Keating/McCain Link is Now in Play

In response to the Palin/McCain accusations that Barack Obama is a terrorist,* there is now a documentary called “Keatining Economics: Johh McCain and the Making of a Financial Crisis.

Below is a short preview. The full documentary will be available at 12 noon today (October 6).

Here is a summary of the documentary:

‘The current economic crisis demands that we understand John McCain’s attitudes about economic oversight and corporate influence in federal regulation. Nothing illustrates the danger of his approach more clearly than his central role in the savings and loan scandal of the late ’80s and early ’90s.

John McCain was accused of improperly aiding his political patron, Charles Keating, chairman of the Lincoln Savings and Loan Association. The bipartisan Senate Ethics Committee launched investigations and formally reprimanded Senator McCain for his role in the scandal — the first such Senator to receive a major party nomination for president.

At the heart of the scandal was Keating’s Lincoln Savings and Loan Association, which took advantage of deregulation in the 1980s to make risky investments with its depositors’ money. McCain intervened on behalf of Charles Keating with federal regulators tasked with preventing banking fraud, and championed legislation to delay regulation of the savings and loan industry — actions that allowed Keating to continue his fraud at an incredible cost to taxpayers.

When the savings and loan industry collapsed, Keating’s failed company put taxpayers on the hook for $3.4 billion and more than 20,000 Americans lost their savings. John McCain was reprimanded by the bipartisan Senate Ethics Committee, but the ultimate cost of the crisis to American taxpayers reached more than $120 billion.

The Keating scandal is eerily similar to today’s credit crisis, where a lack of regulation and cozy relationships between the financial industry and Congress has allowed banks to make risky loans and profit by bending the rules. And in both cases, John McCain’s judgment and values have placed him on the wrong side of history.


Is this a mistake for Obama? Is Obama just playing the dirty campaign game like McCain and Palin are? No. The terrorist accusations by McCain and Palin are utterly false and absurd. McCain’s link to the financial crisis, to Keating, etc. are real. This difference … one thing being fabricated, one thing being real, does matter.

*You may suggest that I’m going overboard saying that Palin/McCain have specifically called Obama a terrorist, and that instead, they are just talking about ‘judgement’ and so on. You would be wrong. Palin and McCain will probably stick to the ‘judgment’ accusation on the stump (though “palling around with terrorists” is not exactly a mild accusation) but you must realize that this public campaign event is coordinated with an extensive mail and email campaign in which the link is being made explicitly. This is nothing other than the “Obama trained to be a terrorist in Kenya” memes (and others) which have been created and promoted by the Right Wing moving more onto the mainstream stage. It is NOT OK to assume that McCain and Palin and their campaign are not involved in this.


  1. #1 richCares
    October 6, 2008

    each day Palin makes her attack on the Ayers matter, Obama’s poll numbers go up (Rasmussen up 8 points today)
    keep it up Sarah, Obama needs the help!

  2. #2 SteveF
    October 6, 2008

    If the Republicans are going to be doing a bit of smearing, maybe they should be more careful about who they get in to do the job. Case in point on a recent Sean Hannity show, with his guest Andy Martin, great mind behind the following quotes:

    In a New York bankruptcy case, he referred to a judge as a “crooked, slimy Jew.” During the bankruptcy dispute, he filed a civil-rights lawsuit claiming Jewish bankruptcy judges and lawyers were conspiring to steal his property. He asked a court to bar “any Jew from having anything to do with plaintiff’s property.”

    and this

    In another motion in the case, he wrote: “I am able to understand how the Holocaust took place, and with every passing day feel less and less sorry that it did, when Jew survivors are operating as a wolf pack to steal my property.”

  3. #3 Joel
    October 6, 2008

    FACT CHECK: Axelrod Has Said Ayers And Obama Are “Certainly Friendly,” And The Obama Campaign Has NEVER BEFORE SAID Obama Didn’t Know Ayers’ Radical And Violent History — But Has Referred To Him As “Respected Advisor” To Chicago Mayor

  4. #4 Lemon Curry
    October 6, 2008

    I thought I was the only one who remembered the Keating Five scandal. I’m 60 now, and I’m still angry, especially at McCain and John Glenn.

  5. #5 Stephanie Z
    October 6, 2008

    Joel, that’s not a fact check. It’s a press release from the McCain campaign, from the guy who tried to sell us on the idea that Palin had foreign policy experience. The Obama campaign did a press release too, but I’m hardly going to point you at it and expect you to take it at face value.

    If you want a fact check, you go to independent sources.

  6. #6 Stephanie Z
    October 6, 2008

    Comment trapped. Walls closing in. Air…getting…thin.

    Huh. I guess it would actually be more dense. There goes that cliche.

    Er, Greg, mind releasing it? Thanks.