Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Phil Gramm Lives!

This worm has finally crawled out from the dank underbelly of the private sector rock for which he's always had a stiffy, even when he was getting every stage of his education and subsequent career paid for by the public. I've had the great pleasure of hating this S.O.B. for most of my adult life because he was my Senator in Washington from the time I became aware of such a thing as politics at around 14 until I left the great state of Texas in 1996.

Make no mistake, this man is as disingenuously sleazy as disingenuously sleazy gets, and all with a gooey smile and squinty Georgia drawl - for he was only the Senator from Texas because he had a job at Texas A&M when he decided to enter politics. His entire reputation and career as an economist and then a politician was essentially an audition for the corporate lobbyist job he's had since leaving the U.S. Senate in 2002, his creed a shrill, mythological fantasy variation on the tired old libertarian retread of deregulation and complete lack of government oversight as the silver bullet for whatever economic woes beset any civilization anywhere, throughout time.

Or something like that. Who really know with these people. Their "theories" are not intended to actually illuminate or explain anything; they only exist as a faux-expertise patina to cover whatever sleazy thing they originally wanted to do in the first place, which is more often than not reinforce existing inequities and wealth-generating power structures. Kinda like the way their revolving set of names for creationism are just shitty, dim-bulb attempts to prove a pre-determined set of beliefs.

I'll leave the Bill of Indictment to the late, great (and terribly missed) Molly Ivins:
Gramm, the great crusader against government spending, has spent his entire life on the government tit. He was born at a military hospital, raised on his father's Army pay, went to private school at Georgia Military Academy on military insurance after his father died, paid for his college tuition with same, got a National Defense Fellowship to graduate school, taught at a state-supported school, and made generous use of his Senate expense account
In other words, from the time he was born in 1942 until he retired from the U.S. Senate 60 years later, his entire existence - from birth until practically retirement age - was owed to public institutions, financing & monies. He's been really busy since slithering out of office, though. From Christy Hardin Smith at FireDogLake:
Phil Gramm has taken McCain's "Charlie Black Sweet Talk Expressway bus" to Lobbying Town all the way to the bank...literally.

Gramm only stopped lobbying for international banking giant UBS officially on April 18, 2008, well after McCain clinched the GOP nod -- but also well after Gramm had written and shaped the McCain campaign's banking policies in response to the subprime mortgage which UBS is also embroiled, and for whom Gramm continues to be employed as a UBS vice chairman regarding investment banking. Yes, you read that correctly.

Who is UBS, exactly, that they have now restricted their international banking staff from traveling to the US during their pending SEC investigation? And why are they in legal trouble for allegedly running a tax-evasion arm out of their US branch? Josh has some background, including this link on McCain's speech on banking policy fully a month before Gramm quit lobbying for UBS. Funny how that speech calls for banking folks to decide how to handle things amongst themselves rather than tightening regulation -- wonder whose idea that was? Things that make you go "hmmmmm," indeed. Hilzoy has a good thumbnail sketch.

Why on earth would John McCain think this man was remotely appropriate to be his economic adviser? Because McCain knows nothing about economics. And just like his "pick a winner" foreign policy hodge podge, it's all about who might have a "reputation" among his pals who...quite coincidentally, I'm sure...also happen to be lobbyists for the very same industries would help to shape policy in a McCain Administration.
And Keith used the Good Mister Gramm to take this whack at the Senator from Arizona last night:

Rethugli-bots simply can't help themselves, the poor dears. Corrupt to the core.

1 comment:

Izzy O'Rainey said...

I need to tell someone this.

The new lady who works down the hall from me has 5 pictures on her desk. 1 is her daughter with Phil Gramm. 1 is her with Gov. George Bush at her appointment ceremony. 1 is her, Kay Bailey Hutchinson and some other face-lifted crow.

I'm updating my resume.