Monday, October 06, 2008

McKeating's Pal Gramm

John McCain lives in a big, bright glass house.... so it's surprising his campaign is mounting an attack against Barack Obama regarding his association with Bill Ayers, who held a fund-raiser for Obama in 1995 and who already sat on a school reform board funded by the Annenberg Foundation when Obama was recruited as chair.

Ayers, a onetime Weatherman has been a University of Illinois education professor for nearly two decades, and does not advise or participate in Obama's presidential campaign.

Yet, mindless of all of the glass in his political house, McCain enlisted Silly Sarah Palin to be in the vanguard of lobbing Swiftboat-style bombs at Obama in an attack designed to change the subject away from the economy.... undoubtedly hoping no one remembers that McKeating McCain has already been through one such serious financial market bailout that had his fingerprints all over it.

Silly Sarah even accuses Obama of "palling around" with Ayers, even though their acquaintance is more of the nodding kind.

It's strange that in the face of the meltdown of the markets and Wall Street investment banks that the McCain campaign would try a "palling around" tactic since McKeating has a real toxic pal, someone with whom he not only has a close association, but who formulated his D.O.A. economic policy.

As Harold Meyerson points out in "A Pal Around McCain," (WaPo) ...."if McCain's people want to rummage through presidential candidates' associations, real or imagined, to turn up figures who threaten to pull down this proud republic, they should begin in-house. Chief among those to whom responsibility attaches for the financial crisis that is plunging the nation into recession is former Texas senator Phil Gramm, McCain's own economic guru."

You remember Gramm.... he's the one who recently accused us of being a "nation of whiners" as people lost jobs, homes, and savings.

Meyerson went on to explain.... "Gramm was always Wall Street's man in the Senate..... Gramm's piece de resistance came on Dec. 15, 2000, when he slipped into an omnibus spending bill a provision called the Commodity Futures Modernization Act (CFMA), which prohibited any governmental regulation of credit default swaps, those insurance policies covering losses on securities in the event they went belly up.

"As the housing bubble ballooned, the face value of those swaps rose to a tidy $62 trillion".... let's say that again, $62 TRILLION.... "And as the housing bubble burst, those swaps became a massive pile of worthless paper, because no government agency had required the banks to set aside money to back them up."

As McCain tries to distract with Swiftboat tactics, and his earmarking crusade.... a fix amounting to a few millions in chump change.... he is hoping that no one notices his politically-incestuous relationship with Gramm. "McCain chaired Gramm's short-lived presidential campaign in 1996; Gramm is co-chair of McCain's current effort."

Maybe scariest of all, "McCain has not repudiated reports that Gramm is on the shortlist to become Treasury secretary if McCain is elected,".... then truly the pirates will be in change of the $700 billion+ mother lode.

November 4.

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