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October 03, 2008

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As Tim Dickinson pointed out again here:

[...] Charlie Keating, the banker and anti-pornography crusader, would ultimately be convicted on 73 counts of fraud and racketeering for his role in the savings-and-loan scandal of the 1980s. That crisis, much like today's subprime-mortgage meltdown, resulted from misbegotten banking deregulation, and ultimately left taxpayers to pick up a tab of more than $124 billion. Keating, who raised more than $100,000 for McCain's race, lavished the first-term congressman with the kind of political favors that would make Jack Abramoff blush. McCain and his family took at least nine free trips at Keating's expense, and vacationed nearly every year at the mogul's estate in the Bahamas. There they would spend the days yachting and snorkeling and attending extravagant parties in a world McCain referred to as "Charlie Keating's Shangri-La." Keating also invited Cindy McCain and her father to invest in a real estate venture for which he promised a 26 percent return on investment. They plunked down more than $350,000.

McCain still attributes the attention to nothing more than Keating's "great respect for military people" and the duo's "political and personal affinity." But Keating, for his part, made no bones about the purpose of his giving. When asked by reporters if the investments he made in politicians bought their loyalty and influence on his behalf, Keating replied, "I want to say in the most forceful way I can, I certainly hope so."

Or people can conclude that corporations and individuals hire these lobbyists and drop these big sums on politicians out of the goodness of their hearts.

Maybe it's all about the affinity.

There doesn't seem to be all that much affinity with hanging out with poor folks, as a rule, though. Why knows why? It's a mystery.

There doesn't seem to be all that much affinity with hanging out with poor folks, as a rule, though. Why knows why? It's a mystery.

It's the vegetables. They serve such marvelous vegetables. Little fresh born things, scarcely out of the earth.

Seriously, who wants frozen peas when you can have fresh little perfect ones?

It's their due.

Thanks -

"The statements didn't go away completely, but in terms of Senator McCain doing anything about it, it just never materialized."

And this is unusual in McCain's 26-year career exactly how? (the more you look at his actual record, the less you see him having done.)

The mysterious affinity is bipartisan, thanks to the corporate hammerlock on election financing.

I'm glad voters seem to be mainly blaming Republicans for the economic ditch we're in, and that's entirely fair because of the control their administration has had and the extent to which they've gone along in Congress.

But there are serious sins of omission on the Democratic side, and the studied unwillingness to take a hard look at the financial shell games being run has everything to do with campaign financing.

The big fundraising edge held by the Dem. Senate Campaign Committee? That's not the result of activists sending in their $25 and $100. The toothlessness of the executive compensation provisions in the bailout bll (as well as the basic meaninglessness of most of the other "improvements") has a lot to do with the compromised nature of the whole membership of the Senate and House banking/finance committees, and their staffs.

Congressional staff, both members' and particularly the committee staff, are insufficiently well known and scrutinized. Reporters, who rely on them, are unlikely to do much of that scrutiny. Most members do not even make the names of their staff public, even to constituents who request them. A significant number of them are corporate and interest-group plants.

Aaargh. I need to get out in the beautiful sunshine and try to stop thinking about things I can do little to nothing about.

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