortgage market; they presumed home prices would continue to appreciate).
In 1999, former Senator Phil Gramm (who is, incidentally, Senator John McCain's economic adviser and cochairs his presidential campaign) set out to completely gut the Glass-Steagall Act, and did so successfully, replacing most of its components with the new Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act: allowing commercial banks, investment banks, and insurers to merge (which would have violated antitrust laws under Glass-Steagall). Sen. Gramm was the driving force behind the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, as he had received over $4.6 million from the FIRE sector (Finance, Insurance and Real Estate donations) over the previous decade, and once the Act passed, an influx of "megamergers" took place among banks and insurance and securities companies, as if they had been eagerly awaiting the passage of Gramm's Act. Everything in between Glass-Steagall and Gramm-Leach-Bliley (i.e. Savings and Loan crisis/bust) was, in large part, the incubation period for what would take place over the nine years that would follow the passage of Gramm's Act: an experiment in deregulation.
Shortly after George W. Bush was elected president, Congress and President Clinton were trying to pass a $384 billion omnibus spending bill, and while the debates swirled around the passage of this bill, Senator Phil Gramm clandestinely slipped a 262-page amendment into the omnibus appropriations bill titled: Commodity Futures Modernization Act. It is likely that few senators read this bill, if any. The essence of the act was the deregulation of derivatives trading (financial instruments whose value changes in response to the changes in underlying variables; the main use of derivatives is to reduce risk for one party). The legislation contained a provision -- lobbied for by Enron, a major campaign contributor to Gramm -- that exempted energy trading from regulatory oversight. Basically, it gave way to the Enron debacle and ushered in the new era of unregulated securities. Interestingly enough, Gramm's wife, Wendy, had been part of the Enron board, and her salary and stock income brought in between $900,000 and $1.8 million to the Gramm household, prior to the passage of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act.
In 2003, Gramm left the Senate to join UBS, which had acquired investment house PaineWebber due to his deregulation bill. At UBS, Gramm lobbied Congress, the Fed and the Treasury Department. During Gramm's tenor at UBS and as a lobbyist, Congress passed the Responsible Lending Act, billed as an anti-predatory-lending measure, but was called the "Loan Shark Protection Act" by consumer advocates, as it was designed to preempt stronger state laws against anti-predatory lending. The Fed largely ignored the underlying and growing problems within the subprime mortgage/housing markets, as Bernanke famously acknowledged the housing market in April, 2007 as, "[showing] signs of softening," but said that a "sharp slowdown," is unlikely. Then, according to Mother Jones magazine, Henry Paulson became the Treasury Secretary in July, 2007, when, "In 2005, [at] Goldman [he] securitized $68 billion in residential mortgages and $23 billion in 'other assets' primarily related to CDOs," (Mother Jones, August, 2008). With such self-interest, and a lack of the nation's interest, we can see how this subprime mess was allowed to escalate to such great proportions.
Some justice was served, however, this spring, as UBS became one of the subprime debacle's biggest losers, having to write down $37 billion -- the same amount as their previous four years of profits combined. UBS also made the public aware that two-thirds of its losses were due to reckless investing in collateralized debt obligations (CDOs).
Now, Gramm has a second chance of extending his out-of-touch and ill-performing policies, as Senator John McCain appointed Gramm to be his "economic expert" and cochair of his presidential campaign, last year. Also, it is likely that if Senator McCain were to win in November, Gramm would be our next Treasury Secretary, which means more of the same deregulatory mess and the continuation of failed and insidious economic policies

There's more...

McCain's lies about Fannie and Freddie

The latest lie from republicans is the one where they are using campaign contributions to tar and feather Obama about mortgage meltdown.  The problem started with mortgage securities being traded on Wall Street, downplaying risk, leveraging, and other practices.  So Fannie and Freddie got caught up just as banks and financial companies did.  Shyster loan outfits taking advantage of people, too.

Now they are claiming that McCain opposed it all along.  Here are some facts, you know the inconvenient truth, facts?

At least get the facts straight.....
This is some misinformation put out by the McCain Campaign. This was actually a bill that would give regulation authority to the banking industry. Like letting the fox watch the henhouse. The bill was killed in committee chaired by Republican Richard Shelby under the Republican Senate. The committee was composed of 11 Republicans and 9 Democrats. In 2005, McCain missed 9 percent of the Senate votes, to come in number 5 on the list of slackers.

Excerpt from a 2007 Interview (From ABC Video News - Yes it was John Talking)
Interviewer: "I mean you're a busy guy, you're looking at a lot of things, maybe subprime mortgages wasn't something you focused on every day.  Were you surprised?"
McCain: "This whole new derivative stuff, and SIBs and all of this kind of new ways of packaging mortgages together and all that is something that frankly I don't know a lot about. But I don't know of hardly anybody, with the exception of a handful, that said 'wait a minute, this thing is getting completely out of hand and is overheating. So, I'd like to tell you that I did anticipate it, but I have to give you straight talk, I did not."

The Bill 1/26/2005--Introduced.
Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005 - Amends the Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992 to establish: (1) in lieu of the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), an independent Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Agency which shall have authority over the Federal Home Loan Bank Finance Corporation, the Federal Home Loan Banks, the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac); and (2) the Federal Housing Enterprise Board.
Sets forth operating, administrative, and regulatory provisions of the Agency, including provisions respecting: (1) assessment authority; (2) authority to limit nonmission-related assets; (3) minimum and critical capital levels; (4) risk-based capital test; (5) capital classifications and undercapitalized enterprises; (6) enforcement actions and penalties; (7) golden parachutes; and (8) reporting.
Amends the Federal Home Loan Bank Act to establish the Federal Home Loan Bank Finance Corporation. Transfers the functions of the Office of Finance of the Federal Home Loan Banks to such Corporation. Excludes the Federal Home Loan Banks from certain securities reporting requirements.
Abolishes the Federal Housing Finance Board.  (Pay close attention to what it excludes and abolishes.)

McCains TOP 4 contributors 2005 - 2008

Merrill Lynch         $293,010
Citigroup               $251,851
Goldman Sachs  $223,995
Morgan Stanley    $212,821

Over $1 million from the banking industry that he was trying to de-regulate.

McCain's top 4 contributors were all from the financial sector. They have had a friend in John since the S&L theft of the Reagan years and the infamous Keating 5.  John was the only Republican of the bunch, guess that's why he's considered a 'maverick'. The U.S. Savings and Loan crisis of the 1980s and 1990s was the failure of 747 S&Ls in the United States. The ultimate cost of the crisis is estimated to have totaled around $160.1 billion, about $124.6 billion of which was directly paid for by the U.S. taxpayer. The core allegation of the Keating Five affair is that Keating had made contributions of about $1.3 million to various U.S. Senators, and he called on those Senators to help him resist regulators. The regulators backed off, to later disastrous consequences.

The senators' initial defense of their actions rested on Keating being one of their constituents; McCain said, "I have done this kind of thing many, many times," and said the Lincoln case was like "helping the little lady who didn't get her Social Security". Asked whether his contributions had bought him influence, Keating said: "I want to say in the most forceful way I can: I certainly hope so".

Keating was hit with a $1.1 billion fraud and racketeering action, filed against him by the regulators.

If it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck .. then for a duck I guess it's straight talk.

There's more...

Country Club Boys First -- Not This Time!

America we cannot afford, nor can we trust, nor can we have any confidence that McCain and the Country Club Boys First Club will fix our failed and crumbling economic system, when at heart their allegiance is to the Country Club Boys first and not to the American people.  Their fixing will be a partial measure of change and a band aid -- looked to assuage a worried public but will do nothing to bring the radical change and upheaval needed to get America truly back to being fiscally sound and thriving again! It will be short turn and to their advantage.  

McCain can Run, McCain can Pretend, McCain can Deceive but McCain cannot Hide from his past -- the S&L Scandal and the Keating 5! To trust these Country Club Boys again to make fair and sound changes on behalf of the people, would be to do so at your own risk and detriment! When you see and hear McCain speak think, Wizard of Oz!  America we must pull back the curtain and expose the deceit and deceptions of the country-club boys and get off the Yellow Brick Road!  It is somehow sinister to hear McCain now pretend to get  a Heart -- Courage -- and Brain while he deceptively talks about regulation and transparency when he has been against it his whole political career.  McCain cannot change the Old Guard because he is part of the Old Guard, but the new kid on the block, Barack Obama can.

Republican Good Old Boy Government Says:

"We don't have ENOUGH MONEY to fix Social Security
We don't have ENOUGH MONEY to fix Medicare
We don't have ENOUGH MONEY to provide health care to ALL Americans
We don't have ENOUGH MONEY to help out Americans losing their homes
We don't have ENOUGH MONEY to help all our veterans returning from war

BUT

We DO HAVE ENOUGH MONEY to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
We DO HAVE ENOUGH MONEY to bail out Bears Stearns
We DO HAVE ENOUGH MONEY to bail out AIG
We DO HAVE ENOUGH MONEY to pay for an unnecessary TRILLION DOLLAR war
When the LITTLE GUY needs help, they scornfully say, "GET A JOB!"
But when one of their BIG GUY CRONIES from the COUNTRY CLUB FIRST need a bailout, what do they say?

LET ME GET MY CHECK BOOK!"

There's more...

Sarah Palin's Staged Townhall Meeting; Another Pretend Moment

"The Real Scoop On Palin's Staged Town Hall Meeting -- Another Pretend Moment!

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/

So, what was the catch? Unlike most town-hall events, which are open to the public, include diverse crowds, and no one needs an advance invitation, this event was for ticket-holders only. And the only way to get a ticket was through the local Republican Party, after an advance RSVP. No wonder Palin was prepared to play "stump the candidate" -- it was a very friendly crowd that had no interest in testing her.

It doesn't exactly sound like a vote of confidence in the candidates' ability to answer tough questions, does it?"

How long will the GOP continue to get away with lying, cheating and deceiving the American people?

There's more...

Must-Read: How McCain Lost Me - Elizabeth Drew

McCain's recent conduct of his campaign - his willingness to lie repeatedly (including in his acceptance speech) and to play Russian roulette with the vice-presidency, in order to fulfill his long-held ambition - has reinforced my earlier, and growing, sense that John McCain is not a principled man.

In fact, it's not clear who he is.


That's the takeaway from the biting essay by Elizabeth Drew, author of the pro-McCain book, Citizen McCain (Simon & Schuster, 2002)

From HOW JOHN McCAIN LOST MEhttp://www.politico.com/news/stories/090 8/13541.html

Now let's take a look Drew's painful journey of discovery.  It begins with the familiar tale of the honorable and principled man we knew of - if only by way of legend. Bear with me as we briefly revisit the hoary old myth of John McCain:


I have been a longtime admirer of John McCain. During the 2000 Republican presidential primaries I publicly defended McCain against the pro-Bush Republicans' whisper campaign that he was too unstable to be president (aware though I was that he had a temper). Two years later I published a positive book about him, "Citizen McCain."

I admired John McCain as a man of principle and honor. He had become emblematic of someone who spoke his mind, voted his conscience, and demonstrated courage in bucking his own party and fighting for what he believed in. He gained a well-deserved reputation as a maverick. He was seen as taking principled positions on such issues as tax equity (opposing the newly elected Bush's tax cut), fighting political corruption, and, later, taking on the Bush administration on torture. He came off as a man of decency. He took political risks.

Having emerged, ironically, from his bitter 2000 primary fight against Bush as an immensely popular figure, he set out to be a new force in American politics. He decided to form and lead a centrist movement, believing that that was where the country was and needed leadership. He went against the grain of his party on the environment, patients' bill of rights, and, of course, campaign finance reform.

The tide turns after the bump.

There's more...

Diaries

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