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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 02:03 PM
Original message
Edited on Sun Jun-01-08 02:05 PM by babylonsister
http://www.newsweek.com/id/139443

More Headaches for McCains Camp
By Mark Hosenball | NEWSWEEK
Jun 9, 2008 Issue


For weeks now, John McCain's presidential campaign has faced awkward questions about the outside activities of several top advisers. Add one more name to the list: former Texas senator Phil Gramm, McCain's longtime friend and one of his five campaign co-chairs. (A sixth, former congressman Tom Loeffler, quit recently after NEWSWEEK reported on his lobbying work for Saudi Arabia.) According to McCain spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker, the co-chair position affords Gramm "broad input into the structure, financing and conduct of the campaign." She added that Gramm, who has a doctorate in economics, is also "a valued voice on economic policy." Gramm is not a paid McCain adviser, but his day jobvice chairman of a U.S. division of Zurich-based financial giant UBScould pose new tests for a candidate who has promised high ethics standards and ditched advisers who failed to meet them.

UBS has recently written off huge losses in subprime-mortgage-based securities, and last week liberal bloggers noted that Gramm was a registered UBS lobbyist on mortgage-securities issues until at least December 2007.

NEWSWEEK has learned that UBS is also currently the focus of congressional and Justice Department investigations into schemes that allegedly enabled wealthy Americans to evade income taxes by stashing their money in overseas havens, according to several law-enforcement and banking officials in both the United States and Europe, who all asked for anonymity when discussing ongoing investigations. In April, UBS withdrew Gramm's lobbying registration, but one of his former congressional aides, John Savercool, is still registered to lobby legislators for UBS on numerous issues, including a bill cosponsored by Sen. Barack Obama that would crack down on foreign tax havens. "UBS is treating these investigations with the utmost seriousness and has committed substantial resources to cooperate," a UBS spokesman told NEWSWEEK, adding that Gramm was deregistered as a lobbyist because he spends less than 20 percent of his time on such activity. Hazelbaker said the McCain campaign "will not comment on the details of ongoing investigations and legal charges not yet proved in court."

McCain's campaign is already distancing itself from some of Gramm's other work for UBS: his involvement in attempts to sell financial products known as "death bonds," which BusinessWeek described last summer as one of "the most macabre investment scheme{s} ever devised by Wall Street." Not long after joining UBS, the Houston Chronicle reported, Gramm helped lobby Texas officials, including Gov. Rick Perry, to sign on to a UBS proposal in which revenue would be generated for a state teachers' retirement fund by selling bonds, whose proceeds would in turn be used to buy annuities and life-insurance policies on retired teachers. UBS would advance money to the retirement fund, then repay itself, compensate bondholders and pocket profits when insurance companies paid off on retirees who died. According to a banking-industry source, who asked for anonymity when discussing a sensitive matter, Gramm was involved in efforts to pitch similar UBS products to other financial institutions.

Gramm's office declined NEWSWEEK's request for comment. A source familiar with the bank's current business, who also asked for anonymity, said UBS no longer markets the kind of plan that Gramm was allegedly trying to sell to Texas. Hazelbaker said that McCain, who has been critical of the financial industry's performance in the subprime market, disapproves of death bonds and "supports increased accountability, transparency and capital backing in our financial markets as a solution to these problems." Death bonds, she continued, "move markets away not towardthese goals."

2008
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 02:06 PM
Response to Original message
1. Please, m$m, please cover this with the fervor you covered Hillary's and Obama's minor
misspeaks (or surrogate misspeaks), but alas, I know better.

Nevertheless, I can K&R.
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Ha! Fat chance of the m$m doing much about this.
I keep hoping after this godforsaken primary is over McCain will be getting the attention he deserves.
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Gabi Hayes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 07:02 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. think back: they covered NOT ONE SINGLE B*** story in 2000 or 2004, at
least for anything longer than a few days. the endless series of corruption-related depredations, personal vagaries, including drug dealing and forced abortions, were skimmed over, then forgotten, and often EXPUNGED from the record, as was Larry Flynt's comment on CNN regarding said abortion. they excised that section of his appearance, as was shown at the time, using recovered CNN transcripts of the original show.

don't hold your breath on that mean old, crazy old, dirty old, cheating old man's feet EVER being held to the fire
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 06:56 PM
Response to Original message
3. Kick, kickety, kick. nt
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SpiralHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 07:05 PM
Response to Original message
5. Republicon scumbags avoiding taxes
They can take their freaking 'republicon family values' and shove 'em where the Sun don't shine.

They have totally trashed America while prancing around in their made-in-China phony propaganda lapel flag pins.

Ptooey.
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SalmonChantedEvening Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-01-08 07:22 PM
Response to Original message
6. The Maverick is now an Edsel
And with any luck, his sales will be even worse.

Hiya sis :hug: :loveya:
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-02-08 12:48 PM
Response to Original message
7. Will wonders never cease. m$nbc is mentioning this finally! nt
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-02-08 12:51 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Hmm, Gramm to McCain to (maybe) DeLay to (maybe) Scooter Libby to...
I know some savvy DUers are already trying to work on the connections; will the m$m take the ball and run with it?
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-02-08 12:57 PM
Response to Original message
9. We also need to make Michael Goldfarb an issue.
This is an e-mail I am sending around.

Michael Goldfarb has been appointed as the Deputy Communications Director of the McCain campaign. Mr Goldfarb is taking leave from his post at the Weekly Standard.

Some quotes by Michael Goldfarb.

On executive power as he interprets what the framers intended:

"True enough, but they sought an energetic executive with near dictatorial power in pursuing foreign policy and war. So no, the Constitution does not put Congress on an equal footing with the executive in matters of national security."


On torture:

"The Times indicts the Bush administration for exposing terrorists captured abroad to "head-slapping, simulated drowning and frigid temperatures." Boo hoo."

On giving immunity to Telecoms for taking part in bush's illegal wiretapping:


"If federal agents show up at a corporate headquarters for a major American company and urgently seek that company's officers for assistance in the war on terror, the companies damn well ought to give it as a matter of simple patriotism, whether the CIA wants a plane for some extraordinary rendition or help in tracking terrorists via email. . . . o expect a company to resist a plea from the government for help in a time of war is ridiculous."

(the wiretapping isn't just "the terrorist" but every call made by Americans.) The wiretapping could be done legally without any sacrifice of national security, but bush wanted no oversight.
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-02-08 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. McCain sure knows how to pick 'em. Some judgment! nt
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-02-08 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. In their parallel universe it makes perfect sense.
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