Monday, October 13, 2008

“Throw Out Your Dead!”

(This blog is long, but I think worth it. Lots of detail, mixed with my controlled rage, especially at the end with the index which puts a lot of McCain/Bush “ BS-exposing” info in one place.” Maloni)

“Throw out your dead” is a line made famous in Monty Python’s classic movie, “The Holy Grail.” But lately it has been co-opted by Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign and its bizarre new pleasures. Naturally, the foul play is abetted ably by the GOP establishment. Joining the McCain orgy are Hill Republicans, some in the media and, naturally, the always clueless Bush White House.

Why the sudden Republican interest in the deceased?

Simple, they all are neo-necrophiliacs or “Neo-Necs.”

How else do you explain the mindless “screwing” the Right is giving Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, both of which are dead and gone?

“And the Neo-Necs sing, ‘Throw out your dead. We want to par-tay, par-tay with them!’ "

What the GOP Did and What They Say (as their noses get longer)

The Right killed the companies, but apparently they aren't satisfied to let them rest in peace, but want to satisfy their election lust with the “dead” GSE corporate husks.

McCain et al are blaming the companies—which have been overseen by Republican appointed regulators for the past 8 years--for tanking the US real estate market and making abusive investments in subprime mortgages and taking down the entire economy.

Consider this slick Neo-Nec move against the GSEs which have fallen, died, and can’t fight back, as the ultimate GOP “party gift,” one which keeps on giving.

It’s so easy to lie about the dead, especially when they were vilified in life. Their surviving “relatives” have been enjoined—by this Administration—from defending them or saying much of anything.

Thank God for us bastards in the family, who aren’t muzzled.

Fannie and Freddie currently are under utilized wards of the federal government and true corpses in any corporate sense. Their employees have been warned not to talk to anyone about what’s going on inside. Their headquarters are all but cemeteries. But it hasn't stopped McCain and his “Neo-Nec” cronies from blaming the two for today’s scary headlines, as well as related complex problems known to many, but understood by few.

For McCain’s crowd and his election efforts, the more public ignorance and confusion the better, since the true culprit—Wall Street subprime mortgage lending, outside the Fannie and Freddie channels--and virtually all of the resulting financial failures and systemic economic problems are covered in GOP fingerprints and DNA.

The GOP posse first helps garrote Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, plunders their capital accounts, has it sick “Neo-Nec” way with them, and then decides to make the corpses hateful poster children--in McCain TV ads--claiming that the GSEs caused the subprime mortgage mess, which has racked the nations’ residential real estate markets and brought down our economic and financial systems.

If that isn’t a “GOP Neo-Nec GSE screwing,” what is?

C’Mon Anderson et al, Get the Facts!

I am really upset about this, not so much at the Republicans for whom this is a standard play, but at the media who gullibly pass on those charges. I'm also galled at the public officials who are afraid to challenge this nonsense because there are fearful of standing up, too vapid, or too lazy to do the simple research to show the transparency of the Neo-Nec lies.

The Republicans hope they can fool enough people and further demonize Fannie and Freddie, hoping that the mud will slop over onto Obama and somehow make McCain a winner. The Bushies, the congressional GOP Neanderthals, the think tanks on the Right, and many in the media have turned "Fannie and Freddie" into an epithet which both angers and frightens people. They are "cute words"--which nobody really understands--but they sound clubby, inside the Beltway, and possibly ugly and evil. (Whatever happened to, “Never speak ill of the dead?”)

So, in a very successful coordinated election year attack, McCain and the GOP try to blame Fannie and Freddie for the subprime mortgage scourge and for dramatically weakening the economy. Will this desperation play—one of several for the flagging GOP ticket--help McCain’s flagging efforts?

At the end of this blog, I list several sources which reject the thinly disguised McCain effort to cover the Bush Administration’s financial regulatory and mortgage policy failings. I also list websites, articles, and reports rejecting the "GSEs caused subprime” myth, and other discussions of the McCain campaign’s attempts to morph John McCain’s mundane performance on GSE matters from its current “chicken s—t” consistency to “GOP chicken salad.” ready for voter consumption!

Forget the content of those bogus, subtlety suggestive racist ads that McCain is putting on about Fannie Mae. Just remember that the latest one was produced by the very same guys who did the 2004 “swift boating” of John Kerry. That ad campaign--later shown to be factually wrong--successfully convinced too many voters that Kerry, the wounded, decorated Navy Vietnam war veteran, didn’t see much combat and was un-American.

McCain decried this scandalous “swift boating” tactic in 2004, when aimed at against Kerry, because it also had been used again him in the GOP primary. But, his team has gone back to the same guys to further defile the GSEs.

McCain on GSEs: The Record and The Facts not the TV Ads

Let me give you the sum total of John McCain’s last five year Senate record on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the one on which he and his spinners claim that he blew the whistle on GSEs. (Again, all of my comments will be buttressed by “indexed” commentary, at the end of the blog.)

Listen fast so you don’t miss it, since McCain only made one floor speech in 2005 and announced on that same day that he would co-sponsor a bill introduced more than 12 months previously by GOP activists.

That’s it! Who knows what GSE thoughts he might have had moving between his eight homes or driving one of his thirteen automobiles, but McCain’s actions were pretty thin.

Senator McCain, the “maverick” and the self designated watch dog protecting against a whole range of GSE problems, chaired a subcommittee on the influential Senate Commerce Committee, from 2000 until the Democrats took back the chamber in 2006, but never employed it on Fannie/Freddie issues.

From 2000—until the GOP lost the Senate to the Democrats in 2006--John McCain NEVER HELD/CHAIRED a subcommittee hearing on any GSE legislation or issue. Nor did he testify before any other congressional committee on the issues on which he and Governor Palin, on McCain’s behalf, claim the Senator acted as a seer.

Plenty of others, in both the House and Senate, did harass and challenge the GSEs, as Fannie and Freddie lost its congressional loyalty and support. But, there’s not much evidence that John McCain was one of those regularly banging on the GSEs houses.

My Friends, I……?

Instead of doing anything original, creative or even active, Senator McCain in May of 2006 went on the Senate floor, a few days after Fannie’s and Freddie’s regulator had issued a scathing report on the two companies, and delivered a 360 word “I told you so” floor speech. (Told us so, when?).

McCain was so energized with that speech, so girded for battle, that the Senator declared that he…..he…..he would “co-sponsor” a rather weak GSE bill which had been introduced 12 months previously by fellow GOP Senators Chuck Hagel (R-Neb,) and John Sununu (R-NH) and generally reviled by most conservatives.

Wow, what courage and leadership!

Hagel and Sununu, unlike McCain were GOP pols who regularly did kick Fannie’s butt, unlike John “Talk the talk but don’t walk the Walk” McCain.”

As Fannie Mae’s chief lobbyist through 2002, I can remember strategizing about Hagel and Sununu, because they both were so smart and active. Fannie sent prominent GOP emissaries into see each Senator to present our case and try and turn them around or at least make them neutral on GSE matters.

Stories about the GSEs hiring McCain’s campaign director, Rick Davis, to run the Homeownership Alliance and placate McCain, are not accurate. John McCain never generated that kind of political angina within Fannie Mae. He was an opponent, but not one who caused any real concern, because he seldom did anything and wasn’t liked by the Senate GOP rank and file.

The Hagel--Sununu proposal, which McCain co-sponsored, died in the Senate Banking Committee, controlled by the GOP and chaired by Sen. Dick Shelby (R-Ala.), mainly because the GOP right wing believed that the bill was too easy on the GSEs.

The GOP held out and, indeed, got a tougher bill reported in 2008, when the Democrats controlled the Senate. But, up to and including that legislative odyssey, which took most of 2008, there is no legislative or rhetorical trace of any McCain GSE legislative GSE activity.

Whistle Blower?

Did the Whistle Blower blow his whistle in the forest with nobody around to hear or didn’t he blow it at all?

There is no record of Senator John McCain haranguing Shelby to act, when the latter chaired the Senate Banking Committee. There is no record of McCain calling a press conference or introducing new legislation on GSE matters, in 2006, 2007, or 2008. There is no trace of John McCain speaking out on GSEs matters in person or for “the record.” before the Banking Committee, when it was chaired by Shelby, or in 2007 when Senator Chris Dodd (D-Ct.) was the Chairman.

It was Dodd, Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Shelby, and House Banking Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who this year shepherded a GSE regulatory bill through the Congress. President Bush signed it into law in August, two months ago.

But McCain and his "homies" sought to re-write history, when McCain got the GOP presidential nod. Suddenly he cast himself as a watchful bull dog tearing through the GSE garden. Instead, his real record looks a little bit like “Tiny Tim,” mincing through the tulips.

I think that McCain’s team saw the confusion and anger surrounding Fannie and Freddie and tried to cast his largely “nothing burger” GSE senatorial performance into some sort of heroic role, based on one short, 350 word, Senate floor speech, and one co-sponsored bill, introduced by others more active on the GSE case.

As Senator McCain urged the New York Times and others--when the story of Rick Davis working for Fannie and Freddie and heading the Homeownership Alliance surfaced and McCain brayed that news didn't prove any ongoing link with Davis and the companies (save for the fact that Freddie krpt paying Rick lobbying wages for four years, after Fannie stopped, right up until August of 2008)--I urge people to check the Congressional Record for McCain’s true GSE performance.

It’s a far cry from what he and the Governor and all of the right wing spinmeisters are suggesting. (See Index.)

But as one financial analysts said to me last week, "Who cares, Fannie and Freddie are dead and gone?”

Sadly he was correct. But for now, John McCain and the GOP right wing are disrespecting those once valuable national mortgage assets and wrongfully assaulting Barack Obama.

That really pisses me off!

Maloni 10-13-2008

Links and Citations to Others Talking about Subprime and McCain on the GSEs

(This is a Google site, identifying the veracity of McCain statements and allegations on a variety of GSE issues and the genesis of subprime, as well as the now international economic problems flowing from the US real estate meltdown. It might also have some of the items identified below.)

McCain on the GSEs

The GOP’s “Blame the GSEs” Plan

Subprime Mortgages, The Source and the Problems It Caused

BIS 78th Annual Report, Part VII. The financial sector in the advanced industrial Economies, Highlights,

BIS, The financial turmoil of 2007-?: a preliminary assessment and some policy considerations, by Claudio Borio,
Working Papers No 251, March 2008,

Is the 2007 US subprime financial crisis so different? An international historical comparison. Working paper 13761,

Understanding the Securitization of Subprime Credit, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, March 2008

(President's Working Group Financial Crisis Report,


John M said...

Hi Bill,

I've just reposted your article here. I'm not sure if you score many points against Sen. McCain, but there are some interesting insights in the course of your arguments.

Bill Maloni said...

Thanks John, again.

What do you mean?

In anticipation of my blog and arguments, McCain fell to a 10 point defecit below Obama. That's me being seerlike and powerful.

Seriously and as I wrote today, I think the value of my blog is the "index" and the concentration of what others have said about the McCain campaign attacks and related noise.

They are transparent, but they also have been well put together and broadbased.

The lie speeds while the truth follows after, slowly, but steadily.

I hope I've helped little boost the truth's pace a little.

John M said...

Hi Bill,

I was referring to your testimony from your experiences as a Fannie lobbyist.

The links are important, but you also serve as a primary source, as you were actually there.

We're still getting a lot of hits from the spam e-mails and posts, but those are hitting our update with the link to the Snopes article. A smattering of hits on Google News refer obliquely to the buzz like it was real, but nothing yet in the biggies.

My view of Tim & Frank, etc. is very critical, even condemning, but I hardly believe they are Obama advisors!

Bill Maloni said...

You're correct. Neither is.

Bill Maloni said...

I am among the first to recognize my shortcomings or mistakes. But, John--bless his soul--beat me to it.

The Monty Pyton line I used is really "Put out your dead,", hot "throw out your dead," which was a request to the the populace to remove their householders who just had died of the "Plague."

"Put" or "Throw," I think most people get my gist.

John M said...

Hi Bill,

I believe that this article is sympathetic to your viewpoint. Do you happen to know these people?

"Poor Homeowners, Good Loans", by Michael S. Barr and Gene Sperling, New York Times, October 17, 2008.