After hearing the story on last night's Countdown, I was planning on writing about the McK-Street of Dreams, where it's All Lobbyists - All the Time. In case you missed that one
, McCain's advisor on economic policy is Phill Gramm, who helped the mortgage companies create and then bail themselves out of the recent mortgage crisis:
Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain’s national campaign general co-chair was being paid by a Swiss bank to lobby Congress about the U.S. mortgage crisis at the same time he was advising McCain about his economic policy, federal records show.
“Countdown with Keith Olbermann” reported Tuesday night that lobbying disclosure forms, filed by the giant Swiss bank UBS, list McCain’s campaign co-chair, former Texas Sen. Phil Gramm, as a lobbyist dealing specifically with legislation regarding the mortgage crisis as recently as Dec. 31, 2007.
Gramm joined the bank in 2002 and had registered as a lobbyist by 2004. UBS filed paperwork deregistering Gramm on April 18 of this year. Gramm continues to serve as a UBS vice chairman.
News of Gramm’s involvement as a paid advocate for the banking industry, simultaneous with his unpaid work on McCain’s economic policies, comes as McCain’s campaign continues to reel from the purge of four other lobbyists. Two weeks ago, McCain banned lobbyists from advising him on the same subjects covered by their lobbying work.
When Gramm chaired the Senate Banking Committee, he wrote and passed deregulatory legislation in more than one industry, establishing himself as a pre-eminent foe of government regulation. McCain’s March 26 speech recommended further deregulation of the banking industry as his response to the mortgage crisis.
In 1999, Gramm successfully undid the Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act, removing the decades-old wall between commercial banking, which was heavily regulated, and investment banking, which was not. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act did not extend significant new regulation to investment banking.
This is huge. McCain has said that he knows little about the economy and his taking advice from this economic Typhoid Mary is proof of it...
Speaking of McCain: Another story bubbled to the surface yesterday (we're waiting for it to break open) regarding McCain's involvement with a SmearBoat group known as "Vets For Freedom" (as opposed to the other
kind that are against
). As reported by Raine yesterday, there are several prominent people that are involved in his campaign that are also members of this 527 group, including:
More information here...
Senators Lindsay Graham and Joe Lieberman, both campaign co-chairman, also both sit on the Vets for Freedom board of advisors. The group's executive director, Pete Hegseth, is on McCain's Virginia steering committee along with the group's treasurer, Wade Zirkle.
Is this even legal? Can a campaign that is subject to campaign finance laws share personnel that belong to a 527 that does NOT have campaign finance restrictions?
Speaking of the Iraq War: Bush actually tried to compare it to WWII
"America has assumed this obligation before," Bush said in prepared remarks released by the White House. "After World War II we helped Germany and Japan build free societies and strong economies. These efforts took time and patience, and as a result Germany and Japan grew in freedom and prosperity and are now allies of the United States."
The result, Bush says, was "generations of security and peace" in the United States.
"Today we must do the same in Afghanistan and Iraq," he says in the prepared comments. "And by helping these young democracies grow in freedom and prosperity we will once again reap the benefits in generations of security and peace."
Today's wars aren't over yet. As reconstruction unfolds, the enemy keeps fighting — not national militaries but a complex mix of militias and terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Another difference: It remains in debate within the country whether the pre-emptive Iraq war has bolstered U.S. security or weakened it. Bush has expressed no doubts it was warranted.
This comes 2 months after Bush made his stupid comments about how the Iraq War is "Romantic", and he was envious of those fighting in it
. This really bolsters the notion (okay - the reality) that he is a delusional idiot.
Speaking of delusional: When Cynthia McKinney was a House Rep, there were plenty of people that said the same thing about her. In reality, she was an "uppity" black woman who didn't "know her place" and spoke out against Bush when he was riding an undeserved wave of popular support in the early post 9/11 days. With the help of Republicans, she was drummed out of her seat in the GA primary (an open primary). I've met her and listened to her speak; she is intelligent, compassionate and passionate, driven, and actually cares about her country. That's why the Republicans hated her and the Dems were scared of her.
These traits are likely what has gotten her where she is today: She is the presumptive nominee for president for the Green Party
. The party that Nader helped bring to national attention (and helped Gore lose in 2000) has welcomed her and hoisted her upon their shoulders. Will she do to the 2008 election what Nader did in 2000? I guess it depends on how disgruntled certain Dem voters will be if their candidate of choice is not selected as the Dem candidate. Obama supporters and Clinton supporters now have the opportunity to vote for a black AND a woman all in one. If they don't want to vote Dem, they'll have an option other than McCain.
This could get interesting.