Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Real Straight Shooter

John McCain is renowned for being an honest guy. He named his campaign bus The Straight Talk Express. That is his thing. That is his deal. An honest guy who always tells it like it is!

So when he's discussing the current housing and mortgage crisis and says that he is "committed to the principle that it is not the duty of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether they are big banks or small borrowers."

McCain cited the $30-billion plan by New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to aid homeowners and communities threatened by foreclosures, saying that it sounded "very expensive" and that he would "like to know how it's paid for."

"I will not play election-year politics with the housing crisis."

So if that's what McCain says, that's what McCain means! He is not playing election year politics! He wants to know how Clinton plans to pay for a $30 billion bailout plan because John McCain's economic stance is more tax cuts. More tax cuts, because they've worked so well since 2000. He also believes that it is not the responsibility of the government to bail out irresponsible people and that includes big banks. Sure, these are basic GOP financial stances, but McCain has always held these beliefs close to his heart. Remember, he is not playing election year politics! He does not favor bailouts!

Unless...um...you're a close personal friend and campaign donor. Like...say...Charles Keating.

In early 1987, at the beginning of his first Senate term, McCain attended two meetings with federal banking regulators to discuss an investigation into Lincoln Savings and Loan, an Irvine, Calif., thrift owned by Arizona developer Charles Keating. Federal auditors were investigating Keating's banking practices, and Keating, fearful that the government would seize his S&L, sought intervention from a number of U.S. senators.

Hmm. Okay. Well, that's not such a big deal. I'm sure McCain, the famous straight shooter, probably found a legitimate reason to help out this irresponsible banker.

Regulators did not seize Lincoln Savings and Loan until two years later. The Lincoln bailout cost taxpayers $2.6 billion, making it the biggest of the S&L scandals.

That sounds very expensive. I would like to know how it was paid for.

McCain defended his attendance at the meetings by saying Keating was a constituent and that Keating's development company, American Continental Corporation, was a major Arizona employer...But Keating was more than a constituent to McCain--he was a longtime friend and associate...Keating raised money for McCain's two congressional campaigns in 1982 and 1984, and for McCain's 1986 Senate bid. By 1987, McCain campaigns had received $112,000 from Keating, his relatives, and his employees--the most received by any of the Keating Five.

Well, I'm sure a man who was eventually investigated for irregular banking practices raised all of that money in a legitimate fashion. I'm sure none of it came from the 17,000 Lincoln investors who lost $190 million.

After McCain's election to the House in 1982, he and his family made at least nine trips at Keating's expense, three of which were to Keating's Bahamas retreat. McCain did not disclose the trips (as he was required to under House rules) until the scandal broke in 1989.

Is it a lie if you don't tell anybody? Guess not! His record of straight talk is still alive!

And in April 1986, one year before the meeting with the regulators, McCain's wife, Cindy, and her father invested $359,100 in a Keating strip mall.

Hey, listen. If you invested that much money with somebody, you wouldn't want to see them go bankrupt either.

In February 1991, the Senate Ethics Committee found McCain and Glenn to be the least blameworthy of the five senators...McCain considered the committee's judgment to be "full exoneration," and he contributed $112,000 (the amount raised for him by Keating) to the U.S. Treasury.

So there you have it. John McCain is a straight shooter who did the right thing...after he got caught. And because of this painful experience in his past, he no longer favors government bailouts for irresponsible lenders! (That he doesn't know personally.)

The media has absolutely no reason to ever question anything John McCain says. Whether he's contradicting himself on government intervention or incorrectly accusing Iran of training al-Qaeda, please, Beltway media, do not ever give his comments a second thought. Thanks!

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